Unique Dining Experience for St.Paddys Day

Sunset form downtown Fernandina Beach over the ICWW

Enjoy marvelous sunsets while cruising to Oyster Bay Yacht Club for dinner

If you haven’t made up your mind yet what to do for St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a date opportunity that doesn’t come along every day.

The Oyster Bay Yacht Club has teamed up with Amelia River Cruises for a Cruise and Dinner at the Club with Fun, Luck (of the Irish) and Laughter.

The Weather calls for partly cloudy and 80° F for St.Patrick’s Day this coming Saturday. Imagine the Sunset over the marshes and yourself on one of Amelia River Cruises vessels en route to the Oyster Bay Yacht Club for St. Patrick’s Day dinner and fun.

This Unique Opportunity to cruise the marshes and have dinner (click for menu) at Northeast Florida’s Most secluded, luxury yacht club is only $55 per person which includes boatride, dinner, tax and gratuity. The cruise departs from the Historic Fernandina Beach Waterfront this coming Saturday, March 17 at 6:30pm and returns there at 9pm. Enjoy breathtaking sunset views over the Amelia River and Intercoastal Waterway, before docking at the exclusive Oyster Bay Yacht Club, that has become a favorite for weddings, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, birthday and retirement parties and small size corporate events

Advance reservations are required for this unique dinner and cruise experience.
On the menu you will find a large choice of traditional Irish dishes and a wide blend of club favorites.

Book now as seating is limited.

You can make reservation by calling the Club at 904 261 4773 or Amelia River Cruises at (904) 261 9972 or book directly on their website http://www.ameliarivercruises.com/specialevents.html

Seven Simple Tips to Improve Your Website’s SEO

Google Keyword Tool; searchamelia.com

Understanding what people search for most is the trick to keyword selection

It seems that Search engine optimization is on many business people’s mind, yet most business owners with websites do not have a clue and mistake it for a social media presence. They think a Like or Business page on Facebook is SEO or at least part of it. It has absolutely nothing to do with Searchengine optimization. In this new and exciting cyber world, if you know what you’re doing, SEO can change the way you do business. If you don’t, however, what you don’t know could hurt you, or worse, put you out of business.

By now, most people realize that the Internet is a very important part of business, any business. If your customers move on the Internet, you need to be there. Period. An Internet presence is vital if you want to make it in today’s world, and consequently search engine optimization is something that just about everyone with a website needs to know something about. If you run a business, it’s important that you understand how your website or blog is to be optimized.

Search engine optimization isn’t just about adding keywords to your website content and blog posts; there’s quite a bit more to it, in fact. If you really want to be successful and reach the front page of the search rankings for your essential keywords and phrases, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Research is Key

Most business owners are aware that they need to have keywords, but they don’t know just how to find the best ones. Since the entire SEO campaign depends on selecting the right keywords, this is a very important step and one that cannot be taken lightly. Don’t just guess at your keywords, take the time to research them thoroughly.
You can use the Google Keyword Tool to help find good keywords with plenty of searches. Simply type your keyword into the search box and let Google give you suggestions. You want something that will bring in plenty of searches each month. Try using several keywords with lower searches if you can’t find one with less competition. Then click to Google and search for the keyword phrase with quotation marks on either end to see just how many other websites are optimized for the exact same phrase. You want lots of searches and very few competitors.

2. Less is More

At first glance, it might seem like the more often you use the keywords in your content, the better. However, thanks to scammers who used a technique called “keyword stuffing,” that’s not a good idea. You can actually end up penalized for using too many keywords in one piece of content.
The key here is to be natural. Don’t stuff the page full of specific words; instead let the information flow freely and insert the keyword phrases wherever they actually fit. This will result in much better content that search engines will love.

3. Label Your Photos

Photos really add a lot to a blog post, but they can’t help your SEO unless you make full use of titles and ALT tags. Using your keywords in these areas will give your page a nice boost. It doesn’t hurt to name your photo something SEO friendly either. Instead of labeling it DSC234.jpg, go with something like Florida-beaches.jpg.

