Friday, 27 February 2015

New Three-Dimensional Figurative Collages Encased in Multiple Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin

Fun and Random

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

The Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin (previously) was commissioned by the New York City Ballet to install a new series of his figurative collages. The artist refers to the sculptures as Psychogeographies because “they feel like maps of the psyche.”

Each large-scale sculpture is individually embellished with bizarre found objects—cut-up books, magazines and trash found on the street—which are then sealed within layers of glass. “Imagine if you were to make a drawing on a window,” said Yellin, explaining his process. “And then you were to take another window and glue it to that window… until you had a window sandwich. I make window sandwiches.”

The resulting forms resemble dancers striking various poses: their multi-dimensional bodies encapsulated in suspended animation. A grand total of 15 of these “window sandwiches,” each weighing in at 3,000 pounds each, were installed in the atrium of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The installation is on view for all performances through March 1, 2015 but there’s also free public viewing through February 22. If you can’t make it you can always follow Yellin’s activities on Instagram.

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist

Photo by David Deng courtesy the artist


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How Compassion International Uses Blogging to Save Lives

Blogging with purpose

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This is a guest contribution from Caitlin Gustafson.problogger - caitlin gustafsonI imagine a dirt road with boys playing with a lonely old soccer ball in the warm sunshine. A little boy with dark brown curls chases the ball, his worn sneakers kicking up dust from the street.

I don’t know if that’s what life is really like for Janair, my sponsor child from Honduras. But every time I get a hand-written letter in crayon, or I see a new picture of him, it’s what I imagine.

Compassion International is a non-profit organization that works in 26 countries around the world and is one of the few organizations that holds a 4-star rating from CharityNavigator.

Compassion was doing content marketing before it was in vogue and they consistently outperform other similar non-profits in their efforts. Though Compassion International uses many methods of content marketing, including video, Pinterest, direct mail, and email, a huge part of their success is tied to blogging.

According to Content Marketing Institute, 61% of Non-Profit marketers use content marketing, but only 35% say their efforts are effective. I’d venture a guess that the marketing team at Compassion International is within that 35%.

Company Blog

Every few days, Compassion International posts new stories to their blog. Some are communicated from field specialists, those who work directly with sponsored children and world relief projects. These are stories of heartbreak and hope for a brighter future. Some are inspirational pieces written to encourage sponsors to have more involved relationships with their sponsored children. Other stories are written by sponsored children who have overcome poverty through Compassion programs. Occasionally you will hear from a sponsor who tells how their involvement in Compassion has changed their life.

What makes the blog so engaging is how they manage to tell a story in each update. All of these are all personalized stories from people directly involved in their relief programs. They aren’t lists of ways to alleviate poverty, and individual blog posts aren’t likely to rank for any keywords in a Google search.

Somehow I doubt ranking for specific keywords is the intent with this blog. Instead, it’s a compelling collection of stories that keeps readers coming back, engaged, and committed to Compassion’s relief efforts.


A Network of Bloggers

Not only does Compassion keep an active blog that gets great engagement on social media and more, they have a network of over 350 affiliate bloggers to amplify their message to new audiences. Some of these bloggers are big names with lots of followers, such as author Ann Voskamp, or popular musical artist Shaun Groves. Compassion offers monthly assignments or writing prompts that bloggers can incorporate into their content calendars if they so choose.

Through this program each blogger is given a sponsor affiliate code and they can track how many children are sponsored through the links they use on their website. It’s a different rewards program than many affiliate networks, which reward bloggers with commissions or free product based on sales. Instead, this rewards program directly benefits the blogger’s sponsor child through family gifts that help impoverished families buy extra food, clothes, chickens, etc.


International Blogger Trips

Every so often, Compassion takes groups of sponsors overseas to meet the children they support. Bloggers often come on these trips and write about their experiences and encourage others to sign up and sponsor their own children using affiliate links. Myquillyn Smith from Nesting Place and Christy Jordan from Southern Plate are two popular bloggers that have taken part in such trips. Their stories have inspired many readers to sponsor their own children through Compassion International.


What Does This Mean For Me?

As a blogger, your website might not be dedicated to AIDS relief or ending poverty. So if you’re wondering how you can translate Compassion’s blogging success to your financial planning site, here’s my suggestion: readers want stories. It’s never been clearer that the most successful brands, advertisements, and blogs are the ones that tell a story. Ikea Spain’s Holiday commercial last year wasn’t about their furniture. It was about families and togetherness over the Holidays, and told as a story.

