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    QR Codes Aren’t Sweet Without Strategy

    QR codes represent a unique mix of technology and advertising that is steadily improving with evolving new forms and functions. But their functional improvement is meaningless if the platform is not applied with the right strategy and tactics in the real world in order to connect with consumers. Most people within the marketing community are no strangers to seeing QR codes attached to advertisements and products these days. Even many tech-savvy consumers know how to create QR codes for promotion or information sharing, which is the beauty of their open platform design. Anyone can use them, read them, and get creative. QR codes have created a new way for brands…

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    Twitter Verification Implications for Brand Marketers

    With recent news that Twitter’s verification process has become linked to monthly advertising, there has been conversation and debate about blurry lines in the sand. What does this change mean for your brand or company on Twitter? Is verification critical to your Twitter strategy? Twitter verified accounts are used to denote the authenticity of certain pages on Twitter. The verified badge helps users identify that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s Tweets (or at least officially ghost-tweeting on behalf of a legitimate source). Beginning primarily with the rise of celebrities’/politician’s use of Twitter, verified accounts then spread to other categories such as news outlets, companies and more. Confirmation that…

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    About Backcountry Vacations

    Strictly speaking, backcountry vacations entail non-motorized treks into remote, wilderness areas. Ideally, these involve backpacking or the use of pack animals with a hiking itinerary that involves at least one overnight camp. But newcomers to backcountry travel may want to ease into the experience starting with day hikes. The Originals Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. John Muir (1838-1914) and Bob Marshall (1901-39), principle founders of the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, respectively, are the patriarchs of contemporary backcountry travel devotees. Muir wrote of venturing into Yosemite National Park backcountry, and Marshall could hike 50…

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    Why Didn’t Obama Visit Paris or Send Biden or Holder?

    There was a massive march in Paris this past week and million attended including more than 40 world leaders. The Obama administration sent a campaign bundler, Jane Hartley, who is the U.S. ambassador to France. Eric Holder was actually in Paris at the time but did not attend. The U.S. President, Vice President, and Secretary of State did not attend. Why? The likely reason is because of what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “We are at war — not a war against a religion, not a war against a civilization, but to defend our values, which are universal,” Valls said. “It’s a war against terrorism and radical Islamism, against…

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    About Sunken Ships

    Mystery surrounds sunken ships, with tales of lost treasure or historical artifacts. The topic has been popularized by the movie series “Pirates of the Caribbean,” with its portrayal of The Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones’ Locker legends. Study of submerged vessels can lead even to fascinating vacation opportunities. The Granddaddy of Sunken Ships The story of the Titanic’s sinking is the indisputable champion of sunken ship stories. “Titanic” film director James Cameron continues the story with documentary footage on cable television’s Discovery Channel of undersea efforts to study the vessel’s wreckage. The Graveyard of the Atlantic The waters off of North Carolina’s barrier islands, known as the The Graveyard of…

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    Blueberry Lemon Cake

    Lately, our local grocery stores have had fresh blueberries on sale. I picked up a quart and after my family enjoyed them for several days as a healthy snack, we still had so many left that it was time to take culinary action before the berries passed their prime. With ingredients I already had around the house, I whipped up this delicious little breakfast cake that is light and tender, with just the perfect amount of crumble and a lemon zing to complement the sweet blueberries. Enjoy! For Crumb Topping: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 5…