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TWITTER IS aLIVE

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

   With the New Year well under way, I have noticed something new, at least in my circle. The 2012 Supercross season kicked off three weeks ago and the live broadcast on Speed incorporated tweets as filler. The tweets were from NASCAR drivers that were watching the Supercross race. Other tweets were of pictures of viewers “Supercross parties.” This was the first time I had seen this and it seems to be a trend in live sports broadcast.English: Wordmark for Twitter logo

   The Superbowl has plans of its own for bringing the interaction to the social media’s.  The organizers anticipate so much activity that they have set up a command center to monitor and communicate solutions to issues that arise with 150,000 people expected to flood Indianapolis. See Mashable article

Along the same line, the NFL is going to allow players to tweet during the Pro Bowl. This is the first time since July of 2009 that a player will be allowed to tweet during an official NFL function. This will allow for live interaction between fans and players via social media. The players cannot use personal devices, but there will be a computer on the sidelines in a designated area. I am guessing that this will all be via an “NFL” account? Can’t wait to see results of how it went.  http://mashable.com/2012/01/25/pro-bowl-tweets

I do not know what is feeding it or where it will end up, but Twitter seems to be the new medium for a call in talk show format for  live broadcasts. I am predicting that the Daytona 500 will have some interaction with their live broadcast as well. We will see?

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Instant Gratification and Hunting

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

by Clint Dehnert

From my perspective, I see it getting harder and harder to have a realistic chance of harvesting a deer in Wisconsin.  For me, this chance is what drives me to get up at 4 a.m. and walk through the woods or a swamp in the dark. Hunting is a rite of passage and a tradition passed on by the elders. Groups of hunters are a brethren and the nine day season is anticipated for the whole year.  Good places to hunt for free used to be simply a knock on a door away.

Those days are simply memories that I treasure as of today. In the modern era of hunting, you buy a deer in one way or another. According to MS Forestry, leasing property is on the rise. This information is for Missouri, but it illustrates the trend that is going on nationwide. According to the link, land owners are leasing the recreational rights to their land for $3.50 to $15.00 an acre, per calendar year. This is good income for a land owner. Prime land calculated example; If you have a 1000 acre farm, and choose to lease it, it could yield $15,000 just for letting a group of outdoor enthusiast use it. On the low end, a farm this size would still bring in $3500.00 in residual income annually. My experience puts the figures of a 400 acre farm at $4.00 an acre in Southern Wisconsin.

To the non hunter, this is a lot of money and they may not believe this information, but it is the reality of the situation. The cost of purchasing land is what makes this trend reality. One acre of land with hardwoods on it brings a market price of $10,000. Ten acres of hunting land could cost in excess of $100,000.

You could just shot a deer in a pen, it is an option. It is possible to go to a deer farm and get it all done in one day. According to Maple Hill’s White Tails you will spend from $2000.00 to in excess of $12,000.00 for a trophy whitetail. I know most hunters would say  “that is not hunting!” Personally, I agree 100%. The fact of the matter is, once it is on the wall you can tell the story however you want. This is the world we live in. Instant gratification and money can buy anything, even deer tales.

I will stay away from the controversial topic of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) and what the Wisconsin DNR has done to the ageless family tradition of deer hunting in Southern Wisconsin. I will not go on at length of the economic impact that the hunting industry has on rural towns and communities across the state. What I will mention is the decline in deer hunting when it comes to the archery sector of the season. When CWD was discovered in the deer herd in February 2002, bating was made illegal statewide. Not being able to better ones chances of seeing a deer has bow hunting numbers steadily declining. (The laws have been modified since 2002 to allow bating is select counties.) Bow hunters are dwindling, good places to hunt are harder to find, and the rules to pull the trigger are getting stricter every year.  Regardless of your views of fair chase or your preferred weapon, deer season just isn’t what it used to be, and that is sad.

2 local organizations for social media help

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

by Heidi Adams

I think we’ve all heard the saying it’s not what you know it’s who you know?  I think that in the case of social media that is even more true.  Sometimes networking offline is just as important as sitting at your desk tweeting.

