Jennifer Flesch researching licensing options online
As mentioned in a previous post, businesses today need to have an online presence and be smart and effective with their branding and marketing. There’s so much to having a small business today from getting appropriate vendor licensing and a location to having a website and social media presence. For someone just starting out it can be overwhelming, especially if technology isn’t the person’s skill. After an arduous time at school and then applying for both a Kentucky and Ohio massage therapy license, Jennifer Flesch is getting in gear to get her small business off the ground.
Jennifer adjusting her massage table
The name is in the final stages of being official (Hazelgrove Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, LLC), she’s got connections for logo designs, and has a possible rentable space in Cincinnati, Ohio to get her started. The sticking point she’s reached now is moving past the reliable, but not as pervasive, word-of-mouth advertising and getting into a website and social media. In this interview, she talks about the importance of an online presence, her first step, and the challenges she’s concerned about in this process.
Aaron using his first smartphone, the HTC Droid DNA from Verizon Wireless
New into the world of smartphones, Aaron Tolin shares his thoughts on buying his smartphone ever. It’s 2013 and there are numerous smartphones from various manufacturers offering different mobile operating systems. There are still those without iPhones, Android phones, and the like who have no interest in being so connected or want to get in on the smartphone world but may be overwhelmed. According to forecasts from ABI Research, “the global installed base of smartphones will total 1.4 billion by the end of 2013″ and a recent ComScore study reports that as of January of this year more than 129 million Americans own smartphones. While that’s a large number, that means there are still quite a few people without smartphones in America. What is it like for someone buying a smartphone for the first time and changing over to the connected world? Aaron Tolin has had his new HTC Droid DNA for a week now and talks about why he chose Android, what his buying experience was like, his worries about smartphones, and apps.
Johnson County, Kentucky is not only home to the famous country singer Loretta Lynn and a rich history, but is also a tight community of down-to-earth folks. Every community has their annual events and one of Johnson County’s is held at the Mountain Homeplace in Staffordsville, a reenactment village with historic buildings, costumes, and history from the mid-1800s in the eastern Kentucky region. The Easter Egg Hunt at the Mountain Homeplace is sponsored by the local area grocery chain Food City and the restaurant chain Ponderosa. The event was on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at Noon and gave children the chance to hunt for brightly-colored plastic eggs filled with goodies from those who were old enough to crawl up to nine years of age.
“On the one hand it was an amazing road trip between two friends, and it was a chance to walk around and see amazing costume, try demos of new games, and get to listen in to great creative people talk about things they were passionate about. [On the other hand] It was a chance to get to peak behind the curtain and see and hear how games of all types were created, and to be entertained by musicians and entertainers of all sorts.”
A plan was put in place four or five months prior to the event to attend. Justin Frasure and his friend Casey Price bought 3-day passes as soon as they became available and planned hotel rooms about a month later. Penny Arcade Expo East (PAX East) in Boston, MA was the destination of choice and is for many comic book, video game, and tabletop game fans in the country. Penny Arcade has put on PAX since 2004 and it got so big it’s expanded beyond the two in the U.S. and gone to Australia. Justin says that there may have been “60,000 people filling the Boston Convention Center” and “the passes had sold out after a few months of them being on sale, 6 months before the actual event.”
Part of the massive convention space at PAX East in Boston, MA, Photo by Justin Frasure
PAX is getting so big that even huge companies like Blizzard are using the convention for announcements. Conventions are getting huge with major nerd gatherings like Dragon*Con, WonderCon, Emerald City Comic Con, and even the now-mainstream San Diego Comic-Con which hosts epic panels from the likes of HBO in addition to the comics and games. Justin puts it best as what many convention-goers have felt, “I had never seen so many people who shared my passion for tabletop and video games.” Justin’s accomplice to this event, Casey, also said “Well there were more people there than I had really seen gathered in one place before. We saw quite a few games that were just released or yet to be.”
“I couldn’t care less if I met Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, but show me the guy who wrote “RE: Your Brains” and I almost squeal like a girl. There was also a chance to meet and get signatures from the men who started the convention, writer and artist of Penny Arcade Jerry Holkins and Micheal Krahulik, but the line was something like a few thousand people deep and we thought we could do something else with our time.” Jonathan Coulton is a regular at PAX but musicians are starting to have a presence at conventions more and more now. “Every night of the regular convention ended with a concert packed with more than 30,000 screaming fans (or at the very least it seemed like that many) to see Nerd-core hip-hop artists, Rock Operas based on video game characters, and comedy performers who left a room holding their sides.”
Ingress is slowly gaining traction and awareness in the real world since the previous report with places online like Reddit and its various Ingress sub-reedits. More reports are spreading within these communities of people getting in trouble with local officials and business owners because of the players, known as agents, looking creepy while they hack imaginary portals on their smartphones. The branding and marketing for this game and some of Google’s other efforts around this genre could point the way to the future of gaming, mobile, and marketing.
A unique approach to sushi takes a unique approach to social media marketing in Ohio. Fusian is finding success not only through their product but their online presence. Google published a video to You Tube in February 2013 as part of an on-going campaign to get local businesses online, presenting the surprising fact that 15 million businesses, the equivalent of 58% of all U.S. businesses, don’t have a website. An online presence is key to a successful business today, including a website and use of social media and according to an infographic from Intuit, one of the partners working with Google that helps small businesses build websites, 28% of 1,000 small businesses surveyed say they leverage social media to connect with their customers.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone competes for third place as the mobile market widens ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013, the biggest mobile conference in the world. Nokia, Microsoft’s biggest Windows Phone partner, is rumored to announce less expensive models in their Lumia line at MWC and finally offer a high-end model for Verizon, to cover all parts of the global market. This year Microsoft may show it has what it takes to beat its competitor for third, Blackberry.
Google’s augmented reality game, Ingress, is sweeping the nerd world in closed beta and proves to spark up some big business. Aside from getting players to explore their town and be part of the faction communities, All Things Digital reports that Google hopes to see not only business from ads but more and better mapping data. The massively multiplayer online (MMO) game was created by a Google-funded company called Niantic Labs and has a deep story centered around conspiracy in a science fiction alternate reality. Developer and Android fan Michael Saylor shows us some game play and talks about why and how he got into it.