• Welcome to the GFM Blog!

    Like all blogs, we thrive on feedback, so don't be shy! We encourage you to comment on our blog posts, and if you have suggestions or questions, please shoot us an email at pr@groundfloormedia.com. You can also read more about us on our website.

Weekly Reads – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all Making Enhancements to Improve User Experience

Twitter and Foursquare have partnered to allow Twitter users to tag specific locations in their Tweets. This could prove to be attractive for potential advertisers and allow Twitter to further monetize its platform. Instagram incorporated its own photo combination capability called Layout, making it much simpler for users to build photo collages. Facebook has made changes for corporate users that may be a welcome relief for those that receive negative comments.
Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – That’s a Wrap

While SXSW rages on in Austin, GFM’s own Jim Licko and Jon Woods have yet another year attending the interactive portion of the conference under their belts. You can read all about their adventures with their daily ‘favorites’ blog posts. This year Jim and Jon were joined by GFM Founder Laura Love and President Ramonna Robinson who got in on the fun by presenting a well-attended SXSWi session titled ‘Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work.” If you know GFM, you know how important culture is to our success, and you can read Laura’s Top 15 tips for creating a strong corporate culture in this recap blog.

While all eyes were on Austin, there was plenty happening in the world of social media this week… learn more below!
Read more after the jump…

GFM @SXSWi 2015: Tuesday’s Sessions

There’s a theory that the best programming at SXSW occurs Friday through Sunday, and that the later sessions are an afterthought. If today’s content was any indication, that theory is dead wrong. From how Whole Foods is moving their mobile experience forward to Vox Media and the evolution of their publishing platform…we might be tired, but Tuesday was full of great information.

Jon’s Take: 

  • The last day of SXSWi usually sees the crowds die down a bit as the transition to music is in full swing but there are still a lot of great sessions to take in before interactive comes to an end. First for me was a marketing speaker discussing content and how to get the right stories in front of the right audience. His talk centered around the idea that hoping to gain traffic or views without purpose or strategy is an empty pursuit that will lead to failure. Identify and recognize your loyal audience and build content that they will consume and share.

Read more after the jump…

Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work

Coding CultureRamonna and I are flying back from Austin having just presented a session we called “Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work” at SXSWi. As most of you know, we are passionate about promoting the concept of creating unique and bold corporate cultures that keep team members smiling (and not walking out the door), providing deliriously strong customer service and driving profitability to the bottom line. While we can’t share all of the war stories we were able to share with our session attendees, we wanted to share the top 15 tips we created in the spirit of spreading the concept of building a great workplace culture at SXSWi 2015.

Read more after the jump…

Monday Favorites: GFM @ SXSW

There always seems to be one day at South by each year that combines free things with great sessions and great music. Monday was that day. From Franklin’s BBQ to GFM’s “Coding Culture” session to seeing Gary Clark Jr. headline the GSD&M party…we had a lot to choose from for our Monday favorites:

Fresh Texas BBQ at Franklin's.

Fresh Texas BBQ at Franklin’s.

NomNom: Typically a trip to Franklin’s BBQ includes a 2-4 hour line before you get your food. And yes, it’s worth the wait. But thanks to a Verizon activation for Austinites (and thanks to Jon’s friends for living in Austin) we had the chance to walk right in and indulge with no wait at all. The brisket was beyond words.

Libations:  Its become a tradition that we stop at the Whole Foods Flagship when we get to town to stock up on provisions, Vitamin C, Cliff Bars and the like. This year we found Austin-based Kosmic Kombucha and bought a few bottles – and they were perfect for waking up and keeping healthy for a five-day conference. We recommend the organic ginger and maple flavor.

Culture Tip: From Ramonna and Laura’s “Coding Culture” session, one of the common themes from attendees and presenters alike was customization. Know what makes your employees happy, know what they’re doing both personally and professionally, and check in with them. It all comes back to relationships, to be sure.

Malcolm Gladwell stopping at a Starbucks before his session.

Malcolm Gladwell stopping at a Starbucks before his session.

Celebrity-ish Sighting: Malcolm Gladwell spoke at SXSW on Monday, and we happened to run across him headed to Starbucks before his presentation. Even famous authors have a caffeine Tipping Point at South by.

Overheard: “Work is going to be awful tomorrow, you guys.” – An attendee of the GSD&M party

Grab Bag: Meerkat seems to be the talk of the town down here this year. The Twitter-based streaming video app has been used for everything from sessions to parties, and while many streams were cut short before users could click to watch, we Meerkat’d Ramonna and Laura’s session and had 15 viewers in addition to our 60+ in-session attendees.

