On Memorial Day


The few times I’ve seen Admiral Mike Mullen, via television interviews, he’s struck me as smart, compassionate, rather well developed sense of humor, all around fair fellow. Being associated with Remind.org, I receive their emails occasionally.
With Memorial Day coming up on Monday, here in the U.S., they sent out a lovely missive with remarks written by the Admiral. The read is less than five minutes (you can read the web version here), extremely well done, and should, for those with hearts and conscience, leave one with a sense of sadness for this country’s lost and missing soldiers as well as hope for those who fought in our place.
While fully supporting the work these brave folks accomplish every day, join me in supporting the end of a need for continuing to put them in harms way. Let’s take care of our fallen, the wounded, and all their families as well. More importantly, what if we started living with the frame of mind that war and international conflict was a thing of the past. That harmonious life between different countries and people of different ideologies was a real and attainable goal.
We can do this. You can do this.
Enjoy Memorial Day America!

Marketing: Events vs. Processes

Seth Godin You know what I love about Seth Godin’s posts? They are quick, to the point, unusually poignant, and short reads (mostly). His post today, The reason social media is so difficult for most organizations, really brought it home today for what I’m doing in my career pursuit right now.
Hopefully you are aware that I’m attempting to get an interview with Vidli.com, The Official Video Licensor. They are a new startup that is offering free beta invites through the previous link. By clicking through and signing up for their no cost account, you’ll be helping get me closer to an interview with them for a new Social Media Marketing position they are offering.
The reason Seth’s post interested me so much is how it relates to what I’m doing in my approach to this contest. I’m doing my best to actually use a number of facets of social media to make my case to you, my friends and occasional readers. By creating what I hope to be genuine content that will benefit you and casually inserting a link and request the favor of having you sign up, I am focusing on the “process marketing” angle.
Some others attempting to get invited to interview with Vidli.com are effectively using Twitter and/or Facebook. From my perspective those attempts however amount to “event marketing”.
By that I mean those messages are all about the contest itself, the contestant, and not really about the longer tail advantages of creating quality content that could continue to drive traffic and interested users to Vidli in the long term future.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with pleading on Facebook and Twitter to help a lad (or lass!) out. I’m also inserting variations of those messages into my stream as well. My hope is that by attempting to do more than just beg for your action on my behalf, you’ll be more willing to take the 37 seconds or so and click through to the Vidli.com beta invite sign up form.
You would be helping me out tremendously. And if you told just 3 of your friends or family members about the good you did, that would help out 3X as much! Oh, did I mention that I’ll be buying beverages if/when I get hired by Vidli when this is all done (disclosure: you actually have to have signed up for me to qualify for this offer ;))
Thanks for your time!

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Testing Twitter Tools, Bit.ly on WPMU

Trying to get Alex King’s Twitter Tools to work correctly with the BoldlyGoing.com site. Currently, this site runs on a WordPress Multi User installation. WPMU can sometimes not behave well with plugins coded for the single site WordPress installation.
[affmage source=”amazon” results=”2″]twitter[/affmage]
[affmage source=”overstock” results=”2″]twitter[/affmage]
Thinking that I had the bit.ly plugin installed and activated, however, when I published my last post, I had yet to enter a bit.ly username and api number.
Now that those have been created, added, and saved I am hoping the actual post link will also get posted to twitter. We shall see shortly! Check out some related stories on the web…

Image representing bit.ly as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
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Product Marketing and WordPress

My good friend Joseph Cizek and I have decided we are going to do it. No, we’re not going to do that, we’ve decided that we are indeed savvy WordPress developers and possibly authors. The focus of our book and the support community we plan to develop is based upon Product Marketing with WordPress.
Product Marketing With WordPress
We know a heck of a lot about WordPress; how to build hearty, heavy duty sites as well as how to make them look nice and pretty. We belief that our combined experiences within our professional careers (and those very close to us) will allow us to bring Product Managers, Marketers, and similar professionals high quality resource materials.
I invite you to click through to the site we’ve set up at WordPress.com to read more about our upcoming venture. If you’re a member of WP or would simply like to stay in touch about our new venture, be sure to sign up for the email subscription or RSS feed so you can get notified as we make progress towards our goals.
As always, looking forward to your thoughts and insight!

