Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Learning Social Media

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2009 @ 10:15 AM

Social media marketing is a fast-growing innovation, tapping into the rising influence of user-generated communities such as blogs, wikis, networking, and bookmarking sites.
By joining these active communities, you can build relationships and promote your products and/or expertise.

Generally, online social networks attract members who bond over shared interests and opinions. That creates a clubby and trusted group of virtually connected friends or associates. So when a member or blogger recommends your product, commends your service, or endorses your comments, it results in powerful "word of mouse" referrals.

Alternatively, if you make the effort, you can develop your own following on social media sites as an opinion-maker, authority, adviser, industry analyst, or wry observer. As a result of getting noticed in all the right places, you can generate leads and convert those leads into sales.
Tip: However tempting it may be, don't assume a fake identity to talk up your company (unless you’re being an obvious jokester). It's bound to boomerang.User-generated communities aren’t just for kids anymore.

Don't think this strategy only suits niche markets. Social sites are exploding across the Web.
The most popular categories tend to be communities where you create and share information, such as MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Bebo, Squidoo, and Tagged. Or it can be those where you bookmark useful or fun sites for other users, such as Digg, del.icio.us, or StumbleUpon. Visit this page for a broad list of social networking and media sites.

Visitors to social media sites jumped a staggering 774 percent between 2006 and 2007, according to a 2007 comScore study. And the Pew Internet Study reports that some 50 million Americans are reading blogs. What's more, adult interaction in social media is significantly on the rise.Choosing your online megaphone.

For small-business owners, the social media horizon is broad indeed.
Like much of search engine marketing, social media marketing doesn’t cost much in dollars. But it does require time and effort to:
investigate sites;
create and monitor content;
track traffic and referrals;
refine efforts to improve results, and
keep at it until you have an impact.

Here are some proven ways to start stirring the pot. You'll learn more as you go.

  1. Contribute to a community whose members mirror your customers. By checking into the comments, forums, and profiles of a community, you can determine member interests, locations, and a rough sense of demographics. Once you've identified a community that matches your preferred customer, there are a number of ways to get noticed. For example, Irina Patterson runs an event-planning business from her home in Miami. She often posts on the local craigslist and, she says, gets great results. "It is a community that responds almost instantly. You can pose a question, share a resource, ask for a barter deal or ask for advice. You can target specific geographic areas, which is important for a service business like mine." Patterson makes sure her posts link back to her company Web site.
  2. Become a commentator on a well-trafficked blog in your industry or field. Don't ignore the blogosphere. According to Technorati, the blog search engine, nearly 97 million blogs were being published as of mid-2007. Get familiar with a few blogs compatible with your business. A good start is a search on Technorati as well as visits to your industry or professional associations and trade journals to see what they serve up. Make sure you're up-to-speed on the blog's tone, issues, and attitudes before you chime in. When you start generating reactions, you'll know you're hitting nerves.
  3. Create a viral video campaign. Online videos are now cheap and easy to create and upload, notes search engine marketing consultant Susan Gilbert at JoomlaJump.com.
    Produce a video of two to three minutes that dramatizes or explains your online site or your market niche and yourself. Then upload the video to MSN, YouTube, or other video communities to drive traffic to your Web site, Gilbert says. If you link the videos to community pages on social bookmarking sites, you create a little network that search engines will find. Next thing you know, you're getting referred traffic and, potentially, more customers.
  4. Join a professional networking site (or two). These can be hit or miss, depending on what you market and how you work the community. For professional services such as PR and consulting, it can generate leads. Check out examples such as LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Facebook, and Biltmore Who's Who. Then branch out to others.
  5. Launch a blog. This is the most obvious idea, and, no question, online templates now make it easy to create a blog. Run a search and you'll find options. What's hard is to gain traction and keep posting lively content (with a link to your company site, of course). See these tips for starting a blog.
  6. Become a dedicated gamer. Game for this? Depending on your wares and customer profile, engaging in the multi-user online gaming community can be a rewarding way to draw traffic and viral referrals, says Marian Sabety, at Wyndstorm, a social network technology marketer.
    One of the largest is World of Warcraft, but new ones pop up frequently.
    Unless you are already pulling lots of traffic, first gain experience with some of the above tactics before starting a blog. Once you have the hang of it, you'll know more about leveraging the power of a personal blog. Finally, remember to add value rather than to merely advertise your product. To make social media marketing work, you must enjoy being part of the community.

