Baby, it’s cold outside … so come to our party Friday night! (and more news)

Hello! Here are some local bits and pieces, parties, deals, local videos and fun tools to use.

What else are you going to do on a Friday night in HoCo? 2/20

Yeah, it’s cold outside. Really cold. Nothing some layers, good boots and a heavy scarf can’t solve. Bundle up and come on down to historic Ellicott City this Friday night, 8pm until … , for our first-ever night-time party for bloggers, readers and friends. We’ll be at the charming Still Life Gallery & Framing Shop on Main Street. We’ll have wine and dessert a plenty provided by Still Life, plus local craft beer provided by the good people of HoCo Beer Week. Deets here. 

Love for the Gateway – video

Did you see this delightful video by ADG Creative, “Love for the Gateway”? It’s rather awesome and features cameos by AIDA Bistro owners Mary and Joe Barbera, @ColGateway and others.

Deal of the Day

Kettlebell training for just $24 for your first month

I work out at 39-Minute Workout in Ellicott City, a low-frills, high-touch, super-awesome, commitment-to-full-health place based on three principals: Treatment, Training & Nutrition. They’ve got a “share the love” deal going on for current clients to bring in others (a max of 120 members total), and I’m extending that invitation here. Contact David Beares for deets, david@39minuteworkout.com888-838-9226.

A Healthy Happy Hour – 2/20

Join me, if you’re curious about the offer above, on Friday, Feb 20th, 5-7 pm, at 39-Minute Workout for a “Healthy Happy Hour.” (IDK if “healthy” means no alcohol. Sigh.) It’ll be a light-hearted, friendly event where you can meet the owners and many of the people who work out there. I’ll be there! Come say hi. 8001 Hillsborough Rd Suite I, Ellicott City, MD 21043

I’m digging this tool. I encourage you — if you like to share info, which I assume is quite likely — to check out this free tool as well. #play #explore #experiment Here’s an example of using it:

What’s Scott E doing?

For any of you wanting to have more local social influence, to get more involved in local news and activites, and perhaps to make some money from your social/content/online skills and influence, I encourage you to start paying closer attention to Scott E Software (blog and Twitter … and more, Fiverr, YouTube, tags).

Online calendar

Find, post, share local events on It’s free.

Welcome, new bloggers

Welcome, new bloggers.

We’re deep in the heart of winter, with the groundhogs all over the country predicting six more weeks of winter. Settle in, get comfy, and enjoy this list of new bloggers!

Join the HoCo Blogging Community!

The weather outside is getting colder. Our snowiest months are still ahead of us! Help keep your neighbors and community informed (and occupied when the roads are bad) by sharing your blog with them. It doesn’t matter the topic as long as you are part of our HoCo community! Go ahead, submit your blog now!

There’s no getting around it, the winter weather is here!

Help keep friends and neighbors safe by sharing the weather and road conditions outside. Follow (and use) #HoCoWeather and #HoCoWx on Twitter.

And don’t forget to use the #HoCoWeather and #HoCoWx hashtags on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more.

You can always find our list of local hashtags here.

Parties, promotions, interview opps & more

Hello and Happy New Year, HoCoBloggers and Readers,

Party: Wine, Dessert, Art & Convo

Join the HoCo Bloggers and their readers for wine, dessert, art and great conversation! We’ll be partying at Still Life Gallery, a beautiful fine art and custom framing shop in Historic Ellicott City. Dress up a smidge for this Friday night party (starting at 8 pm, Feb 20th) where you can stay till late! No admission charge, of course (though feel free to throw a donation our way for the wine and desserts)! Come early for dinner in Historic Ellicott City, or meet up at the party and go out on the town after. Lots of Main Street pubs and bars are open late, too! Looking forward to seeing you! Bring a friend! RSVP here


Anti-aging health fair & lots of freebies

Event and blogging opportunities

Dabbs Chiropractic is having an anti-aging health fair on Saturday, Jan 31st, 12-3 pm, to which you’re all invited. The content focus is on anti-aging and there will be plenty of freebies such as free chair massages, free product samples and free chiropractic, PT and acupuncture consultations. Even better, if you blog about the event or do some active local social media promotions there are more benefits and goodies coming your way. Talk to Mike T at 410-720-5555, or email him here.


NAVA’s integrative health and wellness

Classes and blogging opportunities

If personal health is on your radar for 2015, I encourage you to check out NAVA Health & Vitality Center, over by Loyola and Gramaphone. I’ve been there a few times and really enjoy their lectures and perspective. They’ve got an integrative, whole-person approach to health and wellness, which I find quite refreshing. For bloggers or social media enthusiasts with a lot of local social capital, contact Bill Ward at  410-910-5558 or to see what kind of extra goodness they can send your way for your blog posts or local social media activity.


