Browsing articles in "Network Development"

How to Rock the Holiday Party

Dec 20, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

I’ve read too many posts on what not to do at holdiay parties. These tips usually add up to not having fun. Here are some ways to have a great time, become more well liked and even show leadership during your next office holiday party.

Come in Warm

If you are someone who can control their drinking, then warm up with the most importants drinks of the evening. The pre party take the edge of drink(s) means you’ll enter the event socially ready to go. If you don’t have another drink the rest of the night..these two warm ups can take you a long way. Alcohol is of course not needed. And there is no greater high than buzz we receive from a party where people are relaxed, comfortable and having a great time with others. No alcohol needed..but if you drink…be under control. Alcohol is tool for you to use, not for it to use you.

Read the Air

I believe it’s a Japanese saying but reading the air is easy to understand. If I drink too much my ability to read or sense the energy or atmospher of a place or individual is greatly reduced. SO be careful But by watching people’s reactions, their eyes, and body language you will quickly get good at seeing who is having a good time, and who is uncomfortable. Helping those that are bored or uncomfortable feel included helps an entire party. I don’t know why, but it happens. Just be kind, curious, and inclusive at the party and it’s going to be fun.
Say Hello to Everyone
Anyone who catches your eye, say hello. This is especially true of people you might not know well. This is a great time to develop stronger relationships. Introduce yourself and spark up a conversation by asking easy questions. Easy questions work like magic. They are relaxing to answer and they lead to interesting conversations. “Ahh, the holidays. Did you have a favorite Christmas growing up?”

Always Look to Expand the Circle

Conversation circles can grow quickly if you let them. Look for people on the fringes that might want to join. Then use subtle body language to open up the discussion. If it’s just two, step a side and form a triangle. If there are three of you then open it up to make the square. After that, it’s all about the circle, and circles grow quickly and make people at ease.

Look for the Bored or Uncomfortable

Seek the people that are obviously bored or uncomfortable. They are easy to find if you just take five seconds to look at others. Go out of your way to meet them or say hello. If they are a spouse of a co-worker and you can certainly make them feel a little better and maybe get them involved in a conversation. His or her spouse will be grateful and you’ve earned a new ally at work. Don’t flirt. Leave the wolf or cougar at home… One of favorite lines is, “Don’t shit where you eat.” And you eat from work…so just be friendly and unthreatening- men, may have to be more careful than woman on this point. But men should certainly try to help male spouses or guests or even co-workers feel comfortable and included.

Bury the Hatchet

Shall old acquaintance be forgot!? Now is the time to make bygones be bygone! If you had some unresolved issue with a co-worker perhaps the holiday party is the time to say you are sorry, say your regretful or express hopes for better relations. Some people even admit to being wrong! When this happens mountains move and frosty relationships can get back on track in a hurry. Humans are great that way. And if it isn’t well received, you get to simply move forward clear of mind and heart, leaving the other person at the level they have grown. But you have freed yourself to move forward. Bravo!

Keep Looking Around

We got delayed taking care of some work stuff, but now that you’ve taken care of it, get back to helping the other guests. Anyone standing by themselves? Get over there. Spark up a conversation, bring others in and before you know it you’ve created a circle of discussion and the party’s energy continues to lighten. Remember that easy questions start great conversations. “Where do you go on vacations?” And away you all go- to talk on travel…simple and fun!

Time to Eat

Keep your momentum going at the dinner table. Try to keep conversations and topics general so all at the table can enjoy. Spouses do not want to hear work discussions, so as you wait for your food, go back to the basics and present easy questions for all. Read the air, see who is interested, and who is bored. Try to bring that bored person out, and the whole table will benefit from a change in energy.

Don’t Complain About the Food

Complaining about the food in front of people you don’t know that well, makes you a complainer. If you paid for the meal, and it was unacceptable, I have no problems with poinitng this out to the staff. In fact restaurants worth their salt want people to tell them But at the holiday party..let it go. Show gratitude that we have food in the first place. Many don’t. Second, don’t let a bad meal ruin the mood of the party. ANd when people complain, they are viewed as complainers. Let it go. Perhaps dessert will be better or you can suggest a great second party spot that has excellent snack food to match the night caps.

