internet development & fine art printing
September 1st, 2005 (vol. 1, issue 6)

THE LAZARUS GROUP SITE >

Hot Bird Talk, Issue 6

If you are outside at night, you should really take a moment to look up. Venus and Jupiter are hanging over the Southwestern horizon right after the sun sets (if you get to see the sky with all the rain, that is). But right now, check out what this month's Hot Bird has to offer: our own new star, William Leathem, some tidbits on security, a peek at a new site and a recipe for a great margarita.

Will Gregory PR

We like Will Gregory. He comes in and chats with us about "loud launches, stylish events and brilliant branding." So we have a lot to talk about.

Back in April, Will Gregory left his high-falootin' job, as Director of Public Relations at The Fairmont Hotel on The Country Club Plaza, to go out on his own. Soon after, he walked into The Lazarus Group with a logo and a business card - but no website. He had accolades from Oprah and an impressive client list...but no website. (He'd been mentioned on Jay Leno...but no website.)

Needless to say, we built a fine looking site for Will Gregory PR - and Will sported a graceful Triple Lindey into his own PR firm. So if you need to organize a bang-up event (and land some photos of it in your favorite publication to boot)...check out his website!

By the way, We'll soon release Will Gregory PR's first e-news launch. If you'd like to be included, send Will Gregory an email.

go to willgregorypr.com >>

In the Market for a Digital Camera?

Digital Point & Shoot (Rangefinder) vs. Digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR)

What kind of photographer are you?

A serious hobbyist who wants to use a telephoto lens to capture all of the close up action at your favorite sporting event? Or maybe you fancy yourself a street photographer and need the widest angle possible to get as many 'faces in the crowd' in your shot as possible? Like to take professional looking party pics on the weekends with an external flash? If so, then you probably should consider buying a D-SLR such as the Canon Digital Rebel or Nikon D70. You're also going to need a BIG bag to carry the body of this beast around with you, as well as your lenses and flash. Don't forget a free hand to carry that tripod to shoot your favorite city at night.

Sound like a nightmare? Maybe you're a photographer like me, who would prefer to just carry a camera...that fits in your shirt pocket. If this is you, and all you want to do is have something simple to take a decent photograph of your family or friends with, perhaps your cat or your parrot, then a digital rangefinder is the equipment for you.

Rangefinders have so many advantages over D-SLR's it's hard to list them all, but I'll try. First and foremost, price. You can buy a rangefinder with plenty of resolution (4-5 megapixels) for around $200 - $500. Getting started with a D-SLR can cost you as much as $1,000! And that usually includes only one lens! Rangefinders are totally automatic. Many even have 'portrait' or 'landscape' or 'night' settings which adjust camera settings automatically to make the sort of shot you're trying to take come out perfect. And if you don't even want to mess with that, you don't have to! Their default setting is always FULLY AUTOMATIC. Just turn the camera on, shoot, and 99 percent of the time you'll get a fine picture.

Digital rangefinders know nice little things, like when to fire the flash and when not to. Their lenses are fixed too, and give you a basic range from just above wide angle to a little bit of telephoto - all in one package. These 'aspherical' lenses work wonderfully and give you an equivalent focal range of 30 - 70 mm on average, which more than covers the bases for most of us. Even better, being 'fixed,' these permanently attached lenses ensure there's no way for dust and dirt to get inside your camera to damage the sensitive CCD (Charge Coupled Device - your digital 'film'). This is a big problem with D-SLR's, as every time you change lenses, even in the cleanest environment, you run the risk of getting dust particles on your CCD. These particles eventually show up as dots and specs in your finished print and there's no way to fix the problem but to send your camera in to the manufacturer.

Send my camera to the manufacturer?!!? Ack!

If you're thinking, "I just wanna take a picture of my dog, man!" I'm right there with you. If you want a camera that stays clean, saves you money, fits in your pocket & takes a great, simple shot each time, a digital rangefinder is for you.

If you think you're the next prodigy waiting to be discovered by National Geographic, or you want to better understand the complexities of manual photography - like aperatures, shutter speeds, exposures, white balances, filters & focal lengths - then you'll probably find most rangefinders to be a little too simple. Buy a D-SLR. And don't forget the $100 bag to go with it!

Vocabulary FYI:

VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol, refers to software and hardware that allows users to place phone calls using the internet. (It's not just for websites anymore...Beam me up, Scotty!) VoIP is also called IP Telephony, Internet Telephony, and just like Fexofenadine (what?) is known as Allegra, VoIP has been branded Digital Phone.

Laz first used VoIP on a trip to Italy several years ago. It allowed him to feel free to stay up on office going-ons (no long distance charges) and still feel free to frollic in the vineyards. (That's just Laz, ain't it.)

