Archive for the ‘Seva Team’ Category


What Finding Local Pros in a Small Town Is Like: 5 Common Problems

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Dallea Caldwell 

As a city girl living in a small town world, I had to get used to a sad reality: the hipper the business, the sooner it goes under. Towns that are too small to draw crowds to trendy new places leave a trail of well-designed websites and hugely popular Facebook pages behind like empty shells washed ashore.

Once, I saw a sign advertising belly dancing. Belly dancing! Searched Facebook and saw a post only a week old promoting Thursday night lessons. I called and heard a voicemail greeting for the company. I showed up the very next Thursday only to loiter in front of an empty, locked door that would never open. I should have known that it was too cool to last.

Worse, even the essentials like available plumbers, handymen, and electricians are hard to find online. These are the 4 extremely frustrating problems I face whenever I look for a local pro online.

In a small town, business social media pages are ancient:

local pros facebook pages

In the city, social media might be a good place to find info on a company. But, you’re in the boonies. So, while it’s nice that Joe’s Mechanic did a great job  fixing someone’s brand new Model T Ford at the turn of the century, it takes current info to reassure you. Instead, you’re looking at a social media page that could easily be a time capsule to the early 90’s.

In a small town, a rave review is one that exists.

amazoncardAfter looking up business after business and seeing empty reviews, you promise yourself that when you finally book a pro, you will come back and post a review.  Funny how the same neighbors who join Neighborhood Watch to catch a robber, won’t leave a review when an inflated estimate robs them and soon, their neighbors.

In a small town, your heart isn’t the only thing broken when you visit that website you saw in a local directory.

local pros broken websitesSure, you live in a small town where small businesses aren’t even aware of half the places where they’re listed online. So, you don’t blame them for forgetting to update all 50 million online directories. But, boy…visiting a website or calling a number you found on a trusted online listing only to find it broken or disconnected really burns your biscuits.

But then, you finally find  guy and guess what:

local pros sorry we're booked

They’re booked, of course.

It seems like the handful of small town businesses that make themselves visible are always booked.

And why not? It’s not like they have any real competition. And you never know whether to assume other businesses simply don’t exist or that they’re in the witness protection program. Your town, after all, is the type of place they send you when they need you off the grid.

But finding local pros doesn’t have to be such a hassle, not even in a small town.

Luckily, I have my TalkLocal app. It scours the web to find an available pro, even if local businesses don’t have a “fancy-pants online presence like those big-shot city fellers!” Plus, it converts online searches to phone calls to area businesses; you know, for all of those old school pros who still think phones are more for talking. The national average for the time it takes TalkLocal to get consumers talking to the right, available local pro is about 4 minutes, that includes small towns like ours. TalkLocal, available at, is free to use and free for download on iPhone and Android. Check it out!

Snowzilla and the TalkLocal Knights

Sunday, February 28th, 2016


(This story is for National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. We hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to tell some fairy tales of your own.)

By Krystal Moore

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, the good people of Homeville were enjoying their winter. It had been a strange one. Rather than the usual frostbiting wind that forced the people to wear heavy coats, the weather had been rather warm. While it was a concern for some, many people took the warmth for what it was – a chance to be outside and enjoy themselves. Certainly things would be well this winter.

But then…it came.

Without warning, the people awoke to a fearsome roar. Gazing through their frosted windows, they all watched in horror as a grand, bone-chilling beast came through the city. The monster roared thunderously as it stormed through the city, covering all in its path in a mass of snow and ice.

It was a beast that none believed they would see for another year. A monster that no one could defeat and all feared.

It was…the dreaded Snowzilla!

As people ran to their homes, seeking shelter, Snowzilla ravaged the city, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. The monster’s rampage was swift but brutal. In a mere day, it had managed to uproot the lives of all the people before leaving to spread chaos elsewhere.

While the people were glad that Snowzilla had gone, it didn’t change the fact that they were still left with its aftermath. Many people were trapped in their homes, and while they were able to ask for help, it still seemed too much to handle.

