Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Papa Murphy's Messed Up My Pizza and You Won't Believe What Happened Next

I tried Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake pizza for the first time recently. There is a new location near my home and they mailed coupons. I decided to give them a try and went there with my daughter. We ordered a Chicago-Style Stuffed™ and my daughter asked if we could get it without onions. It seemed like a small sacrifice so, "no onions" was added to the order. We were made aware of a special and added two dessert choices for $5 to our order. I was also able to use a coupon for $2 off the price of our stuffed pizza.

There were several orders ahead of ours and we sat down to wait. It was interesting to watch the pizzas being made and soon I found myself studying their technique. After a few minutes I guessed at which pizza was ours and watched as it was prepared. I decided I must have guessed wrong when the onions were added. Then something incredible happened. The young man making our pizza realized his mistake. What do you think happened next?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why Are Food Trucks So Much Fun?

I got to eat from a new food truck for lunch today. It was the first time I saw The Fast Italian and I am so glad I gave it a try. They have great service and I really enjoyed the food. It was also the best deal I've had for lunch in quite a while. For only $5.75 I got a sandwich, potato salad, chips, cookie, water, and a mint. It doesn't look like @theFASTitalian is tweeting much so I hope I can learn how to keep track of the truck's location.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Future is Social and Integrated

I've been waiting for Google to make a big splash in the social space. In fact, the original inspiration for this blog was iGoogle Social Features. What seems to be working for Google isn't the big news items like Wave or Buzz. Google has put several pieces together and until recently I didn't see the whole picture. Then I went to Taco Loco.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If You Can, Please Donate to Help Japan

You can find information on what is happening and how you can help through this page at Google Crisis Response:
2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pledge Signed, Debt Crushed

Thanks to Adaptu and Man vs. Debt I have crushed $1,000 of debt. I think I signed the pledge just because I like the way it sounds to crush debt. Had I been asked to pledge to payoff debt or reduce debt it may have gone unheeded. To crush debt, now that sounds more like it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Play Soccer Like A Twelve Year Old Girl

Tomorrow I coach my first soccer game. I have coached before but I wasn't the head coach. I used to help out as an assistant coach. There have been a couple of games when the head coach wasn't available and I filled in. So I have coached other times. Still, tomorrow will be my first game.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Adaptu - Have You Tried It?

I was reading a post from a personal financial blog and noticed an ad from Adaptu. The ad caught my attention because it was asking for a pledge to eliminate $1,000 in debt. Seems like a good thing to do but why is it a good thing to spend money to advertise? I was shocked when I clicked through to the landing page and found the simplest form I have ever seen online. It asked for First Name and Zip Code. That is all the information they ask for when you take the pledge. How are they going to market to me with just my first name and zip code? Are they really doing this for me, not to collect information about me? How are they going to sell me anything? Why is this worth advertising?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Progress Energy to the Rescue

What happens when an electrical transformer in your front yard faults? In my case they show up less than two hours later with a new one.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Am Number Four

I saw that Google has revised their search algorithm in an effort to decrease the significance of content farms. I didn't expect this to have much, if any, impact on my quest to be the number one Ed Tennant but I checked anyway. I don't credit it to the algorithm change but I have moved up a spot. This site is now the fourth search result for ed tennant. It seems like I was stuck at number five for a long time but it has only been two months since the experiment started.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video Killed the Radio Star

Today Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Everybody points the finger at Amazon when a brick-and-mortar book retailer has trouble. It seems to make sense to blame virtual stores when physical stores fail. I'm not sure whether it is electronic commerce or the electronic book that has brought the United States second largest bookseller to this point. Either way it makes me wonder about the consequences of new inventions. How many buggy makers went out of business when Henry Ford began producing the horseless carriage? How many employees will lose their jobs because Borders plans to close 30 percent of their store locations?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Reason to Write Online Reviews

I just discovered a great reason to write online reviews. If you forget which service provider you used in the past you can find them again through your own review. I need someone to look at my clothes dryer. It makes a horrible racket and is getting louder every time I use it. Problem is I use it on Sundays and that isn't the best day to track down an appliance repairman. So this has been going on for awhile and getting worse over time. I finally remembered on a weekday that I need to get it fixed. Armed with my Android powered smart phone I launched Dex and searched for appliance repair in my city. The first listing had a 5 star review and the name seemed familiar. I clicked to read the review and found out I had written it after they fixed our dishwasher. Guess who I called about the dryer?

