For me, interests get sometimes lost in the shuffle. Enter the applications or solutions that deal the cards. Mack does it with Technorati links. Social Rank is in beta mode.
Like Biking? feed Biking Circle
Like comics? feed Comic Watch
Like Marketing? try Marketing Lens
.....there are 1000's of categories.
Reminds me of the most emailed stories presented on the top newspaper and media sites. What I like about the video is the emphasis on spending your time on what you want/like. In addition, you might run into bloggers who could change the world - or at least your world view.
Ranking sites - like Social Rank - in general bring out our competitive nature - sometimes good and sometimes bad. I'm going to watch what happens - that's all. The wizards behind it all gain my never ceasing expressions of amazement. Some reward!
Happy 2008 to each of you!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
For me, interests get sometimes lost in the shuffle. Enter the applications or solutions that deal the cards. Mack does it with Technorati links. Social Rank is in beta mode.
Friday, December 14, 2007
There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. - Marshal McLuhan
If you only have to go a short distance and your not in a hurry...try ZENN. It'd be real handy when it's too chilly to ride. Those of you lucky enough to live in a transit zone - like a BIG city - can disregard.
This is a little wacky - but everybody needs some. Likely not yet available at your local MallWart or Target. Puts the meaning of "gentle" in perspective :)
Each of us buy stuff, right? We all use too many plastic bags. I forget my canvas bag. Let's make a resolution in 2008 - anybody with me? Why not commit to remembering a reusable bag when we go shopping. Here's a source - along with a vision. Ask your market to stock them reusables. No more "paper or plastic" small talk. Plus, you'll help me remember mine.
Here is a fine bit of good writing on being green, being gentle and making a difference. To quote the author of The Green Thumb Blues, Pasha Malla:
Environmentalism can make you feel small. You are fighting against something unwieldy and ingrained – like trying to combat the idea of winter with a PowerPoint presentation and a shovel....Feeling small has nothing to do with giving up. Remember the first time you posted to your blog and nobody said anything? Talk about feeling small. Then remember the first time somebody began a conversation. Or the first time you joined the conversation. Its a big rabble in blog space. Every little bit we contribute makes it better...and its damn well worth it!
I'm away for a couple weeks - reflecting and visiting family in Iowa. Not that Iowa needs any tips on conversation but count on me talking up AoC and the surrounding community. Everybody play nice - I'll be back in 2008.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Its holiday time! Which translates into gift giving time. Which in turn means feeding the ravenous appetite of the marketplace - at least in the US. If you're like me - though I have no reason to believe you are other than we share the planet - it's a little disheartening to see how we are burning through our resources so quickly.
One of the pluses of shopping naked from your keyboard is fewer resources are wastes. If you deal with organizations who keep the health of our Rock in mind its a big step. The big negative is you're not buying local goods - but you can split the difference.
Thats why I like the email that Laurie at Stop Global Warming sent this morning.
Consider this a list of earth friendly places to visit. I have no financial interest in any of them. Nor can I vouch for service, quality, etc....all that stuff we find important. They represent a small sample of organizations out to change the world. And you might just locate the perfect gift and!
Cool Planet Jewelry - The planet is warming up but this jewelry is cool! Recycled!
Simple Shoes - They say, "71% of the population believe in global warming while the other 29% are still trying to resolve the "earth is flat" debate." plus the flip-flops are t-o-o-o-o-o cool
GreenSender - Help someone take first steps to a greener choices - AND it comes in a box
Stop junk mail - even as a direct marketer there has GOT to be a better way! This might be part of it!?!?
Laurie David's book - A Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming - teach your children well - AND you can buy the book used :)
The Spiral Foundation - beautiful handmade goods crafted from found objects and recycled scraps - Spinning Potential into Resource and Love
Ideal Bites Blog - a little link love here - clever, witty and smart - not to mention green.
- A tip a day. Today's tip lists 6 earth friendly gifts - my favorite is movie tickets :)
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Not to scare but to share. Today - December 1, 2007 - is recognized as the 19th World AIDS Day. Tell a kid about HIV/AIDs...that includes the part about safe sex. I'm not sure kids are ever too young.
Thirty years ago, it was called "gay cancer" - today its a pandemic and it ain't so gay. Until there's a cure - and not just for those of wealth - the world loses far too many creative and imaginative fellow humans. Every day, 6000 children lose a parent to AIDs. The UK wants to start a conversation. And Australia is talking, too.
Here you can learn of 2007's "superficial celebration" - where a "reduction in number of people living with HIV/AIDS from 40,000,000 to 33,000,000" and "new" infections have fallen since the late 90's from 3,000,000 to 2,500,000. Check the official word and stats. My stomach turns when I hear claims of success and battle won.
Last I checked a million was a LOT! Some progress means there is more to be done. Teach our children well. Silence doesn't work any longer.
Three bloggers with the message - Jeremiah, Jamie, Tiara.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Somebody borrowed my copy of AoC and hasn't brought it back. Sadly, the pilfering coincides with a move to a new cube. Should have checked the neighborhood a little closer, I reckon. The good part is that the book is chock full of wit, wisdom and insight on conversational marketing so maybe it will rub off. All they had to do was ask! We still may have a point or two to talk about.
Right now I'm glad for my electronic version AND that whoever it was took the book before pricing changes. Drew writes about the changes - including a move to Amazon - here. You still have time this week to grab a couple copies at the initial price level. It would be nice for the book to get a good bump before holiday time descends upon us. I mean, when was the last time you were able to be part of the Internet crashing to a standstill? Everybody seems to be talking about the news - Chris even suggests trying to explode the web on December 14 :)
Remember it comes down to helping Variety - its mission is children.
The quality, breadth and diversity of these contributors continues to astound me.
