Archive for March, 2010

Notes for SUNY Oneonta Lambda Pi Eta Speaker Series

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous

gauguin where do we

Where do
we come from?

Creators: Rick & Mary Robinsonpinky
moved to Oneonta, NY from Rhode Island 20 years ago

Background Info:

Software Architect II
27 years same co. (now Nielsen)
Autodidactic, School of Hard Knocks, some college

2006 SUNY Oneonta alumna
Human Ecology Major
Computer Art minor, Almost Secondary Education major
Worked on Wall Street, Drexel Burnham Lambert, ’78-’82

Books Influenced Us:

The 4 Hour Work Week
Important because we both work full time
This is a part time effort for us
Outsource your life
Make a ton of $, little bit from many

The New Influencers
paper comparing viral & guerrilla marketing
Blogs – Tool I used in college: Parent Ed., Computer Art Showcase
I liked blogs as giving little people a voice and anonymous comments, discussions

documenting experience

ZEN SLAP – Blogs more important than I ever realized because of search engine relevance
(Rick “Why a blog?”)

Most Recently:
Taking social media marketing
to the next level

Random Thoughts & Things We Learned from Experience

“Programming is 10% of the job.”  Rick wrote Auction-Eze application when e-Bay first came out; did not succeed because we dropped the ball on marketing. e-Bay partnered with a Binghamton firm:(  MARKETING IS KEY TO ANY BUSINESS

Execution is everything. Everyone has great ideas, you don’t find out how great (or not so great) they are until they come to fruition.  (And if you’re working part time, you’re never done and you will constantly be refining your product – Running a software business on 5 hours a week)

Are We?

  • Web Business & Event Directory of fun things to do, interesting people, places, museums, arts, sports, all things local Oneonta and environs.
  • Map is our Information Design Organizer
  • Community/Contests/Coupons/Collaboration
  • Promote by blogging, Twitter, coupons to your cell phones, social media
    (I heart Twitter, not so much Facebook. Probably would have done better on FB as Oneonta NY has over 2500 fans. I still love Twitter community of 210 OOTM)
  • Community Built (can add business, events, coupons online)
  • Integrate with YouTube and of course more features wish-list

are we going?

  • We are a Free Service, influenced by Wired Magazine article New Economy of Free
  • Wanted to provide demonstrated value/metrics before selling service

Possible $ Models:

  • Prototype, sell program
  • Sponsors – little $ from many
  • Charge for Coupon Service – gives customers reason to return
  • “Twitter” Model – possible businesses pay for enhanced listings, ability to edit
  • Poss. collaborate with another website & use as vehicle, networking promotional marketing tool
  • Didn’t want traditional or obtrusive advertising

What would you do?

Designing local: competition fierce (but friendly), limited upside.

Fix what’s wrong: not strong enough brand, not edgy enough, design issues?

Keep working & design mobile OR

Move on to site selling product rather than depending on changing media


Successful Online Businesses:

Small Game Studios compete with Giants

Bingo Card Creator

Buy My Book Recommendations:

Canadian Fiddle Champion & British Jazz Violinist at workshop & in concert

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

webWwhat'supSpring has arrived and it’s time for the violins to be ringing, like lovely singing, so the song goes. Yes, it’s time for the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble Workshop & Concert. Each year Little Delaware Youth Ensemble hosts world class string musicians and this year is no exception.

ivonnehernandezphotoOneonta, New York has the privilege of welcoming Canadian Fiddle Champion Ivonne Hernandez ( and internationally acclaimed British jazz violinist Ben Powell ( The workshop and concerts are free and open to the public. Free and open to the public; sounds so amazing that I had to restate it.

On Tuesday, March 30, at 10:00 a.m., the duo will perform a public concert in the Hunt Union Ballroom on the campus of SUNY Oneonta.    Following the performance, at 12:30 p.m., the duo will teach an improvisation workshop to any interested musicians from the community.  Be sure to bring your instruments to the afternoon session.

A second concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. in IRC 3 (Instructional Resource Center) on the SUNY campus. The evening concert is part of the Hewitt Pantaleoni Memorial Concert Series and is partially funded by the Catskill Conservatory.

Julie Signitzer, music director of LDYE, invited Hernandez back to Oneonta after hearing her play last year with the Folk Arts Quartet who accompanied Eugene Friesen in the annual workshop.   “Ivonne is a young, hard hitting fiddler who has five times been declared the Grand North American Fiddle Champion.   She is also an amazing step dancer. (I was there last year and she was awesome!)

In addition, LDYE invited her friend, 23 year old Ben Powell, to join her.  He is a stellar jazz violinist who has already performed throughout much of the world.  The contrasting styles should inspire the students to explore their instruments in many different ways.  I am sure it will be an exciting event for all who participate”.  The two young fiddlers are recent graduates of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and have successfully launched extensive performance careers.

This residency is sponsored in part by the Foothills performing Arts Center, The SUNY Oneonta Music Department, the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, the Future of Oneonta Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered in Otsego County by the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts and the Catskill Conservatory.

Thank you to these wonderful organizations (and Julie Signitzer) for making these concerts/classes possible to enrich our children and our community.  My daughter is a former member of LDYE so this thanks is heartfelt, and why I especially call attention to Little Delaware Youth Ensemble events.

I do have to warn you, however, if my daughter can’t attend, I may borrow her violin this year, and I’m a little rusty …

Hope to see you there.

Mary Robinson