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Hate the Player, Not the Game

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BLASTmedia is expanding its current client portfolio to include two new gaming clients (I know all of you Halo-heads just got really excited..) WOLFKING, based in NYC, makes cool new gamepads that are designed for the PC gamer, and they are already getting a ton of attention! We first saw the gamepads at this year’s E3 Show in LA, and were drawn to their packed booth to see what all the commotion was! We are really excited to grow our relationship with WOLFKING.

Our second new partner – Phantom EFX – hails from Cedar Falls, IA (see our previous blog entry). They make ultra-realistic casino and slots games for the PC, with their newest titles launching in September. We have faced up to the reality that none of us will ever be Vegas VIPs, so these games give us the fix we need when we crave a little power and prestige (since a victory at the softball field is still just a dream, we like to be winners somewhere…)

Welcome WOLFKING and Phantom EFX – see you at the next LAN party!

37signals (Web 1.0 backs Web 2.0)

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Today marks a significant day for one of BLASTmedia’s clients – 37signals. They just announced a new partnership with the personal investment company started by Amazon.com founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos.

Having developed web-based productivity tools like BaseCamp and created the popular Ruby on Rails development framework, 37signals looks to grow their business with support from Bezos, one of the Web’s most recognizable entrepreneurs.

There’s no doubt that 37signals is keyed up about the opportunities that will come from this new partnership, and based on the comments on their popular Signal vs. Noise blog, their fans/customers are just as pumped!

Look for more great things from 37signals with the added support from Jeff and his crew.

Check out this great cover story just released featuring Jason and 37signals.

Fishers, Baby!

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A quick 15 minute drive north of downtown Indianapolis will land you in Fishers – the city that BLASTmedia calls home. Recently, Money Magazine named Fishers one of the “Best Places to Live” for the second year in a row. Fishers ranked #33 on the list of 100, and was the only Indiana city to make the cut.

The rankings were based on “quality of life” indicators and factors like employment growth rates, ease of living (whatever that means), education, etc. From a business standpoint, we like our location because it gives us easy access to both coasts, and we can provide cost effective services to our clients by keeping overhead low (in comparison to NYC or Cali.) From a personal standpoint, we thought we’d poll the office and compile our own list of reasons why Fishers made the cut. Here are a few reasons, in random order.

1. Quietly nestled on a mountain-top, the sunsets are second to none.
2. Rolling hotdogs at Speedway.
3. More SUV’s, retention ponds, and popped collars in a 20 mile radius than anywhere else in the nation.
4. Within close driving distance of ‘Nap town.
5. Vigilant pursuit of seat belt violations by local authorities.
6. Diversity! One day you’ll meet a yuppie accountant and then the next day you’ll meet a yuppie lawyer. Refreshing!
7. Seriously though, it’s a very pretty city. The buildings are all well maintained and there are flowers and plants everywhere.
8. One town – SIX Starbucks.
9. It’s like living on the Truman Show set…….safe, clean, people seemingly nice
10. BLASTmedia is headquarted here – OBVIOUSLY.

So, if you’re ever in the mood for a little midwest road trip, don’t forget our fine city. We’ll meet you at Starbucks…

BLAST Beavers take the field again!

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Last night was Thursday, which means only one thing- your BLASTmedia Beavers were in Softball action. All were in good spirits as your home team Beavers took on Centex Homes for their second game of the season.

The First inning proved to be a great turn around for the Beavers as they took a one run lead that they held for three full innings. The Beavers played solid softball however could not stop the Centex Homes team from counterpunching with a 6 run effort.

Final Score: BLASTbeavers – 2 Centex Homes – 6

With the noticeable improvement in play last night, the Beavers are optimistic that the best is yet to come from this softball dynasty in the making. Come support your Beavers next Thursday night at 7:30 as they take the field again.

Heidi and MargieLindsey BattingMike Pitching

Social Media Business Development 101

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For those keeping score on the whole Dell/Jeff Jarvis/GCI blogging escapade, I thought I would chime in on the brilliantly executed “Flea-Flicker” courtesy of notable Edelman PR strategists, Richard Edelman and Steve Rubel. (If you work in PR and don’t read their blogs, I strongly suggest you grab their feed.)

