Category Archives: Technology

Image Personalization Used to Help Launch New Product at Graph Expo

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

As you read in Mark’s recent blog post, Discovering the Discovery Light at Graph Expo, we attended Graph Expo in Chicago in October to promote Discovery LightTM, an interactive system for helping young children learn to read by using a special light that creates discovery through hidden messages.

Some of the hidden messages are revealed through a font that produces tiny printed text that can only be viewed with a magnifier.

Other hidden messages are revealed by shining a UV light source, the Discovery LightTM, on certain areas of the book. Below is a demonstration of the flourescent text in action.

Hidden Messasges Revealed by UV Light

We also put variable data into the books we were displaying at the show. To demonstrate that the books can be personalized for the child that will receive them, we put an assortment of different sample names in the giveaway copies of the book.

Kids aren’t the only ones who like personalization – adults take notice of it too. To emphasize the personalization theme, we personalized the emails that we sent out to invite customers to our booth at the show also.

Mark has written about embedding personalized images into the body of an email before in his blog post How to Acquire Customers and Influence People with Personalization. For the Discovery LightTM, we decided to go a step further and create personalized landing pages for each recipient, a feature available in the ExactTarget email software that we use, that the customers would reach if they clicked on a link in the email. The behavior of the individual customers who clicked on the link is trackable through the landing page.

Personalized Landing Pages

With these powerful tools we were able to generate interest in our exhibit at the show, the brand new Discovery LightTM web site, and the value of personalization all at the same time.

If you would like to see my photos from my short but interesting trip to the show, please click here – Graph Expo ’08.

My Office Aquarium

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

One of the reasons that businesses take part in blogging is to humanize their companies by creating a personal connection with their customers. Blogging is an informal mode of communication that can help convey the personality of a company and it’s employees. A blog that I think does a good job with the personal touch is that of a supplier of items for one of my hobbies, making soap and personal care products, Wholesale Supplies Plus.

The Wholesale Supplies Plus Blog contains information related to their business, and occasionally posts about what is going on in the lives of the people who make up that company. A cute touch that I like is at the upper right, a virtual company fish tank, a web gadget that mimics the natural behavior of fish as they look for food handouts from anyone who comes by.

Some offices, mine for example, contain a real fish tank. I decided to use mine as a subject to learn how to set up a live webcam stream and embed it on a web page. No doubt my fish would like to be more like the virtual fish and get fed by every visitor to this blog!

Takin’ Care of Business With my MP3 Player

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

Sansa c240 MP3 player
I usually use my MP3 player for rocking out, but the other day I was able to use mine (a Sansa c240) to get some work done.

I needed some voice narration for an instructional Brainshark presentation I was working on. With Brainshark, you can take a PowerPoint presentation, bring it into the Brainshark software, and add things to it such as audio, questions, polls, or guestbooks, and make it into an on-demand presentation that can be launched from or embedded in web pages or email messages. If you would like to see some sample Brainshark presentations, we have several on the Webinar For OneSM landing page on our web site.

I had not used the voice recording feature on my MP3 player yet, so I decided to try using it to narrate the slides. It was very easy to record the audio by speaking into the little microphone on the MP3 player, saving the resulting .wav files, connecting the player to the computer with the USB cable, then dragging and dropping the saved files into sound editing software on my computer. After editing, I added the sound files to my presentation in Brainshark. Now that I know how easy it is, I’ll be using narration this way more often!