Over the past decade, I’ve had a chance to work as a strategist, creative director, designer, developer, project manager (and sometimes all of those at once) on some really engaging, challenging, and rewarding interactive work. Below are some of my favorite projects.
The Social JobMatcher “Plug-in” is a custom, innovative web application that allows visitors to login to a client’s career site, ERP, or internal mobility site with their Facebook or LinkedIn profile and view personalized job recommendations for themselves and their network of connections.
Social Login: Social profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook are filled with rich information such as location work history and education, which our product accesses and analyzes to make personalized job recommendations. In just two clicks, users can log in with either their LinkedIn or Facebook profile and received personalized and highly relevant job recommendations based on their social profiles.
In an effort to help drive new users to the Employment vertical websites of 26 Cox Newspapers’ properties, Dallas Morning News and the Washington Post, we developed an advergame called “Nail the Interview.” Playing entirely online – users are taken through the process of getting a job. Along the way the player, while competing with others for the highest salary, is given advice and asked to make choices. Variable construction within the game makes it easy to play , but hard to master. Example: During the panel interview the user must make “eye contact” with the three interviews.
Advergaming is a powerful way to engage users and generate revenue. Nail the Interview, and advergaming in general, is a great tool for attracting new users to your site. But it also presents an opportunity to bring in direct revenue. In addition, seamlessly integrated advertising has the potential to add a “real-world” feel to your game. Product placement opportunities consist in every major scene, challenge email header, and on the main Nail the Interview index page.
Hard to say at this point since some of the properties have pulled it down and some have left it up. After the first two years (and mostly in year one) NTI was played by over 120,000 people nationwide accumulating over 1 million minutes of game play.
The PETCO mobile careers site is a fully-featured mobile website optimized for every mobile user from feature phones to advanced smartphones such as the iPhone and Android devices. The PETCO mobile careers site includes content about working for PETCO, videos about specific positions, and the ability to search for jobs nearby by leveraging the GPS in smartphones.
The Instream Jobs Facebook Application is a branded, innovative flash application that gives our clients the freedom to post rich and engaging information about specific job opportunities right to the Wall on their Facebook Page.
Currently, when most companies post an update about a job opportunity they simply post the title, a brief description, and a link to the job description on their career site. This forces Facebook users to leave Facebook, something they are not generally excited to do. The Instream app helps solve this problem by posting a fully branded application to their Wall highlighting a specific job opportunity with full job description, links to view similar jobs, the ability to start searching for other jobs, embedded videos, and even the ability to view additional information about the company.
The Job Search & Share application is a custom Facebook application that displays current job openings on your Facebook Fan Page. Facebook users can view current openings, get job recommendations, search for jobs, see friends working at your company, and share jobs with friends or post them to their profile. There are two main components of this application: the Application Page and a Tab Application that appears as a tab on your Facebook Fan Page.
Friends Working Here: Networking is a great way to find a job. To help users out, this application displays a list of friends working at your company.
Recommended Jobs: Job recommendations help provide relevant and personalized content to users. When a user first visits the application page, this application matches open jobs to the work history listed in their profile. Every time a user runs a search or clicks on a job, that information is saved and the recommended jobs are updated based on the user’s interactions.
Current Job Opportunities: Every open job opportunity is displayed on the full application page or in the tab application. Users can view the job title, a brief description, and have 1-click access to share the job with their friends.
Job Search: Users can search for jobs by keyword and/or job category on both the full application page and the tab application. The search results are ordered by relevancy.
Street2Show was a contest that the AJC put on during the 2008 Auto Show. The contest asked people to upload pictures of their cars and the community rated them. The winner had their car placed in the auto show.
To make this contest really unique, we developed a fully immersive interactive with 3D animation intro, 3D rendering of the Georgia Dome and Conference Center and the surrounding ATL skyline, interactive mashup of AJC Cars data, real-time photo uploads of contestants cars, audio tracks from Big Boi and Block Entertainment artists, and 3D Renderings and information about Big Boi’s Impala and Block’s Bentley. Mariano Santillan once again took the storyboards and my vision for what we wanted and turned it into pure gold. I’ll post the 3D intro animation soon, we fly into the city with a helicopter past a billboard with the faces of three pretty good looking guys (myself, Mariano and Bret Kirouac from AJC) promoting a mexican restaurant.
