Monday, October 27, 2014

What are you doing on Halloween?

Here's the latest info on Briers North Halloween.

Updates:  Parking WILL be available at Crossroads Church of Dunwoody (formerly North Peachtree Baptist) at the intersection of Tilly Mill and Peeler.  Please contribute a donation for the opportunity, they're raising funds for their Academy.

UPDATE:  A sign appeared yesterday on the parking lot indicating they are open for Briers North parking and they are charging $3 per car.  Still a pretty huge bargain!  Pay it forward with a 5-spot.

While on the subject of parking, some residents near Briers North set out barriers or traffic cones.  Please respect them and don't park there if they ask you not to.  With that said, get your space early.  Some of our visitors start scoping out spaces as early as 3 PM.

If you enjoy the festivities, donations will be gratefully accepted by the halloween organizers.  These donations do NOT go to the homeowners:  they are designated specifically for the cost of Dunwoody PD officers and safety equipment (lights, signage, etc) for the entrance.

If you REALLY like what you see, keep in mind this community is around 364 other days of the year.  There will be one home coming on the market soon so keep your eyes peeled and jump at the chance.  Another house is under contract right now and homes don't become available very frequently.

Finally, be prepared to meet some regional neighbors you don't see every day.  These last words I posted a couple of years ago but they've become fresh as I come off the costume parade at Coralwood last week:

With Halloween upon us, please keep in mind, a lot of little people will be visiting your home.
Be accepting. 
The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills. 
 The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues. 
 The child who does not say "trick-or-treat" or "thank you" may be non-verbal. 
 The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl may have an allergy. 
 The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism.

Be nice. Be patient. It's EVERYONE'S Halloween.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Welcome, Business Radio X Listeners!

Hi everyone and I hope you enjoyed the show this morning.  Don't forget to visit SDOC's main website at

If you weren't able to listen live, you can hear the recap any time here.

I talked a lot about the best practices in creating and using your business website and the Dunwoody Chamber website.

Dunwoody Chamber Members:  your first step in leveraging your Chamber membership to your advantage is to complete your member profile so customers can find you in the business directory.  The directory and the rest of the website are optimized for the best search engine results possible, so the more information you have, the better your search ranking, and the more likely you are to have customers come visit you!

You can create a detailed "about" section (think of this as your "elevator pitch"), link to your social media and website, generate a Google map to your business and post directions, and even add photos or video.

Chamber Member Login  or hit the red "open lock" icon on the front page at

Don't forget, the Dunwoody Chamber website is mobile and makes a great smartphone/tablet app if you're searching for Dunwoody services on the go!

I also got a lot of questions from friends and followers on social media about Search Engine Optimization.

Google, Yahoo, and Bing will not tell you the details of their algorithms.  Those are trade secrets.  But they will tell you how to make the most of their search engine standards so your website will get as much visibility as possible.

First things first:  Google's Official SEO Best Practices Guide (PDF)  The principles here apply to all search engines, great and small, so settle in and build your foundation here.  This guide includes some of the most fundamental basics of SEO - meta tags in the header of your pages, "alt" tags that embed text with your images, and descriptive titles for each page.

Next, remember to get your business listed in local search engine-based directories.  Search engines try to customize search results that are physically close to the visitor.  Your website is more likely to appear if it is categorized as a local or regional resource.

Google Local (requires free creation of a Google+ page, also helpful for search engine rankings)

Yahoo Small Business for local listings.  (Customizing your listing for search engine rankings is free, but a paid directory submission service is available.)

Bing Places for Business (Same idea as Google and Yahoo but owned by Microsoft.  Requires a free Microsoft account)

Finally, MOBILE MATTERS!  Your website has to be comfortable to read on even smaller smartphones.  Websites that are not easily usable on smartphones or tablets will be penalized in their search engine rankings.  Talk with your webmaster about the best way to accomplish this for your website.

If you are using an open source content management system, there are some add-on functions that can help guide you in your optimization

WordPress - Yoast SEO

Joomla - iJoomla SEO

Drupal - MetaTag, Drupal SEO Checklist

Many thanks to everyone at Business Radio X for having me as a guest.  I hope the information I gave helped my fellow Dunwoody and regional business owners out there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

SDOC is on the air at Business Radio X

Listen in online tomorrow, Monday, October 13 at 10 AM EST.  I'll be a guest on the Dunwoody Chamber Special Edition of High Velocity Radio on Business Radio X.

Listen live here at 10 AM on October 13.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dunwoody High School Celebrates Everyone - Again!

From Channel 11.

 Dunwoody High School celebrated their homecoming with the crowning of the King and Queen.
You may recognize the Queen from her appearance in Channel 11's coverage of the Wildcat'fe story about the business run by the special needs class out of Dunwoody High.

Teenagers in high school have their priorities straight:  there's a place for everyone in their school and they all need each other.

Where else in Dunwoody can we apply this ideal?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Business Experience Includes Everyone at Dunwoody HS

DUNWOODY, Ga. -- Every Tuesday morning atDunwoody High School, there's a line outside Kerry Brown's classroom, which doubles as a unique cafe.

It's named for the school's mascot, and it's run by students with mild intellectual disabilities, like autism and down syndrome.

Monday, October 6, 2014

DeKalb County Commission Forum - Dunwoody Homeowners

DeKalb County Commission Forum - Dunwoody Homeowners Association
(link to YouTube)

Video by John Heneghan - (next time turn on embedding - you'll get more video views that way)

Lots of talk about experience.  Not much talk about how it was gained, from many of the candidates.

Food for thought:  when someone talks about their experience at the county level - say, on county boards and such - stop and think "Who appointed them to the county post?"  If a candidate was appointed by a commissioner that was forced to resign before being indicted by the Feds, then electing them would not be getting rid of the previous administration's corruption, now would it?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

70 + cats removed from Dunwoody home

Another animal hoarding in Dunwoody makes the news.  The 11:00 PM report indicated the home is on Atcheson Lane, on the west side of Dunwoody near Dunwoody Baptist Church and the Branches subdivision.

Investigators say the conditions inside that home were so bad, animal control officers needed hazmat suits to enter.

From news reports around the zoning rewrite ratification 1 year ago this month:

The disagreement over what should be an allowable number of pets took flight after city consultant Kirk Bishop of Duncan Associates said city staff members were recommending a limit of 10 “companion animals” per household, raising the allowable number from the existing limit of three.

But Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch thought picking any number could create problems.

“I think we need to take this number out of here,” she said. “I don’t think we need to tell people they can have 10 dogs. I think we need to regulate the nuisances.”

But wait - there's more!  The homeowners are REPEAT OFFENDERS from 2012, according to the AJC.

Still think that "no limits" on animals is a good idea?  A health hazard has to bring out law enforcement to acknowledge when there's a problem?

I'll take "unintended consequences" for 1000, Alex.  

Halloween in Dunwoody - Game ON!

If you're going to let your community go to hell in a handbasket, do it in style!

Dunwoody has a new outlet of Spirit Halloween, now open in Perimeter Expo Center (Best Buy, Marshalls, Old Navy, etc)

If you're going to come visit us in Briers North on October 31, bring your A-game.  This isn't your Grandmother's Halloween!

More video.  (You can't make this stuff up!)