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May 10, 2012

Social media and mobile web developers share insights on their growing businesses

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Tom Tom Founders Festival held the fourth in a series of weekly place-based innovation talks Wednesday with a panel discussion examining how businesses are incorporating social media and mobile software applications into many facets of their work.

Local experts described how they are growing their businesses in Charlottesville as they help other companies implement their marketing and digital plans.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120509-TTFF-IS

“We are a digital marketing company,” said Ryan Derose, founder of VibeThink. “What that really means is a digital strategy and building digital assets, from websites to mobile applications, then we also execute [those strategies].”

VibeThink launched in January and its four staff members already are working on a number of significant projects, including the digital strategy and new website for C-Ville Weekly.

20120509-TomTom1(In photo L to R) Oliver Platts-Mills (Tom Tom), Ryan Derose (VibeThink), Evan Cooper (Red Light Management), Tobias Dengel (WillowTree Apps), and Marijean Jaggers (Jaggers Communications)

Evan Cooper, director of digital strategies with Red Light Management, described how the changing music industry has elevated the importance of online connections.

“I handle the digital strategy for the East Coast side of our company — online fan clubs, online stores, all the social media stuff,” Cooper said. “It’s about figuring out the best strategy for an artist. We have all shapes and sizes and we figure out what the best fit is for those bands.”

“The music space has changed drastically, the big part of that being the move into the digital realm,” Cooper said. “Every touch point has some digital component.”

Continue reading "Social media and mobile web developers share insights on their growing businesses" »

July 05, 2009

cvillepedia story in Sunday's Daily Progress

Wiki-logo1 The Daily Progress published a story today about cvillepedia, the new community wiki hosted by Charlottesville Tomorrow.  We really appreciate their interest and hope the story motivates a lot of new users to sign-up and start contributing their knowledge to this collaborative project.  We welcome your feedback and ideas.

Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow

April 03, 2009

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s news headlines now available as an iPhone application

The free app was created during a December "unconference" held in downtown Charlottesville

Charlottesville Tomorrow is pleased to announce the launch of its very own “app” for the iPhone, which is now available for free in the iTunes store.

The software was developed as part of an iPhone “unconference” held in downtown Charlottesville in December 2008. Charlottesville Tomorrow was approached about serving as a test case to show developers how a simple application could be developed. In one day, the basic framework for the application was put together and uploaded to the store.

The application allows iPhone users to browse Charlottesville Tomorrow’s recent articles and to view the events listed in our calendar.

Michael Prichard with Willowtree Consulting said the application was developed using open source principles as a community service.

“We were looking for a local organization that really benefited our community,” Prichard said.  Charlottesville Tomorrow was perfect because the iPhone application was created by local developers and helps both Charlottesville Tomorrow and its readers.”

Prichard and his team have developed many other apps for the iPhone, including a parking garage locater called Spotasaurus and a medical contacts app called DocBook.

Prichard says the application will continue to be improved over the coming years as the iPhone continues to evolve. One future possibility might be the integration of Charlottesville Tomorrow’s audio and video podcasts. Anyone who wants to add their own features and share with the community are encouraged to do so.

“Add useful features and we will put it in the app,” Prichard said.

Sean Tubbs

July 22, 2008

New design for Charlottesville Tomorrow’s blog includes global comments feed and your Flickr photos

Charlottesville Tomorrow has enhanced our blog design to provide you with a wider screen format, a global comments feed, feeds for news specific to Albemarle, Crozet and Charlottesville, and a slide carousel which includes local photography from Flickr

The new comments feed will allow you to easily keep track of all the community input on this site.  We also hope it will motivate you to join in the discussion.  Our policy is to not allow anonymous comments and that has kept the discussion on our blog very constructive over the past three years .

The menu bar at the top of the blog includes handy links to existing pages on our website related to local elections, links to community organizations, and contact information for your elected and appointed local officials.  It also has links to a list of all our RSS feeds and photographers who have been selected from Flickr to have their work showcased on the blog and in our other communications.

Please let us know what you think of the improvements (just add a comment below).  As a little non-profit without a lot of resources to devote to this, we have tried to maximize the tools available to us and still keep the site cost-effective and easy to maintain. 

Brian Wheeler

August 15, 2007

Recognition for Charlottesville Tomorrow's Website

20070814cville_2Charlottesville Tomorrow would like to give a shout out to Nell Boeschenstein at C-Ville Weekly for recognizing our website in her "Best of C-Ville" round up in this week's issue. While I can't fathom how C-Ville can view cash proffers as a "snoozefest" topic (see page 15), the "development nerds" at Charlottesville Tomorrow are nonetheless honored to be recognized by a publication giving exceptional attention to land use and transportation issues in our community.  Thanks Nell and C-Ville Weekly!

"#5 Charlottesville Tomorrow is a development nerd's dream because it's a forum that encourages said nerds to get involved in the many and complicated development issues facing our area. And such involvement is exactly what the Charlottesville of tomorrow needs."

Brian Wheeler

July 23, 2007

How well do you know these people?

How well do you know the dozen candidates running for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council?  How many names can you put to the faces below?  Charlottesville Tomorrow has just released our updated Election Watch website for the 2007 elections. 