Smash Your Rival presented another opportunity for me to tap into the gaming side of my background and also work closely with Mariano to create an illustration style similar to Nail the Interview. Like NTI, I storyboarded the concept, MS illustrated and I took it from there. We’ve done some really fun work together. SYR was a blend of game, advertising vehicle through in-game sponsorships and a mashup of weather info, schedule data, high scores and some good old fashioned school rivalries.
Smash Your Rival is an interactive game similar to the old familiar “Wack-a-Mole” arcade game, except instead of moles, players will be “smashing” the helmet of rival schools.
Set in a high school football stadium, players pick their high school and a rival high school they want to “smash.” When the game starts, rival helmets (in the rival’s color) will pop up from holes in the field and the player will have to try and “smash” as many helmets as possible within the time allowed. Each player’s score is saved in a database. All the scores are dynamically tallied and a Top 10 Most Smashed Schools list is be populated. This module contains a top 10 list of the schools doing the most smashing. The Top 10 lists is developed as a module and can be placed on various pages throughout the schools and newspaper websites. Players can email their friends to join them and current “total smashes”statistics will be included in the email. Multiple sponsorship opportunities are seamlessly integrated into the game.
During the first two seasons, over 300,000 games were played.
theLENS is a new application used by HODES account reps to visualize online reputation data, illuminating valuable insights for monitoring digital employer brands and creating, implementing and nurturing a social recruiting strategy.
This innovative tool eliminates the staid presentation of audit and assessment data, and instantly sheds light and insight on the most important facets of an employer’s online reputation. theLENS is part of the larger Online Employer Reputation Management offering within Bernard Hodes Group and is available both as an Adobe AIR™ desktop application and a web-based version.
The new hyper-local locations map is a customized Google Map that mashes up client locations with hyper-local business listings from Yelp, an online ratings website. In addition to address, phone number and website, the enhanced map gives users the ability to see nearby restaurants, coffee shops, schools and more, offering a glimpse of what life is like around a location. The enhanced map offers numerous customization options including locations, local categories, analytics, and color schemes.
Each location can display the business/client name, address, phone number, link to the website, photo, jobs at that location* and a button to “Show What’s Around.” When a user clicks “Show What’s Around” an intuitive interface appears allowing them to update the map with local businesses and calculate the distance to that location. The number and type of categories a user can search is customizable for each client with a maximum of 8 categories displayed. Users can click a category to show or hide local businesses within a 1-10 mile radius of any location. Each local business listing has a unique icon associated with their category. When a user clicks on a location they can see the address, phone number and distance away. To give users a sense of their commute, they can enter their address to find out how many miles away a particular location is from any address.
The Hodes Internal Innovation site is a community where anyone in the organization can go to post an idea about a new product or service they would to see the HDx Innovation Lab investigate. Users can see recent ideas, thumbs up or thumbs down the idea, add their own comments to help shape the idea in real-time, and post their own ideas. The best ideas rise to the top and now anyone in the organization can take part in the innovation process.
Find My Links gives you a simple way to search and view your Posted Links on Facebook. You can even add this tiny widget to your profile to make it easy to start searching.
The Game Night Weather Widget is a Flash-based widget that offers site visitors instant access to specific game information, the weather forecast for game night and a Football Weather Index. The widget is available for any team in the Cox Newspapers’ Sports Stats database.
The Football Weather Index automatically calculates how great or poor weather will be on game night. The widget can be embedded on any webpage and future versions will allow site visitors to embed the widget on personal pages.
Each time a visitor views a page containing the widget, real-time schedule data is accessed, parsed, and the next game date is determined and displayed. The next game date is matched with an up-to-date weather forecast for that date, the forecast information is displayed, and the Football Weather Index is calculated.
The Football Weather Index is a graphical representation of how great or poor the weather will be on game night. Visitors can personalize the widget by selecting their perfect weather condition from a list of five possible conditions: Snowy and cold; Windy, cold and cloudy; Clear skies and hot; Rainy and cool; Clear skies and crisp. Clear skies and crisp is the default condition. After the Football Weather Index is calculated, a status bar displays the results.
