Friday, April 01, 2011

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Failures and Luck of 2010

These are compilations of the best fails and luck of 2010. They're both a bit lengthy and will have you cringing, covering your eyes, laughing your ass off, giggling and even make you cry :)

Best Failures

Best of Luck

Monday, October 18, 2010

Someone Else Said It Better

I'm not sure if it's proper to open up with a quote from someone, I'm the type of guy that will drop it at the very end when there is nothing left to be said because it's already been said, and probably better. This is one of my more favorite quotes right now...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pebbles In The Pond

What happens when you throw a pebble into a pond? Well first of all, it makes a splash, right? Then the waves start flowing away from the initial splash. The waves either continue until they reach a surface or obstacle or else it will eventually dissipate.

A pond so still that you can see your reflection in it, that's the stillness and calmness that I like to get my inner thoughts to. It has been a visualization of mine for some time, the canoe in the still water. Lately though, that visualization has me sitting in the canoe with cargo pants filled with pebbles and stones. Throwing them out in the still water watching how the water is displaced with random splashes and droplets popping up into the sky in slow motion and taking what seems like twice as long to return to the main body of water. What happens next are the waves flow outwards from the epicenter. Some pebbles or rocks cause bigger splashes than others, some create longer waves, others not. Enough of these pebbles and rocks cause the waves to meet, a moving venn diagram.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you use the tools of the Social Online Space, then this would be analogous to tweeting (pebbles) and how they are distributed, or how they resonate outwards with waves. I'll use the example of Alyssa Milano since Dan Zarella has run all the analytics on particular 'heavyweights' and their click through rates. Alyssa has a big following, yet there are others that have more. Difference is the size of the stone that she throws out. Those that have up to five times as many followers don't have as big a splash as she does, they are still throwing pebbles which result in small waves. She's tossing them boulders out there.

The one thing that I have noticed personally is that when there are so many pebbles being thrown out into the water, no longer can you see the reflection of your self, just a ripple filled version of you... distorted. Think of all those pebbles tossed into the big pool on a daily basis. That translates into a weak signal and a large amount of noise. It takes even more effort now to hear the signal and curate what resonates with you, or so it is with me. To each their own, but it is a bit difficult when everyone has a soapbox and is regurgitating the same rhetoric to everyone.

p.s. I have a soapbox for sale, great condition. Leave me a comment if you're interested

Image stolen from here

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Fill Your Tool Belt

Just because you can buy a tool belt and strap it around your waist, doesn't make you a carpenter. Same can be said of the tools we utilize in the Social Online Space (which will be referred to as SOS from now on). You can't just create an account and say you're keeping up with the Jones'. A screwdriver has a particular use, as does a hammer. You can't screw in a screw with a hacksaw and you can't cut a piece of wood with a screwdriver - you could, it would just look something awful and waste a whole lotta of time. The SOS has similar tools, we call them Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al. Each one satisfies a particular role in building your house.

So what are the stages to building a solid house?
1. Foundation
2. Framing
3. Exterior
4. Interior

Of course there a many sub-levels to each of these four steps, we won't go into those now. So let's take a look at the foundation, what tool would be best to pour the foundation? A blog. It's written in stone and gives the support that is needed to build in the SOS. Now comes the framing part. I'd consider this to be your social platform of your choice between the Twitter and the Facebook. It's the one thing that guides and supports the rest of the place. The exterior is that which you present to the world, so depending on which platform you chose for the framing part, then it would be the other. And now comes the interior. This would be in my opinion a profile on LinkedIn. If you have these four things in place, you have a well balanced SOS or home that you've built.

You can't overuse one tool, they all have to be used together. That's why you have a tool belt so you can fit all your tools in the belt so you can build whatever it is you want to build. You could replace any of the examples used above for a YouTube or Flickr, whatever it is that you do that is displayed and showcased with the proper tool.

And remember, just because you have a tool belt on, doesn't mean you can just start building. Take it from me, using a hammer all the time doesn't get anything done properly and is not an effective use of your time unless all you want to do is hammer nails into wood. Get some practice with various tools, do it over and over again. There is no experience better than experience itself.

Image stolen from here

Sunday, October 03, 2010

You Need A Prescription for Twitter?

In a conversation last night, it was proposed that soon there will be pills available for those suffering from the symptoms of what could be called anything as long as you preface it with 'tw' and turn it into Twitterese. So, give it a name... in the example above it would be Tweetard Capsules.

