Sunday, June 28, 2009

Everything I Know About Twitter I Learned In Grade School

I am proud to call Jeff Pulver a friend, and as a friend, I am very proud of Jeff for the incredible 140 Characters Conference he put on at the New World Stages in New York City on June 16th and 17th. A standing room crowd witnessed a parade of 140 impassioned speakers and panelists, ranging from seasoned broadcasters such as Ann Curry to globally famous musicians such as Wyclef Jean, to internet and blogging rockstar regulars such as Chris Brogan, iJustine and Gary Vaynerchuk. It was a motley medley of thought provoking panels and presentations, and while Twitter and micro-blogging may have been the impetus for the event, the resulting discourse went much deeper than one would expect from 140 characters. As Jeff himself explains, the conference really was about "exploring the state of Now." Even if you were not in New York on June 16th and 17th you can now explore the state of now and all the content from the inaugural 140 Characters Conference as Jeff will be re-broadcasting video of the entire event on June 29th and June 30th right here.

My own contribution as a character in the conference was a short presentation I called "Everything I Know About Twitter I Learned In Grade School!" In short, in Twitter, as in Grade School, there are certain basic things that will help you to be successful:

  • Give the Teacher an apple! (give of yourself)
  • Hang out with the cool kids, and make friends with them...
  • Listen!
  • Share!
  • Raise your hand in class and participate!
  • Don't be a tattletale!
  • Do your homework!
  • Show up! (attendance counts!)

Do the above and you too can go to the head of the class and be a successful Twittizen!

The video of my entire presentation is embedded below. I'd love to hear what you think of it in the comments. Now, class dismissed!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad-O-Matic Day!

It's Father's Day! If you have found your way here to Sassholes today I encourage you to take a moment and click over to to read some great posts written by dads (and the occasional mom) for dads. For the past 40 weeks I have been a regular contributor to Dad-O-Matic, and I am very proud of the writings there, by myself and almost 80 other contributing dads. Dad-O-Matic was founded last year by uber blogger Chris Brogan, and is managed day to day by a great paisano, Doriano "Paisano" Carta. At Dad-O-Matic every day is Father's Day, but as today is the real thing it is the perfect day to visit and read some great posts from a cool collection of daddy bloggers!

Here is an excerpt from my "Giving And Receiving On Father's Day" post at Dad-O-Matic:

As a dad myself, Father’s Day is always a double whammy – I get to honor my own dad, and all he has meant to me, and I get to be honored by my own kids and take some special time with them to reflect on what it means to be a father. We learn so much, and are influenced so much by our parents, yet I don’t think we realize how truly and deeply entwined we are until we become parents ourselves. As a dad, especially as my kids have grown older, I see my father in myself in so many things I do. More surprisingly, I am not alone in this discovery and apparently my kids see it too. ”Dad, you are just like Grandpa” has lately been a fairly common comment from my kids to me. I consider it a compliment!

You can find all of my Dad-O-Matic posts here.

If you are celebrating with your kids or with your dad, have a wonderful Dad-O-Matic Day, er - Father's Day!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Keeping The Twitter Stream Safe (And Raising $$$ For A Good Cause)

As Twitter has grown in popularity, people are often trying to poke holes in the service and question its true meaning and value, trying to position those of us who tweet regularly as nothing more than a bunch of time wasting twits. Regardless of which side of the Twitter fence you straddle, one thing that has been indisputable is Twitter's effectiveness at rallying a community around a charitable cause. Tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, have been raised for a wide range of great causes, from individuals in need such as David Armano's efforts to aid a single mother, to larger scale organizations such as Charity Water. Beth Kanter, a frequent speaker on social media for non-profits, has a great overview of some of the more successful Twitter charity campaigns at her blog.


My own efforts to support some good causes have leveraged my attempts at humor at the Social Networking Rehab Blog, where I have created video public service announcements in support of the Frozen Pea Fund to aid cancer research as well as to help Laura Fitton and her holiday "wellwishes" campaign. Naturally, when Dave Delaney contacted me about another humorous way to leverage Twitter for a good cause, I didn't hesitate to give him the shirt off my back (for him to hold while I posed as "Sasselhoff").


Yes, with tongues firmly in cheek and hands held out for donations, we present the "18 Hottest Men On Twitter" Calendar to raise funds for a great cause, Donors Choose. Thanks to the cooperation of, more than 40% of the proceeds of the calendar sales will go directly to support Donors Choose, a charity that connects directly with classrooms in need, providing project based support to our children in public schools. For $15.95 you can chuckle at me and 17 other chuckleheads and support a worthy cause. Please click here and buy a few today!