Retired Products Reveiw Site!

Maria Langer has a war happening on her desktopMaria Langer, the Official Website! I started to post a comment, and then it just took off and got a life of its own, so with respect to her blog, I figured I post here and trackback to her column. You’ll definitely want to read through her reviewing experience with a couple of mouses she is using on the (seemingly 😉 ) 40 computers she must own (I jest, really!)
The little things, it seems, eh Maria? I’ve had similar interactions with a logitech wireless mouse (and wireless ergonomic keyboard dynamic duo). I just severely disliked the mouse and while at the time couldn’t finger (LOL) it, just knew it wasn’t a comfortable fit (either ergonomically for my large “man hands” (Seinfeld reference intended!) nor for its responses to use and movement and other attributes Maria so eloquently discusses in her post.)
However, I simply LOVE the wireless keyboard, both for the fact that it is a split ergo design, as well as the fact that I don’t have the cable attached to it (and just a clarifier for those that think they are getting rid of a cable in that nest behind their desk, at least with this set up, there is a little receiver that sits up on the back of the desk that IS actually wired into the USB hub, or port of your computer.) Nonetheless, I love being able to move the keyboard itself with ease, and often times place it right up on my laptop’s (serving as my desktop right now too) keyboard (fits just perfectly) to move it out of the way and give me more room on the front of my desk.
So, all that being typed, I felt the dilemma of loving the keyboard, severely disliking the mouse. After a fit of moral pondering, I just went back to the Microsoft Trackball MS Trackball Optical 1.0 I had been using that I really did like cause it was a larger model and really did support my hand and felt good. And now I use both the wired mouse, and the wireless keyboard!
And all this is GREAT, until you get to the concept of “age” of device. No one ever talks about this. Has anyone ever seen a review on a 2 year old trackball mouse? Not intending comedy, but have you? I think I may start a review site where I request people to send me in their “recently retired” devices, and have me set them up for the complete battery of testing that a “new products” reviewer might put a device through.
I’ll start with my old trackball mouse. As much as I love it, age, and oils/dirts, etc are finally starting to invade the “cleaning not necessary” device. I’ve regularly had to wipe out/brush out the little metal bearings that support the trackball. Keep that ball clean and free from oils, and sort of scrape off the collection of lints and dirts from the rubber pads that “hold the mouse” in place preventing it from slipping around. The absolute mouse killer that is happening now, and I dare say pushing me to make a drive to a store is that the left click button is getting “sticky” underneath somewhere (inaccessible) making clicking a challenge. One click is more often than I care for ending up a double click and double clicks end up triple clicks (which is really a double click and then immediately a single click). It’s all rubbish, and I think I’m going to post this, hit the showers, and go to the store 😉

Flowing of Ideas

While perusing TechquilaShots.com’sSteve Poland’s TechquilaShots.com feed earlier I came across Steve’s latest post that truly resonates with me from the perspective of having self guilt as it relates to my productivity, creative flows, and abilities to focus for longer than a 30 second commercial interruption.
From about my late teen years into my mid-20’s or so, I had the messed up notion that to be creative, truly original, a person couldn’t simply “create” something unless that something didn’t exist prior. Not sure where this originated in my, though none of my immediate family members were creative types, so there were definitely no role models around to steer those formative years.
After finally discontinuing the self inflicted mental abuse, I finally realized that I was in fact a very creative type. Remembering that collage of pandas I did when I was in the second grade really got my thinking right 😉
At the same time, realizing that my strengths lay in the a more structured arena vs. the painting, sculpting one, I simply started to focus where I was good, and in what I enjoyed doing. No one is going to mistakenly call me an “artist”, and that’s okay. I know where, and what I’m good at now. And knowing’s half the battle.
Some of the things Steve discusses in his post, while almost sounding apologetic to his readers, definitely resonates with me, also. This is almost the identical “process” I go through in relation to getting ideas and generally being creative.
Here are a few thoughts I’d add to Steve’s post:

