Category Archives: Tools

The New Basics

back-to-basics-social-media-marketingOn of the great things about being a Digital Communications blogger is that there’s always something new to write about. I’d like to say that the “Basics” never change in communications, and maybe they don’t. But, things change quickly in this field, and what was a new concept maybe a year ago, is now simply a requirement of keeping up with this world.  Here’s a few examples:

OLD BASIC – You’ve Got To Have a Website

That’s very true. Websites are a given now. In fact in the United States, many people simply don’t think of you as being legit without one. But, the kind of website you have makes a difference too. Having some sort of Blog component that is updated regularly is also essential for a couple of reasons. The first is fresh content will keep folks coming back to your site to see what’s  new. But secondly and more importantly, fresh, relative content also helps with SEO (you know that Google/Bing/Yahoo thing) that will keep your site relevant in web searches.

OLD BASIC – A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

As a writer, I can say this is 100% true. As a Digital Communications Specialist however, I’m here to tell you that pictures are not enough. First, let’s talk Meta Data. Did you know that the Internet is blind? That’s right. It can only see what you tell it to see, and the way it does that is through Meta Data. Meta Data is the background information that you add to media, you know,  pictures and videos. It usually consists of the file name, a title, a description and maybe a caption. If you do not tell the, ever so wise, Internet what you’re putting out there, it will have no idea, and thus your media will not be findable.

Now, besides the Meta Data, actual content is not a crime. Now I know in this age of all things pictures thanks to sites like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s easy to think that the picture is enough. But, if you are trying to reach a wider audience, always be sure to write a caption or some sort of description to go with your images. Ultimately what you want is a hook that will entice the view to want to know more, click the pic, and go to your website.

OLD BASIC – Everyone is on Facebook 

It does seem that way, doesn’t it? In a matter of 5 short years, Facebook is as ubiquitous as the internet itself. So, yes having a Facebook page is super important. But even more important is keeping it updated. Once a day is great if you can hack it, but do more than simply posting a pic. Use Facebook as an opportunity to tell an ongoing story. The whole point of Facebook, besides massive data collection, is to share things with your friends. If you are using Facebook for a business or project think of that audience as your friends as well. Keep them up to date with what you are working on, what excites you about your work, about the process. A friend of mine who recently started a flower business does a great job of this. Take a look at what she is doing and see how that might work for you.

OLD BASIC – You Must Be on Social Media

Of course you must be on Social Media, but maybe not all of it. There area literally thousands upon thousands of options for your Social Media time investment. While Facebook, I’m sorry to say, is a given, choose your other Social Media outlets wisely. Consider who your audience is and where they spend their time. Then cross post. If you have a Pinterest, cross post some items to Facebook, to let people know you’re there. The same can be said for Tumblr or Instagram and don’t forget your Meta Data here too!

There’s more to all of this of course: message, engagement, and the all important click count. This is just a start of things I will discuss here that are simply now the New Basics.




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Code – The Next Required Skill

CodeI’ve written about the rise of coding as a skill in the past. The next evolutionary step of this process has begun. Two of the biggest names in the digital world, Zuckerberg and Gates, have endorsed a new initiative from to encourage 10 million new coders and programmers. Tech Crunch has a great article with comments from Ried Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn, about what this will mean for businesses and skilled workers. Coding will soon be ubiquitous. (I love that word, dont you love that word?) It will simply be another skill of the creative, savvy class that drives innovation. For those of us that are beyond the classroom, there are a number of self teaching tools available as well. The Tech Crunch article mentions a General Assembly tool now available, but there are a lot of options out there. Here are a few to consider: – An interactive community of learners and teachers – The Khan academy is a great place to learn just about anything. Their programs are partnered with accredited institutions and sponsored by those that want to perpetuate knowledge.

MITOPENCOURSEWARE – Want something a little more technical? Check out MITOPENCOURSEWARE for coding instruction that goes well beyond the basics.

Treehouse – Provides video how-to’s in a step by step format. It is a great place for beginners or for those who are freaked out by the whole idea of random numbers and letters that make the glowing screen do things.

Need more ideas? Mashable and Ted have plenty when it comes to learning to code. Check them out!


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The New Norm of the Mobile Digital Age

Mobile All Up in Your JunkGoogle Now a voice activated digital assistant now available on iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads. Previously, the app was only available to Android users. Our friends at Mashable recently published some words describing how the Google app works at knowing your preferences and interests, all for the cost of monitoring your movements and data. Not that we aren’t monitored most of the time anyway, just ask  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

As Apple iOS and Google’s Android vai mobile media dominance, Microsoft, it seems has at least finally showed up.  Recently,  a slew of feeble new commercials aired from the software giant arguing that Bing is a better search engine than Google. Another set of commercials go after GMail, with the message that Google is essentially all up in your junk, knowing your business. The campaign gives pause, but probably not for the reason Microsoft intended.

Google and Apple seem to understand that in a future where computers mobile devices assist our day to day personal operations, that  a certain veil of privacy must be forsaken. This means somewhere in a chilled warehouse, multiple servers can probably tell you your life better than Oprah. The big question is, will  having a digital big brother knowing your business wear off as a novelty or take off as the standard for our lives in the mobile digital age?


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Filed under Mobile, Tools