Tag Archives: Blogging

SAMURAI RIDES: Welcome To Spring With The 2016 Mazda 3

SAMURAI RIDES: Welcome To Spring With The 2016 Mazda 3

2016MAZDA3

#SamuraiRides x #DriveMazda

Snow, ice and frigid temperatures have moved into the rearview mirror for another year and as the days get longer and those layers of clothing are reduced I’m back on the road with the another round of Samurai Rides w/ Mazda! This time the Mazda 3 Grand Touring and I bounced around the Tri State area and it was a blast.

For the new comers here I initially got my hands on the Mazda 3 with the 2015 edition last winter. The 3 rides smooth and has all the features I’ve come to expect from this brand. Serving up In-ride functionality with an array of safety features, while still providing quality entertainment options you’ll enjoy every moment in this car.

  • Bose® 7-speaker Sound System
  • Mazda Navigation System
  • 18-inch Alloy Wheels
  • Leather-Trimmed Seats
  • LED Headlights and Taillights

In fact, there are only a few design elements that have changed between 2015 and 2016. The biggest change this time around is less in the vehicle itself and more in what Mazda offers you package wise. Drop down tothe  end to get that info.

Drive Mazda

This time around I had what I like to call the “Cherry Bomb” edition with a gorgeous  metallic red exterior and deep dark leather interior with red trim. The Mazda designs always leave me in awe.Drive Mazda

In terms of space the 3 is the most compact sedan model behind the bigger Mazda 3 5-door or the Mazda 6, but don’t worry you won’t be lacking for room in this beauty. With my size I won’t be packing the 3 with a basketball starting 5 but taking a ride with 1 -2 other people was perfect.

“The Mazda3 entered the highly competitive compact car segment with a bang, quickly becoming one of the best examples of well-crafted performance you can get for less than 25K.” – Kelley Blue Book

**Click Here For The Mazda 3 Overview**

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Package Options changes in the 2016 Mazda 3

A big difference between the 2016 Mazda3 vs 2015 Mazda3 trim levels is the absence of the base i SV trim that was found on the 2015 model. For the 2016 model year, the i Sport is the new entry-level trim, which means more standard features for the Mazda3 and a new starting MSRP of $17,845 for the four-door model and $18,545 for the hatchback.

This price is actually lower than the 2015 Mazda3 i Sport by $600 while still managing to include more standard features, like a rearview camera. Other standard features include dual-power folding exterior mirrors, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, push button start, Bluetooth phone pairing and the Mazda Connect infotainment system on a 7-inch color touchscreen. Other trims also receive price reductions, helping the Mazda3 to continue providing great value for a new car.

The 2016 Mazda3 adds two new option packages that offer some exciting features. One package is the Preferred Equipment Package for the i Sport trim, with an MSRP of only $1,000. The other is a new package for the Mazda3 i Touring called the Popular Equipment Package, starting at $1,100. – via Mazda of Manchester 

Mazda knows what it does best and continue to excel at it. They create smaller sleek vehicles that look good and ride great. The newest model of the Mazda 3 keeps that trend going and I’m hoping that I’ll see Mazda again as the summer approaches. Check out the click below for more details on the 2016 Mazda 3. and stay tuned for something a little different on the next edition of Samurai Rides.

**Click Here For The Mazda 3 Overview**

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Should Your Digital Strategy Center Around Your Blog?

Should Your Digital Strategy Center Around Your Blog?

Business Concept on online marketing in professional style
Business Concept on online marketing in professional style

What to do online, How to do it and where to do it are 3 of the main questions I repeatedly get from people. As every month seems to usher in a new social media platform the playing field gets more and more cluttered. This makes it that much more complicated to set up a digital strategy for your brand. For years, it has been preached that you need a place of your own on the internet. You need a center site that ties everything together. Now while that is still true, it doesn’t mean that your blog site has to be the focal point of your strategy. It may be the destination point to desire for conversation but your content may be better suited and better received elsewhere.

You have to go where the people are and right not social sharing via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can get you in front of more eyes a lot faster than traditionally promoting a blog site.

Social Media Week recently posted an article that dives into this topic from a few angles. Check the excerpt below then visit the SMW site for the full article. Digital is changing and you need to be able to properly assess your business to know where you best move is to be made.