Who would be able to save these poor people from the dread that Snowzilla had brought upon them?

Just as all seemed lost, there was the sound of fanfare. People who were capable left their home as they saw a crowd of knights coming forward on their fearsome steeds.

The people stared in awe as all of the knights stopped in front of them. Who were they? What did they want?

One knight stood in front of the others, their powerful voice booming over the crowd. “Good people! We understand that Snowzilla has rampaged through your great city! Fear not!” The knight raised their shield, manifesting their kingdom’s crest for all to see. “We are knights from the kingdom of TalkLocal! We are here to assist you!”

No one dared to move. They had never heard of this kingdom and now that it had come right after Snowzilla’s rampage, what were they meant to think?

The knights simply stood there, waiting for someone to come forth first. You see, they would not make the first move. Although sent to Homeville to help the people of the village, the knights could not act without the direct request of each individual. Thus, they waited, giving the people time to see that they were interested in assisting them.

After what seemed like an eternity, an older man came forth. He shuffled slowly towards the knights, using a cane to help support himself.

His voice was low but he spoke clearly, “Good knights, I am capable of walking from my home but there is still treacherous snow in my driveway. I am unable to remove it on my own. Can you assist me?”

One knight came forward, helmet covering his eyes but not hiding the large smile he had as he rode towards the man. “Good sir, I shall assist you. Please return to your home and leave this concern to me.”

“Oh, thank you so much, gracious knight.”

When the old man was finished, a younger woman came forward, a bit hesitant as she asked, “Snowzilla destroyed my pipes. Froze them over until they burst. What am I meant to do?”

Another knight came forward, holding a pipe in her hand as she smiled. “Worry not, ma’am. I shall return your plumbing to its former glory.”

Slowly but surely, more people came forward, each with a concern that needed to be addressed, and with each person, there was a knight who was able to solve their problem. With enough time, the knights of TalkLocal had assisted the people until they were able to resume their normal lives.

“Let’s give thanks to the great knights!”

“Cheers for the grand kingdom of TalkLocal!”

“TalkLocal! TalkLocal! TalkLocal!”

The first knight stepped forward once again, raising their hand and the people went quiet. “Good people! We’re glad we could assist you! Unfortunately, the horrible Snowzilla has spread more chaos, and we must go and assist its other victims But always remember,  if you ever require our assistance again…” All of the knights raised their shields, the pride of their kingdom a beacon of hope. “…TalkLocal will be here!”

And with that, the knights rode off towards their next quest, the cheers of the people  sending them off.

The End

DIY Laminate Flooring Installation: Experience Q&A

Thursday, June 18th, 2015


TalkLocal marketing strategist Dallea Caldwell recently renovated her own floors, replacing the kaleidoscope of carpet and vinyl and wood with a single layer of smooth Beachwood laminate. For those interested in DIY laminate flooring installation, we’ve interviewed her about the experience.

Q: Dallea, why did you decide to do your own renovation rather than hiring a professional contractor?

A: The big thing was the cost. I did a bit of research and found out I could save around $2000. I knew going in that I wanted to use laminate flooring – I’d seen Beachwood in stores and liked how it looked – and, as it turns out, laminate is pretty easy to install.

Q: Walk me through the process – what’s the first step in a DIY project like this?

A: Getting the proper materials. I had a bit of DIY experience so I knew right away, I was going to need mallets and saws – a bunch of them. Specifically, I needed round saws, handheld saws, rubber mallets, and these rubber plants called tappers, which are used to tap together the interlocking layers of the laminate. But the biggest thing was help: renovating flooring requires manpower! So I called up some family members and told them to bring other necessities, like crowbars, hammers, saws, siding and such.

Q: After everyone had arrived and you had all your tools, how did you start?

A: Part one, the hard part, was getting up the flooring you already have. It was quite a task due to the smorgasbord of flooring types in my open-layout first floor; it was like a crash course in floor ripping. All in all, it was a really time and labor intensive process, from cutting strips of carpet to finding and scraping linoleum glue to prying up wood boards – and don’t get me started on the hours spent pulling up and nailing down staples and nails. The staples were like an endless game of pop goes the weasel.

