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The Social Media Advocate

Lately I consider myself to be the local Advocate and cheerleader for social media in Emmett, ID. There is a lot of potential for it to help the local economy by connecting local businesses to each other and to their customers in a more intimate way than they currently have, which would help people get what they need and want more easily, which would make them more likely to spend their money in our town.

Social Media use in Emmett would also increase the need for our politicians, business owners, and citizens in general to be far more transparent. They wouldn’t be able to lie to a group of people and get away with it as easily, or worse, build a following off of those lies without being corrected. At the very least the use of social media (like twitter and facebook) would speed up the communication between the residents here and the amount of wasted time from inaccurate communications would be cut drastically.

Unfortunately in our town there are a few common misconceptions that 1. social media is too difficult to use 2. that it is only for the younger generations 3. that it will download viruses to your computer and 4. that in general, social media is the devil. The misconceptions are so strongly ingrained into the minds of the adults and families of our town that the virtually limitless potential of social media and it’s positive aspects in our community are wasted before they even get a chance to prove themselves.

So, being that I am one of these weird anti-muckrakers, I feel that I will take this little title ‘the social media advocate’ and write a few articles to educate the community on values of social media, the pros and cons, the things to avoid, how to protect yourself, and how our community could benefit from using social media appropriately and safely. I will also be writing articles to the parents of our community encouraging them to get their butts on MySpace and Facebook. There is never something more sobering to a parent than to find out their sons or daughters are posting illegal activities on public websites, and if they are connected to their child’s accounts, this STUPID activity will most likely stop.

These are just some thoughts of mine. I hope I can get the articles into the paper here in town. Even if I have to pay to do it I’d like to get them in the paper. It means that much to me.

If you have any thoughts on topics for other articles please let me know, any help I can get to start to chip away at the conservative, stone wall exterior to the minds of this community I would greatly appreciate!

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Post Independence Day

Just got finished with my Independence Day. Went to the Gem County Sports Complex at the Island to watch the first real firework show we’ve had in our town in quite a long time. Thanks to Tim, the owner of Computators we had a great show put together, especially considering the fact that this was the first year we’ve had one in a while.

There are some things about the show that I’d like to have seen fixed that may just happen as it evolves (however I’m going to try and volunteer with the planning next year so it may be sooner). I’d like to see more vending booths at the event; as an entrepreneur I’d like the chance to participate in the event to 1. get my company exposure and 2. raise funds for my various company projects. Unfortunately there aren’t too many venues for this to happen at in Emmett, ID.

I’d like to see a longer show (something that will inevitably happen with time). The show needs to become self sustaining so that the fireworks are the anchor, the vendors pay the bill, and the ‘fund raising piggy banks’ can go away.

There was also surprisingly little exposure for the show online, they had a website but no social media, at all. The organizer Tim has had trouble with social media in the past or, as he owns and runs a computer repair store, sees social networks like Facebook and MySpace to be a source of viruses and problems. Because of this he doesn’t want to promote on social networks. I’ll have to crack them if they want to have a bigger show. They’ll need the necessary exposure that social media offers for FREE.

Ultimately the event was a great success for the first year. According to Tim it was entirely paid for and it ran for a good 20 minutes or more. I was very happy with it and as I love to support my community I’m excited to (hopefully) be able to help out with next year’s event.

See: for more information on the event (though the website is a simple one pager, it can put you into contact with the event organizer.)

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Double-Take Industries – New Directions

Well first off I apologies for again having lapsed in making posts on my blog; this is mostly because I’m not sure what I should be writing about, so in an effort to create the habit of posting I am going to at the very least write a short blog every night about what I worked on that day, what I learned, or something interesting I’ve come across.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve been working on taking Double-Take Industries into the yo-yoing industry for the last few months, the most major piece was by organizing the Idaho State Yo-Yo Championships (June 20th, 2009) under the DTIndustries title. What I’ve been working on in the wake of the contest are:

1. A Yo-Yo T-Shirt

I have five different concepts ready to be produced but the first one is the Yo-Yo Tree concept, I had Emily Butcher from Talon Tattoo near the Western Idaho Fairgrounds do the art work for me and the results were phenomenal, The shirt will be gray and the art will be printed in black (for that artsy look).

