Saturday, June 28, 2008

This is another example of two West Virginia guys doing some really cool tools in the world of Web 2.0.

There is nothing like a Monty's pizza

I thought my favorite pizza place from college, Monty's Pizza, had closed. According to the Herald-Dispatch Monty's is alive and well and has expanded to several locations. Monty's servers New York-style pizza unlike any other I've ever had in West Virginia. Take my advice and order a large bag of another West Virginia favorite, Mister Bee's Potato Chips to go along with your large Monty's pizza.

A home-sick Billy Crystal, who came to Marshall on a baseball scholarship but left after a year because the program was suspended, is said to have spent most of his free time at Monty's. He said their pizza reminded him of home.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Huntington Bloggers Meet-up Update

Update: The venue has changed from the Java Joint to FlapJacks on 15th street and 3rd Avenue.

Time and Place
Date: Saturday, June 28, 2008
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm
Location: FlapJacks
Street: 15th Street and 3rd Ave.
City/Town: Huntington, WV

For more information contact: or visit her blog at Maura's Bliss Adventures.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Free East End wireless up and running

I've been using it one of the test sites at the Bluegrass Kitchen for a couple of weeks now. There will be a press conference on Thursday to announce the other phases of the project.
Some residents of Charleston's East End already have free wireless Internet access, and the rest should have it by the end of the year, the program manager for East End Main Street said Tuesday.

After months of delays, the free wireless Internet has been in testing mode for the last month, Ric Cavender said.

On Thursday, East End Main Street officials, along with Gov. Joe Manchin and Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, will announce more details about the project. The news conference is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday in front of the East End mural in the 400 block of Elizabeth Street. Attendees should bring laptop computers, Cavender said.

About 200 users have logged on to test the East End wireless network in the last 2 1/2 weeks, he said - pretty good considering East End Main Street didn't announce the test.

The other half of, David Epp, AKA The West Virginia Optimist, is a volunteer on the project.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New blogs added to

We have added eight new blogs to this evening. If you are not on and don't see you blog below and want to be added, email me or leave a comment.

Underground Kitchen
Destinaion Unknown
Staying Connected
Chickens in the Road
Point, Click, Shoot
Direct Online Marketing
Buzzardbilly: Appalachian Being

Saturday, June 21, 2008 in this week's Graffti

Thanks to Bryan Stealey who wrote a very nice piece about in this week's Graffiti.

It should be pointed out that is a join project with David Epp, aka Dave, aka The West Virginia Optimist. David is responsible for all the coding, updating, and maintaince of the site, and the idea for the site was as much his as it was mine. Without David there would be no

David and I are currently working on a new project which should launch soon. Stay tuned.

Huntington Bloggers Meet-up

Update: The venue has changed from the Java Joint to FlapJacks on 15th street and 3rd Avenue.

Time and Place
Date: Saturday, June 28, 2008
Time: 11:00am - 1:00pm
Location: FlapJacks
Street: 15th Street and 3rd Ave.
City/Town: Huntington, WV

For more information contact: or visit her blog at Maura's Bliss Adventures.

All bloggers welcome regardless where they are from.

I have a lot of things going on next weekend but I'm going to try to attend.

FestivALL interactive map

It's FestivALL time again. Be sure to check out the Charleston Newspapers FestivALL interactive map.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Building the New WV Stereotype: Technology

Jeff James says to overcome old stereotypes we must build new stereotypes.

When most people think of West Virginia they might think of our white water rafting, skiing, fishing, biking, or sightseeing. The truth is West Virginia is full of some very smart people working on some very cool technology.

Many know the FBI has a facility near Clarksburg where they process all the bureau's fingerprints, but did you know the Department of Housing and Urban Development processes all of its data at the former Union Carbide data center in South Charleston. When you go to, make payments to HUD, receive payments from HUD, or do any other sort of transaction with HUD, it is all processed in South Charleston.

Wheeling is the home of the National Technology Transfer Center. The National Technology Transfer Center works with universities and government to move technology from the lab to the commercial world. Their clients include NASA and MSHA.

West Virginia schools score high in their use of technology in the classroom. In March, the state received an overall score of 95.3 in a national report.

But technology in West Virginia isn't just about government agencies or quasi-governmental agencies. It's about people like Kevin Smith. Kevin is a 20-year-old student at Marshall University who built is a service, much like Post Secret, that lets people post anonymous secrets to Twitter.

Paul Helmick is the entrepreneur behind State Newsline. State Newsline is a nationwide news aggregation site that puts news sources for each state on one page, so you can conveniently scan news headlines. Paul calls himself a serial entrepreneur. In the past 15 years he has help found eight companies. He was a co-founder of CityNet. CityNet is West Virginia's first and largest internet service provider. CityNet has grown to service 17 states and Washington, DC.

Then there is Dr. Lee Kraus. As Jeff James points out in another post, Lee is a nationally-known expert in e-learning and a progressive "Web 2.0" guru.