Gavin Heaton, Drew McLellan, CK, Valeria Maltoni, Emily Reed, Katie Chatfield, Greg Verdino, Mack Collier, Lewis Green, Ann Handley, Mike Sansone, Paul McEnany, Roger von Oech, Anna Farmery, David Armano, Bob Glaza, Mark Goren, Matt Dickman, Scott Monty, Richard Huntington, Cam Beck, David Reich, Luc Debaisieux, Sean Howard, Tim Jackson, Patrick Schaber, Roberta Rosenberg, Uwe Hook, Tony D. Clark, Todd Andrlik, Toby Bloomberg, Steve Woodruff, Steve Bannister, Steve Roesler, Stanley Johnson, Spike Jones, Nathan Snell, Simon Payn, Ryan Rasmussen, Ron Shevlin, Roger Anderson, Robert Hruzek, Rishi Desai, Phil Gerbyshak, Peter Corbett, Pete Deutschman, Nick Rice, Nick Wright, Michael Morton, Mark Earls, Mark Blair, Mario Vellandi, Lori Magno, Kristin Gorski, Kris Hoet, G. Kofi Annan, Kimberly Dawn Wells, Karl Long, Julie Fleischer, Jordan Behan, John La Grou, Joe Raasch, Jim Kukral, Jessica Hagy, Janet Green, Jamey Shiels, Dr. Graham Hill, Gia Facchini, Geert Desager, Gaurav Mishra, Gary Schoeniger, Gareth Kay, Faris Yakob, Emily Clasper, Ed Cotton, Dustin Jacobsen, Tom Clifford, David Polinchock, David Koopmans, David Brazeal, David Berkowitz, Carolyn Manning, Craig Wilson, Cord Silverstein, Connie Reece, Colin McKay, Chris Newlan, Chris Corrigan, Cedric Giorgi, Brian Reich, Becky Carroll, Arun Rajagopal, Andy Nulman, Amy Jussel, Kim Klaver, Sandy Renshaw, Susan Bird, Ryan Barrett, Troy Worman, CB Whittemore, S. Neil Vineberg
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Here's a simple and fun meme. Mark Goren tagged me. To play, answer the 5 questions and tag 5 people. Its about books.
Up until 15 years ago, I was a lazy reader. There were many books started but few finished. One year I resolved to read a book a month. I figured if there were enough people to have a Book of the Month Club, I should be able to read one a month. You won't believe what happened...the more I read the less lazy I became about reading. The more I read the more fun it became. Along with more fun came that easy feeling. Now when someone asks about favorite pastimes, reading appears near the top of my list - along with cycling, walking and jamming.
The 5 questions are:
- How many books do you own?
- What was the last book you read?
- What was the last book you purchased?
- What five books are most meaningful to you?
- What is your most obscure favorite book?
- Far more than I've read. I'm a hoarder and really bad about hanging on to things in general but books in particular.
- Lately, I've had 2 books going at the same time - one business/professional growth, the other a "diversion" read. The last books I finished were Robin Hood Marketing - Katya Andresen - I love her publishing company Jossey-Bass. This happens to be the current MarketingProfs Book Club selection. The other was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The link lands on a flash page of one sentence reviews. Currently, I'm reading Half a Life by V.S. Naipaul - excellent example of story telling -and looking for a professional book.
- The last two were Robin Hood Marketing and Citizen Vince - Jess Walter, a Spokane writer.
- *** Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary - I have a dozen dictionaries. If you're ever in a pinch for a gift, you can't go wrong giving someone a dictionary. It's the first "book" I ever remember reading. Words - what a concept! *** Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig - touched me at a critical time of growth. *** Be Here Now - Ram Dass - the hippie in me manifests itself...I've worn out a copy and lost a copy. *** Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J. K. Rowling. The first in the series was fresh, engrossing and like nothing I'd read. I could not put it down. They've only gotten more fun to read. Wizards Unite! *** A Whole New Mind - Dan Pink. Here's my review.
- What is obscure to some is not so obscure to others. Charterhouse of Parma - Stendahl. Its a book written in 1839 that stands the test of time.
"Ostensibly a romantic thriller, interwoven with intrigue and military episodes, the novel also features Stendhal's acute grasp of human nature and psychology"
If they care to play, I'm tagging - Robyn McMaster, Mark Van Patten, David Brazeal, Jackie Cameron, Robert Hruzek. And remember - play even if you aren't tagged. I'd love to see what everybody is reading. Just link back to this entry so I can follow.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
David Brazeal at JournaMarketing sent email last week asking if I had time for an interview. He's creating podcasts of contributors to The Age of Conversation book that Drew and Gavin pulled together this year. Remember - "100 Voices - 1 Conversation". David is a terrific interviewer so when he contacts you...say "yes".
Here's the link to the 11 minute podcast with yours truly. The music is the best part. We are all our own worst critic and I'm no exception. However, the beauty of self criticism is that we learn so much. I could have listened more closely. I could have talked slower. I could have used my vast and untapped vocabulary more freely - when the heck does all that education pay off?!?! LOL
Soon as we finished, I remembered it's Mack at The Viral Garden who consistently reminds us the value of getting out to other blogs.
One thing I did remember was to laugh. For that, I am thankful.
But what I'm especially grateful for is the group of conversationalists involved in this book. Plus the never ending quest to get it into as many hands as we can.
