Sunday, May 31, 2009

job search notes: Bee feeding on rhododendron

Bee feeding on rhododendron, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The bee found its way to this bush. It's blossoms open and inviting.

What attracts you to your work?

Do you understand what it is that gets you going easily?

Have you incorporated that into your job search?

If you would like to connect on LinkedIn, please feel free to do so and reference this blog post or other appropriate connection for us.

You can now subscribe to just the "job search notes" if you'd like. You can subscribe via this link.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Clouds in my puddles

Clouds in my puddles, originally uploaded by shersteve.

"Clouds in my coffee" goes the words of one popular song. I found clouds in this puddle on the walk this morning.

Do you find good reflections in your puddles?

Or do you just go splashing in the water?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Deja bottled

Deja bottled - the batches of beer we brewed 2 weeks ago came home last night. The empty spots in the cases shown are the ones getting cold in the frig.

The letters on the bottle caps correspond to the beer inside. S - Stunner, SA - Scotch Ale, B - Bavarian Pilsner, H - Halles Lager, F - Forest Fire Red, and R - Rye Blond.

For additional details on what we made this time and in prior trips to Deja Brew check out this link

More information about Deja Brew can be found on their website here

Deja Brew - reason to stir

The reason why you need to stir the kettle deeply after putting the malt in. The steam rising distorts the picture a little but without grain in the kettle, this view shows the malt settled at the bottom. The darkness inside the ring is the malt at the bottom.

If you don't stir deeply and thoroughly, the malt can just sit at the bottom. The beer you'd end up with is not what you wanted.

Stir deeply!

Thanks to Dave @Deja Brew for pointing this out.

For other postings on the good experience at Deja Brew, check this link.

More information about Deja Brew can be found on their website here

Job search notes: which way are you going today?

Are you heading in the proper direction today? If not why?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How do you like the new template/layout?

If you are reading this via a reader, please click through to the site.

I have converted Steve's 2 Cents to a 3-column "new" Blogger template.

How is this for readability? Better - yes or no?

job search notes: Believe in the impossible

Kevin Kelly, a thought leader, had an intriguing talk at TED in December 2007. One of the interesting insights he starts with is that the web is less than 5,000 days old (at least as of this time in 2007).

He says "We have to get better in believing the impossible".

Spend about 20 minutes to view this:

How does this connect to your job search?

If you think of yourself in a positive light, full of qualifications, eager to solve problems, provide value, busy networking to make the right connection to a suitable company, you will successfully land your next big opportunity!

What you think becomes real.
Yes, the impossible does become real.
Look at what the free internet has done in a few days!

"To share is to gain"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rain barrel

I put my new rain barrel in place yesterday just in time to catch the rain overnight.

I wasn't sure how long it would take to fill but with just what we had overnight to this AM it is almost full already.

Rhododendrons blooming this Memorial Day

This should have been posted on Monday. Found it stuck in the outbox this morning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mower n More

As luck would have it, the lawn mower which hasn't been used for a couple of years, now that I want to use it, has a problem.

I dusted off the cobwebs and checked the oil. Filled the gas tank and set it in the driveway. I walked around the house to check nothing would be in the way, picking up branches from the trees, etc. When I got back around the front, there was a puddle on the ground. It was spreading. Apparently the fuel line has a leak and whatever gas I had just loaded up was now working it way out.

Minor hazard on the one hand. On the other hand, scheduling repair could be interesting. We bought it with our first house many years ago and it has worked like a charm since then. It always starts on the first or second crank. Would this be the time to consider replacing it? No, not for a fuel line.

I went to Google to find local lawnmower repair shops. I called a place in nearby Bellingham that I recognized. I have driven by there many times. They answered the phone promptly and as they started taking the info revealed it was going to be 2-3 weeks before the mower would be completed. Let me think about that. I understand it is spring and all but 2-3 weeks.

Back to Google. This time I found a place in Milford that comes right to the home to provide service. They had a website with an online scheduling system. Beter yet, I was able to book an appointment for next Tuesday. One week is much better than 2-3!

They only service a specific area of southeastern MA. They do provide a map with their "no charge" home service area. Franklin happens to be in the good zone. For those those towns just outside the primary area, there is a $29 surcharge.