These are just a few examples of technology in West Virginia. Add yours in the comments.

Happy West Virginia Day everyone!

Follow me on Twitter

Bloggers unite to confront stereotypes

The Gazette story about the A Better West Virginia project to combat stereotypes is in this morning's paper. Thanks to Jason for putting all of this together. I will post my part this evening.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 briefs

Picture West Virginia has gone on hiatus. The moderator Bryan Stealey says: "This blog hasn’t quite worked out like I expected it to, so I’m going to put it on hiatus for a while. I have an idea for a version of PWV that might work out much better, and I’m going to be thinking about that for a while. In the meantime, feel free to stop by my personal blog at Reversing the Numbness."

Josie over at Create West Virginia asks What's the Fuss About Bilingual Signs?: "Buzz around Charleston regarding the recent signage in Spanish and English for FestivALL has brought about some interesting conversation. Some people are offended, others are saying 'it's about time' and many are apathetic."

The folks over at Fork You review Cafe Cimino in Sutton, WV. Susan says: "Who would have ever thought a place like Café Cimino could be found in the little town of Sutton, West Virginia? I had heard a lot of hype about this place and finally had an opportunity to dine there at the end of a day on the nearby Sutton Lake with friends."

For more great WV blogs and photostreams check out

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WV Blogger meet-up with the Charleston Gazette

Some WV bloggers got together at Capitol Roasters today to discuss Jason Keeling's A Better West Virginia project for West Virginia day. Jason sent a email yesterday about the project to the bloggers that attended Saturday's meet-up.
June 16, 2008

Dear W.Va. Bloggers:

Saturday’s meeting to prepare for the June 20 “aBetterWestVirginia Day” blogging project was very productive. After much discussion of West Virginia’s image, attendees recognized our blogging effort should serve to “define West Virginia from the inside out” and create “new stereotypes” of the state.

Your involvement is welcomed, and should you feel compelled, HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

· PREPARE a simple blog post that communicates your vision for a “NEW STEREOTYPE” of West Virginia. Feel free to discuss initiatives, events, people, places, opportunities, etc., that help to positively “DEFINE WEST VIRGINIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT.” There are no right/wrong answers. Your individual thoughts and perspective serve as the fuel for this effort.

· PUBLISH your blog post evening of June 19, or preferably, during early morning on June 20.

· NOTIFY me via email ( soon as you’ve posted. I’ll create a central listing of “aBetterWestVirginia Day” blog posts at, and news media across the state will be referred there.


Jason Keeling

p.s. – Feel free to circulate this message to other bloggers and know that I am available for your questions/comments.

Today a few of us had a follow-up meet-up where we were interviewed by Sarah K. Winn of the Charleston Gazette.

WV Bloggers Meet-up
Jason Keeling, Sarah K. Winn, and my MacBook Air

WV Bloggers Meet-up
Chip Ellis and Sarah K. Winn

WV Bloggers Meet-up
Sarah K. Winn and Todd Beane

WV Bloggers Meet-up
Bob Coffield and Sarah Cooper

WV Bloggers Meet-up
Emily Bennington and Rick Lee

The story should run in Thursday's Gazette.

Sarah Cooper has already started a discussion about West Virginia stereotypes on her blog.

Update: Rick Lee and Sarah Cooper also have photos. Rick's photos are here. Sarah's photostream is here.

Central City Cafe on 'Diner, Drives-ins and Dives'

I think I got the date wrong. The show aired on Sunday night. I though it had aired last Sunday.

We got it on Tivo. Guy and the crew spent two whole minutes highlighting the corn bread and white chili.

For some reason WSAZ-TV reports it aired last night.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Books for bloggers

On Saturday there was some conversation about books for bloggers. Especially those who are new to blogging or need to sell blogging to the others in the organization.

5 Influential Books All Bloggers Should Know is a nice round-up. My favorite is The Cluetrain Manifesto. It is the bible to those who started blogging in the 90s. "Market are conversations."

One book that is missing from the list is The Wisdom of Crowds.

What books do you recommend?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Marketing Genius named to AdAge Power 150

Congrats to marketing geniuses skip Lineberg and the other folks over at Marketing Genius blog, who have been named to the AdAge Power 150 list of most influential advertising and media blogs.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Charleston's Underground Kitchen

I've heard rumors and overheard conversations about a underground dining club in Charleston. I just discovered that they are less underground than I first thought. In fact they have a website and a blog.

You can find out how it works at this link, and sign up for the next one by following this link. They also have a recipes page.

They says:
The UNDERGROUND KITCHEN is not a restaurant. It's like a giant dinner party with great friends you haven't met yet. And a surprise menu prepared from local ingredients by hometown gourmands.

