Archive for February, 2012

Infographic: East coast vs west coast designers

Ever wondered what the difference between east coast designers and west coast designers?

How designers in New York or D.C. differ from their counterparts in LA or Seattle?

After all, we know all about the differences between east coast and west coast rap (and the rivalry that runs along with it).

But who knew there was the same kind of divide among designers?

This infographic, prepared exclusively for MightyDeals, compares the two camps side by side…

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Getting Started with Pinterest

href=""> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-6322" title="Pinterest Logo" src="" alt="" width="300" height="75" />Social bookmarking is coming back in a big way, thanks to the popularity of  href="" target="_blank">Pinterest (pronounced to rhyme with “interest”). Dubbed as a “virtual pinboard,” it lets you organize and share photos of the many products, places, and things you find interesting online. You can also browse other users’ pinboards and re-pin to your own board anything that piques your interest.

Pinterest has attracted a lot of buzz, and our own Windmill Networking contributor href="" target="_blank">Debbie Miller‘s recent post on href="" target="_blank">Pinterest for the Hospitality Industry actually has more Pins than Stumbles or Pluses! That being said, there are just as many Pinterest skeptics out there, so before we jump in with both feet, let’s take a step back and put Pinterest into some perspective.

A Short History of Pinterest

In December 2009, San Francisco-based  href="" target="_blank">Cold Brew Labs began initial development on the app. A year later, Pinterest launched and soon after proceeded to operate in an invitation-only open beta mode (which continues to this date). By 2011, the company had already raised a million round of venture capital funding, increasing the company’s value to 0 million dollars and gaining 3.2 million monthly unique visitors in the process (note: that number, as of February, 2012, is now href="" target="_blank">10 million). As a testament to its success, the estimated unique visitors to the site  href="">increased by 429 percent from September to December of 2011. To top it off, Pinterest unveiled its own iPhone app in that same year.

Who Enjoys Pinning?

From the onset, Pinterest attracted mostly users engaged in hobbies–like say cooking or arts and crafts–and who want to share their interests and to seek out others who share the same pursuits and tastes. For example if you’re into baking cookies, you can search for fellow bakers and “re-pin” photos in other users’ boards or bookmark the boards that you fancy for reference. It’s also quite popular with women, who make up  href="">58 percent of the traffic into the site. In fact, one href="" target="_blank">Pinterest infographic puts the Facebook Fans for Pinterest at 97% female.

From Hobbyists to Businesses

2011 saw the emergence of businesses creating their own Pinterest pages. Today, some of the top online and offline retailers are already using Pinterest, like  href="">Nordstrom (7,501 followers) and  href="">ModCloth (7,658 followers). Shauna Causey, social media manager of Nordstroms, href="" target="_blank">shares that, “it [Pinterest] allows us to see what trends and styles the community likes based on engagement – likes and repins.” This gives them a pulse on consumer behaviors which they can then use in determining what merchandise to carry or feature in their outlets or on their web store.

Online vintage clothing retailer Modcloth’s Alicia Barnes, in the other hand, sees Pinterest as their best source of free referrals in terms of traffic and revenue. Ninety-nine percent of the approximately 7,000 pins tagged on their Pinterest board comes from advocates of the ModCloth brand and products, href="" target="_blank">she says.

Other big brands that have adopted Pinterest to their advantage include  href="">Whole Foods (they not only focus on foods but related themes including holidays, cooking, recycling, art projects and the Whole Planet Foundation) and  href="">Travel Channel (the U.S. cable TV network taps into interests such as animals, street food, behind-the-scenes personal photos, beaches, landmarks and souvenirs).

Getting Started with Pinterest

Does your business need to be on Pinterest? Not necessarily. But I’ll be honest in telling you that I am including Pinterest in the social media strategy for a client for the first time this month. Why? For one, Pinterest is attracting eyeballs. Lots of them. At the time of writing this post, Pinterest is now the 16th href="" target="_blank">most visited website in the United States, attracting more American visitors than even AOL or Paypal.

