I’m a picker, I’m a grinner, I’m a lover and I’m a sinner… but mostly I’m a plumber who writes poetry and works as a barista on the weekends

264 tailor New York

This photo got a fair amount of ribbing on Twitter all last week by the interior design community, architects and some other folks who will remain unnamed. It was a good bit of fun as we poked at how this current recession was driving folks to diversify skills and service offerings from one store front. It also produced a lot of puns that, in hindsight, are probably a bit too embarrassing to recall. You can check my twitter stream for the fun and mayhem if you want. I think the photo was discovered by @concretedetail

By the way, this is a real tailor shop in New York. Their Facebook fan page is here. I suggest you like them for all sorts of reasons that might occur to you after you read this post (you are gonna stick around for that long, right?)

Most people are confused when they get to this blog for the very reasons that it is having problems getting traction. It can’t be defined in the nine-second sound byte requirement. And I’m sure I lose readers because I don’t get to the point fast enough for them to decide to stay. On the other hand, I am convinced I keep readers because they give me some patience and trust that eventually I will be worthwhile reading, like a Steinbeck novel or a Thurber story. (Seriously, guys if you picked up the pace in the first few chapters….)

“So, is it a dog blog? Oh, wait, you talk politics… now you’re talking social issues and education…” thoughts wander off, finger clicks…

“Oh, good you rant about the evils of society just like me and … wait, are you a dog? thoughts wander off, finger clicks…

“Another one of those personal branding…. no, wait, he’s talking marketing? …. design? thoughts wander off, finger clicks…

My publicist rails against me for not being able to focus and write about any one thing for too long. “I don’t know how to package and sell you,” she laments between deep sighs, during which time I’m almost sure she is slinging back the remains of a bottle of Syrah she popped at the beginning of our conversation ten minutes ago. “Media wants experts at SOMETHING.”

I’m giving her some time to think about my “packaging.” She’ll find something eventually because she is the very best at her game. And she will be super-passionate about it because she will have solved this huge puzzle of “What is DogWalkBlog” that has been hanging over me since I started writing this little collection of stuff in 2005. I’m not in a rush because I’m enjoying the journey too much. I’m not sure I’ll like the destination.

I’ve always had this condition. I want to be everything all at once all the time. In college when I absolutely had to declare a major, I picked English because to me that signified a juxtaposition* of the absence of a commitment and the presence of a full-on commitment. “You’ll never get a good job with an English degree,” my narrow-minded idiot of a freshman advisor warned. She was right, but that has not stopped me from having a fantastic experience. And making a ton of money off employed and mentally-jailed people along the way.

Wait a minute.. I thought you were a dog? How can a dog do all that stuff? *Sigh* Move along quickly… you’re gumming up progress.

And because of my condition, I worry that I am entirely unemployable. I look at job sites all the time and get befuddled by the continually narrowing of choices I am required to select. Geography, industry, sector, specific job… forget it, I’ll just stay out here paying my own insurance until that cost becomes too painful. I don’t envy friends between the AARP and Medicare age who are out looking for a job. They have too much life experience to stuff into one job description, yet they must to appease the hot-shot HR folks.

I have the same problem with my corporation. I write a blog post or an article and then look on Businessweek, OPEN, Digg or some other cataloging site and just stare at the categories I’m supposed to smash this multi-faceted gem of knowledge into. I end up not doing anything which probably hurts my SEO and Google ranking and all that crap. Chris Brogan kinda lamented the same thing a few blog post back, only not in such a whiny howl as I’m doing here. (I searched for the post; I couldn’t find it right away so I’m hoping Chris will drop the URL in the comments.)

I worry that I have not taught my son well. During a recent lunch with Saxon Henry, she turned to him and asked, “So, what is it that you do?”

Without drawing a breath, he said, “I cook.”

I was dismayed and proud all at the same moment. He had his elevator speech nailed down which showed that he was paying attention to my rantings about getting a good carnival bark. He got it that the world expected short, direct, decisive answers to direct questions.

