Social Media Artists

Social Media Artists
Happy campers, helping clients

Smart Group

Smart Group
Not exactly a rock band, but close!

Smart Group Associates

Smart Group Associates

Social Media Discussion Board

Be part of the discussion about Social Media. Here is your chance to promote your business, your product, your knowledge. Follow this link and leave your thoughts!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Let me hear from you!

Hello friends. It has been awhile since my last post here because we are developing our new website which will include a blog, so this one may be phased out or perhaps it will stay but only with the emphasis on Social Media. The reason I say this one may stay with ONLY the emphasis on social media is because as a company, Smart Group and Gallery is de-emphasizing social media. Is that confusing?

Let me explain.

We are a full service advertising and marketing agency. Just yesterday I attended a promotional member drive to a certain kind of plan for TV advertising in this local market of Springfield, MO. Earlier yesterday, I spent the morning with an advertising rep from a large radio group in this local market too.

The reason I was doing those things is because our client, Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza is considering those venues. Actually, we've already started radio and we are considering some TV. I think the cost of both venues is extravagant, but my friend Mike is right to know that to jump start his marketing, he needs to spend money. We need to get "butts" in the seats to generate cash flow. We can't build the concept and the excitement of Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza without enough customers to support it.

So here we are writing radio scripts and considering TV advertising. Both venues would be ones we explain have continued to decline and why social media is replacing so much of that kind of advertising. The truth is, social media is most effective when it is integrated in to a mix of advertising forms. We never disputed this.

But the reason I've named this post, "Let me hear from you!" is because we are in the process of this new website design. I would really appreciate your consideration. There are two basic designs I'm close to deciding between. One you will see at Now the thing about this one that I want you to know is that the static banner you see when you open it will be a revolving group of photos. It won't just be one static photo which you currently see as the three gentlemen (Me, Kevin and Brannon). It could have that as one of the images but it could also be three square photos, which then turn in to two photos, and then a different OTHER long banner photo, etc.

The other design we're considering (don't worry about the other logo consideration--that is another matter) is at

Would you look at both and email me at and let me know which one you prefer. One style is with dark, rich colors and the other one is slick, clean and contemporary. Which one do you think is more "us?"

Thanks for taking a look. I really appreciate your continued support!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moving in to new diggs

Dear Loyal Followers! Thanks for staying tuned! If you're reading this, it is because you've come to the old address, The regular domain has now been diverted to our new website which should go live sometime tomorrow, although it will be under construction for a few weeks. As a reminder, that address is

Now if by some chance you've made it to this location prior to our Grand Opening tomorrow, and you will be in the Southwest Missouri corridor, near Springfield, we want to make sure you bring friends and come to the party!

Prior to the festivities will be our networking MeetUp which is being held as part of International Social Media Day. Ours will start at 5 PM and we'll have two very short presentations about Social Media and Web 2.0 (read two point "o"). Don't worry about hungry and thirsty, we'll have refreshments and Bruschetta for the 5 PM event.

Then the party will start at 6 PM with our exhibit in the art gallery, called "Wit and Whimsy" featuring the art of several artists, primarily local artist Carla Stine and Cincinatti artist Juli Ryan. Carla's "wall" will display her stunning color series canvases of the color spectrum. In total 11 striking canvases of texture and color, approximately 70 square feet to study mesmerizing solid color, surprisingly varied at closer examination. Carla's exhibit also shows off her delightful collages, 11 in all, each small, charming and witty.

On the opposite wall is the work of Juli Ryan whose paintings will send you in to dream land and a world of one particular kind of whimsical houses, trails, trees, cats, moons and all the elements of nature. Each painting would be perfect for the wall of any daughters room but also for the playful person who is thrilled by jewel like colors and fantasy happiness. Once you see one of Juli's paintings, you'll recognize every other one she does. And you'll never be able to forget the visions which jump out at you and take you back with them to their world of wonder and swirling elation.

Also featured are several sketches by resident artist Kevin Richardson and four beautiful color photographs by in house photographer Brannon Estis. Upstairs and along the stairway to my office are canvases by local artist Meike Aton who captures nature in vibrant colors and striking sillouettes. Also in the show are a few mixed media sculptures by long time artist and friend of the arts, Sally Baird.

Besides the great art and conversations which you'll have non-stop due to a packed house will be bottomless Sangria wine to complement the delicious cuisine of Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza. Three or four unique pizzas will be rotated and come steaming and crispy from the hot  pizza stone right out back from our grill. Other scrumptious offerings such as miniature seafood tapas, and bite sized chicken florentine will also be served. Big Mike himself (a classically trained chef and graduate of the famed Culinary Institute of America) will be also dishing out his interesting take on what it means to be a green restaurant and also one which features gulf foods.

