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Abbi Whitaker: Reno’s bottom-of-list status rings false with those who live here

Great post by my good friend Abbi:

Reblogged from Reno Rebirth Blog:

Click to visit the original post

I received an email on Friday from the editor of PR Daily asking me if I wanted to comment on a recently released Forbes-commissioned survey which cites Reno as one of the cities with the unhappiest workers behind Boulder, Colo.

Yes, that’s right. Boulder. The mountain town that’s home to Powder magazine and Brad Feld, and was recently picked as one of Money magazine’s “Best Places to…

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What it’s like living in Reno? – Lifestyles answer

Great question. In my humble opinion, moving to Reno is primarily a lifestyle choice.

Overall Reno:

Reno Collage (07-Nov-2012)

  • is a pretty cool place near lots of awesomeness:
    • Lake Tahoe
    • Sierra Nevadas
    • Black Rock Desert (if you are into the Burning Man scene)
    • Plenty of skiing, kayaking, SUPing, hiking, biking, you name it.
  • has a revival taking place in Midtown with awesome new breweries, restaurants, and bars. Lots of new startups and a small but growing Reno tech scene. Food coop. Completely bike-able and walkable areas of town.
  • is big enough to have most everything you want in a city: Major brand and big-box stores (i.e. Apple, Costco, ), outlets (i.e. Nike, ) trendy bars and clubs (i.e. Death & Taxes, Public House, Chocolate Bar, EDGE), restaurants (Midtown Eats, CAMPO),
  • is small enough that you can get most anywhere in town in 15 minutes and you can run into people you know all over town.
  • You have major transport to wherever you want to visit that is not here and Reno is central to the West Coast.

The Locavore:

Picture this:

Food Truck Fridays - RenoFriday evening in summer and it is about 85 degrees out. You live in Old Southwest Reno (best part of town to live in), after you get home from a day of work at the Reno Collective you, your better half and your 2-year old Labrador pup (who has an awesome yard because you live in Southwest), ride your bikes down to the river, go for a quick swim in the Truckee river’s downtown wavepools, grab some grub at Foodtruck Friday, and even catch some live music in Wingfield Park. After grabbing a beer at the Sierra Tap House you run into that cool couple you met at Craft last week and you all bike down to Death & Taxes in Midtown Reno for a late-evening Calavarques. You wander over to Public House and sample every beer on tap realizing that even though that Mikkeller saison is damn good, Icky is still where it’s at.

The Sportsman:

MontreuxIt’s Friday mid-evening, and after calling it a day you grab a quick round of golf at Washoe, Lakeridge, Montrêux, Red Hawk with the boys. You call up the ladies and they meet you at Brasiere St. James for cocktails, craft brews and that famous Buenos Aires Barbeque Platter. Everybody says, we should go grab that awesome new flick, and a few blocks later you are downtown Reno along the Truckee River in front of the big screen followed by ice cream, and a cappuccino martini at Chocolate Bar.

Motorhead:

Wakeboard Flip Tahoe2Your YFZ 450 has been itching for a ride. Since you bought the perfect house in Spanish Springs, you and your homeboys are right out the back door and ripping into the senset. Grab the boat on Saturday morning and you’re only an hour away from epic wakeboarding on Stampede, Boca, Donner, Lahonta
n
, or Tahoe. And shoot, I forgot, tomorrow is race day at Hangtown, no worries it is just over the hill (two hours away).

Powder hound:

Tahoe-SkiBelieve me, I understand you brotha. If you are moving here, you better bring your GNAR. 15 resorts within two hours: Squaw Valley, Northstar, Heavenly, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood, Homewood, Boreal, Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak, and then some. You get the picture :). But if we are being real, backcountry is where it’s at: Maggies, Tallac, Blackwood Canyon, Mt. Rose Wilderness, Incline Peak, Castle Peak, and on the list goes. Get your Subi or Tacoma and mount up.

