April 2011 - The Story of America

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Archive for April, 2011

PO2, EOD2 – Mike Monsoor

Navy Petty Officer Second Class Mike MonsoorNavy Petty Officer,
PO2
(Petty Officer, Second Class)
EOD2
(Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Second Class)

“MIKE MONSOOR”
April 5th, 1981 ~ September 29th, 2009

Mike Monsoor, was awarded “The Congressional Medal Of Honor” for giving his life in Iraq, as he jumped on, and covered with his body, a live hand grenade, saving the lives of a large group of Navy Seals that was passing by!

During Mike Monsoor’s funeral, at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, in San Diego , California, the six pallbearers removed the rosewood casket from the hearse, and lined up on each side of Mike Monsoor’s casket, were his family members, friends, fellow sailors, and well-wishers.

The column of people continued from the hearse, all the way to the grave site.

What the group didn’t know at the time was, every Navy Seal (45 to be exact) that Mike Monsoor saved that day was scattered throughout the column!

As the pallbearers carried the rosewood casket down the column of people to the grave side, the column would collapse which formed a group of people that followed behind.

Every time the rosewood casket passed a Navy Seal, he would remove his gold Trident Pin from his uniform, and slap it down hard, causing the gold Trident Pin to embed itself into the top of the wooden casket! Then the Navy Seal would step back from the column, and salute!

Now for those who don’t know what a Trident Pin is, here is the definition!

After one completes the Basic Navy Seals Program which lasts for three weeks, and is followed by Seal Qualification Training, which is 15 more weeks of training, necessary to continue improving basic skills and to learn new tactics and techniques, required for an assignment to a Navy Seal platoon.

After successful completion, trainees are given their Naval Enlisted Code, and are awarded the Navy Seal Trident Pin. With this gold pin they are now officially Navy Seals!

It was said that you could hear each of the 45 slaps from across the cemetery!

By the time the rosewood casket reached the grave site, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from the 45 Trident Pins that lined the top!

US

This was a fitting end to an eternal send-off for a warrior hero!

Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr.: Beaumont, CA Hero

Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr.
Born March 21, 1986 (Beaumont, California)
Died October 17, 2009 (Argahndab, Afghanistan)

Military Assignment:
1st Battalion
17th Infantry Regiment
5th Stryker Brigade
2nd Infantry Division
Fort Lewis, Washington

Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr.

The man who his fellow soldiers described as honest, humble, caring, fun-loving and easy-going died October 17, 2009, in Argahndab, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when his vehicle was struck by a improvised explosive device, also known as an IED or roadside bomb. He first served in Iraq as a member of the Army Reserve. He took an Arabic class at Riverside Community College before heading to Baghdad. When he returned from combat, he chose to sign up for active duty and was deployed to Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal — Mobilized, Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is survived by his father, Mike, his mother, Patricia, and his brother Angel in California.

Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr. at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware

His body went from Afghanistan, through Al Udib Air Base in Qatar to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where it was received by his family. From there it was flown to March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley, CA, and sent to Weaver Mortuary, which is just two blocks from his childhood home in Beaumont, CA. His final resting place is at is at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr. Memorial at Weaver Mortuary in Beaumont CA

At a ceremony held at Fort Lewis held in honor of Army Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr., several soldiers left dog tags or coins imprinted with the name of Dahl’s unit. Several women left white roses.

In Beaumont, CA, the name of native son Michael Dahl, Jr. will forever be etched on the veteran’s memorial wall in the town where he grew up before making the ultimate sacrifice for his country. On Memorial Day 2010, the U.S. Army Specialist will be honored when his name becomes the 204th inscribed on the Beaumont Veterans Memorial — a living tribute to local members of the Armed Forces who have defended our country’s freedom.

World War 2 Experiences

WORLD WAR 2 EXPERIENCES – Jan Weiss

PERIODS OF WW2

There were several periods in the war:
1. Before WW2
2. Entering WW2
3. During WW2
4. Exiting WW2
5. After WW2

BEFORE WW2

1. I was born in Holland in 1927, an I spent the first part of my life in the Netherlands. World War 2 started in 1940 when I was 13, and finished in 1945 when I was 18.

