I recently delivered some training to staff at the University of South Wales who all seemed to have similar questions – what is social media? What is it good for? How can I use it? What should I use?
The sessions were really fun to run, with plenty of the kinds of searching questions you’d expect from academics, and a real desire to get to grips with the opportunities available to them. When defining social media, I like to say it refers to participation in the creation of online media – sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube are all similar in that they encourage everyone to participate in the creation of media.
So how can you get involved in that? What does it mean for professionals? The basics of the session can be summarized by three key points:
- Play to your strengths – if you’re a wordsmith write a blog, if you’re a visual image type try Instagram or Tumblr, if you’re a curator try Pinterest. Don’t force yourself to comply with the most popular medium if you won’t enjoy it!
- Focus – don’t start a presence on everything and spread yourself thinly…put your efforts into building something brilliant in one place, then start reaching out to other places to tell people about it!
- Stay motivated – setting sensible benchmarks and targets, having access to meaningful stats and realising real-world objectives will help you remember why you’re doing this! If you’re not making money from it, make sure you have something else to motivate you!
Anyway…the sessions were a great way to kick-start people’s interest in what social media can offer. For academics I recommended the basic social media toolkit of a blog, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. A pretty ‘vanilla’ combo I’m sure you’ll agree, but you can get great results using those platforms.
You can download the (very simple) presentation here – University of South Wales social presentation
There’s something strangely satisfying about making a website all about diggers.
Rob loves his simple chunky site and we’re working on ensuring he gets found in Google for all the most important search terms. This was a simple case of knocking up a logo, chucking it on a suitable WordPress template and pulling some content together. Cheap and effective!
Continue reading “Quick redesign for the Mr Owen website”
All content marketers hope that by adding share buttons, by writing topical unique content, and by consistently working a theme…they will eventually hit the social media jackpot and get massive traffic. When it comes, it can come big. This time it came from Reddit. I’ve seen this a couple of times working for my current employer, but today was a new record.
Continue reading “New personal best for blog traffic”
You can’t go wrong with a stripped-down, bone-white, dead-basic, done-in-a-day (too many hyphens?) website. Yes it needs a menu (Al, if you read this…mail me!) but otherwise it’s all there. Sweet and simple and oh so quick.
Continue reading “We just threw a site together for Fire Island Cardiff”
The Facebook Studio Awards are Facebook’s own awards for the agencies and brands that are making best use of Facebook.
Continue reading “Facebook Studio feature for our work”
We set up the OG City Surf website a few years back, and while it was good at the time it dated fairly quickly and we’d customised stuff that meant updating was tricky.
We used WordPress and the Wp E-Commerce plugin, which at the time (2009) was the best thing out. Having surveyed the market, we decided WooCommerce from Woothemes was the new kid on the block, so we made the call to migrate all the content into that.
Continue reading “New City Surf website”
When it comes to getting your message in people’s faces on Twitter, you have two options.
- Write awesome tweets and back them up with something of substance. This we will call the ‘quality’ model.
- An endless slog of targeting and sycophantic re-tweeting of influential accounts in order to get your message onto their radar. We will call this the ‘brown nose’ model.
Both have their flaws.
The first takes a lot of time and a lot of money. It can be worth it if you stand to gain anything from the process…but it’s a serious commitment.
Continue reading “Twitter bots can be done right – @AnOffside50p”
This was a fun event and typical of the genuine efforts the Buffalo guys have been making to give art-geeks a place to mingle. Loads of Cardiff artists and designers submitted their designs for this show. Nearly all were hand crafted, drawn or painted directly onto tees. Really nice in this digital age to see who can wield a pen…and the pen is still mightier than the mouse in case you were wondering.
Continue reading “Kooki Two Bit t-shirt show, Buffalo Cardiff”
Nick was asked to produce a promo edit for new Crayon pro Chris Jones. Nick has seamlessly graded footage from different locations to ensure a consistent colour scheme dominates the edit. Couple that with filming that keeps the subject centrally placed, a track that has just the right amount of drama to support the action and a signature Nick the Bastard bit of digital wizardry at the end and you’ve got yourself some hot footage.
Chris Jones Crayon Pro Clip from LovePaste on Vimeo.
Another collaboration with Pete Fowler, but this one is far from his typical style. These graphics feature vector style portraits with the classic Crayon logo in a speech bubble. You can see the thought that’s gone into these when you build the deck into a complete skateboard…the graphics really work well with the wheels in place. Clean bright colours make these a stand out on the shelf, and the matching stickers are pure class.
Continue reading “Crayon skateboards professional series”
…there is the fact that it can inspire a certain degree of reflection and a concerted effort to reapply oneself to meaningful pursuits. If you’re Phil, those meaningful pursuits become part of Cardiff’s very fabric and help to make it a nicer place to live…as proven by his recent beardy Spillers Records t-shirt design and his greasy perv on a wall for Big Little City.
Nice to see old friend Godmachine getting recognition far and wide. He’s just put out a supercharged techno gore triple set of decks for Superdead and he got himself an interview in Bizarre magazine as well. I guess one day his early works for Crayon and Cardiff Skateboard Club will be collector’s items…hey maybe they already are?
Nick is the producer of legendary Cardiff scene video ‘Hologram’, which was ably supported from a motion graphics perspective by Huw Caddy. These days he can do the whole shebang himself, thanks to a spell in Cardiff’s Atrium creative arts college and a long series of lonely evenings spent locked in his bedroom staring at his computer.
Nick’s style is low-key but not lo-fi…as the subtle inclusion of the Crayon logo proves in this awesome edit for Crayon.
Continue reading “Nick the Bastard”
Caddy’s got mad video editing skills. He’s in demand for skate footage, music videos, corporate idents and even feature films.
You can check his full portfolio on Vimeo, but here’s a taster.
Huw Caddy Showreel 09 v.1 from huw caddy on Vimeo.
Pirate Man produced the Cardiff Skateboard Club movie, ‘Join us’. It’s a unique production, that features Beverley Callard exercise videos and 80s television nonsense spliced with skateboarding from Cardiff and Leeds. It received some rave reviews and every hand-made copy sold out, meaning CSC branded classic album covers now take pride of place in homes around the country.
Continue reading “‘Join us’ and the Golden tickets”
The kaleidoscopic animalarium inside Phil Morgan’s head exploded into reality in these graphics for Crayon skateboards.
Continue reading “Crayon Skateboards graphics”
This assault on Cardiff’s public spaces saw Boxman bring pure biodegradable joy to many a corner, wall and rock in the Welsh capital.
Continue reading “Boxman prophecies”
We just put this out and you can still pick up copies in City Surf Cardiff. FOR FREE.
Pen and paper and a million photocopier cartridges were all it took to put this together. That and a lot of networking and emailing and pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth.
Continue reading “CSC zine”