A blog about website design, programing, print design, and marketing in Jackson Hole, Bend, and Beyond.

Searching Blogs filed under Trends

What's in a domain name?

By Jim Sbarra on September 5, 2009

While working with a client the past couple months trying to find an appropriate domain name,I had a glimpse into the future of website domain names. People are now naming their business based on what domain name is available. Which seems like a good thing to do. Except "domain real estate agents" are taking all the good names in hope for the big pay off. So what are small businesses supposed to?

Before you know it were going to start having business called klsjdflkssd because that was the only .com available that adequately described their business!

Sure you could go with a .biz, or.info,  but come on, we all want the .com. So good luck and how do you pronounce 'klsjdflkssd' anyway?


Searching Blogs filed under Trends

Some thoughts on Social Networking

By Shannon Sbarra on August 5, 2009

EVERYONE is asking us about social media.  It's a craze that must be in the water; a disease that's spreading faster than swine flu. 

However, there seem to be some misconceptions about how and when to conduct a social media campaign.  Prospective clients have been approaching me about social networking as though it's a savior to the recession.  They are looking for a quick fix, and are convinced that it's a top priority. 

Well, let me tell it to you straight. 

#1 Social Networking will not magically save the economy.
In fact, all of the time that employees are spending on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and all of the other networking sites has been proven to decrease productivity. 

#2 Social Networking is not a quick fix.
Setting up a few social media accounts will take several hours, and that's just the beginning of the work load.  A good social networking campaign is centered around cultivating real business relationships and friendships.

It takes time to manage your accounts, get to know other users and attract actual leads.  Many businesses who have successfully utilized social media to increase their profits have hired full time staff members to manage the accounts.

#3 Social Networking probably should not be your top marketing priority. 
Before you even consider a social networking campaign, you should evaluate your current marketing plan. Is your brand clearly defined?  Do you have a large, clear, appealing sign in front of your retail location (if applicable)?  Does your website represent the quality of your company?  Is your online reputation clean?  Have you considered a pay per click campaign? 

If you are sure that all your ducks are in a row, then this is the big question:  Do you have the time and/or money available to manage a social media campaign?


Searching Blogs filed under Trends

Web Video Usage

By Jim Sbarra on July 16, 2009

I love and am all for web videos. However web video is much different than TV and traditional video. At Skyfire Studio, we go by the rule of thumb that  web videos shouldn't run over two minutes long. This is in part due to keep file size down, but also web users attention spans are a lot shorter than a TV audience.

The key is to display all this media, videos, images, etc, in ways that still create a great user experience on the web.


Searching Blogs filed under Trends

Website Design Trends

By Jim Sbarra on June 16, 2009

It's always fun to take a look around and see where the ever changing world of web design is going.

From a visual point of view, we are seeing much more use of gradients, and sites with out gradients are looking more and more out of date. In the old days(like 2 years ago), the less images used the better, but not with high bandwidth on the rise more designers have taken the attitude of "if  you don't have broadband too bad". Which is interesting because we are also seeing a rise in internet use from cell phones and other pda's which run on a much slower network.

To address this paradox properly the best thing to do is to have two css style sheets, one for traditional web browsers and one for PDAs. Except that i-phones render the web more like a traditional browser which will ignore the "pda" style sheet, but still be on the slower network.