2. Warning Against Hitler
Hitler wrote a book, Mein Kampf (My fight), and in that book he wrote what thought and what he was going to do. I can remember one of my high school teachers who had this book on his desk, and was reading it even while he was teaching us. In that book Hitler wrote how he wanted to conquer other countries. How he was going to treat the Jews in every nation he occupied. He did this in several stages.
First he would distinguish them from the others (Arians) by insisting they wear the Jewish star on all their clothing. Then they were systematically arrested, and transported to concentration camps in Germany. In those concentration camps they were systematically gassed and cremated. So Hitler himself warned us against himself and his ideas.

3. Oldest Brother’s Prophecy
I can remember my oldest brother (5 years older) talking at the evening table, and warning us against Hitler. The others at the table criticized him for this talk, and disliked him for it. But he could not stop talking. My parents and the other brothers did not read daily papers, and so they were kind of ignorant in comparison.

4. Some Followed Warning.
I remember an author who sailed across the North Sea to England before the war started.. I remember an American minister who traveled from Holland through Belgium, France, into Spain, and sailed from there to America. But most of us were caught by the Germans in Holland and experienced 5 years of Nazi occupation.

5. Warning by Dutch Spy
I remember hearing about a Dutch spy who operated in Germany and warned the Dutch government that the Germans were planning an invasion into Holland. But the government did not listen, and on the first day of invasion German soldiers came out of a ship that had been parked in the harbor of Rotterdam.

6. Mobilization summer 1939
My family used to spend each summer a whole month in Katwijk at the sea, where we spent every day at the sea. My father used to rent a car that would bring the whole family from Rotterdam to Katwijk, with all our belonging. He would rent a whole house, where we would have an evening meal and where we would sleep. In the day we would spend the whole day on the sand and in the water, and my father would sit in a chair and talk to various people about education.

But in the summer of 1939 the Dutch government mobilized the country, and so we could not use the car to return to Rotterdam, and so my father rented with another family a bus, and we returned to Rotterdam in that bus. This was the beginning of a whole change of our life.

ENTERING WW2

On May 5th German planes dropped soldiers from the air into Rotterdam. They also crossed the border between Germany and Holland. Then they also bombed the centre of Rotterdam, so much of it burnt down. We saw people streaming out of the center, seeking new housing in outskirt areas. We saw many houses burnt down.

In the meantime German soldiers marched to the Hague where we had the center of the Dutch government, and on May 10th Holland capitulated, and Nazi government began, and would reign for 5 years. It was an easy take. Any resistance was crushed down with force and speed.

DURING WW2

1 . Not much change
In the beginning we did not notice much change. German soldiers were very disciplined. One time a soldier took something from a young boy on a street car. He went to the German commandant, who took him around his soldiers to identify the thief, and when the soldier was identified and he confessed, he was shot and killed by the commandant on the spot.

But slowly circumstances began to change. Less and less food in the stores, and also less and less supplies. In the last year of the war all stores were empty and closed. Also there was no electricity, gas, or coal, only water.

2. Price of Food
My father bought a loaf of bread on the black market, and paid for it a laborer’s monthly salary, and then we would stay in bed much of the day, and have one slice of bread per day, and that was all the food we had.

3. Sugar Beets
One day in the winter of 1944 my brother and I pushed a wheel cart for half a day to get a heap of sugar beets out of a field to bring it home for our family. On the way back I was so hungry that I took a sugar beet, bit into the clay and spit it out until I reached the meat of the beet.

4. Heating and Light
Our hearth was removed, and we bought a little hearth where we could burn wood or coal. The wood was cut from the trees in parks or from bomb shelters. The coal was dug out of the paths in parks. On that little hearth my mother cooked if she had food. It heated the room where it was installed, and at night we sat around the little hearth where we could see just a little. I remember we created electricity with the dynamo on a bicycle, so some of us could read.

5. Underground Experiences
In the last year of the war I was in the underground. We gathered in school gymnasiums where we practiced with brenguns and stenguns. I was able to put a these weapons together blindfolded. But first I had to meet every person at their house and then bring him to the gymnasium whose location they did not know.

6. Gathering News
When the invasion started it became important to gather invasion news, which was not available on the Dutch radio, but only on the English radio. My father did not allow us to this, so one of my friends did it, and typed out the news every day, which I then followed on the map, seeing the allied forces advance from LeHavre all the way into Europe.