Free Stuff Rules: At the GSD&M party, Jon sampled more of Popeye’s new “Red Sticks” than he’d like to admit…but hey, they were free!

Through the Lens:

The crazy-talented Gary Clark Jr. looks out at the crowd.

Gary Clark Jr. always puts on a show in Austin.

Number of Steps Taken: 21,183 (the biggest day yet)

Hours of Sleep: Jim: 7. Jon: 6.

Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Jim: 6. Jon: 6.

~ Jim and Jon

GFM @SXSWi 2015: Monday’s Sessions

The Monday sessions we attended ran the gamut from publishing and mobile technology to agency management and corporate culture. One of the things we love most about SXSW is the varied programming that is nearly all relevant to our every day work. We heard from The New York Times and Forbes Magazine, along with representatives from Sound Hound and Ogilvy – all while Meerkat’ing Ramonna and Laura’s presentation…it was a busy day! Here are our besCoding Culture SXSW sessiont quips from Monday at SXSWi.

Jon’s Take: 

  • Today’s first session was a very interesting discussion about native advertising. The panel took ad execs from The New York Times and Forbes to show two different approaches to sponsored content. Forbes signs four-month engagements with brands and then asks them to create their own content, sometimes up to 30-40 stories a month. The New York Times, on the other hand, creates one multi-medium digital experience for their brands that tells a complimentary story to a brand or product (like this excellent Netflix execution).

Read more after the jump…

Sunday Favorites: GFM @ SXSW

Three days down, two more to go. This is when people start to move into “napping in between sessions” mode, so Jon and I will do our best to continue bringing highlights from Austin to life on the GFM blog! Here are some of our favorites from Sunday, admittedly, we were a little short on the food and drink, but made up for it with some great sightings, music and brand activations. Enjoy!

Read more after the jump…

GFM @SXSWi 2015: Sunday’s Sessions

Sunday at SXSW

Sunday at SXSW

From futurists to pigs on a leash…that pretty much sums up Sunday at South by Southwest.

On Sunday we heard from the likes of Ad Week, Porch.com, TOMS, Chevy and Southwest Airlines…and the content was varied. Here are our top takeaways:

Jon’s Take: 

  • The first session of my day talked about how some of the hottest new media companies are managing their growth and dealing with the realities of big business. Vox Media (The Verge, SB Nation, Vox Eater, Racked, Curbed), Mashable, and Refinery29 are dealing with advertising, revenue growth (or lack thereof) and hiring while maintaining the edge and culture that made these properties so hot in the first place. All three talked about the importance of video and the number of distribution channels for their content but most interesting was a sly admittance that they are all having conversations with Facebook about publishing some content solely on the platform and splitting the advertising rates with the social giant.

Read more after the jump…

Saturday Favorites: GFM @ SXSW

After Jim ordered duck breakfast tacos for lunch on Saturday, he realized that since coming to Austin he hadn’t eaten any food that wasn’t in taco form. Such is SXSW, and clearly “breakfast tacos” should go into the GFM Favorites Hall of Fame. Ramonna and Laura joined in the fun on Saturday and will be here through the session they’re leading on Monday at 5pm…so we have an abundance of favorites from Saturday:

Fried chicken sliders from Max's Wine Dive.

Fried chicken sliders from Max’s Wine Dive.

NomNom:  Jon ordered the fried chicken sliders from Max’s Wine Dive for lunch (with syrup and hot sauce) – and we couldn’t be more excited for the new Max’s to be opening up at 7th and Sherman in Denver soon!

Libations: Spredfast’s Social Suite was serving up bloody mary’s at lunch with Deep Eddy’s pickle infused vodka and a condiment bar that included three different types of pickles, bacon, sriracha, olives, and jalapenos. Super delicious… Read more after the jump…

GFM @SXSWi 2015: Saturday’s Sessions

PatagoniaDay two of South by Southwest felt longer due to a night on the town on Friday and the first 9:30 session of the conference. The sessions were a bit more non-traditional than yesterday’s but Jon, Jim and Ramonna all heard some interesting and unique speakers.

Jim’s Take: 

  • “The Evolution of the Web” was my first session of the day, and admittedly, it was geared toward developers. But in between the 0’s and 1’s, I got a good look at how developers will soon be blending native applications with browsers and your computer hardware so that you can do things like control your web activity (or website navigation) through your computer’s camera by the swipe of your hands. Five years from now the way we get information on the web will look nothing like it does today. Read more after the jump…