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Beauty, Warmth and Color In Website Design [50 Examples + Marty Note]

Beauty, Warmth and Color In Website Design [50 Examples + Marty Note] | Design Revolution |

Marty Note
I am looking at a lot of sites right now to help refine my ScentTrail Marketing blog. Color is tough online. A little color can go a LONG way. Websites start cold. Our job as Internet marketers is to warm them up. Here is how I like to warm up a website's design:

* Color.

* Images (with people).

* Copy (especially teaser headlines).

* Clear navigation.

* Tagging the brand (helps create a sense of being in right place).

* Clear and omnipresent contact information.

* Testimonials (quotes from others that aren't ME or US lol).

* Heroes that match the seasons (can be tough if you are a global brand).

The last one is worth discussing. Time doesn't really exist online. Lack of a sense of time is what makes websites feel like Vegas where there are no clocks; weather and you rarely go out (lol). One way you connect to emotions and feeling is to feel like Christmas when it is Christmas.

If you are a global brand a picture of snow and trees turning may not work. Instead use images that address the IDEA of fall such as people in sweaters or displace your heroes (largest images on the page) to a location that suggest fall (mountains). You can also create interesting juxtapositions - winter in the desert.

The last example uses language to connect to time. Words with time IN THEM such as Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer are POWERFUL warming words when used in connection with the calendar.


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Websites Don't Age Well: 5 Web Redesign Ideas via @Curagami

Websites Don't Age Well: 5 Web Redesign Ideas via @Curagami | Design Revolution |

Websites don't age well. Sooner than you think it's time for a web redesign, but don't forget the 5 CSFs (Critical Success Factors) shared here.

5 Critical Success Factors For When Your Web Redesign

  • Start with Why.
  • Listen to customer votes
  • Test if you can, jump in if you can’t.
  • 5 Easy to forget things.
  • Prepare for rain, hope for sun.

This post features behind the scenes notes from our redesign. Picture above is a "Before" and "After" view of Moon Audio's website. We spent a lot of time working on the site's information architecture.

We spent so much time because we have a lot of customer data now thanks to Google Analytics. We used that data to find the 80-20 rule and kept that finding in mind as we changed site navigation and categories.

This kind of "What Business are we In" work goes to the first two bullet point - Start with Why and Listen To Customer Votes. Another goal, not stated in the Curagami post, was to create an immediate sense of "I'm in the right place" scenttrail.

Ecommerce, especially in popular categories such as #headphones and #electronics, have two kinds of sties. One site is informational making money from passing customers over to sellers. is an example of a content site making money by capturing attention with great content and then passing customers on to a site where they can buy what they've just researched.

The New Ecommerce
We see the New Ecommerce merging Cnet and commerce to build sustainable online community. But there's a problem. Either of those missions is a full-time job - commerce, content or community. Merchants will need to delegate content creation to trusted members of their community and find ways to merchandise content and commerce more seamlessly than ever before.

The new begins the move toward sustainable online content, commerce and community by clearly signalling THIS IS A STORE. Soon we hope to increase the signal to THIS IS A STORE WHERE YOU CAN LEARN TOO and finally THIS IS A COMMUNITY WHERE YOU CAN BUY AND LEARN.

Mashing up, curating and listening are the new skills needed to be a successful online merchant. No ecom site is GREAT at content, commerce and community...yet. will fire on all three ideas over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, February 20, 2:58 PM

I count on Marty to #curate #content that helps me make my #business better. Thank-you. 

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Web Design On A Budget: 21 Free Tools via Hubspot

Web Design On A Budget: 21 Free Tools via Hubspot | Design Revolution |
Check out these 21 free and easy-to-use visual content creation tools.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great Hubspot list of free tools. One caveat. There is no free lunch. Most of these tools are using a "freemium" model. They develop a robust tool and then give away a stunted version free in the hope they will hook users enough they pay to continue using the tool.

Most freemium models know where their marketing sweet spot resides. They will and can provide value. As you scale you will need to upgrade or lose your investment. Free tools require a learning curve too.

Smart move is to have the free tool be so simple anyone can use it. That limits any tool's ability to do more advanced things. "More advanced things" only happens every now and then, so never buy a tool for "every now and then".

Do protect your investment. If you learn a tool well enough to be comfortable with its use and it provides value AND you've outgrown the free version upgrade assuming the ASK isn't out of line with the market. The tricky thing to know is when to JUNK your time investment and move on and when to double down.

