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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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Would you recommend me as a speaker?

Evo TerraImage by EricaLucci via FlickrWere you in attendance for one of my recent speaking engagements? Did you find the information I gave valuable? If so, can I get a favor from you?

To be blunt: I want more speaking engagements. They are a LOT of fun for me and I genuinely enjoy sharing what I know with a receptive audience. Plus, there is some business upside in it for me, too. Altruistic? Sure. But I'm not above making some contacts or getting covered for my time/travels either.

I've just updated my LinkedIn profile to include my "work" as a public speaker*. I'd really appreciate it if I could get a recommendation or twenty from any of you who may have found this site after hearing me speak at a various event. I know my Twitter following has blossomed as a result. So this is my attempt to harness some of that groundswell and further my career as a speaker.

Thanks in advance for your help. Oh, and if you'd like me to speak at your next event, let's chat!

* - I put that in quotes because sometimes I'm paid to speak and sometime I'm not. And sometimes, it sure doesn't feel like work.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Speaking on a Travel and Tourism Panel

Entering Arizona on I-10 from New MexicoImage via WikipediaI've been invited to participate in a panel discussion next Wednesday. The event goes by the lengthy name of "Promoting AZ Travel with Social Media & Interactive Marketing".

My lovely wife, Sheila Dee, spent a number of years in the travel industry. A good portion of Arizona's economy comes from travel & tourism, as we are a vacation destination. I spent six years running an interactive advertising agency. And I do dabble in social media. Yep. I guess I qualify.

As you might imagine, attendees to this event and panel will be looking for recipes. They want easy-to-implement answers that will bring in an immediate return. The troubled economy has lead to a reduction in personal travel, and that hurts here at home. And while I don't think that a well planned (if that is even possible) social media campaign will get people to start spending more on travel. I also don't think that social media is a quick fix to cause revenues to jump up to previous levels.

My role (self-appointed) on the panel will be to carry the flag of reality. I do think that there are some valuable lessons and best practices that can be applied to hotels, resorts and other destinations. If adopted, they will have a positive influence for the companies that implement and execute them properly. But it takes a LOT of work. It takes dedication. It takes a clear vision and strategy. And it takes a willingness to be flexible in tactics.

Should be a lot of fun. Thanks to Fionn from Elixir Interactive for inviting me to participate.

Do you have any insight on this topic? Leave me a comment. I'll try and work in as many relevant comments into my answers as possible.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why wait for a conference?

Evo and The New Media InterchangeImage by sheiladeeisme via FlickrNew Media unshackles the notion of a broadcast schedule. Traditional media is waking up to this fact (hello, Hulu). Audiences have been there for a while (hello, TiVo). Conferences and conventions are getting into the act, albeit from their tech-savvy attendees (hello, uStream).

So what am I waiting for?

On the plane back from NAR2008, I sketched out an outline for 5 MORE Reasons Your Podcast SUCKS, and 5 Reasons You Suck on Twitter. My first two talks in this vein (Podcast & iTunes suckage) met with rave reviews when I presented them at Podcamp AZ. I just need a venue to give the talks.

But I already have one. I don't need to wait for a "live" event, attract 100 or so folks to show up at a specific time and place, and hope someone catches it on video. I can produce the talks as new media files and use the Four Corners of New Media (I'll define that in a future presentation/post) to give even more people a chance to see it.

(Of course, I'll not turn down a live speaking invitation. If you're looking for a dynamic speaker, give me a call!)

I am cognizant of diminishing value. You should be, too. That's why when I give a live talk, I try my best to make it interactive. Interactivity is difficult to do with new media. At least, it's not as seamless and efficient as it is when you are live with a crowd. And I think that's the key difference. Yes, you may contract with me to come speak at your event. Yes, there may be an archived media file of me speaking on that topic right on my website, if not all over the webbernets. And yes, you could project said media file up on the Jumbo-Tron rather than fly me in. But people could only shout questions at the screen... and I doubt they'd get a response.

Props to Podcasting News for posting the article that got me thinking about this. It looks like I have some work to do.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking a mulligan on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI've been an active user of Twitter for close to two years now. And like any useful social media or new media tool, I've changed how I interact with it multiple times. The only constant in life is change, and a tool that accommodates my changing needs will always have a place in my metaphorical tool kit.

Thanks to TweetDeck, I'm changing behaviors once again. Previously, I was very selective of who I followed. That strategy fit me well, as I couldn't abide the constant stream of tweets from people who either A) tweeted too much for my tastes, or B) I had no idea really who they were. Neither Twitterific or Twhirl helped stem that tide (though I still use Twhirl since it allows you to be logged into multiple accounts), and obviously neither did the web-interface for Twitter itself. But TweetDeck changes things.