Charlottesville Tomorrow is a non-partisan organization and we do not endorse any candidates.  Our goal is to offer the most comprehensive coverage of local elections to ensure the public is informed about each candidate's positions on the issues of land use, transportation and community design.

Want to learn more about the candidates? On our website you can read the candidates' bios, find their websites and blogs, and start educating yourself about why these citizens want to represent YOU in local government. 

Do you know WHERE to vote or WHO you will have on your ballot?
  Our website has links to helpful election websites and a map of the County candidates running for Supervisor.

Want to know who is ahead in campaign fundraising?  Charlottesville Tomorrow is supporting the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) local elections initiative.  From our Election Watch website you have easy access to each candidate's contributor list.

Want to attend a candidate forum?  Charlottesville Tomorrow has the community's only comprehensive election calendar.  Seven candidate forums have already been scheduled and Charlottesville Tomorrow is co-sponsoring four of those events in October.

Even more information will appear on our website as we approach election day, including in-depth coverage on this blog with audio and video downloads of the candidate forums.  You will be able to download the audio or transcripts of our candidate interviews in September.  And the last week before the election, Charlottesville Tomorrow will mail a voter guide to every household with one of these local races on the ballot.

Want to help Charlottesville Tomorrow make these resources available? Charlottesville Tomorrow needs your help to ensure our local elections get the coverage they deserve.  Please join our growing group of supporters by making a quick tax-deductible online donation.

Brian Wheeler

February 01, 2007

County releases web-based GIS application

It appears Albemarle County has released to the public their new Geographic Information System website (GIS-Web).  This is an amazing new tool for taxpayers, developers, builders, the media, realtors, non-profits, well everyone interested in Albemarle County.

"The County of Albemarle's GIS-Web provides access to County map and tabular data from various departments.  Through this system, you can query for property information, view maps of selected properties, generate hard copy map products, and much more. "


To preview more examples of what some of the maps and photos look like, checkout my preview of the site from last October.

Brian Wheeler

January 02, 2007

Top-10 Growth & Development Stories of 2006

In my weekly appearance on WINA AM 1070 with Coy Barefoot on the Charlottesville Right Now program, Coy and I will count down the top-10 growth and development stories of 2006. Call 977-1070 to get on the air and share your insights.

Charlottesville Tomorrow's Top-10 Growth and Development Stories of 2006

  1. County Supervisors reach a stalemate on rural area protection strategies after agreeing unanimously in 2005 to aggressively pursue new policies as part of the Rural Area Comprehensive Plan update.
  2. City/County agree on 50-year urban water supply plan which features a pipeline connecting our two major reservoirs.
  3. County approves North Pointe rezoning.
  4. County Supervisors unanimously endorse a potential population for Crozet of 24,000 people (current population: About 4,800).
  5. The local housing pipeline grows.  Since 2000 over 8,100 homes have been approved in the County alone.  Most have not been built yet.
  6. City’s vertical growth looms large—Officials question zoning allowing 9-story development.
  7. County advances economic development initiatives.
  8. City/County support development of Regional Transit Authority.  UVA observes from the sidelines.
  9. The Slutzky factor – Supervisor David Slutzky brings new ideas and a powerful swing vote on a number of growth and development issues.
  10. City/County advance major new e-Government communication initiatives [not really growth and development specific, but hugely helpful initiatives to those in the public interested in tracking these issues].

Honorable mention stories for 2006:

Think I left something off this list?  There were so many possibilities and I culled the list from past blog postings and the piles of files in my office. If you think something else deserves attention, please add a comment below and/or call in to WINA between 5:00 and 6:00 PM today. 

Brian Wheeler

December 28, 2006

City to offer Internet access to live and on-demand video of public meetings

Great news from the City of Charlottesville... starting January 2, 2007, the public will have access to both live streaming video and on-demand archival video of the meetings of City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Board of Architectural Review.  The City has implemented an Internet broadcast product from Granicus.

The media release notes that:

This new software solution creates an integrated public record of City Council agendas, minutes, and audio/video content, which are all searchable by keyword in one interface that is linked to the agenda of the meetings. City Council, Planning Commission and Board of Architectural Review (BAR) meetings will initially be featured followed by other meetings and important videos of resident interest at a later date. Users can search by keyword or “jump” to the moment when a specific item was discussed through a drop-down tool within hours of a meeting.

Assuming this works well, Charlottesville Tomorrow will have another resource which we can use to draw the public's attention to important land use and transportation issues in our area.  Stay tuned!

Brian Wheeler

October 23, 2006

City celebrates website honors

This is an experimental blog post taking advantage of the camera on my Treo mobile phone and some publishing software from my blog host, TypePad. This is an example of how blogs and wireless Internet access are important tools for citizen journalists and "new media" organizations like Charlottesville Tomorrow.

In this case, I am attending a celebration at the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau honoring the City for two recent national awards for their new website. The site is certainly an improvement and I am looking forward to support for RSS feeds on media releases, calendar items, and the agendas for City Council and the Planning Commission. Ric Barrick, the City's Director of Communications, tells me video streaming of Council meetings, RSS feeds, and blogging are coming soon, and in that order. Albemarle County's website needs those tools too, but they are taking a major leap forward with a public geographic information system (GIS) in the next couple of months.

I'll wrap this up as my fingers are getting tired from using my mobile phone keyboard and they are about to give away door prizes.

Brian Wheeler