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Wireframing Your Mobile App

Once you have an idea of what type of mobile app your group will be designing and what some of the features will be, the next step will be to start sketching out exactly how this app will work. This is done with a technique called wireframing – a rough approximation of what will appear on each screen of your app and how users will interact with it.

Photo by Flickr user Baldiri

Wireframes can be done in many different ways using many different tools – from simple hand drawn sketches to detailed annotated illustrations using robust software tools. For this project you will not need anything more complex than some simple hand-drawn sketches.

Photo by Flickr user Fernando Guillen

The goal of a wireframe is to quickly communicate how the app will look and how it will function for a user.  Wireframing involves multiple screens/pages that connect to one another through buttons or other interface elements.

Here is one helpful tool that you can print out multiple copies of for quick sketching that still has a “clean” look: a set of printable iPhone 4 wireframe templates:

UPDATE: Here is a set of printable iPhone 6 wireframe templates.

If you do a little Googling, there are tons of wireframing tools, templates, and toolkits available out there (including this gorgeous toolkit for Adobe Illustrator).  Most are overkill for this project.  My advice is to stick with sketches and stay focused on the concise communication of your app’s layout and functionality.

A Cavalcade of Tweets

Some great action on the #unidigadv hashtag this week! My students have been working really hard to complete an epic three month long project using social media to build a personal brand. Their final deliverable was a 20-30 slide presentation documenting their project, the quantitative metrics they collected along the way, and their assessment of their success. Many students started panicking on Wednesday as they realized how much work their final presentation would entail.

#unidigadv getting close to project time, anyone else questioning why you waited so long to post?

— Marie Pistek (@RealEtechs) November 13, 2013

Social media project due in T-minus 54 hours. Having a minor panic attack #unidigadv

— Lindsay Hotze (@lindsayhotze) November 13, 2013

After seeing past presentations of #unidigadv Social Media Projects…I've made the executive decision to go hide until Christmas. Bye.

— Kayla Wolthoff (@kwolthoff) November 13, 2013

Is it just me, or is everyone freaking out about this presentation due in two days? #unidigadv

— Janey Meyer (@UNIquefashion23) November 13, 2013

So who's completely overwhelmed with this presentation?! #unidigadv

— Kaylin Westhoff (@TuneInCountry) November 14, 2013

It's sickening/incredible how fast time flies when working on my Social Media Project #unidigadv #almostdone

— Dynamite Ads (@DynamiteAds) November 15, 2013

Doug Drees and Therese Kuster from Targetclick were listening in and gave my students an open invitation to contact Targetclick for internships. Nice to see some local industry professionals who know where to look for talent!

@cecilkleakins Have any rockstar #unidigadv students looking for an internship next semester? Have them reach out to @TargetClickMktg

— Doug Drees (@DougDrees) November 13, 2013

@DougDrees @cecilkleakins @TargetClickMktg We'd love to hear from them! Lots of great opportunities with our team.

— Therese Kuster (@tckuster) November 13, 2013

As the project deadline loomed, students began to see the light at the end of the tunnel as they wrapped up their projects. There was a mixture of exhilaration, sadness, and accomplishment.

Finishing up my #socialmedia project for #unidigadv. Learned so much! #bittersweet

— Melissa Fager (@MidwestTourism) November 15, 2013

27 slides and 12 hours later…I'm done with my presentation!! #unidigadv

— Connie Chuong (@chuongconnie) November 15, 2013

3 months ago I started a blog. Now I'm summing it all up in one epic masterpiece #unidigadv

— Clay Swanson (@clayswansun) November 15, 2013

1 hour and 5 minutes until our #unidigadv project is due. Time for the final adjustments.

— Cody (@CodyRohlf) November 15, 2013

Getting closer to finishing #unidigadv #BrandingProject2013

— Marie Pistek (@RealEtechs) November 15, 2013

Wishing I wasn't such a perfectionist when it came to creative projects..6 on a Fri night and I'm still working away #homestretch #unidigadv

— Courtney Nagle (@CourtNagle) November 16, 2013

ABOUT TO SUBMIT MY #unidigadv PROJECT. Can I get a round of applause? WHOO HOO

— Bailey Anderson (@travel_merIT) November 15, 2013

Yes – you can get a round of applause – you ALL can.

