Archive: June 2012
June 26th, 2012

With No Clear-Cut Answers, GGU’s New Site Drives Alex Trebek Insane.

Questions are an inescapable part of our existence – particularly so if you’re a student or faculty member at Golden Gate University. These people spend hours picking apart the heated questions and issues currently affecting our lives. So when GGU asked for a website overhaul, it seemed only natural for their online presence to mirror that ethos.

Landing on the idea, “The biggest questions need answers,” we turned GGU’s website into a digital classroom of sorts. It puts current affairs front and center – the healthcare debate, high-tech patent wars, and white collar crime – and reveals what GGU faculty and students are saying about them. The site also uses Twitter hashtags to create related “conversation channels,” allowing anyone – from GGU’s professors, students, and 68,000+ alumni, to people on the street – to speak up, chime in, or start conversations of their own.

In addition to brains, the site has dashing good looks to match. As Mortar PR Account Executive Daniel Ray opines, “Those perfectly symmetrical lines and warm, earthy tones…it’s like Ryan Gosling died and came back to Earth in the form of a website.”

As the now-extinct Juicy Campus taught us, letting college students run wild in the online social-sphere can be a highly risky affair. But GGU’s students are smarter than that. The majority of them already leaders in the working world, these people are serious about succeeding. They’d rather debate how to stimulate green jobs than rip on Trisha’s new perm any day (although just for the record, that was totally the world’s worst perm ev-errr.)

GGU’s new site has already snagged the attention of the Campus Technology and SF Egotist. Get in on the conversation – if you’re not already preoccupied with harassing Sweden on Twitter.


June 22nd, 2012

The Bird Is The Word. (Yes, Again.)

We get a little verklempt when we see brands managing conversations intelligently. They grow up so fast!


Listen to your customers? Check.

Respond in an Actual, Human Voice? Check.

Gently bip your critics upside the head while promoting product benefits? Chiggidy-check.

Very nicely done, SmartCar.


Let’s see how our young padawans at Eat24 are coming along…


Strong in this one, the Force is. See more, we should.



Thanks, P.J. Did you mean this laziness? The one that’s airing all over Comcast San Francisco right now?


Ohhhh, sorry. You meant this laziness. (That’s airing all over Comcast San Francisco right now.)



Unless you meant this laziness. (Which is also airing all over the You-Get-The-Idea right now.)


So, yes. We’re proud of our clients. Proud when they demonstrate their Conversation-fu. Proud when they put the tools we give them to good use. Proud when they remember that underwear goes on the inside of their pants.
And proud when they think up great ideas like this:



Which reminds us – Eat24’s app is live. De-bugged. And delicious. Happy Friday!




June 21st, 2012

Weird is Good. Also: Profitable.

Too often, genius goes unnoticed. Like, for instance, this tastefully patriotic glove + koozie. Or bagel dogs (why have we not discussed these oeuvres de genius, people? they’re gigantic pigs-in-gigantic-blankets!)

Or, say, the simple-yet-brilliant idea of storing nuclear waste inside glass – because glass’ half-life is longer, and it keeps radiation safely contained. Or using nanotechnology to design stain-resistant couches – a hyperactive juice lover’s dream come true.

These are just some of the convention-shattering ideas that Palo Alto venture capitalistas (and Mortar client) Firelake has helped bring to market. (Not the bagel dogs – we wish.) Firelake prides themselves on being able to spot genius where others can’t. That’s how they turn backyard projects into breakthrough companies.

Firelake isn’t like other VCs. They’re small. They co-invest with large firms, staying nimble while gaining access to a greater pool of resources. But above all, they favor outrageous ideas. The weirder it sounds, the more they like it.

So we knew we had to give them a website that wasn’t like the others. We latched on to the insight that genius is everywhere, but Firelake’s mission is to recognize it and cultivate it. Eschewing a traditional format, we grouped images and words patchwork-style to create a rich and interactive grid. The content in each box is swapped in and out as new clients and new stories arrive.

The site has a strongly tactile feel, and works particularly well on the iPad. In a world where most VC sites look like this and this, Firelake’s sticks out in the best of ways. We dare you to find another homepage with a raw piece of salmon on it (and no, sites like this one don’t count).


June 8th, 2012

Orange Friday!

What’s good, y’all?

This is: Eat24’s app is finally available for free downloadage! Now not only do you not have to cook or shop or even get up…you don’t even have to go over to the computer. USA! USA! USA!

Feel free to make merry and feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats and… you get the idea.

…and there was much rejoicing.


In other news: It’s now more illegal to carry 16 ounces of soda in New York City than 25 grams of marijuana.
Pardon us, Mayor Bloomberg, but between the reverse-weed-crackdown and Eat24’s new app, your iron-fisted soda sanctions aren’t gonna do much about obesity. That horse has left the proverbial barn. (And was delicious.)

In other-other news: Canada! Still weird. But in a good way.

And finally, if you found it even more difficult than usual to hold Mark’s attention this week, cut the lad some slack. His mind was on Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, and who can blame him?



Right, we’re off to Mays Field. Between our drunken spirited exhortations, Barry Zito’s curveball and Siri’s wise counsel we hope the local nine have what they need to smite their enemies. (Who hath been naughty in our sight.)  Go Giants!