Archive - Jul 2009
@devotional @stxr @dedeandro @mariamichelle @photosbykml
It has been a while since I wrote a Follow Friday blog post, so I’ll recap my approach to people who haven’t read these posts recently. Each Friday, I like to post links about people that I’m following on Twitter and why I follow them. I post it as a blog post, which gets copied to Twitter via TwitterFeed.
There is also another online tradition of posting people that drop the most cards on you via EntreCard over the month. Since this Friday is the last day of the month, I thought it would be a good time to combine the two ideas. So, this week, I have listed those people that drop the most EntreCards on me that are also on Twitter. @devotional writes www.mybibledevotional.com and is very often a top dropper.
@photosbyhml> writes the blog photographybykml.blogspot.com. She often has great pictures and helpful hints for photographers. I thought of some of her hints as I tried to take better pictures this year on vacation.
All of this relates back to a discussion that Ken Brown has started over on the Adgitize forum. There, he has started a topic, Twitter Vs Facebook - Why PR Isn’t Enough to Build Your Business. He refers to an article by Scoble about the same topic.
Following with the example I did on a few other places where I shared comments, here is the comment that I left there:
For the past few years, I've been working on political campaigns. It seems like some of what is being talked about fits very nicely with politics. When running a campaign, you want to contact a voter between 9 and 12 times to get people to remember you.
Twitter and Facebook is a good way of making some of these contacts, as is placing ads on Adgitize and other advertising networks. LinkedIn is yet another tool to make that sort of contact.
Of course, all of this depends on having quality product. Many contacts for an inferior product just isn't going to help.
So, what do I use? I use everything I can. I use Twitterfeed to post a link to my blog posts on Twitter. I use the Twitter application on Facebook to post my Tweets on my Facebook status. I use RSS to import blog entries driectly from my blog to Facebook, and I use as many other social networks as I can to build my personal brand. (As an aside, I also use LinkedIn and Plaxo, but I have not found them to be particularly effective in driving traffic to my site.)
One other site that I'll put a pitch in for: DandyID. DandyID provides a good way of managing a list of all the social networks you are on. Retaggr is similar, but DandyID has been great for me. To see what this looks like, check out Aldon's Social Networks on DandyID
So, who are you following on Twitter? How does it fit into your greater social media strategy?
One of the most important parts of the Falcon Ridge experience for me is attending the Emerging Artists Showcase. It is an opportunity to listen to some great new acts and find favorite new bands. For the past two years, I’ve listened to the selected artists recordings before hand on the Internet. I’ve written brief reviews of my impressions of these artists.
Then, on Friday afternoon, I plant myself at the Main Stage from noon until four thirty and listen to each artists, take notes and rank them so that I can give an honest and well thought out recommendation of the three bands that I would most like to see return in the following year.
One of my favorite bands from 2008 was Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers. They were back as part of the Most Wanted Song Swap, which features those emerging artists that received the most votes on the previous year. They did a great job at the Song Swap and later did a set at the Dance Stage with Beth Molaro calling. I did not hear them at the Dance Stage, but I’m told that they did great. Another performer that I really enjoyed from last year was Amy Speace. She has a great song about a high school girl carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders as her big brother heads off to Iraq and later comes back to be honored at a high school football game with the flag flown at half mast.
For this year’s performers, one artists that I really liked the online music of was Aiden James of Philadelphia PA, (EPK). He was the next to last performer on Friday and did a great job, earning third place on my ranking and his name on my survey for performers to return the following year.
Coming in second was Calaveras of Lafayette CA, (EPK). They illustrate why I consider events like the Emerging Artists Showcase so important. When I listened to their music online, it sorted faded into the general mix of all the performers. However, when they got up on the stage talked about their music and then performed their tunes, I found them very compelling.
In particular, they sang a song, “Ready to Fly” that I really liked. They spoke about performing at an ambulatory care facility and hearing the stories of many of the people there. They wove the stories into a great song with a chorus,
I’m standing on the edge of the water
And I am watching the wild birds fill the sky
And I am longing to be lifted up among them
I am not dying, I’m getting ready to fly
They started off a capella and then joined in with their instruments at the first verse.
