Writer, Christian, SEO/Social Media Marketer, Book Reviewer, Deaf and Loud.

Tag Archives: Technology

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Image Credits: Slice Communications 

Hey guys! Happy Independence Day weekend! For those of you who are not from the US, well, happy weekend. :).

Today I am going to take a short break from the 30 day writing challenge to write about Social Media Day Philadelphia. I attended this convention held at the Franklin Institute on Thursday, June 30th with 3 of my co-workers from Penn Medicine. All of them work as web content coordinators while I work as as a Web./Social Media Monitoring Specialist. Together, we work on creating engaging and informative content for the Penn Medicine website, newsletters, social media pages, and more.

This is actually the first social media convention I’ve ever been to, so it’s safe to say I was pretty pumped about having the opportunity to attend. I made a few rookie mistakes including being one of the most over-dressed people there (at least I was dressed to impress, right?), not bringing my laptop (it wouldn’t have helped much as it needs a new battery though), and not having an extra power bank or means of charging my phone on-hand (I live tweeted a majority of the convention, so it didn’t take long for my battery to shoot down to 0%. Despite these rookie mistakes, I still had a really good time and learned a lot. I think my first social media convention was definitely a success.

Here’s a breakdown of my day:

9:00am: Slice Communications gave a welcoming speech. This was a great way to kick things off. I always loved Slice Communications ever since my former coworker and friend introduced me to them about a year ago. They are doing so many great things in the world of digital marketing. They were great hosts for the event. Cassandra Bailey, President and CEO, has so much energy and is so well organized for the event. I really love her bright yellow dress, too. I don’t even like the color yellow, but it fits her bright personality and shows that she is from Slice (Slice’s logo is yellow) which I think is great.

9:10am: Erin Dress, Brand Marketing Specialist and CPG at Twitter delivers opening keynote. I was so excited to hear Erin Dress speak, mainly because she is from Twitter. I definitely agreed with her points on how Twitter is where people go to gain information and that it’s one of the most trustworthy social networks (I think LinkedIn is more so though, but Twitter is broader).The facts about Twitter’s advertising vs. Facebook’s intrigued me. I never realized that Facebook targets users based on demographics while Twitter targets more specific interests. In general, Twitter’s advertising options are more focused. Perhaps this is why the CPC is generally much higher for Twitter ads than they are for Facebook ads. I also agreed that your brand’s message needs to be personalized. The example of using emojis and how Dove created one with curly hair was amazing. I always liked emojis,but I realize they can be tricky to incorporate into marketing. The idea of creating a whole new emoji strictly for your brand is brilliant.

10:00am: Break. During this first break I spotted Nick Walz! Nick and I worked together for a few years at WebiMax. He left in March of 2015 while I left in April of 2016. We talk to each other on a semi-frequent basis, but we haven’t actually seen each other since his last day at WebiMax. It was so nice to see him and catch up on everything. Nick is pretty awesome and a bit of a social media guru. He taught me pretty much everything I know about social media. I really enjoyed working with him in the past and being mentored by him and I’m sure he’s doing great things as a media strategist for Harmelin Media now. Remember his name, Philly.

10:10am: My co-workers and I decided to attend the Healthcare Digital Darwinism panel since we all work in Healthcare (obvious choice). This panel made me feel really good about myself and the business I represent because I felt we were doing many things right. Many of the speakers stressed the importance of responding to messages on Facebook and other platforms, especially if they were negative, within 20 minutes or less and to have a social media emergency response plan in effect. We do have an emergency response ready to go when needed and always answer ASAP. I liked how some of the speakers mentioned using Facebook messenger to talk directly with users/patients. I know a lot of brands shy away from that direct interaction, but I think in the healthcare industry, it’s really important. I enjoyed this panel overall. My only criticisms are that a lot of the points made were things I already knew and not all of the speakers worked much with social media, which considering it’s social media day, was weird to me.

10:50AM: Break. My co-workers knew some of the speakers and wanted to catch up with them after the panel.I think it was Daniel Moise, Social Media Strategist at Virtua Health, that we spoke to. He seemed very smart and friendly.

