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Low Temps + Low Prices = Low Handicap

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2nd Swing store location including Bettinardi Studio “B”, Ping nFlight and Taylor Made fitting studios!

We left our flip flops at home, grabbed our parkas and headed east to Minneapolis to visit our friends at 2nd Swing Golf.  We thought the sunshine in Southern California made us golf fans… not even close compared to what we saw at 2ndswing.com.  Not even a polar vortex can stop these guys from eating, breathing and living golf 24/7 – heck, they have the largest online selection of used and pre-owned golf clubs we have ever seen!

"The Vault" - heaven of used golf clubs

“The Vault” – heaven of used golf clubs – these heads don’t care that it’s zero degrees outside!

At GoldenComm we’re big believers in applauding companies that are passionate about their sport and play hard and play to win.  With an unwavering commitment to providing customers access to great golf equipment, a knowledgeable and passionate staff, and a great warm welcome for a couple web developers from California, we think these guys are doing a pretty awesome job.  So if you’re in need of some used golf clubs or just want to see great customer service in action, click on over to 2ndswing.com. Or, if you happen to be in Minneapolis drop by one of their store locations – just be sure to bring your parka.

Visiting with Pony Baseball is Even Better than the Playoffs

Pony Baseball Headquarters Washington, PA

Pony Baseball Headquarters
Washington, PA

If you know GoldenCom very well, you know a lot of us follow baseball. I, personally, am a lifetime Angel fan, so with my horse out of the race even before the All-Star break, I started following the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have not been to a World Series (or even made the playoffs) in over 21 years – dry since 1992 to be exact. I can still remember that early 90’s team with Andy Van Slyke, Orlando Merced, Barry Bonds, Jose Lind and Doug Drabek to name a few of them – geez, we have a couple of people in the office that were not even born yet in 1992!  At the All-Star break, I decided that rooting on the Pirates was the best second choice if my Angels were out of the hunt, and that’s what I did.

So it was with great luck that in August a speaking opportunity came up in the Pittsburgh area for a late October date. Looking at the calendar and comparing it to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record, I accepted the engagement and started crossing my fingers that I would be in the Iron City for a Word Series game.

Well, as you know, the Pirates did make the playoffs, won their wild card game, but lost to the Cardinals in the NLDS – no World Series. Bummer.

As my Pittsburgh trip got closer I received the list of attendees that would be in my website optimization seminar. One of the companies signed up was Bear Construction out of Canonsburg, PA.

Kris Bell, CEO and Owner of Bear Construction

Kris Beil, President of Bear Construction

By clicking around on their website I noticed they have a pretty awesome portfolio.

One project they completed immediately caught my attention – they were the builders of the world headquarters of Pony Baseball.

Did someone say, “Pony Baseball?” Whoa – if you know me you know I LOVE PONY BASEBALL.

After the seminar, Kris Beil (President of Bear Construction) gave me directions and I headed over to the home of Pony Baseball. The lobby is awesome, as you can imagine –  it doubles as a museum and has a ton of history, photos, baseballs, jerseys and bats of kids that played in the past and made it to the Pony World Series. Just this summer, I had the honor of helping coach my son’s team (Mustang Division) with good friends of mine Coach Jim Stowell and Coach Richard Lemmon (we all had sons on the team).

The highlight of the visit was spending time with Pony President and CEO Abraham Key and their Director of IT Brent Liberatore.

Abe Key and Brent Liberatore

Abe Key and Brent Liberatore

These guys were nice enough to give me a tour and talk baseball with me.

We also got into an interesting discussion about their business and the challenges of their website – which is in position for a re-design sometime in 2014.  It’s not like you have to ask me twice to talk about baseball or websites – pretty awesome day.

The Pony.org redesign will be no trivial effort as that website has to schedule thousands of scenarios from hundreds of teams all around the USA and the world in elimination brackets on the road to the Pony World Series. Good luck with that project fellas!

