Toyota y Volkswagen son las empresas de automoción más creativas en sus campañas publicitarias

Cuando de derrochar creatividad en campañas publicitarias se trata, Toyota y Volkswagen son las empresas de automoción más valoradas. Así lo concluye un estudio llevado a cabo en Alemania por Horizont en colaboración con el Instituto Link.

Los más jóvenes (38,6%) y los hombres (34,8%) son los más fans de la publicidad de Volkswagen. Las mujeres, en cambio, prefieren las campañas publicitarias desarrolladas por Mercedes-Benz. El 24,5% de las féminas consultadas valora la creatividad de los anuncios de esta marca.


Cuando de derrochar creatividad en campañas publicitarias se trata, Toyota y Volkswagen son las empresas de automoción más valoradas. Así lo concluye un estudio llevado a cabo en Alemania por Horizont en colaboración con el Instituto Link.

Los más jóvenes (38,6%) y los hombres (34,8%) son los más fans de la publicidad de Volkswagen. Las mujeres, en cambio, prefieren las campañas publicitarias desarrolladas por Mercedes-Benz. El 24,5% de las féminas consultadas valora la creatividad de los anuncios de esta marca. Leer más “Toyota y Volkswagen son las empresas de automoción más creativas en sus campañas publicitarias”

El New York Times lanzará este año News.me, su servicio social de noticias

El iPad, y en general el mercado de los tablets, comienza a pisar fuerte, y nadie se quiere quedar fuera. Pero no basta con trasladar contenido de un soporte a otro. Se trata de crear contenidos y aplicaciones específicas para estos dispositivos y así aprovechar todas sus posibilidades. Por esa razón, The New York Times está trabajando con gente de Betaworks (creadores de Tweetdeck y Bit.ly) para lanzar News.me, un servicio social de noticias.

No se han querido dar muchos detalles, pero podría empezar como una aplicación para el iPad muy similar a Flipboard. Pero la intención es involucrarse más en las redes sociales. “Estamos viendo cómo el compartir en las redes sociales y al web en tiempo real están influenciando el consumo de noticias”, explica Michael Zimbalist, vicepresidente de investigación y desarrollo de The Times Companies.


El iPad, y en general el mercado de los tablets, comienza a pisar fuerte, y nadie se quiere quedar fuera. Pero no basta con trasladar contenido de un soporte a otro. Se trata de crear contenidos y aplicaciones específicas para estos dispositivos y así aprovechar todas sus posibilidades. Por esa razón, The New York Times está trabajando con gente de Betaworks (creadores de Tweetdeck y Bit.ly) para lanzar News.me, un servicio social de noticias.

No se han querido dar muchos detalles, pero podría empezar como una aplicación para el iPad muy similar a Flipboard. Pero la intención es involucrarse más en las redes sociales. “Estamos viendo cómo el compartir en las redes sociales y al web en tiempo real están influenciando el consumo de noticias”, explica Michael Zimbalist, vicepresidente de investigación y desarrollo de The Times Companies. Leer más “El New York Times lanzará este año News.me, su servicio social de noticias”

“La efectividad de internet como canal publicitario es sólo limitada”

El convencimiento de Welte de la escasa eficacia de la publicidad display se refleja en la estrategia online de Hubert Burda Media. “Nuestra intención es reducir al mínimo necesario una parte considerable de nuestras actividades online”, explica Welte. En su opinión, tiene poco sentido invertir cada año varios millones en publicidad online para luego no obtener ningún rédito. El consejero delegado no revela a qué ámbitos afectarán los recortes. Reconoce que la presencia en internet de la prensa escrita es importante, pero que a menudo se presta poca atención al contenido periodístico y se centra todo en la marca, algo muy común en las versiones online de revistas.


Philipp Welte, consejero delegado del grupo editorial Hubert Burda Media, duda en una entrevista concedida a Horizont de la efectividad de la publicidad display. “La realidad pone de manifiesto que la publicidad clásica en la red, a diferencia de la publicidad en prensa escrita, no contribuye realmente a las ventas ni sirve tampoco para reforzar la imagen de marca”, asegura Welte. Como canal de venta y distribución de contenidos, internet es excelente, pero “como plataforma publicitaria su efectividad es sólo limitada”, añade.

