Armadillo Studios Inc.

DCWEEK2010: 140 Conference

To conclude our time at DCWeek, Team Armadillo had the privilege of taking in the D.C. edition of the 140 Conference.

Started last year, by Jeff Pulver, the 140 Conference is a platform for the worldwide twitter community to come together and discuss the impact of Twitter, and to an extent the larger Social Connectivity of our culture. It’s a quick single day event, where speakers and panelists are give less than 20 minutes to cover their desired topic. The added bonus of last week’s event in Washington, was that it corresponded with Digital Capital Week.

The D.C. 140 Conference was filled with an impressive line-up of thinkers and speakers. To detail each talk would probably fill three or four blog posts. So for the sake of brevity, I am going to detail three of the most interesting talks from the day.

The Salty Campaign

One of the more interesting talks revolved around Eric Weaver, an Agency executive with Vancouver based DDB. In his talk, Eric described the success of the Salty Campaign for Knorr Sidekicks.

And while many people are familiar with the T.V. spots which infiltrated Canadian Networks last year, how many of you are familiar with the accompanying Social Media campaigns?

Probably not many of you, but the campaigns were a huge success. In conjunction with the T.V. commercial, DBB also launched campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. On one hand user were able to purchase Salty and Pepper shakers and once people received their shakers. they were encouraged to promote pictures of their Salty in everyday life on Twitter. The second part of this aspect of the campaign allowed users who befriended Salty on Twitter and Facebook access to two hilarious video clips to expand the Salty story.

Here is one of the extra videos below.

Eric spent his time talking about the success of the campaign, but one of the key points he made was – to have a successful campaign in this market, you have to have a corresponding relationship between Traditional Media and Social Media. Each tool has to compliment the other and it has to be geared to drive users towards the target campaign.

Sidenote: Eric, although not a full-fledged Canadian, was one of the three Canadians at the conference. Of course the other two Canadians were TEAM ARMADILLO!

Blake Hall & TroopSwap

Blake Hall is a one of the three founding members of TroopSwap, an online tool designed to help soldiers who are constantly moving and transferring. His talk revolved around the concept of Enterprise 2.0 and how it can help communication issues within the Military.

Hall talked about implementing Enterprise 2.0 concepts and the ideals behind shared social networks to help communications between forces in combat zones. Hall’s visions revolved around the use of a massive discussion board or a secure Twitter like client (similar to Yammer), where troops and commanding officers can safely pass on information in real-time to Platoon leaders. The goal of Hall’s vision is to ensure that information is available to all levels of a combat force in real-time.

Hall’s philosophy was that with so much collaboration and information being spread through these Social Networks, the concept of the Twitter and Enterprise 2.0 is something that could be leveraged to save lives in combat zones.

In a world where so much rhetoric is focused on brand development, ROI, and trends; Hall’s talk was an astonishing breath of fresh air.

The Browncoats: Redemption Project

One of the most interesting talks came from Mike Dougherty and Steven Fisher, who detailed their experience with leveraging the Twitter community to fund The Browncoats: Redemption.

The Browncoats: Redemption is a new film based in the Joss Whedon developed universe of Serenity and Firefly. But unlike the short-lived show Firefly and the movie Serenity, Browncoats is a completely fan-funded continuation of the mythos. It is the brain child of Mike and Steven and during the 140 conference, the two discussed the project and how they have used Twitter and Facebook to spread the word to the ravenous Firefly community to help fund their vision.

The 140 Conference

The 140 conference was an exceptional day of thoughts and discussion. As mentioned, I could go on about each of the 50 speakers, but it would probably be a bit of an overload of information.

If you do get a chance to attend a 140 Conference, please to take advantage of the opportunity. You won’t regret it.

DCWEEK2010: Media 2.0 Day & The Probono Lounger

For the past two days, Team Armadillo has venture into the heart of D.C. for two separate Digital Capital Week Events.

Media 2.0

On Tuesday, Armadillo descended on to the headquarters of National Geographic for a full day discussion on Media and it’s role in the Web 2.0 World. With a heavy hitting list of speakers from NPR, USAToday, National Geographic and the Pew Institute it was a wonderful day chalk-full of information.

Some of the most interesting tid-bits of information from the day came from the round table discussion in the morning on Social and Traditional Media.

Yes, this topic has been dissected ad nauseam at many other conferences and events, but this panel provided some interesting insight into the evolution of Social Media by some of the giants of Traditional Media. From the NPR’s usage of crowd-sourcing to provide geo-locational information in advance of Hurricane Gustov to The National Geographic’s implementation of a powerful members site to allow a more immersible social experience with their product, it was a refreshing site to hear the supposed dinosaurs of traditional media embracing and championing Social Media.

