Thursday, July 30, 2009

Los Angeles Magazine "Best Of 2009" Update

To help celebrate being named among Los Angeles Magazine's "Favorite Things" for it's annual "Best Of" issue we attended their party at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. Congratulations to all the other entrepreneurial companies also named.

[Photo caption: Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman, founders of 30 Minute Photos Etc and at the Best of LA Event]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A KODAK Moment on "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"

For anyone questioning the power of the KODAK brand, watch this Conan O'Brien video [about 12 minutes in] and the Kodak plug on "The Tonight Show." In a humorous sketch parodying product placements in TV shows. In the clip, O'Brien is shown demonstrating and endorsing the Kodak M380 digital camera, all the while denying -- with tongue firmly in cheek -- that this was a paid announcement.

The sketch concludes with a voice over from the "NBC legal department" explaining the product placement deal.And now for a connection. We were there. Thanks to Jeff Hayzlett and the KODAK family, Carl and I join in the fun and attended the NBC show at Universal Studios and the after party. We cheered from our seats watching it live. Afterwards, the fun continued as we all read the Tweets throughout the evening and at dinner, following Jeff and @JeffreyHayzlett from those fans raving about the segment.

[Photo: Jeff Hayzlett sitting in Conan's seat on the set of "The Tonight Show"]

[Photo: The KODAK family and guests posing for our "15-minutes." Carl Berman is 4th from left, Mitch Goldstone 6th from left]

[Photo: Mitch Goldstone, president & CEO, on "The Tonight Show" set]

[Photo: Carl and Mitch at Conan's desk]

[Photo: Host and amazingly nice guy, Conan O'Brien with Jeff Hayzlett ("the modern day George Eastman" KODAK's Chief Marketing Officer afterwards on the roof for the KODAK party].

For anyone questioning the power of the KODAK brand, watch this Conan O'Brien video [about 12 minutes in] and the Kodak plug on "The Tonight Show." In a humorous sketch parodying product placements in TV shows. In the clip, O'Brien is shown demonstrating and endorsing the Kodak M380 digital camera, all the while denying -- with tongue firmly in cheek -- that this was a paid announcement. The sketch concludes with a voice over from the "NBC legal department" explaining the product placement deal.

And now for a connection. We were there. Thanks to Jeff Hayzlett and the KODAK family, Carl and I join in the fun and attended the show and after party. We were cheering from our seats watching it live and then reading all the Tweets throughout the evening and at dinner afterwards to
@JeffreyHayzlett raving about the segment.

[Photo: Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman, founders of
with Mr. O'Brien at the after-party following the taping of Tuesday, July 21st "The Tonight Show."]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Twitter Lowdown: Photo Marketing Magazine

From Photo Marketing Magazine (July/August, 2009, page 34)

click here for link

Parting Shot: The Twitter Lowdown

Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of, explains how to tweet your way to business promotion

Twitter is transformative. As digital was to film, Twitter is to traditional yellow page display phone books. It is revolutionary, free, and the preferred new instrument for listening to and engaging your prospective customers with helpful and authentic dialogue.

At, we are using Twitter to blend our conventional public relations with the more modern (free) social media campaign to involve readers with multimedia content from all our blogging and other promotional tools. (Visit and

As a powerful social communications application, Twitter is what users make of it. Think of it as attending a local chamber of commerce business mixer or a speed-dating encounter, but faster. You have only 140 characters to make a point and grab attention, so don’t waste it describing what you are eating or watching on television, and don’t write about your business – nobody cares.

Twitter is more of a commitment than a campaign and should not be hastily abandoned. According to Nielson Online Research, today’s Twitters are often tomorrow’s quitters. Reuters reported “more than 60 percent of Twitter users stopped using the free social networking site a month after joining.”

We have two primary accounts to personalize, without broadcasting, our messages; a technique we found is the prudent way to delicately grow interest in our Twitter postings.

Begin by searching themes, locations and topics of interest to your very local community. Rather than search for U.S. Chamber of Commerce followers, think locally – and discover regional organizations and local folks to follow.