Now I think of online reviews as a trail of breadcrumbs. They help me find my way back to businesses that I don't use very often but provide good service.

Do you leave online reviews?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snatching Nickels From the Steamroller's Path

Competition for local advertising is increasing at a remarkable pace. A small business owner can have a mobile ad campaign with little money and almost no effort:  Google Boost: Now Appearing On Mobile Phones - Google Small Business.

I don't know if he invented it but Joel Spolsky was the first I heard use the phrase about snatching nickels. He was referring to small shops that were filling gaps in a larger vendor's platform. Sooner or later the vendor fills the need and poof goes the business model of the small shop.

I think Google has managed to make a good start at doing sort of the opposite. Google has crept into the local advertising market with such a broad offering that it makes the incumbents look like niche players. They may very well displace multiple billion dollar businesses as they continue to expand their ability to service local advertisers. By providing Adwords, YouTube, Places, Hotpot, and Boost Google is becoming a one-stop shop for local online and mobile advertising.

Look at the year over year revenues of all the print advertisers that cater to local businesses. They are shrinking, getting smaller, growing backwards, declining, and falling. To make it easy on you just scan the newly created BIA/Kelsey Local Media Index. Notice the direction that Yellow Pages companies are going. Notice the direction that online local companies are going. For the time being, Google is actually counted as online advertising and search. Obviously they make a huge portion of their revenue from search but I bet more and more of that has a local flavor.

For a Yellow Pages company to survive they must be able to compete for local advertising dollars. If those dollars are being spent for a different media than the print Yellow Pages then companies must offer more than print advertising solutions. The offerings it seems they must provide are online. Right in the middle of the path of the Google steamroller.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Android Market Website is Terrific

Introducing the Android Market website - Official Google Mobile Blog

Sometimes when there is a gaping hole and it gets filled the fix seems to leave some room around the edges like it wasn't quite enough. Not so with the new web version of the Android Market. It worked perfectly for me the first time and I really appreciate the easy access to information about the apps. The installs are seamless and they have done an excellent job of filling a major hole in the Android app distribution strategy.

Since I am an AT&T customer I was nervous of a different version of the Android Market. My carrier blocks installs from anywhere but the official store. No problem at all. Google is really getting it together and this is a step in the right direction. I love my Android phone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Webitty Goes Mobile Again

Blogger released an Android app and this is the first post from my phone.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Google Search Promotes Google Profile Using Google Buzz

I searched Google for Ed Tennant to check the progress of my SEO experiment. The results were shocking. Out of nowhere my Google profile page ranks higher than this blog. My Google profile isn't even filled out. I don't remember seeing my Google profile page in the previous results. Now it ranks number five.

This is a little frustrating considering I have been trying to increase this site's ranking for my name. The earlier blog post with my name in the title did make it onto the first page of search results. The Webitty home page is strangely absent. So where did this sudden increase in ranking of my Google profile page come from? My theory is Google Buzz. Google Buzz reposts my activity from Twitter, Linkedin, and this blog. Every item begins with my name which is a link to my Google profile page.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dining Out in Wake Forest, NC

Where can you find one restaurant with both Collards and Spiedies on the menu? Or how about Shrimp and Grits plus Bangers and Mash? I'm not sure how they pull it off but it all comes together wonderfully at Wakefied Tavern. Although it took a long time they are finally open. They redecorated the space beautifully. I ate there for the first time last night and really enjoyed it.

They have a good beer selection and I was especially pleased to see Big Boss Brewing Company well represented among the taps. The menu is like none other I've ever seen, and I mean that in a good way. The variety of dishes goes from southern to northern then all the way across the pond. Seriously, Grit Cakes and Irish Bacon coming from the same kitchen is something I hadn't experienced before. I am definitely up for experiencing Wakefield Tavern again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spicy Chicken Biscuit

Chick-fil-A gave me one of their new spicy chicken biscuits this morning for free. It was very good. As enjoyable as the biscuit was there is more to pay attention to in this promotion. They have done a better job at giving away a lot of free food than some of their competitors. It is nice to see a company learn from another's mistakes. For this promotion you have to make a reservation. There is a limit of how many they will give away each hour. Smart. They didn't try to avoid giving away a whole lot of biscuits for free, they just made sure they could meet the demand. Good job Chick-fil-A. Good spicy chicken biscuit too.