10:55am: CMO Roundtable. Choosing to attend this panel was not an easy decision. We were torn between this and the other option, Social is the New Digital Currency, but in the end my coworkers and I decided to go with the CMO Roundtable since we don’t have a CMO (it became a little bit of an inside joke for us). Plus, we were already in the room that this chat was being held at and after spending our whole break talking with the speakers from the healthcare panel, we were cutting it close on time. The CMO Roundtable was actually pretty good. The CMOs expressed the importance of using Facebook to show a fun side of their brand and the importance of being authentic on social media. I loved how they said that if something isn’t working in your social strategy, you need to change it quickly. I spent nearly 3 years working for an agency and sometimes this could be a tough decision to make when trying something new. Do you keep waiting it out, or do you change it before it’s too late? Hearing their advice to change it before it’s too late was a bit of a game changer for me and will certainly affect how I view future campaign when experimenting with new strategies. Of all of the CMO’s speaking for this panel, Carolina Lobo was by far my favorite. She was very polished and professional, but completely real and hilarious when you least expected her to be so. “Authenticity” was one of the words of the day for Social Media Day Philadelphia 2016, 2nd only to “influencer”, but Carolina was one of the few who not only spoke about the importance of being authentic, but she actually WAS authentic. Quote Of The Day: “No one gives a crap about the awards the CMOs win.” – Carolina Lobo. CMO’s, take note.

11:35am: Break. My coworkers knew the speaker Drew Diskin, CMO of WizeHive, so they wanted to speak with him for a few minutes. I never met Drew, let alone worked with him in the past, but I was vaguely familiar with WizeHive so I was curious to see what he had to say. Drew is a very bold and confident man. He didn’t talk much about how work with WizeHive, but gave us a little bit of leadership advice from the perspective of a CMO.

11:40am: Building a Data-Driven Company: Lessons From The Front Line. My coworkers and I chose to attend this talk over hearing the guy from Comcast talk about his work because we wanted to hear things that could benefit or effect us, not just hear others success stories. This talk was given by Robert J. Moore from RJ Metrics. I have been following them online for awhile and was familiar with the brand. I knew that the people behind the brand were very smart and always produced great content. The downside? I work as a content creator. I’m more for the writing and creative side of things. Data and numbers and statistics make my head spin. I didn’t really process or understand anything Robert said during the first half of his presentation. However, during part 2 I was extremely engaged. In part 2 he explained the great RJ Metrics logo fail story. I love how he saw this as an opportunity to further explore his own company, his audience, and do what RJ Metrics does best: use data to analyze and pull it all together. They did a great job of honing up to their mistake and more than that, they took pride in it. They wrote blog posts and talked with the media about their logo fail. They never once tried to run away or hide from it. They embraced it. They became masters at turning a negative into a positive. The results? RJ Metrics gained trust and authenticity within their audience. I think everyone in some shape or form can kind of relate to this honest mistake. It is a funny story that made RJ Metrics more memorable. In the end, this mistake worked wonders for them.

12:20pm: (The Most Philadelphian) Lunch Time! The organizers of the event were nice enough to provide lunch for everyone. It was a grab and go boxed lunch with plenty of varieties of sandwiches for everyone to choose from. I grabbed a turkey one and my coworkers and I headed to the cafeteria to eat. When we opened our boxes we were surprised by how much food they gave us. We all had a hoagie/sandwich/or wrap, a bag of Herr’s (Philadelphia company) chips, a small container of fruit salad, a Tastykake (another Philadelphia company), and a soft pretzel (Philadelphian snack). We joked that it felt like being back in elementary school. Once we were all finished eating we headed to the giant heart and the brain exhibits to get a few pictures for the Heart and Vascular and Neuroscience service lines and to just kind of play around with some things.

