With dual-band wireless, the XDS delivers the best quality video virtually anywhere in your home.
Roku slowly replacing my DirecTV boxes
Pros: Easy to use, Built in Wi-Fi, Great value
Cons: Want more video choices
Best Uses: Kid room, Primary TV, Secondary TV
Describe Yourself: Technophile, Netflix fan, Early adopter
I have 2 Roku’s in the house now and have dumped two DirecTV boxes in my home. The ultimate goal is to drop my $100/mo satellite habit so if Roku can bridge the gap, especially for Gen X (me) and older, who probably have at least 1 in the house who “just want to sit down and watch stuff” without hassle or technology, we’ll get there. There’s still a “content gap” that’s not your fault, but your leadership CAN solve this. Keep rollin’
Ok. It might have been 5 minutes. No it’s not available in the App Store. But if you take a look at the BirdDog mobile App I created with WidgetBox.com you’ll have to be impressed. At the very least, this gives one an idea of how they’d like to see their “actual downloadable app built” right? You could point your developer team to a URL and say “build this”. That’s efficiency and it has given our team a way to explore what a mobile app would mean, what it would look and feel like, and whether we feel it’s necessary to take it to the next level. Oh, and you can either just put the URL into your phone to reach the app OR scan the auto-generated QR code. Nice.
FYI – They say clearly on their own site that SAFARI and CHROME are the only browsers where this emulator/mockup works. The app works fine on the phone itself but to play around w/this in real-time online and click the tabs, etc…use one of those 2 recommended browsers. FireFox just doesn’t work w/it online for now.
14 day trial is all yours at WidgetBox.com too. Enjoy
The NY Times today echoed something I’ve known in my gut for the last few years. In the piece “Weighing Costs, Companies Favor Temporary Help,” the author highlights the ongoing hesitation of companies to bring on full-time staff…and the group of workers embracing this new model. In fact,
companies have hired temporary workers in significant numbers. In November, they accounted for 80 percent of the 50,000 jobs added by private sector employers, according to the Labor Department.
Powerful stuff. Even more powerful is this quote about the realignment of thinking in Corporations.
Several factors could be contributing to the trend. Many businesses now tend to organize around short- to medium-term projects that can be doled out to temporary or contract workers.
Finally, here’s a quote by an outlpaced accounting staffer.
“I just think I’ve gotten very accustomed to working very fast and working with many different people,” Ms. Musto, 38, said. She said she had fully replaced the income she was making at the newspaper and buys private health insurance.
Let me summarize: Businesses and workers are realigning. They are both realizing that bloating up with staff in many departments and functions is what got them in trouble in the first place. Workers are accepting that jobs and employers aren’t a lifetime ticket to anything. Companies are realizing that working in agile shorter term chunks and projects with highly skilled (and often cloud based) resources brings new blood, new expertise, and results with far less risk.
This approach taken one step further means “Tapping the Cloud” for limitless temporary/project based resources around the globe to execute. This concept and how it drove my company from day one was the inspiration to write my book due out in January, “Tapping the Cloud: How to Identify, Hire, or Become a Multi-Thread Marketer” (testing new title).
With proper leadership in an agile firm, that firm can accomplish 3X more over the same period of time as a company using multiple external resource threads at 1/3 the cost. (I now formally claim this as Mitchell’s Maxim.)
I invite your commentary.
- Use Of Temporary Workers Becomes More Permanent (huffingtonpost.com)
- Freelance workers reshape companies and jobs (usatoday.com)
- Staffing Firms are the Second Most Utilized Method of Finding Top IT Talent, Finds TEKsystems (eon.businesswire.com)
- Why Do People Go Freelance? (businesspundit.com)
Many of you know that I did an Internet Business Podcast called Managing the Edge with Andy Brudtkuhl for over a year and for 30+ episodes. Life and business got very busy for Andy and I so we went on a hiatus. Last night I was poking around iTunes and found our show. There was a comment that is still ringing in my ears.
I like this podcast but there are no new episodes being delivered???
Andy and I have been plotting our come back including a format change in length, etc. to really drive a larger scale adoption. It’s so difficult to maintain a weekly podcast for 4 weeks let alone 48 or more. But the continuity of content, the continuous presence, the consistency is what will earn you traffic and results over the long term.
Life moves fast and anyone who knows Andy and I know that we haven’t been relaxing over this hiatus…quite the contrary in fact. I’ve sold a company and begun a new adventure. Andy is married now and deep into a few big projects.
But we’re firing back up very soon. We hope to begin before 2011 but please, if you don’t mind, please subscribe to Managing the Edge on iTunes and if you like our show, give it a review. We’ll ramp ourselves back up shortly and begin delivering the kind of material that got us named a Top 100 Small Business Technology Podcast.
