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smAlbany Small Business Day 2010

[tweetmeme] I started my day remembering a blog I’d read the night prior.  Tea Contains Less Caffeine Than Coffee on the Broken Secrets blog.  I couldn’t get my caffeine soon enough!  I rarely drink coffee, but when I do I get the caffeine kick I need.  Since I knew I’d be talking to people though – I did them all a favor and DIDN’T drink coffee.  Coffee breath stays with me all day — so I opted for Mountain Dew Typhoon instead.  (I needed something caffeinated to help me function on 2 hours sleep!)

College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Once Michael and I checked in at the registration desk and mingled some, we settled in to the auditorium at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering building (For those that don’t know it’s the big glass building at the corner of Fuller Road and Washington Avenue Ext. in Albany)

Below are some notes about the forums that were offered.
I found as I started writing this that it was VERY difficult to keep up with all the information the panels were presenting.  Many of the following sections will appear more as “notes” vs. a “narrative.”

Times Union:  Tools for Small Business Success

Speaker: Tena Tyler – News and Information Services Senior Editor 518.454.5324

To have your business information printed in the Times Union you need to understand your audience.  You need to know how to speak their language.  She stressed that a business needs to know when to call an editor.  If you’ve sent in a press release and two weeks have passed and it hasn’t been published, make sure you call in.  Tena stated that one of the biggest problems with small businesses in the region is that they don’t accept that online is a form of publication.  Many businesses are turning to Facebook and Twitter to market their businesses, but small businesses seem to be slower to use the online medium for marketing.

The TU wants to help small businesses in the region
If you have a story about your business: TUBusiness@timesunion.com
If you have a business event and would like it added to our business calendar: TUCalendar@timesunion.com
If you want your event to be in the print version – please contact them 3 weeks in advance
Eric Anderson – Business editor 453-5323

Speaker: Craig Eustace – Retail Advertising Manager 518.454.5529
Craig spoke about the paid marketing that the Times Union offers.
The Times Union now has Niche publications.
Life @Home – geared towards your home – design ideas, DIY projects, etc.
Healthy Life – geared towards women’s issues and things women would like to read about.
Explore – Where to go what to do – travel/tourism
In Motion – Automotive magazine
Vow – Brand New – Wedding magazine (Just launched Tuesday!)

You can advertise your small business in these publications to get your ad in front of a targeted audience.
Pay per click is also offered.  You will know how many people clicked on your ad.  It is track-able so you will know what your return on investment is.

They offer direct mail marketing.  They can provide demographic lists.  For example – If you’re a roofer – they can get you a list of all houses in the readership area that are 25 years or older.  You can target them and send your ad to those target customers.

Tim Cronin & Lisbeth Calandrino

Keynote Speaker:  Lisbeth Calandrino – Make It Happen
Lisbeth CalandrinoOwner of Lisbeth Calandrino Business Consulting, speaker, trainer, business coach and author of Red Hot Customer Service.

We have huge growth in the technology market in the capital region.

2 out of 3 jobs are created by small businesses

Earlier this month Sam’s Club did a survey of their small business customers.
“What is it that you need in order to stay in business?” was the main question.
The answer: MONEY!  Sam’s Club partnered with the National Business Association and the Small Business Administration to figure out how to get small business loans for the small business community.  If the small businesses don’t have money to maintain their businesses, it will directly effect Sam’s Club’s bottom line.  This act alone shows that Sam’s Club partners with their customers.

What do small businesses need around Albany?
Many have good business but it isn’t steady.
Figure out how to get your customer out to shop.
Consumers are afraid to shop.  Afraid to spend – need to save their money.
If you want to make it as a small business, you need to be a partner with your customer
It’s your job to be friends with you customers.

She quoted 212 – The Extra Degree by Sam Parker & Mac Anderson
“At 211 degrees, water is hot.
At 212 degrees, it boils.
And with boiling water, comes steam.
And steam can power a locomotive.”

Meet the Media Who Cover The Local Business News
Moderated by Lydia Kulbida from WTEN and Times Union Blogger

The Panelists
Larry Rulison
Lauren Rose
Mary Darcy
Mike Hendricks

Read your tweets and messages out loud.  Would you want to buy whatever your pitching?
Engage with your audience – have a fun personality.
Friend every reporter out there to get your name out in many forms of media.
Comment on the blogs, Facebook, Twitter….
Interact with your customers on Twitter & Facebook with personal tweets and comments.

