CD Reflection Blog VI – SMM Class


"Hey Guys, Great News!!  Another snow storm is on its way April 10th!!!"

“Hey Guys, Great News!! Another snow storm is on its way April 10th!!!”

April 9th Greetings!

Ok, just LAST WEEK I said HAPPY SPRING to all and featured spring flowers. This week, the above is a more accurate description!!   Hopefully, the 6 inches snow forcasted will be less and pass quickly!

For my 6th SMM Class Blog, here were the objectives:

  1. Add widgets for Recent Comments & SocialVibe – SocialVibe is a ‘new tools’ offering I learned of through
  2. Post a business event video after creating new video and editing.
  3. Download WordPress application on smartphone (Android) and set up a business Google+ Account.  Use tablet for new virtual viewer with business applications.

Objective 1:

I added the  ‘Recent Comments” widget after exploring that topic in my last couple blogs, so they would be visible to myself and readers.   I also wanted to add a new “SocialVibe” widget that was listed on the main page as a new tool, but it does not appear in the widgets page. I will seek out some WordPress user help to find out how and when it will be available.  Below is a brief description and link, for those interested.  It sounds like a pretty neat ‘blogging’ feature through which businesses can provide additional donations to charities important to them:

You spend a lot of time creating great content and attracting an audience for your blog. What if you could use that influence to make a positive social impact? Now you can.

We’ve teamed up with SocialVibe, and now by adding the SocialVibe widget to your blog, you are able to earn donations for the charity of your choice by getting sponsored by a brand that appeals to you.

Each time someone visits your blog and engages with your brand (by rating a video, for example), you’re making a difference. That impact is immediately visible on your badge, i..e., ‘My blog has provided 63 cups of clean water for people in need.’

The money donated comes from your brand, so you and your readers never have to pay a dime.

Setup is easy and only takes a few clicks – just go to Appearance->Widgets in your dashboard, add the SocialVibe widget and pick a cause and a charity. For more details you can find documentation in our support area. If you change your mind about your sponsor or cause, you can easily make adjustments by visiting your widget dashboard.

With SocialVibe, our community can pool our individual influences to create positive change in the world.

What an awesome idea, right?!!!!   

Objective 2

I practiced shooting another video, this time business related, uploading again from a smartphone and attempting basic editing prior to posting. I created a business dedicated YouTube account for our N-Hance Wood Renewal business.  I also hope to add this video to our business Facebook & other social media marketing venues; however, I had some issues, therefore my video is not quite ready for that!

For some reason I could not get it to upload from my smartphone directly to YouTube again.  I used the YouTube video editor to shorten the video after uploading from my computer (vs. smartphone), and updated my blog on April 14th after learning how to rotate the image and use Windows Live Movie Maker to do further editing and add titles and other  text information to the slides (A shout out goes to @social_skelly, Thank You!) :


Objective 3

I added a WordPress mobile application to my smartphone so I can be better connected to blogs thru that site and the WordPress reader feature.  I also am starting to create and build Google+ accounts for both business and personal gmail accounts – 2 created thus far. I understand this is another area of ‘SMM opportunity’ that is growing fast, similar to previous Facebook and Twitter growth and becoming more and more popular.

Another neat service we can now offer our wood refinishing customers is the ability to view their kitchen cabinets in different stain and paint color options when tyring to make kitchen remodeling decisions.  This is done  through a virtual (visual) application on an I-Pad or any other tablet device!!   I plan to dedicate a future blog to that topic, but in the meantime if you are interested in more information, please see our refinishing business website,

This is some pretty exciting technology for us as well as our wood refinishing clients!

That’s all for an SMM learnings update — happy blogging!!



CD Reflection Blog V – SMM Class


Spring Daylily

Spring Day Lily


Yes, spring is officially here, though I would NOT say it’s “Sprung” yet!!  Hopefully the snow will continue melting and we will finally see some “Reflection” in the water, as my home page image suggests, LOL!!  Of course, many folks headed south during spring break to bask in the sun and reflect in Warm water!!

On to my 3 social media marketing learning objectives for the week:

  1. Upload my class group Paper Airplane video on my personal You Tube page, from my android smart phone and PC devices.
  2. Enhance this and future WordPress blogs with keywords, tags & widgets.
  3. Develop Linked In profile and post (market) job openings there as well as other business networking sites.

