Armadillo Studios Inc.

The Redesign of Mike’s Bloggity Blog

It’s with great pleasure that we get to announce our latest project, the redesign of “Mike’s Bloggity Blog”:http://www.mikesbloggityblog.com.

For those unfamiliar with this popular site, Mike’s Bloggity Blog is one of Canada’s most visited entertainment blogs. Consecutively rated as the best entertainment blog in Canada for the past three years, Mike is a witty and persistent blogger with over two and half thousands post of valuable entertainment goodness.

He covers all aspects of the Canadian Entertainment realm, from the latest news on CBC’s smash hit _Being Erica_ to the latest in Canadian Films to the Junos. Mike’s Bloggity Blog is slowly becoming the go to place for everything related to the Canadian Entertainment industry.

Mike approached us earlier this year with a goal to take his *Blogger* hosted site to the next level. He wanted to roll out a unique and professional design, but to also keep the lighthearted aesthetic of the original site.

So, we set about designing a new layout which would push Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the next step. We created a new colour scheme which also leveraged a bright new header, but also incorporated Mike’s trademark Wordle logo. We upgraded the sidebar to make it easier for users to connect with Mike’s Bloggity Blog through other social media networks like _Twitter_, _Google Friends_, _TweetMeme_ and his own _YouTube Channel_.

We also equipped Mike’s Bloggity Blog with a fabulous new fat footer, which enhances the user experience by allowing for easier navigation and allowing users to discover some of Mike’s other writing gigs.

The biggest challenge for this project was the transition from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress web site. But after some data wrangling, an unexpected downtime with a web hosting provider and some very useful WordPress plug-ins; we were able to transition all 2,500 posts from the original Mike’s Bloggity Blog to the new site, without any damage to the existing Search Engine results.

So with that we are happy to announce the new redesign for Mike and wish him all the best in his quest to conquer the _Canadian Entertainment Industry_!

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.

Welcoming RNBC To The Armadillo Family

2010 is gearing up to be an exciting year for Armadillo Studios.

We are already into the second month of twenty-ten and we’ve launched three new web sites, with even more projects on the docket. The second of these new web sites is the new home of the “The Resource Network Breakfast Club of Calgary”:http://www.rnbccalgary.com.

Dating back to 1989, the Resource Network Breakfast Club has been formally meeting every Friday morning as a vehicle for local businesses to share connections and potential clients. This is the group’s first major foray into the web and into the realm of social media and we were more than happy to lend a hand. With that in mind, we set about building an online identity that reflected the club’s main goal of building connections.

We built a simple and easy to navigate web site, with a design that leverages soft colours and the iconic image of the blank business card; a design concept that represents the potential connections available for businesses joining the group’s illustrious roster.

By utilizing the WordPRess CMS we were able to incorporate a new posting system for the group. RNBC can now update potential members on the club’s latest events or the new category of businesses they are looking to add to their roster. We also incorporated an easy to navigate business directory, which showcases the diverse group of companies associated with the group. We also leveraged our experience with integrating Social Media networks directly into our sites, by “incorporating their new Twitter account”:http://www.twitter.com/rnbcbreakfast into the body of the web site.

We are very pleased to have worked with RNBC over the past little while to help them promote their breakfast club. And we welcome them to the family of Armadillo web sites.

The Revamped U of A Ski Club

_Ah! University. Sweet, sweet memories of University_.

The Armadillo Team have some fine memories of our days in University and our time with the University of Calgary’s Ski Club. Many of these memories are fairly blurry, but they are rather fond one.

So when the U of Calgary’s sister club, The “University of Alberta’s Ski Club”:http://www.uofaskiclub.ca, came to Armadillo Studios with a predicament we were more than happy to help. (Plus, “we’d already gave their southern cousins a little bit of a makeover earlier this year”:http://www.uofcskiclub.com/)

First and foremost, the new “U of A Ski Club Web Site”:http://www.uofaskiclub.ca is not an original Armadillo design; rather we’ve dramatically upgraded the structure and the skeleton of what they were left with.

The U of A Ski Club had a web site built by a third party, but was never given the information on how to update it or maintain it. Instead they were left with a static web site with no real CMS and no way of communicating with their beloved membership. This is unfortunately a common predicament in our industry and many clients in this situation approach us. So in came Armadillo to save the day.

Using the key elements of the original design to the site’s keep continuity, we rebuilt the web site using the WordPress Management system and even incorporated a few key design elements that were missing from the original site. Including links to Social Media elements, ShareThis Functionality, a Contact Us form and even a large beefy footer for simple navigation.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be working with the U of A to further improve their web site and improve their web site’s usability. But more importantly, we hope the new site will help them get more involved with the student body and creating more fond memories for others.

The GetDown.ca Campaign

In early July, Armadillo Studios was approached by the Calgary Downtown Association, in conjunction with Tag Advertising, to help jump-start the online campaign for the new “Getdown.ca web site”:http://www.getdown.ca.

