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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine - Josh Smith

A very nice piece about Josh Smith just came out in Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine, Thanks to Editor, Tom Cade for taking the time to help out a fellow Oregonian. You can see Josh's wonderful golf landscape paintings at his website, www.joshsmithart.com. We recently began selling limited edition prints and giclees.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Content Marketing Matters More Than Ever

Reading the blogs last night we came across this short, but thoughtful piece by David Dodd on Content Marketing and its relevance in todays market. You can read it here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great Website Analytics Advice

The world of website analytics is a confusing one. Everyone wants to know the numbers on their site, but in general they don't know what they all mean. There is a bewildering amount of information out there. The reliable Adam Singer at Online Marketing Blog has done a great job of explaining the key stats and what you should be looking for in the weekly report that thuds onto your desk. Read it here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Steps to Building Social Experiences

There are more and more articles being written about social media and the "content experience". We are avid readers of this information and whenever we come across an outstanding piece about content, social networking and custom content we will share it with you. Here's a terrific piece by Erin Malone who concludes that there is a great deal more to it than just posting any old nonsense up on twiiter and facebook and expecting solid measurable results. It requires first class thought, strategy, planning and execution. You can read it here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Content Experience is Coming

A great piece by Peter Kafka on website, All Things Digital about impending content on the iPAD. It remains a mystery why in the excellent video the Creative Director is so damn miserable! You can read it here. The iPAD won't run Flash, so Adobe's involvement is another mystery in the development until the product actually comes out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Creating the best content for your audience - 3 Simple Rules

It is still amazing to me that so many websites and other communication mediums don't follow the basic rules of content strategy. Companies are still putting out content that fills space and yet is unfulfilling to their target audience. It's like Fox News with their annoying tease of the story to come - when it does come the story lasts 30 seconds, is not the story that was teased and is old news. The result is a hollow experience and more likely to negatively impact the reader/viewer than the intended positive result.
Content strategy can be complicated on a micro level, but on a macro level it is simple. Make sure the content is findable, readable and relevant. Sounds easy doesn't it. Well, today as you wander from medium to medium or read emails allegedly targeted at you ask yourself if those 3 simple rules were met.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

50 Ways You Can Create a Better Day - Who doesn't love a good list?

On the worst snow week in DC history here's a little pick me up from a great site, www.dumblittleman.com.

1. Think Positive Thoughts Before You Sleep
The quality of sleep you get the night before can affect your mood the next day. Thus, if you want to create a better day tomorrow, you have to make sure that you think only positive things before you go to bed at night. Do not fret about your mortgage problems or dwell on the bad things that happened to you during the day. You need a good night's rest in order to prepare your mind and body for the busy day ahead.

2. Tell yourself That Today is a Better Day
The first thing that you should say to yourself the moment you wake up is that today will be great and marvelous. Know that you have control of what kind of day you will have. Telling yourself that today is going to be a great day will give you a positive attitude and a winner's outlook. The power of the mind is strong so feed your mind with positive things.

3. Wake Up a Few Minutes Earlier
If you want to get out of bed at 6AM, set the alarm for 5:45 and then allow 15 minutes for your body and mind to adjust and wake up. At 6, hop out of bed! Waking up late and rushing through things will increase your heart rate and simply stress you out. On top of that, you'll inevitably forget to do something and then stress about that too!

4. Take It Easy
Take things easy. Breathe deeply and slowly. If you are feeling rushed, take a deep breath and remind yourself that in the big scheme of life, being a minute late is pretty small.

5. Keep a Mental Note of the Things You Need to Do
It is always a good thing to try to keep a list of the things that you ought to do or accomplish for the day. If you are forgetful, you should write these things down. Aside from the things that you need to do at the office, you also need to remember those that you need to do for your family or friends. Write them all down so that you can manage your time wisely throughout the day.

The other 45 are here. We have had fun on Snow Day No. 23 adding our own.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10 Secrets to More Magnetic Copy

Here is a terrific piece by Jason Cohen of copyblogger.com on 10 Secrets to More Magnetic Copy. I particularly like number 9 - because that's what we do - tell stories, because a well written story sells more than bullet points ever will. Stories evoke passion, build loyalty and SELL!