Parents: Want to get interviewed for a local magazine article?

Laura Cech is writing a local mag story about good blogs, websites and apps for new parents. And another story is about  kids and social media– what’s appropriate, what parents should know about the various social media, etc. If you feel you’d be a good source for either of her stories please contact her ASAP.


Check out Howard County’s new online calendar

Have you seen, Howard County’s new online calendar? Take a look. Better yet, post an event. It’s free to post events and the calendar provides a great way to get more local exposure for a business, org, charitable event and more. Find local events there, too, and please tell your friends and neighbors about the site. Your fave local bar with live music, the local organization near and dear to your heart, a business you frequent … they almost all have events, and they’re probably look for extra promotion opportunities locally.

Watch ScottE!

Give a look at Scott E Software. He’s doing some very interesting things with his blog, social media and Fiverr. There will be, more and more, opportunities to get paid and earn some extra income from blogging, social media promotion and ads.

That’s it for now.


PS — If you appreciate HoCoBlogs and and are in the market for some fantastic anti-aging skin care products, one of my income buckets is with Nerium, and I’d love your business and referrals.

Welcome, new bloggers

Welcome, new bloggers.

Happy New Year everyone! New year, new list of bloggers…

Join the HoCo Blogging Community!

It’s all about the new year! Got new news? New resolutions? New goals? New ideas? New projects? Share them with your local community by starting a new blog or sharing your ongoing blog with your neighbors. Go ahead, submit your blog now!

Got your mind on music and music on your mind?

Follow (and use) #HoCoMusic on Twitter.

And don’t forget to use the #HoCoMusic hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more.

You can always find our list of local hashtags here.

Welcome, new bloggers

Welcome, new bloggers.

We’re nearing the end of the year, so let’s enjoy this last blast of new bloggers before 2015 is upon us!

Join the HoCo Blogging Community!

Here comes the new year, whether we are ready for it or not! Help your community get ready for 2015 by sharing the views and opinions and ideas on your blog. Start the new year right by submitting your blog now!

Let’s ring in the new year by getting closer to our community through local events!

Follow (and use) #HoCoEvents on Twitter. In addition, you can help spread the word about local events by going to, where it’s free to post events.

And don’t forget to use the #HoCoEvents hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more.

You can always find our list of local hashtags here.

Welcome, new bloggers

Welcome, new bloggers.

We’re well on our way into fall, with the holidays fast approaching. Celebrate our new bloggers with us!

Join the HoCo Blogging Community!

The holidays are racing up to meet us! Now is the perfect time to share those recipes (maybe even with local foods), talk local shopping, and tell us your holiday stories (past and present). Go ahead and share your personal voice by submitting your blog now!

It’s November, so you know what that means! The holiday season is in full swing…

Follow (and use) #HoCoHolidays on Twitter. Don’t forget to use the hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and more.

You can always find our list of local hashtags here.

A letter to HoCo Food Bloggers (& those blog-curious)

This blog post probably isn’t for you. The information here is mostly aimed at food bloggers in Howard County, Maryland. Here’s an update on the social media, food blogging scene in HoCo.

Whether you are or aren’t a HoCoFood blogger, if you’d like more information about the gathering energy and awesomeness of this group of people blogging/tweeting/gramming about food, send an email to saying you’re interested.

Howard County food bloggers Pinterest board

Elizabeth at Three Beans on a String has created a Howard County Food Bloggers Board. For an invite, bloggers should go to, follow her boards, and then leave a comment asking for an invite. (Pinterest requires a follow on boards in order to send an invite.)

HoCo food bloggers gathering

Seems there might be interest for a gathering of food bloggers to begin. We can provide email addresses for someone who’d like to start this up. Where you go from here … your call. We have 41 food bloggers in our database; not all are active, though many are. And there are probably 141+ more food bloggers in Howard County that we’ve yet to find.

HoCoFood on Facebook

There’s a HoCoFood page on Facebook that is a good place for food news for bloggers, restaurants and more. Facebook page analytics aren’t the best anymore but Facebook pages are GREAT for adding as a widget to your page. This FB page needs a person (a couple/few people) to give it some care and attention. I promise that there will be a way for this to get more eyeballs in the coming months!

