Green

In our photo studio (which is commonly known as Z2 Photo) we’ve got a pretty large cyc wall (36 feet wide, 14 feet tall) which is usually white. But in the last two months it’s gone from white, to black, to white, to blue, to white, and now it’s green. And next week it’ll probably be white again.

Just for reference on the size, here’s a few more photos… one with a big truck, and one with a bunch of people.

Truck

People

Oh, and if you haven’t guessed, we’ve got a green screen shoot coming up. :)

February 20, 2012 · Posted by in photo, video  

If you’re in the product delivery business, it’s probably a good rule of thumb to actually deliver your product when it’s ordered. Sounds simple. But have you heard about the giant 1-800-Flowers Valentine’s Day 2012 ordeal? What a disaster. Apparently, this February 14, the company failed to deliver hundreds of orders. I can only imagine how that affected households across the country.

As you’d expect, the flowerless customers took to social media with their rants. The company’s Facebook page was bombarded with posts from unhappy customers saying things like, “TERRIBLE TERRIBLE SERVICE USE ANY OTHER COMPANY/SITE,” and “Thanks for deliverying (sic) my girlfriends flowers 2 days late. Thanks for only sending 9 out of the 12 roses and thanks for sending 2 dead flowers. Thanks for ruining Valentines Day.” Its Twitter account is seeing similar messages.

After reading the messages, I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the customer service reps (more likely social media/PR peeps) over there who are tasked with responding to every negative comment and attempting to fix the orders. From what I can see, it looks like they are actually doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the responses. (I keep picturing the red-eyed employees in one huge room, hovering over their computers, eating doughnuts, and pulling out their hair.)

So, what happened? Maybe this was a computer glitch? Maybe it was a staffing issue? Who knows? The point is… we should know! 1-800-Flowers should have come out with a public statement as soon as they discovered the problem. Some sort of explanation should have been set forth by a trained company spokesperson (read: PR person ghostwriting for company spokesperson). Although explaining the situation probably wouldn’t have completely repaired the dissatisfaction with the missing orders, it would have at least helped the public to understand how something like this occurred and, more importantly, what safeguards are now in place to ensure it will never happen again.

February 17, 2012 · Posted by in pr, social media  

Yammer Time

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Last year, we at Z2 began searching for a better way to communicate internally. We were using iChat to communicate one-on-one (and still do) and of course were sending out the traditional company-wide emails, but we were looking for something more interactive—and fun. We soon discovered the joys of Yammer.

Yammer is kind of like a social network for businesses—think of it as one main Facebook wall in which everyone can post. You can even download a Yammer App on your smart phone to get updates when you’re away from your computer, if you so choose. The program works perfectly for a smaller office, like ours. It keeps us all on the same page in terms of meetings, schedules, client news, and more.

The ‘more’ typically includes things like photos of our pets, YouTube videos, funny quotes from co-workers, etc. One example, below.

If you’re a small business and looking for a new way to foster internal communication, we suggest you check out Yammer.

February 10, 2012 · Posted by in misc, social media  

Processing Class

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Processing

Processing is a programming language for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions. It’s free (and open source) and you can find out more about it at processing.org

I spent a month last year experimenting with Processing, and had a lot of fun doing so, and I ended the month with a piece I called the Make A Sketch which I debuted at the first Bay View Gallery Night.

So if you’re interested in creating interactive pieces using Processing, I’ll be one of three instructors leading a workshop about it on February 23rd, 2011. There’s more info here.

February 6, 2012 · Posted by in art, misc