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New Bedford Guide Seeking Sponsors for Photo Contest

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

Unless you’ve been under a Facebook rock, you know that New Bedford Guide launched their first photo contest on April 21st, 2012. The theme was “Old Dartmouth” and within a week dozens of photographers submitted 157 photos of  New Bedford, Dartmouth, Acushnet, Fairhaven, and Westport. The amazing photos were uploaded to the contest gallery for people to vote by “liking” their favorites. Combined, the photos received thousands of likes on Facebook. To say the first contest was a success would be a major understatement.

In this first contest (winner to be announced soon), the best photo will be selected and featured as the cover photo on NewBedfordGuide.com’s Facebook page for the month. This translates into the winning photographer getting their photo and name exposed to over 90,000 people in the southcoast region of Massachusetts. This is an outstanding opportunity for any photographer, but I’d like to increase the reward with a monetary payout through sponsorship.

New Bedford Guide is seeking a sponsor (or sponsors) for our May Photo Contest. Our goal is to have $100 -$500 and our New Bedford Guide’s Facebook cover for June as a first place prize. We’d also like to make this a monthly contest with the theme changing each month. This sponsorship will increase our contest reach and the number of photographers that participate. Sponsors would not only be supporting local photographers, but their business name would reach over 90,000 Southcoast, Massachusetts area residents.

As of today, we are accepting sponsorship inquiries on a first come first serve basis. Potential sponsors are asked to e-mail info@newbedfordguide.com with the month they would like to sponsor.




New Bedford Online Art Gallery

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

Downtown New Bedford has become a Mecca for artists and art galleries in Southeastern Massachusetts. Just about every street downtown has at least one gallery on it. There are five galleries on William Street alone!

The problem most galleries have is getting foot-traffic, especially in a tough economy. Simply put, an art gallery can’t survive without foot-traffic or without customers purchasing art on a regular basis. Independent artist will have little success selling art without his or her art in a gallery.

Art Gallery New BedfordLast February, we launched our first online art gallery for established galleries and non-established, independent artists. NewBedfordGuide.com reaches over 90,000 people through our website and  New Bedford Guide Facebook page. On average, a photo or painting reaches 1,100+ people on Facebook within a few days. Check out our statistics slide show here below.

Today, we are launching a beta version of our online art portal (http://www.newbedfordguide.com/art-portal) where buyers can browse, search and subscribe, and artists can list their own art for sale. The art portal is for testing only right now. Feedback should be sent to info@newbedfordguide.com. Photographers, this will be the basis of the photography portal.

New Bedford Guide is recruiting art galleries and independent artists to place their art in the online art gallery when it goes live later in May on a listing fee or commission basis. If you’d like to list your art in the gallery fill out this form or email us at nbgarts@gmail.com, and we will contact you. Once approved, we will provide you the permission to upload your art to the portal.

Features List

  • The main art portal has a filter system that allows visitors to narrow down their search by art category, price, artist and location.
  • Artists can manage their own art work by adding their art with price and other details. The art will be displayed for browsing on the main art portal and in the individual artist’s page.
  • Artists get their own Artist Page to direct potential customers to view their work.
  • Visitors can commission artists through the artist’s individual page
  • The subscription service allows people to get notifications when new art is uploaded based on their subscription preferences. Registered users can subscribe to a specific artist and/or specific categories of art.

Here are some benefits of listing your art in the online gallery:

  • Your art will be listed on one of the most popular websites in south coast Massachusetts.
  • Your art will be uploaded to a gallery on the the New Bedford Guide Facebook page (Nearly 5k active fans, 90,000+ reach in Southcoast, MA)
  • You will be able to sell the art, digital downloads, prints and framed prints.
  • Your art will be found in Google images from buyers around the world.
  • Your brick and mortar gallery address and contact details will be promoted to thousands of potential local customers.
  • We will help you get your art in local coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses.
  • Customers can hire you on a commission basis.

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Art on our Facebook reaching over 1,100 people with 27 comments.
Example Art on New Bedford Guide's Facebook
Art on our Facebook reaching over 1,100 people with 66 likes.
Example Art on New Bedford Guide's Facebook
Sample artist page
art-portal2
Statistics and demographics
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Sample portal
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New Bedford Guide’s Top 15 Stories of 2011

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

2011 was an eventful year for New Bedford. The City elected a new mayor and two new city council members, hosted several annual festivals and for the first time saw 1,500 Santas run through its streets.

