Armadillo Studios Inc.

Armadillo’s Visit to Coworkyyc

Earlier in January, I had the wonderful pleasure to finally go and visit Calgary’s only Coworking Office – “CoWorkyyc”:http://www.coworkyyc.com/.

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For those unfamiliar with the concept of Coworking, it is essentially a shared office environment which individuals (or small businesses) can rent out in monthly or daily rates. It’s a collective place which allows small businesses and individuals to move away from the isolating confides of their living rooms to a shared space with like minded individuals. The concept is not new by any stretch of the imagination, but it is becoming quite a “popular trend for consultants, freelancers and up and coming tech companies”:http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/employees/article.jsp?content=20100426_10026_10026.

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As mentioned, after numerous failed attempts, I finally got the opportunity to visit CoWorkyyc in the heart of Inglewood’s growing design and technology centre. Two of three owners, Quienton and Jeff, were my hosts for the day and showed me around the operation. After talking with them for much of the day and spending a very productive day of work, I was throughly impressed. I have been a major supporter of the project since I heard about it’s inception, but had never had the chance to check it out.

Luckily everything lived up to it’s billing and more.

The CoWorkycc office is a warm and inviting space with a bevy of open desks near the front. Near the back a selection of more private spaces for some of the more long term tenants are available. Nestled in a corner at the at the front is a comfortable round-table, which is perfect for that all important client meeting or conference call. At the very back of the space is a kitchen containing the critical coffee machine and a private shower, for those looking to bike to the office. And last but not least, a trip to CoWorkyyc wouldn’t be the same with out admiring the fantastic paint job which adorns the brickwalls. _You may need to ask Quienton and Jeff, about that portion of the tour_.

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Anyways, if you haven’t had the opportunity to check out CoWorkyyc or just looking to find a productive work space, please do get in touch “Jeff and the rest of the team”:http://www.coworkyyc.com/start/, you definitely won’t regret it.

The yycApps Projects Gets Some Exposure

It’s been quite the week here at Armadillo Studios, as our beloved pet project – “yycApps.com”:http://www.yycapps.com received an incredible amount of local exposure over the past 7 days.

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It all started about a week ago with a six minute interview on CBC Calgary’s the Homestrech with David Grey. We had a great conversation on the blossoming community in Calgary and I was able to feature some great local apps. (“click here to hear the full interview”:http://www.cbc.ca/homestretch/episode/2011/01/04/apps/)

Next, yycapps had a feature segment on last night’s edition of GlobalTV’s 6:00pm news. In which, we briefly talked with Tony Tighe about the project and also showcased our friends from TapForms and also Broken Kings. (See the segment below and fast forward to the 23:55 mark)

It’s been an exciting week for the yycapps project and we look forward to seeing how the project continues to grow.

The Canadian Legacy Project Launches with Two Great Events

Earlier this month we teamed up with members of the Howard family and “The Event Group”:http://www.theeventgroup.ca to launch the new online home of the “Canadian Legacy Project”:http://www.canadianlegacy.org.

The Canadian Legacy Project is a new non-profit foundation dedicated to _improving the lives of disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans and mobilize collective action in celebrating the legacy_.

The Canadian Legacy Project is in it’s first year of existence and is already working to help local Calgarians with the “Seniors Day Out this past September”:http://www.canadianlegacy.org/seniors-day-out and also “the 4th annual Veterans Food Drive”:http://www.canadianlegacy.org/events which will take place in November.

To help establish the foundation and build a strong following, we went about designing a unique identity for the web site. One that would invoke a sense of pride and honored tradition. As the main portal for information regarding the foundation, we wanted to create an engaging layout while also making it easy to navigate. We also utilized large colourful buttons to draw the users attention to some of the more important aspects of the site – such as the volunteer, donate and event pages.

We also established a soft and professional colour palette, with a combination of light greys and steel blue. We also created a unique maple leaf medallion logo for the Project as a way to reinforce the project’s commitment to Canadian Veterans, Seniors and our cherished past of servitude.

We are extremely excited to be working with the Canadian Legacy and to help them achieve their online goals. We look forward to seeing the foundation grow over the next months and to see the uplifting change that they plan to bring to our community.

_Sidenote: In November The Canadian Legacy Project will be working with Crown Surplus on the fourth annual Veterans Food Drive. Please check into the site over the next couple of weeks as the foundation begins providing more detailed information regarding the drive_.

Louie Van Amstel’s Ballroom With A Twist Launches

Armadillo Studios is incredibly excited to announce the launch of our latest project – The Canadian tour site for “Dancing with the Stars’ Louie Van Amstel’s production of Ballroom with a Twist”:http://www.ballroomwithatwist.com.

In conjunction with Calgary’s “Event Group”:http://www.eventgroup.ca and “Innovative Events”:http://www.innovativeevents.ca/, we set out to create a unique and exciting one-stop informational site for the upcoming 2010 Canadian tour. Building off the current excitement surrounding ballroom and professional dancing, we wanted to create a design aesthetic which encompasses the passion that Louie Van Amstel brings to all of his projects. Using a combination of bold pastel colors and a variant of glowing light streams, we created a vibrant mosaic to create a sense of excitement.

As a single page site, our next goal was to utilize as much of the screen real-estate as possible to provide users with the maximum amount of information. A dual column layout provides potential concert goers with a simple introduction to Louis Van Amstel’s production with an accompanying list of the 10 Canadian dates.

Then we created three secondary sections to promote the show’s star performers – Evan Lysacek and David Hernandez – while also allowing users to sign-up for email notifications on advanced ticket sales or to share the tour with their facebook friends.