The Outdoorsman

Lake of the Woods

Photo by Zak Shelhamer

Mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, disk golf, horseback riding, even high-altitude vinyasa yoga; yeah, we’ve got that. Minutes from world-famous white-water training (not to mention just over the hill from the American River), an hour to the Pacific Crest Trail or the Tahoe Rim Trail, day-trips away from the Desolation Wilderness and the Sierra Buttes, half-day from the Pacific Coast, and only a day to Central Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. Reno is a prime spot to be close to everything outdoors.

Burner

Burning Man may only come once a year, but the Black Rock Desert is always there. Become a member of Great Basin Food Coop, take part in Reno Burner Decompression, and get involved in Reno Artown.

Zak driving Motorcycle

Photo by Zak Shelhamer

Freedom fighter:

Explore the Great Basin and ride off into the sunset. From Reno you can easily disappear into the desert for your choice of guns, brews and barbecues, deer, chucker, lizards and natural hotsprings, Night in the Country, the Reno Rodeo, Reno Rib Cookoff, and Hot August Nights.

What are you looking for in moving to Reno?
You might also be interested in this post: There are Damn Good Reasons why I live in Reno

Why FAKE GRIMLOCK & I blog

2013-08-09 22.07.56

If all of my thoughts are constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive or in my head, they have a 0% chance of helping anyone.

I began blogging during the summer of 2009 with a simple Blogger site: dananimal.blogspot.com. Without context, most people might think my blogging is for “personal branding” or some sort of vanity exercise. Precisely to the contrary.

After being laid off due to the economic downturn early 2009, I felt that all signs were pointing toward a personal, philosophical, and spiritual journey further outside of my comfort zone. While backpacking throughout New Zealand that summer (winter in down south) I reconnected with my undying purpose to serve society by aiding those in the midst of ambiguity. From being a soft ear to deeply troubled neighbors, to helping friends launch new adventure voluntourism businesses. From hosting Startup Weekends, to serving as a high school basketball coach guiding young men on more than their quest for a championship.

Lake Wanaka 2009

Whilst visiting the beautiful town of Wanaka in the Southern Alps, I consider the fact that if all of my thoughts were constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive and/or in my head, they had a 0% chance of helping anyone other than me. How selfish is that? (Not to mention mind-blowingly simple). I inherently believe there’s a large chance that none of my thoughts will become anything more than letters on a page of the internets. But, there is that off chance that one of my thoughts, one of my posts, even one sentence of my blog may be useful to somebody else. To that end I find blogging as selfless as one can possibly be.

Now if only to take that ultimate step of selfless conveyance of perceived truth without the Theory of Mind. Here we all could learn a thing or two from FAKE GRIMLOCK:

Truth Go Ahead Try It

“What’s the purpose of what you’re doing?”
(Question to FAKE GRIMLOCK because he dresses up in and assumes the online persona of a Giant Robot Dinosaur)

Answer: “It’s a proof of concept, it’s to prove a theory. And it’s to prove that who you are doesn’t matter. In fact, truth requires that you aren’t anyone, because if you’re someone, whatever you say is always biased. It’s influenced by what you know about that person.”

Interview with FAKE GRIMLOCK

Top 10 things to do in the 3rd Worst City in America

Darn right there are great attractions, activities and “all around merriment” in #Reno! Great post Alli!

The Business Casual Life

My hometown, Reno, Nevada, was recently put on blast by EscapeHere.com as one of the “10 Worst Cities to Visit in the United States.” Now, I wouldn’t exactly call Reno a travel destination, but there are many fun attractions, activities, and all around merriment to be had in The Biggest Little City. If you get a chance, check out The Biggest Little City Movement, which is a collection of Renoites stories and shared love of our biggest little city. Below is my list of top ten activities and attractions that are a MUST when visiting Reno, or even if you’re a Reno local.

