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5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Social_media_visuals_2In part two of this recent segment on the Jim Blasingame Show, we take a look at some of the amazing tools available to quickly and easily create visuals for social media posts.

In part one, we talk about solutions like Canva, and here we discuss a simple resource I wish I'd discovered years ago—PlaceIt.Net.

Along the way, Jim and I joke about how much harder it was to whip up creative assets back in the day. Check it out:

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Conclusion)

Approx. 4 min, 20 sec


5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Part 1)

Social_media_visuals_1Okay, I'll admit it.

I work with incredibly talented designers who whip up great visuals for me anytime I like. Rarely do I ever need to develop something on my own.

But lately, I've been playing around with some popular design tools for social media posts and so far, I'm impressed with what I'm finding—including some options I wish I'd discovered years ago.

In this recent segment for Jim Blasingame's show, we discuss tools for developing social media visuals, quotes, memes, infographics and more.

5 Cool Creativity Tools for Social Media Visuals (Pt 1)
Approx. 5 min, 55 sec



To Bot, or Not? Rick Mathieson Talks Chatbots for Emerging Brands

BluebotTo bot, or not—it's suddenly an open question instead of a foregone conclusion.

Chatbots are increasingly an on-again-off-again hot topic among big brands these days—but is the timing right for startups and SMBs to get in on the action?

Once heralded as the new shiny object for marketers, Chatbot hype boomed with the launch of bots from the likes of Taco Bell, H&M, CNN and Unilever

These miniature, AI-enabled apps were instantly seen as transformational. Now, instead of closing Facebook Messenger or Slack and opening up your Lyft app, for instance, you can simply message Lyft and ask for a ride using conversational language.

Last Summer, Facebook had 11,000 chatbots within weeks of launching its bot developer kit. By fall, that figure had hit 30,000.

But now, some are wondering if the rise of the bots was a bit premature.

No, I'm not (just) talking about Microsoft's bot Tay, which famously started spewing racist messages on Twitter within 24 hours of launch. I'm not even talking about pro-Trump chatbots that overwhelmed social media with fake news in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

It's more prosaic than all that: In recent weeks, Facebook announced it would scale back its chatbot efforts after bots were shown to fail 70% of customers' questions and requests.

Instead, Facebook is refocusing its efforts on getting a limited set of questions right and shifting to a persistent menu function that's more akin to browsing a website (or "cards" in bot vernacular) and clicking options instead of trying to have a "conversation."

OrangebotBut while big brands may end up taking a small step back as the technology's underpinnings get worked out, it's not out of the question to ask if this is the time for startups and SMBs to start checking bots out.

So far, smaller companies have been decidedly "wait and see"—over 60% of SMBs have reported being only "somewhat" to "not at all" interested in chatbots or bot-based commerce.

Still, with new DIY chatbot tools for even the least techy among us, now might be a good time to emphasize the "see" part of that equation, if for nothing else than understanding where the technology might go next.

Indeed, that was the topic of a recent segment of the Jim Blasingame Show, where Jim and I talk chatbots. To be clear, Jim's show focuses on SMBs. As you'll hear, this whole chatbot thing may be new territory for this audience.

Check it out here:

Rise of the Bots

Radio Interview with Rick Mathieson: Rise of the Bots

Approx. 4 min, 39 sec

'Ghostbusters' Hyper-Reality Gameplay from THE VOID Looks Hyper-Cool (Video)


It's hard not to get amp'd over this trailer for the "Ghostbusters: Dimension" AR game.

I can't tell how much of this is just video or actual game play, but if it's anything like this promo fro THE VOID and Sony Pictures, this game looks hyper-righteous.

It's important to understand that THE VOID develops experiences at specific venues, versus video games for home.

This is a critical difference, since the experience can be controlled within a locked environment. As the New York Times reported a couple weeks ago, THE VOID has also developed a vest that provides smells and haptic feedback within game play.

It also makes up for the lack of interest consumers seem to have over buying AR & VR gaming equipment for home.

It is interesting how Wired ad the NYT call this VR; from this video at least, it appears to be AR-based, which helps explain how people move about without the disorientation that comes with VR goggles.

THE VOID, of course calls it "hyper reality."

We'll go with that, just so long as it's as fun as it looks.