Now Hunters Can Share Their Success with Rural System’s Bag n Brag App

Rural System, Inc., a systems-based land-management enterprise, has just released the Bag ‘n’ Brag app for social hunters. Bag ‘n’ Brag allows hunters to share details of their bags with friends and family. This free app is now available on iTunes and Google Play.

Rural System's Bag 'n' Brag App for Social HuntersBag ‘n’ Brag lets users record their White-tailed deer hunts, upload and share pictures, and connect with Facebook and Twitter with the #bagnbrag hashtag. Bag ‘n’ Brag also features a built-in weight calculator, allowing hunters to simply enter a girth measurement to estimate their bag’s weight. The upgrade Bag ‘n’ Brag Pro is coming soon, and includes the options to track hunting stats and to develop a Trophy Case of the best bags.

“Bag ‘n’ Brag’s ranking system is based on standard facts about a bag, giving hunters an impartial means of comparing kills.”

The inspiration for Bag ‘n’ Brag struck the Rural System team as they were discussing “deer tape.” Deer tape is a basic ecological tool used by wildlife managers to estimate a deer’s weight. It allows a hunter or manager to measure the girth of the deer’s chest and, using a mathematical formula, estimate the deer’s live weight.

“Such a tool is extremely useful because carcasses are often dressed in the field making it hard, if not impossible, to get an accurate weight later,” explains Risa Pesapane, M.S., Bag ‘n’ Brag’s designer.

The team decided deer tape could be easily incorporated into a scoring system for recording and sharing hunting success. Bag ‘n’ Brag has since expanded to allow users to collect other useful data about their hunt as well as personal statistics.

“We’re excited to offer hunters an on-the-go, social way for hunters to learn how their bag measures up to other kills. Bag ‘n’ Brag’s ranking system is based on standard facts about a bag, giving hunters an impartial means of comparing kills,” says Dr. Robert H. Giles Jr., Rural System’s founder.

Bag ‘n’ Brag is available now for White-tailed deer hunters in anticipation of the upcoming fall hunting season.

For information on upcoming White-tailed deer hunting seasons and regulations for Virginia and other states, visit this page.
About Bag ‘n’ Brag

Bag ‘n’ Brag (TM) is a product of Rural System, Inc. Bag ‘n’ Brag was developed by Vision Point Systems and published by Handshake Media, Incorporated. The concept originated with Rural System founder Robert H. Giles, Jr. The functionality, original graphics and user experience of Bag ‘n’ Brag were designed by Risa Pesapane.

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About Vision Point Systems

Vision Point Systems is a creative, expert technology and engineering firm driven by intense customer service focus, rigorous process management, and an unwavering determination that solves customers’ most difficult problems resulting in strong, long-lasting business relationships.

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About Handshake Media

Handshake Media, Incorporated is a communications technology company specializing in public relations services and mobile technologies to generate market awareness and market action for its business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients. Handshake Media, Incorporated is based in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, and is a member of VT KnowledgeWorks.

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About Rural System

Rural System, Incorporated is a land management enterprise with a vision to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of regions through optimal use of resources. It proposes for-profit, citizen-owned entities of multiple, small, natural resource-related enterprises generated for each region through systems-based prescriptive software using GIS analysis of site-specific traits.

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This news release was originally distributed through PRWeb.

LinkedIn: In the Know

By Risa Pesapane

After attending LinkedIn Live in Blacksburg, Virginia, I learned a lot about some basic new features of LinkedIn beyond résumé posting. Perhaps I was living in the LinkedIn dark ages and this information is not new to others, but for those in the dark with me, here's light on the subject:

  • LinkedIn now has an active homepage with a newsfeed much like that on Facebook. As the world’s largest professional network on the internet with more than 225 million members, LinkedIn wants to be your go-to professional social network. The site can be used to share professional content contacts, find new connections, and gain exposure for future employment.
  • Businesses can now have LinkedIn profiles. That’s not a new idea, but using them to build a business might be. A business can attract “followers” who are potential customers, partners, collaborators, and even employees. By regularly posting content to a LinkedIn page, businesses can remain active on the newsfeeds of followers, thus promoting awareness of the company’s industry knowledge. LinkedIn can make businesses easier to find through Google searches, too, and high-profile connections can speak favorably of a business.  Essentially, LinkedIn can provide three assets for a business: Branding, Networking, and Finding Talent.
  • For individuals, LinkedIn is no longer just a résumé posting board. Many business leaders now say that they not only use LinkedIn for recruiting talent, but the quality of the LinkedIn profile can dictate whether or not they grant interviews.   Employers can immediately verify a résumé based on LinkedIn content, contact previous employers or references, and determine how professionally active a candidate is in the industry. 

Risa Pesapane on LinkedIn

Here are my takeaways from LinkedIn Live for all LinkedIn users.

