Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An excellent web-marketing trends podcast: SoLoMo Show

I met one of the contributors to this podcast, Adam Helweh, back in December when he was doing a tutorial on LinkedIn to people that were just freed from full-time employment. I've stayed casually connected since then. He started a podcast on Social, Local, and Mobile issues early this year and I decided to listen to a few.

Like all efforts, it started a bit rough. Adam and Cory tend to talk a bit longer on a topic than they need to as they reiterate and reinforce each other: I enjoy the tighter editing of Marketing Over Coffee more. But SoLoMo is a livestreamed show and they serve up the recording in its entirety.

They have their act together quite well now. If you're going to listen to one episode to judge, I'd suggest that you listen to Episode 12: Deep Dive Into Pinterest. They dive deep into Pinterest and convinced me of the value; I like to cook, and have started both pinning pictures of food I cooked as well as recipes for the future. I am now part of the 3% of men on Pinterest and do see value, and my blog traffic has taken a nice turn upwards since I added Pinterest links back to it. Note that the SoLoMo blog has a table of contents and links for each of the chapters of their podcast. I do wish they they would put the chapter number or the time offset into the table of contents, as it becomes so much more accessible. But that's a tweak.

The other item that they shared was an infographic of the top 10 reasons that business blogging is better than Facebook. I have occasionally had second thoughts about having a blog; this infographic convinced me to stay with it.

Facebook vs Blog 10 Reasons Business Blogging is Better than Facebook [Infographic]

It's good stuff. Keep it up guys, and always be experimenting.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Restaurant Mental-Health-Code Violations: Humor from the New Yorker

Paul Simms wrote a single page of humor in the New Yorker this week that contained some of the funniest scenarios in dining that I've ever considered.

My favorite was “Server rapidly rattles off long list of beers on tap. One member of dining party asks server to repeat list. Server repeats list just as rapidly. Same member of dining party asks server to repeat list one more time. Everyone else in party wants to murder both server and customer, who ends up ordering a bottle of Stella.” I think we've all experienced this, although a more skilled server will refer to the printed list of beers on the third request.

A close runner-up, which I experienced in New York no less, is "Counter personnel at fast-food establishment being just ridiculous about one-napkin-per-order policy."

This writing gets a five-star Yelp review. You can catch all the humor in Paul Simm's New Yorker article.

I also have a bonus restaurant video from Portlandia. It takes about 20 seconds to set the scene, but then serves up a ludicrous view of both staff and patrons.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easy to make, delightful peanut butter and jelly muffins

Ann found a peanut butter and jelly muffin recipe a few days ago from a friend on Facebook. Now that I have my left hand working well enough to crack an egg (yes, it requires the use of the left thumb), I decided to make them today. The recipe came from Cooking Light, which takes the low fat/cholesterol a bit too seriously for my taste; I modified the recipe a bit, using a real egg instead of "egg substitute." I also measured the flour by weight but then had to add a bit to have an appropriately stiff batter. They were wonderful and a hit with the family when they awakened on Sunday morning. The strong nutty flavor of the whole wheat flour played right into the peanut butter: nobody even considered that they were whole wheat. These muffins may not be as showy as the cream cheese apricot scones, but they were simpler. I highly recommend them.