Category Archives: Marketing

Is Tinder Hot?

IMG_0521My daughter recently talked me into signing up for “Tinder.” If you’re not familiar, it’s an iPhone app that’s designed to help you meet people. Apparently, it’s evolved from being something created for “hookups” (read: “meaningless sexual encounters”) into an app that facilitates meeting people for actually dating.

What makes this interesting is that it’s all based on Facebook, and the pictures you post here.

There’s a lot of different dating sites out there, each one slightly different in their approach. eHarmony makes you go through a long and laborious process before you even get to chat directly with someone in whom you might be interested. Continue reading Is Tinder Hot?

The nature of Heaven. And Hell.

You know that joke about what countries would be in charge of things if this were Heaven or if it were Hell? You know the one…where in Heaven, the British are the police, and in Hell, it’s the Germans? Well, I got to thinking about how that would apply to technology. And I came up with this: Continue reading The nature of Heaven. And Hell.

What’s in a name?

Buy--)Rakuten

I’m on a bunch of email lists. Comes with the job of being a marketing guy. For some time now, I’ve gotten emails from Buy.com. I don’t buy a lot from them, but it’s interesting to see how they promote specials, format their emails, etc. Recently, I’ve been receiving emails from Rakuten.com, “formerly Buy.com.” Um…wha? Continue reading What’s in a name?

Teen Teachable Moments in (Louisiana) History.

Well, we (my 14-year-old daughter) and I just got back from Lake Charles, LA, where she competed in the Louisiana State Social Studies Fair. Well, “competed” isn’t exactly the right word. She entered. She did her best. She excelled. And she did not win. But for her to have “competed” would have required that they actually stage a competition, which, sadly, they did not. What they did do bears some explanation – and analysis. Continue reading Teen Teachable Moments in (Louisiana) History.

Handicapping the Oscars.

Do you love movies? I used to. Hooray for Hollywood and all that. It used to be our best export – American culture via movies was the original nation-building exercise. Even countries that hate us loved our entertainment. Today, things are different. I’m ashamed of most of the America-bashing, far-Left ideology-spewing, self-absorbed naval gazing, crapalicious dreck coming out of Hollywood nowadays. And I’m not alone. Movie attendance is way, way down in the so-called “Red States,” and the number-one with a car bomb objection raised by Islamic fundamentalist nutjobs is the “decadent” entertainment designed to break down traditional cultures – like theres. I used to enjoy watching the Oscar ceremony, pulling for my favorite movies, directors, actors and actresses. Not anymore. I haven’t watched – or cared about – the Oscars in years. Between Hollywood nominating a bunch of movies I wouldn’t see on a bet (movies that mock my values, like Brokeback Mountain) and nominating a bunch of actors and actresses with little talent, less common sense, willing to loudly bray their opinions about George Bush, the Right, and how everything wrong with the world is Halliburton’s and Chenney’s fault. After a while it gets old.

Then I realized that I had the perfect formula to predict who would win the Oscars. Continue reading Handicapping the Oscars.

TyperActive.

I love typography. Always have. From a very early age, I’ve been fascinated with letterforms. When I was in elementary school, I used to rubber-band two pencils together to create a crude way to draw Blackletter (a.k.a. “Old English”) lettering on posters. While other kids decorated their textbook’s book covers with drawings of muscle cars, military tanks or alien spacecraft, I decorated mine with words in a variety of typefaces. Blackletter, calligraphy, Cooper Black, Bodoni, Futura – you name it, and I experimented with it. As I grew into a career as a freelance artist, I discovered that typefaces could provide a subtext (no pun intended) to ad copy and headlines. The face I chose to design something had the power to communicate meaning, context, and even tell people how to think about the words on the printed page, before they’d even read them.

Waaaaay cool. Continue reading TyperActive.

Got MLK?

Today our country celebrates/commemorates/observes the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Coincidentally, it’s the last day of the Bush Administration, and the Eve of the ObamaNation. (Ahem.) The Chosen One has been busy in the last two weeks, with his faithful media lapdogs casting him as a combination of the second comings of Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ. Pretty big boots to step into, if you ask me, but the media assures us that he’s up to the task. We’ve been treated to breathless stories of how Obama has but four years to “fix” global warming or we’re all doomed, and how the Messiah is going to undo eight years of the “evils” of the Republicans.

I find it interesting that everything Obama has done so far, has been of a symbolic nature. Continue reading Got MLK?

Read All About It.

I hear that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, like many other once-proud newspapers, is up for sale. Even worse, if it’s not sold inside of 60 days, it will cease to exist in print (but might continue in a greatly scaled-back online form).

Sad. Very sad.

I was thinking the other day about how the newspaper biz has changed since I was a kid, throwing a paper route in Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s changed a lot – and not for the better. Of course, you could argue, and many do, that the Internet killed the Newspaper, just like it’s kill(ing) CDs and will soon kill DVDs. But if you’ve ever tried to get all your information from the web, you’ve probably seen that there’s something that you lose, when you ditch paper. So, I’m not convinced the problem with newspapers lies at the feet of the World Wide Web alone. No, I think it’s something(s) much deeper, and will, in fact, cause the destruction of an entire industry in no less significant a way than what happened to the dinosaurs. Continue reading Read All About It.

New projects…

I have a couple of new projects to talk about. I’m a member of an indoor pistol/handgun range, set up as a non-profit. They had a really bad website, in desperate need of an update. I”m still tweaking the new stuff, but here’s a before-and-after look at the project:

The old site: http://www.lsgc.org

The new site: http://www.letsshootgunclub.com

Part of the challenge is going to be to get the old site (as well as another one on Tripod.com) shut down, as the people that set those sites up are no longer with the club – and apparently there’s some bad blood between folks that’s caused these sites to remain in limbo.

Another project I’ve been working on is the recently-updated site for my church: http://www.allsaintsamarillo.org. I’m using the Slideshow Pro  Flash component to deliver not only a picture gallery, but a front-page “splash scren” style rotating banner thing, that can be updated by way of SlideshowPro’s excellent CMS tool.

I’d be interested to get some feedback on both projects, if you’re so inclined.

Flying blind…

I recently (four days ago, to be exact) updated the software this blog runs on, to the latest and greatest version – i.e., WordPress v.2.7. The upgrade was surprisingly easy to do, and by all appearances, went off without a hitch. Um…ALMOST without a hitch. Seems that one of the things that got trashed along the way was the settings for my Google Analytics code. Whoops.

I usually check my GA stats on a daily basis, just to see what’s going on. Check more often, and it will drive you nuts. Less frequently, and you stand to miss a trend…or a problem.

It had been four days since I’d checked my GA account. Color me “surprised” to learn that I’d (according to GA) gone from a significant readership to ZERO hits for the last four days. That’s like going from 60 to zero in, oh, about 0.0 seconds.

Once I saw the stats, I knew something was wrong. I dialed up the New! Improved! control panel, and found that my GA settings were pooched. No code – no tracking. No tracking – no results. No results – unhappy blogger.

I’ve restored the tracking code, and all should be right in my world.

But I’ll keep checking. As Joe Bob Briggs (Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas) says, “Without eternal vigilance, it can happen here.”