Jitters – Cafe with Character

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Came down to Duluth for the day Friday and decided to check out the downtown area and visit Jitters Coffee and Tea House. 

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Jitters has a great corner store location in the heart of downtown Duluth. I stopped in and ordered a iced vanilla latte (it was a hot day). My latte was very good, and the place was very unique! A middle aged man wearing a kilt sat at the coffee bar with his laptop and the barista was chatting with someone who sounded like they we’re writing some sort of Werewolf novel. If I lived in Duluth this place woud definitely be my regular haunt. The place had some Pride too! A rainbow flag on the wall as well as some kind of LGBT community involvement award plaque and some copies of Lavendar Magazine. The interior had an interesting decor as the walls we’re made to look like cute storefronts. They also had some local interest artwork for sale on the walls (nothing too exctied, mostly paintings of moose, lakes and ducks). The windows were pretty full with posters for local art shows and music. 

After some more exploring and shopping around downtown Duluth I stopped back in for a cup of butter rum coffee and a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. Yum!

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If you find yourself in downtown Duluth, I’d highly recommend a stop by Jitters!

I’m Back!

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Hello Everyone! I’m sorry its been such a long time since I’ve been on here. I’m planning on picking up this blog again and staying consistant with it.

I’ll be visiting Duluth, MN tomorrow and plan to stop by Jitters Coffee and Tea House. Website looks nice and they’re on Facebook (although seems like its been awhile since they posted anything). Excited to check it out tomorrow and write a review this weekend!

In the meantime you can check out my current writing project “Voice of the Writer” on Tumblr!

Hope you enjoy :)

Sagebrush Cafe and Art House

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This place is a dream come true for any artist (or hipster) stranded in the suburban desert.

I asked one of the employees there, Kim (a fried I’ve known for several years from high school), “What makes Sagebrush Unique?”

Check out her response to the question, and some photos from the shop in the video below:

Sagebrush Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Quartz Hill, CA, on the corner of 50th Street W. & L-14, right across the street from the post office.

Not going to go as detailed into a review of this cafe other than to higlight some of my favorite things there and some of their great connections to the local art scene.

One of my favorite drinks there is the Aztec (Warrior) which features yummy yummy Mexican Hot Chocolate.

I adore the art gallery and unique gifts, there is always some thing there I want to buy, even if I can’t afford to! Luckily I was able to pick up a nifty “Reading is Sexy” sticker for my laptop for only $1 on my last visit.

There’s plenty of indoor seating, and plenty of space to sit outdoors and enjoy the southern california winter in a xeriscape desert garden.

SageBrush has a website and Facebook (which I may come back and review at a later date), but what always interests me even more is the wordpress blog that Eric (the owner) runs called Antelope Valley Arts Blog where he posts all about local theater and arts. I love hearing about whats going on back in my home town. Its also a great resource for finding local artists, theaters and galleries in the Antelope Valley as their links are listed on the right side of the blog.

I can’t really give SageBrush a number rating, but I hope I’ve inspired you to give it a visit and discover its uniqueness for yourself.

Thanks For Reading :)

Three Easy Easy Easy Ways to Engage your Twitter Followers

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Spend a day with me and you’ll quickly see I’m a big tweeter. I have an older phone so its really the only mobile social site I can really use and enjoy. (140 characters and photos are perfect for a text messaging phone.)  And as I mention in an earlier post I always get happy when a business has a twitter account! Because of my older phone, I’m not able to do the yelp, facebook or foursqaure check-ins but what I can do is take a picture, use twitpic and @mention the business name. That’s fun. But what’s much more fun, is when I get a response.

Here are a few example’s of people that get it!

1. REPLY

I can always count on @CFANorthridge replying to my tweets! It’s such an easy thing to do, makes your customers feel special and appreciated. It sends a signal that you care about your customers, have taken the time to understand twitter and want to continue to engage in a conversation. It deepens the relationship and enhances a feeling of friendship and happiness towards a brand.

2. RETWEET

How better to share what people are saying about your brand then to literally share what they are saying! Retweeting gives you a more diverse and interesting voice, and it is especially important for large organizations such as @csunorthridge to make people full like they are valued. Furthermore all you have to do is click one button.

3. RETWEET More!

You can go deeper than just retweet those that are talking about or @ you. Listen to what people are saying about your neighbors, friends and community. Take the above tweet as an example, @LancasterPAC connected to @indiefilmben (me) , @kineticbrewery ( a new micro-brewery / restreaunt across the street), @lancasterblvd (the downtown community), and @nottheonlysolo (my friend) simply by retweeting more.

Share your twitter tips in the comments below and thanks for reading!

The Kuteness of Kathy’s Kafe

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As promised here is my first Coffee House Review :) Let me know what you think of the format and rating criteria, and of course enjoy!

The Place:
Kathy’s Kafe
560 W Milling St. Suite A, Lancaster, Ca. 93534
This place is definitely cute. A comfy and quaint inside with a good community vibe (pin board for flyers, holder for business cards) and the wi-fi signal is great! It’s definitely a place for people that want to sit for a while, ideal for students, web developers, business people and bloggers. The location is less than prime. It’s about a block of the path behind the BLVD (Lancaster’s new downtown destination) in a sort of business office building. Since its unlikely that it will be discovered by foot traffic this place seems like it will develop regulars that enjoy its hidden gem status.