One day I approached my friend’s house to get the news, and I saw the German police from a distance, and so I quickly turned back on my path. Later I learned that most of the people who worked on the news had escaped over the roof, but the parents of my friend were arrested, and later on executed.

7. Work Forces
The Germans often arrested males and made them work in Germany. They would barricade a street, and then go from door to door, and get the men out of the house. My mother was smart. She told the soldier that we were sick in bed with an infectious disease. The soldier refused to go near us.

8. Accidental Arrest
My oldest brother was hiding from the Germans, and staying with a family. The German police were after a certain person. They knew his name and the name of the person where he was staying. When they came into the village they asked children for the name of his host, the children pointed to the house of another person with the same name, and that was the host of my oldest brother. So my brother was arrested, first brought to a Dutch concentration camp, and from there to a German concentration camp. After arrival, one of the guards looked at his records, and noticed my brother was “polizilich unbekannt” (not known with the police), and so they let him out of the concentration camp, but made him work in a police station.

9. Bombing by Allied Forces
To prepare the Germans for the invasion, night after night allied planes would fly from England deep into Germany, where they would bomb and destroy many cities. At first we would flee into the cellar, but after a while we would stay in bed and sleep through these operations.

10. Razzia at College
At the end of the war it was dangerous to go to college. One time we had to run from the back of the building, because German soldiers were trying to get into the front of the building, so they could reach students to get them to work for them.

I safely got to the rail road station and rode on the train to Rotterdam, but we then decided that we could not go to college anymore. After the war I returned to the college, but for quite a while I had to ride the train standing in a cattle car, because the Germans had taken all our passenger train cars, and we had to search for them all over Germany.

EXITING WW2

1. Final Day
When we found out that the Germans had lost the war and had given up, we were all very excited, and after curfew time, when we were not allowed to be on the street (6pm), we went outside and began to share that information and joy.

At a certain moment a convertible with 3 German soldiers drove into our street, stood up in the car, and shouted “Hinein” (Go inside). At that moment it was clear how scared we still were of the Germans, for people ran to their doors and tried to get in, but some doors were closed, and people could not get in.

2. Whole Night of Dancing from street to street
Once we were sure the German occupation had come to an end, we went from street to street for a whole night, singing and dancing for joy. The five years of German occupation had been very hard and scared us a lot.

AFTER WW2

1. Back to College
After WW2 it was safe to go back to college, and I could sit in the train again.

2. Return of Oldest Brother
One day after the war, our whole family was together in our parental home. And suddenly we heard a key slide into the outdoor lock, the door was opened, and we heard someone come into the house. We were startled, for every key holder was already inside. Who could this be? We spontaneously all ran to the door! And here was my oldest brother. He had walked all the way from Oranienburg, Germany to our home. How excited we all were. We did not know he was still alive, as we thought he was in a concentration camp until the end of the war.

But do not think he told us much. He talked a little, but then asked where his girl friend lived, and then on a borrowed bicycle he drove to her to tell about his return. And even after he returned to the parental home, he told us very little about his concentration camp experiences.

All he told us was the fact that at one time he had been discharged from the concentration camp because he was told he was “polizeilich nicht bekannt” (=not know by the police, they did not know why he was there). Then they made him work on the furnace of a police station, where had enough food and was always warm.

3. Threat of Communistic Russia
By the time I had graduated from the chemical engineering college, we became aware of another threat, namely from communistic Russia. And I was glad to be able to go to the United States in 1950. When I arrived on the boat in the New York harbor and saw the statute of liberty, I felt happy and safe! No more dictators in my life, please!

4. Thanks to the Allied Forces
I will never forget how many men in the Allied Forces died for my liberation from Hitler and his Nazis. It is now 65 years ago that the second world war ended, and my memories are still very vivid. Sometimes I hear people talk about casualties in more recent wars, but none of them can compare in any way with the casualties of World War 2. So thanks to all those young men who probably have forgotten this war. Even today I hope to do something for their children, grandchildren and great grand children.

Medal of Honor: Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta

StoriesofUSA.com honors Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta of Hiawatha, Iowa. He is the first living member from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the Medal of Honor. He exposed himself to enemy gunfire to save two fellow soldiers.

