Chief Technology Officer & Photographer | Irvine, CA

Participation Drought

Chuck pointed out something to me today after he had messaged me on Twitter saying “you sure are tweeting a lot today…not typical of you since new jobby”.

True story.

I went on to explain to him that the new books I’ve been reading, UnMarketing & The Thank You Economy, have been essentially lighting a fire under my ass about how I personally use social media and how I need to change it for the better of myself and the community I’m surrounding myself with. I guess I’ve been more of a fire hose lately, instead of engaging with the community, and I want to change that.

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Michael Vick – Now Sponsored by Haterade

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Wow – the Michael Vick topic has definitely gotten heated this morning.  Let me first admit that I was sluggin’ down some serious haterade about the whole ordeal in the beginning, but as time went on, and Vick started moving forward, went through jail, and got back to his life…things changed.

Michael Vick made a mistake – there’s no question there – a BIG mistake, however, he went through the justice system, paid his debt to society, and yet, he still can’t catch a break from some people.

Michael Vick has been granted a second chance at his career by Roger Goodell.  He’s been put on a conditional reinstatement, of which he will miss 2 preseason games, has already missed a lot of training camp, and will miss 6 games of the regular season.  This is on top of losing every asset he’s acquired, and having to completely start his life over.  The one thing he has going for him…he’s one hell of a football player.

I’ve gotten involved in a few of the conversations this morning, and honestly, no one has created a compelling argument on WHY he shouldn’t be allowed to play football.  Let me give you some “reasons” I’ve been told and my answers to them:

“He’s a role model” – agreed, football players are role models, but I’m fairly certain I didn’t hear Manny Ramirez ever say “I did steroids because of Jose Canseco” – or hear a plea in court by someone arrested for DUI and Manslaughter say, “I got drunk, I drove, and killed a man because of Daute Stallworth”.  Give me a break – children look up to a lot of people, including sport players, and shockingly, their parents, but children can still distinguish right from wrong.

“He shouldn’t be allowed to go back to football” – why?  What if he was a plumber?  Could he get back in to plumbing?  Michael Vick is a highly skilled and trained professional football player.  If you committed a crime outside of work, should you be let back to work in the trade of which you are skilled at?  Should you even be allowed to work at all?  Some people seem to think that he needs to just be unemployed for the rest of his life because he’s a professional football player and that profession happens to come with a “spotlight & money”.  He shouldn’t have to apologize for the skill he’s trained in – he didn’t shoot some one on 3rd & 9 in the fourth quarter for gods sake.

“the Eagles signing him is a bad PR move” – really?  Kind of like when Paris Hilton’s sex tape came out – bad move – right?  WRONG!  I’m pretty sure that all Eagles games will now have the Howard Stern affect – more people that hate Vick will watch simply because they “hate” him.  Guaranteed…

Unfortunately, someone in the spotlight like Michael Vick will be put under far greater scrutiny than “John Smith” the data entry clerk from a call center.  He did something wrong, he admitted he did something wrong, he paid his dues to society under the judicial system’s rule, and he’s having to start his whole life over, yet everyone thinks he “hasn’t paid enough”.

When will it be enough?  At what point do you stop beating him down and let him prove he’s changed?  People will lift up career criminals that are fighting with an addiction to heroin, and keep “giving them a chance”, yet a football player has to be put under further scrutiny and beat down even further because some people over at PETA are a little pissed off?

Boo hoo…bring on football season…

Big Money, Big Money, No Whammy’s….STOP!

Sadly, we’re a generation that has a bit of a problem with shiny new things, latching on to them, wearing them out, then throwing them aside like that 10 year old can of yams you found in the back of your pantry last week.

This whole post goes back to a question I asked myself yesterday – how long until Facebook and Twitter go down in flames?  It’s not that I want to see that happen any time soon, but its inevitable just by looking at the trends in our “gotta have it…don’t know how I have been getting on with my life without it….NOW” generation.  Two big players in the past decade come to mind instantly – MySpace and AOL.

aol-time-warnerInvestment firms & other big players that like to throw down hundreds of millions in cash to jump on “what’s hot” confuse the hell out of me.  News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million just a few years ago, and now, where does it fit in?  In 2009 it’s more comparable to the lost city of Chernobyl than it is to downtown LA when there is a pop icon’s dead body being delivered to a sold out crowd at the Staples Center.  The same goes for AOL – in the 90’s, they were the big name, so big that they merged with one of the worlds largest media outlet – Time Warner.  However, in 2002, they reported a loss of $99 billion and eventually dropped the “AOL” portion from “AOL/Time Warner” name – now they are talking about spinning off the AOL division all together since that one division is bringing the ship down with a series of heavy losses.  Sure, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) is still a HUGE success, but so are shoes and toilets – both filled a “need”, then mutated in to different flavors.

vanilla_iceBusiness today is scary.  If your business isn’t on the internet to provide a simple information outlet – you fail, but what if your business completely relies on the internet?  If you’re lucky, you’ll come up with a cool new idea with a weird name like Twitter or Zappos, the masses will latch on, you’ll make millions in a buy out, but trends show, your luck wears out quickly.  What I don’t understand is this – how is it that these companies still continue to get the big buy-in’s, even if trends show that businesses on the internet made out of this “oh oh oh…shiny!!!” concept end up falling off the map faster than Vanilla Ice did after “Ice Ice Baby”.