On the other hand, I was secretly hoping he would say something like, “I breathe! I live! I create art! I ensure the survival of the human species! I am changing the world and being here with you now, having this conversation, I am changing your perspective on one little thing which you will share with another and they will share with another and eventually that spark of an idea will move a mountain.” Maybe he did it during the course of the conversation and I missed it. Maybe he does this in the company of his close friends. I hope he does.

Maybe the good-natured ribbing of the twitter this past week was an uneasiness with our own insecurities about our life choices or the fact that the skills we all worked so hard to master and hone will be marginalized and eradicated by the job market within weeks during the next recession without apology or remorse. Maybe it is an admission to our inner selves that we have “sold out” our humanity by defining ourselves as just one thing; Joe the Plumber, Bob the Builder, Frank the Blogger. Maybe some of us define ourselves more narrowly on the outside so that we can be more free to be ourselves inside without others imposing expectations on us.

Maybe the world really is mostly made up of one-dimensional people and I’m out here being strange with a few other lost folks.

I’m ok with that.

*That is my street cred. If you can’t work “juxtaposition” into something that runs at least 1,000 words, your English degree ain’t worth a tinker’s damn.

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Football’s “Big Game” ads

On Monday, every blogger will turn into a marketing expert and analyze the ads from The Big Game* fifteen different ways in hopes that you won’t realize they don’t know crap about marketing or advertising. Several of them will actually know what they are talking about, but those people will be so non-confrontational that you probably won’t read them anyway.

Over here at the DogWalkBlog, we’re going to stick with what we know; dogs and dog-related accessories. Our entire criteria on judging the effectiveness of any Big Game ad is whether or not they have a dog in them. Then, we will list them further on down this page and tell you why we think they were cool or lame.

Fair enough?

Good.

*Super Bowl is a trademark of the National Football League (NFL) and DogWalkBlog did not pay any money for the rights to use it. So, we’re saying “The Big Game” (until the NFL clamps down on that one as well)

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PR Pitches

If you are pitching something to DogWalkBlog, READ THIS FIRST. Failure to read this and pitching us anyway will likely get you bit real bad. You have been warned.

1. We are NOT a dog or pet blog. If your product/service is focused on the pet market, don’t pitch us.

2. Don’t ask us to do anything for free, for a link exchange or anything other than cold, hard cash. Really. Dogs have needs and they ain’t cheap.

3. We do not accept samples for anything.

4. We do not do product or service reviews.

5. We do not do giveaways, contests, lotteries or drawings. Too much legal crap.

6. We are open to accepting advertising, but only short (3 month) commitments at a time and only for placement that will fit in the right sidebar. You should be prepared to pay a lot of cash, minimum one comma in the amount.

7. We don’t accept unsolicited guest posts. We will NEVER accept sponsored posts. Ever. The FTC rules are just too much of a pain to deal with and life is way too short.

8. If we don’t reply to your first pitch, DO NOT SEND ANOTHER. Really, we’re not ignoring you. We just said no.

9. If you have ever been told by anyone in your family or a friend that you are an annoying, pesky a**hat, just stay away from us and go pitch someone else.

That pretty much covers it.

What is the Y-word?

A couple days ago, I was listening to some cable news show, I think it might have been MSNBC, ranting on about Dr. Laura’s use of the n-word. The content of the show is not important. What is important is that we have reduced our discourse of fairly substation discussions of our culture into “baby-babble” where parents would spell out words that they didn’t want little Johnny to hear.

Are we all three-years old in America? The answer is Y-E-S.

And this got me thinking that every letter in the alphabet should have its own dash word that you can’t say in polite company. Why should F, C, B, N and R get special treatment? (you do know what those words are, right? Ask a nearby teen-ager or Old Fart)

At the risk of putting DogWalkBlog on every Nanny-watch list and banned from every school library, I’d like to open up the comments to suggestions for each letter. Some, of course, have already been reserved so there is no need to discuss those (really, please don’t)

Hopefully, at this end of this little exercise, we will have an authoritative list of twenty-six dash-words.