As Mr. July 2010, I am honored to join @saulcolt, @leelefever, @avinashkaushik, @scottmonty, @baratunde, @chrisbrogan, @keithburtis, @bobgoyetche, @jchutchins, @jasonfalls, @davedelaney, @geoffsmith, @cc_chapman, @mitchjoel, @julien, @stevenfisher, and @chrispirillo. Check us out!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Manolo Blahniks And The Palm Pre

As a guy who must not have been paying close enough attention to the footwear of the females in my life, I had never heard of the "Manolo Blahnik" brand of high heeled (and high priced) shoe until I saw Carrie coo over them in the HBO series "Sex and the City." As the fictional footwear aficionado and love lorn columnist Carrie Bradshaw, actress Sarah Jessica Parker would reach near orgasmic levels of delight when she was able to feed her near obsession level passion for acquiring yet another pair of shoes. That is exactly how I behave when it comes to gadgets. I am the Carrie Bradshaw of the cool device, and since it was announced with gusto at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show I have lusted after the Palm Pre smartphone with the same blind, temperature rising, pulse pumping emotion that compels Carrie (and women like her) to turn around and rush into the store with MasterCard drawn and ready when they see the latest style of sleek Stilettos in the window display. She HAS to have those shoes. It doesn't matter that her closet is overflowing with perfectly fine heels. I HAD to have the Pre. It did not matter that I had a perfectly fine high-end phone, an HTC Touch Pro that was less than a year old. Logic and practicality need not apply when it comes to a woman's shoes or a geek's new gadget!


When D-Day (or should I say "Pre Day") arrived I awoke in a cold sweat. In a few hours stores would open with limited supplies of the near deified device, the highly anticipated new darling of die-hard Palm fans and those who want to finally see a smartphone with the smarts to take a healthy bite out of the Apple iPhone pie! Over breakfast I debated with myself. I REALLY wanted the Pre. I REALLY don't need a new phone. I REALLY didn't know what to do. I felt a tinge of nervous anxiety mixed with excitement and anticipation. What's a geek to do? Then it happened. I received a sign from above (the Geek Gods I presume). A perfectly and presciently timed email arrived from Sprint telling me that the Pre was available and that I was qualified for an upgrade (meaning I could extend my contract and get the Pre for $199 - less than a pair of Manolo Blahniks!) Decision made!


Pulse now racing I jumped in the car trying to decide if my odds of successfully beating any lines and buying the Pre would be better at a Best Buy or a Sprint Store. It was 8:45 am. Then I remembered reading that Radio Shack would also be carrying the Pre at launch. There is a Radio Shack less than a mile from my home, far closer than the nearest Sprint or Best Buy store. I sprinted over to the Shack... I was first to arrive and they were not yet open. I pulled on the locked door, failing to get the attention of the lone clerk inside, prepping the register for the day ahead. Should I stay or should I go now? What if they didn't have it and I was wasting valuable time I could be spending to get my place in line at the Sprint or Best Buy store? I was encouraged by the HUGE Palm Pre sign in the window and display in the store, so I took my chances and waited... When the store opened I was first in the door. They had a working demo unit and ONLY 2 Pre phones in stock. If there was any shred of doubt in my mind, it was flicked away the moment I held and played with the demo unit. Like a new pair of Blahniks on Carrie, or Dorothy's Red Slippers in Oz, the Palm Pre in my hand was a perfect fit - pure ergonomic ecstacy! I bought the first of the two units they had, and haven't looked back since.


That was Saturday. Sunday I left for the iMedia Brand Summit in Colorado Springs where I was the only person with a Pre. It turned out to be a great icebreaker and as word spread through the conference that "the guy from Myxer has a Pre" people were literally tracking me down to have a look see. I ended up giving almost as many Pre demos as Myxer pitches, and proudly showed off our current campaign for the 2010 Ford Mustang on the Pre's gorgeous screen. It has only been a few days, but the Pre has already far exceeded my expectations as a mobile device and is without question the best phone, best PDA, and best portable Internet device I have ever owned (and I have owned A LOT of devices!) There are so many small, yet spectacular details that are just right, that just make you smile and say "yes, of course that's how it should be." The Pre has successfully re-thought and re-presented the way handheld hardware and software can and should seamlessly interact. I can't help but be reminded of feeling a similar thrill when I used my first Palm Pilot. Despite their very visible challenges in recent years, it should come as no surprise that this fantastic, fun, functional phone would come from a company that has always had "handheld" in their DNA and a singular focus on devices meant to live in your PALM. For me, getting the Pre was a "shoe"-in!

(This post was written on my Palm Pre!)

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