NeuConcept Marketing. Web Development. Graphic Design. Multimedia. Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:29:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NeuConcept 32 32 2019 STL Tunes Wed, 15 May 2019 17:59:53 +0000 Great music around the corner.
If you have an appreciation for quality tunes or ever played an instrument in your lifetime, consider checking out these events. I hope to be at as many as I can!😉

Sunday, May 19, 2019, 7pm
Snarky Puppy

Pavilion at Atomic Cowboy

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 3:00pm-10:30pm
Dave Weckl and more

Chesterfield Amphitheater
$5 at the gate, kids under 12 free!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 7:30pm
featuring Bob James, David Sanborn & Marcus Miller with guests Billy Kilson & Larry Braggs

The Sheldon Concert Hall

Saturday, September 7, 3:30pm-10pm
The Smooth Jazz Cruise On Land in St. Louis
1st Annual Festival

  • 8:30 pm: Brian Culbertson
  • 7:00 pm: Grace Kelly
  • 5:30 pm: Eric Darius
  • 4:30 pm: Erin Bode
  • 3:30 pm: Tim Cunningham

Chesterfield Amphitheater

Cord Cutting Fun with Tablo Over The Air (OTA) Digital Tuner and DVR Fri, 26 Apr 2019 21:19:56 +0000 Cord cutting is nothing new, but folks like me like $$, or keeping as much of it as they can. I do find it ironic that many now pay close to cable costs with the multiple streaming services. I am not one of those, currently just holding onto Netflix (even with their ridiculous regular increases) and antenna over the air (OTA) connections for most of our digital media consumption. Sharing a login for others channels or paying Apple for something specific from time to time is nice.

After having acquired a newer 75” 4k television, I decided that the tuner wasn’t important enough to seek out since it was lacking one anyway. The wife thought otherwise.

Thus my new quest to find:

  • Digital TV Tuner
  • Antenna connection for free local basic channels
  • Easy to use
  • Low cost
  • Quality software that doesn’t feel dated like those crummy cable interfaces that have been near unusable for so long

For about $30 more than a standard digital tuner box I was able to get these Bonuses:

  • DVR Recording of shows (commercial skipping coming)
  • Antenna cable doesn’t have to connect to the television!
  • Streamable to any device: Can play anywhere in the house (or outside our WiFi network with subscription)
  • Works with Roku or preferably my Apple TV 4k
  • Works on multiple televisions in the house (ours having Apple TVs) with no physical antenna connection to TV required

Summary: $140 new or $80 used, I’ve been able to rock a truly digital experience with DVR functionality using an app on my Apple TV.

Buy an Antenna, Roku or Apple TV and Tablo for capturing OTA (Over The Air) channels to complete this great experience.

The alternative, if budget allows and you don’t mind a bit more geekery and cost, would consist of:

  • NVidia Shield running Plex
  • Subscription to Plex for the show schedules
  • AntennaHDHomeRun or other digital tuner (Tablo dual-tuner USB adapter) to capture the signals and interface with the Shield

To complete the cord cutting experience, feel free to research these popular services:

  • Netflix
  • YouTube TV
  • Sony Vue
  • Sling
  • Hulu
  • DirecTV Now

Just a few of the helpful resources:

How I Programmed Philips Hue Lights to Notify Me of Baseball Scores for Icee Deals Mon, 01 Oct 2018 17:14:29 +0000 Update (May 2019): ESPN has discontinued IFTTT integration months ago, and I’m still looking for a simple alternative rather than scraping scores with some custom Python code or something similar. Suggestions welcome, as the below info May no longer apply.

Hacker Fun for Baseball Drink Deals:

Want to take advantage of local deals based on your home team’s game scores?

I’m a deal-hunter and life-hacker. So when I saw that Mobile on the Run Gas stations were running $.50 drink days based on my home baseball team’s score, I saw a fun challenge.

The challenge

Could I get my newly installed fireplace smart LED lights (powered by Philips Hue) to automatically light up Cardinals red when our St. Louis baseball team scored the necessary “more than 6” runs?

How cool would it be to have my great room turn red to notify me that I needed to run to the gas station and get my drink deal?

Icees, here I come!

The Solution

If Then Then This (IFTTT) is a favorite service of mine where you can do just about anything online if you can find the right “recipe.”

Since my challenge was based on a sports team’s score, I used ESPN, but I needed to limit the variable to 6 or more runs.

