We Schipulites like to think of ourselves as a group of web geeks out to change the world one website at a time. And we think we know a thing or two about what other such geeks might want for Christmas (or any holiday gift giving occasion!). This is the first in a series of Geek Gift Ideas we’re eyeing this Christmas. With just under 2 weeks until Christmas, you still have some time to order these gifts for your favorite geek!
Anything we left out? Leave your favorite Geek Gift ideas in the comments!
Geeky Office Gifts
Pop Vinyls by Funko
I am obsessed with these little vinyl figures by Funko. They come in almost any licensed franchise you can think of – from super heroes to Power Rangers to NBA players to every Disney Character under the sun. No matter who you’re gifting for, you can find a character they like in this bunch.
Find it IRL: Local Houston shops Bedrock City Comics have huge selections of Pop Vinyl toys on any given day. For the ultra geeks in your life – Third Planet Comics has a great selection of some of the rarer characters, like San Diego Comic Con Exclusives that you won’t find anywhere else.
A Calendar for Your Cube/Office
The Bubble Wrap Calendar
What is an office cube without a wall calendar to remind you what day it is when you’re buried deep in the middle of a project? Check out the Bubble Wrap Calendar – with one bubble to pop each day!
Mimobot flash drives from Mimoco aren’t just adorable, they’re functional too! Collections include DC Heroes like Batman and Wonder Woman, Star Wars, Sanrio, and TokiDoki characters! Lots of fun designs for the geek in your life!
Typically, I take a more light-hearted approach to my 30 Days of Thanks post, in the past professing my gratitude to our clients, the Dallas Cowboys and Kodak Moments. Topics that are seemingly less â€œtug at your heart stringsâ€ and moreâ€¦globally grateful.
This year is different, and no it is not because of the Mayan Calendar hoopla. This year, I am thankful for my parents, Laura (Lala) and Russell (Poppe) Pemberton. I have always been thankful for them and I believe they know that. But this year, I have truly felt the culmination of 26 years (and 11 months) of love, support, friendship and encouragement. These attributes span far beyond the parental definition and more into lessons that have paved my day-to-day life. And for that, I am incredibly thankful…
[Cue the montage]
My parents always communicated the bigger picture…beyond sports, beyond high school and beyond college. If you want something, you sure as hell better be willing to work for it. And let’s be honest, as a kid, you “want” A LOT.
I wanted to be lead-off batter in the line-up. “Ok, I will take you to Decker Prairie Elementary so you can take reps everyday outside of practice.”
I wanted the Docs [Martins] with neon lacing. “Ok, you can iron your Dad’s shirts at 50 cents/piece.”
I wanted to go to Washington D.C. for the Presidential Classroom. “Ok, let’s draft up a letter asking people for donations towards your travel expenses.”
I am thankful that my parents not only made me work, but made me work hard for what I wanted. They were preparing me for my future and unknowingly instilled an unwavering drive and determination that makes me want to do better every day.
Raise the Roof and Celebrate
The Pembertons celebrate everything. Have you ever heard of a non-birthday? Well now you have – Happy Non-Birthday anonymous reader! My parents have always gone out of their way to let me and my brother know how proud they are of us. Whether it was through their words or partaking in a death defying 21st birthday stunt, they were there with their party hats in tow.
I am thankful that my parents celebrated our accomplishments, and encouraged us to celebrate in others. It is amazing what someone can accomplish when they have unconditional support.
Don’t Forget to Laugh at Yourself
My dad is famous for getting a laugh through his grandiose stories. You know, the one where the ball rick-o-shays off 5 trees, gets swallowed by a Big Fish and somehow lands in the hole for birdie. And my mother, bless her heart, has heard each one about a 100 times and laughs just as hard like it’s his first rendition.
I am thankful my parents taught me to enjoy the “funny” in life, embrace humility and laugh at yourself. Yes, that even means laugh at the time you looked like a little boy in a tacky Christmas sweater…it’s makes for a great story right?!
The countdown to Christmas has started and the Holiday shopping season is in high-gear! We’ve put together some handy tips to make sure that your e-commerce website is ready to handle the increased traffic and provide a great experience for your customers so they’ll keep buying in 2012.
Deck Your Website Walls with Holly
Share your holiday spirit with your customers by adding holiday graphics to your homepage and make it easy for shoppers to find holiday-specific information on your website. Add a Gift Guide with a link from your homepage, offer a special sale item each day, and provide a link with holiday shipping rates and delivery times to your website. Come see the holiday homepage we designed for the Children’s Museum of Houston.
