Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is Print Dying

No!!!!!
Well I would hope not.
Many argue that print is dying, albeit slowly.

Print has been around for centuries, but finally the digital media is really starting to encroach upon print’s markets, with e-book and e-readers, online magazines, digital mailing lists and banner ads. In the digital age when new technologies are constantly being born, is print really being phased out?

Certain markets are still doing well in print. Most Americans read printed magazines and have a subscription to at least one. Even Google still sets aside a portion of their marketing budget for print pieces. Does Direct Mail Work? Ask Google

Personally, I feel a certain nostalgia for the tactile experience of reading a book or magazine, turning the pages and smelling that dusty papery aroma. The romantic in me loves the charm of a hand written note or a clever business card. I am more likely to remember someone who hands you a sturdy, textured mini-card that I can keep in my wallet, than a white e-mail I got on my smart phone. When I get my copy of Print or How (the graphic design magazines I have a subscription to), I get to unwrap it from its cellophane prison like a present and slowly turn through the pages to gobble up the colors and texture of the glossy paper (or matte paper, depending on the issue). I’m not in the minority. The Steve Laube Agency and Stephanie talk about the consumption of physical reading materials today.

The type of paper used can send a message or tell a story all its own, independent of what is printed on it. Computers can’t do that - it’s all the same media. A thicker cotton paper can convey class and quality, clean white can tell of professionalism and efficiency, while layers or cutouts can lend intrigue to a printed piece. Those qualities work with everything from stationery to direct mailings but digital mediums miss out on that third dimension.

People trust print more now than online materials. There is a paper trail that had to go through more than one person’s hands. There may be a digital trail, but it takes some time and expertise to find out if an online source is as reliable. 

It is also easier to receive loads of junk e-mails or spam through the internet. Junk mail takes up a little space in your mail box and then trash can. On the other hand, opening a spam e-mail could trash your whole computer or steal your identity.

Used wisely, print can not only aid and enhance digital media, but thrive on its own. Physical mailings or business cards left lying around can be stumbled upon more readily than and e-mail burred in an inbox. Smart paper choices, ad placement in relevant magazines and eye catching design can be a powerful ally when paired with the tangible memory of holding something in your hand. It can be incredible effective paired with the digital media as well as Mindy Trammell says on the I am Jam blog.

So is print dying? I couldn’t say for sure if it will. I hope it won’t, and for now at least it is still here and relevant.

Moneyball

I saw this movie when it first came out. The next day the Boston Red Sox had their meltdown. What a coincidence.

As a kid, my dad used to pack all of us up to go see the Red Sox when we lived in Massachusetts. I’ve been to the old Yankee stadium for the World Series, Camden Yards and more as well. Can you tell I am passionate about baseball? I love baseball.

My take away from the film and the Red Sox loss was that your thinking can truly shape your behavior. If you think you are going to win, you will win. If you think you can’t, you won’t. It also demonstrated the power of “team” thinking.

Sports is such a visually controlled effort. All things being equal, the “drive” makes it to the finish line. I think that’s what we saw in the LSU, Saints and other playoff games recently. I was blessed to be one of the few women who actually worked within the NFL, specifically the Saints. What an education that was.

I also agree that if you don’t line things up objectively with your talent/athletes, a loss is on its way – soon. It is much better to see things as they are, not for what you want them to be.
-Julie Calzone

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Academic Side of Gaming


Dr. Christopher Erhardt, head of the United States campuses of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, sits in a hallway at the LITE Center.

By Kris Wartelle - See the original article here.


When the Academy of Interactive Entertainment opens its doors in February, students enrolled there will be learning the latest in game design, 2D and 3D animation, programming, and visual effects. The nonprofit, private digital media college will be housed in the LITE Center and will hold classes in three different areas: Game Programming, Game Art and Design, and 3D Animation and FX for Film.

"We will offer certificates and advanced diplomas in these areas as well as training that our students can use in the petroleum industry, medical imaging and other fields," said professor Christopher Erhardt, head of AIE's U.S. campuses. "Our class size will be limited, 15 to 20 students per class. We call this work force education. Last year, we had 100 percent placement of our students from our Australian schools."

Erhardt says the idea is to grow or create a talent base needed in the game development and animation industries. He says already the school has partnered with EA games in Baton Rouge, Game Loft in New Orleans and the Louisiana Digital Gaming Initiative. The school has also partnered with LEDA's Opportunity Machine in order to give students who would like to publish games or products they have developed the chance to make those products successful.

"This is an opportunity for us to mentor the game development industry and even create small studios right here in Acadiana," Erhardt said.

Bob Miller is the Executive Director of LEDA's Opportunity Machine. He says when AIE was brought to LEDA's attention, it fit right in with the goals of the OM.

