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Tony Barthel, Nerds for Normals 

My name is Tony Barthel and I am passionate about  small business and tourism/destination marketing. ​
People are talking about social media and wondering if their small business marketing plan is as good as it should be. I can help.

​I have the privilege of working with small businesses and government agencies with their marketing plans. This marketing includes things like social mediavideo productionprint materialsweb design and e-mail marketing.

I have been involved in marketing for most of my adult life having cut my teeth working as an retail marketing manager for Apple and moving on to work with companies like Domino’s Pizza and many others.

In the mid-1980s a friend and I set-up a dial-up nine-line chat board that was the precursor to today’s social media explosion called Chat Line. In those days up to nine individuals could converse, share messages, post messages and more. In many ways this was just like today’s social media, although without many hundreds of millions of subscribers and you couldn’t use your smart phone because they hadn’t been invented yet.

From here I moved on to start a print brokerage where I learned production skills as well as page layout, typography, photo editing, logo design and much more. Working closely on marketing with companies gave me an insight and moving on to study marketing, advertising and audience psychology gave me a real understanding of what makes people respond. I also studied journalism and thought that, someday, I would want to work as a writer. Or a hotel operator.

So I wrote the syndicated Curbside column that went into almost 280 newspapers all over the US. That was a fun job because I got to drive a new car every week and tell people what I thought.

Once newspapers went the way of the dinosaur I moved on to own my own nine-room resort made of railroad cabooses called the Featherbed Railroad. It’s still a great place to stay – we sold it in 2015 and hit the road.

Peggy and I have also started doing an RV-related travel blog and love taking our travel trailer to all sorts of great places.  This travel blog has turned into a very popular podcast turning the great American RV adventure into a StressLess Camping experience. As a beer nerd I am always happy to find local craft beer in any destination and my travel plans can be altered when I learn of a great brewery.

That car column, Curbside, turned into an on-line car show calendar where I also write blog posts about vintage cars as well as travel.