We are SO excited to be off to an amazing 2011 here at Schipul. Over the past few months we have hired some amazing new peeps. We’d love for you to meet the Schipul new guys! We’re thrilled to have these rock stars working with our fantastic clients!
Mad love to Brian Potter for the editing and direction.
CMS is a monster
Blue on ya monitor
site bombin on ya
Now look where Drupal poppin up
As look through ya pocketbook
Site need a new look
try a Drupal sample
Hughes’ll demo an example
Drupal Drupal gotta lotta users
I’m a need to see a lot sites on this movement
I’m a need to see more Drupal sites watch us prove it
I’m a need to see more Drupal sites watch us prove it
Drupal, Drupal, everybody Drupal (x3)
took my first site live on Drupal 5
that was ’08 i was trying to survive
got my suit straight and bought 2 ties
the lord blessed me with a gig now we on the rise
html i knew css
dreamweaver jquery and a cms
on my resume and in my cover letter
everyday i’m goin in and i’m getting better
up all night i done learned php
I’m on that on lullabot for a phd
in the Drupal game i’m a do my thang
managing projects on my way to fame
and we don’t see the same i got better views
in different regions doing fields like some soccer shoes
yeah its a.hughes i’ll replace ya name like a token
and you better back up before your site is broken
Drupal Drupal gotta lotta users
I’m a need to see a lot sites on this movement
I’m a need to see more Drupal sites watch us prove it
I’m a need to see more Drupal sites watch us prove it
Drupal, Drupal, everybody Drupal (x3)
Drupal Drupal got a lot of users
Gotta build a site that’ll scale like weight losers
Gotta load fast using solr and some views
Gotta look better like Bentleys over land cruisers
Weak CMS sites boy we be trashing them
Call EMS those sites Drupal bashin them
Like Perez Hilton talkin’ trash bout yo fashion
Gotta have a clean back end like kardashian
Source code on LSD all tabbed out
Using css3, I’m a brag about
The Drupal 7 drop, stagg’ll always be about
Killin these sites with some node templates maxxed out
Give me a fresh install and an IDE
Hooked on hooks, modulating like I’m Whitney
Hook_form-alter like I’m doin’ plastic surgery
Takin’ these sites to a level like you never seen
Above: Gilbert Garcin, The flight of Icarus(after Leonardo da Vinci),
[L’envol d’Icare (d’apres Leonard de Vinci)], 2005 – FotoFest.org
FotoFest: A Matter of Wit
Last night I had the pleasure of popping into the Culture Map Pop-Up Party at FotoFest. What was all the celebration about? Yesterday was the opening of a great new exhibit at FotoFest: A Matter of Wit. Featuring collective works of Gilbert Garcin, Miro Å volÃk and Colin Blakely, each visitor was surrounded by remarkable visions of whimsy, humor and ability as they navigated through the displays, friendly faces and tasty treats.
Aside gawking at some amazing photography, The Culture Map Pop-up Party at FotoFest also gave me my first taste of sugary goodness from MMMâ€¦Cupcake and an amazing twice-baked potato pocket pie from Oh My! Pocket Pies (which was adorable and delicious). The folks at MMMâ€¦Cupcakes and Oh My! Pocket Pies couldn’t be nicer (and kudos to the pie guys for sticking it out in freezing temperatures).
Another awesome turn up at the Map Pop-up Party at FotoFest was Smile Booth! I got to chat with Josh from Smile Booth and I have to say, it’s probably one of the neatest things I’ve seen out and about in Houston. A superior twist on old school instant film, a high quality instant camera with takes a few photos of you and your friends and print right out; these pictures turn out great and you can view them online the next day (just like the ones from FotoFest)!
Everyone had a blast, but if you missed the Pop-Up Party at FotoFest, don’t worry the exhibit: A Matter of Wit continues through Feb 25th. Thanks to CultureMap, the awesome food vendors, Silver Eagle, FotoFest and everyone who contributed for a great night!