4. Drop the Flash and Java

Flash might make for a funky website, but it is useless when it comes to search engines. HTML is far cleaner and readable for search engines, so the worst thing you can do is have a Javascript or Flash intro page to your site. Google and the other search engine spiders won’t be able to register the site easily nor read the content embedded in the fancy Flash.

5. Add Regular Content

This is one area that is more important now than every before. Good content has always done well with the search engines, but since Google changed the rules in early 2011, it’s even more important. Regularly updated pages with quality content are treated very well by the search engines, so it makes sense that blogs, rather than fixed sites with static content, are doing very well these days.
While your content should contain keywords, keep in mind that the most important thing is to offer quality information. It should be written more for human eyes than for search engine spiders.

6. Try Deep Linking

Getting links from other websites is vital in boosting search engine rankings, but what many people don’t know is that deep linking is also very important. Deep linking means linking to other pages within the same website. For example, Searchamelia is a site on news and entertainment info and an article like this one links naturally to a story I did on choosing the right keywords back in June of 2011.
This type of linking should be done on a regular basis and goes hand in hand with providing regular content. Whenever you write a blog post, check back to see if there’s anything relevant to link it to.

7. Too Many Backlinks is a Bad Thing

If you’re online, you’ve heard of back-linking. This is the practice of getting links from other websites. When you use the right anchor text, this can be very helpful in boosting your search engine rankings. However, it is not something you want to overdo.
Getting regular links from various locations looks a lot more natural than one article directory linking fifty times to the same page. Try to spread your back-links out, a handful here, a few there, and keep them trickling in at a steady rate to ensure the best results. If you have 10,000 links come in one day and then nothing for the next four months, the search engines will know something is up and will rank you accordingly.

There is a lot more to SEO, but the foregoing will for now get you ahead of your competition. SEO is a combination of common sense along with some careful tricks. As long as you are putting out excellent content on a regular basis with keywords naturally mixed in, you can expect to see an improvement in your rankings. If you want to know more about correct SEO, you may want to join us for one of our monthly free Social Gatherings. The next one is scheduled for March 21 at the Amelia Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast.

How Rich Do You Feel?

A measure of rich - searchamelia.com

Richness Measured in Grades

How much income would you need to feel “rich?” Gallup recently conducted a poll and discovered that the median income needed by Americans to feel rich was $150,000. That is three times the roughly $50,000 median annual household income of Americans.
Probing a little deeper, the survey results revealed the following interesting points:

1)    15 percent of the respondents said they needed to earn $1 million or more to feel rich while 30 percent said $100,000 or less would make them feel rich.

2)    Women said they needed $100,000 per year to feel rich while men needed $150,000.

3)    College graduates needed $200,000 to feel rich while non-college graduates needed $100,000.

In a separate question, Gallup asked Americans how much net worth they would need to feel rich. The median response was $1 million.

So there you have it – to feel rich in America the average American needs either $150,000 in annual income or $1 million in net worth.

Now, let’s contrast that with our tax laws. The highest marginal tax rate starts when single filers or married couples filing jointly reach $379,150 in taxable income. That’s quite a bit above the median $150,000 number that was reported by Americans to make them feel rich.

According to Gallup, “The question of the point at which someone becomes rich certainly has policy implications in the United States. Gallup finds Americans now about evenly divided on whether the rich, broadly speaking, should be heavily taxed.”

We can likely expect to hear a lot more about tax policy during the upcoming elections later this year.  Let’s hope our “friends in Washington D.C.” aren’t paying too much attention to the latest Gallup polls.

Whether or not one feels “rich,” is often a function of experience, expectation, and attitude. One can certainly live a rich life when we also consider the value of non-monetary assets, such as friends, family, and overall quality of life.

Other conditions have an immediately negative effect on our feelings of richness.  For example, you may have noticed the last time you filled your car gas prices are on the rise again. In fact, CNBC reported gas prices are at a record high for this time of year. The report says gas prices could hit an all-time record high this spring.

