1080 Media has been lucky enough to be selected for several substantial web projects lately. This windfall of projects has not only kept us busy, but through word of mouth from satisfied clients, has generated a slew of quote requests for projects of the same nature. The subject matter of the three largest projects – online customization. 1080 clients have requested websites that provide online customization of existing products, with live previews, edit ability  and high resolution  file creation rivaling magazine quality artwork suitable for framing. Yes, it’s a niche that we have carved out for ourselves. You would think that the application would be limited for this service, but when you look a little deeper, you will notice that this service applies to way more than you thought… maybe even something sold by your company.

Intuitive sites that can handle product fulfillment, while answering questions about what product will best suit the customers needs on the fly. Sites that can tie into existing sales software at the register level, adding appointments, accessing online cameras to show work being done in the bay area and adding interaction between the technician and the customer, eliminating wait time and increasing on-time delivery. Adding mobile phone apps that tie into the main website, adding functionality while your customers are on the go, always keeping them in the loop. We can add a customized game to the app, which will exponentially increase your branding efforts by keeping your app and logo in front of the potential/existing customers for long periods of time.

If you can think of an app that makes sense, chances are that 1080 media’s design team can produce the app, right here in the Mahoning County, with a real person to talk to during the entire creative process. Not “Peggy” in India. Chances are that if another agency in town offers you a mobile app, they are farming it out, and chances are even greater still that the work is being done far from the U.S.

Share

I’m not really sure that I believe in that “you will never get a second chance to make a first impression” stuff. Things grow on me. I DO go back. I sometimes come away with a better appreciation after I digest the message for a little while. With that being said, if I were giving you advice to make your ad campaign more impactful, the first thing I would tell you is… for the average person… ”you will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If you throw too much at them all at once, you have thrown your money out the window! Have a plan. Create an ad that doesn’t hurt your eyes to look at it for more than three seconds. One ad with a fantastic pictures and a few words can be 100 times more memorable than an ad that is stuffed with 50 products, a thousand little descriptions with regular AND sale prices.

Try this simple formula, and win at the cash register.

1. Simplify Your Message – Today’s consumer is on advertising overload. The days of busy ads selling all things to all people no longer exist. Today, the message that reaches and resonates with the customer is a simplfied one. Stay on target and be clear.

2. Keep it Positive – Everyone likes good news. Fun, happy, positive messages are memorable and welcome in all worlds. Celebrate and enjoy. Pass this along to your target customer and it is contagious.

3. Don’t tell people what you sell, tell them why they should buy it.
Chuck Zarbaugh
President
Share

Smart Phones. How many of them are out there, and how often are they used? It seems like we would probably be able to guess, and come pretty close. Almost everyone, I’m thinking. Then I DID start thinking… “Everyone? Really?” That’s crazy. The real answer IS crazy. As of January of 2012, there are now over 100 MILLION Smart Phone Users in the United States. 100 Million hand held computers, able to deliver almost an endless supply of data, while standing anywhere in the world. It’s almost mind boggling, and so are the opportunities.

After digging a little deeper, I found that these same smart phones impact our lives way more than I thought. Studies have shown that the average user adds 460 work hours a year because of interaction with work via smartphones. The average business professional checks their smart phone 20-40 times a day just for e-mail. In the 18-35 demo, the average user checks their smart phone 250-350 times a day. Take a few seconds and think about what I just said. Up to 350 times a day. And why not. Text messages, e-mails, games, web surfing, phone calls, what’s playing at the theaters, look up a phone number, is our plane running late? Again, these hand held computers can do just about anything we want, and while increasing the convenience in our everyday lives, people have become slaves to the devices. Ahhhh, but we can use that to our advantage.