Q: Sounds taxing. Was this a messy undertaking?

A: Very much so. I wanted the new flooring to be level; that meant every little thing, regardless of its material, had to be swept clear before the new flooring was to be installed. This soon turned out to be a very dusty affair; if you’re allergic to dust, be sure to take your medication before starting this project. The other problem with dust is that, like sand, it will find its way everywhere. In my case, it infiltrated the cat food – the poor kitties were vomiting all night long.

Q: What was the next step?

A: Then comes the actual installation. At first, it seemed like it was going to be awful because the laminate seller had unloaded this mountain of planks from an eighteen wheeler right in my garage; having to move the planks from place to place was honestly the hardest part. Installing was easier. You see, the trick is to just move in a linear fashion, like you’re mowing a lawn. The laminate we chose already had padding, and the laminate interlocks so that few pails were needed, so it was just a matter of lining everything up. As long as you keep moving in single directions, you’ll be able to cut the material to fit tight or peculiarly shaped areas. Which reminds me: this step requires some serious sawing. I had a great table saw, which only required an hour’s assembly, and was critical for precise cutting; you don’t want to waste wood, especially when a 1×2” plank bridges the space between the laminate and the wall.

Q: This all sounds like a ton of work. Was it worth it?

A: Sure, it was all hard, but remember: $2084 in savings. And the satisfaction of knowing that I made the floor myself, seeing the floor transform from an ugly patchwork to a beautiful, smooth surface – it was fantastic. Surprisingly, it proved not a bad family weekend.

And there you have it. However, some projects are too expansive to tackle even with your entire extended family. These are best handled by a professional. Head to TalkLocal and we’ll quickly set you up with the perfect contractor for free and without any hassle.

Why We Love Working At TalkLocal

Monday, January 26th, 2015


All work and no play actually decreases productivity and innovation. That’s just one reason why Fun at Work Day is a thing to have and, on January 28th, a day to celebrate!.

So, in the spirit of Fun At Work Day, we asked a few of our employees what they enjoy most about working at TalkLocal. Take a read and see why TalkLocal is even more awesome than you think it is.

“I love coming into the office every day because it just has a great atmosphere. Not only are all the people friendly but I never knew how nice orange and blue look until I got here.” – Mitali

“I like working at TalkLocal because of the team chemistry. There’s never a dull moment in the office. We are always having fun, which allows us to take our work seriously. It’s a great environment and I love coming into work everyday.” – Greg

“Flexible working environment where you can take as much responsibility as you want for your effort. An atmosphere where people don’t take themselves seriously, but are able to get things done. The culture is empowering and inclusive. It’s not a shark tank where people are out for each other’s positions. Even if you fall short of your goals some days, there are people who are able to make you laugh while encouraging you to succeed.” – Courtney

“TalkLocal is an awesome opportunity to get involved with a local, growing tech start-up company. If you ever wanted to get your feet wet in start-ups, then TalkLocal is your place. You won’t be disappointed with our casual culture, superior service, and our wonderful people.” – John

Funny no one mentioned ping-pong, video games, snacks, or banging a gong to celebrate their successes. Of course, the best way to make work fun is the be passionate about it, right? So, make work fun the best way you can, from now until retirement!

In the College Park area and want to join in on the fun? Celebrate “Have Fun At Work Day” by visiting our sales job/internship open-house on January 28th at 4pm. Click here to RSVP.

TalkLocal Team Share How They Celebrated Thanksgiving

Monday, December 1st, 2014

The TalkLocal team is back from the long holiday weekend with their bellies full of great food and their hearts filled with the great times they’ve shared with family during Thanksgiving.

There’s been lots of storytelling, cellphone picture shows and laughter as we share our favorite moments from when we celebrated Thanksgiving.

Here’s what some of our team members said about what they did this Thanksgiving.

