Archive for January, 2010

Battle Of The Newark, Ohio Songs

Newark, Ohio has it’s problems and the recent flood of news stories keeps helping us out. If there’s no such thing as bad press, the city is doing everything right. In an effort to maintain the flow of attention to our fair city, WNCI comes out with a humorous song, then a few folks and the Mayor decide to keep things going with their own Newark, Ohio song.

I don’t find the rebuttal song that funny, the use of the electronic voice warble is annoying, and much of it reference things that I’m just not getting, but it’s a nice effort and they did a good job with the video.  Here’s the youtube videos.

Big Budget WNCI radio show comes out with this song first.

The rebuttal Newark, Ohio song.

 

Newsletter

This issue contains some new additons to Newark, Ohio Links. There have been many, but these are the ones I chose to highlight. The website is up to 690 active links now.

I’ve noticed a strong uptick on Facebook pages. Businesses are finding that Facebook pages are a very easy addition to online offerings and taking advantage. These pages work well for getting to know customers and it is easy to train many employees to make updates. There have even been some store specials on some Facebook pages, so they are worth keeping track of.

Here are your new links:

Columbus, Ohio Segway Tour is now operating.

Segway Tourists
Group enjoys a Segway tour.

photo credit: runneralan2004

Have you ever wanted to try a Segway? This looks like a good way to learn some more about Columbus and to give a Segway a spin at the same time. The price at the time of this posting is $55 for 2 hours.

Licco Has Online Store and Facebook Page

Licco is an organization that provides work to developmentally handicapped people. Like all good folks, they enjoy working to provide for themselves and for the feeling of accomplishment. You can support Licco by checking out their online store for garden tools, unique jewelry, cards, and more.

Licco used Joomla to create their online store. It’s a good example of an e-commerce system that is Open Source and free of charge. It takes a fair amount of skill to set one up, but the software is free.

Lazy River Campgrounds Is Now On Facebook

Does the middle of winter in Central Ohio have you dreaming of camping? Check out Lazy River campground’s Facebook page to see what the campground is preparing for this summer.

Wilson Garden Center Is Now On Facebook

Wilson Garden Center now has a Facebook page to help you with your gardening and to provide another way for you to find out more about their garden offerening.

Legend Valley Is Starting To Update Planned Concerts

It will not be long until Legend Valley starts up with their outdoor concert series again. Don’t forget to check their website for planned concert dates.

I’ll keep adding websites as I find them and I hope my readers and subscribers keep sending me more too.

Thanks,

Mark Spearman

Newark, Ohio Links

Newark, Ohio Links Newsletter January 11, 2010

The directory has grown to about 675 links. I’m happy to say that MANY are updating and I’ve had to delete very few. Many businesses are also adding Facebook and Twitter . The most prominent feature added is the blog. Blogs allow interaction that has come to be expected from all websites. No longer are static, “Here we are and here’s our phone number”, websites going to cut it for the new decade.

It’s a good idea to check out the websites in categories that interest you. For example, Mount Drilling offers a tutorial on how to chlorinate your well. Mount drilling has been to my house before after I nearly electrocuted myself trying to adjust my well pump and fried a few parts. Great folks and always willing to educate. In my case he went so far as to zap himself showing me what I did wrong! After re-gathering composure, he assured me not to worry, that happens all of time. 🙂 There’s a reason why I went into the computer field.

Vensil-Orr and Chute Funeral Home updated their website and it’s very useful. None of us like to think about death and when it happens, some of us really don’t know how it should be dealt with. I can tell they’re having growing pains with the website, so check back often if some unique features are failing. The most useful piece I found was the “funeral etiquette” section, but the link is currently not working. I’ve never done anything wrong, but I was never sure that I was acting right either. There were tips like calling the funeral home to find out the dress code. Some people request things like “no black” and who wouldn’t want to comply with a grieving family’s request? Good information.

Sadly, C-TEC offers no news on their website about the current court loss to Claggett and Sons. This irks me because as a taxpayer I want to know what the future plans are for the situation. I don’t want to read a Newark Advocate Reporter’s interpretation of the story, I want to hear it from the school official who is actually dealing with the problem. We pay for their website to get information, but none is offered. I do wish the best for this fine school, but I need information to decide how to stand on future issues.