2011 was New Bedford Guide’s first full year of operation, and I thought it would be fun to look through our statistics and reflect on the most popular stories of 2011 based solely on internet traffic. I excluded articles like Outdoor Dining and Drinking 2011, The Best Bars for Watching the NFL Playoffs, and other articles that were popular, but not stories.

Here are your top New Bedford Guide stories for 2011:

Baby Cloe Harding
Baby Chloe Harding, New Bedford Guide's Person of the Year!

1. The “Noncitizen” Issue Reaches Massachusetts by Adam DiOrio

This story had local, state and national political appeal. Massachusetts taxpayers paid $35.7 million in free emergency health care for illegal residents. Last year almost 53,000 illegal immigrants received benefits from MassHealth Limited, most of which came from emergency room visits. Regardless of which side you sit politically regarding illegal immigrants receiving state benefits, this article is a must read.

2. 2011 New Bedford Elections and 2011 New Bedford Election Results and An Interview with Jon Mitchell by Michael Silvia

2012 marks a new Year for the City of New Bedford. Nearly 19k residents turned out to vote to replace popular, out-going Mayor Scott Lang.  Jon Mitchell defeated Tony Cabral by a slim 837 votes and takes office on January 2nd, 2012. Inauguration details can be found here.

3. Baby Chloe and Chloe Harding Update: Bone Marrow Donor Found! by Adam DiOrio

Baby Chloe, of resides in Rochester, instantly become everyone’s adopted daughter in 2011. Chloe was born September 6, 2010 and in 2011 was the the youngest child in the state of Massachusetts with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia, or ALL. After several fundraisers and over three months of treatment, Chloe found a bone marrow match. We hope to provide an update on Chloe soon!

4. New Bedford Market Basket Review by Ivey Bowman

One of the biggest economic stories of the year for New Bedford was Market Basket opening to New Bedford in October of 2010.  Our review of Market Basket became popular and remains popular to this day.

Santa Fun Run New Bedford
1,500 runners participated in the New Bedford Santa 5k Fun Run 0n 10 Decemeber, 2011.

5. New Bedford Santa 5K Fun Run (10 Dec, 2011) by Michael Silvia

1,500 Santas ran through the streets on New Bedford to mark the first “Santa 5k Fun Run.” The organizers have a goal of 5,000 santas for 2012.

6. The New Bedford Portuguese Feast Survival Guide by Shonna McGrail

There isn’t a bigger celebration in New Bedford and our “Feast Survival Guide” became an instant hit with Feast-goers.

7. Vote For New Bedford as This Year’s Most Distinctive Destination by Michael Silvia

The City of New Bedford was recognized as one of the most distinctive destination in the nation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. To win the top prize, residents had to vote daily and the top winner was selected based only on internet voting. We did our best to help New Bedford finish in 4th place out of 12 cities!

8. Jam for Jim by Butch McCarthy

This was a great story of musicians and local residents taking care of their own. Fourteen local bands put on a concert at The Seaport in and Marina to raise fund for a fellow local musician Jim Tavares who suffered a stroke early in 2011. The event was a complete success with hundreds of fans showing support.

Fridgecouch
What do you get when you combine a fridge and BMW seats? A Fridgecouch of course!

9. Whaling City Film at Zeiterion Theatre (24 Sept) by Eric Tripoli

After 10 years in the making, local film maker Jay Burke got to showcase a screening of his Whaling City film for New Bedford residents at the Zeiterion Theater on 26 September. The theater sold out 1,100 tickets and the film had great reviews. Stay tuned in 2012 as the film has been submitted to several film festivals!

10. The Crosby/Nash Experience by Dori Legge

Crosby and Nash came to the Zeiterion Theater last May. The Z’s own Dori Legge got to spent time with David Crosby and shared her experience with us.

11. The Orpheum by Amanda Lawrence

Amanda Lawrence got an inside look and provided some outstanding history and photos of the Orpheum.

Working Waterfront Festival New Bedford
New Bedford's Working Waterfront Festival was featured on National Geographic Traveler as a Top 20 Travel Event.

12. Fridgecouch by Butch McCarthy

Fridgecouch was our most unique and interesting stories of the year. Local artist Adrian Johnson created the ultimate “fridgecouch” by combining BMW seats with an old fridge.

13. Seven Must-Attend New Bedford Events by Michael Silvia

New Bedford has the most unique events in the south coast to include The Taste of the South Coast, Summerfest and Chowderfest. There are seven must attend events in New Bedford each year and our article detailed the specifics. In 2011, National Geographic Traveler featured the Working Waterfront Festival as a Top 20 Travel Destination!