Here’s the steps:

  • Set up an IFTTT Recipe with ESPN service
  • ESPN Populates a Google Sheet with the Cardinal’s Final Score
  • Setup a formula field cell to only change when STL Cardinal’s score is greater than 6
  • When this happens, another IFTTT Recipe monitors Google Sheets and sets the Philips Hue Fireplace lights to the desired scene

Pretty cool outcome.

I enjoyed the end result of having my fireplace turn red. It can be a bit eerie when you’re in bed and the great room turns red all of a sudden, but it’s the price to pay for a .50 drink.

It can surely be accomplished in many ways, but this worked for me. I can share my Google sheet or feel free to take the magic below to be added to the file ESPN creates:

Column E:

  • =ARRAYFORMULA(IF(ISBLANK($B$1:$B),, MID(B1:B,FIND(“STL”,B1:B)+4,2)+0))

Column F:

  • =ARRAYFORMULA(IF(E1:E<6, “”, “yes”))

Column G:

  • =SUMIF(F1:F,”yes”,E1:E)

Then you can set up any IFTTT Recipe (or trigger) to happen when this cell updates. In my case, it was the fireplace. For you it could be a text, an email, etc.

I’d like to have this trigger the next morning, but since IFTTT does not support timed events it may involve another service or possibly a field calculation in Google sheets involving the clock or date. I’ll update this post accordingly. 😉

P.S. There’s also a McDonald’s deal if the Cardinals score a home run, but I haven’t figure out how to translate that to the lights yet.

Feel free to enlighten me. For now, I’m using the “Mike app” to keep me posted (my friend Mike monitors sports more than I do!).

2018 June and July Tunes Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:19:58 +0000 Look for me!

I’m pretty excited about some upcoming musicianship here in St. Louis, both held at the Chesterfield Amphitheater. Only 15 minutes away for me and got a buddy coming from WI, so you know it’s worthy. 😉

It’s tough finding great videos because many labels and artists haven’t all recognized the benefit of posting good stuff. That said, I’ve tried to locate and place a few below…

The big one is in July ($75) with another in June ($5). My favorite drummer for only $5 is ridiculous! Thank you to whoever the sponsors are. Simon Phillips, the drummer’s house and studio burned down in the CA fire. I was saddened by this news from his Go Fund Me.

Being the best of the best, these folks have played for everyone like The Who, Toto, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey and others.

Let me know if I missed anything or you find some better vids. 😉

Chesterfield Jazz Festival

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 3:00 PM – 10:30 pm ($5)

  • Simon Phillips – Protocol feat. Greg Howe, Ernest Tibbs & Ottmar Ruiz – 8:45PM
  • Tracy Silverman w/ Bach to the Future – 7PM
  • Tracer w/ Ptah Williams, Darrell Mixon & Gary Sykes – 5:30PM
  • Maurice Carnes and the Hipjaz Quintet – 4:15PM
  • Two Times True feat. Carolbeth True – 3PM

Gateway Jazz Festival

July 21, 2018 ($75)

  • Jonathan Butler
  • Alex Bugnon
  • Boney James
  • Will Downing




Article Review: Find a Path through the E-Commerce Jungle Wed, 24 Jan 2018 22:02:05 +0000 Review by Sonia Coleman

How to navigate eBusiness decisions is one of the top concerns of many wholesale leaders. There’s a lot to digest: what technologies to select, how much resources are needed, what are the costs and challenges and how to get it to work well with existing staff and systems?

tED Magazine recently published a really helpful article on this topic that:

• Defines punchouts, discusses how EDI interfaces with eCommerce, shares how electrical distributors are using EDI and eCommerce shopping carts.

• Discusses benefits of EDI, what areas to consider before implementing

• How eBusiness can improve customer relationships, build customer loyalty

• Ends with a reminder that eCommerce is only as good as the product data.

“The e-commerce system is only as good as your data. Most distributors are not prepared for the fact that it’s a never-ending battle—there is always something to do on a daily basis. When you’re starting out, you can analyze your data or outsource it to see what position your data is in. I don’t recommend anyone even launching a site if you don’t have your data in a better place than where you started,” said Dan Dungan, NAED Chair and Springfield Electric’s Executive Chairman.

• Dungan noted that there are industry-wide efforts to improve data coming from vendors. IDEA just released its 2018 eBusiness Standards Update, created by dozens of electrical manufacturers and distributor eBusiness experts.

I encourage you to read the full article at tED Magazine.

Sonia Coleman works at the intersection of marketing + technology. She helps marketing teams and leaders build credibility, share successes and increase leads. Reach her at

3 Ways to Respond to Changing Expectations of B2B Buyers Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:53:44 +0000 By Sonia Coleman

This is a summary of an article that originally appeared in the Tech 360 Briefing published by IDEA entitled, “What’s Driving Purchasing Changes?”