The trouble is this: Now that I'm taking a much more liberal approach1 to who I chose to follow, I'm not following many of the people who currently follow me. And as I've learned from my recent "growth spurts" of followers at Podcamp AZ and the NAR 2008 National conference, not following people hinders their ability to communicate with me via direct message (DM). Instead, they have to use the @ reply feature, cluttering up the Twitter stream with context-less updates. I hate that, and want to work to change it.

So if I'm not following you and you'd like to be able to DM me, follow these simple steps:
  1. Make sure your profile is complete. I still want to know who I'm following. Having a name I recognize, a bio that tells me who you are and a URL where I can get additional information helps when your recent Tweets don't give me much of a clue.
  2. Stop following me. By the way, the command is "leave" to stop following, not "unfollow". Or you can just visit my profile and uncheck "following" under my image.
  3. Follow me again. That will send me a new notification, so I can take a second look at your profile. I still have some standards1, but I'd like to consider you again.

Let's try that again!

1 - I don't auto-follow. Something has to look interesting, and I'll never follow bots or those who don't understand the toolset. It's about a conversation, not about selling. Updates are fine, but post something of value. Look for a "5 Reasons You Suck on Twitter" post soon.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Media Strategies for Real Estate Professionals

I spoke at NAR 2008 (National Association of Realtors) today. It was their national convention, held in Orlando Florida. My topic was "digital business strategies", but the presentation I created was really new media strategies. I tailored the topic specific to the needs of real estate professionals brand new to the ideas and concepts behind new media.

Mad props to Steve Belt, Jay Thompson, D. Patrick Lewis, Nick Bastian & Justin McHood for their sage advice on the kinds of things the audience would be interested in. I think it was a rousing success!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

5 Reasons Why Your Podcast SUCKS on iTunes preso

More from my talks at Podcamp AZ last weekend!

No, this isn't the same as the previously posted slidshow. Pay close attention to the title. This one is all about things you are (probably) doing wrong on iTunes.

I make plenty of examples out of plenty of my friends here. I hope none of them take it personally. Just pointing out errors. Might as well use friends, right?

There's also some video that Queen Geek captured. If you can find a way to sync them together, have at it!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

5 Reasons Why Your Podcast SUCKS preso

I know not everyone could watch me present this topic in person at Podcamp AZ over the weekend. So I'm posting it here. There isn't any audio, so you may have to struggle to grasp the concept of some of the slides. Someone with more time would have recorded an audio track to go along with it. in fact, you may find such a recording of me giving this talk online. Search for it. If you find it, let me know and I'll link to it.

UPDATE: Dani recorded the session and has made it available, so now you can listen while you watch!

Note The Law of Two Feet applies to viewing this presentation. If it's not for you -- as in you aren't looking to increase your audience size or to improve it's attractiveness to sponsors, advertisers, critics or whoever -- then don't watch. I'm happy to have you tell me why I'm incorrect on some assumptions, but also remember that you're only watching. You don't have my words to back up these slides.

With that, enjoy!

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Happy Birthday, Mom

Evo and his MomImage by mrsonion42 via Flickr60 years ago today, the Chicago Tribune printed their famous "DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN" gaff. OOPS! And according to history reported on Google, not a godsdamned thing else happened that day.

I posit to you that a great travesty of justice occurred when those few hundred errant copies captured the attention of a nation. For that event overshadowed something far more important to me.

My mom was born.

Happy birthday, Mom. Sixty years. Seven hundred twenty months. Twenty one thousand, nine hundred fourteen days. Well over half of a million hours. But who's counting? ;)

I love you, Mom. Here's to another 60 more.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Market Perspective

Market Perspective
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: big perception)
I've discovered the joy of slideshare this morning. I've been watching them for a while now, but finally decided to do one on my own.

I threw this together in a matter of minutes because the mood took me. I'll eventually make it more "official" and include it as part of my "Big" offerings. Or maybe I'll change the name of those all to "Perspective", since that's what they are all about.

For now, here it is. Subject to change as I dink around. But it's nice to see how fast you can do something when an idea strikes.

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Obligatory Halloween post

Five O'Clock Shadow 88Image by evo_terra via FlickrHalloween is my favorite holiday. Well, truth be told, it's really the only holiday I still celebrate. Don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against celebration. I just sorta forget about the rest of them.

