Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Do Your Come Up, Store and Organize Ideas for Blog Posts?

How Do Your Come Up, Store and Organize Ideas for Blog Posts?

Posted: 24 Apr 2009 12:33 PM PDT

questions and answers

Joel Drapper asks:

I would like to know how you come up with ideas for posts, and also how you store, and organize those ideas.

Most of the times ideas will come to me naturally. Sometimes I am surfing the web, other times I am taking a shower, and the idea will just pop in my head.

There are times when I not particularly inspired, though, and on those occasions I need to use some exercises to get the creative juices flowing. Here are the exercises that I use:

1. Looking on other niches. Sometimes I will browse around websites that cover completely different niches, and I will take a look at the content that they are publishing and evaluate whether or not I could translate those ideas or concepts to my own niche.

2. Reading print stuff. The print industry is much older than the web, and those guys have a lot of experience. You just need to buy a newspaper or a magazine on a topic related to your niche and I am sure you will get plenty of ideas for new posts.

3. Doing something else. Sometimes it is useless to keep trying harder. Maybe you are stressed with the work, maybe you are tired. On those occasions, doing something completely different can help. If you work in your home, for example, you could go out for a bicycle ride or jogging with a friend.

4. Using paper to brainstorm. Jotting ideas down on a piece of paper is a very efficient way to organize your thoughts. It becomes easier, after all, to interlink things and to see what ramifications they could have.

That is pretty much it.

The second part is about storing the ideas, which is just as important. In fact, one common mistake that people do is to not store their ideas somewhere, relying solely on their memories. Then when they realize the idea is gone for good.

My process for storing ideas is the following: when they hit me I write them down as soon as possible. If I am outside of my office, I use any piece of paper that I can put my hands on. If I am inside my office, I will write it down on the notebook that is always on my desk or on the whiteboard. Then at the end of the day I will add that idea to my WordPress dashboard as a draft. Usually I just include the title and some central topics that I think could be covered on the future post.

As of today I have 30 or so drafts stored. Whenever I don’t have something to post on a given day I will just go through those drafts, pick one, and write it.

What about you guys? What exercises do you use to come up with ideas, and how do you store and organize them?

Monday, April 20, 2009

DÍA DE LA TIERRA LO QUE TÚ HAGAS CUENTA Del 20 al 25, 9PM / Domingo 26, de 5PM a 9PM




El Día de la Tierra crece velozmente a lo largo de los años desde sus humildes comienzos, allá por la década del 70. Se calcula que este año serán más de 500 millones de personas en 85 países de todo el mundo las que celebren el Día de la Tierra.

¡El Día de la Tierra 2009, 22 de abril, marcará el principio de la la Generación Verde! Esta iniciativa de dos años culminará con el 40 aniversario del Día de la Tierra en 2010. Con las negociaciones para un nuevo acuerdo global para combatir el calentamiento global en el mes de diciembre, el Día de la Tierra 2009 debe ser un día de acción y de participación cívica, para defender los principios de la Generación Verde:

  • Un futuro libre de dióxido de carbono, basado en la energía renovable, que pondrá fin a nuestra dependencia de los combustibles fósiles, incluyendo el carbón.
  • Un compromiso del individuo con el consumo responsable y sostenible.
  • Creación de una nueva economía verde que saque a gente de la pobreza creando millones de empleos sostenibles y que transforme el sistema educativo global.
En el marco de la Generación Verde, miles de acontecimientos se están planeando actualmente en escuelas, comunidades, aldeas, pueblos, y ciudades en todo el mundo. Como en 2008, Earth Day Network (la Red del Día de la Tierra) celebrará el Día de la Tierra en el Nacional Mall en Washington, D.C. el 19 de abril. Además del evento en D.C., otros se están organizando otras actividades de voluntariado en otras diez ciudades de Estados Unidos, en colaboración con Green Apple Festival. Nuestros socios en Tokio, Buenos Aires, Pekín, y Manila, entre otros, están planeando otros grandes acontecimientos donde el público puede participar.