Louise Van Amstel’s Ballroom with a Twist Canadian tour is set to launch this October and we are more than excited to be a part of this unique experience.

So, if you’re a fan of Dancing with the Stars or Louise Van Amstel, now’s your chance “to see both in a city near you”:http://www.ballroomwithatwist.com.

Taylor Made Events Catering Launches For The 2010 Stampede

A few days before the 2010 Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Karjsa Taylor of “Taylor Made Events Catering”:http://www.taylormade-events.com came to Armadillo Studios with a small conundrum. She was showcasing her new catering talents at “The ATCO Kitchen Theatre”:http://cs.calgarystampede.com/planner/event/149-taylor-made-events-catering-ftkajsa-taylor.html and needed a quick online presence to connect with potential online customers.

So cue Team Armadillo to help a new friend in need.

Within such a quick turn around time, Armadillo Studios went about creating a unique and professional branding concept for Karjsa, while developing a simple and informational splash page to promote her unique catering services. Using a soft red, rosa and brown colour palette we developed a branding for TMEC which would appeal directly to her target market. We also leveraged a couple of interesting photos of her exquisite Lamb Burgers and Karjsa herself, to connect potential customers to the catering services.

After a successful Stampede Showcase, we wish Karjsa and Taylor Made Events Catering all the best during the busy summer BBQ season.

SXSW10: Armadillo Studios At SXSW’10

Has it really already been a year?

Sure doesn’t feel like it has, but once again *Armadillo Studios* is heading down to Austin, Texas for the “SXSW Interactive Festival”:http://www.sxsw.com.

That’s right another five days of beautiful spring Texas weather, far too much salsa and *the latest trends in the Web and Social Media Industry*. But this time there’s a twist. Armadillo is not just a spectator, but an actual participant. Yes, Armadillo will be apart of the “Leave Your Job, Start An Agency”:http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/3303 core conversation with our good friends from “Stale Life Inc.”:http://www.stalelife.com/ and “Bitfyre”:http://www.bitfyre.net/. It’s happening on “March 14th, at 11:00am at the Hilton E room”:http://eventful.com/events/leave-your-job-start-agency-sxsw-/E0-001-028441777-1, if you happen to be at SXSW make sure you swing by to say hello.

As all always, Armadillo will be blogging and “tweeting”http://www.twitter.com/armadillostudio the entire conference. If you’re in Austin or just on hanging online all day make sure you follow along with all the fun.

Calgary Social Media:Free Social Media Advice for Local Politicians

News of “Bronco Dave’s decision to not run in the next round of civic elections”:http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/After+nine+years+helm+Mayor+Dave+Bronconnier+decides+again/2605297/story.html has sent a bit of a political shockwave through the circles of political pundits and social media networks in our fair city.

While this buzz grows, plans will be formed and serious candidates will start to come out of the woodwork. So as they do, they will inevitably turn to the growing local Social Media communities to get their voice heard. So in anticipation of that, your friendly friends at Armadillo have some *free advice on how to best get your message heard and better yet, not have it backfire*.

Join Twitter And Learn The Vocabulary

First and foremost, join “Twitter”:http://www.twitter.com and set-up a clear and interactive “Facebook page”:http://www.facebook.com. We have an “intro on Twitter for the Calgary Market”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/twitter-for-the-calgary-market that has some nice advice.

Second, covet and understand the hashtags of Twitter. The “yyc hash tag”:http://twitter.com/#search?q=yyc has grown into an unstoppable beast that many Calgarians use for a variety of information. While this aspect of the Twitter lexicon is invaluable be sure you don’t abuse it, as it can quickly turn on you. Using the _yyc tag_ is a great way to reach many Calgairans, but if you start overloading the stream of information, it may tarnish your image. *So don’t SPAM! Be engaging in the community*.

Even better start using the “yyccc hash tag”:http://twitter.com/#search?q=yyccc (yyc City Council). Many users who follow city council have adopted it and it would be best to broadcast your message through that channel rather than through _yyc_. People who are interested and invested in City Council spend much of their time following this hash tag. *They are the people you want to reach*.

Casual voters also follow it too, so seeing an involved presence in that area of the Calgary Twitter community will be a good first step.

Interact, Don’t Broadcast

It might seem simple, but you need to interact with the online communities in the City. *Don’t just broadcast your message, as it may quickly comeback to haunt you*.

Facebook and Twitter are engaging tools; in the months leading up to October people will have many questions and concerns. They will be looking for your ideas. You will need to be able to answer them through these networks. Social networks, especially Twitter, have levelled the communications playing field for everyone. Citizens are now able to directly and publicly connect with your campaign. There could be a discussion brewing about your platform that you might not even know about, so it’s best to get involved and get involved early.

Know Your Audience

Nobody likes to admit this, but there is a unwritten hierarchy within these social media circles that you may not get a chance to learn about before you dive in. Treat all responders with respect and try not to air your dirty grievances in public. You may involuntarily aggravate a local political maven, who has more clout and influence within the local community than you think. So be careful in how you engage on these sites. *Treat everyone with respect and dignity*.

Don’t Use Foursquare

Although, it would be incredibly cheeky and witty, declaring yourself Mayor of City hall on “Foursquare”:http://www.foursquare.com before November rolls around, is probably going to look bad on you.

Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to scare you off of using these Networks. In all honestly, this is an exciting time for municipal politics and these growing social media networks have the power to make these elections the most interactive and exciting elections we’ve seen in a long time. We just want to give you some free advice, as we’ve seen “companies miss opportunities”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/a-tale-of-two-bars before and we’d hate to see a great candidate get sandbagged by a small slip up.

So to all those would be city councilors and mayors, best of luck in October 2010.