Disruption is occurring in many established industries…and the wholesale industry is feeling the heat from the Amazon effect.

For IDEA’s Tech 360 Briefing, I spoke with people from all sides of the supply chain—manufacturing, distribution, and contracting—to get their perspectives on what is driving these changes and how each part of the supply chain can compete.

Industry Perspectives


Desiree Grace, Eaton

VP Channel Development and Operations, Utility; Previously with Anamet Electrical

“I’ve seen a greater appreciation of partnering and working together to solve customer problems and needs, like responding to national disasters. Before Hurricane Harvey, Eaton positioned power systems inventory in the market to assist our distributors and customers with a rapid recovery.”

Graybar electrical distributor B2B purchasingMike Polansky, Graybar

Director, Planning and Procurement

“Having good accurate data is one of the items that can distinguish us from our competition; therefore, the need to have the most current, up-to-date information regarding an item—all the way from weights and measurements to to compliance information—is absolutely paramount.”

Frontier electric distributor purchasing b2b trendsJenifer Betz, Frontier Electric

Marketing Manager

“Online purchasing has had a huge impact on the industry. We definitely feel the pressure to have our products on our website. That’s the biggest thing that we’re trying to act upon. We need descriptive product data to be able to compete.”

Electrical contractor energy consulting b2b purchasing trendsMark Gillespie

TMI Electrical Solutions, President 
Past President, Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) 

“We rely on online sources for over 90 percent of the product information that we receive about a product. Much of the product data that we gather during the pre-sale process supports the design and estimate of project costs prior to even securing a contract.”

The impact of purchasing changes

It’s more than just a technology thing. Contractor, commercial and industrial end users are demanding better ways of getting things done. Using technology or going online is often just the most accessible way to do it.

Greater Access to Products

People and businesses can easily search and connect online. As a result, end users are looking beyond location and tradition as their purchasing criteria.

The Amazon Effect

End users are watching Amazon and eBay’s advances into commercial and industrial product lines with interest.

Expectations Increasing

Online purchasing in our personal lives increases our expectations of faster delivery, notification, tracking, and access to product information and inventory.

Read More

Takeaways: How to respond to these purchasing trends

Make it easy: Amp up convenience

It’s a competitive industry. Provide end users with the path of least resistance.

 Remove delays & obstacles

Empowered customers want descriptive product data and cut sheets now.

 Invest in stronger relationships

The supply chain is vibrant when partnership is embraced and supported.

Read More

Special thanks to Desiree, Mike, Jenifer and Mark for sharing their wisdom and insights with me on the supply chain.

Read More: Check out the full IDEA’s Tech 360 Briefing for insight on what’s impacting purchasing trends and how to react to these trends.

Sign up to subscribe to Tech 360 Briefing and share your comments on IDEA’s Linkedin page.

Find out more on how IDEA can help you with eBusiness at

Sonia Coleman works at the intersection of marketing + technology. She helps marketing teams and leaders build credibility, share successes and increase leads. Reach her at

Pumpkin Yum – Our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes for Thanksgiving Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:43:05 +0000 As pumpkin lovers, this time of year is amazing!

Many pumpkin recipes, so little time

We had gathered up a bunch of great sounding recipes from friends, blogs and social media…

Now what to do?

Make a bunch of pumpkin recipes on a cold Saturday, that’s what!

The contenders

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Ultra-healthy vegan (We also made them gluten-free)
by Chocolate Covered Katie

pumpkin bars 1/2 cup spelt flour (or white flour, oat flour, etc.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice You can make homemade like this: 1/2 tsp cinn, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 “egg” of choice- I used 1 tsp ener-g powder, but 1 tbsp ground flax would work. If necessary, you can omit completely.
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or agave) (For a sugar-free version, you can use xylitol.)
2 packets NuNaturals stevia (or 2 more tablespoons sugar)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked, pureed pumpkin)
2 tablespoons milk of choice
2 tablespoons oil (Some readers say subbing applesauce is fine, but I haven’t tried it. Coconut oil is really good, but veg oil is ok too.)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet. Spread into an oiled 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for an 8×8) and cook for 14-15 minutes. Note: You can sub agave for the sugar; they’ll just be fluffier/cake-ier.


Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

by (We actually saw this on Facebook)

pumpkin pie miniMini-pumpkin pies in a cupcake size

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
½ cup sugar (**I added an additional 1/4 cup sugar)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup evaporated milk
? cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin tin with silicone liners, foil liners sprayed with cooking spray or just spray the cups with cooking spray. Either of these three methods will make it easy to take the cupcake out after it’s cooked. Paper liners make it difficult to remove the cupcakes.Mix the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add the flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture. Fill each muffin cup with 1/3 cup of the mixture. Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top and serve. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin cookiesBready, buttery moist cookies


Original recipe makes 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.


What’s the best pumpkin recipe?

For our tastes, the Pumpkin Pie cupcakes took the prize.

They were moist and like mini-pumpkin pies, and we will definitely make them again.

The pumpkin bars and cookies were also delicious… but there’s only so much time for pumpkin goodies.

Happy Thanksgiving!

App Inspiration: Time-saving apps for transcribing video, podcasts and interviews Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:01:34 +0000 I’ve been interviewing folks for two decades. Print. Video. Web. Podcast. You name it.

And one of the most tedious parts of writing and publishing is: transcription.

The medical and legal world have conquered the transcription beast with special software and recorders. But for the rest of us, it’s been a pain.

Why are transcripts still so important?

Transcripts help:

  • Ensure accuracy for written interviews
  • Provide improved search engine optimization and rankings for videos and podcasts
  • Enable readers/viewers to scan content

How I found a better way to transcribe

I’ve been developing a new electrical industry publication that involves a lot of interviews with influencers about technology and automation. I’ve been recording these interviews—often over the phone last minute, so the quality isn’t great. Since the information is highly technical, transcription is important because I want to make sure the details are accurate.

After starting the laborious transcription process of listening and typing, I decided to research and see what new resources are available to help. I found a lot of slick tools with varying price points.

Transcription tools & apps

I personally tried out three of the most highly rated apps based on feedback and recommendations from others online.

Most of these are online tools or apps with desktop and mobile interfaces.

App #1:

Transcribe appHighlights:

  • Free trial for 7 days.
  • Provides an audio player that’s tightly integrated with a text editor on the same screen.
  • Many transcription tools, like 2x to 3x speed up, keyboard short-cuts, rewind button and accurate dictation.
  • Costs $20/year. Review

Transcribe’s approach is that automatic audio to text conversion is flawed. It doesn’t work, and that has been my experience. This app is designed to make it as easy as possible to transcribe manually.

I tried Transcribe’s recommended approach of putting on headphones and speaking the text aloud using their dictation tool. It worked exceptionally well and was significantly faster than typing.

I also tried typing the transcription. I found the apps tools to be very helpful, and I found it much less tedious than previous ways that I’ve used to transcribe audio to text. I especially liked that a lot of their tools were customizable. You can change the speed of the audio in small increments, so you can listen to 1.3x speed if you’d like. You can also customize how many seconds back the rewind button takes the audio. Nice.


Love it! I bought a yearly subscription, and I feel like it’s a good value.

App #2:

trint transcription appHighlights:

  • Free trial that enables you to upload 30 minutes of audio or video.
  • Provides automatic transcription of your file
  • Provides an online audio editor with back button and speed controls.
  • Costs $15/hr. on the Pay as You Go plan. Also has $40/mo. and 120/mo. plan that each have limits on how many hours you can upload, but do provide rollover on unused hours. Review

For the free 30 minutes of audio, I uploaded an interview that was 34 minutes long. It said the file was too long and wanted me to pay for it. Ugh. I hoped that it would let me listen to the first 30 minutes and then just restrict the remaining 4 minutes. Wishful thinking.

So I figured out a way to trim the audio file back to 30 minutes and re-uploaded it. The automatic transcription was completed pretty quickly, probably in less than 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, the audio in my interview resulted in poor transcription results. Unusable. I was back to manual transcription.

The online interface is pretty and has some nice tools, like graying out the text that you’ve already listened to so you can keep track of where you’re at in the audio file. It also displays time code and has a 5-second rewind button. I didn’t like that the limited speed playback controls of normal 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 speeds.


If I had a crystal clear recording, I’d consider paying $15/hr. to have it automatically transcribed. I liked Trint’s online editor and tools, but I liked Transcribe’s better. And Transcribe was much more affordable.

I’ll keep this as a back up option.

App #3:

Temi transcription appHighlights:

  • Free trial that enables you to upload an audio or video file.
  • Provides automatic transcription of your file
  • Provides an online audio editor with back button and speed controls.
  • Costs $.10 per minute or $6/hr.
  • Has a mobile app for iOS and Android Review

Temi is slick and easy to use. You can easily upload a file for the trial. The automatic transcription comes quickly through an online link. I thought the transcription was marginally better than The interface is attractive, and it has basically the same transcription tools as Trint, including limited playback speed of 1.0, 1.5x, and 2.0x.