A-word: Open for suggestions
B-word: Closed
C-word: Closed
D-word: Open for suggestions
E-word: Open for suggestions
F-word: Closed
G-word: Open for suggestions
H-word: Open for suggestions
I-word: Open for suggestions
J-word: Open for suggestions
K-word: Open for suggestions
L-word: Open for suggestions
M-word: Open for suggestions
N-word: Closed
O-word: Open for suggestions
P-word: Open for suggestions
Q-word: Open for suggestions
R-word: Closed (thanks, Sarah Palin!)
S-word: Closed
T-word: Open for suggestions
U-word: Open for suggestions
V-word: Open for suggestions
W-word: Open for suggestions
X-word: Open for suggestions
Y-word: Open for suggestions
Z-word: Open for suggestions

Suggest away in the comments!

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Get your own ham; it’s all about self reliance

When my son was just shy of his fifth year, we found ourselves in an Old Country Buffet on a Saturday afternoon. For those of you not familiar with the format of the all-you-can-eat-for-one-low-price buffet, these places usually have a lower price afternoon service that did not include carved meats and a higher price evening service that started about 4:00pm. For the extra savvy buffet-goer, it was generally known that if you came in about 3:30 or so and stalled a bit on some salad, you could sneak in and get the good stuff for a lunch price. I did not partake of this little loophole but sometimes, we found ourselves in that limbo time.

….

How much does it cost you to exist for one hour? Size matters

How much does it cost you to exist for one hour? Have you ever asked?

Just for a rough guess, add up all the expenses of replacing the stuff that breaks, the cost of going to your job, your mortgage, taxes, tuition bills, gifts for relatives and friends, etc. Then divide by 8,904 (the number of hours in a year, assuming an extra 6 hours to offset for leap year.) How much is that? Is it higher than the US minimum wage?* If it is for you, you no longer have to wonder why you are broke. If you work forty hours a week, there are an additional one hundred twenty eight** uncompensated hours your wage does not cover.

….

Design that tries too hard to be cool

I was stumbling around Twitter, opened the door to what I thought was the restroom and found myself staring at this:

I frantically searched for the remote control to change the channel before anyone else walked into the room and realized this was not a movie set for an adult film; is a real bath tub.

I admire the craftsmanship. I get the quirkiness of the design. I can appreciate the “cojones” it takes to commit to something this big, this odd as a bath. I get all that. I’m not sure what is most disturbing; the foot sweat pouring from the faucet or the obvious hooker-heels look.

But it still tries too hard to be cool. And too hard is just never cool; it is uncomfortably awkward.

This blog post is part of an informal “blog-off” where a pack of know-it-alls brazenly comment on one topic selected at random by somebody at random who couldn’t run out of the room fast enough. We tell ourselves our opinions on this stuff is influential, but most of the time it won’t make a damn bit of difference. That being said and my conscience clear now that I have warned you, I encourage you to drop by the list of folks below and see what their reaction to the shoe tub is:

Links on name go to the blog post; twitter goes to twitter!

Alexandra Williams @Alexandrafunfit
Nick @cupboards
AventeTile @AventeTile
Rufus Dogg, AKC, PhD, DS @dogwalkblog
Madame Sunday @ModernSauce
Mr. Paul Anater @Paul_Anater
Becky Shankle @ecomod

Dangerous walkway in Englewood, Ohio

There is a walkway path along the Stillwater River in Englewood that connects Grossnickel Park and that new lake along Wenger road. While we generally support walkways in parks, the stretch of walkway that passes underneath Interstate 70 is very, very scary and probably quite unsafe.

Here is a short video of us walking underneath it. Notice the crumbling cement and lack of any containment cage. One of these days, a truck is going to blow a tire and those rubber shreds and steel belts will kill a jogger or dogwalker. Just don’t want it to be me.