What would excellent food and wine be without the luscious groove of a jazz ensemble? One dimensional! But all of that and live jazz--man, you won't want to miss it! You won't be able to stand still due to the incredible singing voice of Liz Carney who will remind you of Billy Holiday, without the smoky dark bar atmosphere.

Oh, and one last thing. Have you ever wondered where people get those professional looking photographs for their Facebook headshots? Well, look no further, you'll be able to have that taken at the party, at no charge and emailed to you within just a few days.

All of this also at the right price--FREE! And please take the time to introduce yourself and tell us about what you're into. Don't forget to bring friends. If you send me a note in advance, I'll give you a card good for a free cappucino, at the neighborhood Cupajo hangout--The Mudhouse!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Website coming this week

This little blog has been our temporary home until we move into our new website. You should see our new site later this week and this blog will move to another location. We'll let you know how to find it for anyone who likes to still visit this humble repository of rambling jargon.

A lot will happen this week as part of our Grand Opening week. We'll be announcing an on-line forum for locals in Springfield, MO who will also have lots of chances for actual social gatherings. Both the site and the meeting place will be announced this Friday. The site will be called ZarkoBuzz and you'll find the on-line gathering at Also we'll announce our new free video series called On-Line Marketing Tools, which will be short YouTube "How To" videos for people in business. These should help everyone stay successful in these challenging economic times.

So these are the reminders for the week:

This Friday at 5 PM, a gathering to network about Social Media, as part of International Social Media Day. Then at 6 PM, we'll kick off First Friday Art Walk with our exhibit Wit and Whimsy, featuring the art of Carla Stine and Juli Ryan. At 7 PM, the music will start from Bella Donna, which is hip jazz and blues in the tradition of Billy Holiday, featuring the haunting and lovely voice of Liz Carney.

About that same time, classically trained chef Mike Bleil will be serving up his Gulf influenced cuisine from Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza. For you Sangria lovers, you'll be thrilled to know that the best summer punch will be flowing all night.

Brannon Estis from R. Brannon Estis Photography will be on-hand taking professional Facebook headshots for FREE! from 6 to 8 and the atmosphere will be loaded with fun for the party of the month.

Here is the short video to kick off the new "how to" series on On-Line Marketing Tools:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Social Media Talk Next Friday

Please join us in Springfield, MO at 5 PM next Friday, August 6, as part of the International Social Media Day. We'll meet other Social Media insiders to open discussion locally about using social media for recreation and for business.

Immediately after, it will mark the Grand Opening of our Studio and Gallery, as part of August, First Friday Art Walk. We've got live music, the jazzy and blues sound of Bella Donna featuring the unreal beauty and haunting vocals of Liz Carney, who is the daughter of local opera impresario and singer, Jeff Carney.

Also we'll be featuring the delicious cuisine of Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza. Sounds like a crazy combination because it is. But let me tell you this guy can COOK! A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, with a personality that makes everyone want to like him. No pretense, no fluff, no puffed out chest. Just a guy who loves people to enjoy his food!

We've got the exhibit called Wit and Whimsy, featuring the fun and storybook art of Juli Ryan and the beautiful color series from local artist Carla Stine, along with a small group of her whimsical collages.

Free Sangria wine, free professionally taken Facebook headshots by Smart Group partner and photographer Brannon Estis, and lots of other fun. Don't miss it and please tell your friends!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back to Work

Just got back from a week's vacation in sunny Florida (oil workers everywhere and nare a drop to drink!). Time to get back to work.

Here is a little ruminations from the blogger dogger.

Times are tough. There is no free lunch. No one is going to do it for you. There is no magic pill. Social media is a mixed bag. Take the good with the bad. Every now and then you get lucky. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Go with the flow. Who said this would be easy. Put your shoulder to the plow and don't look back.

Remember to put it on your calendar. August 6. Our Grand Opening. Should be a blast. Food again from Big Mike's Crab Shack and Pizza (expect to hear much more about Big Mike's in weeks to come!). Music from Bella Donna (great jazz in the style of Billy Holiday, featuring Liz Carney). The show Wit and Whimsy with some twists for August. All four of the Smart Group associates on hand to talk about what we do. Lots of places to just "groove and enjoy." Enjoy the opening and the show but also engage in great conversations with other art lovers and folks interested in social media.

At 5 PM we have a presentation by Smart Group associates about social media and our spin on marketing.

Be there or be square...or a circle...or a triangle...or some other as yet undiscovered shape of the universe.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm on vacation but thought this article is good food for thought. Do you have a comment?

We'd love to hear from you!

btw, please mark your calendar for August 6. That will be our Grand Opening and also our MeetUp event for people to come early at 5:00 PM before Art Walk, to learn about Social Media.

See you there! Don't forget to let us hear from you!!!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smart Group Makes Marketing Fun!

A few examples of the Smart Group at work/play, helping clients with our Social Media Art!

We'd love to create some buzz for you or your brand too! Give us a call...