No hard and fast rules for "junking" a tool and moving on, but here are reasons I leave tools I've previously invested in:

* They don't listen or care about my input.
* They don't champion how my team and I are using their tool (see Haiku Deck's Featured and Popular galleries for great examples of SUPPORT for use of their tool).

* No easy to tap Applications Program Interface (API).
* The upgrade costs are not aligned with perceived benefits.
* Something easier, better and cheaper came along.
* Something more technically advanced was invented.

Those last two points are connected. Money isn't usually the most important of first consideration when thinking about tools that we use. We don't pay for enterprise level tools (say $30K a year and up), so everything is between $300 and $2K a year.

Biggest reason we change is something new creates efficiencies or is more aligned with our ideas and philosophy. Don't think your ABOUT page matters? Yeah you wluld be WRONG about that (lol).

If you are using or do use any of HubSpot's free design tools please report back as most are new to us.

Thanks, Marty

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SEO For Web Designers New @HaikuDeck by @Scenttrail

SEO For Web Designers New @HaikuDeck by @Scenttrail | Design Revolution |

Web designers shouldn't be SEO experts since keeping up with DESIGN is a full-time job. Nothing has made that truth more apparent than my first week learning CSS, SCSS and the like at The Iron Yard Code Academy in Durham, NC this week.

But web designers are where SEO rubber meets the Google Road so understanding a handful of ideas is critical to the online success of any designers creations. This deck was created to share with The Iron Yard's Cohort 3 Front End Engineering class Friday January 16th.

Includes our favorite FREE SEO tools and how we use them. Good luck and let us know your SEO / Design experience and we will curate into an upcoming post on

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10 Web Design Trends You'll See in 2015 (and how to survive them)

10 Web Design Trends You'll See in 2015 (and how to survive them) | Design Revolution |

This time last year I made 7 predictions for web design in 2014, with mixed results (I’m looking at you SVG). This year, I’ve sought out 10 web design trends you'll actually see:

1. Lettering
2. Goodbye to IE
3. Micro-design
4. The Internet of no thing

5. Mobile video
6. The decline of framework dominance

7. The beginning of the end for the old guard

8. Art direction
9. Pooled analytics

10. SVG will (finally) take off

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great post here and agree with every one of these 10 trends especially the glee in discontinuing support for IE 6 and IE7. Sounds like even Microsoft is about to turn away.

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10 Top Design Websites for Every Designer via @HOWbrand

10 Top Design Websites for Every Designer via @HOWbrand | Design Revolution |
HOW art director Adam Ladd shows us 10 more of the top design websites, many of which are sure to give you the graphic design inspiration you crave.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Great resources from one of my favorite web design teachers.

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How I Use Haiku Deck To Define Ideas via @Scenttrail

How I Use Haiku Deck To Define Ideas via @Scenttrail | Design Revolution |

How I Use Haiku Deck
I use Haiku Deck when I know what I think I know and when I'm trying to discover what I DON'T KNOW. When I know what I think I know, and what Internet marketer can ever really KNOW anything, I use Haiku Deck as a visual marketing tool. Haiku' shortens my "elevator pitch" and matches storytelling Ted-like visuals.

When I don't know what I don't know I use Haiku Deck too. Working on a "business plan" right now and using Haiku to suggest hings I may not have considered. Their search is so targeted AND VISUAL it helps when I am this far up the funnel. Google and refinement will come later.

Really like the Haiku Deck team too. They created a great example of HERO MARKETING with their Featured and Popular galleries. .Any POINT OF AGGREGATION is more powerful than any individual (these days) as we discussed re: +The Huffington Post, so Haiku's intelligent move was to create a Featured and Popular gallery. Those two initially highly curated spaces moved the team from creators to curators.

The PaigeRank 5 they've earned is proof of the power of the community (since most SaaS sites earn about a PR2 or 3). By aggregating their users content they kill two birds with a single brilliant stroke - they create proof cases more powerful than whitepapers AND they provide a home for a constantly changing amount of COOL content THEY didn't have to create.

Love this tool as it shows so many of my favorite #webdesigning and #marketing   ideas. Let me know when you create your first deck and I will be sure to share across my social nets :). Marty

Thanks to Haiku Deck for making 7 Reasons You Must Curate Content a Honorable Mention in their top decks of the year post too!