Obviously Pinterest is a visual site, so the question you need to ask yourself is: Do the products and services that my company sells have visual aspects to them? If they are visually appealing, Pinterest is a no-brainer for your company to at least establish a presence and experiment with. Similar to how even a B2B social media website like LinkedIn has compelling uses for B2C companies, B2B businesses can also leverage whatever visual aspects they might have to use Pinterest as well. Looking for ideas? Check out the href="" target="_blank">my Pinterest page. Guess what?  Over the last 10 days, outside of search engines, that page (which is very much a work-in-progress) is now sending me the 5th most traffic – more than LinkedIn!

Since I’ve hopefully perked your interest, here’s 5 easy pointers to help you get started with Pinterest:

  • Optimize. Just like with any other social media platform, make sure that you optimize your bio, location, and potentially even your URL and name, for SEO.
  • Brand. There are a few options for your profile photo, but if you have an optimized Facebook image, use that as it gives you the most real estate for your branding on your page.
  • Strategize. Users can have multiple Pinboards, each having a different theme.  Pinterest creates some sample boards for you which you should edit. I recommend that, wherever possible, align your social media content strategy with your Pinterest board themes.
  • Engage. If you can find them, engage with your target customer. You can search by category or simply by keyword. Check out their boards, and if you come across a pin that you like and find appropriate, you can either Like or Repin it on one of your Pinboards using the icons that show up when you hover over the item. At the least you can simply comment on the pin.
  • Follow. Similar to the engagement advice, following relevant boards of your target customer, or as part of your Pinterest content curation, is a simple way to engage and potentially be found by others.

Once you’ve gotten your feet wet, here are a few advanced tips that will help you in promoting your brands and products through Pinterest:

  • Use it like a focus group to find out how what your followers like (or dislike) through their boards.
  • Run contests, like having people Pin photos of them using your products, to generate buzz. It’s a great way of drumming up interest to a large audience at virtually zero cost and with active engagement all throughout to boot.
  • Promote a lifestyle. Pin photos that capture the culture of your company or its brand essence instead of straight up posting product shots.
  • If you have videos on YouTube, why not pin them as well?

What has your experience with Pinterest been? Any other tips that you’d like to add to the above? And if you need a Pinterest invite, href="" target="_blank">contact me!

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Medical Detox To Defeat Dependency

Many people fall victim to the addicting properties of alcohol and drugs. When they reach the point that they want to get help, it is important that they enter a quality program. The first step in the fight against alcohol and drug addiction is detox. This is a process that allows individuals to rid their systems of alcohol and drug poison. After these harmful toxins are out of the body, the individual has a much better chance of reaching recovery through drug rehab.


The duration of an individual’s detoxification will depend on how long and how severe their addiction to alcohol and drugs has been. In addition, an individuals personality and body processes will dictate how long it will take to cleanse the body of toxins. Typically, detoxification can take from a number of days to a couple of weeks.


During the withdrawal period individual will experience a number of symptoms. The symptoms that are most common are insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Individuals often experience irritability, sudden changes in their mood, and a severe craving for alcohol and drugs. There is the possibility of seizures during the process of detoxification that can last a number of days and range from mild to very serious.


Most inpatient centers include medical detoxing in their treatment programs. It is very important that any program have continuity from the beginning of the detoxing process to the completion of the treatment program. Having a well-trained professional team working with the individual from beginning to end will provide a good level of security.


The support of dedicated counselors, nurses, and doctors who help people through this physical and emotional process is very important. These skilled professionals can help make this difficult process less traumatic and more successful. The success of the detoxification process can lead to long-term success with an individuals treatment program.

24-Hour Care

Because withdrawal symptoms can be severe, it is advisable that individuals seek help from a program that has around the clock monitoring. Monitoring is done by a team of medical professionals who have extensive experience and training in detoxification. When the patient has completed the detox portion of the treatment program, they will be able to move on to their individualized plan of treatment.

Individual Treatment

An individual marijuana counseling plan should be developed for each person before they enter detox. With a specifically designed treatment plan individuals will have a better chance at success. When the individual has completed the detox phase of treatment, they can move on to rehab. Rehab allows the individual to heal physically, mentally, and spiritually.

6 ways to improve your blog’s design

Blogs can often be left out in the cold when it comes to design. A lot of us discount the need for intensive design when it comes to our blogs—whether for our companies, or ourselves.

