Category Archives: Web

A promo video of sorts for the Idea Spark iOS app.

I’ve been thinking of doing a promo video showcasing the Idea Spark iOS app for a while, but I just couldn’t decide how I wanted to do it.  The current trend amongst startups is to release glossy marketing videos with upbeat music, but in all honesty I am personally very tired of this sort of communication between creators and their customers.  Seeing something generic like that has very little impact on my own saturated senses, and I figure I’m not the only one.

So I thought to myself: what is it that I consider the most important thing when I am looking at buying an app?  Well, usability is what immediately jumped to my mind; I want to know how an app works so that I can envision how it will fit in my life.  Grand promises on a marketing statement don’t mean much to me amidst the plethora of other grand promises that are made constantly, and too often these promises are oversold and lead to disappointment.  I would rather be shown that something works and embodies those promises, without the superficial layer of varnish.

With that in mind, I put together a promo video that simply shows the workflow of the Idea Spark iOS app.  Simply put, the app is a tool to help artists get out of creative ruts by suggesting new ideas, but beyond that I’ll let the app speak for itself.  I composed the music myself and edited it up to my standards as a visual storyteller, and have released it to the world in hopes that it is clear and communicative about my vision for the app in the pockets of fellow creatives.  It’s simple, effective, and beautiful just like I designed the app to be.

Check out the Idea Spark Workflow Demonstration on Youtube:

Reclaim your Google Analytics by stopping Referrer Spam

One of the latest plagues on the internet has been an abundance of referrer spam.

A definition from Wikipedia so we all are clear on what referrer spam is:
“Referrer spam (also known as log spam or referrer bombing) is a kind of spamdexing (spamming aimed at search engines). The technique involves making repeated web site requests using a fake referer URL to the site the spammer wishes to advertise.”

Over the past few months, I have personally noticed a huge increase in odd referrers to my website.  Suspicious, unrelated URLs like: site3.free-share-buttons.com, social-buttons.com, and semalt.com (to just name a few).

My original thought was, “…why are these folks interested in *xyz* content?”  Well, turns out they aren’t.  What they are interested in is someone like me looking at the referral logs, getting curious about their own url, and typing it in to my browser navigation bar.  They aren’t even coming to the websites, but are instead just scanning through the different Google Analytics IDs in an incremental way (kind of the way we get robocalled on our phones: 555-555-0001, 555-555-0002, etc. but with UA-000001, UA-000002, etc).

The good news is, since they aren’t actually visiting the website we can filter out their traffic from analytics reports with filters.  My favourite method is to create a valid hostname filter within Google Analytics, where we specify all the domains we are using are Google Analytics ids on and ignore all the other “ghost domains”.  I like this method over other methods out there because it only uses one filter, and it has proved itself by working flawlessly on all the domains I manage over the past few months in which I’ve implemented it.

A nod over to the folks at Ohow who wrote a great guide on how to set this up for yourself – check it out:
OHow’s guide to stop referral spam