Changing Customer Expectations Regarding Content Consumption

Of course, it wasn’t just the bells and whistles of these [Social Media] advances that began changing the content landscape. The way people began offering and consuming content took a turn. Twitterstorming, for example, became a way of content writing to be used as a way to release a fairly large amount of information broken up into small pieces.

Not only is that more digestible, there is an automated optimization in the process that has to be forced in longer content forms such as blog posts. This rapid succession posts also makes writing mistakes easier to overlook, making this a good option for those who are more business savvy than writing savvy.

***Visit the source article here on Social Media Week***

If your in the beginning phase of things and looking to launch a new site or remake a new one I’d suggest you reach out to Bezour Software for amazing site designs and development .

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Ethics, Disclosure and Best Practices Panel At IZEAFest 2015

Ethics, Disclosure and Best Practices Panel At IZEAFest 2015

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If you’re a professional creator of content then at some point you’re heard of the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission is the governing body that makes sure the posts we publish are within proper compliance. That means we’re fully disclosing the context of the material we are posting, especially when promoting products and services.  The FTC guide lines have confused many of my fellow bloggers as to exactly what is required of them .

Fortunately at the recent IZEAFest 2015 hosted a great panel on Ethics, Disclosure & Best Practices that really clarifies what is looked for and expected. Grab your notebook and get comfy for this session. You’ll be glad you did.

Led by Olshan Law’s Andrew Lustigman, who representsmarketers, advertisers, media, mobile and Internet companies in connection with the legal aspects of their advertising and promotional marketing business. This session’s panel also included WOMMA’s Suzanne Fanning, Jen Burg— creator of The Suburban Mom, Sadie Jane Sabin— creator of Simply Sadie Jane, and Lauren Thomas–Digital and Social Media Manager for Cricket Wireless. – Via IZEA

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SAMURAI RIDES: NOMADNESS ANNIVERSARY WEEK WITH THE 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS

SAMURAI RIDES: NOMADNESS ANNIVERSARY WEEK WITH THE 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS

2015GENESIS1

This is a very special edition of Samurai Rides. This marks the official 1 yr anniversary of my coverage of the newest automobiles to hit the street from many of your trusted brands. It’s fitting that this anniversary coincides with the Nomadness Anniversary weekend. Much of my Samurai Ride travel links into my Nomadness duties so it’s only right to celebrate the two! This year leading into the massive weekend I was blessed with the Hyundai Genesis to make my way around the busy street of New York.

With the UN, Beyonce and most notably the Pope in town, I was about to really put the Genesis to the test. Hyundai has again succeeded in delivering style, performance and luxury in a super affordable package. The genesis rides smooth and handles amazingly on the open road or in stop-and-go rush hour traffic.

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Continue reading SAMURAI RIDES: NOMADNESS ANNIVERSARY WEEK WITH THE 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS

SAMURAI RIDES: FAST TIMES IN MAZDA’s 2016 MIATA GRAND TOURING

SAMURAI RIDES: FAST TIMES IN MAZDA’s 2016 MIATA GRAND TOURING

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I’ve had the pleasure of getting very comfortable with the line of vehicles coming out of the Mazda camp this year. With the fall season not that far off I was curious if there were any other surprises on deck for 2016. My question was answered in the form of the 2016 Mazda Miata Grand Touring edition. This would put me in a brand new space dealing with a 2 person roadster vs the sedans and SUVs from previous reviews. I was beyond surprised at the results. Let me share the fun I had with Mazda’s newest sports car.

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Let’s get the obvious out of the way. This is a small sports car. I make it a point to state my size in these reviews so you can get a true sense of the spacing within these cars. I’m 6 ft 5 inches tall and yes I do fit in this ride. It’s a snug fit but it wasn’t uncomfortable or painful. With the top up or down I fit fine. So for average sized individuals you’ll be good to go with space to spare.

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Because of the compact make of the Miata understand this isn’t a car for going to do your weekly grocery shopping. The truck space is enough for a few small bags or one luggage piece. As I told a friend its ideal to pack if you’re going to the beach. On the inside there is no standard glove compartment. That space is relocated to a vertical stash space set between the 2 seats.

