Category Archives: clips

Clips: Ramp up your customer surveying

Two-clip whammy!

How to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act

(Inc magazine, 8/5) Jim Langevin has been a quadriplegic since a shooting accident when he was a teenager. On July 26, Langevin, a U.S. representative from Rhode Island and the first quadriplegic elected to the House, rose to the speaker’s podium in the House of Representatives with the help of a newly installed mechanical lift system.

Langevin was there to honor, and demonstrate the use of, the Americans with Disabilities Act. The paralyzed congressman was asked to be the first wheelchair user to preside over the chamber in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the law that prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities.

READ THE REST because you can.

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Clip: Hop on the leader ship

How to Create a Leadership Development Program

(via Inc. magazine, 7/26) What kind of magic does the Walt Disney Companyuse to keep its large and sprawling staff of smiley, friendly, and competent workers all on the same page … and keep them all smiling?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the pixie dust. What’s actually responsible is a robust and internationally recognized leadership program that aims to carry on the virtues first established by Walt and Roy Disney 80 years ago.

“Our guests are more likely to return based on our interactions with cast members who are more prepared, more willing, if they have great leadership that supports them,” says Bruce Jones, the programming coordinator for the Disney Institute, which started as in-house training for Disney company staff and has expanded to offer training and development for outside organizations.

In other words, Disney learned quickly that internal leadership development was crucial to success.

What kind of leadership program is right for your business? Experts say internal development is often something that gets axed as businesses look for ways to save money.  But they say overlooking the value of cultivating your own in-house talent can be a fatal mistake. Leadership programs help ease the chain of succession, make employees feel more connected to the business, and can transfer good ideas from one section of your company to the whole organization.

READ THE REST, but do it on your own accord as a leader not a follower

Web clip: How to be the only person over 16 at Great Adventure

Day trippin’ it: Great Adventure for a greater price

Don't scream! Save money on Great Adventure photo by Flickr user jasuellr(Brokelyn, 7/21) First thing you need to know about the amusement park in Jackson, NJ: it’s called Great Adventure, not “Six Flags.” The biggest regional theme park in the country, with its 13 roller coasters, drive-through safari and water park, puts lesser permutations of the Six Flags name to shame. It’s always been a fun place to go with your youth group or whatnot, with someone else picking up the tab. But can you, as a broke city kid, satiate your desire for summer thrills of the ultra high-velocity variety that Coney Island just can’t offer? You can! And here’s how:

One slight disclaimer: When we visited the park earlier this summer for the first time in a decade, we found it ain’t the imagination wonderland and cartoon-character forest of the past. Perhaps due to the company’s recent bankruptcy woes, Six Flags has sold basically every square inch of the park as ad space. The Great American Scream Machine? Yeah, those screams are brought to you by Axe body spray. Even the poor summer-job teens announcing ride safety rules have been reduced to shilling for Johnny Rockets.

But, despite all that, the park has Kingda Ka, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world, which sends you hurtling 45 stories at 128 mph, which is, we can confirm, pretty freaking sweet.

READ THE REST and find out about the upcoming Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert

Clip: Business time in Hotlanta

How to Start a Business in Atlanta

Despite its laid-back vibe, Atlanta is considered a rising star of the business world. Here’s how to navigate its challenges.

Inc. Magazine, 7/16/10:

Octane, Atlanta’s popular and trendy independent coffee shop, has a growing reputation as a piazza of caffeinated creative minds and a haven for innovators. Sometimes customers treat owner Tony Riffel like a business consultant, seeking his suggestions for a graphic designer or other skilled craftsperson.

“I can just look around the room and point out three or four people,” Riffel said. “Atlanta’s kind of like a big small town. You run into people you know all the time. It doesn’t feel nearly as big as it actually is.”

Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the South, and for much of the last decade was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the whole country as its population sprouted 20 percent between 2000 and 2006. It stands out from neighboring states as a technology hub full of university and private-sector incubators, along with a strong civic pride in the city that’s become the face of the New South.

Business owners and experts tick off the reasons they consider the city a rising star in the business world: the climate, the accessibility to the world’s busiest airport and fewer regulatory restrictions than other places such as New York or California.

But it’s not without its share of challenges. The sprawling metro area and lack of public transit can make traffic a crippling factor. The city has been forced to recreate the urban feel in digital spaces and hubs like Riffel’s coffee shop.
Atlantans frequently use the phrase “bootstrapping” to talk about self-reliance, but only because they’ve become used to a dearth of outside investment. While local restaurant and arts scenes are booming, several high-profile technology companies have picked up and left town for what they consider more nurturing environments on the West Coast or elsewhere.

For those who like Atlanta’s lower level of intensity compared to other cities, the future, they say, is promising enough to make the nickname “Hotlanta” apply to more than just the weather.


getting serious Inc.

Thanks to Christine for this one! via Inc. Magazine:

How to Open a Business in Brooklyn

New York’s biggest borough is as much a brand as a location, and it is ripe for start-ups of all stripes.

blue marble

Jennie Dudas and Alexis Miesen of Blue Marble

Jun 28, 2010

For Alexis Miesen, Atlantic Avenue had all the makings of the quintessential Brooklyn thoroughfare that combines the charm of a small town with the pace of city life. With its colorful boutique storefronts, diverse dining options, smattering of coffee shops, and antique stores, she expected to see happy families strolling along the street sharing ice cream cones.

