Gaining Credibility By Embracing Your Competition

Working at my last job as a restaurant manager, I learned a valuable lesson from a Man who embraced Social Media and made a living at it before the rest of the world caught on. Chris Kieff, has been a pioneer in the field of Internet marketing. He was in Nashua, attending what is called a Tweetup through a mutual friend via Twitter. I organized the gathering at the restaurant I was managing at the time. After the event I tweeted a thank you to everyone who attended the function and Chris decided to follow me on Twitter. He was staying in town and the next day he tweeted that he was looking for a nice place to eat while he was staying in Nashua NH. I made three suggestions that I personally love and he took me up on one of them. As a result, this simple human interaction inspired him to write about me in a case study in one of his blog posts.

Chris was inspired to write this article, because he was impressed with the fact that I would steer him toward a competitor. Mr. Kieff went as far as to say “By directing us to a competitor’s business that offered us a great meal, Jay has cemented himself in my mind as someone I can trust”. This interaction was very impactful and shaped my attitude toward the power of social media. Consequently, I realized that respect in Social Media is gained when you communicate with professionals and consumers in a way that is honest and real. Sharing quality information about others costs you nothing and is the one of the many secrets to gaining credibility in the eye of the consumer.

Choosing A Youth Hockey Program

There are three main choices when considering how to get your child involved in the game of hockey. Most youth hockey organizations offer a tier format for every age group. From highest to lowest, the available formats are elite-select major/minor clubs, town teams and learn to play hockey or LTP programs. It is important to gather as much information about youth hockey as possible, when considering what level your child should play at.  Hockey is a fast-paced action sport that requires a great amount of skill, stamina and awareness of the rules to play.  The available programs for youth hockey are based on skill level and age.  All players have to try out in March, however they do not play on that team until September.  Most folks aren’t aware of the length of time between tryouts and the start of the regular season.  For this reason, it is important to know they must tryout around six months before the season starts. The overall decision whether they make a team is made by coaches and/or evaluators. Nevertheless, parents have the ultimate say in where they play. Therefore, choosing a program based on your child’s skill and personality is the best way to approach the decision making process.

Every skating rink has at least one learn-to-skate program. Children don’t just put skates on and turn into Sidney Crosby. These programs eventually turn into an LTP program.  Kids receive the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of skating and stick handling.  The best thing any child can do at a young age is wear full hockey gear, because it drastically reduces their fear of falling down.  Without pads, taking a spill on the ice can be very painful and instill a permanent sense of fear in your child.  In LTP the kids spend the first couple of weeks skating through drills and assessments.  After this trial period, they are grouped on even teams, based on skill and given a team color jersey.  The short season is highlighted by great plays and many in-game lessons from the coaches. LTP is relatively inexpensive and a brief introduction to the game of hockey.

Parents need to consider getting their kids onto a team eventually.  For this reason, it is important to get the fundamental skills needed to be successful in LTP.  Some people, who are ex-players, and have been around hockey their whole lives put their kids right onto an elite or town team.  When they do this, their child usually struggles for the first year or two.  I have seen some of them quit, but the parents keep working with them on their own time.  As a result, the child improves into a solid player over a long period of time.  This is a very unique decision making process and it is important to explore all of your options.  Going straight to an elite team is very rare, but it is a feet that has proven successful under the right circumstances.

Elite teams are created for kids that show above average talent and are able to mentally handle playing with other children of exceptional hockey makeup.  There are two things to consider if you feel that your child is ready to play at this level.  The first is their skating skill and experience.  Kids that can skate backwards easily, hockey-stop on a dime and are faster than most of the other kids they skate with, are usually a good fit for an elite team.  Second, is the experience they have had playing on other teams. If they have never played on a town team, it may be smart to have them play on one for their first year in hockey.  If your child is the one on the team that can skate circles around the others, then it is a good sign that they belong on the elite team. Consequently, the chances they will be selected by the elites for the next season is very high. Town teams are not just for lousy players.  More specifically, there are a few perks to having your child play for the town.

