Oct 24

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#GammerGate

Author: hannah
POSTED AT 02:10 PM

The GammerGate scandal started as a battle in the online gaming community between a game developer and ex-boyfriend. According to Mashable , The developer’s ex boyfriend wrote a 9,000-word screed about their relationship, accusing her of trading sex for favorable press coverage and other career boosts. Although this information was false, the gaming community preceded to intervene full force. 

One focal points of the scandal was the relationship between Zoe Quinn, an independent game developer and alleged sexual partner Nathan Grayson who is a video game journalist. The gaming community viewed this as an ethical scandal, drawing attention to the corruption within the video game journaling community. (aside from the fact Nathan never wrote an article on one of Quinn’s games) According to Bloomberg View   the underlying problems of the scandal seems to be misogyny, and the politicization of geek culture.

Misogyny has been a prevalent trend throughout the online gaming community for quite some time. There have frequently been anti-women messages spread throughout online community and spread quickly due to online anonymity. Female gamers have been particularly weary in speaking out on the controversy in order to avoid having their personal information leaked online. Felicia Day recently spoke out on the movement and her personal information was leaked in the comment box of her blog. The anonymity within the online gaming community seems to be instigating the harassment and expanded the online threats.  

Within the gaming community there seems to be a split between those wanting to protect harassment victims, mostly feminist gamers who vocalize their views online, and those misogynists who harass female gamers and leak their personal information online. There has become an inherent divide online, and many have become focused on fighting opposing parties rather than virtual zombies.  

The whole entire GammerGate scandal has gotten out of control, some female gamers have received death threats and there seems to be no end to the visual harassment either. This scandal has skyrocketed past a little debacle between exs, and has spiraled into a full force problem, drawing attention to the negative aspects of the online gaming community. Perhaps this will be a wake up call for the gaming community to take back their online forums and focus on what they initially went online for, love of video games. Or perhaps this online warfare will continue, reducing the online appeal of gaming communities for many people.

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Oct 21

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Art Visit to Carpinteria Family School

Author: tbone
POSTED AT 10:10 AM

On Tuesday, October 14, I took a trip down to Carpinteria Family School to do some abstract watercolor painting with the students there.
Here’s a little photo documentary of our fun. Thanks Angela White for the invitation!

I'm on the far left.

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Oct 20

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“Ello”

Ello is a revolutionary social networking site unlike all the rest. Ello, is different from Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking giants in that it is completely add free. Ello’s manifesto reads, “We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life. You are not a product. Ello. This is what makes Ello unique from its forefathers.  To generate revenue, Ello allows for users to customize their pages with special feature tools which may be purchased for a small price according to Ello these features are not necessary, but do provide some financial support to the company, as well as allowing for users to continue to create and uniquely customize their social networking experience.

Ello is set up as like a mash between Facebook, Pintrest and Twitter, in which users may generate statuses, post pictures and gifs, find friends and comment on posts. Started by a small group of programmers and artists, Ello has sprung up quickly with rapid popularity. There are as many as 35,000 requests to join the social networking site per hour according to The Guardian , and Ello’s head team is working rapidly to keep up with their growing popularity. The site however is not new; Ello was launched in March and was intended to be a small, invite- only community between friends. Interest was recently sparked by the LGBT communities’ migration to other social networking sites after Facebook launched their real name policy, prohibiting users from using names other than their legal names. As interest increased, Ello became more public, but one must still obtain an invite to join the site. Some have even begun selling Ello invites on eBay ranging from 5-150 dollars according to Mashable ,but it is still unclear whether or not Ello will be a fad, or is here to stay. 

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Oct 17

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3 Ways Your Website is Missing Out on Revenue and How to Get it Back

When looking to boost the revenue generated by your website consider adopting one or all of the following strategies.

