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Marketing Monday: Nike plus

Every Monday, we check out a cool new marketing technique used by an individual, business, or group. Want to be featured? Contact the BE Blog.
I’ve noticed my online friend Lynn Cyr (an artist among other things) has been posting her runs on Facebook via the Nike website. I clicked through to see the partnership with Nike and iPod that not only encourages people to work out but think about music at the same time. I asked Lynn a few questions about her running and how she uses her Nike+.
1. Do you have the special shoes with your Nike+ or do you just clip it on?

Lynn Cyr, artist/web developer/user of cool running technology

No, I don’t have the special shoes for it. They now sell clips that you can use, but when I started using my Nike+, there was no such thing. So I came across this blog post that showed how to attach it to any shoe… and that’s how I’ve done it since!
2. How long have you been using the Nike+? Do you feel this device has improved your workouts?
I got the device as a birthday gift (at my request!) from my husband in March 2008. I started using it the very next day! Before that, I never exercised… let alone RUN! As I went on my runs and saw some progress (faster pace, longer distances but same duration, etc…), it really got me hooked! I can honestly say without a doubt that this tiny device is what got me started as a Runner! I’ve used it fairly consistently ever since, except for breaks I would need to take because of injuries (bleh!!).
Not ONLY did it turn me into a Runner, but I even trained for my very first 1/2 Marathon that first year!! My friends in Quebec convinced me that I should train, even though I’d never run before (except for a 5K race I did like 15 years ago – and even *that* was a very short-lived period of running). I trained and trained, but didn’t end up racing, since I ended up with an injury (not related to running). But I did run my first 10K race in Boston, though!
3. What are your favorite workout songs to get you pumped to keep going?
I’m a Rock chick at heart, so I always go for the Hard Rock and Metal “screaming” songs. LOL!! Nothing whips your butt into shape like some metal rocker yelling in your ear! But I do mix it up a bit. I have a “Cardio Mix” playlist on my iPod, which is what I use to run. It includes Rock, Country, and even some Dance tunes. But still, my all-time favorite song that really gets me going is “Lose Yourself, by Eminem.
4.

I see that you share your results on Facebook in addition to on the Nike site. Has this further motivated you? Do you think doing so has motivated others to get running?
Knowing others are “watching” me, so to speak, definitely helps. It doesn’t stop me from slacking off every once in a while, but seeing the comments and “Likes” after a run really make me feel good. It usually sets the tone for the rest of my day 🙂
As for motivating others, I can’t tell you how many times I get asked “So hey, what’s that Nike+ thing I keep seeing on your Wall”? After I tell them all about it, they’re all gung-ho and get one for themselves. I know at least 3 people for sure that bought one because of my direct recommendation!
5. Have you met other people from sharing the results on Nike’s website? (I’m always interested in how interactions in a specific arena like this translate into other interactions, online or in real life).
This, to me, is the best part of the Nike+ system!! It’s allowed me to meet so many folks online who share my passion for running!! A few of them have become Facebook friends too now… and in fact, I’m meeting one of my “Nike+ friends” in person NEXT WEEK for the first time!! I’m headed to Toronto to visit my family, and we’ll be getting together for lunch since she lives there too! We’re both really excited!

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Marketing Monday: Bar Harbor Bed And Breakfast Association

The whole power of the internet is the idea of collaboration. At first, I was worried that people doing similar work to me would be competition but the more I spend time online, the more time I realized these people were my colleagues. We trade information and ideas, refer each other for work, and are otherwise friendly.

I had a meeting today with Phyllis, the Director for the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce and she told me about theBar Harbor Bed and Breakfast Association. Here’s what’s neat about this group:

They chose a shorter domain name: sleepbarharbor.com.

BarHarborBedAndBreakfastAssociation.com would have been way too long to remember, not to mention print on business cards. Sleepbarharbor.com is much more descriptive and equally memorable.



They refer each other via their website, and word of mouth.

On the top of their website, there are two clearly marked places to check availability. This one location allows an internet user to check all 26 locations at the same time. You can also narrow your search for rooms that include certain amenities, like a television in the room or a water view.

If you call one of the inns and they are full, I am also sure that the person working at the front desk would help the person over the phone book a room at another inn using this website.

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Marketing Monday: Unnamed Animal Shelter

Every Monday, a post about websites, web promotions, and how to do it well. Let me know if you have an idea!

I was going to write about something else entirely until the task of transporting 25 pounds of cuteness consumed my life.

To be clear, let’s take a look at what all this work has been for:

Corky the Corgi mix, whose life and name will forever be awesomer, if I could just get her within 250 miles of me.

