“Old Developers Just Don’t Get it. Yes They Do. No They Don’t” – Ed Schipul and John-Michael Oswalt at Ignite OSCON


This week, we sent our CEO Ed Schipul and Programming Manager John-Michael Oswalt to speak at the Ignite session of OSCON 2013 Open Source Convention in Portland!

Ignite’s format is made up of five-minute presentations using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds – known as “speed dating for ideas” by some.


Take 5 Minutes and Watch this Video!

Below is Ed and JMO’s five minute talk on the generational differences of programmers – particularly Millennials vs. Gen Xers – and how that has influenced Tendenci’s development.

“Old Developers Just Don’t Get it. Yes They Do. No They Don’t”


Thoughts? Please share in the comments!

Katrina Kokoska on DIY Email Marketing at AAF District 10 Conference!

DIY Email Marketing Public Speaking Recap
Over the weekend, our own Katrina Kokoska presented back to back sessions at the annual American Advertising Federation’s AAF District 10 annual Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the topic of DIY Email Marketing.

She covered how to get started with Email Marketing – including things to consider when defining your goals and measuring your success.

Thinking about starting email marketing? Katrina breaks down the what, why, and how of getting started with email marketing!

Check out her presentation slides and presentation highlights below!


1. Why Email Marketing is Effective

  •  People Find it Valuable
  • You Have an Engaged Audience – 40% of consumers enjoy receiving a substantial amount of marketing emails every week –Blue Kangaroo
  • It is Easy to Measure
  • Emails have a Longer Shelf Life than other forms of communications – For instance, only 23.6% of email opens occur within the first hour, A Facebook brandpost will get half of it’s reach in the first 30 minutes.
  • ROI

Shelf Life of Online Marketing Communications

2. Things you Should Consider Before Getting Started with Email Marketing

Define your objective – Why are you doing this?

  • Who is/are your audience(s)?
  • What is a conversion for them?
  • Examples: Loyalty program, Referrals, Lead nurturing, Closing
  • How will you measure success?

Choose your ESP (Email Service Provider)

  • Hosting options: Fully managed, SaaS, In-House
  • We recommend using a SaaS
  • Factors to consider: Price, Commitment, Templating features, Reporting, Reputation

Build your list

Link Building Do’s:

  1. DO: Build your list offline. Add checkbox to offline forms including Business cards, Event registrants, *Recent consumers (see caveat below)
  2. DO: Build your list online. Collect emails on your Website Homepage, Sidebar, Contact Form, at Check out, Event Registration, on Facebook, on your Blog
  3. DO: Segment your list. Emails that have been tailored to specific audiences through segmentation get 50% more clicks than their counterparts. – Marketing Sherpa
  4. DO: Tell them what they will receive
  5. DO: Build trust immediately
  6. DO: Continue growing your list

Email Lists Expire at ~25% per year

Link Building Don’ts:

  1. DON’T: Buy lists
  2. DON’T: Harvest email addresses or copy/paste
  3. DON’T: Precheck the box
  4. DON’T: Add folks to more lists than they agreed to
  5. DON’T: Send to folks you haven’t sent to in at least 2 years
  6. DON’T: Do anything else that sounds shady

Notes on Email Spam

  • Spammy techniques affect your Sender Score/Reputation and your ability to get email through to people’s inboxes
  • CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non – Solicited Pornography And Marketing) Act of 2003 protects users from these spammy tactics
  • EACH separate violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000


  1. Define objectives first
  2. Use a SaaS solution
  3. Build your list thoughtfully across offline/digital properties
  4. Don’t be shady

3. Crafting and Creating Effective Email Messages

1. The Subject Line

  • Do it first
  • Be brief and explicit
  • Not appropriate for the hard sell
  • Sense of urgency
  • Avoid SPAM Terms
  • Localization not personalization
  • Use your company name
  • Test, test, test!

2. The Email Design

  • Your CTA:– Above the fold
  • All roads lead to CTA
  • Short and powerful
  • Redundant
  • How’s your subject line holding up
  • Can you “Share with a Friend?”
  • Have you integrated your other digital properties?

Email Design Technical Considerations

  • How does it hold up across email clients?
  • How does it look across mobile platforms?
  • Can you view in browser and as plaintext?

3. The Landing Page

  1. Never go home
  2. Focused value proposition
  3. Clear request
  4. One step conversion

4. Timing Considerations

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What timezones are you sending to?
  3. What is it you are asking them do?

