Thursday, January 29, 2009

CareerCamp dates announced

Doug E. WelchImage by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

Douglas E. Welch is smarter than me. It's that simple. He's also nicer than me and generally more helpful and caring. I strive to be like him. I fall terribly short. I'm grateful that he's allowed me to be the point-man for New Media Interchange Phoenix. And someday I hope to follow through on my plans. It's a good thing we're friends, or I'd have to have him wiped out for making me look bad.

But Douglas isn't stopping with his current accolades. He's just announced CareerCamp:

CareerCamp Online is an unconference in the style of BarCamp, PodCamp and other “camp-like” unconferences. All attendees are highly encouraged to also give a presentation and, at the very least, participate in the conversation.

CareerCamp Online seeks to provide the best and most current career information possible , especially in light of the economic downturn and the large number of layoffs.

Since career problems effect everyone regardless of geographic boundaries, I decided to opt for an online version of CareerCamp so that as many people as possible could participate.

I'm signing up now. You should to. If you're not familiar with the "camp" conferences, they are legion. Read his post for more info. And come join us. :)

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Google shuts down six services you probably don't use

Noogle MugImage by evo_terra via FlickrGoogle is shutting down some services. When you catch your breath, read on to find out why I don't really care.

  • Dodgeball - I'm using Brightkite. Think of it as "location-based Twitter". The user base is no where as large as Twitter. And it will never replace Twitter. But it's a neat tool that has led me to meet at least ONE interesting person in real life.
  • Google Catalog Search - There's not much need to search online catalogs. Any company with a catalog has figured out how to put together an ecommerce website by now (hello, 2009). And if you want to search multiple, you'll use comparison shopping engines. Though these leave a lot to be desired. But so do most ecommerce websites.
  • Google Mashup Editor - Nifty and cool for developers. Unknowable for the rest of us. Plus the mashups that came out simply added to the aggregation problem. We need better filters, not ways to combine and create more.
  • Google Notebook - I used this for a while, but now I have Evernote. Which was coded by God. Or at least a minor-deity.
  • Jaiku - Surprised it took that long. Hi, Twitter.
  • Google Video - This really isn't "killing" as much it is putting the YouTube purchase in full play. No need for two identical services owned by the same company.

The disappearance of these tools will be -- and in fact is -- a non issue for most. As you can see, their are better tools that exist in the same niche as each. Smart move on Google's part to recognize that fact. It's a big internet.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is your blog missing these 2 critical personal branding features?

branding iron 3Image by robalicious via FlickrBlogging has become ubiquitous. Sites like & make it easy for anyone to start blogging. And there's no shortage of pros telling you how to do it better.

But before you embark on a journey of self-education, you'll want to fix two things that many bloggers get horribly, terribly wrong. Two simple things. Two simple things that you've overlooked for a long time. You can thank me later.

Pull your blog up in a fresh browser window or tab. DO NOT follow any links. Just sit there... and look at it. Hopefully with fresh eyes.

Forget who you are. Forget what you are trying to achieve. Forget the template you have (or have not) customized to your liking.

Just look for these two things:

  1. What is the name of the person writing this blog? Your first name isn't sufficient, unless you happen to be named Madonna. I want your name. Your full name that you are branding. Don't make me guess. Don't try and be cute and/or aloof. Your name, please.

  2. Is there an obvious contact method? And no, listing out the 19 different social media sites you frequent doesn't count. I'm talking about normal ways people thing to contact other people. Email. Phone. These items need not be front and center, but an obvious path to these items must be visible.

Do you have these two things, these two very simple and painfully obvious things, "above the fold" (visible without scrolling) on your blog? If not, then you're not ready for the "advanced" lessons you'll find in all the other tips. Get those two critical elements on your blog. Now. It is the single most important personal branding thing you can do for your blog today.

