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Dear Adobe Indesign (c/o Facebook),

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.  I love how you allow me to create templates for the designs I do over and over again. I love how you let me place multiple photos at one time or change all but summer greens to fall browns with your swatches. I love that I can create multi-page documents (My ex, Illustrator, never let me duplex!) and that all your fonts remain vector (Photoshop could learn a few things from you!). And I love your happy pink logo.

So pink. So happy.

 

I spend most of my day working with you and yet it never occurred to me to try to become your friend on Facebook…until now. Of course you are on Facebook!  You appeal to tech savvy creative folks like myself who seem to spend our lives online and are involved with designing for social media, as well as traditional web and print.

I know we can’t really be friends on Facebook, I can only “Like” you and join your social network of adoring followers. I have to accept that I must share you with the 88,257 other people who Like you (although thank you for reminding me that I can also follow you on Twitter @InDesign where I only need to share you with 5,068 followers).  Your Favourite Pages tell me that you want to share my affections with your 5 friends – Creative Suite Design (9,151), Adobe Digital Publishing (3,213), Adobe Flash Catalyst (7,445), Adobe Photoshop (1,350,515) and Adobe Illustrator (211,575) – but I Like you the best and don’t want to split my devotion just yet.

Since I must admire you from afar, I appreciate how frequently you update your status (Several times a day! You keep me checking in.) and how you vary it from topical questions to very specific news articles, events and program tips:

ADOBE INDESIGN:Are you spending this Black Friday shopping? Or still recovering from a great Thanksgiving meal?
ME:I’m Canadian so I’m at work and had Thai for dinner instead of turkey, but thanks for asking!

ADOBE INDESIGN:Amazon has released a free plug-in (Kindle for Adobe InDesign (beta)) that allows InDesign users to export documents and books to Kindle format.
ME:Cool. That could be useful…file that info away for later.

 

So blue. Yet you work so well together.

Everything you write is something I’m interested in reading about.  If I post one of my designs to my Facebook I could Tag you and my design would appear in your Photos. You’ve posted 487 Links that appeal to me and you have a Discussion board where I can post questions to fellow admirers when we are having a fight about one issue or another (Why do you give me transparency issues? You know how I love to play with that effect but then you don’t co-operate.) How is it possible that I haven’t Like‘d you until now?!

 

But I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.  You do have some faults. That Discussion board is pretty quiet, why only 5 posts in November? And while I find you very informative, there is not a lot of personality radiating from your posts.  Also many followers seem to be using your Wall as a help desk but they are not getting responses from you or others (I know, maybe they should learn to use the Discussion board!) so there is very little interactivity going on there.  Hello out there InDesign, is anyone reading these Wall posts? I’m not so sure about that.

But I shouldn’t be too critical.  Your Facebook fan page is amazing and I’ve only been part of it for a little over an hour.  I’m sure as time passes I will develop a deeper understanding of your benefits and flaws. I look forward to developing this friendship in Facebook-land.

Until then,

Rosey

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What do you think fellow creative thinkers and doers?  Is Adobe on the right track with their Facebook page for InDesign and co? Or maybe you know why my InDesign program keeps losing Arial Bold ever since I’ve installed it onto Windows 7 at work – such a pain to be missing a standard font!  Post your thoughts in the comments.

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Old Spice really hit the ball out of the social networking park with their The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign.  I think that it will go down as one of the great marketing campaigns of 2010.

Now it seems that everyone wants to be the next Old Spice.  I work with several professional printing companies in my job.  One of those printers is TPH –  aka The Printing House.  I recently received an email from them promoting the start of their new web series Your Printz has Come.  This series of YouTube videos was created by Toronto based Endeavour Marketing and introduces “The Printz”, a viking prince delivering TPH products and faced with understanding the mysteries of the modern workplace.

The first episode, entitled “Smokers” is an amusing look at one of my own personal pet peeves, The Frequent Smoke Break (although there are so few smokers left in Vancouver this is hardly an issue out here – perhaps a bit of Toronto-bias to this campaign, that’s where the smoke break got under my skin too).

It’s a cute concept and I’ll admit to looking forward to receiving Episode 2 in my inbox in the next few weeks. I regularly receive emails from TPH but this is the first time I’ve clicked to read or watch the link they sent.  If mobilizing me was their goal, then this video has been successful.