7 Reasons Deck

Top Haiku Decks 2014

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Top 15 Web Design Trends 2015 - via Toolyo Blog

Top 15 Web Design Trends 2015 - via Toolyo Blog | Design Revolution |
This article is written after a huge research about top web design trends for 2015. If you want to design an awesome website you should read this blog.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Just a few of the 2015 Web Design Trends discussed:

* Storytelling
* SVG Animations
* More Scrolling & Less Clicking
* Full Image / Video Backgrounds

Many more on this excellent 2015 Web Design Trends post from @Levent Cem Aydan

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Contribute To The Web Design Revolution in 2015

Contribute To The Web Design Revolution in 2015 | Design Revolution |

Design Is Revolutionary
Don't have to be Steve Jobs to know design is revolutionary. Our Web Design Revolution feed on is one of our favorites. We love THINKING visual because most of us (save one poor CTO) are marketing geeks who visualize in our sleep.

If you visualize in your sleep consider contributing a Scoop or two or three to The Web Design Revolution in 2015. Several easy ways to contribute:

1. If you are on @Scoop.ituse the Suggest Feature. We appreciate all the great suggestions we've already received and promise a new focus on collaboration in 2015.

2. If you aren't on you are missing one of the best "do less, get more" tools we know, but you can still contribute ideas for stories we should include by:

email: martin(at)

Twitter: @Curagami

Call For Help NOW
Right now we are interested in creating a year-end mashup of all the web design predictions for 2015. If you have a favorite prognosticator and they write about what they think is going to happen in web design next year send us the link and we will mash your contribution up into a summary with early views going to contributors.

Thanks for a great year and hope you will contribute to The Revolution in 2015.

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Web Design Trends 2015 & Hot To Keep Your Website Current

Web Design Trends 2015 & Hot To Keep Your Website Current | Design Revolution |

Now it’s time to analyze the web designs that have emerged this year, and place predictions for the possible trends that lie ahead for 2015.

Marty Note
Promise to create a mashup of all web design trends postings to identify common consensus and outliers.

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Web Design Trends 2015 [Infographic]

Web Design Trends 2015 [Infographic] | Design Revolution |
Explore the top web designing trends for 2015. The infographic discusses the top 6 predictions that are set to rule the web designing world in 2015.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Liked and agreed with all 6 of these 2015 Web Design Trends when I read the post without the infogfpahic. Infographic helps and I bet wil get more shares :). M

malek's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:24 AM

I like“Card” design, no, it\s not new, but I find it a good tool for designers working on responsive websites. Cards are a great way to keep things modular

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Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics

Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics | Design Revolution |

Responsive web design is the practice of creating websites that display evenly on all devices. Understand the basics of responsive web design with examples.

Marty Note
Don't make the common mistake of thinking responsive design is all about look and feel. Yes some WordPress templates can make it FEEL that way since they are built to accordian with different receptions created by phone, laptop and computers.

The important idea for marketers to understand is to THINK Mobile First. Thinking mobile first brings a slew of changes such as:

* Flat web design.
* Limited Colors.
* Less functionality that is easier to understand.
* Content snippets instead of novels.
* Need to make content & communication feel & act like a game.

Those last bullets speak to the gamification of marketing so implied by smartphones and a mobile / social / connected world. Mobile means never having to say you're sorry because you listen and curate more than you talk, create sustaining community and engagement and understand all the implications of "the network is the computer".

Just shared an overview of Marketing Timelines on G+ ( ). All that said, you still need to understand Responsive Design 101 so appreciate this suggestion from @David Fournier. .

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Ghost Buttons & 9 Other Cool Web Design Trends In 2015 via @elegantthemes

Ghost Buttons & 9 Other Cool Web Design Trends In 2015 via @elegantthemes | Design Revolution |

Ten Web Trends To Look For In 2015

  1. Responsive Wins.
  2. Ghost Buttons (made with Divi). 
  3. Emphasis on Type.
  4. Large & Beautiful Backgrounds.
  5. Scrolling BEATS Clicking.
  6. Card Design Gets Better.
  7. Flat Design morphs into Material Design.
  8. Microiterations.
  9. Interactive Storytelling.
  10. Personalized UX.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool list from Elegant Themes and they should know since missing a "must have" new feature means no one buys your themes. My faves are Ghost Buttons and Interactive Storytelling. Heck if any 3 of these happen as described 2015 is going to be a breakthrough web design year.

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Top 5 Black Friday Websites - Annual Curagami List

Top 5 Black Friday Websites - Annual Curagami List | Design Revolution |

Top 5 Black Friday Websites Curagami's annual list sees Big Boys move in. Amazon tops the list. There are surprises & we share our Black Friday scorecard.

1. Amazon.




Find out how we rated these websites TOPS in Black Friday preparation, free shipping and merchandising:

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10 Trends Sure To Change Web Design in 2015

10 Trends Sure To Change Web Design in 2015 | Design Revolution |

Updated! Some of the web's smartest thinkers reveal what they believe will transform the web.