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Inbound Marketing Cliffnotes for Business

Dan’s Social Media & Inbound Marketing Cliffnotes
Keys to making social media work for your business

I have read 6 books about Social Media, Personal Branding and Inbound marketing over the past two years and I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a super-condensed “cliffnotes” version I recently compiled:

Be Social. Listen. Communication is a two-way street

  • The real key is it’s not about being ON social, it’s about BEING social, but make sure you have the right people on your team to talk for you.
  • Social media marketers ask, “What can we provide our customers online that will make their digital experience better?”
    • Create something worth building a community around
    • Identify and recruit advocates immediately
    • Give people something to chew on
    • Welcome criticism
  • Don’t “play” with community building, take the no-bullshit approach:
    • Define Goals
    • Establish Measurable Objectives
    • Enact Strategies and Tactics to accomplish them
    • The measure what is done and the results of it
    • Rinse and repeat.
  • To sell online, stop thinking like a traditional marketer. Remember the fundamentals of this type of marketing:
    • Listen first
    • Be responsive
    • Be honest
    • Provide value
    • Sell last
  • There is a difference between driving business FROM social media sites and driving business THROUGH social media sites.

Get Found with Inbound Marketing

  • Customers are getting better-and-better at ignoring marketing “interruptions.” Inbound marketing today is about “getting found” using Google, blogs, and social media on the Web.
  • Inbound marketing as opposed to outbound is achieved through social media marketing when your business:
    • Asks and answers questions;
    • Provides information or engagement through content, or
    • Shows up when the audience members are having conversations about the industry, the company or anything at all really.
  • It is about having a seat at the table.

Create Remarkable Content

  • It is important to create remarkable content on top of having a remarkable value proposition. Remarkable content encourages your message to be spread giving you links of people that may possibly become customers to your website and allows you to move up in the search rankings for your keywords. Remarkable content is the gift that keeps on giving, unlike paid advertising. You need to make sure that you create content that people can effectively spread online like:
    • Blog Articles / Posts
    • White Papers (about industry trends and challenges, not products)
    • Videos (short 2 to 3-minute videos about industry and/or products)
    • Webinars (live ppt presentations)
    • Podcasts (Ten to twenty minute audio programs)
    • Webcasts (live video shows viewed online)
  • You have to give to get with remarkable content. Today your marketing effectiveness is a function of the width of your brain. Think of yourself as half marketer, half publisher.
  • Blogging

  • Video Posts:

    • Videos are a great way to give a sneak peak behind the screens of a company and make people feel like you are more real and approachable.
    • Videos should be less than two minutes, accompanied by text descriptions and posted on the blog.
    • In general video views drop by about 1% per second for the first minute or so (10.4% @ 10 sec, 55% @ 60 sec, etc). Simply posting any video does not mean it will be watched from start to finish.

Tweet your tweeter off – but don’t be a lame broadcaster

  • Think of Twitter as a micro-blogging interface
  • “Give more than you expect to receive out of twitter,” and to ask the question, “How many people can I engage in a dialog with?”. 20% about yourself 80% about everyone else on social media is the rule.
  • Focus more on starting conversations and less on broadcasting
  • Most everyone on Twitter is looking for new wisdom and hope. Order of operations for using the collaborative power of Twitter is:
    • Find a topic;
    • Ponder;
    • Share your thoughts and findings.
  • In terms of Twitter Research:
    • Find awesome people to follow. You can use wefollow.com and other sources (there used to be a site called twellow, but it has closed down).
    • If you are all about the metrics, check out influence measurement tools like Klout and Twitalyzer
    • Twubs.com and WhatTheTrend.com are great resources for tracking what people.
    • Start using Hootsuite or bit.ly to track your links and see what people actually click upon.
    • For monitoring, check out SocialMention.com and google.com/alerts. Set up some alerts for our topics (i.e. Solar, WasteWater Efficiency, things like that). You can receive email alerts when something new pops up. For instance, any time my name appears on the web somewhere new, I get an email letting me know someone is talking about me.
  • Look at personalizing (and possibly standardizing across the company) a twitter background that includes name, contact info, web, and bio but is not distracting

How to get started – game plan #1:

A big shout out to @DrBret for help pushing many of us to jump into the fire and get started in this way:

  • Define Value Stream:

    • Define a simple yet niche value stream for your online communication (say Solar for California municipalities)
  • Tweet:

  • Facebook:

