This is my third video post on Google Analytics. The first two were designed to describe the benefits of Google Analytics for photographers, and to show how you can use it to monitor traffic to your Web site. In this video, we look at the Google Analytics dashboard, and how you can customize it to add the data that is most relevant to you.
How’s business? The answer depends on your individual circumstances, of course — but also on your perspective.
The glass is either half full or half empty for many of us today. Take the Windy City. Just as Chicago delivers its chosen son to become President, and one of its premier photographers to become official White House photographer, both of the city’s newspapers are relegated to the pit of bankruptcy.
As a former newspaper reporter who later became the head of large corporate communications departments, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with both photojournalists and corporate assignment photographers. And while many of the best assignment photographers I’ve worked with have also been photojournalists, I’ve found that some photojournalists don’t make the transition to corporate work very well.
I almost don’t recognize Shawna Simmons when she appears in my office doorway. A 2007 graduate, Shawna has returned to the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication to give several presentations as part of the school’s I-Comm Week, an annual exploration of the latest trends in mass media.
In my last video, I discussed the benefits of Google Analytics and how to install it on your Web site. In this post, I define some terms used to describe the traffic to your site, such as “bounce rate,” “abandonment rate” and “conversion rate.” Then I show you how to track these and other stats using Google Analytics — an important step to improving your Web site’s effectiveness.
I had originally started this post with a different topic, but after a recent airline trip I wanted to share a few observations about customer service and customer loyalty. The thing about customer service is that we all understand its importance in theory — but we sometimes forget to implement it in practice, in the heat of our daily work lives. That’s why it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves occasionally of what good service is and why it’s in our best interests to provide it.
When Captain Sully landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January, his photo wasn’t the face of the brand that everyone saw. No, what they saw first was that now-famous cell phone picture taken by a commuter. He was on a ferry that responded to the scene. Out came the camera, followed by a quick upload to the Web.
Fifth in a series.
Your wedding day is over. All of the planning and preparation has paid off, and you’re now married to the man or woman of your dreams. Basking in the glow of that unforgettable day during your honeymoon, you or your spouse will inevitably declare: “I can’t wait to see the pictures!”
Documentary photography may not command the same amount of money, magazine space and editorial support it did 10 years ago, but it is still thriving in many ways. You might be surprised how many photographers are still willing to risk their money, personal comfort, and even their lives to produce great photographs.
I’ve written before about multimedia slideshows, and how nice it is that today they are available to everyone via the Web, when in the past they were generally created for small groups. In this post, I will make the argument that multimedia slideshows can be a more effective way of communicating than online video.
Photography is the single most important element of most advertising campaigns. While copywriters may spend hours producing an eye-catching headline and copy that explains the benefits of a product, it’s the image that first attracts the viewer. It’s also the last thing the viewer usually remembers after turning the page.
When I was 13, a gangly and extremely enthusiastic teacher imparted to my science class the essence of Newton’s third law of motion: that every action has an opposite and equal reaction. Walking out of the classroom, I promptly forgot this lesson. Only years later did I realize that Newton’s third law governs not just motion — but virtually everything we do.
Paul Graham, in the essay Why TV Lost, says the problem with copyright owners — including photographers and agencies — is that they spend too much time worrying about the money they are losing to piracy, and not enough time trying to improve the experience for users. Solving the latter, he argues, can solve the former.
A good landscape photograph tells a story of the place it describes. And like all good tales, your landscapes should have a catchy beginning (the foreground), an interesting center (the middle area) and a memorable ending (the background). Not every landscape lends itself to this somewhat formulaic treatment, of course, but applying it saves a lot of time and provides you with a solid starting point from which you can improvise.
Back when I was heading the corporate communications department of a billion-dollar company, I had the uncomfortable experience of watching a graphic designer break down and crumple into a ball in my office.
Fourth in a series.
The bride’s dress won’t zip up. The brother of the groom had a little too much to drink before the toast. The flower girl’s hair catches on fire. The maid of honor loses the groom’s ring. You name it — it’s happened.
In my last post, I offered some recommendations for the camera gear you’ll need to make it as a freelance photographer. But having the right photographic equipment is just the beginning. Here are nine other business essentials to be ready for any assignment.
It’s the halfway point in the semester, so I thought this would be a good time to report on the video course I am teaching. Video has always been part of the Visual Communications sequence here at the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. But until the spring 2009 semester, we’ve always incorporated video into our other VisCom courses — a little in the Introduction to Visual Communications course, a little in the two Photovisual Communications courses, and a little in the Graphic Design course.
A corporation’s offices are often its most public face. The architecture a company chooses sends a message about its brand. Landmarks such as Hong Kong’s Bank of China or New York’s Chrysler Building, originally constructed to house the offices of the Chrysler Corporation, broadcast international statements about a company’s ambitions.
I’ve read the articles and postings about newspaper layoffs, and I’ve gotten my share of e-mails from former staff photographers asking for guidance. As someone who’s been freelancing for most of my career, what’s the first advice I would give to those of you striking out on your own?
I’ve seen a funny shift in the perceived value of front lighting since I began writing photography books. When I started writing about photography three decades ago, the general rule was “keep the sun over your shoulder,” which meant, in essence, to always use front lighting. Then, as consumers became hip to the value of different lighting directions in “creative” photography, front lighting fell out of favor.
I got a call recently from a wedding planner acting on behalf of a couple who were looking for a photographer. During the course of the call, I was told I wouldn’t be able to contact the couple directly.
Do you ever wonder if your corporate message has gotten a bit stale? Sure, you know your company’s strengths, and there are lots of reasons why it is successful. Your communications team probably routinely utilizes a specific set of phrases that describe your company’s distinctiveness. But after a while your message begins to sound just like a dozen other “unique” organizations.
Third in a series.
OK, you’ve booked the photographer for your wedding. You’ve signed a contract and paid a non-refundable retainer to ensure your reservation. You’ve planned ahead, so it’s still six to nine months before the big day.
After Tiger Woods won the Masters the first time, he felt he could still improve his game. Tiger went back to golf’s fundamentals; he worked on his swing.
Tiger is not the only professional athlete practicing the fundamentals of his game. Each year, Major League Baseball teams go to spring training, where they discipline themselves in the fundamentals of baseball. They’re doing pretty much what your kids in Little League are doing — running, hitting, catching and throwing.