Dangle the Carrot with Inbound Marketing
Visitors to your website have a one-track mind. They want to get what they need and get the hell out. It’s up to you to capitalize on the opportunity to convert a visitor into a customer. The traditional solution to this challenge is to bombard your site visitors with endless calls to action for deals, discounts and more information. But the best solution is to present visitors with the information they seek while receiving something valuable in return. Inbound marketing is a practice that follows several steps to ensure that customers are engaged with the right offers and the right content at the right time.  Leads require cultivation, and inbound marketing nets you the information you need to convert visitors into leads and leads into sales.

Back to the carrot. Think about your website in terms of the value that it offers to visitors e.g. your services, your ‘secret sauce,’ your content. For example if your website hosts an article listing “5 Easy Ways to Grow Followers on Social Media” and the article is getting a lot of traffic from search terms like “Social Media Marketing Ideas” or “Improve my Social Media marketing,” you gain practical insight into the needs of your visitors. Use this insight to create content that will bring in more visitors. Now ask yourself, “what are visitors doing once they find what they are looking for?” If the answer isn’t “contacting my company” then you are missing out on a huge opportunity. 

If we apply inbound marketing to the example above, the scene changes dramatically. With inbound marketing we take a desirable piece of content like the “5 Easy Ways to Grow Followers” article, and convert it into a downloadable format like PDF or eBook. We display a portion of the article content to the visitor upon landing on the page. Then we offer them the complete downloadable file as instant gratification for filling out a simple contact form.  If you prefer to display full articles on your site, you can convert a collection articles into a topical ebook and offer it as the incentive, while keeping the full articles available to visitors.

With inbound marketing visitors volunteer their contact details including the background information you need to facilitate your sales process, in exchange for the valuable resource they were searching for. Smart leads are worth giving away a carrot or two.

Add Value to E-Commerce with Product Bundles
Your e-commerce business is missing out on revenue. It is typical for online merchants to sell out of a handful of products regularly, while the bulk of the products remain on the shelves failing to generate revenue. E-commerce brands are adopting a new strategy to aid in liquidating slow moving products: product bundling.

A product bundle is a package of two or more products sold together for one price on a single sku. The goal of product bundling is to increase your site’s average transaction value and ‘add value’ to popular products. We do this by bundling popular products with less popular but related products on a single sku at a discounted price. For example instead of selling a popular pair of boots for $300 and a slow moving bottle of boot cleaner for $25, you sell a bundle, the boots and the boot cleaner together for $315.

The key to this strategy is bundling your popular products with products that are not only slow moving, but also high margin. Bundling high-margin products allows you to discount the bundle while still clearing a sensible profit margin. In the example of the boot cleaner, assuming that the vendor purchased the boot cleaner at wholesale for less than $15, they are making more money from the sale of the bundle than they would be on a sale of the popular product alone. That being said, the other key to this strategy is to NOT bundle two popular products. Under most circumstances bundling two popular products at a discounted price can only hurt your revenues.

Try bundling products and then posting the bundle to your brand’s Facebook page as a limited time offer. Measure the response, rinse and repeat with different bundles until you discover a few winning combinations. You will find yourself selling out of bundles in no time.

Capitalize on Mobile Traffic with Responsive Design
Share of web traffic is shifting to mobile devices at increasing rates. Take a look at your site analytics and make note of the growth in mobile traffic over the last 24 months. If your site is not optimized for mobile and tablet devices, mobile visitors will become frustrated with the experience and leave your site for a competitor. Visitors can become equally as frustrated with an app or dedicated mobile site experience (e.g. mobile.oniracom.com) that does not support the full functionality of your site.

The solution is Responsive Design, a smart take on user interface design that kills three birds with one stone. The three ‘birds’ are desktop, mobile and tablet device visitors, and the one ‘stone’  is a responsive website. Take a minute to pull up http://oniracom.com on your computer and your phone or iPad. You will notice a few differences between the user interface on each device.

First, the URL for the website is the same whether opened on a desktop or mobile browser. Second, the site content is optimized to be viewed within the bounds of each screen without requiring any double-tapping or pinching. Third, the menu, header, footer and other website features also scale to be device optimized.

