Last week I was quoted in an article about social media and grieving, “A time to tweet? Sharing personal experiences on social media,” by Jenny Wagner in the Beaver Valley Times (subscription required).

Cynthia Closkey, president of web communication firm Big Big Design, said everyone has his or her own level of comfort for sharing personal experiences online.

“I have a blog and a Twitter account, Facebook and Google Plus, and when my dad passed away, I hadn’t written about it during the process, but when he died I felt like that’s a thing I kind of want to memorialize,” she said.

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Find Your Voice: A Content Management Workshop

Find Your Voice: A Content Management Workshop

Card sorting

Yesterday I spoke at the Steel City Solutions Conference, an all-day conference for nonprofits held by HandsOn Tech and Pittsburgh Cares.

My topic was how to develop a content strategy and use it in your communication, particularly your website and social networks but also throughout your internal and external communication.

As I so often do, I crammed a lot of information and a whirlwind hands-on exercise into too little time, but the folks who attended said they got a lot from the session all the same.

Here are my slides from the talk.

UPDATE: The slideshow has a slide for a messaging architecture example that isn’t part of the show. Here’s that example: Sample Message Strategy (Word doc).

Maybe the most useful part of my slideshow is the next-to-the-last slide, which gives the resources I used in putting the talk together. Here’s that info:

Content strategy credits:
Margot Bloomstein
Book: Content Strategy at Work
Presentation: Secrets of a Brand-Driven Content Strategy Workshop

Conversion funnel credits:
Dalia Lasaite
Post: “How to Create Better Content Using the Conversion Funnel Approach

Super-great content strategy info:
Wojciech Chojnacki
Post: “Content Is All That Matters on the Web

My session was in the Most Wanted Fine Art gallery in Garfield. The place was a little warm, but it was a great venue all the same, and what I could see of the art works there was quite neat. I’d recommend checking them out as well.

Adding a Facebook Like button to your WordPress site

Adding a Facebook Like button to your WordPress site


Adding a Facebook “Like” button to your WordPress site is a great way to connect socially with your audience and to drive traffic to and from your site and your Facebook page.  This post will cover two ways to add a “Like” button to your site, and each requires a Facebook App ID and an Admin ID.

There are a lot of steps here, so be ready to spend a few minutes going through it. Continue reading

New Pittsburgh office

New Pittsburgh office


Our new office, day one 
Dig our new digs! Big Big Design now has a new office in Pittsburgh. We’re at The Beauty Shoppe, the co-working space on Penn Avenue in East Liberty. It’s a nice, bright, and open place, and we couldn’t be happier. Come visit!

As excited as we are about having official space in Pittsburgh, we’re staying in Butler too, and moving back into a full office there (out of my home office where we’ve been hanging out for the last year). I’ll split my time between the two locations — at least two days a week in each. So we get the best of both worlds, and lots of chances to work closely with clients and bright folks no matter where they are.

Data Highlighter Feature – Google Webmaster Tools


If you’ve searched a site recently on Google, you may have noticed information about events or services appear to the right of your primary search results, or in expanded search results.  These are Google snippets, and they are created by setting structured data in Google Webmaster tools.  Google has simplified the process of creating snippets with their point-and-click tool, Data Highlighter. This service is free to use and is a great way to optimize your organic search results with Google. Continue reading

Upcoming talk: “Staying Secure while Staying Social: Securing your online presence”


On Tuesday, June 25, I’ll be speaking at the Technology Symposium, an event offered by the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, the Tri-County Technology Consortium, Butler County Community College, and Butler County Business Matters.

The theme of this symposium is security, and I’ll be speaking about online security in social networks and how to keep your online presence safe. I’ve titled the talk “Staying Secure while Staying Social: Securing your online presence” — if you’re wondering what two-factor authentication is, how to manage your passwords, and what to do if you’ve been hacked, I’ve got answers for you.

And there’s more. Other talks on the schedule include “Identity Theft,”  “Security Risk Management & Computer Forensics,” and “Cyber Security Today.”

This new technology symposium is the first of what will be an annual series. You can attend! Some more details:

The symposium will be held in Founders’ Hall on the campus of Butler County Community College, and the $30.00 admission fee includes breakfast, lunch and all course materials.  Businesses who want to set up an exhibitor display at the event can do so for $75.00 which includes an uncovered six foot table, two chairs and one admission to the event.  Seating is limited and reservations are required by calling the Butler County Chamber of Commerce at 724.283.2222 or email to You will not want to miss this first annual technology symposium. 

Please, for the love of clear communication and thought, everyone get this straight: “This Is a Blog Post. It Is Not a “Blog.”

The reasons for avoiding this linguistic boner are pretty simple. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is that it can be confusing. No matter what dictionary you check—online, Urban, or otherwise—you will find no definition of blog that means blog post. Saying one to mean the other is like saying magazine when you mean article. The listener or reader may get your drift eventually, but only after they’ve been thrown for a loop.

Update your WordPress username to increase security on your site

Update your WordPress username to increase security on your site


If you use “admin” as the default administrative login for your WordPress site, it may be vulnerable to hacking.  News outlets are reporting and Matt Mullenwag is discussing the recent Brute-force botnet attacks on WordPress sites with the default “admin” account, and the take away is: change the username, use a strong password. Continue reading

Finding Your Voice: Post Workshop Materials


Vine of cardsorting exercise courtesy E.Louis Larson

What a lot of good discussion and hands-on work we had at the Finding Your Voice: A Social Media Content Development Workshop, hosted by HandsOn Tech, part of Pittsburgh Cares, and Google Pittsburgh.

I hope you found the presentation and the card sorting exercise helpful, and I hope you’re inspired to take what you learned back to your organization.  

As promised, below are links to the presentation slides and to resources you can reference to develop your content strategy.

Make sure to pick up a copy of Margot Bloomstein’s Content Strategy at Work – it’s a fun and helpful read, and it gives you the tools to lead your team to find your organizational voice and to build and execute your content strategy. Let us know how it goes!

(If you’d like the help of impartial facilitators to guide your team through the exercise, give us a call.)

Presentation Deck


Don’t forget about the upcoming social media events at HandsOn Tech.

If you want to know more about the online marketing services we offer at Big Big Design, you can read about them here, or please contact us. We’d love hear from you.