14. New Bedford Vandalism – Oct 2011 by Michael Silvia

Two dummies thought it fit to tag/spray paint many historic buildings in downtown New Bedford. We provided a photo gallery for New Bedford residents to see the damage first hand. The vandals were apprehended that day and the City cleaned up the mess quickly.

15. J.Kelley Band “Shake You” Music Video Project by Michael Silvia

In 2011, The J.Kelley Band raised $10,000 through local businesses, friends, family and fans to produce a music video for their upcoming Reservoir album. 100s of local people auditioned and the video wrapped up shooting in December. A teaser video of the band playing at the Waterfront Grille in New Bedford can be seen below. Stay tuned by following them on their website or Facebook to get news on the music video and CD release coming in January, 2012!

J.Kelley Band Shake You Teaser






New Bedford Political Survey System

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

Who are you voting for in the 2011 New Bedford elections? Not sure? If you already know who you are voting for, how did you come to that conclusion? Are you certain it is the right choice?

The biggest problems regarding elections are that too many people do not vote (20% voter turnout in the 2009 New Bedford elections) and those  that do vote are not always informed.  The result is elected officials voted into office by a minority of the city and elected officials put into office that are not the most qualified.  New Bedford deserves more than that.

Soon New Bedford Guide will launch a Political Survey System that will allow voters to take a survey to find out which candidate they match up best with.  Think of it as an eHarmony type service for politics.

Here’s how the system will work.  Candidates will answer 10-20 survey questions that are important subjects like South Coast Rail, crime, education, economic development and the casino issue.  The candidates will answer each question free-text.  Voters will then be able to take a blind-survey (not knowing what answer belongs to what candidate), select the answers they like best and see who they match up with when it comes to the most important topics.  All candidates are for economic development, but you will be able to find out which candidate’s policies match up best with your views on improving the economy. This survey system will become available next week in time for the Preliminary Election on October 4th and remain available (reset with final candidates) for the final Municipal Election held on November 8th.

For example, there are five candidates running for New Bedford mayor.  Voters will be able to take the survey and see which candidate they match up best to least.  We will produce surveys for the mayoral race, city council-at-large, one for each ward council race and one for school committee.  Surveys questions will be a mix of overall New Bedford issues with the ward-specific races and school committee surveys having specific questions related to the specific ward or schools.

The goal of this survey system is to get voters to vote for the candidates they match-up best with and not vote for people based on party affiliation, who a newspaper endorsed or yard signs.  Hopefully, this will ensure we have the best man or women for the job and a strong mayor for the next two years.




New Bedford Guide’s One Year Anniversary

NewBedfordGuide.com celebrated its first birthday on August 11th, 2011.  To date, we have published over 363 articles and press releases.  We reach about seven thousand local readers and our Facebook page receives about 400,000 monthly post views.  Our articles inform New Bedford and SouthCoast Massachusetts readers on local events, news, business spotlights, reviews and more.  Most of our articles are written by local, non-professional writers and our press releases come from local non-profits and from the city of New Bedford.

Our overall view is that NewBedfordGuide.com is YOUR voice for New Bedford and surrounding communities.  While we do pay our bills with advertising dollars, we don’t charge non-profits, the city of New Bedford and writers to get important messages out.  In fact, we pay writers for original content. While we can’t publish every item that is sent to us (we can’t publish publish a press release about your lemonade stand), we do publish many articles and press releases a month.  Send your press releases and original stories to info@newbedfordguide.com.  Also, send us your feedback because we love to hear them!

As we turn 1 year old, there are many people we’d like to thank.  Thanks to Adam DiOrio, Matthew Neumann, Noah Griffith and the two dozen writers and graphic designers that have contributed to the site.  Over the past year, New Bedford Guide has become YOUR community voice for New Bedford, and it couldn’t have been accomplished without those that contributed.  Use NewBedfordGuide.com as your source to get information out to the community.  Share your knowledge and passion by writing a few articles and we will do our best to get thousands of readers to pay attention. Take a moment to tell a friends about NewBedfordGuide.com by sharing articles through e-mail, Facebook sharing, Twitter and other means. With your help NewBedfordGuide.com will have an even better second year.

As a special thank you to all our readers, look for ticket giveaways to the ChowderFest, Whaling City Screening, Oktoberfest, and many other great local events!  Find the giveaways on our New Bedford Guide Facebook Page.  If you’re interested in writing for New Bedford Guide, please contact us at info@newbedfordguide.com.