**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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The Mazda faithful will be happy to see the familiar MAZDA CONNECT system with commander control knob. With my space limited this was very useful in my operating the various multimedia functions without have to reach around much. With the incredible sound system the Miata packs controlling the tunes smoothly is a must.

The charcoal gray leather with red stitching really gives the interior a mean race car appearance. The Miata is the personification of sleek and once you drop the top with is an easy 1 step function, you are ready to hit the road.

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I can’t express enough how fun it was to drive this car. The Miata is fast and light. It hugs the road while giving you in and out maneuverability to handle any on road conditions. Yes you wont be packing it full of people but sometimes its cool to know its just you and the road or one special passenger to enjoy the ride with.

Being in New York there aren’t always ideal times to whip a sports car. City pot holes or bad weather often put a damper on things, but if you’re in the market for a fun summer car I wouldn’t hesitate to try out Mazda’s newly redesigned 2016 Miata Grand Touring.

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**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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Social Samurai Media Skills: How To Rant Like A Champ

Social Media Samurai Skills: How To Rant Like A Champ

Rant

The reality of social media for most people is that it is an almost instantaneous conduit from the brain to the world. People don’t hesitate to express exactly what is on their mind that second. Think it, Post it is the motto for many. Generally speaking the everyday consumer can get away with that. If you work a regular job, assuming you don’t say anything extreme and over the line, a twitter rant vs the company that over charged you won’t result in any negative repercussions. In fact the sudden bad press via social media could actually expedite matters, but if you make your name and money on social media you have to be that much more careful. You may be justified in your feelings but a savage digital temper tantrum could have long-lasting effects to hurt you more in the big picture.

As frustrating as I’m sure it is for some, people depending on the market you are dealing with the IDGAF approach to a site like Twitter may not be the best way to vent when a business does you wrong. Just this morning I had to stop take a few deep breaths and cunt to 10 before I hopped online. I knew I was going to voice my opinions but I needed that voice to be clear and concise vs loud and scattered. I had an issue during my morning commute that in my eyes highlighted some issues many of us in NYC have to deal with.


**click here for the 1st in the series of tweets from earlier**

What I had to remind myself is that this is not just me screaming in my own head other people will see this. Prospective clientele and associates will see this. Even in my anger I have to get across a level of professionalism. I don’t want people I may do business with in the future thinking “wow he’s unstable and if I do the slightest thing wrong he’ll try to embarrass me online.” From a professional standpoint you rant publicly to bring attention to a wrong. Ideally it is a wrong that has afflicted others. You complaining about something that is 100% unique to you is ok but when it’s something you know a vast number of people experience than you’re no longer just ranting but you’re the voice of the people.

Rant Rules

  1. You’re probably mad at a number of things so focus on 1-2 core points. If it’s customer service stay on that don’t jump to everything that this brand has done to bother you.
  2. Don’t insult or name call. Express the issue without crossing the line of respect. This gives you credibility and will entice people to really listen to you.
  3. Restate your core issue in a manner that lets the offending party know what you expect as acceptable service. You may or may not get a reply but stating what you expect gives the brand a direction to go in if they are listening.
  4. Overall keep it direct and not too long. No one is going to read you posting for 40 mins straight over this. Get in, say what you need to say and get back out.

It’s not all peaches and cream on these Internets. I know some people may be scratching their heads about this post but trust me when I say a number of people out there need this. Some personalities aren’t built to keep quiet, so if you’re dead set on venting to the digital world then the next best thing is to make sure you don’t say anything you’ll regret later.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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How Much Is Your Time Worth?

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Time and Money
Time and Money

As my professional transition to 100% full-time #SocialMediaSamurai continues, there is a situation that I often come across and many others in my circle deal with as well. Once you get yourself in a space where people are seeking your services how do you value your time? It may sound like a simple straightforward question but in all actuality it can be something that changes due to current circumstance.

If you have generated enough buzz around yourself that you’re not lacking for clientele then yes, set your mark and don’t waver. The demand has been created through your hard work and you should profit from that. Now if what you are doing hasn’t hit that point yet then you may look at things on a more case by case basis. There is the caliber of inquiring client that could result in rate adjustment. Is that a company that is reaching out to you or a 1-2 person start-up? Maybe your own availability has changed causing a ripple effect on the free hours you do still have.