The goal of the Getdown.ca project is to help create a new web site that would inform Calgarians of the great events going on Downtown. Our roll in the project was to help develop and guide a social media strategy for the newly launched site. Through a combination of on-site training and hands on work, Armadillo Studios worked tirelessly to help kick start Getdown.ca into a viable element of the Calgary online community.

We enlisted the help of some of Calgary’s up and coming writers as well as active and influential members of the “yycTwitter Community”:http://twitter.com/#search?q=yyc to populate the new site with great content. We also provided customized social media training sessions for the Downtown Calgary team and applied an organic growth strategy for the Twitter campaign. In addition, we tailored Downtown Calgary’s “Twitter”:http://twitter.com/downtowncalgary and “Facebook Fan”:http://www.facebook.com/downtowncalgary pages based on Xpan’s & Tag’s elegant web site design.

During our tenure, the Getdown.ca project has grown by leaps and bounds. Since handing the project to Downtown Calgary earlier this month, GetDown.ca continues to grow. We’re pretty proud of the work we did with Downtown Calgary and here are some of the simple stats for the project.

* The Downtown Calgary Facebook Fan page has broken the ever-so popular 100 fan check point. The page continues to evolve as Downtown Calgary begins to utilize different elements of Facebook’s Fan pages to improve communication with the Calgary community.
* The Getdown.ca blog has published over 60+ posts about the Downtown area. Covering everything from Downtown’s own “Stylocity week”:http://getdown.ca/2009/09/11/stylocity-hit-the-streets-guerrilla-style/ to the flagship “*atomic Bubble Tea shop”:http://getdown.ca/2009/09/03/atomic-tea-feels-like-home/ to the “latest plays from Calgary’s Theatre scene”:http://getdown.ca/category/stage-and-screen/.
* “The Downtown Calgary Twitter”:http://twitter.com/downtowncalgary account grows at a positive and organic pace, with new users joining regularly.

Not bad for a 4 month period.

Anyways, we’d like to thank Downtown Calgary & Tag Advertising for the opportunity to work with them on the GetDown.ca project. We know Downtown Calgary’s Social media influence will continue to grow as it is in great hands. And last but not least, a big thank you goes out to all the local writers who helped launch the GetDown.ca project. Without their content none of this would have been possible.

Eco Living Inc. Launches

Armadillo Studios and Eco Living Inc are proud to launch “www.ecolivinginc.ca”:http://www.ecolivinginc.ca – the online home of Calgary’s newest Developer of Multi-Family homes.

Earliet this year the owners of Eco Living contacted Armadillo to help develop a brand new web site site, one which would be easy to update, accessible on mobile apps and would allow them to showcase the different elements of their business model. The main goal of the new Eco Living Inc site was to develop a contemporary HTML/CSS based web site that stood out against the local competition, through simplicity and ease of us.

Leveraging Eco Living’s existing branding development, Armadillo constructed a WordPress powered site built on a simple and intuitive layout design. The color scheme reflects the earth-tone nature of the company’s logo and their commitment to _Eco Logic_ developments. In addition, we also incorporated a simple photo sideshow in the sidebar, which will allow the Eco Living team to update their web site with photos of their latest products once they become available.

We are proud to launch this new site and look forward to seeing Eco Living’s business grow.

The yycPhotobook Launches

It is with big grins that we are proud and extremely pleased to announce the first copies of the “yycPhotobook”:http://www.yycphotobook.com have been published.

As mentioned in a “previous article”:http://blog.armadillostudios.ca/article/yycphotobookcom, Armadillo has been honored to team up with Duncan Kinney (of “yycBlogs”:http://www.yycblogs.com) to design and construct the yycPhotobook. And now that the book is completed, we are even more excited for the upcoming launch party on Sept 18th.

In regards to the actual design process for the book, the yycPhotobook team started by selecting a diverse collection of unique and engaging photos from a group of Calgary photographers. Next, we brainstormed a layout and order that would maximize the impact of each photo. We then assembled the basic skeleton of the book in InDesign using the easy to use templates supplied by”Blurb.com”:http://www.blurb.com. Keeping with the theme of the original web site; The yycPhotobook design utilizes the same crisp aesthetics associated with the minimalist web site. Each photograph in the book is given it’s own page with the author’s accompanying avatar and a short 140 character description of the work. In combination, this ultimately created a unique 40-page book that encompasses Calgary’s distinctive identity.

As mentioned, the yycPhotobook launch party is on *Sept. 18 at Venturion* (214 11th Ave. SE). There will be beer and wine for sale at reasonable prices and some light refreshments. You’ll be able to meet the contributing photographers and get a sneak peek of the book. The book will also be made available to the public through yycPhotobook.com and Blurb.com, on the day of the party.