Category Archives: atlanta

In Search of Alternative Radio in Atlanta.

It’s a revolution.

Atlanta’s alternative radio went totally outer limits a few weeks ago. Dave 92.9 FM announced they were switching to sports talk radio (ugh). Project 9-6-1 (formerly 96 Rock) switched to a top 40 format. Then 99X (98.9) announced they were switching to 98 The Bone and filling the hard rock format left open by Project 9-6-1. Having a hard time keeping up? Well if you live in Atlanta it has been one shuffle after another.

Some people don’t understand why I’m so upset. I enjoy alternative rock and have listened to it for years. I remember listening to records, tapes and later cds from bands that weren’t on the radio. They were good – really good – and didn’t have a voice like the pop and traditional rock artists.

I got in trouble in fifth grade in Philadelphia, PA listening to Adam Ant’s Prince Charming album on cassette tape in the library (hee). In middle school I learned about all kinds of cool music from mixtapes traded with friends. Listening to punk bands like The Cramps and Sex Pistols, alternative 80s music like The Church, Depeche Mode, The The and so much more. I wrote letters to radio stations in high school in 1985 when I moved to Greenville, SC asking for them to play different music and new bands. (Good news – Greenville FINALLY has an alternative radio station that just started THIS YEAR!)

When radio stations starting playing these bands dubbed “alternative rock”, it was an awakening. It gave new bands a voice and us bored listeners new music. I moved to Atlanta after graduating college at Auburn University in 1993. 99x was my favorite station and finally was a home for alternative music fans in Atlanta.

How ironic that today is the 20 year anniversary for 99x. I am now listening to Barnes & Steve Craig reminisce on ex99 on Live 365 and it’s their last day broadcasting on this station. Steve did say he was going to start podcasting The Steve Show, so that is good news for fans.

I know radio industry naysayers site losing listeners to internet radio, satellite radio and other competition, but I still prefer to listen to the radio in my car without paying a subscription.

“Arbitron, which tracks radio trends, says at least 93 percent of Americans still listen to traditional AM/FM during any given week.” – AJC

What alternative do we have left to listen to in Atlanta? What are you listening to?

As for me, I am listening to ex99 on Live 365 with some of my favorite DJs from 92.9 and 99X. But it ends today as they seek funding. I appreciate  88.5, 89.3, 91.1, but sometimes don’t get a good signal north of Atlanta. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Read on from some smart Atlanta people:

Is 99X Truly Dead? – Rodney Ho questions if 99X is really gone for sure. The website is still live and so are the Facebook and Twitter pages. I really hope it doesn’t go away.

The End of Dave – Aaron Elya reflects on working at Dave 92.9 FM and also being a fan.

“…Get out there and support LOCAL and REGIONAL music. Don’t let the money driven decisions of major radio corporations make up your mind for you. Choose for yourself…and let them know you did. We have the power of technology to let our opinions be known to the world…it’s time to use it.”

Radio Trends behind the recent upheaval on the AM/FM dial – A summary of Atlanta radio changes.

MY FAVORITE STATION’S GONE TO WHAT? – AJC

Some of the recent format changes among Atlanta’s radio stations:

Was: 106.7/Atlanta’s Greatest Hits (oldies, 1960s-’80s) Now: All News 106.7

Was: Project 9-6-1 (hard-edged rock) Now: Power 96.1 (top 40)

Was: Journey 97.9 (’80s, ’90s pop) Now: A spinoff of Q100 which plays the top 20 songs at 97.9 from sister station Q100 at 99.7 (top 40)

Was: 99X at 98.9 (alternative rock). Now: 98.9/The Bone (hard-edged rock)

Was: 640/WGST-AM (news/talk) Now: 640/ESPN Deportes (Spanish-language sports talk)

Now: 92.9/Dave FM (adult rock) Now: 92.9/The Game (sports talk)

Is Your School Allergy Ready?

Food allergy symptomsIs your school allergy ready? States are in the process of passing epipen bills to stock schools with epipens in case of food allergy or allergy attack. In fact, 25% of allergic reactions happen at school for the first time.

