So, last week Chicago played host to the annual Online News Association conference.  A yearly gathering of business executives, journalists, techies and executive techno-journalists, the ONA is the place to be for media types in the new digital millennium.

We always knew that technology is fast (that’s the point), and that newsgathering is tough work (the difference between blogging and actually being a professional, ya know?).  I mean, these journalists have always been the type to burn the candle at both ends, but who knew how hard they work every day to break stories and publish content on a non-stop basis?!

Turns out, they love coffee.  I mean LOVE love it.

How do I know?  Doejo had the unique pleasure of working a booth with our favorite technology partner, WordPress.com VIP who was sponsoring the event.  WordPress.com powers many of our favorite websites, and works to make sure many of our favorite clients are stable, secure and scalable.  Businesses like WGN TV, Cox Media, Pandora and Tribune Broadcasting rely on VIP’s turnkey service and we rely on their solid infrastructure.

Doejo’s sister company BowTruss Coffee Roasters was on hand at the ONA to provide a pour over coffee booth all 3 days of the conference last week.  The response was overwhelming: people queued up—the line was super long—and enjoyed the finest hot brewed java in the Midwest courtesy of the BowTruss Baristas and WordPress engineers.  This was some high-test café that fueled the country’s finest digital newsmakers and kept them going through 72 hours of meetings, symposia, forums and exhibits in the Windy City.

Noah


Doejo is excited to share that we have an awesome new client, Whirlyball.

For the uninitiated, Whirlyball the game is a mashup of bumper-cars, lacrosse and basketball.  Whirlyball the place is a destination for fun times: combination sports bar, restaurant, arcade, and amusement park.  Chances are you’ve been there for parties or corporate events.

As they gear up to move into a shiny new location to franchise and expand the business, Whirlyball came to Doejo to revitalize the brand.  As a part of our R&D phase for this project, Team Doejo made the trek over to Lincoln Park to enjoy an evening of food, drink and games.

We were impressed by the delicious eats, awesome bar menu and friendly staff.  But it wouldn’t have been a party without some raucous Whirlyball action.  Doejo Video tagged along to document the fun that ensued and it can be seen below.

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It is with great gusto that Doejo gets to share with you the launch of our latest creation, a new and improved consequenceofsound.net.  We have been privileged to work with the fledgling online music publication for over 4 years and this new UX project has been in the works for over a year now.

For the uninitiated, Consequence of Sound is probably the best rock n roll website on the net—IMHO, better than RollingStone, cooler than Pitchfork.  CoS overflows with great content, news and opinion but spares you the snark, attitude and arrogance of their elder rivals.  Boasting millions of visitors each month, this project was deployed on WordPress.com VIP.

Consequence of Sound is now mobile responsive and will look just as great on your iPhone or Android phone as it does on the web,” CoS creator Alex Young wrote in a column announcing the re-launch. “The homepage is easier to navigate, our content is better presented, and Festival Outlook has been completely revamped.”

We’re still working with CoS to roll-out new features in the coming weeks, including the ability to personalize the homepage.  “In other words, if you no longer want to see stories about Kanye West, you no longer have to see stories about Kanye West.”

But go ahead and check it out for yourself.  This is one of Doejo’s biggest and stunning projects to date.  We’re proud of our team and the work put forth, and psyched to have gotten the chance to make waves with such a groovy music site.  Rock N Roll Never Dies.

Noah


M&A Activity


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So much has been happening lately it has been really hard to keep up with maintaining the Doejo blog.  But a few items really merit mentioning… and we're really proud to share.

Did you know that in the last few months, Doejo clients have been acquired and bought out for billions upon billions of dollars?  If my math skills are correct, it's four billion smackeroos.

