Do you remember where you were when Felix Baumgartner jumped out of space?  I remember exactly where I was – on the elliptical in 24 Hour Fitness, watching the seconds tick by, when it came on TV.  Watching this human body free-fall through space, at one point reaching 844 mph,  spinning out of control, listening to the experts say that if he wasn't able to get control soon, he was unlikely to survive, panning back to video of his mom -- obviously fearing for his life -- I was moved to tears.  It was the best piece of content I’d seen in a long time.  AND it made me forget I was working out.  Of course it was rather awkward when I realized I was in the gym, crying, but hell – that was an emotional four minutes and 19 seconds (the free fall)!   During that time, I couldn't help but notice that it was Red Bull who was responsible for this amazing PR stunt.  Immediately their slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” entered my mind.  The jump was, to the say the least, risky.  Can you imagine if he had died?  The outrage would have been explosive.  For Red Bull, though, it was worth the risk.  They received well over tens of millions of dollars in media exposure, contributed research to NASA, and associated their brand with the first human to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle.  Talk about aspirational!
The day of one device web development is long gone and the challenge for multi-platform multi-device development has quickly begun. To help combat the constantly evolving industry, a new technology has been growing known as Responsive Web Design (RWD) that has revolutionized how we approach the development process.  Previous to RWD, we approached the problem of developing for multiple devices by creating multiple sets of code specific to each device such as mobile phones, tablets, and desktops. If we were to continue to use that same approach, it would be a maintenance nightmare because of the rapid expansion of new technologies. So how does RWD help?
Every day, over 1 billion searches are done on Google. In North America, the Google network reaches over 84% of internet users. Integrated within the results for most of those searches are pay-per-click advertisements. Imagine as a business, having the opportunity to reach that many people with advertisements. For any business wanting to increase their sales, awareness, business and number of returning customers, PPC is necessary. With PPC, an advertising campaign can be controlled, measured and tested all within a single service like Google AdWords or Bing Ads (formerly AdCenter). Both services allow for region targeting, positive and negative keywords, daily traffic measuring, and recommendations for better performance.
Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has grown into one of the most popular social media platforms to date, quickly turning into a “must-have” for businesses of all calibers.  As of March 2014, Instagram announced record-breaking numbers, topping out at 150 million active monthly users. Out of those 150 million monthly users, 70% log in at least once a day. With those kinds of numbers, it was only a matter of time before businesses started taking notice. As an avid Instagrammer myself, for my personal account @kristi_bee, for my dogs (yes, my dogs have an Instagram) @bensonandlexi and for Zion & Zion @zionandzion, I have learned the do’s and don’ts of Instagram through research and trial & error. Perfecting the art of Instagram is certainly no easy task, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wish you had been an active user all along!
Not too long ago, Content Management Systems (CMS), were a novelty around the web and not every developer was comfortable building websites that had this kind of functionality. Being able to edit or add content, images, videos and pages through a CMS was an “extra” for anyone who had the time and money for it. That is no longer the case. The web is growing exponentially through an infinite spectrum of web ready devices, making it enjoyable for everyone. Websites aren't static anymore, they are “web applications,” which means they do things; they’re social, and they communicate with their users. The bar is higher now for anyone building for the web and people expect more than just a static site with three pages and a contact form. Most importantly, they expect a way to easily maintain and expand their site without needing any experience with code.
Recently Google AdWords has given marketers new ad extensions that we can use to assist in our paid search marketing. Ad extensions are a great tool in paid search because they add value to our ads without any extra cost. Each ad extension serves a different purpose for different marketing strategies and should be used if it aligns with your conversion goals. Here is a list of active ad extensions and some ad extensions that are in Beta.
Essentially, hand-lettering is the process of drawing letters, by hand of course. Most of the time, lettering is needed for custom logotypes. In addition, posters, t-shirts, greetings cards; the list goes on and on. Lettering to me is almost a lost art. In this day and age of computers and everything becoming more automated, lettering seems to get lost.  That’s why clients love custom lettered logotypes, because it’s the handcrafted aesthetic and knowledge that their logo is unlike any of their competitors (if done right).
For some businesses, the temptation to save time and effort by purchasing a website template can be hard to resist. An employee’s sister’s roommate says she can give you a brand new website for $50 and a 2 liter of Caffeine Free Diet Cherry Shasta. Sounds like a steal but what is the real cost? What you receive may, and I mean MAY, look acceptable but they've stolen the entire creative process away from you leaving you with a dry, empty husk of a website that is virtually identical to hundreds of other websites out there that is likely doing you more harm than good. Not enough to dissuade you from mailing it in? Here are a few more things to consider.