If you stop and think about it, every single one of these users are our next generation of potential customers. They will have grown up having everything at their fingertips, and used to getting everything they need instantly. The generation after that… probably even more addicted. And that’s exactly where we should be. On their phones. If your company does not have a mobile phone website, or your site is not optimized for mobile devices, there is a great chance that they will tap another site and get what they want… right now. Even better, if you can get them to download a mobile app, the chances of them seeking out your company when the needs arise are 10 times greater! “Hey? I have an APP for that!” When I am out with my boys, and the subject of dinner comes up, I can almost guarantee that my 17 year old will tap on the Chipotle App on his Apple iPhone 4 and try and get me to order ahead. “It will be ready when we get there.” It’s one tap and 3 seconds away.

1080 Media creates websites optimized for every mobile device. Desktop, Tablets, Mini-iPads, Mobile Phones… we test them on everything before launch, making sure that no matter where that potential customer/user is coming from, they will enjoy an optimized experience. 1080 Media is also one of the very few agencies in the area that can design and create a mobile phone app from scratch, integrating every aspect of the phone’s capabilities. Most area agencies farm that job out… to India. The process is often awkward, and most of the time is not exactly what you were hoping for. Then you have to pay the middle man. At 1080 Media, rest assured that your app will be produced here in the Mahoning Valley by a very talented team of designers and programmers.

Call us today and see if mobile optimized sites and mobile apps are a good fit for you! I hope to hear from you soon.

Chuck Zarbaugh

President

1080 Media

Share

1. Pittsburgh is scary. The Steelers backs were against the wall in their game against the Giants. With all the injuries they have suffered this season, the fact that they arrived in New York the day of the game instead of the day before, and all the momentum behind the Giants after the tragic events this past week of Hurricane Sandy. The Steelers went into New York and outplayed them. A couple mistakes by the Steelers kept New York in the game, but in the end Pittsburgh pulled off the win. They are looking like one of the better teams in football right now. It isn’t pretty how they do it, but they continue to win. Beating the defending Super Bowl champs makes a huge statement. This team is running back by committee. This week, it was Isaac Redman with 147 rushing yards. Although they are currently behind Baltimore in their division, I think they are playing better football than the Ravens.

2. Colts have plenty of “Luck”. The Colts are also for real, and it’s because of Andrew Luck. He threw for 433 yards, a rookie record. He has the Colts at 5-3. This team is playing inspirational football. With their head coach being gone for most of the season due to being diagnosed with leukemia, this team has continued to play hard week after week and right now, they are in the playoff hunt. The guy he replaced by the name of Peyton Manning is also 5-3 with the Denver Broncos this season. Here is an interesting stat. Both Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning have thrown for the same number of yards, 2,404, this season. And if the playoffs started today, these two teams would meet in the opening round. The Colts have a favorable schedule going down the stretch, as only 3 of their final 8 games consist of teams with winning records. I am picking this team right now as a Wild Card playoff team.

3. “Team me how to Dougie”. Doug Martin, what an outstanding rookie season he is having. This guy is a beast. 251 rushing yards on 25 carries against the Raiders. Thats a 10 yard average per carry. Last week he had 135 against a good Vikings defense. He was the 31st pick in the draft, which means pretty much every team passed over him. Tampa Bay made the right decision to trade up and get this guy. This is the type of player you can build a team around. In a league where the running game has pretty much faded, it is great to see backs like this come out of nowhere. I also want to point out the good season that Josh Freeman is having. 16 TDs with only 5 INTs. He is having an outstanding year as well. Tampa is one of those teams that need to be on people’s radars as a future contender. They are building this team up and moving in the right direction.

4. Home field advantage. Nobody has this more than the Seattle Seahawks. I think the “12th Man” in Seattle is one of the coolest things in all of football. Their fans are passionate about their team, and it makes it difficult on opposing teams to walk into their stadium and be successful. This team is 4-0 at home. If I was a team I would not want to go play the Seahawks on their home turf. Having a home game should mean something. Dallas, since moving into their new home, is 14-13 at home, just to compare.