Bottom line belief: Everyone adds value to the conversation.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sheesh - I feel like a groupie having left so many comments over at my 2 cents last Friday...honest David - I am NOT a stalker :). I've been woefully negligent in leaving this corner and adding comments. Is my slip showing? :)
Here's the deal - David's post (and link to Gene DeWitt's The Media Age blog) about the writer's strike possible impact on advertising was a new idea for me. Here's what he says:
"In his new blog The Media Age, media guru Gene DeWitt says newspapers and radio -- the long-suffering "other" mass media -- should be getting a closer look by advertisers who are faced with higher ad prices, fewer ad positions available and greater difficulty in reaching a broad spectrum of customers with TV sales messages."First off I love the word media - love it! Mass media, targeted media, multi-media, new media, old media, traditional media, and cutting edge media - it all makes me tingle. I believe it is the rare word that cannot be over used. Second, the post and remarks sparked my brain - always a good thing. And thirdly, it got me to comment - feedback is a another vital part of living this new age and time. I'd never considered that as TV shows lose viewers, advertisers lose value. The same thing happens with newspapers. We lose readers and it impacts the advertiser. I'm not sure why the connection never happened before.
Third, we can agree ads have to go somewhere. They won't disappear. If everybody's gonna eat, somebody's gotta sell. Current belief says they are migrating to the medium you are currently reading. What goes up - must come down. What happens when page view numbers (or however you measure) go down? Do advertisers move to phones? podcasts? video? all of the above? I know advertising is changing. How fast and to what degree is yet to be determined. A lot depends on the success of those who do the advertising. Right now, combining print and online makes sense.
So thanks David and Gene
Here's a newsletter from MarketingProfs that should land in your inbox - get it now for a bit of inspiration!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I set out this year to ride more than last. Why? Because - its a bike thing. Here's a quote from Rhea's Boomer Chronicles -
Why is biking so important? It addresses some of the most important issues of the day: reducing car exhaust, reducing our reliance on cars and other fuel-guzzling vehicles, curbing obesity, and economics (it’s cheap to operate a bike as opposed to a car)
This I can say...I'm cheap. I rode into November. Barely, but I did it! This season I logged just over 3100 miles on Stella Blue - my trustworthy vehicle of choice. And I feel better for it. Now its onto the trainer...at least thats the plan.
To break this minor dip into "post cycle season" depression, I've found a couple great cycling sites. 1 less car has some groovy t-shirts and other fun stuff and is based in Chicago. Cycling Spokane is written by a local cycling enthusiast, John Speare - he rides everywhere. John might suggest I continue riding through the winter...and he might be right. My excuse would be I'm a virgin. Plus my body is saying "take a break" and I'm listening for a change. Fancy that! Through cyclingspokane, I discovered a rider - David Blaine - who is training to ride the Continental Divide in 2008 - that's 2500 miles! This is a self-supported race that begins in Roosville, Montana and ends in Texas or Mexico near as I can tell. The record is 16 days and change. I'm glad I ride and not race...
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I love it when David Reich tosses in his 2 cents on newspapers and innovation - then takes a moment to send email and let me know he posted. Try as I might to keep up with newsreaders and rss feeds, they overwhelm me. Email communication is current. It gets my attention. Or maybe its most familiar. Some say email is already dead. We are living in an disastrously short life cycles if thats the case.
David references an article in Advertising Age by Marc Brownstein. Marc jumps on the "not quite dead yet" ship by writing that newspaper owners are entrepreneurial. They are not lacking in the desire to innovate. And they still make a little dough to boot. He admits newspapers don't have the same number of advertisers or readers as in the past. He suggests that some of each group have migrated to online. He argues that editorial staffs continue to write good - if not excellent - stories and that newspapers are willing to try new things.
Full disclosure which bears repeating - I work for a newspaper but everything I blog about them is my own thoughts and feelings. Here are a few innovative things we are doing where I work - blogs from staff and editors (no marketing blog yet but someday...), contests, community events and promotions, live AP updates, video blogs, niche publications, online comics and games, discussion boards, live coverage of daily news meetings, email notifications and marketing - plus we still deliver it to your door, if you choose. The toughest part is we do it with fewer and fewer people. Like David says, "eyeballs are eyeballs" and we're all trying to figure out where they are looking, what they're looking for and how to get them to pause for a moment.
Added 11.14 - Mark Goren's 3 part QAD at Transmission Marketing on the Canadian Newspaper Association campaign
Friday, October 26, 2007
Some days are made to smile...others to laugh. You know how I feel about laughter. Road tripping to Seattle this weekend to visit Lily might have something to do with it - check out the pic of Uncle Bob for a glimpse of holding a conversation with a 3 month old.
Bet you can't resist a laugh or a smile when you watch this video -
There were days and then there were days....Hunter/Garcia
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
...or is it merely passing fancy? All I know is "Dancing With The Stars" has got me hooked. Jackie - commenting on my last post - says that its my inner Fred Astaire. Lewis claims its the footwork - comparing it to the articles in a favorite magazine.
I'm really chewing on its success at grabbing my eyeballs. And asking myself a lot of questions. Last night was the first time I watched "the results" show. How has a "reality" television show stolen 2.5 hours per week from me? I've never - and never being a long, long time - watched more than 10 minutes of any previous reality show. And if it has judges?!?! a-a-a-c-c-k
Here's what I've determined "it's about" thus far:
- the smiles
- the intensity
- the love the professionals have for their art
- stepping outside your comfort zone
- the music
- the discipline to self-improve
What it's not about - at least for me:
- the competition
- the fan voting - maybe if they gave actual results and numbers I'd see the value of the conversation
- the results - its more about the path
- who wins or loses - process, process, process
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Recently I've found Life Hacks to chock full of great living tips. I've noticed the coughs starting to crop up around here. So Dustin leaves 6 tips on staying healthy this season. Let me add a couple items -
- Stay hydrated - we tend to think thirsty only in the warmer temperatures. Remember water and herbal teas help you feel better. Why you think mom always talks about chicken soup?
