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The latest news and information about DK New Media’s team, our partners, and our clients.

I’ve Put Some Domains Up For Sale!

It never fails. I sit down with friends and come up with a new business idea, then don’t have the time nor resources to implement them. For 2018, I’ve decided to hyperfocus on the work that’s providing the greatest results – which means I need to step away from other hobbies and things that take my eyes off the prize.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to put my domains up for sale that I’m not implementing solutions for. One of the sites is Payraise Calculator – which happens to have a nicely scripted calculator already built. But the majority of these domains were never used… just reserved for future projects.

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If you’re interested in purchasing any, let me know through the contact form. Some of them have outstanding search engine authority and others are truly great domains.

DK New Media Helps Launch Tech Warriors for the Indianapolis Veteran and Technology Communities

DK New Media is proud to be assisting in the Speak Easy’s Tech Warriors initiative, along with the launch of Veteran Cast, a podcast dedicated to helping the Veteran Community.

The Speak Easy, in collaboration with Veterans Services of Indianapolis and the Indiana Veteran Services Committee is launching a new veteran’s initiative for Hoosier servicemen and women interested in joining the local tech sector. Tech Warriors seeks to connect local veterans with opportunities in local tech companies and educate tech leaders on the advantages of hiring veterans.

“Veterans come to the tech workforce with a unique set of skills that distinguish them from other applicants,” said former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Many have worked in highly technical roles, under tremendous pressure. Veterans from each service branch undergo rigorous training and must demonstrate incredible attention to detail. In my work with Indiana veterans, I have seen first-hand the value that veterans bring to the business community.”

As part of its Tech Warriors initiative, The Speak Easy is offering Indiana residents with a veteran’s ID or driver’s license a significant discount on membership with the co-working community. While members normally pay $75 per month, full membership for Tech Warriors will be only $25 per month when they present an active military or veteran indicator on their valid Indiana Driver’s License or Identification Card.

Veterans will also find new programs at The Speak Easy over the next year, as the organization will collaborate with member Douglas Karr of DK New Media on networking, mentorship, and job training opportunities for local veterans. Veterans will also find new programs at The Speak Easy over the next year, as the organization will collaborate with member and Navy Veteran Douglas Karr of DK New Media on networking, mentorship, and job training opportunities for local veterans.

“As the Central Indiana tech sector continues to grow, companies are seeking hundreds of qualified new employees,” said Speak Easy Executive Director Danielle McDowell. “As an engine of economic development in Indianapolis, we will connect local veterans with exciting new opportunities, and offer our Tech Warriors a chance to work with local leaders in tech innovation.”

The Speak Easy will host local veterans at its downtown Indianapolis location for a panel discussion on entering the burgeoning local tech sector or how to grow their own businesses. This panel will feature Marine Corp Veteran John Qualls of Eleven Fifty, Army Veteran Tom Gorup of Rook Security to speak on how military training can help pursue technology careers and panelists to outline specifically how to begin training for these roles. Mayor Ballard and Matt Hall of Veterans Services for Indianapolis will also participate in the forum. Individuals interested in participating in the Tech Warriors program on December 5, 2017:

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Thanksgiving 2017: A Year of Graduations

I’m not sure someone could have had a bigger roller coaster ride than I’ve been on this year! I’ve been truly blessed and want to extend my gratitude to so many people who have supported me. I’m sure I’ll forget someone – but I’ll try to remember them all.

One person had more of an impact than she would ever realize – my Mom. Without her support, I’m not sure where I or my kids would be. I only wish my business didn’t steal so much time from seeing her the last few years.

Let’s announce graduations first:

  • Bill and Katie – My son got his Ph.D. in Math from the University of Illinois, and Katie graduated with her BA in Events and PR… on the same weekend. I’ve been on a cloud ever since… nothing could take me down. My parents and grandparents helped make their schooling possible. As a single father, I didn’t have the resources, and I’m forever thankful to everyone involved from the teachers, friends, and family. Watching my son and daughter working alongside the businesses and entrepreneurs I respect has been awesome. And my daughter-in-law is just an amazing human being and incredible wife. I couldn’t be any more proud of my family.
  • Jenn – Jenn celebrated a few graduations of her own, from moving from my right-hand to getting married and owning her own agency. I always wanted to show my appreciation for Jenn’s dedication these past years. That didn’t happen the way I had pictured it, but the outcome was even better. We had some incredible years and some tough ones. Seeing Jenn blossom as a strong leader, an incredible friend, and now a wife, home-owner, and business-owner has been nothing short of amazing. I was never surprised. I’m so very happy for her and Ryan!
  • AJ – AJ went from a graduate I was introduced to by his Uncle and my friend, Sean, to ramping up his own business. He’s doing excellent video work for everyone in town and is now planning his studio on the Southside.
  • Harrison – Amplify was just some scribbles on the chalkboard, so watching Harrison pursue his vision of what networking should be in Indy is fantastic.
  • Ashley – A single Mom who was interning for me and bartending to make ends meet is now crushing it for the Speak Easy. I used to tell Ashley to relax and stand tall… no one has to say that to her anymore. Everyone loves Ashley!