In Georgia, you can schedule a Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta Safe@School presentation, or share the following online resources to help your school prepare for 2012 – Allergy Ready & Allergy Home both offer online courses for school staff.

Allergy Ready – Free, Interactive Online Course on Managing Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis in Schools http://allergyready.com/

Allergy Home – Managing Food Allergies in Schools: What School Staff Needs to Know http://www.allergyhome.org/schools/management-of-food-allergies-in-school-what-school-staff-need-to-know/

Image from Canada Safety Council.

SEO On A Budget Presentation – Jenny Munn – Digital Atlanta 2011

SEO on a budget

SEO seminar with Jenny Munn.

I recently attended Jenny Munn’s “SEO On A Budget” presentation during Digital Atlanta last week. Munn gave an informative talk, chock full of tips and techniques for those new to the world of SEO.

What is SEO? Search engine optimization is a way to make sure your web site appears in search engines when people are looking for your type of business or service. There are no guarantees with SEO and algorithms are always changing with search engines, but there are some basic ways to improve your web site search ranking.

Munn was right on when she said “there is so much information out there about SEO, that people can get paralysis with analysis.” I was pleased to learn many things about the SEO and am ready to further optimize my site and those of my clients.

Munn offers a three-phase approach to get started with SEO. Her bite-sized tips are great for small businesses who want to improve their web site search appearance without being overwhelmed with data.

Phase 1
– keyword research – a keyword is usually a key phrase of 2-3 words that people search to find your type of product or service
– competitor research
– title tags and descriptions

Phase 2
– on-page optimization
– understand anchor text
– Google Analytics
– commit to blogging

Phase 3
– create content pages
– backlinking strategy
– advanced social media strategy & execution
– creating linkbait

Keyword Research

Brainstorm a list of keyword prospects. NOTE: keywords are not your company name or name (unless you are a brand or celebrity.)

Google has a free keyword tool – look for keywords with low competition and high searches.

Create an Excel spreadsheet with your keywords. The order of the words is important as well as using singular and plural keywords. Log out of Google for an objective search result.

If you are a small business, utilize location as part of your keywords. IT is impossible to compete with large corporations on common keywords. They have entire departments staffed in IT, marketing, blogging, social media, content creation and pay-per-click advertising. You can stand out locally.

Keyword Research Mistakes

– Trying to rank for 100 keywords (pick 5 – 15)
– Selecting many keywords per page (no more than 2 keywords per page)
– Not knowing keyword competition
– Choosing keywords that have no relevance to web site.

1) Write down all of the web site pages that you have.
2) Pick 1-2 keywords for each page.
3) Map out pages/keyword strategy.
4) Any other popular keywords – optimize blog posts for specific topics.

Title Tages and Descriptions

Is your web site current in design and navigation? Or is it five years old and has no social buttons or updated material? Make sure your web site is presentable before you optimize with SEO.

Once your web site is updated, fill out title tags and descriptions first. You have 60-70 characters in the title tag. If you are using WordPress (which is recommended for ease of use) get the All in One SEO plug-in to easily add Title and Description tags to pages/posts.

Optimize Web Pages

Focus on 1-2 keywords (key phrases) per page.
Start with your home page.
If you have a blog, this gives you additional opportunities to talk about specific topics/keywords.
Prioritize and assign keywords to specific web site pages.
You optimize web pages, not web sites. Search engines examine each page – which is why blogs are extremely helpful with SEO.

Place keywords in the Headline (first), once or twice per paragraph in the body. Write for the reader and try to keep the keywords naturally flowing in the text. It is tough to balance the creative message with the keywords. Include keywords in image ALT tags and anchor text. Use anchor text in a call to action. Google likes anchor text links.

Link Building

Half of SEO = your efforts to optimize your site and content. The other half? Links that point to your site. Google sees credibility in people linking back to your site. Build links where you can – in directories, press release sites, etc. Guest blogging can link back to your site as well as anytime someone else references your site.