Town teams have traits that will benefit children of any skill set.  The first benefit your child receives goes right into your wallet.  The elite teams cost up to $1,000 more a year, require you to be at more practices, and potentially have a number of tournaments to play for an additional cost. The town teams get to play in just as many games, but they are not required to travel as much. Saving this money allows you to save a few dollars to pay for private lessons, or apply to your family vacation.  Private lessons allow your child to get one on one attention and improve their individual game.  If you have a child that excels in one aspect of the game, but severely lacks in another, this individual attention could pay drastic dividends.  In addition to these benefits, a child with exceptional skill, but weak in mental constitution, is better off sticking with the town team.  Kids need to have a strong sense of teamwork, and play unselfishly on an elite team.  Exceptional individual skills are important, however they will fail at the elite level, because most players at this level possess them.  With all of these options to weigh, awareness of your child’s skill and personality will ultimately guide you in the right direction.

You need to ask yourself one specific question about choosing best hockey club for your child.  Does your child have an overwhelming fear of failure?  Any level of hockey could potentially result a number of failures that could eventually yield success.  Kids with an acute fear of failure need to stay at the LTP level until they are comfortable moving to a town team. Town teams are a great place to gain hockey experience and allow kids to fail, because it is expected.  The level of expectation rises as they tier up to elites.  Children will only succeed at an elite level if they have a strong balance of skill and mentality.  We all want what is best for our kids, which is why you must educate yourself about these organizations, and make the most informed choice for your child.

Compare and Contrast Writing: Net Fishing for Credibility in the World Wide Web

Comparison and contrast can be a valuable method of writing in a business scenario. Companies need to find ways to prove that the product they sell is the one you should purchase over the competition. Comparing a few products or companies is a way to highlight your strengths and draw attention away from your weaknesses. Writing a comparison is a methodical way of convincing people to upgrade to an updated version or better product. This can be accomplished by showcasing newly enhanced features along side the tired old ones. Blog writing can be another medium in which comparison writing could prove valuable.

Blogs are a proven way to build brand or personal credibility through writing. There are multiple ways to blog, however many people use comparison writing to express their feelings toward a product, or demonstrate their expertise on the subject. Many businesses empower their employees to write posts for their blog. In this scenario, they have the ability to compare their product or company to others using keywords, phrases and links to other sites. In addition, this action also helps them drive traffic through their website to raise the chances that search engines will display them ahead of their competitors. I entered “comparison shopping blog” into the Google search engine to illustrate and solidify both of my points. My search yielded about 1.7 million results. The first result was a blog post that effectively compares Google to Costco (Weinstein). In this article, the author uses the first couple of paragraphs to compare these two mega-companies. She effectively utilizes a key phrase to link to another analyst’s blog post, displaying that Google had an epic 3rd quarter “boasting $9.72 billion in revenue” (Tsotsis). I love that the author uses a number of transitional words and phrases to construct her second paragraph about how Googlegenerates a lot of traffic” like Costco (Weinstein). Not only is this phrase her comparison, it doubles as a key phrase that is linked to the earnings bar graph post on Tech Crunch‘s website (Weinstein)(Tsotsis). Additionally, I have posted this article on my blog in an attempt to link words and phrases to drive traffic, and my peers from school to check out my shiny new blog . Writing in comparison/contrast can be a calculated and tactful way to help your company stand out in the crowd.

Works Cited

Tsotsis, Alexia. “Google Q3 2011: $9.72 Billion In Revenue, $2.73 Billion In Net Income.” Tech Crunch Base. 13 Oct. 2011. Web. 25 Jan. 2012. <Link to Article>

Weinstein, Mary. “Comparison Shopping: The Search for Higher Listings on Google Product Search.” CPC Strategy CPC Strategy. 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2012.  <Link to Article>

The World Is Mine For The Taking!

I am officially a member of the blogosphere! My name is Jason Foss and I am currently a student of Web Design and Development at IADT online. Right now I am in the beginning stages of my exploration of the design world, and it gets more and more interesting with every piece of knowledge that I acquire. This blog will begin as the base of my personal website I have kept it simple by making my home page into this blog to begin sharing my journey as I move the site forward. My 1st step was to register the domain names of & I am also hosting my site through blue host server. This choice came from the recommendation of the coursework that I am currently studying, but also is the same server that we use for (the website for my son’s youth baseball league of which I am a board member). I will be killing 2 birds with 1 stone by using this server:

  1. I will use blue host to build my personal site & blog which will act as a resume and potential eCommerce site as I learn to develop it further
  2. I will be able to use what I learn building my personal site to grow the Nashua South Cal Ripken site and help grow the league and my resume as I go

This is an exciting time for me. I have found a career path that I truly enjoy & when you “choose a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life” – Confucius. Now I am learning daily, maintaining a 4.0 on the President’s List at IADT online, and fully aware that the world is mine for the taking!