There are so many folks that I need to thank for helping my business skyrocket this year, too! Harry, Mike & Wendy, Adam & Kim, Danielle, William, Diane, Ioana, Ryan, Stephanie, Lidia, Filip, Andrea, Marty, Randy, Jennifer, Thaddeus, Jason & Chris, Tim, Josh, Matt, Nathan, Ryan, Travis, Nick… all of you had such an impact. And of course, my clients – Korena, Emeric, Mark & Konnie, Alex & Rich, Aman & Amber, Bill & Kelly, Howard & Christine, Brad & Marty.

The reset that I did with the business is working out incredibly well. I let some clients move on this year where there wasn’t a fit, and brought on new clients that are amazing. I’ve upgraded the studio with live video along with 8 new podcast programs (some mine), and I’m helping launch Veterans initiatives with the Speak Easy, city, and state. I’m growing my speaking and training revenue and investing in some solutions I’ve built and partnered on. While I never feel caught up, I’m seeing some amazing leaps and bounds and can’t wait for 2018!

Thank You!

DK New Media: Speak Easy Membership Profile Video

To state that the Speak Easy in downtown Indianapolis is our home may be a bit of an understatement. We love being a resource for the space on everything from rolling out enhancments to their website, wifi network challenges, to providing personal mentoring to some fo the young entrepreneurs there. We now have spread into 2 offices in addition to our podcast studio – which is being transformed into a real-time video studio as well in the coming months. It was really special to get treated by the Speak Easy and Train918 with this incredible spotlight video. Click the play button above to see it in action!

WordPress Integration with RevResponse for Trade Publications

The backlog for an agency on its own sites is typically quite long… and my MarTech publication is no different. Last year I signed up for RevResponse, a site for whitepaper, trade publications, and ebook publishers to extend the reach of their publications by paying for each registered download of them. With the number of marketing whitepapers out on the market, I thought it would be an outstanding means of both monetizing my publication and providing value to our audience.

Unfortunately, while the selection and quality of publications are extensive through RevResponse, the service itself is limited. Either you can go in and find the links you’d like to share, or you can download a full XML library of every publication they have. They provide no filtering capability or API options – just grab a full 13Mb file.

To complicate things even more, the RevResponse images and XML file are hosted on a non-secure host. Since our site is hosted securely, that means that I needed to copy all assets over to our site to work with. I didn’t want to slow down our publication site, though, so I decided to host it on a third server under a wildcard SSL certificate so that we could easily access it.

To further complicate things, RevResponse updates their library continuously, so I needed to check it every hour to find new publications that are in the rotation. Once a publisher runs out of funds, the whitepapers are removed. I don’t want to annoy visitors to our site by pushing them to a whitepaper they can’t download!

So – I had to build a middleware system that acquired the library and all image assets and hosted on our site at least once an hour. Then I had to parse that data and put it into a manageable format that was easy to query and work with. We wound up doing a number of things:

  1. With the assistance of my food friend Adam, we built jobs to download the library each hour.
  2. I built a parser to only save the publications in categories that were applicable to our publication.
  3. I built an API to access the data from our publication, with the capability to pull a specific quantity, or filter the selection.
  4. I built a custom WordPress Plugin (that won’t be published publicly) that added a shortcode, sidebar widget, and filtered content for the posts and our feeds.

The best feature of the system is that every single post on our site interacts with the API. The plugin passes the tags from our article, compares them with the keywords of the whitepaper, and then the platform returns the most relevant whitepaper to our audience based on the keyword overlap!

I’m looking forward to seeing how the system performs over the next few months. And, of course, I’d love to help RevResponse build these features out for all publishers – no doubt they could increase their own revenue and extend their reach!

 

Our Portable Podcast Studio

You’ve probably seen me discuss our full podcast studio in downtown Indianapolis. However, next week I’m heading on the road to Dell EMC World to co-host a number interviews for the Dell Technologies’ Luminaries Podcast.

While I’d love to package up my studio and move it to Vegas, that wasn’t really an option. I needed to portable podcast studio that I could put in a suitcase and bring out there with me. A good friend, audiophile, and my #1 source on anything audio is Brad Shoemaker of Creative Zombie Studios. He talked up the Zoom H6. Then Chris Spangle, another podcasting expert, brought down his Zoom and showed it to me. I was smitten.

To reduce the room I needed and to accommodate recording of panels and presentations where the speaker may be walking around, I looked for a wireless microphone setup. I settled on the Shure BLX188/CVL Dual Wireless Lavalier system. I purchased 2 of them at different frequencies to ensure I wouldn’t have any interference between the units.

With the two units, I can set everything up for 4 wireless lavalier microphones and the included microphone. I may purchase some desktop microphones for sit-down discussions in the future, but this is going to work great for now.

I’ll also have a Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone to record everyone on my iPhone as a backup.

 

Full disclosure: I’m using Amazon Affiliate links in this post and the team at Shure sent me the MV88 to test out and then gave it to me!

