Ready, Set… Vote! Stanton Street Takes on Another Political Campaign Project

in Announcements, Launches, Marketing

The success of the recent Beto O’Rourke for Congress campaign is still fresh on many El Pasoans’ minds but we’re already chugging along with the next political project. The position for Mayor of El Paso will be up for grabs and one candidate wasted no time hitting up Stanton Street to help build awareness for his campaign efforts.

District 7 City Representative Steve Ortega threw his hat in the ring late last year and immediately started working on his online presence. The site for his campaign is a clean and straight-forward approach which allows the user to easily learn about Ortega’s political vision.

ortegaforelpaso.com website by Stanton Street - website screenshot

The Steve Ortega website is filled with information about Ortega’s vision for El Paso.

The homepage features three prominently placed buttons which lead the user to either Ortega’s bio, his platform issues or a page to sign up as a volunteer. The homepage also features a banner ad which displays each of Ortega’s platform issues. If a user wants to know more about a topic, clicking on the image for that issue will direct the user to a page with more detailed information.

Regardless of which page a user may be viewing, the ability to make a donation, sign up to receive the campaign newsletter or visit the official Facebook page are all featured on the site’s template.

While the success of a campaign depends on a variety of factors, we’re sure the new website will serve as an indispensable tool in the weeks to come.

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Stanton Street Constructs A Site for Picturesque Hunt Companies Project

in Announcements, Launches

As El Paso’s population continues to grow, so does the selection for areas in which to reside within the Sun City. Cimarron, a one-of-a-kind community development project from Hunt Companies, Inc., is one of those newest options.

liveatcimmarron.com website by Stanton Street - website screenshot

If you’re in the market for a new home, check out the Cimarron website. If you’re in the market for a new site, let’s talk!

The website developed for this latest venture includes detailed information for the community. If a user wants to see maps of the area, get more details about the neighborhood school being built within the community or access documents related to the area, it’s all easily accessible through the new structure.

A variety of photos provided by Stanton Street’s photography services can also be found throughout the entire site. If your company is in the market for a new online presence, call or shoot us a message today!

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Enter the Nerds…

in Internal Stuff

Tony Casas, Web Designer at Stanton StreetHere at Stanton Street, we’ve never been shy about our technical aptitude. That’s why we’ll be featuring a few of our employees in our upcoming ad campaign. Keep your eyes peeled for incriminating awesomeness!

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Cloud Computing and the Haboob of Technology

in Technology & Trends

By now I think we can safely say that most people know what Cloud computing is. They may not be able to explain it in exact detail, but they have more than likely used it whether they realize it or not. The fact is we’re surrounded by clouds.

The idea of cloud computing has been around for quite a while. Simply put, it’s the idea of using a service outside of your desktop computer. For example, one form of cloud computing is if you use or have used an email service like Gmail. This system allows you to log into your email from ANY computer. This means the actual Gmail program is not located on your computer but on a server living somewhere in Google-landia. Once you use your username and password, that server pulls up your emails and other stored files through an Internet connection.

Remember that snazzy USB or flash drive you used to use to share pictures, music and other files with your friends? If you store your files with a cloud storage service such as DropBox, you probably won’t need it anymore. You simply add individuals to share your files with or keep them private. The best part is your files are – again, accessible from ANY computer.

Cloud_computing

By Sam Johnston [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, the cloud has blossomed into a big business for companies like Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. They have given consumers a way to store, manage or download files from servers using almost any type of device like a smartphone or laptop. Streaming music, movies, downloading applications and collaborating on documents has never been easier.

If you’re on a social media site like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram all the images and posts you share with your friends are stored on their servers. Some users post everyday, others very little. Their servers accommodate the user surges and lulls, so when you see that one of them is down that means they’ve met their “room” capacity. Social sites also maintain and update their platform so users can continue to upload images, post messages and share links.

Cloud computing is also giving businesses of all sizes an opportunity to “virtualize” their network. Companies are encouraged to take advantage of the flexibility of the cloud, renting space and services based on their usage needs. Many cloud computing service providers offer packages from basic hosting to full-blown infrastructures that live on the cloud. Because of this, many employees now have the ability to work remotely since they are no longer restricted to using one computer to get the job done. Is the cloud changing the workplace as we know it? All answers point to “yes.”

Here at Stanton Street we also have a few cloud-type services such as email hosting and protection. Heck, most of our websites are hosted on a cloud. We also access various applications from vendors’ clouds and stream music in our office. We collaborate using Google Drive and, we even write about clouds…

There’s no doubt that clouds exist in almost every aspect of our lives. Frankly, cloud computing is so widespread and evolving so quickly and furiously we should actually be calling it a term most of us Southwesterners know: “A haboob.” Yep. That’s it… “A Haboob of Technology.” You heard it here first folks. No need to credit us, just pass it along.