There are two organizations in the community that make a point to do offline networking to improve their members’ online influence. You aren’t required to be a marketing professional or even a social media professional to be a part of these organizations. If you’re a new comer to social media or a pro the meetings and events provided by these organizations is a are great opportunities to bounce ideas off of professionals and peers.  Social media tools, trends and tips are discussed and networking is inevitable.

Social Media Breakfast:

Linkedin.com : Social Media Breakfast – Madison

Twitter: @smbmad

Facebook: facebook.com/socialmediabreakfastmadison

Website: www.socialmediabreakfast.com

Email: smbad@gmail.com

Who are they?

Social Media Breakfast is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007.  Originally it started in Boston and there are now over 40 cities around the world that have their own chapter.  The Madison Chapter was founded in 2009.

On the Madison Chapter’s website the mission statement is front and center, “Early morning meetings with a focus on education, networking and caffeine”.

What do they do?

Since one of the goals in their mission statement is education, events put on by this organization are a great forum for learning about social media. SMBMad has an early morning meeting every 3rd Wednesday of the month at varying locations. Events range from speakers, panels or work sessions. It is a great opportunity to network face to face.  Best practices are discussed and reviewed at these meetings.  Registration for these meetings is required and you sign up via Eventbrite.  (Search for Social Media Breakfast Madison) The events are typically free due to sponsorship for businesses in the community.

In addition to the face to face meet-ups SMBMad keep an updated Twitter, Facebook and Linked In feed.  Discussions on what to meet about next or job openings are just some of the things discussed. Blogs from some of the board members are posted to the Linked In group feed as well.

Social Media Club, Madison:

Linkedin.com : Social Media Club of Madison (MadisonSMC)

Twitter: @MadisonSMC

Facebook: facebook.com/MadisonSMC

Google+: Social Media Club of Madison

Website: madisonsmc.org

Email: MadisonSMC@gmail.com

Who are they?

The mission statement of the Social Media Club National Organization is, “to expand digital media literacy, promote standard technologies, encourage ethical behavior and share best practices.”  The local Madison branch states on its site that they “focus on networking within the group” and goes on to say “we like to include a social media tool focus.”

The national group was started in San Francisco in 2006. Membership in the local branch is free and there are varying degrees of membership for the national organization.

What do they do?

Monthly events are held after business hours from local sponsors.  The last event was at The Madison Club .  Prior to that there was a meet up at AJ Bombers to socialize and raise money for the local group.  Other past events have included panel discussions, speakers and even pub-crawls with Foursquare.

It is suggested to register for these events and registration is available via Eventbrite. (search for MadisonSMC)

They also have active Twitter and Facebook pages that focus on social media trends and local topics.

The Juggernaut of Soccer

December 15, 2011 1 comment

By: Ritchie Jay Coggins

The industry I wish to discuss in this blog is that of sports.  The big trend developing in this U.S. industry that I can discern emerging in this sphere is the strong interest in soccer.

Soccerball with USA flag

Image via Wikipedia

Frankly, soccer or football has been the world sport for eons, but recently soccer has become more and more popular in the United States.  Ironically, just as popular American football has 11 team players on the field at one time, so does soccer according to a Web site entitled “Basic Rules of Soccerhttp://www.soccer-fans-info.com/soccer-rules.html

According to a web site entitled “History of Soccerhttp://www.historyofsoccer.info  this sport can trace its history back to antiquity with the ancient Chinese in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC.  However, the early growth of modern soccer or football started in England.  One amusing tidbit has the rumor that the first ball used was the head of some Danish brigand.  Moreover, the history of modern-day soccer was established in 1863.  To be specific, in October, eleven representatives from London clubs and schools met at the Freemason’s Tavern to set up common fundamental rules to control the matches amongst themselves.  The result of this meeting was the formation of the Football Association.  Then, as British sailors, traders and soldiers introduced the sport to different parts of the globe, soccer’s popularity spread rapidly during the 1800’s.  In fact, Italians, Austrians and Germans drew soccer to Europe, while Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil adopted the sport in South America.