Things started heating up this summer, when Tribune Broadcasting acquired Local TV LLC for $2.75 Billion.  While the deal is subject to FCC approval, there is no doubt that in a few short months, one of Doejo's favorite clients will be operating under the banner of another client (we have also recently developed sites for WGN, ThisTV and AntennaTV—all divisions of Trib).  Not to toot our own horn (well, that's a lie—I'm being a shameless self promoter in this post) but the types of major website and mobile initiatives Local TV engaged us for probably helped enhance that valuation.  We keep our clients' online publishing operations on the bleeding edge and have launched several new themes and smartphone/tablet apps for their properties and even saved lives along the way.

Last month, eBay and PayPal acquired Chicago-based Braintree Payments for a whopping $800 Million cash.  Now you may recall that last year Doejo helped re-launch the “brochure site” for Braintree as well as re-design their whole customer on-boarding experience in preparation for Braintree's (then) new Instant product.  Needless to say, the payment space is hot, and there a lot of happy workers down on Canal Street these days.

And, just last week Oracle acquired another local client of ours, BigMachines, for a deal reported to be worth $400 Million!  We've had the privilege of working with BigMachines for a long time now, helping out with video production, motion graphics and event coverage.  Congrats to them all!

So, are you an entrepreneur, manager or business exec mulling over who to hire for your next digital project?  If so, just think about these three success stories.  While I can't guarantee that you'll get acquired for a billion bucks, I can guarantee we'll help accelerate your digital initiatives and launch state-of-the-art products that will make peers, competitors and customers take notice.

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Noah


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Industrious, Chicago’s first “hive office,” opened its doors today to a diverse mix of tenants across Chicago’s high growth industries. Located in River North, Industrious is an attempt to redefine the modern workplace by catering to the economy’s fastest growing sub-sector, small businesses and startups with 1-6 employees. The concept is simple – bright, glass walled offices that give companies the privacy they need to drive productivity, situated within an open, collaborative loft space that creates the community and collaboration that drives innovation. Offices are rented on a month to month basis, allowing flexibility for growing companies that’s nearly impossible to find in today’s outmoded office market.

Located at 320 W. Ohio St in the historic Adlake Building, the space occupies a 10,000 square foot open loft previously used for movie and TV production. Built in rustic hardwood and glass, with creative lighting and recovered designer furniture, the space will demolish preconceptions of how an office should look. Most office sizes were completely reserved before opening, and Industrious is already beginning construction on additional space in the building to accommodate demand.

Member companies arriving this week represent an exciting mix of Chicago’s most innovative thinkers, including menswear line Blank Label, financial growth strategists Popskull, architectural design firm Bryne Design, bridal advisors Brideside, shoemaker Bone & Rattle, PR firm YL Communications, wedding social app WedSocial, digital brand management company Zlato Media, legal reps My Good Counsel and more. Though Industrious’ private offices are oversubscribed, the company is releasing a slate of co-working spaces starting at $400 a month, and members in Industrious’ co-working facility will be first in line as new private offices become available.

“People work better when they’re around other motivated people,” says co-founder Justin Stewart. “There’s so much inspiration here to motivate you, from the design of the space, to the collaborative nature of the setup, and the regular events we’ll be hosting. We like to think of it as a highly professional office space that open up into your favorite coffee shop.”

Each brightly-lit, glass-walled “hive” houses companies with up to 10 employees comfortably, with collaboration rooms, conference rooms, free WiFi, private phone booths, a kitchen, a full service coffee bar with Bow Truss coffee, printing services and complimentary mailroom.

“We feel quite certain that one day the hive office concept, which allows a host of companies to mix privacy with community in a uniquely flexible way, is going to be one of the dominant modes of work for small businesses,” says co-founder Jamie Hodari, “but for now, this is one of the only hive offices in the country. It’s exciting to be at the beginning of a new model for work, and we couldn’t be happier that we were able to do it in Chicago.”

Come visit us on Tuesday, September 4, 2013, our Media Day, to tour our beautiful new space and meet some of our tenants. We’ll be serving complimentary Bow Truss coffee from our coffee bar and snacks from Blue Sky Bakery.

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Matt Lissner