You can try This Week for another news source for Newark and Central Ohio. It is refreshing to have a quick-loading site with all of the features you would expect for a news website. The Advocate is still a primary source of ever-increasing up to the minute area news, but they’re killing me with all of the ads. They could at least do away with the popups!

The Licking County Sheriff has placed an easy inmate search button on their front page. Need to find your favorite inmate or find out if that crazy neighbor is still in the pokey? There you go. It is interesting to see what folks are in for. Child support, domestic violence, and DUI’s are prevalent. Sign of the times. Don’t let things drive you to these extremes. Keep you and yours out of jail and act right. If you don’t I noticed plenty of rapists and murderers listed that you can spend time with instead of your family and friends. Take your pick.

The Newark Ohio Links Forum is not doing well. This is my first attempt at a forum so I need to do some research about how to make one take off. Currently, the spammers seem to be the only ones interested in it. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Until next time,

Mark Spearman

The Old Sullivan’s Bank Building Mention In Chicago Tribune

I always have wondered why the Sullivan Bank Building at the corner of West Main and North Park Place isn’t better restored. You would think that with the Midland and other fine buildings restored, at least the beautiful facade of the bank would be of interest. Here is a mention in the Chicago Tribune about some of the restoration efforts.

I’ve always found that combination of The Sparta, the coin store, and the Sullivan were an interesting combination. I’ve always thought that it looks like the start of something great, but then, it just stops and less interesting structures take over from there.

It appears that there is more work happening to the building. Here’s a photo taken on 8/2/2011.

Newark, Ohio's Louis Sullivan Bank Building

The Louis Sullivan Designed Bank Building Built in 1914.

 

The Louis Sullivan Building Concrete Artwork

Newark, Ohio's Louis Sullivan Building Artwork

 

Lion Gutter Spout On Louis Sullivan Building In Newark, Ohio

The detail in the Sullivan Bank Building in Newark even includes lions head downspouts.

The Great Inflection Comes To Newark, Ohio

Newark, Ohio has huge problems, and they’re going to get worse. Some of you are going to want to slap me for stating the obvious, others would say I’m being to negative. I think I’m being a realist. We all have been hit by the economy or at least know someone that has, yet the current survivors want to think that they’ve made it through the worst and everything will be ok. Look around you. 125 laid off at Longaberger yesterday right after a friend told me things were looking up . My point is not that we are screwed(although we are), but that that we need to get past that and move onto solutions. I’m going to point out an obvious solution that we’re overlooking. Technological resourcefulness.

Longaberger laid off 125 people because Exel Logistics can do the shipping functions at a fraction of the cost. Sure, Longaberger’s sales have nose-dived to add to the problem. Longaberger probably kept the employees far past the true date of hopeless despair. In effort to save their company, they had to resort to creative solutions and Exel had them. Exel understands how to ship for the absolute lowest cost no matter who gets their feelings hurt in the process.

Exel takes in a small group of employees and pays decent wages to keep things going. In seasonal shifts, they pull in the temp-workers to make things happen. They are well-versed in taking advantage of truckers and applying huge wait times so that the truckers are available and their trailers are temporary storage, while the driver sits with little to know pay. Smart trucking companies have found ways to solve the problem by working with Exel. Usually the trucking company gets the detention pay, but doesn’t pass it along to the driver. A win-win for everyone, that is everyone who knows how to be resourceful.

So what should the temp-worker and the trucker do in their down time to escape their situation? Get educated! I’m not talking about traditional education either. I’m talking real education. Talk to the businesses in the area that need your expertise. Find out what they need and see if there is a way for you to help them cut their costs.

This depression has something that we’ve never had before, technology. You can communicate. You can e-mail 100 businesses in a day to find out if they have any problems that someone with your expertise could solve for them. If you don’t have usable expertise, you can find out what is needed and get trained. If you want to submit a resume to 20 websites and hope you have a keyword in there that will impress someone, you’re not going to make progress.