Email Your Customers a Cup of Cheer
During the holiday season, people expect to receive more frequent email newsletters from their favorite stores. Design and send holiday-themed email newsletters at least weekly with your seasonal products and sales. Â Find more great tips for your holiday email marketing in our DIY email marketing guide.
Remember Your Social Media Stocking Stuffers
Add a Santa hat to your organization’s Facebook and Twitter profile photos and share your holiday specials across your company’s social media channels. Promoting your products across LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and on your blog will attract new shoppers as well as share your seasonal goodies with your existing customers. Find even more great advice on your holiday social media marketing on our website.
Santa’s Got a Brand New iPhone
Today’s savvy shopper is on the go and that means there is a good chance they are visiting your website on a mobile smartphone or iPad. Make sure your website is optimized so customers can search and shop from a mobile device. A great mobile style sheet can drive traffic to your retail store as well and should include an address and telephone. Pull out your mobile phone and check out Schipul’s mobile style sheet.
Give the Gift of Security
Online shoppers want to know you won’t take their credit cards for a sleigh ride when they purchase online. Check to make sure your SSL certificate is installed correctly and up to date and protect your customers’ personal and financial data. We recommend heading over to GoDaddy’s FAQ for SSL certificate help: http://www.godaddy.com/ssl.
Keep Purchases from Getting Lost in a Snow Storm
You want to make sure the rush of shoppers to your website doesn’t take your site down. Now is the time to make sure your hosting environment can handle big increases in traffic. Schipul hosts our clients’ websites in a cloud-environment that expands and supports site usage spikes affordably. Give us a call if you are looking to update your website hosting environment and have questions.
Show Online Shoppers that Christmas Sweater is Haute
Enhance your customers online shopping experience with product videos and images and increase your holiday sales. You’ll want to make sure your website has the functionality to support digital media first, and then use professional equipment and lighting so your clients can “touch and feel” your products from your website. Â For those new to using online video to sell products, check out the VideoCommerce.org’s Holiday Shopping Video Tips Article.
Start Planning for the New Year
Keep increasing your sales year round by reviewing and updating your search engine marketing strategy. Here is a great Holiday SEM slideshare by our very own Jonti Bolles and you can find a ton of free training and tools to boost your website ranking in search engines online at the Schipul SEM Blog.
We recommend updating your shopping cart to the latest version to ensure a smooth holiday shopping experience for both your customers and your staff. If you are looking to add a shopping cart to your website, check out these great shopping carts and then contact us to find out more about adding e-commerce to your website!
It’s a tradition best explained by being there, I suppose.Â But this video might shed some light on our love of sharing a holiday with family and co-workers on the seat of a speeding scooter.Â We hope your Thanksgiving was an exciting one, too!!
Meet the Schipul new guys! Weâ€™re thrilled to have these rock stars working with us! Check out the links below to visit their various social sites, or click here to see some of the jobs currently posted at Schipul!
Here’s exactly how it happened (basically). *cue dreamy flashback music*
It was a warm and sunny day in Houston (yesterday). The Schipul COMM team was in their morning meeting when all of a sudden Â a mini celebration commenced.
S1: Hooray! It’s almost February. Time for Schipul Love Fest (We seriously begin conversations this way. I know.)
S2: What should we do to celebrate…?
S1: Something really cool.
They thought for a moment, but it was early, and little coffee had been consumed, and a meeting was at hand. So they put it aside for later.
“We’ll think of something,” said S2.Â And with that the Schipulites began their meeting.
Soon before the meeting ended there was a loud gasp and a giddy giggle from S1.
“It would be soooo cute if we got everyone to spell the word ‘love’ on the parking garage roof and take a photo….I don’t know what we’d do with it, but it would be really cute,” she said.
The Schipulites laughed in agreement, and parted ways to begin their busy day.
Later on, she pondered aloud, “That picture would be really cute…and what if we made one of those fast forward videos of us spelling out the letters?!”
S2: OhMyGosh! We could put it on Facebook and ask people to tag their friends to win a prize.
And with that, the LOVE-struck Schipulites began the task of rule checking, prize assembling and cat wrangling for a photo on the parking garage roof.
And then they woke up. And remembered it was Houston. Which means the temperature dropped from a pleasant 68 degrees to a mind-boggling 40-something degrees. With rain (very likely the tears of a Schipulite wounded by Mother Nature).
There was no way they were schlepping up to the parking garage roof in the rain and cold to lie on the ground because that’s nuts and they’ve got their hair to consider!Â So they brought the Love Fest inside – and magic happened.
Congratulations to our winners for best sweater and best caption!