I know Englewood is doing a ton of improvements all over the place. Can you send a crew to weld a cage in place? Thanks. I know you have the money because you cashed my tax check.

Dogwiches at JD Custard

We stopped at the JD Custard in Englewood, next to the Oinkadoodlemoo BBQ and they had a sign in the window for some Dogwiches, .39 each or 4.50 for a barkers dozen (clever, right?)

They are two dog biscuits sandwiched with vanilla custard. Me and Sallie could not wait to gobble them up.

Love this kind of thing!

BTW, JD Custard and Oinkadoodlemoo will both be at the adidas Warrior Soccer Classic on Memorial Day weekend at Thomas Cloud Park in Dayton, Ohio, so if you know anyone who is playing in the tournament or you just want to watch some really great youth soccer, stop on by and tell them you saw them at DogWalkBlog.com!

Austin Hicks playing Walgreens Community Day in Englewood, Ohio May 8

Austin Hicks Englewood Ohio

Local country star Austin Hicks will be performing in the Walgreens parking lot in Englewood, Ohio for Community Days on Sat. May 8 at 2:00pm. Austin, 19, is a graduate of the Northmont High School class of 2009.

There will be food, fun and just a good time, so come on down for a few hours to the corner of Wenger and Union, enjoy some live music and conversation. The DogWalkBlog will be out there talking with folks, so if you’ve been a reader, come on out.

And now, for a taste of Austin Hicks and his band:

How me and the Mayor of Dayton, Ohio – Gary Leitzell – became best buds

Gary Leitzell

Well, in all honesty, we’re not best buds yet. We’re not even Facebook friends, but that is all I’m shooting for anyway.

Back in November of 2009, Gary got himself elected Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. I didn’t vote for him because I couldn’t as I live in Englewood.* Apparently they have laws here and Dayton ain’t no Chicago in a lot of ways. But that is another story entirely. (Incidentally, if I did live in Dayton, I would have voted for Gary.)

Here was a cool cat who wore an earring, ran as an independent and “got” all this social media stuff. That, I thought, was going to be a refreshing change from the slightly odd Rhin McLin with her collection of hats and squeaky voice who never seemed to be quite all there in a conversation.

So I requested to be Gary’s friend. More accurately, my editor requested because Facebook doesn’t let dogs have profiles. But they will let them have fan pages!

Then nothing. Long pause between November and April.

So, I tried again and this time, Gary writes back. He said:

I currently have 213 “Friend Requests” from people that I don’t know or have never met. It increases daily! One day, when I meet you and if I like you, I will click that button.

So I invited him to lunch. I’m pretty sure he will like me after only a few minutes and we will be on the road to becoming best buds. (I’m buying or we can go Dutch if that would be considered a gift and cause problems on down the road with your relection. My favorite Dayton spot is Smokin’ BBQ on Fifth.)

So, the ball is in his court. If you would like Gary to have lunch with me and become my Facebook friend, drop him a line (937-333-3636), send out a tweet, write him an email or send him a message on Facebook and let him know what wonderful folks we here at the DogWalk are.

And drop your comments below. Heck, seems to me a great excuse for Gary to meet the movers and shakers on the social media scene in Dayton, Ohio! Maybe instead of a lunch, we should just plan a big ol’ neighborhood picnic.

Yes? Hop on the comments below, let’s make it happen.

*Every time I think of OUR mayor, Patricia Burnside, I think of that late ’70s sitcom Carter Country and have a private chuckle. Mayor Burnside, Mayor Bunside

SXSW – on a Mission from Dog

The puppy what nuzzled my knee at SXSW 2010

I was given a marvelous opportunity recently, namely representing DogWalkBlog at SXSW. Jumped on that offer immediately, because who wouldn’t??

I was also given a few tasks to accomplish while I was there, mostly along the line of “see if you can find Chris Brogan, aka @chrisbrogan, and say “hi” to him. Some of these I completed with great success. Others, not so much.

