Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Filling the holes

Five O'Clock Shadow 54

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

As I sit here not admiring the dozen or so holes in my walls from some recent and yet-to-be-completed plumbing work, my metaphorical mind is on overdrive.

All of us have holes in our lives -- professional or personal... or both. Not things that are missing (that's a whole different topic), but things that which have been removed for one reason or another. Here's an example: me as a podcaster.

Yep, I miss it. Big time. And while I'm still very much involved with the community and have close contact with others who I'm helping to podcast, I miss talking in front of a microphone. Maybe I should do a podcast about living through home improvement?

How about you? What have you taken out of your life, perhaps to examine more closely or to just put aside for a period of time? Maybe it's time to think about repairing that hole with something better than was there before?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Are you selling what they should be buying?

I've been reading Joe Marchese's Online Spin for some time now. Very good and very dense information on the changing nature of marketing and advertising -- including what it means to even try to advertise in the digital space. Always good.

Recently, he posted a piece on targeting. I realize that most of my audience probably couldn't care less about advertising. Hey, if it wasn't how I earned a living, I'd be inclined to agree. But many of my readers are content producers of one size or another. Assuming you fit that bill, this may interest you:

Targeting and relevancy unlock the potential for QUALITY publishers (from individuals to professional media producers) to sell so much more than the attention of their audience and advertisers in order to build effective targeting strategies, offering so much more than just a demographic mix. But publishers must do a better job of defining what their true value is to advertisers and help advertisers to create greater relevance to the publisher’s content and audience alike.

It interests the hell out of me. I'm not exactly sure how to apply it in our situation at Podiobooks.com. But that's part of the fun, now isn't it?

Yeah we're movin' on up...

Five O'Clock Shadow 53

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Man... moving is a pain in the ass. We're not fully done, but we have quite a lot finished. And since I've been remiss about these as of late, I figured I'd crank out a Sunday Special.

Last night, I attended the AZ Podcaster's meetup. A big thanks to CJ and Dan (Love Long and Prosper) for putting it together and keep the community alive. It's been a while since I actually made a podcast, and being around active podcasters left me with the bug. Not that I'm going to do anything immediately about that bug, but know that I will soon.

I notice, too, that the social media whipping refuses to come to a close. Eley, Miller, Calacanis... and a few dozen others I've noticed around the blogosphere. As I posted last week; no, I'm not feeling the same level of stress over social media. And maybe it has to do with this "keeping up" that most detractors tend to point to as the root cause of their angst. I don't have tthis problem, as I my idea of "keeping up" simply involves creating a profile (that's easy enough) and then just waiting to see if those who want to communicate with me... communicate with me.

No, it's not difficult for me to keep up with friend requests. No, it's not difficult for me to ignore the zombie requests. There's nothing "hard" about any of this. But then again, I'm not trying to squeeze anything out of my association with these sites. I'm just... there. And if you are there... we can be there together.

I'll be the first one to say that Social Media has a long way to go before it is anywhere near as social as going out for a tea or grabbing a drink at the bar with a few friends or some new friends. But then again, maybe it never will be. I've made some cool connections with social media sites. Sure, it's been a very small number of cool connections, but I don't make that many cool connections in real life either.

Maybe I just use these differently from the rest or have different expectations than most. Whatever.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bring me your social media circles

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Originally uploaded by evo_terra

I hit this briefly on a recent post, but it's worth going deeper. Rather than join the fray and argue my point, I'm going to make a statement.

I hereby promise to try out each and every social media application that one of my listeners/readers is using, upon request. I may not stick with it, but I'll join, make a profile and try it out.

Why am I doing this? Because I understand that I do not and cannot control *all* of the conversation. Sure, I could draw a line in the sand and tell you which methods of communication I prefer. But honestly, that's bullshit. It's your intraweb. You get to pick where you want the conversation to take place. If you send me an email, you probably expect me to email you back -- not call you on the phone. Understood. And welcomed, actually.

So the ball is in your court. How do you want to communicate with me? While I can't promise to respond super quickly, most of these services have a notification system in place, so it should not take me long. And who know? Maybe you'll help me discover something that somehow enriches my life and communication style.

Bring it on!

Note: this picture is not me right now. I took it last week before I moved in a little coffee shop in the town I used to live in. You don't want to see me right now. House is a disaster (just moved), I'm half nekkid and rather pissed at a home warranty company. Three things make it a not pretty picture.

