Client Spotlight: Maker Faire Chattanooga

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 9.39.48 AM is proud of the fact that we’re from Chattanooga. Although our client list has an international reach, we are excited to live, work, and play in Chattanooga, and enjoy working with companies who feel the same way.

The Chattanooga Maker Faire represents exactly what we love about this city: The hand-made, do-it-yourself attitude that has made our mid sized city one of the most exciting and vibrant places to live.  It seems that articles are being written about us nearly every day, highlighting the cool tech movement we’ve got going on.

The Heart of Maker Faire

Maker Faire can be described as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.”

We’ll definitely be present at the Maker Faire Chattanooga, which is taking place October 11th at the First Tennessee Pavilion. This event will be the culmination of a fantastic StartUp Week planned for our city.  If the the quality of applications to exhibit reflects on the quality of the event, this event is going to be a seriously awesome.

If you are a local maker and are looking for resources to help you get started on some awesome new projects, here are a few:

For more information about the event, click here. For information about Startup Week Chattanooga, click here.

Spotlight: Variable Technologies

Here at Delegator, we’re slightly obsessed with the latest and greatest in geek technology.  Whether its our resident neck-beard painstakingly showing us every single android feature that is better than its iOS counterpart, or our yuppiest of project managers downloading the latest social aggregator on his iPad mini, we pretty much have an epic collection of techy toys.

That’s why we are extremely excited about a local tech company that we’re working with: Variable Technologies.

These guys are the real deal.  Led by George Yu, a PhD engineering wiz out of Georgia Tech, Variable Technologies produces a modular sensory device called NODE.

NODE is a sleek and powerful bluetooth device that sends a wide array of data sets to your smartphone.

As illustrated, NODE is comprised of a core unit aptly named Kore, and has 2 open slots at either end which can be configured with any two modules.  Even without two modules attached, Kore is loaded, boasting a motion engine, a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer.  Combine this with all the module offerings, and you’ve got yourself a powerhouse.

A sampling of the sensory options you have with NODE:

NODE features some differentiators that we think could be game changing:

1. It’s modular

Variable Tech produces a wide variety of sensors, with a ton still in R&D.  All of the module sensors are compatible with the central unit – Kore.  Simply screw on whichever sensor you are interested in using, and you can immediately start collecting data.

2. It’s smartphone based

These days, everyone has a smartphone; especially professionals.  Choosing a widely owned and popular platform lowers barriers to market adoption.  Whether it’s for small, niche companies, or massive corporate quality control, it doesn’t take much to equip your team with this device and begin collecting valuable data.

3. It’s cheap

In the realm of handheld sensors, NODE costs a fraction of what other, enterprise level sensory devices cost, and it collects a comparable caliber of data.

Variable Technologies is on a hot streak right now – wrapping up second of two very successful Kickstarters.  They have been all over tech blogs (TechCrunch, Gizmag, and many more), and have recently interviewed with Forbes, Wired, and Popular Mechanics.

Based on current web trends and the rising obsession with mobile, it’s hard to imagine that Variable Tech’s NODE won’t soon be changing the way businesses standardize their field data collection.  Heck, maybe we’ll even see NODE on Mary Meeker’s 2013 trends summary!

We hope you’ll be as excited to watch these guys evolve as we are!


Web –

Twitter – @VariableTech

Facebook – NODE


Clean And Green: Keeping Downtown Beautiful

A few weekends ago a few volunteers from the Delegator team joined up with a few more volunteers at Smart Furniture to participate in RiverCity Company’s Clean & Green event. RiverCity recruits volunteer teams for the event to come out on a designated Saturday twice a year to clean up our downtown.  We collected 10 bags of debris and broken concrete blocks left in parking lots, pulled weeds and removed graffiti on building walls. It was pretty impressive to see what a small team could do in such a short time. If you’re local and interested in participating in RiverCity’s next Clean & Green event this fall, sign up on and volunteer your time for the next event.

What the Wire Can Teach Us About SEM – Part 1 of 2

The Wire is everyone’s favorite show for a reason. A deep well of characters, a sprawling narrative that felt intimate and alive, a searing critique of the drug war and a top to bottom post-mortem on the heart of a once-great city. It could only be described as, well, “Dickensian.” Sorry, Gus!

The Wire was one of those shows that kept you on the hook with long-developing plot lines (investigations, mergers, a series of major news reports) that typically extended over an entire season. It also delivered incredible quotes and moments of drama and comedy on a weekly basis – sometimes both in the same scene. It’s what gave the show its weekly entertainment punch to go along with its historical level of sophistication and “reporting.”

