Mt. Woodson summit, Poway, CA. See hiking activity details via RunKeeper.
Driving the temperature while blazing through the appropriately named Thermal, CA at 9PM.
Remembering and celebrating Steve Jobs and my longtime affinity with Apple which profoundly influenced the course my life when I was a young man. (Photo taken with iPhone, of course.)
The Jerome’s Furniture website is of my favorite projects, because it has everything in it. Custom CMS, multi-lingual, automated integration with Jerome’s back-end inventory systems, streaming video, e-commerce via payment gateway integration, anti-fraud protection, product image zoom tool, social media integration, highly search-engine optimized (SEO-friendly), blog, automatic XML sitemap generation, store location finder integrated with Google Maps, Google Analytics, heatmap metrics, etc. Basically, the works. The recent makeover is showcased in an HTML5 site using CSS3 effects in modern browsers (with fallback support in less-capable browsers). The performance is further enhanced with a custom server-side page caching mechanism.
I joined Google+ this past week — the new social media mashup of something like Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Google’s earlier social media attempts, such as Buzz, Google+ is the real deal and gives Facebook something to ponder as it potentially slips into the MySpace zone.
But, aside from Google+’s features and functions which are compelling even as it is still in beta, I think the whole “plus” idea as a branding element is ill-conceived. It presents too many marketing challenges considering how social media memes are often integrated into the lives and conversations of users. Google needs a new social dialect with terminology that easily sets them apart.
The minuses on the plus:
- The plus sign is harder to type. Facebook is often abbreviated FB. G+ requires more finger contortions.
- The plus sign is an iconic cue for adding items (in fact, you’ll see it used on Google+ as a prefix, such as “+ Add more people” when you’re sharing a post). Peppering the interface with plus signs — which is your logo if you’re Google+ — may be confusing.
- Like something? Google+ gives you a “+1” button. People won’t say “I plus-one’d it on Google Plus”, will they? That seems clunky. If anything, they’ll say, “I ‘plussed’ it.” (Google+ may eventually have to simplify their version of the Like button with just a simple plus sign dropping the “1”). Using your logo element here would be akin to Facebook, instead of its thumbs-up Like icon, using an “F” button. Imagine if people F’d this or F’d that. That would be pretty F’d up. People like Like and I suspect +1 is going to be hard to adopt.
- Compared to the very colloquial “Facebook me”, “friend me”, “Google it”, “tweet”, etc., what’s the Google+ verb?
- The girl at the bar who asks, “Google me” — is she suggesting a background check via the Google search engine or is that a “friend” request on Google+? What about some other Google+ themes? “Circle me” conjures images of prey. However, “huddle with me” is awesome, especially if she’s cute.
- Because of this, we can expect people to muddle terms from other service brands (e.g., “I ‘Liked’ it on Google+” or perhaps even “I sent a tweet on Google+”). Unfortunately, this dilutes its brand identity.
On the plus side, I give Google+ an A for taking away Facebook market share. But the ‘+’ adds up to a big G-minus for marketing.
This was taken with an iPhone 3GS. Really.
Plus, since it gracefully employees newer effects in modern browsers in a way that works with older browsers, the site will only continue to look better as visitors upgrade to better browsers (notably, anything other than Internet Explorer).
I love working with clients who trust you to run with your ideas and create. The results are always better.