@HoCoFood on Twitter needs some TLC

We started a @HoCoFood Twitter account that could use some love and TLC. The account currently follows all of the hoco restaurants we could find and some of the food bloggers. Interested in taking this on? It’s a project that could take 30 minutes a day or less to scan and RT tweets, to follow new restaurants and food bloggers and to announce hoco food-related events (hopefully, mostly done as RTs).

A list of local restaurants on Twitter

If you’re on Twitter, you probably know you can set up columns of tweets, e.g. in Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, to pull specific data out of Twitter. You can subscribe to and/or follow a list of Howard County restaurants, and you can follow #HoCoFood on Twitter. Perhaps someone has an interest in creating a Twitter list of HoCoFood bloggers; we can provide some starting information if you do.

HowChow’s hoco food blogger list

Are you listed on HowChow’s link list of hoco food bloggers? You’ll find it at the top in the far right column.

Guest post on HowChow’s blog

Got some local tips, some interesting perspective on the local food scene. Check in with HowChow to see if you can write a post. He gets great traffic on his blog and the notoriety of writing there may help bring some more readers to your site. (Even if you’re not yet an official food blogger, consider guest posting on HowChow’s site. Good local content is good local content.) Some recent examples —

Share restaurant news tips with HowChow

You may want to break HoCo restaurant news on your own site. That’s cool. Consider, too, sharing tips with HowChow. We keep HowChow’s email ( in our phone and snap photos of “opening soon” and other news tidbits that we find when driving about that he can then share with his hocofood-focused readers.

Share local food source tips with Annie Rie

For locally sourced food, farms, CSAs and more, Annie Rie is a blessing to our community with her many posts and her locavore resources page. Whether you have a tip or write a post about local food, consider sharing it with her so that she can keep her locavore list as current and robust as possible.

#HoCoFood and #HoCoCooks

Hashtags. A whole new world of order. We encourage you to use #HoCoFood more for information, tweets and posts about food in Howard County, e.g. restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, CSAs, cooking classes and events; to use it less about food in and from your own kitchen. Think long term in social media and about foundations of social media use. If 30 (or 50, or 100) food bloggers are using #HoCoFood to mark tweets and posts about food that isn’t truly about “HoCo Food” then how would people find “Howard County food” info on social media. The tag is less about, we offer, the person tweeting and more about the content. Make sense? Try using #HoCoCooks for food coming from your own kitchen (unless it’s CSA, locally sourced or farmers market food).

More local hashtags

Use local hashtags. In particular —

Remember, hashtags can be used in Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter and more. They aren’t going away. Use them well and wisely.

Add the HoCoBlogs blogger badge

Have you added the *I’m a HoCoBlogs blogger* badge on your blog? We have that and others which you can find here. If someone wants to create a *I’m a HoCo Food Blogger* badge (or something similar), let us know. We’ll add it to our downloadable badges and help share the news.

Time for a HoCo food bloggers Google Group?

Perhaps it’s time for a HoCo food bloggers Google group. Google Groups provide all kinds of amazing ways of sharing news, updates, events, links and more. If someone wants to take this on, we can seed the group by providing email addresses of people you can invite.

Know any more food bloggers?

We’re always looking for more bloggers on HoCoBlogs; it’s free to be listed! If the blogger is a person, org or biz located in Howard County, we’d love to have them on our site.

Help local restaurant owners rock social media in HoCo?

If you’re a hocofoodie, you probably already have some great relationships with restaurants you frequent. Lend them a hand by sharing this local Resource for Howard County Restaurant Owners. It’s all about how to use social media specific to HoCo and food.

Join the #HoCoInstagramSquad

If you’re a food blogger, you’re most likely often taking pics of food! Our #HoCoInstagramSquad is a hodge-podge of local people posting to HoCoBlogs’s IG page. It’s easy to join and there’s no obligation to produce any number of grams. Post as you like, especially as your out and about at local establishments. More info here. (Hint: Maybe there’s a HoCoFood IG page in the near future.)

We’re starting to host Instagram Brand Ambassador events at local restaurants. What’s that, you might ask? The restaurant creates an event for the Instagram Brand Ambassadors — a wine pairing, an introduction of their new fall menu, a beer flight, a cooking demonstration … basically any one- to two-hour event that they feel highlights their business. HoCoBlogs then brings in a posse of local Instagrammers and sets the requirments for participation, e.g. the number of grams they need to post, the hashtags to use, and so on. You’ll probably want to be on the invite list for these events, so get your IG accounts up and running, robust and filled with many local followers.

Any more tips/bits to add? Email with your suggestions.