I have always maintained that you should never feel bad sayings “no” if the dollars don’t make sense, but on the flip side it’s no crime to take on work that others would pass up on. As a content creator this is something you will consistently encounter. There’s still not a universal understanding of the value we bring. Until that time arrives negotiation will always be your best friend. Have your nonnegotiable business terms but play a flexible hand. At the very least your name will build as a quality individual to work with and that pay dividends in its own right down the road.

When is the last time you took on work at below your usual price? What factors led to that decision?

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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4 Business Blogging Principles I Took Away From Blogging While Brown

4 Business Blogging Principles I Took Away From Blogging While Brown

 Blogging

This past weekend the 7th annual Blogging While Brown conference took place in Harlem, NY. It was my first time attending and it was 100% worth it. While assisting the social media team by running the #BWB Instagram page all weekend, I was exposed to a sea of knowledge, advice and professional guidance to improve my blogging. From a business standpoint this was the most technically informative revenue focused blogging event I’ve ever attended. The information was detailed and layered in a way that was easy to understand and clear on how it should be implemented. Just to give my readers a taste of what took place, here are 4 basic but vital blogging business lessons I took away from Blogging While Brown.

1. Your Blog is Not Your Business

Blogging

Entrepreneur and professional “Side Hustler” Jullien Gordon started off his presentations reminding us that as Bloggers it seems like common sense that we would view our blogs as the business we run. The truth is that our blogs are merely the platform which our business is launched from. That is honestly a huge difference in perspective especially for someone who never really looked at blogging as a money making device until pretty recently. Your services and products are your actually business which goes beyond the blog.

 

2.Properly Define Success

Blogging

We all have a vision of what we ideally want, but defining success goes deeper than that. Gordon shared with us his equation for the true definition of success which factors in what you want, what you enjoy doing and just how much financial gain would realistically make you happy.

 

3. Converting Readers to Customers

Blogging

If profit is the goal then this is what needs to happen in one form or another. Lamar & Ronnie Tyler of Black and Married w/ Kids dove into this process of maximizing the full potential of your viewership. This takes you from initial engagement to sales and cultivation for future business.

 

4.  Think Like a Manager and Never Stop Learning

Blogging

Markus Robinson Co-Founder of Black Wed Media reminded us that the mindset that goes into business is something we all may have and might have applied to many other affairs but this business of blogging is a new realm so being open to new lessons and guidance is a must. The social media landscape continues to change so the need to learn new skills and about emerging tools never ends. This allows you to stay multiple steps ahead of the pack and prime for innovative new initiatives. There are online learning platforms like Udemy where you can take actual classes. Outside of that many professionals share vital information via their own blogs or even on Twitter.

There was so much material these amazing presenters and other not mentioned here shared with us. I’d highly suggest that anyone looking to progress with their blogging look into the services of these people. It’s an investment in your professional future you won’t regret.

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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Blogging While Brown Weekend Returns And Hits The Internets Big Time#BWBNYC

Blogging While Brown Weekend Returns And Hits The Internets Big Time #BWBNYC

BWBNYC

This weekend the annual Business Conference Blogging while Brown took place in Harlem, NYC.
I was invited to help manage the social posting for the conference via Instagram which is @BWBConference. Check back here in the coming days as I’ll share with you from the collection of great speakers and the sea of knowledge that was shared with the crowd.

In the meantime take a moment to look at the real time activity behind the official Blogging While Brown hashtag.

#BWBNYC

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***Click Here For The Live Social Media Board***

 

 

Jason Francis | The Social Media Samurai

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Blogging For Business w/ Experian (Storify)

Blogging For Business w/ Experian  (Storify)

 Blogging Business

I was really on top of my game last week if I do say so myself. In the midst of Internet Week I took some time to guest host the weekly Twitter #MarketingChat held by Experian. It’s an hour to share business tips and answer questions about various types of marketing. The subject of conversation was blogging for business. Social media is changing the way business is done and doing it right is a serious matter. I honestly had a lot of fun answering questions and sharing some of my personal views and how to blog successfully.

For anyone that missed the live tweet session hit the jump to view the entire chat via Storify. Check it out and please share it with your friends.   Continue reading Blogging For Business w/ Experian (Storify)