FotoFest: A Matter of Wit | Gilbert Garcin, Miro Å volÃk, Colin Blakely
February 10, 2011 – February 25, 2011
Mon-Wed and Fri, 10am – 5pm, Sat, noon – 5pm,
Late Night Thursdays 10am – 7pm
Superbowl Sunday is coming, and for many that means chips, dip, friends and football. If you are video guy, like me, then that means the commercials. The Superbowl is well known for the ground breaking and buzz worthy commercials that play every year to an audience of nearly 40 million viewers.
Big corporations make video stars with user generated commercials
Some companies, like GoDaddy and Doritos, have taken the opportunity to promote their brand to an enormous audience and save in advertising expenses by opening Superbowl, Indy 500 and other major sporting event video contests to the general public. By offering large case prizes and a chance to showcase your work, these companies not only harness fresh talent and new ideas, but have entries submitted by top industry production companies.
Tips on winning a Superbowl commercial contest
Last year Francis De La Torre and his team entered and won the $100,000 top prize GoDaddy Indy 500 video contest with their entry ‘Go Mammaâ€. They utilized mass emailing, social networking and word of mouth to get in one of the top spots for judging. GoDaddy made this simple by utilizing Vimeo and YouTube links for entering your video. They also made it easy to share your video online by placing Facebook, Twitter, and other sharing options on each entry to send to your friends and family.
Francis says there are three key things to keep in mind when entering an online video contest:
1. Know your contest
This is vitally important when submitting your video. Some things to consider are: Will a panel of judges be picking the winner, or will it be by community vote? This can greatly affect how you produce and target your video. If it’s a panel of judges, you may want to research who will be watching the video to better understand what they may be looking for. If it’s the general public, you may want to go for a broader approach that appeals to the masses.
2. Use Social Networks
Francis considered this the base for garnering votes for his video. He also encourages people to visit non-mainstream site (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc..) and visit film making / video online forums, and user groups to gain exposure.
3.Think outside the box
Create a Facebook event that encourages people to watch the video together and vote together at the same time. Host a small party to premiere your contest entry and hand out information on how to vote for your video. Create and online presence for the characters in the video. There are a number of ways to promote your entry. Be creative!
If you would like to enter a video contest, a great place to start is Poptent. Poptent gathers online contests from all over and puts them in one place for you to choose from.
There are many factors when entering a video contest for a large company. So do you research, build your support base, get creative, and win some sweet cash!
I’ve been working here at Schipul for almost a year now. I came here after 4+ years of working for the Society for the Performing Arts in Houston, TX. During this time, my mind has not strayed far from trying to find better ways for performing arts organizations to harness the power of the Internet to enhance audience development and, more importantly, sell more tickets.
This post is a first step in helping performing arts institutions to better understand and use the Internet for their organizations and their artists. I welcome your feeback, and hope you forward this on to anyone you know that works for a performing arts organization if you find it useful.
A Reality: Performing Arts needs SEO
You probably think an organization like Lincoln Center wouldn’t need Search Engine Optimization. You’re wrong.
Despite being quite familiar with their site, I had to Google them first to find their site. Today’s web user is very reluctant to start slapping .com on anything you want on the web. For instance, try typing whitehouse.com into your browser. You will not find our President.
Need more proof? Take a look at this report from Google Insights about searches including the words lincoln and center. NOTE: These results are from New York state.
I don’t know about you, but I know Lincoln Center is in New York City. Yet above you can see that many people actually search for “lincoln center nyc” or “lincoln center ny”. Again, these are searched from the state of New York. The point here is that regardless of how strong your brand or position is in a patron’s mind, they will more likely be Googling you or the performer first.
Wait! Don’t go optimizing your performances just yet. You need to develop your strategy first. You’re probably thinking you’ll succeed if you start optimizing around the same time you start marketing the performances through your other outlets. That’s not going to work. You need at least three months of continuous optimization to start getting attention of the great and powerful Google. This means your online marketing should not, in any way, be tied to your other marketing plans. Why?
