Tuesday, December 30, 2008

7 facts about me that you probably don't care about

LSS2: Small Changes::7 Random Facts About Preg...Image by brungrrl via FlickrIt was only matter of time. Dean OUlette (funny name for a Texas fan) tagged me for the most recent reincarnation of this meme. OK. I'll play.

But for a guy that lives pretty much online and it's remotely bashful or shy, it's kinda tough. So I'll try and pull up seven things that aren't always visible to those who don't spend IRL time with me.

  1. I'm easily pissed when my integrity is called into question. I have plenty of bad qualities. And I often act in my best interest. But that never involves stepping on or shitting on people. The intrinsic altruistic inclinations of our species got us this far. I see no reason to go against 3.5 billion years of evolution.1

  2. I'm a huge procrastinator. No, seriously. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? It's my least attractive trait and one that drives The Lovely Wife terribly insane. I'm quite productive, but oftentimes not until the final hour. Stupid, I know.

  3. I often times have no idea what the hell I'm doing. Cat's out of the bag. Guess what? This is how the world operates. We take some skill, some knowledge, and a history of usually doing the right thing -- or a right thing -- and we push forward. This used to sort of creep me out and led me to believe that the universe was looking out for me or something. Now I realize that I'm probably just good at identifying the bad possible choices and then choosing a non-bad one. Out of many. There may have been -- and probably was -- a better one. But unless you live in a parallel universe... prove it!

  4. I'm the exact opposite of pack rat. I don't collect anything. I don't save anything. In fact, I probably throw out something important or possibly valuable at least once a week. I'd be perfectly happy living a completely minimalistic lifestyle. Others who I've chosen to share my life with, however...

  5. I loath going to the dentist. Seriously. I'd rather visit a proctologist on a daily basis than go to the dentist. Oddly enough, I've never had a dentist cause me a huge amount of pain. But I watched my wife get her wisdom teeth pulled by Dr. Marques de Sade some 20 years ago. After that, I'm a total wuss. She's fine with it. Odd, I tell you.

  6. I cannot abide going in circles. Merry-go-rounds make me sick. Spinning around more than once makes me nauseous. Tilt-o-Whril? Are you kidding me? I have to turn my head in the theater when they do a spinning-overhead shot. Yes. It's that bad.

  7. I make really good chili. No beans, thank you very much. It's called Sacred Excrement chili, because you will say holy shit when you eat it. Not for the faint of heart. In fact, I have to make a batch tomorrow. Looks like a trip to the store is imminent!

But before I go, the rules of this engagement require me to tag seven others:

(I subscribe to all of your blogs, so I'll know if you didn't do it...)

I then am to post the rules for this meme. (The comments in brackets are mine own.)

  1. Link your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post. [check]
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post. [check]
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs. [check]
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged. [wtf? doesn't everyone have ego filters?]

1 - The earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, true. But it was sterile for the first 1 million years or so.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Do you tweet... like I do?

Stop Making Sense?Image by CRASH-candy via FlickrNewsflash #1: anyone claiming proficiency in any aspect of social media is making it up as they go along. Present company included.

Resist the temptation to alter your behavior because Social Media Expert suggested you do so. For every gem presented, the schmee (my word, run with it) probably exhibits one or more traits of deplorable activity. That should indicate to you the schmee (or this schmee) isn't perfect. Which is rather obvious, as this medium is designed imperfection.

But don't ignore their advice. If something is worth the wadded panties they suffered, it probably bears examination your part. They may not be perfect, but they aren't stupid.

Case in point: Chris Brogan's latest rant on "robot behavior". I'm long-time user of an auto reply for new followers on Twitter. Yet I agree with much of what Chris had to say. Counter-intuitive? Maybe. But I see auto replies as a tool; the difference is made in how you wield it. And just by typing the word difference, it is implied that that difference -- a change from state A to state B -- can be measured.

Newsflash #2: Yes, social media can be measured. In a myriad of ways.

In my case, the numbers weren't proving out my intended goal. So I modified my auto reply. I changed how I use the tool. In my case, I abandoned the first goal (not all that important to me).

If your auto reply on Twitter is designed to cause someone to take action; measure those actions. If it's working, great! Keep on keepin' on. But if it's not... well then you have some thinking ahead of you. Maybe your audience doesn't want to take that action. At least not in this environment. Maybe it's just not how they want to interact with you. Or maybe they really do only care about what you tweet. Not your free ebook. Not your blog. Not the "personal" video you made just for them.

Bottom line: not all auto replies are evil. But most are worthless. Because I said.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scott Sigler invades Phoenix in January

Scott Sigler 2006Image via Wikipedia

He's coming. And we can't escape. If we're lucky, maybe he won't bring... THE CHICKEN SCISSORS!

Scott Sigler is coming to town. Which is a lot like saying Santa Claus is coming to town, only Sigler actually is and he doesn't weigh nearly as much.

Mark your calendars for the event, Phoenix. The most popular freaking podcast novelist of all time is coming to Phoenix, and he wants to meet and hang out with you. Funny, huh? The "Sigler Stank CONTAGIOUS Book Tour" will hit Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe AZ on Wednesday, January 14th. Hence the countdown clock.

Hence my imploring you to register to attend the event. Oh, it's on Upcoming, too.

