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Monday, February 23, 2009

Commentary: Ritz Camera Centers Financial News

Message from president & CEO, Mitch Goldstone in reaction to Ritz Camera Centers Inc. financial woes

The news of Ritz Camera Centers Inc. filing for bankruptcy protection is an ominous warning and important lesson for all retailers.

Along with all members in the photo imaging community, the news personally affected myself and everyone at Our industry is more like a family - linked together and supportive. My company’s thoughts go out to Ritz Camera, lead by the photo imaging industry icon, David Ritz and all his employees. This news is also a lesson for what happens when we encounter economic turmoil, seasoned with vast technological changes.

The largest U.S. camera store chain seeking bankruptcy protection days before PMA [International Photo Marketing Association] brings deepening clouds of despair, but also provides an important lesson. It is time for the photo industry to accelerate is goal to reinvent itself for today’s new market opportunities. While extending my thoughts to David Ritz and the entire Ritz family - many of whom I have been privileged to know and admire for two decades – I use this news as an opportunity to remind the photo industry that this is the time to rethink your business model and use technology, the Internet and smart retailing to recapture the intimacy and emotions of photography. has been successful by abandoning the old way of doing things while reinventing our entire business. This is also the moment that all our colleagues must also embrace the new “2.0 Model” for returning to profitability.

[Note: Fred Lerner and Ritz Interactive, which operates 14 e-commerce sites is a separate, diversified and independent company from Ritz Camera Centers].

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Book Recommendation: "David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual"

Click here to order David Pogue's newest "The Missing Manual" book

Chapter 1: Camera kinds Small medium or large Camera phones and iPhones Where to buy a camera Chapter 2: The only features that matter A big sensor Stabilizer Zoom Shutter View finder Manual controls Face recognition Auto focus Flip out screens Memory cards Burst mode Hi-Def jack Battery Movies Scene modes Wireless Touch screens Mega pixels SLR shopping Chapter 3 taking the shot: Composition and screen displays Chapter 4: The 10 decisions Auto mode Scene mode Manual mode Burst mode White balance RAW or JEG Exposure ISO Chapter 5: The Anti- Blur chapter Shutter speed Aperture Image stabilization Flash Tripod Timers Chapter 6: How they did that Sports shots Vehicles Panoramas Trailing car lights Fireworks Lighting Star trails Sunsets Underwater Close-ups Portraiture Chapter 7: The SLR chapter Lenses and accessories Chapter 8: Camera meets computer Picassa and iPhoto Transferring and importing photos File formats Chapter 9: The digital shoe boxThe source list Working with thumbnails Selecting photos Hiding photos Creating Albums Photo info Flagging photos Backing up photos Chapter 10: Fixing photos Editing photos Reducing red eye Fixing colors Saturating Sharpening Chapter 11: Photos on paper-and everything else Making your own prints Resolution Printing in Picassa and iPhoto step-by-step Creating slideshows

Movie: "The Simple Truths of Service"

Enjoy this short, inspirational film base on the book The Simple Truths of Service by Ken Blanchard & Barbara Glanz.

Click to view

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Behind the Scenes at

Follow us on Twitter for non-stop updates, news, specials and helpful photo advice from

  • Reminder: NO TIPPING. We appreciate your business, but, no tipping. Customers like to include a cash bonus with mail orders as an add a tip for our local walk-in business. But, we already pay super well and urge you not to tip, but a friendly note detailing your experience is always appreciated. There are no tip jars at our Irvine, Calif retail photo center and we specifically have a "no-tipping" policy. We appreciate your generosity by trusting us with your business, but we believe your order is a big enough message of support.

  • There IS such a thing as "Free Meals." In addition to 100% company paid health insurance, and a very aggressive total compensation package (we have zero staffing turnover) also pays for all staff lunches. This has been one of our most favored perks at [30 Minute Photos Etc.] since way back in 1990 when the company was founded. Our employees love it and we dreamed up this added perk because it is important that everyone we work with is always well nourished and valued. Providing free lunches is a mandate at which is one more way we want to make sure everyone you trust with your pictures is totally spoiled and happy.