*Sigh* Ok, that was helpful. And gives this whole situation perspective.

Regular readers may be aware that I had to put my dog down in January. She was 15 years old and I had watched her slow decline for almost an entire year. As someone who lives alone and works at home, I’ve missed the companionship of an animal. And while I am not expecting another Sadie (who was irreplaceable), I know my new dog will add a lot to my life… if only there wasn’t the slightest issue.

Corky the Corgi lives in Georgia. And I live in Maine. (Unrelated: Yes, I am changing her corny little name the second I get her.)

I have spent days investigating how I can get this animal to where I am, and would like to offer the folks who run animal shelters a few tips to help people adopt more animals, as I have been ridiculously patient throughout this process in a way that others might not be.

If you’re going to offer it, be ready to know what that entails, and how much it costs.

On the front page of the shelter’s website, they say transport is available to the northeast. The transporter I talked to (an affiliate of but not exactly connected to the shelter) could only get my dog to Rhode Island. Last I checked, there is still a lot of the northeast to go after RI.

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I Did It For Science And Fun Friday: Chat Roulette

On Fridays I write about (almost) whatever I want. Because it’s fun.
Like everyone else on earth, I’ve been hearing lots about ‘chat roulette’. I give my friend Ogy credit for ‘breaking’ the story because right after he mentioned it, all of a sudden everyone was talking about it… to the point where Jon Stewart had to create a parody.
For those of you who also don’t spend way too much time on the internet, here’s what it is: You go to www.chatroulette.com, enter your birthday for age verification, and you get to a simple interface. You can turn your webcam and microphone on or off. Random strangers show up in the other video camera window. If you want to talk to someone else, click ‘next’. That’s it.
So you hear about all these terrible or weird things you are going to see. And I’m not telling you I didn’t see anything inappropriate but I didn’t see nearly as much bad stuff as I was expecting. A few observations.
Chatroulette is like that chatrooms of way back, except now better looking people have an advantage.
It’s oddly insulting when someone takes one look at you and clicks the ‘next’ button. That said, it’s nice when a hot girl tells you you’re ‘sexi’. By actually seeing the person, there is a bit more of feeling like you at least know a bit about who you are talking to.

Aren’t good looking are are afraid people won’t talk to you? Try to be memorable. Wear a mask, play an instrument, be a puppet listening to people’s emotional problems (all have apparently happened). Take a cue from the Chinese who are having much more zany fun with this than the average American like myself.

Eddie, one of my chat friends, and I decide to look investigatory as we both stick pencils behind our ears for my screenshot (with his permission, because I am not a jerkface).
Other people seem to also be investigating.
I won’t say I didn’t run across a few naked people but I ended up having nice conversations with an Egypian business student and a New York book publisher, two people I would have never otherwise talked to.

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Marketing Monday: Can-Am International Dog Sled Race

Every Monday, the Breaking Even blog looks at a individual, business, or website promoting itself in interesting ways online. Have an idea? Do tell!
Most years, I try to make it to my hometown of Fort Kent Maine for the annual Can-Am International Dog Sled Race. It’s been happening for seventeen years and the total purse is up to $40,000.
Usually taking place the first weekend of March, Main Street is covered with snow and racers tackling the 30 mile, 60 mile, or 250 races all start off with cheering crowds around them. The 250 mile race qualifies races for the Iditarod, and a few say this race is even tougher than that.
The event is well organized and well staffed with volunteers, and I think thanks at least in part to social media, this year’s crowd was among the largest ever.



The YouTube video clip from a documentary film flew around YouTube.
A few filmmakers made a Can-Am film last year and put the preview clip on Youtube as pretty much the only thing on this user’s Youtube channel. As the event approached, I noticed several of my Facebook friends posted it. It was so well done, I posted it.
As one of the commenters wrote, “My third year as a Can Am vet is about to happen, and I thank you for the video reminder of why I do it!” It’s no doubt that a well told story will get more people interested in a cause, and it’s no doubt this film will draw new spectators for years to come. (If you want, you can buy the video off the Can-Am website… well, sort of anyway.)

The race website is very up-to-date with content.
My friend Sarah’s father is one of the people who maintains the Can-Am website. While the design is very basic, throughout the weekend it was updated multiple times an hour with times, places, and other information about all three races. There is even a map where each individual musher’s location was tracked through time. (To see the dots on the map, click this link and then the ‘Track!’ button. You can click on different dots to see a headshot of the racer and track their individual progress in relation to other mushers.)

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