Posts Tagged "how to"

Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest 2

Bootlegger: Email + Facebook + Contest

Posted by on Nov 8, 2010 in higher ed, howto, marketing, pseweb, socialmedia

Just got this email from Bootlegger – it caught my eye for two reasons.  First, it uses a Custom FBML tab that displays differently depending on whether or not the visitor is a fan. Second, I really like the way that the display images uses white spacing.

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Non-Fan View

Above: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you aren’t a fan …

Take a look at the display picture.  It is very simple, but the spacing between the photo of the models, and the brand creative below the photo, makes it seem like Bootlegger has managed to earn themselves two display images instead of one.  Because Facebook has a white background – all you’ve got to do is throw in some white spacing and fake it.

Below: The Bootlegger Fan Page if you are a fan …

Bootlegger Jeans Facebook Page - Custom FBML Tab - Fan View

Here’s what’s going on: Facebook is checking to see whether each visitor is a Facebook Fan of Bootlegger.  If they are a fan, then they are shown specific content.  If they are not a fan, they are shown completely different content.

I think this is really effective! What could be more clear than the giant LIKE with a big blue arrow.  It is also very easy to do

A few more screenshots:

Bootlegger Jeans Website - Contest Landing / Registration Page

Above: The contest landing page for Bootlegger’s become a fan and win a $500 shopping spree contest.

Below: The email campaign sent out to Bootlegger’s customer database, promoting the shopping spree contest.

Bootlegger Jeans Contest Promo Email

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Working with WordPress custom menus 1

Working with WordPress custom menus

Posted by on Oct 5, 2010 in howto, pseweb, wordpress

Today I replaced two static links with a custom WordPress menu in a site that I am working on.

Here is where I am starting with, in static XHTML and CSS:

Screen capture of the menu I am working on

And here is the code:

[code]<div id="siteindex"><a href="sitemap.html">Site Index</a></div><br /><br />
<div id="quicklinks"><a href="quicklinks.html">Ivey Quicklinks</a></div>[/code]

Below is the process for converting the above into an identical end result, built with a WordPress custom menu instead of static XHTML.

Creating the actual custom menu in WordPress

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, under Appearance, go to Menus.
  2. Enter a new menu name (I recommend one word) and hit Create Menu.
  3. Add the pages you would like to include and drag/drop into the desired order.
  4. Go to Screen Options and check the CSS Classes box.
  5. Expand each page in your menu and add the desired class.
    Note: For me, I added the same class to each of my items (“whitelinks”).
  6. Save Menu.

Pulling in my custom menu

  1. First, I need the wp nav menu code
    [code]<?php wp_nav_menu($args); ?>[/code]

  2. Then you tell your site which of your custom menus that you want to display – mine is called Sitemap.
    [code]’menu’ => ‘Sitemap'[/code]

  3. Then I define what class the div surrounding my menu is.
    [code] ‘container_class’ => ‘siteindex'[/code]

  4. Finally, I define the ID of the div.
    [code]’container_id’ => ‘navmenu’ [/code]

  5. And I end up with:
    [code]<?php wp_nav_menu( array(‘menu’ => ‘sitemap’, ‘container_class’ => ‘siteindex’, ‘container_id’ => ‘navmenu’ )); ?>[/code]

    Note: the $args  got replaced with array(), and each detail (argument) that I added is separated by a comma and a space.

Formatting my custom menu

Originally, my menu items were formatted by a class on the <a> tag.  When we use PHP to pull a dynamic menu into WordPress, the menu is pulled in as a list (ul) – each item is a new list item (li). While WordPress does allow me to define a CSS class for each item of my custom menu, it applies this class to the <li> tag for that menu item, rather than the <a> tag.

So, what I have to do is tell WordPress to format a link within a specific class:

[css]a.whitelink {font-size: 11px; color: #FFFFFF; text-decoration: none;}<br /><br />
a.whitelink:hover {text-decoration: underline;}[/css]

My last step is adding the code to take my bulleted list and turn it into a horizontal menu (items all on one line/side by side):

[code]#navmenu ul {margin: 0; padding: 0; list-style-type: none; list-style-image: none; }<br /><br />
#navmenu ul {margin: 0; padding: 0; list-style-type: none; list-style-image: none; }<br /><br />
#navmenu li {display: inline; }<br /><br />
#navmenu ul {margin: 0; padding: 0; list-style-type: none; list-style-image: none; }<br /><br />
#navmenu li {display: inline; padding: 5px 10px 5px 10px}[/code]



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Facebook Pages: Mobile photo & status update from iPhone 0

Facebook Pages: Mobile photo & status update from iPhone

Posted by on Aug 9, 2010 in marketing, mobile, socialmedia

As a personal user, the Facebook mobile applications have left me a little underwhelmed.

As a business user, the iPhone Facebook application is a great tool for anyone who has a Facebook Page – but doesn’t have any other properties (i.e. Twitter). Once you add Twitter, Hootsuite becomes a great tool but if Facebook is all you work with, then Facebook for iPhone gets the job done quick and easy.

