Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pausing the Twitter updates on the blog

I'm starting to question the value of having a daily recap of my Twitter updates (Tweets) posted to this blog. It just doesn't look very good, and it goes against my idea of using Twitter as an "of the moment" toolset.

So I've turned off the updates. If you were enjoying them and want to keep getting the recap, add me as a Twitter friend. If you have no interest in joining Twitter but still want the updates, you can subscribe to my Twitter updates RSS feed.

And for those you you are happy to let Twitter pass them by, you now have to deal with less of this from me. I'll still post about Twitter from time to time, as I'm a big supporter of the application.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 34

Five O'Clock Shadow 34

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Hey, there's a change of scene. Today's pic comes to you from the lovely Detroit International Airport. I'm travling from Phoenix to Baltimore on my way to Balticon, a scifi-turned-podcaster convention. But I find myself with some extra time on this layover as the connecting flight (did I mention this was supposed to be a direct flight?) was delayed by an hour. And though I don't have wifi to upload, I can take a pic and write this.

I don't know how many science fiction conventions I'm going to make next year. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy attending conventions. But I'm becoming less and less of a scifi podcaster... heck, less and less of a podcaster at all, come to think of it. My 2008 attentions will focus more on new media, connecting and other things that grab my interest. I still hope to make many cons and conferences, but they probably will be new ones than I've previously attended.

Know of something really cool you think I'd enjoy? Let me know about it for next year. And you are on the planning committee for a convention, conference, expo or other event and you are looking for folks to come and present, I'd love to hear from you. And with luck, this bad travel karma will have left me by then.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Get your Virb on

Props to Mark Forman for the gentle reminder about Virb. It popped up on my radar the other day but I didn't pay it much mind. As Mark says:
It's like Myspace for adults

Mark is kidding a bit, as many of us adults (including him) have Myspace profiles. But Virb feels different. And it looks a whole lot better. How will it do? You never know until your try. Add me as a contact, and be sure to visit my huge list of places to see where else we might connect.

PS - Mark is starting a new project called A.Connector. I'm stoked that he gave me props and asked me for a recording. Look for it soon!

Five O’Clock Shadow 33

Five O'Clock Shadow 33

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Thanks to George from the One Minute How-To podcast for allowing me to be on his show. The topic was "How to Not Go Crazy with Twitter", but I'll give him first run at the material before I post the text here.

I really like George's show and think that anyone considering doing a podcast (or another podcast) should seriously consider the idea of "bite sized" content. It won't work for everyone, and I'm not suggesting that current podcasters change their format. Unless of course you are unhappy with the format. If so, change away.

Think about this: no one ever unsubscribed from a show because the episodes were consistently too short. They may unsubscribe -- or choose not to subscribe -- to a short show for a variety of other reasons, but I'd wager that it's not because the podcast failed to take up enough of their time.

So how long should you show be? You're asking the question wrong. How short should you show be? That's the right question. Make it as short as possible to get your point across and cover your topics -- and not a minute longer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 32

Five O'Clock Shadow 32.jpg

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Will you be my friend? I've written on this topic before, and I probably will again as I fully grasp the new and social media concept of friendship. And besides -- doesn't that guy look happy enough to become friends with?

Like many of you, I'm eager to sign up on the latest social media craze. Many -- if not all -- have some concept of friendship, where you add those folks you know and encourage others to add you. On the surface, what's the point? I already know who my friends are and don't necessarily need the validation of shouting my friendship to the world.

True. But if you think of the concept of friends more as connections, the power becomes a little more obvious. I'm really not interested in seeing every photo that my Friends put on Flickr. Nor am I interested in reading every single Tweet, checking out their Myspace profile after each change, or following them obsessively on Plazes.

However, I realize that some people will key in on certain social media sites as their preferred method of conversation. And likely, their preference may not match up with mine. So as a smart connector, it's my job to connect with as many folks as possible on as many social networks as possible, and make sure I give attention to each of those networks. As you can imagine, that's tough to do and it gets incrementally tougher each time you add a new place. Lords know I have plenty of places right now. So we'll see how I keep up. Today, I'm tackling Flickr.

