Archive for March, 2010

Wow a Virtual Choir!

What a great idea.  I remember in the 70’s when I observed a recording session in LA with live overdubs from NYC.  This is wonderful it was Produced by Scott Haines and composed/conducted by Eric Whitacre

The project Represents 12 Countries: 
New Zealand
The Philippines
United Kingdom
United States of America




March 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

TAX BREAK Houston’s Creative Bailout!


facebook[1]TAX BREAK Houston’s
Creative Bailout!


Comedy – Music – Live Art – Networking 
Add this to your calendar NOW!

 RSVP on facebook 

After bobbing and weaving together last year, this year’s creative mixer is
all about getting a little relief from work and taxes. Join Houston’s leading
professional creative organizations as we socialize and enjoy another
tax season passing us by …

Event Name:     Tax Break! Houston’s Creative Bailout
                Thursday, April 15, 2010
               5:30p – 10p
Admission:      Free, Cash Bar
Food:               Hors de’ oeuvres
Activities/Programming: Comedy, Tax Relief, Creative Interaction


Sponsoring organizations:

American Advertising Federation Houston (AAFH)
Natalie Gonzalez, President

American Institute of Graphic Arts Houston (AIGA)
Robin Parrish, Programming

Art Director’s Club of Houston (ADCH)
Alex Barber, President

Only in Houston (OiH)
Dwight Cook, Chairman

University of Houston Graphics Alumni Partnership (UHGAP)
Daniel Bosse, President

March 26, 2010 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Build a Social Media Platform!

by Dwight Cook

Social Media is about person-to-person activity. Don’t be “the company” be a person. Be a good listener.  Be passionate, it’s contagious. Stay on your toes … adjust and learn from connections. Stay real. If you become prideful people will know.

As in all marketing, identify who you want to follow. It’s not just about how many friends or followers you have but how many are valuable? So you must target your social media efforts. Develop categories subjects and keywords and include these subjects in your social media "talk".

Content is so important that we recommend part of your monthly budget be allocated for a virtual assistant to write on your social media platforms. We do this for most of our clients – they simply don’t have the time. Automated posts on these targeted subjects can be used but you must interact too or you will be thought of as a robot and people will begin to unfollow or unfriend you.

A blog is a great part of the social media puzzle. Blogging subjects should also be targeted and can position you as an expert. Every time a blog post is made it should be announce on the other social media platforms with a link back to the blog. These posts can be automated.


Interconnect your social media networks. We suggest that some of your Twitter posts are also put on facebook. Facebook is more about relationships than Twitter so when you get a large Twitter following you can drive traffic to your blog or website and facebook.

A contest is a great way to jumpstart your social media following. Incentives and freebies still work and can be a valuable ingredient if you don’t want to slowly build your social media network.



Twitter is a great way to get instant opinions, provide customer service, drive traffic, or get people to events. Twitter also gives you the ability to see what people are saying about you and your competition.

Finding Targeted Users

It is important to build a network of targeted Twitter followers.

Content is very important and should be about the key subjects your targeted followers and their interests. We use 5 methods of finding targeted users:



1. The FIRST method of finding targeted users is by searching for users with specific

keywords in their Twitter updates.

2. The SECOND method of finding targeted users is to search by profile data on users who have specific information listed in their Profile. Users generally type a few sentences about themselves in their profile, which makes this another great way to get highly targeted users.

3. The THIRD method of finding targeted users is to search by location. We can search for a user within a certain mile radius of a specific location.

4. The FOURTH method of finding targeted users is search by followers of another user. This can be very powerful if used correctly. Searching followers of another user can find followers of your competition or followers of a power user.

5. We can also find targeted users followed by another user. Often, users will follow users who have similar interests as they do, so it can be a good idea to follow their users as well. For example, a person might tend to follow other users who tend to have the same profession or hobbies as they do.