Oh yes, the construction of the facility is TOP KNOTCH – nice job Bear Construction.

Meeting Great People + Visiting Pony Baseball = Better than Playoffs.

Hope to be back soon.

 

E-Commerce Royalty? Meet Jo Benson of Vortx…

If there were such a title as “The Queen of E-Commerce” you would have to appoint Jo Benson to the monarchy. If you’ve met Jo, you know it’s really not that far-fetched to think this. Some little-known factoids about “the queen” is that before an e-commerce executive, she worked for IBM London as well owned and operated a Country House Hotel in the English Cotswolds. A perfect blend of technology and hospitality, and it shows.

VortxJo

Geoff Martinez and Tim Payne “guarding” Vortx’s COO, Jo Benson.

Jo and the Vortx staff put on a world-class e-commerce conference in Denver earlier this month. Vortx is the maker of AspDotNetStorefront e-commerce shopping cart platform that our team has developed more than 80 on-line stores.

I could not help but to write this blog after experiencing Jo’s hospitality first hand. Ok, enough royalty talk… time to get ready for Cyber Monday!

Agility Leadership and E-Commerce Alive and Well in San Diego

I had the pleasure of spending three (3) days with Vistage Chair and Agility Leadership Expert, Mike Richardson.  On the third day of my visit, we got inside the walls of a multi-million (hundreds of millions of dollars) dollar e-commerce company, Provide-commerce

For me, going to a company that does hundreds of millions of dollars of on-line sales is like a 5 year old going to Disneyland. My first reaction was, “How could I not know of a company that did this much in on-line sales?”  The answer is pretty straight-forward.  While I had never heard of the company with their name on the building, with just a few minutes of research I learned that Provide-commerce operates several website properties, such as ProFlowers, RedEnvelop, and ProPlants, just to name a few.

Mike Richardson stacked the meeting with over 20 CFO’s from San Diego businesses all talking about measurement and ROI from website optimization.  Many thanks to Provide-commerce Adam Fischer for being the most awesome host. 
Instead of saying, “I’m going to Disneyland!” I think it should be, “I’m going to Provide-commerce!”

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Adam Fischer, Mike Richardson and Jason Lavin

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Provide-commerce building

Reverse Marketing Redefined?

Just back from New Orleans and could not help but to snap a few photos of this diner just outside The Big Easy in Metairie, LA.   It’s not every day a marketing technique can stop you in your tracks and make you turn around – this one did… I think it’s the new reverse marketing. “The only thing worse than our food… is our service.” Funny.

The Tic-Toc Café redefines reverse marketing with a catchy slogan and a mural that plays off of Salvador Dalí’s “The Persistence of Memory” modern artwork.

As you might imagine, the place is packed with regulars and the food is quite good.  Matter of fact, Ted Kampen (owner of  the local New Orleans electrical service company) tells me that he goes there pretty much once per week.  Clever reverse marketing might get customers in the first time, but good food and service will keep’em coming.  Tic-Toc… I call your bluff.

Some more photos of the interior. Good stuff.

We LOVE Google

What happens when you LOVE your Google Rep and she pays a visit to your office? Well, you dress like her of course!

Lauren (GoldenComm) and Dana (Google) enjoying their coffee

Ok, the dressing like each other part was a coincidence (maybe we just had Valentine’s Day on the mind), but we do love our Google rep, Dana. GoldenComm had the opportunity to host Dana at our office and we even got to introduce her to our favorite local coffee shop Kean. Dana makes sure that we know all about the latest Google products and that our clients are getting the very best service and attention possible. She also has great style, if I do say so myself. Thanks for the visit Dana!

