King Content: Clarity In Digital Writing


Author Faelan
Just as content comes before design, so too does it precede digital/copywriting.

For the same reason that you set out a copy deck for a website, storyboard ideas, and create sitemaps, you should also prepare for your blog. There’s so much noise out there in the blogosphere. Bad writing is an incessant drone that not only fails to communicate much of anything, but, worse, drowns out the ideas of the good blogs.

To make sure your posts “pop,” attack them like you would a site launch or a campaign. Is everything following through on a single message? Is it consistently well organized throughout the posts? You get the idea…

Before you write, write.

Jot down your idea. That old saying from grade school is true: “writing down helps you to remember.” When you are finished with your article (and it should be approached as an article, but more on that later). You can look back at your original idea on a scrap of paper and ask yourself, “Is everything I wrote related to that idea?”

If you’re writing for a product or service this is equally — if not more — important. You must be creating a stand-alone narrative, or be on track with the existing story of your brand. Remember that above all else. As great design with no idea is just a pretty picture, so words without an idea are useless, which brings me to my next point…

Don’t waste time, especially a reader’s.

Try this little experiment: sit down and begin writing on a topic without any forethought. Give it a go as long as you can and then stop. Edit it if you like. Then, do a basic outline for another post and write that one. I guarantee the latter will be more direct and a much smoother read. Leer más “King Content: Clarity In Digital Writing”

Are Brands and Agencies The New A&Rs?


Author Richie Cruz March
Much has been written about the music industry’s historic decline over the greater part of the last decade.

As the primary distribution mechanism has shifted from discs to digital, consumers’ discovery process has followed suit, evolving from the “new release” rack of their local record store to the link collection at their favorite music blog.

What many accounts of the struggling music industry fail to mention, however, is that the music industry’s ultra-fragmented, content-overloaded state has created an opportunity for brands to become involved as never before. The record label’s and record store’s historical position as middlemen between consumers and content is dwindling, leaving a vacuum that is rapidly being filled by blogs, publications and the savviest of brands.

Demand is at an all-time high, but the “means to consumption” have changed, says Roger Faxon, head of EMI Publishing, in his recent interview with The Economist. There are new free-and-subscription-based streaming services setting up shop every day, sustained and fueled by the rabid demands of consumers for more and better content.  The result has been the disintermediation of content – consumers no longer care where good content comes from, as long as it’s both convenient and good.

Do marketers and brands need to become A&Rs? Leer más “Are Brands and Agencies The New A&Rs?”

Behind the Scenes: Mouse Gestures in a Usable Way


AuthorAldo Reyes February 25th, 2010 Comments

Our new .com was an great excuse to play around with some big ideas we’ve had kicking around.

And, if you’ve visited the new AgencyNet.com, you probably noticed that we have a bit of a thing for user interface.  Our new site explores a range of UX paradigms and inputs — exploring a building, navigating a slideshow, even using the touch-sensitive iPhone as an input mechanism.

We also employed a unique navigation system in our “Culture” section, exploring the ability to browse content without clicking buttons or scrolling in a page.  The system was designed to facilitate a more human friendly interaction between the Flash application and the user by using “mouse gestures”.

Most of us are already familiar with this concept.  It is used to particularly good effect on the iPhone and other touch screen devices, where users can give commands using specific fingers movements for specific actions (i.e. zoom in by separating two fingers or by doing the opposite to zoom out).

We’ve already revealed some of the secrets behind our eye-catching homepage and, in the spirit of open source, we thought we’d do the same here.

Creating Gesture Navigation

Developer note: Gesture navigation is not suitable for every application.  Also, when using this technique, the developer should choose which gestures to use wisely.  Try to make the gestures self explanatory and intuitive.  Gestures need to be consistent and fairly simple in design, yet have distinct differences between them; we don’t want the users to get frustrated because the app is confusing the gestures.   Finally, a personal tip is to avoid letters, because a word in English may begin with a different letter in another language.

In this mini tutorial we will create a simple image gallery that will be controlled through the use of mouse gestures.   Here is a list of the gestures that we will catch:

  • A horizontal line to zoom out.

zoomOut

  • A vertical line to zoom in.

zoomIn

  • An arrow pointing to the right to go to the next image.

right

  • An arrow pointing to the left to go to the previous image.

left

And here is the plan we will follow:

  1. Create a “gesture listener” that will call the commands and execute the behaviors on the gallery depending on the gesture that the user provided. This will act as a bridge between the gesture library and our app.
  2. Create a gallery image class that has the next public behavior or functions: show next, show previous, zoom in and zoom out.
  3. We will connect these by using the command pattern to add some sugar to the code, in this way we will be able to use buttons and/or gestures or whatever we want to use as an input for our gallery.

If you haven’t already, take a look at our Culture section and familiarize yourself with it so you have a better idea of what we are going to be talking about.  And from here, you can download the source code using any SVN client.

(Your svn client may ask you to authenticate, if so, use the word “anonymous” for the username and password) Leer más “Behind the Scenes: Mouse Gestures in a Usable Way”

The New AgencyNet.com


AuthorRichard February
We’re a modern marketing agency – always have been. For 15 years.

We’re not a digital production company.  We’re not a media shop.  We’re not a think tank.  We’re not a software developer.  We’re not a creative boutique.  We’re not a business consultancy.  As I said, we’re a modern marketing agency… and by virtue of that; we’re all of those things and a whole lot more.

But more importantly, much more importantly, we’re people.  Smart, hard-working, experienced, talented, passionate people who thrive and perform in a culture of positivity, creativity and innovation.  And those people, that culture, and the work we produce accordingly, are a primary factor in why new clients hire us and the majority of our relationships span a decade.

With this perspective, I sat down five years ago to define the main objectives for AgencyNet’s last website, and the answer was remarkably clear: humanize ourselves, bring people inside, and let them experience our work and culture.

Fast forward a little over a half-decade and just about everything has changed in digital. Google is no longer supplying search results to Yahoo (and they have 8-times the market cap.) Social networking sites have usurped aggregation portals as the most heavily trafficked web destinations. Our business today is more about creating sustainable platforms and reaching consumers across many screens (particularly mobile) than it is about one-off initiatives and micro sites. And awesome publishing tools (like the one we’re using here in WordPress) have empowered a legion of beautiful and simple communication platforms.

But a few things remain the same. We’re still a modern marketing agency (although much larger now.)  Clients and prospective clients (increasingly global) still hire us for our talented people and culture of innovation. And the web (now fully broadband empowered) still has the incredible power to touch a user’s senses via a highly crafted, rich experience.  As such, the objectives for our redesign remained the same: humanize ourselves, bring people inside, and let them experience our work and culture.

So, after five years and lots of wear and tear, I’m proud to announce the launch of the new agencynet.com. The site complements our presence on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and SlideShare, where much of our team actively learns, shares, and pontificates about this fast paced, nuanced, and always energizing industry we’re in.

The creation of the site was an opportunity for the entire team to push boundaries, as well as flex their creative and programmatic skills.  We still have an insatiable desire for innovation.  This time, it’s quenched with killer social media integration (Twitter feeds for every member of our team), multi-screen connectivity (the ability to fly a helicopter from your iPhone) and the ‘SlideBar’ (dynamically identifying and allowing users to seamlessly transition between this blog and the immersive site.)

I hope you enjoy the experience as much as our team enjoyed creating it.  Can’t wait to hear what you think…

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