But there won't be much to this year's Halloween. My entire family has been packed with things to do recently, and none of us bothered to think too much about the holiday this year. Or last year... or the year before that.

Hrm. Guess I don't really celebrate this one, either. I need new holidays.

See you at PodcampAZ tomorrow, RIGHT?

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reading The Indie Band Survival Guide

If you are serious about new media, I highly recommend this book, The Indie Band Survival Guide.

No, you don't have to be a musician in an independent band. Yes, it was written with them in mind, but there are a huge numbers of takeaways.

Props to the boys at Beatnik Turtle for craning out an enlightening and enjoyable book that cuts through the bullshit and tells you -- specifically -- what it takes to navigate the waters of independent media production.

The section on copyright is fascinating. This book gives it all the weight the topic deserves, but explains it simple enough to allow anyone to grok the concepts. Kudos to them for carrying the conversation over to Creative Commons licensing as well.

Podcasters: you need this book.

Video producers: you need this book.

Vloggers and Bloggers: you need this book, too.

Get it.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Things aren't so fun right now

Insomnia album coverImage via WikipediaIt's 12:32am, and I have to be up in less than five hours. Insomnia. Sucks.

Part of it is the coffee I had this afternoon. I shoulda known better.

But a larger part of it is fear and uncertainty. I don't know if you've noticed, but it sucks out there right now. No, not a lot of fun to be had.

So... I'm nervous. I own no parachute. I've not planned for the worst. And so far -- luckily -- I'm OK. I have paying clients for some long-term (months, not years) projects. I've accumulated plenty of debt, but it's a manageable issue. As long as the paychecks keep coming. I think Sheila's job is stable, though I have no idea if NJ will be able to get financial aid next year when he starts school.

Yeah yeah... things are tough all over. I'm nothing special. In fact, I'm better off than many I know personally.

So I'm not whining. I'm just up, have plowed through all of my RSS feeds, even knocking out some of the articles I'd saved for later. And I'm not getting any more tired. Which... sucks. Because I have to get up at in less than five hours and do it all over again.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Exploring new spaces

New, Improved *Semantic* Web!Image by dullhunk via FlickrI've signed up for two new social media sites today:

I don't know enough about either to give any opinion yet. But I do know these things work best when many of us connect. If you're a reader of my blog and a user of either of these systems, please add me as a contact.

Also, I'm using something new called Zemanta when I make blog posts. I'm keenly interested in the semantic web and I hope this tool can increase the value of the posts I make here -- and other places.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

WHAZZUP commercial for 2008

Remember those asinine "WHAZZUP" commercials for some rotten beer some eight years ago?


Remember that funny parody someone did by mixing the audio of that dumb-ass commercial with visuals cut together from the Superfriends?

Yeah, I thought you would. Geek.

Here's a modern version done to cover all the shitty things that have happened/are happening in 2008. There's a serious political slant at the end, but it's funny regardless of who you are voting for.

You are voting, right?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Socializing Senior Photos

My son NJ recently did a photo shoot with the incomparable Tyson Crosbie. NJ is a senior in high school this year (yikes). Because he's my offspring, he doesn't like to do things the normal way. So sitting with Olan Mills didn't set too high on his priority list.

Enter Tyson, creator of the soft edit experience. His soft edits were already a big hit with the social media scene in Phoenix. Would it work as well for high school students? Maybe. Probably.

There were challenges. Tyson has a process he takes his clients through as he tries to match how they see themselves with how the world will see them through his lens. As you might imagine, the younger set finds it hard to pick three words that describe themselves. Though I think mine did an admirable job.

What do you think? Tyson's soft edits are all about getting the at-large world to come and comment on the photos, as everyone has their own unique perspective on each shot. Join in on the fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Maybe you shouldn't vote.

I am quite possibly the worlds most apathetic voter.

But did you see the key word in that phrase? Voter.

But hey, maybe you shouldn't vote.

Passing on from Matt Selznick.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, but... uh...


Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about this. I'm a lot more involved in the planning than I was last year. Heck, we all are a lot more involved. Last year's event was a huge success that just sort of fell together, likely at the energy and expense of Brent & Michelle. This time there are more of us putting in serious sweat equity. And we very much know what we want -- and how to get there. In short: it's going to be hella cool.

If you are within reasonable driving distance (I'm looking at you, southern California & Albuquerque) you really need to make the drive. Or if you are a bit further, see what sort of specials Soutwest has on airfare. I'm serious. This is going to be a very special event and you'll kick yourself for not being here.

