Jerry Gitchel

Jerry Gitchel

Have you ever discovered something important on Facebook, forgot to make a note of it, then suffered the frustration of losing it to the feed?  If you have, you'll love Evernote. It's a cloud-based platform for capturing, storing and retrieving important information. It's a place to keep your stuff. 

Social media is great when used for discovery. However, it's a terrible place to try to store and make sense of what's happening. Evernote helps make sense of what's happening in your world, It's a virtual notebook. Although it's a simple concept of notes and notebooks, it's a challenge to implement. It would be great if you could see it in action, learn by example, watch an expert use Evernote to create value. You can. 

The folks at Evernote have once again captured all the notes from the annual SXSW Conference. The week-long event is too big, too broad, with too many moving parts to allow you to both experience and capture at the same time. Not to worry, Evernote has captured all the sessions for you.

If you use Evernote, visit the resource link below to access and download professional notes from the conference. If you want to check out this thing called Evernote, or have been thinking about acquiring the platform, this is a great way to see what it can do in the hands of experts.

This notebook is an amazing resource.There are separate notes for each presentation. Each note includes photos, charts,  a session summary, and links to related resources.  


Access the Evernote SXSW Notebook - Insights on the future of work.

Why not just kick the Apps we don't use to the curb? We promise ourselves, "Just one more." Soon we have so many it is impossible to let go. It's not easy to figure out which Apps are used the most or the least. In an article from USAToday, This is how to decide which Apps to delete from your phoneauthor Rob Pegoraro suggests three ways and two Apps you can use to figure out how to lighten up your App load. I know, yes there really is an App to help you choose which Apps to delete.

Moment for iPhone and QualityTime for Android track your usage or battery drain to give you a picture of how, when and why you use your phone. Read Rob's report to see if you're ready to invest the effort.  

 Focus - The Power of Personal Productivity

If you are starting to experience App bloat, take immediate action. Scroll to the last screen on your phone. This is where new Apps live. Delete any App you haven't used this year. Free or paid, you can always reinstall if you develop symptoms of withdrawal. Next, scroll to the first screen. Identify any App you haven't used since New Years. Drag it to the last screen. Repeat as necessary. Now you have room on screen one for the App you use daily but can't find because it's hiding somewhere in the middle.   

 Combine Rob's tips with my App shuffle and your phone will soon be slim and trim by Summer!


The truth lies somewhere in between. It's like the weather. Everyone complains about it, but no one does anything about it. At least with email, the IT community is constantly searching for a solution. In a recent post from CMSWire, Email Isn't the Enemy, The Fight For Our Limited Attention Is author David Lavenda offers 7 tactics to deal with the challenge.

Let me round out David's list with 3 of my own.

Admit you have a problem

Not by complaining, but by acknowledging the challenge and committing to taking action toward a solution. My work requires me to gather information and intelligence on people, trends and tactics, both what's happening as well as what's next. Reading industry newsletters is important, but not urgent. My manual process includes opening each, then choosing to delete or delay reading by moving to a Newsletter folder. 

Unsubscribe With Prejudice 

I do not suffer time-wasting authors. I extend the 3 editions rule to anyone I invite to my inbox. If your newsletter is not a must open, you will be shown the door. Unsubscribe is not a trick to capture your email address. They already have it. Unsubscribe with abandon.

Make Reading a Ritual

Never open an email without having an exit strategy. Commit to taking action. Any action is better than closing the message and leaving it in your inbox. 

Let's start here. If you're reading this post as an email, consider this, does it create value for you? If not, please unsubscribe right now. I don't want to be that unwelcome guest you choose to hide from when I arrive at your door.

If this daily edition creates value for you, consider forwarding to an associate, as a gift. Don't forget to mention the subscribe now link below. See you tomorrow!

Subscribe now.

The Food Truck War came to Jacksonville last summer. It was an event similar to a battle of the bands. Competition between trucks gathered together at the landing and extending to Hogan street. Less than a month after downtown advocates Mike Field and Jack Shad launched The Court Urban Food Park on Hogan St Jacksonville, the bold city now has an actual food truck war. Not much more than grumbling, for now.

The central question comes down to competition. How do you define fair? The answer depends on which stakeholder you ask. Established restaurant owners let their concerns be known in a recent Jacksonville Business Journal article, Hogan food truck court final straw for restaurant owners struggling to Downtown. Downtown office workers cast their vote in person, by packing Hogan Street for lunch on weekdays.  

Innovation Meets Legislation

The court, or "Pod" as the food truck community refers to a scheduled location for a caravan, is a new addition to downtown Jacksonville other that during special events. This conflict is not specific to Jacksonville. Throughout the country, calls for more or tougher rules for food trucks has often been the first response. The tactic doesn't work. Other cities have discovered that walls built of rules rarely drive food trucks away.

