Saturday, March 15, 2014

Driving Around Central Florida: Yard Art

While driving up to Ocala, Florida this morning, we came across this interesting-looking place packed with all kinds of yard artwork made out of metal, plus a great selection of pottery. We were not the only ones who felt a quick stop was in order, as the place was quite busy. Incidentally, the "quick" stop turned out to be a 30-minute visit since there's so much stuff to look at.

From full-size horses to gorillas, pigs to giraffes and hippos, lizards, snakes and more, we had to stop for a closer look, and it was totally worth it.

The place (which is huge, as you can imagine), sits right at the corner of Hwy. 17 and State Road 40, which is the route I prefer since it takes you right through the heart of the Ocala National Forest.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here's the equivalent of ten-thousand in photo form.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Being Unsocial: 2014-Style

Have you ever run into a similar situation when browsing LinkedIn?

When I see this—and, unfortunately, I see it a lot—makes me wonder why do they even have a LinkedIn profile? I mean, it takes some time and effort to create and account and get started entering info and basically writing a chronicle of your work life and experience, objectives, skills, and so on.

It really begs the question...

Why do people even bother?

I try to be fair and I actually read profiles of people who invite me to join their networks. Frankly, I am flattered when someone takes the time to extend an invitation, so I read their information to learn more about who they are, what industry they're in, what they like, etc.

When there's no photo—or worse—a silly image, instead of a nice pic of the person, I immediately question the validity of the profile. As the old cartoon by Peter Steiner (published by The New Yorker on July, 1993) said: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

True and brilliant, at the same time.

Sure, most of us try to be careful with our identities, especially today, and I understand and respect that. But, on the other hand, what truly puzzles me is why then bother to join a networking site? 

Maybe those individuals want to do some research? Possible, but if so why is it that I still receive invitations to join their networks? Those are not automated. The person actually makes the decision to invite others to be a part of their network.

Okay, maybe a photo is not such a big deal, but I consider it important enough and, from what I've seen and read, the trend is for profiles to be not only comprehensive but also accurate. So, if you happen to have a LinkedIn profile without a current photo, you may want to invest some time and have a good picture taken.

But what about the rest of the profile, you say...

Unfortunately, the lack of a photo usually is a good indicator that the profile will be as brief as an old telegram. Seriously, I've seen business cards with more content. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but not by much.

So here's my 0.02 on the subject.

Take the time to write some good content about yourself. No, you don't have to spend 6 hours on it. Just a good 20 minutes every other day adding stuff, editing some, and more. 

This is not a test of some kind. After all, you'll be talking about yourself here, so just be honest about your career, your schooling, hobbies, and that sort of thing. Give yourself about a 2-week window to complete as much as possible of each category. Provide some contact info, your Twitter name (if you happen to have one), your website address, and that sort of thing.

Next thing you know, you'll have a decent-looking profile. One that will tell others enough info that will allow them to make a good and fair decision as to whether to add you to their network, invite you to join a group, and more.

Once you have established a good profile, keep polishing it. It won't be as much work as it was at the beginning but it will be worth it. Just know that it will never be 100% done. 

Now start participating by making relevant posts, asking to join groups that are of interest to you, like and comment on posts made by members of your network, and invite others to add you to theirs. 

Most important, have fun as you grow your network.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Daytona Turkey Run 2014

I am taking a detour from my "regular" programming of talks about ecommerce-related topics to mention the upcoming Spring 2014 Turkey Run at the Daytona International Speedway at the end of March.

This time I am entering my 1989 Turbo Trans Am for the car show, which ends Sunday, March 30th with a lap around the speedway for all car show participants. This also includes a photo of the car crossing the finish line. That will be a treat!

Last year I took my 1984 Trans Am to the 4-day Turkey Run (also at the speedway), but instead of registering for the car show, I rented a spot in the Car Corral. This is the place for vehicles being offered for sale. It cost a bit more than the show fee but it was totally worth it, as it gave me a reserved parking spot, plus easy access to the infield (show car lines were quite long).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I sold my '84 on the second day and it is now on its way to its new home in Norway.

This is a photo of my '84 during last year's event.

The Spring 2014 Turkey Run takes place March 28th through 30th at the Daytona Speedway.

For more information visit