Friday, August 14, 2009
Bako bits: From social networking as a marketing tool to rumblings at CSUB to upside down mortgages
Wrapping up the week and cleaning off my desk as we head into another weekend. School starts next week and fall is coming. Let's get to it:
* ... RUMBLINGS OVER AT CSUB: I seem to have hit a nerve with my mention that longtime Cal State community liaison Laura Wolfe had been ousted. (read previous post here) Got a couple calls from CSUB insiders who were lamenting the loss of Laura, who spent 14 years with the university building better relations between the school and the community. Laura worked for Mike Chertok, who retired and was replaced by Beverly Byl, brought in by President Horace Mitchell. Give Horace credit: he has single handedly raised the stature of the university in the community through sheer good will, focus and great personal charm. Which is why insiders are puzzled over the choice of Beverly, who one person described as one who moves through a room with sharp elbows. No doubt the dismissal of Laura Wolfe was a move that addressed two concerns: one budgetary and the other the desire to build your own team. President Mitchell called me and said there was no "personal agenda" in the firing of Wolfe but rather it was a consequence of the budget crisis. He noted, for example, that the state budget contribution to CSUB was less this year than it was five years ago when he came on board. Still, there's lots of chatter about Byl, including her desire to bring all the fund raising under one umbrella as opposed to athletics raising money for one thing and an academic endeavor for another. Folks are talking and the university really can't afford to squander the good will Horace has earned. No doubt there will be more on this later.
* ... MARKETING ON FACEBOOK? Read with interest a piece that said 63 percent of all companies planned to increase their spending on social media this year. That's not too surprising since a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers said 66 percent of marketers have now used social media in some form. The top platforms being utilized: Facebook (74 percent), YouTube (65 percent), Twitter (63 percent) and LinkedIn (60 percent). Locally, a good example would be Mary Christenson, the longtime high end Watson-Touchstone Realtor who has embraced Facebook and made it one of her marketing devices. If she lists a new home in Seven Oaks, she'll post a message on it. Trouble with appraisals? She's all over it. Mary is savvy enough to recognize there's a terrific audience and all it takes is her time. At The Californian, marketing director Rob Meszaros has used Facebook and Twitter extensively in marketing the new Monday-Friday tabloid that debuts next week.
* ... UPSIDE DOWN MORTGAGE? Amazed to read in The Californian yesterday that fully half of all mortgages in Bakersfield are now upside down. That means the homeowners basically owe more than the home is worth, thanks to months of falling housing prices. That can't bode well for future foreclosures. The depth of recession cannot be underestimated. Last week it was reported that one in every 10 mortgages in the entire state of California is in foreclosure.
* ... LATIN SHOW AT METRO GALLERIES: Don Martin over at the Metro Galleries downtown is busy preparing for Latination, a project sponsored by his gallery and MAS magazine. The deadline for entries for the show is next week, so drop them off between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday over at Metro, 1604 19th Street. Selected pieces in the juried exhibit will be displayed at the gallery during September. Contact Don with any questions at 634-9598.