internet development & fine art printing
August 1st, 2005 (vol. 1, issue 5)

THE LAZARUS GROUP SITE >

Hot Bird Talk, Issue 5

Happy summer to everyone! (As I am writing this I can hear the tap-tapping of keys and the swish sound our printers make as they churn out art.) It has been a good month for everyone here at The Lazarus Group, and I am very excited to show off some of the new sites that are in progress. But, we can only introduce one a month.

This month we: have more fun with Google, learn a nice photography trick, re-introduce a tasty website and learn a funny-sounding web word. Keep your anti-virus software updated and enjoy this issue of Hot Bird Talk!

Cupini's

Cappuccino mousse cake! Passion fruit mousse cake! (And cheese tortellini, crisp salads, edible imports from Italy, fresh pastas - that you can buy to cook at home, too - and a full coffee bar!)

Cupini's rocks. When they first opened across the street from The Lazarus Group we were pretty excited about the lunch potential. Soon after, we created their first website with some images we took of their then-new location and a little copy from their menu. A little over a year later, they've opened a second location and a full market - stocked with great gift basket items, imported treats and fresh pastas.

We noticed that the Cupini's website was a bit out-of-date on one of our (oh yeah) mousse cake runs and decided it was due for a makeover. So we sent Jen over with her camera one afternoon to take some new photographs. (Uh, Jen, why are there so many pics of the dessert case?) We also snapped up their fax order forms and a catering menu, converted them to pdfs and made them available online. Are you craving fresh Italian food yet? Check out www.cupinis.com and fax or call in an order!

go to cupinis.com >>

Fill Flash

For all of you who own a point and shoot digital camera, this is an easy one. 'Fill flash' refers to using your camera's built in flash even when it's sunny outside. Now why in the heck would you want to do that? Because sometimes, especially if you're shooting spontaneously, your subject (be it a dog, bird, car or person) might have the sun behind them. In this situation, your camera's matrix metering system will expose the bright sun behind and leave your subject looking like a black blob. Fill flash will correct this, by compensating and giving the subject a light which is strong enough to expose it (or them) correctly, while the sun stays bright and cheerful behind them too. Many newer cameras will have a fill flash setting already. Otherwise, just turn your flash on. Most digital cameras are smart enough to know when you're NOT shooting into the sun, in which case the flash won't fire at all. Fill flash is a simple way to make sure you always get a great portrait - in any light!

Below: The same shot without and with fill flash.

Vocabulary FYI: Wiki

Wiki, pronounced like 'picky,' refers to an application (i.e. software) that is integrated into a website so that visitors can add content. (Vandalism is a recurrent problem on wikis.)

The term 'wiki' was borrowed from the Hawaiian term 'wiki wiki,' meaning 'quick' or 'informal'. Sometimes 'wikiwiki' is used instead of 'wiki'. (Try to say that three times fast.)

Wikis are becoming more popular on sites that document large-scale systems, as you can have multiple people from anywhere in the world collaborating on an informational project.

Although not the original Wiki - designated by a capital "W" - the mother of all wikies is Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia contains 656,962 articles, up from the 652,244 articles they had a few days ago, and with more being added every day.

Reminder: Scott Fitness + Art = Cool

Scott Fitness' new Rivermarket location has been host to three art parties now. There's always good art at both locations - for gym members and non-members alike. Go down and check out the new gym for it's own sake; the mural is unbelievable! John Scott has caught a video bug, by the way, and he's quite good with the camera. So if you've been thinking about checking out an art party and haven't, the video could be a good warm-up.

Gettin' Fresh with The Lazarus Group

How long has it been? A month - six months - a year?

How long since you've given your website a much-needed Botox injection - a new photo (or two), maybe a little fresh content: a first hand account of an event, a review of a new product, your take on the state of things?

Just how long would you subscribe to a newspaper if every day it delivered to your doorstep a page with the same three stories, the same tired old photo of a kitten trapped in a tree? Granted, while stymied in the "library," one may be willing to revisit headlines of days gone by...but for most of us, we are looking for something new, something eye-catching, something fresh.

The same principal applies to your website.

You've invested in your website. You are spending good dollars on your ad-word campaign. You've been including your URL in all of your promotional materials (this is good - it's how you initially drive traffic to your site).

Okay, so now, you've educated your target audience. You've even successfully convinced them to visit your site. But still, you are seeing your traffic drop off.

What are you going to do now to bring them back?

Your website is simply a communications tool. (One that the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicates that nearly 70% of all Americans use.) One of the most effective methods for encouraging repeat visits to your site is to incorporate new content and graphics on a regular basis. And it just so happens that The Lazarus Group is willing and raring to help you swap out those old photos and graphics and post that monthly update.

If you're ready for a more effective website, just call or email us! We bill by the hour, or ask about our annual service packages.

Google Earth

When we have an open house here at The Lazarus Group World Headquarters, I always leave a program running on my computer called Google Earth. This software allows you to 'fly' through publicly available satellite images, look at points of interests, and now, with the integration of Google Maps, see a satellite image of whatever places you're interested in.

The cool factor on this software is very high. Just seeing your house is great, but finding a photo of a plane taking off is really cool. A whole new subsection of the internet has popped up, just in looking for these easter-egg satellite images!

Want to check it out? Go to maps.google.com and search for an address. You can then select [MAP] for a regular street map, [SATELLITE] for the image from space, and now [HYBRID] that combines the two.

Above: a screenshot of maps.google.com. We've added a red arrow pointing to the satellite options.
Below: a screenshot of The Lazarus Group with the [HYBRID] option selected.

Fun searches using Google Earth:

Speaking of art, check out JB's latest flowers, below. Wow!

If you want to see more, check out JB's website >>

3212 GILLHAM ROAD. KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64109
816.931.5525 · FAX: 816.531.4464 ·info@lazarusgroup.com