According to an article by Dave Litterer, http://homepages.sover.net/~spectrum/overview.html in mainstream America, the sport of soccer has always had a strong base among ethnic communities throughout the 20th century, but the general populace generally ignored the sport.  However, during the 1970’s a key development manifested itself because of the rapid growth of soccer as a youth participation sport.  Ironically, this was because soccer was relatively inexpensive as well as democratic.  To elaborate on this sentence, soccer did not require specialists, tall players or behemoths as many other sports did.  Furthermore, youth soccer did not have the overly competitive stigma and the political mudslinging that bombarded Little League baseball and Pop Warner football.

Moreover, in 1968 the North American Soccer League began in the United States, but this League terminated in a sea of red ink in 1984.  Yet the seeds had been planted for future growth.  For example, the college game was growing steadily, and was one of the largest college varsity sports.  In fact, this was most evident in the rapid and accelerated growth of women’s college soccer.  Then, in 1996 Major League Soccer inaugurated its first year in the United States.  Furthermore, during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the men didn’t perform as well as hoped, but the women’s team won the inaugural Olympic Women’s Soccer competition with unprecedented crowds, including 76,000 for the final, which evinced that the women’s sport was coming of age at the top levels.

As the last decade ended, Major League Soccer (MLS) continued to expand into new markets.  To be specific, in 2009, MLS added the Seattle Sounders, which averaged nearly 40,000 partisans a game.  Ironically, in 2010 the Philadelphia Union’s new stadium was too small because of averaging 25,000 fans per game, which shows tremendous interest in this growing sport.  In fact, MLS expanded with three new teams last year with franchises in Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec.  Interestingly, in 2008 the U.S. women won the Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympics, which was followed by the establishment of a new professional soccer league in 2009 dubbed Women’s Professional Soccer (Litterer, 2010).

Interestingly, sage Simon Wright wrote that traditionally kids in North America have been drawn to the big four American sports of football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey; however,  at the youth level there has been a strong growth in soccer participation (Wright, 2008).  Thus, prudent innovators would want to proactively plan for this new pending trend as the U.S. embraces the world sport.

In fact, an article by Bill Saporito elaborated that soccer trails only basketball in America with its number of participants, and soccer is the most popular sport for women among NCAA schools (Saporito, 2010).

After citing this history and trend towards soccer in the U.S., perhaps this is summed up beautifully by Philadelphian Randy LoBassowho blogged that American’s are moving away from food, and moving towards soccer (LoBasso, 2010).

Basketballs ondisplay2 lithuania

Image via Wikipedia

Hence, prudent marketers want to be proactive by preparing for the marketing influx of America’s new fad sport.  As youth soccer coach Jason Van Bever affirms: “NBA basketball is dying, but soccer will supplant this void.”  Yes, with the world becoming more and more globalized, it behooves the United States to embrace the world’s sport.

The Photography Industry Goes Digital

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

By Beth Eggemeier

kodachrome 200

Every industry that has experienced major change over the last 2 decades is a result of technological advancements. Technology advances in the digital revolution has replaced film in the photography industry. Kodak’s Kodachrome film ruled the photography industry for decades, but on September 14, 2010 the very last roll of Kodachrome film produced was given to famous photographer, Steve McCurry to shoot “old-school” film photos.

It ended an era.  http://youtu.be/mPvF1MOU2kE The emergence of digital photographyhas fulfilled consumer’s demands. It is now the preferred media for capturing photos. In our fast paced society, consumers are unwilling to wait to see photos of their loved ones, photos can be viewed immediately, which means instant gratification.  Editing images in a digital format can be done by the average person and the photos can easily be printed at home.  All of this,

Image representing Photobucket (Old) as depict...