An amazing piece of art thanks to the hard work of Emily Butcher of Talon Tattoo's in Boise, ID.
An amazing piece of art thanks to the hard work of Emily Butcher of Talon Tattoo's in Boise, ID. Copyright to Double-Take Industries.

2. A literal yo-yo by DTI

Bradley Raley (@BradleyRALEY on Twitter), an amazing guy (and Yo-Yoer) whom I met in Florida while on the Go-Giver Tour has been helping me make a CAD drawing of my yo-yo concept so I can take it to a machinist or manufacturer to get it produced. This yo-yo will be produced in plastic for the beginner/advanced yo-yoer and in aluminum for the advance/expert yo-yoer. The first run will be made of aluminum and will be called the Base Boost. I’m not sure what it will retail for yet, I’d like to keep the plastic one around $15.00 and the aluminum one under $100.00. We’ll see. I’ll post pictures of the design once either the prototype has been created or I find a way to protect it; I’m really nervous about sharing too much.

3. A Yo-Yo Video Contest

Thanks to Adam Schultz of Threadz Yo-Yo Strings hosting his own yo-yo video contest (which I won with my ‘Trick Machine video: view here) I decided to host one as well and will be continually doing so on a monthly basis. This month I’m giving away a Black DTI Logo shirt. If you’d like to check out the contest information video or see videos that are being submitted by entrants check out the youtube page for the contest here or view the video below.

That’s what I’ve been working on so far this month. I still have to put together the contest DVD for the 2009 Idaho Yo-Yo Championships and I have to start working more on the handbook for the Yo-Yo Contest Organizer but I will be developing that over the next couple of months.

Have a pleasant evening, Please comment with any questions or comments, I love to hear from you guys!

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Talk Less, Do More

Something I’ve decided I’ll finally voice my opinion on and make public is the detest I’ve developed for those termed as muckrakers, or people who only complain about problems without actually doing anything about them, or at the very least offering a solution to those who are capable of fixing the problem. No, I’m not going to gripe this whole time about muckrakers, but it’s simply a conversation starter. I feel that people these days simply do too much talking, I’ve done it, I’m sure you have too, talking about the future, what you’re going to do tomorrow, what I’m going to be someday, etc. Eventually, you have to shut your mouth, think about what you’re doing, where you’re going, and why and just GO THERE.

For instance (and I’m not sure if this is ‘me talking’, call me on it if you think it is) there was no yo-yo contest in the state of Idaho until 2005. Why? No one thought to throw one. It was my first full year of yo-yoing, and I decided I didn’t want to live in a state where I and my peers didn’t have a venue to compete in friendly, sportsman-like competition to test and try our skills at yo-yoing. So? I did something about it! I started a website (my way of writing down a goal) and shot an email to a friend I had met at a distant yo-yo contest who owned a company in our industry. He agreed to sponsor the first contest, no questions asked. That one sponsor on my website got me motivated enough to call a venue, get shirts made, get about ten sponsors, get sanctioning from the American Yo-Yo Association and National Yo-Yo League. Basically the point is that I didn’t sit and complain about the problem. As a 15 year old (in 2005) I never thought to do so. I had just finished reading the book “If You Think You Can, You Can (for Teens)” and it never occurred to me to doubt myself or to even gripe about the issue.

In the right state of mind, things will just flow. If there are speed bumps along the way (and there will be) they can be easily overcome with a little bit of thinking (you have a brain for a reason)!

So, I will shut up now, but next time you have an issue pop up, instead of spreading negativity, shut your mouth, think about the situation, what caused it and what can fix it, and simply Talk Less, Do More; get the job done. You’ll feel better that you did, and people will remember that you did it.