El convencimiento de Welte de la escasa eficacia de la publicidad display se refleja en la estrategia online de Hubert Burda Media. “Nuestra intención es reducir al mínimo necesario una parte considerable de nuestras actividades online”, explica Welte. En su opinión, tiene poco sentido invertir cada año varios millones en publicidad online para luego no obtener ningún rédito. El consejero delegado no revela a qué ámbitos afectarán los recortes. Reconoce que la presencia en internet de la prensa escrita es importante, pero que a menudo se presta poca atención al contenido periodístico y se centra todo en la marca, algo muy común en las versiones online de revistas. Leer más ““La efectividad de internet como canal publicitario es sólo limitada””

3 desafíos para los negocios online


¿Cuáles son los principales retos a los que se enfrentan en el futuro los negocios que tienen como hábitat internet? Según el estudio de Deloitte “¿Calidad en lugar de cantidad?”, las empresas online presentan aún muchas carencias en lo que a la dirección de sus diferentes modelos se refiere. No obstante, son fundamentalmente tres los desafíos a los que éstas deben hacer frente:

1. Considerar de manera individualizada las peculiaridades de cada modelo de negocio
En su informe, Deloitte alerta de que la mayor parte de compañías online dirigen sus diferentes modelos de negocio de manera homogénea, lo cual es un error, pues cada modelo precisa de atención individualizada. Leer más “3 desafíos para los negocios online”

Following the Money in the Social Media Advertising Boom

Citing a recovering economy and increasing marketer interest in the space, research company eMarketer recently raised its 2010 spending forecast for advertising on social networks by nearly 30% to $1.68 billion domestically.

Within the social media world, however, a number of trends are dictating how, why and where money gets spent — trends that will push the industry past the $2 billion mark in 2011, according to eMarketer’s projections.
A Snowball Effect at Facebook

Not surprisingly, the biggest beneficiary of the current euphoria around social is Facebook (Facebook), with several estimates now pegging the company’s 2010 revenue at better than $1 billion. That growth is being fueled in part by what some advertisers see as competition to scoring prime advertising space on the site.

“Most of our clients see a real need to spend a lot on Facebook ads … the amount of dollars other brands have spent has forced spends up overall,” says Andrea Wolinetz, a partner at MEC Global, which represents the likes of Ikea, AT&T, and Citi. “There’s so much noise and clutter on Facebook now, that spending a good deal has become important in order to be heard.”

There’s also a growing sense that social media advertising can deliver a return on investment. Neil Kleiner, head of social media at Havas Media UK, says “We’ve found advertising on social networks to be very effective, but mainly as a part of a larger piece of activity that involved more ‘traditional’ social media techniques … ads on social media work best when they drive interaction and engagement. Interaction and engagement can then drive purchase.”

Kleiner, whose firm does work for brands ranging from McDonalds to Warner Brothers, adds that Facebook advertising has become a “default for most brands as a part of their media spend.”


Adam Ostrow

Money ImageThis post originally appeared on Forbes.com, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about social media, business and technology.

Citing a recovering economy and increasing marketer interest in the space, research company eMarketer recently raised its 2010 spending forecast for advertising on social networks by nearly 30% to $1.68 billion domestically.

Within the social media world, however, a number of trends are dictating how, why and where money gets spent — trends that will push the industry past the $2 billion mark in 2011, according to eMarketer’s projections.


A Snowball Effect at Facebook


Not surprisingly, the biggest beneficiary of the current euphoria around social is Facebook (Facebook), with several estimates now pegging the company’s 2010 revenue at better than $1 billion. That growth is being fueled in part by what some advertisers see as competition to scoring prime advertising space on the site.

“Most of our clients see a real need to spend a lot on Facebook ads … the amount of dollars other brands have spent has forced spends up overall,” says Andrea Wolinetz, a partner at MEC Global, which represents the likes of Ikea, AT&T, and Citi. “There’s so much noise and clutter on Facebook now, that spending a good deal has become important in order to be heard.”

There’s also a growing sense that social media advertising can deliver a return on investment. Neil Kleiner, head of social media at Havas Media UK, says “We’ve found advertising on social networks to be very effective, but mainly as a part of a larger piece of activity that involved more ‘traditional’ social media techniques … ads on social media work best when they drive interaction and engagement. Interaction and engagement can then drive purchase.”

