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Anyone who works from home knows that there are a few things that can make it hard. You have to be self-motivated, but you also need to be able to separate your personal and work life. That separation can be hard to achieve, especially if you don't have a room that is exclusively your office (plus, if you don't have that your office space isn't tax deductible!).

Working on the new website for Edgewood Townhomes & Villas brought back a lot of memories from when I used to work out of an at-home office. Back in the 90's we even added on to our house in Florida so I would have a dedicated work space.

Another issue at-home workers have is having high speed internet access, which I fortunately had access to even then, but many people in rural Southern Virginia still don't have high speed access.

As we worked on Edgewood's site, I couldn't help but think that I would definitely consider buying in that community if I were in the market for a new home in Southern Virginia. The floorplans are great, and there are options for buildouts of loft space and upstairs rooms that made me drool.

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We've recently had an increase in questions and concerns from our clients about SEO. For those of you who aren't familiar, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. SEO, in simple terms, is the process of influencing search engines to find your website. Why would you want this? To drive interest and potentially sales.

For example, if you own an Ice Cream shop in Alaska ( & I can only assume this is a very competitive business in Alaska) you want to be at or near the top when someone Googles Ice Cream Shop in Alaska... Correct? Of course you do!

Achieving high rankings in search engine results is as desirable a goal as say, having your company featured on the cover of a popular magazine (20 years ago). In fact, there's an entire market for companies to offer services which focus on nothing but increasing your rankings through SEO.

Depending on the services offered, this method can be perfectly valid for your business. But know this: Google (and other search engines) can (and DO) change their algorithms FREQUENTLY. They do this to prevent search engine manipulation. They do this for YOU, the end-user, to give you the best, most relevant and valid content on the internet.

At the end of the day, there is one sure-fire way of increasing traffic to your website and subsequently improving search engine placement, site traffic, and sales – Give the search engine what it wants: Good, Relevant Content.

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Tobacco Heritage Trail rock formationWorking on the rebranding and new website for Halifax County Tourism (currently under development) has reminded me of what a nice place this is to visit or live in. I know I'm biased, but the truth is that we have a wider variety of things to do and places to eat than most places with a much higher population.

Currently the Tourism website is really mostly a directory of businesses. The organization has never had the manpower or budget to develop content, so the site didn't do the area justice. In addressing that issue through this redevelopment, I'm continually discovering things about my home county that I had either forgotten or never knew about.

Just goes to show that "Discover Halifax" is the perfect name for the Tourism Deparment's marketing initiatives, because there's always something new to discover! Keep an eye out for upcoming social media campaigns that center around discovering Halifax; I'm hoping you'll open my eyes to even more unique things about the area.

Look for the new site and brand to be unveiled in a couple of weeks, along with two new features being added to the Visitors Center.

Here are just a few photos of things to do around the county. How many have you done? Did you know you can even take cheese making classes?




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brochure created for Mid-Atlantic Broadband, Southern VA Regional Alliance, and Virginia's Growth AllianceA couple of months back several clients asked for a joint brochure and digital presentation to be created, one that they could take to the Farnborough International Airshow, the world's largest aerospace event. The event is held every other year at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, England. Our clients Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative Communities, Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, and Virginia's Growth Alliance were attending the show as a team, displaying in the Virginia Economic Development Partnership booth.

The clients wanted a 4-panel brochure that didn't open accordian-like, and requested a die-cut design. Printer Dogwood Graphics in South Hill, VA, advised that die-cut would add a substantial amount to the cost, so we worked with them to devise a concept for the illusion of a die-cut. Dogwood chose a hefty cardstock for printing, and the brochure turned out great!

At right are photos of notes & sketches from our initial meeting with the clients, a proof printed on plain ink jet paper to test the concept, and a proof printed by Dogwood Graphics (we'll post pix of the entire brochure later). Below are photos from the Farnborough Airshow. Click any photo to enlarge.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_sweet-melons-vcf.jpgWell, we at Glerin showed our crazy side at this year's Virginia Cantaloupe Festival by wearing t's sporting a design that started out as a joke in the office last year.

My cousin was down from Des Moines to attend for the first time in over 20 years, and my aunt (her Mom) was a good sport in tolerating our boisterousness. She's almost 80 and I guess has given up on any thought that we'll be demure :)

The t's were so popular and requested by so many at the festival that we'll probably end up selling a batch. This is one of those things that will fall into "when we have time to think about it," which is totally unpredictable. Will let you know when we do!


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