I like this. I'll let you know how it goes from here.

PodCamp Boston - August 8-9, 2009

Mark your calendar:

Podcamp Boston will be held on August 8-9, 2009 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Harborside campus

Beginner, intermediate, or advanced - what’s next is on everyone’s mind, right?

If you’re wondering what’s next in social media, there’s no better place to find out than at PodCamp, regardless of whether you’re just getting started or you’re a veteran practitioner. Unlike other conferences which are just talking head affairs, PodCamp gives you the opportunity to learn, share, and grow your skills at any level, helping your community as it helps you

Podcasting and social media has gone beyond the geek set this year and many of us are engaging with businesses and corporations to educate them. At Podcamp Boston 4 lies the opportunities to teach people and companies about podcasting and social media. Learn from others who have a wealth of knowledge to share.

The peer-to-peer learning available from this event has a great return on investment (ROI). What ever you can put into it, you will get something in return.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How does it go? My son John one shoe on..

In case you were wondering:

Diddle, diddle*, dumpling**, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on,
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.

Gears of all size stand by the side of the bike trail

Took a ride on the South County bike path on Sunday. Shorter (only 5.6 miles one way) than the East Bay ride we did a couple of weeks ago. Very pleasant.

More photos to follow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

job search notes: do you have stale LinkedIn invites?

By stale, I mean how old are they? I happened to be into my Contacts section recently and realized that I had 25 outstanding invitations. I clicked through to view them and then sorted to see the "Sent" invites by date.

Wow! One of them went back to 2007. A couple went back to Oct/Nov/Dec of 2008. Most were from Jan and Feb this year.

I don't know if you have thought about this but how long do you wait for someone to respond?

Granted some of them were in the status of "bounced". The email for the individual was not valid. I "withdrew" those invites where I did not have a different email address.

For those in the "sent but not responded to" state prior to April of this year, I withdrew them as well.

For those from April up to a couple of weeks ago, I did a "resend" supplying an email address I had obtained from the person via their card or other correspondence.

For those still open for the past couple of weeks, I left them alone for now.

Have you looked at your outstanding invitations recently?

How do you handle the old ones?

If you would like to connect on LinkedIn, please feel free to do so and reference this blog post or other appropriate connection for us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Save Kilowatt Ours

I received the following appeal from Jeff Barrie, Founder of Kilowatt Ours, via email. I think it is a worthy effort to contribute to. I have made a contribution. Can you?

Dear Friends,

It has been an exhilarating adventure producing Kilowatt Ours and seeing it make such a broad, positive impact in the world. I write with a heartfelt thank you to the thousands of people who have taken its message, shared it in your communities and made energy saving changes in your lives. You have become the solution, and your stories continue to inspire me! I recently learned that government data indicate a 2.3% decline in coal consumption in the electric power sector in the near term (source: -- a sign that the vision portrayed in Kilowatt Ours is becoming a reality. We know that Kilowatt Ours has helped save untold millions of kilowatts. Now I ask you to help "Save Kilowatt Ours!"

This is an urgent appeal for your financial support to help us bridge a shortfall, and to reach continued greatness in changing the world. In two weeks, without your support, we are faced with the reality of cutting our staff, slashing our award-winning programs, and closing our office.

Please help us today by...
  1. making a donation of $5 or more at (donations of $55 or more may choose to receive a gift copy of Nancy Sleeth's wonderful, inspiring new book "Go Green, Save Green.")
  2. asking a friend or twelve to make a donation(s) (If you are with an organization -- please forward to your listserves as appropriate)
  3. thinking of people or companies that you feel will be interested in making larger financial contributions or sponsorships - please help us connect with them.

We have been running full-throttle for 5 years to get our message to the widest audience possible, with great success. Kilowatt Ours has now been broadcast more than 1200 times on 400+ public TV stations nationwide, reaching 75% of the public TV marketplace. Not bad for a shoestring film project produced in my basement apartment. Since all broadcasts are royalty-free, we must find other creative ways to finance our continued work, including asking all our friends, fans and collaborators, like you. We are actively seeking new grants, sponsorships, and Recovery Act dollars to broaden our work, and we foresee much prosperity moving forward. YOU can help us today by making a small contribution, and being as generous as you are able:

job search notes: on track for today

Are you on track to do what you need to today or did you leave a sock at the starting line?

