Armadillo Studios Inc.

SXSW09: Saturday Wrap-Up

Saturday’s adventure in SXSW started off with two interesting talks, well it actually started with a trip to “Taco Shack down the street”:http://www.tacoshack.com/subframes/locations.html for breakfast tacos.

The first session dealt with “speed times and how to improve web site loading issues”:http://www.sxsw.com/interactive/talks/schedule?action=show&id=IAP0901285. While the second panel of the day “dealt with the difference between print content and how the speed of the web has lost some of the design of print technology”:http://www.sxsw.com/interactive/talks/schedule?action=show&id=IAP0900291. Neither one was a show stopper, but both provided some great ideas on how to technically improve web site loading times and some neat ideas of transposing the beauty of magazine design in to blog posts.

The Keynote by Tony Hsieh was a one of the best opening day remark sessions in recent memory.

For those unfamiliar with Tony, he is the CEO and brain trust behind “Zappos.com”:http://www.zappos.com/ a large online shoe company that has built and banked its reputation on exceptional customer service.

“Tony’s keynote was widely entertaining and enthralling”:http://www.sxsw.com/interactive/talks/schedule?action=show&id=IAP0901393. It was a great conversation on how to balance the pressures of becoming a large business and answering to the balance sheets with building a great company based on a strong principal of great company culture. It was interesting to hear about their $2,000 offer to quit during training and concepts like using “Twitter to foster an internal corporate community”:http://twitter.zappos.com/.

If your curious a graphical representation of Tony’s Talk can be found on “the main interactive site.”:http://sxsw.com/files/u5/Tony-Hsieh-at-SXSW-09-Sunni-Brown.jpg

!http://sxsw.com/files/u5/Tony-Hsieh_SXSW-09_Sunni-Brown-sm.jpg!

The final conversation of the afternoon was hosted by Jeffery Zeldman on “the transition from Freelance to an Agency”:http://www.sxsw.com/interactive/talks/schedule?action=show&id=IAP0900593. This was an inspirational session filed with great tips for companies in the middle of the transition from a small freelance agency to a big 5-10 person agency.

SXSWisEASY Experiment

And finally what would a SXSW conference be with out a bit of a Social experiment?

Well, the SXSWisEASY collective spent our free time on “Saturday launching out own little experiment.”:http://sxswiseasy.com/2009/03/what-do-you-see-at-sxsw/ we’ve handed out 8 disposable cameras to random people at SXSW and we are asking them to take five-six photos and then passing the camera on to completely random SXSW stranger. Once the camera is finished people will return them to us and we’ll post their images online for people to use.

We’re pretty excited about the idea and think we’ll have some interesting photos from people.

SXSW09: Armadillo Studios At SXSW’09

For the second time in 2 years Armadillo Studios Inc. is taking on Austin for SXSW 2009.

We’ll be down there working the conference circuit, meeting old friends and “promoting SXSWisEASY”:http://sxswiseasy.com. Armadillo will also be posting updates and information on a regular basis throughout the conference. Please follow along here on our corporate web site or with our corporate twitter account at “www.twitter.com/armadillostudio”:http://www.twitter.com/armadillostudio We will be learning what is new and emergent in the web design industry and would like to pass that wealth of knowledge on to our valued clientele.

If your at SXSW this year, check out “our schedule”:http://sxsw2009.sched.org/ctoverdrive and come up to us and say hi.

*Update:* Highlights of each day of the conference are now posted.
# Saturday: “Saturday Wrap-Up”:https://www.armadillostudios.ca/sxsw09-saturday-wrap-up/
# Sunday: “Sunday’s Core Conversations & The Future of Blogging”:https://www.armadillostudios.ca/sxsw09-core-conversation-sunday-blogging-and-its-future/
# Monday: “Pictures & Diagrams – Monday’s Wrap-up”:https://www.armadillostudios.ca/sxsw09-pictures-and-diagrams-in-thoughts-monday-wrap-up/
# Tuesday: Coming Shortly

Twitter For the Calgary Market

The buzz about twitter in Calgary is starting to take off. Over the past few days twitter has been a feature cover story on “FFWD”:http://www.ffwdweekly.com/article/news-views/news/digital-dialogue-3399/, “The Calgary Herald”:http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Twitter+giving+life+quips/1356810/story.html , “The MetroNews”:http://www.metronews.ca/calgary/local/article/192234
and started to hit a breaking point with a segment on “CFCN’s evening broadcast”:http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090305/CGY_twitter_calgary_090305/20090305?hub=CalgaryHome. With local media outfits like “CTV”:http://twitter.com/ctvcalgary, “CBC”:http://twitter.com/cbccalgary and the “City of Calgary”:http://twitter.com/cityofcalgary embracing the platform Calgary is about to become overwhelmed by the Twitter movement.

So how can your business take advantage of the wealth of new users based in Calgary?

Tips Before you Start

Your first impression on Twitter is *far more important* than any other first impression online.

When a follow notification is sent to a user, the *first thing people judge is your home page* – the look of your homepage, the types of tweets you’ve published and the ratio of followers to following. This combination of information will provide users with the justification on whether to add you to their following stream.

