Archive for the 'Odd Ends' Category

Social Networking Postcard Project – Week 4

     The postcards have been put out again. As in previous weeks, here and here and here, the opt in was closed on Friday night. The postcards are written, stamped and ready to go out. They should be leaving my local area on Monday, the 28th.

Twitter pals to get postcards this week are:

     Twitter pals of mine are given the chance on Friday night to DM me and ask for a postcard.  I’ve been of the mind that social networking needs to have more social involved.  In that spirit I’ve been trying to visit in person, talk on the phone, send personal video messages, and doing this postcard project.  At about 6 folks per week, this will take forever but it’s fun.

     I’ve been asking if folks will at least tweet about the postcard or write a blog post.  There’s no obligation though, and I hope no one stops themselves from asking over that worry.

     If you’d like to do the same thing, jump right in.  Whatever you do though, I strongly encourage you to not make Twitter your only social medium.  Get in there and connect with people.  Talk to them, write to them, send them a video or a song, but definitely make the effort.  People will notice.

     What are you doing to connect?

Should Bandwith Be A Commodity or is it already?

     Melody, at the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, challenges us with the idea that bandwidth may soon become a commodity. The position is reflective of the growing battle between ISPs and big business and the none business user.  The much wrote about Comcast fiasco is but the most notable.

     The article contends that unless laws protecting net neutrality are put in place, many, including bloggers, may have more to think about than content alone.  Bandwidth may become a business expense.  I’d like to contend that for most full time bloggers, it already is.

     Many bloggers today aren’t just posting text.  The age of video blogging and podcasts is upon us.  Sure many of those files don’t have to be stored locally, but if not, and reliable hosting is required, the blogger ends up paying.  The question is not will it become a commodity, but when will tiered bandwidth come into play.

     Telcos already have on and off peak hours for phone calls, and it would appear their current bandwidth strategy would take them along the same path.  Why not charge more for high use during peak hours and a cheaper rate for off peak hours.  Why not charge more for based on domestic versus international traffic.  What’s to say that Comcast isn’t the only one already throttling bandwidth, and not just targeting file sharing.  Melody is right, bloggers might be next, but I’m willing to bet for some ISPs, that sort of traffic guidance is already in play.  If not at the ISP level, I’m willing to bet it’s already happening at many site hosting shops.  Not just cap on total use, but speed based on what your sites content is.

     Is there a law that says you have to advertise all of your products? What’s to keep Dreamhost or other hosts from putting silent caps in place for blogs, and not for businesses?

    Okay, maybe I smell dark shadows type stuff here, but mark my words, it’s already happening on a larger scale than we know.

Your ranting blogger… 

Do go read the original article on the St. Louis Bloggers Guild.

Twitter Attack?

Twitter ninja attacked?

Social Networking Postcard Project – Week 3

The postcards have been put out again. As in the previous weeks, here and here, the opt in was closed on Friday night. The postcards were written, stamped and dropped off at the post office yesterday. They should be leaving my local area on Monday, the 21st.

Twitter pals to get postcards this week are:

Twitter pals of mine are given the chance on Friday night to DM me and ask for a postcard.  I’ve been of the mind that social networking needs to have more social involved.  In that spirit I’ve been trying to visit in person, talk on the phone, send personal video messages, and doing this postcard project.  At about 7 folks per week, this will take forever but it’s fun.

I’ve been asking if folks will at least tweet about the postcard or write a blog post.  There’s no obligation though, and I hope no one stops themselves from asking over that worry.

So how do you get in? Friday night I’ll put out a call on Twitter for folks to DM me and mention postcard and provide an address.  Sometime during the week though, there might be other chances to get in.  I’ve also been taking special requests for friends.

Think you are too far away? I’ve sent cards overseas and to Canada.  Don’t want to give out your home address? I’m okay with a P.O. Box or other safer address.  Don’t want to give your real name? Just tell me how to address it.

I’m anxious to reach out to you too.  How would you feel about an email in reply to your comment? Let me know.

8 random facts

I’ve been tagged to share 8 random facts!

My favorite fact from Change Therapy’s list:

i once seriously considered starting a web site dedicated entirely to caesar salad.

So here’s my 8 random facts:

  1. I wear size 10 1/2 wide shoes and on rare occasions, size 11.
  2. I’ve been married 24 years as of April 28th.
  3. My wife and I have turned in about 140 Pepsi bottle cap codes.
  4. I’ve eaten pizza in Rome.
  5. I often considered changing my last name to that of my paternal grandfather.
  6. I collected comics as a kid.
  7. I collected belt buckles as a kid.
  8. I have three granddaughters.

     None of those things define me, but they all provide an outline off my life and experiences.  I didn’t share stuff that’s terribly secret or too personal.  I also tried not to share things I’d shared in this post.

     I don’t normally pass these things on, but I’m passing this on to one of my best buds, Paisano.  I do reserve the right to call upon more of my friends to take part though.

     If you want to know more, just ask.  If you want to share, leave me a comment with your 8 things or write your own blog post. I bet there are at least 8 things I don’t know about you.

The Inspiration that is Twitter


Ironically, it has managed to spawn more innovations and hype—clients, web applications, memes, contests, meetups—than any of the big, bloated social networks. This is interesting because Twitter is not just a “web application”, which, literally, is an application that exists on and uses the Web. It’s an activity taking on many different forms in scattered locations, whose very nature seems viral, and whose openness seems almost unprecedented.

     That was taken from this fun and informative read, The Inspiration that is Twitter at Wisdump. The article doesn’t just mention what Twitter has inspired but shows ton of great links with snapshots of a good deal of them.