Objective 1

The first thing I tackled was to learn how to set up my smartphone to enable video downloading back and forth between the phone and my laptop PC.  I set up an application called Motocast between the two devices and now I can more easily download videos and upload to You Tube.   We are in the process of purchasing a tablet to use for business related video production also, but I do use the phone alot in business applications, and will probably continue to do so.  I just have to figure out the volume setting on the phone to get that a little better and experiment with video editing.  We will be participating in the upcoming Woodbury, MN Community Expo on April 6th, 2013, and I intend to shoot a video clip at the expo and insert that into the next blog for some practice.

Here’s my very first You Tube Video – done in class on March 12th:

Objective 2

I started using keywords, tags, and widgets with this week’s blogs, so we’ll see what happens with the hits on the blog, RSS feeds and links.  At the time of this post I will use this as a beginning baseline from which to measure progress.

Objective 3

I worked on my Linked in Profile, adding to it and updating some of the information.  I also searched for groups and discussions that I may want to utilize.  A few initial ones added were social media marketing groups, refinishing industry related small business group, entrepreneur group, SBA and local chamber of commerce sites.

I found an interesting training video taken from a Social Media Marketing group site, “”, discussing how to choose the right SMM strategy and goal setting. The video was produced at a country farmhouse, complete with roosters crowing in the background, while the trainer was presenting.  I thought this was another good example showing humor being used to attract and hold consumer interest, too!  You should definitely check out this site, compliments of Mike Crosson, Moderator and Publisher at   Check out the “50 Social Insights from Real Marketers” through this link:

N-Hance WI Wood Renewal

Lastly, I utilized some social media marketing concepts with a job opportunity we have for our refinishing business.  We are looking for an entry level Technician Assistant for cabinet and floor refinishing.  This is a link to a separate post on this blog site with the job details.  I utilized additional SMM venues by posting it on our local Chamber of Commerce websites and Linked In, along with links to our company website,

Well that is all for now, and once again time to say goodbye. Again, I encourage you to be inspired by your own Social Media Marketing learnings…….and THINK SPRING!!


Job Posting – Technician Assistant/Wood Refinishing

N-Hance Wood Renewal

Technician Assistant – Wood Refinishing       Twin Cities Metro/ Hudson WI Area

N-Hance Wood Renewal is seeking part-time/flexible schedule employee with availability to work Monday –Friday, 8am – 5pm.  Position will provide assistance with refinishing of cabinets, floors and other interior wood products in home or business.

Position Qualifications:

General knowledge of wood cleaning & refinishing (color enhancement, color change & painting) a plus, but willing to train the right individual.  We deal with color matching during our daily operations, so being very good at mixing color to achieve a match will also be a requirement.  Some spray coating application will be required. 

Individual must demonstrate exceptional attention to detail(quality), work methods(neat/ organized), attendance(dependable/on-time) and strong customer service orientation.  Some heavy lifting (up to 75 lbs.) and valid license to drive company vehicles also required.

Position requires full background check and clean, safe driving record.  Starting pay based on qualifications. 

Position will start PT with opportunity for FT weekly hours dependant on seasonal business volume.

About  N-Hance Wood Renewal:

We are based out of the East Metro/St.Croix River Valley area, providing refinishing services throughout the Twin Cities Metro.  We offer an opportunity for career development within a small business environment and are seeking an individual with strong work ethic interested in growing with us by providing exceptional customer service for our clients.  To learn more about our business, visit our website,

Additional Company Information:

N-Hance Revolutionary Wood Renewal is an innovative, affordable and “Green”  cabinet and floor renewal/refnishing service without the dust, mess, inconvenience and noxious fumes associated with traditional refinishing methods. Many jobs can be completed in 1-2 days, depending on type of refinishing (cleaning/color restoration, color shift or complete color change/staining or painting).

N-Hance Renews, Conserves and Preserves Natural Resources, and uses High Performance/Low VOC water-based polyurethane finishes. Our new  instant cure (UV) finishing technology  is now also available with all services. 