Be prepared

Make it a good day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Math and crochet?

What does crochet have to do with high level math? Lots it turns out! Watch and enjoy this TED Talk!

You will probably not walk by a person doing crochet and look at them in the same way again.

You might even stop and have a conversation about the formula they are using.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Robins: They've flown!

The nest is empty today the robins are out into the world. Good luck!

PodCamp Boston - August 8-9, 2009

Mark your calendar:

Podcamp Boston will be held on August 8-9, 2009 at the University of Massachusetts Boston Harborside campus

Beginner, intermediate, or advanced - what’s next is on everyone’s mind, right?

If you’re wondering what’s next in social media, there’s no better place to find out than at PodCamp, regardless of whether you’re just getting started or you’re a veteran practitioner. Unlike other conferences which are just talking head affairs, PodCamp gives you the opportunity to learn, share, and grow your skills at any level, helping your community as it helps you

Podcasting and social media has gone beyond the geek set this year and many of us are engaging with businesses and corporations to educate them. At Podcamp Boston 4 lies the opportunities to teach people and companies about podcasting and social media. Learn from others who have a wealth of knowledge to share.

The peer-to-peer learning available from this event has a great return on investment (ROI). What ever you can put into it, you will get something in return.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where did the day go?

How did it all go by so quickly?

Took Dad to his doctor's appointment, we did a walk together, and then lunch before I left him. A couple of quick errands then off to the Milford Career Center for a seminar on the unemployment services they offer. Similar to that provided by the outplacement services the company thoughtfully provided so there was nothing new except for more connections to make. One of which provided a tip that seems worthwhile.

Back home to catch up on email and get ready for a phone call with the Guardian Angel of JobAngels. We met at SOBCon and wanted to continue our conversation. This was a convenient time to do so.

Queued some sherku over at quiet poet. I have a draft summary of Governor Deval Patrick's visit to Franklin yesterday amongst a number of other writing tasks to complete. I'll tackle those with a fresh start in the AM.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Robins: 5/17/09

Robins: the 2 are filling the nest now. It won't be long before they fly away.

job search notes: "building a body of work"

That's a good motto for all of us - find someone to be successful for. Rise to their hopes and their needs. As you think about life after graduation, as you look in the mirror tonight, you may see somebody with no idea what to do with their life. But a troubled child might look at you and see a mentor. A homebound senior citizen might see a lifeline. The folks at your local homeless shelter might see a friend. None of them care how much money is in your bank account, or whether you're important at work, or famous around town - they just know that you're someone who cares, someone who makes a difference in their lives.

That is what building a body of work is all about - it's about the daily labor, the many individual acts, the choices large and small that add up to a lasting legacy. It's about not being satisfied with the latest achievement, the latest gold star - because one thing I know about a body of work is that it's never finished. It's cumulative; it deepens and expands with each day that you give your best, and give back, and contribute to the life of this nation. You may have set-backs, and you may have failures, but you're not done - not by a longshot.

His address is as applicable to those searching for their next opportunity as to those ASU graduates looking for their first.

There are many quotable moments in President Obama's commencement address to Arizona State University. This is just one of the highlights for me. Read the full text of his address here and pick one of your own.

Inside or out?

‘ … perhaps true beauty is something that draws our attention at second glance, once the judgment of a first glance has realized it’s mistake.’
Wonderful insights from a truly wonderful person, David Roche. Only 8 minutes.

'the second glance' from Nic Askew on Vimeo.

When you look in the mirror do you see beauty on the outside or on the inside?

Many thanks to Patti Digh for sharing this.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Memory Lane: Hardy Boys

You can find some Hardy Boys books at the Franklin Library Book Sale today at the DPW on Hayward St.

I almost picked up these first four books of the Hardy Boys series. These bring back memories. One schoolmate had the series and we made sure to stay good friends to get the books as they were available.

The Tower Treasure
The House on the Cliff
The Secret of the Old Mill
The Missing Chums

Franklin W Dixon wrote the adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy as the solved mysteries around their hometown of Bayport. I recall several heated discussions amongst my brothers and others of our group when we found out that Franklin W Dixon was a pen name and not a real person. In fact, several authors contributed to the original series which first appeared in 1927 and the updated version which started in 1959. This was the series I grew up with.

