Archive for March, 2008

SOBCon Accomodations and Travel

I’ll be staying at the wonderful looking Hotel 71. I have my hotel confirmation in hand.  Now all that’s left to plan is the transportation.It looks like airplanes and Chicago Transit.  Since I’m not overly familiar with the transit system in Chicago, though I’ve used it a few times, I’m planning my rail time at their site.plan-your-trip-with-the-rta.jpgSo it’s only a short walk from the Red Line. Yahoo!  Now to ask my lovely wife to make my plane reservations and we’ll be set.What to pack is my next consideration.  That’s another post altogether.Going to SOBCon? Sign up on the wiki and see find other attenders. Let’s get to know one another before the conference.How are you traveling and where are you staying?

The TruckCam Gives A Shoutout!

Posted to jeffhibbard by jeffhibbard on March 31, 2008
Visit the original blog post here.

Christian Men of Twitter – Facebook Group

Christian men can be found on Twitter, but at times it doesn’t seem that way.  A couple of us that are thought the idea of a group for just such men might be interesting.  Such a group now exists.

The idea is to provide a connection point for Christian men on Twitter to share links, stories, testimonies and more.  Especially helpful is the opportunity to connect with other Christian men online.  Adding more contacts like that not only expands your circle but also provides some accountability for behavior where spouses and your offline friends aren’t around to help.

Please consider checking out the group.   The call on whether someone is a Christian or not will be basically one of self identification.  Obvious spammers or those spreading hate will be asked to leave.

Your pictures, videos and more will be welcome as well.  See you there.

Online Trust – Snail Mail

You’ve joined Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog; your contacts have grown from your next door neighbors, coworkers and school friends to folks all over your country and beyond and now one of them wants to send you a postcard.

Receiving a postcard seems like such a small thing, and relatively safe.  Your friend seems nice; they are the like you in many ways, except they live 2000 miles away. But then you start remembering the stories.

Stalkers and other creepy types abound on the Internet. Molesters showing up at homes; spammers flooding mailboxes; undesired materials showing up at people’s door steps.  You don’t want any part of that.

What’s a digital world person to do then?

I’ll let you hear the voice of Twitter.








You can see where this is headed.  Giving out a real address is not considered good advice.  The alternative? Business or PO Box.

Luckily, if you live in the US, the US Postal Service provides PO Boxes.  You can read about that service here. Similar services are also available privately.

This discussion has sealed the deal for me. I’ll be PO Box shopping next week.  How about you?

What will you do when you’re ready to get that postcard from Timbuktoo?

Austin Tweetup – Live with Tojosan

Austin made me feel welcome in more ways than one.  Heck, they even named a store after my son, Randall’s.  Throughout the week folks were courteous and welcoming.

That and they kept apologizing for the weather.  Yes, when it’s below 70 something or the least bit clowdy, they think the weather is bad.  Heck, it was flooding in our neck of the woods when we left and cold too boot.

Austin brought Nanna J and I opportunities for dining experiences, cultural discoveries, and making new friends.  Simis, a photographer friend,  hosted us for the entire week. My favorite shot of her.

Serious Shooter

During our visit were were able to not just meet with Simis, but with several other contacts of mine from Twitter. We had lunch out with @Orchid8.

Sharing thoughts over lunch

We had breakfast with @mikeneumann:


Dinner with Simis:


And then a whole dang tweetup hosted by Kim Haynes.

Tweetups Rock!

Several folks turned out for the meetup and made us feel quite welcome. We didn’t just talk about Twitter either. No, we talked about blogging, social media, photography, and social networking. But beyond that, we had opportunity to talk about each other, Austin, and food. You know that last one is dear to my heart. Ha.

As you can see, just meeting folks was a busy week. I’ll have to do another post about the cultural stuff I guess. Expect a post just about the food as well.

For a visual recap of our week in Austin be sure to check out Flickr. I’ll be adding more pics to that set over the next several days.

In summary, the trip to Austin brought me closer to folks in my network than just being virtual friends.  We talked, we laughed, and we broke bread together.  Those are the makings of a lasting friendship.  Heck, in all the excitement, I made some new friends too and so did our friend Simis.

What are you doing with your next vacation? Seeing the Grand Canyon, or closing the loop with friends? Can you manage both like in our Austin trip?

Austin Flickr Support Group

Flickr support groupOriginally uploaded by .simis.

Simis is hosting the first Austin Flickr Support Group right here in her house! It’s tough with all of us cruising Flickr and commenting at the same time. Lots of fun, and great shot Simis.

Texas Butterflies – They know how to grow em

A butterfly at rest
Man, do they ever!

Actually what you are seeing is a giant iron wrought butterfly.  This is one of three at the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Tx.

My wife and I had a great time taking pictures at the garden.  The butterflies are just a bit of the unique things to see there.

Temple in the gardens

Of course there were flowers as well.

Purple Beauty

Pink Joy

And of course fairies…

Fairy in the gardens

All in all, a magical place to visit. Cheers.

Guero’s Taco Bar – Austin, Tx

Mobile post sent by tojosan using Utterz Replies.

Comment Moderation – What’s your plan?

 Moderation?Kurt Greenbaum at Virtual St. Louis has posted a thought piece on comment moderation. His take on that can be summed up by this quote.

I’ve always considered that a small price to pay for the instant gratification a reader can get by seeing a comment immediately.”

That’s a bold choice in these days where spam bots can quickly overrun a blog.  However, modern blogging software and hosting systems have become much better at sorting out spam comments.

The WordPress hosting service has captured hundreds of spam comments for my blogs. There have only been a handful of false positives where a true comment went to spam.

A bigger concern isn’t spam, but hateful or malicious comments.  In the case of Virtual St. Louis, a blog focused on a very opinionated community, it’s likely that the comments will get heated at times.  The question then becomes should the occasional over the top comment be allowed in order to reward the majority of commenters with seeing theirs right away.

Blogging tools offer various ways to moderate comments.  In the tools, the blogger can require all comments to be moderated, only first time commenters to be moderated, or no moderation to take place.  Also, the number of links in a comment can be set to trigger its moderation.

So far those options have worked well here at The Broad Brush, and apparently well enough at Virtual St. Louis.  As spammers get more sophisticated and our tolerances change, will these tools be enough?  Will blogs like Virtual St. Louis be able to keep their open comment policy?

What measures have you taken towards spam prevention and comment moderation at your blog? Are they working? Will they stand the test of time?

Supermodel Sharon

supermodel SharonOriginally uploaded by .simis.

Portrait of my Sharon, aka Nanna J, by Simis.  Simis is one of my favorite photographers on Flickr and this week she is hosting us in Austin, Tx.

This was taken at the Loop 360 bridge on the outskirts of Austin. We did a whole photo session at the bridge. You’ll see some shots of that later. Look forward to more pictures of hers and ours to be posted here.