Narrowly beating out Calaveras was Angelo M of Lancaster PA, (EPK). He spoke about having been a steel worker and seeing his company reorganize and hear job and years of seniority evaporate. He played a mean guitar and sang well. Like the Aiden James and Calaveras, he should return next year and you should go check out all of their music.
Selecting the top three performers was difficult. Just about everyone who appeared on the stage was noteworthy, and some deserve special mention. Sean Rowe of Albany NY, (EPK) did great. Kim really liked him as well, and he was narrowly beaten out by Aiden James.
I also liked K.C. Clifford of Oklahoma City OK, (EPK), a lot as well as Swing Caravan of Northampton MA, (EPK). Swing Caravan is another group that I enjoyed much more on the main stage than I did online.
Also falling in that category was Nels Andrews of Brooklyn NY, (EPK). His ten minutes of Falcon Ridge fame was quite enjoyable. At the end, he joking told the audience that after his act would be a good time to go get some food or something to drink, since the next performer wasn’t really worth listening to. Nels had spent a bit of time touring with A.J. Roach & His Strange Pilgrims of NYC, (EPK). A.J. was one of those interesting exceptions that I liked better online than I did on the Main Stage. The other performer falling into this category was Robyn Landis of Vashon WA, (EPK). I really liked the music she had in her EPK and expected her to set a high bar for performers that followed her. Perhaps it was because she came on right after Angelo M that she didn’t live up to the expectations.
I chatted with others on the hill in front of the Main Stage who had different impressions and it will be interesting to see who ends up emerging to be in next year’s Most Wanted Song Swap.
As I noted in previous blog post, I enjoy reading different opinions in various blogs that I find through traffic exchange networks. One blog that I particularly enjoy is A Disgruntled Republican. We have different views on many topics, but his views are often well thought out and interesting.
Today, he linked to an article which talks about how the current health care system is not a market.
As I did in my previous post, I want to share the comment that I made on his blog:
I must admit, coming from the other side of the aisle, I also think this is a very good article. The current health care system is a big problem. The question becomes, how do we best fix it.
This is where I question what seems to be an underlying assumption. It seems like Mr. Williams believes that market forces are always the best way to address a problem. I am not sure I believe that.
While competition is generally a good thing, and profits is generally a good way of determining the success of the competition, I believe that there are other considerations.
Our schools, libraries, and roads are generally public services provided by the government. The ability to send your child to a good school should not be limited to those who can most afford it. The ability to access good books should not be limited only to those who can most afford it. The ability to drive to the office, or to town hall should not be limited only to those who can most afford it. We, as a country, as well as individuals are better off if everyone has a fair chance to get a better education, drive on public roads to better jobs and get to town hall to work on forming a better government.
Likewise, I believe we, as a country, as well as individuals, are all better off when a certain amount of public health is available. If we can help the less fortunate avoid catching and spreading dangerous diseases, we all are safer.
So, how do we balance the need to promote the public good for everyone with advantages of competitive systems? I don't have a good answer, but some of it, I am sure, has to do with the need for checks and balances; the sort of checks and balances that have helped our country survive and thrive for so many years.
Unfortunately, we do not have such checks and balances on our medical system today. The medical industry is spending millions of dollars a day lobbying to make sure that we do not get a more competitive system, a system with more checks and balances; and there is no check or balance on their spending money from our premiums this way.
So, what can we, as Democrats and Republicans working together come up with for a better health care system? I would love to hear your thoughts and the thoughts of some of your other readers.
He has posted a good response from his viewpoint, and I believe that such discussions are of much more value than so much of the rhetoric that we currently see.
One of the things that I like about various traffic exchanges is that they encourage me to visit blogs that I would not normally otherwise visit. Today is a good example.
I stopped by and read Kellyology's post about email and ten year olds.
I am a big proponent of encouraging kids to use and learn about social media and I left a comment about it on Kellyology.
I thought it was worthy of highlighting, so here is the comment:
Being the social media maven that I am, I've encouraged my seven year old daughter to explore several different aspects of social media. These include:
Email - She doesn't do much more than your son does on this, but every once in a while, she gets motivated.