I understand the concept of business growth, the need of capital for expansion, and the drive to boost a CEO’s ego by making them a rather large blip on the “holy shit, that dude runs a $500 million dollar company he built in 3 years” radar, but at what point does the trend of “big money dump” in to internet companies and then their inevitable dive off the deep end start to matter?  At what point do these investors start requiring that the internet companies have a certain percentage of their business done IRL (in real life) instead of being 100% virtualized?  I know virtualization keeps overhead down and increases revenues, but can it ensure longevity like a tangible product you can feel in your hands that you buy in a store down the street?

I’m fairly certain that I could ask 100 business owners and get relatively the same answer to the question of “do you want your business to grow?”.  They all do – hell, I want my businesses to grow, and I would love a buyout that includes 8 zeroes, but the only recent big buyout that I’ve seen remotely succeed in the past decade has been YouTube – and I’m fairly certain that’s because Google just gobbles up all the super smart and level headed people.  Maybe investors need to put in some onsite daycare or ping pong tables in their offices and start calling them a “campus”?

2010 Lincoln MKZ – Ford Drive – Day 1

Rachel Young at Social Media Group contacted me out of the blue and asked if I would like to drive around a new 2010 Lincoln MKZ for a little while and share my experience with it through blogging/Twitter/Facebook/etc – how could I turn that down, I’m both a HUGE car nerd and a HUGE web nerd (my license plate says so).

Day 1 – Pick up the car

Met the rep at the #tukeedevhouse to pick up the car…fully loaded…in white!  First impression – “its definitely not Grandpa’s Lincoln…”.  Ford has really stepped up the styling on the Lincoln brand with their newest vehicle releases – I’m totally loving the lines of the car!

Get in to the car – and its got Sirius Satellite Radio – that’s a given in most cars today.  I didn’t really have an opportunity to mess with it too much before heading back to work, but the THX sound system & the Sirius satellite radio was crystal clear cruising all the way back to Scottsdale.  Got out of work, and bolted over to the kids school for Dom’s end of the year party – still didn’t have too much time to mess with the gadgets or the car, but I planned on it as soon as the party was over.

Ended up leaving the party and I literally sat in the parking lot of 7 Eleven for 20 minutes or so going through the manual and playing with Microsoft Sync.  I had thought that since it was Microsoft software, it wasn’t going to really support my Blackberry 8900, however, I was wrong!  I paired up my phone within a minute or so and made a call to Lexi (again) to wish her happy birthday – this time, through the phone interface in the car.  Awesome!

My battery was dying on my phone, so I knew I was going to have to head home, plug my phone in to my laptop, and let it take a charge before I could play with it some more, but then that got me thinking.  I figured, ok, there’s got to be more to the Microsoft Sync – it HAS to have a USB port somewhere in the car.  Sitting out front of my parents house (I had to stop by and show them the car – both my parents were jealous), I began looking everywhere, and then I opened up the center console and found the USB port.  I figured there was no way this was going to be as cool as I had imagined…and since I just had 2 strikes against my thoughts about the car and the Sync technology…whooosh…swing and a miss!  My phone started charging, and then I noticed that I had a USB media option – it totally loaded up all the MP3’s I had on my internal SD card and I could access my full library of music.

Streaming MP3’s via USB + charging phone + Bluetooth tech + aggressive styling + smooth ride = BIG GRIN!!!

Later in the evening after stopping by Gangplank to show the boys the car and giving them a ride in it, I discovered how to stream my media from my phone over Bluetooth…holy freakin’ cool!

Tomorrow I’ll touch more on how the car drives and any more gadgets that I find!

Check out the video that Chuck filmed late last night while I paired up the 8900 again & streamed MP3’s over Bluetooth to the sound system…

Sweet on Geeks Event @ Changing Hands Book Store – March 14, 2009

So…I kinda volunteered to be auctioned off at a “geeks” event for charity – just got the flyer. LOL

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The “Sweet on Geeks” charity auction event is happening on March 14th, 2009 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ at 8pm.  I think I’m gonna take the most in auction dollars…I decided…