Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Month: November 2006

iTrain on Your IPod

One more, come on you can do it! The latest twist to the iPod is iTrain, which has already received a lot of press. Other than a really annoying website, the service appears to be a sound innovation. You download exercise workouts prepared by certified personal trainers, go to the gym (or wherever) then hit play. 

Sounds like a solid idea, but I wonder if charging for the service will last long. Others will likely provide the workouts for free and include a few content related ads. Personally, I don't think you can replace the value of a personal trainer with an MP3. But if it works for you that's all that matters. 

From a marketing standpoint there are hundreds of new ways to use portable MP3 players. It's not just music anymore. Are you using your iPod or similar device in an innovative way? If so, let us know.

Hat tip to The Final Sprint for alerting us to this story. Here's an excerpt from their post:

A new addition to the iPod craze has spawned – the iTrain, it allows users to download personalized workout information straight to their MP3 player. Workout choices include: iTrain, iClimb, iTread, iCycle, and iStrength, for other options visit their website. A yearly workout package runs for $49.99, a monthly for $9.99, or if you’d like, get a sampler for under $1.00 per workout.


Exhibitor's Journal

We're wrapping up the design and launch of a new blog for one of our clients. The blog, Exhibitor's Journal, includes comprehensive, unbiased, and relevant content geared toward trade shows and presentations (i.e., trade show budgeting, exhibit hardware tips, popups, display lighting, interior graphics, laminating, presentations, etc.).

The blog is managed by trade show and presentation expert Peter Winters. He is the owner of a Richmond Virginia-based design, trade show fabrication, and graphic interiors company. Peter has worked with us here at and clients such as CarMax, Circuit City, UPS, Philip Morris, and Anthem; as well as many medium and small businesses located throughout the country.  

We're still working on the blog and already others have discovered value in the blog's content: 

Talk It Up! First, a great blog is over at Exhibitors Journal. If you're looking for more down-and-dirty trade show practica (lighting, budget, etc.), this blog has a wealth of information for research and for daily reading. If you are responsible for your company's trade show presence, this is a must-read!

Thanks for our first plug Heidi! Her blog, Talk It Up!, provides trade show and public-speaking secrets from the perspective of a professional trade show presenter, Heidi Miller. She is a corporate spokesperson who gives in-booth presentations at trade shows, user conferences and on video for clients around the world. The content on her blog is also excellent and a great resource for those presenting at trade shows. provided the blog design and programming services for Exhibitor's Journal. Let us know what you think. 

Exhibitor's Journal

Forbes Video Interview With Digg CEO

As we and many other bloggers have noted in the past, Web 2.0 is all about community involvement. Digg CEO, Jay Adelson, reiterates the importance of community involvement in a interview segment published on YouTube. You can view the video at

Techcrunch » Forbes Video Interview With Digg CEO Michele Steele at Forbes Video Network interviewed Digg CEO Jay Adelson to discuss site usage and acquisition rumors. The video was posted on November 22, 2006.

Do Not Call List for Cell Phones

Tired of wasting cell phone minutes on those annoying telemarketers? Tis the season and you'll likely get telemarketing calls if you haven't already. Yes, there is something you can do. Add your cell phone number to the National Do Not Call List. Just call this number and within a few weeks you'll stop receiving telemarketing calls for 5 years: 1-888-382-1222.



The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Your registration will be effective for five years.


Amazon Announces New Release of aStore

The Amazon Associates team announced the next release of aStore with a set of new features. Amazon is offering an extra 4% premium on units referred through aStore (and Omakase) for the rest of the year (details below). To take full advantage of this premium, login to Associates Central to modify your existing aStore to include the expanded features and build additional aStores – multiple sites now allowed.

aCommerce for Your Site In Minutes

With this version of aStore you can now:

  • Build and maintain multiple aStores under one Associate ID
  • Feature up to 54 products in each category
  • Create custom categories containing products from multiple Amazon categories
  • Create multiple instances of individual Amazon categories
  • Control the display order of the products on each page
  • Specify products to feature on Category and Subcategory pages
  • Populate products to categories using Listmania lists

Here is a sample aStore created this morning: Gifts for the Holidays and here is another on my AMG Mercedes-Benz Enthusiasts blog

You can setup an Amazon affiliate account here

The Power of Thinking Positive

The power of thinking positive is presented in this "Free Hugs" video. It has been viewed almost 7 million times – guaranteed to please, enjoy!