Oh, and it's not all about podcasting. Yeah, I know the name is Podcamp AZ and we'll talk plenty about podcasting, but it's much larger. We're billing this as the Relevant Media Unconference and are planning on covering a lot of ground over two days.

Great hotels have been picked out within walking distance to the venue and fantastic rates secured for our attendees. For those unfamiliar, Phoenix is a (pun not intended) hot-spot destination in Novemeber. Why? It'll be in the 80s. How's THAT for incentive, Michiganders? Heck, most of your parents will already be here. Ah, snowbirds.

So... you coming? Register now. It's worth it. And if nothing else, you get to see ME!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Teaching New Media at the 2008 REALTORS® Conference & Expo

Well, it's official. I'm speaking at the National Association of Realtors Convention in Orlando Florida. My sessions will be Saturday morning and is titled Digitally Expose Yourself.

As you might have guessed, I'll be tailoring this topic to the needs of real estate professionals. I don't know if you know this or not, but the market sorta stinks right now. Hello, economic downturn! My goal is to provide a sort of new media overview to the attendees, plus give them some real ideas on how they can leverage new media (not just podcasting) to improve their business.

So while I have some notes and a general outline here, I'm always open to suggestions. If you are a real estate pro, what have you seen work? What have you seen fail miserably? What questions do you have about leveraging new media in your business? Help me help you... if you are going. If not, help me help them!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Found Things: You're No One If You're Not On Twitter

I am now a fan of Ben Walker. I didn't know who he was until Podcasting News made a blog post about his new song: You're No One If You're Not On Twitter.

Yes, the title is tongue and cheek. But it's quite well done. And snarky, so I love it.

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along, too:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dragon*con 2008 captured perfectly


Originally uploaded by Scott Hurst

This is my new publicity shot.


Best. Photo. Of Me. EVAR!

Entourage consists of SkepChicks masalaskeptic, A, and carr2d2.

My buddy Mike Lopez said on Twitter:

You look like the gods are talking to you... and you're saying "can I call you back?"

This is getting printed out and going on my wall. Life-sized.

And holy shit! There is a whole set! These would make a great companion piece to much of the conversation we talk about on Evo @ 11 #5.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Evo has a new podcast

The announcement Friday morning at the podcasting track kick-off panel at Dragon*con made it official: I have returned to the podosphere with a new podcast, Evo at Eleven.

This new podcast wouldn't have happened without the following:
  • My lovely wife Sheila Dee. When she learned of the final-final shut down of Wingin' It! (I left well over a year ago), she immediately suggested that I start up again and fill the void in the podosphere.
  • The ever-helpful Debbie Walker. One stipulation I had on this show was that I be allowed to do what I do best: show up and talk. That means I needed an engineer to handle all the "work" that goes into recording and editing a show. And after some very quick and dirty training sessions, Debbie handles it all. Yay!
  • Gangplank. The second stipulation on the show was that I not do it from home. Derek asked me to set up a community podcasting studio with some donated equipment (props to Jade) in an office at Integrum. Watch for more podcasts coming from there, too.

All of that means that I effectively had no reason to stay away from the podosphere. Of course, you may listen and find your own reasons you wish I had stayed away. Anyhow... the first four shows are live and available for your listening pleasure. We'll do one a week -- probably -- until we run out of things to say.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Books & Blackwell Dragon*Con party announcement

Are you ready for a second night of partying at Dragon*Con? The party suite in the Hyatt will be taken over that night by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine & J.R. Blackwell for the Books & Blackwell party.

As the text in the image says, it's a book launch, art show and costume party! They'll be selling books and prints, and you'll be drinking. What could be more fun? See you at the event, immediately following the Parsec Awards on Saturday, August 30th, 2008.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Want the secret to social media success?

People want social media to be an easy fix. Companies look at social media as an immediate replacement for lots of other things they are doing, and they expect it to "just work" out of the box.

That's not the way the game is played, kids.

Take it from Scott Sigler, arguably one of the most popular and successful users of social media. He's used variations on a theme to break through several barriers and is still going strong. Is he making a full-time living on social media? No. Is he making a full-time living because of social media? Yes. Yes he his.

Want to copy his success? OK. But consider what it really means to "copy" him.

What I’ve found is that [working your tail off with social media] is not something that most authors [or anyone wanting to catch the social media wave] do. ... I reply to absolutely everything. Everything gets responded to; every instant message, every email, every tweet, everything. And that, combined with the social networking sites, makes such a strong connection with the readers. They really feel like someone actually took five minutes just to reply to them, and even if they only email once, it’s totally locking in fans for life.