- Get a little exercise - even a daily walk up a flight of stairs. Better yet get out and breathe some fresh air at lunch. I'm off to ride my bike now :)
But before climbing on my saddle, I must confess to a total addiction to "Dancing with the Stars". I don't even like television. I rarely watch network shows- it's s-o-o-o old school :) - preferring HBO and Showtime. But this show - even with its 4 minute commercial breaks - has me hooked. I'm actually watching the clock until it comes on. Admittedly, the dancers outfits bring out the dirty old man in me but....its something else. Competition? Not really - I've never watched the other reality shows - not even American Idol (gasp). Marketing? maybe they hooked me.
I'm a junkie - looks like there might be another here. Thanks for your last paragraph, Kathleen. How long must we endure the pain of Wayne Newton?
Have you any ideas on the cure? - let me know.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Robert Hruzek at Middle Zone Musings tossed out a writing challenge for this month's "What I Learned From..." series. He's decided to change the world! Read about it here.
What are you waiting for? What am I waiting for?
Change anyplace and anytime is a slow process, it starts like any journey...with a first step. It begins with a single decision by a single person. Any change, planned or random, involves a few key elements among them questions, fear and risk. The statement - I'm going to change the world - evokes these feelings in monstrous proportion. At the same time - if you don't do something different, you keep doing the same thing. And how you gonna change the world THAT way ?
A decision - and a change - I made this year was to spend more time "in the saddle". I love riding my bike - her name is Stella Blue. Up until this spring, I'd been mostly riding on weekends. A way to ride more is cycling to and from work. Its a 30 mile round trip. Will I be late? Plan ahead. Will I be tired? Eat better, rest more. What if I get a flat tire? You gotta figure out how to change a flat someday :)
Here is the statistical breakdown of what I've saved:
- Driving alone miles reduced this year: 1,875.0
- Trips Reduced this Year: 125
- Carbon Monoxide(CO) Reduced this Year: 103 pounds
- Savings by not driving alone this Year: $1,068.75 * (some AAA study)
Here is what I've learned from this small change:
- It adds about an hour to my travel time. There are still 24 hours in the day.
- Its a more relaxing trip home in the open air than in the car. I dislike traffic these days.
- Its a good idea to carry rain gear.
- More deep breaths, in turn more oxygen, improves blood flow and better health.
- Cycling positively affects others. I've gained and deepened friendships through daily and weekend rides. Conversation flows freely and laughter abounds.
Here is what I've learned about change:
- Questions are part of living.
- Risk and fear never go away.
- A step in any direction starts the change.
- The world won't wait for being changed. We might about as well be part of it.
Tell me about that change you make today -
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Regional jokes usually run in the same vein. A resident of one state pokes fun at the neighboring state's residents. Washingtonians naturally make fun of Idahoans. A common joke goes like this:
A cop stops an Idahoan for speeding and asks, "Do you have any ID?" The speeder responds, "ID about what?"
I try not to generalize - too much anyway - but this story makes me think there might be some truth to the intelligence of those living in the state to the east of me.
Men accused of robbing woman for her own good
Friday, August 31, 2007
What do they say about the road to hell? It's paved with good intentions? My intention was to post sooner - a briefer hiatus, so to speak - and with no excuses - here goes.
This article* by Adrienne Fawcett from MediaPost - Marketing Daily caught my eye the other day. Call me a sucker for a good headline. Someday I'll be able to write one :)
8 Of 10 Americans Know About Blogs; Half Visit Them Regularly
Eight in ten is a whole pile of people - just like the picture over there. And 50% visit regularly - that's pretty amazing. Admittedly, its rare that I talk with anybody who doesn't know what a blog IS but it seems we are still in the early phase of what a blog can DO. We discover as we go - the stream ripples and rolls. And, of course, there are as many "whys" to blog as there are people. Here are excerpts from her article and my reactions:
"The high awareness is surprising given that blogging is an emerging media outlet," says Tom Mularz, senior vice president at Synovate eNation, which conducted the online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. "The segmentation on awareness and usage, and on people having their own blogs, is driven by age, with obviously younger people more active in blogging." Nearly 90% of 25- to-34-year-olds know what a blog is, compared to 64.5% of those age 65-plus. Similarly, 78.4% of 18- to-24-year-olds report they have visited a blog, compared to just 44.7% of older Americans.Not sure I agree its "obviously" younger people "active" in blogging - although I'm closer to 65 than to 34 so everybody's younger. I'm just being a little picky with words today. What IS obvious would be blogs are transforming communication and conversation. Which is what good advertising and marketing should be about.
Almost half of the respondents said they visit blogs to be entertained. What types of entertainment have they given up now that they are reading and writing blogs? Any emerging media poses a threat to traditional media, but at present, 87% of the people who read blogs said they don't spend less time with other media now that they're reading blogs. Of the 13.3% who do say they have ditched old media habits, newspapers, television and magazines have taken the biggest hits.This makes confusing sense. I'm a little surprised at the almost 90% of blog readers spending the same amount of time with other media? Are people sleeping less? There are still 24 hours every day - right? And the low 15% who've ditched traditional media. Much of what we in the newspaper business tend to hear is just the opposite - high percentages ditching at a more rapid rate. This is today's good news - tomorrow might be different. Will reading blogs become a habit? A ritual for future readers?
Ad spending on blogs is still in its infancy....a recent study by Nielsen BuzzMetrics and Nielsen's BASES research division found that new products with higher ad spending on traditional media tend to generate greater buzz in the blogosphere. But the eNation study, conducted in late July, shows there is real potential for ads on blogs. Among people who have visited a blog (485), 43.2% said they have noticed ads on blogs, and three out of 10 people in this group said they have clicked on ads while visiting a blog. Among the youngest consumers, a whopping 61.2% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they have noticed ads on blogs.My initial impression is that ad delivery online must take a different form quickly. What we see today on blogs (and websites) seems to be not so cleverly disguised subliminal messaging. Does it really sell anything OR is the network (community) we associate with more the influence than the ad? I'm leaning toward hearing about a product or service from someone I trust being the "close" of a sale. Here seems to be the real potential and not a banner ad. I believe blogs - and those who blog - help in this step toward a making a decision.
