August 3rd, 2011, Comments Off
I know this site has gone on kind of a summer hiatus, but I do have some thoughts on how to revive it to a level of at least one compelling post a week. In the meantime, I’ve been doing plenty of professional and personal writing elsewhere online. Here are a few recent items:
- What is Movement Marketing? – “Whether we’re selling snow tires or stopping climate change, word of mouth is a critical aspect of communicating not only with your current ‘tribe’ of supporters, but also for recruiting new members to your cause. ” We’re working with the excellent folks at Biro Creative on a number of projects these days. One aspect of that work is collaborating on some writing projects.
- Escapism For Canada’s Brunettes – “Her boyfriend, shirtless under an apron, greets her from the kitchen, where he’s cooking breakfast. He is ridiculously handsome, and has underwear model abs.” This is a look at “Being Erica”, my favourite new Canadian TV show I’ve discovered as part of my One Year, One Canadian project.
- Doing the Blogger Outreach ROI Math – “When I’m doing online outreach…I’m interested in two things. In the short term, I want to drive high-value visitors to my client’s site. In the longer term, I know a link will help continue to drive visitors, and improve their SEO ranking.” Really only of interest to online marketers, but it’s a post I wrote on Capulet.com in response to something I read on Kerry’s blog.
March 7th, 2011, Comments Off
A quick post to cover off a few things in my orbit:
- After four or five years of indifference, we launched a new version of Capulet’s website, designed by our friends at Giant Ant Media. I wrote a blog post over at Capulet’s dusty blog about the relaunch. It features some in-progress sketches, and our thinking behind the site’s aesthetic.
- I’m making slow but steady progress in my plan to live Canadian in 2011. My current search is for Canadian-made shoes, both of the running and hiking varieties. There was a piece about the project in the Vancouver Sun today. The photo is rather undignified.
- I stepped back from the Northern Voice organizing committee this year, but I’m helping to organize the Non-Profit Expo that we’ve held for the past couple of years. We run a kind of small trade show for non-profits, enabling them to set up tables and talk to attendees on Saturday afternoon. Do you work for or know of a non-profit or charity? Apply here.
- By the way, tickets are now on sale for Northern Voice. Act now to avoid disappointment. Likewise, the speaker submission deadline is creeping up.
July 19th, 2009, 1 Comment »
Just a mini link round-up, as there’s a few items I’ve been meaning to mention:
- Rebecca, along with about 25 other local bloggers, is participating in a Blogathon on July 25. It’s “24 hours of blogging every 30 minutes for a cause”. An excellent idea, and had I a more formidable constitution (and time to recover), I’d do it too. I’ll just have to satisfy myself with donating to the cause. You should, too.
- The Canada West Coast chapter of the Society for Technical Communication–I used to be a member–its annual Technical Publications Competition. I wonder what I have that I could submit in the ‘Technical Art’ category?
- Capulet is currently a cog in the giant advocacy machine that is TckTckTck. More on that later, but in the meantime, they’re hiring for a blogger/online campaigner role. It would be a kick-ass job for the next six months.
1 Comment »
July 9th, 2009, 2 Comments »
As I mentioned back in March, we’ve been running a series of all-day social media marketing ‘bootcamps’ in Victoria and Vancouver. Attendance has been good, thus far, and we’re running our fifth one in Vancouver on July 23 (there’s a few spots left for that session).
We’ve taking the rest of the summer off, but, come September, we’re going to take our bootcamps on the road. We’ve scheduled events in Kamloops, Kelowna, Calgary and Edmonton in the second and third weeks of September. The details and registration links are below:
Campus Activity Centre
Thompson River University
Thursday, September 3
9:30am – 4:30pm
Delta Grand Okanagan Resort
Friday, September 4
9:30am – 4:30pm
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Tuesday, September 8
9:30am – 4:30pm
The Mettera Hotel
Wednesday, September 9
9:30am – 4:30pm
BCIT Downtown Campus
555 Seymour Street
Wednesday, September 16
9:30am – 4:30pm
In promoting these events, we’re looking to connect with local marketing and communications groups. We usually offer a discount to their members or a free spot for a staff member in exchange for an email announcement or mention in their newsletter. If you’re such a person, or know such a person, drop me a line.
Because I’m a big nerd, I made a Google map showing the bootcamp locations. Google actually chose the route, so I welcome alternative suggestions. We’re also going to spend a weekend somewhere between Kelowna and Calgary, so I’m up for recommendations there, too.
View Social Media Marketing Bootcamp, Roadtrip Edition in a larger map
2 Comments »
May 12th, 2009, 1 Comment »
We’ve been involved with some interesting client projects lately, and I’ve been meaning to share them:
- ActiveState recently announced a public beta for Workspace (not to be confused with the excellent, local co-working space), something we’re calling ‘instant infrastructure for managing software development projects’. It’s a set of hosted, customized tools–source control, project management, issue tracking, wikis, blogs, and so forth–aimed at small teams and individual developers. In addition to the collective wisdom and experience that ActiveState brings to the project, Workspace promises to spare developers the pain of manual setup, integration and the apparent endless tweaking associated with managing tools of this sort.