Gas prices aren’t the only thing on the rise. Tensions in Iran and the Middle East are stoking a rise in oil prices. Together, higher gas and oil prices could take a bite out of consumer and corporate wallets.  Unless you own an oil well or two, expect to feel a bit less rich each time you have to fill up the tank.

And the Movies Are in Town

Searchamelia.com: movie production

Actually producing a movie seems to be a young people's job

Tonight the 4th Amelia Island Film Festival takes off with a Red Carpet Event at the Peck Center, the showing of Derek Estlin Purvis “Sunny Side Up 2011” with Parker Posey as Angelica Lovecraft in the lead and an After Party at Café Karibo.

Then on Friday there are some 20 movies, documentaries and shorts to enjoy at various venues such as Sheffield’s, the Peck Center, o’Kane’s and foreign films (obviously sub-titled) at the Anchor, from Spain, Portugal, Russia, Canada, Italy and Brazil. For a complete listing check the website http://www.ameliaislandfilmfestival.org/

Since the film festival last year, many changes took place in the organization of the event, often leading to the question if there actually would be another . We are happy to see that the organization got its priorities straightened out, serving an impressive line-up of titles and events.

Here are some of the events you will enjoy during the festival
Thursday 2-23, 7pm – Red Carpet
Friday 2-24, 4pm -PBS “Real Food Real Kitchens”
Friday 2-24, 5:30pm Judge Henry Adams Event
Saturday 2-24, 11am Children Red Carpet
Saturday 2-25, 1pm-PBS “Real Food Real Kitchens”
Saturday 2-25, 4pm Norman Studios
Sunday 2-26, 7pm Oscar Party with a special screening of locally shot “The Diary of Preston Plummer” which will premier in two weeks on the Red Carpet of the Miami International Film Festival.

Entirely in the mood for some movie action, our Award Winning point man/ producer Rick Traum has been providing us with some hilarious explanations why sometimes the credits of people involved in the production of a movie takes 10 minutes of screen time.

Enjoy!

searchamelia.com - movie productionssearchamelia.com-amelia island film productionssearchamelia.com-amelia island film productionssearchamelia.com-amelia island film productions

Machiavelli’s Solution to the Internet Surveillance Problem

internet-censorship; searchamelia.com

Machiavelli has found a clever way around the constitution

In a world of short term thinking and collective amnesia, many of us have already moved on from the SOPA(House) and PIPA(Senate) governmental monkey wrenches aimed at ultimately silencing the Internet. Yes millions protested and politicians got nervous so they tabled the legislation, pending the advice from more committees and “government experts”.

Google turned black, Wikipedia and Reddit went completely dark and even here on the Searchamelia website we carried the protest logo in the top right hand corner, usually reserved for AmeliaBites.com – restaurant reviews or important local event links. Millions of online petitions were signed and there was so much outpouring of dissent that even Washington had to pretend that the voice of the people still carried weight.
The bills, which had seem assured of swift passage, rapidly turned into a suicide mission in this important election year. Supporters of it, forced to accept and concede that the public really was pissed off this time, fled back into anonymity….for now.

Everyone on “our” side of the fence exchanged congratulatory wishes and moved rapidly back to the speed of life in cyberspace.  But caution and vigilance is needed, because in today’s world, politicians are no statesmen with vision and a level of sophistication. They are for the most part vicious, backstabbing opportunists, who get paid by us to go back to their corner and figure out another approach or, and that is what is happening with an alarming frequency lately, they will incorporate the package into a bigger package of such economic or social importance, that nobody in the senate or congress can say no to, without risking political suicide.

For example next to SOPA and PIPA there is also PCIP. SOPA and PIPA are about shutting down Internet sites that the federal government deems offensive. PCIP is about gathering information. As practically always, especially with “well-intended” legislation, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981, or PCIP) is allegedly aimed at shielding kids from pornographers. Something everyone hopefully agrees with. Especially since the problem of internet stalking is real and sexual predators should be prosecuted to the maximum of the law, even if it means a certain level of cyber-entrapment, allowing police to run online sting operations against those who are targeting kids. Harsher punishment and a wider net to catch interstate commerce transactions that promote child porn. No problem. Even the acceptance that there will be an occasional case of collateral damage against innocent people being caught in the net is acceptable to a degree. But as always the stinger hides in the details.
PCIP is also about pre-crimes as it entails gathering evidence before any crime is committed… even before said crime is contemplated. The objective given is, that in the event of an arrest, supporting online records can quickly and easily be subpoenaed.
But in order to accomplish that, everyone must be considered a potential criminal. That’s right…Everyone.