And what we really need is for someone to develop a "six-degrees of separation" tool that works across many networks. I could plug in my Digg profile and the Linkein profile of Rick Klau (Feedburner), and the tool would search both of them and look for commonalities and opportunities. Now that would be a useful tool!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 31

Five O'Clock Shadow 31

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

As I bust my ass writing another Practice in Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies (since I'm really, really behind), I thought I'd talk about the two most underused ID3 tags. And by underused I mean "no one is using them but me".

First, the "grouping" tag. If you run a podcast network, association or band of idiots waving a common flag, this tag is the PERFECT place to brand the name of your association. Why? Well even though it's not one of the default displayed tags in iTunes, it's easily enabled and will allow your collective audience to group all of your network's shows together. Yeah. It's that cool. As long as everyone uses the same tag, obviously. And yes, we ask that all the authors on use "" as the grouping. Now you know why.

Lastly, the "compilation" tag. This little check box is super groovy to use if you are prohibited from keeping a consistent "artist" tag for all of your episodes. Maybe you do a short story podcast and use the "artist" field to add the original author of the story. Maybe you feature three songs from the same musician or band in the same file and like to include their name in this tag. Great. Go ahead. But know that it makes it nigh impossible to find the actual files in the directory structure of your listeners system -- especially if they use iTunes. But if you check the "compilations" box in your ID3 tagging software, all of them are automatically grouped together by the name of the Album (which should be the name of your podcast.) That makes it super easy to grab all of them and burn them to an archive CD.

Hey, I'm here to help.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 30

Five O'Clock Shadow 30.jpg

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

In what might be my biggest boneheaded OHMYMYGODPLEASECOMESTALKME move, I've signed up with Plazes. Why? I'm really not sure, other than it seems kinda cool. And you know me and things that seem kinda cool...

Additionally, I've been meaning to talk about the various "real" books I've accumulated from authors. I've been thanked in a few of them (you're welcome) but J.C. went above and beyond. On the back of this copy, in giant red letters, is "Evo Terra Special Edition". How cool is that? And if it makes it through to final printing, I'll squeal.

Re-thinking Twitter defined

A reader of my blog who we'll call Janice Oglethorp, even though that isn't her real name (her real name is Dani Cutler), recently asked me this question:

I read your blog entry about re-organizing Twitter. What did you mean by that, if you don't mind me asking?

I've been re-evaluating how I use it- or more accurately, how I want to use it, myself. So when I saw your entry I thought I would inquire and see what your thinking was about it.

Thanks for the question, Janice. I look forward to killing... wait. Sorry. Ninja moment. Twitter is a cool tool and I'm imminently fascinated by things which I think are cool, and I really dig on telling you people about them here. But coolness wears off after a while. Honestly, the same thing happened to Twitter.

But I think I fixed it.

Look, I'm a busy guy. We're all busy people. One more thing to keep tabs on? I don't need it. But one more potential communication device? Now there's something I won't shy away from. And if it's a device that I can (and this is critical) choose to ignore when I don't have the time, we're into Groovy Land.

So that's how I've re-organized Twitter. My contact list has been paired down to those whom I have a vested interest in hearing from. Some I know, some I don't. But all of them post things that I may want to hear about -- when I choose to look. I don't feel the need to go back in time and see what I missed. I don't feel the need to look up every time Twitterific chimes at me. And I don't obsess over what I might be missing. Nope. It's an on/off situation for me. And I'm comfortable with it. I'll still communicate (still do communicate) out to all of you who have friended me -- thanks for doing that, by the way. I'll do my level best to make sure I only push out something when I have something worth saying.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 29

Five O'Clock Shadow 29

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Three discoveries today:

  1. Commentary space - That spot behind me where the old calendar used to be is the perfect place to hang up a graphic for the thing I'm talking about. I feel like a TV journalist.

  2. Treo 755p - Very cool. Lightweight and thin (compared to my old 650). Not at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But installing apps all willy-nilly leads to instabilities. That was going on with the old 650, and it followed me here upon the first sync. Three hours later, a nice gal from Palm helped me wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. Even managed to salvage my contact list.

  3. Twitter v. Jaiku Twitter may have some stability problems (see: exponential growth) as of late, but the Twitterific app beats the juhu app hands down. So I'm sticking with Twitter for now, as it fits my work style better

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My 755p has arrived!

My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived! My 755p has arrived!

