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Handshake 2.0 Turns 3.0

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on July 28, 2011:

Handshake 2.0 launched on July 28, 2008 as a business news blog. According to the New York Times, even then, 95% of all blogs were abandoned. On its three-year anniversary, with the help of dozens of writers, artists and filmmakers, Handshake 2.0 has almost 1500 posts, an average of 500 posts per year.  It has evolved into a business news, social media, and public relations services site with almost three dozen clients.  According to Google Analytics, from January 2011 to July 2011, "Visits" to the site were up 4.55% over the same period in 2010, and "New Visits" were up a whopping 17.77%.  Visits to the site were just under 35,000 in 2010 with Google searches as the top source of traffic.  When someone tells me, "I can't Google anything without finding Handshake 2.0!", that is music to my ears.

And in the three-year history of Handshake 2.0, the premiere of the "Handshake" music video on the big screen at Bull & Bones, where I was surrounded by clients, supporters, friends and family, is still, for me, the very best moment. 

"Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts..."
- William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 3, Act 4, Scene 6

Thank you to all for three amazing years.

The original music, Handshake, was written by Joseph Masciello and is available on iTunes.

The "Handshake" viideo was directed by Jarred Foresman of Blacksburg Media and produced by Handshake Media, Incorporated. It premiered in a blog post on Handshake 2.0 on December 1, 2009. It can be seen on YouTube and AOL Video.

Artbeating Accelerates in Blacksburg

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:52 AM on July 26, 2011:

In addition to fostering collaboration, partnerships and interactions, a goal of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership is to establish the Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA area as a global destination for companies seeking to accelerate their enterprises.  Artbeating.com participated in the 2010 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge and returned in the summer of 2011 to Blacksburg, Virginia to do just that.  Artbeating.com is part of the JumpStart Community at VT KnowledgeWorks.  We asked Martin Houdbine, co-founder of Artbeating.com, to tell us more about Artbeating and about the company's choice to return to Blacksburg.  Martin kindly replied.

Artbeating.com is an online marketplace whose goal is to connect companies' needs and freelance designers' offers in industrial, graphic, fashion, interior or motion design fields.  Online, a company can submit a brief to our community and then select the best designer for its creative project. Artbeating's business model is based on a commission system.

Artbeating also provides information and various collaborative tools in order to enhance a designer's creativity that can become essential to their day-to-day creative life.

Artbeating at work in the JumpStart Community at VT KnowledgeWorks
Artbeating.com team members pictured left to right: Martin Houdbine, Charles-Éric "Charlie" Gorron, Romain Lauwerier, Mathieu Lima (Photo by Florent Mérian)

Artbeating was founded by four French students in December, 2010.  Since then, the community has been built (more than 500 designers use the website every day) thanks to the tools provided (Portfolios, Trends etc.). The second version of the website, which enables companies to submit their briefs, will be released soon.

To further develop our company, we chose to spend the summer in Blacksburg, first because we met plenty of interesting people, both professionally and personally when we participated in the Global Student Business Concept Challenge.  We had the opportunity to come back and share with people who have known our project since last year. Thus, we would be able to stand back and see what choices drove us from point A to point B and what things we would have done differently if we had to start all over.

Blacksburg is also a wonderful business place, especially in the technology and web technology fields. Many high growth companies are established there, such as Modea, a very interesting brand, also in the design field. We had the desire to come here for a different point of view on our business, and to create or foresee opportunities. 

In terms of our goals for our work this summer, we want, by September 2011, to have a global vision for our business.  Then, we seek feedback on our service in order to see if we could settle in the United States. We also want to observe business operations in other sectors, and try to adapt and apply them in our business.

Finally, we want to meet as many people as possible, to be able to ask for feedback and opinions when we need it, and to offer the same in return.

Welcome back to Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, Artbeating!

***

You're invited to read more about Artbeating on Handshake 2.0.

The 2011 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge will be held during the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA, August 21-27, 2011.

Registration is open for participants, advertisers, and attendees.  Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys, the kick-off reception for the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:30 PM - 7:30 - PM, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who's in FRONT? Roddy Moore

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on July 25, 2011:

Roddy Moore 
Roddy Moore, Director of the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia, was featured in the July, 2011 issue of Valley Business FRONT.

Photo: Dan Smith

Valley Business FRONT is the monthly magazine for in-depth business news in the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley of Virginia. You're invited to read moreFRONT and to follow Valley Business FRONT on Twitter, @vbFRONT.

