About Pat

Hello! My name is Pat Huston, as in Houston, Texas …..just not spelt the same. I hail from Minneapolis and spent some time in the Pacific Northwest before my second decade in the Tampa Bay area. I like humanizing technology and healthy lifestyles having spent most of my time as an academic and professional speaker as the common core of subject areas.

Warning! Are you torturing your callers?

Hate voicemail?…..A lot of us do….but is it the technology or the generic greeting you’re forced to listen to? All the while wondering when it will end, when they will listen ….and if they will return the call if they are texters. 

What’s in a greeting you ask? A lot. Do you ask for the purpose of the call? Callers can be like lemmings, if you tell them what to do. A please tell me the purpose of your call goes a long way in the voice mail process and allows you to return the call with purpose and clarity! This sets up a process for effective communication without real time investment.

Don’t forget to include an urgent call process. Try this. If your call is urgent, please text me. Include “ASAP VM and your name. . ( I may not recognize your number) Keep this in mind. We say it much quicker through voicemail than typing text.

Finally, a  greeting with the date and day helps you organize and tells your callers that you check in ..Don’t believe me? Caller ID proves it. With 100 callers routed to voicemail 90% leave a message when your greeting contains these recommendations.  Try it. One note of caution though your callers may prefer voicemail to dealing directly with you!


A New Look is Coming!

A new look is coming!

The entire site will be redesigned, including a snazzy new logo, layout and higher quality images, designed to make the user experience much more rewarding.

Michael K Lyman of Magnum Arts is providing creative and web development services; Magnum Arts helps people achieve success by unleashing the power of their creativity through web design, marketing, art instruction and photography.

So what can you expect to see in the days ahead?

  • More responsive design – a site that is easily viewed on smart phones and mobile devices for those of you on the go (which includes just about everyone)
  • More attractive, engaging layout – a site that better reflects the goals and mission of Pathuston.com, and invites visitors to kick off their shoes and stay awhile
  • Better designed navigation – a site that lets you easily and intuitively find the information you’re looking for
  • More engaging content – a site that includes higher quality photography, images and video, all designed to enhance the visitor experience

About Magnum Arts

Magnum Arts is Michael K Lyman, a military veteran with a degree in graphic design, a certificate in web development, and over ten years of experience in marketing, photography, illustration and art instruction. Visit Magnum Arts on the web at magnumarts.net.

The mission of Magnum Arts is to Inspire, Create and Engage:

Inspire others to broaden their horizons, improve the quality of life and the world around them, and to make this world a better place in ways big and small.

Create eye-pleasing, responsive and effecient web sites, create entertaining, thought-provoking, uplifting art, create captured moments for others to share through high quality photography.

Engage clients, students, friends and colleagues through positive interactions, which challenge pre-conceived notions, integrate the best of what others have to offer and encourages healthy development of mind and spirit.


Is your medical information safe?

Interesting article I read made me ponder…..Is our personal medical information safe? As an academic dean for a medical career college we introduced our students to online medical record software and taught them how to use it. We never thought about the systems housing the software.

With medical records going online, ask yourself how secure are the systems that store the software and data? According to security data experts your medical information is much more valuable to and vulnerable identity thieves than our credit card info.

Hospitals, clinics and mom and pop providers need to insure that security is a major focus of the computer systems that hold our information. Add this to your list when seeking a new medical provider…..I did 🙂


Let me know what you find out.

The wisdom of Seth Godin: Choose Your Customers First

We’ve all heard it – start by finding a group of target customers that has a problem (a “pain“) or an opportunity (a “gain“) that you have the skills and tools to address. But Seth Godin reminds us that the desirability of a customer set goes beyond pains and gains to the issue of, do you want to do business with these people ? Are they willing to pay what your product or service is worth ? Do they have integrity ? Will they carry out their end of the bargain ? Think about that before you launch your business. When you decide, design your product or service so it will attract your desired customers and not appeal to the customers you don’t want to serve.

