We Love Facebook

Hi, MK here. Social networking services are constantly evolving, and you need to keep up with the times. That got me thinking about my own beginnings in social media marketing, which was way back before there was a name for it.

I started to use social media back in 1996 to one-up my friends with the coolest page on firefly.com. That site shut down a few months later, but eventually MySpace came around. MySpace was awesome at first, and I ran several campaigns that leveraged that platform successfully. But times change, and while we do work with specific clients on MySpace presences (such as bands, consumer brands, etc), these days I’m personally more into Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and Twitter- to name a few! But my favorite of the moment is Facebook.

With all these other social networking sites, what do I use Facebook for? Well, while there are all kinds of tools you can use on the Internet to conduct research, I find Facebook to be one of the best outlets for everything from people-of-your-past research (hey, I know you do it!) to finding new products and services… and I often use Twitter as a way to point me there. It just seems like Facebook has achieved much of what many other services have aspired to- a true community, with a far less “spammy” feel than the competition and a ton of useful content. I’m comfortable on Facebook, and so is my Mom. That’s important, whether you’re creating an online presence for yourself or a brand.

I’m sure that Facebook isn’t the ultimate social networking service- there’s still much room for improvement over there, and you never know what great new services will pop up in 2010. But, for now, Facebook has become such an integral part of my own personal life and such a big part of what we do at PatrickOrtman, Inc., that I can’t imagine living without it.

Visit PatrickOrtman, Inc. on Facebook.

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Social Media Marketing Friday

MK here, and welcome to our Social Media Marketing Friday.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs….what does it all mean to today’s business owner?!?! Living in San Francisco, it’s easy to believe the constant buzz about social media marketing, how it is routinely transforming brands and how they communicate with their customers. But the truth is, far too many companies are still unsure about this social media marketing thing.

I know it’s a little scary to jump into something you don’t know much about, and that’s why I’ve gathered up this list of helpful introductory articles about social media. I think there’s something here for everyone, so even if you’re an experienced social media marketer you’ll get something from this list:

Please share your thoughts and comments as well. Does your company use social media? What sites do you find the most helpful?

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Recent Website Design Success Story #2

2009psychicsBlog

As part of our year-end celebrations, here’s the new website for our website design/social media marketing/video production client Psychics Foretell. They came to us with a website that was stuck in 1999, and we updated it with a fully web standards based design that reinforces this client’s position as a long-term, trusted company in this space.

The project entailed a lot of information architecture work, and some of the new features include a WordPress blog, some nifty JQuery animation and features, and an easily-updated content management system (CMS) using MODx.

Phase two is in production right now, and is focused on multimedia content and reaching out to the company’s customers in new and unique ways, including a branded iPhone application and video production.

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Introducing Social Media MK

Hello! I am Molli Kreuser, aka “the mk,”  the newest member of the team for PatrickOrtman, Inc. My job is to help out with social media marketing campaigns, by finding new ways for you to get your message out. I come to you via the good ol’ Midwest, born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin, I moved to Chicago to pursue my career in marketing, with an emphasis on online marketing for the entertainment industry. Starting in late November, my home base will be San Francisco.

In Chicago, I became immersed with the social media world,  through many intense online guerilla marketing campaigns for bands, radio stations, and most recently, an art-house movie theatre and film distribution company. I live in social media, so I know how to use it to build your brand Continue reading

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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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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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Connect. Share. Inspire. Explore. Excite.

This new video highlights our mission- empowering clients to take advantage of digital opportunities. But that sounds a little highbrow and stuffy. So, more simply and directly, this is what we do:

30 second PatrickOrtman, Inc. Promo from Patrick Ortman.

This is a promo video for our Los Angeles digital agency. We create websites, video, and interactive projects.

Starring:
Christina Owen
Yoji Cole
Susan Song
Tansy Alexander
Ian Pfister

Directed by Patrick Ortman, and produced by Patrick Ortman and Kathi Funston

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Interesting Web Design Articles

We’re constantly learning new stuff here. Here’s a list of articles about web design that we’re enjoying at PatrickOrtman, Inc.:

Css3-  a big storm is coming by Reinhold Weber

Another MODx review from Simple Thoughts

RED new CineX sneak peek by ProVideoCoalition

A rant on open source and standards by IBM

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State of California Certified

bear-cali

The State of California has granted us official small business status. This should help us in doing business with the state, so we’re happy about that. We’ve done web design work for government organizations in the past, and this new certification gives us certain advantages in the future when bidding for work.

We have similar status with the county of Los Angeles and the city of Los Angeles, and we’re in process with the city of Austin and the State of Texas.

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From the Interactive Archives- The Cluetrain Manifesto

Sometimes clients still ask us about why the internet is so important, and how to get up to speed about how the business environment’s changed and guidance with the opportunities and pitfalls that this brave new world brings.

Even though it’s about nine years old (which is forever in Internet time), I still like to point clients towards The Cluetrain Manifesto. Sure, it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but what was once thought revolutionary and provocative has now become commonplace. Any company that wants to make it online needs to read and understand- and implement- the basic tenets of this book.

I just found out that there’s a new 10 year anniversary edition of the book coming out shortly, and in the meantime the text of the original book is at the link above, for free. Enjoy!

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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.