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Advances in science and technology seem to becoming faster and faster. That may be in part because of the work of a Central Virginia company that helps speed up the peer review process. Sean Tubbs recently visited ScholarOne, a provider of Web-based solutions for the academic publishing industry.

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Radio is certainly a magical thing. Where else can you call up experts to for free advice? On the November 27 episode of the WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call, Rick Moore talks with Rusty Cempre of Jim Price Hyundai-Isuzu and Steve Bullock from Jim Price Chevrolet. Listeners phoned the station with questions about what’s wrong with their car. Find out what they said in this podcast!

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One thing we could perhaps all be mindful of this Thanksgiving is the work of the many doctors, nurses and other public servants who respond to the country’s disasters. Doctor Greg Gelburd was part of the Starlight Express bus company’s trip to the Gulf Coast for its Katrina relief initiative. I spoke with him yesterday in his practice, and he told me turned to writing to help deal with his emotions upon returning home.

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Dr. Gelburd talks at the end of this report about the work of Building Goodness. Please consider donating to this very worthwhile cause.

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How well does Central Virginia attract tourists? How does the region spend advertising and marketing dollars? How do area businesses and agencies work together to achieve the same goals? Is there a danger in tourists becoming residents? These are some of the questions to be answered on this week’s installment of WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call. Guests include Bryan Elliott of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Regional Airport, Joe Ward of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, and Morgan Perkins, owner of Sage Moon Gallery on the downtown mall.

Rick’s monologue this week asks the question: How much of a threat is bird flu?

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What is a blog, and why should businesses care? On November 17th, the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council convened a panel discussion to explore the issue called ‘Casting for Customers: How Blogs, Podcasting and RSS Feeds are Changing Business Communications. I sat on the panel, along with Waldo Jaquith of cvillenews.com and cvilleblogs.com, Edward Cossette of Explore Learning and Michael Prichard of Willowtree Interactive. Jerry MacLean of PERCC Research moderated the discussion.

Michael has posted a primer on his blog about the event.

Do you blog? If so, I’d appreciate a trackback or comment to hear your views and to see who else is out there.

 

This week, the group Wal-Mart Watch is drawing attention to their campaign to challenge the nation’s largest company and retailer to change its ways of doing business. The group accuses the Arkansas-based Wal-Mart of short-changing its employees and for wreaking havoc on local communities. Wal-Mart Watch’s Higher Expectations Week coincides with Robert Grunwald’s new documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices, which is being screened in cities across the country, including Charlottesville.

They’re also holding town meetings with local activists opposed to what they see as the cultural hegemony of Wal-Mart. In Charlottesville, around forty people showed up to listen to local political figures talk about the company. City Councilwoman Kendra Hamilton moderates, with comments from Former Charlottesville City Councilwoman Meredith Richards, Outgoing Delegate Mitch Van Yahres, and Joe Szakos of the Virginia Organizing Project.

00:00 – 02:00 – Introduction from moderator Kendra Hamilton
02:00 – 07:26 – Meredith Richards on the history of Wal-Mart
07:26 – 15:47 – Outgoing Delegate Mitch Van Yahres on workers’ rights in Virginia.
15:47 – 24:10 – Joe Szakos on Wal-Mart’s affect on Virginia communities
24:10 – 33:22 – Question 1 – Is Wal-Mart Watch a campaign to unionize Wal-Mart? Richards answers.
33:22 – 39:43 – Question 2 – If it doesn’t make capitalistic sense for Wal-Mart to offer health benefits, why should they?
39:43 – 46:38 – Question 3 – What role do local governments play in approving new stores and distribution centers?
46:38 – 54:32 – Question 4- If Wal-Mart is such a bad employer, why do 1.2 million Americans workers there?
54:32 – 1:03:55 Question 5 – What about the millions of Americans who rely on Wal-Mart for affordable goods and groceries?
1:03:55 – 1:12:37 Question 6 – Why are you supporting the Wal-Mart Watch campaign by appearing on this panel?

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I’m speaking on a VPTC panel this upcoming Thursday lunchtime at the Omni. It’s $30 for VPTC members, $40 for non-members. Here’s the blurb:

When the Web exploded on the scene in the 1990s, it changed everything. Suddenly, anyone with a computer and modem could disseminate information to a mass audience. Mainstream media conglomerates were put head-to-head with the little guy.

