Jamie L. Watts

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Salt City Ice Cream Recalls Syracreamsicle Flavor

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Photo Credit:  Food.com

Salt City Ice Cream is voluntarily recalling all versions of it’s Syracreamsicle flavor (pints, half-gallons and gallons) due to salmonella concerns.

Routine FDA testing at a production facility tested positive for salmonella, but no illnesses have been reported.

As always, Salt City Ice Cream’s primary concern is the safety of it’s products and the health of it’s customers, and as a result, Salt City Ice Cream is taking this matter extremely seriously.

INFORMATION FOR CUSTOMERS

  • First, if you have consumed Salt City Ice Cream’s Syracreamsicle flavored ice cream and are experiencing any symptoms of salmonella, please contact your local medical provider or poison control center immediately for assistance.
  • If you have purchased a carton of Syracreamsicle, it may be returned for a full reimbursement to any Salt City Ice Cream store in Syracuse, NY. Upon return, customers will also receive coupons for five free gallons of any Salt City Ice Cream flavor to be used at any time in the future.

*Please note:  This recall is only for the Syracreamsicle flavor and no other Salt City Ice Cream flavor has been contaminated.

Salt City Ice Cream is available to answer any questions or discuss any concerns regarding this recall.  Feel free to contact Salt City Ice Cream at management@saltcityicecream.com or 315-475-5122.  A representative will be available from 8 AM to 7 PM (EST) to assist with any concerns you may have.

Salt City Ice Cream deeply apologizes for this recall and for any health issues or inconvenience this may have caused any of our customers.  Salt City Ice Cream is working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure this does not happen again.

Please continue to follow this blog for any future updates concerning the recall.

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Building My Community

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Photo Credit:  A Million Blogs (amillionblogs.com)

As a blogger, one of the most important things to do is build and maintain a community that appreciates your blog and it’s content. For my blog, a cookie decorating blog, here are 5 ways I plan to create a community that people enjoy participating in.

1. Create Categories and Use Tags

While cookie decorating is a topic that may seem pretty narrow, it can actually create a wide variety of blog posts. The best way to organize these and make them simple for my readers to follow is to use categories and tags.

  • I plan to divide my posts into categories such as recipes, tutorials, contests, giveaways, etc. so they can be easily found by readers.
  • Similarly, I plan to tag my posts with more specific words related to the individual post to further narrow down reader’s searches (for example, Christmas cookies, animal cookies, summer cookies, etc.).

2. Post Regularly and With Specific Themes for Specific Days

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Photo Credit:  Crafty Mumma (www.craftymumma.com)

  • To be sure that the readers who come to my blog stay with my blog, I plan to post at least once daily, following a theme for most days. (For example, Recipe Mondays, Tutorial Tuesdays, etc.). This way, readers know that if they are interested in a new recipe, Monday is the day to check the blog for that.
  • However, in order for the blog to not get too bogged down in the schedule and become repetitive, I also plan to post other, more random cookie decorating posts daily as well. This will allow me to create a routine or a blog schedule, yet also have some variety in what I post so as not to bore my readers.

3. Participate in the Comments

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Photo Credit:  Eric-Lord.com (www.eric-lord.com)

Being approachable and accessible to my readers is something that is very important to me.  I want my readers to feel as if they can ask me questions, offer honest criticism or advice, or just chat with me at any time!

  • In a blog involving anything cooking or baking related, readers will most likely have questions on how something has been done. I will encourage my readers to post their questions (or critiques) of what I have posted in the comments section, and monitor and answer those questions as quickly as possible.
  • I will also provide contact information in the form of an email address so readers will always have a way to reach out to me. I think it’s really important for a blogger to be on the same level as the readers, and while I want my readers to see me as the “expert”, I also want them to see me as just “one of them” and feel comfortable to approach me with any questions or comments. I think by presenting myself as extremely accessible via the comments and email that will provide a comfort level with my readers that will work for all of us.
  • Additionally, I’m hopeful that comments or questions will provide me with ideas for future blog posts.  For example, if I receive multiple questions regarding my recipe for royal icing, I may decide that a tutorial outlining each step would be a good addition to the blog.  Once readers see that I am utilizing their comments to generate content they want, it should only make the community a stronger one to be a part of.

4. Use Social Media to my Advantage

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Photo Credit:  Nation’s Restaurant News (www.nrn.com)

Taking advantage of the variety of social media networks available will help me not only build my community, but stay connected with them even outside of the blog.

  • I will use sites like Facebook and Twitter to post links to all of my blog posts, as well as use it to connect with other cookie decorators.  By networking with others in the cookie world, I am opening myself and my blog to their community, in the hopes that their readers will visit my blog as well.  I will also use these sites to communicate directly with my readers, similar to how I will respond to them in the comments section of my blog.
  • I also plan to use sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to post pictures of my cookies (in progress and complete), share recipes and tutorials of my creations, and post video tutorials as well.  These sites all provide another outlet to reach readers, and also provide readers with a variety of things that will keep me and my blog fresh in their mind as they peruse their own social networks.

