Who are you and what do you want

While everyone seems to be writing a “Best of 2010” and “What to look forward to in 2011” post of some sort, I’m just going to ignore all that entirely and keep rolling forward on other stuff. The year-end, year-beginning is an artificial tear in time anyway and by the second week in January, New Year’s resolutions and predictions will be a distant memory of auld lang syne. I like more sustainable posts.

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We got Jeff Pulver #140conf Road Trip – Dayton, Ohio

Come join us at Blind Bob’s in the Oregon District for the social media event of the year. Jeff Pulver will be stopping in Dayton on Sunday, August 22 from 3 – 5pm to mix it up with the most fun group of awesome Daytonians (and a few from the surrounding area, but we’ll deputize them for the day!)

For complete information, including the list of people going and directions, click here. And when you get there and find that the most exciting person you know won’t be there, it’s only because you haven’t sign up yet! Really, awesome you.

There will be lots of video and photos shot courtesy of Michael Blackwell of DryRainMedia. So, comb your hair, put on a clean shirt and get down to Blind Bob’s.

Read the press release here

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Listen up, famous and cool people

alltop_coolpeople Here is my hit list and here is my challenge:

The first cool person who adds DogWalkBlog (can be found at http://pets.alltop.com) to their my.alltop.com page will be sent a personal Thank You bark from Charlie, the German Shepherd at DogWalkBlog.com

You must be on this “cool people” list and you must send me a DM or email at rufus [at] dogwalkblog.com

You just can’t be cool unless you have a cool dog.

Sorry, them is just the rules.

My.Alltop.com is like looking through the world through a paper tube

picture-10I’m a bit torn on whether or not I like the new my.alltop.com feature. On the one hand, it saves me from hunting through the various topics at Alltop.com, trying to find the best blogs. I can gather all of the “must read” blogs on one page and then go through and read the new stuff quickly.

On the other hand, it saves me from hunting through the various topics at Alltop.com! What new find am I missing? I fear that my.alltop.com will keep me from wandering around, sniffing out new stuff and finding some really cool gem I had overlooked before. Moreover, if DogWalkBlog does not make the first cut of someone’s my.alltop.com page, will they ever go to alltop.com and search me out? Probably not. (Guy, Chris, Neenz, please put at least this puppy on your my.alltop.com page!)

My.alltop.com may just be like looking at the world through a paper tube. I can see what I want to look at in clear focus, but I miss everything going around around me. A magazine rack works because it captures your peripheral vision while you are trying to focus on finding a magazine in a particular topic. My.alltop.com is like a coffee table, with all the magazines you subscribe to, fanned out. (Yeah I know I have several metaphors going on at once, but that is kinda the point of a magazine rack, isn’t it?)

For now, I will build and read my.allltop.com/DogWalkBlog because it is a whole lot cleaner than NetVibes. And, it loads faster. But I refuse to walk through the rack, looking at things through a paper tube.

I hope others will as well.

Listen to the groundhog

Punxsutawney Phil being yanked from his comfy home by people who can't wait to know the future.
Punxsutawney Phil being yanked from his comfy home by people who can't wait to know the future.
I love Groundhog’s Day. It is a silly holiday that you can just hype up and people giggle at.

When reading a post from Chris Brogan today, along with my Wall Street Journal, The Waterboy and a healthy dose of Morning Joe, I’ve come to a conclusion about this economic mess. The economy prognosticators have it all right. And all wrong.

Here is why Punxsutawney Phil — that famous groundhog — is relevant to what is going on with this economy prognosticators right now and what we can take away from him. If Phil sees his shadow, gets scared and scurries back to his burrow, there are six, long weeks of Winter left. If he doesn’t see his shadow, there are only six weeks left of Winter. Yeah!

We can learn a lot from this annual holiday in Punxsutawney, PA, but accurately predicting the future is not one of them. The “Inner Circle” of Punxsutawney have figured out how to get thousands of people to visit their little town in a very cold part of the country in the dead of Winter and all the news media talking about them for a whole daily news cycle. They created a legend of a groundhog, dress up in top hats, hold this grand ceremony and declare the future of Old Man Winter!

That is all these economy pundits are doing. Nobody knows the future. The quality of the remaining six weeks of winter is not a function of a skittish groundhog or a proclamation made by a fraud in a top hat, but by the decisions you make with that time. Will you hibernate and wait out winter or go out and play with the snowflakes? The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

As I mentioned in my comment to Chris Brogan’s post:

My take on all this future stuff, however, is to look at future films of the past — even as recent as the 1980s. Nobody got the 16:9 television. Even when screens were larger, wall-sized, the 4:3 format still reigned.

For the astute reader, you may have seen the mention for the movie The Waterboy in my opening paragraph. At one point in the movie, (toward the end, you have to watch the whole thing) Coach Klein envisions his nemesis Coach Beaulieu with the head of a cute puppy, is no longer scared of him and adopts a new-found self-esteem.

The next time you watch Joe, Pat and all these other prognosticators on television predicting gloom and doom, envision them with the head of a groundhog.

Then, go make your own future. It will happen whether you wait it out or not.

The definitive metaphor for social media

There has been a rush with the social media consultant groups and evangelists about how to define this thing called “social media.” Chris Brogan defined it as cafe-shaped conversation. And many people jumped on that metaphor.

Hubspot got a bit lively when they published a video and blog post about not measuring ROI on social media. That got a lot of comments, many which attempted to define social media so it can be measured.

It seems like everyone is struggling to define this thing called Social Media and how it correctly fits into how business will be conducted. While social media may be better defined as the elephant in the room with five blind men, a perfect metaphor popped into my head this morning when I sent someone a link to MildFire and their response was, “How do you find this stuff?!?”

The real answer was I grabbed it off a Twitter stream as I was sitting and zoning between tasks. But, the answer I heard coming out of my mouth was: “It’s like this huge asteroid belt that flies by my desk all day long.. something catches my eye and I reach and grab it. Sometimes it is a shiny rock, sometimes it is a nugget of gold.”

So, the definitive metaphor — at least for Twitter — is it is an asteroid belt.

As for MildFire, I’m not sure yet if they are a nugget of gold or a shiny rock, so they go into the drawer until I have time to asses their value.