Now, weblogs, or blogs for short, are having the same effect, but with a new twist. Simply put, blogs are websites, but they can connect to each other. So, someone posts an article on their blog. Other bloggers see it, and link to it on their blogs. Or they comment on it, and link to that. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds provide an easy way for people to subscribe to content they want to keep up with.

Now, there’s a whole lot of people and ideas networked together. There’s a name for this new network—the blogosphere—and ideas can travel very, very quickly to a very large audience.

Podcasting is taking audio and video content in new directions, enabling anyone with inexpensive equipment to become a broadcaster. Using RSS, listeners can subscribe to and download content on demand to either a computer or portable device. Users can now access content when it’s convenient for them, rather than having to attempt to catch their favorite shows when they were originally presented.

A recent study by comScore Media Matrix shows these startling statistics:

* 50 million U.S. Internet users visited blog sites in the first quarter of 2005. That is roughly 30% of all U.S. Internet users and 1 in 6 of the total U.S. population.
* Five hosting services for blogs each had more than 5 million unique visitors in that period,and four individual blogs had more than 1 million visitors each.
* Compared to the average Internet user, blog readers are significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections.
* Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many web pages as the Internet average, and they are much more likely to shop online.

Blogs are fundamentally changing the way companies are marketing their products and services. Come and learn how your business can benefit by using these new tools.

On November 17, a panel of experts will define and discuss exactly what these new tools are, how they are changing the way companies interact with their customers, and present some fascinating scenarios describing what’s happening in the blogosphere right now.

The panel includes:

Moderator: Jerry MacLean – PERCC Research

Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Podcasting Network
Waldo Jaquith, CVilleBlogs and CVilleNews
Edward Cossette, ExploreLearning
Michael Prichard – Willowtree Interactive

 

How do we know for sure that advertisements in newspapers and in broadcast are accurate and not misleading? On this week’s installment of WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call, a panel discussion on the role marketing plays in business competition. Guests include Hawes Spencer of the Hook, Pamela Peterson of Sammy’s Snacks, and Pam Fitzgerald with the Ivy Group.

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Tim Heaphy, Mary Loose DeViney, and Sean O’Brien

Now that the election is over, attention in Richmond will now turn towards starting the next chapter in Virginia’s political history. For the past dozen years, the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership has been giving staffers and elected officials detailed courses on how to be civil while navigating the ins and outs of the capitol. Each year, 35 people from around the state are chosen by the non-partisan Sorensen to attend a ten-month program on becoming a political leader for Virginia. Their deadline for the 2006 class
is this November 15. Sean Tubbs stopped by their offices to find out more.

 

Jarhead, the film adaptation of the book by former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford, is reviewed in this week’s installment of WNRN’s 91 Seconds on Film.

NEW: Do you have iTunes, version 4.9 or above? If so, then click here to make sure you get every edition of 91 Seconds on Film delivered to your music library and iPod. Subscribe for free once you get into the music store.

 

Hurricane Katrina displaced over a million people all around the country, the nation’s greatest diaspora to date. One man who fled the Crescent City was Tom Morgan, a former Charlottesville bartender and WTJU jazz host. He’s the author of several books on the roots of jazz, and also a radio fixture in New Orleans. After Katrina, he was able to produce his program for WWOZ, thanks to the Internet.

Morgan spent part of his exile from the damaged city in Charlottesville, a place where he began his quest to become a jazz musicologist. Dave Sagarin from George Loper’s website interviewed him on October 15, shortly before he went back home.

This podcast was sponsored by George Loper’s website, which focuses on local issues, be they political, social, economic or religious.

 


Hikers getting ready for a through-hike of the Rivanna Trail

The Rivanna Trail loops around Charlottesville and Albemarle county, almost exclusively along privately-owned land. Hikers trek across pathways cared for by a couple hundred volunteers. The rustic trail is the best place to get away from it all without leaving the city, a fact that is increasingly recognized by developers, landowners, and government officials.

That’s a far cry from the early days of the trail, according to Diana Foster. She’s the past president of the Rivanna Trail Foundation, which runs the 20-mile pathway. Currently about 18 miles of the loop have been built, with another five miles of companion trails.

Every November, Foster leads a one-day trek around the trail to draw attention to the natural beauty of the urban wilderness. I recently took a much smaller trip with Foster through a small section of the Rivanna trail from Jordan park in southeast Charlottesville, to Fifth Street near the Willoughby section of town. I asked Foster to tell me about the ultimate goals of the Rivanna Trail Foundation.

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