Participate in the Entertainment

If there is dancing, be first. This shows confidence and the party organizers who weren’t sure about the music will love you for it. If there is karaoke, SING! And sing first. Have one song that you are decent at and give it your best shot. If the party is really rolling and the energy is positive, then I give you the homerun tip. Sing Y M C A . This song still kills it, it’s easy to sing and can turn up the energy and unity of a party like no other. After all these years, Y M C A still delivers. Especially to an electric crowd.

The Second Party

If there isn’t a planned second party, have an idea just in case. By this time, you have generated so much goodwill with your energy and friendliness that any place you suggested people will go. Second parties are tricky when it comes to the maybe just asking everyone to pitch in $ 20 or $30 and then order away until the budget is spent. If it’s really rolling, then just add more $ to the pot. Paying first is so much better and people know the score. Also, those non- drinkers, might feel confident to order something like a dessert or an extra appetizer to try to get their money’s worth. That’s great! Everyone’s happy.

The Third Party

The third party will not be covered here. By this time there is no formula. You are on your own. Just keep reading the air.

“Potcast” Viewers Finding on Get Doug With High

Nov 22, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

International Broadcasting Just Takes a Pipe Dream

The difference between Doug Benson and the multiple millions of people who have smoked marijuana, got high and come up with an idea is that Benson acts upon.  One can claim pretty confidently that the idea for Get Doug With High a weekly live talk show that plays on Video Podcast Network was the creation of a stoned epiphany.

THe host Doug Benson and a guest smoke a lot of cannabis with a variety of pipes and other delivery mechanisms and basically talk about their lives and being high. It’s watchable at times because Benson is creative and has a nice wit and his guests, with varying marijuana experiences, can create some pretty odd moments. My stream recently froze on this moment with one of his guests and it kind of captures the entire show.

Benson amusing himself with a question and a guest

Benson amusing himself with a question and a guest



But the show is attracting viewers and that means revenue. WIth a primitive set, a couple of inexpensive cameras, live feeds, and a couple of microphones international broadcasting is accesible to all. This is the one realization that comes from wasting an hour of one’s life watching other people become intoxicated. If you have an idea, and you have a style, and you can get some friends together to help…the world of international broadcasting is yours. And that, like a lot of Doug Benson’s jokes on Get DOug With High, is a very good thing indeed.

Thinking Design for Packer Throwback

Sep 21, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

One of our partners had a pretty good idea to add a 1929 look to the Green Bay Packer throwback helmets. It’s a shout out to our  neighbors, but to copy is the highest form of flattery.


Looks a lot better than plain cheese.

Sprint Ad Spreading Fear?

Aug 28, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   critique, Network Development  //  Comments Off

Spreading Fear in Advertising

This was one of the last commercials that bothered me prior to my transfer to Japan. Ever since SoftBank purchased about 80% of Sprint I started to put some attention into Sprint and their challenges competing in mobile. While I see opportunities for Sprint in the US with new ideas coming from Japan via SoftBank, this ad still is a puzzle and I welcome your thoughts as to what the “I Am Unlimited” campaign was trying to accomplish.

Fear Sells

This ad reminds me of what a designer on the MEGA Mall of America project told me. “People get lost, and when they get lost they feel uncertain, when they feel uncertain they buy more.”

So are ads like this deliberately confusing or scaring the consumer to sell more product? If this is the intelligence behind this ad, then at least it makes sense, but I don’t think few will agree it’s right. Certainly the images above create feelings of unease and insecurity and I guess that may translate into people buying a phone? But is this the type of advertising that our culture wants to see? Spreading fear and anxiety to sell products? Personally, what would sell me on a mobile carrier is reliability, honesty, service and price. Boring as hell, but then you don’t get that Baphomet crowd I guess…

Looks Like Baphomet

These images are not accidents and they are very puzzling. One creative told me it looks like “Baphomet”. If you aren’t familiar with Baphomet, as I was not, read up on it and the conspiracies surrounding it. Baphomet is a term originally used to describe a deity supposedly worshipped by the Knights Templar and has a connection to the occult. There is no shortage of current followers apparently but could Sprint really have been trying to communicate to them?