Chris Brogan I saw before I was even registered. I had been in the registration area barely five minutes, when I looked up, and there he was. I really thought that finding everyone else on my meet and greet list would be a piece of cake. Silly me.

SXSW is simply packed with people. Masses and super-mases, moving, standing, talking on cell phones, tweeting on cell phone, sitting in chairs or on the floor and typing away like mad things (more or less as I am at this very minute). Through it all there is the constant buzz of thousands of people talking.

There are two ways to approach SXSW, maybe a third if you mix the first two together. Last year, I mostly socialized. I went to parties, and parties in between the other parties. I talked myself hoarse and tried not to drink too much (mostly because I had been hit and badly mashed by a big-rig truck the month before).

This year, I was determined to attend as many presentations, panel discussions and core conversations as humanly possible. Some have been fabulous, some a little ho-hum, and a one was disappointing, but on the whole, it was a great time for me.

What follows are my impressions of what I have seen so far, touching on those presentations that most impacted me.

Day 1:
The highpoint of my first day, aside from meeting Chris Brogan, was a panel discussion on “Eight Ways to Deal with Bastards.” The content the panel presented and discussed was actually useful, concentrating on the four contexts in which most of us meet the bastards with whom we much deal, and good ways to diffuse otherwise potentially explosive situations.

The panelist who simply blew me away was a lady named Jane Waldron, aka @Chookooloonks. Lovely to look at, delightful speaking voice, and intentionally hysterically funny. She told me later that she was from Trinidad. You would never know it to hear her speak, although, just for giggles she lapsed into a very Trinidadian patois for me, and after scraping my jaw up off the ground, I wanted to vote her in as Queen of the Universe for Life. She’s the type of person you’d gladly follow into battle even knowing that you wouldn’t be coming out of the fray alive.

Day 2:
My apex presentation this day was about “How to Bulletproof Your Finances.” It was really intended for people much younger than I (by 20 to 30 years), but the beauty of it was that I took a ton of good information away with me, information that I wish I had had available when I was 20 or 30 years younger, but that I can still apply to my life today. That one was with Ramit Sethi, aka @ramit (who has written a book, as it seems everyone at SXSW has, the difference being that I might actually buy this book).

Midday, I embarked upon my second meet and greet mission. This time for Julia Roy, aka @juliaroy, manning a booth for @imagespacemedia. I had a lovely conversation with her, and managed to score a free lunch in the process. If there is a God, may he/she eternally bless these folks for providing real non-candy solid food for the masses. (I pulled off the free lunch trick again on Day 3 … amazing, right?)

The disappointment of the day was a panel discussion called “Engaging Your Queer Audience.” It wasn’t disappointing because the panel was not interesting or didn’t present well, and to be entirely fair, it was probably only a disappointment for me. That was because, based on the catalog, I expected it to be about how straight people could open dialogs with and market to the gay community. Turns out it was more of a discussion by and for gay blog writers on the unique problems facing gay blog writers. I’ll cop to expressing my frustration at the end of the discussion, and I ended up having a much more informative discussion with some of the participants after the program was finished.

Informative, and yet still frustrating; this was because I wanted to find out how a straight transactional (business/estate planning) attorney goes about marketing to the GLBT community without pandering to them or misleading them into thinking I am gay, or downright insulting them? The answer I received was surprising, in essence it was “I know plenty of gay attorneys, so I would never hire a straight attorney” and “How many of the attorneys in your firm are gay?” Since I don’t understand how sexual orientation makes a person a better or worse attorney, and since it would never occur to me to ask someone about their sexual orientation in a work context (and isn’t that sort of thing flying in the face of Federal Anti-Discrimination laws?), I began to see a serious communication disconnect.

The conversation was pleasant and interesting, and I liked the people I was talking with, but I found myself wondering how the gay community can complain about the straight world not accepting (or ignoring) their sexual orientation when they are not willing or able to accept or ignore ours? Doesn’t the good of the human community as a whole mean that both groups have to give a little?