Moving and slow posting


As I may have mentioned, the last few days and next several have been and will be eaten up with moving and unpacking -- in that order. So don't expect many (read: ANY) posts until I get my office and this house in some semblance of order.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Evo talking on Writers Talking

I had the honor of appearing on Writers Talking recently. Just to make things fun, I decided to phone-in the interview from the airport. Well, that's not true. Yes, I was at the airport, but chalk it up to poor planning on my part and not some desire to make a nifty sound-seeing tour of Sky Harbor at the same time.

Thanks to Matthew Wayne Selznick for inviting me to the show, and also to Kristopher Young of Another Sky Press for joining me on the program.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Friend blogathoning for Leiomyosarcoma

My friend Lejon is doing what he can to benefit the memory of Joe Murphy and for research on Leiomyosarcoma, the cancer that took Joe from us way too early in life. Lejon has signed up for Blogathon and he's looking for sponsors. You know the drill. Give what you can, tell your friends, and we'll eventually all make a difference.

I miss Joe. I miss him every day. And I'm glad that people continue to remember him and continue to want to help. Thanks, Lejon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and illicit filesharing

The latest and lastest Harry Potter book is out, and the intrawebs have been buzzing about bootleg copies circulating around the net. Two things seem to be cited the most as the negative of that:
  1. Less copies will be sold, since readers can get it free online
  2. Early-readers were posting spoilers from the book

Let's deal with these in reverse, shall we? Spoilers happen every time any piece of highly-anticipated media is released early. Advanced copies are a normal part of the distribution process. Spoilers are easy to avoid -- don't read anything or listen to things that are likely to spoil. It's not 100% fool-proof (I'm guilty of one of the larger ones, but it was also funny), but it should keep almost everyone who doesn't want to be spoiled away from the offending content.

And to the first, that's a crock. Unfortunately, the debunkers are also off the mark. I have a lot of respect for most of what future-thinker Seth Godin has to say, but when he poo-pooed the power of freely available publics desire to read online books:
Books are souvenirs. No one is going to read Potter online, even if it's free. Holding and owning the book, remembering when and how you got it... that's what you're paying for. Books are great at holding memories. They're lousy at keeping secrets.
... he blew it. I agree that books are souvenirs and that holding a book in your hands is a great feeling. But to say that no one would read HP online, even if it is free? Seth, wake up. People *are* reading things online. And quite often, when they read things online, they then go out and buy those things in the store.

Strange as it may sound, there are folks who aren't reading the HP series. I'm one of them and I know countless others. I'm on the Cory Doctorow side of the fence on this issue. I know that putting something like HP out as a free digital download -- by the publisher or by enterprising readers -- will actually increase the overall sale of the hard copy by allowing folks who didn't care to give it a shot. Yeah, it's heretical. Yeah, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But I remain convinced that the group of folks who want to read it free were not going to buy the book anyhow. And more importantly, exposure to folks who weren't planning on buying the book can actually cause some of those to make the purchase -- assuming the material is good. And I'll bet you that last group will back up and grab the previous six books as well.

Let the fruit fly. 'Tis a brave new world when content wants to be freed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Four things pissing me off this evening

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Originally uploaded by evo_terra

I'm not very happy tonight and certainly in a thumbs-down mood. Here's why:

  • NPG Cable just might be the worst internet company I've ever had to deal with. I can barely keep my VPN connection open thanks to the constant drops during the day. Upload and download speeds are terrible, customer service wait times extraordinarily long... sucks. To top it all off, they have the audacity to run commercials for their other services while you are on the dedicated support line. People! When I'm having trouble with a product is the exact wrong time to pitch on more things that probably won't work! Good thing I move in a few days.
  • Why are so many connectors suddenly griping about too many social media sites? Um.. hello? You sound like a bunch of curmudgeons. No one expects you to jump on board with everything, but they do expect us to give new things a try. We can say "no thanks"... we can say "that doesn't look like it's for me"... but we should never say "I'm getting too many requests to join even more social networks". I thought we were the ones folks turned to to see what these were all about?
  • Off-topic blog comments come with the territory, but this guy Harry is on my last nerve. If you're going to try and get all "hard hitting expose", have the nuts to post with a real address And also have the nuts to step up and say when you've made a mistake.
  • I have a presentation to due tonight, two chapters to write, packing to do, and no time to do any of it. So I'm cranky.

Maybe I'll be a happier poster tomorrow. In the meantime, this song by Beatnik Turtle sums it up

Monday, July 16, 2007

What's the point of Gleamd?

A few days ago, J.C. Hutchins was good enough to list me on Gleamd. What is Gleamd? Damn fine question. I've read the FAQ, and I'm still not sure. Well, I have an idea, but I don't want to mischaracterize the site. Perhaps one of you has some further experience with the site and can help me figure out the point?