Here is how that works.
PCIP mandates or will mandate once it is ratified, that Internet providers keep detailed records about each one of us, beyond just name, address, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, all Internet activity for the previous 12 months (imagine the extension of this feature after the first successful busts!), and any IP addresses assigned to you – without a search warrant, court order, or even the slightest suspicion of criminal activity. Now tell me, are you still worried about your Facebook or Google profile? If you are it’s time to wake up to the real danger coming from your government as it is in a very sly way proposing to expand the ranks of de facto private-sector cops, the same way that banks are now forced to report any “suspicious financial activity.” The legislation would require ISPs to compile detailed dossiers on every online citizen, and to have them readily accessible for whatever “crime-fighting” or other purposes authorities want them. It’s actually breathtaking how it saves federal government officials the trouble and expense of doing it themselves. We’re paying for it. Macchiavelli himself would have to admire the elegance of their solution to the universal ‘Net surveillance problem’ that’s vexed them for some time.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has scornfully tabbed this the “Data Retention Bill,” warning that the stored data “could become available to civil litigants in private lawsuits – whether it’s the RIAA trying to identify downloaders, a company trying to uncover and retaliate against an anonymous critic, or a divorce lawyer looking for dirty laundry.” And in a grotesque illustration of the law of unintended consequences, the EFF adds: “These databases would also be a new and valuable target for black hat hackers, be they criminals trying to steal identities or foreign governments trying to unmask anonymous dissidents.”

H.R. 1981 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee in late July of last year but is yet to be voted on (although it was slated for “expedited consideration” in mid-December). Will it provoke the kind of public outcry directed against SOPA? Don’t count on it. What politician in his or her right mind would dare oppose legislation that “protects kids from pornographers?”

Just so you know, how the muzzling of the Internet will happen! Neatly packaged in a way Count Machiavelli would have enjoyed.

Why Construction is still losing Jobs

searchamelia.com - Motorized Wheelbarrow

Progress has now reach scaffolding level

My older brother in Holland just emailed me that he had decided to spend his savings for burial expenses on a new computer instead and I answered him that I heralded this true “living on the edge” decision.

It should be noted that his funeral savings mainly cover a euphemistic practice Dutch people call an after-the-cemetery-get-together “Coffee Table” to discuss the deceased’s life over some drinks and the obligatory food buffet; a bit New Orleans style without the drumband. The country is so socially structured that all other expenses are paid for out of lifelong tax contributions to the public funds.

In any case to share with you the kind of humor my brother inherited from our parents, he returned my encouragement with several pictures in this essay and a short note that the country now has raised the retirement age to 67 (when I left in 1980 it was 60 with options of 55. It seems that unemployment is on the rise and automation in the construction industry is costing jobs. Reportedly there are already kits in the market to make the motorized wheelbarrow go faster.

Human ingenuity is truly precious.

User Manual 1

User Manual driver side view

Operating Instructions

I Grew Up on Gospel Video Premiers

I Grew Up on GospelA little while ago we wrote about local singer-songwriter duo Joey and Jeanie doing a video shoot in Tavares, Florida for their new album titled “The Gospel Train.” They are amazingly talented and you should not miss an opportunity to hear them perform.

Well the video is out and it has been edited, synched and credited, and mind you superbly produced. In a 1950s era setting, the scene edits are tastefully peaceful and rhythmic and the music is toe-tappingly engaging.

Just watch it here and then download the album or Order the CD for a last minute Christmas present.

As a convenient reminder (just in case you missed it), SearchAmelia caught up with them at Christmas a couple of years ago and caught this great sampling from their first album.