Some advertisers are trying to slip brand names in through the blogosphere's back door by recruiting bloggers to write favorably about their brands. Recently, a rep for Marvin Windows and Doors sent a flattering (exact replica) e-mail to several house-bloggers (including this reporter at The Fixer Upper House) to "better understand how Marvin can better interact and inform you as a home remodeler and blogger." She offered to provide "how to" tips and recommendations along with updates on company innovations and products. The company's "end, end goal," the rep said in a follow-up note, is to expand "Marvin's footprint as an expert in windows and doors." She teased at the potential for future promotions and advertising, but added, "That's really several months away."Some organizations see the potential in building the conversation. Note how the representative says future promotions and advertising are several months away. We are still trying to figure this whole thing out. The future is huge.
So who's blogging? Eight percent of Americans have their own blog. "That's high, given that blogging was unheard of a few years ago," says eNation's Mularz. It's also surprising that more women than men are bloggers (given that men tend to dominate the computer/tech fields). Nearly 14% of men versus 20% of women have blogs, eNation reports.To contact Adrienne - go to her blog. She's a friendly sort and responded promptly to my email.
I remain conflicted with online advertising. There has GOT to be a better way.
* need registration to view - its free. Just depends on how many registrations you want to juggle. Which brings up a whole other topic - for a later post.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Long story short...since a few of you have visited and seen no recent posts...I spent the last 12 days practicing my bedside manner. It left little time for posting. My bride of 15 years was admitted to the hospital through the ER. Surgery was mid-morning on 8.12. We sprung her yesterday and she's recovering due to the terrific care of nurses and doctors. Its remarkable how quickly the body figures out a way to heal.
It was 2006 when I resolved to learn more about empathy and succeeded to a small degree. But there is no way to feel the pain of a tube down your nose! What's hard still to explain is how exhausting it is to realize there is nothing you can do but be there.
I did read a few good books (ongoing). And the daily newspaper which picked up a couple of stories I want to share....
- The WSJ online (newest paper in the media-wealthy Murdoch empire) ran a story on the 10 year anniversary of blogging. Here's a question - is 10 years of blogging equivalent to 100 information years or 100 information minutes? The observations on the status of web logs from noted personalities (though I'm not exactly sure how the hell Newt Gingrich got tapped) are the best part. But I'm a personality and opinion junkie :)
- The death of Elvis in 1977. Where were you? I was cleaning bathrooms at local college with a complete Elvis maniac. Though I was not a huge fan at the time (since then I've grown to really dig his gospel renditions), it devastated her. Thirty years hence we have this story about the enormous money a brand generates. And the heartburn associated with the Kings favorites sandwich - the Fools Gold Loaf.
- Charlie Rose is not TiVo'ed at my house so his website - in beta - shows the conversation skills many of us aspire to. Search for your favorite personality and see what they think.
My plan is to be a more frequent community contributor in the coming days.
Monday, August 06, 2007
This post is titled with a question and ends with one. If you want to skip the detail - I know you're busy - cut to the chase and read the last paragraph.
Not that any of you should listen to a newspaper guy who decided to ride a bike 477 miles in the humidity of Iowa cornfields...but unplugging for a couple weeks does your soul a world of wonder.
No phone...no internet...no ipod. I lived like a pig - although the end of day shower was delightful - talking and eating my way across Iowa as part of a "carnival on wheels". Estimates to the number of riders go as high as 20,000 and I must have talked to 1/2 of them. Working on my social skills at every opportunity :) Thanks to each of you who stopped by while the "Gone Fishing" sign was out and left comments. You know that's what keeps One Reader and one blogger going. Special thanks to you who talked about me :). Judging from at least one post - and my email box - it appears the Age of Conversation is bolting its way into people's minds. Way to go AoC community!
Plugging back in is another story altogether. Something about the lows that follow the highs, I'm sure. Plus this thing called "work". They say the first step is the toughest so consider this return post my first step back to reality. Life was so simple for a week...wake up...pack up camp...toss my bags on the truck...eat...have coffee...climb on the saddle...talk...climb off the saddle...talk while eating...climb on the saddle...eat while pedaling...talk some more...pedal some more...arrive in camp...have a beer...pitch my tent...talk some more...eat some more...rinse and repeat...for 7 glorious days. Here's the photo album if you wanna check it out! Tags and titles soon to follow.
I made the acquaintance - and gained the friendship - of a terrific person and fellow blogger/writer/journalkeeper. Joe from Chicago - just another one-legged bicyclist - literally saved my ass with some well timed advice - combine this and this for soothing relief :). Joe's journal is here...you need to register at greatestjournal.com to leave comments...but the most recent entry shows the determination it takes for this ride across the corn fields. His user info page tells the great story of his amputation. And this photo shows the famous dip in the Mississippi River 'tween Iowa and Illinois. Every once in a while I run across an individual who impacts my life more than they'll ever know. The impact is not particularly easy to verbalize. Definitely it becomes part of our shared humanity. It all started waiting in line for lasagna at the end of a 70 mile bike ride.
Can you write about a person who touched you in a similar way? Maybe you can't define the "how" - but its well worth trying.
Friday, July 20, 2007
No blogging at One Reader for a while. Your comments are still welcome :) I'm on vacation and I need it! But I'll be back - count on that. For the next 10 days, the focus is on cycling across Iowa. Yup, my home state - the current location of the Iowa BlogaNostra - is having a small city move from one border to the next - RAGBRAI. Its not so much the heat, its the stupidity - I love that phrase. Read all about it! I'm hoping to catch up with Doug around mid-week. Along with visiting a couple brothers and my folks, it should prove to be a hoot.