"We are technology accelerators here," said Miller. "One of our main goals is to help expand and develop the technology ecosystem here in Lafayette. AIE definitely plays a part in that."

Miller says AIE's LITE Center campus is not a permanent spot for the school. After it is established, it will set up campus in a more traditional location. But, he says the new classes will certainly provide the building blocks for students who want to go into the game development or animation fields and for Lafayette's goal of becoming a technology hub.

"You have to take steps to get yourself there," said Miller. "We don't know what demand is going to be, but in order to be competitive, we need some resources."

While many have long touted Lafayette's potential as a hub for technology and related industry, so far it hasn't materialized to the point some would like. Erhardt admits the software, computer and game development industry is extremely small here, but he hopes to change all that in the future.

"Our goal is to grow substantially over the next two years," said Erhardt. "We hope to demonstrate the economic benefit of game development here in Lafayette. If you compare it to San Francisco and other well-known game areas, the cost of doing business is much higher. We want to show developers that they can come by the same higher quality at a lower cost."

Students interested in the school can still apply, and there are still spaces available for the February opening. Tuition for the school isn't cheap, however, at $7,500 a semester. Still, Erhardt says, there are options for students including scholarships, financing and other avenues.

For more information visit www.theaie.us or call (225) 288-5221.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Lafayette Hosts Global Game Jam

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
337.235.2924 ext 18
AIE Contact:
Madeleine Erhardt
337.476.1565
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Lafayette Hosts Global Game Jam
Local Hobbyists and Developers Create Games in Forty-eight Hours

(Lafayette, La.) – The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) will host the fourth annual Global Game Jam Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29 at the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) Center in Lafayette, La.

The Global Game Jam (GGJ), an International Game Developers Association (IGDA) event, allows interested developers across the globe to form groups and create complete, playable games over the course of one weekend. GGJ brings together students, hobbyists and professionals to create a game that fits the year’s theme. The theme in 2011 was “Extinction.”

Global Game Jam Lafayette location:
AIE Lafayette Campus, LITE Center
527 Cajundome Boulevard
Lafayette, LA 70506
Global Game Jam event time:
5 p.m., Friday, January 27 –
5 p.m., Sunday, January 29

Jeff Pellegrin, Executive Director of the Louisiana Digital Gaming Initiative (LDGI) will be present to assist with the program. “Global Game Jam is a fantastic opportunity for young and veteran digital developers to meet, socialize and be creative,” says Pellegrin. “These teams who will work, program and develop can possibly develop the next Angry Birds or become the next game studio in Louisiana. It’s great for AIE and Lafayette’s regional partners to host this Louisiana Global Game Jam site. AIE can help and assist these attendees to learn new skills and tricks of the trade to master their crafts. LDGI is happy to assist in AIE’s continued development of the Lafayette campus and programs like this event to create a stronger digital media community in Louisiana.”

To sign up for the event, interested designers, developers and programmers must complete two steps:
  1. Register online at GlobalGameJam.org.
  1. Register at the local Game Jam site by contacting Madeleine Erhardt at MadeleineE@aie.edu.au.
AIE’s Jam site at the LITE Center can accommodate 20 attendees at a time, so while the site will be open all forty-eight hours, participants are required to pre-register and sign up for specific time slots or the full duration.

About AIE

Founded in 1996, AIE is a two-year non-profit training college that offers courses in game art, design, and programming as well as film and 3D design and visual effects. While many graduates are advancing into the gaming industry workforce, many are seeking careers in other fields, such as medical simulations, educational tools, and petroleum industry solutions.

For more information about the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, visit the website at www.theAIE.us. For information about the Lafayette campus, call 337.476.1565.

###

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

True admirers love you whether you win or lose.

Yes. Geaux Tigers! I, for one, am never going to criticize Coach Miles for hanging onto his quarterback until the bitter end - even when the outcome was not a win.

How many times have all of us hung on to an employee, vendor, client, customer, friend or whatever relationship when it was not going in a good direction?

Defeat is not failure. It is a lesson learned. Period!

It was so apparent from the beginning that the winning thinking wasn't there. A belief is only a thought. When we think about what we want, we get more of what we want. When we think of what we don't want, we get more of what we don't want.

Simple. Easy. Hard lesson. For sure.

Our ULL Ragin Cajuns won their first bowl game because they were taught to win. Yes, they were fast and aggressive, but it was their winning attitude that gave them the championship.

It is so hard sometimes to maintain positivity when your worst fears are becoming a reality. But I have learned that it doesn't matter how you react in that moment that matters, it is how you behave after that moment that matters.

We all matter. We are all enough.