· Merchandise the connection to your Facebook page everywhere a customer might interact with your brand online

· Include a compelling call-to-action and even an incentive for your customers to join your Facebook community

· If you want more fans, you should be leveraging the fans you already have to get them

Social media is all about customer support, communication, content, and count. There are several ways to grow your audience.  

social-media Make it visible
As I pointed out last week, turning customers into fans can be as easy as making them aware of your presence at Facebook. Where possible, make sure to use the "one-click" fan button feature offered by Facebook. And, do not hesitate to cross-promote your Facebook page via other social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, or your online forums.

Give a reason
Include a compelling call-to-action and even an incentive for your customers to join your Facebook community. Offering an incentive is an important component in this process.

Another way to activate your customer base to interact with you at Facebook is to invite them to join the conversation. Post topics and invite fans to comment

Fans recruit fans
Fans are important. Who wants to have a fanpage with no fans? Whether you have 300 or 300,000 fans at Facebook, two things are certain: 1) You want more fans and 2) you should be leveraging the fans you already have to get them. Facebook fan drives are becoming more popular than ever. Some of the best examples include contests and promotions.

When doing a promotion, building fans or having a contest, advertising can help. Currently, targeted Facebook advertising is a bargain. It’s cost per thousand people is super low … and did I mention it is targeted? Consider budgeting for reoccurring targeted Facebook display advertising. It’s better than traditional media, especially as part of a social media package.


Dwight Cook is one of the owners of VividMix and SoundWorks providing marketing, audio and video, web and new media.  VividMix uses social media as one of the components of new media for their clients.



March 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

How To Open A Combo Lock

So just when you thought your padlock was secure – comes the Padlock Hack Sheet.

If you can’t get into your locker or luggage just hack it – don’t cut it. Hack’s a terrifyingly simple step-by-step guide to cracking the code for any combination-based padlock. Just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Starting at 0, pull down gently as though opening the lock, then slowly spin the dial counter-clockwise until it sticks. If the number is a whole number (i.e. not resting in between two numbers) record it, continuing the process until you reach 0 again. At this point you should have 5 whole numbers.

Step 2: Four of the five numbers will end in the same digit — the one that doesn’t is the last number in your lock’s three-number combo. Since certain numbers on a padlock are linked, this number narrows down the possible combinations to 100.

Step 3: Trial-and-error out the combination grid linked below, and pull the lock open.

Notice that the safest place for your combo lock is out in public where someone trying to break your code will be seen trying to accomplish this time consuming process!

March 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Speed up Outlook 2007

Outlook My Outlook has been very slow starting up as of late. It’s also slow when switching between my mail and calendar functions.  This is crazy since I have a really fast computer. Today I found a way to really speed it up and I had to share.

Follow these steps:

1. Open Outlook as an Administrator by going to C:Programs/Microsoft Office/Office12 and right clicking on the Outlook exe program.  Choose “Run as Administrator”.

2. Then once Outlook opens, go to Tools, then Trust Center, then Addins.

3. Click “Go…” at the bottom and uncheck Outlookaddins.

4. To maximize speed, uncheck everything EXCEPT Windows Indexing, which may be the only useful addin anyway.

5. If you lose some function that was useful, just follow the steps above and check the addins that correspond to the missing function. Then exit Outlook and restart it to test the addin’s fuction. 

When I did this this morning, the speed of my Outlook 2007 improved significantly. I had about 17 addins that I unchecked. We are supposed to to have a new Outlook and Office soon from Microsoft and I hope they have addressed this performance issue.

March 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Bothersome Cell Calls Identified

collector Ever have certain unwanted repeat callers on your cell phone? Perhaps a salesman, or even worse … a stalker? I just ran across a neat tip to identify these unwanted calls when they don’t have caller ID. Create a new contact in your cell phone address book and give it the name of DO NOT ANSWER. In the iphone you can add up to 9 phone numbers per contact.  Now when the phone rings, the caller ID will tell you not to answer!


March 4, 2010 at 12:12 am Leave a comment


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