Here at Delegator we’re big fans, and we even started using some of those quotes around the office to reference some of the things we were doing for clients related to AdWords, SEO, Analytics, and more. With a recent upswing in attention on the show (thanks Grantland!) we thought now might be a good time to share with our clients and readers what we’ve been talking about for years. Search Engine Marketing – As Explained by the Cast of The Wire. Sheeeeeeee…

“When you take a shot at the King, you best not miss.” – Omar Little

Omar Little

Taking aim at the number one Google ranking is a formidable task. That’s especially true when you happen to be going up against another entity that a) has a clearly more relevant relationship to the keyword than you do or b) can spend you under the table. Unfortunately for most companies, it’s not a realistic goal.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try, or shouldn’t at least set it as your goal. Sometimes toppling the king is easier than you thought (just ask Marlo). But more often than not, as Wee-Bey found out, you end up eating chicken salad across from Bunk and McNulty. What is realistic for most companies is getting a few corners of their own – corners the big boys  might not know about. The way to do this in SEO is by investigating and then investing in long tail keywords. Maybe Huge Company X has the market cornered on “The Wire Posters,” but you could get a real foothold in “Michael K. Williams Posters,” “Omar Little Wire Posters,” or “Omar Little Season 5 Posters.” You won’t get quite as much traffic as you would for a generic term, but the traffic you do get will be specific, and motivated to convert.

The only way to achieve a ranking like that for a competitive keyword is perfect preparation, determination in the form of time and money, and luck.

“Look the part, be the part.” – Proposition Joe

Proposition Joe

Joe came in for some ridicule from Avon when he showed up to the annual East/West showdown in full “Pat Riley” suit and tie regalia, but his commitment to looking like a “real” basketball coach helped him coach with more authority and confidence. In other words, getting the look right helped him get the job right. That, and a hired ringer. This is a lesson that can be easily applied to SEM.

Everything starts with your site design. A newcomer to your site should immediately be able to understand what you’re about and trust that you can deliver the goods. Building that initial trust element and creating a homepage that effectively funnels users to the pages you want them to hit is a complicated, multi-faceted process, but it’s a time and design investment well worth making. When you look like a “real” site, you’ll see yourself start to perform like one.

“Our job is to report the news, not manufacture it!” – Gus Haynes

Gus Haynes and Scott Templeton
Season 5 of The Wire was about the breakdown of professional ethics within the main character, Detective Jimmy McNulty, as well as the august offices of the Baltimore Sun (where series creator David Simon began his career as a journalist). McNulty, frustrated with the lack of institutional support for his wire investigations, (SPOILER ALERT) fakes the presence of a serial killer by “adjusting” bodies post mortem. Scott Templeton, a hotshot up and comer at the Sun, began his career making up innocuous stories about wheelchair bound children going to Orioles games, but he eventually begins to stretch the truth about the serial killer case – he is the only reporter the “killer” ever contacts.

In the end McNulty loses his badge and Templeton wins a Pulitzer.

When you go with “black hat” SEO – SEO that attempts to get around Google standards and practices through any one of a dozen illicit strategies – you’re taking the same chance. Maybe it will work, you won’t get caught, and your business will go up, up, up. But maybe you’ll get caught, blacklisted, and penalized indefinitely in the organic results, crippling and even killing your business. Is that really a chance you want to take?

At Delegator we only do “white hat” SEO. Be very careful before getting in bed with any firm that doesn’t, and make sure that if you’re running your own SEO operation you don’t cross the line. It’s not worth risking your entire business.

“If Snotboogie always stole the money, then why did you let him play?”

“Got to. This America, man.” – McNulty and Man on Stoop

Anybody can play the AdWords game. Doesn’t matter if they don’t understand it, try to cheat it, or run their accounts into the ground. Because it depends on the quality of your site much less than the value of your dollar, it’s as open as it gets in the land of SEM. The only thing you need to play is money – Google allows you to set up your account and start spending faster than you can run down to your neighborhood game of bones (though your ROI is likely to be higher with Google). You will almost certainly need an expert to guide you through the weeds with no pain and plenty of profit.

Active AdWords management is the best way to navigate the choppy waters of paid search. Active management means going in every day and making changes, re-organizing, raising and lowering bids, and identifying and exploiting new best practices. That’s the only proven way to consistently stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the wide open AdWords game.

Come back for more Wire action next week!

Part 2 of 2.

Congratulations Will This Float Winner, George Yu

Last night we headed over to The Company Lab for the second annual Will This Float? event to hear pitches from six entrepreneurial teams. It was a packed house with prizes including business services, a workspace at The Company Lab, and cash on the line.  Teams were judged by a panel of entrepreneurs and investors as well as the crowd vote.

Will This Float 2012 Presenters. Photo taken by Matt Baxter with Just Shoot Me Photography:

George Yu from Variable Technologies pitched his latest gadget, Node, a modular smartphone device that uses sensors to detect things like temperature, elevation and physical motion. He’s currently raising funding on Kickstarter and has already received attention from engadget.

To read more about the event and the teams who pitched, check out The Company Lab’s latest blog post, This Node Can Float.

Special thanks to Matt Baxter with Just Shoot Me Photography for letting us use his images in this post.

Chattanooga’s Ultimate Outdoor Giveaway

How often do you find yourself describing Chattanooga to an out of town friend?  For me, I’m constantly bragging on Chattanooga and what we’ve got to offer to visitors and travelers of all types.

Yes, there are the cool tourist activities that you can read about on the billboards driving in, but there’s a whole other side to Chattanooga that most tourists will not be exposed to.  That is why we’ve teamed up with The Crash Pad and some of the best restaurants and destinations in town to create the most epic Chattanooga getaway imaginable!

