Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

IZEAFest is Coming to Orlando in September

Got a blog? Want to know how to market it and maybe make some money off of it in the process? Then you’ll want to be a part of the upcoming IZEAFest in downtown Orlando.

What is IZEAFest, you say? Well, if you attended this spring’s BarCamp Orlando, you’re probably already familiar with local social media marketing firm IZEA, which sponsored an amazing after-event party.

Now they’re taking it a step further by bringing in a slew of influential bloggers and internet advertisers to Orlando for a three-day event designed to allow everyone from newbies to experts in the blogging world access to information and panels on such subjects as improving your content, growing traffic to your blog, and, of course, how to make it more profitable.

Among the panel guests will be such people as money-making gurus like John Chow and keynote speaker Jeremy Schoemaker, both of whom make five-figure incomes monthly off their blogs. Joining them will be other movers-and-shakers in the blogging world like Merlin Mann (another keynote speaker), Orlando Sentinel‘s Etan Horowitz and internet marketing consultant Tamar Weinberg, who writes for sites like Lifehacker and Mashable. Even Metblogs head honcho Sean Bonner will also be on hand as a panelist, if you’ve had any questions you wanted to ask him about this site.

The event starts on Thursday, September 11, with an evening social event, then gets down to business on Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13, with panels from 9am until 6pm each day.

Of course, it’s not an IZEA event without the closing party, which this year is a scavenger hunt that promises to be “messy” and fun. Um…messy?? Anyways, the hunt is timed and the winning team gets $500 in Home Depot cards. Even if you don’t participate, I’m sure the blackmail pictures will be worth attending this shindig. (Sean…pay no attention to that last sentence…)

Similar events like this are normally priced at several hundred dollars a ticket, but IZEA wants this to be accessible to everyone who has a blog, so they’re pricing their tickets at only $65. Seriously, as someone who attends quite a few blogger conferences, I can tell you that’s really a steal for the amount of information you’ll be able to take away from this event. Not to mention all the opportunities to network with the people attending.

All the details you could want to know about the event can be found at Already know you want to go? Skip ahead to the ordering panel and get your tickets before it sells out.

And if you are going, I’ll see you there!

$1.50 Slices at Cheesecake Factory Today Only

Cheesecake Factory cheesecake sliceI know this posting comes a bit late in the day, but if you can make it out to a Cheesecake Factory before close of business today, you can get a slice of cheesecake for only $1.50.

The restaurant is celebrating its 30th anniversary today, which also happens to be “National Cheesecake Day” (who knew??) by rolling back the prices to what they were in 1978 when the first restaurant opened. There is a limit of one per customer and you have to dine-in, but who can turn down a yummy slice of cheesecake for under $2?

Orlando-area locations can be found at the Mall at Millenia and at Winter Park Village. For other central Florida locations or a list of cheesecake flavors available (including the new chocolate cake cheesecake unveiled for the anniversary celebration), visit

I think I’m headed out to grab a slice of the Tiramisu cheesecake. ;)

Starbucks to Close 13 Locations in Central Florida

Hold on to your stir sticks, folks…the first round of Starbucks closures has been announced for Orlando and Central Florida.

Starbucks logoThe Orlando Sentinel reports that thirteen area stores are soon to be shuttered as part of the coffee chain’s previously announced plan to close 600 stores across the country. Exact locations have also been confirmed by Starbucks on their own website, and they include stores inside Fashion Square Mall, Altamonte Mall, Sanford’s Seminole Towne Center, Oviedo Marketplace, West Oaks Mall and Winter Park Village. Several more stores may face the chopping block before the end of the year.

I personally am not a fan of Starbucks, but what does that say about our economy when people are no longer willing to shell out $4 for coffee drinks on a daily basis?

Of course, you can still patronize local coffee shops around town and keep the cash flowing in our own financial ecosystem.

So, questions of the day…does it matter to you that Starbucks is closing stores? And while we’re talking coffee, where do you like to get your daily fix of caffeine around Orlando?

Boosting OPD’s Uniformed Officers

On first blush, I’m a big fan of new Police Chief Val Demings’ plan to move undercover officers to a uniformed detail in order to beef up visible officer presence. It seems like a highly wise move that will hopefully have a fast impact on arrests and crime in the city.

I’d be lying if I said this stat wasn’t a little troubling, though:

Last year, eight officers in the uniformed drug squad were responsible for 716 arrests, compared with 83 made by the plainclothes unit, according to department statistics.

One would think, hey, if the undercover officers are doing well, don’t mess with success. However, I’m putting some faith in the new regime, and at the very least, this seems a step toward shaking things up in an effort to shake loose some reduction in area crime.

I4 Pileup in Polk County

I’ve got nothing more to say on this horrific tragic accident but that let’s all be careful out there when driving. It takes very little for a standard routine morning commute to turn into a total nightmare.

Happy New Year, Orlando!

The OPD has just made an arrest in the first homicide of 2008.

EDIT (1/9/08): Reader Steve kindly points out in the comments that I was absolutely wrong with this original post, in which I indicated that the OPD had made their first homicide arrest of the year:

Actually they’ve made arrests on the other homicides so far this year (yes that’s already plural), but they just now have an arrest on the FIRST homicide of the year (which happened just a few hours into 2008).

I’ve rewritten the above to reflect this critical error in my original post. Remember, I never said I was GOOD at this whole “blogging” thing…just that I was going to start DOING it. Thanks to Steve for the assist, and apologies for the error.

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