1:30 Flash Talk With Cecily Kellogg of Double Good Media. The flash talk with Cecily Kellogg of Double Good Media was probably my most favorite talk of the day. Cecily may not have been a keynote speaker and she may have only had 15 minutes, but those 15 minutes were powerful. Even though she is a hardcore liberal and I’m a hardcore conservative and personally, we probably don’t have all that much in common, I still felt deeply connected to her and could relate. She talked about the mistakes she made in the past as a mommy blogger and her regrets over sharing her every thought and how she branded herself in all of the wrong ways. This had some very dire consequences on herself, her family, and her reputation. In the end, Cecily decided her best option was to quit being a mommy blogger and start over from scratch. Cecily is the pure definition of what it means to be authentic. She is more careful about how she presents herself online now, but she still has the same attitude and personality. When she speaks, you know she’s the real deal. I’ve always been pretty open online and had an “everything goes” mindset like Cecily. Her talk inspired me to be a little more careful about what I post online and to think before posting.

1:45pm: Flash  Talk With Jen Leary of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. The flash talk with Jen Leary from the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team was another one of my favorite talks. Jen isn’t known as being a social media guru and she doesn’t claim to be one — she is a firefighter to the core and I really appreciated her honesty. There are many people that will brag about being a social media guru especially at these kinds of events, so it’s refreshing to hear stories like this coming from people who flat out admit “I had no idea what I was doing and I’m still working to figure things out.” Jen seems to be doing a great job figuring it all out! It was inspiring to hear about how much money she and her team were able to raise through Facebook. I’m looking into doing some fundraising on my own in the near future to support Aid the Silent, so this gave me a lot of hope. I also totally agree with her points on the power of a good image and working a little to play on people’s sympathy especially when it comes time to ask for donations. Images can and often are more effective than text alone.

2:00pm:Flash Talk With Teresa Lopez from Seer Interactive: My phone was completely dead by this point so I couldn’t live tweet and that made me inherently sad because there was SO MUCH good information here. I have become OBSESSED with Pinterest marketing over the last 6 months because I know that it holds many SEO benefits and I love the advertising options. I was excited about this one too because I have heard so much about Seer Interactive and know quite a few very talented individuals who have or currently do work for Seer and do an amazing job. I already knew about the importance of performing keyword research and adding keywords into Pinterest board titles and descriptions. I didn’t realize how little weight the actual pins have on SEO though. I’ll definitely spend less time on the individual pins and more time on the boards and the actual account optimizations moving forward.

2:15pm: Flash Talk With Susan Poulton from The Franklin Institute. Susan Poulton has a bit of sass that comes with her, which representing the Franklin Institute, was a little unexpected. In her words, she’s “definitely shaking things up at The Franklin Institute”, and with her language and word choice, it’s easy to see why. I liked her though. I liked hearing about how her mission goes beyond just getting people to buy tickets to the museum. One thing that really stood out as being interesting to me was how she is working with her team to market The Franklin Institute globally. I always saw it as being a “Philadelphia” thing and if I were in her position I would probably market it locally, but now that I’m thinking about it, her strategy makes perfect sense. There are many tourists that visit Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute from all over the country that she needs to target and reach, not to mention the general science nerds interested in the science content. Susan made me realize the importance of marketing in a way that can reach everyone, not just those local to your business.

2:45pm: Feature Talk with Pam Didner: How to Maximize The Synergy of Your Social Media & Content Marketing Efforts. My coworkers and I chose this talk with Pam Didner over the one given by/about Curalate, because once again, we wanted to hear about general social media topics, not people’s personal success stories or what they do at their jobs. I had a bit of trouble hearing Pam due to her accent, but when I did hear her, I enjoyed her presentation. She doesn’t look like it at first glance, but she is actually really funny which made her talk even better. I especially enjoyed the templates she provided on how to identify your audience vs. your target user persona and what the difference is. Your audience is general but the persona is more specific, and while the audience may help you to spread your message, the persona is really the one who will follow your brand, use your services, or buy your products. This is why it’s so important not only to identify your audience, but the persona you want to target as well.

3:30pm: What’s Next in Social Media Panel. I got nothing from this panel. It went off topic a lot and was really hard to follow. The moderator asked a question at one point about ROI and someone’s answer was “What’s the ROI of your mom?” My jaw almost hit the floor. I know the tone of the convention was all lighthearted and funny, but that seemed like a little much to me. Judging by the rest of the audience’s reactions, no one else was feeling this panel too much, either. I found an electrical outlet in the floor I was using to charge my phone with, so I began to play around with that and look at all of the other #SMDayPHL tweets. No one was really tweeting much about this panel. Everyone else was just on their phones and laptops and looked like they were waiting for this panel to end.

