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ISI moves to the BDC

Starting in January 2016, we’ll have a new address. We’ve moved to the Blue Ridge Business Development Center and are in Office 505, at 115 Atwood Street.


We will continue to offer all the of the same services at the new location, focusing on web services (design, development, hosting and maintenance), print publishing (page design, digital prepress, book printing), and television production (our existing series Silver Screenings, Alleghany Memories, and the upcoming Common Threads).

Our new location will bring ISI closer to several of our existing business-to-business clients, as well as new startups who might benefit from our print & document services.

Our online store, Shop Star Route, is still live, and the books we had available at our Main Street location are still available downtown. Star Route Books are available at Sparky’s Coffeehouse (at 32 West Whitehead Street), and the Alleghany Historical-Genealogical Society is retailing the books they have published at Alleghany Historical Museum (at 7 North Main Street). None of our titles are out of print and they’re easy to find at Shop Star Route.

We’re very excited about the new chapter for ISI. Looking forward to seeing you in the new year, at our new location.

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ISI Receives Awards at 72nd Annual Meeting of NC Society of Historians

The 72nd Annual Awards Ceremony of the North Carolina Society of Historians was held in Mooresville, Saturday, the 19th of October.

Out of 642 entries, 564 were declared eligible for judging and, of those, just 83 were declared winners. Eight of those (almost 10%) came home to Alleghany County!

From Imaging Specialists and Star Route Books, Four Brothers in Gray, the story of the Proffit family of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and their struggles in the Civil War.

Imaging Specialists won a Paul Green Multimedia Award  for our Trip to the Museum series, which we prepared for Alleghany Community Television. We also won a Joe McLaurin Newsletter Award for the AHGS Newsletter we publish and a Willie Parker Peace History Book Award for our book, Four Brothers in Gray.

The Historical Society‘s series, Alleghany Memories, won another Paul Green Award and for four episodes that featured members of the Walter Frank Osborne, Jr. Deatachment 1298 Marine Corps League, they won another.

The Tale of Clyde from Stratford Oaks Tales, 2013 NCSH Award Winner.

Dr. Suzanne Mellow-Irwin won a Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award for her book, Stratford Oaks Tales, The Tale of Clyde and Zach Hamm won for his illustrations. Imaging Specialists publishes the Stratford Oaks series.

Hannah Tucker also won a Joe McLaurin Newsletter Award for The Southern Tribune, a newsletter she produces for General JEB Stuart SCV Camp #1598

ISI also nominated others in surrounding counties. Writer, film director, and photographer Kelley St. Germain won for his Visions of Ashe: Mooshine documentary. It was developed for Skybest Television. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, partnering with the NC Arts Council, published the Blue Ridge Music Trails Guidebook, which won a Paul Green Multimedia Award. The Madison County Arts Council DVD, Four Master Fiddlers, also won. This program has also been broadcast on ACTV.

We couldn’t be more proud to have been associated with these projects!

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Limitations of Social Media Marketing

We recently saw this story on Social Fixer and want to share it with our readers.

If you aren’t familiar with Social Fixer, it’s a browser extension that “fixes” facebook. It changes how the site is displayed in a user’s browser. Social Fixer doesn’t do anything to harm facebook or alter the site – it only changes the way user-generated content displays.

Not long ago, Social Fixer’s page was suddenly “unpublished” by Facebook. It was totally removed. The page was not a small one- it had 34,000 “fans” and had been growing for years. They weren’t spamming people. They hadn’t violated the terms of service. There was no advance notice, or warning of any kind. No “stop doing X, Y, and Z.” No feedback on how to change.

Luckily, the business owner is able to contact his users in other ways, including through the extension itself. It’s just more difficult.

It’s important to remember that, while Facebook is a good way to stay in contact and find new potential customers, it is not a public service.  It’s a business. And with no traditional  customer service, user complaints don’t seem to be very effective. At any rate, this fellow’s appeal was ignored.

Facebook profits from the content you share across it. The more time a visitor spends at their site, the more money they make. They “mine” the data people enter, including everything from the time they spend, to their browsing patterns, to their likes and their associations with other users.

Your goal with facebook may be to find new people- and there is a world of potential on facebook- but your facebook and social media marketing strategy should be similar to your traditional marketing strategy. The number of “likes” you get rarely equals the number of sales you close. Neither does the number of subscribers to a newspaper in traditional advertising.

All advertising- whether it’s across a social marketing site, like Facebook, or in the daily news- should point your potential customer to your own site or store, where you have control over your message. Facebook is a valuable tool when used correctly, but it cannot replace a professional, secure site that you control. Your business should be the only one to benefit from your relationship with your customers.

Check out the whole Social Fixer story, and this follow up post. It’s really interesting.