Reports of print media’s death (sort of) exaggerated

w14coversWe’re winding up our biggest publishing season of the year, having just finished the autumn production of the three magazines we publish: Schweitzer Magazine, released in October; Sandpoint Magazine on Nov. 1; and, just now shipped to the printer, Flyfisher magazine.

We’re happy with the final products in all three cases, and the feedback on each so far has been excellent. That is our goal, of course: to produce compelling publications people want to read. If we succeed with that, then we deliver premium exposure for our advertisers.

But marketers who know how digital media have overtaken the print media should ask: Are magazines and newspapers still a smart place to advertise? Continue reading

Social media: Are you doing it wrong?

WrongWay_sxc.hu_795594_46981410Your goal with social media shouldn’t be to simply “Get 250 new likes on Facebook” or “Get 700 new followers on Pinterest.” But rather, your goal should always be “Increase my visibility and sell more products/services.” Important questions to ask yourself: What are you going to do with all of the people who liked your page on Facebook? What is the real goal of maintaining my social media presence?

You can spend months posting cute cat photos on your Facebook wall and running ads to reach your goal of 500 likes and then ask yourself: was it actually worth all this time and effort? Continue reading

Social media roaring ahead in 2013

Here’s a 4-minute long update on social media trends and statistics from Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, and Hult International Business School. A few key takeaways:

  • Social media has become the No. 1 activity on the web
  • 92% of children under age of 2 have a “digital shadow”
  • 54% of people on Twitter recommend products in their tweets
  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations; only 14% trust advertisements
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business

Is your business on social media? Do you know what people are saying online about your brand? One thing for sure: Whether or not YOU are  engaged, YOUR CUSTOMERS almost certainly are.

P.S. Guess how I found this video today? Via Twitter!

Getting Started with WordPress: Images & Media

wordpress-logo-notext-rgbby Benjamin Robinson


In our first two “Getting Started with WordPress” tutorials, we covered logging into WordPress, and working with text content in your posts and pages. In this third installment we’ll tell how to add pictures, galleries and videos. (For our first two tutorials, go to our WordPress Resources page.)

Adding pictures and video is still very easy to do in WordPress, but there are a few tricky things you’ll need to be aware of. Continue reading

A little backstory on ‘Eats & Drinks’

Eats-DrinksThe new Summer 2013 Eats & Drinks Pocket Guide is out and in distribution around town. This is a product we developed about six years ago in response to a need by both visitors to town looking for good places to eat, and the restaurants who want to connect to those hungry folks.

It’s our attempt to give restaurants a way to leverage their advertising dollars by providing multi-platform but targeted marketing vehicles. (It doesn’t hurt that we all here enjoy the active and rich culinary scene Sandpoint’s terrific restaurateurs produce for our town.) Interestingly though, the Pocket Guide arose not because restaurants were asking us for it but rather as a direct response to the local hotels where we distribute Sandpoint Magazine, after several told us Continue reading

Free WordPress Plugin: Responsive Image Widget

by Benjamin Robinson


Here is the first freely available plugin we’ve produced! We developed this for the new Living Litehouse blog, but it can be useful in many WordPress deployments.

screenshotThis is a very simple WordPress widget that displays a single responsive, rationally proportional image in a widget area. It helps make adding images with accurate proportions to sidebar areas quick and easy, and thus avoid a stretched or distorted appearance — without requiring any knowledge of HTML or even an image editing program.

Its key feature is that it allows proportional adjustment on the fly, so the user can easily change the proportion of the image inside of WordPress, instead of needing to resize the image in an editor (a problem for many WordPress users who do not have a lot of experience resizing/cropping images, or who simply don’t have image editing software available.) Continue reading

How Instagram is Killing Vine

A few weeks ago at a press event at Facebook’s headquarters, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced a new feature called “Video On Instagram.” It allows users to create 15-second videos on their smart phones, edit using 13 new filters, and share the results on different social networks. It’s part of a new trend among marketers to use “micro” video clips of only a few seconds, and is effectively the Instagram response to Twitter’s new Vine micro-video appraising the question as to which service is superior? Continue reading

Google Launches Local Search Results Carousel

By Katie Kosaya


Google users and the local businesses in the US are already noticing the new Carousel design for the Google local search results. The Carousel makes online browsing a more visual experience, it works especially well with the local results for restaurants, hotels, and points of interest. A typical search to see this new design would be something like “Sandpoint Idaho restaurants” as you can see on the image above. Google will put the Carousel feature at the top of the page, including a logo or photo, pricing and cuisine. A click on these restaurants will bring up Continue reading

Five WordPress Plugins We Love

By Benjamin Robinson


We build many sites in WordPress. Plugins are little third-party WordPress applications that can provide a quick and inexpensive way to solve problems and provide complex functionality without incurring the cost of custom programming. While it can slow a site down and cause problems to have too many plugins installed (plugins are all built by different authors at different times — conflicts between them are common) there are a number of plugins that provide some really neat effects and functionality, and almost always work great. Continue reading

Are those QR codes effective, or not?

QR Code

Go ahead, scan. We bet you’ll skip it.

QR codes, those scrambled-egg bar codes that appear on advertisements or packaging for smart phone users to scan and see a web page, are getting the heave-ho by many marketers.

As they take up valuable real estate in an ad (and are pretty ugly to boot) it’s good to ask: Are QR codes actually effective?

The latest Comscore stats say Continue reading