After that last panel, my co-workers and I decided to call it a day. We still had to travel back home and preferred to do it before it got dark and before it got too late/crowded. Many other attendees followed suit. I do have a few small regrets for skipping the closing keynote given by Kristina Neher though. I read the highlights of it and saw the live tweets come in and it sounds like it was a great presentation on the power of visuals in marketing. I was surprised to hear from the highlights how much higher Instagram engagement is than Facebook. I feel like Facebook is the most powerful social platform that can work for pretty much any business whereas Instagram requires more work and I feel like Instagram is for a younger audience and geared more towards personal use. It looks like it’s time for me to change my attitude towards Instagram! I was also surprised to learn than emails with the word “video” in the subject have a 19% higher open rate…that is definitely something I’m looking to experiment more with in the near future. I liked the idea of using your audience and having them do your marketing for you. If someone from your audience takes a picture of your product for instance, sharing that image can be more powerful and credible than posting your own professional image. I wish this talk would’ve been the opening keynote…it sounds like they really did save the best for last and I’m sorry I missed out on it. :-/

Overall, my first social media convention was a success. I had a really great time and I learned a lot. I look forward to attending it again next year. Who knows, maybe one of these years I’ll even have the opportunity to speak!

Did you attend Social Media Day Philadelphia? If so, what was your favorite part?

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Image Credits: GoodReads

I decided to read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore after hearing my friend talk about it and spotting it at the library. A book about a bookstore? Well, I love books, so this must be something I’d love, right?

I was not disappointed.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore is more than just a bookstore. It’s a bookstore filled with magic and secrets just waiting to be decoded. The bookstore simply needs the right person at the right time to decode the messages. Clay Jannon is that person.

Clay begins working as a clerk at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore after losing his job in marketing at a bagel shop, NewBagel. However, it turns out to be more than just a job and more than just a bookstore. Clay becomes friends with the bookstore owner, Mr. Penumbra rather quickly and soon learns that the bookstore is far from ordinary. He is given some rather unusual instructions such as the importance of keeping a logbook and not to read the books from a specific corner of the store — books that are placed on the Waybacklist.

It doesn’t take Clay long to realize that these books aren’t the same as regular books and that the “customers” that come to Mr. Penunmbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore aren’t really customers at all. Rather than buying books, Mr. Penumbra’s most frequent visitors all borrow books from the Waybacklist, and the books are filled with strange codes that they spend years trying to comprehend or decode.

Clay soon learns from Mr. Penumbra that these codes are written and read by members of a society known as the The Society of the Unbroken Spine, the leaders to be exact. They are known as their Codex Vitae, which are like memoirs of their lives and they possess wisdom and knowledge on key elements of life, one of the biggest of which is the secret for longevity or perhaps even immortality. How will you live on even after you are long gone?

Clay may not be an expert at cracking codes, but if there’s one thing he is good at it’s marketing and technology. After running a semi-successful Google Adwords campaign, Kat Potente, a member of Clay’s target audience, wanders into Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Clay soon learns that Kat is an employee of Google, and the possible key to decoding the books from the Waybacklist.

The two of them launch a campaign with Mr. Penumbra himself, believing that if they simply use Google’s technology such as their book scanners and computers, they should easily be able to decode the books and find out what the secret to immortality is.

However, much to their dismay, they soon learn that there are some things technology is not, nor will ever be capable of doing. Decoding Aldus Manutius’ Codex Vitae is one of those things. This is because while Google’s machines are capable of reading codes and analyzing them, they fail to really LOOK at the code.

The code was written entirely in a special font known as Gerritszoon. This is a popular font that is frequently in stores, on computers, and everywhere else imaginable. It is even used in Mr. Penunmbra’s shop sign. It turns out, Manutius was really good friends with the founder of this font, and the font is the real key to decoding the message.