Sweater Contest Winner: David Stagg “The Elf Playboy”
Caption Winners: Chilly- 1st Place | Nicole – Runner-Up
We here at Schipul don’t believe that Christmas sweaters are tacky. In fact, we’re of the opinion they’re just as trendy as Hammer pants, neon-on-neon, and JNCOs.
In honor of our attractiveness (and, really, our complete inability to be impartial in choosing the most attractive outfit), we’re putting it up for you all to vote on. Help us decide our winner! Peruse the candidates and vote at the bottom. Leave a comment with a caption of your fave Schipul sweater for a chance to win a $15 Starbucks gift card!
David Stagg – The Elf Playboy
David Stagg pranced in here with quite the vest this season, sporting multiple active Santas in a variety of sleepwear. Under the vest is quite the cozy cream sweater embossed with iron-on presents trimmed in fabric paint, and a large forest green Christmas tree made of ribbons, rubies and red bows. And to top off what is soon to be every girlâ€™s fantasy, a hat with cut-out felt elf ears, a single jingle bell and lovely hand-stitched embroidery that reads, â€œJingle This.â€ – assume what you must.
Aaron Long – Bad Santa
Aaron Long has taken a more traditional approach this December with the ever so popular cherry red coat and Santa hat. As you may have guessed, the suit is carefully lined with soft, white fabric leaving many to believe his presence is that of an angel. Bringing a more modern feel to the garment, he has added a silver zipper from the chest to the neckline which only solidifies the fact that everyone loves a good zipper. While he has foregone the beard this season, we believe that his golden salt and pepper locks have made up for his lack of facial hair.
Courtney Pemberton – Grandma Coco
Courtney Pemberton has channeled her inner grandma this Christmas and opted for the classic red cardigan with two sequined, embroidered snow globes. Each snow globe has been carefully sewn to tell a story about a jolly man named Santa embracing his best friend Rudolphâ€¦who of course, can stand upright due to his sweet dancing skills. Adding a bit more pizazz to the garment are 20 fabric-glued snowflakes accompanied with individual brooches that include a dog holding a bone, an assumingly drunk Santa Claus, 2 bears playing footsy and a cat tangled in Christmas lights. To bring the outfit together, a Grinch T-shirt resides under the cardigan and of course, the beloved Trapper hat has been placed upon the head for final effect.
Ben Gillin – Creepy Christmas Neighbor
Ben Gillin in channeling his inner redneck this year wearing a somewhat smoked, cherry red, house robe. You can’t miss this flamboyantly styled A-line hem with Santa Claus, candy canes and gum drops galore lining the inner fabric. The hood reflects an Avant-garde mood and is a perfect addition for fetching the newspaper in the rain. If conservative is more your style, this outfit offers flexibility with a built-in belt to keep everyone guessing at all times.
Derek Key – Wise Ol’ Candy Cane
Derek Key is relating to young and old alike this season with his hand woven sweater vest accompanied with an abnormally small pocket detail. The sweater comes just above the belt line proving that this garment can be purchased at 10 and worn till you’re at least 35. Iconic images of sailboats, stockings and Christmas cheer add just enough spunk and that abnormally small pocket – well, it’s perfect for holding pennies.
After you vote – leave a comment with a funny caption of the Schipul sweater of your choice. The Schipulites will pick their favorite on Tuesday, December 28th and send off a $15 Starbucks gift card!
Merry Christmas! Well, almost Merry Christmas. A big thanks to all of the people who entered our Schipul Cheer â€™09 contest. Most entries came in via Twitter which was both awesome and huge time suck for me.
Our lucky winner was picked by our random integer counter is the victory goes to entrant number 13, aka CosmoPolitician, aka Monica Danna! So kudos to her and we really hope she enjoys her spoils.
What did she get? A slew of stuff. Some books, a few toys, maybe some free coffee. We still want her to be surprised when she gets the stuff, so details will have to come from her.
Again, thanks to everyone who participated! We had a lot of fun looking at trees – even the hand drawn ones. This certainly won’t be the last contest I run, so make sure you stick around.
Quick Note: Our Schipul Cheer â€™09 Contest ends at 5pm TODAY! So make sure you enter by submitting a photo of your Christmas tree in the blog comments or on Twitter with the tag #schipulcheer09!
Some people are harder to shop for than others, and not just because they have a stinker of a personality. This week’s gift guide will feature more unusual gifts that you can get for those people who have everything. Or those people who you kinda know, but wouldn’t really call them a friend because they are acquaintances and you have to buy them a gift because you heard that they bought you a gift.