To enhance your local retail photo center, reach out to the community and exchange a dialogue about what is important to them. Identify other people who have similar interests and who are looking to find a photo lab to print their pictures, take portraits, or restore faded photo memories.

Use Twitter to microblog – sending brief email-like “post-it” notes to everyone following you and those searching for keywords associated with you; i.e. “Irvine Photo Lab.” Involve each follower by regularly asking them questions and forwarding their pertinent messages to others. Share links and recipes of ideas, absent any off-color jokes, political or social commentary, and religion, unless you personally know the recipient. Provide answers with links you shorten to fit, using to support your replies. Get personal. Know your audience and everyone following you – everyone.

Navigate away from following celebrities and others who you do not directly know, or want to know. It is about quality, not quantity, of followers that will drive new business to your company.

We use this new marketing platform to filter our messages into brief updates, rather than just plugging We share advice on how to take photos, what camera settings are best, and how to make Kodak Picture Movie DVDs with our store kiosk and link to our YouTube-hosted “how to” presentations.

Be educational, rather than promotional; and you will grow a healthy list of followers, which leads to customers.

Think of Twitter as a modern-day electronic highlighter, where you accentuate up to 140 characters.

Here is our recipe for how Twitter can enhance and add more than opaque value to your photo business. Promote virtual swag. Ask followers to forward your offer for free stuff to those following them. What free services and products (giant photo collages, photo albums, etc.) can your company randomly raffle off to recent followers of your site?

To qualify, your followers need to simply “RT” (Retweet, which is similar to forwarding an email) your message. Use free online tools like “Tweetaway” to randomly select a winner; follow their
recommendations for how to host these free contests to grow your local database in your
town or community.

Connect with your neighbors by using,,, and Perform a Google search for other helpful Twitter applications, and make sure to share the gems you find with others. This is like a giant pyramid scheme; but because it is the internet, the limit is immeasurable.

Most important is to have fun! Twitter is all about attracting people to trust and follow you, and then go to your website and “buy,” rather than just clicking “bye.”

[Source, Photo Marketing Magazine, July/August. Mitch Goldstone commentary]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Watch This Behind the Scenes at the KODAK Theater

Bley and Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett get the VIP treatment behind the scenes at The Kodak Theater...And end up making Oscar history! Click to watch.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Dinner with Walter Cronkite

[Photo: Walter Cronkite and Mitch Goldstone in NYC, April, 2002]

Back in April, 2002, Carl and I purchased one of those American Express Platinum Card "By Invitation Only" dinner events. We flew to New York City to spend the evening with Walter Cronkite.

Afterwards, I wrote some notes (below) as a memory from the very intimate dinner gathering.

As the entire world mourns the loss of this television pioneer, called "The Most Trusted Man in America," that evening will always be an endearing memory.

Mitch Goldstone
President & CEO

Notes from NYC dinner with Betsy and Walter Cronkite (WC) on April 9, 2002 with Mitch Goldstone and Carl Berman.

  • In preparing for our evening with the Cronkite's, we had carefully prepared not to say it. We both practiced and practiced, then when the time came, we both did it anyway; our first words to him were ... "we watched you on TV as a little kids." Oops.

  • We began by first greeting Betsy Cronkite who was most approachable; she mentioned that everyone always first greets and treasures the company of her famous, former CBS News anchor, husband and forgets about her. WC noticed our attention towards her, smiled and we won him over.

  • Great conversation. We even turned it into a sales pitch. He explained that had a digital camera, enjoyed uploading his images to his personal computer, but made prints at home with his home color printer. Imagine "Uncle Walter" making his own prints?

  • We informed him that by uploading his images directly to our company, he could receive Kodak-quality photographic prints and returned the next day via FedEx. [Always the entrepreneur pitching, today our business is has metamorphosed into a much larger company].

  • To paraphrase the evening's conversation with WC:

  • He loved President Reagan. In the early 1980s, President Reagan was addressing a gathering of teachers. He said that the first civilian to travel aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle will be... a teacher. He had mistakenly remarked that NASA was planning to invite a teacher rather than a journalist to travel into Space. Rather than clarifying the message, NASA politely went with the President's comments and the rest was history. WC was to have been selected to be aboard that fateful journey.