A text link sponsorship is available at the top of each widget. The sponsorship text can be customized and linked to the advertiser’s website. Each site has the option to sell this space and has access to an XML document to modify the text as necessary.
The Customizable News Widget is a Flash-based module that displays headlines continuously updated from rss feeds on any COX Newspapers’ website. Non-Cox site owners will use the RSS Module Generator to set up their module. The Headlines Module can be embedded on any website – including non-Cox and Cox Newspapers’ sites.
Non-Cox site owners access the Module Generator from the RSS index page on each COX Newspapers’ website. Using the generator, a new module can be created in 3 steps: Choose up to 4 feeds to display in the module and select a default feed to be displayed. Modify the Height and Width of the module, using the wireframe as a guide. Copy a few lines of automatically generated code and paste the code in their website.
Our websites benefit from additional exposure and traffic generated by new users accessing our content. This will lead to increased advertising inventory. Modules also can be set up and deployed manually, giving COX webistes the ability to tailor and control the feeds displayed. Non-Cox site owners benefit by having access to fresh, updated content in an easy to use, scalable product.
The Customizable Weather Widget is a personalizable, Flash-based widget that automatically displays weather data for any valid zip code. Visitors to the site can personalize the widget by entering a valid zip code and selecting from three additional personalization options including the Humidity, Feels Like, UV Index and Air Quality. The widget turns red to alert users when severe weather is in the area. A brief description of the alert is displayed and a link to additional information is provided. The ability to view the current radar for the area is an option available in the 202×96 version.
The widget is powered by a data feed from Accuweather.com. Any visitor to the site can enter and save their own zip code and the widget will display weather information for that area. When Severe Weather is in the area, the widget automatically accesses and displays alert information from Weather.gov.
A text link sponsorship is available at the top of each widget. The sponsorship text can be customized and linked to the advertiser’s website. Each site has the option to sell this space.
This is the description for the project. This project was a blast to create with two of my favorite collaborators, Mariano Santillan and Kelle Fraser who wrote the engaging mystery that was at the heart of the interactive. There’s One Among Us was an 8 week contest designed to spur people’s interest in the DaytonDailyNews.com Jobs section. We were looking for a way to drive up resume submissions and this interactive was a blend of job seeker information, mystery novel and contest all rolled into one.
During each week, contestants were let in on a new piece of a mystery surrounding office identity theft. Contestants had to perform a task to unlock clues for the following week and if you collected all the correct clues you were entered into the final drawing. Mariano’s illustrations, Kelle’s narrative and the interactive were blended together to create a truly unique contest not seen before in the newspaper industry. It was a lot of fun.
Resume submissions were up 250% and There’s One Among Us was a finalist for a 2007 Digital Edge Award.
The first of its kind, I created these widgets as 300×250 Advertising units for Miami University and eventually, the Thrashers and Atlanta Braves.
These advertising units mashup schedule data, news feeds, event information, a dynamic countdown and the ability to buy tickets. The dynamic countdown creates excitement and drove a large number of clicks over to buy tickets, making it both useful to web users and also generating a nice ROI for advertisers. These ad units resulted in massive click thru and interaction rates and were used for a few years in a row.
This project was a chance for me to tap into my passion for aviation … albeit in a small way. Cox Ohio Publishing was in the middle of a major relaunch of its flagship newspaper, Dayton Daily News. Given Dayton’s history in aviation and the “launch” theme, I suggested a mock flight simulator game would be a fun way to incorporate our little rocket man and have fun.
Users choose from a male or female pilot then get strapped into a toy rocket plane and launched off the coffee table based on the amount of throttle and steering correction they apply (wind does affect the launch!). The user’s head’s up display pulls in live RSS feeds from DaytonDailyNews.com. Once airborne, the plane takes over for a flight through the living room past RELaunch billboards until finally lining up for final approach to land back on the coffee table. The user is once again in control and has to adjust speed and use the arrow keys to line up to the runway. The more textbook the landing the more points you earn.
I'm the Vice President of Digital Innovation and Mobile, which is probably the coolest job title out there. You can learn more about my work in emerging technology on the About or Work Pages.
As for this site, it's a place where I can jot ideas down and share some of the stuff I'm working on. The views are my own and some of them might not make much sense, but hey, that's part of the process. I'm also working toward being a single digit handicap golfer, so I post a lot about my golf game.