October 22, 2012
The majesty of these planes flying over Bucks County is just mind blowing.  If you get a chance, get to Vansant Airport up near Erwinna, PA.  They close up for the season this weekend.

The majesty of these planes flying over Bucks County is just mind blowing.  If you get a chance, get to Vansant Airport up near Erwinna, PA.  They close up for the season this weekend.

January 17, 2012

The Car Phone

Remember talking on the phone?  Not just a quick, see you soon call, but a long relationship building discussion?  Seems a bit lost these days in our sea of email and text.

I often joke with my friends and tell my kids about my first Bell Atlantic Cell Phone or should I say “Car Phone” and its bills.  The thing was built into my car, looked cool, was always charged, sounded perfect, felt great in your hand and cost a fortune to use.  My monthly bills were often over a grand, but I was building a business and relationships.  Priceless.

The best part about that phone was how special people felt when I called them from it.  They might say, “Where are you?”  I would respond in some cool way as to not act like using the phone was costly. “On my way down Rt. 95.”  “You called me from your car phone?”  “Thanks!”  Then we would get into a great conversation and a half hour later I had spent thirty bucks.  You know what though?  it was worth every penny and lunch would have cost a lot more and maybe never happened.  Not to mention, my father was telling me to be careful of Martini lunches!

You know what?  The antenna was on the back of my car too.  Not stuck to my head making my ear hot.

If you get a chance, please give me a call sometime.  We can just chat.  I mean talk.

Peace

So much new and not much has changed

I talk to folks all the time about taking advantage of new technology and developing electronic media to better their business or association.   They often suffer most over the decisions relating to the technology options and which will get them the best return.  The suffering comes from sincere caring about what they perceive as important.  It struck me again tonight that with so much new mobile technology, new digital media and the addition of Social Networks, almost nothing has changed.   Our greatest challenges are honing our messages, communicating with the audience and measuring and adjusting to their responses.  All of this is a ton of work no matter what technology you embrace.  When we get to dig in with our clients, this is where we go and flourish.

November 29, 2011

A New Vehicle for Stonehouse Media

Okay folks, this post is a bit of a pitch for our biz, but sometimes you just have to talk about yourself and your people.  I hope you don’t mind a couple graphs of pump about SHM.  I loved our website and it served us and our people well.  This post is about our old site and our excitement about the new.  Thanks for allowing me a bit of time to pitch.  Rod

In “Internet time,” Stonehouse Media’s last website was long-lasting. It stood out like a classic car. Bold, dark and a bit mysterious, with some of the latest in technology. Clients and industry peers often called us about the design or to ask how we made certain features work. Could we do something similar for them? Way ahead of its time when it came “off the line” and still ahead as it went off-line.

The SHM site’s “fit and finish” was perfect. When you looked into the monitor you could see yourself. The site was dark, with smoked windows, yet unfortunately, while our clients and prospects said it was cool, it was a hard to see inside and they struggled to develop a clear image of Stonehouse Media’s capabilities. They could not really tell what we were doing. I would go into meetings and people would say, “We love your website, but what do you do?”

We put our website into our digital museum last week. It’s still perfect, no rust, the menus still roll out like they are freshly oiled, but it now rests with many of its digital friends from the turn of the century. Our website stood strong on the digital highway and helped us and our clients generate an abundance of business. Even so, she often waited for updates while we were busy with projects.

Each time we would finish another video project or site design, we would painstakingly select the perfect image, suffer over what to write and then work to find an appropriate place to post the new content. Many times, dealing with the rapid changes in technology, business and positioning were not easy. The pain and suffering is now over!

We have now built a new vehicle for ourselves! With the Stonehouse Media content management system and designs, we have been helping our clients’ websites and video networks come to life for years. While our site designs will continue to be classics, we have a whole lot more power under the hood. We have taken our CMS and integrated it with our mobile site, SEO, Blog and Social Networks. Just as in the past when we launched our site, we hope to create conversation and stimulate new ideas with this one.

Please visit our new site at www.stonehousemedia.com. Let us know what you think and please feel free to ask us questions about our work or the system.

November 1, 2011

New Orleans is always worth the miles

Just got back from New Orleans this week to enjoy our October snow storm and power outage.  The trip to New Orleans was excellent.  The roads were clear, the pavement was smooth or it was being repaired and widened.  I experienced very little congested traffic.  The total ride was around 2400 miles.  Takes about 20 hours each way from PA if you just stop for gas and an occasional sandwich.

Seeing the good people from the IAAI T&E steering committee was nice and we got a lot of work done, but the oysters at Drago’s are why you drive 2000 miles!  (just kidding friends from IAAI.)  Holy smokes, the oysters are grilled and unforgettable.  The country is recovering slowly and the oysters in New Orleans came back fast!

October 12, 2011

So many good things are happening!

I have been traveling a lot by motorcycle around our country the past four months.  In those 12,000 miles of recent travel I have made personal observations that warm my heart and contradict much of what I have seen reported.  For a country that sounds like it is in crisis when you listen to the news media and many of our politicians, I believe there are many great things happening. 