5. Monsters of the Midway. The Bears are really good, but lets focus on their defense. In the game against the Titans, Charles Tillman forced four fumbles, Brian Urlacher scored on a 46-yard interception return, and they blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown. This season alone, the team has returned 7 INTs for a touchdown. The offense looked good as well. Jay Cutler passed for 229 and 3 TDs and sat the bench for the last 10 minutes. Matt Forte rushed for 103 yards and a TD, and Brandon Marshall caught 3 TDs. They are doing it on both sides of the ball.

6. A look ahead. Of all the games next week, the Bears vs. Texans matchup has to be the most interesting. The Bears are one of the better teams in the NFC, and the Texans are one of the better teams in the AFC. Both teams have great defense, and both teams have offensive units that can put up points. It will be interesting to see how the Texans offense matches up against the Bears defense. Both teams have lost only one game this season, and in both cases it was to the Packers. Texans are number 3 in total defense, and the Bears are 6. This should be a good match.

This week on Monday night football, we have the Eagles vs. the Saints. Two very desperate teams looking for a win. Many of the Eagles are playing for their jobs. Michael Vick is under a microscope right now, somewhat unfairly. Andy Reid has taken a lot of heat as well. The Eagles are a contender almost every year. Their fans are tired of being just another playoff team, they want a Super Bowl. I still say don’t count them out. The two years that the Giants won the Super Bowl, people were calling for Tom Coughlin to get fired earlier in those two years. I am picking the Eagles to win this game tonight. I feel like they absolutely have to.

Share

It lifted me up reading this article about startup companies in New York City, rallying together to help each get back on their feet!  This is how business and the world should be… everyone collaborating together for a greater good… Lifting each up and helping each other on to greater things.

 

READ THE ARTICLE –> http://mashable.com/2012/11/02/nyc-startups-sandy/

Start Ups After Sandy

Start Ups After Sandy

Share

My name is Kim Bennett, and I am the Creative Director here at 1080 Media. For the purposed of this blog, however, I am just “Kim” and will be posting about whatever I want. Sometimes, it might be about creative stuff – like my feelings about Myriad and anything labeled “default”, or my LOVE, LOVE, LOVE of typography and artwork! (which would tie in nicely to my feelings about myriad).

Today, however, I am going to post about caulk. The reason this is on my mind is because I just got finished caulking my bathtub and shower surround. This is the third time I’ve done it in the last six months, and hopefully the last. During this process, I’ve learned a few important things about caulk that I will now pass on to you so you don’t make the same mistakes and turn an already tedious project into a six-month tedious project.

NUMBER ONE – When the instructions tell you to scrape off the old caulk and clean the area, DO IT!

Yes, yes, it’s a pain in the you-know-what, but I’ve learned that it’s necessary. The first time I caulked, I thought that I would skip this step and save myself a lot of time. I put the new caulk over the old caulk. I did clean the old caulk well, but apparently this doesn’t matter. If you put new caulk over the old caulk, even if the old caulk is clean old caulk, then the new caulk will disintegrate as soon as water touches it. That’s right, it virtually melted. I was dismayed that after my first shower with my brand new shiny clean caulk, it turned to melty caulk. Back to square one.

To scrape or not to scrape? That was my next question. I decided on NOT. My thinking was the first time I used old caulk that I had lying around the house and that was the reason it didn’t stick. So, I went to my local very large (very, very large) discount department store that promised me that I’ll save money and live better. I bought brand new shiny caulk there and proceeded to caulk my tub and shower again. Which leads me to:

NUMBER TWO – Saving money does not equal better living. Do not buy cheap caulk.

With my cheap caulk in hand, I decided I was going better my living with shiny, waterproof caulk. I again ignored the instructions about scraping and cleaning and went directly to the application step. I was very precise and laid down a fantastic bead that any contractor would have been proud of. I am an artist after all, am I not? I have a steady hand and wow! can I draw a straight line. Even with caulk. After I was finished, I waited the appropriate amount of time; I even added half a day just to make sure it was good and dry. Guess what happened. Yes. Disintegration. Again. Dismay. Again.