Nice work. Have a great weekend.

When you think of a blog, what do you think of?

A lot of students new to blogging have a hard time with how blogging is useful in marketing.  I have found that this is mainly because when students think of what a blog is, they think of personal blogs filled with diary-style musings about their personal life or a Tumblr-esque cascade of animated GIFs.

I’d like to make sure you have some good examples of professionals who use blogs to promote their personal brand by creating interesting original content.  

Here are a few blogs about marketing that you should take a look at and learn from.

Logic + Emotion
David Armano, VP at Edelman in NYC, is always posting insightful ideas 

Erika Napoletano
Erika is a copywriter who irreverently writes about marketing, advertising, branding, and business from a unique perspective.

Chris Brogan
Chris is a publisher and business consultant. He helps business owners and marketers get up to speed on what he calls the “personal business revolution”.

I’d encourage you to use tools like Google Blog Search to find influential blogs in the topic area(s) surrounding your personal brand.  Set up a blog reading tool like Feedly to check in on them as you would check on news, sports, or Facebook happenings.

Welcome to my new Digital Advertising students!

Welcome to the class blog.  This site serves as a digital repository of resources and content we will be talking about and using in class.  It’s also a great way for me to showcase some of the things that you’ll be doing with your blog during the course of this semester.

Once you all create your own blogs, they will be listed on the right nav bar under the “Class Blogs” link. 

Feel free to read ahead and explore – see you in class.

Add a Spotify Playlist to your Blog

I’ve noticed a lot of students are writing about music this semester. One of the challenges with music writing in the past has been trying to give the reader an idea of what the music sounds like without actually playing the music.

Today, however, you have other options – some of you have been embedding YouTube videos in your blog posts. That works – but can also be distracting.

Here is one way to just share songs and playlists with your blog readers using Spotify.

You can share songs on Spotify (like this awesome Thelonius Monk tune):

Or you can share entire Spotify playlists (Like this playlist of highly recommended jazz tunage):

How do you do it? Follow these steps:

  1. Download and Install Spotify. Create an account (the basic account is free – supported by ads which may interrupt your music listening).
  2. Search for music that you like and create a playlist that you want to share.
  3. Right click [PC] or control click [Mac] on the name of your playlist and select “Make Public” if it is not already checked.
  4. Right click [PC] or control click [Mac] on the name of your playlist and select “Copy Playlist Link”.
  5. If you only want to embed a single song, Right click [PC] or control click [Mac] on the name of the song and select “Copy Song Link”.
  6. Go to WordPress and create a new post. Create a “Spotify” block and paste the embed link into the block.
  7. Preview your blog post. Look OK? Great – Click “Publish”!

CAVEAT: Your reader must have Spotify installed to listen to your playlist.  

Easy, huh? So what are you waiting for? Go try it on your own blog! And for those about to rock, I salute you! 

SEOMoz – SEO Software Company with Fantastic Inbound Marketing

SEOmoz is an SEO software company that creates immensely popular tools for SEO marketers looking to improve their website’s rankings on search engines like Google or Bing. 

Their website contains a wealth of excellent free content on SEO in theory and practice –  and many in the industry use this content even if they are not SEOmoz customers. These resources establish SEOmoz as a “thought leader” in the SEO field and they earn much positive awareness and industry respect as a result.

A good place to start is their free SEO guide for beginners: 

SEOmoz is a great example of how a strong inbound marketing program can accomplish many things (increase awareness, create positive brand perception, increase sales, etc) if done correctly.

They’re also a good follow on Twitter for the latest on SEO and Search marketing (at @SEOmoz).

Setting up Google Analytics to track your Blogger blog

Today I saw a few Tweets by some #unidigadv students who were having trouble with their social media setup.

Trying to finish up my project setup, fun but confusing #unidigadv
— Aaron Willis (@MMA_Marketer) January 29, 2013

#unidigadv Help! Trying to set up google analytics and I have no clue what I am doing.
— Caitlin Hanken (@CaitlinHanken) January 29, 2013

To make life a little easier for you, I just bought an awesome screen recording tool called iShowU, which will allow me to give you a quick tutorial on how to create a Google Analytics account and set it up to start tracking your Blogger blog. 