Firefox Tool for Browser-Based Blog Publishing – Performancing

Performancing for Firefox is a full featured blog editor that resides in your Firefox browser and lets you post directly to your blog while surfing. You can drag and drop formatted text from any web page you are browsing, take notes, and post without going to your blog's admin panel.

Once installed, hit "F8" or click the little pencil icon at the bottom right of your browser window to bring up the blog editor. You can set it up to post directly to your WordPress, MovableType or Blogger blogs.

Performancing is a handy little tool for those that manage multiple blogs and post frequently. 

Groupware Primer

Groupware has changed the manner in which we communicate with family, friends, and colleagues. Our friends at Read/Write Web have an excellent primer for those interested. Here's an excerpt:

The term groupware refers to applications that facilitate real-time communication, coordination and collaboration amongst groups of people. A number of startups are working hard to develop the nascent groupware market, so in this post we identify some of those startups and provide an overview of where the market is heading.

[tags] groupware, real-time communication, collaboration,, eoecho [/tags]

Keep Your Hotel Key Cards – Some Contain Credit Card Info

A worthy note from the Pasadena Police Department regarding hotel room electronic access cards. Hat tip to Hunter Investigations for providing the info:


From the California Bureau of Investigation: “Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from a well known hotel chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft Presentation was found to contain the following the information:

  1. Customers (your) name
  2. Customers partial home address
  3. Hotel room number
  4. Check in date and check out date
  5. Customer’s (your) credit card number and expiration date!

When you turn the Hotel Key Card in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel scanner. Hotel employees can take a pocketful of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your expense.

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At the time of check-in, the new guest’s information is electronically “overwritten” on the card and that the previous guest’s information (this means your info) is erased in the overwriting process. But until the card is rewritten for the next guest, the electronic key card is usually kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION STILL ON IT!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket, and NEVER turn them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They should not charge you for the card (charging for the card is illegal).

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up or shredding the card. Be certain that the electronic information strip has been destroyed!

Information courtesy of: Pasadena Police Department

[tags] Hotel key cards, electronic keys,, eoecho [/tags]

Jargon at Work Alienates Staff – Survey

I remember the days. Management presentations filled with meaningless jargon. I never knew what they we’re talking about. It appears I wasn’t the only one. A recent study suggests jargon just doesn’t cut it in the office environment.

According to the study (details can be found at the link below), management jargon can alienate staff and leave bosses looking untrustworthy and weak.

Managers who spoke of “singing from the same hymn sheet” could find themselves singing solo, the survey by Investors in People said. Read the full story here: Heads up, blue sky thinking can alienate staff – Yahoo! News

[tags] jargon, Investors in People,, eoecho [/tags]

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Raffle – $465,000 Car for $100


Who wouldn’t want to be one of a select group that includes the likes of Jay Leno, Michael Jordan, and Paris Hilton? And what if you could become a member of this group for just $100?

It’s true, each of these people own a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Mercedes-Benz of Salisbury (Maryland, USA) is going to make one lucky winner very happy. The retail price for this ultimate raffle prize – a 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren – is $465,000. All proceeds benefit Toys for Tots, the Marine Corps Reserves organization that donates new toys to underprivileged families for the holidays.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

“It’s a very rare, exotic vehicle and we saw it as an opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money for charity,” says Chris Hagel, Marketing Manager for Pohanka. There are only 5,000 of them in the world; just 1,500 in the United States.

It does zero to 60 in 3.8 seconds. The body is carbon fiber – the same material used to make high-tech planes, spacecrafts and yachts. The engine is a 5.5 liter supercharged V8, and runs at a top speed of 208 miles per hour.

Should the winner decide that they do not want the vehicle, they can choose a $300,000 cash prize instead.

“Every year we try to raise money for Toys for Tots; we just try to have fun with it,” says Hagel.” We are close to reaching our goal, with about 1600 tickets left to sell. The deadline for buying tickets is Dec. 10. You can buy tickets on the Internet by visiting or you can mail in your check made out to toys (see website for more details).

Raffle Contact: Chris Hagel, Marketing Director
The Pohanka Automotive Group of Salisbury
Phone: (410) 749-2301 ext 8030

[tags] SLR McLaren, Mercedes-Benz raffle, Pohanka Automotive Group, Toys for Tots,, eoecho [/tags]

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