Kleiner, whose firm does work for brands ranging from McDonalds to Warner Brothers, adds that Facebook advertising has become a “default for most brands as a part of their media spend.”


Twitter’s Experimental Phase


Promoted Tweets

After years of fielding questions about how it plans to make money, Twitter (Twitter) has launched numerous experimental business models over the past several months. At the forefront is Promoted Tweets, a program that inserts a brand-sponsored topic into Twitter’s “trending topics” list and presents a tweet from that sponsor to users, in hopes of generating retweets, replies and other forms of engagement.

Early testers of the program include Virgin America and Coca-Cola, the latter of which reported 86 million impressions and an “engagement rate” of 6% back when it used the program in June during the World Cup. More recently, the online brokerage firm Zecco reported that engagement on its promoted tweets was 50% higher than its regular tweets, with “200 to 300% increases in some cases.”

Case studies are still limited, though. Kleiner says, “Promoted Tweets have not seen that much traction [with my clients],” though he sees an opportunity to “add real value to a long tail of advertisers.” For the moment though, that long tail is mostly left out of Promoted Tweets, as the program remains in limited beta.

As the program sees public rollout later this year, the results could be significant for Twitter and advertisers. In its report, eMarketer wrote that it expects “spending on the microblogging service [to] be low in 2010,” but adds that, “the potential for 2011 and beyond could be dramatic if it proves that its ‘resonance’ model of measuring advertising effectiveness works.”


Location Excites Marketers, Maybe More than Consumers


Location Image

The latest extension of social — knowing not just what your friends are doing but where they’re doing it — is one of the hottest trends of the year.

The field collectively referred to as “location” has marketers from Starbucks to Best Buy excited about the possibilities of increasing foot traffic through programs that reward customers for “checking in” and sharing their location and brand affinity with their friends.

That said, such programs are largely experimental, and many of the startups in the space lack the critical mass to significantly move the needle for big brands. “Foursquare is the buzz word on a lot of people’s lips,” says Kleiner, “but it has such a comparatively small audience that are niche to the point of incestuous. It’s mainly used by people that work in marketing, not ‘normal’ people.”

Still, getting started in the location realm requires less of an investment than competing for space on Facebook, says Wolinetz. “We spend a lot of our time testing and focusing interest in location-based services and Twitter, as our clients are eager to ‘master’ these emerging platforms, and [they] generally require less of a paid media investment than Facebook does.“

Kleiner concedes that he’s bullish on the potential of Facebook getting into location with the recent launch of Places, though the tools aren’t yet there for advertisers. “We will have some real mass to play with when Facebook allows advertisers to buy against location,” he said.


Social No Longer Sits at the Kids’ Table


While the market sorts out the winners and losers from a platform perspective, one thing that’s becoming clear is that social — which eMarketer estimates will account for 6.7% of total online ad spend this year — is being thought of in a much broader light than even the increasingly optimistic projections show.

“Social campaigns used to be more siloed from the rest of the communications and marketing strategies,” says Wolinetz, “but now we’re seeing social as either an extension of an overall activation idea that occurs throughout other media outlets, or conversely, the marketing/communication strategy is at its heart and inception social, and we’re using other media outlets to drive awareness and scale.”

And while that might mean social’s share of ad dollars is still relatively small, its importance within organizations is as high as it has ever been. “The biggest shift for us is that we are now seeing brands move away from pure campaign planning altogether and are allowing social media to be the bedrock for a 24-7, 365 days a year chance to engage their customers,” says Kleiner.

With increasing interest in social media marketing among advertisers, we’re excited to see where the industry will go in the next year. Let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments below.

http://mashable.com/2010/09/10/social-media-advertising-boom/

Bing vs. Google: The Battle for Your Advertising Dollars

If pay-per-click advertising makes sense for your business (and it does for most), then you’re probably already using Google AdWords. But chances are you’ve only dabbled with Yahoo! and Bing advertising. If that’s the case, it may be time to take a closer look at your options. The partnership between Yahoo! and Bing–announced last July–is about to become a reality this fall in the form of a combined pay-per-click platform that will give small-business advertisers an alternative to Google.

