letting creative flow

By Matt Adams on June 1st, 2012

Just a great example of a big, giant, corporate site, having some fun.

Lowes.com has a promotional banner highlighting their new paint calculator. The focus is partially on wasting less. So what better way to highlight that message than show some wasted paint. Dripping down the entire home page.


I applaud their creativity and ingenuity in pulling this off in such a classy way. Well executed!


Where do I set my user photo?

By Matt Adams on May 14th, 2012

Many of our sites run wordpress. We loooove wordpress around here. But a common question we hear, is where does the users profile photo come from? In comments, author biographies, etc.

Easy answer. 

We rely on the Gravatar system created by wordpress. Gravatar, or a “Globally Recognized Avatar” is an image connected to your email address, and is actually used on any site also using the gravatar service.


Head over to gravatar.com, and sign up (free). Here you can connect as many emails as you have, and upload a photo. Now, when ever you administer a site, comment on a blog, etc, if you use one of those emails, it will auto pull your photo. Need to update the photo? great, log back in, and change it. It will globally update all your past articles, comments and profiles.

It’s a great way to give a face to a name, and humanize the internet.

Walking the tight line

By Matt Adams on May 8th, 2012

Sometimes we get busy. Sometimes very busy. I can personally attest to this. I’m pretty sure most of March and April flew by me in a blink. Oh I know stuff happened. Projects, birthdays, trips, events, but it’s a blur.

Not sure about you, but when I get busy, I focus in. I skip social networks, networking events, follow up calls, little emails, etc. I’m all about the nose to the screen and get stuff out the door mode. Great from time to time, but if you hang out in this mode too often things suffer. New project leads, relationships, health, the weeds in my front yard, and even creativity. The busier I feel, the worse I sleep, the less Ii work out, the less I enjoy life. It’s a terrible cycle.

So take a moment out of your busy week. Say hi to some friends, thank some past clients, go exercise, spend some time with family, and enjoy life. If you work too hard, you may miss that life you are working so hard for.

P.S. Thanks to my awesome family and friends for putting up with me while I go crazy. We’ll get the life balance thing in order someday right?

Fire the committee

By Matt Adams on February 8th, 2012

Fire the committee. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a deal breaker. – Seth Godin.

This statement is true in so many aspects. Look at politics, giant companies, churches, and non-profits. The more brilliant people in a room, the more no one can decide a single focus, direction and executable project.

Sopa & PIPA. A Cause for Concern

By Matt Adams on January 18th, 2012

Lets pause today for a copyright, legal rights, and the internet conversation. We are creators of content, hosts of sites, and believers in free speech. So first off, we don’t normally take political sides, and neither bill is specific to one political party. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills circulating Washington DC have us very concerned for several reasons.

You learn about sopa & pipa here.

or watch this:

Here are some key issues.

1. No Due Process. The US Government can choose to shut down funding, and even block the site URL from us search engines and DNS.

2. It doesn’t stop the issue of illegal content. IP addresses will still be accessible and so will the content.

3. It sets precedent. What other countries will follow in our paths if this went through? Can you imagine a world with a very disconnected internet? Countries like North Korea, Iran, and China already filter internet for a variety of reasons. They shut down free speech, conflicting views and organized political opposition. This is not what we want in the US.

Tell Congress if you agree with any of this.



The importance of mobile friendy websites

By Matt Adams on December 16th, 2011

The internet use on a smart phone may be one of the fastet growing modes of communication and consumption we have ever experienced. The overall adoption rate is growing faster than radio, tv, and the internet experienced. In some countries the internet is really only available on mobile phones, like in sub sahara Africa for example.

Here at factor1, we have the strong opinion that there is no difference between mobile web and what you get on your computer. There is only one internet, just different ways to view it.

So all sites we build are mobile friendly at a minimum. And often we build more advanced sites that are responsive to the screen size and displays the content as best possible for the size of the device.

Some fun mobile facts to think about.

  • 39% of people use mobile phones while using the bathroom
  • 33% of people use mobile phones while watching television
  • 87% of people use mobile phones while on the go
  • 400% increase in mobile phone use over 2011

Based on the below InfoGraphic, What can you do to connect with people via their mobile devices?  What does your company do to reach people via smartphones?


Graphic via http://visual.ly/

Keeping things simple

By Matt Adams on November 29th, 2011

Funny thing in life, Simple almost always wins.

  • Myspace was complicated and too many things. Facebook is simple (kind of).
  • Blackberry UI is complicated. iPhone is clear.
  • Constant contact is deep in menus and pages. Campaign monitor is the good kind of shallow.

The more I use technology, the more I appreciate simple. I have owned way too many high priced bluetooth headsets. Funny thing is that the simple headphones / mic included with my iphone seems to just plain work, clearly, flawlessly, and without a need to keep a battery charged.

Where can you make simple cuts in your life, service, product and delivery.

P.S. Simple, not dumb, or lacking in core function.

Creating a Google Plus page for your business

By Matt Adams on November 8th, 2011

Time to celebrate! the much anticipated Google+ for your business, place, organization or brand. Signing up is probably 10x easier than facebook ever was.

  1. First off, you need to be a google+ user personally. (head here: plus.google.com)
  2. Once signed up, you may want to find some friends to add to your network, but thats not a requirement
  3. Once you sign in, you can add a page from a graphic on the lower right of your screen, or this link: https://plus.google.com/pages/create
  4. Chose the type of page that suits you best. If you are a local retailer, a place may suit you best. If your business operates in many states, a brand may be a better fit.
  5. Fill in the blanks, add in a photo and you are all set. Google learned a lot from the terrible facebook process and made this set up super straight forward and easy.

So whats the difference between Google+ Pages and Google+ Profiles

Pages are extremely similar to profiles, but they have some key differences:

  • Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned. Learn more.
  • Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.
  • The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.
  • Pages have the +1 button.
  • Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.
  • Pages can’t play games.
  • Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’.
  • Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar.
  • Pages can’t hangout on a mobile device.
  • Local pages have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.

All set? Great, now check out factor1 on google+

Avoiding app attack

By Matt Adams on November 2nd, 2011

I know this has happened to you, as it has happened to me. You see a tweet, email, or some article highlights a great new tool, service or app for your business. It could be something new for marketing, productivity, accounting, or social media. A pretty logo, a nice splash page, and a killer video. And WOW, only $20 a month, or maybe its $49.99. You get super excited, because, well as the video says, this new tool is going to revolutionize your business.

What I constantly see, is these things launch with great buzz, or even you bought it with great excitement. But in 2 or 3 months, no one is talking about it, and you never use the thing, or maybe you jump ship to the next revolutionary idea.

Have you ever really stopped and asked yourself this question: Is this going to really change MY unique business? Is my life going to be different after using this for 3 months? Or maybe Is this going to have a direct impact in new customer conversions?

We all need to ask ourselves questions like this. I see far to many businesses flocking to the next great app, plugin, SaaS, or whatever, all with the wrong ideas in mind. Keep your customer base in mind, your work flow, and your bottom line.

Indeed there are so many great applications, web tools and resources in the world today. Seriously, I applaud the application, Software as a Service (SaaS) companies and website plugin tool creators. Just keep your head on straight. The true innovators out there dont need these shiny widgets to make their business function with excellence.

When should you post to facebook & twitter?

By Matt Adams on October 31st, 2011

Great Infographic on posting statistics for the best consumer reach.