Haboob

If you’d like to know more about the cloud and how it affects you or your business, shoot us an email or give us a call at (915) 351-8440.

Read more about cloud computing:
Houston Chronicle: Will Cloud Computing Destroy What is Left of Your Free Time?
Explain That Stuff!: Cloud Computing
Forbes: Cloud Computing: Four Predictions For The Year Ahead

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Holiday Hours

in Announcements, Internal Stuff

In honor of the Merry Holidays, we’re giving our employees time off to go home and snuggle with kittens, loved ones and possibly a turkey sammich. Our offices will be closed December 24th – 25th and January 1st.

If you have a web-related emergency on any of those days, feel free to use our ticketing system. If you’re not sure how to log in, give us a ring before the holidays and we’ll get you all set. Have a wonderful & safe break!

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2013: The Year of Responsive Design?

in Design & Development, Technology & Trends

From the nineties until about five years ago, the main concern web designers had was browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. We’d monitor which ones were used the most, what new versions or types were available and we’d build our sites for them. For instance, when Google Chrome decided to develop a browser we needed to modify our code based on the strengths and limitations of that particular browser. Then, when a browser’s usability dropped below 1%, like Internet Explorer 7 today, we’d drop support.

In the early 2000’s something changed web design forever. A friendly little device called a smartphone strolled into our lives. Web designers adapted and began applying various fixes behind the scenes to assure that the experience users had on their various smartphones was similar to the one they had on their desktop. We’d also continue to keep an eye on top browsers and build sites accordingly.

These days, web consumption is evolving at an alarming rate. Over 50% of the population has a smartphone and within only two years of their introduction, tablets have infiltrated one-fifth of the homes in the U.S.* Add to that a plethora of devices such as game consoles, netbooks, Mac-minis, televisions that all have various resolutions and aspect ratios that we’d have to design to.

Wait. Is this a Calgon moment for web design? Probably.

Since 2010, some very smart people have been discussing theories on how to approach the ever-changing climate of web design and the challenges we’re running into. Their solution? A technique called Responsive Design which takes one web design and makes it look great on any screen size. Unfortunately this is not a fix-all solution and with most new theories or applications this is going to take a while to perfect.

The technique of responsive design is most useful for clients who produce news or blog-style content. Simply because the reason for visiting these particular sites stems from one purpose: to read the content or view images. Right now, anything with complex, multi-purposed content will more than likely not work in a responsive design format because the code that will be used to build it is very complicated and data-heavy. This means load times will suffer and user experience flies out the door which is a one way ticket to “No-No Land” for us development people.

As we dig deeper into responsive design, there is no doubt that the web development community will come up with effective and more streamlined solutions. Until then we will continue to work with our clients to provide the best strategies that accomplish their online goals. Is responsive design for you? Contact us or give us a call and find out: (915) 351-8440.

Read More about Responsive Design:

*Nielsen: Watching TV? Don’t forget your Smartphone, Tablet

Cloudspotting: Responsive Design

B2C: The Cure for the Common Website

Patrick McNeil: A Crash Course on Responsive Design

Ethan Marcotte: Responsive Web Design

Forbes: Mobile Apps: The Trouble With Using ‘Responsive Design’

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Hot ‘n Fresh and Ready for ROI: We’ve Got Your Google Certification Coming Right Up!

in Announcements

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.

Karen is taking website analytics and SEO by storm on a daily basis. She took a quick break this week for tea and to ace her GAIQ certification renewal. GAIQ stands for “Google Analytics Individual Qualification” and if your current or perspective website developer doesn’t have it or has never heard of it, you may want to take a few steps back and ponder this for a moment:

Website metrics and analytics are Internet gold. This is one of the only ways to determine if your website is returning on your investment. If the company that built your site isn’t applying metrics or is reporting them incorrectly, that means your site may not be performing at its best. That’s why you need someone who is certified.

Luckily Stanton Street is a phone call away for search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media and Google Analytics. Give us a shout to get your site on the right track: (915) 351-8440.

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IE 7 Bites the Pixel Dust

in Announcements, Technology & Trends

To view the most current stats, click to visit http://gs.statcounter.com/

Stanton Street has discontinued support for Internet Explorer version 7 due to a steady decline in the number of people who use it. As of November 2012, version 7 was being used by less than 1% (0.87% to be exact). Compare that to 35.72% for all versions of Chrome, 21.06% for Firefox and 17.65% for Internet Explorer 9.

Why do we stop supporting certain browser versions? Every time we build a site, we check all top browsers and their versions to make sure it works properly for each one. While there may only be a dozen or so main browsers and versions, every page and all functionality within the new site must be tested. All those pages that don’t work will be fixed and then tested again and then if that doesn’t work… well… you get the idea. It can be quite a consuming task. As browsers continue to update, it’s not the first time we do this and it won’t be the last!