But it is important that we realize every aspect of our identity online should be designed in a clean and intuitive way with whatever style you prefer.  This elusive aspect of web work is something we should constantly strive for…

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Reasons I did not renew with Inmotion Hosting

Just received a invoice payment chaser from Inmotion Hosting. Thought I would share with you why I am not using their service anymore:

We moved off your servers months ago due to having the service turned off randomly, god awful support, and when we complained to your quality assurance department they said that your service was just fine. Well it wasn’t, we’re not on you anymore, and we’re not recommending you to anyone anymore.

While realizing we’re a small fish for you we were much bigger having multiple hosting accounts, a dedicated server and two VPS servers. We used your services for years. All our hosting needs are now off your servers. We moved the dedicated server to Amazon and now have 8 servers with them so you should consider your appalling service has cost you circa ,000 per month plus any referrals we might have given you.

Turning off someone’s service is not acceptable, it costs money and hurts reputations. You might accuse people of abusing your service due to temporary load but turning off service makes me look bad in front of my bosses and I won’t stand for that.


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Alcohol Addiction Detox Is The 1st Step In Recovery

Symptoms of alcohol detox depend on the seriousness of the condition which will be the result of the time and about of the abuse. For a person who did not consume a lot of alcohol over a short period of time, withdrawal may be minor with only a lack of sleep and slight tremors as the side effects. For someone who has consumed alcohol regularly for years, the problems will be severe with harsh tremors, seizures and perhaps even delirium.

Damage Done By Alcohol

Someone with minor symptoms may not need to be placed in a hospital or rehab center. It is possible that their condition can be treated with medication within a home setting. Anyone with intense symptoms caused by the lack of alcohol should seek assistance in a residential facility or hospital. There may be underlying health problems that were caused to their heart, pancreas, stomach or nervous system. Damage from long-term alcohol abuse is usually very severe and requires professional medical attention.


The first symptoms that will appear when a person stops drinking will include a headache, anxiety, insomnia and vomiting. If these problems become intense, it is very important that the patient seek professional medical help from a physician specializing in alcohol detoxification. A person who stops drinking will usually become dehydrated as a result of frequent vomiting.

The Need For Residential Treatment

If sever symptoms are experienced, the alcoholic should seek entrance into a hospital or alcohol addiction treatment center because around-the-clock care is required to safely go through this process. In these facilities, supervision and assistance are provided on a twenty-four hour basis seven days a week.

The Choice To Stay At Home

Not every person who experiences dehydration from withdrawal requires admittance into a hospital. They may choose to be seen as an outpatient, which means they will need to be monitored daily by visiting a hospital or clinic on a regular basis. In the event medication is given to them as part of their treatment, the outpatient facility will monitor the patient to insure addiction to the medication is avoided.

In-Home Care

When an alcoholic wants to be treated at home, it is imperative they have a friend or family member stay with them at all times to supervise their withdrawal while they are going through alcohol detox. The caregiver will need to receive instructions from a physician regarding symptoms that would indicate the need for immediate medical assistance. Extensive education and planning must be part of the choice to experience withdrawal within a home setting.

Danger Signs

Tremors and delirium, two of the worst symptoms experienced by a recovering alcoholic, were spoken of earlier. If a person is recovering at home, the caretaker needs to recognize these signs and get medical attention immediately. Tests will be needed to check for any internal organ damage the alcohol may have caused.

My Obligatory Pinterest Post

It seems every blog feed I subscribe to has had a post or 2 on Pinterest in the last few weeks. I held off on doing a post for Get Elastic because I believed the marketing potential was limited to fashion, beauty and home/garden brands. But the more I read about how people and businesses are using Pinterest, the more I see broader impact.

Consider this my ‘pinboard’ of interesting things I’ve gleaned from the articles I’ve read…

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Our favorite tweets of the week Feb 20-Feb 26, 2012

Every week we tweet a lot of interesting stuff highlighting great content that we find on the web that can be of interest to web designers.

The best way to keep track of our tweets is simply to follow us on Twitter, however, in case you missed some here’s a quick and useful compilation of the best tweets that we sent out this past week.