Launch of Dell Luminaries with Hosts Mark Schaefer and Douglas Karr

Today has been a day months in the making! Mark Schaefer has been a mentor and friend for many years. One of Mark’s clients is Dell Technologies, a company that is quite literally transforming the world with its technologies throughout brands like Dell, EMC, VMware, RSA, Pivotal Software, SecureWorks, and Boomi.

The company is running over with talent and innovation is happening at speeds we’ve never seen in mankind’s history. The challenge, of course, is how to share your talent, your progress, and your vision with IT transformation with the world. Mark realized that this was an incredible opportunity for podcasting. And… the kicker… because of my technical aptitude, he graciously invited me to co-host the interviews.

Luminaries – Talking to the brightest minds in tech

Where can technology take your business? Join hosts Mark Schaefer and Douglas Karr on an IT transformation expedition. Listen in as they have in-depth conversations with technology luminaries who clear the path for your business growth – hear from analysts, partners, your peers and leaders across Dell Technologies. Find research, best practices and tools to make your IT transformation real.

I hope you enjoy the show as much as we’re enjoying producing it. Konstanze Alex-Brown of Dell has been an amazing partner, bringing in all the research, guests, and schedules to make this podcast happen. There are so many moving parts – and ensuring we have a quality audio recording is quite a challenge with guests literally all over the globe.

Please subscribe to this critical podcast. Regardless of your position within an organization, IT transformation is happening within your industry, your business, and your customers’ lives. This podcast will provide you with deep insight so you can keep current and plan ahead of these rapidly accelerating trends.

Episode 01: Ready, Set, Transform… Your IT

The level of IT transformation a company has achieved has an immediate and tangible impact on business growth, competitive differentiation and ability to innovate. How much? Leading IT industry analysts did the research and have surprising answers. Duration : 34:11

Subscribe to Luminaries on iTunes, Spotify, or via the Podcast Feed.

Our Agile Marketing Journey

One of the key differentiators that we have with other agencies is that we’re not just a job shop. Because our goal is to partner and grow with our clients, we also must ensure that our engagements are long-term focused. It’s one of the reasons we don’t actively sell and churn as other agencies do. Our clients love us because of the work we put into researching, developing a strategy, implementing the technologies necessary to succeed, executing the strategy and optimizing it.

Marketing is more difficult than it’s ever been. And explaining the journey we take our clients on is just as complex. In order to communicate our services better, we developed this presentation and accompanying infographic on the Agile Marketing Journey.

If your business is struggling with priorities, process, and needs assistance in generating a strategy and applying resources to ensure the return on marketing investment is maximized, feel free to reach out and we can discuss our products and services with you.

Facebook Live in Our Indianapolis Podcast Studio

As we continue to fine-tune our podcast studio at the Speak Easy in downtown Indianapolis, we’ve worked extremely hard to keep it simple. We’ve even shared our equipment and instructions for using it on our studio page here. By keeping it simple, we can ensure our podcasts are done on-time and without the need for additional staff to assist you.

Continuing with that focus, we’ve added video capabilities. We’ve integrated a mounted iPad to our mixer so that you can go live on Facebook and do real-time video. Our colleagues doing this in the industry are getting absolutely amazing results, exponentially increasing their visibility online. We’re going to continue to build out our studio with multi-view and auto-switching capabilities, but only as the technology becomes easy to use.

We’ve got the BEHRINGER XR-18 mixer and have set up a BUS to auxiliary output that combines all 6 microphones and our Mac Mini output (in this case YouTube). By setting up a bus, we can control the audio that streams via an XLR to iPad Mic converter. Side note… we’re also working to enhance the lighting to better compliment the audio.

Using our current setup, you just need to login to Facebook and click Live! Here’s our latest video after configuring the system:

Blazing Trails – DK New Media and Sapphire Strategy

If you haven’t heard of Sapphire Strategy, you’re about to very soon! After 5 years with DK New Media, Jenn Lisak – our amazing strategies and client services VP – is launching her own agency! Jenn has single-handedly transformed our agency over the years and built a name for herself in the industry.

The Marketing Maturity Model that Jenn worked hard on has been a centerpiece of our strategies with clients – working clients from market understanding through monetization. It’s so successful that we’ll be launching an online course for marketers, sales, and business professionals to step through the model to improve their digital business results.

Over time at DK New Media, it became clear that we were running two successful businesses. One was our agency where Jenn led the charge on client services. The other was our MarTech publication where we continued to lead the industry in Marketing Technology advice. The MarTech zone is investing heavily in sponsorships, events, and online learning.

Jenn is launching with the absolute support and love of our team at DK New Media – and is even taking some beloved clients along with her. As a leader in NAWBO, Jenn has an incredible opportunity in creating a Women-Owned Business to help other Women-Owned Businesses move their companies forward.

Of course, Jenn will be missed by both our clients and our team. However, she’s assured me that she’s looking forward to continued participation in the Star Wars podcasts from Pure Fandom (don’t mess with her Star Wars IQ!) and will keep in touch. We’ve pledged our full support of her launch and Jenn has access to our partners as she dives into this crazy industry.

We love you, Jenn, and we’re so proud of you taking this next step in world domination!

PS: Jenn’s email will be forwarded, so feel free to contact her!

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