The People:
Kathy Branning (owner) is very sweet and friendly. You can tell she loves the Lord by the Christian soft-rock playing over the speakers and the worship night flyers on the counter. Don’t worry she’s not pushy with it, just welcoming. She also has a big heart for charity and is eco and globally conscientious with fair-trade coffee and bio-degradable cups. From the couple times I’ve been there I’d say there is her and 1 or 2 other employees that work, often one at a time. The girl that was working on my first visit was very friendly and was nice enough humor my chatty nature and very knowledgeable about the store and Kathy’s vision. DRINK COFFEE. DO GOOD.

The Drinks:
I’m a big sucker for holiday drinks. Enjoyed the Eggnog Latte on my first visit and the Dirty Pumpkin Latte on my second visit. They are both delicious! I recommend it in a mug, just cause they write you name with chalk on the mug! Yes, it is that cute.

Social:
Use of Tech – This really impressed me. If you pay with a card they actually run it on a iPhone, you can sign on the touch screen and opt to email yourself the receipt. The tech geek inside smiled. [Kathy used Square to accept credit cards]

The Device and My Reciept

Website – kathyskafeonline.com
Clean design, easy navigation. All the info you need is there. The uniqueness of the Kafe is highlighted well. Unfortunately video is pushed to the gallery page and facebook is the only social bookmark. Where are the Yelp and Twitter buttons? Nice site, but needs a couple refinements.
Facebook – facebook.com/kathyskafe and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathys-Kafe/189448877787031?sk=wall
Oddly enough I found 2 facebook pages for Kathy’s Kafe. Both of them are clearly for the same Kathy’s Kafe. My guess is its possible that one of them used to be the Perk Place page and they changed the name to try and keep the followers from the previous business. Posts consist of mobile photos of the cookies and cupcakes, little specials and giveaways, holiday greetings, charitable causes and bible quotes.
Twitter- twitter.com/#!/kathyskafe
I always get happy when a business has a twitter account! I have an older phone so I’m not able to do the yelp, facebook or foursqaure check-ins but what I can do is take a picture, use twitpic and @mention the business name. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do actually. Unfortunately the fun often stops there. Few business retweet or reply, and Kathys Kafe is the rule not the exception. [click here to read about the benefits of replying and retweeting] Still i decided to follow their twitter anyways. Unfortunately it looks like all the tweets are being pulled in from facebook and there aren’t any pictures, hashtags, retweets or @mentions. Kathy has Twitter but she’s really not using it.
ilivetodayav –  ilivetoday.com/profile/KathyBranning
Kathy may have missed the ball a little on twitter, but she definitely still has an eye on community. She found the niche ning network for the Antelope Valley, made a profile, made friends, put up pictures and responded to messages and comments! Good Job Kathy!
Yelp – yelp.com/biz/kathys-kafe-lancaster
5 for 5, Five Reviews with Five stars. A good number of photos from fans and all the business information, website and menu are available! Off to a great start on Yelp!

Overall Rating:
I’m going to give Kathy’s Kafe 3.5 out of 5 stars. She has a lot of strengths, and I’ll probably make the effort to stop by when I’m in town. The location makes it hard to give it five stars, especially since there’s no outdoor seating (in the beautiful so-cal weather!) but, she’s definitely on her way to some more stars if she can take on a more engaging twitter strategy. I wish you the best of luck Kathy!

Thanks for reading :)

Google’s New ‘YouTube Slam’ Generates Video Duels

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While reading Mashable’s article “Google’s New ‘YouTube Slam’ Generates Video Duels.” I was reminded of some of the research I did while writing a paper for one my courses at Cal State Northridge. Here is a brief expert pertaining to the critiques of youtube leveled in Alexandra Juhasz’s article Learning the Five Lessons of YouTube: After Trying to Teach There, I Don’t Believe the Hype

“YouTube is essentially a postmodern television set that delivers mindless distraction in short form videos. The three elements that make a video popular or entertaining are humor, spectacle and self-referentiality. This constitutes a new signature form of video distinct to YouTube that focuses on easy to understand sensations rather than complex meanings. (Juhasz)

(You can read my whole paper here)

YouTube slam absolutely deepens the validity of Juhasz’ critiques.

YouTube describes Slam as a “place for discovering talented amateur singers, the most adorable clips and the craziest videos on YouTube.” Users can play with Slam in five categories: bizarrecomedycutedance and music  (Hernandez, Mashable).”

It appears YouTube Slam aims to specifically be another form of mindlessly distracting entertainment.

Read the Full article and tell me your opinion. Google’s New ‘YouTube Slam’ Generates Video Duels.

Thanks for Reading :)

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

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Over 4 million eyeballs on on this site and growing. If you are serious about reaching niche markets in social media you need to get familiar with this site.

Check out the Guide from Mashable:

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network.

Oh and if you’re not a Social Media Marketer, the site is just super fun anyways. Best for art, photography, fashion and DIY projects. Predominantly female.

And of course you can follow me on Pinterest.

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