    • Similarly engaging content as found and posted on Twitter should be posted to the Facebook page, but not as frequently (say once per day) without handles, though Facebook now recognizes hashtags.
    • Consider asking questions and provocative (non-scandalous obviously) content is encouraged. Example:
      • Project Vesto post: “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” – Lori Greiner.
        ‘Like’ if think this is true
        Example of Engaging Facebook Content - Lori Greiner Project Vesto
  • Publish two blog posts and one video post per week
    • Publish posts on different days
    • Each post should be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and/or LinkedIn where appropriate
  • Comment on relevant blogs:
    • Comment on say 2 blog posts per day with insightful and relevant thoughts.
    • DO NOT just comment to comment or spam with a bunch of links back to your homepage. If you have nothing to say, keep that nothing to yourself.

Be Human. Be Genuine.

Get to the point

  • Spend less time searching and more time engaging. While you obviously want to make the most of this experience, the priority with social media is action over precision.
  • Between searching, listening, creating content, sharing content, and engaging with folks don’t spend more than one to two hours in the day (though when you are first getting started I understand it taking a little longer ). A person could spend all day doing this stuff, but that wouldn’t be the most effective use of all of their time.
  • Don’t end up in analysis paralysis in searching for the perfect people to follow or engage. Take the startup culture mentality by getting 60% of the way there and then acting  and testing your hypotheses.

Follow @DanHerr 🙂

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @DanHerr
Or follow to my blog 

Sources

Thoughts on Heaven

Great poem by our dear friend and close family Julianne about our cousin Logan.

Life Off Leash

 

 

 

 

Image

Hi friends 🙂

It’s been the usual forever since I’ve blogged and unfortunately, this will be short and sweet. Tomorrow morning (at precisely o’ dark hundred) my parents and I are headed to my hometown in Florida to celebrate the life of the face you see above. This sweet little boy was the kind of family the government may not recognize, but God sure does. The kind of family you make for yourself. He died last summer at the age of 16 and together with his family and ours we’re going to be reminded that heaven isn’t as far away as we think it is. Have a safe and happy 4th ❤

Heaven to me, seems like a cozy train.People boarding
Doors open
         Doors close.
Constant hum of togetherness and safety.

When you left, you left a space.
You made heaven, to me, seem…

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Project Vesto – A call to arms

Out of the ashes of recession
A state born of the battle, reinvents itself
Makes opportunity in a deserted land
Turns loss into opportunity
And gives new life in an empty void

$100,000 pooled
To start new hope
To launch a new Nevada business
Not what the Project wants
What we the people need
Not California rebranded
Not in Nevada for the sake of a state-shaped logo
But because we are from here
We were born in a great struggle
We were born in the sage and the Basin
We don’t show up to party in the black rock
We were in the desert before the desert was hip
This is not a conglomerate and outside consulting firm
This is not Silicon Valley money
This is not an out-of-state investment
This is Nevada money for Nevada people
This is us, pulling ourselves up
This is our own grunting hard work
Our own get-it-done
Our own micro-brewed, down-home, self-serving revival of Nevada business
Investing in ourselves for ourselves
Reinventing how we, the real Nevadan’s, revive our economy
Revive our business culture
Rebuilding; one startup at a time

We the people of Nevada
Launch Project Vesto
In Nevada
For Nevada
On Nevada Day
Giving new life
With our battle-born business rebirth

Vesto Logo

Elko to Host Startup Weekend for Entrepreneurs

Reblogged from SWElko:

Click to visit the original post

Elko to Host Startup Weekend for Entrepreneurs
Startup Weekend Elko will connect local innovators
and startup enthusiasts to share ideas and launch companies

ELKO, NV – Startup Weekend, a national grassroots business-launching event, is coming to Northern Nevada, September 28-30, 2012. Startup Weekend Elko will connect local entrepreneurs, developers, designers and startup enthusiasts with mentors and resources for a weekend of sharing ideas, forming teams and launching startups. The weekend-long event will take place at the Great Basin College campus in Elko.

 Whether participants found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new or learn a skill outside the usual 9-to-5, they will be better prepared to navigate the chaotic and exciting world of startups.