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Took a break after IDYYC09

Well, it finally happened! After a solid month of preparation I finished organizing and executing the 2009 Idaho (State) Yo-Yo Championships at the Gem County Cherry Festival in Emmett, ID. I had 10 competitors attend and participate this year and one judge (John Bozung).

Because the other judges had some difficulties making it this year, I got to judge this year’s competition with John which was fun and informative. Here’s a picture of the participants this year:


The projects I currently have related to this ‘finished project’ include the production of an event DVD which would include images from the event, the competitors freestyles, the awards ceremony, and other various bits of info including the sponsors, judges, event staff, etc.

The other project branching off of IDYYC09 is an Event Organizer’s Handbook on how to organize a yo-yo contest. It’s my attempt to make it so easy to throw a yo-yo contest that there is no excuse not to.

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Coming back with a Yo-Yo Post

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t been consistent in my posting; I’m working on a weekly schedule that will force me to update twice a week (start and finish of the week) to help me continue my growth as a writer and young entrepreneur! 🙂

I recently had an amazing opportunity thanks to Nicki Lee of the Butte View Elementary School After-School program to teach some young amazing kids how to yo-yo and wanted to share the pictures that she took with you guys! I got a lot of valuable information out of teaching these kids which will most definitely end up in my Learn to Throw (beginners yo-yoing) book.

I started out telling the kids about the history of the yo-yo, talked about some of the myths out there, and answered their questions from what kind of tricks I know, have I competed, and do I have any pets. I have a ferret. 🙂

I spent a good deal of my time making sure the kids knew how to attach the yo-yo to their hand and how to throw it correctly for optimal spin time. Taught them how to make a slip knot out of the pre-tied loop in the string and how to set the yo-yo in their hand so it rolled out correctly when they performed a ‘Throw Down’, the first trick one must learn to open the floodgates to the rest of the tricks in the yo-yo universe!

I also spent a lot of time going around working one-on-one with the kids; making sure they were holding the yo-yo correctly when they threw it, taught them each a few basic tricks such as “the Sleeper”, “Walk the Dog”, “Rock the Baby”, and one of the girls who already had some yo-yo skills learned how to perform “Around the World!”

Ultimately I had a great time and took back a lot of knowledge on what I need to improve upon in my book to make it even more effective for beginner yo-yo enthusiasts. Ultimately the knowledge was gained from those outside my target market for the book, however the data was important and I was really happy to have had the opportunity to learn it while teaching these amazing kids a few tricks and maybe even getting a few of them into the fulfilling hobby of yo-yoing!


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Another Project, Another Day

Well it’s been a short while since my last post and I felt like letting people know I’ve turned the “Learn to Throw” yo-yo class into the DTI sponsored “Emmett Yo-Yo Club”. I’m currently finalizing the logo that will be used for branding the club (like t-shirts, hats, custom yo-yos, letterhead, etc). I’m going to be acquiring some yo-yos before next Saturday and will be starting the club on that day. I plan to have posters ready by Sunday night and will be distributing them on Monday around town and to schools.

Other than working on the club I’ve finally finished illustrating the trick section of my book, “Learn to Throw: A Beginner’s Course in Yo-Yoing” and just need to enhance a few essays with outside sources and need maybe 10 drawings and 10 pictures to illustrate some how-to guides and some historical information. Otherwise the book is done and I need to seek funding for publishing it at a Print on Demand (POD) website, or I need to find a publisher to carry the book for me. Not sure which route to take just yet, it has been advised to me to attempt to get scholastic to carry the book, since they have an in with most schools and can produce huge amounts of these books. I guess we’ll see where this goes when the book is done.

Not too much else to report, feeling like I’m starting to get a cold, which sucks because it’s finally getting warm out. Oh well, more reasons to stay inside and work! Haha!

Have a nice evening everyone!