5.  Host and Participate in Challenges/Events with other Bloggers

The cookie decorating community is continuously growing, yet so many decorators have different styles and voices, it seems there is room for just about everyone.  A fun way to be introduced to new decorators is through challenges hosted by one blogger, inviting other decorators to participate.

  • I will participate in these challenges (ones similar to LilaLoa’s most recent one) and link up to my blog post detailing my contribution on the host’s page as requested.  This will introduce me to readers of other bloggers who are participating, and hopefully grow my community.
  • Similarly, once I have become an established blogger, I will host my own challenges, inviting other decorators to participate.  This will entice their readers to visit my blog for the challenge, and hopefully stick around after that!

By following these steps, along with others listed in our lecture, I hope to begin to build my community.  Even once I have become an established blogger in the cookie decorating community, continuing to participate in things such as challenges and link-ups, as well as being completely accessible to my readers, will only help my community grow further.

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Amelia Earhart: New Clues Suggest Final Resting Place

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Photo Credit:  Scholastic

Has Amelia Earhart’s whereabouts finally been figured out?  New evidence presented by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery suggests it has.

According to a new study, 57 radio transmissions originally dismissed, were actually distress calls from Earhart.

Discovery News reports that at the time of Earhart’s disappearance, approximately 120 distress calls were suspected to be from Earhart and led to a search in the South Pacific.  When that search failed, these signals and calls were largely deemed as erroneous and have been ignored ever since.

The study utilized advances in technology, using digitized information management systems, antenna modeling software, and radio wave propagation analysis programs, to take a more detailed look at those 120 calls and determined 57 were actually from Earhart.

Based on these calls, IGHAR believes Earhart, along with her navigator Fred Noonan, landed safely on Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, uninhabited since 1892.  Their hypothesis continues, stating that Earhart and Noonan continued to make calls from Earhart’s plane, a Lockheed Electra, until the plane was swept away by the tide.  Once the plane was swept away, no calls could be made, and when the U.S. Navy flew search planes over the area, not spotting the plane, they continued on without searching deeper.  IGHAR believes Earhart and Noonan died as castaways on the island, and their remains lie there.

On the 75th anniversary of Earhart’s disappearance, July 2, IGHAR plans to launch their ninth expedition to Nikumaroro.  With this new theory in hand, we will wait and see what they uncover.

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Cookie Crumbs

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Photo Credit:  The Book Butcher

Hey Everyone! Here’s this week’s edition of Cookie Crumbs, my weekly round-up of what’s happening in the cookie world!

  • Sugarbelle’s got some tips on mixing icing colors using the “one bowl method”
  • Marian posted a tutorial for her stunning KitchenAid Oven cookies over at Sweetopia
  • There’s a new cookie challenge over at LilaLoa…go check it out!
  • Just in time for the hot weather, The Decorated Cookie has gone back into the archives to post some fun summer treats!
  • Somebody got a new tool! Haniela’s talking airbrushes!
  • I can’t wait to make these sprinkle cookies from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen!
  • Copper Gifts has some awesome sale items this month, including a 4th of July cookie cutter set that may come in handy soon!
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Top 10 Tools Every Cookie Decorator Should Have

As every cookie decorator knows, the amount and variety of tools needed to perform cookie magic is enormous. While every cookie decorator is different and has their own preferences, here is my list of the top 10 tools every cookie decorator should have:

10.  Cookie Sheets

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Photo Credit:  Sam’s Club

A cookie decorator can never have too many cookie sheets.  I use mine for both baking and decorating, keeping my cookies organized and secure while in progress.  Once you find a brand you (and your oven!) like best, buy as many as possible.  My personal favorites can be found here:  Cookie Sheets 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Week 1 Assignment (600 only) Part 2

Which blogging platform would I recommend to the following:

1. A giant coffee retailer looking to connect with customers.

WordPress – Because this is a business blog, I would definitely recommend WordPress. WordPress is used by many large companies including Time and CNN so it can definitely be used by a large coffee retailer. It also allows the blogger to track traffic and get statistics that will help the company greatly. The coffee company can also easily connect their Facebook, Twitter, etc. accounts to the blog, providing a large connected social media presence for it’s customers.

2. A photographer interested in making their work go viral.

Tumblr – I think Tumblr is a great blogging platform for a photographer. It allows the blogger to quickly post the photos they want to share. It also has a built-in community so the photographer could receive instant feedback on the photo they posted, also allowing the photo to spread virally.

3. A Syracuse Crunch hockey blogger looking to write daily updates.

Blogger – I would choose Blogger for this one as it would be closer to a personal blog than a business blog. Additionally, with the backing of Google, using Blogger may allow for better Google search results anytime someone searches for the Syracuse Crunch.