The character and content are amusing, and the production quality is professional. I could do without the obvious product placement of the TPH mugs and print products. There’s a fine line between a web series and a commercial and this feels like they are trying to do both while succeeding at neither one.  I regularly visit their website and place orders anyway. I don’t know that The Printz will make me do any more business, but I supposed the web series will help keep them top of mind when I’m sending out my next print job.

What has not been done well is incorporating The Printz character into a full social media campaign.  To me it has the potential, but instead of creating a YouTube channel for The Printz, the video is housed off the agency’s endeavourmarketing1 YouTube channel.  Weak.  Also comments for the video have been disabled. In my mind that basically says ‘we’re not interested in what you have to say’ and goes against the fundamentals of social media.  There is also no web page, Twitter or Facebook for The Printz. [UPDATE – After my blog post they added a Twitter account for the character @the_printz and they also posted video #2 on their own TPHCanada YouTube channel.  I feel so powerful!]

TPH has an active Twitter feed where they have posted the video. I’m part of their social network and appreciate the thoughtful commentary and links they post which are related to graphic design and print production. I feel like a secondary Twitter feed for The Printz is a missed opportunity of expanding this campaign. Surely a chunk of money was spent creating the episodes, but I would hope they have other plans that will integrate with the videos.  And if they are simply expecting the episodes to go viral, then they need to lay off the sales pitch.

There are so many printers for me to choose from. The Printz is just one more way for TPH to engage with a clientele that has endless choice.  I think it has potential to help them but they need to embrace him fully.

The BrandBuilder Pony

The BrandBuilder Pony

This past Follow Friday (#FF in the Twitterverse) I signed up to follow Olivier Blanchard, aka thebrandbuilder. Branding and Marketing are right up my alley and we had several following/followers in common so it seemed like a good move.  2 days in and I’m very confused, yet very intrigued by his tweets. Case in point – he just switched his photo from handsome creative-type guy with glasses to a pink my little pony.  It’s all part of his new #StepfordTBB campaign.

As far as I can tell – being a new follower and all – he used to call it like he saw it with the good, the bad and the ugly of Social Media.  He offers criticism and strong opinions on Social Media marketing in hopes of driving the medium forward.  Over at his blog The BrandBuilder Blog he says it is a “blog about building strong brands through passion, innovation, creativity and common sense.” Smartly written with just enough pop culture to make the strategy go down easy, this is an admittedly funnier version of what I imagine my blog will become.

What Olivier is now doing over at his Twitter Account is, starting this afternoon, nothing less that a complete 180.  Fed up with taking flack for his opinionated tweets he has changed his tune.  “It’s going to be so awesome being 100% positive all the time. I’ve been doing this all wrong, seeing snake oil where there wasn’t any. His posts are coming fast and furious tonight, but are made of rainbows and unicorns, definitely no snake oil or (snake) bite to them.  He changed his Twitter bio to read “I used to call out BS. Now, I just agree with everyone.”  Looking at his Twitter feed I can see I’m not the only one confused yet intrigued by his new attitude. He’s doing an admirable job of interacting with his followers, replying to their frantic questions while staying in character.

How long this #StepfordTBB will continue is hard to say.  But just a few hours in, Olivier has managed to grab my attention from my crowded Twitter feed, make me Google to find his blog, check out where he’s based (South Carolina – I could have sworn he was a Vancouverite based on our shared contacts!!) and finally locate his company site The BrandBuilder Marketing. If I’m any indication, this sounds like a solid evening of work. Bravo Olivier!

My Goal: Less Season 1 Pam, more Season 4 Pam.

My Goal: Less Season 1 Pam, more Season 4 Pam.

And here he is, staring in my latest post for my Social Media Class at BCIT.  My social media persona is opinionated  – more so that I am in real life – which lead to a minor meltdown earlier this week as I questioned if I should be sharing these opinions with the world wide web.  What if someone I know finds this blog?  What if someone I work with reads this blog? But I have opinions on marketing-communications and creative campaigns and this seems like a “safe” place to share those opinions.  I’m using it as a training ground so that I’ll be more willing and able to speak up when I’m called upon to offer my expert opinion in the workplace. Clients and coworkers expect me to guide them. They trust me.  I need to learn to trust myself.

After his work today, I would definitely trust Olivier to take my brand to the next level.  I’d love to see what he could come up with.

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