To Apply:

Send email including experience/qualifications to

 (Resume & References Preferred)

Young, Wild and Free

Horse Inspired

IMG_7378There’s something about these animals that is unbelievable.  They can be high strung, stubborn and strong but what most people fail to see is the completely submissive, gentle, and compassionate side.  Horses are simply freedom embodied in a muscular shell.  I’ve been around them my entire life and you couldn’t force me to shake them.  Needless to say I also love to photograph them 🙂

IMG_7350(This is my friend, Stacey’s, horse – Spidey)


IMG_7366(Having a good roll)




Spidey was a great model to shoot some photos of.  Whether I’m riding or just hanging out at the barn I love horses and who knows, maybe Chelsea and I will even do another horse fashion shoot soon.  She’s a pro with the horses and the photos always come out so interesting.

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It’s Almost Spring – Start a Remodeling Project!

Granite Transformations Tips

Granite Transformations

The light at the end of a long winter season is the joy many homeowners feel tackling their Spring laundry list of projects.  If your list includes a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel, Granite Transformations is here to help!

kitchenremodelThe Kitchen

The kitchen is the heartbeat of any home  where meals are cooked and families congregate. In today’s growing economy,  kitchen remodeling projects may increase your home’s value.  But more valuable to most homeowners is the satisfaction and pleasure of updating and entertaining in a remodeled kitchen.   Check out these kitchen remodeling projects:

  • Cabinet Refacing: Replacing your cabinets means you have to live without any cabinets for 1-4 weeks during a messy remodel. With cabinet refacing, the project can be completed in as little as 2-4 days. There are a variety of colors available for cabinet refacing.
  • Granite Counter tops  Our counter tops are made form the world’s highest quality…

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Healthy Eating Habits Even While You\’re At Work

Design and Healthy Eating Tips


You would probably think that the easiest thing to do is to go the vending machine or the nearest fast food restaurant for your lunch and snacks. Making this a habit can be potentially harmful to your general well-being. It will do nothing but give you a full stomach without the proper…

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CD Reflection Blog IV – SMM Class

Greetings Readers,

As you notice in my site title, my blogs are inspired by design & SMM learnings. This week I am practicing some of my recent SMM learnings while adding a little Inspiration & “Enlightenment”, for your enjoyment!

First, click below for “Enlightenment”…..

My two learning & practice objectives were:

  • Continue last week’s learnings related to blog comment moderation, Spam deletion and embedding videos.  Also worked a bit more on my YouTube account.
  • Review additional features of, including support/forum resources, Reader, and identifying at least 4 blogs to initially follow.

Objective 1 –

I further reviewed information from Akismet and completed moderation of previous blog post comments received. I also used tips from @social_skelly, such as looking for a business name in the username area of the comment for identifying Spam.  Two comments were from the  “Social Media Marketing Blog” and “Search Engine Optimization Blog” sources.  They offered an almost identical list of tips to improve blog writer skills – that was unexpected, but interesting. The Akismet resource offered a helpful (and humorus!) clarification on the Akismet Stats page of my WordPress site:

What the heck is ham doing on my blog? I’m a vegetarian.

Spam most people know; it’s the unwanted commercial comments on their blogs. Ham is what we call its counterpart, legitimate comments. On the Akismet mistakes side, missed spam is pretty self-explanatory, and a false positive is a legitimate comment incorrectly identified as spam (which, we hope, happens very rarely). Also, we meant no offense to vegetarians.

The next thing I worked on was returning to my new YouTube account to search interesting videos and create a few channel subscriptions on the account. The support feature also confirmed the process for embedding video on WordPress.  I understand we will be working next in class to create and publish our own YouTube video — this should be a fun way to learn video publishing!!   So stay tuned, readers, and watch for my own video creation published on an upcoming blog!!!

In the meantime, click the embedded video below for some Inspirational elements today:

Objective 2 –

I took a further look at Support and Forum resources, beginning with the front page forum vounteer featured on the WordPress main page this week, Tess Warn.   This is an interesting article discussing how she started blogging and ultimately volunteered for the forum in order to help other beginning bloggers.  Check out the story at  I thought this was an awesome resource and intend to use it in the future.