The stills and the ad I think are enough to at least get you to ask with me, “Really Sprint, who are you people?” Or, maybe with the introduction of Japanese leadership from SoftBank, the question is, “Who were you people?”

Here is the full ad. When watched in it’s entirety it’s a bit odd by itself. But do what I did and pause at some of the stills. There are plenty of odd shots that I didn’t include that you can explore for yourself.

Spreading fear in advertising…hmm, I can do that, but as the ultimate warning to man states, “Just because we can do things doesn’t mean we must.”

Disney Layoffs

Apr 5, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

So there you are with all your talent and dreams and now you’ve received a pink
slip from the recent Disney layoffs. So where do we go from here, now that all of our dreams
are used up?

It is lucky for you that this is the best time to be talented, with ideas, and now free from your contractual obligations with an outdated media fossil. For the ability to create is no longer limited to the monster that is propt up by debt. A lean organization of good ideas and execution strategies that are in line with the powers we have shall win the day.

So those of you who are dealing with Disney layoffs, take heart. This is your time to shine and we see it.

Websites for Law Firms

Feb 10, 2013   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development, website development  //  Comments Off

Law firms seem very reluctant to enter into the world of aggresive website content development. Perhaps because of the traditional word of mouth and referral system that has been responsible for new clients or the dangers of too much content and legal implications.

But basic search engine concepts and content can be quickly mastered by any law firm’s staff. But even then the constant updating that can maintain a top ranking on Google can take much energy and resources. There are ways to have engaging contact without making the production of that content a full time position.

For law firm website development and content and search engine help, give us a call or send an email. We teach so you can fish for yourself.

What to do with a Google Unnatural Links Message?

Aug 30, 2012   //   by Peter H   //   Google Search Applicators  //  Comments Off

Company websites are being hit with Google Unnatural Links messages

Photo of Fish and Crane Google Applicators

Google Unnatural Links notices require the scientific method to be applied to your website’s relationship with the web, Google, and the truth.

Google unnatural link messages are generated because of the new algorithm Penguin Google is using to determine which websites provide honest and quality content, and which websites are using tricks to get high Google ratings.

Why Did Google Target Our Site?

Even websites that do not conciously use black hat link building are deception are receiving these unnatural links messages. This can be brought about a couple of ways. Previously dead domains that are brought back to life may have skeletons in the closet, for example. Like the poem carved recently by a Fish and Crane Google Search Applicator:

Oh domain we cry for the sins of your past
reborn from the grave
to another’s dream
repeats and lays for another

Another reason is the variety of your links or the quality of the sites that are linking to you is deemed of low or an irrelevant nature. If you received a Google Unnatural Links Email, let us know. We’ll gladly answer some of your questions and explore avenues to help you regain your footage and reputation with Google.

Online Honesty in the Era of Penguin

Aug 30, 2012   //   by Peter H   //   Google Search Applicators  //  Comments Off

Photo of Fish and Crane Group People

It May Take a Team to Figure Out What Ails Your Google Search Rankings and a Transformation to Work Well With Google Penguin.

Oh domain we cry for the sins of your past
reborn from the grave
of another’s dream
to repeat and lay for another

It seems no matter how technical we become and how complicated our creations the end results are still humans producing and reproducing systems or tools found in nature. From flight from the birds to web networks that parallel countless other systems and structures in nature, humans can not create beyond what we can not imagine. Google is no different, but fortunately their efforts to create the best web search experience for consumers for now is rewarding a new online honesty of content.

Google Penguin Algorithm and Humanity

The efforts by Google to create a more honest online search experience has caused many online companies to come face to face with their consequences of their actions. Online tricks of the past, from link building to keyword content stuffing, that worked well until Google Penguin and Panda are now being outed as mere fakery and illusion. The humans who made these false yet powerful web networks had as their foundation the need to be on first page Google. Now these phantom networks must adapt to a new Google web world were honesty of content and legitimacy of link relationships is awarded priority over skills to trick Google.

As of September 2012 the table has now turned and Google along with Bing continue to make these “honesty” advances by developing smarter and hopefully more fair ways of scoring websites.

Can Penguin get a Leopard to Change Its Spots?

