Posted in Uncategorized

Need a Holiday Gift Idea?

Are you someone who supports people who are trying to make their way as an entrepreneur?  My sister-in-law (Bonnie Patterson) has taken the plunge and devoted her existence to pursuing her passion full-time–she is an artist!  Every part of the calendar was created by her!  Each month has a unique piece showcasing her talents.

 Click on any of the pictures below to be taken to her blog where you can order online.

Check out January’s art:

Calendar Buffalo

Here’s the calendar template for each month…
she’s included the lunar cycle and major holidays!

Calendar Details

and thumbnail images of each month’s art:

Calendar Thumbnails (2)

It is a personal goal to see her succeed as an artist.  Everyone needs a calendar to bring in the new year…ship one to a friend as a gift!  Your support is greatly appreciated!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

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Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia, Uncategorized, Writing

Love of Clubs ~ The Social Cure

Colored Bullseye
Image via Wikipedia

Power to the people!  A review of Wikipedia and Meriam-Webster on  the definition of a “club” boils down to this:  An association of people with common interests and purpose.  Members generally make some form of commitment to the group in the way of participation at meetings and also contribute their time, ideas and resources.

Clubs are basically a womb for people with similar passions to give life to activities, products, and ideas.  Being a member of a club provides affirmation that you are a writer, a fisherman, a reader, a farmer, a skater or gymnast, a ham radio operator, a hot air balloonist…the list goes on!

While driving down the road today I realized that there are few clubs/groups where members come together with the intention of becoming more depressed, mad, frustrated, unhappy or despised.  What a revelation! Granted, after thinking about it a while, its obvious, but maybe so obvious that we may not realize the significance of this fact.  The protests that are sweeping through dictatorships across the Middle East are an example, just as a members of a book club, Christmas in April, Girl Scouts, Knitting & Quilting Guilds are examples of people uniting for a purpose and affirmation of their desires, hopes, and beliefs to satisfy their need to belong and be identified as “one of them.”

With all the positivity generated by those within clubs, perhaps some of the answers to our social failures and political ambitions are to be found in increased recruitment or the creation of more clubs? Is it possible to influence and reinvigorate an economy, a political party, improve environmental conditions, revamp a social benefits program or an education system through the activities and participation in a club?  My hunch is yes, people united in purpose can change the world.  A quick review of history and current events proves  it!

The key to transformation by your group or club is transparency, social exposure of the charter or intent of your group, followed by active recruitment and participation by all members.  Social media is one of the fastest ways to promote your club.  I found a very interesting link to Social Media Clubs with a full index (by city) for the United States as well as other countries.  For all who are searching for a place to start or regain momentum with a hobby or passion, I say jump on the bandwagon and find a group or club near you.  We only live once, and time waits for nobody!

Cheers!

Posted in SocialMedia, Uncategorized

Social Media Entrepreneur Promotion Research Experiment

The  plan was to focus on a particular topic each week during the month of December and find savvy entrepreneurs who are using social media to market their wares.  Promoting other people and businesses is a huge passion, especially if individuals and shop owners are really taking risks, burning the candle at both ends and trying their best to expose their brand in the competitive market.

Original intent was to tweet out calls for recommendations from followers and anyone else who chose to chime in on their favorites.  So in being fair, those that were recommended were included in the compilation below.  The greatest disappointment was that there were very few “recommendations” from Twitter followers–just confirming suspicions that a large majority of Twitter users are in transmit mode only!

The following synopsis of four weeks of examining Tweets, Blogs, and crawling the web resulted in the following:

First week’s focus was Chefs, Cooks, Bakers:

@merita_bread http://www.meritabreads.com/ very simple, nice website (could stand to make known their Twitter presence on their main website…at least under the contact us page.)

@steamykitchen Jaden is a classy conversational social media maven of morsels to make your mouth water   http://steamykitchen.com/ Check out her website for recipes, contests, tips & tricks, and her TV cooking show.  Her website takes full advantage of all forms of outreach to customers via all forms of social media.  She will reply if you send her a Tweet!

For those wanting to keep close tabs on the calories they consume, you’ll find this link helpful:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/

To find more people on Twitter who are passionate about cooking try:  http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/cooking

Second week’s focus was  Artists in demonstrating their skills in any medium:

Really enjoyed doing searches on art (http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23art) and discovering a wide variety of people who qualify as master craftspeople down to those who really appreciate great art work!

@Lyne_Robichaud does some nice art work http://www.culturemauricie.ca/membres/view/479 handbags, topiary, jewelry.