The LSU Tigers matter as a team and as individuals. They were enough this season. They are enough.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Safety Experts.

Safe Travels

Trailer safety an important consideration in hauling horses

by Natalie Voss/Business Lexington

Lexington, KY - As breeding and foaling season resumes in central Kentucky, the roadways will soon be dotted with equine motorcoaches and private trailers.

Safety features are a prime consideration for horse owners and commercial haulers alike to ensure breeding, racing and show horses reach their destinations across the state.

Equine Motorcoach LLC expanded safety features to a luxury level when producing their 2012 model, which recently d├ębuted at the Recreation Industry Vehicle Association trade show in Louisville.

One of the more high-tech features of the Equine Motorcoach is a GPS tracking system for the vehicle, allowing location pinpointing for owners who may not be traveling with their horses, as well as a collision-alert system. It also includes a navigation system that allows drivers to avoid low bridges and difficult routes and to locate equine vets and layover accommodations for long trips.

"Whether (or not) you're in our all-in-one equine motorcoach, those are things you can integrate into vehicles," said Julie Calzone, spokesperson for Equine Motorcoach LLC.

The trailer component of the coach has a forced air system and finely tuned ventilation to prevent respiratory illness that is common during long trailer rides. It also has a surveillance camera system, which includes a red-light system for use at night, to allow the driver to watch for signs of illness or other problems with his charges.

The trailer section is also set up for horses to face the rear of the vehicle, the opposite of the typical set-up in slant-load vehicles, where horses are standing diagonally across the width of the trailer. Calzone said studies have shown that transport stress is reduced for horses facing a static landscape.

Transporting horses poses many other unique challenges, she said.

"The difference between transporting horses and regular cargo is that horses are actually moving cargo. They can move, and you want to be sure that your vehicle's stable enough … If you have a 1,300- to 1,400-pound horse that decides to move in the back of the trailer, you want to be sure that you and the rig are not being moved by the horse," said Calzone.

One of the key components to ensuring that stability is having a professional install the hitch and maintaining it to prevent rusting, she said.

Pricing at $499,000, the Equine Motorcoach is the high end of horse-transport vehicles available for private purchase.

"This is how people want to haul their horses," said Calzone.

But Trent Buchanan, co-owner of Wise Choice Tack and Trailer in Lexington, is quick to point out that more basic safety considerations are just as important for customers with a significantly smaller budget.

"Trailering's not really a complex thing, as long as you follow a few certain steps," said Buchanan. "Most of the time, people have problems because they get in a hurry or they didn't check something."

Buchanan stresses the importance of matching the right trailer to the vehicle used to haul it and getting state inspections done as mandated, not just to meet legal requirements but also to ensure brakes, wheels, tire pressure, axles and more are in appropriate condition. He also said that when considering a used trailer, checking the floor is an important consideration.

Trailer safety can also be a training issue for the horse.

"If you have a hard loader, I recommend getting with your trainer and going through the steps to introduce your horses to the trailer, to prevent forming problems as you go," said Buchanan.

Both Calzone and Buchanan agree that having a plan for what to do in an emergency, as well as having a series of checks of locks and bolts before departing, are great safety measures.

"It's just like anything else in life: have a plan," reiterated Calzone.
“A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”

Abraham J. Heschel

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Change.

Change is the only absolute in the world! Tomorrow will bring new beginnings and unexpected endings. You can hold on to the past and get left in the dust or you can jump on the ride of life and live a new adventure with perseverance and an open mind.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From the CEO of a leading healthcare company whose moral compass points true north.

This morning’s message reminds us all that a keen attention to detail is essential to the achievement of sustainable excellence. This is especially true for healthcare providers today. It goes without saying that we must always deliver the highest quality care packaged with exceptional customer service in every community we serve, but that alone is not enough to guarantee success in today’s challenging healthcare environment. As a result of shrinking margins and increased regulatory scrutiny, we are seeing more and more small regional and stand alone providers struggle to keep their heads above water. Without question, we are at the precipice of a significant period of consolidation in our industry. Organizations who have a strong work ethic, a healthy balance sheet, and the best people, systems, and processes will benefit most in the years ahead.

Thank you for your discipline, focus, and attention to detail. Keep up the great work team! Excellence is never an accident!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Speaking Horse.