With responsive design, all of the design elements and content on the site respond to the browser window through which it is being viewed. All of this happens in real time using fluid, proportion based grids, flexible images and CSS3 media queries. The framework for the layout of the site is based on relative units like percentages, rather than absolute units like pixels. Responsive design is the new standard for website design and should be made a priority for the next iteration of your website.

Use responsive design to capitalize on your mobile traffic, creating a better experience for your site visitors and a smarter canvas for your content.

Need Help Getting Your Website Up to Speed?
Email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I will assist you in any way I can!

Justin Davis is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Oniracom. You can follow Justin on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn

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Oct 14

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An interview with a Monster:
Luke Archer of the Cool Hand Look Agency.
by Jacob Tell, Editor, Solutions for Dreamers
October 9, 2014

“GIF”
“Main”

Dear Dreamers,

Over the past several years, we have had the joy of working with our video partner Luke Archer.  Luke is the Creative Director and founder of the Cool Hand Look Agency. There are some big changes going on at Cool Hand Look, so I decided to interview him about the reinvention of the Agency. 

Here are some excerpts from that interview. Enjoy!

- Jacob

Q. So explain to me, what is the Cool Hand Look Agency?

CHL: We are a bad ass biker gang…except Dana has a scooter,  and Gianny cruises his moped around town. Ok, so were not a biker gang, but what we are is a group of creative’s that have been collaborating on projects for years. Dana and Luke have been working together as the technical duo behind the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Gianny has been their go to cinematographer since they first crossed paths in 2006.

We three are draw together by a love for creative production, and a general outlook on life, that is; people are what matters, relationships are everything, and “you only live once so do your best while you are here” attitude. 

We all have pretty amazing stories.

Dana Morrow is a rare pioneer that has kept up with an ever-changing industry.  In the 1980’s he owned the top video agency in Seattle, dragging his knuckles on tape-to-tape editors. He then went on to own his first AVID, and the business blossomed. Like many a smart businessman, he sold the company at it’s heyday and promptly moved to Santa Barbara’s Riviera, and began to bless the local community with his production chops and his contagious smile. When he’s not combing over the details of our next production, Dana and his wife Sharon, enjoy spending time with clients, family, friends, and Santa Barbara. Wow. We live here!

Where to start with Gianny Trutmann? Gianny is a first rate director of photography trained at the Brooks Institute.  When we say first rate we mean it -  he will literally take a bullet to get the perfect shot.  In fact, he has…just ask him to show you the wound. He grew up in Guatemala, where his family still resides. But like any smart cinematographer, Gianny moved to California and started making great television content, while launching the first RED Boot Camps in Los Angeles, Argentina, and Venezuela. For the past 14 years, has called Santa Barbara his home. When he’s not on a production, you might find him hanging out of a helicopter, experimenting with new cinematic technologies, or sniping new locations on his motorcycle.

And that brings us to me, Luke Archer. I was a bit of an academic rebel in school. I caused a ruckus, but somehow always ended up at the top of the Dean’s list.  After graduated business school in Monterey, I dived head first into entrepreneurship; co-founding a product development company, a learning company, a television production company, and more recently, launched the Cool Hand Look Agency. 

So what am I passionate about? God, my family, and content. Breathing content. Eating content. Dreaming content. Sleeping Content. Creating content. I can’t stop. 

Q. What do we do?

CHL: We work with brands. Our clients come to us to help them create, communicate, and deliver their brand message to the Public. That is what we do. We develop creative campaigns, content, commercials, and designs to tell your brand story and cultivate sales. 

Q. What is with the wacky Monster Suit?

CHL: That’s me, Luke, in the Sherbet the Monster Suit. Man is it hot in there! We had so much fun with this shoot!  Sometimes you just got to let the inner beast out.

