Notes from the Future Desk: May


Jerrod Long

on 6/1/2016

Strategy takes over the Future Desk this month with a rundown on immersive games, powerful ad platforms, helpful mobile reports, and all-encompassing pixels. Entries are the views and opinions of Ben.


Week 1: New-Style Facebook Pixel

(old-timey voice) Time was, you had to create a pixel to track conversions and a separate pixel for retargeting and custom audiences! (future-y voice) But now – there is one pixel to rule them all! And with some really flexible conversion-tracking features, it’s easier than ever to attribute a conversion to an ad and to attribute value to the conversion. (Sidenote: Have a Shopify shop? They make it stupid easy to add and track conversions with the new FB pixel). Perhaps even more importantly, you can harness Facebook’s audience data to gain critical insights into who bought your product or signed up for your newsletter, and create “lookalike audiences” for similarly-inclined folks. In its relatively few years, Facebook has stitched together the most comprehensive and useful ad network there is. (Now only if their tools worked a bit better)

Week 2: The Delightful Game Design and UX of Neko Atsume

If you haven’t previously heard of Neko Atsume… well, I’m sorry. Having just uttered those words to you is like seeing that VHS movie from The Ring. You are now cursed…with fluffy cats! Neko Atsume is perhaps the simplest of apps… you have a “yard” and you place “goodies” in your “yard” to attract cats. The cats will bring you gifts of silver and gold fish, which allow you to buy more “goodies”… or even a larger yard! Sounds like a one-trick pony, huh? Well just ask Emilee, Christal, or “patient zero” for VIA’s Neko Atsume problem – our new hire Kelly Scheurich how hard it is to put down. Personally, my kids are running a Neko Atsume network of my, my wife’s and their grandma’s iPhone. “CAN WE CHECK ON YOUR CATS, DAAAAD?!” The algorithm for when cats come is apparently linked to how often you come and check on that cats – something you learn little by little, with almost zero instructions. It’s a delightful and pleasantly surprising study into nudges and incentives. Developer Hit Point must be rolling in gold fish from the in-app purchases. Check it on iTunes App Store or Google Play and put out the baseball so Joe DiMeowgio comes to play.

Kelly Scheurich with Joe DiMeowgio

Week 3: Google Search Console’s Mobile Usability Report

As Kim mentioned early last year, Google requires your site to be usable on a mobile device to rank well. The April 2015 event known as “Mobilegeddon” came and went. Luckily, Google provided us with The Mobile Friendly Test tool, which gives you good feedback on type size, how clickable your elements are, etc. I’m happy to note that both of our recently launched sites for our friends at 610 Magnolia and Louisville Waterfront passed with flying colors.

Week 4: Facebook ads…for non-Facebook users

Non-Facebook-account-having colleague Natalie pointed out this week that Facebook is now expanding it’s ad platform beyond your Facebook news feed. This is a dramatic expansion of Facebook’s existing “Audience Network”, which serves logged-in Facebook users ads they’d normally see only in their news feed. Facebook’s ad platform provides an amazing array of data, analytics and tools – and IMHO it performs dramatically better and is easier to use that Google Adwords or Display Network. Watch your back, Google!


Your place for all the happenings in and around Jerrod Long that made it to print.

Ben: “Jerrod and I met a Happiness Engineer last night”
Natalie: “Is that like a Sandwich Artist?”

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