Loving Your Country

LOVING YOUR COUNTRY – Jan Weiss

Look at your baby, and you will see a new individual, with its own proteins, its own DNA, and its own eyes. It has its own soul and will build its own mind. Each one of your babies will be different and will be different from all others,

This has been happening in every family for thousands of years. It has created many different races and many different nations. And we always have seen the same problem. What shall be the relationship between people and races and nations?

History has taught us this relationship is either exclusively one of self love, or of love to the other person. Self love leads to theft, violence and murder. Love to the neighbor inspires service to others outside of oneself.

To groups individuals will express love to the neighbor as love for a church, a society or a country, or even to all countries. But in this talk we will only deal with the love of one’s country.

For centuries people have organized themselves into countries that have lived either in peace or in a state of war. We should never attack another country, but if we are attacked by another country, we are allowed to defend our own country from the love we have for our own country.

Loving our own country excludes the desire to attack another country, and attacking another country really excludes loving our own country., just as attacking another person excludes loving another person.

Life is really very simple: We either choose to love ourselves or we choose to love others, We are either in hell or in heaven, and this will be the same in the material world or the spiritual world, and after death.

Diamond Crest Consulting

714.510.6037
diamond.crest@yahoo.com

How do I broadcast my message?

In this modern environment, people are bombarded daily with numerous advertisements through email, telephone, television, radio, standard mail, magazines, movies, and so on. We live in a time of advertisement overload. People will delete unread emails, toss unopened envelopes, fast forward through commercials on the TV and change radio stations during commercial breaks. With all these seemingly impenetrable walls in between your message and a possible client, donor or vote, how do you get others to pay attention?

The answer can me summed up in two words: RELEVANCY and COMMUNITY.

Relevancy – People will seek you out if you provide a product or service that is related to what they are interested in. You want to create a product or service that improves the lives of individuals or groups.

Community – A community is a group of similar-minded individuals who communicate with each other related to a specific subject matter or idea. You want to build a community of like-minded individuals that know what products/services you offer.

If you master these two concepts, you will develop trust and through it you will accomplish much. The following information takes these two concepts and turns them into specific task-oriented activities that will, over time, generate results, and save you a lot of money and headaches.

1) Get Organized

Being organized is the first and most critical step for managing any campaign or event. The more difficult the endeavor, the more crucial it is that people know exactly what is going on. During the Summer Olympics, there is much to do and keep track of. There are dozens of competitions with thousands of athletes, trainers, and employees, not to mention the millions of fans who will be attending events in multiple venues.

So how does one get organized? The most fundamental of tools is the business plan. Before you spend a large amount of money and time, both you and your investors what to know what you plan on doing with the money and labor that is, or will be, available to you. The business plan is generally organized into the following sections: Executive Summary, Company Description, Products and Services, Marketing Plan, Operational Plan, and Financial Plan. There is a new section I would strongly recommend adding: Technology Plan.

Action Item(s):
* Create a Business Plan

2) Technology Infrastructure Recommendations

You will want to determine the hardware and software you will want and need to efficiently and effectively operate and manage your organization. How many computers will you need? Will you need a server? What software do you need? What other equipment will you need? Do you have a person that will manage your technological infrastructure?

The #1 mistake I see organizations make when it comes to technology is to hire or contract someone who does not have integrity. Integrity is much more important than ability. Your “Tech Guy” will often have access to credit card information, personal emails, login passwords, customer contacts, etc. They could easily, and often legally, control your access to the technology that you paid for. You as the leader of the organization must be able to trust that person to not only get the job done, but to not take advantage of you in the process.

Here is some more advice that could save you thousands of dollars. Software can become very expensive. Microsoft, Adobe, and Norton are companies that provide common mainstream software solutions. The price tag for each of these products can run into the hundreds of dollars. There are free alternatives to these products, but keep in mind that free software does usually not have all the features paid software has. But if you are on a tight budget, they are good enough to at least get you going.

Brand Software {Free Alternative}

Microsoft Office {Open Office (openoffice.org)}
Adobe Photoshop {Gimp (gimp.org)}
Miva Merchant {Zen-Cart (zen-cart.com)}
Norton Antivirus {AVG (free.avg.com)}
Adobe Acrobat {Open Office (openoffice.org)}

Action Item(s):
* Setup Your Technology Based Systems (Internet, Document Development, Financial Tracking, Customer Relations, etc.)

