Saturday, April 13, 2013

Best CrossFit Boxes in Michigan

I've recently been getting into CrossFit and have been on a mission to find some of the best CrossFit gyms in Michigan and in the country. I currently live in Venice, and Paradiso Crossfit is where I go on a regular basis.  I've been seeing great results there -- in about 5 months of going on average 3 days a week I've lost about 15 pounds and have gotten substantially more toned.  Granted, it has been a combination of CrossFit and loose adherence to the Paleo diet, but it has really worked.

A great Michigan CrossFit gym to check out is Switch CrossFit.  Granted, I'm a little biased as it is my brother that is opening the gym and I'm a part owner.  That said, the whole reason I have had the performance gains I have is due to my brother's passion for fitness and CrossFit.  Switch CrossFit will be opening in Clinton Township on June 1.  Stay tuned, particularly if you live in Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, Chesterfield or you work out of Schofield.

Any other CrossFit gyms to recommend?  What do you look for in a CrossFit box?  Is trainers the most important thing -- or is it price -- or is it facilities?  My personal perspective is that it is all about the trainers and about the community.  And with a CrossFit community it is important to not only focus on the actual workouts themselves, but also around nutrition, active rest, home mobility and mental wellbeing and community.  It is truly about holistic health and community, and not just about lifting weights.  That is what's different, and what I know is being emphasized at Switch Crossfit.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Facebook business tips for success

Today I watched a Hubspot webinar on Facebook Page Marketing. As with most Hubspot webinars, I found it pretty good although pretty high level. You can see the entire webinar (1:15) by clicking the above link, but I thought I'd share my main take-aways from the event that will give you the primary points.

Primary Points from Hubspot Facebook Page Marketing Seminar

- A business should promote via ads to "Like" base, not status updates

Status updates should be reserved for communicating with your fans. You should promote to your fan base via ads and communicate via status updates as they won't all be seen due to the fact that Facebook will only disseminate certain posts to your fan base wall. A better technique is to create an ad that goes to your fan base. That way, all will be seeing it, and it won't interfere promotion with conversation on your page.

Analysis of best Facebook pages

- Best time to post are is the mornings and on the weekends

- Optimal frequency is about every other day

- Most popular topic on Facebook is Facebook itself. Therefore, creating relevant business articles that pertain to Facebook is a good technique such as "Top Facebook pages in this industry" -- likelihood for this to get shared is a lot higher

How important is it to have custom tabs on a Facebook page?

- Tabs can act as a landing page, with the ability to use iFrames

- Encourages people to like the business (rather than driving people directly to your wall, create a landing page that speaks about your business and drives them to "Like" via a strong call to action

- Can also use the custom tab as a sign up for a mailing list -- many top email vendors now integrate with Facebook

- People on Facebook want to stay on Facebook -- when you can keep them in this environment they are much more likely to engage in your content rather than driving them off to your own website

Using popular content (i.e. loosely related content)

- Figure out a way to take hot content and make it relevant to your business

- Have content that works for every stage in the purchase funnel

- In the top part of the funnel this might be content that is not necessarily directly relevant for your business

In general, I found this to be pretty interesting and have some valuable insights that I plan on integrating into my Gold Party business, Karats to Riches.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Site's Up!

So Wordpress wasn't as easily as I had initially anticipated, but now I feel like I've learned a ton. There's nothing like getting your hands dirty and just getting into a project to figure it out, and in this case I definitely feel like I've gone through it.

Developing a wordpress site does require a bit of technical knowledge. There are cases when I had to FTP pages, edit HTML, and dig throughout the web to figure out how to manage different pieces. What it does provide is a great interface to manage the site and quickly put up pages and make changes. Now that I understand the site I can tweak it in no time, and manage it from anywhere.

My original purpose of switching from google sites was to allow for conversion tracking. Although Google Sites allows for easy implementation of site tracking (I use Google Analytics on the Google Site and also on my wordpress site conversion tracking is actually a huge pain on Wordpress sites as well! The problem is that you can't edit HTML on an individual page, you can only edit at a site level. Therefore, I had to find a work-around, which was to create an additional template and plug the conversion code into that template. Much more difficult than I had anticipated, but once you figure it out its not too bad.

Wordpress is also great as there are tons and tons of plugins that you can get running up on the site in no time. If you look at some of the plugins I'm using include the sharing elements on the lower right in addition to a ton of back-end stuff.

All in all, although setting up a Wordpress site is templatized, it does still require technical knowledge to tweak and get it just right. I feel like this was a great learning experience for me. Check it out at and if you really like it book a gold party!

Also, follow Karats to Riches Gold Parties at Facebook and Twitter or follow our blog!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Learning to build Gold Party websites

So my first attempt at building my Gold Party website was a bit lackluster. I leveraged Google Sites, which I found to have a surprising lack of integration with Google Adwords. Specifically, setting up conversion tracking was very difficult if not impossible.

Therefore after speaking to a handful of people I decided to build a new site using Wordpress. Getting the site up was much more difficult, but I used a WooThemes template, which made it somewhat easier. There is a lot to learn though, especially around tweaking the site and polishing it up. It's still not fully completed, but I'd love to get feedback. Access the site by going to

Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Karats to Riches

Karats to Riches is a premium Gold Party Service that I recently launched.

