Archive for February, 2008

Life and Live Casting – I have crazy contacts

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Have you ever watched someone making video while they drove their truck? Filmed from inside the truck?  That’s Jeff Hibbard and his idea of social media gone crazy.

What about the live parties with chat and video from all over and guests? That’s what Jonny Goldstein brings us every Wednesday evening.  Now that’s a party and half to be part of.

These two guys bring the fun and social back into social media.  What makes these two interesting the most?  The conversational tone and viewer involvement.

Jeff doesn’t just sit there and make faces or act goofy. Okay, he does some of that.  Jeff does more though, by talking to us, about us, and he gives you the feeling of being there.  Especially when he’s talking with us while filming out the front window of the truck.  Cheers to Jeff.

Jonny? He’s all about the real time conversation.  Not content to just act silly by himself like most of the YouTube folks out there, Jonny invites guests each week to join him at his place for a live party.  And guess who else is invited? That’s right; you and I are invited along.

Jonny puts him and his guest(s) online live, and even brings in the occasional guest on another camera.  Jeff Hibbard joined one time live from the truck!  Now that’s what social media is all about.

Though I’ve highlighted Jeff and Jonny, they are far from the only two out there that are engaging us with their efforts.  One of my other favorites for putting the social into social networks and media is Jeff Pulver, who recently brought us his Personal Social Networking Toolkit.

So what interesting and fun things have your social networks brought you? Who engages you? Share with me?

What I’m learning on the way to SOBCon08

If you haven’t heard, I’m going to SOBCon08. SOBCon08 is a three day blogger conference for bloggers about blogging by professional bloggers.  N’uff said.

So often folks talk about what they’ve learned at a conference or picked up in conversations while they were there.  Some people will talk about the social networking that happened on site or afterwards.  Finally, some will relate stories of the fun, including wild parties they had.  But few bloggers will blog about what they learned on the path to get there.  I’m here to tell you that I’m learning plenty already and I’ve not even made my hotel reservations.

Get your friends involved

 It’d be easy to sit on the sidelines and moan about how hard it is to be a better blogger, or pay the way to the convention. It’s most tempting to do that moaning to friends.  But what I’ve learned is it’s a far better tactic to bring them along side as partners.  Heck, I’ve got hundreds of contacts on my social networks, why not get some help.

I’ve sought them out and they’ve responded. Daily reminders both in person, on the blog, and through the network have allowed them them to directly respond with helping me get the lead in the contest but also get my blogging fingers working. They’ve encouraged me with great feedback about the blog posts themselves, and the contest.

What’s amazing is that several of these people I’ve yet to even talk to live, yet they’ve reached out to help me push along.  Cheers to you guys and gals.

Supporters will show up to help

So I started off with this wild idea to improve my blogging by attending this conference.  Then I realized how crazy it seemed. What makes me think I have something to contribute? Am I really blogger material? Woah.

Of course I blogged and talked about it; sent it out to the either I did.  To my surprise, not only did my existing buddies come on board, but folks not even on my attention list did too.  The folks over at SOBCon08, Liz and Terry, have both stepped into my life and begun providing encouragement.  They’ve taken time to visit my blog and leave comments, and send me personal messages.  Liz even took time out of her hectic schedule for a one on one pep talk. WOW!

To sum that up, if you ask for help and speak boldly, others will join your cause.

Blog better now

Signing up for the conference made me step back and evaluate where my blogging is at today.  Talk about a sanity check. Not only was I hardly posting a few times each week, but most of the posts were one paragraph or less.  There was no multimedia except on rare occasions, and not enough link love.  You get the picture right?

Of the few things I’m mentioning here, this lesson hit me the hardest. I realized that what’s to gain from a conference if I wasn’t going to put my best foot forward.  This has led me to some changes you might have noticed.

Longer posts, more conversational posts, cartoons (courtesy of Toonlet), commentary on other blogs are just a few of the changes and directions I’ve taken.   More work to come.

The results?  I’m having some 100 hit days on this current blog.  The toons are a big hit.  Comments are happening.