Microsoft hopes the partnership will lead to increased search volume, which in turn will attract advertisers to its ad platform. “You need a lot of advertisers to provide the most relevant advertising experience. You don’t want to show an ad for ‘Tacoma plumber’ when a visitor is searching for a plumber in Seattle. The only way to create a market to attract more advertisers is to have a product with a high volume of searchers using it,” says Matt Lydon, general manager of Microsoft advertising.


If pay-per-click advertising makes sense for your business (and it does for most), then you’re probably already using Google AdWords. But chances are you’ve only dabbled with Yahoo! and Bing advertising. If that’s the case, it may be time to take a closer look at your options. The partnership between Yahoo! and Bing–announced last July–is about to become a reality this fall in the form of a combined pay-per-click platform that will give small-business advertisers an alternative to Google.

Microsoft hopes the partnership will lead to increased search volume, which in turn will attract advertisers to its ad platform. “You need a lot of advertisers to provide the most relevant advertising experience. You don’t want to show an ad for ‘Tacoma plumber’ when a visitor is searching for a plumber in Seattle. The only way to create a market to attract more advertisers is to have a product with a high volume of searchers using it,” says Matt Lydon, general manager of Microsoft advertising. Leer más “Bing vs. Google: The Battle for Your Advertising Dollars”

Finding Creativity in Unexpected Places

I’ll confess to a certain amount of pride in seeing that my relative’s ideas have come to life in a place with an employee bulletin board celebrating hiring anniversaries, boxes full of products awaiting shipment, and lively discussions about how best to grow the company. This place makes products that took a lot of scientific and engineering creativity to devise. And the machines that make them didn’t come from off the shelf at Acme Manufacturing Equipment. They had to be designed and custom-made to the specifications of this plant.

In short, I saw a lot of creativity in this place.

Okay, enough manufacturing. Now let’s look another field that isn’t renowned for creativity, plumbing. Last year, I wrote about my experiences as a post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction volunteer in coastal Mississippi. Some, but not all of my fellow volunteers were employed in the construction trades. One of the professionals was a master plumber from Georgia. For the better part of a week, he and his volunteer crew worked on a real brain-twister: Re-floating a house boat.


In Janet Martin’s August 4 FreelanceSwitch article on creative activities, we read about the importance of building new creative muscles.

The end of this article included a list of five suggestions for expanding one’s creativity:

  1. Try photography
  2. Make something by sewing it or employing another craft
  3. Learn stop-motion animation
  4. Take a writing class
  5. Take a drawing class

These are very good suggestions, but, to me, they don’t go far enough. All too often, we creatives are criticized for not understanding how non-artists work. So, it’s time to break out of our artistic bubbles and explore the rest of the world. And, not to worry, there are plenty of friendly tour guides out there.

Take, for example, the manufacturing plant I visited in late July. A relative co-founded the company, and I’ve heard him talk about it for years. But I’d never been there. Now, you may be thinking that I just visited the dullest, most uncreative place on the planet. I mean, come on. A manufacturing plant. How exciting can that be? Leer más “Finding Creativity in Unexpected Places”

What are social networks for? [Personalmente, he volcado]

So let’s try to get at least this thing really straight:

Social networks are not channels for advertisers or for the adverts/memes you, your clients or any of your so-called “influentials” create, social networks are for all of the people who participate in the network.

Being a social creature means you spend your life in social networks; being part of a social network gives each individual a number of benefits – shared protection, shared resources and most importantly shared learning. Our ability to learn from each other (the appropriately-named Social Learning) is one of our all-too-mutual species’ most characteristic capabilties and the engine by which stuff gets pulled through populations (from technologies to health habits)


Tai-chi11

Been a bit quiet recently – partly because real world (family) concerns seem to have taken over a bit.

But also partly because have been feeling a bit bored by many of the discussions I trip over online.

In particular, there’s still a lot of silly stuff around social networks and social influence.

So let’s try to get at least this thing really straight:

Social networks are not channels for advertisers or for the adverts/memes you, your clients or any of your so-called “influentials” create, social networks are for all of the people who participate in the network.

Being a social creature means you spend your life in social networks; being part of a social network gives each individual a number of benefits – shared protection, shared resources and most importantly shared learning. Our ability to learn from each other (the appropriately-named Social Learning) is one of our all-too-mutual species‘ most characteristic capabilties and the engine by which stuff gets pulled through populations (from technologies to health habits) Leer más “What are social networks for? [Personalmente, he volcado]”

Our Job is to Invent the Future

If we are trying to innovate, what is our actual job?

