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2013: The Year in Review

Wow, 2013 is just days away from done. Hard to believe. For us, it’s been as exciting and action-packed a year as you could imagine. We welcomed new friends to our team, launched some really great new sites, moved into new space (that’s a few of us at our new conference table, above), and are getting ready to welcome a little one into the world (any day now)! Of course, we also shared some good content with you. Below are some of our favorite things that hit the web in 2013. I guess mine is going to be this post, since it should contain all the good stuff 😉

“We kicked off 2013 with Mark’s webinar on “The New Business Development Ecosystem,” and the ideas covered in that webinar have driven a lot of what we have done this year, building upon the interconnectivity between the website CMS, marketing automation, and a CRM system. A good follow-up to that was in September, when Chris Butler and Mark co-wrote a newsletter and made the bold statement that “We don’t build websites anymore.” That newsletter drove home the importance of the full lead development ecosystem and showcased how our thinking has changed from building websites to building systems that help our clients attract, inform, engage, and now nurture leads utilizing the full ecosystem.” – Chris Creech, Senior Strategist


“Tema’s How to Identify Your Browser Version and Clear Your Cache is a go-to. From a client management point-of-view, Tema’s piece is a way to quickly provide guidance to our clients, save time, and help them solve issues. So useful.” – Jonathan Romm, Project Manager


“The blog post Dave wrote offering advice for young developers beginning their careers really stood out to me. It showed that Newfangled would be a great place for someone like me to work and that the people on my team really care.” – Mario Riff, Developer


“Chris’s article on Rethinking the Case Study is my most (and least) favorite piece of content from 2013. It’s my most favorite because it makes such a clear and compelling argument for a more in-depth examination of the process instead of just displaying the finished product. It’s my least favorite because it reveals that Newfangled has some case studies to write! I’m hoping we can fill those gaps in 2014.” – Justin Kerr, Creative Director


“Clients are often intimidated by the content demands of the conversion-driven websites we build for them. They’re worried not only about the volume of content they’ll need to produce on a monthly basis, but also how to intelligently plan for that content, both strategically (in terms of the distribution of topics) and from a scheduling standpoint. The three documents described in Chris’s article, Three Essential Tools for Content Planning, (content inventory spreadsheet, content planning matrix, and content production matrix) give clients the tools they need to more effectively plan and implement their content strategies. At this point, I wouldn’t talk about content strategy without referencing this article and those three tools.” – Tema Larter, Project Manager


“I’ll second Chris Creech’s mention of The New Business Development Ecosystem webinar. It was a great overview of our philosophy. ” – Mitch Rothrock, Project Manager


“Chris’s post on learning how to say ‘I Don’t Know’ reminds me that the fact I repeat that phrase pretty often doesn’t mean that I’m woefully ignorant, just aware of my current limited knowledge. It also shows a willingness to expand that knowledge, bit-by-bit, rather than bluffing through things. In many ways, this is why I really cherish working with the people that I do, since this is the way we all approach things. Also: Buddha Brock for the win.” – Page Laubheimer, Project Manager


“I found Chris’s post breaking down the failure of the Affordable Care Act site launch particularly relevant, because one of the most challenging aspects of my job is trying to accurately schedule our testing and post-production phases so that expectations (both ours and our clients’) are aligned with reality. I look forward to continuing to make changes to our testing process to insure we never have an ACA-level disaster on our hands.” – Lindsey Barlow, Traffic & Marketing Coordinator


“Newfangled’s blog has no shortage of insights that cover how and why to implement a content strategy. Chris’s recent post, There Are Only Three Good Reasons for Content is a much-needed reminder on what purpose each piece of content should serve, while focusing on how to avoid the common pitfalls during the planning of your content strategy. Also, here’s a collection of content that inspires our own thought leader, Chris Butler. Go on, gorge on these links — you will be all the wiser for it.” – Adam Rightor, Strategist


“Like Page, my favorite blog post this year was also “I Don’t Know,” by Chris Butler. Simplicity, maturity and truth: words to live by” – Lisa Smith, Developer


“My pick for 2013 is Chris’s very recent post on the three reasons to put content on your site. I, too, love a good rant. Especially when it really makes me think about how to more strategically work with clients and guide them through some of the difficult planning stages of the prototyping process.” – Lauren Clarke, Project Manager


“Lisa’s post on being happy was simple, beautiful, and gets to the heart of why we come to work every day.” – Dave Mello, Senior Developer


“I choose Chris Butler’s recent newsletter, Don’t Make Me Search. I think it’s a great example of us going on the record with something that is exceptionally important and relevant, but also something that is subtle and that could be easily overlooked if you’re not paying close attention. This article does a fantastic job of furthering our mission of educating our clients and prospects as to how to create the most engaging sites possible.” – Mark O’Brien, CEO

“OK, I’m going to add a few honorable mentions. Our newsletters on the web development process, marketing automation and the four benchmarks for the agency website were all pretty important coverage of our point of view on critical components of digital marketing. Also the talk I gave for Win Without Pitching on the future of content marketing was a highlight for me and another stake in the ground on digital marketing. Lastly, a personal plug for being real: “Explanations” and “Perspective” were both quick and raw, and a bit of a writing revitalization for me, personally.” – Chris Butler, COO


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