It turns out that you can do more through social networking than find a date or stalk your ex- who’d have thought! In fact, you can help real people all over the world lift themselves out of property through micro-loans. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to entrepreneurs in the developing world. The site is composed of two groups: entrepreneurs and lenders. Lenders request an amount for their loan (generally around a couple thousand dollars) and then several lenders contribute to that amount. In fact, the minimum loan is as low as $25.00.
One such lender is lawyer and author, John Kirkland who introduced me to the website. John is using the sales of his new book Love Letters of Great Men to fund Jasminka Salkievi’s clothing store in Bosnia, Mirza Sayaad’s grocery store in Afghanistan and several other in-need entrepreneurs.
This it truly the incarnation of the “fish you teach a man to fish” adage and a move towards positive interaction on the internet.
Flash games can be an immersive form of promotion or dialogue. And, I learned they can be highly addictive. Here are a couple that really sucked me in-
This one is from designer Alan Outten, lives on his personal website and was created for Vodafone Magazine. It’s a kind of movable “Where’s Waldo” in which you have to locate the designer- who is the only figure that won’t scurry from the “Hi-tech gadgetry”. I love the pixel people and the techy mouse.
This next one is by controversial Italian creators, Molleindustria. The game here, McVideoGame, allows players to emulate the farms, feedlots, restaurants and corporate areas of McDonalds. There is no question as to Molleindustria’s statement on the fast-food mogul. And the gameplay is as addictive as the McDonalds brand can be.
Spinner has put together a nice compilation of band logos from the past couple of decades. Although I don’t agree with all of their picks, it’s interesting learn a little background on each logo. I was surprised to find out how many were designed by band members or their friends, rather than professional designers.
The 08/09 relaunch by Burton Snowboards shows that engaging the viewer with the brand essence, in this case through high impact photography, is often more effective than bombarding them with as many links as possible above the fold. The near full-screen images are there simply to set the tone for the site, getting you in the mood to ride; while just a small icon at the base of the page draws the user down to the updated content below the fold.
Now I may be in the minority here, but I have always assumed they used the same torch for every Olympics. It kind of makes sense, right? Like the treasured heirloom that ties the games together? Kay, so, no. I was wrong. (For more on childhood delusions proved wrong mid-life, see this EXCELLENT episode of This American Life. Seriously, mine could have been worse.)
Anyway, as it turns out, a new torch IS in fact created for each games. And they are super neat and often match the logo. I do love a good line up of similar but varied items.
The NY Times has created a nifty little game where in you can see many torches with their corresponding logos. Check it.
Ever since the term “viral marketing” became common language, it doesn’t seem to have left the internet. Many people tend to forget that the original strategies came from real-world niche marketing and grassroots campaigns.
The main difference in real-world viral marketing and online, is that it spreads much like a true virus: Real human viruses are limited to central “outbreak” locations and spread via human carriers. Computer viruses have no such local limitations and are transfered via computer-to-computer interaction. Viral marketing works the same way in either format.
One real-world viral that has been making it’s way around Los Angeles is The Room. It’s a 2003 film that’s getting a lot of traction in the same way that Rocky Horror Picture Show did. It plays once a month at the Laemmle 5 Theater to a packed house who throw spoons, yell catch phrases and otherwise interact with the film. It’s truly viral and very funny. Only…well, the movie wasn’t supposed to be funny at all and it’s widely considered the worst film ever made.
One look this trailer will tell you why it has become the well-deserved victim of public mockery.
The writer/director/producer/star, Tommy Wiseau has either taken the entire mishap in stride, or he simply doesn’t speak enough English to understand what’s going on. No one knows where Mr. Wiseau is from, much about his background or how he was able to afford the film’s estimated six million dollar budget. My theory? Romanian Arms Dealer.
TechCrunch reviewer, Jason Kincaid wrote, “The site sports a very soothing look that is well suited to its target demographic, with lots of pastels and rounded corners. The widgets themselves are also well designed, presenting an adequate amount of information without becoming overwhelming or cluttered.”
We’re glad to hear that TechCrunch has picked up on Nesting and can’t wait for more wonderful reviews as the site gains traffic and awareness.
The use of illustration is usually pretty prevalent in print design. As a trained print designer-turned-interactive-designer, I’ve noted that sometimes heavy illustration is not as predominant in websites as it is in print. I know, I know…the load times are a tinsy bit longer and illustration adds cost to an already expensive web project…but what joy, emotion and clarity of communication it adds to a site! Here are some of my favorite illustrators, resources and sites incorporating illustration in a unique way. Illustration Mundo, Camilla Engman, Lisa Congdon, Amy Jean Porter, Samuel Bismes, and yes, my very own brother, A.J. Halbrook
In the ever looming process of building traffic and awareness for this blog & the Fluidesign website, I have been looking at some really diverse SEO and social media techniques. The great thing about this post is that I’m both talking about and utilizing a few of them at the same time.
Most people know how important it is to have your site catalogued in the DMOZ, Yahoo! and ZoomInfo directories. If their spiders haven’t crawled your pages you’re probably missing out on some extra clickage. (I’m helping our chances just by linking to them in fact.) But, it seems that Technorati’s SEO powers are starting to reach beyond diligent blog-rolling and tagging.
To “claim” a blog as yours on Technorati, you can choose to embed link (as below) and their spiders will catalogue it immediately. This not only confirms to Technorati that you are the owner of the blog you signed up with, but also adds you to their catalogue. Apparently, their library is becoming quite vast and helping to boost user SEO. No word yet on rather or not they plan on making the caches a public service.