- We’ve been helping the folks at the BC Healthy Living Alliance with understanding this whole social web business. Last week they ran a little event entitled “The Politics of a Healthy Neighbourhood”, and a bunch of local social media types attended. They even created this custom Google Map showing the route of our walk, and the associated services in the neighbourhood. I shot four shaky minutes of video with bad audio.
- Our longtime client Nitobi announced a couple of exciting bits of news this week: they sold their session recording tool RobotReplay and became shareholders in BookRiff. Nitobi built BookRiff (we’ve done some work with them as well), and it looks pretty sweet. They haven’t gone public with their tool yet, but we’re psyched about it.
In other Capulet news, our first social media marketing bootcamps in Victoria and Vancouver sold out. So we’ve added second sessions for both Vancouver (June 23 – just one spot left) and Victoria (June 4).
1 Comment »
April 24th, 2009, 16 Comments »
Capulet needs a video camera, because we occasionally shoot video for client projects. It’s never anything fancy–typically just interview footage and the destination is always YouTube or a similar video sharing service. Here’s an example–a little video we shot for Nitobi. We don’t, as far as I can figure, need to shoot in HD. If need something more sophisticated, we’ll just hire some videographer-types who come with their own equipment.
I’ve never bought a video camera, as it happens, and know very little about what makes a good one. I’ve been told that the trickiest part of shooting video is actually capturing consistent audio, so I suppose that’s a consideration. Most of the video we shoot will be under controlled circumstances–in an office or boardroom.
So what do you suggest? I gather from reading Consumer Reports that I can get a MiniDV camcorder that uses tapes, or one that uses flash memory. The latter seems like a wiser choice. Would, for example, a Flip Video device be adequate for our needs? Or maybe it’s one of these ordinary-looking camcorders?
UPDATE: Thanks to everybody for the awesome suggestions. We ended up buying a Canon FS200, which is a SD (meaning non-HD) camera that has an audio-in jack and Flash-based memory. It cost $350, and is ridiculously small–about the size of a can of Red Bull. We also bought a lapel mic, which should be sufficient for our work.
16 Comments »
January 3rd, 2009, 4 Comments »
James likes to say that advertising is an act of faith. That’s generally true, and it’s a concept that I rail against whenever I speak to marketers. The ad industry of the twentieth century was built on a house of sand: immeasurability. Most of the time, most marketers failed to measure most of their advertising spend.
How effective is that full page ad in that industry magazine? How many people actually see that billboard? How many people actually pick up and read your brochure? These are questions that, too often, assaulted the faith of ad buyers everywhere.
Of course, all of that changed with the web, where we can measure the cost of every click, every conversion, every customer. It makes the newspaper ads and movie posters seem hilariously antiquated. When we talk to ad reps on behalf of our clients, we’ve always got an exact cost-per-conversion in mind. If they can’t offer services below that cost, we don’t advertise with them.
Seth articulates this idea in a recent post:
If the local bank were offering a sale on dollar bills, ninety cents each, how many would you buy?
Most rational people would say, “I’ll take them all please.” Especially if you had thirty days to pay for them.
So, why, precisely, do you have an ad budget?
We always discourage our clients from undertaking any advertising that they can’t measure. If they’re running offline ad campaigns, we urge them to have a unique call to action (such as a specific URL) so that they can track a campaign’s effectiveness.
Otherwise, they’re operating on faith alone.
4 Comments »
July 24th, 2008, 2 Comments »
In the early years of Capulet, as with most businesses, we said ‘yes’ to nearly everything (we did refuse the mail order bride project). For the past couple of years, we’ve had the luxury of being selective about who we take on. These days we have to decline most enquiries because we’re too busy.
We obviously try to choose winners and avoid those companies that give us a queasy feeling in our stomach. But it’s nice every once in a while to take on a client who’s social goals really align with my own. DreamBank happens to be one of those.
Long time readers may recall this 2003 blog post about how I’ve come to think about gifts:
On a more ascetic level, I have so much stuff already. So does everybody else in my family (with the exception, perhaps, of my more ascetic brother, and he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want anything). I have more difficulty creating a wishlist for myself than I do choosing gifts for other people (with the exception, perhaps, of the aforementioned Spartan brother). This isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t humility on my part, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a lack of wanting things. Particularly things that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t choose for myself. I suppose I should just ask everyone to give me vouchers for travelling. HmmÃ¢â‚¬Â¦thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a bad idea.
DreamBank is a Vancouver start-up with a mission that addresses this issue. Here’s the elevator pitch:
DreamBank.org is about helping dreams come true and doing it in a way that helps the planet and important social causes. Instead of giving gifts that, although appreciated may not really be wanted, with DreamBank you contribute to someone’s dream. As well as helping fulfill a dream, your contribution helps spare the planet some of the nasty side effects of manufacturing and packaging unused gifts. Plus your gift automatically generates funds that are given to important social causes.
It’s essentially collaborative giving with a charity angle. Or, if you prefer, a gift registry for everything. Here are a few sample dreams:
It’s a charming idea, and we’re pleased to be helping them with their online marketing. We’ve been blogging up a storm on their site, and running a fun outreach campaign to local bloggers. Plus we had a fun launch party at a French bistro.
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