After doing his own research that includes completing a mission from an outsider to track down the original punches for the Gerritszoon font, Clay discovers the font is very unique in that each letter contains different shapes and indentations that represent a message. Once Clay figures this out he is able to decode the message in his Codex Vitae, which is simply:

Thank you, Teobaldo

You are my greatest friend

This has been the key to everything.

 

I loved Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore because it is the perfect blend of old and new technology. I related to both Clay and Kat because I work in the field of digital marketing. Google and technology like Google plays a large role in my career, and I do much of the same marketing that Clay has done for NewBagel and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore. I also love books (physical books, to be specific) and bookstores. I always believed that no matter how advanced we as a society become with our technology, it will never fully be able to replace books.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore successfully demonstrates the importance of books. It shows us how there are some things books can do that technology cannot. It shows us how to be better researchers and listeners. We can’t simply rely on technology for everything and we can merely look at the surface of things like text, we need to go deeper to really understand what one another is saying.

The final message, or what Manutius hid in his Codex Vitae was disappointing to many members of the Unbroken Spine, but it was actually far more significant than they realize. Manutius is saying that friendship and fellowship is one of the secrets to success or immorality. We cannot succeed in life alone, we need to depend on one another to understand life, to progress, and to make contributions to the world that help to make our short time on life worthwhile or memorable so that we will be remembered long after we die.

Technology may continue to advance in time, but there is one thing that is certain: it will never be able to fully replace traditional books and the unique magic and stories they contain.


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Image Credits: Forbes

Do you love Instagram? People in Sydney, Austraila sure seem to! A new hotel called 1888 was recently opened in Sydney featuring a unique Instagram/photo theme.

The hotel’s name came from the year that Kodak released it’s first box and roll camera, but that’s about the only piece of history you’ll find in this hotel. Rather than focusing on history 1888 would rather you create it in the form of Instagram posts. The hotel features 5 stories of  what The Daily Mail has deemed “instagram-worthy” decor and window views all around

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Image Credits: The Daily Mail

As you enter into the hotel you will be encouraged to take a selfie of you checking in in the hotel’s deemed “Selfie Spot”. There is also a giant mural of Instagram  photos taken at the hotel. To enter your room you must hashtag all photos “#1888 hotel”. Every room comes with free wi-fi and an iPad to encourage you to take and upload even more Instagram photos of your stay.

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Image Credits: The Daily Mail

If you have a lot of Instagram followers than you may be in luck! The 1888 hotel is offering a free night’s stay to all Instagram users with over 10,000 followers. If you haven’t quite reached that number of followers don’t fret, take the best Instagram shots while staying at the hotel and you could also be among the guests to win a free night’s stay.

What do you think of the new Instagram themed hotel? Is it a clever marketing scheme or extra tacky? Would you want to stay here? I’m wondering about copyright and privacy issues. Do the guests own their photos or does the hotel? Is it possible to sue the hotel over copyright issues? How private is a guest’s stay if they are publicly documenting it through Instagram? Could the lack of privacy put a damper on a vacation?


I remember when I first saw Sharon M. Draper’s novel, Out Of My Mind. It was at a Scholastic book fair my college, Rowan University, was holding to benefit the Students For Literacy club. I was drawn to the simple, yet intriguing cover which was blue and featured a goldfish in a small bowl. I then proceeded to read the back cover and was interested in how the author described her main character as having a “photographic memory”. The back cover mentioned that this character was currently unable to walk to speak, but never once said that she had cerebral palsy, a condition that I had no previous knowledge of.

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Image Credits: Novel Novice

 

Sharon M. Draper’s Out Of My Mind painted a vivid picture of just what it’s like to be 11 years old and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Main character Melody’s classmates want nothing to do with her. She have SO much to say, but no way to say it. She is mute, and for awhile, that means silenced.

Until she received the MediTalker, a device that allows her to type up the things she wants to say on a computer. It’s a lot like Stephen Hawking and the computer he uses to communicate with. What’s more, Melody can prove her intelligence, which may or may not be the equivalent of Stephen Hawking’s in the future, for the first time ever. She does so through not only trying out for, but scoring the highest for the school’s Whiz Kids team.