    Each quarter, we implement a special weekend-long brainstorming strategy session for staff. This weekend's event is titled: "Capitalize on Nostalgia and the Emotions of Pictures; What's Relevant Today?" The goal is to engage and advance our training and educational sessions to collectively search for the next "new-new" WOW! thing. As part of the event, is hosting an Academy Awards Oscar party on Sunday during staff this weekend retreat.

Family Tree Magazine: "How to Convert Old Slides to Digital"

Repost from Diane's Family Tree Magazine blog posting

Q. I have some 35mm slides that I want to put on my computer. Also, the color on these pictures has turned red. What’s the best method to save these slides?

A. If you have a flatbed scanner, you may be able to find a special attachment for scanning slides, but these don’t always produce good results. Nowadays, you can get a slide converter, such as VuPoint’s film and slide converter or the Imagelab Instant Slide Scanner, for around $100 to $150.

See a demo of a converter here.

Alternatively, your local photo lab may be able to convert the slides for you, or you can use a service (great for large quantities) such as ScanDigital or

Color shifting in slides is common, says photo expert Maureen A. Taylor. “To slow the process, store color photographic materials such as prints and slides in a dark, cool place that is not subject to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Large archives actually store their color materials in refrigerated vaults.”

Though it may not be possible to return the images to their brand-new appearance, most professional services can correct the color and remove scratch marks. Do-it-yourselfers can use photo-editing software such as Adobe PhotoShop Express (free online).

Make sure you save the unedited scans as TIF files, a format that does the best job of preserving image quality. Make copies of the images to edit. Store the edited copies as high-resolution TIFs, too. For sharing or posting online, copy the edited files as JPGs (which reduces file size).

Finally, be sure to back up your digitized images. The best way is with an online storage service. Mozy is one; see more back-up services in PC Magazine’s online review. You also can save the files to an external hard drive kept in a location away from your home. Give copies to family, too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Video: How to prepare your prepaid fill the box photo scanning order at

Photo Marketing Association Convention [PMA 09] Providing Instant News on Twitter

Keep up with PMA 09 news and contribute your own on Twitter, other sites

Keeping up with
PMA 09 has just gotten a lot easier, with social media like Twitter. PMA has several active Twitter accounts bringing news to attendees. Want to keep up with PMA 09 announcements? You can click on this link to see the PMA 09 posts made so far. If you have your own Twitter account, and want to get in on the action, use the hash tag #PMA09 to make sure your PMA 09 tweets are included!

Below are some PMA Twitter accounts to start with: -- PMA Membership Info -- PMA Press announcements - PMA magazine information -- DIMA information -- SPAA -- sports photography info -- PSPA School Photographer Info -- PMA Exhibitor info

Follow PMA editors as they cover the show:

To follow PMA "photographically," try the PMA Flickr account:
PMA 09 group photo pool:
PMA photostream:
To watch PMA videos, visit the PMA YouTube channel or PMA TV:

[source: PMA Newsline]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Oscar's® on Sunday, Feb 22. ACADEMY AWARDS® perfect time to think about your own pictures. How to digitize your prized photo

Customer Service 24-Hours, Free

We just read about a company that provided paid customer service: "Phone support can be purchased by credit card online at a rate of $65 per every 15 minute increment."

Can you imagine that?

At, we want your business and want to help. That is why in addition to friendly customer support help at 949-474-7654, and via email, info (at), we also provide 24-hour free live support. Because orders arrive from around the world, our live support help desk is always accessible.

Friday, February 13, 2009

“Don’t Give Up on California,” Cautions Entrepreneur, Mitch Goldstone

IRVINE, Calif. — Today’s news [“States Recruit Worried Californians,” WSJ, p A-3, Feb 13”] that Western states are attempting to use the warm emotions of Valentine’s Day to sway businesses and families away from California is unfair. They are attempting to capitalize on and poach away business during our nation’s joint economic crisis, according to a California entrepreneur who is fighting back.