About the author Joanna L. Krotz is the founder of Muse2Muse Productions, a custom content company for business and consumer magazines, newsletters, and digital imprints. Krotz has launched marketing Web sites and e-news portals, as well as created magazines and online marketing for a variety of companies. She is co-author of The Microsoft Small Business Kit, a 500-page guide to launching and running a small business.

Two Long Island Beaches Voted In Top 10

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2009 @ 10:06 AM

Two Long Island beaches on Top 10 Beaches in U.S.

10:23 PM EDT, May 22, 2009

This will come as no surprise to Long Islanders: Two of the best beaches in America are on the East End.Once again, Coopers Beach in Southampton and Main Beach in East Hampton have been voted among the Top 10 Beaches in the United States by the self-anointed "Dr. Beach" - coastal expert Stephen P. Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.Coopers Beach regained No. 3 on the list, one year after slipping to No. 4. Main Beach remained at No. 6 for the second straight year, after being ranked No. 7 in 2007.The best beach in America is Hanalei Bay on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Leatherman said the spectacular white crescent-shaped sand beach is considered "the most-beautiful beach setting in Hawaii."

HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

Posted on Tue, May 26, 2009 @ 04:03 PM

Check Your Computer!
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2009
Release # 09-221

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 889-2031CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

HP Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Lithium-Ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers

Units: About 70,000

Importer: Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif.

Hazard: The recalled lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm and CPSC are aware of two reports of batteries that overheated and ruptured, resulting in flames/fire that caused minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are used with various HP and Compaq notebook computers.

Models that can contain a recalled battery include:

HP Pavilion:
dv2000
dv2500
dv2700
dv6000
dv6500
dv6700
dv9000
dv9500
dv9700

 

Compaq Presario:
A900
C700
F700
V3000
V3500
V3700
V6000
V6500
V6700

HP
G6000
G7000

HP Compaq
6720s

The notebook model is located at the top of the service label on the bottom of the notebook. Batteries that can be subject to the recall will have one of the following bar code labels (^ in the code can be any letter or number):

62940^^AXV^^^^
65033^^B7U^^^^65033^^B7V^^^^65033^^BGU^^^^
65035^^B7U^^^^65035^^B7V^^^^65035^^BGU^^^^65035^^BGV^^^^
67059^^V8U^^^^67059^^V8V^^^^

Sold at:
Computer and electronics stores nationwide, hp.com and hpshopping.com from August 2007 through March 2008 for between $500 and $3000. The battery packs were also sold separately for between $100 and $160.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy:
Consumers should immediately remove the recalled battery from their notebook computer and contact HP to determine if their battery is included in the recall and to request a free replacement battery. After removing the recalled battery from their notebook computer, consumers may use the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives. Consumers should only use batteries obtained from HP or an authorized reseller.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, visit the HP Battery Replacement Program Web site at http://www.hp.com/support/BatteryReplacement or call (800) 889-2031 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Media Contact: Sheila Watson at (281) 514-6552 or sheila.watson@hp.com


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage restoration company with a combined 75 years experience in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction. We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY) and the New York Metro area.

When disasters strike, Advanced Restoration is ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are guaranteed to speak with one of our knowledgeable, caring team members, day or night. Our immediate response to a claim/property loss helps minimize the damages to the structure, contents, and ease the sometime catastrophic effect that a disaster may have on an owner or occupants.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, ny water damage company, restoration companies, burn hazard, fire recall, fire prevention, advanced restoration, restoration, homeowner tips, fire protection, cpsc recall

What is a Certified Restorer?

Posted on Thu, May 07, 2009 @ 05:24 PM

Fire Damage, Smoke Damage, Water Damage, Mold Remediation...
There are numerous Restoration companies throughout Long Island and the New York Metro area, but only a handful hold the title of Certified Restorer (CR). Disaster recovery is essential to any property structure, and Certified Restorers have the experience and ability to ensure all aspects of property damage are handled with the utmost professionalism. Advanced Restoration Corporation is one of the primary companies on Long Island with the CR designation.

Certified Restorer

The Certified Restorer program is a week-long master's course in damage repair offered to experienced contractors and restorers. The program's objective is to raise committed restorers to a higher level of professional ability.