Newspapers are dying because they thought reprinting their paper on the web was all they needed to do. They were wrong. You must market to an online audience (i.e. Google) if you want people to find your web site. This means you need to start treating Google like your oldest subscriber and donor.
A Challenge: Performing Arts needs Video
Do you remember when we all thought how crazy it was to have a camera on a cell phone? Now we have phones offering HD video! But there’s a HUGE drawback as it’s not so easy to transmit video via today’s web. However, as the Internet continues to become more mobile, and the transmission lines get faster and more widespread, sharing video is going to become as ubiquitous as photo sharing is today.
Today, many performing artists rely on photos to tell their story. Take this image from Diavolo’sTrajectoire.
But doesn’t this video do a better job of telling their story?
Of course, it’s not just about presenting it, it’s HOW you share the video. Take this video I’ve embedded from Alvin Ailey Dance Company. NOTE: Alvin Ailey has restricted our ability to share their videos to this format.
Not very impressive, is it? If you do decide to click on it, you will bear witness to one of the greatest displays of American choreography the world has ever seen. But if you’re like most web users, you are more likely to trust the Diavolo video link (32K+ hits) over the link from Alvin Ailey (26K+ hits).
Proving a picture is worth 6,000 clicks.
Artists and presenting organizations have to work together to provide better opportunities for patron video consumption. It’s not about showing entire pieces or performances, it’s about whetting the appetite of an audience that is starved for good content. And like we’ve seen above, how you allow your patrons and fans to present is important as well.
An Adventure: Check in, Experience the Performing Arts
Do you remember your reaction when you first heard someone talk about Twitter? It was probably the same reaction you have had listening to someone talk about Foursquare, Gowalla or SCVNGR. I must admit, I long fought against the location-based check in services. However, the more I learn about them, the more I begin to see the dawning of a new level of personal interaction.
The purpose behind these services isn’t to alert people of your location, it’s to tell a story about a location. Every time you walk into a special place, like a performing arts venue, a memory is made. You are not the person you were after you’ve walked into one of your special locations.
For a performing arts organization’s patrons, this is a regular experience every time they walk into your performance hall. The hall is your sandbox, and you now have some pretty amazing toys to play with in it. Whether you create photo contests with Instagram or Hipstamatic, or offer discounts to patrons who check in via Gowalla or SCVNGR, you now have the ability, generally for FREE, to create memories and expand your patrons’ experiences beyond the stage and performance.
Performing Arts Online
I want to explore these and other ways the Internet can be used to tell the story of performing arts over the course of this year. I can tell you now, the performing arts groups are not fully utilizing the power of the web to further their mission and vision. My goal, my New Year’s resolution, is to help change that.
I hope this is a first step in the right direction.
This post was very hard for me to write, as delegated to me by Katie, for her 30 days of thanks blog theme. Sometimes it takes someone like Katie to push us to put in writing what we know in our heart. And that was why this post was so hard.
I am thankful for many many things. First would have to be Rachel, my wife, in our 20th year of marriage. My 3 kids are a true blessing. I am thankful for the city Houston which I moved to after college with my then young family in hopes of finding a job. I am even thankful for people that hosed me over because I learned from those experiences, and got back up. I am thankful for my extended family and friends who have supported me in my crazy journey starting a company 13 years ago. I am thankful for the US Army, spending a lot of time in my formative years on bases in the US and Germany. And I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am for the people I get to work with. But all of those blessings are more than I can handle writing about right now. Instead I want to write about a camera.
I am thankful for my Dad’s LeicaM3. You see, it wasn’t always this way. For years, the six of us kids were annoyed by my Father’s camera. I come from a family of hard workers and the story I was told was that my father got a fake ID at the age of 14 to take a job as a photographer for the Bridgeport Post. Growing up my Father always had a camera. So like all children, the six of us rebelled and went the other direction. We groaned when called for a family picture at Christmas, and gave him a hard time about it.