Some of us…

… gave back

Me 2 “My friend is abroad and wasn’t here for Thanksgiving so I sent her a message with good wishes and asked what she wanted for the holidays (and her birthday, the little Christmas baby). She said that she wanted me to donate money for research on ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). I knew how important it was for her so I donated a bit early for it to be considered a Christmas present but it’s okay because I still plan to give her an awesome birthday gift.”

…enjoyed a “This is Thanksgiving?” Dinner:

Dennis “Thanksgiving is about great food and family. So, rather than slave in a hot kitchen all day and dirty our finest china, we had reservations at a Brazilian Steakhouse called Chima. All of the food was done to perfection and we didn’t have to worry about Grandma catching her death trying to please the whole family. Next year, if you want a simple way to make Thanksgiving special, I highly recommend the Chima Thanksgiving Special.”

…traveled pretty far.

Mitali “My family and I went to NY to see my cousin and her husband (who just got to the US from India). Their home was so neat and tidy and I was terrified my little brother would make a mess of everything. I won’t lie; my little brother ran the show. Ferry rides, cab rides, the Lego store, and tons of other expensive things. But, my brother was happy and we all had fun. That’s what Thanksgiving’s about, right?”

… cooked a lot.

Kayla “I’ve earned a reputation as a bad cook. So, when my sister told everyone about my Sweet Potato Casserole, four different households demanded proof. And each wanted the proof on their separate tables for Thanksgiving. Preparing so many batches was a challenge for an amatuer cook like me, but each host said the dish was gone within the hour.”

… went on a Thanksgiving tour.

Dallea “It’s sort of a gift and curse, but I never have to choose which side of my family I’ll spend Thanksgiving with. I do it all. My family in York, PA have Thanksgiving around noon while my family in Baltimore, MD are barely ready by 6pm. So, it was a long day and a 2 hour drive, but I got to spend quality time with both.”

As you can see, we each had our own special Thanksgiving holiday and want to know how you celebrated your Thanksgiving break. Be sure to share your moments, even if it was nothing more than enjoying the fact that you could finally sleep until ten.

Movember Manscape Management Manual with Proudly Bearded Founder Aman Bakshi

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Movember has been in full swing for weeks now. So, lots of men across the country have gone weeks without shaving or – in accordance to strict observance of Movember Law – are growing and grooming impressive moustaches and beards. If they’re lucky, they’ve got a pretty full bushel of hair on their faces. Of course, with great growth comes great responsibility and manscaping may be increasingly challenging by now.

So, to help novice man manes reach their full potential, we’ve turned to TalkLocal founder and famed beard pioneer Aman Bakshi for his top manscaping tips.


Q: So Aman, your beard always looks so amazing. Anyone who has seen your beard has the same question: what do you do to maintain its shine and luster?

A: Are you serious?

Q: Yes, the inquiring public needs to know how to achieve your glorious man mane!

A: Find a good beard oil or hair product. I use a combination of Bed Hair hair spray and Got2B Glue hair gel then use a hair dryer to get it dried quickly.

Q: Should people brush their beard a certain number of times every night or something?

A: Of course not.

Q: When should people start growing their beards if they want to achieve their best length?

A: At puberty.

Q: Oh… Last question! Beards tend to say a lot about a man, indicating he’s rugged, wise or Santa. What do you think your beard says about you?

A: It says I’m not afraid to be myself.

There you have it, folks. Aman Bakshi, facial hair hero. Apply these tips and you too can have a beard that’s shiny, luxurious, and smells of mahogany and burned cedar wood just like his!


5 Ways to Bond with Your Dad this Father’s Day

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Written by Ezra Schwartz

Your dad has always been there for you. Whether he was playing catch with you for the first time or, dressed as a princess, enduring your tea party, he’s always been around to put a smile on your face. Even if he didn’t want to be there, even if he had work to do, even if there was a game on, Dad was always there to do what you love.