     Links to Twitter inspired services, mashups, and even t-shirts abound in the article. Want to poll your friends? Find the hottest links shared on Twitter? See the latest memes? Find the top followers and followed folks?  Then the links are here in this post.

     All this goodness is well organized into groups, with pictures to highlight quite a few of the services.  My favorite stuff is the Twitter related t-shirts.  Now I’ve got to go buy some.  Do you sell any?!  Give us some links.

     Give this great article a perusal and learn more about Twitter and all the things it’s spawned.

Comics and cartoons by Tojosan

Tojo’s Cartoons and Comics

Shameless plug for my newest blogging effort.  I’m considering moving it to it’s own site when I move this blog in the near future.  Do drop by, leave a comment, heckle me a bit, or find a way to send money. 🙂

Feel free to leave me suggestions, requests, or comments at the new site. It’s for you, my readers, to enjoy your time online just a bit more.

See you there.

Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

Social Media Mom bring us one of the big questions of the day:

Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

To summarize, she shares her feelings via quote:

I agree 100% with what Jack Spirko, from the Dallas Business and Marketing Blog says, “To me social networking has a greater future if we judge the content rather then intent“. Is it really that important who submits it? If you like it, you can Mixx it, Digg it, Stumble it, Sphinn it, or whatever. If you don’t, then by all means don’t vote for it and move on!

Oh, but if it were only that simple. Just share our best work and have folks vote on it. Many argue that the Internet already votes, simply count your page views and there you have it. If only that were true.

Posting your best stuff and hoping might be work if everyone on the Internet was aware of every blog post, news article, and web page in existence. Not only would they know of the existence, but know the complete URL, the language, and then have a browser that can read it. This doesn’t even cover corporate or nationwide blocks in place on Internet browsing.

You’ll say next perhaps that the best stuff still gets around. I wager you that there’s plenty of great stuff you’ve never seen and never will. There just isn’t time. No time, and tons of competition for people’s attention when they are online. There’s the latest crazy thing on YouTube, the cute dog pictures from Aunt Saddie and erotic fiction for others. Just how is one supposed to get squeezed into that?

If you were a store owner, or politician or author, then the answer is to talk about it, shout about it, and even take out huge ads on TV and radio. But if you’re a blogger? Well, don’t go telling folks, it just shows how selfish and self centered you are. It smacks of a big ego, or little concern for others. It reeks of neediness and attention starvation.

Dang, talk about something hanging over you head.  So then what should a blogger do?  Write great stuff and pray?  Should the blogger have to start turning out tons of content just to make sure they get search engine hits.  Or even rob their writing of its creativity or uniqueness for search engine hits?

It’s the same problem many authors have that don’t have a big firm to back them up, it’s hard to get noticed.  One innovate thing that’s occurring though is more authors are taking their books to the bloggers. They are emailing them, tweeting them, interviewing with them and more.

It’s obvious what happens if bloggers do the same thing with their blog though, it gets shot down quick.

What can we as bloggers do to help if we aren’t supposed to submit our own content for notice and sharing? One thing we can do is network to the high heavens.  We need to network like we mean it.  Note, networking <> shouting about your content, your brand or your hot boddy.  It means engaging people wherever they’re at, and getting to know each other.  This is a slow process and something to think of more as a long term investment.

Something else we can do?  Be remarkabled. Seth Godin talks about it all the time. Others live it all the time.  How can you and I be remarkable?  No ideas? Don’t feel bad, if you had them and executed on them, you’d already be remarkable.

Remarkable doesn’t have to be tough though.  You don’t need to write a book to be famous or noticed.  What you can best do to get noticed is be a generous giver.  The best thing is you don’t have to give money, or lots of expensive things.  The real key is to give without asking for anything in return.  You don’t have to ‘give’ in private either, even if you don’t brag.

I could write a ton about giving and giving honestly and feeling rewarded about it.  The key is to give your time most of all.  Take time to comment on other blogs.  Take time to email your contacts.  Take time to make conversation.  Take time to listen.  That last one counts more than all the others.  When people knw you’re listening, you suddenly become a lot more remarkable.

Social Media Mom ends her post like this:

What do you think about self submission? Should we or should we not submit our content to others, social sites etc.? I would love to know whether or not you think it is a good or bad thing to do and if so, why?

And I’m seconding her questions.  Don’t feel obligated to answer them here, but do take time to answer them for yourself. Cheers.

(PS do send me your best stuff to read, view, listen to.)

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Social Networking Postcard Project – Week 2

As a real world social networking effort, I’ve asked my contacts to let me reach out to them with postcards.  Several folks have opted to participate this time.  This is the second week and you can read about the 1st here.

This weeks friends asking for postcards:








     Again, it’s too late to get in for this weeks run, but there will be future opportunities. I’ll be sending out a variety of postcards as I get them.  This week’s are all St. Louis postcards.  Each has a different front.

     This set will be going out Monday, April 14th.  The last set took from 2 to 4 days to arrive at their destinations. I confirmed each person’s DM, but if you don’t see your name here, please let me know.

     My expectations? Nothing more than that those receiving the postcards enjoy getting them. My desire? That this is a small step towards building a better relationship with this diverse group of people.  What do I want in return? Hey, if they let me know they received them, that’d be great.  If they want to blog about them, do a video, or heck, send me a postcard back, I won’t say no.

     What are you doing to really connect with your contacts? Meeting them, phoning them, sending them a postcard?

(PS. Please send one back if you want or share the fun and send your own. If you blog about it, consider tagging it “Social Networking Postcard Project”.)

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Candy Store Goodness

Candy Jars     This was taken in the BigTop Candy Store on S. Congress in Austin. Just wanted to share the goodness with you.  Click on the picture to find more shots from the candy store and from our vacation in Austin.