Always looking for new ideas, I just got back from a seminar, “How to Stand Out in a Virtual World” sponsored by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and taught by Geoff Hoover & Chad Morgan.
Here are some of the ideas I came away with.
The goal in creating your Internet Marketing Program (IMP) is to generate that elusive “buzz” – the third party endorsement when one person spontaneously tells someone else about something that creates emotion.
First Impressions Matter
You have less than 8 seconds to engage a visitor once they click on your site. Engage visitors immediately.
Webpage is a Platform
Needs to have an “offer”
Use real people pictures not stock images
Needs video. Video not only is good but it keeps them on the site longer.
Unique Selling Proposition:
Validates who you are.
How are you different than the next guy?
Why should they do business with you.
You become the authority and resource in your business segment
Offer: “10 things you need to know when buying auto insurance”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google Keyword Tool – get suggestions for your industry and devote a post per keyword.
Create posts for each of our commercials and a page to display them all.
Add Facebook links to all outgoing email
Always glad to come out of a seminar with some ideas.
Nothing earth shattering, but it reinforces some stuff I already knew but have not tried out.
As with other seminars of this nature, the real drawback is that they are aimed at people who are just beginning to do stuff on the web.
Probably need to go online to find higher level information.
Guess I haven’t looked cause I haven’t implemented everything I already know I should be doing.
On the 29th of October the varsity runners from the Columbia Basin Big Nine (CBBN) and the Greater Spokane League (GSL) met at Wandermere Golf Course in Spokane to find out who would move on to the State Championships the next week.
The top 3 teams from each race qualify for state along with any individual runner who finishes in the top 15 of their race.
1st Katie Knight
2nd Kendra Weitz
3rd Stephanie Rexus
4th Michelle Fletcher
5th Molly Cole
3rd Mt Spokane
1st Kaitlin Kaluzny
2nd Mayra Chavez
3rd Lindsey Bradley
4th Elise Tello
5th Cyra Carlson
2nd Lewis and Clark
3rd Central Valley
5th Walla Walla
1st Nathan Weitz
2nd Anthony Armstrong
3rd Hunter Johnson
4th Kai Wilmot
5th Jake Hombel
1st North Central
3rd Mt. Spokane
4th West Valley
5th South Ridge
1st Andrew Gardner
2nd Jacob Smith
3rd Summer Goodwin
(Lewis & Clark)
4th JP Wolpert
5th Jaziel Rodriguez
3rd Central Valley
4th Lewis & Clark
Links to online photos of the meet.
If you know of other photos online, please let me know.
Hard to believe the cross country season is almost over.
For more than half the runners here, today was their last cross country race of the season since not every team advances to the Regional meet and there will not be any more JV races.
3A Boys Varsity
Following up on the League Meet last week, Kamiakin once again shut out the competition, finishing with the top 6 runners and all seven runners from the team finished in the top 10.
With all 5 scoring runners in front, Kamiakin scored a perfect 15, West Valley second with 99 points, and Sunnyside third with 112.
Other team scores were 4th Southridge 119, 5th Hanford 135, 6th Eastmont 135, 7th Kennewick 147, and 8th Pasco 203.
The first four runners all came in under 16 minutes;
Anthony Armstrong 14:41 (Kamiakin),
Keegan McCormick 15:40 (Kamiakin),
Austin Oser 15:45 (Kamiakin), and
Austin Richards 15:53 (Kamiakin).
The Kamiakin Varsity Girls had a great race, winning with 26 points.
Southridge was 2nd with 43, 3rd Hanford 93, 4th Eastmont 96, 5th West Valley 112, 6th Sunnyside 182, and 7th Kennewick 193.
All 5 of Kamiakin’s scoring runners finished in the top 10 and the remaining two runners finished in the top 15.
Stephanie Rexus (Kamiakin) ran the course in 17:53, her first time to break the 18 minute barrier.
Rachel Dahl (Southridge) came in second at 18:38 and Michelle Fletcher (Kamiakin) took 3rd with 18:54.
