Cast your vote in the Doodle 4 Google contest

If you're like me, you probably use Google a lot and don't always pay attention to the links on the home page. Yes, the changing designs of the name are neat to watch (like on holidays). It's the strength of the Google brand that allows them to be creative with the look and yet people still know what it represents. I don't always take time to see what's going on though.

GooglecontestTo get to my point - for some reason I clicked on this link recently and read about the Doodle 4 Google contest. The contest was open to K-12 students and the challenge was to play with the Google logo and come up with new designs. This year the theme was "What I Wish for the World" and open to U.S. kids.

Go ahead, take a break and see what the kids are thinking about. It's thought-provoking and their art is amazing. And best part is you still have time to cast your vote in the online public vote through May 18. The winning art will be showcased on May 21st.

Graphics and Communication: Boston Fans

An interesting example of visuals used to communicate . . .

AP Photo

Wordless Wednesday: Blending In

How about your business? Are you findable or blending in?

Goldfinch Hiding Behind Dandelion, originally uploaded by jpmatth.

Live Blogging: The Branding Imperative Workshop

Mikewagner I'm writing from The Branding Imperative workshop in Des Moines.  This morning  we had two sessions by Mike Wagner from White Rabbit Group

Mike is a dynamic speaker who lives and breathes the branding message. I have several pages of notes, many recommended books, and much to ponder about D.I.R.T.Y. branding. Don't know what that is? Check out Mike's blog, Own Your Brand.

If you're looking for a speaker, check out White Rabbit Group. It might be the boost your company needs. As businesses, we need to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace. What makes you special?

MarketingProfs: Book Club Group Review is Open

Opensign2a Hello. . .  Yoo Hoo. . . 

I'm off to join CK over at the MarketingProfs Book Club.  We're discussing Citizen Marketers.

You might even run into an author or two there.

You'll find lots of great info about how to log in and join in the conversation. And, to quote CK, "this  party rocks 24/7."

Won't you join the conversation?

See you there.

D.I.R.T.Y. minds

Dirty_1 Never thought I would be happy to see a title like this!

But Mark True at Stories by REL is starting a new series about people who understand branding. I'm honored that he picked me. Check out the link for the full post.

It's going to be fun to see who he writes about. I'm looking forward to reading this series.

I think you'll like this blog. They feature multiple authors who each write great stories about branding.

Is your brand D.I.R.T.Y.?

Business Basecamp: Dave Lakhani

BootcampI love the Internet - what a great resource for us all! Are you following the Business Basecamp 2006? Wow - there's a lot of information there. It's an hour - a sample - from 12 different speakers over a 12-day period. Maybe you will decide to buy a book, or subscribe to a program.

For me, it's food for thought. Since I'm in the process of establishing my own business, I like to hear about branding and the first two nights were just what I wanted to hear.

The big takeaway for me from Dave Lakhani, author of Persuasion: The Art of Getting What You Want, is "what do I want to be known for?"

That's what I've been focusing on. There's so many things I like to do - what are my strengths and what unique service can I bring to my customers?

What are your strengths?

Cobbler Wants Children to Have Shoes!

88990209_2f5adced9c It's kind of like the parable of cobbler's children with no shoes. I've been so busy with client blogs, that I didn't take time for my own.

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it's been a challenge to establish and maintain my own blog, much less make improvements. First I intended to make it "perfect" before launching. Then I decided that might take too long and was not realistic, so I started posting before completing the layout.

Last week I had discussions with fellow bloggers who said they don't pay much attention to the "about" pages. Then I ran into several people who wanted to know why I didn't have information posted on my "about" page. Since that's one of my favorite reads (because I like to know who is writing and what their background is), I decided it was time to take action. So, I'm happy to report that at least my "about page" is repaired and I'm working on more improvements.

The fact that I'm in good company gives me some comfort:

Have any of you had a similar problem and how did you resolve it? I want my kids to have shoes!

Photo on flickr by Tommok

Branding: Beggars' Night in Iowa

285307976_4a25ee8faa_1 I was reading and commenting on Michael Stelzner's Blog post about Halloween Marketing Lessons and started to continue the conversation when I realized that this was a post I wanted to write, and I have to get it out there today since it's time-sensitive.

We have what they call "Beggars' Night" in Des Moines, Iowa. This year it was Monday, Oct. 30 from 6-8 pm. We know when the "beggars" are coming around and can either put on the porch light and participate, or choose not to. The trick-or-treaters tell a joke before they get their treat. It's fun and a good way to catch up on jokes.

As I was reading Michael's comment, I remembered that traditions are not the same everywhere, so I looked ours up. According to this article in the Des Moines Register, Beggars' Night has been going on for 50 years.

Guess this is part of our brand. What is the Halloween tradition where you live? (doesn't have to be Halloween)

Photo on flickr by ohmomof1

Wallflower Mode

It's exciting to build a brand. My journey to self-employment has taken longer than some, with many twists and turns. I've tried a lot of different things, but this is one of the most fun.Pwfav

I've been neglecting writing on my blog and making all kinds of excuses from "too much work" until  today I decided that I had "nothing to contribute." Woe is me... guess I'm back to wallflower mode.

But what I have done is post on client blogs, read blogs and make improvements to my site. I'm a visual person so I wanted to add a favicon. But first I had to finish the artwork for my logo, and thanks to nudges from a friend, that is complete. A post at Kyle's Cove and Pajama Market helped with instructions for creating the favicon and it's working fine. Now I just have to figure out how to make it appear in feedreaders. If you have any hints, let me know!

Progress, not perfection.

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