The problem we see is many of these companies are run by people who were and are not of honesty themselves. Greed has driven them to create these illusionary web networks of websites that generated revenues by luring the masses by luring in more masses and then continuing to lure in even more masses all being built upon a connected network of tricks to fool Google. Like massive circles connected to more circles but lacking what consumers seek when performing a search; relevant and honest content.

Honest Websites Hurt by Google Penguin Too

While the time of deliberate online deceptions draws nearer to an end the changes to Google have affected honest companies Google ratings as well. With honesty and quality being rewarded by Google the repowering of many websites will take analytic couch time. At Fish and Crane we are thrilled with the changes brought about by Google Penguin and Panda and have a process to help treat honest and, or, clever companies that are being hurt by the new algorithms. Applying the scientific method to the status of your website we can diagnosis and then begin to cleanse and build again your website to meet the expectations of Google Penguin and Panda.

To begin a discussion on ways we can bring honesty and closure to your website’s past and create a new future for your online presence that will meet the approval of search engines we await your contact. The era of online honesty in content is here and we offer more than technical assistance to help your humans see a new online path.

SEO Slicksters Losing Ground to Media Content Producers

Aug 21, 2012   //   by Peter H   //   Google Search Applicators  //  1 Comment

Search engine optimization (SEO) relates to how well your online presence helps get your website to Google’s homepage. That’s basically it. This new “science” has attracted a lot of characters from true gurus to tricksters. Companies have no choice but to produce fresh content and marketing directors’ increased roles in producing the kind of web content and updates needed for first page Google are becoming unsustainable. There may be other courses of action for companies to play at the top of the Google mountain.

Google holds most of the cards in SEO and they are very careful to communicate to all how they determine where your site sits using algorithms that are constantly being improved upon. Google has to be very careful to maintain fairness and provide opportunities for all or risk US government intervention in what could be perceived as a Google search monopoly. For example, at the local site level, smaller companies do not have to spend thousands of hours to break through a world wide web of competition to see their site on Google first page.

Google, to their credit, is constantly fine tuning their algorithms and the latest version called Penguin is another step toward trying to weed out the tricksters of website manipulation. Ultimately Google’s trend of “scoring” websites continues to climb up the hill of quality first. Which leads us to the problems with most search engine optimization companies: Lack of intelligent insight and core knowledge of your industry.

The Next Generation of SEO Companies

We see our role as a web content and information supervising development tool for your business. This is a broad statement that includes a lot of fundamental principles of how Google operates. But the future is clearly quality web content that is appealing to customers and provides the information that searchers seek. Social media’s role in the Google algorithm is vital in the process as well, and providing good social media experiences moves us back into the domain of creative content development. That is us.

We have a solid understanding of the latest SEO prinicples coupled with creative capabilities to help you build your brand and online experience. We are the new wave of SEO companies: Multi Media Google Applicators…or something like this. We welcome you to reach out to us and let’s begin a discussion on where you company wants to go with an online presence and begin to develop a plan to help you get there. Whether we are creating the content or working in partnership, Fish and Crane Group is a multi capability friend in the evolving SEO media production world.

Web Site Content is Now King

Aug 10, 2012   //   by Peter H   //   Concept Development  //  Comments Off

It is not lost on us that decent websites can be created quickly and easily. We can get your business up and running with a quality site for under $500.00 Some companies offer free websites, or low up front costs.

We are wary of offers like free, or low start up costs. Maybe we give people too much credit, but few things of value are free. Ultimately you have a purpose for creating a website. Template or one size fits all companies are not able to give individualized content development services…without their costs getting very expensive in a hurry.

The quality of your company’s website content is becoming the dominate factor for search engine performance. The old days of tricking Google by content farming, or link purchasing are soon coming to an end.

Companies that use content or link tricks are finding their search engine ratings taking horrible hits. Their domain names can even have a stigma placed upon them that makes it hard for your company to recover from the stench of trickery that Google and Bing can smell out easily.

For quality content that scores well with the search engines, and helps you meet your reason for a website in the first place we suggest you use a company with a web content development track record. We have brought companies to first page Google with nothing more that identifying a niche and telling an honest story.

Website content that is honest and relevant is what is most important in your search engine performance. Give us a call to find out how we can help you develop your website the right way.