Key Takeaway

Just get started. A halfway optimized page is better than a non-optimized page! Learn as you go, check YouTube for how-to videos and Google for SEO articles.

Allergy Friendly Halloween Trunk or Treat in Atlanta on 10/29/11

It is that time of year again. For kids, it is a time to dress up as someone else and reap the benefits of trick or treat. For food allergic parents, it is a time to plan for a safe yet fun Halloween to ensure that our children enjoy the holiday without feeling left out.

Thanks to Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta, the 2011 allergy friendly halloween trunk or treat will help ensure that kids with food allergies have a ball at Halloween.

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta 
2011 Allergy Friendly Halloween
“Trunk or Safe Treat”
When:  Saturday – October 29th, 2011
Time:  3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Where:  Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic/Marietta Eye Clinic (Parking Lot)
895 Canton Rd., Marietta, GA  30060
Day of Event Activities:
Food Free Trick or Treating
Most Creative Costume Prize
Most Creative Trunk Prize
Games & Prizes
Fun & Socializing
RSVP by October 26, 2011
 to Shandy@foodallergykidsatl.org or by calling 404-229-8243
Volunteers are needed to host trunks and/or to work game stations!


Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta is Set for October 1, 2011

Join us for the Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta on October 1. Money raised will help research food allergies and anaphylaxis of which there is currently no cure. There is also a blog about the walk. There will be lots of free fun family festivities after the walk in Dunwoody, GA as well.

Check-in for the Atlanta walk is at 9 a.m.; the walk begins at 10 a.m. at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. It’s a two-mile walk, and baby strollers and wagons are welcome. A DJ, moonwalk, games, sponsor exhibits, and more will be onsite.

If you can’t participate, you can support a walker (me), give directly to the walk site, or volunteer on Walk Day. Individuals and teams are encouraged to register online. Please note: All walk participants, including children and infants in strollers/wagons, must be registered.

Also, welcome Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta. FA Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals.

We are parents of food allergic children and advocates in our community, raising awareness on the importance of food allergy prevention and the seriousness in food allergy reactions.

Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

Rash or hives
Nausea
Stomach pain
Diarrhea
Itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)

Over 12 million Americans have food allergies (that’s 1 in 25), and many experts insist that number is increasing. Just as an example: the incidence of a peanut allergy in children doubled in a five-year period (1997-2002).

Food allergies are most common in kids under three, where the occurrence is now one in 17 children. (My child falls into that category.) Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved — not just the kids (I know this from experience!).

Only eight foods account for 90% of the food-allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. And for those who may be unaware, even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction; there are no cures for food allergies.

IT Project Management Roundtable Teleconference on 5/5/11

Focus is a diverse community of 5,000 business experts for various industries. I discovered it while networking online through Twitter. Focus offers Q&As, research and events to connect the world by sharing industry-specific knowledge. It is quite a compelling site and a great place to go for seeking business advice.

My client will be moderating this panel for the technology community. This opportunity is a result of utilizing Twitter for networking. If you seek to establish yourself as an industry expert, Focus paired with LinkedIn Answers will give you a great starting point.

Toll-free Dial-In Number: (866) 951-1151
International Dial-In Number: (201) 590-2255
Conference # : 
4999006

Please join us for a roundtable teleconference on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 11:00 am PT/ 2:00 pm ET as we address project management issues related to complex business transformation initiatives, including ERP, consolidation and outsourcing. Our panel will discuss specific topics such as:

  • Choosing and managing vendor partners
  • Preparing the organization for impending change
  • Ensuring top management engagement throughout the project

Rob Prinzo, Founder and CEO of The Prinzo Group, will moderate a panel discussion featuring the top project management and IT experts in the industry:

Attendance for this event is free.

Follow the conversation:
On Focus:

  • Follow the Project Management or ERP topic pages
  • Submit your own question and use “Project Management” as a topic tag

On Twitter:

  • #FocusRT

Join us at the Atlanta Food Allergy Walk on October 2 at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody, GA

Join us for the Food Allergy Walk in Atlanta on October 2. Money raised will help research food allergies and anaphylaxis of which there is currently no cure. There is also a blog about the walk. There will be lots of free fun family festivities after the walk in Dunwoody, GA as well.