Times Union – Panel on Social Media, Blogging and Your Customers
Moderated by Mike Huber – Interactive Audience Manager at the Times Union

The Panelists
Sonja Stark

Merci Miglino
Lissa D’Aquanni
Rev. Alan Rudnick
Vic Christopher

Questions that you should ask yourself prior to blogging are:
“Why should people read your blog?  Why should they care?
People blog for different reasons.  Some blog to market their business, others blog to build a sense of community.
“Careful what you put out there.  Count to 10 before you hit publish.”
“What degree do ethics play in a community?”
Rev. Alan Rudnick spoke about people who “hide behind the veil” AKA – Anonymous bloggers.
Merci reminded us that “Blogging is a knee jerk – reactive media.”
“If you don’t believe in your product, in yourself, and that you can cheer yourself out of a corner – you shouldn’t start a blog.”
“Be a follower OR have a following.”  Your choice.
They spoke about the recent “Ding Dong Ditch” incident that happened locally last week.  Why did it become such a firestorm?  It was a story that contained emotion.  It could happen to any home owner.    Social Media helped that story spread like wild-fire.  So much so that CNN picked up the story.

An audience member Karen McGowan spoke that she hadn’t considered a blog for her business until today.  The panel encouraged her to start blogging about her business Capital Interior Scapes an interior plant scape business.  By blogging she would humanize her business and she would appear as an expert in her industry.  She could post customer recommendations, pictures of plant-scapes she’d designed, lists of plants that people could consider and so many other things.

Going Mobile – The Mobile Revolution in Social Media
Presented by Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media and Verizon Wireless

Why is  mobile taking over everyone’s lives?
It makes our lives easier.

What is social media?
“Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques…  They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.”

Benefits of social media
New customer acquisition
Current customer outreach
Loyalty rewards
Corporate branding
Personal branding
Brand monitoring and management

They spoke about using Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Yelp, FourSquare GetListed and Know Em to market your business.  Go to these sites and fill out your business profile.  They stressed to fill in EVERY blank and as many keywords as are relevant to help your business come up in internet search engine results.

54% of the phone users in the local market use Verizon service.
30-40% of them are smart phones.
52% of the phones sold last week in his store were smartphones – ie. Droids, Blackberries, etc.

Top 10 Things Your Small Biz Website Needs in 2010
Presented by: Miriam Paska – Creative Strategist from Intellisites

She didn’t present them as a “Top 10” but some of the key points were:

Have a unique Design
You need to know who you’re competing against and what their web presence and marketing strategies are.
Keep your important information “above the fold”
You want the viewer of your site to see the important information without having to scroll down the page.
Use keyword phrases in your blog and on your website so you will organically show up on Web search results.
She also spoke about using Google Alerts to monitor the online activity of your company name.

Using Social Media For Your Job Hunt
Presented by: Alexis Grant

Use social media to:
Tap into your existing network
Expand your network s to include contacts at the companies where you want to work.

Facebook
Biggest online community – most bang for your buck – IT’S FREE!
People know you, like you, and WANT to help you
Great excuse to keep in touch with people who could help you

She stressed the importance of making small-talk first.  Don’t friend request someone and immediately ask them if their company is hiring.  Make some small talk and as the conversation evolves, your job search will be mentioned.

Alexis spoke about using your Facebook privacy settings to control what potential employers could see on your profile.    You want to be personal, yet still professional.

LinkedIn
Connect with professionals you might not want to see your personal life on Facebook
Your resume will appear on Google, showing potential employers what you want them to see.
LinkedIn has job boards as well as groups you can join based on your alma mater and industry.
You can find out background information about potential employers
There is an introductions feature that you can use to meet someone who a mutual friend knows.

Twitter
Network outside your circle of friends
Prove yourself as an expert
Hear about jobs
Keep on top of new trends in your industry
Make connections with companies and employers who may not have otherwise noticed you)

Tips when using social media
Fill out your profile completely
If you’re not going to do it well, don’t do it at all
Rather than being on every network – choose a few and grow quality followings

Thank you to Tim Cronin and Larry Zimbler for the invitation to be a VIP Guest Blogger at the smAlbany Small Business Day 2010.  I look forward to interacting with you in the future.

smAlbany Image from: http://www.smalbany.org
Mountain Dew Image from: http://thishelpdesk.com/mountain-dew-typhoon/
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Image from: http://todaysfacilitymanager.com/facilityblog/2009/12
Tim Cronin and Lisbeth Calandrino image by Michael T. Henry: http://tcrpmg.wordpress.com

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[tweetmeme] The Weekly Re-cap: This week we talked about my guilty little puppy and the fish in my pool.  I informed you of a rude person who works at Colonie Center.  I told you about our yummy chicken, zucchini and mushroom dinner and discussed the results of the library usage poll.  Finally we talked about Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo coming back to General Hospital as Brenda Barrett and the Delmar Homeowners who tackled a kid for ding dong ditch.