There was one problem: There was no ice cream anywhere around.

“It’s filled with all these fantastic bars and restaurants and shops and it just has this really great kind of energy. They have all these great amenities to the community but no great ice cream shop,” she said. “This is a gap in what other people are offering.”

Less than three years later, Miesen and her partner Jennie Dundas had opened not only an ice cream shop on Atlantic Avenue, but also had rapidly expanded the franchise to two other Brooklyn locations, feeding summertime crowds that often form lines winding out the door. Blue Marble’s organic, grass-fed dairy-based ice cream has been praised on The Martha Stewart Show, CNN, and in a bevy of New York publications.

Brooklyn has become as much a brand these days as a location. Slap the word “Brooklyn” on a piece of clothing and it’s instantly edgy, and quite likely to sell. New York City’s most populous borough remains a popular place to start a business, and Miesen and Dundas are emblematic of the grassroots, DIY entrepreneurs across the borough who’ve found a niche, and a loyal fan base that helps spread their brand along the way.

The surge of creative energy, young artists and recent graduates is putting Brooklyn on the map not just for its booming music scene but also as competition with San Francisco to see who will lead the next Internet revolution.

Business owners say starting a venture in Brooklyn requires creativity, a careful study of neighborhoods, and a good deal of Web 2.0 savvy. We talked with several successful companies about why the county of Kings is a bubbling cauldron of entrepreneurship, and how to get in on the action.

READ THE REST because it’s a clip not about drinking cheap beer or black-jeans wearing rock bands for once!


In case you weren’t already aware via the 30-40 other social media/interactive/digital sites we probably share in common and toggle back and forth between every 10 to 20 seconds, Brokelyn, aka the blogspace that I’ve been writing, editing and shilling for over the past year, the origin of the assignments that have put me face-to-face with Martha Stewart, beamed across New York from Brian Lehrer’s table in high def, got me linked to by the New York Times, nearly sent a panel of brave beer tasters into a gassy coma, and resulted in some sort of blog fame, is celebrating the crap out itself tonight. And guess what? All that crap I just mentioned was unpaid, so we’re trying to make some money tonight. We’re also trying to get some money for the cash-strapped Brooklyn Public Library. If you don’t like us, surely you like reading. If you don’t like reading, perhaps you will enjoy these listings for The Human Centipede.

Our charity ball & RAFFLE: June 10

Firstbirthday-250x218cropHappy birthday to us! Can you believe it’s already been a year of Brokelyn? In just 12 months, we stalked Martha Stewart, told you how to sell your[redacted] online, couch-surfed, Dumpster swam,Crockpot gourmeted, price checked, deal-scouted, taste-tested, happy houred, flirted with aluminum poisoning from cheap beer tastings and much, much more. We also brought you the Brokelyn Beer Book and some great t-shirts in the process. We’re just getting started, but all this means only one thing… PARTY TIME (excellent)!

So what did you get us? Oh, I see… well it’s ok, because we’re getting you something. Clear your calendars and start rolling your pennies, because we’re throwing a bash for the ages, featuring fancy shmancy dress, some free booze and, the piece de resistance, THE RAFFLE OF THE CENTURY.


Inverted Soapbox’s terribly awkward first reading ever


issue 1

So I contributed to a zine. Yes it’s 1995. Perhaps you had been wondering this whole time why I wear this flannel so much.

It’s called The Teckas, There’s a reading tomorrow night at the zine’s eponymous (backwards) bar, The Sackett, a cozy friendly little pub in a hidden corner of Park Slope. Also, I get to read something, which is the first time ever I’ve been asked to do that since like elementary school. The theme is unclaimed space, and I wrote about witnessing the fledgling attempts to claim the barren space of the Hilton Head live music scene as new venues opened a few years back, before it all went tits up. I know! Your excitement is crescendoing! It’s probably only matched by my terrible self-consciousness about writing in all forms!

Here’s the deets, via Brokelyn

(5/19) Hey, remember zines? They were those awesome tactile little portable blogs you carried around before your first AOL account, with all the handmade charm of cut-and-paste formatting in the pre-Wordpress era. They were a cultural barometer of a neighborhood, record shop or book store. And they could be again. Our good friends at The Sackett are paying homage to the glory days of zines with their own publication, The Tekcas. If you’re like us, and still have that soft-spot for the printed word, you won’t want to miss Thursday’s launch party at the cozy Park Slope bar.

The bar’s owners, Michael and Ann, are releasing The Tekcas (Sackett backwards) with a 9 p.m. reading. Issue 1 of the bi-annual zine features stories and artwork by customers (including yours truly) on the theme of unclaimed space. The theme was inspired by the empty, unused lot across the street from the bar that, although barren, is still protected by a security fence. Want to hear rambled tales of heartbreak and horror from the unclaimed music scene of coastal South Carolina, accompanied by food and drink specials?? If so, you know where to be Thursday (661 Sackett St., between Fourth and Fifth Aves.)