These days, it's much easier for the average internet user to set up VoIP and place calls around the world - and for very little money.

If you're interested in trying VoIP, we suggest Vonage and Skype; both are companies that have been around for awhile.

Have questions about going digital? We found a good article here, or you can always email us and ask away.

Vocabulary Bonus

So now you know what VoIP stands for. Wanna take a guess at what the acronym POTS stands for? Plain Old Telephone System. Originally known as the Post Office Telephone Service, the term refers to the analogue telephone system that has been available since the introduction of the telephone. The term Post Office Telephone Service was dropped when national control of telephone services was removed from the Post Office's repertiore. Soon after VoIP technology was introduced, the acronym was re-assigned to describe the analog phone technologies of old.

Introducing...

Alright, already - the powers that be (Laz) grow ever more insistent that I take a few minutes to introduce myself. So, voila, here I am: "me" - Will Leathem.

(photo, compliments of JB)

I joined The Lazarus Group a few months back to help see to marketing and sales. One of my first projects was to identify and market The Lazarus Group's years of experience serving the needs of nonprofits. Take it from me - we have oodles! You may even have seen (if you work for a nonprofit) one of our very cool postcards - featuring the art of Jen Mellard and designed by Kelsey Snow.

It has been noted that I've spent the majority of my life selling something - be it selling my parents on letting me go to the lake un-chaperoned (at the ripe age of 11) or selling the voters of Missouri on a new political candidate. I am married to a great gal, Kara, and we have a new, little man named Riley. Together we also own a little bookstore called Prospero's Books. (Yes, The Lazarus Group did our great website: prosperosbookstore.com.)

What we offer you, our client, is over 15 years of experience in the public arena selling one of the toughest commodities - ideas. And, when it comes down to it, that is what your website is - a proactive tool for communicating an idea, for selling your product to your targeted client.

At least that's what it should be. If it isn't, you are missing out.

Websites are one of the most dynamic and persuasive marketing tools available. They can be cheaper and more precisely targeted than direct mail. They can provide much more information at a more affordable cost than print advertisements. Unlike broadcast ads, they can be interactive and virtually instantaneous. Yet, they can integrate seamlessly with your print and broadcast ad strategies. And they are certainly more affordable than any other form of marketing.

Granted, it takes a little strategy, a little know-how, a few tricks-of-the-trade to identify your audience, get them there, WOW 'em and turn them into paying customers. But, that's what The Lazaurs Group does.

So, Hi! I'm Will. If you or someone you know is missing out on a great looking, functioning website. Why not just send them my way.

send Will Leathem an email >>

Gone phishing...

When you get emails from Paypal, Ebay, Citbank - or anyone else asking you to click and verify your account - unless you know you just asked that company to send you an email, do not click on the link in the email! Phishing attacks are very sophisticated. The page you will be referred to can look exactly like the real company's website.

What can you do? Look at the link! If the address reads www.yourbank.com.example.com, you're actually being directed to a website at example.com, not yourbank.com. Also, if there is an IP address (for example, 192.168.1.1) in the link, it's most likely a phishing attack.

If you think the email might be real, you can always type your bank's URL in yourself and then login to your account. That way you are sure to end up at the correct site.

Another way to protect your security is to keep your web browser (try Mozilla's Firefox!) updated.

Fall Art Fairs

September and October bring some of the best art fairs in Greater Kansas City area. The Lazarus Group's own Jen M. will be at Westport and Hidden Glen, and Jon Bidwell will be at the Unplaza and Hidden Glen. There are a number of The Lazarus Group's artist clients that will be at these shows also, so please, get out of the house, eat some great food, and buy some art.

(photo, compliments of Jen M.)

By the way:

The Lazarus Group will host a booth at the 2006 Council on Philanthropy's 13th Annual Midwest Conference. If you are in the neighborhood, drop by, say hello and register for a free year of web hosting!

what:
The Lazarus Group's booth at the 2006 Council on Philanthropy's 13th Annual Midwest Conference

when:
7:30am-3pm
Friday, September 9th

where:
Hyatt Regency Crown Center
2345 McGee Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

Great Margaritas - Woohoo!

1 cup Cointreau
2 cups Tequila
3 cups fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix all ingredients in large pitcher.

Wet edge of glass with lime, place glass edge in salt tray. Serve over ice.

Enjoy!

Go See Some Art!

We've included a few images from Jen M. and JB, so you can see what you'll miss if you don't make it to the art shows. But we know you'll be there, right?

County Line Road, by Jon Bidwell
above: County Line Road, by Jon Bidwell
At Rest, by Jen Mellard
above: At Rest, by Jen Mellard
3212 GILLHAM ROAD. KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI 64109
816.931.5525 · FAX: 816.531.4464·info@lazarusgroup.com