El último año nuestro planeta sufrió cambios tremendos desde terremotos y huracanes horriblemente violentos hasta alentadores descubrimientos de nuevas criaturas y especies que estuvieron al borde del abismo.

Marca la diferencia...el mayor de los problemas en el cuidado de nuestro planeta es pensar que la conciencia que tengas no es suficiente si la mayoría no piensa igual.

Mario Fuentes E.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Typography: Citroën rebrand with custom corporate typeface

Recently car manufacturer Citroën introduced a mayor rebrand, designed by Landor. The rebranding program included a complete redesign of Citroën’s showrooms and all visual communications. The advertisements campaigns are already changed in the Netherlands. What I noticed was the usage of a custom typeface instead of the typeface Futura/Gill Sans, as used before. The new custom typeface is mainly used in uppercase. I have searched about the origin of this typeface but nothing came up, so far.

Below you will find various photos taken with clear usage of the new typeface. I very much like how this typeface works, it has a very sleek and modern look. Especially the thin font variant works really well. It attracted my attention immediately.

The main reason the typeface is very eligible because of its square glyphs, almost every single glyphs has the same dimensions, which makes it really readable from a distance.

From a online PDF file I have learned that this custom typeface has three font variants and are named:

  • Citroen
  • Citroen-Bold
  • Citroen-Light

From the press release:

Graphic principles for visibility and consistency
CITROËN is introducing new graphic designs, a single typography and a unique tone of voice to boost the visibility and consistency of the brand. The new brand will universally reflect the Marque’s new status. The key colours are white, denoting openness and elegance, and red, to express vitality, together with black, grey and chrome, for status and power.

I have not seen many examples using the lowercase font variant of this custom typeface, so I searched internet and found this new folder using the typeface in uppercase and lowercase.

Typeface Citroen: Uppercase

Typeface Citroen: Uppercase & lowercase

Citroen typeface



In my opinion the uppercase only text is much stronger than the lowercase variant, but it has a strong distinctive look which seems to be bases on a combination between Futura & Gill Sans. If any one knows who designed the custom typeface please let me know.

Citroën Logo

Since its introduction there has been many discussions about the logo, personally I prefer the new logo above the old one because of its transparency look & feel.

Citroën’s new logo will help reignite interest in the iconic brand.

Showroom Citroën Amsterdam


Design sketch new style

As you can see there shall be many changes in design for the showrooms on the outside, at the additional information you can find more sketches of the interior of the new showrooms.

Greetings
Mario Fuentes Escala.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Australia, mejor marca país por segundo año consecutivo

Quizás podamos aprender de los mejores. Australia supo como desarrollar una imagen país y su categoría de emergente la tiene más que ganada.


Australia fue distinguida como la mejor marca país del mundo en 2008, por segundo año consecutivo.

La marca país es un atributo desarrollado principalmente en turismo, y expresa los valores y la reputación de una nación tal como son percibidos desde otros lugares del mundo. Es un aspecto que impacta en su población, sus productos, en oportunidades, entre otros. Una marca país fuerte atrae inversiones, expresa con claridad una única idea fuerte, construye ventajas competitivas.

Este año, al igual que el anterior, Australia se destaca en aspectos que lo hacen no sólo un buen lugar para visitar, sino que un excelente país para vivir. De hecho, según este índice, Australia sigue primera en el mundo como Mejor Lugar para Vivir, y también ocupó lugares bien arriba en los top-ten de Estándar de Vida, Libertad Política, Habitantes Amistosos, Familias, Seguridad, entre otros.

Future Brand es la consultora privada que todos los años realiza este estudio, que ya en 2007 había consagrado a Australia como la mejor marca país. El estudio completo se puede ver y descargar en este enlace.

Saludos.

Mario Fuentes Escala.