3) Websites

Over the last few years, I have built dozens upon dozens of websites that rank very high in Google searches, automate the ability to purchase products online, and send direct messages to and from clients. A website is part of the marketing arm of an organization. It, if designed properly, will do much of the heavy lifting necessary to create social and political change. If you plan on operating a business, non-profit organization, or political campaign, it is critical that you have a website that accomplishes 3 goals:

a) Branding

People need to quickly look at your logo and website and instantly recognize who you are and what products or services you provide. Many American political campaign websites are in various shades of red, white and blue with a visible American flag. When you look at the top of Storiesofusa.com, you see American patriotic symbols and images, such as the American flag, Abraham Lincoln and the Liberty Bell.

b) Usability

The site must be easy to use. You want to make it easy to receive feedback from people that are using your website. Put yourself in the shoes of a visitor. Can you find the information you are looking for? Are all the links working? Does it load quickly? Is all the content spelled correctly and easy to understand? You will want to make sure you add photos, graphs, and videos to improve the comprehension of the ideas you are trying to explain. StoriesofUSA.com contains hundreds of photos and videos. The website is composed of over two thousand pages of content. If I had two thousand links on every page, a visitor would quickly feel intimidated and would quickly leave the site. There is a visual menu on top with seven choices. And if you click on the image of Abraham Lincoln, it takes you to a page with a list of major historical events in US history that are in chronological order. A person looking for information on the Civil War can quickly find it.

c) Searchability

A website must be tailored for a human being. It must also be developed to be compatible with search engines, such as Google and Bing. Content must be visible and organized properly. Content on a website is not all treated equally. I could write an entire book on the subject of the relationship between a website and a search engine. I will instead try to highlight the most important items. If I were to tell you that StoriesofUSA.com gets thousands of visitors daily and that we do not pay for any of that traffic, would you believe me? So how did I accomplish this?

Action Item(s):
* Create a Properly Designed Website

4) A Memorable Name

Create a business name that people will remember and that reflects the product or service you provide. When selecting a name for your website, there are 2 trains of thought:

A) Choose a domain with your business name (ex: facebook.com)
B) Choose a domain that contains keywords associated with your business (ex: socialnetworking.com)

Now that you have chosen a domain name, go to Godaddy.com and register it. I recommend Godaddy over the other website domain and hosting companies because of their pricing, reliability and customer service. There are other many options, such as Network Solutions, 1 & 1, and Host Gator.

Action Item(s):
* Register Domain and Hosting with GoDaddy.com

5) On Page Content

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) was initially developed to put newspaper articles online. HTML provides the ability to control style and position of content on a web page. Great content is the most important part of great search engine rankings. If people like your content, they will read it. If they love your content they will link to it and tell others about it.

Writing for the Internet is much different than writing for printed media, such as postcards. At the heart of Internet search is keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that people input in search engines such as Google.com to find information online. Make sure you choose keywords and phrases that are searched often (ex: car repair, auto repair). You will also want to use keywords that are searched often that have less competition than other terms (ex: bmw auto parts, auto repair los angeles).

It is very important to keep the content on the website fresh and new. The fundamental philosophy of a search engine is RELEVANCY. A website that has fresher well-written content will usually be ranked higher than websites that have little to no content.

Action Item(s):
* Good copywriting (On page content is readable, relevant and contains keywords)
* On page content should contain relevant bold words, links to other pages and bullet point lists
* Routinely add and edit content on the website

6) Offsite Content

Once you have your website up and running, it is now time to get your message out there. The basic concept is to cast a wide net. And do it over and over again. There are a number of strategies that can be used that can increase the number of visitors to your website.

A) Register your website domain name with search engines and directories, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, DMOZ and Ask. There are search engine submitters that will submit to many search engines at the same time. Use http://www.submitexpress.com/free-submission.html.

B) List the website on all marketing material, including emails and business cards.

C) Link Building – A link placed on another website that points back to your website. Talk to your friends and associates. If they have a website, have them place a link that points back to you. This is an ongoing process, and I would recommend hiring someone to do this for you, or at least train you how to do it correctly.