Monday, The Age of Conversation was released. I'm amazed, astounded and awed with the end result - there are drawings, cartoons and - best of all - transparent thinking from each contributor. Each entry like a gourmet meal - enjoyed best in small bites and chewed well. A nice wine comes to mind. Literally, there are mind bending thoughts from each writer. It's like the prizes in Cracker Jack!
Get the book - the download - $9.99 cheap (just like MAD). It's the new conversation! All the activity surrounding it even caused the internet to crash this week - Roger shared the news at Creative Think.
It's a journey - not a destination! Have a great week each of you - sell some more books for the kids!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Last night, I read the first chapter of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. It's brief chapter but, my goodness, it is powerful. Reviews describe it as her memoir. The story weaves around the unexpected death of her husband at the dinner table one December evening. The main thrust of the initial chapter is how ordinary is our day to day living.
I can't get it out of my mind. My life didn't change as dramatically as Ms. Didion's due to the day of this post - my outlook was definitely jolted. In the end, an altered view is good for me - and you, too.
Today began the same as every other day - a morning walk at sunrise. The only rule my walking partner and I have? We don't talk about the job*. Both of us work for our local newspaper. He's been in advertising since dirt was discovered. I'm in circulation and marketing for about half as long. But the topic is something we have in common. Invariably, the conversation will turn to it. We've spent portions of our three miles talking about past, present and future of newspapering. It gets in your blood. Too often we hear other's opinions that newspapers are dying a slow and painful death. Some kind exercise in building self esteem, eh? The focus is on the death of print. As popular as the online portion of the paper has become, print still pays the bills.
Today when I saw this MediaPost research brief, I was delighted.
...81% of newspaper website users also read the printed newspaper in the last 7 days. Crossover users (those who used both print and online newspapers in the past 7 days) have deep affinity with both their printed newspaper and their newspaper website, and 83% say "I love both my printed newspaper and visiting my newspapers website."...Note the word love. Thats an emotion we all want to hear about our products :)
Crossover (those that read both) users visit their newspaper website to:I was a little (a lot) surprised at the nearly 100% who access breaking news - doesn't anybody work anymore?!?! :) - Fact is the highest traffic on our site is 9AM to 5PM. I'd reckon you got to find something interesting during your breaks :)
- Access breaking news (96%)
- Find articles seen previously (85%)
- Find things to do/places to go (72%)
Yes to local, local, local...and to places where we spend greenbacks! Advertising and marketing sells!
The study found that newspaper website-only users are 55% female, while crossover users are only 48% female. The main reasons newspaper website-only users cited for using newspaper websites include:
Newspaper website-only users are web-savvy group as 52% write or read blogs and 46% have joined a web community.
- Accessing local news (84%)
- Entertainment information (74%)
- Food or restaurant information (58%)
Contrary to some perceptions, the web has not hurt overall newspaper consumption, as 87% of crossover users report that their time spent with newspaper media has increased or remained the same versus only 12% who say time spent has decreased.Time crunch? What time crunch? We still have 24 hours and it still depends on how you slice it.
This was a study commissioned by Newspaper National Network so they got to ask the questions. Its not a huge sample. (here's a link to the download for the study)
The last time you read or looked into any printed copy of the (Newspaper Name):
- Read last 7 days: 81%
- Read 8-30 days ago: 9%
- Read longer than 30 days ago: 7%
- Never Read: 3%
Still it offers encouragement and affirmation of the value in printed matters.
And here are a couple kick butt newspaper media sites I've recently frequented:
Media Blog - Howard lists 8 reasons to be hopeful if you work for a newspaper. Check them out - you'd be surprised!
The Newspaper Business - Mark has a great post on a futuristic vending machine. And other fine stuff - stuff being a technical newspaper word :)
*The actual rule is we can talk about 3 things - retirement, vacation and women - we ARE guys after all :)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
I got mine! You can count on that much. But why listen to my ramblings? Pick up the ebook, the soft cover or the hard cover right here. You get over 2800 KB of pdf for just $9.99. Along with a nice "thank you" note from Gavin and Drew (nice touch, guys!) Lulu makes it easy to sign up. Hell, the cover art and tribute is worth it! Remember, the proceeds go to Variety, the Children's Charity and a world-wide organization.
Additionally, you can go to the co-editors place for more info. Drew has got it here and Gavin has it here. Fact of the matter, you can check out the authors blogs - all links below - and get each one's perspective. I can assure you it will open your mind to the diversity of contributors.
Here is the Age of Conversation's very own blog. A big thrill was to discover my being quoted in the AdAge book review article. Its tough to express the impact of this project. Safe to say I've never been involved in anything with such a fine group of thinkers - focused on conversation and community in today's web environment. I look forward to more chances to share, to learn and to grow.
I have GOT to go read more. But before I do - here's the links - if the magic works :) - to 100+ unique voices:
Roger von Oech
Tony D. Clark
G. Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells
John La Grou
Dr. Graham Hill
S. Neil Vineberg
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
We have the ability to make one another feel better - each and every day. The number of people who offer that gift to me - the worthiest of human traits - is far too long a list to compose here. Sometimes the people are strangers never to be seen again. Other times, they are friends and family. More and more it happens virtually over this new fangled internet thing :). Every time it happens, lives are touched.
This reflection on humanity began a couple Fridays ago. I was standing in line at a fast food joint located in a food court. Normally, I carry a lunch but Friday is my day to eat out. A perfect stranger approached me:
Perfect Stranger: which of these restaurants is better?I liked him right away :) And so it went as the line got shorter. We shared conversation. I felt like an ambassador for Spokane. He felt welcomed. I learned about Edmonton and how the economy is exploding. Plus a little about his work. He said "thanks" and we were on our separate ways. We made a better day. Or did we make the day better?
Me: They are both equally good - it depends on what you're hungry for.