Note that this is only a very small selection of the links that we tweeted about, so don’t miss out…

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SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 24, 2012

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Search In Pics: Life-Size Google+ Circles, Google Tinfoil Office & Church Signs

    In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more…

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Train Your Team: How to Support Your Social Media Outsourcing Service

href=""> class="alignright size-medium wp-image-6307" title="Learn & Lead" src="" alt="social media outsourcing strategy team" width="300" height="199" />Outsourcing training and strategy is a safe bet when you want to implement href="" target="_blank">social media marketing with your company. Rather than give the reins over to an outside resource, it’s a much better choice to stick with your in house team members and let them be guided by a social marketing expert.

Your in house team will need to be trained in not only the basics but the more advanced aspects of social media management. If you’re using multiple marketing platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for example), they will need to understand the strategy, approach and experience that your organization is looking to create.

Your team needs to be on track with the best practices of social media, your expectations and the latest trends. Working with a outsourcing service can help, but you’ll also need to train your team internally to stay in line strategy and procedures.

Define Your Expectations

You can stave off a lot of problems with outsourcing by clearly defining the expectations of your team from the start. Getting everyone on the same page can improve the efficiency of your outsourced manager and your internal team. The better your team is able to handle the tasks, the higher your href="" target="_blank">social media ROI.

Here are some of the key questions that you need to answer before you move forward with social media outsourcing:

• Who will be involved in the social media management?
/> • Which responsibilities will the outsourced expert handle and which responsibilities will be covered in house?
/> • Will automation be used and if so, what percentage of posts will be automated?
/> • Who will have final say on what is published and when?
/> • How will the team communicate?
/> • What benchmarks will be used to measure success and how will those benchmarks be obtained?

Defining expectations on both sides of the fence can prevent future misunderstandings and streamline the entire outsourcing process. A social media management professional will already have experience with defining roles and can help you determine how many team members you’ll need in house and what their duties will be.

Use a Social Media Tool that Allows for Collaboration

If several people will be handling social media management, it’s important that they all have access to the social accounts. A tool like href="" target="_blank">Hootsuite or href="" target="_blank">SproutSocial will let the entire team work together on the social updates, and will track effectiveness as well. Review your options and then choose a solution that makes sense for your company. Most professional outsourcing providers will have experience with these tools and be able to offer a recommendation.

Establish a Group Work Space

Team collaboration is essential to efficient outsourcing but you can only get so far with a series of emails. Create a group work space where any members of your team and the outsourced expert can work together. You can use a formal collaboration program like href="" target="_blank">BaseCamp or href="" target="_blank">DeskAway to manage projects, or something as simple as a shared Google Doc that includes posting schedules, logins and other important details. You could also set up a private Facebook group for team members to communicate. This will help everyone involved in the social media project stay on track.

Create Support Documents

In addition to ongoing communication and scheduling, you will need to have support documents that will help your team understand your goals and your company culture. When you outsource social media strategy, the consultant will help you define policies, create a template for updates and share documents that will help with the process. You can add to these documents to include internal rules for using social media. They will also

Meet Regularly

Your consultant needs to meet with your team regularly in order to touch base and stay on track. It will help internal team members get specific questions answered, and it will give your social media consultant an opportunity to share new tips and best practices. Brief weekly meetings are essential, but you should also schedule more in depth monthly or quarterly meetings to go over new trends and analyze results.

Plan for a Potential Crisis

If a href="" target="_blank">social media crisis hits, it’s important that your team acts quickly and efficiently. Your in-house team needs to be prepared with the right reaction and potential chain of events. Ask for assistance from your consultant, and be sure that a crisis plan is part of your internal documents in your project management system. This will allow your internal personnel to respond immediately and diffuse a potentially damaging situation.

Getting your team on board helps you make the most of href="" target="_blank">social media outsourcing. With your consultant’s help, you can create a streamlined in-house team that can boost your results with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or other social platforms.

id="author-bio-box"> alt='' src='' class='avatar avatar-80 photo' height='80' width='80' /> class="author-name"> Courtney Ramirez  ( href="">3 Posts)

Courtney Ramirez is a content marketing consultant and SEO Copywriter. As owner and head copywriter at Six Degrees Content she creates optimized web pages, blog posts and other online content pieces for companies in both B2B and B2C industries.

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