If your work is at least distantly related to web publishing you might have heard about UGC.
These three letters stand for User-Generated Content. “It entered mainstream usage during 2005, having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles,” according to Wikipedia. Essentially, it’s a manifestation of crowdsourcing.
Your users not only consume your content (and, in effect, see your ads), but can also help produce it. Think: A gallery with the title “Post your pictures of yesterday’s hail,” for a news network, for example, or even mobile videos of an incoming storm. With enough creativity, the possibilities are endless as the web gets more and more social every day. But there’s a dark side to UGC. Spam and unwanted content (if you know what I mean) could be a serious issue.
Originally, UGC Frontend Uploader functionality was developed as a part of a theme for LocalTV LLC Websites. Doejo client, Local TV owns and operates about 20 broadcast television stations in the United States. Thanks to the company’s enormity, we were able to release it as Open Source after engaging Doejo to help them move from an old platform to something new and shiny (aka WordPress VIP).
Local TV wanted to increase user engagement by utilizing UGC, so we came up with galleries where visitors could seamlessly upload their photos—No sign-up needed. To moderate incoming content we added another tab to Media. It’s called Manage UGC and looks pretty much the same as Media Library page. Producers can approve media files, delete them and re-attach media items to another post or page.
The plugin is already in WordPress VIP Shared Repo, if you want to get in-depth, checkout readme, fork the plugin on Github, pull requests are welcome!
Recently, Entrepreneurs Unpluggd wrote a feature on the benefits of building out physical spaces to promote brands. This can be particularly ideal for seemingly unexciting brands like ING and State Farm, a bank and insurance company, respectively that need to channel more creative outlets to reach younger audiences. That’s why ING Direct Cafe and State Farm’s Next Door Cafe (a client of ours) were developed as a rather unique marketing strategy in a Facebook “like,” Twitter “follow” market.
If you’re familiar with the concepts or have visited these brick-and-mortars, you know it’s not just mere bank or an insurance company branches serving coffee but WiFi-equipped coffeeshops accented with brand-enhancing features and touchpoints.
At ING Direct Cafe for example, you can drop in for a cappuccino and inquire about a savings account or at Next Door Cafe, you can fuel up on a chai latte and then chat with a financial coach about improving your credit score. And there’s no pressure if you’re just there to find some peace and quiet and free WiFi.
Entrepreneurs Unpluggd wanted to remind the oft-skeptical that can’t immediately envision the initial ROI, what the benefits are: The mere exposure effect (having their logos on morning coffee); social benefits (having a community presence)’ and targeting a niche market (and finding a creative way to make seemingly “boring” brands “cool” and engaging).
Here’s what inspired the writer, Stella Fayman thought about “baristas doubling as bankers”:
The concept of thinking about spaces to build brands is building steam: companies see the success Apple has experienced branding their stores as places to come hang out, play with their products, and have free internet. Attention to design and user experience in these stores is paramount, as is the consistent emphasis of having friendly customer service folks on hand to shoot the shit…or talk about products.
Recently, State Farm ventured in community brand building by opening a coffeeshop/hang out/event space called Next Door on Clark and Diversey. State Farm’s logo is seen almost everywhere, but it’s definitely not egregious, and the spot has grown in popularity as being a neighborhood staple since its opening. State Farm is clearly trying to label itself as the “cool” brand for the younger generation with efforts such as this (and sponsoring OK Go videos) in addition to their regular advertising aimed at an older demographic.
Built in Chicago and New World Ventures’ first annual Moxie Awards, celebrating the best in digital Chicago, has Doejo up against four other agencies for Digital Agency of the Year.
Best Corporate Digital Innovation, Startup of the Year, Breakthrough Digital Company of the Year and CEO of the Year make up the 20 awards being announced June 21 at Park West in Lincoln Park—with Mayor Emanuel expected to kick off the event. And the nominees reads like a who’s who of the Chicago tech scene: Groupon, Grubhub, Sprout Social, Belly, Code Academy, BenchPrep, HireBrite, as well as Doejo clients BodyShopBids (Mobile App of the Year and Best UX Award) and Braintree (Breakthrough Digital Company of the Year).
Doejo is vying alongside agencies AKTA, Lyons Consulting, Ora Interactive and VOKAL Interactive under the Supporting Awards category Digital Agency of the Year. Vote for us here. They’ve even got a sweet “Best Beard” award pitting our friend and Technori CEO Seth Kravitz up against four other bearded dudes. Voting ends June 15th and you can vote for as many or few categories as you would like. Early access tickets to The Moxie Awards are on sale—Get your ticket here. And congratulations to everyone nominated!
Falafill is a Chicago-based dining establishment that strives to make falafel more accessible. Doejo created a website that not only shows off the unique ingredient combinations available at Falafill, but also educates the consumer in a whimsical way while highlighting the fun and relaxed space.
Falafill owner Maher Chebaro came to Doejo in July 2011 looking for a professional-caliber brand identity package. We began by designing a logo and a brochure website for the “scratch kitchen” dining venue originally in Lakeview and now in The Loop and Oak Park. The impassioned folks at Falafill wanted a simple yet playful logo that would reflect their fresh, healthy and relaxed dining experience. The final design mixes Arabic Kufi calligraphy and the aesthetic of an urban street map. The logo was also inspired by compartments in the diverse salad bar, a substantial part of the menu at Falafill, so it’s multidimensional.
For the website we chose appetizing colors in natural, earthy tones, directly derived from a raw spice market or the food itself to evoke an authentic presence. An educational-driven component of the site features visuals of the food, allowing the user to experience the unique ingredients offered in a playful way. The website features hand drawn interpretations of text and is built on an intuitive content management system allowing Falafill to easily update the site with new multimedia, consumer information and ingredients as they expand.
In addition to the website and logo, Doejo designed business cards, edited print menus and created packaging and t-shirt options for Falafill. These packaging options include corporate lunch boxes, pita holders, drinking cups and napkins, all in line with Falafill’s brand identity as urban, cool and approachable.
It's been an exciting week for one of our latest client site launches, The Snackpot. Here's a look at how our team built this pie- (Twinkie?) in-the-sky idea.
Local music publicist, Jacob Daneman and writer, Keith Ecker came to Doejo with a pop culture review site idea that can be described as a mix of music site Pitchfork, ESPN’s Grantland and The Onion’s A.V. Club—except, their dream was to celebrate all things snacks. And The Snackpot, which launched May 2012, does just that, from sweet and salty to fried and frozen. And then some.
Daneman and Ecker teamed up with our designers and developers to create the witty review site, which they hope will raise snacks and snacking to a higher echelon of pop culture. While building hype for snack foods and dishing snack industry news, The Snackpot was designed primarily to serve up comprehensive bite-sized reviews, as well as long-form essays.
To ensure that Snackpot staffers could post anywhere from 300 word reviews to 1000 word features seamlessly, our developers equipped the site with a WordPress publishing platform. And for the more visual consumers of the site, each review page comes outfitted with a custom rating scale, grading each snack by taste, texture and presentation.
To categorize specific cravings, we built a “Snacktionary” at the bottom of the homepage to navigate the various tags (sour, sticky, chewy, etc.) compatible with the site’s “Snackifesto” verbiage. And to channel this snack authority’s humor, playfulness and wit, our designers used sugary colors throughout the design and a flying Twinkie as The Snackpot logo.
Check out some of the logo iterations below.