GoldenComm Visits The Bruery

Excited about the recent launch of The Bruery’s new website, we sat down with (owner) Patrick Rue, Ben, Matt, Sara and a table full of The Bruery’s awesome employees to discuss ideas for upcoming enhancements to the site. The Bruery’s Tasting Room is a laid-back environment with a spacious room, a giant bar and dozens of beers on tap. The perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Chris Mazurk (GC Project Manager) and
Patrick Rue (The Bruery Owner)
at The Bruery Tasting Room

Once business was concluded we stayed behind for a tour of the brewing operation (thanks Patrick!) and to do some taste testing. We tried the Humulus Lager and the Grandma Katz’s Oatmeal Cookies Stout, and eventually left with a couple growlers of the former.

We’re really fortunate to get to work with the team at The Bruery. It seems they can’t stop winning awards and garnering high praise by critics and consumers alike. Their beer was a hit at our Holiday Party and this trip was a blast! We’re already planning our next visit and highly recommend a trip to their Tasting Room to anyone who loves great beer.

POM Bombs + The Bruery + Beach Pit BBQ = Awesome Holiday Party


On Saturday night, December 8, 2012, GoldenComm and a handful of guests celebrated the holidays at Jason and Brenda’s home with an awesome gathering of people, food and drinks.

A special thanks to POM Wonderful for supplying us with ample flavors of their pomegranate juices. The night’s specialty was "The POM BOMB" – which is, POM juice, soda water and… well… drinker’s choice of third mix.

Also chipping in was The Bruery, supplying their six favorite microbrews (quite the conversation pieces). And, of course, we can’t thank enough The Beach Pit BBQ for supplying the smoked BBQ Turkey and all the trimmings – YUMM.

Special (non-GoldenComm employee) guests included:

  • Jim Wendt from BigTrain.com (you rock, Jim) and his wife, MaryAnn – Jim, you are a great client – we so appreciate you.
  • Troy Wooton from BroadStreet Real Estate Group and his wife, Shannon (Troy is working his tail off over the holidays helping us find a new building for next year – thank you so much – your efforts are not unnoticed).
  • Terry Liebman (GoldenComm strategic advisor) and his wife, Patti (thank you for brining that chocolate cake) – Terry, geez, what can I say, "Thank you" for another great year of advice and counsel.
  • John Olson (great friend and neighbor and bartender extraordinaire) and his wife, Carrie – thanks again, pal, for helping out – One of these days we’ll have a party on a 90-foot Offshore Yacht!

Overall, about 50 people, lots of fun and a great way to reflect on 2012. We are blessed, indeed. Merry Christmas everyone.

Big Train plus Yottaa equals Super Fast Site

Big Train’s Yottaa Optimized Site

If you are looking to increase your site’s performance, look no further than Yottaa Site Optimizer.  They were our first choice when Jim Wendt from Big Train was interested in speeding up his pages without cutting down content.  Big Train is considered an industry leader, providing beverage mixes to coffeehouses across the country.  In March of 2012 they decided to introduce full-scale eCommerce functionality to their website, as they decided to not only sell to business, but consumers as well.  Interested in learning about how Yottaa’s solution helped Big Train’s site?  Have your own eCommerce site you are interested in optimizing?  Check out Yottaa’s solution and the facts here: Yottaa Case Study: Big Train.  And if you are looking for a delicious hot or cold beverage look no further than our friends at Big Train, inc.

Signal Hill Petroleum Hospitality

(left to right) The Signal Hill Team- Debra, Amanda, and Taylor with Matt and Erin from GC

GoldenComm had the privilege to meet with the team at Signal Hill Petroleum today.  We are working on their new website and since we wanted to get a feel for all that they do, they gave us a grand tour of the city.  What an incredible place!  If you haven’t been to Signal Hill- you should head over there ASAP!  We learned so much about the history of the city and the company and got to spend a morning with the wonderful SHP team.  The work they do in the community is incredible.  As we drove around the city, they pointed out housing developments they helped develop, town centers they had a part in planning and a city park they are in the process of designing and developing.  They care so much about the local community and it was neat to see it first hand.  Thank you to Debra, Amanda and Taylor for being such wonderful hosts.  We hope to come back soon!

Matt, Lauren and Erin from GC

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