What is a gold party service?

Well, lots of people have old and unwanted gold. Most people just keep it in their jewelry box collecting dust. A gold party is a place where you can sell that gold to get cash on the spot. In addition to getting cash for the gold, the host of that party earns a percentage of all the gold sold at the party (and even makes money on parties that are booked from that party). So everyone makes out!

Check out our site at Let me know if you'd like to host a party and we'll help you every step of the way. It is always a great time and you can earn quite a bit of money from the process. Go to the site and fill out the contact form to learn more.

Launched a new business -- Karats to Riches

Over the past week I have been focused on launching a new business. This is my first experience creating a website on my own. I used Google Sites due to the cost and the Google integration. I have found it to be good in some ways and poor in others.

Good points:
- Quick and easy
- Cheap
- Google tools integration (google analytics, webmaster tools, apps)
- Easy to edit and maintain

Bad points:
- Lack of full control
- Certain things that should be easy seem hard (such as adding links to Facebook and Twitter accounts)
- Quirkiness -- fonts sometimes act weird. Some pages look odd in mobile devices, etc.
- Can't figure out how to customize contact form

Anyway, check out this work in progress at and let me know what you think.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How behavioral targeting can work

Last week the New York Times reported that British Telecom has decided not to implement behavioral targeting technology by a company called Phorm -- an organization that mines ISP data in order to provide more relevant advertising to web surfers. Upon the announcement, another setback for Phorm, their stock dropped 40%.

Is it really any surprise though that companies are not willing to adapt this technology? What company wants to be the one who is capturing their customers data and using it for marketing without user's explicit consent or knowledge? And what consumer wants to be "behaviorally targeted" without their knowledge? The answer to these questions are "none" and "no one".

But this doesn't mean that web surfers don't like behavioral targeting. Amazon has done it successfully for years, as well as other online retailers. But there is an understanding between retailer and consumer that this knowledge is being captured and used for their benefit, and the information is ONLY being captured when they are on the retailer's site (read: Amazon is not capturing your adult surfing behavior).

So clearly people are interested in relevancy, and are not necessarily opposed to behavioral targeting. Therefore, what is a business model that can work? Here is some food for thought.

A company should develop an opt-in behavioral targeting system. The system will allow a user to easily turn on and off the tracker, via a toolbar, allowing the user to be fully conscious and choose when their behavior is being tracked. The user will also be able to determine who is being sent their info. Is it only the site in which the information is captured, or can the info go to anyone. And they can specify what types of information get sent around (shopping purchases, article content, etc). To encourage more usage consumers could be offered a reward point-type incentive that increases the more often the system is used, and the more widely you allow your data to be distributed. Companies subscribe to this data and integrate it into their existing optimization engines.

A win-win solution? Behavioral targeting will happen, but it must happen in a way that consumers are aware and have control. The Phorm model was bound to fail. Who's next?

Friday, May 15, 2009

A note to aspiring entrepreneurs

Yesterday my company, Mobile Simplicity, was featured on the young entrepreneur blog Check it out here.

I find it fascinating that you can move so quickly from the one taking advice to the one giving advice. There is no question that we are still taking in far more advice than we are giving, but I'm happy to be able to help even a little bit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The iPhone(TM) Now Helps Consumers Keep Their Family Safe from Sex Offenders with the WatchOut! Program

The WatchOut! iPhone application officially goes live with a quick and easy interface to help consumers search for registered sex offenders in any given area while supporting the fight against domestic violence

NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The WatchOut! iPhone application, which enables consumers to search any given area for registered sex offenders based on location or specific name, officially launches today. Ten percent of profits from the WatchOut! application go to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (

The WatchOut! application features an easy-to-use interface that enables users to identify dangers around them by searching for registered sex offenders by zip code or by name. The program also allows the user to determine where the highest concentrations of offenders live by plotting the locations on a map. The WatchOut! application is perfect for parents of young children, people who are planning to move to a new area, those who are in the dating scene and anyone else who is interested in knowing who is nearby in order to be safer.

Believing that nothing is more important than safety, WatchOut! Software, LLC in partnership with Mobile Simplicity ( utilize the power of the iPhone to make consumers better informed about potential dangers. The reality is that nearly everyone lives near a registered sex offender, but few are aware of who these people are and where they live. "We feel that it is important for people who are moving into a new area to be aware of their surroundings and any possible dangers to their family," said Rick Krakowski, President of Mobile Simplicity, the firm that developed the mobile application. "It should be a part of anyone's research when looking into a new area, or even to increase awareness in one's current neighborhood."

The WatchOut! program is available for download through the Apple(R) iTunes(R) store at the following link:

About Mobile Simplicity

Mobile Simplicity ( is a full-service mobile application development firm with iPhone expertise. In addition to producing proprietary programs, including the top-rated applications CraigsMobileList and What's Fresh, they provide a full suite of application development and marketing services.

SOURCE Mobile Simplicity

Friday, April 10, 2009

Our new company logo

Mobile Simplicity finally has an official company logo! What do you think?

The "m" on the left was designed as a reusable asset.

The logo was designed by the delightful and wonderfully talented Lauren Koueiter. I suggest you go to her for your logo needs so she can get her business kicked off! Email me if you would like me to pass along a request to her.