Benchmarks on Email Open Rates by Time of Day and Day of Week

4. Management and Measurement


  • Bounce – Undeliverable email
    • Hard bounce–Soft bounce
    • Bounce Rate = # hard bounces/list size
  • Unsubscribe – Opt out
    • Unsubscribe Rate = # of unsubscribes/ list size
  • Unique Open Rate – The # of people who open a message
    • Open Rate = # of opens / emails sent
  • Click Thru – Clicking a link in message
    • Click Thru Rate = # of unique clicks / #of links X recipients
  • Conversion – Someone did the thing you wanted them to do
    • Conversion Rate = # of conversions / #of recipients

Bounce Rate Benchmarks for Email Marketing 2013

Are You Set Up for Tracking?


  1. Bounce/Unsubscribes – List health
  2. Open/CTR – Content
  3. Conversion – Overall performance
  4. TEST!

A big thanks to AAF District 10 for having us at the conference!

Support some great SXSWi 2012 panels!

SXSW 2012 promotion

SXSWi reigns as the Geek Supreme Conference for marketers, technologists and entrepreneurs alike.   The Schipul team attends and speaks regularly at this great event – boy do we love the energy, fun and creativity that is found walking through the streets of Austin in March every year!

In the spirit of awesome content and even more awesome SXSWi attendees, we have created another SXSW Proposed Panel Page (say that five times fast) to help support Schipul and friends’ favorite SXSWi 2012 panels to vote on!

Let us help you promote your SXSWi panel submission!

Did you submit a panel or see a few that you want to spread the word about?   Leave us a comment on this post with the link and reason why you think it rocks – we’ll add it to our community proposal page!

Can’t wait until March 2012?     Be sure to check out this handy ‘First-Timer’s Guide to SXSW’ and take a look at some of our adventures we have had with our favorite geeks and companies throughout the years.   Like pretty pictures instead, we can do that 🙂

Looking forward to bumping into you in line at a party and Tweeting at you in a packed conference room full of amazing minds next year!

How to support your favorite SXSWi panels

SXSW panel picker process

Unlike most conferences, SXSWi has a very interesting panel selection process.   Your vote and comments count for 30%, the SXSW Advisory Board mindtrust counts for 40% and SXSW staff weigh in with the final 30% – all designed to help deliver some of the most intriguing and diverse content of any event.

How often do you get to have your voice heard as an attendee?   Dig through the main PanelPicker 2012 interface and explore proposals by category, tag, title and more.   Once you’re logged in, you can give panels a thumbs up or down, then leave your comments on each individual page.

Comments are a great way to recommend a speaker you have seen before, leave feedback (hopefully constructive!) on the topic or just express your general excitement – which is also a great feeling for wannabe panelists.   Don’t forget to Tweet, Facebook, Google + and email topics you think SXSWi 2012 just shouldn’t be without.   A little promotion can go a long way for any speaker’s success.

And finally – comment with a link to your favorite SXSWi 2012 panels so we can add them to our list!   Voting and commenting ends on September 2nd, so don’t delay – we want to see what panels inspire you.   Thanks!

SlideShare.net tools for professional speakers (and mobile site for everyone)!

SlideShare.net recently announced some advanced tools for professional speakers!

  1. Individuals can register as professional speakers on SlideShare
  2. Conference organizers can register their conference on SlideShare

Both the speaker and conference directories have the potential to be extremely valuable resources for connecting speakers and listeners! According to Compete.com, SlideShare had 1 million unique visitors in February 2009, proving it is already successfully connecting presentations to a wide audience.

If you are a professional speaker or planning a conference, we highly recommend you take advantage of these exciting tools!

Do these tools make sense for me?

  • You should register in the speaker directory if you have a presence on SlideShare (including a healthy number of quality presentations), and have spoken for at least one conference in the past (this is required in the registration form).
  • You should post your conference on SlideShare if you are willing to provide a discount (coupon or promo code) for SlideShare users. This is a great opportunity to get the word out about upcoming events in your organization!
  • You should not post your name or conference on SlideShare if you are looking for an opportunity to spam SlideShare’s database. Common sense works best here.

Mobile Site! m.slideshare.net

Also, be sure to check out SlideShare’s new mobile site, m.slideshare.net! Here’s what it looks like right now on my iPhone: