Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Introduction to Online Profiles for Small Businesses

"Creating, optimizing and maintaining your online profiles makes your business more popular," said Jen Vandewetering of WordJack Media at November's Brown Bag Lunch and Learn on Online Marketing. 

Managing your online profiles helps you get better rankings and help people looking for products and services find your business easier. It is an ongoing process which should be expanded and refreshed regularly.  

"If you aren't doing it, no one else will," Vanderwettering said. 

She offered the following tips:
  1. Keep citation information identical on every profile. (name, address, phone number, etc.)
  2. Be unique in business write-up, description or biographical information. Make the profile specific to the site.
  3. Fill out every field and include targeted keywords where appropriate.
  4. Upload photos, videos, etc.
  5. Ask clients/customers to leave positive reviews and reward them for it.
  6. Update profiles often.
Some places to start: Google+, Yelp, Yahoo! local, Superpages.com, Yellowpages and industry specific sites.

HOW TO: Manage Your Online Reputation Using SEO


Chabad presents annual holiday event: Chanukah Live 2012

The Chabad House will host Asheville’s largest Chanukah celebration, its annual community-wide holiday event, CHANUKAH LIVE 2012, on the fourth night of Chanukah, December 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin Street, downtown Asheville. The Billy Jonas Chanukah Show and Grand Menorah lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 PM. This event is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend. Admission is free of charge; tickets will be sold at the door for food and attractions.

This year’s Giving Menorah is co-sponsored by members of the Jewish Leadership Collaborative of Asheville. The 8-foot Giving Menorah will be constructed of hundreds of children’s toys, books, and games raised during Chabad’s holiday toy drive, which will then be donated to Mission Children’s Hospital and to Jewish children in need within the community. Representatives from each participating organization will be given the honor of lighting the branches. From now through Dec. 10, Chabad is accepting donations of children’s toys, books, and games to its location, 660 Merrimon Ave. Donors may also make a tax deductible donation to the Chabad House specifically for the Giving Menorah.

Of the many attractions at this year’s event, Chanukah Live will host the Billy Jonas Chanukah Show, active children’s and toddler’s play areas, holiday crafts and games, a Kosher buffet dinner including latkes and donuts, an adult wine bar, Chanukah and Judaica shopping boutiques, a chance to meet and take a photo with Judah the Maccabi, music and dancing, and a special Chanukah choir by Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts.

Chanukah begins this year on the eve of Dec. 8 and lasts through Dec. 16. “Chanukah reminds us that just a little bit of light can defeat an empire of darkness, human goodness can defy terror and brute force, and life and spiritual vitality can overcome destruction,” says Rabbi Shaya Susskind, Executive Director of the Chabad House, the Asheville-WNC branch of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

New for 2012, the Chabad House will lead several of the attendees to the event by way of a Grand Car Menorah Procession. Participating cars will line up at the Chabad House at 4:00 p.m., and at 4:30 p.m. will drive to the Renaissance Hotel in a festive procession.

A grand raffle drawing will take place near the end of the event. Winners will take home one of several valuable prizes. Raffle tickets are currently available for purchase at the Chabad House for $2, and will also be available at the event.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory more than 2,100 years ago of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people, over the mighty forces of an enemy that had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life, prohibit religious freedom, and force the Jewish people to accept a foreign religion.  Today, to people of all faiths, the Chanukah holiday serves as a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

CHANUKAH LIVE! is a program of the Chabad House, co-sponsored by Friends of the Chabad House. For more information about CHANUKAH LIVE, or to RSVP, volunteer, or sponsor, please call the Chabad House at (828) 505-0746, or visit www.chabadasheville.org.  

Tornado Brings Party Business to Asheville

Eric Everett has moved his business, Zowie Entertainment, to Asheville after a tornado destroyed his home in Connecticut last year. After leaving the house only a few hours before a giant oak tree cut it in half, Eric saw it as a sign that it was time to move. With the launch of the new website here,  www.AshevilleParty.com, Eric hopes to continue providing the event entertainment that he has done throughout the greater New York City area over the last 25 years.

Despite the difficulties of the rebuilding process, Eric keeps smiling. “My friends would look through the house wreckage pictures on Facebook and say things like ‘Well thank God the Hoola Hoops are all right!’ so that kept me laughing.”

Asheville was the chosen destination since family was here, but it also made good sense due to the growing wedding and event industries here. Asheville Party offers a unique combination of entertainment and services. This includes mysteries, team-building for business events, movie-making parties, games and theater improvisation along with the usual favorites like DJ, Karaoke,  and live music.

By joining with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Eric hopes to collaborate with other area businesses to help promote each other while also creating a fun event.

With the tornado offering first-hand experience of the effects of climate change in an area that has not had them before, Eric also continues to focus on his work in environmental education. This is through his musical, videos and CD called Animal Party, which the New York Times called “A Musical Link To Ecology For Children”.

About Zowie Entertainment
Zowie Entertainment is a company that provides event services, party entertainment and educational programs through on-site installations, the internet, and live performances. It groups these offerings under three main websites. AshevilleParty.com (which is also ZowieEntertainment.com) provides an overview of all entertainment and services, including mysteries, singing telegrams, DJ, Karaoke, movie-making, team building, games, live music, and theater improvisation. Services include lighting, sound systems, set design & construction and videography. AnimalParty.com focuses on an environmental education show for children featuring music, videos and stage musicals. EricEverett.com features music, videos and musicals written by singer-songwriter Eric Everett.

Monday, November 26, 2012

TAP Whiskey Dinner to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims - November 29th

The Asheville Public (TAP) is hosting a Whiskey Dinner, featuring Troy & Sons spirits to enefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy on Thursday, November 29th, at 6:30 pm. Join them for an evening of inventive dishes and cocktails featuring Troy & Sons spirits. This five-course meal will highlight the delectable combination of Troy's local spirits and TAP's inspired food and cocktails. 