How to Propose a Toast

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2011:

From Rik Obiso, Attimo Winery:

Knowing how to give a toast at a business dinner or a special celebration is a skill. In the US, toasts are typically given at weddings, but around the world, toasting is not a rare event.  Some cultures will use just about anything as an excuse to toast.  In one of my favorite "toasting" countries, Georgia, the toastmaster is called a Tamada, and the role of the Tamada is an exquisite art form in itself. A Tamada must be a philosopher-poet, a wit and jokester, an orator and social commentator.  In Georgia, toasts are not simple declarations - they are expected to be speeches mixed with entertainment, spoken verse and a bit of wisdom. Georgian toasting follows a pattern of timing and there is a specific order to each of the toasting subjects given throughout the meal. 

How to propose a toast Whether in Georgia or elsewhere, common rules apply when giving a toast.  For some insight, here are some simple tips to go by:

Timing:  Do not speak too long and never talk about yourself.  Remember you are making an offering to someone or something else.  Time your toast during the meal when you feel it is most appropriate.

Eyes:  Make eye contact with the person you are toasting (if applicable) and with everyone else in the room so that you create a feeling of warmth.  Be kind and gracious.

Be prepared:  Make sure you know what you want to say before you actually stand up and say it.  Be conscious to not say "you know," "like," "um," or "uh."

Confidence:   Stand up straight; speak slowly, clearly, and with conviction. Also, if there is drinking involved at your meal, do not drink too much before your toast. A sloshed toastmaster rarely gives a good toast.  Always articulate your words and speak with inflection to maintain interest and balance with your audience.

Glass:  Make sure your glass has wine in it before you begin and look around the room to make sure eveyone else does, too.  In many countries, it is an insult to toast with water, beer, or with an empty glass.  Raise your glass at the end of your toast.

Cheers!

(A bit of history:  The term "toast" comes from an Italian custom of adding burnt bread to wine to remove contaminants before serving to guests and to royalty.  The piece of toast gave its name to making this offering. Toast well and quickly, or all you will have is soggy bread.)

***

For more tips and to find out more about wine toasting, we invite you to come by Attimo Winery in Christiansburg, Virginia.  Every Friday at 5:00 PM we offer a themed toast to all of our customers in attendance.  We are in the New River Valley and one of Virginia’s newest farm wineries; we offer a wide range of wines grown from our Virginia vineyards. We offer a Wine Club and Wine Moments and look forward to offering classes and seminars beginning this fall.  Our new Tasting Room is now open.

You're invited to read more from Melissa and Rik Obiso and Attimo Winery on Handshake 2.0, to follow @attimowinery on Twitter, and to "Like" Attimo Winery on Facebook.

Rik and Melissa Obiso of Attimo Winery are client columnists for Handshake 2.0. Attimo Winery is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Testing iOS Apps with TestFlight

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:45 AM on July 20, 2011:

From Alex Edelman:

After a long app development cycle, it's generally wise to do a few rounds of testing before releasing an app to the public. In the case of iOS apps, the distribution options Apple provides leave something to be desired: Ad Hoc distribution is suitable for testing, but it requires a modicum of technical ability beyond the App Store-based installation process that iOS users are accustomed to.

As we were developing mobile apps here at Handshake, we stumbled upon TestFlight, a service that makes app distribution for testing simpler for developers and testers. Here's what you'll need to use it:

Now it's time to go into TestFlight and send out invitations by email or link from the Team Management page. Your testers will be invited to create accounts in TestFlight and download the TestFlight app to their devices, and the Team Management page will keep you updated about their statuses. The Team Management page will also show you the Device IDs for the iPhones and iPods your testers are using. These are important for the next step. (You can also collect these by hand from your testers as described here.)

Now you can log in to the Devices section of the iOS Provisioning Portal and add your testers' devices with creative labels and the Device IDs you found previously. (You can have at most 100.) Next, move to the Provisioning Profiles section to add a provisioning profile for your app or edit the one you already have. You'll want to add to that profile all the devices you want to allow to test. Download that provisioning profile.

