AngelaJossy's Blog

Feb. 26, 2010 at 8:46am

Coming soon to a website near you!

Working toward better interconnectivity between Tacoma businesses

I had a couple of terrific meetings yesterday and I'm feeling very encouraged about the future. First off, I sat down with Kevin Freitas who founded one of my favorite websites: FeedTacoma.com. The reason I asked to see him is I'm working with the 6th Avenue business district on their internet communications and District President David Printz (who also happens to be Director Operations at The Gurus) has a vision for the district website that includes blogging, online calendar of events and lots of other features that require interactivity. This means complex server side web code which is not my forte. I can edit code but I can't write from scratch.

This vision of David's gave me an idea. What if you could use the free FeedTacoma blog service (the LOCAL option as opposed to Wordpress, Blogspot or something like that) but have the content populate on to your website. That way you can update the content on your website without any prior experience with web site maintenance. This would be the best of both worlds because web traffic will still go to your site and you would still have the benefit of having your blog in the FeedTacoma stream so it would be read by a lot more people then a stand alone website. It seemed like a great idea but I wasn't sure if such a thing was possible so I set up a meeting with Kevin. I knew that he already has such a feature with the FeedTacoma calendar. Anyone can take the calendar web code, place it on their website and immediately have a fully functional calendar of Tacoma events on their website and it requires no maintenance whatsoever because other people add the content to it (on the FeedTacoma site) when they have events to promote. I wanted to see if Kevin was willing to offer the same functionality for blogs. I'm happy to say that he is!

Why should this matter to Tacoma businesses? Because now (or very soon anyway) your blog can be added to the FeedTacoma page along with a bunch of other Tacoma business blogs which means all these business owners will be communicating with each other (and with the general public) on a regular basis without really trying. The more we know about each other, the more information we can share and the more we can collaborate. And the more people will want to do business with us! Its a proven fact that people prefer to do business with people they know and places they are familiar with.

If you aren't comfortable inserting this code into your website, I can do it for you. I'm adding this to my $100 A DAY service list.

FeedTacoma also has a free shopping cart area where anyone can upload pictures and descriptions of items they want to sell. Kevin said that in the future, we will also be able to put these little online shops onto individual websites. I plan to have each of my Speakeasy artists make one and I will put ALL the Speakeasy shops onto the SpeakeasyArtsCooperative.com website!

Speaking of Speakeasy, our membership meeting was the second meeting I referred to. We need to get to 25 members by the end of April or come up with some other way to pay $2500 a month. We have 17 members but 5 of them are leaving. Those who aren't leaving are passionately committed to finding a way to stay open. We have a few new applicants we are interviewing now and we are going forward with our plans to become a non-profit organization. We would like to share space with a coffeeshop so we are sending word out to anyone who wants to start up one or create a satellite to an existing one.

City Arts did a story about Speakeasy this month, though I haven't seen it yet. We've already received some membership inquiries from that so that's awesome! I'm really impressed with how supportive the local press has been to Speakeasy. I feel like we've only just begun and I hope we get more time to do some of the things we have planned but haven't had time to do yet! We have lots of interactive community events and classes planned. This weekend we have the "This Book Changed My Life Book Club" on Saturday and "The Tarot Experience" class by Voxxy on Sunday. Next Thursday evening we have a community potluck and open mic. These events are just the tip of the iceberg. We have so much more to offer you! I hope you'll stay in touch and start participating. It's good for your soul! :)

comments [5]  |  posted under art, blogs, books, business, events, FeedTacoma, graphic design, music, social networking, Tacoma, websites

Comments

by jenyum on 2/26/2010 @ 9:20am
Hi Angie,

I can hook up 6th Ave with most of the features they are looking for. Just send me an email: tacomamama@gmail.com

Not necessary to work from scratch when there are many open source products that will get you 90% of the way there.


....er, not to say people shouldn't use the heck out of feedtacoma and all it's freebies! But if you embed a calendar it's not going to drive search engine traffic to your site, and I imagine many businesses really want their own set up.

by AngelaJossy on 2/26/2010 @ 9:38am
6th Ave has a different plan - their questions just sparked the idea for the embedded blog which was similar to the embedded calendar that Kevin offers. They definitely want their own calendar featuring 6th Ave content.

I will pass your contact info to 6th Ave so you can give them your ideas and expertise. I think they are looking for a simple and inexpensive (of not free) solution.

by KevinFreitas on 2/26/2010 @ 10:45am
@jenyum: After meeting with Angie we're going to provide some pretty generous embeds that place more content on the business/org/whatev website and doesn't have most clicks immediately leaving to FeedTacoma.

Helping FT thrive by having businesses use the calendar, blog, shops, etc helps our community thrive and also helps eliminate the #1 reason most small business websites suck -- they're created as an island. Connecting into the FeedTacoma community is a good way to building a bridge to that island that goes both ways and benefits both the individual business and the greater community.

Best of all, my motive is just that -- building community. Which is why I volunteer my time to create these free resources that I'm excited to see Angie add this to her list of services. If she can help her income by offering value-added services I'm all for FT being used in such a way! Just like the previous Tacomic syndicating in the Volcano it was a great way for the community to still benefit from his art while he was free to make money from it.

Anywho, look for some of these new ways to embed great FT content into your sites soon...

by AngelaJossy on 2/26/2010 @ 12:25pm
I think its awesome to have so much talent available and I can definitely use input from both of you because I work with lots of different kinds of clients all with different needs.

My eye is on the bigger picture here. We are going to sync all these promotional efforts into one big fascinating story about how we are all surviving this recession, having fun and learning about each other and all of Tacoma is going to have a front row seat!


by jenyum on 2/26/2010 @ 12:46pm
wish I could afford to keep doing everything on a strictly volunteer basis but in the absence of that "job" thing everyone is always talking about...