Saturday, April 30, 2016

Online Advertising and the Mobile Revolution

As I've focused the past few years on marketing, I have no issue with web ads. Currently, they're the way many web personalities and other sites pay their bills. Family feeding is a fun, fantastic feeling.

However, web designers need to build advertising around mobile. Too often advertising either destroys the user experience, or critically hampers it. Pop ups that can't be cleared are big issues. Several times this week I've struggled with sites where the "close" button was off the screen, AND clicking on the ad took you to a new website. (Sidenote: web devs and designers, use the target attribute on anchor tags. Don't build ads that push your readers away from your site!)

These things make your site unusable on mobile. And, let me reiterate what's been stated myriad times: the web's future is mobile. If your mobile experience sucks, you're are already behind. Perhaps you're ahead of the curve on being an anachronism. It's hardly ideal.

Last year's whole Google mobile-gedon thing should have pivoted sites over, but, well, nope. But then folks still build auto-play videos on their sites. Thought that went out with MySpace. Since I'm simply griping now, let me add popups asking me to subscribe upon page load. Let them learn what you're about first. I've neverr subscribed to a site BEFORE I'VE READ ANYTHING! NEVER!!!! Build the pop-up to launch towards the end, if you must use them at all. I'd put the ask in the post body, personally.

Developers, build sites for positive USER experiences. Delight your readers, inspire them to come back again. Don't give in to greed or desperation. They're ugly.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Friendship in the Digital Age

Lately I've pondered "connection". With several hundred Facebook friends, LinkedIn connection, over a thousand Twitter followers....maintaining connection starts to feel easy. Too easy.

I'm noticing that I interact with a smallish group of the same people on those different channels. These are dear friends, but not  even close to the larger group of people I want to maintain relationship with. So many good folks that I keep thinking "why don't we get together more often?" That bothers me.

I signed up for Plaxo ages ago, and I really haven't done anything to maintain that list. But I get emails reminding me of birthdays and any other events (anniversaries) that I noted in my contact when I synced. These reminders are nice in that they trigger me to reach out. That's a start.

So, I'm trying to "up my game". Going to build a list of those contacts to, well, contact. I would like to start sending notecards out, too. That just seems nice.

Any of you feeling this lament? This disconnect from connection. What are you doing about it?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Life, Death and Social Media

Yesterday had one of the surrealer moments in my life. A friend from childhood has been ailing at Stevens hospital (properly, it's now Swedish Edmonds), and was given a few days/weeks to live. So, last night he posted on Facebook that he had just hours to live and that this was his last post. With his deteriorating health, I fully believed the statement.
There's much within this, but I'm focused on the newness of this. Since he has a phone, which can be worked pretty easily even when weak and exhausted, this contact was able to be pushed out.  Made me think of the last minute letters sent by rebels, resisters, those executed for political gain. Those letters were far more effort, and would only be readily sharable with a small group of people. Now, with a few strokes of your thumb, messages are sent to out to thousands, potentially millions. The ease of mass communication deeply changes our connection.
As shocking as such a message is, I expect this to become more commonplace. Perhaps we can eliminate the feeling of isolation. And, in the end, perhaps it's good. Maintaining connection in the most challenging and intimate of times.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fixing Youtube "Embedding disabled by request"

So, one of my team's videos was showing this error: "embedding disabled by request". I have no idea how that setting got changed, as I simply uploaded it and then tried to embed it into our website.

As you'd expect, this was obnoxious. Finding the solution was a bit annoying, too, as the most recent post I found, from 2009, Which, as you might expect, wasn't helpful. However, I did get it figured out.


  • Go to www.YouTube.com/my_videos. This will give you the master list of all your videos.
  • Skim through to the video in question, click "Edit". 


  • Go to "Advanced Settings" 

  • Scroll down to "Distribution Options" & Click Allow Embedding"


The Ever Changing World Of Social Media

Was just reading this piece over at Business Insider: Teens are ditching Instagram for Snapchat at a stunning rate. Well, this reinforces one of my underlying assumptions: that what we've currently labeled "social media" is a highly unstable sector.

So, we see that Twitter is falling in relevance; that's been prognosticated about forever. And the same with the Facebook and it's sidekick Instagram. But we're seeing growth with Snapchat. Again, the focus of this article is teens, but I expect they'll be the leading edge of social media trends.

They have two graphs that really capture things:


And this guy, which I think is more telling:


So, the world is shifting and shifting rapidly. It'll be good to dive into Snapchat, if you're not already there.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Dune's Litany Against Fear

A blogging friend posted this a little while ago (Say hello to Cafe Book Bean). I've loved the Dune books and have always found this to be a fantastic mediation. I'm often prone to anxiety and fear-based paralysis.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Frank Herbert (Dune)

Today's random thoughts

Lately I've been realizing something about myself: I don't have these grand aspirations towards power in regards to my career. Confrontation is gloriously unpleasant. I love working in an admin role. That's what I've defaulted each time I've been laid off. I can't imagine doing anything else. I have tried a few things, but they generally come to naught as I don't have the massive drive such needs.

It's delightful finally say "I'm cool with being an admin". I'm good at this. I add value to the teams I work with. I'm great at the administrative work needed on any project.

I have no grand drive for acclamation and power. I'm quite comfortable being in the background. I like for my team to respect me and value my work.