Which is why the most important thing to do this Father’s Day is to return the favor and spend time with Dad. Sure, you can still buy him a tie, watch, grill spatula, or any other cliched gift, but what Dad really wants is your time. Here are 5 ways that you can bond with your dad on June 15th, and make it the best Father’s Day he’s ever had.

5. Spend it Outdoors!

5 Ways to Bond with Your Dad this Father's Day - Seva Call

The wonderful thing about Father’s Day is that it takes place in mid-June, the ideal time for outdoor activities. Whether this means going to the beach, having a picnic in the park, taking a hike in the woods, or just having a nice barbecue, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

4. Make His Favorite Food

Whether your dad was the one who cooked in your house or not, he will definitely appreciate a meal with his favorite dish. It might mean going out to a fancy restaurant, or staying in and cooking yourself, but either way, it is a gesture that your father will love.

3. Go to a Baseball Game

5 Ways to Bond with Your Dad this Father's Day - Seva Call

What better bonding activity is there than baseball? For over a century, dads have been taking their sons and daughters out to the old ballgame. It’s a classic way to spend the day, and if he loves the food at the park, this one can combine the previous two tips!

2. Bring Your Kids!

While Dad may love spending time with you, chances are he loves spending time with your kids, as well. This day is not only about cherishing old memories, but about creating new ones, and there is no better way of doing that than with the new generation. Dad loves his grandkids and they love him, so whatever you do, be sure to bring them along!

1. Just Do What He Loves!

You know your dad better than we do, so you know best how to make his day perfect! Dad has something that he loves to do, and whatever it is, just do that with him. Even (and especially) if that means just sitting on the couch with a beer and watching the game or his favorite movie, make sure that Dad can do what he wants, and make sure to do it with him!

Whatever you do this Father’s Day, make sure that everything is working in the house. It wouldn’t be fun if the TV, computer, or air conditioning didn’t work. You can also make sure that the lawn looks perfect, and that all of Dad’s Sunday chores are done.

We here at TalkLocal would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there! Thank you for all that you do!

Summer How-To: How to Add Color to Your Garden All Summer

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

When you’re having people over this summer, maybe for that annual July 4th barbecue, you want your home to be at its prime. No more relatives coming over saying the grass on the front lawn is too long or that your garden is looking subpar. There are five summer flowers that will add that pop of color to your garden and will keep accentuating your home until the season ends. Here they are in all their colorful glory:

1) “Goblin” Blanket Flower: This red, yellow, and maroon flower blooms June to August and is one tough flower. It can withstand hot and dry soil, poor soil, as well as seaside weather and soil conditions. This flower does need full sunlight to properly bloom and develop.



2) Red Valerian: This flower varies in color from a pink to a lilacy-red to a strong red. It blooms in late June to August and again to frost. It is easy to maintain, being able to endure any condition except wet/boggy shade. It needs full sun to partial shade in order to properly live.


3) “Moonbeam” Threaded Coreopsis: This bright yellow flower blooms from June to frost and is beautiful in its daintiness but colorful presence in the garden. It needs full sun to partial shade.



4) “Pink Jewel” Daisy Fleabane: A bright pink flower with a yellow center that blooms June to September.  It is truly a low maintenance plant as it requires full sun and can withstand light shade.



5) “Hidcote” English Lavender:  This tall deep blue-purple flower blooms from June to August and requires full sun.  For this plant, too much moisture is a problem, so make sure the area you wish to plant it has good drainage.

We hope you are able to plant these beautiful flowers to add some color to your garden for the entire summer! If you enjoyed this summer how-to, be sure to check out talklocal’s blog or Pinterest account for more helpful tips.


Which Type of RAM Do I Need?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Which Type of RAM Do I Need? - Computer Repair

So your computer is running slowly. You need a new RAM. But what is a RAM?

RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is a type of memory that is independently stored from your hard drive and designed for an entirely operational use – it does not store any direct forms of data.

Types of RAM and Differences

Okay, so which type of RAM do I need?

There are two types of RAM: DRAM and SRAM. DRAM stands for Dynamic Random Access Memory. SRAM stands for Static Random Access Memory.