“BehadedforWeb”

Sherbert was designed and built by local artisan, Matthew McAvene. Matthew cut his teeth at the Jim Henson Company makers of the Muppets! He is a hella-of-a-guy and was kind enough to let us borrow Sherbert for the photo shoot. Matthew is also a great commercial artist.  You have probably seen his work scattered around Santa Barbara and wondered who created this fantastic art? Check out more from Matthew McAvene at mackyworld.com.

Q.  Who took those great photos and where?

Local photographer and Brooks Institute graduate, Lexus Gallegos. She took these bad ass photos at the Historic Arlington Theatre.  Check out her incredible photos at lexusgallegos.com. Special thanks to the Metropolitan Theatre Company for allowing us to shoot at the theatre and a very special thanks to Karen Killingsworth for making that happen!

“Arlington”

Q. The shoot looks like a lot of fun!  Do you have any video?

CHL:  Of course we have the video that we asked you to ask us about!  We didn’t bring any video lights but we couldn’t resist shooting a couple of seconds of slow motion at 4K.


Thanks for your time Jacob.  Solutions for Dreamers and Oniracom, YOU ROCK!

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Oct 13

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Communist leaders in China have recently blocked and banned social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram in light of the recent protests in Hong Kong. Protestors have been fighting for free elections, rather than being forced to choose from a predetermined ballot. These sites were shut down in order to prevent photos of the protests from flooding the Internet, in attempt to detain the conflicts going on within the city. Many living in mainland China are unaware of what is going on in Hong Kong due to strict government censorship. The hash tags and photo images of police attacking the protestors sparked government officials to block and prevent further media posting during this time in attempt to restrict access of information to other Chinese citizens. But this isn’t the first time China has censored Instagram, according to Stuff earlier this summer the Instagram app was removed from the android app store in china.” 
 
Social media has been extremely influential during recent political unrest around the world. Some examples include the use of social media to coordinate revolution during the Arab Spring according to Engadget.  Earlier in 2011, The Egyptian government restricted use of the Internet, SMS and other methods of communication in attempt to control the riots. In March,Turkey banned YouTube in order to prevent continued videos of government corruption from leaking to the public. At the time, Twitter was also banned, in attempt to presumably limit the spread of corruption videos and prevent informing Turkish citizens of such scandals. Activists in the Ukraine have been gaining attention by tweeting hash tags and photos encouraging thePresident to talk to the citizens and keep them informed. The movement was started by Maxim Savanevskij,according to Yahoo,who is encouraging the political figurehead to inform citizens of the reasons and motives behind the government’s actions. 
 
Censoring social media is just one example of Chinese government officials attempting to curtail awareness of the protests. Students and protesters have been creative when attempting to circumvent the communication cut offs. Using apps, such as FireChat, allows for protesters to communicate should the government cut off or restrict cellular data. This app allows people to communicate when there is no Wi-Fi or cellular data, and avoid firewalls. As of now Chinese government officials are attempting to contain the protest, and prevent the rest of China from knowing of the current turmoil through web restrictions. 

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Oct 10

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Twitter Analytics-Finally Here!

Author: hannah
POSTED AT 02:10 PM
“Twitter

Ever wonder how many of your followers, fans, and fellow Twitter users stumble across your tweets and hashtags? Wonder no further, gauging Tweet success will no longer rely on the number of favorites, retweets and replies one receives.  Twitter has recently implemented an analytics dashboard, similar to Google Analytics allowing one to “gauge the performance of each and every tweet you sent. How many people saw it? How many of those actually clicked your links?” according to TechCrunch.  This new feature is available to all verified Twitter accounts and Twitter Card advertisers and publishers. It offers a broad, strategic view of one’s tweets, showing how many people viewed the tweet, clicked on links, as well as comparing your Twitter success to previous months. This new feature will be helpful for advitisters using Twitter as a promotional tool. Now they will be able to easily enhance their Twitter advertisements focusing on consistency, timing, and tweet mechanics which will in turn help Twitter users send more efficient Tweets and reach their targeted audience with ease!