  • I think it’s okay to stay focused wherever inspiration has you, and for as long as you have it.
  • Just the same, if the creative gods have you popping in and out of a wide variety of niches, that’s groovy too.
  • I absorb a lot of reading as well. More when I am able to keep the television remote from mysteriously powering up its master. If I’m not reading with a yellow pad and pen standing by, I most assuredly miss out on ideas capture.
  • One recent action that has freed up so much of my time and creative energies has been to cut back on my total number of magazine subscriptions. Doing it was relatively simple; I rarely subscribe to more than one year at a time for just this reason (well, it started out a financial one…

And if you haven’t read Wired magazine in a couple of months, you should be ashamed of yourselves because it is just overflowing with creative fodder for the most multi-stomached of us out there. Of course, if you know you have a paid up subscription, and you are still not getting it, I’d check my snail mail carriers personal trash can on garbage pick up day. You never know!
In case you don’t make it over to TechquilaShots web site (try not to cause yourself bodily damage to do so, but do get over there at some point between reading this and the time it takes you to make coffee), be sure to head over to TechCrunch to view this documentary.
~James
Always Go Boldly!

Recovering Blogger.com coming soon!

Inspiration has hit after reading all the way Problogger.com
through this thread
on Darren’s ProBlogger.com. I’m immediately going to register RecoveringBlogger.com (yeah it is available so if YOU really want it, be my guest ;), just don’t tell my friend, Steve over at TechquilaShots.com about my getting yet another new domain! )
Then offline, build a rehab facility that will have wonderful views, great food, a facility to lose weight without have to do anything really stressful, and a whole lot of computer terminals that aren’t really connected to the internet, they just appear to be!
Seriously, my take away is the concept of Balance. Most legitimate professionals on and offline express this in some form or another. My experiences tend to prove to me, at least, that the really successful individuals in their respective fields would also bear out this success formula. And I’d add that having consistent and persistent focus is likely key.
Sure, links are important. What good are they if they actually get someone to your site and see crap for content (if they see anything other than all those links you just exchanged to get them there. Likewise, what good is it as Mark says to have Shakespearean quality content that no one is going to get to see?
Balance, persistence, focus, mini-vacations /;v) all part of an equation, or for you soon to be checking in to RecoveringBlogger.com, part of an algorithm whose ultimate result is success. Thanks for the “re-focusing”, Darren. I too am grateful for having found your feed and for the regular dosage of sense!
~James
Always Go Boldly!

Cookie Crumbs

Another little “cookie crumb” of data. Some sites are using the technologies to place a cookie on your plate when you simply bookmark their link. For instance, I’m reading the TechCrunch post from a couple of days ago about “HealthLine Symptom Search…” and see a link in the TechCrunch post there into the HealthLine website:
HealthLine Symptom Search
I don’t want to go to there site right now, so I of course right click and “bookmark this link” (in FF). Immediately, I get a request to place a cookie from HealthLine.com.
I was chatting with Andy Beard the other day about cookie placement at the SERP’s (in Google that time), and why exactly does a destination site NEED to have a cookie on my plate just cause I see them in a results page, or in this note above, a bookmark of their link? And perhaps more importantly, how are they doing this from the technical perspective?
Just curiosity at play 😉
I’ll put more together on this concept in my upcoming article to be entitled, “Cookie Crumbs all over my plate!”

MySpace Launches Comic Book Community

Interesting development both with respect to the day to day goings on at myspace.com and for the comic geeks in all of us 😉
The one thing of note to me is the major sponsor that is already prominent on the page sponsoring the “Latest Comic Book News” box above the fold on the page. Comic Book Resources has been around and online for as long as I have been messing around with comic books and while I’ve not been overly active in the collecting of titles of late, I always look to them for timely news, info and events. Good to see comics going mainstream! (Well, hopefully not, cause they’ll start printing 10,000,000 copies of every issue further devaluing my collection 😉 )
MySpace Launches Comic Book Community – Death To ComicSpace?