Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Don't ask, and ye shall receive…

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Ask.com must be on a media-spending binge at the moment; it seems as if every time I start Firefox, the search box and address bar search defaults have been changed. Ask has been mucking around with my Google Chrome, as well!

I had to de-Askify Firefox this morning. The steps are below. Directions for Internet explorer and Google Chrome will be posted soon, too.

Firefox has two search appliances built into it; one as a search bar and one incorporated into the address bar.

Changing search bar search default

This is very simple. The search bar usually resides in the upper right-hand corner of your browser and is decorated with the current engine’s logo next to a drop-down arrow. Simply click on this arrow to see a list of the available engines and select the one you’d like. I, dutifully, selected Google…

Changing address bar search default

With FireFox you can search simply by typing your search terms where you see your current URL. As an FYI, this location is called the “address bar”. When this method is used, a configuration item called “keyword URL” is used (the URL used when keywords are typed in the URL line). To change this, you need to do a whee-bit of homework….

Getting keyword URL configuration item

  1. Go to your favorite search engine and search for something
  2. Copy the result URL line
  3. Place the “query” query string parameter at the end and delete the search terms
  4. Use this as your keyword URL configuration item

How-to example of this process using Google.com:

  1. Go to Google and search on “IMPACT Creative Solutionists
  2. Copy the resulting URL from the address bar: https://www.google.com/search?q=impact+creative+solutionists&ie=utf-8&…
  3. Remove extra “junk” leaving the important parts such as: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=impact+creative+solutionists
  4. Make sure the query (q=) is at the end of the string and delete the terms you search on leaving: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=; this is what you want to use for your “keyword URL

Changing “keyword URL” in Firefox

Now, the the string formed for the search engine of choice, we need to change the configuration parameter within Firefox.

  1. In the address bar, type “about.config”; if doing this for the first time, you have to promise you won’t be naughty and break anything… go ahead and be a deviant… let’s stick our fingers into the engine’s goo… ;)
  2. Enter “keyword.url” in the search filter
  3. Double click entry, opening a dialog box where you can edit the current value
  4. Enter the search engine string constructed in the last step, in this case it was “https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=

There you go, you’ve sanitized your search experience in Firefox. Enjoy.

20% off 13oz vinyl banners

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

As the door closes on the summer of 2012, we are looking forward to the fall and the holiday season. Now is the time to start planning for Halloween, Thanksgiving and, yes, even for Christmas marketing executions.

To celebrate the summer past, we are offering a 20% discount on our 13 oz., full-color banners. This discount applies to single or double-sided banners and includes heat welding edges and metal grommets every 2′.

Sale valid for orders placed by 4PM Monday, 9/10/12. Delivery charges separate.

Come get your banner on!  E-mail or call (859) 982-9772 for details.

Google Analytics – Site changes & the blog!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

This morning when I fired up my Google Analytics report, it was very different… I’m still digging through the updates, but thus far, I really like the new layout.

Some high-level changes I’ve noticed:

  • Easier cross-report access
  • Instead of reports existing as individual entities
  • Tighter integration with AdWords and inclusion of TV; interesting…
  • Different integration of Intelligence into the interface

It is going to take a lot of time to figure out all the implications and cool new features… and I’m anxious to discover every last one!

P.S., I also discovered the Analytics blog and the cool new feature of Analytics TV… I’m sure there will be many lunches spent watching and digging through this resource.

A whole new world of Twitter…

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Affective August 31st, Twitter changed the authentication mechanism by which applications interact with the service moving from stored authentication to a system known as OAuth.

For those not inclined to read the Wikipedia article on OAuth, in a nutshell, it stands for “Open Authorization”.

To date, Twitter has worked via stored passwords.  So, in the case of tools like TweetDeck and Seesmic or online services like 4Square, people’s username/password strings were stored at the application level.  This allowed those applications to authenticate with Twitter as that person.

Obviously, this creates limitations with respect to what can be done and creates the opportunity for major security issues if username/password lists are lost, compromised or misused.

OAuth is very different. With OAuth, you actually authenicate directly with the service (Twitter in this case) and then Twitter and the application share a key (essentially like an HTML cookie) for the duration of the “conversation” so that the particular application can behave on your behalf without ever knowing your username/password combination.

This change opens up the “always on” capability of Twitter and more “network-aware” capabilities similar to Digg… which, by the way, utilizes not only Facebook Connect but also the new Twitter interface and the Google OAuth interface as well.

It will be interesting, to say the least, to see what people come up with.

Don't know what to ask for? Ask your vendors!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

It is a common issue.

An organization has a need.  It is a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) whose product is obvious but whose pathway is fraught with complex pitfalls and executional details.  To further confound the issue, the organization lacks the specific expertise to generate the RFQ and solicitation of an RFI necessitates significant human resources and implies existing in-house expertise to evaluate, parse and reassemble the data into an effective RFQ…

So, how do you specifically instruct some one on what you want built when you don’t know how to build it or what you should even be considering in the construction?

The US Government came up with a quite elegant answer.  Ask the experts and Web 2.0 it…

For quite a while, the US Government has be leveraging FedBizOps.gov to post government contract opportunities and to procure everything from pretty pictures to F-16 parts.  Even with a great tool like this, the RFI process is still difficult and the RFQ process requires expertise that may not exist internally.  To solve this problem, they piloted http://betterbuy.fas.gsa.gov.  Better Buy is a MediaWiki site where vendors essentially create the RFQ solicitation collaboratively which is then priced by each of the individual participants.

Imagine this post to the Better Buy wiki:

“Create a multi-channel awareness campaign that communicates  Federal Government and BP Oil efforts to resolve the current leak and spill-related damage to the Louisiana shore line within a budget of 2 million dollars, monthly.”