@hildaneilypaint does some excellent Impressionistic Landscapes that you can view at http://hildaneilygallery.com/

@CrochetLibFront An exciting group of men and women who are crazy about crochetting!   http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/

Third week was focused on Authors/Writers:

This week of exploration into passionately verbose people centered primarily around writers that wrote about a variety of topics but were incredibly engaging and funny people!  This group of people were by far the most engaging, responsive, and conversational of all those I found on Twitter!

At the top of the list are two of Twitter’s favorite authors @ceebee308 (View Claude’s website here:  http://bigceebee.webs.com/)  and @LukeRomyn (view Luke’s website here:  http://www.lukeromyn.com/ really comedians in disguise as suspense/mystery writers.   Twitter followers have been signing this petition http://act.ly/2i7 to get Ellen Degeneres to host them on her show!

You can find a lot of other aspiring writers by checking out this Twitter search (http://twitter.com/#!/search/users/author)

Fourth week was retail sales:

This week of research was interesting following the Christmas rush and seeing what kind of bargains/sales were being discussed.  I’ll list those who I found had the greatest number of users tweeting about the sales they found:

Best Buy

Verizon

Borders

What’s most interesting about this week of observations is that there are seriously very few in the retail industry who have really captured an understanding of how to best use social media as part of their regular marketing and advertising campaign strategy.  There are still several National chain stores and establishments that do not take advantage of this media platform to expand their markets and infect potential customers with their brands.

Posted in SocialMedia

Friends & Family

I trust all of you had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your friends and family.  Christmas 2010 was a great day here in Weeping Water. We started the morning off with my wife making a Christmas Cinnamon loaf (pictured below ~ kind of like a coffee cake) and everyone opening up stockings.

(a little like coffee cake)

I received several wardrobe updates (badly needed). I bought my wife  a necklace and some great knitting items and a two-year membership to The Knitting Guild Association (http://www.tkga.com/)  We bought our children lots of music, books, games and other items to encourage their creativity.  Oh, and I broke down and bought a Wii!  Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out how to set it up. This evening we took a meal down to the in-laws and visited for a few hours.

I’m excited about the New Year because there are so many things I’m looking forward to accomplishing.  In addition to selling our hobby farm using newspaper and social media advertising, I plan to start back to school and finish my degree.  I need to lose a few pounds  as well and I’ve decided to just get off my duff and hit the gym.  If I feel brave enough I’ll have my wife take a before …. and hopefully by summer I’ll have an after picture to post side-by-side when goals are achieved!

I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts ~ really helps to clear the mind and get muddled thoughts out of your head.  Feel free at any time to chime in and share your thoughts/experiences. Next few days will be spent enjoying family time and cheering on the Huskers!   Good night all!

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas 2010 Poem & Thoughts

My Christmas poem:2010

Twinkling bright the little lights
Upon our Christmas tree
Trimmed and topped the boughs now frocked
with tinsel and treasures for all to see

While wrapping presents with my son today, I mentioned the non-stop rains in California and the loss of property, as well as people who lost their jobs this year, and the homeless across America.  He said, “I wish there was a way that everything could cost only a penny–no matter what it was, and that people could count on their homes staying in one place!” (seeing the houses collapse in mudslides)  It is important for us all to remember with gratitude, the blessings that we have been privileged to enjoy.

We spent the day baking and preparing to bring a meal down to my wife’s folks as they are housebound.  Chex Mix is baking in the oven; my wife and I still managed to get our workouts done on the treadmill.  We are bound and determined to enter the “senior” stage of life with as much get up and go as we can.  It’s tough staying committed to a workout schedule when you have teenage children.  But we won’t put upon them the burdens of full-time geriatric care that is required of many who choose the TV and sofa over the gym.  Life is hard enough, might as well enjoy every single moment given to us.  I encourage you all to at least get out and walk, weather and safety permitting!  Even walking can prolong your cognitive and physical strength.  Read this article http://aol.it/efkBQQ if you don’t believe me.

In addition to doing better with health and lifestyle choices, I am committed to being as good a husband and father as I can be.  This means doing more reading (marriage, child-rearing, and financial planning books.)  I also will use my cooking/baking talents acquired growing up with 4 older sisters and working as a General’s Enlisted Aide for 3 1/2 years in the Air Force.  Men, if you need some help in the area of encouragement I’m not perfect but I try…respond or follow me on Twitter @justasked…I love people who engage, ask questions, provide answers, and generally those who share themselves with others.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Cheers,
Ed