Lifestyle bloggers like Joy Cho, Joanna Goddard, and Kendi Skeen are popular because they connect with their readers through stories. KendiEveryday is a style blog – but readers love when she talks about her business ventures into opening her own clothing boutique. OhJoy is a mommy blogger that connects with readers by incorporating her recent pregnancy story into her regular blog content, like her “how to dress the bump” in each month of her pregnancy.

A blog about financial planning can be exciting if you can use it to tell readers how you got into the business of stocks and IRAs. Could you tell a client’s success story? Incorporating these stories into your regular blog content can only benefit your blog in the long run as it builds that personal relationship with your readers.

Caitlin Gustafson is an Online PR Specialist for Web Talent Marketing with a focus on content marketing and social media. You can find her blogging and tweeting about her two favorite things: digital marketing and travel.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How Compassion International Uses Blogging to Save Lives

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How Compassion International Uses Blogging to Save Lives

ZazzleMySite - site and blog post generator, released at v1

ZazzleMySite - What is it?

ZazzleMySite is a web page generating tool for web sites and blogs that gives you unique Zazzle product grids on every page generated.
Here's an example Cinderella Accessory page created with it. Other Cinderella pages generated at the same time are automatically linked.

ZazzleMySite generates web pages and blog posts
with unique, static product grids

Say again?

ZazzleMySite is designed to work with a template for your site and, together with a bunch of settings per page, it generates all the pages, putting a unique product grid on each that displays your (or others') Zazzle products.
Thanks to some real helpful beta testers, I've managed to get this out in double-quick time!

How is that good for me?

It's ram-jam packed with benefits for you:
  • Embiggen (thanks Sprigfield!) your website with beautiful pages in minutes
    • It would take a competent web designer hours to do what you can do in minutes - more product creation time for you!
  • You earn from any referred sales and will know where that sale came from 
    • Everywhere your product links can appear can have their own tracking code
  • So easy for visitors to share what they see and like
    • Every product in the grid has it's own share / pin buttons
      Yes, you're also be able to earn and track sales from pins / shares!
  • Search engines love content created with ZazzleMySite
    • Static product grids mean their spiders can see and feast on them - which they can't with RSS feed-driven product grids like in the Zazzle Store Builder and others
  • Search engine spiders love fresh content and that's covered as well
    • You can regenerate all your pages using the same choices you made before and the product grid will be freshened with all the currently trending / popular items matching those choices.
  • Navigation included
    • All pages generated in the same session will have a set of navigation links included, with links to every other page generated at the same time.
  •  Small but perfectly formed templates to choose from
    • If you're thinking of starting a new site or blog, there's presently two(!) templates to choose from and this number will grow
  • All your options are easy to save and load again for next time
    • Once you have one set done and pages generated, it's so easy to modify your saved options to generate an entire new set of pages!
  • You can theme every page individually or as a set
    • Each can have its own background colour or image. Halloween pages can use a spooky background colour and repeating ghostly image, while your Winter Wedding pages can use white and snowy image themes.

It's easy to save and load options, so it's easy to regenerate your pages for fresh content.

Why don't you watch a video showing ZazzleMySite in action? This one whizzes through in under 7 mins. It was made using the pre-release version of ZMS but is essentially the same.

Take the trial version for a spin. It's limited to generating a maximum of 5 products in a grid (30 in the full version) and will let you see just how useful it is!
Monthly+ and Perpetual licenses are available when you want to move beyond 5 in a product grid.
NB Monthly+ means the rest of the current month and all of the following month - up to two months!

I'm more than happy to answer any questions :)
~~Mark (HightonRidley)

PS If you're a Zazzler and you can (or already do) create templates for others to use I'd be happy to make one of yours available to use with ZMS in trade for a Monthly+ license. If you're interested, then first off, drop a mention in the comments and I'll get in touch.

Architectural Letterforms Come to Life for ‘Deepblue Networks’

Fun and Random









For a recent promotional campaign, German creative firm Deepblue Networks collaborated with illustrator and graphic designer Florian Schommer of Kjosk Collective to create a series of animated buildings using the letters of their logo. The 8 illustrations turn each letter of the logo into a multi-story building and imagines the staff working inside. You can see the full presentation here. Creative direction by Burkhard Müller. (via Behance)

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