While see issues with this methodology, I think it is a beautiful way to get your vendors to create a best-in-breed solution that they all understand and can bid on with minimal confusion or doubt as to the desired executions and program plans…

Hats off to you, GSA!  This is a very interesting pilot that I hope proves successful and moves into other areas of the GSA acquisition (like the AIMS Schedule 541 work). I think it will both streamline acquisitions and level the playing field for all vendors involved in the pursuit.

Velcro can save the world!

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I’ve written a few prior posts about the iPad. One that I particularly liked was about Andrew and Andrew and how they use the iPad as a wicked-cool extension of the DJ’ing system. It goes without stating that the iPad, in true Apple style, is a beautiful thing. The user interface and the platform as a whole will continue to evolve as new applications are developed and users continue refine what it “is” and what it is “good” for.

The consumer is always right and markets will develop that even the most savvy marketer would have never imagined.

All this is said as an intro to the video. It is one where low-tech meets high-tech. Bliss is merely an iPad and a few Velcro strips away…

So, drop us a line and let us know of unique applications on or of iPads and what your thoughts are on how this platform will change personal computing in the years to come.

Given enough time & good motivation…

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Just found this on Gizmodo

CRAZY stuff here!! These guys, put together an incredibly technical solution, leveraging an iPad, a laptop, wireless local networks, TouchOSC, Ableton, a python script from Mono, which allows them to wander around amongst the crowd while they DJ and rock out…

What I dig…  Their passion, creativity, personality and their pure pursuit of the cool which is driving the project.  Oh, and their mixing together of a handful of my favorite songs in a way that could “never be done with vinyl” was pretty impressive, too…

I can’t wait to see their demo of the “shake box”.  This functionality looks like it will add an even more tactile interaction and response to the whole setup.

Get to the 5 minute mark to hear the pretty cool mix they threw together using this crazy configuration…  The details are not for the faint of heart; sounds like they leveraged some of the best and brightest to make this magic work.

Oh, the tools made available to you when you’re a celebrity… or you have minimal responsibility and massive amounts of time on your hands.  So jealous… :)

Great work, Andrew & Andrew!

The Tough "Pad"…

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

With all of the hoppla surounding the iPad, this was a refreshing and light-hearted way to reinforce Blendtec’s “Will it blend” concept. Over and over again, this concepts proves to be a winner.

Two quick thoughts.

First, only 3 days after the release date, this video ALREADY has over 2 MILLION views.  That is massively impressive!

Second, with all of the things that Tom from Blendtec blends and all of the wonderful gases and dusts that he gets exposed to, is he going to be the next Tin Man 20 years from now?

Sorry for the Wizard of Oz throwback, but did you see all of the dust from the remains of that “tough pad”?

While I haven’t gotten my hands on an iPad, YET, I have been thinking a lot about the impact that iPads, gestures and more mobile computing can have on our clients’ businesses and have developed a lot of thoughts about how this is going to change/affect things going forward.  Stay tuned for more updates as I’ve got more uncanny and sometime unconventional thoughts about the core affects these have for us all.  For a more direct path to the information, I’ve set up an iPad tag within the blog so you can follow it, specifically.

Google Maps goes 3D

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Image of IMPACT's home offices in Bellevue, Kentucky in 3DGoogle Maps recently released the ability to view locations in anaglyphic 3D (the kind of 3D that utilizes red and blue, color separated, glasses).  When in street view, just click on the icon below the zoom factor to turn on the 3D display.

While this functionality is kinda cool, the value and quality of these 3D images is questionable.  From within Google Earth, there is a link to go from that platform, to Google Maps, and then down to the Street View functionality, but the anaglyphic 3D functionality, to date, has yet to be introduced into Google Earth.

We are looking forward to Google offering this stereoscopic functionality, real time, in Google Earth.  This could be a truly mind-bending addition to the Google Earth fly-by tours.

According to the Lat Long Blog, Cincinnati was 3D as of 1/15/2010.  However, we were unable to reproduce the 3D modeling within Google Earth today.

In any case, this is a pretty cool functionality which will only become more and more useful for everyday applications as it matures.  Hats off, as always, to Google for pushing the boundaries.

Other resources:

Check out these kicks…

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

It has taken us a bit, but we’ve finally gotten the first stab at our site uploaded.

Our new site leverages the latest release from the fine folks working on the CakePHP framework, a highly customized WordPress blog and it will soon incorporate some pretty cool features that leverage the Constant Contact API.

It is so cliche, but yet very true.  Even if you are the master in your field, it seems next to impossible to get your own assets created.  It just seems as though paying work and administrative duties, like most work, expand to take all available time.

Every time I work on a site, it amazes me the level of work necessary to do it well.  Unique page titles.  Relevant page descriptions.  Compelling copy.  Oh, and don’t forget the snazzy factor…  It takes a substantial amount of time to do right and leverage all of the best practices necessary to have a well functioning web site.

Actually, that is a small homework assignment for you. Do all of the pages in your web site have custom page titles that are unique, relevant and keyword rich?  Cruise through your site and kick the tires.  You might be surprised at what you find.

So, here is our first pass.  Check back frequently for updates to our site and to our blog.  We will frequently post updates concerning what we are doing for our clients and what we are thinking about the industry as a whole.  If you’re interested in actively keeping up with what is going on, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or link to us on Linkedin.  And, of course, if you dig it, you can hook up our RSS feed (http://www.with-impact.com/blog/feed/) on the dash board of your favorite aggregator…

As it turns out, we have a lot to say, and we just found our microphone…