This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    To help boost engagement with potential “parents” of maltese and yorkie puppies, breeder Connie Schaub of the Prairie View Kennel commissioned this casual game based on the classic memory match… with a unique marketing twist. The photos featured were of real puppies available for adoption real-time!

    The game was designed to be dynamic so photos linked (at the end of the game) to the adoption page of each puppy. The viral dividends of this idea seemed quite large but, alas, were never realized due to the lack of internal support. It ended up as just a page on the Kennel website, which still became the most popular page on the site, driving a great deal of traffic over many months.

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    I recently launched the ecommerce site for start-up cookie company StaceyLu Confections based out of Weston, CT. They specialize in custom-made cookies for corporate and private events. I was hired to do logo design, website design and development (used osCommerce as the ecommerce platform), and to design a newsletter template for Constant Contact.

    In addition to the server-side stats I also enabled Google Analytics (you can never have too many metrics when it comes to tracking your return on investment). Along with this came server-side search engine optimization (SEO) which includes something relatively new, submitting XML sitemaps to Google (and others). I used the free sitemap generator XML-Sitemaps.com for StaceyLu (for small shops the free version is more than adequate). The site has been live for a few weeks now so go buy a cookie already.

    Aside: when asked to do the newsletter design I decided to take the plunge and learn the special Constant Contact mark-up language for creating email templates. Already familiar with XML I didn’t have any problem getting up to speed and creating the first newsletter using my new StaceyLu template. Ahh, but here’s the rub, Constant Contact does NOT allow you to keep your custom template on their server so it would be available the next time around. To do this, you have to pay them $600! Given I did all the work, this felt like a crude bait and switch. A workaround is to upload the template code each time you compose a newsletter but this is not a practical thing to ask a client to do (who was taking over the task).¬†Needless to say, I was a bit peeved. I ended up redoing the newsletter using one of Constant Contact’s built-in templates (not nearly as chic). Going to use MailChimp next time!

    {Ed. Note 12/19/06: I was interviewed by The Hour (Norwalk, CT) about my viral marketing campaigns and the StaceyLu website was pictured along with the article. Free publicity for StaceyLu but honestly not sure why the paper grabbed that picture, it has nothing to do with viral marketing. }

    {Ed. Note 3/30/10: StaceyLu is no longer a cookie company. The site is being converted into a blog about “personal growth” or something like that. It has been many years, often are the whims of start-up entrepreneurs. Still, it was interesting work at the time. }

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    Metro Business Systems (MBS) provides comprehensive IT services for wholesale computer hardware, procurement, network integration, and inventory management throughout the New York tri-sate area.

    MBS hired answerYES to redesign their brand identity, logo, business cards, brochure, and website. This included digital photography and writing fresh copy for both the company’s online and offline marketing materials.

    “We have had an amazingly positive response to our new website from old, new and potential customers. I am most impressed in the clear and concise manner in which our company’s services are featured. answerYES Interactive exceeded our expectations and as a result we will continue to utilize their creative services for all our online marketing and advertising needs in the future. It has been a pleasure working with them,” states Jeffrey LoRusso, Senior Vice President and Co-founder of Metro Business Systems.

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    Prison Communities International (PCI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to criminal justice issues. Founded by Katherine Vockins and Hans B. Hallundbaek as a bridge the gap between the public and the criminal justice system, addressing issues from capital punishment to rehabilitation through the arts. Please check out their new website to learn more.

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    International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS) is a global community of thought leaders from all walks of life dedicated to developing solutions to the most pressing problems facing our world today. ICIS was founded in 1962 by Erling A. Thunberg to help address the humanitarian concerns many scholars and scientists had at the end of the 1950s regarding the future.

    In 2003 I had created a basic HTML website for a subsidiary of ICIS called RiverTides, an organization providing educational support to local nonprofits representing a wide variety of social causes. Three years later (after answerYES Consulting was established) I was asked to create a new website and private forum for ICIS, folding RiverTides into this new site architecture. It was decided the site would be built under the open-source content management system Drupal, designing a custom theme that reflected a more contemporary image of the organization.

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