Category Archives: Creativity

Don’t Miss CajunCodeFest 3.0 set for April 23-25, 2014

Don’t Miss CajunCodeFest 3.0 set for April 23-25, 2014

Software developers, programmers, educators, students, healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs will attend CajunCodeFest 3.0.

The 27-hour coding contest, which is in its third year, will be held April 23-25 at the Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning in University Research Park.

Competitors will develop software and applications based on the theme “Aging in Place.” Teams of up to six participants will build tools that will assist people who live at home as they age.

Cash prizes, in categories such as best overall product and best student team, will be awarded.

“Judges will seek ways to maintain quality of life as patients grow older and want to live at home,” said Cian Robinson, associate director of the Center for Business and Information Technologies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “A sub-theme will be the ‘Internet of Things,’ specifically how uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations can help people ‘Age in Place.’ ”

CajunCodeFest 3.0 also will offer opportunities to network and listen to speakers from industry, higher education and public service. “The line up of esteemed leaders will inspire and embolden participants to create solutions to problems that impact health care,” Robinson said.

Speakers scheduled for CajunCodeFest 3.0 include:

  • -Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services;
  • -Kathy Kliebert, secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals;
  • -Jeff Makowka, senior strategic advisor on thought leadership, AARP;
  • -Cindy Munn, CEO, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum;
  • -Fred Trotter, data journalist, DocGraph Journal;
  • -Lizheng Shi, Regents associate professor, Department of Global Health Systems and Development, Tulane University; and
  • -Kenny Cole, associate chief medical officer and vice president of Care Delivery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana.

CajunCodeFest 3.0 is coordinated by UL Lafayette’s Center for Business and Technologies. CBIT research, development and technology transfer focus on technology-driven innovations in areas such as health care, education, industry and workforce development.

Sponsors include Lafayette General Health; ESRI, an international supplier of geographical information system software; CBIT; and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

“Lafayette General Health has been a leading sponsor of this event for all three years because we believe in health care innovation and new technology,” said David Callecod, president and CEO of Lafayette General Health System. “Cajun Code Fest is an opportunity to pull together innovative people who will generate better health care solutions.“

For more information about CajunCodeFest, visit, or follow @CajunCodeFest and search #CCF3 on Twitter.

Secrets to Unleash Your Employees to Power Your Social Marketing

Secrets to Unleash Your Employees to Power Your Social Marketing
By Eric Schiffer

My ex-girlfriend hated the Facebook page for her company. She said it was boring, not relevant to customers, and didn’t educate or entertain them, and certainly didn’t cause them to act to buy. Consider that if your own employees don’t even like your company’s Facebook page, why should anyone? At the root of social media is engagement, the opportunity to get your brand into the minds of people. It is an opportunity to develop quality leads. The average social media user has ninety people in their network. If you persuade the average social media user to link to your content, ninety trusted impressions could be headed your way.

Identifying and curating good content is the key to persuading the average social media user to look at or link to your company. As the CEO of, I’m frequently asked why this Twitter handle isn’t getting enough follows, or why their Facebook post wasn’t shared enough. The answer in part is failing to properly capitalize on your number one resource, your employees, for social media marketing purposes. It can be a difference-maker to your bottom line.

The potential of social media to drive revenue for companies remains largely untapped. Most will stick a 23-year-old fresh out of college in the entry-level position of “social media” without considering that this person is now the voice connecting your customers to your business. It’s dangerous to give someone much power, so green, when one tweet can lead to a backlash, boycott, or worse. Spending all day on Instagram does not qualify someone as a social media expert.

To start, here are a few tips: Crowdsource your social content by asking your employees to submit social media update ideas and picking the best ones to post on your social media pages. Turn it into an office wide contest. You will diversify your content streams and increase the amount of activity that takes place on your social networks.

Ensure that your employees’ social profiles, professional and personal, feature your company’s website in the “Occupation” section. Not only will this increase the social exposure of your brand across each social network, but this doubles as an SEO technique to increase the overall ranking of your website. Promote your company on as many social profiles as possible.

Run social promotions for your employees. Offer an incentive for your employees to like or follow your company’s social media profiles. Hold contests where a prize goes to the employee who gets the most likes, shares, or retweets from their network of a company page or press release. Ask your employees to comment on posts in order to ratify them. This is a grassroots way to increase your brand’s social media presence.

Have your employees create short viral marketing videos and share them privately on social media. The best or most popular videos could receive a bonus or a reward and be released to the public.

Advertise job listings through your employees’ social media networks. You can attract talented individuals who already maintain good personal relationships with employees that you know and trust.  Additionally, your brand and pages get extra, valuable social media exposure.

Social media is the 21st century equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising, traditionally the most cost-effective form of marketing. Having a base of employees who love talking about your brand is the best way to get their friends (and friends of friends) enthusiastic about your brand. But the key is featuring content that generates enthusiasm. Entrusting this job to one person’s voice or failing to execute on the above steps and others is a decidedly anti-social form of social media marketing, and can stop you from realizing the real social revenue potential for your brand.

Eric Schiffer is a world-leading expert in digital marketing as CEO of, providing his keen insights to Fortune 500 CEOs, foreign leaders, Forbes 400 billionaires and celebrities. He is the chairman of

New Competition to Encourage Innovation on E-Waste Prevention

New Competition to Encourage Innovation on E-Waste Prevention

The Future Tense initiative has announced the launch of the Green Electronics: A U.S.-China Maker Challenge, an unprecedented online DIY competition focused on preventing the creation of electronic waste (e-waste). The competition, a collaboration between Future Tense, China’s Tsinghua University and other partners, invites U.S. and Chinese makers to find creative ways to turn yesterday’s cellphone battery into tomorrow’s treasure.



“This is a great opportunity for the United States and China to work toward common goals,” said Emily Parker, senior fellow and digital diplomacy advisor at New America, who helped spearhead this project. “Both the U.S. and China want to encourage the innovation happening at the DIY or maker level, and both countries face the challenge of reducing e-waste.”Electronic products tend to become unusable after just a few years, and items such as computers, DVD players and cellphones frequently wind up in landfills. Some of the most creative solutions to this problem may come from U.S. and Chinese makers, many of whom already incorporate old electronic components into their DIY creations. Green electronics will encourage makers to showcase their creations online.

Participants will be invited to upcycle or hack an electronic product to create a new electronic product; repair an electronic product; create a sustainable electronic product; or create artwork from used electronic products. They will show their inventions on, where submissions will be accepted from April 7 – May 31, 2014. Following a round of public voting, a panel of judges will choose the best selections from each country.

Judges include Chris Anderson, former Wired editor; Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab; Mitzi Montoya, Vice President and University Dean for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University; and Sun Hong Bin, Dean of Educational Affairs at Tsinghua University. Partners include Instructables, TechShop,, XinCheJian, Autodesk, and Inventables.

For more information, please visit: