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Survey results are in!

A big shout out to all the folks who took a few minutes to fill out the Arkansas Native survey in January. To get a feel for what “works” on my page, what better way than to just ask?

While I didn’t get an overwhelming response, I feel like I did get enough comments to give me some direction.

Here are some of the results!
  • 91% of respondents currently live in Arkansas
Favorite posts to “like” and “share” are:
  • 87% photography and nature
  • 61% history and old photos
  • 48% festivals and events
  • 43% interesting trivia about Arkansas
  • 39% famous Arkansans
  • 35% local vendors and small business
  • 22% food and restaurants
  • 13% sports
  • 13% current events
Suggestions for other content included:
  • Guest writers, interviews, personal experience, historical stories about landmarks, and – haunted Arkansas!
Social media awareness:
  • 74% of respondents knew that “liking” and “sharing” posts on Facebook will keep Arkansas Native active in your timeline – yay!
  • 30% of respondents are not on any other social media platform, such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and therefore didn’t know we are also on those channels.
  • However, 26% did know about our other sites and are following there, too, and another 26% didn’t know but are now followers!
  • 74% of respondents were not aware of this blog before taking the survey.
Some parting thoughts:
  • Love the photos, keep ’em coming!
  • More regional coverage and info on interesting but obscure places.
  • Farmers markets and small local businesses.
Small business option:

I did garner some interest from a few local business who might want to partner with Arkansas Native, and I’m so excited about that! I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and helping promote small biz (especially in Arkansas!) is a passion of mine. Looking forward to working with these folks – stay tuned!

(P.S. If you know a business who would be interested, please have them contact me at native@thearkansasnative.com.)

SUMMARY:

Whew, that has given me a lot to think about, plan for and work on for a while! Ask, and ye shall receive, right?  Good to know that original content is important to my fans, instead of just sharing others’ posts. Let the writing begin!  My goal now is to devote more time this year to keeping this page updated with new and interesting content, and promote it more on social media.

Again I appreciate the feedback. Good to know I’m doing something right.

Oh, and the most important thing – the winner of the drawing! I had to use a program to help me pick a winner (www.miniwebtool.com/random-name-picker/), and I wish I could have given everyone who responded a little something.  I only know the winner’s email address and will be contacting them and arrange to send them the prize. I’m hopeful he/she will be willing to take a photo with the prize and post it on my page!!

 

P.S. This survey and the improvements I’m making are on the advice of an awesome social media consultant I’m working with. She’s an Arkansas gal and feels the same way about promoting our state and our people and business! Let me know if you, or someone you know, would like to have her work with you on promoting your business on social media… native@thearkansasnative.com… and I’ll put you in contact with her!

Happy New Year!

Hello, readers!

It’s barely into the new year, and I’m already knee deep into my plans for Arkansas Native for 2015.  For being a little over a year old, we now have 540+ fans on Facebook and growing – wow! For no more than I’ve been doing, I think that’s fantastic 🙂

First, I want to thank each of you for your loyalty and patience. In order to bring you more of what you want to see and hear about, please help me out with this short survey. There’s even a comment box at the end so you can add something I may have left off. It’ll only be up until I get a goodly number of responses, so don’t dawdle!

All things Arkansas is my passion.

Whether you live here in the Natural State and want to keep up with what’s going on and what’s new, or you live out of state and just want to stay informed, visit my FB page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts and I’ll bring the highlights to you. (YouTube is coming!)  And.. if you have information or photos to share, you can either post on one of the aforementioned platforms, or feel free to email me at thearkansasnative@gmail.com.

One of my goals in 2015 is to travel our state more, visiting some of the places I’ve posted about – events, historical places, restaurants, stores and shops, you name it!  Best laid plans, you know. We’ll see how successful that will be 🙂

Great news!

Very soon I will have Arkansas Native mugs available for purchase. They will be awesome!  Red, of course, with a brand spankin’ new logo on it.  They can be purchased online, or at select retailers around the state.  I can hardly wait!  And as October gets closer, I’m planning to have Arkansas Native beer mugs (steins) available, too – you know, in honor of Oktoberfest!  And, wow, do we have microbreweries all over the state!

More new things are coming, so stay tuned. I hope 2015 will be fantastic for you… Happy new year!

— Arkansas Native

Hello, friends!

So glad you’re here!  Welcome to my world called Arkansas.

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my mailing list so you will be notified when I post something new!  Quick and easy, and I promise not to send you spam or sell your info!!

Also, I’d love to hear from you on what you’d like to see more of about Arkansas on this website… more photos? trivia? history? events? contests? All of the above?  LOL

Or just drop me a line to say howdy – I’d love that, too!

#TheArkansasNative

The Legend of Petit Jean

Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas is probably one of my favorites in the entire state, not just because of its breathtakingly beautiful views, but also because of the lovely ‘love’ story that is the Legend of Petit Jean.

In the early days of explorers in Arkansas, somewhere back in the 1700’s, a French nobleman named Chavet was bitten by the adventure bug and received permission from the King of France to explore the Louisiana Territory, and was given a grant for a portion of the land for his efforts.  At the time, Chavet was engaged to a young woman, and (I picture a petulant young thing!) she wanted them to get married so that she could go with him to the New World.  But he said it was far too dangerous, and that she would have to wait to be married when he returned. (You know what happens next.)

Chavet’s group made their way up the Mississippi River and then down the Arkansas River, stopping at a high bluff overlooking the river.  They stayed for several months, interacting with and learning from the local people. During this entire journey, Chavet never realized that one of his crew was his fiance, who disguised herself as a young cabin boy.  (I’m just going to interject right here that it must’ve been a heck of a disguise for nobody to have figured out ‘she’ was a ‘he’ until much later.  Wow.)  It wasn’t until fall, when they were packing to return to France, that the truth was revealed.  Petit Jean came down with a high fever, and that’s when Chavet and the others realized who Petit Jean really was.  She would not survive the fever, and before she died she told Chavet that she wished to be buried on the mountain overlooking the river.  Chavet honored her request.  Even though the real name of this young woman was Adrienne Dumont, she will forever be known as Petit Jean (“Little John”).

Petit Jean

View from Petit Jean Mountain

This legend shows the French influence in the early settlement of this part of Arkansas.  Mount Magazine, the highest point in the state, is derived from the French word ‘magasin’ which means ‘barn, warehouse, depot or store’.  Not really sure about the connection since Mount Magazine is not that close to Belle Point, which would later be Fort Smith.  Fort Smith was certainly a depot of sorts in that the five or six American forts in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) relied on supplies to come from Fort Smith.  Anyway…

For those interested in the paranormal, there have been sightings of strange lights around the mountain, and some people who have taken photographs have noted seeing orbs in the pictures.  I think it’s so beautiful up there that she still wants to hang around and enjoy it!

If you make a cool day trip to visit Petit Jean State Park, you’ll definitely want to have lunch at Mather Lodge.  Great food at reasonable prices!  And pick up a souvenir while you’re there 🙂

National Coffee Day


coffee

Sunday, September 29, is National Coffee Day!  (Hey, every day is coffee day for me!)  And, in honor of this festive occasion, I’m pleased to feature two Arkansas coffee companies, Westrock Coffee and Airship Coffee.  For both companies, making a positive social impact, providing economic sustainability and fair trade are their primary focuses.

WESTROCK COFFEE

Westrock Coffee is based in North Little Rock, and started off as the brainchild of Scott Ford, former Alltel CEO.  Through his work at an orphanage in Rwanda, Ford became acquainted with their president and other leaders.  As the country struggled to get back on its feet after the tumultuous ’90’s, Ford saw a way to help them help themselves.  Rwandan soil, elevation and climate is one of the finest for growing coffee.  Ford started with an abandoned coffee mill, gained the trust of the local farmers and gave them the tools to reestablish their coffee farms.

AIRSHIP COFFEE

Bentonville is the home of Airship Coffee.  In 2005, University of Arkansas agronomist, Mark Bray, was in the Honduran mountains, and as he listened to the coffee farmers talk about their hope for a brighter future, the idea of Airship Coffee was born. “Airship Coffee was founded on the idea that we could improve lives by helping farmers improve their coffee quality and by creating market access through direct trade relationships.”

PROUD TO BE AN ARKANSAN!

For more information on these companies and where to purchase their coffees, visit their website at www.westrockcoffee.com and www.airshipcoffee.com.

I’ve personally had Westrock Coffee and endorse the Bold!  Looking forward to trying Airship Coffee when I visit NW Arkansas.

Have a cup o’ Joe and celebrate National Coffee Day!

westrock coffee