I learned a valuable lesson. Follow directions. Scrape and clean before applying new caulk, and…

NUMBER THREE – Buy silicone, waterproof caulk that is specifically made for kitchens and baths. You can get this at one of the big home improvement stores for more money, but in this instance, it made for better living through expensive caulk.

This time, I followed all instructions. I scraped, cleaned, waited a few days to make sure it was dry in all the crevices, and finally applied the caulk correctly. Again, a nice even straight bead of shiny white caulk. Up and down and side to side I caulked until I could caulk no more. I waited three days to get the caulk wet to make sure it was set. Then, the moment of truth. Showertime. It worked! No melted caulk!

By the way, if you’re wondering why it took me six months to caulk my tub and shower three times, it was because I dreaded the job so much that I would wait weeks between applications before I tried it again. On the third time, I scraped and cleaned, waited a week or two, applied about half the caulk, waited a week or two, then finished just last week.

I tell you this precautionary tale to save you from the wasted time and hassle that I suffered. Follow directions (scrape and clean, people! scrape and clean!), and buy good product from an honest to goodness home improvement store. With these simple caulking rules, you may have a good caulk experience. You’re welcome.

Share

I really thought this was a great article composed by .  He hits a lot of key points about coding style, architecture and communication between workers in a team environment.  The author goes over the relevancy of each and has a few follow ups for good standard practices.  The comments on this article are also very good… whether you are an advanced programmer or a beginner, I think this would be a very relevant and appreciable read.

View the article here http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2012/10/25/why-coding-style-matters/

Share

Another week is almost in the books in this NFL season. As we reach the halfway point of the year, here is what’s on my mind this week.

1. Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. The Denver Broncos are playing at a Mile High level right now, and a lot of it has to do with their quarterback. People were ready to count Peyton out after missing the entire season last year due to neck surgery. He started the season slow, but is now back to his original form, making Denver a contender in the process. 305 yards passing and 3 TDs against a struggling New Orleans team. In what people thought would be a shootout between two of the leagues best QBs ended up being a one man show. 17 touchdowns and only 4 INTs on the year. He is the comeback player of the year for sure.

2. Rookie quarterbacks making an impact. The first overall pick in the draft, Andrew Luck, is making a splash, as he has his Colts at 4-3 going into next week. This time last year, the Colts were at 0-8. He is getting better every week, and making his team better in the process. Robert Griffin III has made the Redskins a threat, as he is playing outstanding so far. 1,778 passing yards, 8 TDs and only 3 INTs, he limits his mistakes and is learning how to better protect himself in the process. Brandon Weeden of the Browns, who actually has more passing yards than any of the rookie QBs this year, has kept Cleveland in pretty much every game this year. Ryan Tannehill of Miami, although not as productive as the others, still has helped Dolphins to a 4-3 record, although he left the game early against the Jets due to injury. I think this is a great rookie class of QBs, one that we will be talking about for a long time.

3. Atlanta Falcons. The only remaining undefeated team. Many experts had the Falcons on upset alert this week against Philadelphia. The Falcons came out and crushed the Eagles. Matt Ryan has to be an early candidate for MVP. I think this team will go as far as he takes them. Last week I said I thought the Texans were the best team in the AFC. I think Atlanta is the best team in the NFC and the entire NFL. If they keep playing the way the are, they can’t be beat. On Atlanta’s first three possessions, Matt Ryan threw for a touchdown.

4. Give Roethlisberger the credit he deserves. I hear so much about the Steelers and their great group of receivers. I don’t think people realize why they are so good. It’s the guy throwing them the ball. Big Ben needs to be included in the list of best QBs in the game because he is that good. He makes the Steelers contenders on a yearly basis. He isn’t flashy, he doesn’t have to be. He does what a quarterback is suppose to do. 14 TDs and only 3 INTs on the year. He makes everybody around him that much better.

5. There is still hope for Philly. A lot of people are ready to throw in the towel on Philadelphia this season. I’m not quite ready to do that yet. The Eagles are 3-4 at this point in the season. This is the same record they had at this same point last year before ended the season strong at 8-8. In 2010 they were only 4-3 at this point before ending the season at 10-6. They play their better football at the second half of the season, they always have. They might not win the division the way the Giants are playing, but don’t count out a possible wild card spot. They are not down and out by any means.