“It’s time to be pragmatic and not turn away from California and its legacy as the world’s dominant leader in business, culture and entertainment,” said Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of, a California-based photo imaging retailer and ecommerce company.

Mr. Goldstone is urging Californians not to turn away from trusting the legacy of the world’s second most preeminent political leader and cultural icon, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “We need to adapt to the new economic climate together,” said Goldstone.

Adversity builds character and entrepreneurial opportunity, is a lesson Goldstone learned during the past 18-years as he transitioned his company from a film-based retail business into a high-tech Kodak digital imaging international company. The same determination to transform and reinvent his business is how California will recover too. While the state’s solution is economically painful, it is smart and more realistic than following other states’ shadowy pursuit, calling on people to abandon and kiss the California dream good-bye. “Look behind those Valentine’s Day-themed PR campaigns by neighboring states,” cautions Goldstone. “Those alluring boxes of chocolate will melt away and are full of hidden metaphoric calories.”

Last November, Goldstone’s Orange County Register commentary [“
Adapt to New Economic Climate,” Nov 16] explained that we all have a vested interest and the governor is laying out a path to fix our problems. “The reason why so many people respect this governor is that no matter what the issue or crisis is, he has the courage to put forth a realistic solution,” said Goldstone.

Background: Mitch Goldstone, a well-known leader in the photo imaging industry, operates an international Ecommerce photo imaging company powered by Kodak technology and a retail photo center based in Irvine, Calif. has digitally preserved more than 12 million pictures and is regularly profiled for its innovations and entrepreneurial creativity to help picture-takers save and share generations of photo memories. [See “In the News”]. The media coverage includes a
review in The New York Times by "Personal Tech" columnist, David Pogue. “Tales from the World of Photo Scanning”” [] is the company’s daily news, commentary and special discounts blog.

Follow along at

More info, see:

Thursday, February 12, 2009 "Kodak photo expo event for mom bloggers"

Click here to read the blog review from the "Make Something Kodak" photo expo at and 30 Minute Photos Etc.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tickets to see Oprah's show at Kodak Theatre in LA the morning after the Oscars

Enter to win ABC tickets to see Oprah's show at Kodak Theatre in LA the morning after the Oscars. Click here.

How to Restore Your Photos?

Click here to go directly to the Website

There are times that people may have old photographs they would like to restore to save the memories.
Photos usually get damaged with time or if preserved in a frame that had been exposed to direct sunlight for many years. The pictures may get blurred, the color fades and the picture might acquire marks and scratches.

Visit photo restoration services, we magically fix your pictures.

A photographic image looks like something that will last forever, but even the most modern prints are not designed to last for more than a few decades. Black-and-white photographs, made up of light-sensitive silver salts known as silver halides, last longer. But color photographs and slides, which are made up of dyes and plastics, are more fragile. Still, any photograph will eventually succumb to the effects of a hostile environment and a host of natural enemies. Photo restoration services are the pound of cure which can be avoided by preserving intact photos today.

The Bad Guys

-High temperature and relative humidity The emulsion layer of a photograph, the light-sensitive component that actually captures the image, is made up of organic materials, including gelatin. That makes the emulsion susceptible to mold and fungi, especially when subject to the combination of heat and moisture. Photographs should be stored in a cool, dry place, below about 68º Fahrenheit and under 50% relative humidity.

-Ultraviolet Light Go ahead. Tempt the fates. Hang a color photograph on a wall in your house where the sun hits it every day, and you can start watching it fade within just a few years. To prevent fading, keep your photographs out of direct exposure to sunlight. If you absolutely must display that picture in that perfect spot, you buy special filters to protect the photo. Another good idea is to make one copy for long-term storage and a second for display. Take intact photos in to a photo professional to be scanned and archived to disk. If you've recently had a photo restoration done, make sure to have a digital copy on file.