“Many of us in Nevada had the rug swept out from our feet the past few years and we’ve had to adapt; become innovative and entrepreneurial to survive,” said Daniel Herr, life-long Northern Nevadan, organizer of the event and a recent participant in the Las Vegas Startup Weekend.  “Northern Nevada has a lot of hidden gems and I am really excited about bringing this fast-paced startup proving-ground to Elko. It will be great to bring entrepreneurs from many of Nevada’s smaller North-Eastern communities together.”

On Friday night, attendees will take the open mic to…

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Looking forward to this awesome event on September 28th in Elko! Read the rest of the post on the elko.startupweekend.org blog ->

One Sand-Skeeball-Sculpture at a Time

Building sandcastles and other sand structures is incredibly similar to being an entrepreneur. Everyone on the beach has the tools and resources to do so right in front of them, but few try for one reason or another. Perhaps some have never thought to try, they do not have the creative vision. Others might think it a cool idea, think back on times as a child, and say, “Well I will be shunned by society if I try; and I’m likely no good at it anyhow, so I won’t bother.”

Growing up my father loved to make his classic Skeeball game on the beach out of sand. I do not know where the idea sprang from to do so, but every summer on the beaches of Ocean City Maryland, we would make grand sand-sculptures: from mermaids, to hammerhead sharks, turtles, and the famous beach Skeeball. The sand was our canvas and we could create darn-near anything out of it; why not create a classic game to play? We would build a giant mound of sand, water it down, pack it out, use buckets to create perfect hole, and personally I loved to build in automatic ball returns for every hole.

Today we were at Big Carona Beach in Orange County, California and after a swim out to the buoys, body-surfing, some paddle-ball and a brief nap in the sun, it felt like time to add my creative touch to the sand for all of my fiancés cousin’s little children to enjoy. Skeeball.

It is crazy the level of doubt at first outset. So many lack the vision. Perhaps it is because I have been there before, made other versions. The fact remains; so many doubt what they cannot see. And the progression is always the same: doubt, disregard, curiosity, desire.

I tried to recruit a number of the kids, and full grown cousins, to help without avail. I did get one young-in to grab me one bucket of water, but that was enough for him. People walk by and you can tell the look on their faces says, “Why is that full-grown man piling up sand; weird. Keep walking.” The slow progression moves toward; “Wow, that is a big mound of sand,” people whisper, “that must have taken him a while.” Not too long, thanks. “What ‘cha makin?” come the next and more curious questions. “Skeeball, wanna help?” “Skeeball hunh? Cool (I think). No that’s alright, I’ll let you do your magic,” followed by a thought of, “Wow, he’s taking this too seriously.” Or “That’s kinda lame; no thanks I’d rather boogie-board. Have fun playing in the sand though (you grown-as man).” I was probably done in 20-minutes or less, though it definitely took longer do it by myself than when I was a kid with my father, brother, sister and cousins helping.

But once you finish, everyone wants to gather around and play the game. “Wow, can I play?” “It’s my turn, give me the ball.” “This is awesome!” And finally those who ignored the call build upon that original vision and make it better once you’ve created it.

The joy in these kids faces as they played the game time and time again was fantastic. The laughs and excitement as they ran around the back to grab the ball they overthrew is that unexpected value and feeling of success that many search for their whole life-through. This value of creating for others out of seemingly nothing is one thing I cherish most in life.

Success is not eminent in the sand; there are many ways for the vision to fall off track. Perhaps you run out of time. Maybe you don’t have great vision at the outset and build it poorly; or make it in haste leaving people to understand the vision but think, “Wow this really had potential, but just isn’t that cool.” Or you could be entirely unlucky and have a wave (or mischievous child) come knock your masterpiece to the ground before completion; but perhaps you could have planned better for this.

At the end of the day, sand will return to sand: bound to gravity and mulled around by the ebbing sea. But for a time, it is possible to build a grand work: as simple or complex as you like. For a time you can enjoy what you have created out of the world’s canvas. For a while you can create value that is life and enjoyment thereof. But understand that in time all will be washed away to not but memories of what once was.