Importance of a Facebook Landing Page

Rose Alley Ale House Facebook Page
Example avatar/banner and Landing Page - click to enlarge

One of the best features for a business is the Facebook fan page account option. If you are a business and have a standard user account (representing a human on Facebook) you are limiting your business potential and hurting your profits. Facebook is full of business user accounts that have maxed out at 5,000 friends and are now full of spam. There are simply too many negatives for a business to maintain their Facebook presence as a standard Facebook user.  Also, if you don’t have a Landing Page (the first thing a new visitor sees when visiting your fan page), you are missing an opportunity to inform fans about your businesses and/or current events.  For example, check out the local New Bedford Landing Pages of New Bedford Guide, Rose alley Ale House, CatwalkBar and corporate Landing Pages like Microsoft and Sony Ericsson. These pages are graphically appealing, inform visitors, and direct traffic to their websites and other Facebook properties.

Facebook Standard User Account Compared to a Fan Page

  • Standard Facebook user accounts are limited to 5,000 friends. Facebook Fan/Business Pages can have unlimited fans. Good case studies are the Catwalk Bar and Grille and Rose Alley Ale House.  They reached their 5,000 friend limit, but since converting from a user account to a fan page they can now communicate with unlimited customers.
  • Facebook Fan Pages have a short domain (like http://www.facebook.com/NewBedfordGuide) and are found well in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Users must approve all friends. Fanpages are ‘liked’ with a single click and there is no need to approve fans.
  • User accounts can be tagged and spammed easily. Facebook pages allow you to filter spam with ease and they can’t be tagged.
  • Example Facebook Insight Stats

    Facebook provides a powerful statistics tool for fan pages called Insight.  This allows businesses to see their traffic, demographics and other valuable information. This allows for your business to properly allocate your marketing and advertising budget to the appropriate audience, therefore increasing sales.

  • User accounts only allow for wall posts to be displayed. Pages can display and default “Landing Pages” that can market specific products, services, events and other information.
  • Fan pages can be promoted on websites easily by using Facebook’s existing web master tools.  Visitors to your website can like your Facebook page from your website.

If you are a business and still using a standard user account you should convert to a Landing Page right away to take advantage of the benefits listed above.  Currently, converting from a user account to a Facebook page can be done seamlessly with your friends becoming fans. If you already have a Facebook page, you should consider having a Landing Page to visually promote your business and direct traffic to your website.

Facebook Services

  • $250: Establish or convert a Facebook user account to a Facebook Fan Page. Produce a banner/avatar that reflects your business (shows up at the top, left of your account). Examples or banners/avatars or avatars: Rose Alley, Catwalk, Hibernia and New Bedford Guide. Can be done in 48-72 hours once client approves.
  • $500: (Includes Facebook Conversion) Design and code a Landing Page for your Facebook Fan Page. Can be done in 3-4 days once graphic mock up approved.

Contact us at info@newbedfordguide.com to get full details and/or schedule an appoint with us today.

Portfolio

Full portfolio of here.




South Coast Discounts Coupon Manager

South Coast DiscountsIn today’s terrible economy we can all use discounts to our favorite restaurants, bars, hotels, fitness centers and other local businesses. New Bedford Guide (http://www.newbedfordguide.com/) is proud to announce our newest South Coast Discount Coupon Manager (http://www.newbedfordguide.com/discounts/) that allows users to browse coupons by category, print out the ones they want, set up a subscription to get e-mailed new coupons as they are uploaded, and much more. While the Coupon Manager is intuitive, here is a walk through of the system so users can take full advantage of all the features.

South Coast Discounts Coupon Manager Walk-through

First, you will want to register (http://www.newbedfordguide.com/wp-signup.php) with New Bedford Guide so you can manage coupons and get e-mail notifications of new coupons in the categories you subscribe to. Non-registered users can still browse and print coupons.

At the top left of the coupon manager there is a Help section and a Search box.

To the right of the search/help section is the user management area.

Here registered users can filter their browsing by city and manage their subscriptions. When you find a coupon you like you can print it or click the ‘Add’ button (just under the coupon) to add the coupon to your queue. After adding coupons to your queue, click on the ‘My Coupons’ button to print all the coupons that have been added. Click on ‘My Subscriptions‘ to subscribe to specific categories. Once subscribed, you will get an e-mail any time a coupon is uploaded to your subscribed category.

If you are a business that would like to add a coupon, e-mail info@newbedfordguide.com. All online coupons are FREE (does not include graphic design work) until August 1, 2011, but they must meet specific requirements.

Browsing Coupons
All coupons are placed into a specific category with the Featured Coupons at the very top. Our viewer displays three coupons at a time. Click the left and right arrows to browse more coupons.