In Summary

Those those three lessons might not seem like much, but trust me they are.  They’ve resulted not only in the practical things, such as leading the contest, and a better blog, but in a less tangible way.  My confidence has been boosted too.  I’ve come to realize that success isn’t some far off concept, only available to other lucky folks. It’s about what you do and about moving forward boldly and bringing your friends along.

It’s not about the belief that I’ll be successful, only time will tell that.  It’s about losing the worry over the end results and focusing on the process.  Focusing on the doing and not getting lost in frustrating second guessing.

As a fellow blogger put it, I’m going forward and let a higher power tell me no if they want. But barring that, I’m making a run for the little ring.

Your fellow blogger,

Todd

St. Louis Blogging has a new home

Blog and live in or near St. Louis? Then there is a new group in town to check out, St. Louis Pro Bloggers. So what’s St. Louis Pro Bloggers all about?

“STL Pro Bloggers is part of the Midwest Blogs network. Through this city page you can find information about activities and events in St. Louis and connect with other St. Louis bloggers. Register and become a member today and have your blog indexed on the site!”

It’s already got a review of the most recent St. Louis Blogger Meetup, and the upcoming Lo-Fi Saint Louis Reset Party. Expect to find more events of interest to bloggers here as well. It doesn’t stop with just some unknown face behind the site either. St. Louis Pro Bloggers is inviting you to register and contribute as well. You can be invited to contribute new articles or republish some of your work there.

One of the benefits of such a site will be an increase in attention to blogging in St. Louis. It will also provide tips and event lead ins as well. And what better place to connect with fellow bloggers than a site dedicated to us.

I look forward to both providing event information and write ups on those events. How about you?

Come check out St. Louis Pro Bloggers today.

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Speaking of blogging. I’m headed to SOBCon08 in May.  They are having a contest and your clicks count. If you visit their site from anywhere on my blog, it counts as a vote for me. It’s that simple. Click through to SOBCon08 and you’ve already voted.

Thanks for those that have already voted. Check out the contest so far here.

Simpleology – giving it to us free

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.

SXSW Showcasing Music Torrents

Get your 2008 SXSW and previous years music torrents here.

As of this post, I’m seeding at 20k Up!

It’s 3+ gigs; get started now.

Social Media Club St. Louis – 1st Meeting – Round Up

I walked in to Kaldi’s in Kirkwood and immediately found the group of clubbies. They were right inside the door and already chatting. Tables had been rounded up, chairs brought around and folks where already exchanging emails and blog links. My kind of people.

Soon a group of five turned to ten and then over a dozen were on hand. Relocating was not an option. As an aside, you could tell the regular coffee drinkers; they were quick to visit the counter and get seated back with their steaming cups.

Everyone there was involved in blogging in some way. I’ve linked there here, courtesy of Brandstorming. Note that only one blog link is provided for each person, though several of us have more than one blog.

Jim Durbin: Brandstorming.com
Franki Durbin: Life In A Venti Cup
Tanner Hobin: TannerHobin
Andrew Nagy: Andrewnagy.net
Kurt Greenbaum – stltoday.com/vstl
Kristen Munson – socialmediamom.com
Justin Schmidt – justinspeak.com
Lisa Young – jedimom.net
Melody Cissell – news-bitch.com
Reem Abeidoh – www.reemabeidoh.com
Don Krutewicz – donkrutewicz
Angeline Soon – twitter.com/s00nami
Ryan Suther
Howard McAuliffe- StlDevelops.com

A couple of these folks are becoming more than just acquaintances by now, but there rest were all new faces to me. Unfamiliar faces didn’t put a damper on the conversation though. It was nonstop talking from minute one and out to the cars. We did the typical go around the room bit, but that is not to discount it as of no value. Introducing ourselves really lead to more conversations and connections, and talks of investing in each other.

I mentioned in a post earlier today that I wasn’t sure what my take away for new contacts would be, but let me assure you, this group was all worthy of my attention. Each brought a different perspective and attitude to the table. (tables – 8 of them) It will be difficult to pass up adding all of these new faces and inputs to my daily feeds.

I don’t have my pictures up yet, but when I do, they’ll be at my Flickr account and tagged with smcstl.

Please check out the blogs above and give them some love. Also, let us know about your local social media club meetups.

Yours,

Todd