The course addresses both buildings and personal property and is based on the structure and nature of materials, with the effects of various perils. A section on restoration theory addresses the mechanisms by which residue odors are removed. Toxic contamination, allergic response, water damage, contracts and insurance are also covered. The Certified Restorer course is widely recognized as the pre-eminent training program in damage repair.

Experience

All candidates to the Certified Restorer (CR) Program must be actively involved in restoration work at the time of application and have 3 or more years of active experience in disaster damage restoration as a technician, supervisor or estimator. The company or employer must be a member in good standing of RIA International.

Education

CR candidates must have attended one NIDR or WLI seminar or an RIA convention in the 12 months preceding the CR school.

Candidates must complete the Certified Restorer School and successfully pass the written examination with a score of 80% or better.

Ethics Quiz

Candidates must complete an Ethics Quiz administered by the course instructor or a designated member of the CR Committee. A thorough understanding of the NIDR Code of Ethics and the Certified Restorer Code of Conduct is required.

Formal Report

On completion of the class, candidates must prepare a formal report or a thesis on an approved research topic.

Maintaining Certified Restorer Status

Certified Restorers must participate in a recertification program and maintain current membership in RIA International in order to retain their CR status. All CR continuing education is based on a three-year continuous cycle. Cycles for newly inducted CRs begin on the January 1 following the date of induction. All CRs are required to participate, and all required points must be earned within the time frame.

For more information on the Restoration Industry Association's advanced designations: CR, WLS, CRS, CMH, CMP and CFS, please contact the RIA Education Department at 443-878-1000.


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage restoration company with a combined 75 years experience in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction. We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY) and the New York Metro area.
Advanced Restoration is also an expert in partnering with mortgage companies and families buying homes on Long Island. We are experienced in dealing with FHA approved 203 (k) loans associated with foreclosures, as well as streamlined 203(k) loans. For more information on having Advanced Restoration become your 203(k) contractor, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: disaster, foreclosure, 203(k) loan, property damage, fire restoration, restoration companies, water damage, advanced restoration, emergency service, disrepair, flood damage, home repair, water leaks

Coffeemaker Fire Recall Alert-Walgreens

Posted on Thu, May 07, 2009 @ 10:48 AM

Source: CPSC Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 6, 2009Release #09-184
Firm's Recall Hotline: (877) 546-4835CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Atico International USA Recalls Coffeemakers Sold Exclusively At Walgreens Due to Fire Hazard WASHINGTON, D.C.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Signature GourmetTM 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemakers and Kitchen Gourmet® 10-Cup Coffeemakers
Units: About 500,000
Distributor: Atico International USA Inc., of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Hazard: These coffeemakers can ignite due to an electrical failure, posing a fire hazard.
Incidents/Injuries: Atico International USA, Inc. has received 23 reports of coffeemakers igniting, resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves the following coffeemakers:
Name: Kitchen Gourmet® 10-CupCoffeemaker
Color: White
Model: # XQ-673K
Item#: W14A3714

Name: Signature GourmetTM 12-CupProgrammable Coffeemaker
Color: Black
Model: XQ-673BTorCM4193D
Item#: W14A5084
The name of the coffeemaker is printed on the front of the unit. The model number and the item number are printed on a sticker located on the bottom of the unit.
Sold at: Walgreens stores nationwide: the Signature GourmetTM 12-Cup programmable coffeemaker from June 2004 through March 2009 for about $20 and the Kitchen Gourmet® 10-Cup coffeemaker from August 2006 through December 2008 for about $10.
Manufactured in: China
Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug and stop using the recalled coffeemaker and contact Atico International USA for instructions on returning the product for a full refund.
Consumer Contact: Consumers should call Atico International USA toll-free at (877) 546-4835 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the company’s Web site at www.aticousa.com


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage restoration company with a combined 75 years experience in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction. We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY) and the New York Metro area.
When disasters strike, Advanced Restoration is ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are guaranteed to speak with one of our knowledgeable, caring team members, day or night. Our immediate response to a claim/property loss helps minimize the damages to the structure, contents, and ease the sometime catastrophic effect that a disaster may have on an owner or occupants.

Tags: fire restoration, burn hazard, fire recall, fire prevention, smoke damage, advanced restoration, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, fire protection, cpsc recall

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