D) Article Submission and Content Syndication – Write articles, newsletters, and press releases related to services you provide and events that you will be hosting. If you are not a good writer, you will either learn to become one or hire someone who is. Once the articles are written, you will want to distribute them to many locations. You can submit it to article submission sites, like: Articlezilla.

http://www.styopkin.com/article_submission_sites.html contains a large list of sites to submit to. You will want to setup accounts for sites like Technorati, BlogCatalog and Feedburner. Then you can automatically submit your content to these sites.

E) Blog Commenting – Find blogs and websites that you can leave comments. Then find articles on those sites related to your message. Comment on the article and add a link pointing back to your site. You want to portray yourself as someone who is knowledgeable in a subject. Don’t just leave a comment that says, “Look at me. Buy my product.”

F) Videos, Images, Podcasts and mp3s – Create or leverage existing video and audio files. Create accounts on Youtube, iTunes, Vimeo, Metacafe and other sites where you can upload media files. You can often link back to your website from these accounts. And you can advertise your website within these media files. These forms of media make your content more interactive and increase the opportunities for others to easily find you and tell others about you. This is the essence of Viral Marketing. People like to share interesting content and links with their friends. So go and create interesting content, post it to your website, and share it with your friends.

Action Item(s):
* URL submission for new website – http://www.submitexpress.com/free-submission.html
* Create profiles and content with links on MercantCircle.com, Yola.com, Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, Blogger.com, WordPress.com, and Tumblr.com
* Research competition and place links where they have links
* Reciprocal links with industry related sites, friends, clients, etc.
* Create accounts and submit articles to EzineArticles.com, ArticlesBase.com, ArticleSnatch.com, ArticleAlley.com, ArticleDashBoard.com, IdeaMarketers.com, ArticleCity.com, SearchWarp.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleClick.com, ABCArticleDirectory.com, uPublish.info, CarolinaArticles.com, ArticlesJust4You.com, ArtiPot.com, ArticleSphere.com, and ArticlesMagazine.com
* Comment on other blogs and online news articles with a link back to your site
* Viral Marketing through video, podcasts and mp3s – Submit to Youtube.com, Vimeo.com, Metacafe.com, iTunes.com, 5min.com, Buzznet.com, Blip.tv, Dailymotion.com, Veoh.com, Video.Google.com, Flickr.com, PhotoBucket.com

7) Standard Networking

Join business networking organizations and online groups, such as a chamber of commerce and Meet Up to create business connections and opportunities with local and similar minded individuals.

Action Item(s):
* Join Groups: Chamber of Commerce, MeetUp.com, Business Networking Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, Political Organizations

8) Public Relations and Social Media

There are numerous ways to improve relationships with the general public, including newsletters, email campaigns, blogging and online social media.

A) Newsletters and Email Campaigns – Capturing email through your website and then sending follow up information to them through email is an important element of Internet marketing – sites that make this easier are: http://www.mobilestorm.com, http://www.contantcontact.com, http://www.aweber.com, http://www.icontact.com. Some content management systems (such as WordPress) have the ability to integrate these features. There are many sites that do this, so do your homework and find one that works for you.

Also, keep your emails simple. Most people will not take the time to read every word that you write in the email. Your main goal in the email is to get them back to your website and to follow further instructions. Setup a web page that has a clear Call to Action (What do you want them to do once they are there?). And then in your email that you submit, create short, but interesting, content that links to this Call to Action page on your website.

You will want to create a campaign in Google Analytics to track email campaigns and use a url tracker. (http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578)

And one last thing, everyone’s email is setup differently. Some can receive fully formatted emails with embedded images, links and videos. Others only receive text only email, that have no formatting. You will have to develop emails that are flexible enough in design that will still be able to get your message to them, no matter what type of email system the recipient has.

B) Blogging
* Blogging is a science and artform. Essentially, you want to create relevant content that is related to your industry, that people want to read about, that will create positive name recognition, and that will drive traffic to your website. If you are in the insurance industry, you will want to write about new insurance laws, new insurance companies, and new types of insurance programs that are available. There are numerous easy-to-use blog platforms to choose from, including: Blogger.com and WordPress.com.

C) Social Media Optimization
* Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and others help create social connections and a following of like minded individuals. It is not enough to just create a profile. It is an ongoing process of generating contacts, describing yourself and fostering stronger relationships. These are great places to foster niche and relationship marketing. Find like-minded individuals with similar hobbies and interests. Encourage them to be your “friend.” As a friend, you can send out info to them. Like-minded people are more willing to purchase from you, vote for you, or give you money. I strongly recommend starting with a Facebook Fan Page. – http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904 and joining a Facebook “Group”. Once you get a lot of “friends”, you can send them messages to encourage them to do what it is you want them to do. Also, Twitter can be a way to encourage backlinking. Create a bit.ly account (url shortener). And when you want to post a website, post it as a bit.ly. It will shorten your url and it will allow you to track where you are receiving Twitter traffic from. Use the search features (http://search.twitter.com, etc.) to find discussions related to your topic. Remember that people will buy more from people they like or want to be around. Do not be pushy or overly aggressive. Social media is a complex area, not because of its difficulty to use, but by its myriad of options and the complex social interactions involved. Use a service like Ping.fm to coordinate your postings with various social media accounts.

D) TV, Radio, Newspaper – There are cost effective and creative ways to get media attention without having to spend a large amount of advertising dollars. If you get media attention, exploit it by posting the image, video or podcast on your website. Encourage them to link back to your website.

E) Be an Expert – Display your knowledge of a certain field. There are various ways to do this, but the bottom line is that you want to be perceived by a lot of people that you know what you are talking about related to concepts that they want to know about. Here are some suggestions: Be an expert on a radio or TV program, setup a profile on Yahoo Answers and answer some questions, etc. If you are a plumber or electrician you might want to be a keynote speaker at a Home Owners Association meeting.

F) S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – Secrets of Viral Marketing – Submit content that is Simple to follow, Unexpected, Concrete and tangible concepts, Credible thoughts and results, Emotional connection, tells a Story and is Shareable.

Action Item(s):
* Create newsletters and email campaigns
* Blog for more content – Blogger.com, WordPress.com
* Leverage social media for relationship marketing: Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Youtube.com, MySpace.com, Google.com/Buzz, LinkedIn.com, Indenti.ca, BrightKite.com, FriendFeed.com, Plurk.com, Jaiku.com, Bebo.com, Posterous.com
* Use Ping.fm to coordinate posts on various accounts
* Find creative ways to be mentioned in TV, radio or newspaper
* Be an expert and answer questions
* Viral Marketing SUCCESS (Simple – Unexpected – Concrete – Credible – Emotional – Story – Shareable)

10) Track and Analyze

It is critical to be able to objectively analyze where you are obtaining your clients from – http://www.google.com/analytics/. This tool, once integrated onto a website, provides a wealth of information about traffic on a website. Also, if you are spending money on banner ads, directories, etc., you need to make sure you are tracking the response.

Action Item(s):
* Attach Google Analytics tracking code to your website

11) Purpose, Goals, Passion

Technique is only half the battle. It is critical that you believe in your product or service, be willing to put in the effort, and have the passion and commitment to see it through.

List of Characteristics of Successful People:
Taken from: http://storiesofusa.com/top-characteristics-of-successful-people/

Passion, Purpose, Creative, Integrity, Initiative, Character, Dream Big, Hard Work, Innovative, Persistence, Clear Vision, Independent, Self-Confident, Have a Mentor, Inquisitiveness, Expert in a Field, Strong Leadership, High Energy Level, Tolerance for Failure, Calculated Risk Taker, Problem Solving Skills, Goal Oriented Behavior, Positive Mental Attitude, Effective Communication, Commitment to Excellence, Strong Management and Organizational Skills

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/08/why-isnt-apple-aaaa/
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/apple-most-valuable-company/

Spotlight on AJ Bombers

Posted by Augie Ray on March 28, 2010 (Forrester.com)

I moved to the Bay Area from Milwaukee about five months ago. Among the things I miss from my hometown are my two favorite burger restaurants – AJ Bombers and Sobelman’s. Both have used Word of Mouth (WOM) to become successful small businesses, but while one built its buzz over 10 years, the other used social media to become a success in just one year. The stories of these two businesses can provide insight and inspiration to much larger brands seeking to create benefits with social media.

Sobelman’s is a little hard to find – it’s located in an industrial part of the city rather than in a fashionable neighborhood – but that didn’t prevent it from building a broad-based following since opening in 1999. While dining at Sobelman’s, you’re equally likely to find guys with hard hats, students in Marquette colors and professionals in suits or khakis. Sobelman’s created its success the old-fashioned way – with a great story (Dave and Melanie Sobelman worked the grill and took orders), a delicious product and a smart mix of traditional marketing, such as sponsoring Marquette University events.