Please visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/294966 for more information on the menu, cocktails, and to purchase your tickets.

TAP is located at 175 Clingman Avenue.

Hills To Holy Water to present The Appalachian Oyster Bash & Boil, a benefit concert for RiverLink & the Downtown Marshall Association

A benefit concert supporting RiverLink and The Downtown Marshall Association will be held on Saturday, December 8, at Marshall High Studios from 1 to 7 pm.  Hills to Holy Water is bringing together local bands, NC Catch seafood, and local craft brew to the Town of Marshall to help raise money for RiverLink and the DMA.

The concert and seafood cookout is just one of several events happening in Marshall that day. The Madison County Arts Council is hosting a holiday sale at the Art Center, located at 90 South Main Street, with three floors of booths filled with local art, craft, food and more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Main Street through Marshall will also be the site for the holiday parade, starting at 11 a.m.

The events fit right into RiverLink's vision for the French Broad River corridor, "The Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan has a three pronged approach to economic development throughout the watershed, linking recreation, wellness and arts and crafts," explained Executive Director Karen Cragnolin, "Artists and other economic engines through the river corridor is a prime mission of RiverLink.

The Hills to Holy Water Music Arts statewide concert series connects communities with NC Catch, local farms and raising money for charity. This event completes the 2012 trilogy of the Hills to Holy Water Music Arts Tour.  Earlier this year they presented the event as a fish fry/benefit concert on Ocracoke Island and in Durham.

This benefit concert is sponsored by The Town of Marshall, Ocracoke Fresh, Locals Seafood,
Madison Farms, Mayfel's, Zuma Coffee, The Madison County Arts Council, Pisgah Brewing
Co., Highland Brewing Co., Natty Greene's Brewing Co..

For online tickets and event information visit:
brownpapertickets.com, h2h2o.org, riverlink.org, and downtownmarshallnc.com.

RiverLink is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play. They engaged in simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of the French Broad River and its watershed with special emphasis on the urban riverfront district.
The Downtown Marshall Assoc. cultivates sustainable economic growth in the community of Marshall.

What: The Appalachian Oyster Bash & Boil: A benefit concert for RiverLink and DMA.
Where: River High Studios on Blannahassett Island- Marshall, NC
When: Saturday December 8th
Time: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., with a post-Holiday parade party to follow
Cost: $6adv./$8d.o.s.
Food: Tickets for food and beer will be sold separately at the venue. $6 seafood boil bowls, beer
and steamed oysters will be served at 1pm and continue while supplies last.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Charlotte Street Computers tech named Outstanding Tech in North Ameria by Apple Computers

Charlotte Street Computers’ newest Mac Technician Anthony Byrd has been named by Apple Computers as one of the outstanding techs in North America.  “When Anthony joined the Charlotte Street Computers team we knew we were getting a quality technician, but we had no idea that we were getting one of the best in the nation,” says Robert Garmhausen, CSC’s Apple Service Manager.  Apple awarded the “Outstanding Technician” designation for having a perfect Customer Satisfaction Score and maintaining excellent repair quality.   

Charlotte Street Computers is a multi-location computer repair company founded in 2002.  Today the company has grown to a staff of twenty four team members, including twelve of the top service technicians in the area.  CEO Jennifer Mayer operates the company with a continued focus on customer satisfaction and philanthropic marketing.

Getting things done: free cloud apps to organize your business and life

Getting Things Done: Free Cloud Apps to Organize Your Business and Life is a special workshop scheduled for November 28, 7-9:30 pm, at The ARTery, 346 Depot Street in Asheville.  

This workshop is designed to offer helpful tips on getting organized using your computer or smartphone. The instructor is Jensen Gelfond of Asheville Digital Lifestyle. 

It’s tough work keeping your business and life organized, but powerful cloud applications for your computer and smartphone can help you be confidently on top of your responsibilities. You’ll learn about the Getting Things Done productivity system and free software for your computer or smartphone to keep a well-organized email inbox, to-do-list, and all of the bits of info that are so important day-to-day but get lost in the shuffle. Whether it’s a major new project or remembering to get the milk, you will be ready for anything! For artists, you’ll also learn how to easily share digital copies of your artwork and other large files with clients or collaborators.

REQUIREMENTS: An internet-connected computer at home (do not bring a computer with you). Apps demonstrated also work on smartphones.

COST: $10

Email kitty@ashevillearts.com to register

For more information: contact Asheville Digital Lifestyle. Providing help, setup, and teaching for technology of all kinds at your home or business. www.AshevilleDigitalLifestyle.com

Eliada to host open house December 4th

On Tuesday, December 4th from 11:30 to 2:30, the Eliada School of Trade Arts (ESTA) will hold an open house and information session for community partners interested in learning more about the program, which is the first of its kind in Western North Carolina. The event will include a complimentary lunch, a tour of program facilities, and a panel discussion with current students and instructors.

ESTA opened in June and provides vocational education, transitional housing, and character development for youth aging out of the foster care system. Currently, this population is at extreme risk for homelessness, incarceration, and chronic unemployment. The primary goal of ESTA is to provide young people with the skills and character to become self-sufficient adults and productive members of the community. The first educational tract is Culinary Technology.

Groups who serve long-term foster students are encouraged to attend, as are potential collaborative partners and supporters. Legislative representatives, members of the media, and interested citizens are also welcome. Those who desire to attend can RSVP to Carolyn Ashworth at 828.254.5356 x 300 or cashworth@eliada.org

Learn more about Eliada at www.eliada.org.