DRAM is a type of memory that needs to be continuously refreshed while the SRAM does not require the constant update. Because of this, the SRAM is faster than the DRAM.

More specifically, DRAMs generally feature an access time (process time) of 60 nanoseconds while the SRAMs generally feature an access time of 10 nanoseconds. SRAMs are, on average, about six times as fast as DRAMs.

SRAMs are also much more expensive than DRAMs. Therefore, in most computers designed for home or office use, you will find that DRAM is used. This is also likely the type that you need for your computer.

Finding the Specific Model for Your Computer

Different computer models require different RAM models. Generally, it is recommended to look up your computer brand and the model number online to find which RAM model you need. You can also just write down the information and bring the information to a computer technician, who can find the correct model for you.

Do you need to find a technician near you for help? TalkLocal can help with finding the correct local experts to help you in this case, saving you time and energy in what may be a stressful situation.

28 (Mis)Adventures: On Slowly and Perilously Careening on Icy Roads

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

A blog about life experience and inexperience, by Dallea Caldwell

28 (Mis)Adventures: On Slowly and Perilously Careening on Icy Roads - Seva Team

Stupid. Stupid Saturn. Stupid Saturn stops suddenly. Stupid Saturn stops suddenly, sending us sliding, strategically swerving, and surprisingly… slamming into snow-covered snail-mailbox. That’s my version of the Bernstein B. Book — basically a beary child-oriented version of the Butterfly Effect. No pictures (nothing like an impromptu iWitness news report to make yourself seem insensitive as the passenger in a car accident), but here’s my Snowmageddon 2014 traffic report.

Careening on Icy Roads

I never imagined that careening out of control would be such a gruelingly slow process. I gradually came to terms with the realization that breaks were being applied but inertia stubbornly sustained the car’s already cautious momentum. Impact was not yet imminent with red tail-lights still seemingly several car lengths in the distance.

I slid my seat back and to an upright position to avoid bumping my knees and, once I felt evasive maneuvers taking place and saw the mailbox gradually align with our path, I leaned closer to the driver in a likely vain attempt to avoid shards of side-window glass upon impact.

I may have been over-thinking this, but the amount of calm, rational thinking I was able to accomplish and number of tasks I managed to execute prior to the eventual impact were astonishing.

The other astonishing part was just how much damage a snow-enforced mailbox was able to deliver. The red Hyundai absorbed the impact so that only a dull thud reached my bones, but the right head light, tire well, and hood were Hulk-smashed to shards and loose wires. And, of course, the mailbox itself stood headless with a snapped neck; but, it gave as good as it got.

Several people immediately rushed to our aid. I took the wheel as the driver and a stranger lifted the car out of the pile of snow. But, they also offered this disturbing advice: “If you’ve been drinking get the heck out of here.” We thought it was an indignant accusation and gave a resounding “No,” but realized they were speaking out of sincere concern for our legal well-being — as strange as it sounds.

The homeowner, however, wasn’t even half so kind, although almost as disturbing. He wouldn’t accept direct monetary compensation at all, demanding insurance handle a formal claim instead. He also screamed at us about the number of times his mailbox has been knocked over as if we were part of a conspiracy- a network of mail-box assassins targeting him and him alone.

Not content to simply waste our time and potentially drive up the driver’s insurance, his insistence on a formal police report was another part of his vengeance against all mailbox attackers.

I’m certain that with each mailbox accident, he builds the next to be stronger and more punishing than the last and will not stop until he sees blood on the temples of every wayward driver. I’ve got my eye out for a new brick mailbox by the end of the month. So, watch out on Rt 30 in southern Pennsylvania.

Getting Out of Trouble

Still, nothing like a hair-raising brush with death, timely road-side assistance, and a quick towing to make you count your blessings.

Take heed to this cautionary tale, and drive cautiously. But, if the worst happens, be assured that Seva Call is there for your towing and auto-repair needs. Visit or call 877.987.SEVA to get connected to live local pros in minutes.