BlueFur Customer of the Week: Radical Seed Interactive

Published on Oct 31, 2010   //  BlueFur Customer of the Week

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that’s why graphic design has become an increasingly important industry. A great logo can capture your interest and a well-laid out ad is much more effective than a cluttered and confused one.

Aiming to provide you with the best possible creative services is Radical Seed Interactive. The firm was founded in Kelowna in 2003, but it was quickly moved to Vancouver “to take our piece of the graphic design pie. It’s a good thing we love pie!”

It’s great to see that sense of humor when it comes to the creative arts. Radical Seed consists of two artists: Tyler Williamson and Michael Lewicki. Among their graphic design services are posters, flyers, business cards, and stationery. Beyond graphic design, Tyler and Michael will also gladly work with you on logo design, multimedia production, cartooning, character design, and animation.

Do you use BlueFur to host your websites? Let us know and we can feature you in a future blog post. Send an email message to blogfeature@bluefur.com with your name, website URL, and a brief description of what you’d like to see highlighted.

Showcase Saturday: Travelofe Theme

Published on Oct 30, 2010   //  Showcase Saturday

Are you thinking about starting a travel site of some kind? Maybe you want a blog to document your own journeys or perhaps you want to set it up as a way of reviewing different destinations. Whatever the case, the Travelofe WordPress theme could be a good fit.

It features a relatively simple two-column design, but it has a very travel-oriented background image to provide a suitable backdrop to your quality content. You should be able to change this image to suit your specific needs, but the graphic already looks quite good. The logo and font are included in the theme as well.

The theme comes completely sidebar widget ready, it has been XHTML + CSS validated, and it is tested as working properly in a wide range of browsers. The include search bar sidebar widget is quite attractive as well.

Head on over to US Vacation Cabin Rental for more information, a live demo, and the free download link.

In the Sphere: Guard Cats and Movie Trailers

Published on Oct 29, 2010   //  In the Sphere

What’s new in the blogosphere? Let’s see what discussions are afoot.

RT Cunningham shares a unique story with us. He doesn’t have a guard dog, but he appears to have a guard cat. Strangely enough, the cat does not belong to him; instead, it’s more appropriate to say RT belongs to the neighborhood feline.

Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar offers some sound advice for people looking to save this upcoming holiday season. Instead of buying expensive commercial presents, consider giving home-made meals in jars instead. They add a very personal touch to the exchange and they look great too!

Joseph Planta of The Commentary recently took the time to interview Bob Blumer and the entire conversation is available for download in MP3 format. Blumer is perhaps best known for his Food Network shows, like The Surreal Gourmet. He has a new book with plenty of great recipes, stories, and “surreal etiquette.”

Justine Ezarik is perhaps best known on the Internet simply as iJustine. She has no qualms about saying that she is a huge fan of Apple, so it’s understandable that she loves the new trailer feature in iMovie 11. She loves it so much that she quickly put together a movie trailer of her own and it’s already garnering kudos from Obama and Jobs.

Eric Carpenter clears up a little confusion over the term professional pastor. This term can stir up some controversy, but Eric feels that if a pastor is being paid a salary for his pastoral duties, he is a professional pastor. It’s not meant to be offensive; it’s just a fact.

Marketing 101: Facebook and Social RSS

Published on Oct 28, 2010   //  Marketing Tips

By now, you’ve surely considered the possibility of marketing your company through social media outlets like Facebook. Perhaps you’ve already taken the step of creating a Facebook page for your business and you’re actively going out trying to encourage people to click the “like” button. You may also have a company blog (or something similar) that you’d like to cross-promote on Facebook.

One of the more interesting tools available for this purpose is called Social RSS. There are both free and paid “premium” versions of this Facebook application, but many small businesses will find enough functionality in the free version. In effect, the application will take any RSS feed and syndicate through the Facebook page of your choosing. In fact, it can accept multiple RSS feeds and syndicate them all.

You can choose whether the syndicated items remain in their own tab on the Facebook page or if they are pushed the page’s wall as well. There is also an option to “auto-like” the posts, though that may not be a completely good idea. You can see this application in action on the Beyond the Rhetoric Facebook page. That was set up for Michael Kwan’s blog of the same name.

With the free version, syndicated content can be supplemented with links to read more stories, get more feeds, subscribe to stories from that page, and visit the fan page. With the paid version, you can metrics and other premium features. Look for Social RSS on Facebook and consider implementing it on your company page.

WordPress Wednesday: MultiTags Plugin

Published on Oct 27, 2010   //  WordPress

The tags that you attach to your blog posts are a great way for readers to look for other relevant content on your site. They can be more powerful than the post categories you assign, but how do you go about reconciling multiple tags?

WordPress automatically generates a page for all the posts that have been assigned the same post tag, but what if a reader wants to look up posts that have two or more tags? That’s where the MultiTags plugin can come in handy. In effect, it allows for dynamic combinations of multiple tags.

For instance, let’s say that a reader is interested in Vancouver sushi restaurants. He would then be interested in both the “Vancouver” and the “sushi” tags that you may have assigned, but not necessarily all the “Vancouver” content, nor all the “sushi” content. He’d only want posts that have both.

With this plugin, that search critieria is possible. For more information, check out WP MultiTags on Vogel-Nest.de. The download link is there as well.

Business 101: Google Docs for Collaboration

Published on Oct 26, 2010   //  Business Topics

What do you do when multiple people need access to the same document? You could e-mail the file back and forth with CCs going to everyone involved, but that can get very messy very quickly. A suitable alternative could be Google Documents.

It doesn’t offer much when it comes to version control, but it could be a great way to share a “living” document among collaborators. For instance, multiple authors working on the same e-book can work on the same document so that they can check on one another’s progress.

Another possible application is for time-tabling. Creating a spreadsheet in Google Documents, the file can be shared with all employees to see the different schedules. This way, if shifts need to be swapped, it is easy to see who is and is not available. It’s up to the administrator whether employees have only “view” access or if they can edit as well.

The great thing about Google Documents is that it is absolutely free and anyone with a Gmail account already has access. Further still, contributors don’t even need a Google account; they just have to keep the special access link that would be contained within the invitation e-mail message.

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