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Image Credits: CPCenter.org

However,Melody has a long way to go before reaching the same level of praise, respect, and acclaim of the talented Mr. Hawking. Despite her proven intelligence, Melody’s classmates still see her as “weird” for her condition. Some such as the novel’s antagonist, Claire, even show a hint of jealousy  Then there are characters like Rose that are torn between being a good friend to Melody or looking cool in front of the more popular crowd (e.g.-Claire). 

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Image Credits: TheVerge.com 

When the Whiz Kids have their flight for the next, big round of their competition changed at the last minute, it is Rose who is put in charge of notifying Melody. The other children persuade her not to call, telling her how weird Melody would make them look on television and reminding her of the alternatives they can use for the team. This  breaks Melody’s heart.

But it does not break Melody. Melody has a strength within her that can prevail even the cruelest comments and actions from her classmates. She is determined to shine on her own and show her classmates that she can do fine on her own, even without them. She is also quick to remind them that without her, they are nothing, which is why they only placed 9th in the compeition, receiving a tiny trophy which Melody can easily break with her hands, despite the immobility her disease causes her.

Out Of My Mind was an extremely inspiring book that makes readers think twice about their own lives and how fortunate they may be. I am a hearing impaired adult (legally classified as deaf, as I have a 90 dB hearing loss). I always thought I had things difficult because I can’t hear well and people don’t always understand or accept my hearing loss, but that is nothing compared to the challenges Melody faces.

Melody cannot walk. She will never play the sports I enjoyed playing as a child. Melody can not use her voice to communicate. When she wants to say something she has to think of just the right words and hope it comes out right. This is time consuming and can be frustrating. How does a child with cerebral palsy use sarcasm? Most people would think everything they said was true or serious.

I’m also more thankful for the little things in life. I used to enjoy eating at the diner with my friends or after big events to celebrate. Melody could do that, but with assistance. She had to be fed like a baby. This was awkward and embarrassing for her and she felt uncomfortable doing it in front of her classmates. What should have been a fun experience for her turned into a struggle, and sometimes embarrassing experience.

I think the number one thing I’m the most thankful for though is my privacy. I can get up and do things whenever I want to without having a pair of eyes on me at all times. Melody didn’t even have privacy when she had to use the bathroom — even something like that required a great deal of help and assistance.

I am thankful for Sharon M. Draper’s novel. She has invited me into the world of cerebral palsy and created such a strong, unique character that despite her differences, I was able to connect to in a way that felt like I was making a new friend. I am more appreciative of my life after reading how hard Melody’s life is. When a book inspires you as much as Out Of My Mind  did for me, you know it’s well written. Five out of five stars for Out Of My Mind. I look forward to reading and reviewing more of Draper’s works in the future. 


Lately I’ve felt a bit stuck on the whole coding/web design thing. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to get the boxes/content to work well together. I have everything with that “working” now, but I can’t truly say I’m happy with how it looks. I feel like everything is really cluttered and squished together. Responsive? perhaps. Emotional web design? No, not really. I don’t think it’s doing much justice for my work at all or showing much of who I am as a writer.

My problem seems to be that I don’t really know what to do or how to do it at this point. I just kind of feel stuck in the stage. In time I suppose for project 3 I’d like to add a carousel of my articles. Something similar to how the Rowan website alternates between different articles relating to the University, but I feel like I don’t know where to go prior to that stage.

I’m starting to consider removing the Twitter and GoodReads article so I have more room on the grid for a third article or to increase the width of the articles. That might work better. I think it’s more important to have the articles stand out and look better than the widgets anyway. Instead of using the widgets I could always link my social media pages to a different page on the website.

I have been trying to look at different websites for blogs that I have worked with in the past or that I feel resemble what I might like to do with my website such as BitRebels.com, AroundPhilly.com, and CloudItGuru.com for inspiration. I’ve always been a big fan of the design featured throughout BitRebels.com, but I know that it is really complicated. When I view the css/html involved it makes my head spin with all of the various codes. I am afraid that it is well beyond my skill level at the moment.