In college I didn’t even own a camera (I can hear the Facebook generation groaning) and there were no cell phones to snap pics either (yes, I am old as dirt apparently). We did buy disposable cameras occasionally to get pictures once we had children. But the device was to record an event, and the subject matter was the little people (who I thought then, and still think are AWESOME). I wanted to remember the moment. Running around the tree in the back yard in the middle of a terrible thunder storm just for fun. Laughing uncontrollably soaked to the bone and the dog staring at us like we had finally COMPLETELY lost it. That was what cameras were for, to record the event.
It’s not the most amazing photo. But it was the first time my brain said “hey, this is a cool image so try to capture it.” It was the first time I took an image for the sake of CREATING SOMETHING. And I liked it. It also helped that Flickr was talked about a lot that year at eTech and I found a community of photographers who loved to help.
Flickr, and that photo, made me finally realize why my Father enjoyed photography. Sure his snap shots were just like all the rest of our snap shots. Just that: snap shots. But occasionally he shot to create something beautiful. Then memories came back to me of helping him matt and crop (you did this with a paper cutter) images for a photography contest he had entered when I was a young man.
Because our company had a sizable American Express bill, in 2006 I got a Canon Digital Rebel XT using Amex points at no cost. Then the real photography journey began, and I found I really enjoyed it. I learned that a photographer’s job is to make people look good. Digital photography in particular is very forgiving and lets you take a few shots to be sure your subject is shown in the best possible way.
My Father didn’t talk a lot. I understand that now. When I was a young child he was enlisted and served proudly in Vietnam. We would always stop by the POW/MIA booth in DC. And his photos of the memorial were the source of several award winning photos he took. I don’t have those photos, but I remember them. He went on to get a degree, go to Medical School, reenlist in the Army and eventually retire as an LTC. Then teach at OU and save lives as a Perinatologist. I can’t even begin to say how proud I am of my Father.
Later that year, in 2006, I took our family down to Dickens on the Strand in Galveston. After that we stopped by the beach and I took this photo of my three kids, which now has over 30,000 views on flickr.
Unfortunately I never got a chance to talk to my Father about photography. I started photography in 2006, at a time when he was teaching at a medical school in Dominica. The Islands are a long way away. He passed away suddenly a few days after the above photo was taken. He never saw it.
While in Dominica I found these photos on his last camera.
Those are his photos and I think the man had a great eye. He loved his Leica M3. And I had no idea what it was. All of those years.
What am I thankful for? I am thankful for many many wonderful people in my life. And I am very thankful for my amazing parents. And I am thankful my Mom entrusted me with my Dad’s Leica M3. Thank you Mom and Dad!
June 1, marked the beginning of National Safety Month, so we’ve put together a short video on what you can do to be prepared in case of an emergency, as well as a few helpful tips. If you live near the coast, you are well aware that hurricane season is here!! Stock up and stay safe:
Water – at least 3 days of drinking water for everyone in your family including pets (about 1 gallon per person per day). Have a week on hand if possible. Backup sterilization devices (Steripen or Katadyn Extream) and water enhancerslike powdered mixes that replenish electrolytes are handy to have as well.
Food – at least 3 days of food per person and pet. We recommend foods that are easy to prepare and don’t require a lot of clean-up like peanut butter, Freeze dried/ dehydrated foods (available at camping stores0, and sweet treats and comfort foods. Don’t forget a can opener for shelf stable canned goods.
Lighting– a standard flashlight with extra batteries is a good start. Since lighting is as much a need as a sense of comfort, fun lighting ideas include Glowsticks and Glow-In-the-Dark Stickers.
First Aid Kit – extra allergy or prescription medication is a good idea. You may want to add old prescription glasses, sunscreen, and mosquito spray to your basic first-aid kit.
Communication – weather and battery operated radio, power inverter that plugs into you car, cell phone backup battery, and online wireless system (in case your phone is damaged), a wireless air card (for laptop) and a USB to back up documents and keep them safe.
Atlas – It’s important to follow the secure hurricane routes recommended by officials. An atlas will help you navigate in case you need to go off the beaten path.