I was humbled to be asked to present again at this year’s IES – Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit held at Drake University. With over 450 people in attendance, this year rocked again. Thanks to all and I hope we can come back next year and build in a half day workshop around the conference.
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve joined BirdDog (a part of the 14 year old Industry People Group, Inc.) as its Vice President of Marketing here in Urbandale, IA. BirdDog is a Candidate Acquisition & Management System for the Construction, Infrastructure, Engineering, and Facilities sectors. Watch the video below and check out the awesome animation work of Adam Beecher.
Many of you know that I’ve been spending most of my time there since June of this year in a full-time contract engagement. The early July announcement of my partnership with Andrew Clark (@thebrandchef) was the first phase of my transition to this new role.
The completion of BirdDog’s round of funding from Dewaay Investment Partners I, LLLP announced a few weeks ago meant that I could execute the next part of the plan which was fully handing over all operations and client relationships, and taking a more public role at BirdDog. That process is complete. I cannot express enough gratitude to all the passionate clients and freelancers who propped me up and helped me build a success story. Thank you.
Some of you may ask, why? Small business in multimedia and web strategy…growing client base and revenues…low overhead and a recovering economy…etc.
Well the decision didn’t come lightly…but I had a nagging voice in the back of my skull that kept craving “focus”. My body and brain were craving a nexus around which my efforts could orbit. After 3 years of cranking, a long term contract was the initial desire but the team here at BirdDog was such a great fit, the business plan was aggressive and well funded, that I couldn’t pass this up. I am truly getting to execute everything I did for 15 companies…inside one organization and toward one goal with a great team.
This team is aggressive like a 14 year old start-up and anyone who knows me knows that I thrive in that environment. I’d be lying if I said spending more time with my busier than ever family wasn’t on my mind too. The timing was right for me to simplify things and reacquaint myself with being there and not just “being there”.
We’re moving into a great new office at 2900 100th St. just up from Hickman this weekend and by Monday, my office will transform into a full blown multimedia studio as we ramp content production of all kinds. I welcome you to stop by and see what we’re up to on this new adventure. Thank you so much for your support and know that you’re in good hands with Andrew at createWOWmarketing. He’s absolutely the perfect partner to keep creating WOW in Central Iowa.
What about OperationRedState.com Doug?
OperationRedState has always been a passionate pursuit and will continue to be so. It has always co-existed with our other work and projects and it will continue to do so. I still have an excellent team of content ninjas and strategists that develop winning online campaign strategies.
I’m still speaking and would love to do more and I’m about 11,000 words into my new book “The Multi-Thread Marketer” and I anticipate its release in December/January time frame. This is my first full length business book and I find myself rising at ungodly early hours with chapters burning across my synapses. I can’t wait to get this into the market and see how it does. I will print a few copies for hand outs at engagements…but this will primarily be ebook driven on iBook/Amazon/etc.
Until we meet again in person or virtually, thank you.
Official Release Text:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelly Moore (for BirdDog)
BirdDog Adds VPs as Part of Re-branding Effort
DES MOINES, Iowa (October 26, 2010) – Niche talent acquisition and management company BirdDog has added two vice presidents to its team of associates. The hires are part of a strategic re-branding the company has launched to expand its employer client base in the construction, infrastructure, engineering and facilities markets.
Doug Mitchell has joined BirdDog as vice president of marketing. In 2007, Mitchell founded interactive marketing firm createWOWmedia, which delivered marketing strategy and execution services to Iowa companies. The company, now createWOWmarketing, continues under the ownership of Des Moines marketing professional Andrew Clark, a.k.a. The Brand Chef.
Hailing from California where he spent five years as vice president of marketing for a technology company, Mitchell authored the ebook, “Confessions of an Ex-Enterprise Salesperson: What I Really Meant When I Said _____,” and is currently writing “The Multi-Thread Marketer: How to Identify and Hire Marketing Leaders in the Hyper-Economy,” which is scheduled for a December 2010 release.
“Doug’s experience in driving demand and customer engagement through online media is precisely what this company needs,” said Marc Sampson, BirdDog’s founder and CEO, “Thanks to Doug’s expertise, BirdDog has already made a quantum leap forward in its marketing efforts.”
Now BirdDog’s vice president of business development, Scott Prohaska has worked closely with engineering, oil and gas, refining, petro-chemical and power plant customers throughout his career. A mechanical engineer, Prohaska spent more than 11 years with Emerson Electric where he held various positions, including hiring manager. In this position, Prohaska sourced, recruited, hired and managed engineers, sales specialists, mechanics and service technicians. As such, he is uniquely qualified to understand what is important to BirdDog employer clients.