The Temi automatic transcription, although marginally better than, was unusable because my audio interview file was imperfect. So I was back to tedious manual transcription.

You can easily edit the automatic transcription, but that is more time consuming than typing from scratch. I did like that the Temi software attempts to identify different speakers for you.


I will keep Temi as a back up option. I’ll likely try it again if I have a really clear recording that needs transcription as the price seems reasonable. Based on everything I experienced, I’d rank this as higher than

Easier Transcribing

With a tool like, nearly any person or organization can easily transcribe their audio and video content. You’ll get better search engine results and can better manage these types of content assets.

Sonia Coleman helps marketing teams and leaders build credibility, share successes and increase leads. She and the NeuConcept team focus on technology + marketing, bringing a balanced approach to marketing strategy and technical implementation. Reach out to her at to schedule a free 30-minute coaching session and achieve a better outcome with your web, marketing & PR initiatives.

Copyright © 2017 by Sonia Coleman All rights reserved.

New iOS HEIC Photo Format Not Supported in Adobe Lightroom – What to Do Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:47:54 +0000 I’m a fan of anything shiny and new.

New toys, new features, new fonts, new file system, Augmented Reality (AR) goodness, 64 bit only apps, and on and on…

Unfortunately with this comes some headaches at times.

iOS 11 uses a new photo format, (HEIC High Efficiency Image File Format)

As I was preparing to migrate our devices to iOS 11, I discovered a hiccup.

I recently went to import pics and .MOV files from the iPhone 7 Plus. The JPG files were not there, but listed as .HEIC files instead.

A while back, I chose to use Adobe Lightroom for our photo management because I’m a control freak and Apple Photos/iCloud holds back many options. I’m using PhotoSync with iOS and then I’m importing our combined photos from our DSLR, multiple iPhones & iPads, and Mavic Pro drone footage in to Lightroom.

HEIC files not supported by Adobe Lightroom yet

This new photo format, HEIC (which it isn’t all that new as it is from 2015) isn’t supported in Adobe Lightroom yet. The HEIC files look great. The files are significantly smaller in size. However, the files aren’t recognized as image files in Lightroom.

What to do?

How to handle HEIC photo format for Import into Adobe Lightroom

For now, I have to turn off HEIC photo format until Adobe Lightroom adopts that format (which will hopefully be soon).

Here’s how I handled the HEIC issue for now.

Steps to revert back to JPG image file format on iOS 11:

The issue I’m having is that .MOV files appear to have changed and no longer are viewable in the Finder or Lightroom either. I’m betting macOS High Sierra will handle these fine. I’ll save that issue for the next time I’ve got some time to play.

9 Speaking Tips for Success Thu, 06 Jul 2017 05:10:11 +0000 I’ve trained many CEOs on how to improve their speaking abilities for their on-stage debut in front of hundreds of their peers. Here’s the best practices I’ve gleaned from many, many rehearsals and general sessions.

Don’t skip these tips if you don’t give speeches in your job – you never know when you’ll need to give a toast at a wedding, announce exciting news at a family event, or speak at a funeral. I know these tips work; I’ve used them myself many times.

  1. Write it down. Putting your remarks on paper is the best way to get started. Add personal stories to make your points come to life. Remember the audience wants to know, “What’s in it for me?”
  2. Read out loud. Speaking your remarks will give you a new perspective. Videotape yourself and time it. You will probably need to cut your remarks and do some editing.
  3. Practice! Read your remarks out loud (on stage if possible) at least 3-5 more times.
  4. Fix. Replace words that you consistently have trouble saying.
  5. Know key messages. If you are working without a script or partipating in a panel, know your key messages so you can always make your point.
  6. Fine-tune. Once you are familiar with your remarks, work on the your pace of speaking (slow down), hand gestures, and pausing at the end of sentences. Pauses are very effective to let the audience know that you are changing topics.
  7. If you mess up, move on. Once you are in front of your audience, realize that they don’t know what you were planning on saying. So if you skip something during the speech or mess up, move on.
  8. Relax. Breathe. Drink. Be sure to pause and take a drink when your mouth gets dry. I suggest water or tea, not alcohol, for obvious reasons. (You are speaking, not slurring 🙂 )
  9. Stay on time. Avoid ad-libbing too much; you’ll run over your time. A great presentation is one that ends on time; it affords less opportunity for criticism.