Perfect Stranger: We're visiting from Edmonton, Alberta, and attending a basketball camp. I have four 16 year olds. They are hungry.
Me: This one offers a little bigger portions. That one has a shorter line.
Perfect Stranger: The one you are going to looks good. What line of work are you in?
Me: I work at the newspaper and am in marketing. Are you in town for Hoopfest? Does the camp form a couple teams to play?
Perfect Stranger: No, it's a coincidence. The kids wanted to attend the Gonzaga camp. We had no idea there was this much activity this weekend in your town. I read your paper this morning. It's good.
Episode Two: On Independence Day, I went for a bike ride - training, you know - and stopped for a Starbucks. (side note: notice how its not coffee anymore, its Starbucks - HA!). It was a gorgeous mid week morning where most workers in the US have the day off - except for the baristas. I'm sipping my coffee at an outside table, guarding my bike and watching people come and go. Some are happier than others.
Perfect Stranger: How's your ride this morning?He came back, sat down and thus began 45 minutes of face to face conversation. I thought I could talk?!?!? Seems he has a son at Fort Lewis (other side of the state) who is Green Beret and a daughter nearby. His pride for both of them shone bright. He's spent the better part of 15 years traveling about after selling his ranch in Texas. Really liked Oregon but was fascinated with the country just north of here and south of Canada. Again, I felt like an ambassador saying things like "This is a hard place to leave once you settle in".
Me: It was great! This is my favorite part - sitting and thinking how beautiful the world is from the saddle of a bicycle (Admittedly, I was philosophizing a bit ;)
Perfect Stranger: What line of work are you in?
Me: Newspapers - and you?
Perfect Stranger: Retired - when I was 59.
Me: I have a few more years until then. You better get some coffee. (some say I'm too bossy - LOL)
Once again days are made better through communication, sharing and opening ourselves.
Here are links to the postings - and influencers - for this entry:
Jackie Cameron - if you haven't checked Jackie's blog you really should. The link points to her entry on "How do you make people feel"?
Phil Gerbyshak - the make it great guy. Phil posted a question on LinkedIn (not sure if you can get there without membership but try - let me know). He got 43 answers (and counting) on how to make a bad day better.
Mack Collier - About the same time Phil posted his question, Mack put this post up. It's a question on the value of two social networks - MyBlogLog and LinkedIn. At least part of the value is in how we make each other feel.
Jackie closes her post with this quote attributed to Maya Angelou. I close with it, too:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Monday, July 09, 2007
In a remarkable example of collaboration, The Age of Conversation is about to be released. DrewMcClellan and Gavin Heaton - along with over 100 bloggers - are pulling it off. But Drew and Gavin are the fire starters here - let's not kid anybody. They're even talking about another one next year so sharpen your wits and stretch your imagination.
The only thing to say is WOW! It began with a short email invitation to submit a chapter. It's grown to being included in on of the most dynamically growing communities and networks on the planet. Right down to my soul, this is a bunch that is diverse and inclusive. Not to mention some damn fine writing minds.
I can't wait to get the book. The best part - the hook for me - is that ALL proceeds of ALL sales of the book go to Variety, the Children's Charity.
Originally imagined as an e-book ($9.99), the volume will be available in hardback ($29.99) and soft cover ($16.95)
Next Monday is the official launch. Learn what all the conversation is about and feel good about giving back to the community.
Here's where it started.
Here's to whom its dedicated.
And here's just a few places its being talked about - right now.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The past few Fridays have been dedicated to art. Today, I shift a little and write about my upcoming Great Bike Ride - RAGBRAI. Two weeks from Sunday I begin the 477 mile journey across my home state. Here's the route - again.
Day 1 - Rock Rapids to Spencer - 77.6 miles
Day 2 - Spencer to Humboldt - 76.9 miles
Day 3 - Humboldt to Hampton - 72 miles
Day 4 - Hampton to Cedar Falls - 68.8 miles
Day 5 - Cedar Falls to Independence - 62.1 miles
Day 6 - Independence to Dyersvillle - 63.2 miles
Day 7 - Dyersville to Bellevue - 57.4 miles
With many towns in between. I'm looking forward to Iowa pork tenderloins, sweet corn, cinnamon rolls and beer! Not to mention the hundreds of non-profits who are raising funds across the state. My sister once baked 20 or 30 dozen cookies to benefit her classrooms. True community!
I'm experiencing separation anxiety today. My bike is in transit via FedEx after being carefully packed by the best bike guys - WheelSport East. Today, my 17 year old Schwinn transported me to work. I need a bike with a rack to lug my panniers so a friend is loaning me his commuter bike.
I am jazzed to say the least (jazz is an art form, ain't it? :). I'm riding about 40 miles a day with weekends dedicated to longer rides. Last weekend I logged just over 100 miles. Much of it was pleasant as I had company.
Tammy, from my support team Pork Belly Ventures (isn't that a cute little pig on a bicycle) called this morning to say a room has opened up at the unofficial PBV hotel for my one night at the end of the ride. Read this about charter expectations and tell me this ride won't be a scream:
What Does PBV Expect of You? LIVE LIKE A PIG. That means handle. Deal. Roll with it. Lower your standards and you can't be disappointed. Pigs can turn a bad day into a good story. They give respect, appreciation, and good-natured guff to PBV crew members, the hardest working people on this entire ride. Pigs help each other out. They love to yuk it up, but out of courtesy they are quiet before 5:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. Pigs pick up every speck of trash before leaving a host town. They never climb onto a Pork truck-just hand the bags up to our truck loaders each morning. Pigs manage to find comfort in uncomfortable places. We hope you have it in you to live like pigs. That, my friends, is a worthy way to approach the adventure.
Here are a few cycling links -
Windy City Biker - Steve from Winnetka logs his commute in Chicago
Bike Snob - if you ride this will crack you up! If you don't - look at the fun you're missing. Some good ol' NYC satire and humor.