Bingo. There's the secret. Like most, it's not complicated. It only takes commitment. Do you have it? If not, plan on falling short of the mark. Regardless of how well-planned your social media strategy may be, in the end you have to respond. To everything.

Excerpt taken from Podcasting News interview with Scott that seems to have happened some time ago, but only now has been published

I'm buying Playing for Keeps at Amazon.com today

... and you should, too. Why? Three reasons.

  1. Mur is a friend of mine, and any friend of mine is a friend of yours. Wait. Did I get that right? Regardless. Mur is good people. I enjoy her writing, spirit and passion. The world needs more Mur, and you can help by buying Playing for Keeps on Amazon.com today. As in RIGHT NOW.

  2. Helping Mur helps to validate the usage of social media. Mur doesn't have a huge publisher with gazillions of dollars of marketing behind this launch. She hasn't taken out an ad in the New York Times. And she's not spammed few million email addresses in the hopes that .2% will respond. And you know what? That's better for all of us. Buying the book today shows that you can achieve success without annoying ads.

  3. It's a damn fine book. I had the pleasure of reading this second-class superhero story in a late draft a couple of years back. I also listened to her free serialized audiobook version, too. And now, I want a print copy to put on my shelf. So buy it. And listen to it. But buy it.

  4. Bonus reason: A quote from my friend Joe -- Mur; more than just a gift to the baby Jesus.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Media Interchange Phoenix - or - Not another meetup!

For the purpose of this post, I'm breaking up you, the readers, into two categories. Now I abhor labels, so bear with me.

Group 1: Everyone who has a firm grasp on new and social media. You get not only the concepts, but you are actively engaged to the conversation. Sure, you want to learn more, but you're looking for advanced learnings and cutting-edge applications.

Group 2: Those who look at people who fit neatly in Group 1 and wonder either "Now that's really neato. How can I get involved?" or "Exactly what the hell are those people going on about all the time?".

Group 2, there is an event happening in Phoenix (Tempe, actually) on November the 1st that you must attend. It's geared toward you. It's a safe place to ask what you may think is a silly question. It's non-threatening, free of techno-babble that'll make your head spin, and an opportunity to learn the basic 101-level aspects of social and new media.

Group 1? As you might imagine, this isn't for you. Consider this a personal invitation to not attend. Consider it reverse elitism if you wish, but let's face it -- we can be a little intimidating for the noob. I figure the fewer of us are here, the better.

So back to Group 2: all those who want to learn about social and new media. The event is the New Media Interchange Phoenix meeting. It's actually the first ever meeting happening in Phoenix (though there was one in Sedona a few weeks back). Started by my good friend Douglas E. Welch in southern California, the New Media Interchange is... well, I'll just let Douglas explain:

I want to bring together New Media Tech folks like Flash animators, podcasters, videobloggers,etc together with creative and entertainment types like writers, actors and directors so that we can share information on producing New Media.

While there is a social element to all meetups, I want to focus on the Interchange of ideas and sharing real world, useful information that we each need to know. I imagine a “5-minute meeting” where you can ask a pressing question and provide a great resource (web site, book, person, etc) to share with the group. Then we can break up and discuss whatever we wish.

Time has yet to be decided. I am planning on holding this meeting as one of the unstructured break-out sessions during PodCampAZ

So that makes it even better: Hit the NMI meeting, then if you are so inclined, hang out the rest of the day at Podcamp AZ to learn even more. Since I have some influence on the schedule of Podcamp AZ, I'm going to work to get this as one of the very first sessions of the day, giving you a good taste of information in the event that you do want to visit some other things. Both Podcamp AZ and the NMI-P meeting will be totally free of charge. And while everyone at Podcamp AZ will be doing their best to make their talks "accessible" to all levels, we're going to make sure that the NMI-P meeting is totally accessible, friendly, non-threatening and all the other things I said above.

Wanna learn more? Start by telling us that you are coming (we use Upcoming to figure out what size of room we'll need. You'll want a free account for future use, so go ahead and register. Consider this a homework assignment.).

But back to the Group 1 folks for a minute: you can help. Tell all of the folks you know who might be interested that we're doing this. No, they won't have to hear you try and explain Twitter for the upteenth time. In fact, we won't have any "agenda" to speak of. There won't be a strict curriculum we're following -- that depends on the audience and how the conversation goes. No, we won't make everyone stand up and talk about what a noob they are. So no, YOU won't have fun... but maybe someone you know would?

And if it goes well, I'm committed to having recurring meetings much like Douglas does. No way we can get EVERYONE here on this one day, right?