Image via CrunchBase

without loosing any quality in the images.   Digital photos are easy to share with friends and family, which has sparked an emergence in online photo sharing sites such as Flicker, Photobucket as well as the surge in consumer’s sharing via variety of social media outlets.

Digital photography provides opportunities for small businesses and their marketing efforts. Historically, business owners paid top dollar for professional quality images for developing marketing collateral, product catalogs, and adding visual interest on their websites.  But as the technological advances in digital camera equipment increases, the prices remain affordable.  Business owners can now create visually robust marketing pieces much more affordably in a do-it-yourself fashion or by hiring a freelance photographer.

Nikon D700 camera

An extremely good quality digital camera can be purchased for about $500.00-$800.00.  Today, brands like Canon and Nikon are leaders in the consumer market.  The availability of price friendly equipment has resulting in many individuals exploring freelance photography businesses.  There are over a hundred photography studios in the Madison area, many of which are small freelance businesses who are able to provide high-quality digital images for marketing purposes.  Seeking out a freelance photographer for your next marketing campaign just got more affordable!

If you are interested in learning more about photography, there are many educational programs offered in Photography and Visual Communications at Madison Area Technical College.

You also might enjoy reliving the Paul Simon Kodachrome song from the 1970s! http://youtu.be/pLsDxvAErTU

The Nook

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

E –readers have become quite popular items.  Will e-readers replace the paper book?  I prefer the Nook e-reader released by Barnes and Noble book store.

Image representing Barnes & Noble as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Everything paper is subject to going digital it seems.   The Nook supports  epub, this allows us Nook owner’s to loan books to each other.  Barnes & Noble, 3G, and AT&T have all partnered together to provide service for the Nook.  As long as you can get AT&T signal you can download a book with free Wi-Fi at 24,000 hotspots in less than 10 seconds.  There are 700 outlet stores you can get them at or order them online.  I love using it to subscribe to magazines and newspapers.  These devices run about $250 dollars.

English: a photograph of a Barnes & Noble Nook...

Image via Wikipedia

They are compact and can fit right in your purse or bag.  They act much like a book when you are reading it where you can touch the side of the screen and it turns the page for you. The battery life is pretty good as a nook can run about two months on a single charge. The touch screen is pretty reactive.

Is it possible E-readers replace the old college text books?  Remember being used to getting in line and gathering your heavy stack of books out of the book store after signing up for classes.

The new generation of e-readers is promising college students that they will free and liberate them from having to carry around loads of books from class to class.  You won’t have to do the run and switch from the locker or dorm rooms to change out books for the next class. From now on a small compact e-reader will pack it all in.  The Nook can hold about 1,000 books.

This will eventually be a digital choice of students.  Selections will increase with time.   Right now paper still reigns when it comes to college textbooks.  Some e-readers let you highlight text, but only a paper book and a highlighter do a better job to highlight your text.  Books work better for your notations.  With the true e-readers you will not get color to display for your pie charts or photos.  They are not quite ready to replace your textbooks yet but more like a supplementation.

We have a few different Nooks to choose from now.  For example the E-ink reader, Nook color, and then the Nook Tablet.   They are forever evolving.  You can pick the one that’s right for you.  The simple touch is the cheapest at $99 dollars.  They read well even in bright sunlight.  You can change the font size and type to your liking.  You can use it to borrow books from the public libraries.  The Nook color includes interactive children’s books that allow read and play activities.  You can watch TV shows and movies.  Now it is morphing into something much more than just an e-reader and digital book.  Soon it will include the Marvel comic book collections.  The screen displays 16 million colors.  Lastly, is the Nook Tablet.  This one is definitely the best in entertainment.

It is the fastest and most powerful tablet. There are movies and TV shows from Netflix.  I like to flip between books, movies, and games.  Movies stream quickly and smoothly.  I can E-mail and browse the web with built in Wi-Fi. I love to listen to music, and it comes with built in Pandora.

The Nook has an offering available to all kinds of Nook E-reader users from the person who still just wants an eBook to read, or to the person who wants to multitask and network with the tablet.  The Nook has what you’re looking for in entertainment.