Hence my imploring you to buy Infected from any bookstore and bring it with you. You can buy Contagious there at the store. He'll sign both of him. Trust me. He will. I'll be standing over him watching. Not that standing over him is all that hard.

Don't miss it. Or I'll come after you with the chicken scissors...

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Free Audio Books for Readers & Sage Advice for Authors

I didn't write that title. Carrie Runnals did. She was gracious enough to interview me recently on her podcast, Words to Mouth.

As anyone who's asked me knows, I can go on and on (and on and on) about the topic of new media, especially as it relates to authors. Yeah, I've to a soft spot in my heart for them. Plus, I (and others) pour a ton of energy in to Podiobooks.com. I'm please it's become the largest portal for free serialized audiobooks on the web. And we have some really cool things coming down the pipe for next year.

But I'll save that for the next interview I'm giving. More on that when I see it out!

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Evo spreads the hoppy beer meme

Charlie the Beer Guy, the professorImage by evo_terra via FlickrMy friend Charlie has a beer podcast. It's called Speaking of Beer. And he... speaks of beer. Lots of different types of beer. And when he wants to speak about hoppy beer... he calls in the pro. Uh, that would be me.

I'm the special guest on Show 54: Hopapalooza 3: International Hop Overthrow.

I'd also been drinking already when Charlie and I decided to do a show. Which means I through pretty much all of my "5 Reasons Why Your Podcast Sucks" rules out the window. Hey, nobody is perfect.

But Charlie obviously wasn't too offended. He asked me to help with his video contribution the Beer Safari Holiday Beer Exchange Video Special (or whatever it’s called). I don't think that's live yet, but you can read Charlie pontificating on the event (and more) here.

Speaking of beer... #evfn is tonight. w00t!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

In praise of shortness

the shortness #2Image by noneck via FlickrThere's something to be said for a short show. My podcast listening enjoyment has increased 10 fold by:

All short. All concise. All worthy additions to your podcast playlist. What short shows (less than 10 minutes) do you recommend?

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What the heck is an #evfn?

#evfn is a weekly social gathering organized primarily over Twitter.1 It stands for East Valley Friday Nights and has been going strong for several weeks now2, I think we might have reached critical mass of sorts last night.

It's an interesting off-shoot social media experiment, with roots in various Tweetups, meetups and the like. And it's a complete violation of the 80/20 rule. Social "friending" tends to not care much about the geography of connections. If I look at the friends list of any of my social network profiles, the vast majority of people aren't near me. Sure, there are plenty who prefer to keep connected to local people on line, but they (or perhaps you ) are the aberration.

Yet local events like #evfn work, even though most people in my circle (and the circles of others tweeting about the event) can't make it without hopping on a plane. Yet it prevails. Nifty.

Obviously, local groups have been meeting well before Twitter came along. They've even been using the webbernets to organize. But I don't think that something like #evfn could have arisen without a tool like Twitter. Why? Because Twitter is what #evfn attendees have in common, yet the gathering isn't focused around Twitter. I counted no less than four different and distinct "niches" of people last night. And yes, they by and large clustered together. But there was plenty of flow and interaction among groups. It didn't feel like there were four different parties taking place under the same roof. We were all quite obviously together. That's very different from knitting circles, play dates, book clubs, or fan gatherings. There the organizing principle is what you are there to talk about, do, support or watch. And more power to them.

I think we're to the point where I need to create a home base for #evfn. It's fun enough. :) Next week we'll meet at Whole Foods in Chandler. In the Tapas Bar. And if you think it's odd that a grocery store is the place we're meeting for an event that's largely about tossing back a few good beers, I direct your attention the "Tapas Bar" again. My grocery store can beat up your grocery store.

How are you using social media to generate a localized action of some kind?

1 - Best definition I've heard so far. Thanks to Charlie the Beer Guy for tweeting that out.
2 - Thanks to Tyson Crosbie for starting #pfn (Phoenix Friday Nights), which I went to once and enjoyed immensely. I took that inspiration and some Derek Neighbors-style "I'm just gonna do it myself" attitude to put this together. Kudos to both!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Launching Social Media Triage™ - Bite-sized Evo Terra goodness

Color-coded flagging tape can be used to mark ...Image via WikipediaIf you've seen a M*A*S*H re-run, you know what triage is. It's providing quick and immediate aid to those who need it the most. It's patching a hole, fixing something that is broken, or getting something working that has stopped.

Social Media Triage™ is no different. Just with less icky stuff.

SMT assumes you're already in the thick of things in the social media sphere, but those things are not going according to plan. Or perhaps you didn't have a plan in the first place. SMT is all about quick and immediate tactical changes to fix what you could be doing better.

SMT is focused. While there is an evaluation of everything you are doing in the social space, it's applied systematically. It's not a re-work of your strategy. It's making sure that your tactics match said strategy. One social media site at a time.

SMT is tough love, with actionable outcomes that are implemented by you on-the-spot. It's about shifting your perspective and getting you focused back on why you started doing this stuff in the first place.

Perhaps best of all, SMT is get-in-get-out. It's an hour and a half of one-on-one consulting time (flat fee of $225) with no required follow-ups or pre-defined retainer arrangements. You pay for what you need, and you move on smarter and wiser for the experience.

Sound interesting? Let's do it.

Tip of the hat to CC Chapman for hearing me out on this a week ago. And to Marcus Nelson for tweeting about unstick.me on Monday. And to Luanne Mattson for being my first client.

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