A free Social Media Triage™ tip. Want to experience the full Social Media Triage treatment customized for you? It's about more than just blogging. Check here for more details.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Asperger's for the social networking crowd?

quito street preacherImage by august allen via FlickrTime for me to make up a new word:

Sociatize (soh-shit-IZE): verb, transitive. The act of converting any event into a social networking opportunity.

Let's say you found out members of your book club were going to a movie you didn't want to see. You wouldn't go along with them, sitting and reading your book in the corner with a flashlight, right?

Let's say you found out that members of your knitting circle were going out to eat sushi. You're not a fan of sushi, but you wouldn't show up at the restaurant and knit while others were eating.

Let's say a drinking buddy of yours goes to church every Sunday. You would never show up at his church and offer him a beer.

Commonly accepted rules of human interaction dictate that you not behave in the above manners. You're at the movies. Watch the movie. You're at a restaurant. Eat. You're at church. Don't drink. Sure, you can hang out and chat while you are there (well, not so much at the movies or church, but you get the idea), but you primary function at the event is to participate in the event.

Some social networking enthusiasts forget this.

There are plenty of events for SM people to be very social. To be very chatty. #evfn is an event like this. The primary purpose is to hang out with people and talk. That's it. Oh, and to have a drink or two if you are so inclined. There are legions of events like these. I love to attend them.

But I also like to attend non-social networking events. And if my social networking friends are also in attendance, I'd like them to be participating in the event, too. Watch the event. Listen to the event. Be in the moment of the event. Resist the temptation to sociatize the event. And if the event isn't your cup of tea; don't go. Missing one more chance to interact with your social media circle isn't going to harm anyone. Better yet, it gives you one more thing to ask us about when you see us at the next social event.

I'm off to make up more words. You sit there and wonder if I'm talking about you. Don't make me get the duct tape.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rape survivor stories wanted

I've been helping Susan Bartelstone get her feet wet in the social media space for several months now. She is the host of her own talk radio program, Crime Prevention 101, aired on the internet radio station Voice America. She's asked me to get the word out about a special show she is doing, and to help her solicit call in guests. So with that:

No more rapeImage by Steve Rhodes via FlickrAre you a rape or crime survivor who would be willing to relate your story to a wide global audience over the airwaves on the Internet in an effort to further the healing process and perhaps help others in a similar situation?

Looking for call-in guests on 1/17 at 2pm EST on the Crime Prevention 101 Internet talkradio show on You'll be speaking with Personal Safety expert and talk show host Susan Bartelstone and the hosts of the Rape Declaration Forum and you'll have free space to explain, in depth, the trauma you suffered and the results and lessons learned. The emphasis is how you've put what happened into perspective and got on with your life.

If interested, the call in number is 866-472-5788. Call-ins can be anonymous (this is guaranteed), if requested.

Susan does a great show. She's pushing 20 years of years as a person safety expert, whether that's preventing identity theft, choosing the right alarm for your home or how to take out the jerk who just tried to steal your purse. Together, we've been pressuring Voice America to release a podcast-version of her show. Yep. Calendar says its 2009.

But in the meantime, she'd make a great guest on your podcast. Her contact details are on her website,

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Monday, January 5, 2009

co.mments is shutting down

Going Out of BusinessImage by reinvented via FlickrLooks like one of my favorite services on the web -- co.mments -- is shutting down:

co.mments will be shutting down Jan 11, 2009. It’s been a wonderful ride, unfortunately regular upkeep, and our friendly spammers, have turned it into a chore. I need the time and energy to focus on other things, so sadly, I’m going to shutdown the site by the end of this week. Thank you all for your support, Assaf

Crap on a crap cracker. I really enjoyed the service co.mments provided. Leave a comment, add the page to your co.mments profile, and an RSS feed updates each time someone else comes along and comments on that same post.

I'll miss it. I know others will, too. What comment tracking service do you use?

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

The fine line between false praise and encouragement

one. ugly. monkey.Image by berbercarpet via FlickrThere exists a fine line between false praise and encouragement.