Technology in Restaurants

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

During the economic recession of 2008, no industry was hit harder than the restaurant industry.  With consumers struggling to get by, it seemed that the first costs to get cut by families and consumers to tighten up their budget was eating and dining out at restaurants.

Slowly but surely the economy began to make a turn for the better by 2010 and currently in 2011 is continuing to head in a positive direction.  With that said however, the restaurant industry still continues to face difficult challenges to get consumers into their doors.  Restaurant owners continue to monitor current trends to help them increase annual sales and reach their customers more effectively.

One current industry trend that is on the rise is and restaurant owners are keeping an eye on is the rise of mobile hand-held technology use.

HTC Aria android 2.2 smart phone review www.li...

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In the article, “The 7 Trends of 2011”, written in QSR magazine by Jordan Melnick, Melnick sites that Dennis Lombardi the executive vice president of food service strategies for WD partners stated about mobile devices, “ It’s the wallet of tomorrow, the Wi-Fi of tomorrow, the internet of tomorrow all contained in one device.”  http://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/7-trends-2011-0

With this current booming trend of mobile hand-held use, restaurant owners are devising ways to take advantage of the current trend to boost business and sales in the restaurant industry.

Melnick stated in the article, “Gaining access to consumers as they go about their daily lives is the marketing holy grail, especially for restaurants, which can benefit immensely from being able to reach consumers at that crucial time when craving strikes.”  http://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/7-trends-2011-0

The use of mobile devices not only can help restaurants get customers into their doors by receiving discounts and promotions on their mobile hand-helds, but can also give customers the option to txt in their orders ahead of time and transfer order history from one location to another offering convenient ways for their customers to communicate and conduct business with their favorite restaurants.

The use of mobile hand-held devices is not only a growing trend for the consumer, but is being considered as an advantage of by many restaurants in house.  Melnick stated in the article that Peter Wolf, CMO at Partech, said, “ restaurants in 2011 will begin to broadly integrate mobile technology into their in-store operations.”  http://www.qsrmagazine.com/reports/7-trends-2011-0

By this, Wolf means that restaurants will begin to provide their servers with mobile devices to take orders from customers or running entire POS systems on mobile tablets.  Another emerging mobile trend in the restaurant industry is the use of mobile apps to cut out the middleman like severs or cashiers to complete and pay for orders with the use of the mobile app will also start to be on the rise for consumers in their dining out experiences.

Other emerging trends in the restaurant industry include using mobile devices to display information about products and product lists to their customers with the use of mobile devices.  In the article written in Nations Restaurants News entitled, “ Technomic Predicts 11 Trends for 2011”, written by Mark Brandau, Brandau states that, “ Look for restaurants to gain a competitive edge with the new technologies and applications, including kiosks for ordering and displaying nutritional information, iPads for displaying wine lists, and hand-held devices for providing tableside payments.” http://www.nrn.com/article/top-11-restaurant-trends-2011

These are new and innovative ways to convey information to their technological consumed customers through the use of hand-held devices giving the business owners a competitive advantage in the restaurant industry.

In the technological world we live in today which consists of individuals becoming more dependent on their smart phones, tablets, etc.  It’s clear that there are many ways for the restaurant industry to take advantage of these current trends to improve customer satisfaction and interaction. Creating customer convenience can and will benefit the in-house operation of a restaurant. By using POS hand-held software’s and displaying product information in new and unique ways to consumers they can enhance the dining out experience.

Krystal restaurant wi-fi poster in Birmingham,...

Image via Wikipedia

It will truly be an effective way to improve the restaurant industry in the hard economic environment we live in today.  Mobile hand-held devices are becoming a way of life for consumers and offering apps and other opportunities for customers to interact and do business with your restaurant is an emerging trend that will surely keep your business ahead of the competition.  I encourage all restaurants owners to incorporate some of these emerging mobile industry trends into their businesses before your competitors do to not get left behind in the mobile madness that is sweeping our nation.