New kid on the block

New kid on the block

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Danielle Nicol

I’m so pleased to introduce you to our new web designer here at Big Big Design: Danielle Nicol.

Danielle worked with us previously as a contractor, helping us build new sites. She came on board full-time this month, and in addition to working on new websites she’s helping support our existing clients.

Danielle has been blogging since 2002 — I first met her at a Pittsburgh Bloggers event years back — so if you have questions about keeping your blog lively, she’s a perfect person to ask.

What’s new in “New Media” in 2012?

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On Friday I spoke on a panel about Media, to the current class of Leadership Butler County. My topic was “New Media,” though when you think about it, the Web has been around for a couple of decades so it’s not so very new any more.

Here’s the presentation I gave:

Blogging and the virtual neighborhood

Blogging and the virtual neighborhood

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Porch by sonjalovas

Blogs are front porches reinvented for a digital age, perhaps—platforms that take the inside out and bring the outside in, corridors of courtesy in a digital and fast-paced world.

Kathryn McCollough considers the role of porches in community life, and whether blogs might be a form of virtual porch. (Thanks to Chris at gunky.org for linking to this thoughtful post.)

People often talk of social media replacing the water cooler as the place where people connect and exchange ideas. All social media are not equal in their ability to help us communicate though — Twitter emphasizes speed over nuance, Facebook reinforces existing connections but does less well bringing new connections to the fore. Blogging has its own characteristics as well. Continue reading

This weekend: Build your digital toolbox and find out what to do if your website is hacked

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Podcamp Pittsburgh 7
Tomorrow and Sunday, join lots of interesting folks at Podcamp Pittsburgh, to discuss the online world and what you can do with it (and what you can do for it).

I’ll be there to catch up with old friends and make some new. I’m also giving a talk Saturday: “My Website Was Hacked! Now What?” I’ve had an unfortunate amount of experience in the last few years unhacking sites. This is your chance to gain some benefit from my suffering experience.

Find out more and register (for FREE!) at the Podcamp Pittsburgh website.

Buying online success

Buying online success

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Seth Godin looks at retail promotion in the real world and online (“Powerful (and powerless) merchants“) and says that promotion techniques that we have become used to  in offline retail don’t transfer well online.

When we shop in the real world, we take it for granted that end caps and promotions and speed tables and other interactions will not be there because they are in the direct interest of us the shopper, but because they were placed there by the retailer to help generate income. It’s a store, for goodness sake, of course they’re trying to maximize their income. … Online, where stores are more like tools than like stores, this behavior rarely transfers successfully. You bristle when Twitter starts inserting irrelevant tweets in the stream you see, because you didn’t ask for them.

One area online where this isn’t the case is search results. Search for “website design Butler PA” in Google, Bing, or Yahoo and the first results you’ll see on the page are paid results: ads. For many searches, you’re shown more paid results than organic results — that is, results that aren’t ads but are links to pages that are ranked as relevant to your search. Continue reading