There have been additional updates but by the time they came out I had moved on to other reading.

I recall my sisters getting into the Nancy Drew. Both the boys and girls got into The Happy Hollisters. Do you remember them?

What other book series did you read growing up?

Yes, that will show differences in age, but I am not concerned about that. I am more curious about the books that you grew up with.

Deja Brew - Updated Pictures

I added nine photos from Thursday night's brewing session to the group of photos I already had on Flickr for Deja Brew. This should provide a good sense of the work involved.

One of the master brewers there is fond of saying something along the lines of; "Brewing can really be done with one hand. The other is already occupied by holding a mug of the product!"


More information about Deja Brew can be found on their website here or in my prior posts located here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Deja Brew night - the six beers

The six kettles brewed at DejaBrew should give us a good variety of refreshment for the next couple of months.

Helles Lager: Great light German lager, nice for a summer afternoon
Stunner: A creamy British Pub style pale ale stunning colour
Bavarian Pilsner: A pleasing German Pilsner with plenty of flavor, and little aftertaste.
Forest Fire Red: A beautiful amber beer, with a roasty taste and slight bitterness
Rye Blond: not currently listed on the DejaBrew website
Scotch Amber: not currently listed on the DejaBrew website

For additional posts on the DejaBrew experience overtime visit this link

Deja Brew night

The makings of Rye Blond in the works on this kettle, one of six kettles for the night. We'll come back in two weeks to bottle and take home the product of our effort.

"you walk on only one leg"

Minutes passed. Finally Maha Ghosananda stood up slowly. I could see his advanced age then and was even more impressed that this man had withstood the evils of the Pol Pot regime.

"If you move through the world with only your intellect," he said in a direct and clear voice, "then you walk on only one leg." With his hands held in prayer, he lifted one leg and slowly and deliberately hopped three times. With the same deliberation and pace, he restored his foot to the floor. After a long breath he began again.

"If you move through the world with only your compassion," he said, lifting his other leg, "then you walk on only one leg." Again he hopped three times.

"But if you move through the world with both intellect and compassion, then you have wisdom." He walked slowly and gracefully, taking three long, slow strides. At the end he bowed his head again and then resumed his seat on the cushion in front of me.

"Thank you," I said to him bowing again.
He smiled gently. There was nothing left to say.

From The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Read more about Jacqueline at the AcumenFund Blog

job search notes: networking tips

It takes one night a month for a few years in order to be incredibly well connected. This will bring you many friends with like interests, jobs that no one hears about, board opportunities that no one knows about, and all of the wonderful things that a network can do for you (support, contacts, etc.). But you have to take that first step and go. Once you make the connections, put a “tickler” on your calendar to call them at least twice a year. Relationships need to be cultivated and managed to bear fruit.
Read the full posting from John Kogan at Professional Sourcing

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Robins: Feeding time

Robins: Feeding time, originally uploaded by shersteve.

I managed to catch these during feeding time yesterday. I did not have the luck or the patience to wait long enough for the mother to actually bring the food back to the nest. I suspect she knew I was watching. She kept up a chatter all the time.

Chatter to her babies to be patient


chatter to me to go away and leave them in peace

I left.

Make your rain barrel for less than $30

Yesterday, I picked up the rain barrel I ordered after seeing the display at Franklin's Earth Day.

I need a couple of items to help install it properly. I find in Google Alerts today, instructions on how to make your own rain barrel for less than $30.

Pretty cool!

Here are the instructions from Mike Barth, the Assistant Principal at Norton High School.

"a sense of belonging and of accountability"

Our most frequent topic of conversation had to do with community, what it meant, how to foster and build it. John (Gardner) believed humans thrive in relationships to each other and that communities in which each individual feels a sense of belonging and of accountability are key to our individual and societal success.

From The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Read more about Jacqueline at the AcumenFund Blog

job search notes: resume tips

This is a good link to follow to prepare/review your resume:

They don't just look at your resume

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

job search notes: who will you be today?

In this TED video, Sarah Jones presents eight characters. She likes to explore the invention of the self or selves, and the space amongst/between the selves. "To what extent do we self construct, do we self invent?"