According to Mark Earls in Welcome to the Creative Age, our job is to invent the future.

Seems reasonable to me. Here is how he build that argument:

…opinions are what you get back from customers once you’ve done something, so they are largely irrelevant to you. They aren’t the precondition for customers doing something or a good guide to what you should do. At all.

So don’t waste your time with ask/answer research and opinions. Throw away the reassurance of quoting the consumer or stats garnered from opinion polls. Watch your customers, observe them, live with them, but don’t expect them to tell you much themselves. Because they can’t.

Instead, recognize:

* It is your job to invent the future – you are the inventors.
* It is not the customer’s job – they are not good at the future but they might buy your invention if you get it right (or not).


If we are trying to innovate, what is our actual job?

According to Mark Earls in Welcome to the Creative Age, our job is to invent the future.

Seems reasonable to me. Here is how he build that argument:

…opinions are what you get back from customers once you’ve done something, so they are largely irrelevant to you. They aren’t the precondition for customers doing something or a good guide to what you should do. At all.

So don’t waste your time with ask/answer research and opinions. Throw away the reassurance of quoting the consumer or stats garnered from opinion polls. Watch your customers, observe them, live with them, but don’t expect them to tell you much themselves. Because they can’t.

Instead, recognize:

Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain

First, let’s remind ourselves of the Value Chain Model. Portner’s insight was to identify all the primary functions of a business and all the support functions of a business and seek to understand what the firm did exceptionally well, and what it must do at least moderately well. While other strategists had thought and written about the linkages between internal operations, Porter was one of the first to create the concept of the Value Chain. Today we often think of the value chain as extending “upstream” to suppliers and “downstream” to distribution channels and even to customers or consumers. The tool is a powerful metaphor when thinking about where and how a firm adds value.

Primary activities are the ones we usually think of as distinct operations or departments and are the “direct” costs in a business – inbound and outbound logistics, “operations” which could be manufacturing or development, marketing and sales, and service. Support activities are those that we traditionally think of as “overhead” – Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, and what Porter called Firm Infrastructure – legal, financial, management and so forth.


les cinq forces de porter

by Jeffrey Phillips

I’m reviewing the relationship between a number of tried and true strategic management models and innovation, to see if those models and concepts hold up under the increasing importance of innovation.  A few days ago I reviewed Porter’s Five Forces model and concluded that while Porter didn’t explicitly call out innovation, it was clear that the Five Forces model embraced innovation.  Today, we’ll look quickly at another Porter model – the Value Chain Analysis – and investigate how it holds up innovation.

In the 1980s, Michael Porter wrote a number of books about corporate strategy that became the basis for much of the education of MBAs, at least where strategy was concerned.  Few MBAs in the 80s and 90s failed to study Porter’s Five Forces or Value Chain Analysis. Since many of those MBAs minted in that period are now in leadership positions in their firms, it behooves us to understand the models they carry around with them, and whether or not those models are open and extensible where innovation is concerned, or whether they ignore or resist innovation. Leer más “Innovation and Porter’s Value Chain”

Gorgeous Packaging Designs and Concepts

By Callum Chapman

Packaging design is all around us. On a day-to-day basis we probably see hundreds of different packaging designs, a high percentage of them being food or drink products; especially when making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking through the grocery store we’ll see thousands of different packaging designs, some good, some bad and some just generally average. If you want your product to stand out from the norm, you need to create something special.

This post features a handful of beautiful packaging designs, from music EP’s to snack food products and alcohol bottles to disposable “take out” coffee cups. Let us know what your favorites are, and why!


By Callum Chapman Packaging design is all around us. On a day-to-day basis we probably see hundreds of different packaging designs, a high percentage of them being food or drink products; especially when making breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking through the grocery store we’ll see thousands of different packaging designs, some good, some bad and some just generally average. If you want your product to stand out from the norm, you need to create something special.

This post features a handful of beautiful packaging designs, from music EP’s to snack food products and alcohol bottles to disposable “take out” coffee cups. Let us know what your favorites are, and why!

Brittany Bosco – Spectrum EP

This EP album is truly fantastic, combining several packaging options into one to produce an interesting design that is not only great to look at, but also gives a great opening experience.