The Kamiakin JV Boys once again showed that they are more than just the best JV team in the district.
When the top 20 JV runners were called up for awards, the first 13 were all from Kamiakin and only 4 of the 20 were from other schools.
Based on their times, three of the JV runners would have placed within the top 20 Varsity runners: Phil Snyder, Kyle Paulson, and Kevin Paulson. Amazing!
The top 5 JV runners all finished under 17 minutes for the 3 mile course and a total of 16 Kamiakin runners were under 18 minutes.
As a matter of fact, if the Kamiakin JV Boys had fielded a second 7 man Varsity team at Districts, they would have taken 2nd place:
Kamiakin: 15, Kamiakin JV: 103, West Valley: 115, Sunnyside: 130.
Too bad the Kamiakin JV team cannot run Regionals this next week.
I have never been comfortable wearing a camera around my neck.
I never liked having a camera jutting out in front of me, it was always uncomfortable and made me feel the tourist.
I would, instead, hang the camera over my shoulder but the camera really was not secure.
Bending over, turning fast, etc, meant the grabbing the camera or chance loosing it.
Solution: A sling that would allow me to carry the camera across my body.
This not only secures the camera, but also distributes the weight better and puts the camera at my side when not in use instead of jutting out 6 inches in front of me.
I looked at a number of different slings.
Some, like the Black Rapid, use the tripod mount to connect the camera to the sling.
I wanted to keep my tripod mount free so I could use it for, you guessed it, my tripod without having to disconnect everything.
After much research and reading reviews, I settled on the Op/Tech Utility Strap-Sling
The sling seems to be built well and the padding on the shoulder strap cushions the weight of the camera.
The camera is connected to the sling by way free-floating connectors, which connect to the camera using the regular strap connections and have a quick-release clip which allows you to separate the camera from the sling quickly.
The quick-release clips are made of sturdy plastic and require quite a bit of force to release which is reassuring when you realize the value of the camera hanging from it.
The sling itself is adjustable and can be made long enough that, even at 6’0″, the camera hangs perfectly at my waist, out of the way, but can be slid smoothly to eye-level when needed.
Best of all, is the price.
At only $21.95 on Amazon, it is less than half the price of other systems such as the Black Rapid.
CreativeLive.com has been broadcasting the live taping of their 4-day Photoshop CS5 Intensive Seminar with Lesa Snider since Tuesday.
I have tried to watch the series but since it runs 9am to 4pm (PDT) it does interfere with work :)
Luckily it is also rebroadcast from 5pm to Midnight and I think again after that (can’t vouch for that) so that people in different time zones and work schedules can watch.
For a ‘webinar’ it has been quite good.
Lesa has covered lots of material and has fun doing it.
I might be tempted to buy the 4 day seminar on DVD. It costs $99 but while the seminar is going on they have it marked down to $79.
The only thing that holds me back is that I don’t have time to learn Photoshop right now.
I think I have only popped into it a half dozen times to play with some photos that needed serious help like some of my rodeo shots.
Because they were shot under low light, I had to use a high-ISO setting and so the photos needed some serious noise reduction but the real problem was that what little light they got was coming from a mix of both setting sun and stadium lights, giving the photos a blue cast, but using some some Photoshop tricks, I was able to set the correct white balance.
Maybe when Cross Country season is over I will have some time to get out and take some location and portrait shots again and then play with them in Photoshop.
Right now all my editing is done in Lightroom 3.
Now there is a webinar I am in desperate need of.
There is enough in common between the two programs that I might still be tempted to grab this recorded seminar before the week is out.
I did end up buying her 800+ page e-book, Photoshop CS5 – The Missing Manual directly from 0′Reilly the print book is available for 40% off from Amazon.
Using the coupon code ‘AUTHD’ I was able to buy the $39.99 e-book for just $19.99. I figure I can keep the e-book on both my computer for reference and on my tablet for reading material on those long trips to Cross Country meets.