Storage – keep everything in one safe place and don’t cheat and use it in the meantime. A nice backpack or storage bin is easy to grab and go and make sure items (like batteries or canned goods) are rotated out for freshness.
How can we help you stay safe during hurricane season?
Feel free to contact us (email@example.com or 281-497-6567) for additional information or for help putting together your Hurricane Preparedness Kit.
Helpful Emergency and Hurricane Preparedness Sites
As a frequent traveler, I have great respect for the discipline that goes into traveling light. It is truly an art form. Yet on the other hand it really sucks to get to your destination and realize you need some particular item that is not readily available. Particularly if that item is light and it wouldn’t have been any trouble to bring it along. And PARTICULARLY if that item is a camera accessory that you can’t just pick up at the local store!
I’ll leave it to the OneBag site to offer the perfect light travelers packing list. But what about your camera bag when you travel? My criteria for making the traveling camera bag list is:
The camera bag must:
have easy access to grab the camera out with one hand
travel easily through airport security
fit under the seat in front of me on an airplane
have some extra room for books/magazines/iPad storage to keep them handy on a flight
be slender enough that I can make my way through a crowd without bumping into people (this rule eliminates more bag options than any other, btw)
have flexible pouches that if I must overpack it, at least that is an option
close securely to prevent pickpockets in crowded subways
What goes in the traveling camera bag? Assuming you have a DSLR and lenses, my ideal camera travel bag selection is fairly small. Here goes:
Camera body – I’m a Canon guy, but Nikon’s are pretty awesome too. (And just don’t even tell me if you have a Hasselblad. I don’t want to hear it.)
Fixed 50 lens – Light and fast for low light situations. The thrifty fifty rules.
Wide angle lens. (When I used the Rebel I *loved* the 10-22 which took this shot. Now I have the 16-35.)
Zoom lens. I bring one, but not both, of these depending on where I am traveling.
24-105/f4 – doesn’t sound like the best lens, but I consistently get the best results with this glass. I LOVE this lens. My all time favorite. But sometimes I leave it behind b/c of weight. It is truly a brick.
70-300/f4-5.6 – again, doesn’t sound like the best lens with f4, but very flexible and light.
Lens doubler – also called a 2X teleconverter – also called “flexibility!” (I don’t use the Canon one, I bought a cheaper one at a shop in nyc). The bad news is teleconverters KILL your lens speed. 2X but I’d guess you lose 4 or 5 f stops. So these are for daylight use only almost. Some exceptions, but TEST before you need. You will be shooting on Manual with the doubler. Oh, and on mine, auto-focus doesn’t work either. So maybe splurge for the Canon doubler.
External Flash – I use the 580EX and I hated the 430EX. If you can’t budget the 580, buy off brand until you can. The 430 is lame – you get more light from a flashlight.
Extra camera battery – battery’s are lighter than chargers and I never fully drain 2 batteries on biz trips. Skip the charger and carry an extra battery.
Extra memory card – mainly in case the other one goes corrupt.
Items I now specifically do NOT bring.
No extra AA batteries. I used to carry these. Again, rechargables in the external flash will last just fine. And you can purchase batteries if you need them. Skip carrying them. This also eliminates the AA battery charger.
No charger. If I shoot through two fully charged batteries I need to stop anyway. If it is a long trip I’ll put the charger in my carry-on, but I rarely use it.
No Tripod – yup, no tripod. I am all about balancing the camera on a rock or holding it against a tree. I no longer lug around tripods and with the new faster ISO speeds on cameras they aren’t as necessary IMHO.
No Lens Filters – hate them. What is the point of buying a nice lens and then putting a crappy piece of plastic in front of it? Just doesn’t make sense. If you are that worried about your lens, use a point and shoot. Filters are a scam IMHO. The exceptions are polarized filters for daylight long-exposure shots, or artistic colored filters. But the clear ones? Just a way for the camera store to get your 50 bucks. Gone.