-Wood and Paper Products What could be more natural than a tree, That may be true, but many wood and paper products contain harmful acids, bleaches and other chemicals that can damage the emulsion of your photograph over time. Use only acid-free paper products. When shopping for "archival" products, make sure you are getting what you pay for - there is no accepted "archival" labeling standard.

-Adhesives & Rubber. Remember those easy-to-use sticky-back photo albums. Bad news and we all know it. But most adhesives, including the rubber cement often used in so-called "magnetic" photo albums, contain harmful chemicals such as PVC that will eventually destroy your photographs. Rubber bands can have the same effect. That makes them both a big no-no.

-Air pollutants. It may come as a surprise, but even the fumes from household cleaning products and fresh paint can damage photos. You probably won't notice the effects right away, but in time they will become painfully obvious.

-Metallic Objects. On a more practical level, metallic objects such as keys and paper clips can scratch the surfaces of your prints and negatives. Don't clip your photos together, and try not to store them in the same box as your screwdrivers.

A Word of Hope

Preserving photographs, which are organic and temporary by their very nature, may seem like an uphill battle. But with smart decisions about storing and displaying your photos, it doesn't have to be. Follow the tips in our
next article and you'll be that much closer to making your photo collection last a lifetime. Photo restoration and photo retouching is our business, but preserving precious family photos is our mission at

For complete info and to access the downloabale order form, click Here.

Click here to access our custom Google Search to instantly get answers to any photo imaging questions

For daily updates and tips, read our blog - Tales from the World of Photo Scanning Blog

Reach us anytime with your questions.

Click here to access our free 24/7 Live Support help desk

Click here to sign up for free and extra promotional services from

Click on this link for helpful tips to prepare your photos for scanning

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"Its not your grandmother’s Kodak anymore….*"

Thanks to mom blogger, at "The Glamorous Life Association" for sharing her experiences from the recent Kodak photo expo at 30 Minute Photos Etc and in Irvine, CA.
Click here to read more.

MARCY WRITES: Being invited to attend a Kodak Kiosk demo sounded like a pretty okay day to spend an afternoon. I went with few expectations since I had never actually used a kiosk to play/print with my photos. I was instructed to bring LOTS of my photos on USB. And since I rarely sometimes always do as I am told, I brought a USB loaded with 35 current photos. Um, as it turns out 35 is not what Kodak considers A LOT. And I was very bummed I didn’t bring more.

Here is why:

A Kodak Kiosk center is like a new version of the old 1 hour photo store. Except you sit at happy little kiosk centers and plug in you camera, your memory card, a CD, A DVD or even your phone. Next you ‘play’ with your photos. You can enhance, crop, sharpen etc. before you put them into ‘products’. Photo books, regular prints, cards and my favorite; posters. HUGE posters. Look here is one of mine printing. How long did it take? Um, less than 10 minutes! And voila! A poster size collage of some recent photos I have taken.

A few more and I can wall paper the guest bathroom. So it was easy. Fast. But how about the quality? Well this is real photo development quality folks. Just what you would expect from Kodak.

I was nearly thrown out for pulling out my Canon camera to document the day…and happily I left with a brand new 10.2 MP Kodak Camera. I have been testing and am impressed with photo quality and in love with the green-ness of it. Isn’t it cute? Replace my Canon? Not sure. But so far, the images are comparable.

I was also given the Cadillac of digital photo frames. This thing is WiFi capable. So guess what? Every time I upload something to my Flickr account….it automatically appears on the frame in rotation! Along with the local weather, news and more if you choose. I am kinda ga-ga over this frame. And the one I already owned? The one that makes me swear scream every time I want to change the photos in it? Well it sits next to Mr. Kodak looking a little embarrassed. It hopes to be a Kodak WiFi Frame someday when it grows up. However, I did not go home with the new Kodak WiFi all-in-one printer that was there. But it is so reasonably priced and since my faith has been restored in Kodak, that I think I may have to buy one for my family now.

Thanks, Kodak.

