Follow Hank to the Fun of Fast and Furriest to Help Homeless Pets

It’s said some of our most precious gifts we place in museums or vaults; others we take for walks. It is a very unique walk and run for dogs and people I want to share with you.

I think most dogs and pet people find ways to make friends. Just visit your local dog park to see how pets and owners mix and mingle.

BucaneerstateparkwldogsonbeachI recall a dog park visit where I met a woman and her pooch visiting the facility for the first time. Hank was met with wagging tails. Hank’s mom just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups and celebrations including the job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank is more than a great companion; he helps his owner meet new people and learn about their neighborhood.

Hank and his owner exercise together. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us want to make sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets.

The 8th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 24th at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights from 9am to 11am. The run is the Saint Louis original dog-owner professionally-timed race. Others with or without pets will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace or activities on the grounds. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family. Fast and Furriest also offers children’s face painting, vendor booths and food trucks.

Another fun element of the event to help homeless pets is Pooch Poker where walkers will be dealt playing cards at stations along the 1-Mile Walk route. Players with a winning hand receive a prize at the end of the walk!

Animal lovers don’t have to walk or run to participate to help pets and be a winner.  There are online options to take part in the Fast and Furriest. Plus for first time contributions are matched! A generous donor is matching participant pledges for Fast and the Furriest. $25 turns into $50; $100 turns into $200. Think of the possibilities for homeless pets!  There is also a social media component, share your online fundraising page with your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. It is easy to share your passion for the APA on Facebook and other social media outlets. By getting the word out, you could win fundraiser prizes!

All proceeds from this event will benefit the APA’ s mission of bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education, and creating programs beneficial to the human-animal bond.

You can learn more about the event and register at https://apamo.org/event/apas-fast-and-the-furriest/

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Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk

Smartphone App Uses Facial Recognition Technology to Locate Missing Pets

2010_tyd_photowinner_louiseTechnology is at work to help pet owners looking for lost animals. A cell phone app called Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) issues alerts for missing pets. The PiP app uses facial recognition technology to find a missing pet. The owner can upload a picture and description of their pet. When the pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP alert. The alert is sent out to veterinarians and local animal shelters. The alert will trigger PiP technology to watch social media outlets for postings of pets that have been found. It uses a facial recognition system to find a positive match to a found pet in the database.
PiPPhones-1 The PiP app is a free download for all Smartphone users.  At the moment a pet goes missing, an owner can activate a PiP “amber alert” and immediately broadcast to animal control/animal rescue agencies, veterinarians, social media outlets, and other app subscribers within the local area that their pet has been lost. Simultaneously, the amber alert will trigger PiP’s technology to watch social media outlets for any posting of a found pet.
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Thank goodness, my dogs have not gone missing so I have not tried the PiP app; I opt for the old-school dog tag with my contact information and microchips on both of my dogs.

Pet microchips are available at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, most veterinarian offices and many animal shelters. A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time. It only takes a few minutes to have a pet microchipped and your information can be updated during the life of your pet.

Want to learn more about Positive Identification of a Pet (PiP) technology? Check out this video including some feedback from animal owners and rescue experts. Please take a moment and fill out the poll below.

A Yellow Ribbon on a Dog’s Leash Sends an Important Message

389711_574482065925784_1337248708_nHave you seen dogs with a yellow ribbon tied to their leash or a yellow leash with “nervous” embroidered on it? These are two ways dog owners are signaling the pet at the end of the leash needs extra room.

These are not necessarily dangerous animals. There are many reasons an owner may need extra space; the pet could be convalescing. The dog could be in training and needs extra space in order to concentrate on the new behaviors. The yellow ribbon or halter could signify a nervous and uncomfortable dog with strange people and animals.

Of course it’s always good to ask permission before petting someone’s dog—yellow ribbon or not. Doing so is just one way to help prevent some of the estimated 4.5 million dog bites that happen every year in the United States.

The Yellow Dog Project is using Facebook and other social media to spread the word that a dog sporting a yellow ribbon, harness or kerchief may not be safe to approach and should be left alone.

This video demonstrates how a yellow ribbon helps one dog recovering from terrible abuse:

A yellow ribbon on a dog leash sends an important message

A yellow ribbon on a dog leash sends an important message

Contests and Special Business Initiatives Connect Small Business with Super Bowl XLVIII

The NFL season is just getting underway and the Super Bowl is months away, but the buzz around the big game has been underway for weeks. Super Bowl 2014 is the first game hosted by two NFL franchises: the New York Jets and the New York Giants. From the halftime show to the price of commercials for Super Bowl XLVIII; social media is full of anticipation. Super Bowl advertisers are signing on to spend a record-high average price of $4 million per 30-second spot!

Small business owners also are working to make sure their companies get a part of the biggest show on turf. One small business will be part of the Super Bowl commercial lineup along with the big brands courtesy of a software giant.  Intuit, maker of QuickBooks, is sponsoring ‘Small Business Big Game’, a contest in which one small company will receive a 30-second commercial in Super Bowl XLVIII.  In addition to a professionally produced television commercial, there are other smaller business building prizes up for grabs in the online competition.  Entry deadline is September 22, 2013 at http://www.smallbusinessbiggame.com/

The Super Bowl is not a one-day game and business opportunity.  The big game is a series of events attracting hundreds of thousands of people who will not be the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Both New York and New Jersey will be hosting special events and celebrations for the NFL’s biggest event.   For example, Broadway ‘s district, from 34th to 44th,  will be renamed Super Bowl Boulevard, and closed to traffic for four days of concerts, football clinics and free events leading up to the Super Bowl.  New Jersey venues are scheduled many activities including Super Bowl Media Day on and the NFL’s Tailgate party at Meadowlands Racetrack.