Now you can build your app. Whether you're using XCode or Titanium, you'll want to build it for Ad Hoc distribution. Once it builds, your app will show up in the Xcode Organizer. Select it, click Share, select the provisioning profile you downloaded in the previous step from the popup menu, and click Save to Disk. Then simply go to the builds section of TestFlight and upload the archive file you just created. TestFlight will automatically match the users allowed by the provisioning profile in your app with the users in your TestFlight team, and offer to send emails informing your testers of the new build.

That's it! Your testers will be able to install the build by clicking a link emailed to their iOS devices or by launching the TestFlight app, and you'll get to sit back - until the bug reports start to roll in.

TestFlight screenshot for Foto Puzzler

Screenshot from testing of Foto Puzzler through TestFlight

Alex Edelman is the developer of the Handshake(R) line of mobile applications from Handshake Media, Incorporated.  He is Chief Technology Officer at Handshake and a co-founder of She Chooses.

The Pail Head Family

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 8:00 AM on July 20, 2011:

Tyson Daniel asked Janelle Ashley, intern with the The Lunch Pail Defense Foundation, "What does working with the LPD Foundation mean to you?" Here is Janelle Ashley's reply.

Bud Foster and Janelle Ashley The Lunch Pail Defense Foundation has a history with which most of us can identify.  The W-I-N painted on the lunch pail stands for “What’s Important Now.” Since we all face struggles, the WIN motto sets a standard: “To make change; to influence; to use this moment to be better than the last; to achieve greatness in all aspects of your life; win at home. Win at school. Win at business. Win at life.”

The Lunch Pail embodies the ideas of forward momentum, hard work, and fortitude.  Observing the tight-knit family that Bud Foster created both with his football team and at the Lunch Pail Defense Foundation, I wanted to be part of it.  I tracked Foster down and told him exactly that, and I have been welcomed into this Lunch Pail family with open arms.   I joined the team in early April, 2011 and was there to see the three high school students receive their scholarships and to spend time with Foster and past football players.  The smiles on their faces were priceless.  Bud Foster does a great job interacting with his fans, and it’s comforting seeing satisfied people.  There is something so warm and comforting about being part of something that can make someone else happy. It brings happiness to us all.

The Lunch Pail Defense is a close group, always knowing that we have a greater purpose - to raise money for scholarships.  We are a small working family that is making continuous opportunities to grow.  We rely on one another here, we work hard, and we get along as any typical family would.  We have fun, we get serious, we get excited, and in the end we are united, we are constant, and what we work for really does give us a sense of pride and accomplishment.

***

Janelle Ashley is majoring in Marketing at Virginia Tech and will graduate in 2012.  She is from Tampa, Florida.

You're invited to read more about the Lunch Pail Defense Foundation and to consider joining the sponsors of the Lunch Pail Defense Foundation.

Tyson Daniel and Bud Foster of the The Lunch Pail Defense Foundation are client columnists for Handshake 2.0. The Lunch Pail Defense Foundation is client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

On Choosing a Chief Operating Officer

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 6:30 AM on July 19, 2011:

A version of this post originally appeared on the She Chooses blog. I am one of four co-founders of She Chooses(TM), the social network for women:

I’ve been reading Ken Auletta’s article in the New Yorker on Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Facebook, and thinking about our She Chooses COO and co-founder Laureen Fleming, featured guest at our upcoming She Chooses Chat. A modest person, Laureen would be aghast that I was making such a comparison, but I share with Zuckerberg a founder’s bigger-than-life, unrestrained belief in the enterprise. Zuckerberg was proven right to believe in his enterprise. I will be, too.

Lauren and Anne, She Chooses co-founders, working side-by-sideWhat I don’t share with Zuckerberg is the interview and selection process for our COOs. According to Auletta, Zuckerberg met with Sandberg for six weeks in a series of intense, lengthy meetings. I wasn’t there and I can’t say what was said at those meetings, so I can only speak for myself. When I meet lengthily and intensely with someone with whom I am considering partnering, either personally or professionally, and I find myself pushing, probing, insisting, I know I’m trying to control how the relationship will proceed post-handshake. I’m trying to specify the rules about how this person will be and what they will do. And it’s futile. People evolve. No matter what demands I make, or what we agree to, people change and situations change.

Laureen and I were assigned to the same Presidents’ Council group, an executive leadership program offered by VT KnowledgeWorks. At our monthly meetings, Laureen and I shared, listened, discussed, and brainstormed with our fellow group members. After probably a dozen meetings over the course of a year, and never having met as just the two of us either socially or professionally, we had a meeting of minds and hearts and knew we would form a company together. I remember the conversation distinctly where we both said we were aware that we would share times of closeness and conflict, but that we were making a conscious decision to be open to evolving together as friends and founders. Unorthodox in terms of founding a technology company? Probably. In terms of women recognizing they have work to do together? Not uncommon, I think.

