Month: December 2011

Eye Contact – not just important in person

designing great adsI’m not a designer by trade but have in many instances had to design something; flyers, ads, banners and websites. I’ve managed to get by with the basics so any tips I get on design are always welcome. I recently read a blog in titled 6 Essential PPC Landing Page Optimizations. These design tips were written for Landing Pages but can easily be applied to any type of advertising.

They were all great tips but Tip #2 was an a-ha moment for me. Choosing the right image for your landing page is always important but more so when you want your audience to pay attention to what it is you want them to do. This tip suggests choosing a image that has the person in the picture looking at whatever it is you want your audience to see… eye contact is important not only when you meet someone but also when you want them to look at something – just like pointing.

If someone stands in the middle of a room and looks straight up – what will you do? You’d look up as well to see what they where looking at. The same idea applies in design… not a proven scientific fact but worth a shot!

Gabriela Martin del Campo is Director of Strategic Operations for El Clasificado and chair of the ICMA Future Leaders Network

WordPress Release Candidate 2

The WordPress team has recently released their 3.3 release candidate 2. This release brings consistency to admin toolbar between browsers and the API for developers has been finalized.

Other improvements include: an improved media uploader, a guide to help new users make the first configurations, performance enhancements and many more. If you are currently using a WordPress blog the development team think they are really close to a final release. You can get more information about this release here:

This would also be a good time to check to see if your version of WordPress is up to date. Checking this is really easy, log into to your administration panel, if your version in need of an update you will see a yellow warning that is telling you that “WordPress 3.2.1 is available! Please update now.” Click the link and you will be presented with the update page and two methods of updating and helpful links for help updating.

If you are unfamiliar with WordPress go here: and here are some examples of WordPress Sites within the ICMA:

ICMA Future Leaders Network Member,  AutoConX Systems

Social media plans and timelines

This month I asked some ICMA members what their strategies were for the next few months in the social media landscape.

For some companies the industry is shrinking and we’re in defensive mode — keeping our current users happy is priority number one.  But for other companies the goal is to employ offense as the best defence.We’re constantly coming up with new and interesting ways to intrigue and interest our audience. Take for example, by combining the “freemium” model to an upgraded shopping experience with shopping carts and check outs, they’re giving professional sellers a whole new reason to stay and keep posting ads. These sellers then spread the word through social media to new users as well.

However, these new features can take months to plan, develop and test. Can we expect the same from social media? Does it also take months to develop and does the atmosphere change at the same rate?  There are arguments on either side of the debate, but for the classified industry I’d say it’s the same idea as our regular business, just in hyperdrive.