Hope this helps – I recommend watching in fullscreen mode so you can read the text. Good luck and enjoy!


Successful Personal Brands

Your personal brand creates a unique public identity for yourself that communicates who you are, what you’re interested in, and why you’re passionate about it.  Successful personal brands build a following because they are very clear and articulate about these three points.

Here are a few examples of individuals who have successfully created personal brands:
Principal at Altimeter Group and author of The End of Business As Usual


Chris Brogan – CEO of a business design company, author, and speaker.

Managing Director of Edelman Chicago and internationally recognized industry thought leader.  
Redhead copywriter who curses like a sailor and writes about writing, business, marketing, and branding. Author of The Power of Unpopular.


Gary Vaynerchuk
Social media expert, speaker, and author of the best selling books Crush it and The Thank You Economy

Focusing consultant and author of many books on branding such as The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and more recently, Visual Hammer


Sarah Austin
Internet personality, tech journalist, Chief Geek for Pop17, and prankster.

There are many more out there – look around and find some that influence you – then share them in the comments to this post.

3 Good Articles About Personal Branding

The biggest decision you will have to make this semester will be made in the next 1-2 weeks: defining what your personal brand is about.  Many students struggle with this.  Some think of too many things they want to write about.  Others can’t think of anything – though often they actually have thought of something but need some help defining it and some validation that it okay to want to write about.

Here are a few resources to look at as you begin to think about your personal brand:

Don’t forget about your Emotional Appeal
There are many introductory articles about personal branding.  Some are awful.  This one isn’t.  I really like how the first step of defining your brand has to do with what the author calls your “emotional appeal.”  We often forget that we have a personality that can come through in our writing.  The characteristics that make up that personality are powerful branding tools – because they are so personal and elicit emotional responses.

Make your Brand Statement a mantra
I love this helpful post by former Apple Evangelist Guy Kawasaki on creating a concise three or four word mantra rather than a mission statement.  Mantras are memorable – and that makes them powerful.  

An alternate view
This article by Ryan Rancatore appears to recommend not having a personal brand statement – but read a little deeper.  What he’s really saying is that if you have one, you have to really live it. 

Your personal brand does not have to encompass everything you are – just what you want to focus on right now.  Good luck!

Google Plus Integrates with Blogger

Google has been integrating a lot of its web services (like its photo sharing tool Picasa) into its social network, Google Plus.  Recently it added some Google Plus integration with Blogger.

The catch is that to get it, you have to connect your Blogger blog with your Google Plus profile.  Once you do that, here’s what you can do to better integrate Blogger and Google Plus:

1. You can “tag” Google Plus friends in blog posts. 
Easily tag your Google Plus friends in a Blogger post by typing a “+” symbol and then typing their name out.  For example, to tag my UNI colleague +Michael Prophet in this post, I just typed the “+” symbol and start typing his first name:

I then selected his name at the top and a link was created to his Google Plus profile.  Notice as I was typed the word “Michael” it also showed me other Michaels in my circles, as well as Michaels on Google Plus that are not in my circles (so I can link to profiles of those not in my Google Plus circles).

2. Use the Google Plus Followers Gadget
The old school “Google Friend Connect” has been retired by Google (though it still works for the time being).  A better tool for listing followers of your blog is now the Google Plus Followers Gadget.  You’ll notice this gadget installed on the right hand side of this page.

3. Notify Google Plus friends when you publish a new blog post
When you publish new blog posts, you now have the option of notifying your Google Plus friends – Blogger automatically adds any Google Plus friends you may have mentioned in your post.
Notice that it also put the name of my blog post and “search description” text in the status update.

4. Blog visitors can “+1” content
This is not a new feature, but there is also a gadget available that allows readers to “+1” a blog or blog post.  This is akin to “liking” a page on Facebook.  You’ll see a +1 button also on the right hand side nav bar on this page.

For this class, I’ve considered using a tool such as WordPress for blogs, but with the great integration with Google Analytics and AdWords, I’ve stuck with Blogger for the time being.  And though I don’t use Google Plus a whole lot, perhaps this will be a reason to start.