"Kodak makes it so easy...even for this busy mom! "

Blogger "Mama Sharon Says" attended the recent Kodak photo expo hosted by and 30 Minute Photos Etc. in Irvine, CA. Follow Sharon's experience here.

From "Mama Sharon Says..."

Last night I had an amazing opportunity to attend a very special and exclusive gathering hosted by Kodak and ScanMyPhotos in Irvine, CA. I want to say that when I was first invited I had no idea what I was in for. The invitation sent by Jacqueline Mangione the WW PR Manager at Kodak, simply said to bring LOTS of photos and there will be light sandwiches and Mimosas. OK while I don’t really drink, I never turn down a free meal. LOL! I’m kidding of course; I once turned down a meal when I was little and in camp. Gross! Have you seen camp food?

OK so let me get back to last night. I walked in about 5 or 10 minutes early and was greeted by Mitch Goldstone, the President of ScanMyPhotos, International (pictured with the kiosk) and his wonderful staff. I was brought to a Kodak Kiosk and shown some of the features. Did you know you can download photos from your phone into one of these? I have to tell you that I was slightly intimidated at first as I think anyone would be when they have no idea what to do. But then I put my USB stick in the port and pressed the “START HERE” button on the screen. Everything is guided by the touch screen which is great. The first thing I created was a DVD with a ton of pictures. And yes, I said the first thing! Mitch was quite generous and I was quite grateful. I still am! Anyway, the DVD I made took me all of about 3-5 minutes to make. I selected my photos fo
r the disk. I chose photos from the Big Bear trip last year, The Wiggle years, Jonathans past birthdays and Christmas photos. Once the pics were selected I got to go through a bunch of music selections. I chose What I Like About You. Then selected the DONE button and that was that. They processed the DVD for me as I went on to another project.

All and all I came home with a poster, a calendar, a DVD, a package of reprints, a couple of 8 ½ x 11 photo collages of my chocolates and browniepops and a photobook!

The Photobook took me about 5-10 minutes to make. I don’t know exactly how long because I was having so much fun I totally lost track of time. I should have been looking at the receipts that printed out to let you know how much this stuff would cost on a normal day but I suspect it’s less than you may think. I did look at the receipt for the photobook I created in which I added the max amount of photos allowed. If you’re not sitting down you may want to. It was only about $27. I am so not kidding! I even asked it that was correct.

I was also given a tour of the back room. It was like going behind the scenes and was so cool. You wouldn’t believe what goes on back there. They have several people that work all day long to be sure your photos, no matter where you are in the country, are taken care of in any way you order. They have scanned over 9 million photos and will service you even if you are out of the country! They can restore those old photos and you will be blown away by the results that it will cause tears. The happy kind of course.

Then it was back to the Kiosk. I scanned a photo of mine tha
t was of my brother Mike and me when we were very little. The original photo as you can see is faded and well, old. The kiosk has a feature where you can press edit photo and then restore the color. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like magic!

But if you don’t live near ScanMyPhotos then just go online to and look for the information on sending your old photos to them and they will send them back with the new and improved versions. I’m not kidding! Hey dad...they will even be able to repair old damaged photos! You can trust them with your treasures. They really know what they’re doing.

OK, so here is another crazy cool part of the evening. The Kodak staff was there filming footage so you may see me somewhere talking about this stuff. Who knows!

Remember the DVD I made? When it was finished they put it on the big screen in the store and as I watched it I got very emotional and for some reason the only word I could get out of my mouth was “WOW.” It really was so special.

I learned that I need to go back with Jonathan because he got a camera for Christmas. The kiosks are so easy to use that even my 7 year old can do it. Hey, do you have older kids? Make it a play date. Let them make a photobook. It’s less expensive than the place with the Rat and the games, right? And they won't come home with a junky toy that will break. Instead they will come back with a wonderful memory book.