Here they are...

1. Don’t hedge
2. Repeat a phrase
3. No passive voice
4. Brevity!
5. Use short sentences.
6. Provoke, don’t solve
7. Eliminate trash adjectives
8. Be direct
9. Tell a story
10. Write informally

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Walt Mossberg on the iPAD

Here is a terrific discussion featuring Walt Mossberg, the most believable tech guru in the marketplace. It's a 20 minute piece on The Charlie Rose Show and is worth the time to watch and listen to the prognostications. See it here. What all the panelists agree on is how important content is to success of the product.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Content Strategy and why you need it...now

Content Strategy is fast becoming the watchword for all things related to the words and pictures created by marketers. In a professional context it describes the roles, work products, knowledge, methodology, and perspectives of content strategists. Okay, that's the theory, but what does it all mean?

As more and more delivery methods become available, companies need to know which are appropriate delivery channels for their messaging. These messages could be communicated through print ads, the old fashioned 30 second spot, blog, facebook entry, tweet or many, many others. With the advent of the personal communication device in your pocket, just what does a company do to break through the clutter and get their message through to the consumer so that the consumer takes action.

At MacDuff we produce high quality content for companies. As our business grows we are increasingly being asked by our clients how to get the messages delivered effectively? What is the best format? How do you measure the results? Do we need multiple messages across different platforms? All great questions and just a sample of the number of questions that comprise the new discipline of Content Strategy. The content is critical, but so is the strategy that will allow this content to achieve its goals.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

iPAD v. Kindle. No Contest

This is going to get ugly for Amazon and quickly. I mean, look at these two pieces of hardwear. Is there anyone on the planet who prefers the one at the top of the page. White plastic with a black and white screen or a slick black and silver beauty with a color screen, mmm let me think about that. And the Apple iPAD is only $200 more with full web access and 140,000 plus apps to choose from.
It wasn't long ago that the Kindle looked cool - that was before Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive, Apple's Chief Designer, delivered the iPAD to the world. Get ready for the media and public scrum outside of every Apple Retail store across the world in 50 days.

The question all companies should be asking themselves now? What content should we be producing that works on iPAD and the copycat tablets that will follow. Strategy my friends, content strategy. Without one you are just blogging, tweeting and facebooking into cyberspace. More to follow tomorrow

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Success in Content Marketing - A Great Top 10

Much has been written on this subject and at MacDuff we are now more involved than ever in these strategic conversations as companies start planning their content strategy, much as they plan their ad campaign. This is a terrific piece by Adam Singer from his Content Marketing Blog. Read more here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not so Groovy

The Governing bodies in golf have once again managed to make a mess of an equipment change. Recently, the USGA and the R & A altered the rules to make the grooves on clubs smaller and therefore less able to spin the ball. As we all know the game of golf is so easy that this change was made to make the game EVEN harder. The rule is really only applicable to professional golfers and those playing in elite amateur events. The rest of us get a break for at least a decade or more. Bear in mind that the average handicap in the US has hovered around 19 forever and I don't see too many amateurs ripping the ball back off the green with their current wedges. So, the change will make literally no difference to Joe Public. All it has really achieved is cost the manufacturers millions of dollars for nothing and proved once again that the alphabet soup of golfs governing bodies are as dysfunctional as ever.

Throw in the PGA TOUR into the mix and the latest PR disaster is in full motion. Now, Phil Mickelson and 9 others on Tour are playing Ping wedges circa 1989 with square grooves that slip through the new rule cracks. Scott McCarron, who is a member of the PAC, the Tour players committee, even called Phil's actions "cheating" at a press conference the other day. Cheating is a strong accusation in golf and in this instance McCarron is 100% wrong. Phil is playing within the rules and even he is at a loss to understand what the governing bodies are trying to achieve.

The best way to change the game is the BALL - roll that back and you will see a difference.