Summary & Marty Notes

1. Huge Background Images (Agree, but hard to do well in responsive design).
2. Card Based Design (Agree and need to know more about this since cards = responsive and responsive i.e. platform agnostic is the way to go now).
3. Digital First Branding (Agree and this will be a big shift for many who think of their websites as additions not the MAIN THING).

4. Open Data (Need to know more about this).
5. Responsive Design...Evolved (Agree, Agree, Agree).
6. Privacy (not sure about this one, think that ship has sailed).
7. Isomorphic Java Script (Need to know more about this).
8. Iteration (Agree, we will make MVPs, ship them and then watch and improve them).
9. Vibrant Design (not sure about this one, the example made my eyes hurt).
10. Web Components & Adaptive Design (this is Internet of Things and I agree).

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10 of the Best UX Infographics - The Usabilla Blog

10 of the Best UX Infographics - The Usabilla Blog | Design Revolution |
Sometimes, as the old saying goes, pictures really do tell 1000 words. And if that’s the case, what’s better than a picture with 1000 words included on it?

Via steve batchelder
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Love these especially the ideal vs actual. So true. M

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Web Design Trends Sure To Rule 2015 - Designmodo & @tomaslau

Web Design Trends Sure To Rule 2015 - Designmodo & @tomaslau | Design Revolution |

In this post we will try to review the current status of web design scene and predict some trends for 2015.

Marty Note
Great summary of some "new to me" trends for next year such as video backgrounds and rise of website generators (still looking for a really good one of these, most suck).

Hope the stock photography and personal branding predictions come true.

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Iron Yard Code Academy Starts Today

Iron Yard Code Academy Starts Today | Design Revolution |

Today is first day of Cohort 3 at Iron Yard Code Academy in Durham. I'm enrolled in Front End Engineering to update skills learned in 1999 (so lots to learn).

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Great Responsive Web Design: 12 Examples via Cyber Duck

Great Responsive Web Design: 12 Examples via Cyber Duck | Design Revolution |
Cyber-Duck are an award winning London digital Web Design agency. We can offer a full professional service from web design to programming web technologies
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

As these examples show better than thousands of words can responsive web design is about more than design. How you architect your information to handle the accordion nature of phones, pads, lap and desktops is paramount. Figuring out how to snippetize everything from images to written content is the new challenge.

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Ready for Mobile? Comprehensive List of Testing Tools

Ready for Mobile? Comprehensive List of Testing Tools | Design Revolution |
Mobile responsive design tools for testing your website or apps before it goes live. You'll find both FREE and paid solutions.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

This post is important and valuable on two fronts. First we all need to start thinking MOBILE FIRST and that is a very different way to think. Second the great list of new to me tools is worth a scan and test.

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Web Design What's Next? Flexible Frameworks with Community Like Alejandro Aravena's Architectural Philosophy [TED Talk]

Web Design What's Next? Flexible Frameworks with Community Like Alejandro Aravena's Architectural Philosophy [TED Talk] | Design Revolution |

When In Doubt Ask
Alejandro Aravena makes it clear participation isn't easy, but the advantages of including those you server IN the decision process far outweigh the pain. Aravena is asking about housing and public space.

Internet marketers and ecommerce teams need to be asking about changes to their "public space" - their websites. The synthesis between designers and community discussed in this TED talk become a model for web design too with lessons like:

* Don't try to defeat natural forces (Google) incorporate them.

* Build flexible frameworks customers can modify.

* Individual expression happens.

That last bullet my represent the hardest transition for most web designers. We are so used to drawing boxes within boxes we forget those boxes are meant to serve PEOPLE. Hard to forget when those people are included, consulted and actually listened to all along.

Look at what has already happened. We created a web o one way communication that was modified, cloned and spun back to us by the social web as two way community. Why so much resistance to two way community?

Lack of perceived control may be the culprit. Learning to love the friction of Aravena's "synthesis" requires placing ego firmly in back pocket and listening. Who wants to do that?

The future of web design TURNS on our ability to adapt many of the architectural principles Aravena discusses so articulately in this excellent TED Talk. He may be discussing buildings in Chile, but he could be discusses our client

The future is about a building a DIFFERENT kind of framework one that encourages a growing number of Ambassadors willing to sacrifice to stamp their impression on YOUR web design.