Julie Calzone combines her equestrian hobbies with years of experience in the advertising industry. By Erin Z. Bass - ABiz - Executive Spotlight

Since the 1980s, Julie Calzone has been running her advertising, marketing and public relations firm Calzone & Associates, located in a historic house in downtown Lafayette. She originally started her career as a rock ’n’ roll promoter, but Calzone’s real passion is horses. She’s been riding and competing since she was a child. Calzone’s passion and business have crossed paths over the years, and her firm has several equine-related clients. It was a visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England, however, that inspired her to enter the horse transport business in 2006. Calzone was impressed by the motorized vehicles used to transport the animals in Europe and decided to team up with Indiana RV dealers Tom and Carolyn Stinnett to bring the concept to the U.S. After five years of hard work and a few models, their 2012 Equine Motorcoach debuted at the National RV Trade Show at the end of November. Calzone says the product, which is the first to combine a recreational vehicle and a horse trailer in one unit, is only the first in a long line of products to service the horse industry.

Since you just returned from the National RV Trade Show, tell us how you came to be there showing off your new Equine Motorcoach.
As you progress in your career, you get a little more definition of who you are and what you want to do. Time has brought me experience in a couple of industries that happen to be equestrian and the RV industry. Through that sport and through the horses is how I sort of created a social life and a life outside of what I do for a living. Case in point: I’m working as an ad agency and the national media person for Camping World and had a meeting in D.C. I meet Tom Stinnett, who is one of the largest independent RV dealers in the U.S. He co-chairs the “Go RVing” campaign. A few months later, I go on assignment to his dealership, and the first thing that Tom says is, ‘So, how are your horses?’ A few months later, his wife, Carolyn, and I end up on the grounds of Windsor Castle at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. We’re walking around and I see these all-in-one motorized vehicles that they transport horses in. All I could think of is how am I going to get one of these to the U.S.

How long ago was that and when did the very first model debut?
We started the company in 2006, and we started building our first demo in 2007. We debuted the product in 2007 at the National Horse Show, but we used a European version. We sold a few of them, and it was posted about $750,000-$800,000, so the market’s pretty limited at that price point. The economy got a little rough for everybody, so we kind of retrenched and went back to the drawing board, realizing the price point really is just under half a million for one of these.

Todd Zimmerman designed your interior. What does horse style look like?
They’re standard materials that the manufacturer had, but Todd and his staff are so great at small spaces, and they picked the fabrics, the leathers, the flooring and they did the cabinets with a high-gloss varnish. I can’t tell you how many manufacturers came in and said, ‘How’d you get the cabinets like that?’ They’re actually creating some fantasy packages for the interior design. The only other company that does anything really creative is Airstream.

Have you spent the night in it yet?
I stayed in it during the day. When I’m there, I’m showing it, so we have to keep it pretty clean, but it would be like nothing to stay in it. It would be as simple as staying in my house.

What was the response to the vehicle at the show?
I don’t think any of us were prepared for the response that we got from the industry itself. From the time we opened the exhibit, even pre-show, it was nonstop. All the major manufacturers came to see our vehicle and could not believe we had achieved the quality at the price point that we had. We have a lot of high-tech stuff in it. We worked with RV-ID, so we have a GPS tracking device in it. We worked with Rand McNally, and we have their RV special navigation unit in it. We have the solar panels, so we have a lot of high-tech stuff that’s in the coach, and we already have two or three other products down the line. We’ve pre-qualified a few dealers that we’re pretty sure we’re going to give them territorial geography. This vehicle just addresses the whole of what the horse industry’s looking for. Our next product out is going to be a smaller truck, where we’re going to do a two-horse and a smaller living accommodation, a smaller truck for people. So, we’re starting to build out a lot of our horse products, and it was our intention to build a line.

Where are your own horses located?
Right now, four of them are in Carencro at Woodland Hills Equestrian Center, and then I have another young horse that just went to Le Bocage Stables in Lake Charles. They have a Grand Prix rider who has ridden World Cup horses who rode one of my young horses that I bred and raised. He really believes she’s a World Cup horse, so hopefully one day I’ll be sponsoring some Olympic trial that I’ll be giving the championship award to my own horse.

What’s her name?
Her name is Betty P. I named her after a friend of mine, Betty P. Ramsay, who died the year before she was born. All the Dutch babies the year my horse was born all had to begin with the letter B.

What other horse-related businesses have you worked with?
I have my own Calzone Sport Horse. Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is one of my clients. That is the most successful breeding program probably in the world, and it’s why Kentucky is suffering and we’re not. I have another business that is just going into market and has been in development for two and a half years. It’s called Equine Alert. We’re doing video monitoring, security monitoring, fire monitoring and safety training systems. I’ve partnered with Acadian Monitoring Safety Management Systems. Like I said, I’m an entrepreneur.

Do you ever sleep?
Oh God, yeah. I sleep well. When an airplane takes off, most often I’m asleep.

How often do you ride?
Every day that I’m home, I try to ride. And my youngest horse, he was born in a C year, his name’s Calzone. I named a horse after myself. I’m not sure who’s who on that one.