Another China Internet Scam

One of our web design and social media marketing clients was approached by a person purportedly from a “brand protection company” in China who threatened that they would soon be registering our client’s name in China and Hong Kong  (.cn, .hk). They offered to “protect” the names for them, for a fee. They then made intimidations about how only they could offer the kind of “brand protection services” needed to make sure nothing bad happens to our client’s brand in Asia.

These guys are typical con men and should be ignored, unless you do a lot of business in China and have subsidiaries there. In which case, your Internet folks have probably already grabbed the appropriate domains there for you.

I hate it when bad people try to take advantage of unsuspecting business owners, but global business means global cons.

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Website Design Interview With Ryan and Patrick

You probably noticed, our website has a completely new look. We’re fierce advocates of web standards, so of course we built our own website using web standards, with some great extra features like streaming video and dynamic JQuery effects. We’re thrilled with how it turned out, and as part of our launch celebration here’s an interview with a couple of the people who made it happen. This is a special launch for us, because it’s not just the launch of a new website- it’s also the PatrickOrtman, Inc. debut of Ryan, our newest website design team member.

Welcome, Ryan! First question- why do you like being a designer?

It’s really interesting to engage in problem-solving with graphics. I love being able to assess an audience or a design brief and create a website or other design piece that is useful, practical and hopefully beautiful. And with design on the web, we’re all still figuring it out. There are better ways of designing but no absolute right way; often times usability experts will figure out that users interact differently with the web than originally thought. So there’s always room for experimenting and implementing new layouts, elements and practices to make sure users have a great experience.

For Patrick:
Why did you decide to do a redesign of the PatrickOrtman, Inc. website?

Any forward-thinking company should always be searching for ways to better communicate their brand and vision, and we definitely take our own medicine over here. For this redesign I wanted to reposition the agency a little- we’re not a web design company, or a video production company, or a social media marketing company- we’re all those things and more. When you work with us, you’re getting a digital marketing department, with strategic Continue reading

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Advertising Age Article On Web Video

photo courtesy of Uncle_B

Recently, Advertising Age talked about how businesses from the Fortune 500 to smaller companies are all starting to use web video and social media marketing channels like YouTube and Facebook to get the word out about their products and messages, bypassing traditional media channels. Usually, these video campaigns are overseen by the client’s marketing agency or a digital agency like ours.

The article says that this recent shift into web video Continue reading

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Twitter Lists, Finally

If you use Twitter a lot (and who doesn’t?), you’re probably missing a lot of tweets from people you actually really care about. It’s inevitable, once you start following a certain number of people. But never fear, the folks at Twitter feel your pain and are doing something about it. That’s right, I’m talking about Twitter Lists. And they’re tasty.

Twitter’s new Lists feature lets you organize the people you follow into whatever groups you want. For instance, you could have a ‘friends’ list, a ‘clients’ list, and so forth. Once you set up your list, you can see what those people are up to without all the clutter of the ten gazillion celebrities you’re following. You’ll never miss an important tweet again!

As Billy Mays used to say, ‘And that’s not all!’ You can share lists, if you want to. Just make it public to share and private to, um, not share. You can also remove yourself from someone else’s list, if you like. It’s pretty incredibly easy to use , as you’d expect.

The guys at Mashable have a really nice walkthrough of Twitter Lists, so click on over there for a tutorial… if you need one. We won’t judge.

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RED Camera Announcements

Today RED announced their revised roadmap for their 5K+ digital video camera systems. Those of you who are a little on the techy-geeky side of things know RED for their amazing first-generation ultraHD video camera, the RED One.

The RED One is the camera of choice for our company, and we use it on almost every job. It provides a stunning image, and our clients love what it does for them. Well-exposed, the RED One basically gives you digital Continue reading

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Social Media Goes To College


Barb Dybwad over at Mashable reported that Australia’s Griffith University is making a Twitter class part of its required curriculum for journalism students. Meanwhile, it’s become utterly common for bloggers to routinely acquire press credentials, and our little digital/interactive agency’s been given full-on media passes for events we’ve covered without anyone batting an eye.

This is not how things used to be. Those of us who’ve been part of the whole Internet generation started out as fringe players. I remember when bloggers were looked down upon in a big way. Heck, I remember a time in the 1990s where I had a client tell me she thought the web itself was a fad.

When we produced the Internet’s first-ever rock concert on the web, scooping MTV veejay and Internet pioneer Adam Curry Continue reading

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Video Content Delivery Network

We’re testing a new content delivery network (CDN) called Influxis, in Los Angeles, California. This is a test of their default video player, and we’ve included our Spring 2009 video production ShowReel as the Continue reading

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Is Your Brand Beautiful?


A beautiful website and online presence is vital for any business, and it’s especially important if you’re trying to launch a new brand or jumpstart one that’s been underperforming. Yet most businesses underestimate the importance of presenting their ideas and organizations in the best possible light. After all, they reason, our product is amazing- shouldn’t that be enough? In a word, no.

Your industry and product type don’t matter- even scientists need to work to make their ideas beautiful. As Robert March says Continue reading

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A Few Thoughts On Design


I spent a week traveling, and airline scheduling being what it is these days, I spent a fair amount of that time in various American Airlines Admiral’s Clubs inside airports. I love these special, members-only clubs because each visit gives me a chance to see what each club thinks will make its members happy and relaxed. Last week, the Dallas, Texas Admiral’s Club won my award for “coolest airport lounge, ever”.

As the leader of our eponymous company I’m fascinated with design that looks great and works great. If you have something that’s ugly but works, you’re missing out on the potential joy and happiness your users should associate with your brand. Even if you have something special to offer, a functional but ugly website will make your users run away thinking you’re low-end and tacky. Or a fly-by-night company. If you have something pretty that doesn’t do anything, that’s just as bad.

Great design is practical and beautiful. And rare. That’s why Continue reading

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Social Media Marketing Works


We embarked on a social media marketing campaign for one of our mid-sized corporate clients three months ago. It has been an unqualified success, beyond what the client had dared to hope. They’ve enjoyed an over 150% increase in traffic to their website, and by analyzing their logfiles we see a direct correlation of their spikes in traffic with our efforts.

This is only phase one, mind you- a small pilot program. But this pilot program has been successful enough that the client is now getting ready to make our program a regular part of their digital marketing mix.

A lot of people contact us after they’ve read an article in the Wall Street Journal or USA Today, wanting to discuss social media, Web 2.0, and how it can help their business. We’re always happy to talk with potential clients, but we’ve found there are a few things a prospective client needs Continue reading

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About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.