Each coupon has four options:

  • F Share to share coupons on Facebook
  • Add coupons to your queue for printing later
  • Remove to delete coupons from your printing queue
  • eMail to send coupons to friends

That’s the New Bedford Guide Discounts Coupon Manager in a nutshell. We hope to evolve the system based on user feedback and add thousands of coupons. Help spread the word by sending the the coupon manager link (http://www.newbedfordguide.com/discounts/) to friends and family and any businesses that you know that will take advantage of our system. All online coupons are FREE to host for businesses. Contact info@newbedfordguide.com to get your coupon listed!




New Bedford Guide Subscription Service

Want to get notified when a new article is published on NewBedfordGuide.com? At the top-right column of NewBedfordGuide.com, simply add your e-mail and click subscribe (you can unsubscribe the same way at anytime).

We also offer a custom subscription service that allows members to get articles sent to their e-mail and specify exactly what categories to subscribe to. Simply register and set up your preferences.

Setting up Your Preferences Tutorial

After registering and logging in, click on the Profile link at the top of the right-side column.

subscription service new bedford guide

Then set up your viewing preferences and if you’d like to automatically subscribe to new categories:

Finally, select the categories you would like to subscribe:

That’s it. You will now get notified when we publish new articles!




Local Events Subscription Service

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

Last year I was continually frustrated with not knowing what was going on in my local area (New Bedford), Providence, Boston, and everywhere else in between.  I’ve always been very active in my community with sports, charity and nightlife, but found it difficult to find accurate information on events.  Yes, there are dozens of magazines and newspapers with events listed in them, events pushed (or spammed) to you on Facebook, and posters around most establishments, but there was no central Local Oraclesource.  Earlier this year that problem was solved with the introduction of localoracle.com.  Now people in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut (eventually all 50 states) have a single source of accurate, current events from a plethora of categories.

This was a great start, but like most people I wanted more.  I wanted a system that told me through e-mail and/or text message when an event that matched my preferences is posted into the website database.  Enter the localoracle.com member subscription service.  Members can now set up subscriptions in up to eight categories with over 100 sub-categories, including states and/or dozens of cities.

Managing you Subscriptions

While anyone can browse or search events on localoralce.com, only members can manage their subscriptions.  Don’t worry, the website is 100% free.  Register here and we can begin.

After logging into localoracle.com, click on the “Subscribe” tab at the top of the site, just under the search.

Local Event Subscriptions

You will get e-mails based on these subscription preferences. First, you will notice categories and states.

Local Events

Click on the plus mark in front of any category and the sub-categories will appear. For example, Music:

Local Music Events

You can check Music and select all genres, or select individual music preferences.  This goes for Arts & Cultural Events, Nightlife/Club events and other categories. This is the same for States to select individual cities and towns:

Events by State

Select your favorite Categories/Sub-categories and States/Cities and then select your notification preference. You can select the option to get an e-mail instantly when an event is loaded or a daily summary of events.

subscription service

Click Subscribe and you will begin to get events delivered to your in-box that YOU want. At anytime you can edit these preferences or disable the service completely. Give it a try and post a comment with your feedback!




Leading the Profit Sharing Revolution

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

This week, NewBedfordGuide.com will lead a new blogging revolution by offering our current and future writers the chance to earn a lifetime profit from their published articles.  Full requirements on becoming a writer can be found here.  We are also looking for writers for Providence Guide and Fall River Guide.

All writers will earn 50% “Ad Time” on their articles.  This means that when a reader views an article, 50% of all ad space will be reserved for the NewBedfordGuide.com writer who produced that article.  For example, if an article is viewed 100 times a day, the author will get ads served on 50 of the views.  This reserved ad space can be used in two ways:
earn money writing

  1. The author can sign-up for Google Adsense and have relevant ads appear in and around their articles.  Authors will earn money any time their ads are served and clicked on by a reader.  Google allows for a maximum of three banners to show up per page.
  2. An author can find a sponsor to pay a monthly fee to “sponsor” their articles.  For example, an author that writes about bars and nightlife can have bars, breweries or other related businesses pay a monthly sponsorship fee to have their banner ads served in that author’s articles.  Each author is allowed three ad spots (supporting up to three sponsors). All sponsor money goes directly to the author.

So, what happens to the other 50% ad time? The NewBedfordGuide.com Editor-in-Chief will receive 25% of all ad time and NewBedfordGuide.com will receive the final 25%.

Looking to write for New Bedford Guide, Providence Guide and/or Fall River Guide? Full details here.

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