The Friday Melee: These are the droids you're looking for

Alison "Darth" Kendrick

Hello friends! We’ve made some fun progress in our plight to load you full of nerdy know-how in these past few weeks. Most importantly (to us, at least) we’ve come up with a name for our online hangs: The Friday Melee. We three digital warriors and wizards are fighting for small businesses everywhere, helping you slay those pesky tech demons. Good times!

You can tune in via Bivins Brothers Creative’s Facebook Page each Friday at 5PM ET, or read all about it in our weekly recaps. If you have a cyber succubus of your own, but can’t make it to the Melee, just email us!

Episode Two featured our merry band of three broadcasting from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Here’s the rundown of the dark forces we fought, along with some minute markers from the broadcast if you'd like to watch specific sections but not the whole dern thing:

· Web Accessibility Update (Starts at 4:50 on the Live Video): Our friendly neighborhood Accessibility Champion Matt Bivins made good on his promise to check out Google Meet’s auto transcription capabilities. You can now click on the closed-captioning button in a Google Meet, and the system will pick up who is speaking, labeling their captions individually. Because the captions are auto-generated they won’t be perfect or serve as a substitute for ASL or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) but it’s enough for Matt to give it a “pretty strong” accolade and give more access in virtual meetings for people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

· Social Media Brainstorming Session (Starts at 12:00 on the Live Video): As our team’s Social Media Trooper, I took on a question about helping musician Alex Wong increase his online presence and engagement organically. Long story short, Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms make judgement calls for us over how many people get to see a post, based on how much engagement (likes, comments, shares) that post gets within minutes of it going live. Here are a couple social media engagement hacks to try:

1.     When you create a post on one of these platforms, text 20 friends and ask them to go engage. This can help overpower those pesky algorithms, pushing your content into even more feeds, where more people will potentially interact with it.

Alison's Favorite Social Media Hack: The Comment Pod

2.    Ask questions! Giving people a reason to respond is a great natural way to grow engagement. When people comment on your posts, it then puts your posts into their newsfeeds, which can help others discover you and your greatness, too!

· Video Editing Software (Starts at 30:30 on the Live Video): Bivins Brothers Creative’s Design Commando Evan Bivins tackled a great question about how to create animated title cards for Adobe Rush without feeling the strong desire to smash one’s computer. Adobe Rush and iMovie are two more entry-level programs, while Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro offer more advanced features. One suggestion for the motion graphics aspect is to find budget-friendly stock/template option; MotionArray is one of Evan’s go-to resources for these or for even more seamless integration of assets check out Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock, We love thee

· SEO and Blogs (Starts at 51:00 on the Live Video): We all poured on some love for our web design platform of choice, Webflow, which you are using to view this very webpage and blog.  When asked if we thought blogging was a dying platform, we unanimously agreed ABSOLUTELY NOT. Matt suggested using blogging as a vehicle to take articles and share new spins, which in turn creates even more strong social media content. Evan shared a reminder that blogs can be monetized in a way social media can’t, and may never be. And I chimed in that while I do love a hashtag, most people (read: potential customers) are still using web browsers to find the products and services they need, NOT turning to social media to source a photographer or a plumber.

Phew! That was a lot, and it wasn’t even everything we covered. Thank you for tuning in, and reading along!  

Alison "Darth" Kendrick
Alison "Darth" Kendrick
We are one with the force, the force is with us