I am looking forward to my next conference with Dr. Wolff on Thursday afternoon to hopefully gain some new ideas and insights so that I know what to do and where to go with my website. I know that although I feel stuck now, this feeling will soon past as I gain inspiration and skills needed to take my website to the next step of web design and make it more professional and reflective of my skills and who I am as a writer.


Kimberly-Erskine-Simple-Wireframe

 

 

I apologize ahead of time for the fact that I’m a terrible artist. My main goal in my wireframe is to create a simple website that combines both recent technology (social media) with “old school” technology with a book in the center. I really loved Carin Berger’s website that we looked at in class because it was simple, yet effective and I felt that it had a modern approach to old school technology such as postal services/hand-written letters.

I have been toying around with the idea of having the book as the center point of my website. I thought I could have it somewhat opened and feature links to other parts of my website on the pages. For example, one page could link to my resume, another to my personal statement, and so forth. My name will be posted on the book and hyper-linked to take users directly to my personal statement. My personal statement will then serve as the “first page” of my book, or in this case, website.

I want to try to keep the sides of my website simple so that it doesn’t become too cluttered. I’ll put my self portrait in the top left corner with maybe a short 2-3 sentence biography. I’ll keep the picture to about 200×200 size so that it doesn’t seem too overpowering. Underneath that I plan on creating a box full of my social media sites, with just the buttons for each one.

On the upper right corner I’ll post a small search bar so that users can navigate my website more easily and find something specific if need be. Underneath that I’d like to feature a scroll of my latest WordPress blog postings. I think this could help draw more people to my blog and encourage interactions as well. Underneath that will be a similar box, only featuring my recent tweets to once again encourage users to follow me on Twitter and further engage with my material. My footer will of course include the year and CSS/XHTML validation links.


Brand Name: Kimberly Erskine

Overview: My personality can be described as hard-working, but at the same time laid back and fun. I want my website to be fun for users but also show that I work hard and know what I’m doing in regards to my chosen fields. I don’t want to come off as being too amateur. I also want my visitors to think of me as being creative and innovative, ready to learn more about the latest forms of technology/social media. I want to show that I am punctual and always on top of things.

Personality image:

Kimberly-Erskine-Self-Portrait

Since I am my own brand, I am also my brand’s personality. It only makes sense for my personality image to be of myself.

 

Brand traits: The traits that I want my website to portray are: 1. Fun 2. Creative 3. Innovative 4. Punctual 5. Laid-back. I want to avoid looking amateur but at the same time I don’t want my website to look or sound too mechanical. I want people to be able to see my content and say “Yes, I relate to this.” I want people to be easily able to connect with my website.

Personality map: I want my website to be extremely friendly so that users will be comfortable with the material presented on it. I don’t want them to feel overwhelmed or scared by the content/topics discussed on the website. I want to build connections and have information that people can relate to. I want to interact with my users and to make them a part of my website.

Voice: I want the overall voice for my website to be casual, yet professional. I want it to reflect the fun atmosphere that I’m striving to create.

Copy Examples: Success Message: “FTW! Your list has completed loading.” Error Message: “Epic Fail! Something went wrong, please try again.” Critical Failure: Oh no! We messed up! Please bear with us as we work on getting back up and running!”

Visual Lexicon: Color: I want my colors to be similar to that of most social networking sites. Nothing too bright or crazy, lots of blue maybe with a bit of red mixed in. Typography: Once again, I want the typographically to reflect that of a social networking site. It sounds as if a majority of them use simple fonts like tahoma, arial, verdana, and luicida grande. I could also look into possibly creating my font if at all possible as a lot of the logos feature custom made fonts. I want to keep it relatively simple, though. General style notes: Simplicity is key. I want it to look very clean, fresh, and organized in addition to looking positive and welcoming.

Engagement Methods: I think the key to my website’s design will be user engagement. I want users to feel like they can interact with me. I will encourage engagement by encouraging users to comment on my blog, maybe have a Q+A page, and showing lots of contact options. I also want to post content that can apply to a wide ranger of users in various settings so that it is highly inclusive.



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