The key is adding your pages to your favourites screen within the application.

Add Your Pages to Favourites

  1. Open the app
  2. Click the grid icon in the upper left corner
  3. Swipe to the left to get to your Favourites page
  4. Click the “+” plus icon in the upper right corner
  5. Click Pages in the bottom right
  6. Select the page you would like to add from the list
  7. Done!

Updating Your Facebook Page

  1. Open the app
  2. Click the grid icon in the upper left corner
  3. Swipe to the left to get to your Favourites page
  4. Click on the page you would like to update
  5. For a status update, go ahead and enter into the What’s on your mind? box
  6. For a photo upload, click the camera icon to the left of the What’s on your mind? box

Huge thanks to @jjloa for this great tip at #pseweb last May!

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#pclo09 / Podcamp London ’09

Posted by on Apr 27, 2009 in conference, marketing

Thank you – to @billdeys and @titusferguson and everyone else that worked on this fantastic event!  About 120 people packed three presentation rooms all day Saturday, despite the fact that it was one of the nicest sun days so far this year.  This past week has been incredible for me – first the IABC panel on social media and then Podcamp – two major social media events, and another coming up next Tuesday, right here in London, Ontario.  A year ago, I gave a social media talk at a broader event downtown at the Hilton, and was approached afterwards for referrals for a new PR 2.0 instructor position at McMaster – and I have no one to give.  I had my higher ed contacts across the country and the US, but for the life of me I could not put my finger on anyone in Southwestern Ontario – after this weekend, its clear that the community of social web and new media professionals has bloomed into an incredibly healthy community.

The two presentations with the most take-home for me were …

Improving Your Photography (for less than you paid to be here).

by Jason Fredin

This was a great presentation – Jason is a clear speaker and gave a lot of advice that I’ve already been playing around with.  He teaches photography courses at henry’s on Thursdays and Fridays that I might check out 🙂

  • While he didn’t quite say “Megapixels, more like Mega-smixels,” he prooved a similar point with photos taken on cell phones, video cameras, 4.0MP point and shoots and a 12MP SLR.  Unless you are doing print design, megapixels really aren’t going to hurt your work there is almost no visible difference between 4 and 12 megapixels. Check out flickr’s index of photos taken on a Morotola Razr.
  • “Better cameras don’t make better photographers”
  • Take the time to know your camera
  • Exposure compensation: Use to bring out whites (+), or to see through dim lighting (-).
  • White balance: Most cameras have automatic white balance but they do not always get it right – explore the different settings such as Indoors, Flourescent.
  • Try turning off your flash
  • In harsh light, force the flash to get into shadows (under eyes, under nose, under a hat)
  • Use a tripod – buy one that is light enough to take with you
  • String monopod – put screw into camera with string attached. Drop other end of string (weighted), then step on it to pull tight.  Resistance will brace your camera when no tripod is available.
  • Fill the frame
  • Buy a tripod that is large enough for your camera.

Ten Tips for eBay:

  • Turn off flash
  • Use a tripod
  • Turn the product on – show it working
  • Simplify i.e. use white posterboard as backdrop
  • Get a better angle – use double sided tape and small props
  • Ghetto lightbox – make your own lightbox with a cardboard box, white paper
  • Adjust exposure and white balance

Ethics in Social Media

Presented by Dave Fleet.

Description: Ghost blogging. Astroturfing. Sock puppets. Wikipedia pages. Each of these new areas brings new ethical concerns and dilemmas. We’ll take a spin through these quandries to try to find an answer to them.

Dave was a fantastic speaker and has amazing passion for the topic (and the provoking discussion that came out of it between PR and journalism).

Some of his points:

  • Use common sense – if you would not want it on the front page of the newspaper, don’t do it
  • You are what google says you are, everything you do online lives on on other peoples sites
  • Nothing you do online is anonymous – ip address.
  • We have to change the image of pr, from the shady guy in a fedora [to a credible information source.]
  • -Lists organizations that have edited their own stuff don’t change your own wikipedia – but what if it is wrong?

Seriously, what if it’s wrong? How to you fix misinformation on your brand’s wikipedia entry?

  • Suggest changes via discussion page
  • Maintain neutral pointt of view when contributing
  • Follow the established process for getting your organization on wikipedia, if it is not already there
  • Don’t attack others

Ghost blogging

Dave pointed out that ghosting has been done in Public Relations for years – it’s no new thing.  Speeches, letters to the editor, even email, are often written by PR staff.  When reading online content, users have a higher expectation for it to be written by the named author – not a PR screen.  No one is forcing them to blog – it’s a choice.

Kanye West caught by the police and the blogosphere in the same day:

Kanye has a very prolific blog with a huge readership.  It becomes suggested that he doesn’t have time for the amount of content being produced and perhaps he has ghost writers – which he violently denies. Later, he is arrested at 8am but then a blog post goes live at 8:10am.  Was his mistake getting caught? Was it denying ghost writers from the start? The fact that Kanye West does not write his own blog may not matter to me or Dave or anyone at the conference, however, it mattered to the Kanye fans that thought they were reading the artists original thoughts.  If you don’t have time to write your own blogs – why are you blogging? Choose a tool that fits you – possibly twitter (shorter, less formal).