The Weekly Movie: Mr Destiny, and Batman-The Dark Knight

The Weekly Downer: People not returning phone calls.  It’s rude and unprofessional!

The Weekly Food: London Broil, Chicken with zucchini and mushrooms over pasta, Dewitt’s steaks with baked potatoes (they were soooo good!!), cheesecake & birthday cake.

The Weekly Amazing Fact: A hummingbird weighs less than a penny!

The Weekly Birthdays: Adriane Powell, Tim Niekrewicz, Suzanne Marshall Akers, Scott Carpenter, Jennifer White, William Tragedy Yager, Paul Bolk, Jamie Lubman, and Terry McCann.  I hope you all had wonderful birthdays!  Leave a comment and tell us what you did to celebrate your birthday.

The Weekly Craft: I miss having time to do crafts….

The Weekly Activity: Searching for a job, interviewing and going to Michael’s gallery reception.

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: 5 Below, Red Robin, Will King, Ritter Sport, Marilyn Elmore, Dutchess County Fair, Vista Print, and NYSLabor.

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: As part of the Albany restaurant Dale Miller’s ongoing series of fundraising cocktail parties for area nonprofits, Kristi Gustafson and Steve Barnes will be guest bartenders from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday July 26th.  Dale Miller will donate 25 percent of the food and beverage sales in the bar during that time to Equinox Inc., the community-services agency best known for its Thanksgiving dinner.  You can RSVP on Facebook here.

The Weekly Countdown: 482 days until Breaking Dawn is released. How excited are you for this movie??

Weekly Grand Totals: I was awake for 36 hours straight and I finally crashed around midnight last night – hence why the weeklies are being published a bit later than usual.  Than you for your understanding.

What are you doing this weekend?
Please comment and subscribe.

Raindrop image from:  http://whiteboydancefloor.blogspot.com/2008/06/rain-rain-go-away-come-again-another.html
Hummingbird image from: http://animals.howstuffworks.com/birds/hummingbird-sex.htm
Birthday cake image from: http://www.toward-the-goal.net/2007/06/

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Teen’s father calls incident ‘regrettable’

Update: Parent of teen in prank controversy speaks

UPDATED: Homeowner charged in apparent doorbell ditch incident

Ridiculous charges against Delmar homeowner

Lawyer: Bethlehem man “terrified” before tackling teen

All the above news stories and blogs have been online.  I’m sure there are more but these are the ones I’ve found so far.  Twitter is going crazy talking about this story.

The basic gist of the story is – 4 local teenage boys who were having a sleepover decided to play “ding dong ditch.”  In this instance the front doorbell was rang while someone pounded on the back door.  The homeowner saw shadows through his windows and decided to disarm his home alarm system and run out his door and attack one of the kids.  The stories say that he attacked the kid off of his property and then hauled him inside his house while he called the police.  In the man’s interview he claims that he was terrified for his family.

Here’s my take on this whole thing.

  • The kids should be punished by their parents.
  • They are guilty of ringing a doorbell and banging on a door.  (Not illegal last I checked)

People keep calling these kids “intruders.”

Main Entry: in·trude Pronunciation: \in-ˈtrüd\ Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): in·trud·ed; in·trud·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin intrudere to thrust in, from in- + trudere to thrust — more at threat
Date: 15th century

intransitive verb 1 : to thrust oneself in without invitation, permission, or welcome
2
: to enter as a geological intrusiontransitive verb

1 : to thrust or force in or upon someone or something especially without permission, welcome, or fitness <intruded himself into their lives>

2 : to cause to enter as if by force

in·trud·er noun

  • I would love to know what is technical trespassing.  Does the law state that no trespassing signs need to be posted in order to press trespassing charges?  I agree the kids were trespassing.
  • These kids were NOT intruders.  From all the accounts that I’ve read these kids did not vandalize anything and made NO attempt to enter the house.
  • MY BIGGEST ISSUE – The homeowner states during his interviews that he was “terrified” for his family.  This guys does not know TERROR!  If he did he wouldn’t have ever disarmed his alarm system (as the news said he did) and opened a door.  He would have kept the alarm armed and called the police.  He opened the door and chased the kid while in his underwear.  I wonder if he locked the door behind him??  If he DIDN’T he just put his family in danger because the other 3 kids could have entered and harmed his family if that was the true intention which I don’t believe for a minute was the intention of these boys.  True terror doesn’t run towards the threat.
  • After tackling the kid, the homeowner hauled him into his house and told him he’d kill him if he said one word while he called the police.  IMHO – this is kidnapping.  At that point the homeowner had to know it was a kid in front of him.  Bringing him inside the house against his will shouldn’t have happened.  Go to the door, yell to your wife to call 911, that would have made this situation a little better.  Then the homeowner threatened the kid with death.