  • WC said the Middle East was reaching a situation as dangerous as was WWII and opined that we are a few feet from a new world war. Left to Israel and the Palestinians, there would be no effective solution. He said that the Palestinians and Israelis will not yield. There is an arrogance to the U.S. mandate on what should be done. Rather, the U.S. should send troops to sanitize and patrol the borders, with the UN troops involvement. The UN was founded to create stability and world peace. We should put our faith in the UN. The UN should enter the conflict with an international peace-keeping force, with troops from all regions, specifically Arab nations. We're all in this together and the U.S. should have political courage.

  • After a lengthy discussion on the Middle East, he turned to our waiter and said: "that has taken so much out of me, I'll have a double."

  • The future will bring populations to distant planets and one day we will have space cities on the Moon. Five hundred years from now, the most important date will be Americans' landing on the moon; much like how today we celebrate the discovery of America. WC said that future civilizations will laugh as they explain that in our day it took four days and a flimsy old rocket ship to bring us to the Moon. WC thinks of himself as the world's greatest time traveler.

  • I asked what person he would have most liked to have interviewed. WC: Adolph Hitler.

  • Although he was hard-of-hearing, he was remarkably friendly and full of humor and stories. When we shared with him from where we reside, he remembered Irvine, Calif. from a profile he did over 30 years-ago when the Boy Scouts of America held a national Jamboree in Irvine and the only thing around, he recollected, were rattle snakes. Irvine today is a modern high-tech residential and business metropolis. [ is located on Jamboree Parkway, named after that scouting event].

Monday, July 13, 2009

What People Are Writing About


Much obliged for your service - the first box of scanned pictures are now playing as a computer screen saver and neither my wife nor I can leave the room anymore.

Rob B
New York, NY

Friday, July 10, 2009

Feedback From a Recent Photo Scanning Experience

Thanks to Dave for this blog posting.

Got Our Pictures Back

By Dave at 8:37 am on Friday 7.10.2009 1 Comment

Yesterday we got our pictures back from and I have to say: I’m beyond satisfied with the results.

I ordered the “fill it up” box for around $120 (searched around on Google and found some coupons too so maybe it was a little cheaper than their list price) and Sharaun and I jammed that thing with pictures. And, even with all the prints we had from her collection and my raid on the folks’ old albums – we were still shy of really topping off the box. I shipped the thing the Thursday before the Independence Day holiday and I’m almost certain that, were it not for that three-day weekend, these guys would’ve had the prints scanned and back to us in a couple days (they are just south of us, after all).

Getting the photos back, we learned that they scanned 1,525 images for us. Amazingly, out of all the images we sent, only ten were not scanned – and this was because there was a little too much residual stickiness on the backs of them from years stuck in those old albums at my parents’ place.

However, when you consider that 10/1,535 is something like 0.06%, that’s a really amazing working percentage. Honestly, I can scan those ten loose images myself and everything will be fine. They were also able to scan all the odd-sized images Sharaun took with that stupid stupid fake “panorama” style film that was popular back in the 90s. You know, the ones that make prints that are like 13″ long and stupid? Yeah those.

The images themselves are scanned at 300DPI. I’m happy with this resolution, and having tried to scan some images myself in the past (although by no means being an expert) at higher resolutions, I know there was (at least in my experience) limited gains by scanning a printed image at 600DPI or higher. Anyway, the 300DPI scans from them look great as far as I’m concerned, allowing for the understanding that you’re only gonna get so much from the print anyway. You can pay extra for color-correction, having the images rotated to the correct orientation, or having them scanned in named groupings. However, since I’m cheap and I want to flip through them one-by-one anyhow, I’m just doing any touch-ups as I go for free.

Anyway, for my money, you can’t beat this service: it’s super fast, the prints look great, it’s cheap, and you don’t have to do it yourself. And, I mean… seriously… how else are you going to get pictures like this WTF gem into your digital collection?

Click here to view images and Dave's "Sounds Familiar" blog.
Scan Photos, 35mm Slide and Negative Scanning, Photo Restoration, Digital Printing -