I will be going back to ScanMyPhotos in the very near future. After all, I have 2 or 3 wedding VHS tapes I need to be put to DVD. But if you don’t live by then you can do everything online. Whether you pick it up or it gets mailed, they are a site to see. They have a blog too you should check out.

Thank you Mitch and Jacqueline and all that put this on for us mom bloggers. I had a night of creating memories and learning new things that I will be putting to good use in the future. Also thank you for your very generous gifts. Thank you to Mom Bloggers Club too for putting out the word on requesting to be a part of this. I love being a mom blogger!

Monday, February 9, 2009

"VIP Mommy Blogger" KODAK Experience Expo in Irvine

EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY and 30 Minute Photos Etc [] has invited VIP Mom Bloggers to today's "Make It Brilliant, Make Something Kodak" photo expo

  • WHO: VIP Mommy Bloggers

  • WHAT: Dine and Learn and experience all the newest Kodak photo products, includes light sandwiches and mimosas as you share your memories, create fun, easy Kodak photo gifts in an instant. Learn all the wonderful things you can do at the Kodak Picture Kiosk including create photo books, Kodak Picture Movie DVD's, collages, 5x7 or 8x10's, poster prints or greeting cards in minutes, 5x7 folded photo greeting cards, restore and enhance your pictures and do-it-yourself photo scanning in minutes at the Kodak Rapid Print Scanner stations. **Bring LOTS of photos either printed or on USB's. Even your older, more faded photos are fine as we have retouch/restoration Kodak technology on the kiosk.

  • WHEN: February 9th (pre- Valentine's Day!)

  • TIME: 12-2 pm and 6-8 pm

  • WHERE: 30 Minute Photos Etc and, Irvine California, MUST RSVP and be an accredited and approved Mom Blogger.

  • HOST: Eastman Kodak Company and Mitch Goldstone, owner 30 Minute Photos Etc.

  • SURPRISE: Special prizes and gifts from Kodak for each attendee. Keep them for yourself or raffle them off to readers. Your choice!

New York Times' Richard Perez-Pena Reports on Newspaper Online Ad Rev Down

NY Times' Richard Perez-Pena writes in the Media and Advertising section [" Resilient Strategy for Times Despite Toll of a Recession," B-1, Feb 9] that there are additional drop-offs in online paper advertising revenues. This is further proof that the banner ad campaign in the Orange County Register bombed.

While Janet L. Robinson, the president and chief executive of The New York Times Company, recent explained how the paper "would survive the downturn," based on our experience, just as with photographic film and traditional yellow page advertising, newspaper online ads are equally an antiquated technology and becoming irrelevant.

We have been Twittering on this issue [], the overall comments from other Bloggers is: "I never click on banner ads. My eyes don't even go there, and if they are a flashing annoyance I leave the page." []

Read more on Paul Gillins' "NewspaperDeaythWatch" Blog:

New York Times Excerpt:

"The company’s digital revenue has leveled off after years of torrid growth — it actually declined slightly in the fourth quarter — and it remains just 12 percent of all revenue. And no one is sure of the trajectory for either print or digital ads once the economy recovers."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Marc Silber's Photo Show: Interviews, Tips and Insight from the World's Best Photographers.

To all our domestic and international readers and customers, we recommend everyone interested in photography join us in learning more about the very talented and well-respected photographer, Marc Silber.

Mr. Silber has conducted workshops for hundreds who have been inspired by his work while improving their own skills. Follow him as he shows you tips straight from great photographers.
Silber began his photographic career at the Peninsula School in Silicon Valley, then honed his skills at the San Francisco Art Institute—one of the oldest and most prestigious photography schools in the United States.

Watch Marc Silber's Photo Show for photography tips you can put right to use, connect with some of the world’s best photographers who help you take better shots.

Chase Jarvis' 5 Secrets for Exceptional Photographs from SilberStudios.Tv on Vimeo.

Read Mr. Silber's blog here.

We Recommend: "What Would Google Do?" by Jeff Jarvis

Way back in 1990 before our ecommerce photo imaging company was launched, we began our retail photo business, one of the ways to help differentiate us was to package photo orders much like a box of Cracker Jacks, where there were often unexpected extra treats inside.

