Heartwood Web Design
Helping you branch out on the web and in print

What Do YOU Respond To? (and what are CHERIs for Wookle?)

May 9th, 2013 by Marian Buchanan

What are you more likely to respond to: a button that says "G" (or "g +1") or a button that says "Like"? Exactly. The letter G means nothing in and of itself, but if you actually do like something someone has posted, it's totally natural and inviting to click a button that says "Like." So is it any wonder that, when you look at the counters next to a post's social-media sharing icons, there are more Facebook Likes than Google+ shares?

Twitter's invitation to Tweet, and Pinterest's invitation to Pin It, are somewhere in-between: it's a call to action, so it's more meaningful and response-inducing than just the letter G, but it's more of an appeal to your social engagement than a direct appeal to your feelings, your emotions, your immediate reaction. You know it right away when you like what's being said or shown.

But what if you don't actually "like" what the post is talking about?

What if you have a strong reaction to the post but you do not like what it's saying? Maybe you totally disagree, or what they're talking about is something really sad or disturbing or offensive that you couldn't really say you "like." I suppose it's possible you'd click the Like button anyway to share your reaction with your friends and followers... but I'm guessing it's more likely your natural reaction would be not to click the Like button.

CHERIs - Chubby Emotional Response Icons

Your website visitors react that way too

If you just have the usual social media buttons on your own website, your visitors will have the same limited response options that I've just described: a "Like" is not always resonant with their actual feelings.

But what if your visitors could indicate their true reaction through a broader range of button options? Wouldn't they be more likely to make that click? So wouldn't you like to give them that possibility? Well, now you can.

Introducing Wookle

Wookle is a social widget available for both WordPress and non-WordPress sites. As a website owner, you can configure it to show a whole range of possible emotional responses, in your own choice of words. When a user clicks on any of the options, it brings up a way to Share the post on social media, with the button's text as the title.

Each click is also tracked by Wookle so it shows up as a count even if the user doesn't take the second step of sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. The tracking also allows Wookle to provide you with statistics about how people are reacting to your posts, which is great feedback to help you be more responsive to what your visitors want.

Wookle comes with several sets of images you can use as buttons, or you can just use text buttons in a choice of colours. I'm afraid the text buttons' combinations of background and text colour are not well chosen for legibility, so you might want to overwrite their styles in your stylesheet, and I'll tell you how in a separate post. For now I just want to focus on the images: I'm not too keen on any of the sets that come with Wookle, but luckily you can also use custom images.

Introducing CHERIs - Chubby Emotional Response Icons

Since I wanted some better images to use with Wookle, I've designed a set of what I call "Emotional Response Icons" (ERIs for short), that you can use for that purpose. I'll be making several other sets to suit different branding needs, but I think you'll find this first set very appealing: CHERIs - Chubby Emotional Response Icons! You can see the full set in the main image above.

What do you think? Do you like these?

They're available for YOU to use too!

$7 to download this set of 16 CHERIs with a license to use on all your own personal or commercial sites. ***

*** Please note: You don't need to purchase the CHERIs or Wookle if you're a Heartwood client -- they're included in the Monthly Website Maintenance service package.

*** Heartwood PayPal account: Heartwood Web Design is part of Zoetic Endeavours and uses the same PayPal account. The checkout page will show the Zoetic Endeavours name rather than Heartwood. Don't worry, though, your payment is still going to the right place!

*** Currency: Prices and fees are expressed in Canadian dollars. To find out how much the amount is worth in your own currency, go to xe.com. PayPal will automatically make the conversion for you.

How to disable the Random Visit menu in the BuddyPress admin bar

June 24th, 2011 by Marian Buchanan

Here's a how-to post for web designers and Do-It-Yourself website owners wishing to disable the Random Visit menu in the BuddyPress admin bar. I've posted it in the BuddyPress forums as well, but thought I'd put it here for extra ease in finding it in a search. Read the rest of this entry »

3 important things to remember in your SEO research

April 20th, 2011 by Marian Buchanan

Are you looking for information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to do SEO research? This post is not intended to be a comprehensive article on the subject, but I do have some tips I wanted to share -- prompted by, of all things, spam.

In my last post, I talked about the ignorance of some kinds of spammers, after receiving an unsolicited email that was different from most, but still failed. It was from an SEO consultant offering to get my client’s site ranked higher in Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).

I usually just ignore this kind of spam, but this time I was tempted to reply with a little feedback (from one SEO consultant to another), because of the failure of the sender to demonstrate that he knew what he was doing. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to reply, but at the very least I thought I’d share my thoughts with you here. Maybe some of you are SEO consultants yourselves and need a reminder about the three important things this person failed to take into account in his SEO research; and maybe some of you are website owners looking into SEO and need help separating the wheat from the chaff when you, too, receive this kind of unsolicited mail or need to do your own SEO research. Read the rest of this entry »

The ignorance of spammer SEO consultants

April 20th, 2011 by Marian Buchanan

Do you ever get spam from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultants? If you are a website owner or webmaster, you probably do.

Among my clients are several non-profit organizations for which I sometimes receive messages from SEO consultants trying to persuade me that the organization needs their services. Although the email address I use as the web manager usually has the word “website” in it instead of “webmaster,” it should still be fairly clear to spammer SEO consultants that they are writing to someone who is in charge of managing the website. So it always strikes me how ignorant their approach can be. I can think of a few possibilities: Read the rest of this entry »

Toxic Waste Irony — a comment on branding

January 15th, 2011 by Marian Buchanan

I hardly ever eat candy, never even heard of Toxic Waste ® brand candies, so this doesn't affect me directly. But, as a subscriber to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) health alert newsletters, I received information about the recall of some of the brand's chew bars and couldn't resist commenting on the irony of the brand's name. Read the rest of this entry »

Where can I find quality royalty-free photos for my design?

July 7th, 2010 by Marian Buchanan

One of my favourite places to find royalty-free stock photos for web design and graphic design, is Dreamstime.com. Here's why:

Read the rest of this entry »