But one of the most interesting concepts came from USAToday’s Brian Dresher who revealed a new spin on a frequently discussed topic – ROIII – Return on Interaction, Influence and Investment.

This concept is one of the key factors that USAToday leverages to analyze and evaluate their implementation of Social Media. It essentially expands upon the typical monetary value placed on Social Media and instead looks at how much interaction and influence USAToday is able to grow with the latest upcoming technology.

Probono Consulting Lounger

On Wednesday, Armadillo Studios had the pleasure of partaking in a special DCweek event called – The Probono Lounge.

Essentially, this 4 hour brainstorming/work session was designed to pair Designers, Strategists and Developers with local D.C. area non-profits and help them tweak their online presence.

Armadillo Studios was lucky to team up with an excellent group of WordPress specialists and developers to help two local organizations – DC Food For All and Bread For The City. And while some technical difficulties limited everyone’s ability to really pour into the code, the event was a great success with the seeds of future collaboration planted.

Up Next…

Thursday is another big day at DCWeek with the ever popular 140 Conference set to take place.

DCWEEK2010: Armadillo Invades Digital Capital Week

From June 11th until the early morning of June 20th entrepreneurs, designers, social media enthusiasts and techies from all over the D.C. region are descending on the American Capital for Digital Capital Week.

And Armadillo Studios will be there.

DC’s Digital Capital Week is ten-days of New Media goodness. The event is attracting attention from developers, designers, media thinkers, and NGO’s alike. There are a variety of events planned for the week and Armadillo Studios will be in there full force. If you happen to be attending Media 2.0 day, Social Media & Gov Day, the 140confrence or even the closing party, keep and eye out for us.

But more importantly, Armadillo Studios will be partaking in the always popular ProBono Lounge on Wednesday June 16th. The ProBono lounge teams designers, developers and strategists with local nonprofits and government organizations for an afternoon of collaboration. Because of which we will be providing our expertise and advice for a couple of local non-profits to help fine-tune their online strategies.

So if you are in the D.C. area for Digital Capital week and happen to see Team Armadillo at one of these events, don’t be afraid. Drop by and say hello. We’d love to meet you.

Facebook Fan Page Fan-tastic

It is with great pleasure that Armadillo Studios announces our new Facebook Fan Page.

As you can see our new Facebook Fan Page is a fully customized site, which aims to show the playful side of Armadillo Studios and to also demonstrate the potential power of the Facebook Fan Page. We built all the elements of the Armadillo Studios landing page using FBML (Facebook Meta Language), a new cannon of design code which allows page owners to dramatically enhance the Facebook experience for their fans.

But Why Launch a Fan Page Now?

Some of you may be asking, why is a Web Design and Social Media outfit only jumping on the Facebook Fan Page bandwagon now?

To answer that, let’s look quickly at the Facebook platform.

When Facebook first started gaining some traction with the college crowd, it created a unique subsection for people to organize called Groups. As everyone now knows, Groups allow up to 5,000 users to band together to show their admiration for a wealth of topics. But the major flaw, with Groups, is that it was quite difficult to connect with your followers. Without a constant level of interaction between groups and their followers, most groups faded into the distance.

Now fast forward to the beginning of 2009 and Facebook is set to launch a new system called Fan Pages.

Fan Pages are Group pages on steroids – no limits on membership, the ability to post new content directly into your fan’s activity stream and the ability to customize the layout. When they first launched many organizations made the switch instantaneously, but one of the hidden elements of the new customizable elements was the ability to create new pages using FBML (Facebook Meta Language).

In recent months, FMBL has undergone a series of dramatic enhancements to the point where those who are familiar with the language, can now utilize this new tool to fully customize the Fan Page experience.

FMBL and The Future of Fan Pages

It’s because of the evolution of FBML that we felt it was time to create a new identity for the company on Facebook.

With FBML, organizations can now build a unique identity on Facebook which is akin to their own goals – something that will standout from the competition. These tools now allow users to create their own mini-web sites within Facebook. And with the unprecedented growth of Facebook in certain demographics, it is now more important than ever to make a great first impression.

Because of these developments, we believe that Facebook Fan Pages are going to be a powerful new tool for companies and community organizations. And while we think our own page is pretty darn fan-tastic, here are some examples of what can be done with Facebook Fan Pages:

So don’t just take our word on it, some of the biggest players in the internet industry are already taking note.

Fan Pages & Your Company

The beauty of Facebook fan pages is that they can built for a fraction of the cost of a regular web site and they also allow you a direct connection to your fans (via streaming your updates directly in to your fan’s stream). So if you like what you see with our own Facebook Fan Page, send us a note at info@armadillostudios.ca.

If you get in contact with us to develop a Fan Page by July 15th, we’ll give you an introductory discount of 20% on our development rate.