Monday, 25 January 2021

MABA Mixer introduces digital signage, InfraGard and Adobe Systems to Middletown

MIDDLETOWN – Last Thursday a Middletown Area Business Association (MABA) Mixer introduced Lake County folks to the wonders of dynamic digital signage, the FBI's InfraGard progam and Adobe Systems' Dreamweaver. It was an amazing evening.


Dynamic digital signage is a marketing tool the Middletown Area Town Hall's Economic Development Committee has been discussing for months. Could the introduction of digital signage outside the local post office and on Highway 29 as you approach Middletown really encourage more travelers to shop and shop?


Kevin Comora, president of Vizicast Multimedia, has been in the digital signage business for 19 years and is convinced it can. He is the driving force behind San Francisco's 15-year success with digital signage at Pier 39 on Firsherman's Wharf. He has digital signage working its marketing magic in hotels, casinos, retail stores and even battleships like the USS Ronald Reagan.


In approximately an hour's time, Comora put together a dynamic digital presentation using information from just three Web sites of well-known Middletown companies Langtry Farms, Sylvie's and Fergusson Cutlery. Comora promised to place the dynamic digital signage presentation up on the Web temporarily so folks who were unable to attend the mixer can see it.


Joel Moss, supervisory special agent for the FBI, came and spoke about InfraGard a program that links the citizenry with important information that helps guard our national infrastructure. The public is invited to join this program absolutely free. The only requirement is that all those participating pass a basic background check. No felons are allowed to be in this program. For more information about InfraGard, visit www.infragard.net.


John Schuman, senior worldwide evangelist for the Creative Business Unit of Adobe Systems, flew in to Sacramento, rented a car and made the two-hour trek over to Middletown to be able to attend this mixer. He spoke about the wonders of Dreamweaver, the amazing Web design software that is used by more professional Web designers than any other software in the world. For more information about Dreamweaver, visit www.adobe.com.


Voris Brumfield, with the office of Lake County Code Enforcement, brought the paperwork regarding the rules and regulations for digital signage in the county. The good news is digital signage is allowed here. The big question at this point is how should it be initially introduced and financed?


Lake County has three Visitor Center locations the Calpine Visitor Center in Midddletown, the Lake County Visitor Center in Lucerne and the Lakeport Regional Chamber of Commerce/Lake County Visitor Center in Lakeport. Each location lacks a kiosk. Dynamic digital signage could easily solve that problem.


Comora actually has high school and college students helping to implement dynamic digital signage for communities. Last year just 30 Middletown High School students engaged in a letter-writing campaign which resulted in Adam Housley, an international correspondent for Fox News, coming and addressing the parade crowd at "Middletown Days." Because nothing succeeds like success, a letter-writing campaign was pursued again this year. This time, not 30, but 110 letters went out. Even middle school students wanted to be involved this time around. This time teachers gave every student participating community service credit toward graduation.


Doug McConnell, host of KRON 4's "Bay Area Backroads," responded by giving Middletown the opportunity to be among the first communities to post pictures of this annual parade and festival on its newly-created Web site venture, www.openroad.tv. Photograhper Craig Eve has provided pictures, but the Middletown Central Park Association has yet to grant permission to upload them to the Web.


Meanwhile, Dr. Korby Olson, superintendent of Middletown High School, is eager to get another letter-writing campaign underway in January of 2008. Perhaps by that time the letter-writing campaign will have morphed into a dynamic digital signage opportunity granting high school students community service credit toward graduation.


However, one thing is for sure. Whatever the campaign turns out to be, one thing is for certain. Unlike the two previous years, the student effort will not be promoting "Middletown Days" as the Middletown Central Park Association does not wish to promote its parade and festival outside the local community. Why? Because there is actually a fear too many people may actually show up and the small town will not be able to accommodate them.


However, the Middletown Senior Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is in need of a new location or building. The Foundation Center of San Francisco is scheduled to open a satellite resource center within the Clearlake Public Library in a few months to provide valuable information which can result in grant funding of 501-c3 nonprofit organizations.


Between tools like the Foundation Center, dynamic digital signage, InfraGard, Dreamweaver and the enthusiasm of local students, amazing things could happen in Middletown. Stay tuned.


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