If you are working at a shipping facility and you know that there outside sources that can do the job for 1/2 the cost, don’t sit waiting for the news. Get to work finding something else. Don’t fool yourself. The worst is going to happen.

As for the business leaders that are reading this, you need to think about your survival as well. Are truly looking for solutions to your problems or are you paying some consultant to give you over-priced solutions that are killing your business. How innovative are you really being in every aspect of your business? Keep listening to the same people that are coming up with the same tired solutions from the same vendors and you’re on your way out.  Are you still looking for that magical worker that will have all of the exact experience that you dream of and work for 1/2 of what he’s worth. That guy has already started his own business because he gave up on your type of offering.

I highly suggest that you read this post about The Great Inflection. For almost any profession, you are soon going to be hit by this in some way. Start thinking of ways to get on the good end of this.

Dagwood’s – What A Shame

I read in the Advocate that Dagwood’s Restaurant was closing. Who would have guessed? The business had been in the family since the 50’s and it was a Newark, Ohio legend. What could go wrong?

Apparently, a son that didn’t care about it is all that it takes. The Advocate’s story showed a picture of the disheveled chef on the front page. Hair a mess and a shirt unbuttoned at least half-way. The article went on for Mr. Cochran to moan about everything that went wrong of about the past 15 years of the restaurants steady decline. Not one mention of what he could do to turn things around. I couldn’t believe that the Advocate bothered to run the story as anything other than one of those humanitarian articles.

I’m sure Dagwoods seen some tough times. Some of his tales would be setbacks, but nothing overrides the fact that he got handed a once booming business that was bought and paid for. So much so that it took him 15 years to run it down to nothing. Who among us would not love to have been handed an opportunity like that?

Maybe it was bad reporting, but the owner sounds like many that I have heard lately. They add up all of the bad things that have happened and make a decision that things are what they seem, and figure, “What’s the use?”. Dagwood’s owner explained in detail how he had given up. Not so many failed businesses are so revealing. He took no notice that he was sitting on a restaurant that was a Newark legend that had a name. It may now be a bad name, but everybody knows about it and they wish for it’s return to success.

It makes me think about how blinded all of us can be to our current situation. Most of the time, things are not nearly as bad as they seem. A few steps in a positive direction can reverse everything. Dagwood’s owner could have reversed everything today with that one article, but he was to telling his tale of woe. Lesson learned.

On a final note, this is one more failed Newark, Ohio business that did NOT have a website. Since I have started Newark, Ohio Links, I have yet to see a failed business that had a respectable website. I’m not claiming that is why they failed, I’m saying it’s a symptom of failure.

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Newark, Ohio Pizza Online

Currently there are only 3 pizza shops that I can find who take online orders;

  • Donatos
  • Pizza Hut
  • Papa Johns

I don’t think I could find anyone who would say they are the best pizza shops in Newark, Ohio. I would order from them before my favorites just because they have online ordering. I may not be the normal customer, but I hate talking on the phone and I really hate ordering pizza. The simplest order is always complicated by them cutting me off half-way to take care of a more pressing matter, a bubble-gum chewing person on the phone, or any number of other problems. It’s 2010, why can’t I just point and click and have pizza on it’s way?

As it turns out, the biggest reason is that local shops run on tight budgets. The competition for your pizza dollar is tight. The only systems that would really work right are expensive and they do not feel that the investment would be enough. The system a pizza shop needs is not just basic e-commerce. They need systems that can connect addresses to their delivery areas and calculations on time for the delivery. Just taking payment is no problem, it’s all of the other services that a customer would expect  e-commerce to meet or exceedl.

There really is no excuse for the lack of websites for many of the pizza shops. Just a website with a menu is a great help. The technology to create a menu and even a bill calculation is very easy. My guess would be that the pizza shops are content with just making great pizza and will not make the change until customers request it.

If you want easy pizza ordering, all of the technology is there, just keep letting your favorite pizza shop know that you would enjoy and prefer the service. If enough people ask, the pizza ordering will get easier.