World Fantasy 2008 Podcast interview with Evo Terra

For those of you interested in the Fantasy side of life, check out this interview I did with my friend Kurt on the official World Fantasy 2008 podcast. Thanks for having me on, Kurt. You Calgarians sure know how to make a guy feel welcome. I always love a good excuse to go to Canada, so I hope to see you there!

A Toony For My Thoughts

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Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Back from Canada! Didja miss me?

We had a great time. Well, apart from the jackhole who smashed the window of our rental car and nabbed The Lovely Wife's camera bag, that is. Figure $500 for the window, another $4K for the camera and accessories... not so much fun. But shit happens, and I'm surprised something like this or worse hasn't happened to me before for all the travel I do.

Highlights of the trip include:
  • Fabulous food and entertainment. Thanks for all the suggestions!
  • Canadian money is so much cooler than US currency.
  • Met a guy who goes GANGBUSTER on Flickr and have learned much.
  • Played three different disc golf courses
  • Learned to not try and outdrink two Englishmen bent on showing me up. Uncle!

But I'm back now, so we now return to our regular posting schedule. Did you learn any new tricks while I was away?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I'm a WANCer

Check out my appearance on the We Are Not Cool podcast. Though it's recommended to do shows like this while drinking, I did it sober. So tell me if I'm still funny, OK?

And to Jason, Doz and Michael: Thanks! I had a blast and am happy to reappear any time.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hear me on View from the Quad

Hear me spread the gospel of Podiobooks.com far and wide! I recently guested on View from the Quad, and the interview is now live. I'm really interested to hear how this turned out, as both Cian and I were having horrible connection issues before and during the interview. I think we tried at least five different ways to record before we found one that was passable. And even then, the delay was... astronomical. I'm pretty sure Skype was bouncing off the moon and then traveling by Pony Express.

On Sheeple and advertising - a story of irony

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Originally uploaded by evo_terra

I know that most of advertising is pretty clueless. Hey, I work in the industry, so I have the right to say this... because it's true. And often times, the irony is priceless.

Take the term "sheeple", an amalgamation of "sheep" and "people" -- referring to people's tendencies to behave like sheep, blindly doing what they are expected and told. It's a great term that I don't use often enough.

So imaging my surprise when I learned that Scion was using the term as part of their non-traditional ad campaign:
"Little Deviants," the new campaign from ATTIK, reinforces Scion's business model around personalization and after-market customization, while positioning the car as a Neo-like saviour in a drab, Soviet-bloc world of buildings and streets where factotums wander around with brushes painting everything grey.

In the campaign, xD is a kind of automotive anarchist, running about with a cohort of gremlin-esque deviants, attacking the battleship-grey world of "Sheeple."
Is the irony lost on you? "Please don't be a sheeple and buy our car, just like we're telling you to do with this non-conformist and non-traditional ad campaign." Yeah guys, I get the appeal. And the rest of the campaign sounds like a lot of fun. But you lost me with "sheeple".

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Social Media Showdown!

Insert witty banter about pitting bitter rivals against one another. But I'm tired and lazy...

Though it's not really an apples to apples comparison, I thought I'd showcase how I've personally been adopting two hot trends in the world of Web 2.0 -- social networks and social... chatter. So let's put Facebook against Myspace and Twitter against Pownce, comparing simply a single metric -- "friendship".

I've had a Myspace account for over a year, though I pretty much blew it off until about six months ago.

Myspace Friends - 357

Only a month or so ago, I decide to give Facebook a try. Personally, I like it beter.

Facebook Friends - 81

I've been an avid user of Twitter ever since C.C. Chapman got me hooked on it months ago.

Twitter Followers - 418

And I'm going on two days of active Powncing.

Pownce Friends and Fans - 84

I'm not suggesting that one will win over the other, but I do tend to use the pairs of services in similar way. Each has their own nuances, and the difference in time (and activity) on my part speaks volumes to the delta in friendship size. But I wonder how it will grow and change? I wonder how you, the readers of this blog, will decide to influence those numbers?

Lazy Sunday afternoon -- but still planning

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Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Happy Canada Day! In celebration, I played a round a disc golf and didn't hurt myself. Hooray!

Additionally, I added some events to my upcoming Seattle - Vancouver trip starting July 5th. Thanks to those of you who offered up suggestions on venues and happenings -- keep 'em coming! And remember, I'm looking for places to go and experience the city. These things need not be the "touristy" things or even big events. Where -- and when -- should we go see something. Size isn't an option, so get creative.

The Lovely Wife says it's time for ice cream. And with us topping out a 103 F / 39 C today, I'd have to agree.