For a quarter century, I've worked with successful established businesses here in Jacksonville who wanted to leverage the power of technology. Our work started not with software or systems, but with a change of mindset. Unless and until all the stakeholders gather together, downtown Jacksonville will have to wait for innovation. Perhaps if we invited everyone to lunch?



I had lunch yesterday with SOB. Not a person, but with a Food Truck. Son of a Butcher. And I wasn't alone. I chatted with a number of first-time patrons who remarked reading the Jacksonville Business Journal article, Hogan food truck court final straw for restaurant owners struggling to Downtown gave them the idea. To focus on the clash of two business models would be a disservice to both. It would obscure the most important lesson Jacksonville desperately needs to learn right now. Digital disrupts. Not just owners, or companies, but whole industries.

It's easy to focus on the human cost. Lost jobs, the end of an era, fading memories of good times past. The true cost is borne by our local economy. For every breathless announcement of coming attractions, there is a business obituary of another downtown business giving up the ghost. 

It doesn't need to happen. Jacksonville has everything it needs to turn this situation around. All we need is a different approach, it started when we adopt a digital mindset.

First Steps

Key findings from the annual CEO Summit Report published by KPMG International articulate the challenge. Between now and the year 2020, all industries will experience disruption. Business leaders must choose, disrupt their organization or be disrupted by close competitors. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Secret Shopper - I started my career with McDonald's. The best lesson I learned was served up while attending Hamberger High in Los Angeles. We piled into cars and ate at 20 fast food outlets. Texas Tommy's had a line around the block at 2 am. I visited the Hogan Food Truck Court. I found the longest line, chatted with the customers and the operators. There's a reason why food trucks draw a crowd.

Research - Consider going online and identifying what's working. Can't use a computer? Learn how, find someone who can, or close up shop. 

Customer Experience - Food Trucks are all about the experience. I saw groups of co-workers sitting at a picnic table. They were laughing, having a good time.

Start a Movement - I'm encouraged to hear the news of a downtown restaurant association. Food trucks compete but start with collaboration. Customers love the variety and festival atmosphere.

Jacksonville has plenty of successful, established traditional businesses. If you lead one, disrupt it before someone else does. Please. 

Two quotes really stood out for me in the recent Jacksonville Business Journal article, Hogan food truck court final straw for restaurant owners struggling to Downtown.  The first was from Larry Hazouri, downtown restaurant owner, "I don't blame the customers," Hazouri said. "More choices are great, but it is not great for Downtown Business that are gasping for air."

Larry's right, you can't blame customers for changing they way they choose to spend their lunchtime. You can't blame the Food Truck owners, they have simply responded to the mobile technology revolution with mobile food. You can't blame City Hall. Here in Jacksonville, we've spent decades chanting, "Fixin To" whenever someone new comes along with an exciting idea for downtown. I keep hearing the song Hold You Back, by Status Quo playing in my head.

 Last year I covered the Food Truck Wars here in Jacksonville. The trucks and the crowds consumed the space around The Landing. We could assign blame to digital disruption for the success of the event, but is that helpful? From the beginning of the mobile food movement, truck owners realized they could leverage the power of Social Media to build the buzz for events, announce specials, and use technology to build a community of loyal customers. 

The Digital Disruption Advantage

The second quote that caught my eye came from restaurant owner, Tom Thornton, "We just want to be on even playing field". It all comes down to the definition of even playing field. Is it about doing things the way Jacksonville as always done, or is it about all businesses having an even chance at the opportunity to create success? Do we define the disruption delivered by digital technology as a challenge or an opportunity?

A video from last October from downtown worker Deborah Hansen shows an empty Hogan street, "I'm so perplexed by what I see and experience here in downtown Jacksonville."The Food Truck Court is bringing workers back to Hogan Street.

Digital Disruption is impacting all industries. The challenge for established traditional businesses will be one of mindset. Those who choose to build walls instead of bridges will vanish.


Editors Note: I'm looking forward to continuing coverage by Derek Gilliam of the Business Journal to read his interview with the Food Truck owners.

Monday, 20 March 2017 06:31

10 Tips For Growing Your Membership

Everybody talks about increasing the membership of their organization. For those tasked with growing and sustaining membership, less talk and more action is the path to keeping an organization in good health. I've experienced the immediate hard-sell: "You should join" or "You really need to be a member" approach, often as a guest during my first visit. I've found it is often the end of the membership campaign. Rarely do I receive a message afterward thanking me for my attendance, or an invitation to return.    