What if we find out that @Oprah is ghostwritten? 40 million middle aged women would be sad – because they joined to get close to her. Twitter is about personal thoughts.
It’s not just the emotional crush but also breaking unspoken rules of authenticity and transparency – but Kanye fans don’t know about these ethics – they are just ‘betrayed’

Dave pointed that out that if the editor/dean does not have time to blog – why does it have to be the editor – why not the guy that has time? Why not a group of people. Kanye was an issue of narcissism – he wants to be the blogger even though he is not.

Social/online media show that betrayal does happen – people will start to wonder if traditional media are credible either?

Guest blogger vs ghost blogger – Guest bloggers are fine – as long as it is labelled.  Even advertorials would be ok if it was done transparently.

Group blogs are a great tool for orgs, share the load across several writers.


Fake grassroots/Faking a grassroots community – i.e. wal-marting across the country. “Walmart enthusiasts” set out on a cross-country roadtrip, sleeping in Wal-Mart parking lots at each stop.  They were outed as journalists. These mistakes are what leads to the sleazy spin doctor image that hurts all of us.

Isn’t the nature of pr to be deceptive? Present your product positively.

A PR instructor from Fanshawe College piped up: Writing, ethics are two key components of Public Relations. Tell the right truth to the right as many ppl as possible. Sometimes PR professionals have to say no to a client that wants something unethical – decision between money and ethics. Same as a journalist covering paris hilton in jail.  Is this a little white lie to a small number of ppl, or is it something that will lose you your other clients.

This talk reminded me of some thought I’ve been giving to the different approaches to social web and new media – the same way there are two rough approaches to public relations.  PR professionals can genuinely care about ethics – reaching as many people as possible with the right content at the right time.  There are others (mostly sleazy guys in a fedoras), who will spin anything in order to get coverage – potentially at the loss of other clients.

Again it was a great weekend – I will be posting the slides from my talk “Hitch a Ride: Mobile Marketing” soon – I just have to add some voice as the slides themselves are mostly screenshots rather than points.

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Pretty RSS on your “new” Facebook Page 4

Pretty RSS on your “new” Facebook Page

Posted by on Apr 8, 2009 in marketing, socialmedia

I’m a huge advocate of RSS, always.  Recently I put some thought into how to pull RSS content into the new Facebook Page format, in a somewhat professional/aesthetic presentation.

There are many RSS applications available for Facebook Page owners.  Most, if not all, of these have a very “functional” (aka stark and awkward) appearance, and also are heavily stamped with the name and brand of the RSS application.  What you really want is for it to be stamped with your own brand, right?

Screenshot of Simply RSS, third party RSS application for Facebook Pages

Screenshot of Simply RSS, third party RSS application for Facebook Pages

Just one feed?

Use the Notes application.  You can plug in any RSS feed and have your Notes page automatically pull in new items.  The Notes page has a nice, soft, Facebook appearance and does all the right things such as providing headlines and teaser paragraphs etc.

More than one feed?

You probably already knew about Notes!  You probably are only using an RSS application such as RSS-Connect, or Simply RSS, because you have more than one blog or feed you want to share – and Notes only supports a single feed!

What I recommend is combining your feeds into a single feed, and then using this new aggregate feed with the Notes application.  Sites such as will combine any number of feeds for you in just a few clicks, and then provide a randomly generated URL for your new aggregate feed.  If you want to add or remove a feed from the mix, you’ll end up with a new random URL.  Switching URL’s is something you want to avoid, because everytime you do so you will lose any subscribers that had been following the original URL. allows you to create an account, plug in your random URL (from and then outputs a new vanity URL such as  This is the URL that you want to plug into Notes.  FeedBurner is great because you can go in and change the “input” URL anytime and continue using the same output/vanity URL – as well FeedBurner is one of the few ways I know to track traffic on your RSS feed!

Screenshot of Statistics Dashboard on FeedBurner

Screenshot of Statistics Dashboard on FeedBurner

So to recap:

Step 1: combine all RSS feeds via
Step 2: register at and plug in the URL you got from
Step 3: go to Facebook and plug your URL into the Notes application
Step 4: Any time you change your rssmix URL, log into FeedBurner and simply replace the old URL with the new one


  • Your Facebook Page pulls in multiple feeds into a single, exciting, and attractive page (the Notes tab)
  • Your Facebook Page feed updates everytime one of your blogs has a new item (new note is created)
  • You have a vanity RSS URL that you can also choose to use on your homepage or on other social platforms
  • You have statistics on the use of your RSS feed via FeedBurner
  • Notes will push a headline about each new story to your Wall/Stream tab
Screenshot of the "Notes" tab, which can handle a single RSS feed - either an original or an aggregate of many.

Screenshot of the "Notes" tab, which can handle a single RSS feed - either an original or an aggregate of many.

Let me know if you’re handling this differently, I’d love to know your approach!

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