Got Green Filament? With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner why not print out some Shamrock shaped devices on your 3D printer? The bloggers here at Council Blogs are counting their petals in case there’s a four leaf clover. How is the Shamrock associated with St. Patrick? The story goes that St. Patrick used the Shamrock as a way of explaining the Trinity.
Volkswagen’s Fun Theory project sponsored a number of interesting experiments in making mundane things, FUN. One of the projects was to fit a trash receptacle with a motion detector and a sound card. When someone added some trash, the motion detector triggered a sound file to play which sounded like Wile E. Coyote plummeting to the bottom of the canyon floor. You can watch the video and see the results here.
Does your dog like treats? If your dog is like our dogs they are food motivated to the end. Why not make homemade dog treats? Better yet, why not make homemade dog treats personalized with your dog’s name? When you have a 3D printer at home, this is very easy to do. Design up a dog bone shape, add some text for your dog’s name and Voila! You have a dog biscuit cutter. If you’re not ready for making your own cutter you can visit the website and order a customized cutter from TPM technologies. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we have a new endeavor, it’s not lept Like A Blog, but lept like a Dog! We have Happy Dogs with their homemade treats. We’re not sure what they like best. Eating a biscuit with their name on it or sneaking a biscuit with their brother’s name on it.
What do story telling and business marketing have in common? Everything. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we have developed a discipline of weekly blog posts. Many people ask, “what will I blog about?” The answer is simple. Just tell the story of your business. According to Freshly Pressed, WordPress.com’s blog highlighting portal, the number one thing to be featured is “Unique content.” Only you can tell the story of your business so naturally it is inherently unique. The other thing we find here at Council Blogs is that people are interested in how you conduct your business. People like to do business with people they Know, Like, and Trust. People like to be able to read about how you do your business and interact with your customers. What more natural way than to tell the story of your business. Here at Council Blogs we like to use WordPress for our blogs.One great benefit of telling the story of our business is that we have a chance to use the tags that best describe our business. This helps immensely in our findability for new customers. It also helps keep a fresh web presence for our existing customers. So, the next time you have that blogger’s writing cramp, get back to basics and tell the story of your business. If you have any examples of great stories you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.
Rapid Prototyping or RP describes a number of technologies that includes 3D printing. Turning an X-Y process into the 3rd dimension. The technologies involved keep getting better in resolution and larger size components that can be made. Fortunately, other advances are making the technology more affordable. Advances in the open source community for microcontrollers like Arduino are allowing designers to easily and affordably copy these big brother technologies in a desk top version. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we added the Makerbot 3D printer to exhibit the capability of 3D printing. Soon, tepees and arrowheads in 3D will be adorning the cyber Wigwam. At the root of the Makerbot is the Arduino micorcontroller technology. Massimo Banzi presents an excellent overview of open source ideals and how it impacts creativitiy below.
You may say that you watch a video on YouTube once in a blue moon. Chances are you watch one more often. In 2010 the number of users on the internet climbed over 2 billion. With 4 billion views per day on YouTube that means that there are an average of two videos watched every day per person on the internet. Currently there are about 48 hours of vidoe uploaded to YouTube every minute. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we have some bloggers venturing out into YouTube and have developed their own channel. YouTube classes are available from lept Like A Blog if you are ready to start producing some unique content.
Congratulations to the JPL team for the Curiosity landing. Pictures are spectacular. The animation of the landing process are phenomenal. The PR staff is realizing the power of social media, setting up a special sub domain for social media. You can check it out by clicking below. Social media is allowing us all to participate in the revelry.
Does Cutting and Pasting seem too tedious?
- Is your left hand jealous of the right hand always having the mouse? Cutting and pasting can go lickedy-split if you get both the right hand and the left hand doing something. Did you realize that both Apple and IBM have short cut keys for that left hand to participate? Speed up your blog typing and let your fingers follow your brain faster by getting used to these handy shortcuts. The letters themselves don’t necessarily make a lot of sense but are placed so that it is easy for the left hand to manipulate. The letters used are on the lower left of the keyboard: Z, X, C, and V. So the computer could realize you wanted to do something different than the letters, you use the special ”apple key” located to the left of the space bar like a shift key. Windows followed suit using the the ctrl (control) key similat to operation to the shift key. The short cuts are:
- Ctrl-Z is undo
- Ctrl-X is cut
- Ctrl-C is copy
- Ctrl-V is paste
And for those adventurous types you can venture from the bottom row and Ctrl-A is select all.
Content Management Systems or CMS are layers of software to help authors concentrate on their content or message instead of the programming details of a traditional website approach. A CMS can give you an advantage in the time spent updating your site. To better appreciate the advantages of a CMS over a static site we need to lift the hood a bit to see what is different about the platforms. You can think of a traditional website as an electronic billboard. The sign painters for your electronic billboard use a language called HyperText Markup Language or HTML. This is the language of all browsers and is the avenue for making your screen come to life on a website. Early websites had to be coded in HTML. Quickly WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get editors started to emerge to make the coding of HTML more palatable. The next steps were to develop bigger chunks of code that required less coding and more configuration. These evolved into Content Management Systems where the code allows you to fill in forms that drive the behavior of your website. With the information of the forms in a database the look and feel can be quickly and easily transformed to something else. Styling rules drive what the content will look like. WordPress is a CMS that has caught on with developers making styling setups called themes and functional chunks called plugins. WordPress.org is the clearinghouse for free themes and plugins. WordPress.com is a site where you can set up a free blog. The engine is basically the same in both cases. The top reason for a small business to consider WordPress for their web presence is how easy it is to update the site. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we continually run into people who are having a hard time getting a response from their webmaster. Even the simplest things like phone numbers or addresses or dates take 3 or 4 phone calls to get changed. Small business owners can take the reins with WordPress, updating easily with a respectable looking site that didn’t take a lot of programming. At lept Like A Blog we have classes and tutorials for people to quickly come up to speed.
Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is what drives the blogosphere. It is what enables bloggers to be both the reporter and the publisher. It provides a mechanism for the bloggers at Council Blogs to have an avenue for publishing, a way to broadcast to the world. It also gives us bloggers a mechanism for readers to subscribe to our pearls of wisdom. From my speaking engagements I find RSS the least understood aspect of social media. The underlying programming techniques of RSS paved the way for interactivity, which in turn paved the way for social media applications to spawn and grow. With RSS, now instead of one AP wire, we have a million AP wires. With so much information at our fingertips, the challenge for future generations will be how to discern credible sources. As small business owners we should be happy that with the internet and social media we have the freedom to interact closely with our customers. We have a generally untapped resource at our disposal. During your Fourth of July holiday you may want to consider how the freely flowing information could impact a stronger relationship with your customers. At the cyber wigwam we would like to hear about your successes in using social media for your business. Feel free to comment below.