All of these events have entrepreneurs and small business owners working to make sure their companies are ready to do business with the National Football League and partner organizations for Super Bowl XLVIII. The league and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative is already reaching out to small business. For more than a decade, the NFL has been building connections between the league and small business in Super Bowl host cities. An initiative known as the NFL’s Business Connect holds training sessions and workshops to educate local businesses about the process of pursuing and winning contracts.  A free participant guidebook to NFL’s Business Connect is online now at http://nynjsuperbowl.com/participant-guidebook.

 The NFL’s Business Connect will present informational workshops featuring local and national speakers, access to potential opportunities for Super Bowl-related business contacts, networking events and an online Business Resource Guide. While much of the business is centered on the big game, the program strives to develop business relationships that will continue long after the nation’s largest sporting spectacle moves on to another city. 

Super Bowl events will make multimillion dollar impact on New York city's economy.

Super Bowl events will make multimillion dollar impact on New York city’s economy.

Social Media Savvy Seniors and Boomers Busy Online

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People are discussing photos they share on Pinterest, the blog on their travels or the app they are using to track their fitness and exercise schedule.  These conversations on technology are not restricted to the local social media clubs; they are hot topics for senior services communities like Laclede Groves near Saint Louis and coffee shops where baby boomers meet.

Social media savvy seniors and boomers are busy online.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends. Social media savvy seniors and boomers may also be boosting brain power new research suggests.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends.  Social media savvy seniors and boomers may not be the first to try the newest app or gadget; but are eager to adopt them once the technology is mainstream.  Older users on social media are active to discuss and share travel, health, hobbies or search for products, values, and discounts.  The social and digital contribution of these connected seniors is impressive! Baby Boomers are 80 million strong and growing.

In just five years, 50% of the US population will be 50+ projects Nielsen Research. (August 2012)

US Boomers’ Internet usage now is impressive:

– 33% of all online users

– 33% of all social media and Twitter

– 33% are heavy internet users.

Currently, there are about 21 million online seniors (those aged over 65 years old) in the United States according to Forrester Research, (June 2012).

Forrester finds 49% of digital seniors in the US are using Facebook.

– 91% of online seniors use email

– 59% have purchased products online in past three months

– 46% send/receive photos by email

– 44% play solo games online

– 24% sign up for coupons/freebies.

Staying connected online and through social media may be a great way for seniors to stay healthy. One recent study shows social media can give older adults a brain boost.  Researchers at the University of Arizona taught some seniors, over 65, how to use Facebook and then put them through cognitive and memory tests.  The new Facebook users fared 25 percent better on the tests than seniors who did not use the social network.

Boomers were raised in front of the TV and have always embraced media and technology. The size of the screens is now shrinking as they continue to grow with a constantly changing tech landscape that could help keep them young and connected for socializing, shopping and entertaining themselves on social media.

To see some of these savvy seniors in action on Facebook, I suggest you visit the Lutheran Senior Services page on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LutheranSeniorServices.

Frostbox’s Business Proposition: Your Social Media Biographer

ImageHow much time do you spend on social networks?   Are you backing up all those photos, videos, documents, and links?  Those awesome Facebook snapshots of your childhood friends or the Flickr photos of your kids that always make you smile could be lost.  Your entire online network of colleagues and clients along with the proposal you spent all weekend working on could be lost due to a computer virus, hackers, or fat fingers.  Scary thought, huh?  One start-up business is offering a one-stop back-up for your personal social media data.  A cloud platform, Frostbox, has sights set on becoming the Dropbox of social media.

The business plan also has a significant social media component as Frostbox offers a stake to social media users — but only those with Klout scores of 60 and above.  I first heard about the innovative marketing approach via Todd Wasserman’s post.  It seems standard campaigns are open those with scores of 45 or more, this plan is a social experiment with Klout to document the growth of a single company when people with high influence have a vested interest in its success.  What do you think?  Will you invest some social influence in this start-up?  It could translate into “points” rather than direct equity in Frostbox or perhaps gifts like an iPad Mini for  participating in this social experiment.

 

Small Business Tip: High-Tech Help Gets Farmer International Attention!

One mid-west farm has several high-tech communications features at work today getting world-wide attention!  You see, Verizon Wireless is sponsoring Benton Farms’ quest to offer the world’s largest corn maze in Guinness Book of World Record’s.

 You can see a familiar face and slogan in the 54.428 acre maze open until November 1, 2009 at Benson Farms in Denton, Nebraska. The sponsorship is not the only high-tech communications link at the farm; the Benson family uses Twitter, text messages and other social media to let visitors to the farm know about special events and activities. You can visit the farm website at http://www.bensonfarms.com to sign up for updates.

 

Located a short drive west of Lincoln, Nebraska, the record-setting corn maze is a great place to get some fresh air, have some fun and enjoy a piece of the “good life.”  The huge maze holds 14.88 miles of trails in four phases ranging from easy to moderately difficult.  The easiest phase will require 10 to 20 minutes to navigate.  The most difficult phase will require 45 to 120 minutes to navigate.  One phase of the maze gets haunted after dark on Friday and Saturday nights beginning October 9th.

 Sponsorship of the maze is just one way Verizon is reaching out to small firms.  There are Verizon free Wi-Fi hot spot access at more than 14,000 locations nationwide, available to every Verizon business broadband customer.  Free Verizon Wi-Fi hot spot locations include hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, retailers, convention centers and public locations across the U.S. For a complete list, visit http://www.verizon.net/hotspots.

Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood   To learn more about vital technology issues impacting your enterprise; head to http://www.sbtv.com/Technology