Day 3:
The time change didn’t help things much, but when I had driven half way into Austin before realizing that I had left my SXSW badge at home, I think I should have taken that as a hint that this was a day I should have stayed in bed. Drove home, grabbed badge and missed half of what I’d be willing to bet was a fantastic presentation called “Perfectly Irrational: Who Put the Monkey in the Driver’s Seat?” by Dan Ariely, aka @danariely. The little bit that I saw was well worth the drive and meant that two other books were going on my wish list.

Midday (while trying to find a dog to photograph), I felt what I can only describe as a large and cold finger poking me at knee level at the Daskeyboard booth. How lovely, you think “I want to find a dog to photograph at SXSW” and one magically appears! Yet another of my quests completed.

By the time I went to the panel discussion “From Trolls to Stars: The Commenter Ecosystem,” I was dragging. I went by the trade show floor one more time to see if I could find Hugh MacLeod aka @gapingvoid to tell him that all the mutts at the Walk loved his work and his book “Ignore Everybody.” That done, and having picked up enough free t-shirts to dress a small army of large or extra-large people (so shoot me, I like my t-shirts on the baggy side), I had decided that, parties or no parties, I was going home for the day.

As I headed for the exit in the Austin Convention Center, someone behind me stepped on my heels. Who ever it was apologized, and as I turned to acknowledge the apology, someone who must have been moving very fast slammed into to me so hard that they actually spun me around. I never did see who this human equivalent of a Mack truck was, or which way they went, but with the next step I took, I realized that my big toe on my right foot was broken. In this case, I should say “broken yet again” because this particular toe has been broken at least five times in the past 40 years.

I took this to be the universe’s way of telling me that my complete disregard of the hint provided to me this morning had left me open for the follow-up baseball bat to the head. Not as subtle as the hint, but certainly effective.

So, here I sit, staying off my foot as much as possible, downing the occasional Vicodin, and thinking that I met a lot of really nice people, ate some great hotdogs, learned so much, and generally had a great time (notwithstanding the whole broken toe thingie).

Would I go again? You bet!
Even if I had to pay for my own ticket? Hell yes!

Do, I owe @dogwalkblog a huge debt of gratitude? More than he will ever know.

This is Ricky Maveety @rickymaveety reporting for @dogwalkblog from (or at least within 45 miles of) SXSW.

SXSW had gone to the dogs

If you are going to Austin for SXSW next week, help us prove that SXSW is going to the dogs. It is real simple.

1. Take a photo of a dog you see at SXSW.
2. Tweet out with your photo using your favorite photo service, TwitPic, TweetPhoto, Yfrog, whatever. Enter as many photos as you wish.
3. Include the hashtag #sxswdogs in your tweet
4. We’ll pick it up and post the photo in a SWSW gallery on DogWalkBlog.

Then, after SXSW is over, we’ll pick the top 10 dog photos using our super-secret, patent-pending butt sniffing algorithm (not really, the contest will be super subjective!) and post up the top 10, where we’ll open it up for a vote. You can vote early and as often as you like.

The winner of this contest with very few rules will win a free DWB t-shirt and barking rights.

That’s it! Very few rules. Must be a dog photo, must be taken AT SXSW (no, we’re not going to check, but if you want to go through life cheating, fine. You have to live with yourself) and must be tagged with the hashtag #sxswdogs.

So, game on!

Read the writing on the paw

Yesterday, we had a guest speaker – Sarah – come into the DogWalk to motivate us to get out there and walk regularly, even if there is two feet of snow outside, kids home from school everywhere and cars zipping by us as we walk in the street.

Then, Charlie noticed that Sarah had some writing on her paw. Fortunately, we were able to take a picture and zoomed it up for you.

The paw read:
– Walk, Pee
– Torture cat (crossed out)
– Evolve
– Hope, Change

Enjoy the walk.