Check-in for the Atlanta walk is at 9 a.m.; the walk begins at 10 a.m. at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. It’s a two-mile walk, and baby strollers and wagons are welcome. A DJ, moonwalk, games, sponsor exhibits, and more will be onsite.

Atlanta’s 2010 honorary chairs include:

If you can’t participate, you can support a walker (me), give directly to the walk site, or volunteer on Walk Day. Individuals and teams are encouraged to register online. Please note: All walk participants, including children and infants in strollers/wagons, must be registered.

You can also currently nominate a child to be FAAN’s 2011 National Child Ambassador. Each $10 vote for your child is a donation to FAAN.

Also, welcome Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta. FA Kids of Atlanta was created to support families who manage food allergies, educate those who care for our children, and create a safer environment in the local area for food allergic individuals.

We are parents of food allergic children and advocates in our community, raising awareness on the importance of food allergy prevention and the seriousness in food allergy reactions.

Food Allergy is an immune system response. It occurs when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. Food allergy symptoms develop when the antibodies are battling the “invading” food.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person and can even be triggered by just a trace amount of an allergy-causing food. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

Rash or hives
Nausea
Stomach pain
Diarrhea
Itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis (a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction)

Over 12 million Americans have food allergies (that’s 1 in 25), and many experts insist that number is increasing. Just as an example: the incidence of a peanut allergy in children doubled in a five-year period (1997-2002).

Food allergies are most common in kids under three, where the occurrence is now one in 17 children. (My child falls into that category.) Food allergies are life-altering for everyone involved — not just the kids (I know this from experience!).

Only eight foods account for 90% of the food-allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. And for those who may be unaware, even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction; there are no cures for food allergies.

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The Children’s Center for Hope and Healing Announces the 3rd Annual Gala for Hope & Healing and Silent Auction Benefit on October 23, 2010.

The Children’s Center for Hope & Healing Announces the 3rd Annual Gala for Hope & Healing and Silent Auction Benefit on October 23, 2010.

Fundraiser Supports Northeast Georgia Nonprofit Dedicated to Stopping the Cycle of Child Sexual Abuse and to Preventing the Exploitation of Children.

3rd Annual Gala for Hope & Healing

Make plans now to attend the Gala for Hope & Healing (gala flyer 11 x 8.5) on October 23rd at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, Georgia.

The event will feature the savory hors d’oeuvres of Scott’s on the Square, wine, and the live, musical entertainment of pianist and jazz artist Larry Barker and ensemble.  Inspired by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Clark Terry, Barker has played with the Drifters, the Glenn Miller Band, and the US Army Band—among others.

The gala will also feature a silent auction with offerings including

  • 3 one-day passes for two people to Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville
  • A one-week vacation on beautiful St. Simon’s Island
  • Original artwork by local artists
  • A 2-night stay in a fabulous Las Vegas casino
  • Admission to the Magical Night of Lights at Lake Lanier
  • A one-night stay at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville

Tickets can be purchased online. Visit the Gala Website for more information or contact Judith Brauer at 770-532-6530 or email jbrauer@hopeandhealingga.org.

Facts:

In 2009, the Children’s Center for Hope & Healing offered counseling services to nearly 700 people from 17 counties of Northeast Georgia.

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before his or her 18th birthday.

About The Children’s Center for Hope & Healing
The Children’s Center for Hope & Healing (formerly the Family Relations Program) is dedicated to stopping the cycle of child sexual abuse and to preventing the exploitation of children. For twenty-six years, we’ve served northeast Georgia by providing counseling, education, and advocacy for those whose lives have been affected by sexual abuse through our four programs: Victims’ Services, Project Pathfinder, Women’s Services, and Prevention Services. All of our services are free or, in the case of Project Pathfinder and our Psychosexual Evaluations, are low-cost. Any one can make a referral or request services. You do not have to have DFCS involvement to receive services. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual abuse, call 770.532.6530 to get help.