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Sep 24

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Apple Update Flaws…

Author: kateni
POSTED AT 04:09 PM
“Apple

Apple is never far from the headlines these days, especially after their iPhone 6 and Apple Watch  launch that basically stopped time. Today, Apple released their first update to the iOS 8 operating system (which was released last week), that turned out to be an absolute nightmare.

A tidal wave of complaints and panicked rants on Twitter led Apple to immediately (and awkwardly) withdraw the update. The two largest issues were the alleged loss of service and the disabling of TouchID. The update was initially to fix a bug on HealthKit, but no word on if that got fixed since it was overshadowed by the other glaring issues.

Mashable has been keeping very close tabs on iOS 8, reviewing the good, the bad and the panicked scramble to downgrade after this disastrous update.

I myself have not yet downloaded the update (storage problems FOREVER/#regrets on not getting the 32GB in the first place) but for now, this setback just goes to show that as far as we’ve come in the technology of mobile phone softwares, mistakes are still made. Of course, no operating system is perfect and i’m looking forward to seeing how quickly Apple can fix this.

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Sep 17

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Ever since stepping into Topshop’s Las Vegas store several years ago, I have been in love with the UK brand. When I was in London this past year, I got the chance to go into several Topshop stores, including their flagship in Oxford Circus, and was amazed at how the brand has become basically a household name in the UK. They not only have innovative clothing at affordable prices, but they always have seemed on point with weaving technology seamlessly into their label and fashion shows.

This year at London Fashion Week (#LFW), they stood out above the others with their democratization of fashion by targeting the younger customer base with a social media takeover.

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Sep 16

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Back in the day (and by back in the day I mean like, three years ago) when I was a DJ at UCSB’s on campus radio station, KCSB 91.9FM I was on TOP of my new music releases. I was required to come up with a fresh weekly playlist that included alternative artists who you wouldn’t hear that often (if at all) on commercial radio stations.

So yes, I had my new music radar goggles on at any given moment. Anything that hit my ear that sounded remotely new (even if it was a new twist on a cover) would make my ears perk up. I would immediately turn to the person closest to me and ask, “Who is this playing?” Eventually, I realized Shazam was probably a good thing to invest in, as many random individuals I encountered were as clueless as me, and probably a bit afraid of my loud, abrupt questions. Now, in an office environment at Oniracom I hear some new tunes occasionally, but my radar has become quite dull. Sometimes I become too engrossed in my work that my ears are never really listening to the music playing on the speakers. It’s a shame because my coworkers have GREAT taste in music.

Luckily though, this past week the music was just too good not to listen to. New Tennis, Jhene Aiko and Generationals graced my ears.

“Tennis”

Tennis’ Ritual in Repeat is just as strong as their two previous albums, if not stronger. The album flows gracefully from one track to the next. “Night Vision” creeps up with a soft drumbeat and soft vocals then, one of their previous singles “Never Work for Free” follows with the upbeat beachy sounds we know and love Tennis for. Other stand out tracks in this album include “Bad Girls” and “Solar on the Rise.” Take a listen here!

Next up, we have the much anticipated debut album from Jhene Aiko. Although I’m not a fan of the cliche album name, Souled Out, Aiko did not disappoint with her tracks. It’s a beauteous R&B record with pretty vocals to the max. I won’t say too much more, listen to the deluxe album here.

“Jhene

OK, lastly we have Generationals with their album, Alix. “Black Lemon” is such a fun, hoppy boppy, lovely opening track. Yes, I said “hoppy boppy.” Like you can’t stop bopping your head back and forth because it’s just that catchy. The rest of the tracks are equally as “boppy” and I am a bit sad that this album came at the conclusion of summer because it would have been a great summer road trip soundtrack. Guess I’ll just have to listen to it in Fall and pretend like it’s summer (not like that’s an issue in Santa Barbara). Grab Alix here.

“Generationals”

More “New Album Release” posts coming soon!

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