Tag Archives: Chicago

I Will Be Answering Your Blogging Questions on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

25 Jan

Writing for Your Blog

Are you curious about what a blog is and how it works?

Do you want to know the difference between a website & a blog?

What else would you like to know about blogging?

Get all of your questions answered at my Blogging Q & A Session on Tuesday, January 31, 2012. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at Woodson Library at the corner of 95th & Halsted.

See you there!!

Book Review: But Wait…There’s More!

24 Jan

But Wait...There's More

I was advised to “watch informercials to learn how to market your business,” by my friend who wants me to start making real money. I was more than happy to read a book to expand my knowledge.

However, I really wasn’t prepared for the first book I decided to read, “But Wait…There’s More! Tighten Your Abs, Make Millions, and Learn How the $100 Billion Informercial Industry Sold Us Everything but the Kitchen Sink” by Remy Stern. This is a great book!

The only real expectations I had were: 1) a chronological history of the industry and 2) the strategies and words used to get people to buy obvious crap. What I got was an entertaining, in-depth view of the “pitch” business.  Stern provided more detail than I ever imaged. Did you know that the pitch began at carnivals and street festivals?  Some of the industry pioneers sold things on Chicago’s famous Maxwell Street.

Other interesting facts divulged include:

  1. How it was determined to sell to people at night
  2. The lack of integrity and questionable backgrounds of the people behind many of the products we see. Many of these people have served jail time, lost their professional licenses and make crappy products on purpose
  3. One informercial writer charges $15,000 for a half-hour segment
  4. The network’s roles in the longevity of the industry
  5. How much industry makes annually

What I really enjoyed about the book, though, was the way Stern intertwined information about how the industry works with the people of the industry. Instead of separating historical facts, the people, the networks, etc. by individual chapters, he just made it a well-organized story that was amazingly entertaining and easy to follow.

This book is an accidental blessing and highly recommended. Have you read, “But Wait…There’s More”? What are your thoughts?

Image: usatoday

Want to Learn WordPress? Attend the 1-Day Workshop

23 Jan

Chicago WordPress Meetup

Presented by Dante Hamilton, Founder, Chicago WordPress Meetup Group and Scott Winterroth, Pro Blogger and Chicago WordPress Consultant, this hands-on workshop is guaranteed to give you a full-fledged WordPress education in just one day on January 28, 2012.

Lessons attendees will learn include

  • WordPress 3.3 and the WP Dashboard
  • Web hosting
  • Selecting Themes
  • Uploading Content
  • Social Media for WordPress
  • Ecommerce
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • And much more…

In addition to this full-day education, you will get a boxed lunch, beverages and individual coaching.  The workshop will be held at  the University Center Conference Chicago, 525 South State Street, 2nd Floor in Chicago.

Visit the Chicago WordPress Meetup page for more details and to register for the WordPress 1-Day Workshop.

Special Interview with Carl West – CEO of MG Media & Founding Managing Editor of TBT News Service

17 Jan

Carl West - MG Media & TBT News Service

Carl West, CEO of MG Media & Founding Managing Editor of TBT News Service is my guest this week. I wanted to interview him for a few reasons. First, he was so committed to his dream of having a hip hop magazine that he left the security of corporate America to make it happen. Second, he has a been a great support in my endeavors. And third, I needed a male voice on my site, and he was the closest person in the writing world I had.

Listen to my interview with Carl to learn about good things he’s done, great things he’s doing now, and even greater things to expect from him in the future. He’s not just an avid business man; he has a heart for the community. After listening, be sure to head over to TBT News Service and sign up for his daily updates.

Where’s the Regard for John Johnson & the Empire He Created?

13 Jan

Johnson Publishing Company

Update 1/13/12: I received word from Crystal Howard, the Director of Communications at Johnson Publishing Company, that the company has not been sold. But, the building has been, which was the primary focus of this post. I apologize if there was any confusion about the sale of the company vs. the sale of the building. Here is an article reporting the sale of Johnson Products Headquarters to Columbia College.

Ok, I was tryna hold my peace, but I can’t.

Last year, we got word that Johnson Publishing Company was being sold to Columbia College Chicago. To learn that the first and possibly the ONLY black-owned building in the downtown quarters was disappearing before our eyes was heartbreaking. Let’s look at the irony of this situation.

John Johnson was very strategic and visionary in his business dealings as noted in his book, “Succeeding Against the Odds: The Autobiography of a Great American Businessman”. He was calculating in his decision making and actions, which means he researched and prepared for each and every encounter and meeting. It took years of HARD work for Johnson to earn everything he had personally and professionally. How, then, was it so easy for his empire to crumble as a result of poor decision making and other business snafus?

I don’t know the entire story, but I do know that Mr. Johnson is flipping in his grave, a few times. The Crain’s Chicago article said that Johnson Publishing has “one of the largest corporate collections of African-American art.” They also reported, “No word on whether Johnson Publishing will sell the originals or any of the company’s original artwork (though I hear a few pieces will stay with Columbia at the old building).”

That’s horrible! Where is the regard and respect for the work ethic, rewards and legacy of John Johnson?

Image: weblo

Did You or Do You Roller Skate?

28 Nov

roller skates

I am pleased to announce that my roller skating site, Real Skate Stories, is up and running.

This is not the most exciting roller skating site you will find online. However, it is one of the most interesting – well to me. While all of the other sites provide information and share memories, I am collecting people’s roller skating stories and memories. Allow me to elaborate.

After returning to roller skating in 2008, I started researching roller skating in Chicago and Black roller skating in Chicago and found very little information. Even the The National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln, Nebraska didn’t have much on either topic.  I smelled opportunity.

Long story short, to make this opportunity work, I’m going to need the stories, images and anything else people are willing to share. Although my focus is on Chicago and Black roller skating in Chicago right now, stories are welcomed from people all over the world. There is one caveat: I am only interested in the stories of people who used quad skates, not inline or ice skates. If you don’t know what quads are, check out the image above. Ok, those are old, but you get the picture.

And it doesn’t matter how well of a skater you were/are  (or not). If you skated, your story will help me. Wow, I can’t wait to learn of other people’s roller skating memories.  Visit Real Skate Stories to share your story now or share the link with others.

Read My Article About My Wonderful City of Chicago in Bougie Magazine

16 Nov

Check out my article, Chicago: The Cultural & Entertainment Mecca of the Midwest, in the Inaugural Issue of Bougie Magazine (pgs. 40 – 41). Angela Reed, the creator of this stellar publication, asked me to contribute on Twitter . We spoke on the phone about what she wanted and the deadline, and it was done!

This article is a blessing for two reasons. First, it was a testament that my work is being read and appreciated. And second, I had considered writing for travel magazines and wondered if I could do it. Now, I know.

Bougie Magazine