Keen Fruit

Keen Fruit use some gorgeous minimalistic plastic bottles with super sleek typographic labels. The image of the fruit itself is actually printed on the other side of the bottle and therefore causes it to magnify when looking through the liquid at the front of the bottle – an interesting and fun approach. Leer más “Gorgeous Packaging Designs and Concepts”

Why Posting Less Can Improve Your Blog

A funny thing happened. This blog has been consistently growing since that decision to post less. Traffic is up and subscribers are up. Both have increased at a much greater rate then they had been when I was trying to write more often.

Less posting is certainly not the only reason, but less posting has meant more quality to each post, which has been a big part of the growth I’ve seen over the last 18 months. As I’ve set up a process to increase blogging productivity I’m now also able to post twice a week, while still maintaining a quality I’m happy with.

Others have had similar experiences. Just this week Larry Brooks, who has an excellent blog for writers (mainly fiction writers) at storyfix.com, posted a similar story to mine above called Just Maybe…He Who Blogs Less Blogs Best.

Less blogging led to increased quality and ultimately more traffic for Larry as it did for me.

The next time I redesign this site, I’ll likely go through old posts and remove many. I’ll remove those posts that aren’t really worth reading and don’t pull any traffic to them. I’ll prune the posts that aren’t contributing, much as you would prune dead or dying leaves from a plant to help it grow.

It’ll be interesting to see what effect that has on traffic to the site.


by Steven Bradley

Is more content always better? Is more traffic, more followers, more page views automatically better? Is it more signal or more noise? Is it more of something that doesn’t help you achieve your goals? Isn’t it true that sometimes less is more? Can posting less actually improve your blog?

* It’s one more link for subscribers to click on in their feed reader
* It’s one more page for search engines to index rank
* It’s one more page that can generate incoming links and referral traffic

However does that mean you should post more often than you currently post now? Chris himself isn’t saying you should automatically post more. His article is mainly an observation, and a true one at that. More posts will lead to more traffic. As Chris points out many top blogs post more than 5 times daily. This more posts leading to more traffic really isn’t in question. The question is, is more traffic necessarily better?

My answer is the ever so definitive “it depends.”

Leer más “Why Posting Less Can Improve Your Blog”

Web Development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone Else

As web developers, it is paramount that we educate ourselves on the latest techniques, trends, software, and coding. If you don’t, you will not achieve being an in demand designer/developer. Your skills will fall behind, and it will reflect in the websites you build. As much as we all like to think we are in some big happy family of designers and developers, we are all competing with each other. Just keeping up is what everyone else is doing, so how do we get ahead?


As web developers, it is paramount that we educate ourselves on the latest techniques, trends, software, and coding. If you don’t, you will not achieve being an in demand designer/developer. Your skills will fall behind, and it will reflect in the websites you build. As much as we all like to think we are in some big happy family of designers and developers, we are all competing with each other. Just keeping up is what everyone else is doing, so how do we get ahead?

Web Development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone Else
Image credit: Mikebaird

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs!

Obviously, there is a ton to read online about the latest and greatest techniques. If you looked at the RSS feeds we all subscribe to, it is probably a good bet that most of us have quite a few in common, like: onextrapixel.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com, net.tutsplus.com, sixrevisions.com, and smashingmagazine.com. If not in your RSS reader, then maybe you just visit them occasionally. They are all a great source of information, but what about the lesser known blogs? The ones you have never heard about, being written by people like you.

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs

There are a lot of great tutorials written by people in the web development trenches that don’t get any recognition. How do you get to them or find them though? Easy, just go to the blogs you normally visit, and start clicking on their links in the comment sections. You will be amazed by the quality of tutorials, tips, and general articles written by people you don’t know yet. Don’t just stay focused on the most popular blogs, because everyone else is already doing that. We want to get ahead of them, remember?

Starting your own development blog is also a great way to step it up a notch. Writing your own tutorials will make you not only better at communicating, but give you a better grasp of what you are trying to get across to the reader. It’s hard work for sure, but you will find you are more in tune with what is changing, what is new, and start hunting for things people might not know about. I know I have learned a lot just by doing research for topics to write about on my own blog. Find something you don’t know how to do, learn it, and then write about it. Others might enjoy your article, and you will possibly have gained a skill that puts you slightly ahead of the people you are going up against.