The thing to remember is that unless “people follow your twitter account, your tweets are going to fall on deaf ears”:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638550095558381.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. Noise and tweet pollution are becoming a pet peeve with most users at the moment and as the community grows this is going to become a stronger issue for many. So your first impression is critical to the success of your Twitter venture.

Simple Tips To Get You Started

Our first bit of advise is to take your time with the process. Do not rush into creating an account.

Really think about why you want to use Twitter to connect with potential customers and what you hope to get out this account. Before you start searching and connecting with local Calgary twitters *post 5-7 tweets with valuable information*. Provide users a welcome message, an introduction, a link to features about your company in the local media, maybe even a couple of specials discounts, or even photos of “your storefront on flickr”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/28465177@N00/3245465405/. Just make sure you have some interesting content for people to look at when they first land on your homepage.

The next bit of advice is to *be patient and persistent*. Tweet regularly and engage in conversations with your followers. Don’t expect the community to embrace your business and grow without putting in some effort.

So how can you use your Twitter account to help your business in Calgary?

Twitter Consulting Sessions For The Calgary Market

Members of the Armadillo Studios Team have been early adapters of Twitter. Over the past two years we have been following and watching the trends. With the media attention given to Twitter in the Calgary Market, we’ve decided to share our experience with local businesses to help them make the most out of Twitter and to bring something to the local Calgary Twitter community.

It is because of this that we are offering *Twitter Consultation Sessions*.

These sessions provide the following:

* *1 hour Twitter Consultation Session* with your company to brainstorm the goals for setting up an account.
* We’ll provide training (on etiquette and proper usage), tips on how to find customers and help create a list of specific ideas on how to interact with your potential audience.
* Information regarding the *Latest Tools and Applications* to enhance your businesses’ Twitter Account.
* Customized graphics package for your Twitter Account. (includes a customized *Background Image* with detailed information, *A customized Avatar* and *Matching Layout Color Scheme*)
* A customized *Tip Sheet* for your own reference.
* Tips on how to integrate your Tweets into your Corporate Web Site. (Integration with your current site is an additional cost.)
* Follow-up 20 minute session (2 months later) to see how we can better utilize your account.

A *Twitter Consultation Session* costs $135 (+GST) for the full package. If you are interested in this offer please email us at info@armadillostudios.ca, call us at *403.467.2914* or of course contact us on twitter: “@armadillostudio”:http://twitter.com/armadillostudio

SXSWisEASY

For the second year in a row Armadillo Studios is proud to announce that we will be attending The “SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin Texas”:http://www.sxsw.com/interactive. In preparation for the big event we are also extremely proud to announce, through an international collaboration with “Nonimage”:http://www.nonimage.com/ and “Stalelife Inc.”:http://www.stalelife.com/ we have launched a definitive guide to absolutely everything related to the SXSW festival in Austin Texas.

You can find this definitive guide at “SXSWisEASY.com”:http://sxswiseasy.com.

Designed with simplicity in mind, *SXSWisEASY* provides straight up information for everything related to SXSW. It covers everything from “essential elements of Austin TX”:http://sxswiseasy.com/austin/dos-donts/ to the Best “Interactive Parties”:http://sxswiseasy.com/interactive/parties/ all they way to a list of the “Social Do’s and Don’t of the Film Festival”:http://sxswiseasy.com/film/essentials/.

Essentially, everything you could possible need to know to prepare you for SXSW in one easy to read spot.

As a group we have also provided a break down of the best parties and best interactive sessions at the festival. Including our own take on why it’ll be worth sitting in on the session. A guideline to help you make the most of your time down there.

So please spread the word of SXSWisEASY, send it to anyone you know heading to Austin. Even start following the “SXSWisEASY Twitter account”:http://twitter.com/SXSWisEASY for the latest updates and information.

*A big thank you goes to our friends Kurt, Joey, and Andy for getting this project rolling and letting us take part. Thanks again guys*

Armadillo Arrives on Twitter

That’s right, “Armadillo Studios is officially on Twitter!”:http://twitter.com/armadillostudio.

It’s not secret, that members of the Armadillo Team have been avid users of “Twitter”:http://www.twitter.com for the past year and a half. So today we finally decided to take the big plunge and create an official Armadillo Studios presence on Twitter.

We will be connecting with some of our other friends through out the industry (Great companies like Stalelife, NonImage, PrairieHippo, louderthan10, Veer, etc.,) and also using this account to spread some of the twitter love around. We also plan to promote our blog posts, our client releases and to also forward on some of our favorite bits of advice from the Twitter-sphere. Essentially spreading the news and also answering any of our clients questions.

So if you have an account, what are you waiting for “start following us!”:http://twitter.com/armadillostudio – @armadillostudio

But Wait! What is Twitter?

Whoops! I guess we got a head of ourselves a bit.

For those unfamiliar, Twitter is one the most popular emerging Social Networking sites on the Internet today. As described on their web site:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called “tweets” of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.

In essence, Twitter is a great watercolor of ideas. (Thank you Andy for the description) A great way to connect, build relationships and share information.