The road to success for AJ Bombers was considerably shorter, although there were plenty of reasons to think the business would fail quickly: It was launched in the middle of the worst recession in generations and was located at an address that had seen at least five businesses fail in recent years. AJ Bombers’ one-year path from grand opening to the pages of the Wall Street Journal speaks volumes about the way social media is changing business.

Of course, just like Sobelman’s, AJ Bombers’ success starts with a great experience and a great product. (All the tweets in the world won’t overcome a poor consumer experience.) But while the two restaurants share that much in common, it is AJ Bombers’ use of social media that demonstrates the power of the medium. The restaurant’s constant attention toward building awareness and energizing fans has included:

Active engagement on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, AJ Bombers has tweeted more than 10,000 times to its 3,000 followers. On Facebook, the restaurant updates its status several times a month and engages with 1,000 fans.

Offering new FourSquare mayors a free burger and fries, encouraging repeat visits and checking among its fan base.

A special event that drew a mass of FourSquare users who earned the midwest’s first “Swarm Badge.” Over 150 people turned out for the eventb-bmore than one-quarter of all FourSquare users in Milwaukee – and AJ Bombers saw revenue more than double from the same day the previous week. (AJ Bomber’s innovative use of FourSquare will continue: The restaurant was recently among 30 small businesses to test new FourSquare analytics technology to track user data and create more engagement.)

A promotion launched with a YouTube video, creating a contest that permitted one lucky winner to earn free burgers for a year.

Regular tweetups to draw fans to different events, such as a holiday party and Bloody (Mary) Brunch.

Turning a stolen sandwich board into a local news item thanks to a reward offer and smart use of Twitter.

A new campaign (in partnership with Sobelman’s) to attempt to bring the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” to Milwaukee for a showdown between the two competing burger bars.

While it’s interesting to point out everything AJ Bombers has done, it’s what they haven’t done that is worth noting. For example, the restaurant has not spent a great deal of cash on their social media success (although time is money, and clearly there’s been significant time invested into these efforts.)

Even with little monetary outlay, success can breed problems. I spoke with Joe Sorge, owner of AJ Bombers, and he noted that “in some ways we backed ourselves into a corner – guests expect immediate responses in social media” but he added, “I don’t mind the corner!” Sorge still enjoys personally monitoring Facebook and Twitter every day as often as possible, but he is beginning to delegate some of the responsibility. Sorge is training others to monitor and respond to fans on Twitter (with individuals’ initials at the end of tweets to make it clear the human behind the tweets).

Another thing AJ Bombers hasn’t done is turned their Twitter and Facebook stream into a string of direct marketing offers. Unlike some brands that use their Twitter and Facebook profiles as a replacement for FSIs (Free Standing Inserts) and direct email marketing, Sorge instead points to inspiration from Seth Godin to pursue “the opposite of interruption-style marketing.”

Sorge isn’t interested in one-way communication but instead praises the value he receives from input and feedback. “Customers are becoming the business,” he says. “We had no idea that the ‘Burger of the Month’ would be so popular and that we’d have to change it the ‘Burger of the Moment.'” In fact, one of their most popular burgers was created by a customer, @KateBarrie; the Barrie Burger features peanut butter, bacon and cheese.

Another thing Sorge does not (and cannot) do is measure ROI. He says he measures what he can – for example, he notes that FourSquare promotions have allowed AJ Bombers to increase sales 30% on select items – but that isn’t what Sorge sees as the true value of social media to his business. “This is a restaurant built by social media. This is the only way we know it. We can’t say what it would be like without it.”

The final thing AJ Bombers isn’t doing is waiting for someone else to prove ROI before experimenting with different social media programs. Sorge is unafraid to try new things in inexpensive and small ways. The owner of AJ Bombers knows his customers, understands his brand and recognizes that social media is a way to connect the two. Really, how hard is that?

http://blogs.forrester.com/augie_ray/10-03-28-word_mouth_and_social_media_tale_two_burger_joints

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An Informed Patriotism Is What We Want: One Voice Can Change a Room:
From Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation – January 11, 1989

"This national feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge. An informed patriotism is what we want.

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"Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them

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