  • Keep a vibrant, up-to-date profile. It’s important to have an active presence on LinkedIn demonstrating your professional accomplishments and industry knowledge.
  • Don’t mix business with pleasure. LinkedIn is a professional network and it’s important to keep that separate from your personal social network on Facebook. Post the office antics on the Facebook page and the press releases on the LinkedIn page.
  • Have a photo. Every profile should have an engaging profile photo. For a business, this helps brand your company image. For an individual, this quite literally “puts a face to a profile” making it easier to identify with you as a person with unique qualities. In the world of e-applications, this is about the best opportunity you have to humanize your résumé to leverage an interview.
  • Make connections. If someone visits your profile and sees very few connections out of a network of a 225 million-user network then it shows that you are not interested in networking and potentially expanding your opportunities for business or collaboration.

 A cautionary note about LinkedIn is the use of endorsements. “Endorsing” someone’s skills is meant to show their proficiency. As LinkedIn grows as a social network though, endorsements are quickly becoming a “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” kind of activity. How do you get more endorsements? Well, you visit your connections and endorse them with anticipation that they’ll return the favor. With all this freedom to endorse, it seems the purpose quickly loses meaning. Just because I met you in the coffee shop and connected with you on LinkedIn does not mean you can vouch for my abilities in a startup company!

Risa Pesapane is a the Project Director for environmental startup company Rural System, Inc.

See LinkedIn's slides from LinkedIn live on Slideshare.

Rural System, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Coworking: Work Outside the Box

As a group sat chatting about business dealings, I thought to myself, "If someone had told me years ago that one day I’d see a group of grown business people having professional conversations while plopped on bean bag chairs, I would’ve told them they were crazy!"

Beanbag meeting space at TechPad
But this observation is not extraordinary in a coworking space, but a way of life in the lounge. Bean bag meeting spaces are a far cry from the leather bound office chairs and large wooden desks of the traditional business world, but that doesn’t make the ideas generated in them any less profound.

In the spirit of innovation and sharing of ideas perhaps our bodies should be as comfortable as our minds. It’s possible that this comfortable environment may even facilitate teamwork and creativity while fostering a feeling of equality among workers. While some feel that these less structured, even playful, work environments can create an unprofessional image, the growing popularity of such workplaces, especially in coworking spaces, demonstrates their success.

Is it possible that trendy coworking spaces with their progressive business environments could really be changing the way we perceive the modern-day entrepreneur? Will we view business people  in a bean bag lounge as having the same potential for success as business people in a stuffy office? Our grandparents surely wouldn’t have, but then again, this isn’t our grandparents’ business world.

In a time when degrees don’t always translate into careers, we’re chucking the old notion of “who is an entrepreneur” and replacing it with a fresh new idea. Consider Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook or Steve Jobs of Apple. The key to success often lies in being edgy, dynamic, original and innovative. It doesn’t matter where or how you sit, it only matters what you create. So if you want to think outside the box, perhaps it’s better to work outside the box.

Risa Pesapane is a member of the TechPad coworking community in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is the Project Director for environmental startup company Rural System, Inc.

Of further interest: Coworking:  Liken it to Simmering in an Interdisciplinary Pot by Risa Pesapane

Rural System, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

Coworking: Liken it to Simmering in an Interdisciplinary Pot

From Risa Pesapane:

Remove your headphones and you hear fingers wildly ticking and clicking on keyboards. In a coworking space of freelancers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and hackers, everyone is motivated. Contradictory to your typical office, there’s often a great deal of personal investment at stake for each person in a coworking space.

In theory, working independently means living the dream of doing what you really want to do, but practically it means fiercely competing to make the dream a reality and, beyond that, realizing profits. While this pressure often requires working quietly and diligently, it also calls for mental breaks. Perhaps this means watching the hustle and bustle of downtown for a few minutes, plopping down on a bean bag chair for some casual conversation, a quick game of table tennis with office mates or maybe just a chat over coffee.

Aside from the obvious benefits of administrative perks, a coworking environment is a support system. Everyone around you is a little fish in a big pond, struggling for access to resources held by bigger fish, and can offer advice, support, and overall comic relief from the woes of the business world. Because everyone is doing something unique in a coworking space, there’s opportunity for outside inspiration. In an office full of people with big ideas and the guts to take risks, it’s entirely possible to stumble onto your next big idea during casual conversation over coffee or copies.

The opportunity to learn from those around you makes it possible for coworking environments to inspire innovation in a way that no other office environment can offer. Liken it to simmering in an interdisciplinary pot of progressive genius. Simple solutions, potential collaborations, creative inspiration, and business information and resources at your fingertips make coworking offices the next generation business resource. 

Risa Pesapane
Risa Pesapane is a member of the TechPad coworking community in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is currently serving as Project Director for environmental startup company Rural System, Inc.

Rural System, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.