Like Mitchell, Prohaska is a former business owner. Prior to joining BirdDog, he owned and operated L.R.S., a high performance parts and race chassis manufacturing company, as well as Magnum Fabrication, a manufacturing and service-based business.
Mitchell and Prohaska will work toward several goals that come as a result of BirdDog’s recent influx of funding, led by DeWaay Investment Partners I, LLLP. The pair will drive market and customer development, as well as execute an extensive interactive marketing campaign for BirdDog’s candidate acquisition and management system.
Founded in Des Moines in 1997 as Industry People Group, BirdDog hunts and retrieves specialized candidates then tracks and manages them through to the hire in the construction, infrastructure, facilities and engineering industries. The company powers niche job boards BirdDogJobs.com, MEPjobs.com, ASHRAEjobs.com, and AGCiajobs.com, connecting employers with jobseekers online. In addition, BirdDog offers a robust Web-based tool providing employers with simplified cross-posting and paperless management tools, reducing the time and investment required to bring top talent on board. For more information, visit birddogjobs.com or follow on Twitter @birddog_jobs.
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I just started playing around with Unbounce. The Unbounce solution is a fairly simple, hosted software for creating landing pages.
For many the concept of a landing page is somewhat foreign but for Internet Marketers it has been lifeblood for a long time. The big picture is that driving web visitors, whether paid or organic, to a page that has a simple call to action without many distractions or options to leave…drives more conversion, i.e. sign ups for email lists, product purchases, etc. Still with me?
Unbounce makes the landing page creation process into a wizard process with templates and simplifications for the code challenged (yours truly). They even make split testing or “A/B Testing” a snap so you can test alternate headlines and content. (Think parallel universe like Fringe)
I think it’s absolutely worth the trial if you’d like to play around and if you’re in the process of experimentation with paid ads, product tests, etc. online…you will love Unbounce.
But here’s the most amazing thing. I had a particular thing I was trying to accomplish, I emailed support about it, and shortly thereafter, my goal was achieved. They are very responsive and that matters! Unbounce has integration with MailChimp too so your leads will flow onto lists for later campaigns. Here’s one that I developed.
You will get either A or B version so if you see one with a video, that’s A. The concise text version with everything “above the fold” is version B. You’re welcome to convert and see how their follow up/confirmation page works too allowing you to deliver a link with a download, a coupon code, etc. Pretty slick stuff. Enjoy.
Last night I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs trying to start businesses or make their existing businesses better thanks to Renda Lutz at @ISEDVentures. It was a great night and I followed up after my friend @JoshFleming talked about branding.
As Josh was wrapping up, he talked about being memorable and said something more powerful than he realized.
“Two days after meeting with Doug…about a year ago…a personalized card showed up and I was blown away.”
One thing is for certain today: You will NOT go wrong reaching out and personally thanking someone for a meeting, taking time out of their day, connecting, or just saying hello with a personalized card.
Glad you remembered Josh.
When I took my first steps into shooting video on green screen in my basement I had NO idea what I was doing. I’d read articles, looked at pictures, and watched training videos…perhaps like you’re doing now.
After a lot of practice and mistakes, my old pal Paul and I figured out the “shadows were the enemy”.
Basically, any shadows on your green while shooting create a problem for your “key” that needs to be “fudged” with. Imagine this perfect situation: You are wearing a black body suit. You are against a perfectly lit green screen with no shadows. The software loves you. “Replace all green” and voila!
But most green screen lighting situations aren’t so great, especially when you’re working with “less than professional” equipment, subjects with many colors of clothes, etc. Here’s the deal.
- My light kit was $200 (2 floods with umbrellas + key light).
- My green screen is material from Walmart (about 4 yards then sew 2 pieces together) – one for the wall, one for the floor. Full body green screen takes that kind of arrangement because your feet must be on green as well.
Money is not the barrier here for most businesses.
So why bother shooting green screen at all?
Besides the obvious of using green screen to put whatever background you’d like behind you like your company logo, an animated loop that shows something interesting and high tech…Green screen enables you to have an “always on studio” with identical and perfect shooting conditions at all time that encourages more production/volume out of you. You MUST find a space that you can at least semi-dedicate to this practice and if all you have is a head and shoulders area…FINE! DO IT.
Now, many businesses and individuals will say they simply have no space for this. Fine. I get it. If there was a green screen studio nearby you that you could use for very little money to either 1) shoot on your own or 2) use somebody to shoot/edit for you but not have to pay for an hour of set up and tear down… would you use it?
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What do you think is the most valuable or critical skill today’s marketing professional MUST have?
Imagine that you’re creating the job description for your next marketing hire…and since most people don’t have ALL of these skills mastered…how would you rank them? Please take my survey if you don’t mind. Thanks a million!
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