At the end of the day, the kids pulled a prank.  The kid who was caught was mouthy.  Kids will be kids.  Ground them, and punish them severely.  (Don’t go on a bad parenting tangent – none of us know how these kids will be punished)  The homeowner needs to be accountable for his actions.  He’s an adult.  He injured a child.  He intentionally threatened the child.  He should have called 911 and let the police handle the situation.

Another thought to ponder – Hypothetically, if the kid didn’t get tackled, but got picked up by the police, then released and went home.  If his parents hit him as punishment, everyone would be crying child abuse right now.  Remember that.

This kid had poor judgment.  That still doesn’t excuse the fact that the homeowner who is an adult made extremely poor choices given the circumstances.

**These are my opinions – I am VERY aware that most people have differing opinions.  I’m not writing this to start a big debate or an argument.  I am writing this to put a differing point of view out there for people to consider.  Because of this, this blog is closed to comments**

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This picture was taken before we combined with the pasta so you could see the main ingredients. It came out really delicious!

The pictures a little dim, but we had out first dinner with zucchini out of the garden!  Michael has worked so hard on making the garden a success.  He wrote a nice blog about things he learned from his first garden.  Check it out.

Here’s how I made dinner:

Boneless Chicken Breasts
Zucchini
Mushrooms
Butter
Chicken Broth
Garlic Powder
Beau Monde
Salt
Pepper
Pasta of choice – I used Penne

Make pasta to instructions on package.  While it is cooking do the following:

Chop up the boneless chicken breasts into cubes.  (I used 3 breasts)
Saute the chicken in some butter until they’re cooked through.
Remove from pan and cover to keep them warm.
Next saute the zucchini in the pan with butter.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Heat until they are soft, but remove them from the heat before they get soggy.
Then saute the mushrooms in butter. (YES, I KNOW I LIKE BUTTER!!)
Sprinkle with garlic powder, beau monde, salt and pepper.

Combine the chicken, zucchini, and mushrooms all in a pan together.
Pour in some chicken broth, about half way up the pan.  Heat until the broth is warm.
Combine with the pasta, mix and serve.

Do you have a garden?
Have you harvested anything yet?

If you have recipes to share, please visit my Recipe Group on Facebook.

Please comment and subscribe.

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The Weeklies ~ Week 29

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The Weekly Re-cap: We talked about how to kill mosquitoes and where to get yummy cupcakes.  I taught you how to cook a yummy meal that will feed you for days.  I told you who I thought should take their shirt off in the next Twilight movie.  I relayed a story of a man who helped feed some soldiers on their way to warIsabella showed off her work ethic and I told you my strategy to find treasures at yard sales.  Finally I put up a post about my 200th blog.  There we talked about my top 3 posts to-date.

The Weekly Guest Blog Posts: For the past 2 weeks Kristi Gustafson who writes the On The Edge blog for the Times Union has been on vacation.  While she was out she had scheduled guest blogs to fill the time she was out of the office.  Michael and I were featured in the following:  What Is A Friend?My Dog Is My ChildMeet Rose Winters (AKA Dozenroses13) & Meet Michael Henry (AKA: Michael @tcrpmg) Click the links, check them out, and comment away!

The Weekly Yay: Michael and the Times Union FINALLY launched the long-overdue Biker Blog.  Check it out and leave him some comment love!

The Weekly Read: I’m working on reading The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

The Weekly Music: U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing I heard the song the other day and can’t get it out of my head.  That’s not a bad thing.  I love the song!!

The Weekly Movie: Flight of the Navigator (1986)

The Weekly Time Waster: Google Chrome.  I tried using it a few weeks ago and it kept slowing down my computer and crashing.  So I stopped using it, but my Firefox kept getting hung up.  It shouldn’t take 5 minutes for a page to load.  It was worse than waiting for dial-up!  You can’t imagine how many times I was ready to throw something!  So yesterday I finally decided to uninstall Google Chrome and that seems to have been the problem!  (Yeah, I know, you’re shocked, I’m not putting any links to Google Chrome because I don’t want to encourage ANYONE to install it!!)