MasiGuy - MasiGuy is moving me closer and closer to more writing on cycling.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Everybody - including me - deals with compressed time. But usually, I'm in a playful mood. Maybe it has something to do with Valeria's post from yesterday - what kind of games do you play? Do yourself a favor - deep breath - play a game like you're kid again. Lewis tagged a bunch of us with the 8 random things about me. In the process, I learned a bit about LG and Anna (who tagged him) - thanks to both of you.
As I breathe deep and smile, these are the 8 things you may or may not know about me:
- Grew up in Iowa and moved to Spokane, WA 31 years ago. Its a tough place to leave once your here.
- Umpired high school and college baseball for 20 years.
- Notorious sweet tooth - DQ Blizzards the most tempting treat in my lifetime!
- Deadhead through and through.
- Cleaned volcanic ash from city roof tops for 6 months following eruption of Mt St Helen's in 1980.
- Two life goals achieved - spring training with my dad and visiting the Sistine Chapel. Still want to see the Rockettes and go to a World Series game.
- My favorite fishing fly is the Tom Thumb - a Canadian concoction made of deer hair that is simple to tie.
- Paper or plastic? "That's OK - I have my own bag"
C.B. - Flooring the Consumer
GLS - Going Like Sixty
Jackie - Consult Cameron
Cord - Marketing Hipster
Arun - Arun Rajagopal
Gavin - Servant of Chaos
Char - Essential Keystrokes
Mark - Transmission Marketing
Above all - have fun!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Art, in all its forms, is created to evoke a response or reaction. Its the main reason I continue looking, listening and learning. Whether it's making music, visiting museums and galleries or wandering the streets and alleys of a city, the opportunity for our senses to spark is ever present. The old becomes new and the new becomes old. Today's technology allows connections from far away places.
A few weeks ago I was introduced to a band based in Belgium - Bang Lassi. This is a band on the edge! You haven't heard them yet?
Philippe Deltenre - Bad Idea, Indeed - tipped me to the sound. Philippe knows this band and I trust his instincts. The Lassimen have serious chops. What hooked me was the influences list on their MySpace page. I'm big on diversity and so is Bang Lassi. From Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa, John Coltrane and Miles Davis to the Beatles plus Ennio Morricone to Cream - this group knows music and its endless varieties of structure and rhythm. The sound will take your ears floating if you allow it. They are artists in the truest sense of concept, experiment and experience. I love this band!
Don't take my word - check out "Blue Suede Sea Shore" on the MySpace page.
Added bonus* - a psychedelic, minimalist YouTube view of "Friendly Faces" -
Lewis blogged a little Bang Lassi history, with added links, here. You haven't hear Bang Lassi?
What are you waiting for? Its free for now! As always, let me know what you think. No charge for that either - I'd really like to know.
*not for the faint of heart - 7 minutes and 3 seconds of your life
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I snatched the word voyeurgasm - we like to watch - from a fascinating iMedia Connections article by Michael Tchong. Michael is a trend analyst with an ubercool site and blog. The article is well written, challenging and worth the time spent reading it. He presented me an "AHA" moment.
He focuses on 5 trends to watch - or else! They are voyeurgasm, digital lifestyle, time compression, unwired and generation X-tasy. His riff on digital lifestyle is what keeps rattling around my brain.
Once something is called a lifestyle it is beyond a trend. Its reality, Its fact. Its fascinating to be a part of it. Tchong's lens is well polished and very focused in the lifestyle.
"The growing proliferation of consumer electronics -- the average U.S. household now owns an average of 26 consumer electronics devices according to the Consumer Electronics Association -- is the whirlwind force that's fueling a whole new consumer culture, one that's changing the rules of the marketing game."No fooling! The learning curve for devices is pretty steep when 8 year olds are climbing into a chair to using the computer. You've got iPhones, Blackberrys, Treos and phones that record video. Not to mention those goofy things that blink on your ear :) I was at a friends 60th birthday party in January. Rather than playing Hangman on the table cloth (it was an Italian joint), his 8 and 11 year old grand daughters were tapping into a little game - beats the heck out of listening to old people talk about Grandpa :).
Social networking is evolving the conventions of conversation, communication and culture. One might argue that conversation and communication is an output of culture. And what better defines our culture than our media? How much is our media consumption changing?
"The latest media consumption data...NBC's average prime-time audience of 4.8 million people ending June 2 was the smallest since at least 1991, reports Nielsen Media Research. You'd have to go back to the days of black-and-white TV to find a smaller figure. Meanwhile, "CBS Evening News" reached only 5.5 million people that week, its smallest audience since 1987...Meanwhile, newspaper readership is falling all over the world. Even in the newspaper-crazy U.K., the overall yearly decline for dailies is almost 4 percent. Asked why people do not read newspapers, more than half of survey respondents to a Harris poll conducted in six countries (including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany) pointed to lack of time (in Spain the figure was lowest, at 44 percent)".No time to read? This is a refrain that became a resounding chorus in the last 10 years. Its something we all battle. Its the number one reason given for not taking the newspaper. And for stopping delivery. Don't we still have 24 hours? What happened to time? Here is where the author makes his most valuable point to this marketer -
"A new Media-Screen report sheds light on this trend. Broadband users, the heaviest consumers of media, spend an hour and 40 minutes -- 48 percent of their spare time -- online on a given weekday."Seems pretty darn obvious. What we're doing is trading online time for reading and/or TV time. Its not so different than trading today (work) for tomorrow (play). I'd subconsciously made this connection but had never seen it written so plainly. Further evidence that more eyes makes better focus. And another reason I will never be christened a trend analyst :)
Read the article to satisfy your curiosity about the other 4 trends.
Michael Tchong's ubercool site