Do you feel anxious on twitter?

Waiting for your next tweet?

Watching the tweets fly by and feel you can't keep up?

Biting your nails waiting for that special @response from that certain someone?

You might need this prescription.

Today I read an article, "Twitter and Facebook cannot change the real world, says Malcolm Gladwell" and couldn't agree with it more.

These tools that feign authentic and real relationships only spread that false sense of belonging. Everyone wants to belong to something. These social mediums allow for that connection. Taking it away from them or to negate them in any way and you'll see them come out in droves with defensive speak until they can again stick their chests out and show off a few feathers

Last week got a pass for the screening of The Social Network. They took away our phones. We placed them in a brown paper bag, they gave us a ticket and wrote our initials on the bag. After that, placed them on a table. Now it's one thing to give up twitter for a day or weekend, I've got that down, but to relieve me of my phone? That's kinda personal ;) It was interesting to see the responses from people who were without phone. It was easy to join in on the shenigans and laughter that ensued.

We are also afraid to be without our precious tools in which to engage with. Yet, saying hello and smiling at a stranger is a tall order these days?!

Recently I was reminded of a time where I would just want to go out into the streets with fistfuls of coins and plug people's meters, just to be sure they wouldn't get a ticket in the next 30 or so minutes. It's hard to plug any one's meters on social networks, the magic that inspires change isn't attached to it.

There's a component missing to the social networks. Yes, they make for a more efficient means to gather support, get a message heard but the missing piece is the level of conversion in the Social Space. It's not difficult to press a button that sends that information to your social crew or copy and paste an 'approved' message. It's the magic that happens when a person who truly cares spreads that message.

Martin Luther King had a message and a million people showed up. They showed up because of a belief. A deeply rooted belief that made them stand up and show up, they were million person certain. Those roads are never the easy ones. Someone once told me when making a big decision, "Figure out which one scares you the most and go with that one." It challenges you to your core and proves to be quite liberating to begin living out of love and no longer fear.

Make a committment to your self, say, "Self, we're going to be a better person today" then shake on it. It's already a better day, innit?

*Image ganked from here

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Social Mediaocrity

And is everyone out there practicing safe teen sex? Not so much. And if you are engaging in unprotected and authentically transparent social spaced relationships with your friends, then you are bound to succumb to a Socially Transmitted Dis-Ease, STD for short.

When I first started hanging around social media types I found them to be very negative. They'd take a product, service or concept and upon hearing it, rip it to shreds. Thought to myself, "Dang, self, that's such a negative approach to someone sharing something with you, isn't it?". Then I realized that it wasn't done with any intention to harm or judge, just the way of the (self appointed) social media expert. This is just one of the many symptoms of an STD.

When it comes to choosing a 'social media' partner, you want one that has experience and confidence to tackle the task at hand. There is no need in seeking out the fumbling fools that fold under pressure or the one's that talk up a big game and when it comes to performance, often fall flat of the mark. Finding that balance within the tumultuous Social Space takes experience, hard work and a dedication to honing one's talents.

It's easy to spread the Dis-Ease amongst your twitter rendez vous, that retweeting function creates a viral spread quite easily and don't get me started with the abusive #hashtagging that these kids do these days. From one to the other and on to the next, the Dis-Ease spreads none being the wiser. It's often the mediocrity of the collective experiences that leave successful victories of galant social media endevours leaving smiles on people's faces. It shines in the sea of mediaocrity. That's why Old Spice rings true and one can easily respond to all of it's glory with simply, "They Get It".

You do know that Social Media is just a made up word, right? How is it not social to begin with and where is the media part?! It should be aptly renamed Social Toolology, the practice of Sociological theories mixed with the tools that help copulate and reproduce content with a side of marketing. Wait, that would be Social Tooliomarketology wouldn't it?! Wait, what?!

How big do you spread your feathers and stomp around and squawk? Thought so ;)

Regardless, everyone is doing it now, the best plan for action is to educate those that are sick or have contracted an STD already. Regular self examination should take place for unsightly url's and improper grammer usage in one's tweets. Those are the first warning signs to get tested and make sure you're STD free.

Think smart, don't retweet a tweet that you're involved with, you're spreading the wrong message.

Retweet safe and have fun.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

That Empire State of Mind

Upon my arrival in New York, well, technically Newark, I was comforted and greeted with the smell of poo. Yes, poo, baby poo to be precise. I was riding the AirTrain into the city and no one was any where near me to have made such a stink. It was just the frequent fragrance of a city and funny enough, it was comforting and welcoming. I had returned.