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3 SEO Things To NEVER Do Again

3 SEO Things To NEVER Do Again | Design Revolution |

The New SEO
Search Engine Optimization may be different, but it isn't dead. Until search engine spiders can understand context YOU have to provide it. Today team Curagami discovered 3 big things to NEVER do again while working with our great customer :

* Original Copy Only
Never copy a manufacturer's product or brand copy. You MUST write original copy for every page or risk being put in the "dupe box". Duplicate content from THEM (manufacturers) is foolish for another reason - few manufacturers write great copy about their products, services or brands.

If you do copy manufacturer notes or specifications either 1. blockquote them out or 2. use inline rel no follows to tell the search spiders you know you've duped the content and aren't looking for kudos on it.

* Never Assume Branded Sites Know SEO
Working with Moon Audio team Curagami realized we could make a killing JUST helping major electronic brands such as Shure, Astell & Kern and Chord Hugo improve their SEO. The team at Moon assumed since the manufacturer's site was coming up high in the Search Engine Results Pages they had their SEO down.

NOPE, not even a little bit. The manufacturer benefits from all those links being driven into their pages by people who DO KNOW SEO. They don't so don't copy them.

* Do Use the SERPS
If you want to know who is doing well on your keys logout of Google (this won't kill all the filters but will help) and search for sites consistently showing up for keys you want. Next use Mike's free keyword tool to see how well the site you found ACTUALLY ranks for your keys.

You have to use a tool to see THROUGH the float. Used to be when you and I typed the same search at the same time we saw the same results. Not so much anymore thanks to Google's "floating" their index and making decisions about what you see based on a host of new things like what your friends see & like, what you've liked before (you in this instance is your computer's IP address) and other filters so secret no one really knows.

Watch Pariser's Filter Bubbles TED talk for more on why search is just showing you what you already know these days and NEVER steal copy or SEO advice from dumb and dumber manufacturers.

They win their brand name FOR FREE. If you want to know if they understand SEO type a phrase like "portable audio" and see who shows up (the usual suspects like Amazon, Wikipedia, Cnet Mashable, Techcrunch, HuffPost, etc...).

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5 Simple Rules To Know Your Site's Navigational Taxonomy via @Curagami

5 Simple Rules To Know Your Site's Navigational Taxonomy via @Curagami | Design Revolution |

Knowing your website's navigational taxonomy can mean the difference between millions in traffic and money. Here are 5 Simple Navigational Taxonomy Rules.

* It's About THEM not YOU.
* Create A Commons.
* It's FREE and EASY.

* Srart with Brands & Work OUT.

* Find Engagement & Work IN.

Easy to follow rules so your site's nav WINS traffic, hearts, minds, SEO and loyalty needed to be around for a bit.

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Responsive Design Advanced Class by @jakerocheleau

Responsive Design Advanced Class by @jakerocheleau | Design Revolution |

When I think of responsive web design I think of Transformers: Websites in Disguise. With one set of code you can build a website layout that runs flexibly...

Marty Note
Yesterday we shared thoughts on the marketing side of responsive web design along with some design basics. Responsive design creates a flexible membrane adapting itself to any receiving device.

Creating responsive design is INVOLVED. You can trash your SEO (Search Engine Marketing) without really knowing it, confuse your web designers and customers and do more damage than good.

I like this Jake Rocheleau "ultimate guide' because its a natural part 2 to yesterday's responsive basics ( ). Responsive design is a MUST, but, as you will agree after reading Jake's Ultimate Guide, not to be undertaken lightly or without some reading about what is happening under the covers.

Great job by Jake and V

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Future Of Web Design: End Of Boxes & Borders via @HaikuDeck

Future Of Web Design: End Of Boxes & Borders via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution |

2015 will see full integration of concepts brewing for years including:

* Social Shopping.
* Social / Mobile / Connected Web.
* Gamification.

Wireframing boxes within boxes is over as this Haiku Deck shares what's likely to happen to #webdesign in 2015.

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Near There Now | Share Your Near There Now Videos...Sneak Peak

Near There Now | Share Your Near There Now Videos...Sneak Peak | Design Revolution |

Near There Now Videos
We fell over some cool new content. Flying into Philadelphia we captured our landing as a way to play with our new iPhone Six Plus. The results were fun and interesting. Thirty seconds of the back way into Philly was fun to shoot and strangely beautiful (especially the video over the Delaware river with the boat).

The video turned out to be 30 seconds of strange beauty. Next we tried in our car and got much the same results after a few practice shoots that proved shooting video in a car is easier than texting.

Next we wondered what it would be like if EVERYONE shared their Near There Now videos. We might see cool back ways into London,n Paris and Berlin too. Here is a sneak peak of

(Will have a better URL after Godaddy does their thing)

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