Today, we continue that tradition which helped shape our legacy for our U.S. domestic orders [there are too many postal and customs regulations that preclude sending candy and other items internationally]. Often, we include extra treats and gifts with orders. The most recent item is "What Would Google Do?" by author Jeff Jarvis. These spiffs are randomly added to orders.


A bold and vital book that asks and answers the most urgent question of today: What Would Google Do?

In a book that's one part prophecy, one part thought experiment, one part manifesto, and one part survival manual, internet impresario and blogging pioneer Jeff Jarvis reverse-engineers Google—the fastest-growing company in history—to discover forty clear and straightforward rules to manage and live by. At the same time, he illuminates the new worldview of the internet generation: how it challenges and destroys, but also opens up vast new opportunities. His findings are counterintuitive, imaginative, practical, and above all visionary, giving readers a glimpse of how everyone and everything—from corporations to governments, nations to individuals—must evolve in the Google era.

Along the way, he looks under the hood of a car designed by its drivers, ponders a worldwide university where the students design their curriculum, envisions an airline fueled by a social network, imagines the open-source restaurant, and examines a series of industries and institutions that will soon benefit from this book's central question. The result is an astonishing, mind-opening book that, in the end, is not about Google. It's about you.

About the Author: Jeff Jarvis is the proprietor of one of the Web's most popular and respected blogs about the internet and media, He also writes the new media column for the Guardian in London. He was named one of 100 worldwide media leaders by the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2007 and 2008, and he was the creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly. He is on the faculty of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.

Follow us on Twitter, as we recently added notes from the lessons leaned. Sample below:
  • Notes from "What Would Google Do?" book by Jeff Jarvis. Customers getting revenge on Dell, ranting publicly on
  • YouTube works best with amateur clips [we're adding more next week at]. Paul Boutin, WSJ tech writer has review today
  • Make sure your business is "public, searchable and findable," says VC Fred Wilson. The book discusses no more flipping through newspapers
  • No more reading of business plans for ideas, today VCs search Twitter [hello] for new business ideas. All about Web 2.0 social networks
  • "What Would Google Do?" explains businesses must reinvent itself for Internet age. [We did that, no film, all digital at]
  • Provide your customers with public discussion forums and customize services. Jeff Jarvis says to innovate and don't stick with core products
  • Smart marketers understand the power of the Internet and instant feedback. Google always delivers excessive info and services
  • Great lesson about always delivering so your brand is not harmed by bloggers (ex "Dell Hell"). Always address complaints by bloggers

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Gifts For Men ($50 & Less) From CBS Early Show, incl Kodak Picture Movie DVD

What a warm and personal sentiment for Valentine's Day. CBS Early Show just profiled several Valentine's Day gift ideas for $50 and less, including the Kodak Picture Movie DVDs that you can order from 100s of Kodak photo kiosks across the nation and at online at at our Irvine, CA retail photo center. Click to learn more.

From CBS EARLY SHOW: KODAK GALLERY PRODUCTS $15 & up Valentines Gifts for the Sentimental Guy from KODAK Kodak Picture Movie DVD: For the last minute type you don't have to worry about an excuse this Valentine's Day. Just stop by your local CVS, Wal-Mart, [30 Minute Photos Etc. and retail photo center in Irvine, CA] etc. and create a Picture Movie DVD on any Kodak Kiosk. Put in your memory card, choose your pictures, choose a song to accompany the pictures and even create a personalized DVD case in just minutes. You will leave the story with gift in hand and only $15 out of pocket! Not only will your guy love the little movie you put together but he'll think it took you days!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What Exactly Are People Saying About Their Experience at


Thanks so much, and I appreciate very much that you folks went the extra mile to get my the 3 DVD copies over. I am amazed at the quality of the scanning service and I've moved all the photos into iPhoto, where I can organize and manipulate and document them.