Within minutes of being infused with Penn Station's energetic vortex, musical instruments vibrating off the rafters and Bob Marley renditions accompanying those musical notes, it was the warmth and electricity I had missed. Which opened up my insights into an observation between my time in New York and Los Angeles.

"If Los Angeles is phony and pretentious,
New York is real and raw."

This was based from another saying that that girl shared with me, which probably suits it better:

"Los Angeles is like a teflon frying pan,
while New York is a cast iron one."

There is something authentic and true that rings out in New York. Not saying that all people in LA are shallow and surface orientated, but I'm not saying that many are not :)

At first opportunity, made a B-line to Central Park. Often I find solutions in nature-like settings, something about bodies of water and greenery. The leaves of the trees sway back and forth communicating decades of wisdom through the oldest telephone lines in existence. There aren't enough times that one can visit this magical place.

My mission today was to walk up to Harlem and get my olive oil based leave in hair solution that one can only acquire in the beauty shops in Harlem :) As I exited the park and walked Across 110th Street, lo and behold, a certain individual decided he was starring in a Spike Lee movie as Samuel Jackson, clip is below:

Biggest lesson learned today, "Keep Calm, Walk On and Plan Three Moves Ahead"

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Wondered Years

Something happened in me and I stopped writing. I'd jot down a few things here and there, but nothing that was substantial or that I deemed shareable. Shutting down my creative exports can be paralleled to me shutting down how much insight someone gets into my world. So why would I do such a thing? What did I have to hide? Answers to those questions I have not had till recently.

I'm a sensitive kind of guy. My daily intercourse with the internets puts me out there for all to see, so I would wear a hat and sunglasses and felt like that little kid from that movie "Big Daddy" with Adam Sandler. He'd stay quiet until he got his sunglasses on, his invisible sunglasses, which enabled him to talk. I needed sunglasses, it was my safety blanket.

So what's so bad about the sensitive me? The kind and vulnerable me? Nothing. I had to start believing that.

So to answer my own questions, the reason I did such a thing, I was scared. Scared of taking risks that may or may not pan out. Afraid to admit my failures in front of anyone else. I love to fail, it's the best learning lesson you can have so why is it so hard to share it? The lessons learned from a failure are nothing short of a success.

And what did I have to hide? A sensitive, kind and vulnerable person. If I showed that side, people would think I'm a push over, they'd use my vulnerabilities against me and take advantage of my good nature. Regardless of me willing to show these things or not, they still were used against me and taken advantage of. Lesson, be yourself and not what you think people need you to be.

The last time I wrote here was to give thanks. Not in the usual way of giving thanks, but thanks nonetheless. People asked me if the woman I wrote about in that post was my mother. Although my mother did bring me up to mind my P's and Q's and some of my father's worldly charm was handed down to me, that woman was exactly that... that woman.

I've been more than lucky to be in that woman's life many times in this lifetime and her in mine. She's in my life now, deeply. We're older, wiser and at the point in our lives where spending our lives together raising up little afro bearing brown babies is no longer a thought.

Which leads me to share a recurring dream I've had for years:
The sun is shining down on me and this comfortable warmth washes over me. The setting is a beach, not overly populated, with the sun closing it's angle on the horizon and spreading light off of the water. In the near foreground I can see my daughter walking, or should I say, waddling along the beach. Images of the Coppertone ad with the dog pulling on a little girl come flowing through.
My daughter's holding a hand, her mama's hand. For years I've tried to place that hand. Each time I experience the dream I try and make note of some other clue or detail that gives me the identity to the mother of my children. Her lithe wrists, fingers nimble, agile like a concert pianist and holding that child's hand with a direct flow of love. I'm blessed. Two of the most important women in my life just standing in front of me surrounded in love. Cassiopeia.
That woman, is this woman.

She's always been and it's taken me half of my life to recognize this. No other man has ever been given this many opportunities with this woman. And now, my life is beginning to shift. The freedoms of flying by the seat of my pants is losing it's lustre, the exciting and risky seems foolish and silly. I'm not getting old, I'm getting wiser and ready for sharing my life with someone and let them bear witness.

She's been a constant inspiration and writing this on the new moon and setting intentions is just another way she inspires me. Now, all I have to do is lose the shades and the hat, well, maybe not the hat :)

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