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What’s so great about Quartz?
Quartz is a business news publication that's been talked about a lot since its founding, by Atlantic Media Company (publishes The Atlantic), in 2012.
It's built on WordPress, is mobile-first and characterised by a strong team of journalists that produces engaging short and long content that's incredibly sharable.
Here's some more answers to the question 'what's so great about Quartz?'
Emotion is increasingly referenced in web design, highlighting how sophisticated websites have become.
The goal is too understand what triggers certain positive emotions online and to use this to your advantage. GetSmily is a tool designed to help with this process. It's simple and clean, as are David Hachez's (CEO) answers to our regular 'Start Me Up' questions.
Read on to get an idea of what the product does, what are the team's goals and how the project has developed thus far.
Agile email creative is the formatting of images not before send, or at send (with automated or dynamic content) but at the moment the customer opens or re-opens an email.
This allows one to change pictures in an email depending on a host of variables, on their own or combined, in a rules-based system.
A lot of what this agile creative can achieve boils down to improving the user journey when they open an email. So, for example, an image can present latest availability of a product, so that when the customer clicks through from a product image, she isn’t surprised by lack of stock and doesn’t subsequently distrust brand comms.
I’ve previously talked to Movable Ink, a specialist in simplified email build and agile email creative (see this post for an overview and some great comments). Recently I also spoke to Matt Hayes of Kickdynamic, another agile email specialist.
We discussed the possibilities of the technology and how, although not a complex premise, agile email is enlivening the channel whilst increasing conversion rates from email marketing.
In this post I thought I’d detail some more examples of agile email creative and discuss what benefits they hold.
Is social media a boon or a pain for transport providers?
Lucy Whitehead of TfL spoke at Hootsuite’s premier Connect event in London.
For those not as London-centric as I, TfL is Transport for London, and it controls pretty much all transport in London (funnily enough).
In fact, Lucy said that the only way TfL couldn’t impact on a journey across the English capital is if it was undertaken by helicopter, roof to roof.
The theme of Lucy’s talk was the size of the task (and opportunity) for TfL on social media, and how it uses the various platforms to try to inspire a ‘bit more love’ in, let’s be honest, some easily disgruntled commuters.
Let’s look at some of the key points. And yes, we will get to the toilet escapology in due course!
It can be hard for brands to look spontaneous and fun on social media.
We, particularly the Brits, are all too sceptical about brands doing anything other than trying to sell us stuff.
However, when brands get it right, it can be really rather special. I've rounded up some of my favourites. I should nod to Hootsuite and it's first Connect event, where I picked up the Kellogg's and Axe case studies.
See if these tweets make you laugh or cry, as they did me (mostly laugh). If you want more case studies, subscribers can shoot over to our case study archive.
We’ve all been laughing at President Cheese and its 45 day tweet-authorisation debacle (see HuffPo's explanation).
But if we’re honest, social media still has the power to unnerve many organisations. The nature of corporate comms departments and press offices is to control the news, if not everything said about the company in question, at least the messages emanating from within.
There’s probably no more officious (and I don’t use this word negatively) an institution than an intergovernmental military alliance. That’s what NATO is (or OTAN in French), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, a collection of 28 member states that mutually defend against attack.
That’s why NATO is perhaps the perfect organisation to look at to ascertain the state of social media today. How does NATO use social media?
The recent preview of OS X Yosemite from Apple caused predictable amounts of chatter online (including this article) and rightly so.
Sales of Macs hit 4.8m in Q1 2014, up from 4.1m for the same holiday period in 2013. OS X has a big impact on the conventions of UI and UX.
The feature I saw the most buzz about on social is the improved Spotlight. The feature has a new search window and a rich, scrollable preview of results that finds stuff on your Mac but now also Wikipedia, Bing, Maps, and other sources.
This is the latest reminder of how powerful search is and how consumers increasingly rely on it across technology and the web.
Microcopy is one of those things that is hard to define (how does it differ from regular or maxicopy?) but you know it when you see it.
There's a loyal following of UX bods behind these kind of microinteractions and how they can be enhanced with little pieces of finely judged copywriting.
I've written about it before (see previous post on micro-copywriting), but thought I should thrown down some of the finest examples of this fine art.
These are bits of copy most websites could implement somewhere, and without precluding the need for testing, I'm sure they will improve performance.
This post is designed for those small businesses that aren't yet selling online and are getting ready to start.
I won't pretend this piece is for those with lots of experience online. It's more a starting point to steady the nerves for those that are bamboozled by how complex supplier selection can seem.
Although many ecommerce ventures are small scale, and indeed many choose to stick with online marketplaces instead of going it alone, this doesn't mean the effort involved is small.
Even once a successful ecommerce website build is complete, your small business will rapidly find it has the need for extra resource to keep the beast purring.
SEO is one of those marketing disciplines that requires foresight, plenty of planning, a methodical approach and maybe just a bit of marketing intuition.
I've plundered the excellent Econsultancy SEO Best Practice Guide for some tips on how to approach SEO planning and research.
Check out the big guide for more than 400 pages of detailed and actionable insight.
Here we go..
They’ve been going on for a while now. They can represent project, product, PR and pitch.
What are the benefits of an agency hack day?
If you didn't know, Foursquare is breaking up, but in a constructive way.
It's not you, it's them, but don't worry, the whole thing is amicable. The company is splitting its app in two for the better, sort of like those couples that sleep in separate beds, only converging for sex, and so getting more sleep and clarity in the process.
This follows somewhat of a trend for unbundling or simply creating discrete products or tools, much as apps were first envisaged.
The trend can be seen chiefly at Facebook, with its Messenger and Paper, and perhaps Twitter's Vine. Obviously, Google is the epitome of a multipronged company, with a list of products shorter only than those discarded.
Foursquare has become Swarm and Foursquare. Swarm is a tool for social heatmapping, where all checking-in and socialising will occur, and was launched at the beginning on May 2014. Foursquare will be relaunched as what the company quietly refers to as a 'Yelp killer', a tool for local search and discovery.
Here are a few questions I have asked and in some cases attempted to answer.