Peanut Butter of the Month Club:
This gift only works for those not allergic to nuts. While there are several “of the month” clubs, peanut butter gets added to the list simply because it is peanut butter and it is amazing that it can come in flavors other than peanut.
The product description is so good that I am simply going to copy and paste it: Have you ever dreamed you were being attacked by a giant squid? Of tentacles wrapping around you, pulling you down to the depths, where an eye as big as a dinner plate looked back at you…
Now you can make your dream come true, without all the fear and discomfort of the nightmare realm.
Tea can only be made better by one thing! No… I’m not talking about vodka. I’m talking about literary quotes from folks like CS Lewis, Alice Hoffman, and others that you only pretend to know about. Great for book nerds and your friends who prefer tea over coffee (for some really insane reason).
Perhaps the greatest thing produced this decade. No longer will people fight over corner pieces and edges. You can read through the unique features on the product page, but let’s face it, you saw it and knew it was a winner.
Coffee cuff! Both fashionable and practical. Wear it as a unique cuff and when you grab that hot cup to go, slip the cuff onto the cup as a sleeve. Not a good gift for absent minded people who may toss the cuff with the cup. Like me. Because I did.
Guys–well, mainly guys–can be a little weird about beer. They love it, can tell you where it came from, the type, how it can be improved, and so forth. But they can’t seem to remember where their keys are. Know a dude who might get a kick out of home brewing? Then this is the gift.
Yes, photo frames. How is this unique? It isn’t. BUT! This is one of those gifts that is great for people you may not know very well. Like… your mother-in-law. Or an Aunt that you got in the Secret Santa name pull deal.
Racing! Dune buggies! Obstacle course! You can actually purchase a mini Baja race ride! How cool is THAT? Screw giving it as a gift, I’m buying it for myself. Because, ya know, it is right outside of the Vegas strip.
Photos of architecture and nature that resemble letters are put together according to whatever name you type into a box. Done in black and white photos since everyone seems to think that pictures are more artistic without color.
It was a wi-fi camera on it. And microphone. But, I think the description on the site pretty much makes this product. It really sells you on the idea that you never have to interact face-to-face with family, collegues, or elderly people ever again.
Forget the sailboat and having to deal with water – get a land sailor. Rather than selling you on this totally rad product, I would much rather mention that there are group meet-ups for people who land sail. Think Hells Angels with polo shirts and that whole not being hardcore thing.
This is a gift for those snooty wine people you know. Place a bottle of wine on one of these and through the power of sound waves and… stuff… it can enhance the flavor of wine.Â It even (supposedly) eliminates red wine headaches. Buy me this and a couple of bottles of wine and I’ll test that theory for ya.
Why should you get someone a bottle of Fernet? Easy. Fernet can be used to prevent and/or cure hangovers. That is right, taking a shot of this bitter drink before a night out will keep you functioning in the morning. Just keep in mind that it generally tastes terrible.
There are wine snobs and then there are coffee snobs. Tell them to ditch their drip maker and give them this as a gift. Makes fresh coffee (if you have fresh beans and grind them) and is so much better than a machine doing the work.
The Houston Zoo (yeah, they are a client) offers people the chance toÂ get close to large cats and feed them. Not only that, but the deal comes with a chance to hang out with the sealions and get your picture taken. I’ve done this and I gotta say, it is pretty awesome. Especially with cool Zoo Keepers.
Since Schipul is based in Houston, it is easier to list the Houston Zoo, but definitely check out your local zoo to see what they have to offer.
First, let me state that this is NOT compatible with the iPhone or iPod Touch. But outside of that, this is one hell of a nifty tool. You can actually transfer music between two different iPods in a matter of seconds. I mean, do I even have to say anything else about this? No. No I do not.
That’s a wrap! Submit a photo of your Christmas tree to win some prizes, take some time to do some online shopping, and stay tuned for next week’s gift guide! It’ll be brightly colored and the last one!
Whether it’s a palm, oak, fur, or a purple plastic seedling…everyone loves a good tree decorating session. This week Schipul had the opportunity to decorate a real live burly pine at the Houston Zoo, one of our beloved clients. Not be be boastful, but the view at Rockefeller Center pales in comparison…Matt Lauer, eat your heart out.
The Schipul Christmas tree is a unique blend of all things geeky. Between the branches and needles, you’ll find an array of discarded computer mice (spray-painted silver of course), Twitter birdies, and the handles of your favorite Schipulites.
The video below chronicles @cpembyrun and @houstonzoodude as they “skip it” through the Houston Zoo and explore the holiday magic within. Yes, there are talking animals…and it’s glorious.