*Footnotes: Ironically, the typeface we used to write on the paw is called Dear Sarah. Thanks @barackobama for the last item on the list, thanks @whitehouse / Robert Gibbs for the inspiration and your sense of humor and thanks @sarahpalinUSA for the pit bull reference at the GOP Convention without which, we probably would never have noticed ye.

You are not lost, you are here and you know where here is, right?

You are reading DogWalkBlog.com, produced and written in Dayton, Ohio. We are talking with Rufus, one of the key writers of the blog where he reminds us why you, time and place are important for blog credibility and reader orienteering.

I was reading a blog from a linked tweet this morning and halfway through it, my mind jumped to a question we’ve probably all asked ourselves halfway through. “Wait a minute, is this a blog post written by the person who tweeted or is this a guest blog post or a link that was passed along by the person I’m following.”

I’m on an iPhone, so I scroll up to the top hoping to get some quick info, like the author’s name, date it was posted, maybe the location. Nope, nothing. Since I was reading it on my iPhone, everything was in a zoomed-in column and the author’s info was probably in the side bar. What a pain, I’m not zooming out for that. But my sense of irritation was so high at this point (mostly because I was trying to establish credibility for some of the statements that were being asserted) that I just quit reading and went back to my Twitterstream.

And I got to thinking about a post I read yesterday by Julien Smith. In the post, he was reminded during a recent radio interview of the value of constant station identification breaks and the recaps and reminders that a good radio interviewer will always do.

You are reading DogWalkBlog.com, produced and written in Dayton, Ohio. We are talking with Rufus, one of the key writers of the blog where he reminds us why you, time and place are important for blog credibility and reader orienteering.

And if the blog post this morning was an anomaly, I would not be writing this post now. But, it is not. Whether by lack of training, ignorance or good old fashion hubris, hundreds of thousands of web sites that should tell the reader where they are, don’t. “Everyone knows who we are,” is a familiar retort.

No, we don’t know who you are. Is the Springfield College in Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee or in fictitious Simpsonville? You would never know unless you crawled all over their Web site. (MA, down in tiny type at the bottom) How is this good for recruiting?

And folks who should know better — newspapers — are the worst offenders. Sure, we all know where New York, Chicago and Los Angles are, but where is The Richmond Times-Dispatch published? What community does it serve? Richmond, Indiana? Virginia? I dunno. And it is too much work crawling around trying to find out.

You are reading DogWalkBlog.com, produced and written in Dayton, Ohio. We are talking with Rufus, one of the key writers of the blog where he reminds us why you, time and place are important for blog credibility and reader orienteering.

Purists of the Internets would argue (did you catch my strawman argument? Pretty clever, right?) that the world is flat and that one’s experience, field of vision, place of residence, etc really don’t matter. It is the ideas, the engagement, etc, etc that really matter. Actually, it is not. When you have a homogenous view of the world that is created by your physical environment and fueled by willful ignorance, you end up writing crap like this book (review will not be forthcoming as I think “crap” sums it up nicely. Yes, I read it all the way through.)

And lastly, perhaps the worst offenders of all are local youth sports clubs. Unless you are THE Arsenal Football Club, please put your location front and center on your Web site. Above all, place very much matters to local youth sports teams.

Perhaps we can have little hide/click Blog Identification tags located in the content every three paragraphs so the reader can click on them and know immediately where he is and who you are. That would be a cool thing that newspapers should adopt. (I may even write a plug in for that.) But mostly, if we think about attracting new readers to our content, we would be less apt to assume everyone knows who and where we are.

Am I right?

You have been reading DogWalkBlog.com, produced and written in Dayton, Ohio. We were talking with Rufus, one of the key writers of the blog where he reminded us why you, time and place are important for blog credibility and reader orienteering. Tune in next week where we will bring you more exciting stuff, seen from the dog’s point of view. I’m your editor and host. Have a good day!