The goal of this contest is to bring an outdoor and activity enthusiast to Chattanooga to take advantage of all the amazing stuff we have to offer.

The winning package will include free meals at the area’s best restaurants, choices from outdoor activities (Rock Climbing, Kayaking, and Hangliding), 3 nights free stay at The Crash Pad, tickets to other downtown Chattanooga attractions, and a portion of travel expenses proportionate to the cost of transit.

Dinner is paid for – Activities are taken care of – Itinerary is done. All you have to do is kill it.

To enter, visit the Crash Pad’s Facebook page and submit an essay or photo essay describing why and how you would best utilize your time spent in Chattanooga.  Along with the grand prize,  five submissions will be chosen at random to receive vouchers for a free private room or 2 Super Bunks at The Crash Pad.

Good luck and we can’t wait to show you a good time!’s New Years Resolutions! (This time we’re really going to do it!)

1. This year, I will stop focusing on the numbers on the scale. I will stop focusing on keywords only when I write SEO content.

2. This year, I will do something active and physical every day. I will regularly add to and refresh the content of my site.

3. This year, I am finally going to get organized – my house, my office, and my life. I am finally going to start utilizing Google Analytics – to track and analyze my traffic, my users, and my conversion statistics.

4. This year, I will quit smoking once and for all. I will stop using Flash to create large or important sections of my website.

5. This year, I’m going to put myself out there and try to meet some new people. I’m going to kick my AdWords campaign into high gear, try some email marketing, and optimize my site every chance I get.

6. This year, I am going to start saving money. I am going to let professionals actively manage my AdWords account, and stop over-paying for keywords that are too competitive or that aren’t going to get me the customers I’m looking for.

7. This year, I am going to be on time wherever I go. I will use Google Calendars to give me reminders about important dates, deadlines and meetings.

8. This year, I am going to learn something new. I am going to try a different online marketing tactic to see if I can improve my results.

9. This year, I am going to indulge my artistic side. I’m going to create banners for my site and start using Display Networks to attract and re-target users.

10. This year, I am going to give some time or money to charity (This is one that should stay on the list). Check out if you need some ideas in the Chattanooga area!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Delegator Team

Last night, Delegator hosted the office Christmas party, full of celebration and reflection.  This has been a busy, fulfilling year for the entire staff. We’ve helped growing businesses and websites get off the ground, strengthened existing companies, and successfully managed PPC, Social Media, Video, Content, Analytics and Link-Building campaigns for clients all over the country and here in Chattanooga, TN.

We’ve also added staff, bonded as a team, learned a lot, and invested time and energy in a local charity called (go there and check it out for yourself!). It’s been a great ride, is what I’m saying, and what better way to cap it off than a fantastic party?

Check back here next week for our New Year’s Resolution post. Till then, we sincerely wish each and every one of you a great holiday, a bountiful new year, and a 2012 Delegator account. Kidding, kidding!

Andrew Scarbrough Named YP Entrepreneur Of The Year

We’d like to congratulate our very own Andrew Scarbrough for being named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Young Professional Association of Chattanooga!  Nearly 150 people were present for the YP Awards ceremony last Friday that “recognizes outstanding artists, businesses, community servants and young professionals in the Chattanooga community.”  This is the 5th year YPAC has awarded a local professional in Chattanooga with the YP Entrepreneur of the Year award.

As Co-Founder and VP of Operations here at Delegator, Andrew has helped forge a culture of entrepreneurship both on the for-profit side ( and non-profit side (  Delegator is a company of entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and our mission is to help growing companies focus on their mission, and confidently delegate the rest.  When forming Delegator, Andrew and co-founder Stephen Culp decided that part of our mission would include giving part of our time to charitable causes.  Andrew has helped carry out this mission in various ways, including being a part of the founding team of  Causeway is a civic engagement hub — a platform for pairing worthy causes with ways to address them.  Causeway’s goal is to support civic entrepreneurs — the civic equivalent of the scrappy, hard-working small businessperson who sees an opportunity to make something work better.  And in this case, the community is the one who profits.

Congratulations Andrew on a well-deserved award!

48 Hour Launch Recap

48 Hour LaunchThis past weekend the Delegator team joined dozens of other entrepreneurs from around Chattanooga at the 48 Hour Launch event hosted by The Company Lab. There were some last minute venue changes so business people, entrepreneurs, and reporters gathered in the cafeteria of Battle Academy to hear the startup ideas pitched and find a team to work with for the weekend.

Delegator was proud to be a title sponsor of 48 Launch once again! We had a blast meeting a ton of great Chattanooga entrepreneurs and floating from team to team over the weekend learning and helping!

Because the event is growing rapidly, the The Company Lab crew split the competition into three separate tracks: Social Innovation, Products, and Technology. For Demo night, on Sunday evening, all of the teams gathered at Track 29 to present what they had accomplished over the weekend. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges and live audience voting. Congratulations to:

Social Innovation Winner: The Unfoundation


Product Winner: Slawsa


Technology Winner: Job Ninja