As soon as I get a large number of photos from my brother, I intend to put in another large order for almost 2,000 scans. It's been a pleasure working with [you].

Kenneth C.
Santa Fe NM

Read more customer stories

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How Newspaper Banner Ads Generated No Orders

UPDATE: "OC Register says more layoffs expected" via AP, . No surprise as OCR newspaper banner ad didn't work-

Follow us on this personal lesson in what not to do, and you can save a great deal of money.

A while back, we wanted to support our local newspaper by running banner ads for The newspaper industry is dying, and this was our attempt to help support it, but this wasn't expected to be charity. Certainly, we needed to minimally recoup our investment.

The experience went from bad to worse real quickly, because the new analytic software tracks each visit and conversion from a visit to a sale. From the hundreds of thousands of impressions, which represents each time a visitor to the Orange County Register views a page with our ad, we received only a few hundred clicks. In most cases, the click to the site was for less than 5-seconds, meaning that the person erroneously pressed the mouse button in error. From our billed $6300 investment, the result was literally zero trackable orders.

Now, the Orange County Register is spinning a tale that these banner ads are designed for "branding." That might be fine for a multi-national conglomerate, but emerging small businesses survive on sales, not branding. As for search traffic to the site, we receive orders from around the globe and are ranked in the top spots in our category by Google because we are the pioneers of this new technology and regularly score raves from the media and bloggers. That is why our traffic is so high, and by monitoring each visit, we know that it was not related to the banner ads, which ended up costing about $12 per click. We can buy Google Adwords targeted directly to those searching for "photo scanning" for under $2, and for most keywords about $0.50.

We are learning that most orders are from reviews and word-of-mouth happy customers, rather than from erroneous newspaper banner ads.

We will keep this dialogue going so other entrepreneurs learn from our mistake. For us, banner ads in the local paper were is fiasco. How about with you and any experiences you might have encountered so we can all learn from this episode?

From an earlier email by the Orange County Register's Interactive Sales Manager:

Yes, industry average click through rate for banners is around .02%. Generally
if you target sections or target customers the click through higher, closer .19%. The point of banners really is to brand your business, drive more people to search for you.

The best way to view the performance of you banners is not to just look at the Clicks but to see if during the times your banner ran did your search traffic go up? Did your website traffic go up? That is really a good indicator if your banners were effective. If you think about it, someone won’t search for your brand specifically if they haven’t seen your name somewhere.

Grassroots Twitter Campaign Goes to the White House

Let's see if Twitter can be used for more than announcing when you woke up, or what you ate, let's use it to create change.

As a business owner and well-known entrepreneur, health insurance is a primary concern at; we pay 100% for all our employees. The abrupt end of Tom Daschle’s nomination as U.S. secretary of health and human services undercuts an American imperative. President Obama's legacy will partly be to overturn the nation's health care system. And here's how he can instantly achieve his goal.

Bill Gates retired from Microsoft to fight HIV/AIDS and other global health concerns and reform education. He has the cache and trust. If you agree that Bill Gates must be the next head of U.S. Health & Human Services, Twitter your friends and grassroots this to action.

We don't have President Obama's Blackberry email address, but we do have Twitter to reach and impassion others to make this happen.

As an employer, is urging the White House to nominate Microsoft's founder, Bill Gates. You can help. How? Twitter.

Mitch Goldstone
President & CEO

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Track your Orders on Twitter, FaceBook and Email

Track Your Packages Over Email, Text message, Facebook or Twitter.

No more refreshing pages. No more wondering when your orders will arrived. With TrackThis, we'll send you near instant updates via Email, SMS messaging, RSS feeds, Facebook, or Twitter. We track UPS, Fedex, USPS, DHL and several other carriers.

After you start using one of our services, you'll enter a tracking number and a nickname for a package. We'll continually monitor the package and each time the package changes location we'll send you a message.

Give it a try, click here.
Scan Photos, 35mm Slide and Negative Scanning, Photo Restoration, Digital Printing -