Help us help you have the best browsing experience possible by keeping your browser up-to–date. Typically, your browser will let you know when it’s time for an upgrade by displaying messages such as “Click here to update.” If you’d like to upgrade now, visit our friends at Browse Happy.

Questions? Comments? Public displays of love and affection? Leave a message here or call us at (915) 351-8440.

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OutWest Express Cruises the Information Superhighway with A New Look

in Announcements, Design & Development, Launches

OutWest Express, an El Paso-based transportation company, was established in June of 2010 with only one truck in operation. In just two years it had grown to a fleet of over 75 trucks and a staff with more than 50 years of combined transportation experience. While some companies would be satisfied with this success, OutWest Express was eager to take it to the next level. Enter Stanton Street.

OutWest Express, OutWest Express website, transportation services, transportation services website

The OutWest Express homepage allows users to catch up on the latest OutWest Express news or log in to view the status of their shipment.

When Stanton Street asked OutWest Express president Michael Puzio what he wanted from his new online presence, he had a few things in mind. The main goal was to acquire more customers while keeping existing customers up-to-date on the company’s current news and future plans.

“We want to get our name out there, attract all types of people and show them who we are and what we do,” added Michael.

Every website developed by Stanton Street includes a detailed SEO (Search Engine Optimization) package, so it was no problem fulfilling Michael’s request to build additional awareness for the site. A crucial part of accomplishing this task consisted of researching relevant keywords that customers might use to search for the site or OutWest Express’ type of business. Next, a list of the top keywords is compiled and then added to the site. Stanton Street also submits a sitemap to the search engines and provides search engine rank position reporting to regularly monitor the site and make sure it stays on top.

Since the site also needed to be useful for existing customers, multiple features were included to assist with this request for the project. First, a login area was added to the homepage of the site for users who needed to access the status of their shipment. If a job seeker is searching for a job with OutWest Express, a resume can be easily submitted via the homepage as well.  Anyone wanting to stay up-to-date with the status of OutWest Express events or happenings can do so by visiting the News section of the site. Lastly, multiple links to partner or industry-related sites are available on the Useful Links page for users needing additional information pertaining to the business.

The OutWest Express website was just recently launched and can be accessed at www.outwestexpress.com. If your company is in need of a new online presence, feel free to get in touch with us at www.stantonstreet.com/contact-us to get started right away!

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Stanton Street Is Now Offering Online Political Campaign Services!

in Announcements, Design & Development

The Beto O’Rourke US Congressional campaign has given Stanton Street the opportunity to dive head first into the political sphere with effective, smart tools for reaching prospective voters and candidate supporters. We’ve had the opportunity to put our methods to the test and now we are able to make our game-changing services available to you!

Acti-Vote: Our Flagship Product

Acti-Vote is a social-engagement campaign tool geared toward wrangling up voter support and gathering valuable data from the online voting community. Utilizing various touchpoints, this product is able to access and build a large, powerful database giving any politician’s campaign the ability to recruit, communicate and mobilize various target audiences.

Acti-Vote is based on the idea of relationship-mapping, a very important component for building a base of strong candidate supporters or campaign volunteers through people they already know. Committed supporters are identified and their information is saved in the database. They are also asked to recommend or identify othersupporters within their social network thus growing the foundation for a successful political campaign.

Campaign captains are then given access to a database to manage and monitor individuals within their network. Captains are also given the ability to communicate directly with this circle of campaign supporters with letters of encouragement, exclusive events and voting reminders.

Supplemental Political Campaign Services

Aside from the ability to build a smashing candidate campaign website, create your social media profile and assist you with your online campaign strategy, Stanton Street also offers the following services for an effective, impactful political campaign:

Mobile Data Capture

Mobility is a key factor when it comes to empowering a volunteer base. We’ve made it easier for political campaigns to enter voter information as they are block-walking or attending events with a simple, mobile-friendly interface. Once the information is saved, it’s automatically added to the existing database housed on the campaign website.

 

Data Services

As many candidates know, there is very little that is more important than data and research. Aside from the services provided through Acti-Vote, we can dig deeper into your prospective campaign supporter base through customized mailing lists based on voting history and other defined characteristics and data visualization using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

 

Copywriting

From social media posts to e-newsletters, the messaging for your campaign must be focused and direct. We can help you reach your target audience by identifying the strategy and desired outcome of the message itself. Want more followers on Facebook or need clear, articulate directions for campaign volunteers? Let us help you cross those “t’s” and dot those “i’s”.

 

Event Photography

As mentioned in a previous article, photography is most definitely a key component in reaching your online audience. Political campaigns can do nothing but benefit from high-quality, professional imagery that maintains a positive, consistent and shareable image of the candidate or issue. Luckily, we’re able to fulfill these needs as well.

Interested in what we can do for your political or issue-based campaign? Give us a call at (915) 351-8440!

 

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