Friday, November 30, 2007

Do Your Self Some Good Today

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

About More Conversation

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

Book Tag

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:

  1. How many books do you own?
  2. What was the last book you read?
  3. What was the last book you purchased?
  4. What five books are most meaningful to you?
  5. What is your most obscure favorite book?
Here are my answers with links to various references about them
  1. Far more than I've read. I'm a hoarder and really bad about hanging on to things in general but books in particular.
  2. 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.
  3. The last two were Robin Hood Marketing and Citizen Vince - Jess Walter, a Spokane writer.
  4. *** 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.
  5. 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"
I was tagged by Mark who was tagged by Troy Worman who was tagged by Phil Gerbyshak - the "Make it Great" guy.

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

Listen to the Conversation

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

Never thought about it like that

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

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It sure gets late early

Darn time it is - the day after Election 2007 - and all I'm thinking about is how dark it gets. For right now, too dark to ride...

...and I miss it already!!!

Surely, I could find a light bright enough to break through the early nightfall...but have you noticed how crazy automobile drivers have become? Its dangerous out there. Plus the 24 degree morning last week just about knocked me out. So I'm taking the bus to and from this diversion called "work".

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 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...