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Week 1 Assignment (600 only) Part 1

WordPress vs. Blogger: Comparing two platforms

WordPress

WordPress could be used by just about anyone, but it does suit business/small business purposes well. It has a very sophisticated look, and would serve as a great representation for any business.

Pros: Free, easy to use, plenty of themes to personalize your blog, the ability to upgrade to self-hosting (wordpress.org), can easily add things such as a shopping cart, etc. if you are using the site to sell items, gives you great search engine recognition, and provides you with statistics and traffic information.

Cons: It is open-source so security can be an issue, and if you want something more than a theme can provide, customization may be a bit of a hassle or end up costing you money.

Example: http://tinyowlknits.wordpress.com – This is a knitting blog in which not only does the blogger blog about all of her projects, she also sells the patterns that she creates. WordPress works well for this as it’s a combination personal/business blog.

Blogger

Blogger seems to be used primarily for personal blogs.

Pros: Free and easy to use, backed by Google which leads to great search engine presence, can edit and change template and design without knowing HTML, can use custom domain for free, completely ad-free if you choose

Cons: Not a lot of storage and plug-ins are not available

Example: http://yarnhog-yarnhog.blogspot.com – This is another knitting blog, but it is used primarily for the blogger to blog about her projects, as well as numerous other things in her life, such as her family, her dogs, and other interests she has. Because there is no business aspect and it is a personal blog, Blogger works well for this.

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Week 1 Assignment

I have been tasked with starting a blog for three entities:

1. A small bakery named Bill’s, located in Syracuse, that features cupcakes.

Name: Cuse Cupcakes Domain: cusecupcakes.com

Pros: I love the alliteration of Cuse Cupcakes, and think it makes a cute, catchy name. It also references the location of the bakery through the Cuse nickname. There’s nothing worse than finding some yummy cupcakes online and then finding out they aren’t located anywhere near you!

Cons: The name of the bakery, Bill’s, is not included in either the domain or blog name. Also, some people may be confused and think all of the cupcakes are Syracuse themed, when that is not the case.

2. Fang Films, a movie studio that focuses on horror films, most of which are released direct to DVD.

Name: Fang Horror DVD Domain: fanghorrordvd.com

Pros: While the blog name does not exactly use the movie studio’s name, Fang Films, it does include part of the name (Fang). I also thought it was important to use both the words horror and DVD, to further describe what the blog will be discussing, as these are all horror films released directly to DVD.

Cons: As mentioned, the blog name does not directly reference the movie studio’s name, Fang Films.

3. Happy Pup Doggy Day Care, a new dog daycare business in Syracuse.

Name: Happy Pup Doggy Day Care Domain: happypupdaycare.com

Pros: The name and domain are the business name and tell the audience exactly what the blog is about.

Cons: This name does not specify where this daycare is located, and after doing some research, there are a few other doggy daycares around the country with the same name.

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Why Am I Taking IST 600 – Blogging for Information Professionals?

About me:

My name is Jamie Watts and I’m currently entering my second year in the SU MLIS program. I was born and raised in the Albany area, graduated from Syracuse in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and for the past 6 years have been working in the Human Resources department of a non-profit child welfare agency in New York City, where my main duty is conducting all background checks on the over 1000 employees the agency has, a job I sort of fell into after college.  Unhappy with the direction my career was headed, and after years of family and friends telling me libraries are where I needed to be, I finally took the leap and began the MLIS program at SU last summer. If I’m not working or studying you can usually find me doing one of five things:  shopping (I may have a slight addiction), knitting (I tend to carry my needles with me at all times), reading (I also carry a book everywhere), baking decorated sugar cookies (I seem to have unintentionally created a small side business of custom cookies), and running (ran my first marathon last fall and will be running the NYC marathon in November!).

Why IST 600?

Over the course of my first year in the MLIS program, one thing all of my professors have stressed is that librarianship of old no longer exists. Being a librarian in this day and age consists of a lot more than shelving books and answering reference questions for patrons, and a large part of that includes social media and creating an online presence. Many libraries today reach out to patrons via blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In fact, I get most of my updates regarding NYPL from their Facebook page, and not from their website or emails. And while I definitely enjoy posting my vacation pictures to Facebook, blogging and Twitter seem to be a bit beyond my current skill set!  Classes such as this one, and Social Media in Libraries, will hopefully teach me the basic skills I need to create that online presence (things like how and what to post, how to promote the blog and most importantly, how to find people who actually want to read what I write!), leaving me with plenty to share with prospective employers when the time comes.

Additionally, as mentioned above, I seem to have created a small side business of custom cookies such as these:

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Many of my cookie idols have blogs they use to showcase their designs and creations, as well as to sell their cookies, and should my “business” grow any larger, that is definitely something I would want to consider.

Blogging is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and this course will hopefully get me on the right track, both for my future career in libraries, as well as my possible future cookie business! And as a huge NunesMagician fan, I think I’m learning from the right person! I can’t wait to get started!

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