Five O’Clock Shadow 28

Five O'Clock Shadow 28

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

The current fascination of the moment belongs to Truemors, the latest incarnation of Guy Kawasaki. There was a lot of buzz pre-launch of the service, but it pales in comparison with the shit-storm that has happened on launch day -- today.

I have to admit that I was one of the detractors when I first checked it out. A site where you can post whatever you want without the need to log in or provide any sort of meaningful credentials? Yep... that's what it is. But then again, I also poo-pooed Twitter, and now I'm a heavy user.

For now, the jury is still out on Truemors, but I feel like there is something to the site. I've manged to get three posts on the "Greatest" list without really trying. And as I write this, the #1 and #2 spots are still mine. So is that joke a little further down about Emo pizza. Sorry. If I'd had known...

The coming weeks will be interesting at Truemors. I'll keep checking in.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 27

Five O'Clock Shadow 27.jpg

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Happy Monday.

I'm currently pondering how I can employ my wife and son, both soon to be out of school for the summer, so that I can actually get some work done while they are home all day.

Any suggestions on hiring spouses and offspring? I bet they work cheap...

On another note, the writing hasn't gone so well as of late. I started off with a bang, but my sickness last week threw me out of whack. I'm off to kick boxing and am hoping that will straighten me out. I'm very behind. Would love a motivational coach to just sorta kick me in the ass from time to time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Balticon schedule posted - with extra time!

Paul and crew seem to be running Balticon with a much tighter ship than I'm used to. Quite often, I get my con schedule days before the event. All to frequently, I first learn of when and where I'm I'm supposed to talk when I check in to the con. But not these folks. My schedule is posted!

And the coolest thing? They didn't run me totally ragged and I have lots of time to hang out and meet folks. If you want to grab some time with me, let's be safe and lock it on the schedule. Drop me an email and pick a slot available on my schedule and I'll lock you in. Otherwise, I'll be there... you'll be there... we'll see each other!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thoughts on PodCampAZ

Jeremy and others are doing a fine job getting things together for the upcoming PodCampAZ coming up in November. I'm going to go and hope to present, but I can't spare much time to help in the way of planning.

He posted a brain dump today about his recent trip to a potential venue, and I thought I'd use my own blog here to respond and give feedback to some of that. Anything to spread the word, right?

In fairness to those of you not in AZ who don't give a frog's fat one, it's behind the MORE link. Final caveat: I've never done a PodCamp, so I'm talking strictly from my butt. Enjoy.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 26

Five O'Clock Shadow 26

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

A fast Monday night post for you, as I've got more to do.

  • My timeline for buying a new cell phone has increased dramatically. I lost my Treo 650 yesterday in the Grand Canyon. And yes, I did use the correct preposition.
  • In an effort to actually make my writing deadline, I'm writing every morning for one hour before I do any thing else. This breaks my GTD rule of processing inboxes first, but I'm easily distracted.
  • The agency I work for as my day job is about to start blogging. Me and my big mouth.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Five O’Clock Shadow 25

Five O'Clock Shadow 25

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Not quite five, but bear with me.

Just finished up a long day in the studio, with two interviews and a full slate of Slice of Scifi and Wingin' It! episodes. Major bombshell announced on WI! this week, so listen if you care. (Note: The show won't be posted until Wed of next week, so be patient.)

I haven't posted a 5O'S on a Saturday before, and never after 3 - 4 beers, so this is a new experience. Tomorrow I'm driving up to the Grand Canyon to meet someone I've been working with for two years for the first time. Ain't new media grand?

Help Evo choose a new cell phone

I think it's time to throw out the old Treo 650. I've had it for a couple of years and it's starting to fade out. Rather than go down to the Sprint store and browsing, I thought I'd throw it out to the list. Please keep in mind my feature set requirements below. I'm sure you are pleased as punch with your unit, but if you don't use it like I need to use mine, I may be less than impressed.