Both Richard and Steve commented yesterday on the situation regarding an inflammatory comment planted on Jarvis’ blog by someone at GCI (Dell’s PR firm).

A GCI “summer intern” attacked Jarvis as a result of the critical stance he has taken on Dell’s blogging and lack of customer service transparency. In typical Richard Edelman fashion (lobbed from the high ground), he outlined the ramifications of the situation, offering kudos to all the folks who deserved them along with a few wise words of caution. Vintage Edelman.

I then read Mr. Rubel’s take on the matter. Steve took a slightly different approach (although also perched on the high ground) and offered up some good strategies for how Dell might handle the matter. He even went the extra mile and offered some general blogging practices that I’m sure Edelman doles out to most of their clients regarding similar matters.

It wasn’t until I was reading the last paragraph that it hit me: what a brilliant sales move! If I were a betting man, I’d go long on the fact that Richard and Steve had a quick huddle on their responses (which were less than an hour apart) and then set wheels in motion.

The plan?

Throw a blanket (a pretty wet one I might add) on the social media strategy Dell is receiving from GCI, which currently appears to be anything but strategic.

Then, move in for the close to get Dell’s PR business………well done, gentlemen!

Stay tuned……..

More Than Corn in Iowa!

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Lindsey, Mendy and I made a trek to Cedar Falls, Iowa this week to meet with our new client Phantom EFX. From Indy, the quickest route is through Chicago, then to Cedar Rapids and finally an hour drive to Cedar Falls – actual air time is less than 80 minutes! For Mendy and I this was our first trip to the Hawkeye and Cyclone state. However, Lindsey actually lived in Des Moines for a year and married an Iowan (sp?), so it was sort of a homecoming for her.

We got a sneak peek at Phantom’s two newest products, which will be launching in August. Without letting the cat out of the bag, they both are super cool and they will be a great addition to their Gaming line up. We met the entire Phantom EFX team and got a behind-the-scenes look at the developers’ latest 3-D creations. We finished off the morning with a great meeting with the executive team, laying out the media relations plan for the launch.

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On a side note, we arrived in Cedar Falls about 11 pm the night before and stayed at a really cool hotel that Phantom EFX suggested, The Blackhawk – which dates back to the early 1900s. None of us were too tired, so we decided to venture down Main Street to see what happens on a Monday night in Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls is home to the University of Northern Iowa, so we weren’t surprised to find a number of drinking establishments within walking distance (or crawling distance!). We noticed a number of people walking into a non-descript bar called The ReVerb . Feeling brave, we ran up the stairs to see what the fuss was all about. We walked into an interesting scene which is best described as “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore” (and are we even still in Iowa?) The Jagermiester Mini tour (a smaller version of the larger tour) was sweeping through the Midwest and we had stumbled across the Cedar Falls stop starring Dope, MakeShift Romeo and the Misfits. Dress code: Multiple tattoos, shirt optional, body piercing of any sort and lots of gel for your multi-colored hair. Needless to say we had a blast (as you can see from the photos below) and made it back to the Hotel in time to enjoy the breakfast buffet. We’re looking forward to a return trip to Cedar Falls and beginning our partnership with Phantom EFX.

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Six Degrees of Keith Rickman…and, Crown Candy

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Kelly, Heidi and I had the pleasure of having dinner last week with THE nicest man in St. Louis, Keith Rickman of Centurion Technologies. While catching up with one of our favorite clients regarding what’s happening at Centurion, we found out that he went to high school with Sheryl Crow. Keith also shares a connection with up and coming country artist Trent Tomlinson – they are both from Kennett, MO. Keith told us about his wife’s love for the Dallas Cowboys, which means he has also met Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman.

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While in St. Louis, the BLAST crew accidentally stumbled along Crown Candy Kitchen. Established in 1913, it’s one of St. Louis’ oldest and most popular attractions. Whether you’re looking for homemade chocolate, delicious ice cream (we recommend the banana and chocolate chip!), or you just need a bathroom break (Heidi is still thanking us for stopping) – this is one place you definitely shouldn’t miss in St. Louis.

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