Encouragement is necessary. It provides a positive support while someone is either exploring their creativity of improving their craft. No one is instantly good at anything, so we all naturally go through a development process in anything that we do.

But unlike encouragement, false praise halts development. It incorrectly leads people to believe that they are at the top of their game, and that no further improvements are necessary.

I see this happen all to often in the new media sphere. It's as if some special pass is given. Some bar has been lowered. A general understanding that is simply can't be as good as "traditional" media. And since it can't, then we should have our own devalued sense of quality.

To speak frankly for a moment: fuck that.

I don't think new media has anything to prove to anyone. I think there is plenty of room for huge variations in quality. And I fully understand that we're often examining qualitative aspects. And yes, there is plenty of low quality stuff on the radio, TV, movies, theaters and more. New media shouldn't strive to be traditional media.

In fact, we need to lose those labels for moment. Let's talk about media. And let's use the same scales.

Was the last podcast you were on "one of the finest you've ever been on", or was it simply good? Was that last free book you listened to "better than anything I can buy at the store", or just a good yarn? Was there nothing worthy of fixing? Did they nail it on all points? And are you being honest?

I hereby dub 2009 The Year of Honest Criticism. Wanna join me? Note that this doesn't mean I'll be trashing everything I dislike. I'm not that big of a new media douchebag. But will be giving honest feedback when it's asked for, and I'll moderate my own enthusiasm for things, relying less on superlatives and hyperbole. Reality. Whoa.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Sacred Excerement Chili

Time-lapse composite of a breath of fireImage via WikipediaBecause I made so many mouths water via Twitter prior to my New Years Eve party, here's the recipe for some seriously hot chili. No beans, because that's a hanging offense.

Sacred Excrement Chili - v 2.1* by Evo Terra

Total cooking time: 6 hours
Serves: 12 - 24, depending on how much they like chili and can handle the heat

    5 lbs pork roast, cut into 1/2" chunks
    1 lb pork sausage. If using links, split skin & scrape out filling

Fresh Goodies
    4 chipotle peppers, minced
    4 large Anaheim peppers, roasted, skinned, seeded & drained. Oh, and chopped.
    2 large green bell peppers, seeded & diced
    2 large yellow/sweet onions, diced
    1 entire bunch of cilantro, chopped. The more, the merrier.
    1 bulb (not a clove, the whole bulb) of garlic, crushed or minced
    5 stalks of celery, thick cut

Canned Goodies
    2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes
    1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
    1 15 oz can of beef broth

    Between 1/4 teaspoon & 1/2 tablespoon of Habanero chili powder, depending on how much you can handle -- you decide.
    May substitute for "normal" chili powder @ 8 tablespoons
    2 tablespoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon dried majoram leaves
    1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano leaves
    1 tablespoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt

Secret Ingredients
    1 cup raisins
    2 cups steel cut oats

    Combine Meat (do not brown first), Fresh Goodies & canned tomatoes (not the tomato sauce) into large cooking pot. Mix well & slowly bring mixture to a boil, then quickly reduce heat to a simmer.

    Add tomato sauce, broth and all Seasonings (go easy on the Habanero to start, remember it's easy to add, not take out) to a blender. Blend. Pour over and mix well in the simmering pot.

    Cover & stir occasionally, making sure to not allow any burning on the bottom.

    After 2 hours, add Secret Ingredients.

    Continue cooking & stirring for an additional 4 hours. Add additional oats to increase thickness as necessary.

    Serve with whatever else you want in your chili. But I highly recommend tasting it first. Oh, and having a beer handy. 'Tis a touch warm -- of temperature and of spice.

That's it. And once you have it, you'll know why it's called Sacred Excrement Chili. And if you're still unsure, buy a thesaurus.

Change Log:
  • 1/21/09 - Added variable amounts for habanero powder

This recipe borrows heavily from "The" Chili Recipe (v 1.2) from Russ Kerlin.

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