  • Bluetooth. I don't have one of those cool in-ear thingys, but they are getting small enough where I'm intrigued. But my car has Bluetooth speaker phone capabilities, and I really liked that on my current phone back when it worked.
  • Effective texting. I've recently discovered the magic of texting because of Twitter. Trouble is, the Treo requires me to connect to the internet and click a half dozen links before I can get the message. Yet my son sees his instantly. I want to be a cool kid again.
  • Decent keyboard. The Treo has a min-size QWERTY keyboard and I'm a pretty quick thumb-typer. I don't really relish the thought of having to replicate that on a 10-key or learning T-9. I've seen how the new Blackberrys do it, and that looks acceptable.
  • MP3 ring tones. Yes, I want Banana Phone as my ring tone. I'm a dork.
  • Ability to use as a modem. I still get in plenty of places where I can't find wifi -- free or at a cost. Was handy to plug in the Treo to get access. But it was S L O W. Hear the new ones are faster.
  • email support. I check my email a lot. I use a mixture of Exchange (for day job) and regular POP accounts for all-other-times jobs.
  • PDF support. I keep three or four ebooks loaded all the time for when I'm... indisposed.

Here's what I don't really care about:

  • Using the phone like a desktop. The Treo has a pile of applications (like Word and Excel) that I could use, but never do and simply won't.
  • Camera. Don't get me wrong, I've used the camera on many occasions. But rarely for anything important. For those times I have a real camera.
  • Paying $500 for something new.
  • Listening to music.
  • Streaming content.

So there are my needs. Help a brother out and post your suggestions right here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Evo’s Cranky Podcast Gripe #1

If you are on show #84 of your podcast and you are still talking through a $15 microphone and it sounds like you are talking through a $15 microphone, I might forgive you if I like your content.

But if your podcast starts with a highly produced, good sounding intro and you continue to sound like you are taking through a $15 microphone... your content had better knock my frigging socks off or I'm never going to bother to subscribe.

And yeah, I have one show in mind that I'll not call out, but it's an important safety tip for Egons everywhere.

Five O’Clock Shadow 24

Five O'Clock Shadow 24

Originally uploaded by evo_terra.

Do I look fat in this? More kickboxing...

As announced this morning, I'm re-org-ing. Again. Good for the soul. Right now, I'm in the process of rethinking my Twitter approach. Social media applications are just like anything else you get involved with -- you get out what you put in, and each experience is different.

For me and my initial configuration with Twitter, I found it not the most useful at two way communications. And I think it can be. Heck, I know it can be, as many folks use it as such. in that situation, I was using it as primarily a narrow-band broadcast tool. There's value in that, but I want more.

So I'm tweaking. Try not to get offended if you don't like what I do with it. It's not personal.

Statement of intent

Pardon me for just a moment, but AAAARRGH!

Sorry. One more time, with feeling.


Better. A little.

I've come to the realization that I have too many inputs. There. I've said it. Yes, it's true. I no longer think I can suck in the vast sums of data and process said as I've been trying to do for the last few years. It's not that I need more personal productivity tips -- really I don't. I've got quite the system down to parse and deal with various data sources on a near-continual basis. Hey, I'm no Cory Doctorow, but I hold my own in the GTD world.

No, my problem is simple: I'm a mental packrat. Many things capture my large chunks of my attention to the point of utter fascination, and once I'm educated on a subject I feel compelled to continue my education in infinitum. Thanks for raising your kid to think and love learning, Mom. See where it's led me?

And with that, I hereby declare today a day of declutterization. I have some pressing day-job matters to attend this morning and early afternoon, but after that I'm breaking out the CyberMachete to get medieval on RSS feeds, podcasts, mailing lists, and the like. It won't be pretty and it may not be permanent. But it will remove the feeling of doom hanging over my head like an overused simile in a Scott Sigler story.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Crayon is hiring

Crayon is a new company ran by lots of really smart people, including my friend C.C. Chapman. If you are looking to get in with a company dedicated to "new" ideas, check this out:

Crayon is putting out the word that a new SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER is needed. You can check out more at


- 3-5 years experience managing new media projects
- Excellent communication and collaborative skills
- Good working knowledge of new media, including web multimedia, rich media platforms, email, blogs, podcasts, social media networks, etc. Second Life experience (or interest) a definite plus.
- In depth knowledge of project management tools, best practices and processes
- Strong understanding of process methodologies and theory
- Eye for detail, and proven organizational and facilitation skills

I'm quite tempted to apply, but I'm committed to some heavy and rewarding projects of my own right now. Next time, fellas!

First of May

I'm sure I'm not the the first and nor will I be the last person to suggest that you celebrate spring with a crazy little thing on this day, the First of May.

To add inspiration to your day, might I suggest the following links for your enjoyment and edification?

Each of them are talented in their own rights. Happy First of May!