It’s Friday! What You Need Is a Good Mixtape

Thank God It's #Mixday, by @LT

Thank God It's #Mixday, by @LT

After having read this Web site for months now and putting up with its sporadic updates and dubious content, you deserve something in return, don’t you? Of course you do!

That’s what we’re giving away some free music. It’s our first contribution to a mixtape series some of the fine folks at Arkansas Business Publishing Group are doing. “Thank God It’s #Mixday” is being curated at ABPG by Ryan Byrd, and you can download my compilation here and Ryan’s compilation here. Full track listing for mine is after the jump.

Other companies, like CJRW, do this as well. And we hope to make a new Friday tradition here at ABPG.

So go download some decent music, sit back and relax. It’s a small token of thanks to those who’ve so far managed to endure this blog.

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Talking Social Media and Business at Commerce Arkansas Nov. 3

About 900 folks came out to Commerce Arkansas last year, a business expo at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock put on by Arkansas Business and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. This year, we’re doing it again on Nov. 3, and we’ve got a great lineup of speakers and seminars free to anyone who pre-registers.

Among the seminars, a panel I’ll be moderating on social media and business. “Using Social Media for Business, Nonprofit and Search Engine Marketing” will provide an overview of how businesses and nonprofits can use social media – including Twitter and Facebook – in aid of e-commerce, marketing and charitable campaigns. You’ll learn what tools are available, how to staff social media efforts, how to set expectations and measure success.

So who’s on the panel? Scheduled to appear are:

Ed Nicholson of Tyson Foods, who was kind enough earlier this year to provide some guest posts on social media for this blog

Natalie Ghidotti of Ghidotti Communications, who’s advised companies like I.O. Metro on using social media to connect with customers

Megan Knight of FLEX360, the Web development firm’s interactive marketing director on search engine marketing expert

They’ll each talk about different aspects of using social media for your business, marketing and charitable needs. We’ll share more details leading up to the seminar. Meanwhile, register now to attend this seminar and others for free.

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Last year, Commerce Arkansas attracted some great speakers. This year, we’ve done it again. Among those on the roster:

Jeffrey Gardner, CEO of Windstream Corp. of Little Rock

Jon Harrison, general manager of Caterpillar’s North American Motor Grader Operations in North Little Rock

Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville

Linda Nelson of the Arkansas Small Business Technology and Development Center

Greg Henderson of Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions

OU: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Stephens Northwest Merger Moving Forward

Christopher Spencer’s Ozarks Unbound reports that the merger between the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Stephens Media’s northwest Arkansas operations is moving forward, with newspaper employees interviewing for their old jobs this week:

Staff with The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Benton County Daily Record were told they must re-apply for their jobs with the soon-to-be-formed Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC company.

Rusty Turner and Lisa Thompson, editors from The Morning News were reportedly making the rounds this week among some Wehco properties to interview folks for the new company.

On their application, employees must list their top two positions in order of preference, but no one is saying just how many positions are actually going to exist in the new arrangement.

Spencer also raises doubts as to whether the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will keep its Lowell office.

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Spencer, of course, is a former Stephens Media employee. He was cut earlier this year from the staff of The Morning News, but has lived to fight another day having launched the online-only Ozarks Unbound about four months ago. He takes stock of his new venture, one of many online-only news sites springing up around Arkansas, here.

The First Arkansas Lottery Fraud Fail

A lottery ticket

A (real) lottery ticket

I guess someone had to do it. According to KATV-TV, Channel 7, a woman was arrested trying to pass off a fake winning lottery ticket at Arkansas Lottery headquarters in downtown Little Rock.

A woman is arrested inside the Arkansas Lottery Headquarters Monday afternoon…and KATV’s cameras were there for the arrest. Police say Ruth Dennis, 56, tried to pass a fake winning ticket for the real thing at the claims center. Her friend, John Burch says he gave Dennis and her sister a ride from Camden with a $3,000 ticket.

Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue says the ticket was clearly not real. He says she used the three times lucky scratch tickets and allegedly cut and pasted different numbers to make it appear like a winner.

“There’s no cure for stupid,” Passailaigue said, “And that’s what’s going to happen. People are going to try and defraud the lottery and they’re going to go to jail.”

It’s going to take a whole lot more than cut-and-paste jobs to fool the lottery security system, according to our recent Arkansas Business cover story on lottery security measures:

Lottery tickets can have up to 21 layers of specialized coatings and inks, including a layer that gives the cards fingerprint-like identities.

Scissors, glue and Exacto knives just aren’t going to get the job done. Lady probably should have read our story.

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Kudos to KATV, which somehow got video of the arrest. You can watch it here.

Lottery Execs Hit the JackPot & A Cautionary Tale in Arkansas Business This Week

We’re back in business. Here’s the latest from the Monday print edition of Arkansas Business:

Remember those phat lottery salaries everybody was so riled up about for about five minutes a few months ago? They’re big enough to put a few lottery workers among the “jocks and docs” on our annual list of highest-paid Arkansas state employees. Lottery director Ernie Passailaigue at No. 9.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal gets some advice for all those lottery winners out there: “Pay off your debts and put it into something super conservative for six months and have time to catch your breath and have rational thoughts.”

Economist Jeff Collins, who headed the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business, was on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers and is a partner in Streetsmart Data Services LLC of Fayetteville, isn’t immune from personal financial crisis, having filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month. This week, Collins talks to Arkansas Business’ Mark Friedman about what happened and lessons learned.

Are We Really Ready for This?

Christmas in October.

Christmas in October.

Only this could shake us from an annoyingly long period of blog inactivity. In the face of it, one can only ask, Is the World Ready?

Of course, we know it’s possible to handily butcher the English language in 140 characters. But we expect big things from Wally.

Wally Hall on Twitter – Twitter

We’ve Seen This Before

Nasa’s mission this week: to smash into the moon