DesignWise Studios in Door County…

Buckminster Fuller defined a concept known as synergy: the interaction or cooperation of two or more people. organizations or other elements to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their individual parts.

DesignWise synergy relates to personal interaction and teamwork…. the interaction of multiple individuals in a campaign working together to create an effect much greater than the sum of their individual efforts working apart. The term synergy comes from the Greek word synergia συνέργια from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together.” As a collaborative consulting firm, our team must include you …in whatever role(s) you wish to take on.

Wizard-of-Oz

The days of the Webmaster are as outdated as the typewriter and much like revealing the true identity of the Wizard of Oz, we work with you to pull back the curtain, sharing knowledge, advice and any top “secrets” that will make your business rise to the forefront.

Our goal is to empower you…

Feed Me! Why Really Simple Syndication (RSS) must be at the Core of any Current Website Design

“A feed is a function of special software that allows feedreaders to access a site, automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site.” – The WordPress Codex

“The Web has moved from viewing to doing.” – Google

The DesignWise marketing theory has been in synch with this observation for more than a few years. My own role has shifted from being a design “guru” to being a collaborative coach, seeking to empower and release the creativity at rest in each of my clients. Content is still king…  Websites gain tremendously from generating fresh content. But now, all of our latest designs are about delivering the tools that enable our clients to create their own content, building a broad social footprint.

“Smart” design is no longer about erecting information silos that people must come to visit. Now, it’s vital to get your content out over the wall so it can spread virally and be seen, “liked” and shared in other social places: ported over to your Facebook Business Page, sent to LinkedIn, fed to widgets, automatically pulled into other Web pages or embedded into an infinite number of personally customized newsreaders. But, none of this is possible without a content management system (CMS) that generates a Really Simple Syndication feed, aka RSS. If a Website fails to generate an RSS feed, it’s like a radio station without a broadcast antenna. You might as well be talking to the Great Wall… instead of tossing a note to someone on the other side.

In the early days of XML, you could manually generate and upload an RSS feed each time you updated a Website with new pages of content. It would take 10-15 minutes every time, but why spend that time when it can be done automatically by applying the right tools? WordPress, Joomla and other CMS tools update and broadcast their RSS feeds automatically. This is just one of the many reasons I have been using WordPress as a development platform, linking the RSS site feed to Facebook pages, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Here’s a comparison example of a site I originally built for Door County’s Parkside Inn using standard HTML and a bit of Flash animation. In 2011 we redesigned all of it creating a new 2.0 version of Parkside Inn built using WordPress software as the CMS.

Search engines respond better to the new tags, and story content and they now get “pinged” whenever there is new content. This is because the new version generates multiple RSS feeds. The feed is also connected to the Parkside Inn’s  Facebook Fan Page. The new site includes WordPress plugins for social sharing, spam filtering and another which automatically re-formats the entire Website in a mobile-friendly format when called up by any handheld device. The WordPress CMS also encourages site visitor engagement with built-in comment and response capability. And… the client can login anytime with a username and password to add and update the Website content at will.

Comparing Websites is a good way to learn about Website quality analysis – which is the final arbiter.”

Harbor Fish Market & Grille to Host Next Social Media Breakfast Door County #SMBDC Wed, Dec 15

Social networking means “More honey in Door County, when DCBs create a hive mind.”

René Dubos

“In most human affairs, the idea is to think globally and act locally,” wrote Pulitzer Prize winning French humanist René Dubos in 1972. For more than four decades I have been following that directive in northeastern Wisconsin starting with the peninsula’s first Nordic Ski center in 1971 when that sport was just emerging.

We started a newspaper guide to ski trails in Door County back then, for a sport that no one but Al Johnson and I even knew existed. But, we printed 5,000 copies and delivered them to ski shops all over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois… and the rest is history.

It’s much faster and easier to get news and information distributed now, but the tools have changed. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are gaining an exponentially increasing number of users who spend more time online at home, in the office and on the road – using handheld devices for communication and navigation. These ever-changing Web tools are the focus of Kastner’s Social Media Breakfast Door County (SMBDC) events taking place at different venues on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

On Wednesday, December 15 from 9 – 10:30 am, the Harbor Fish Market & Grille will host the latest SMBDC meeting at their Baileys Harbor location, with a free buffet breakfast for participants. The event will lead-off with an exploration of “Google’s View of the World,” beginning with why a Gmail business account is key to unlocking a wealth of free marketing resources. There will be a live online workshop demonstration of how to claim your free listing in “Google Places,” enhancing your map listing with photographs and videos. Further discussion will focus on the future of Web design when seen from a Smartphone’s perspective. The meetings are open-ended so a question and answer session is always included.

In November, more than 15 leaders from local not-for-profits met for an SMBDC gathering at Glas Coffeehouse to get an overview of how social media works in their organizations. It was agreed that a step-by-step approach would greatly benefit everyone starting to take up these new methods of marketing online. With that in mind, we will center the following meetings around each of the chapters of his free book on social media, “6 Steps to Becoming a Social Business.” The chapters include: Google, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and the book is available as a downloadable PDF.

The SMBDC meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested out of consideration for the host and staff at the Harbor Fish Market & Grille. You can email stephen.kastner@smbdc.com or call 920.256.9449 with questions or to make a reservation.