The Weekly Downer: There never seems to be enough time to catch up on reading all the blogs I love!

The Weekly Worst Piece of Crap on TV: Wipeout – If I want to watch people run into walls and fall on their face, I can watch myself in a mirror….

The Weekly Food: Italian Goulash, Moe’s Pulled Pork Rice Bowl, French Toast, and Potato Chips.

The Weekly Interesting Fact: In comparison to the size of its body, a Chihuahua has the largest brains among all the breeds of dogs. **

The Weekly Birthdays: John Conklin, Mike Rojas, Nadine Avery, Paul ‘Ozzie’ Cooper, Rory Woods, Wade Clark, Andy Sleurs, Rachel Armstrong, Darla Poisson, Melissa Markle, Sari Medick, Brandon Powers, Gino Balacic, Ismay Ashley, Terri Rossi, Kristi Gustafson, Yvonne Turchetti and an extra special 40th Birthday shout-out to Kerm Tristani.  I hope you all had fabulous birthdays.  Leave a comment and tell us what you did for your special day.

The Weekly Birthday Wish: Kristi Gustafson really wants an electric toothbrush 🙂

The Weekly Activity: Job search (Times Union Job Fair) and blogging.

The Weekly new people I’ve found on Twitter: I created a new Twitter name GiveAwaysForYou to post up giveaway tweets so they don’t flood my Dozenroses13 feed.  Hopefully one day I’ll be posting my own giveaways.

The Weekly Charity I’m Pimping: Kristi Gustafson will be guest bartending Monday July 26 from 5:30-7:30PM at the award-winning Dale Miller Restaurant.  Dale Miller is generously donating 25% of the bar proceeds from the evening to the programs and services of Equinox, Inc. For more information please visit the event page on Facebook.

The Weekly Countdown: Michael & Angela’s photo reception: 2 Days

Weekly Grand Totals: 100+ comments on the Let’s Ride 1st post in the Times Union’s Biker Blog which Michael writes.

The Weekly Hypothetical:

The Weekly Not-So-Hypothetical:  If I told you Michael wanted me to go outside with him so he could “show me his zucchini.”  What would you say?

Please comment and subscribe.

Wave & cupcake images from http://weheartit.com
U2 image from http://www.newszoom.com/search/read/inxs/inxs/7/02/
Interesting fact found at http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-chihuahuas-4040.html
Kristi Gustafson image from http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=313244&id=100000018647482

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The basil was fresh out of our garden 🙂

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Today was one of those days where I was running around like crazy trying to get a lot of things done.  So I decided to make a meal that will last us for a couple of days.  We can probably get 10-12 servings out of this so we definitely have leftovers whenever we make it and it’s so easy to make.

What you need.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef.  I used 93/7
2  packages of mushrooms (I think they were 10 oz. packages)
Butter
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 pound of pasta (I used rigatoni)
8-10 leaves fresh basil
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Prepare pasta to directions on the box.  I make mine al dente.
Brown the beef in a deep frying pan.  Drain out any excess grease.

Sauteing The Mushrooms

In a separate pan I saute up the mushrooms in a couple teaspoons of butter.
(I cut the mushrooms into quarters.)
While sauteing, I add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the mushrooms.


Next I put the can of tomatoes in the pan with the beef and carefully split the whole tomatoes with a spoon.
(Be careful, they’ll squirt all over your stove if you’re not gentle)
Once the tomatoes are heated, I add the mushrooms to the pan.


Tear up the basil leaves and add them along with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Combine with the pasta and enjoy.
(I like to sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on mine)

I hope you enjoy it.
Please feel free to join Rose’s Recipe Group over on Facebook.
Do you have any great recipes you’d like to share?

Please comment and subscribe.

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Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

We went to Bettie’s Cake’s Double Decker Bus today for brunch.  The bus is a 1963 Bristol Double Decker Bus.  The 2nd floor is seating, though in this hot weather it was too hot to eat up there.  The set-up was really unique.  This weekend they are parked in at 250 Delaware Avenue in Delmar, NY.  They change the location quite often (they’re mobile for a reason!) so check out their Twitter and/or Facebook to find out where they are.  I bet the owner Lorraine Murphy can tell you too!

Sierra had a peanut butter cup cupcake, Michael had a coconut cream cupcake and I had a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing.  They were all really yummy!  I also got an M&M cookie.  I’m eating it right now, and almost 12 hours after I bought it, it’s still good!!

Hopefully we can visit them again soon.

Do you have any unique businesses like this where you live?

Please comment and subscribe.

Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

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