Webconsuls - Web Design, SEO, and SMO Specialists

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July a Slow News Month? Not Really

Newspaper vending machine featuring news of th...Image via Wikipedia
Sometimes reporters will use the worn phrase "slow news month".  I think we used to associate "slow news month" with any summer month: school vacations, legislature vacations, summer holidays, etc. Let's talk about July. It really is not a "slow news month" and historically it never has been. This July has been very busy...I will not count all the ways, but I did want to share with our readers some news stories about our Webconsuls' clients. Some news is fun, some very serious, some inspiring...take a look for yourself.

On July 2, 2010, the AP reported "Teenager's death puts focus on LA's rave parties" and quoted John Lieberman of Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers.

Also on July 2, 2010, the Los Angeles Times presented "A plank slate for an oral surfing history" which reports about The Surfing Heritage Foundation's latest project.

On July 4, 2010, the Hattiesburg American featured "Kids aim to help wildlife".  Here we get to meet Cade and Kathryn raising money for the wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill. Their mom is Susan Slaughter of Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services.

On July 7, 2010, the Marco News offered "Power of suggestion: Local theaters find patrons' suggestions- or a close substitution - serve them well".  This article featured Mark Danni, artistic director at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida.

On July 8, 2010, the Daily Fill reported "Top Rehab Experts Explain: How Could the Lindsay Lohan Debacle Have Been Avoided?" Again, Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers' staff offered good advice for parents.

On July 15, 2010, the Arizona Daily Star detailed  "Calling Mariachi Singers".  This is a fun article about La Fuente Restaurant hosting its second annual 'idol'-like mariachi contest.

Finally, on July 22, 2010, the Orange County Register ran this story: "Olive Crest, churches team up to find homes for abused kids".  This article features Olive Crest's involvement with the Safe Families program.

As they say, these are just a few stories, let me know if you have been in the NEWS.

P.S. For those of you wondering about my photo choice for this post, Los Angeles Times announcing the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics, here is the news flash: In July 1984, Dennis Helfand escorted a group of native Alaskans to these summer games. ARCO Alaska sponsored the trip and the Alaskan natives performed in the pre-games events and even appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson!!


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

iPhone App Lose It! I say Use It!

Like many I weigh more than I should. A few years ago I weighed a lot more than I should. I lost about 20 pounds and have kept it off with exercise and by eating a little less. However I still need to lose some more weight.

My theory is that the best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. To work the diet has to include foods you like to eat . All carbs, no carbs, packaged food in the mail, special shakes, etc etc etc may help you lose weight but it's hard for me to understand how you can expect to maintain for a prolonged period. I am also not one to go in front of a group of strangers and tell them how much I weigh or to cheer on someone I barely know because he/she lost 2 pounds last week.

A few days ago I found an iPhone App that that looks great for me. It is named Lose It!. When you get started you enter your age, weight and goal. You also specify how fast you want to lose the weight with a maximum of two pounds per week. The app then calculates how many calories you can eat per day, if you do no exercise. Then each day you enter EVERYTHING you eat and any special exercise that you do. It then shows you how many more calories you can have that day and still maintain your goal.

At this time Lose It is free. So far I have not been bothered by annoying ads or attempts to up sell me. I have also found it easy to enter the data.

Obviously this is similar to keeping a food diary of everything you eat. However it is easier since you generally have the iPhone with you so no need to carry a notebook or to try to remember later just what you ate. Just entering the data helps control what you eat. Do you really need that candy bar knowing what it will add to your calories consumed? Likewise, you see how you can reward yourself after doing some exercise. You can also use it for planning, if I a snack now can I still have a glass of wine later?

Lose It! has a web site where you can establish an account to back up your information. You can also use nutrient information for foods but I have not bothered with that feature as yet. There may be more features that I have not yet discovered.

I am sure that there are other similar apps. If so I would like to hear about them. Lose It! seems great for me.




Friday, July 16, 2010

Blogger in Draft Stats Easy to Read

Many Webconsuls' clients have a blog associated with their website. These blogs give the client an opportunity to provide up to the minute news about their business, their industry, their staff, current events...you get the picture. Sometimes a client will ask me if there is an easy way to see how many times someone reads their blog or a particualr post. This is a good question and I am happy to report that on July 1, 2010, Google's Blogger in Draft added an up to the minute "stats" tool.  I learned about this news as I subscribe to the Blogger in Draft Blog and I hope you will, too.

Now you are probably wondering why I didn't write about this news on July 1st. The reason is simple: I like to learn what I can about any new tool, so that I can explain its features and how to best use the tool. Here is a screen shot of the "stats" page:


I invite my readers and our blogging clients to take a few minutes to read the original post from Blogger in Draft(see link below). Then...sign into http://draft.blogger.com/ and click on your STATS tab. You are going to find the information very helpful.  One word of caution: the stats only go backwards one month!


Let me know what you think about this new tool.


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Friday, July 2, 2010

Blogger Welcomes Zemanta Assistant

Free twitter badgeImage via Wikipedia
People often ask me why I use Twitter. I don't always have a perfect answer, but this morning when I started scrolling through my Twitter feed I came across a tweet from Rick Klau. Here is what he said:
"Hey @blogger users - check out the new @zemanta gadget, now integrated into Blogger! http://bit.ly/bGPnby"
Now I know that many of our readers/clients might say: "So?" But I want to remind you that last October when I reviewed Blog World Expo BWE09 I said this:
"The exhibitors were varied and engaging. I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world, like the Zemanta team from Slovania (and, yes, I intend to learn more about their product)."
Today I want to give you some pointers on how to get started with this new Zemanta Assistant. Here are the basic steps:
  1. Go to Get Related Content for Your Blog with the Zemanta Gadget
  2. Click on the link that says: Add Zemanta Gadget.
  3. If you are not signed into your Google Account you will be taken to a page where you can sign-in.
  4. If you are already signed in to your Google Account you will be taken to page where you can select your BLOG from a drop-down box and then click on the big orange arrow that says: ADD ZEMANTA
  5. And that is all there is to it, you can start using ZEMANTA. Here is a movie to view which will make it even easier.  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.

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