Perhaps they don't want me to return However, I find I'm warmly received upon my return the following month. It would be easy to blame digital disruption for the decline in membership. May I suggest an alternative? Consider applying a bit of digital leverage instead.

Grow Your Membership

Why do people join? To belong, to contribute, to be part of a tribe. Here are some ideas you can use today to grow your membership. 

Add HSP to Your Event Announcement

HSP? Happy Smiling People. Important questions guests ask before choosing to attend your event include; Will it be fun? Will I receive value? Will I feel welcome? Posting photos answers these questions. 

Share the Anticipation

Invite your members to share the event announcement with their associates via social media. This is the perfect opportunity for members to reach out and invite a guest.

Acknowledge Guests as They Arrive

A personal welcome and acknowledgment is appropriate. Making them stand so the members can gawk at them is not. If guest registration differs from the member rate, congratulations! You've just identified a prospective member. Welcome them warmly, but hold the pitch. 

Create a Sense of Immediacy 

Publish an event photo to social media during the event. And a single photo creates more impact than a gallery. 

Spread the Word

Have those in attendance share the social media post. As they share the event with their community, invite them to add what they learned. It's a great incentive to boost attendance from their associates.

Gracious Follow Up

Sending a follow-up email from an individual on the membership team is the best way to ensure guests will return next month.

Brand Ambassadors 

Develop a cadre of ambassadors who can act as mentors to shepherd prospects towards membership.

Engage Through Involvement

When appropriate, enlist prospects to work with your committees based on their talents and skills. The strength of an organization lies with the value prospective members bring to the table.

Each one Reach One

Packing the room at your next event is the responsibility of the members, not the Program or Membership Chair. Inviting prospects is the sincerest form of flattery.

Have Fun

Make time to have fun at your events and watch your membership grow.




Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:30

Who Moved My LinkedIn?

Don't even start. I get it. They changed everything about the LinkedIn User Interface (UI). Stuff got moved features removed, you're not happy. My best advice? Deal with it.  

I once had a client who complained so much I had to deliver an intervention, "I work with winners, not whiners". Three years later at the company Christmas party he thanked me, "Best advice you ever gave me." We all knew changes would be coming when Microsoft bought LinkedIn. For many business executives, the biggest contributor to their productivity came from the time invested in complaining about the change.  

I've got a resource link to share with you. Before I do, let's take a moment to adjust our attitudes, starting with a quote from Charles Swindoll

"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in Charge of our attitudes."


Before tearing your hair out, consider this:

  • Both you and your competitors are struggling with LinkedIn. Let your competitors complain while you use this as an opportunity to sharpen your skills.  
  • This is the best opportunity you will ever get to press pause and invest in training for you and your team.

How to Optimize Your New LinkedIn Profile (Part 1)

Wayne Breitbarth Has created an excellent 5 part series on taking advantage of the changes. Start with part 1.

A recent report from eMarketer, Four Key Things to Know About Digital Video Now, reported from 2009 to 2016 the number of scripted TV series grew from 210 to 455, a 116.7% increase. For me, what really jumped out was that Facebook Live video is growing even faster. 

Over the last year, I've shared how video has increased in importance. Today I've got a single tip you can use to increase your engagement with both your videos and blog posts.

Compose, and publish your blog post as you normally would. Copy the URL for the post. Launch Facebook and click the "Live" link. In the "Describe your video" box, type a headline then paste in the link. Launch your live video. Share with your audience why they should read your post. Keep it short and end with an invitation to your blog. Visit my Facebook profile, to see this tip in action


Read more about using online video:


Saturday, 18 March 2017 07:32

Recipe for a Digital Feast

There is nothing quite like food and cooking to bring people together. Long before you fire up the burners, shop for ingredients, or plan the menu, you need to create your digital invites. Today's Gastrofest event at Hemming Plaza is no exception. Here in Jacksonville, we love our food events. In a few short years, GastroJax has become a big deal. I believe much of the credit belongs to their social media presence. Here are some of the ingredients they use to entice residents and guests to join them at the GastroFest.

The best way to demonstrate future fun is to post photos from the past. Just the short video of the 2015 night time scene makes you want to get up off the couch and head downtown. Foodie photos rarely reveal the hard work involved in creating the dishes you'll find at this event. The same is true of the social posts. There are three essential ingredients in a successful post. The image, the text for the invitation and the link that serves as a Call To Action.

If you are a business owner looking for a the best way to use social media to promote your business, the GastroFest Facebook page is a great choice from a menu of digital delights! 

GastroFest Jacksonville is being held March 18, 2017, in Hemming Plaza from 11-7 pm. See you there!

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