Blogs Are Good, Books Are Great

You say you read tons of blogs already? Great! Now go out and get some books. The web usually only goes so far in teaching you something. Mostly it’s what we need to know right now, or how to do a specific thing. What will set you apart from the next web developer/designer, is a more in-depth know how of what you are doing. Once you have read one on a specific subject, go and get another because you can never know too much. Personally, when I got interested in learning jQuery, I bought 3 books: a reference guide for quick look ups, a book on the basics of JavaScript, and one specific to jQuery. Yes there are great tutorials online, but books are better for the general foundation on what you are trying to learn.

Books
Image credit: Erik

A book also offers something that can be hard to do on the web – a place to take notes, and quickly reference them. Go buy a bunch of post-its, and mark the pages that contain information that is important to you. Don’t forget to write the main topic on the post-it, otherwise you will have a mess on your hands. If you don’t want to do that, fold the corners and heck, write all over the book (assuming it’s yours). By the time you are done with the book, you have all the important parts marked!

Don’t Be a Freeloader, Do It Yourself

Most of us can agree that JavaScript libraries are great, right? jQuery’s motto is “Do more, write less,” and who doesn’t want that? In fact, there are so many plug-ins out there that do what we want, that it almost seems like there isn’t any real point in actually learning it. Just drop in the script, change a parameter, and done! Isn’t that just awesome? It is if you are in a crunch, but we are talking about learning, and how to get better at what we do. Next time you see something that you want to use…don’t.

Freeloader
Image credit: wiseacre photo Leer más “Web Development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone Else”

How to Sell Yourself to Do-It-Yourselfers

Aw, darn. After writing what I thought was a bang-up proposal for a ready-to-buy client, I get word that he’d rather do a basic website himself.

This, despite the fact that he’d already said that he wanted to present a professional image of his organization to grant funders. I seriously doubt that, by going the DIY route, that he’ll create such an image.

So, what’s a freelancer to do, especially after you thought you qualified that prospect to the point that you didn’t think that he or she would have any second thoughts? For starters, learn how to sell yourself. Here are four ideas for selling your services to would be do-it-yourselfers:


Image courtesy of johnnyberg @ SXC

Aw, darn. After writing what I thought was a bang-up proposal for a ready-to-buy client, I get word that he’d rather do a basic website himself.

This, despite the fact that he’d already said that he wanted to present a professional image of his organization to grant funders. I seriously doubt that, by going the DIY route, that he’ll create such an image.

So, what’s a freelancer to do, especially after you thought you qualified that prospect to the point that you didn’t think that he or she would have any second thoughts? For starters, learn how to sell yourself. Here are four ideas for selling your services to would be do-it-yourselfers: Leer más “How to Sell Yourself to Do-It-Yourselfers”

What Professional Associations Have You Joined?

There are a number of professional organizations available offline to help you meet new associates, new suppliers, and ideally, new customers. From formal and well established associations like the Chamber of Commerce, to newer social media and offline networking Tweetups.

Some freelancers are more comfortable with the anonymity that cold calling and cold emailing provides, while others find that they are more successful in acquiring new business in face to face situations.

Here are a few offline associations for you to investigate in your area:

Chamber of Commerce. Your local business owners, making decisions on behalf of the local business community. Expect lots of networking events, as well as opportunities to volunteer to make changes within your community. Cost: You pay an annual membership to be a part of your Chamber of Commerce.


There are a number of professional organizations available offline to help you meet new associates, new suppliers, and ideally, new customers.  From formal and well established associations like the Chamber of Commerce, to newer social media and offline networking Tweetups.

Some freelancers are more comfortable with the anonymity that cold calling and cold emailing provides, while others find that they are more successful in acquiring new business in face to face situations.

Here are a few offline associations for you to investigate in your area:

Chamber of Commerce. Your local business owners, making decisions on behalf of the local business community.  Expect lots of networking events, as well as opportunities to volunteer to make changes within your community.  Cost: You pay an annual membership to be a part of your Chamber of Commerce.

Business Network International (BNI). Partnerships and arrangements are created within the local chapters to allow each member to refer any other member.  You carry the business cards of the businesses within your chapter, and they all carry yours.  When a situation arises where it’s appropriate to recommend their business, you provide the referral.  Cost: There is an annual fee to be a part of a BNI. Leer más “What Professional Associations Have You Joined?”