As an executive level project manager, Laureen brings together ideas and people, discerns what the people really want and really can do, brings forth individuals’ gifts and skills, asks them to apply them in the best ways, and mixes that all together. Then, where there was nothing, there is something, a finished project. Amazing.

I don’t know who first said that we are our own worst enemies, and I don’t want to be my own worst enemy, but sometimes I am, always due to lack of awareness. Laureen has caught me a few times in personal enemy territory and, strategically and diplomatically, “brought me up on my awareness” without criticizing or shaming me. I have observed with respect and amusement her doing the same for others on our team, even through Basecamp. Incredible. Invaluable.

And Laureen sees the world, business and technology in ways I can barely describe because they’re so new to me, but they continue to astound and inspire me and take our enterprise places it wouldn’t go without her vision. I always want to talk with her more. Hence our invitation from our team to her to be our featured guest on She Chooses Chat.

Yes! More time to chat with our Laureen, COO of She Chooses!

***

She Chooses Chat with featured guest Laureen Fleming is Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET. Here are all the details. All women are invited to join in!

VT KnowledgeWorks is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Who's in FRONT? Rick and Roni Sutton

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:30 AM on July 18, 2011:

Rick and Roni Sutton 
Construction rehab specialists Rick and Roni Sutton of Blue Brick Building and Renovations in Roanoke, Bedford and Salem, Virginia were featured in the July, 2011 issue of Valley Business FRONT.

Photo: Dan Smith

Valley Business FRONT is the monthly magazine for in-depth business news in the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley of Virginia. You're invited to read moreFRONT and to follow Valley Business FRONT on Twitter, @vbFRONT.

Relaxing with Handshake 2.0

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:55 AM on July 15, 2011:

From Matthew Yourshaw, intern with Handshake Media, Incorporated:

For this video, I got inspiration from the fact that Handshake 2.0 is there for you, and when you use Handshake you will be much more relaxed since you won’t have to worry about getting your business and ideas out there. So I shot footage of my brother relaxing and doing things he does when he’s not working on something.

Hope you enjoy!

"Relaxing" is by Matthew Yourshaw, an intern with Handshake Media, Incorporated and a student at Virginia Tech.  Matthew Yourshaw created the how-to video for She Chooses(TM).  You're invited to see more videos by Matthew Yourshaw on Handshake 2.0.

Women and Smartphones 2011

Posted by Handshake 2.0 at 7:00 AM on July 14, 2011:

With the generous assistance of Stephanie Lyn Flosi, Senior Marketing Communications Analyst with comScore, we have been able to update our June, 2010 post on Women and Smartphones.

In this data from comScore reporting three month averages ending May, 2011, the base audience is U.S. female mobile subscribers.  An additional column in the table highlights the smartphone female subscribers.  The data is from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending May 2011.  

comScore:  Female Mobile Subscribers May 2011

Thank you so much, Stephanie!

***

Here's updated information with excerpts from our original post, Women and Smartphones:

In 2008, women smartphone users in the U.S. numbered 10.4 million. (New York Times)

At the end of 2009, 16 million U.S. females were smartphone subscribers and 28 million were subscribers by the end of 2010. (comScore via Stephanie Flosi)

At the end of May, 2011, over 120 million U.S females were mobile subscribers and over 35 million were smartphone subscribers. (comScore via Stephanie Flosi)

In sum, according to comScore's data, U.S. female smartphone subscribers numbered 16 million in 2009, 28 million in 2010, and 35 million at the end of May 2011.

In 2008, 12% of male cell phone users had smartphones, and 8% of female cell phone users had smartphones (18to34.org citing Nielsen Mobile)

By the end of May, 2011, 39% of U.S. men owned smartphones and 31% of U.S. women owned smartphones. (Pew)

***

These posts may be of further interest:

The Apps That Connect Us - A Report on Women, Smartphones and Mobile Apps
Best Mobile Apps for Women
Mobile Apps for Women in Business
How Much Does a Mobile App Cost?
Getting Started in the Business of Mobile App Development

as may be our category, Women and Mobile Apps on Handshake 2.0.