Seth offers a few examples for all of us to consider:

“The real estate broker ought to pick which sort of buyer before she goes out to buy business cards, rent an office or get listings.

The bowling alley investor ought to pick whether he’s hoping for serious league players or girls-night-out partiers before he buys a building or uniforms.

The yoga instructor, the corporate coach, the app developer–in every case, first figure out who you’d like to do business with, then go make something just for them. The more specific the better…”

Massive Open Online Courses – There Is a New World Unfolding

Following up on his 2005 book “The World Is Flat”, columnist Thomas Friedman has spent a lot of time and energy tracking the progress of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their impact on traditional colleges and universities.

When Friedman recently visited Coursera, founded by two computer scientists from Stanford, it had 2.4 million students taking 214 courses from 33 universities. Udacity and edX, a nonprofit created by Harvard and M.I.T., also offer MOOCs. Although the number of students completing the final exams appears to be low, the courses can be rewarding for both the students and the professors teaching them.

Besides the wide availability of high-speed internet access, the major force pushing the change is the world’s demand for competence more than credentials. “There will be less interest in how you achieved the competency – in an online course, at a four-year college or in a company-administered class – and more demand to prove that you mastered the competency”, Friedman says. This means that higher education must move from a model of “time served” to a model of “stuff learned”.

He sees some universities where students are directed to study the basic material online at their own pace, then go to the classroom to apply the knowledge through discussions with a professor, lab experiments or other hands-on exercises.

The online courses can come from anywhere. Friedman cites a Harvard professor who reports that “Harvard Business School doesn’t teach entry-level accounting anymore, because there is a professor out a Brigham Young University whose online accounting course ‘is just so good’ that Harvard students use that instead.” As Friedman puts it, “when outstanding becomes so easily available, average is over… The world of MOOCs is creating a competition that will force every professor to improve his or her pedagogy or face an online competitor.”

Friedman quotes M.I.T. president L. Rafael Reif: “I can see a day soon where you’ll create your own college degree by taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world — some computing from Stanford, some entrepreneurship from Wharton, some ethics from Brandeis, some literature from Edinburgh — paying only the nominal fee for the certificates of completion. It will change teaching, learning and the pathway to employment. There is a new world unfolding,” said Reif, “and everyone will have to adapt.”

What do you think ?


Protecting Your Online Reputation (part four):

Tracking what people are saying about you

So far, you’ve taken the first steps of protecting your data transmissions, and capturing social media sites and domain names related to your business.

Now it’s time to start watching for what other people are saying about you on the internet. There are several tools that you can use, and we will show you two of them here: Google Alerts and Social Mention. Both are free. Other popular choices include TweetDeck, HootSuite, and paid services like SproutSocial or, for the larger company, Radian6.

You will find that these tools work better for some companies than others. Searching for SCORE (www.score.org), the volunteer organization that helps small business owners and people who want to start a small business, results in a large number of posts about sporting events, with a smaller number of posts relevant to your search. As they say in the weight loss ads, your results may vary.

Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) is a good tool for monitoring comments about your company, your competitors, and your industry. With the Google Alerts tool, you can search news items, blogs, and video for a search phrase of your choice; choose how often to be notified; and pick the email account you want to use. For example, if you want to see news about the Olympics, your report could look like this:

Social Mention (www.socialmention.com) gives you a long list of posts, photos and videos related to your search phrase. It also gives you analysis of the sentiment of the posts (positive/neutral/negative), the top key words being used, the top users, the top hashtags, and the top sources. This makes it easier to ‘drill down’ on the results of your search.

Searching for posts related to your name (or your company’s name, or your brand’s name), or your competitors, gives you an opportunity to respond quickly to both positive and negative comments. Want to learn more about protecting your online reputation? Contact Pat Huston (pat@pathuston.com), Bob Gaynor (bob@pathuston.com), or go to www.pathuston.com.