Twitter - This is nice that you can send quick messages. We've had similar success with this as we have with email. What is nice and yet of concern about this is that it is very public. The good part is that I see everything she sends. If there are potential issues it is easy to intervene. It has provided good opportunities to talk about online safety.
Flickr - She LOVES my digital camera, and for that matter, taking pictures with my cellphone. So, I set up a Flickr account for her. She doesn't use it very often, but every now and then, she grabs the camera and takes lots of pictures. I then sit down with her and we select which pictures we think are the best and upload the best of them.
BlogTalkRadio - This one we kind of fell into. I was at a conference on podcasting which BlogTalkRadio was one of the sponsors. I decided to give it a try and on the first radio show I did, she called in. It has now evolved into her radio show which we do just about every Sunday evening. It provides a great opportunity for some great father daughter time. It provides an opportunity for distant friends to listen in and is stored as podcasts, so we now have an audio archive of the two of us talking about our lives. It has been great to hear her as she gets more confident with her own voice.
We've played a little bit with video, but haven't gone very far with that.
I would encourage you to check some of these options out.
It was a rainy summer morning as I headed to the New Haven Superior Courthouse for Jury Duty. I had various concerns on my mind. I would like to be on a jury; I take my civic duty seriously. However, the next day I was supposed to be heading off for vacation. I hoped that I would either get picked for a jury that would start after vacation or that I would at least fulfill my responsibility and wouldn’t have to report the next day.
In many ways, I am an unlikely jury candidate. I am self-employed and a long trial would present a significant hardship. I am a blog, and a friend of mine who is a defense lawyer said she does not like to get bloggers on her juries. With close relatives that are retired law enforcement officers and numerous other situations, I did not expect to end up on a jury.
It had been many years since I had performed my last jury duty. That was in an old court house in Stamford. The jurors were led to a dungy basement room for their orientation and to await selection. Back then, I commented about how jury duty is important and jurors should be treated with more respect.
The New Haven Superior Court House was very different. We took the juror’s elevator, specifically designed to keep jurors away from discussions in the court house halls to one of the top floors of the court house. The seating was nice as was the views. They provided coffee, but unfortunately, I could not find any decaf, so I abstained. Various people worked on their laptops or chatted on their cellphones as they awaited instructions. I had considered bringing my laptop, but had decided against it and I never did find out if there was open WiFi there.
The orientation video and the various speeches by judicial officials were quick and not annoying despite the appellation of indoctrination that a friend of mine used. The friend also had claustrophobia and the small closed in rooms for the jury ended up getting her excused. I did not find the rooms so constraining.
As I waited to be called, I placed various phone calls and got a surprising amount of work done.
The trial I was selected for was of Anthony Maio, a New Haven Police Officer accused of fourth degree sexual assault. I remembered reading about this in the New Haven Independent, although I didn’t recall a substantial amount of details.
Initially, a group of about eighteen potential jurors were lead into the court room. We were told the names of lawyers and potential witnesses and asked if we knew anyone. Many of the witnesses are expected to be police officers and one of the potential jurors was a former police commissioner who knew many of the police officers. He was asked if his knowledge of the officers would affect is ability to render a fair and impartial decision, and he said he did not believe it did. The judge explored the relationship between the commissioner and the officers and in the end decided to err on the side of caution and excuse the former police commissioner. Others spoke of minor acquaintances with various lawyers or potential witnesses but these relationships were not significant enough to warrant excusal.
The next question to the whole pool was if being on the case would result in extreme hardship. The case is scheduled to start on August 3, so it would not mess up my vacation and it is expected to only run for a week or two, so the lost consulting income could be minimized. I deliberated in my mind about whether the hardship it would produce would be extreme and I decided it would not be. A few people spoke of extreme hardship and were questioned individually. I believe they were excused, but I do not know for a fact.
With these questions out of the way, the judge then excused a few more potential jurors that he believed could not be interviewed simply because of the amount of time available for interviews. The rest of us were broken into two groups. One group was to stay and be questioned immediately. The other could leave and return after lunch. Since one of the lawyers had a conflicting court appearance at two, the return time was scheduled to be three.
I was in the second group, so I returned home and did a little bit of work. My wife was home, so I chatted briefly with her about the case, and I responded to various comments on Facebook and Twitter where I had posted bits about the first part of my jury experience.