Here is the blurb about the book:
You’d be hard-pressed to find a published image that hasn’t spent some quality time in Adobe Photoshop. With new features such as Content-Aware Fill and Puppet Warp, Photoshop CS5 is more amazing — and perhaps more bewildering — than ever. That’s where this full-color Missing Manual comes in. It covers Photoshop from a practical standpoint, with tips, tricks, and practical advice you can use every day to edit photos and create beautiful documents.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pixel pusher ready to try advanced techniques, author and graphics pro Lesa Snider offers crystal-clear, jargon-free instructions to help you take advantage of these powerful tools — not only how they work, but when you should use them. Describing the CS4 edition, bestselling Photoshop author Scott Kelby wrote, “Lesa did a great job on the book, and in my mind, it is the new Photoshop Bible.”
Learn your way around Photoshop’s revamped workspace
Get up to speed on essential features such as layers and channels
Edit images by cropping, resizing, retouching, working with color, and more
Create paintings and illustrations, work with text, and explore filters
Prepare images for printing or the Web, and learn how to protect your images online
Work smarter and faster by automating tasks and installing plug-ins
Written with the clarity, humor, and objective scrutiny, Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual is the friendly, thorough resource you need.
I will let you know what I learn.
In the meantime, do you use Photoshop?
What have you found helpful?
Some of the best teams in the Northwest competed against each other this weekend at the 6th Annual Tracy Walters Invitational hosted by North Central High School at Audubon Park in Spokane.
Six of the eight boys teams scheduled to compete are ranked in the top 10 in the Northwest.
I don’t quite understand the polling since the WA 3A polls rank North Central as #1, Bellevue as #2 and Kamiakin as #3 yet the national poll has Kamiakin ahead of both Bellevue and North Central.
I am hoping the national polls are correct.
The eight boys’ teams represented were: Coeur D’Alene, Bozeman, Jesuit, Bellevue, Glacier Peak, Kamiakin, North Central, and Joel Ferris.
North Central, once again, won the boys’ varsity race but Kamiakin came in second.
For the first time in the 6 year history of the meet, North Central did not win the JV race, but instead Kamiakin’s depth showed that it will be a force to contend with for years, 9 of the top 15 were from Kamiakin, 4 from North Central, and 2 from Bozeman and amazingly the top 25 JV runners are all underclassmen.
Anthony Armstrong surprised no one by beating the meet record he had set last year, running the 3 mile course at an incredible 15:07, just 6 seconds off the course record set 18 years ago. It would be interesting to be able to come back and see him run this course at the end of the season instead of as the first real meet of the season.
The girls’ teams were from Coeur D’Alene, Bozeman, Jesuit, Glacier Peak, Kamiakin, North Central, Shadle Park, Central Valley, Eastlake, and Lewis and Clark.
Kamiakin’s girls came in third, behind Jesuit and the winner, Bozeman. Kudos to both teams for the long drives and still placing at the top.
Besides scoring the top runners, North Central also gives a team award based on the combined total points of each team member. The Lewis & Clark girls steam rolled into first place with 33 runners and 2165 points. The strength of Bozeman’s girls is evident in that they were only 133 points behind with less than half the number of runners. If they had only 1 more runner who had placed in the top 70 they would have beat out Lewis & Clark.
North Central won the Boys’ team award with 30 runners scoring 2436 points.
Amazingly, Kamiakin was only 15 points behind North Central.
One of Kamiakin’s top JV runners had to miss the race to take the SATs.
He easily would have got those 15 points and more likely would have more than 100 points.
Oh well, if wishes were fishes….
The course loops around the beautifully wooded 26 acre Audubon Park three times, each time going up and down a deceptively arduous incline twice.
Once the gun goes off, most spectators head to the middle of the course where the runners must pass four times to make both passes of the hill.
For photographs I set up at the starting line, head over to the base of the hill to catch the runners coming down the first time, head over to the west side of the park to catch the runners after they come down the hill the second time.
I then head back to the middle of the course to catch the runners as they hit the hill for the second lap.