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Atlanta Tax Day 2010 Deals and Freebies

The dreaded Tax Day April 15 is coming this week. Fortunately many local restaurants and stores offer tax day promotions. Lessen the tax day pain and check out these deals!

From Atlanta on the Cheap:

From AJC’s Bargain Hunter:

Tax-free shopping at Whole Foods

Whole Foods grocery stores are giving taxpayers a break on April 15. Shoppers at Atlanta area stores will save anywhere from 6 to 9.5 percent depending upon store location by not paying sales tax on any items in the store.

50% off BLT drinks

BLT Steak has a break coming for customers as well. On Tax Day, April 15, all beer, wine and cocktails will be 50 percent off. The half-off special includes bottles and glasses of wine.

Two free cupcake bites at Cinnabon

Did you know that Cinnabon made cupcakes? I certainly didn’t, but when you can get them for free, you might as well give them a try. On April 15, from 6-8 p.m., you can get two free cupcakes bites from the cinnamon bun experts.

From Nation’s Restaurant News: Restaurants offer treats for tax day blues.

From Common Sense with MoneyStarbucks is giving free coffee when you bring your own mug on 4/15.

From Examiner:

Visit P.F. Chang’s on April 15th and receive 15% off food purchases. No coupon necessary!

Hydro Massage – Nothing spells r-e-l-i-e-f like a FREE massage! If you’re in the Alpharetta area, stop by HydroMassage anytime between April 15th and 18th for this terrific freebie.

Maggie Moo’s – Check out MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery for an “E-cone-omic” Relief Package on tax day! Participating locations are giving away free slices of MaggieMia’s Ice Cream Pizza from 3 to 7pm. Click here to find a location near you!

Get a Free Tax Day Relief Cocktail at Whiskey Blue at the W Hotel! Just bring in your W2 or proof of tax preparation on Thursday and get your first drink free, courtesy of Blue Moon Brewing Company.

McDonalds – Buy a Southern Style Chicken Biscuit or Sandwich on Tax Day & you’ll get the second one free!

From 11 Alive Atlanta:

There is such a thing as a free lunch this week. Metromix.com has another Tuesday free lunch special. The first 50 people in the door at KC Pitt Barbecue at 6317 Roswell road in Sandy Springs on April 14th get a free lunch as long as they mention Metromix. For more information call KC Pitt BBQ At (404) 459-6497.

For updates on local freebies and ways to save money, follow Valuesval on Twitter.

I will update this page as I see deals posted. Feel free to comment as well to add any other tax day deals, specials and promotions!

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Georgia Department of Labor Gets a Facelift

With Georgia’s unemployment rate currently at 10.7% and rising, the GA Department of Labor is a very busy office indeed.

I learned that they have rebranded the state unemployment offices and now call them Career Centers. (I also picked up a few interesting job search tips from employment seminars that they are hosting.)

In the past, state unemployment offices were usually run down buildings where people would go to collect unemployment in a negative atmosphere. Since 1998, State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond had a vision to change the perception of these centers and improve communication how the DOL can help the unemployed reenter the workforce.

Georgia’s centers have been revamped and rebranded as Career Centers. The buildings are bright new facilities with a computer lab, meeting rooms and many resources for job seekers and employers. There is a more positive atmosphere than in the past and the employees are helpful and positive. The DOL is offering job fairs and seminars in places like the Forsyth County library. As a result, Georgia has been ranked one of the top states for reentering its unemployed into the workforce.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) operates 53 electronically connected local Career Centers offering a wide range of services to both job seekers and employers. The Centers provide individuals seeking employment all the latest tools to find and keep that special job. Employers will find assistance in recruiting new employees including a national job listing network, applicant screening, and space in the centers to conduct testing and employment interviews.

In addition to offering tips, I have received a job search handbook that is very thorough and helpful called RePLACE Yourself. Here are the job search and resume writing tips from the GADOL Reemployment Seminars I have been attending:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin
Twitter search
See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.