If you are one of the many people slammed by the weak economy, I get that you want a quick recovery, but I believe it’s not possible if we want it to be real.  Our company has seen cuts and reductions in budgets.  We are constantly dancing and changing.  At the same time, we are staying true to our goals and hanging in with successes that make us proud.  I wish the best for my many friends dealing with economic hardships.  Mostly I hope they seize new opportunities, be creative and use everything they have around them to make good things happen.

I have traveled the east coast from Florida to Connecticut and from Pa to Western Illinois.  In the next couple of weeks I will report back from my trip to New Orleans.

I believe the work on our infrastructure is making a difference and we need to keep working on it.  Nothing meaningful is going to happen fast.

Let me be brief by listing some of what I have seen.

I have seen………….

-Better roads and better moving traffic

-Better planning of cities with nice parks and trails

-More renovation of great old homes and towns

-Successful, good looking small businesses

-Green alternatives being used

-Blooming Micro economies in cities that have responded with creativity

-Service companies with better marketing and service

-Smaller companies doing more with new technologies

There is a ton more, but I just wanted to use this avenue to start and spout some of the great things that are happening.

Peace

New Stonehouse Media Corporate Jet!  Good gas mileage, total  connectivity, the latest in broadband, Internet radio, GPS and  phone!

New Stonehouse Media Corporate Jet!  Good gas mileage, total connectivity, the latest in broadband, Internet radio, GPS and phone!

February 9, 2011

A special day, been blown away!

I can’t believe what they said!  We just finished editing video interviews of users who we serve with online training and education on www.cfitrainer.net.  The interviews will be available online soon, but I couldn’t wait to say that sitting in the edit suite and seeing the passion coming from these people we visited around the county was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in business for years.  One or two of the folks we interviewed were so excited about the content and the network, they had me nodding as they spoke.  This is not tweaked-up marketing pump; this is a needed release of excitement so I can sleep!  We have been blessed with an opportunity to let our creativity and production value shine and to be rewarded by not just kind words from our audience, but rave reviews, just blew my mind.  So often the investment in training and education is throttled by a lack of priority or a quest for rapid return on investment.  These people validated that an investment in training is not just appreciated, but embraced by the audience.  They told us they loved the content; it looked better than anything they had taken online.  They also said they felt like they were there with experts and team members working on the job and being spoken to like they were the only one there.

The promotional piece we are doing for the online network is being released next week.  We now have 36,000 users and we had close to 1000 users sign up in the past month.  That is equal to the biggest month of new registrations since we went live.  Just a little more meat to our story that we tell.  Production value matters and developing a relationship with your audience requires credible and well produced content.

August 1, 2010

Spirit and Soul in our work – the great reward

What defines reward from our work?  Is it the rush when we get something just the way we wanted?  Perhaps it’s the great feeling when we fall back into our recliners, “as seen on TV”.  Maybe a great reward from our work is resolution of conflict between a creative team or business relationship.  Maybe it’s as simple as being part of a team and knowing that you have people around you that you can rely on.  Some people have told me it’s just about the cash. 

I don’t believe the folks who say it’s just the money.  I believe real reward comes from maintaining purpose, fighting to fulfill a vision and incorporating some of your spirit and soul.   If you think your work is a means to get to your real life, think again.  We are working more hours and doing more jobs at one time than any generation in our short American history.

Are we coming out of a financial situation that has spanked our country because we failed to find real reward in our work?  Did we look for shiny pennies, the silver bullet or good “burn rates”?  I believe that we failed to build long-term, strong relationships, companies and communities while we looked for short term success.   We got excited with drunken pleasure following confidence in our stock market and artificially inflated home values.  If we had put more of our soul into decisions, and thought out plans with focus on long term value and quality, maybe our rewards would have taken longer to get, but they would have been part of a growing and strengthening foundation.  

When I see people inject their soul and passion into work, no matter what their level on the corporate ladder, that honesty, commitment and ownership feeds the process and makes us happier and better at what we do.  While I believe this injection works at all levels, it is our leaders who must drive business and politics with their good spirit and soul.

A few things we could do differently….. 

We can listen to the next suggestion that we might have ignored in the past. 

We can get a team of peers together and look for ways to improve a situation. 

We can take a risk with someone who has earned our trust through their investment of time and long-term performance. 

Maybe the most important thing we can do is lower our expectations for short term reward in corporate and personal goals, allowing us to focus down the road on meaningful growth. 

Our country has nurtured and is home to some of the greatest knowledge in the world.  With thousands of businesses and organizations representing expertise in every field, it is the responsibility of our leadership to leverage this undeveloped knowledge, invest in it and promote and share it with the world.  Our intellectual property is one of our greatest untapped resources. 

Our electronic media industry lacks the development of great knowledge that is within many of the brightest minds, companies and organizations.  Our company works to capture and produce that content and get it on TV and the web. (Often with smaller budgets than in the past.)  Our goal is to leverage this knowledge, capture and produce videos and interactive programs and then deliver to specific audiences worldwide.  While there is often pressure to get something out the door fast, we never forget that our clients and viewers are looking for a long-term relationship. 

