Duo Web Marketing Blog

Tips and Information for Small-Business Site Owners

There’s a new search engine in town!

It seems like everyone’s talking about Bing, Microsoft’s new search site that they’d love to be a google killer. Unfortunately for Microsoft, there aren’t many substantive differences between Bing and Google, at least at first blush.  Unseating Google from it’s spot at #1 is a tall order, not only because the big G has been sitting comfortably at the top for many years, but also because it’s been integrated into browsers including Firefox and Safari.  Sure, Microsoft can insert its engine into Internet Explorer, but the courts may frown on that kind of familiar behavior from the company that’s been in the headlines for anti-trust activity more times than Mr. Burns.

Further evidence that Bing is going nowhere fast:  Microsoft wasn’t able to touch Google with the adCenter advertising engine, and bing’s engine is essentially the same

Don’t get me wrong - I’ve always felt that the Google user experience was inelegant and overly utilitarian and Bing is a bit more modern and refined.  I appreciate the improvements in image search as well.  All in all, this is a new development for all of us search addicts to watch with all the nerdy intensity we can muster.  

- Noah

Mon, June 8 2009 » Uncategorized » No Comments

In Praise of Abiding

Okay, look, I have never made any secret of the fact that when I am not designing websites or at the dog park, I am an extremely vocal admirer of The Big Lebowski, recognized in some circles (mine) as the most heelarious movie of all time.  The one-line zingers, the costumes, the musical number, Brandt!  I mean, c’mon.  While the link between this instant classic and web design\development might seem tenuous at best, a super-achiever web designer named Trent Walton has gone ahead and made the connection for us.  The Lebowski ethos, as applied to a smattering of the various client types that all web designers deal with regularly, has never shone more brightly and with more joie de vive.  Check out his Lebowski-ing up of some folks we’ve all met before.  The whole durned human comedy, indeed.

Also, for those of us the the Northwest, we have an extra-special treat coming up: Lebowski Fest ‘09!!!  July 20th and 21st with Har Mar Superstar, y’all!  It’s going to be Dudetastic.  

Be sure to be there with bells (and bowling shoes) on.

-AJ

Sun, May 24 2009 » Uncategorized » No Comments

Something fun for today

I came across a fun clip today.  This is a music video made for a song from Oren Lavie called Her Morning Elegance.  Loved it!

Noah


Mon, May 11 2009 » Sidenotes » No Comments

The Wide World of Wordpress

We’ve worked with few different blogging platforms and we’ve convinced that Wordpress has the best user interface.  This may be old news to many of you, but to a casual or beginning site owner, Wordpress can simplify a process that can seem intimidating or confusing.  For programmers, it’s sometimes hard to find concise information about how to begin building Wordpress themes.  We didn’t quite get the hang of it until our second time around and we wish we’d known about this tutorial when we were first learning to create themes.  If you’re already experienced in working with php, some of this guide may seem repetitive, but for a novice designer it will give you a solid start doing the coding necessary to have real control over the look and feel of your blog.  There are many sites out there that offer inexpensive Wordpress themes and multi-blog sites like blogger.com  have an arsenal of themes for their users to choose from, but for designers this is a crucial skill to have.  Check out some free example Wordpress themes here.

Thu, April 2 2009 » Uncategorized » 1 Comment

The Seasons Performance Hall

Hi All, 

We’ve just completed a Drupal project at TheSeasonsYakima.com.  Our challenge was to create a dynamic site that really made use of many of Drupal’s particular functionalities, while keeping a cohesive design aesthetic that worked for our clients.  What we came up with is a site that uses Drupal for content management, shopping cart, checkout, blogging and editing static pages, but also makes use of jquery functions to create carousels of promotional information and slideshows of pictures from the venue.  I’m proud of it!  Check it out here: The Seasons

TheSeasonsYakima.com

TheSeasonsYakima.com

I’ll be following up this post with a few posts on particular challenges we overcame while we were working on this project.  Some new stuff came up!

Noah

Sat, February 21 2009 » Content Mangement, Design » No Comments

Web Storytelling 2.0

This is an article I came across while looking for some resources for getting my creative writing out online.  There are many new tools available for storytellers, writers, small businesses and bloggers and this article by Bryan Alexander and Alan Levine is a clever, comprehensive synopsis of the transformation creative work is undergoing online with the current surge of social media.  Technology and the arts are becoming more and more closely linked and online writing has taken on some characteristics of older oral storytelling traditions- requiring participation, editorial conscience for the listener\reader, and creative feedback.  The article also contains a wealth of interesting blog, article and site links.  Here’s a sample graph from their article:

     Another site worth taking a look at is this wonderful resource for educators and artists alike.  This site allows it’s users to create their own illustrated books and publish them, for about $20.00 apiece.  

While this site is mostly used by teachers, parents and industrious kids, I think it could be a very interesting format to explore for writers and artists- I can think of a dozen sets of images, stories or essays I’d like to collect into book form and this is an affordable, accessible way to do so.  Enjoy!

Mon, January 19 2009 » Uncategorized » 1 Comment

Amazing Resource for Designers and Artists!

We might be late on the train, but this is an incredible website.  If you missed the news here, here, and here, there’s a fantastic tool available from our friends over at Idée Labs.  It’s called the Multicolr Search Lab and it’s amazing.  A visitor chooses from a spectrum of colors (up to ten) and the tool goes to work finding visually stunning arrays of pictures that match those colors from the Flickr archives.  It seems to me that this tool has far reaching design implications.  It makes finding images that match a color scheme incredibly simple, and with Flickr’s use of the creative commons system, it’s convenient for small businesses.  

 

Check it out, here it is with purple and grey selected:

Enjoy!

AJ

Mon, December 8 2008 » Design » 1 Comment

Goodbye Old, Hello New

We’ve recently updated our website to better reflect our business and the kinds of customers that we’re serving.  It was a fun process, looking at the last site which we made back when we started the business, and then adjusting it to the style and goals we have now.  

You’ll remember that this is what part of the index page used to look like:

We loved the old design, it fit our personalities and our taste, but with the new site we’ve tried to create a design that reflects more of a blank slate, something that’s less ‘designed’ and, therefor, better reflects our ability to work on all different kinds of projects, focusing on the needs of the client’s business. I hope you like it!  We always love to hear what people think, so please drop us a line.

In other news, we’ve just finished working on a Drupal build for the famed jazz venue, The Seasons, in Yakima, WA.  It was an exciting project and we’re pleased with how it turned out.  I’ll be blogging more about that soon.  

Thanks all!

Noah

Sun, November 23 2008 » Design » No Comments

Welcome!

Welcome to the newly re-designed Duo Web Marketing blog!  we’ll be using this space to offer tips and information for site owners as we learn and grow as a company and as a community.  Subscribe or check back often, we’ll do our best to make this an invaluable resource for your successful business.   

 

Thanks!

AJ and Noah

Sat, November 22 2008 » Uncategorized » No Comments