At this point the runners have begun to string out and so after most of the runners have gone by me I begin to make my way down the east side of the course towards the finish to catch straglers and then the runners as they work on their final lap.
If I have worked it out right, and not dawdled too much, I will be at the finish line when the first runner crosses.
This gave me photos at the start, finish and 4 other positions along the course.
I ended up with about 300 photos of each of the four races which I was able to whittle down to 200 by deleting blurry shots and duplicates.
I actually wish I had taken more because a few of the shots I kept were not as sharply focused as I wish but decided to keep the photo rather than not have a picture of that athlete on the finish line, etc.
WTF FTW, LOL.
While in Spokane this weekend to watch 3 of my kids run the Tracy Walters Cross Country Meet I stopped into the local Albertson’s to see if they had any interesting craft beers to try out.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of beers I could bring home to sample.
Tonight’s beer is Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF) by Lagunitas.
One of Lagunitas Brewing’s five seasonal releases scheduled to be released this year, WTF described itself as a “A Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale.”
Last year Lagunitas had released the 2009 Correction Ale and were planning to label this years version the ’2010 Recovery Ale’ but since there was no recovery they decided, WFT, and named it the Wilco Tango Foxtrot.
This is one of the new style ‘Black’ IPAs.
As soon as the cap comes off you can smell the hops and know that this is not your dad’s nut brown ale.
It pours a translucent brown that shows hints of red when held up to the light with a nice tan head that holds well.
With eyes closed you would definitely put this in the IPA camp, but open your eyes and the dark color makes you second guess.
It has a great ‘mouth feel’ while drinking.
So many beers have about as much ‘body’ as a Coke or Pepsi, but beer is supposed to be liquid nutrition, and should have some body to it.
This beer does.
I may not be much of an IPA fan, and there are many dark beers that I would prefer, but this is one beer I would buy and enjoy again.
Cross country season has started and once again Kamiakin’s first meet was the Hanford Jamboree.
The 2 mile course is run at Leslie Groves park in Richland just south of Snyder Street.
Five Tri-City high schools participated, Hanford, Richland, Kamiakin, Kennewick, and Southridge.
Kamiakin dominated the meet.
In the Men’s 2 mile race, Kamiakin took 1st through 5th and 12 of the first 14 were from Kamiakin.
In the Women’s race, Kamiakin took 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 12th.
The men had 10 runners do the 2 mile course in under 11 minutes and another 10 come in under 12.
Anthony Armstrong broke the meet record by running it under 10 minutes, at 9:36.
The women had 5 runners under 14 minutes with Stephanie Rexus completing it in 12:01.
The truly amazing statistic is that Kamiakin had more than 30 guys and 15 gals run the course.
Snapped4U is a new place for me to put pictures.
The other 3 locations have lower resolution photos that look good on a computer screen but would not make decent 4×5 prints.
Snapped4U has high resolution versions of the pictures that can be purchased for $4 each.
The downloaded file can then be printed on your home printer or uploaded to your favorite print shop like Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.
More in a future post on my reasons for going with Snapped4U.
Tuesday night the Atomic City Rollergirls (ACRG) were at the 2011 Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo.
The ACRG went up against two different teams, the Rodeo City Rollergirls from Ellensburg and the Femme Fianna from Tacoma.
To play the two teams, the ACRG divided into two teams, the ACRG Freshmeat and the ACRG Vets.
The Vets ended up with a win over the Femme Fiannas but the Freshmeat team lost to Rodeo City.
The announcers, who I believe were ACRG team members, gave a good introduction to the rules of the game as it started and some commentary and chit chat during the event.
I think more play-by-play and color commentary would have helped the crowd’s interest.
As a sponsor of the Demolition Derby on Monday night, we had passes to the Sponsor/VIP.
For the rodeo, these are great seats (if you get there early enough to get a front row seat at the rail) but for the roller derby they were quite distant from the action.
Still it was interesting to watch and the ‘free’ food, catered by Florentina’s in the sponsor area, was good.