For our company and clients, I am going to continue to invest time in getting our people connected to experts and opinion leaders, maintain my passion, stay disciplined, make some compromises and continue to be persistent when I see lack of movement.  I too search for reward, but I’ve noticed that by developing long-term relationships, the rewards have been coming more often and are lasting longer.  It is my hope that as we continue to inject spirit and soul in our work, we will see consistent growth and reward shared by our team, vendors and clients.


RDA

March 5, 2010

APPLE iPAD with no FLASH?

With such beautiful products, an ever strengthening position in the market and a history of serving the people and the arts, why would Apple not support FLASH?  Flash is a pristine video solution that has been embraced by the hands of people who are often driven by their Apple computers.  Flash is the leading embedded video web format.  Much of our Internet and business relies on Flash and it’s finally being applied in a way that users enjoy it.  The Adobe application is also helping to protect much of our intellectual property.

Die-hard Apple customers like ourselves are sitting here scratching our heads.  We were so excited and now we have no way to recommend the iPAD to our clients for mobile/distance learning programs delivered by our current network applications or sites.  We also can’t use the iPAD to present our work or deliver e-tools to a sales force without custom development.

If the iPAD can’t do it yet because it lacks the horsepower to drive the scalable FLASH, then they could just say they are working on it and many of the Apple consumers would dish out the bucks anyway, while helping to work out the GUI and potential issues with durability.

Our websites and online networks are using embedded FLASH just like the leaders, (HULU, YOUTUBE, CNN and more)  While it is true that many of these leaders are developing mobile apps so that their content can be seen, what about sites that truly have interaction, education and measurement/reporting?  Many of the organizations that offer this content can barely afford to create quality media in the first place.  I am sure that they are not interested in re-creating all their content outside of it’s current shell.  Wasn’t it Apple that was delivering computers for free to educational institutions and students to better serve our learning institutions?

We need to serve our clients and the public as this new tablet genre finally comes alive.  We have been watching and learning since HP and others built tablet PC’s years ago.  By the way, the HP Tablet that we looked at more than 5 years ago had a processor that was 900mhz.  The new iPAD is only 1000mhz?  Perhaps Apple should have reached out to INTEL and NVIDIA to build a better platform the same way they did to build their most powerful workstations?  Once the Apple computers seized the INTEL processor, we saw a massive improvement in power and stability.

The iPAD looks like a beautiful solution with it’s light weight and smooth interface, but without Flash and better (Verizon) connectivity, it falls short of so many peoples needs.  Recently, I found this link to a new selection of devices that are promising some pretty exciting options.  They are NOT ready for prime time, but it seems like in only months, there will be more than just options to the iPAD, there are going to be pretty exciting and sometimes even HUGE (16”) alternatives.  Check out some of the early news at the following link.

http://mashable.com/2010/01/27/9-upcoming-tablet-alternatives-to-the-apple-ipad/

RDA

February 16, 2010

What a day! New Life out in e-land

I see new energy building out there in our electronic media land!  Energy and commitment that extends beyond the mere pump of a new technology or buzz.

In the meetings that I am attending, people are trying to “do the right thing” more each day!  We are currently responding to more demand for new programs for promotion, education and training than I can remember!  The best part is that our existing and new contacts are interested in doing the most credible content ever.  This is a big deal.

Our work is in marketing, training, Internet delivered Video & Interactive.  We are even seeing people investing in the real value of measurement that we have been pitching for years with little interest from the masses. Search engines and social networks have also become part of every meeting we attend.

People seem to be starting to understand the value of targeting their audience with these new tools.  The best part of my day is when we meet people with real expertise and they allow us to help them bring it to life online with total confidence in their performance and our work…..

February 13, 2010
January 28, 2010

Twilight Wish Foundation

If you are interested in letting people from our older population know how much you appreciate them, you can personally help make a wish come true or simply make a donation at www.twilightwish.org.  There are very few ways that we can communicate gratitude to our elders who are often forgotten during our busy and hectic lives.  Twilightwish has found a way to help each of us “do good and feel good” by remembering these folks and thanking them by granting wishes.  Wishes have been for simple life needs like a hearing aid, helping arrange to get a family back together for Thanksgiving or even bringing a veteran closer to his buddies by arranging a visit for him and his family to the World War II memorial in DC with his family.

January 26, 2010
This is a photo from the release of a program that we did with the USSS and other partners from the public and private sector.  The HD Video program was designed to educate law enforcement officers how to assist the public and help prevent identity theft and crime.  The launch was at the capital.  The program captured interviews with experts sharing case studies from industry and law enforcement.  We traveled from LA to NYC and met several great people who were sharing information and stories from all over our country.

This is a photo from the release of a program that we did with the USSS and other partners from the public and private sector.  The HD Video program was designed to educate law enforcement officers how to assist the public and help prevent identity theft and crime.  The launch was at the capital.  The program captured interviews with experts sharing case studies from industry and law enforcement.  We traveled from LA to NYC and met several great people who were sharing information and stories from all over our country.