They say their first event was a success on all counts:
Our goal was simple: lure unsuspecting charlestonians to an undisclosed location, feed them a delicious meal, and have enough fun that we feel like doing this again. Charleston’s very first UNDERGROUND KITCHEN was a success on all counts.

A Better West Virginia blogger meet-up

Great meet-up today with several West Virginia bloggers to discuss a project for Jason Keeling's A Better West Virginia blog, and to discuss blogs, Twitter, and other new media in general.

A Better West Virginia blogger meet-up
Rebecca Burch, Jason Keeling, and Rick Lee

A Better West Virginia blogger meet-up
Rick Lee and Skip Lineberg

A Better West Virginia blogger meet-up
Bob Coffield and Jeff James

A Better West Virginia blogger meet-up
Mona Seghatoleslami and Todd Beane

Update: Rick Lee has posted his photos of the meet-up. He also got a link from instapundit yesterday as well, which might explain the increase in traffic I've see in the past 24 hours.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Loft Walk

Generation Charleston took a loft walk yesterday. They looked a lofts in the old Kanawha Banking and Trust building and loft properties at on the Boulevard. I live downtown, and it's good to see other interesting in living downtown. There are a number of building ripe for loft development.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Midway Drive-in Re-opens

As noted on the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog last week, the Midway Drive-in re-opened Wednesday in Huntington. Some say they make the best hotdog in town. Huntington has a long tradition of great drive-ins. There are other wonderful drive-ins still opened in Huntington. Of course there are the various Stewart's Hot Dogs locations, and my favorite, Frost Top, on 16th street.

Midway Drive-in is on West Sixth Avenue beside Colonial Lanes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Press 2 for Spanish

Press 2 for Spanish is a city-wide installation piece from local artist Amy Williams for FestivALL.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FestivALL 2008: A City Becomes a Work of Art

As Bob Coffield points out, it's almost FestivALL time again. With such a full schedule of events it will be hard to see it all. While I can't seem to find it on the official schedule of events, the Unknown Hinson comes to town on June 22. I've never seen him, but I've been told Unknown puts on a heck of a show. Unknown's website list the Empty Glass as the venue, but I saw a flyer this weekend that list the performance at Coonskin Park. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Many of you might know Unknown Hinson as the voice of Early Cuyler on the Adult Swim show The Squidbillies. Unknown has toured with Hank3 and the Rev. Horton Heat. He lists Billy Bob Thornton and Matt Groening among his fans.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The dying tie industry

Gallup reports only 6 percent of American men wear ties to work, down from 10 percent in 2002.
WASHINGTON -- There's alarming news on the cultural front. After 60 years, the Men's Dress Furnishing Association, its membership down from 120 to 25, is disbanding. The association is the trade group of American necktie makers.

This could leave us naked to the looming menace of foreign neckwear, but that doesn't seem to matter much anymore because a key reason for the group's demise is that men no longer seem to be wearing neckties.

All of this was front-page news in The Wall Street Journal, whose readers constitute perhaps the last great bastion of tie-wearers in the United States. But, according to a Gallup poll cited in the story, only 6 percent of American males wear ties to work, down from 10 percent in 2002.

That seems low to me but maybe not. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough doesn't wear a tie nor do any of the other males on the show except conservative voice Pat Buchanan, very much a traditionalist and maybe the exception that proves the rule. When a conservative Republican ex-congressman eschews a tie it means this trend has struck deep into the body politic.

Walking along Capitol Street you will see many professional men not wear ties. Some wear suits without ties. I don't wear a tie because in the computer field it can be a safety hazard.

Yet the Gallup Poll results seem high to me. Is the tie dead? Do you wear a tie? If not why not?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Central City Cafe on 'Dinner, Drive-Ins, and Drives' this weekend

Hillbilly Hotdogs isn't the only Huntington restaurant to get the Food Network treatment. Dinners, Drive-Ins, and Drives also made a visit to Central City Cafe on 14th Street West.
The episode that features "Comfort Food" will show host Guy Fieri showcasing the Huntington cafe's cornbread, as well a Baltimore cafe with a variety of French Toast, a third-generation family place in San Antonio with comfort food Texas-style and a bakery-turned-restaurant in south Florida.

You can catch Guy Fieri's visit this Sunday at 11 pm or June 15; 2 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday, June 16; 1 a.m., June 17; 4 p.m., June 22; 9 p.m. June 27; midnight June 28; 1 p.m. June 30; 10:30 p.m. July 21, 1:30 a.m. July 22.

Update: I missed it. Did any one get to see it and have a reaction?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Today David, aka The West Virginia Optimist, launched a new site with the idea of bringing all the good West Virginia blogs together to one easy to read and navigate web page.

Leave a comment if you want your blog to be added or if you have any comments or suggestions.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Charleston Gazette adds comments for stories

The Charleston Gazette has enabled comment's on stories. This mornings story about the continuing flap over the degree scandal involving the governor's daughter (linked above) has 14 comments so far this morning.