I then moved on to look at the ‘Reader’ feature of WordPress.  I searched for various topics related to my career and personal interests, and chose some initial blogs to follow.  I’d like to read some WordPress blogs and ultimately compare them to the highly rated blogs as per and other blog review sites.

For now, I chose blogs relating to interior design, kitchen cabinet refacing and refinishing and on a personal level, horses, of course!!  I also am following a classmate’s blog (“Hi Lisa”!).  One that I re-blogged and linked you to at the beginning of this article is related to design, and you can check out some others following this post.

Well, readers, it’s time to close for now, and here’s wishing you ‘Happy Blogging Trails this coming week!! (That is some ‘Horse Speak’ if you are wondering!)


CD Reflection Blog III – SMM Class

Do YOU Like Spam??

Do YOU Like Spam??

Greetings Readers!

Revisiting Reflections was the general theme for my two SMM objectives this past week… or, what I would describe as a little R & R:    🙂  

  • Revisit blog comments, including Spam and learn more about Akismet
  • Revisit two objectives from last week after additional WordPress and HTML training on
    • Embed YouTube video in blog
    • Attach Slideshare presentation to blog

Objective One — While moderating blog comments, I replied back to one of them (a first for me). I also noticed several comments that had been sent to Spam by Akismet over the past 2 weeks.  I felt learning more about this would be a perfect learning objective this week.

Now don’t laugh at me, but “Spam” reminds me of Hawaii, as it is very prevalent there.  Ok, ok, yes, that is a different type of SPAM, this is true!  But some love it and some hate it; so, you see there is another similarity between the Hawaiian and Internet based Spams!  You either LOVE it (aka you are participating or generating it!), or you HATE it (aka you are the unwelcoming recipient of it on your Blog, Website, Email, etc.). It seems to crop up everywhere, right?  And, if it’s unwelcome to you, you are also trying to sift through what in fact truely is spam versus what may be legitimate!

View Spam Lovers in Paradise Here!

Looking into this further I learned of Akismet as a valuable resource.  At first glance, Akismet appeared to have placed several “suspect” comments in a separate moderation folder titled Spam, where I could easily identify for closer review. In doing so, I noticed a couple comments which appeared genuine. I was about to “accept” vs. “trash” them; however, hesitated in doing so, thinking,  How do I REALLY KNOW FOR SURE? 

“Help!!”, I thought, “I must also consult my SMM circle of influence. I certainly do not want to accept any well disguised Spam!”  So, as Social_Skelly says, “stay tuned”.  I will pose this to @MktgFiends and provide their feedback on a future SMM reflection blog.

In the meantime, here’s some helpful information I found on

5 things every blogger should know about spam

1. Web spam is different from email spam.

2. Web spammers are social engineers.

3. Web spammers are basically advertising on your blog..

4. It’s all about the backlinks.

5. Spammers employ humans.

                                  How can Akismet help?

Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time. We know all about their spambots, comment factories, buffer sites and social engineering tricks. Akismet will use this knowledge to warn you when a spammer – automated or human – tries to sneak a spam comment past you. So if you notice a comment in your spam folder from someone you don’t know, or linking to a web site you’ve never seen before, take a good look at it before you hit the Unspam button: in all likelihood, Akismet put it there for a reason.

Objective Two– This one related back to creating a YouTube account, embedding videos and using Slideshare social media to insert slide presentations into blogs.

Last week I confessed setting up a YouTube account to the wrong email account. This week I corrected that by creating one linked to my SMM email account and deleting other erroneous YouTube subscriptions!  While in YouTube selecting subscription channels, I also linked to Google+ profile and selected some interior design related connections.  Yet another SMM +, LOL!   I’m still trying to figure out how to embed a YouTube video after viewing the training videos, so again, I plan to seek out my @MktgFiends in class.

As for Slideshare, it will have to wait until a future blog, as I am finding my newer Spam/Askismet related learnings taking higher priority right now!!  I’m sure you can related to that, as priorities and objectives should be reviewed and changed continually, according to what fits best toward your ultimate goal(s).  Would you agree?

That about sums it up for this week. I look forward to continue learnings & reflections.

Thank you for visiting designbycd — I welcome Your SMM Reflections and feedback,