No Rubberized Camera Exoskeleton – if you drop the camera this probably won’t save it. And it makes it impossible to get in and out of most camera bags. And it looks dorky. Skip it. Shoot with a naked camera body.
No Laptop (OK, sometimes no laptop) – for day trips, the CF cards are large enough that you can sometimes just skip the laptop and download when you get back. Not the end of the world.
Other tips for traveling with your camera:
BUY A NEW CAMERA STRAP! Really, both Canon and Nikon put the MODEL NUMBER on the camera strap which tells would be thieves exactly the value of your camera from 100 yards away. Sheesh. So yes, buy a generic looking camera strap.
Shoot RAW only – using JPG and RAW both fills up the card and wastes time. Install the drivers and shoot only RAW.
Shoot a lot – without a tripod you will have occasional camera shake. Odds are if you take three shots at 1/30 that one of those will work out. Delete the other two and move on down the road.
Lightroom – get lightroom to handle the large number of shots. Unfortunately it is $300. I used Aperture and loved it, but Adobe is going to win this battle so move on over. Plus Lightroom handles referenced files, the ones saved directly to external drives, much faster. And it handles multiple catalogs. You can research it or trust me – just go with Lightroom.
External Drive – save directly to external drives. Moving files around on and off a laptop sucks. Just import directly to an external drive. I use the Lacie ruggedized 500GB drives. I realize they have 1TB drives now, but I don’t recommend them since they require another power supply. The 500GB is powered by USB only, which cuts down on space/weight. Carrying two 500GB drives if needed (I don’t, but hypothetically) is still lighter than another power supply. Plus you can never find enough plugs in a hotel. Another note on the drives – I just use the USB as it is the same cable for the Canon and to recharge the blackberry. Flexibility and the speed difference with Firewire isn’t that huge a deal for me on downloads.
Photoshop Elements (if you must) – Elements is about $80. I rarely even launch photoshop and you definitely do NOT need CS. Either skip photoshop entirely or just use the cheaper Photoshop Elements. And I still don’t “get” Bridge. Any organization I might do in Bridge I can do with Folders and Collections in Lightroom. Just use Lightroom and give as little money to Adobe as possible.
Laptop – you don’t actually NEED a MacBook Pro to run lightroom. With the external drive you can use any laptop or even the Macbook Air. Yes it won’t be as fast, but it isn’t the end of the world and this allows you to use a smaller laptop. That said, I use the 13inch Macbook pro. I wish they had a 10inch version.
Clean your lens a lot. – much easier than removing dust spots using software. Basically do as much in-camera as possible and as little on-laptop as possible.
A few photos from my travels below. Enjoy your own vacation!
You would have to be living under a rock the past few months not to hear about the war between Apple and Adobe raging across the internet. Just take a look at wired.com’s featured ad at the top, which displays Adobe’s newest attempt to alleviate the situation by stating, “We [heart] Apple, We [heart] choice. “Choice” referring to Apple’s decision to exclude Flash player on all the mobile devices they produce. (Steve Jobs even took the time to explain why in a rare memo). This choice has sparked fierce debate in the tech world stemming from feeling that Flash player is losing relevance. I feel that the real conflict is not between Apple and Adobe, but rather their standards, Flash and HTML5 video.
-What makes HTML5 different from Flash?
At the moment there is no standard for video playback. We have all seen it before, our computers demanding that we install software in order to watch online video. Plug-ins like Flash, RealPlayer, or QuickTime are used by many different browsers and devices and it can be a hassle (downright annoying) because at the moment, there is no video standard. In many cases, users on web devices like iPhones, or iPads, can’t play videos at all when Flash is required, and because these devices are so popular, Adobe isn’t too happy about it. HTML5 is the first code that allows videos to be played without the use of plug-ins, which will lead to a standard. HTML5 makes use of new structural tags like <head> <footer> <section> and even <video> which will allow web designers to better define their content, subsequently allowing search engines to index and find your content more easily.
If you would like to learn more about how HTML5 will effect video be sure to check out the links below!