6. Hard to figure out the AFC. At this time, Houston is the top AFC team at 6-1. After that is Baltimore at 5-2, and then New England at 5-3. After that, you have 4 teams, Denver, Miami, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, at 4-3, only one game above .500.  Usually by the midway point it is a little easier to distinguish the good teams from the bad. But right now its too early to really say. I think the teams with the more established quarterbacks will have the best shot. Meanwhile in the NFC, it is a little easier to figure out, but still some questions. Atlanta is the front-runner at 7-0, followed by Chicago at 6-1, and the Giants at 6-2. Then you have the 49ers at 5-2, who are the favorites to win their division. The Vikings currently own the tiebreaker against Green Bay, as they both have 5-3 records, but I expect that to change quickly with Vikings facing a brutal schedule down the stretch. Arizona dropped 3 in a row after starting off 4-0, so they have issues right now. Seahawks showed promise but have lost 2 in a row to go 4-4. It’s still wide open for many teams, and should lead to some exciting football in the second half of the year.

And for this Monday’s game between Arizona and San Francisco, I like the 49ers to win. I think this will be a much closer game than what is expected, especially with first place in the division up for grabs, but I see the 49ers pulling it off in the end. Their defense will prove to be too much for Arizona’s offense.

See you next week.

Share

When I had become a dislocated worker, a victim of the rapidly softening economy in April of 2008, The biggest regret I had was leaving the wonderful place that I had worked for the previous 2 years and the great coworkers that I really liked. With my resume, and work experience, I really didn’t think I would be out of work for a long period. I had been very lucky and had always landed on my feet. I had 25 years of experience, and worked for several 100 million dollars a year companies, in charge of every piece of advertising and marketing that left the building. Print, Video, Web… everything. I found plenty of people who were actually looking for an artist/art director/video editor in my job search. I couldn’t imagine that they wouldn’t, at the very least, want to talk with me about their needs.

The current process of looking for, selecting and then applying for jobs online is daunting! And after 6 months of receiving not one request for an interview, I decided to undertake the impossible… start a new business in one of the darkest times in recent history. Again, I felt that the talent, resources, contacts and technology that I had acquired in 25 years would surely set me apart from the average creative professional. But again, things started out a bit slow for my tastes.

Then, my brother who works for General Electric and lives out of town, presented me with a modest but heartfelt present. A simple little stuffed animal. An Oswald. At first, I thought it was purely to satisfy my love for all things Disney. But he stopped before he handed it to me and said “This is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. THIS is what started it for Disney. Before Mickey, there was Oswald. He will help you start up YOUR business too.” Although I loved the character on it’s own merit, I thought about what he said and started a Wikipedia quest to find out as much as I could about the Rabbit. (I will spare you all of the details, as you can also do so if you are so inclined) I was all in.

The following two years have been very good, and there have been many successes. Each one bigger and more impactful than the last. And every time, I take a moment and rub the belly of my Oswald. Never mind that we have the ability to provide a list of services as long as my arm, with a pile of computers, video editing equipment, cameras, and printers… I clearly give all of the credit of the growth of my business to my smiling stuffed lucky charm.

When I purchased 1080 Media I too had to motivate four bright associates, i dipped into my brother’s bag of tricks. Oswald looks awesome on each and every desk… and getting plenty of belly rubs!

Chuck

Share

While using third party software can often save you time, having your business rely on is not always a good thing.  Having your own quality programs that run on their own and do not rely on things like the Google App Engine can ensure your online business is always up and running even when the big dogs like Google aren’t.  This is also why we as a world are not ready for completely cloud based operating system… the infrastructure is not sound enough or safe enough yet!

View this article about Google’s latest bog down and how it is affecting people. —-> http://www.spirithalloween.com/product/the-three-amigos-adult-mens-costume/

Share