When performing your job search one of the key starting points is determining who you are and what you want to do. During the job search, especially when you don't get an interview, or an acknowledgment of your skills, background, experience as being worthy, the tendency to question oneself arises.

Is this the right thing to do?
Should I really do this?

Wouldn't it be nice to slip into another character as Sarah does so effortlessly!

You have the power, you can define yourself or redefine yourself!

Who will you be today?

"I could have listened better"

I walked home alone from Nyamirambo that evening, covered in paint, feeling tired, elated, and also perplexed that I had tried so hard to listen and still ended up choosing the wrong color. On the one hand, I hadn't wanted to wait for months until the women made a decision. On the other, I began to understand that I could have listened better, for listening is not just having the patience to wait, it is also learning how to ask the questions themselves. People who've always been dependent on others for some kind of charity or goodwill often have a hard time saying what they really want because no one usually asks them. And if they are asked, the poor often think no one really wants to hear the truth.
From The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Read more about Jacqueline at the AcumenFund Blog

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Robins: 5/12/09

Robins_20090512, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Not quite rockin' yet
They are getting bigger
And filling the nest
The remaining egg
May get squeezed out

The future is now

Via Scott McLeod at Dangerously Irrelevant, I find this great talk Dr. Richard Miller, Chair of the English Department at Rutgers University. Well worth a few minutes to watch.

What do you think of this view?

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day2009, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Was Dolores' mother a little surprised by the gift they received for Mother's Day?

You might say so!

Are you in the Tribe?

Seth Godin makes his case for Tribes.

What tribe or tribes do you belong to?

"we are not handing out gifts"

... Constance became a great storyteller for our new organization, helping wealthy and poor alike understand the power of giving each individual the tools of credit so she would have the potential to change her own life. "We are not giving out gifts," she would say, "but are bringing forth the gifts inside the people themselves."
From The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Read more about Jacqueline at the AcumenFund Blog

Monday, May 11, 2009

Book review: Linked Working

Frank Agin and Lewis Howes have written a quick and easy reader on the real networking opportunities using LinkedIn; Linked Working.

The format of the books is straight forward. Each chapter outlines a best practice and includes a personal story from someone who has succeeded via that practice. This makes for a compelling argument. Lewis closes the book with the following:
"Yes, LinkedWorking works. From my experience, that is what I have concluded. It takes some work, as there is no magic here. Nevertheless, if you are willing to consistently put in some effort on LinkedIn and follow what we have set forth in this book, you will conclude the same, and you will generate opportunities, contacts and success in the process."

I buy this. I'll admit I have bought this for sometime. I am using the process and feel confident that I will be successful. I'll be updating my efforts regularly so you'll know quickly how I am doing.

Frank's LinkedIn profile
Lewis's LinkedIn profile

The LinkedWorking website

If you'd like to connect with me, my LinkedIn profile is here

Subscribe to my "job search notes" series here.

@pistachio discusses Twitter at Google

I have referenced this video several times in the past couple of days. It provides some good insights into the business opportunities of Twitter.

Laura Fitton (@pistachio) gave this talk to Google on May 1, 2009.

What do you think of Twitter?

job search notes: complete LinkedIn profile without a picture

How do you complete your profile without adding your picture?

You joined LinkedIn and work to complete your profile by adding positions, interests, join a couple of groups, get a couple of recommendations but are hesitant to add your picture. Without the picture your profile will not be "complete".

Sabra Davis pondered this very question. She also had the "duh" moment that saved her and can save you.

LinkedIn doesn't really know that you have a picture of yourself or a business logo. The application is really looking for a JPG file!

Sabra had several JPG files with color samples from a prior work project. She uploaded a white JPG file and voila, her profile is complete without her picture!

Many thanks to Sabra for sharing this ah-ha moment!

You can connect with her on LinkedIn here

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Canned goods for Greater Boston Food Bank

For those of you coming to next Saturday's match against Colorado, please consider bringing a canned good with you to help out the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Donate at the gates and receive a coupon

Time: May 16, 2009 from 6:30pm to 8:15pm
Location: Gillette Stadium gates
Organized By: The Revolution

Event Description:
The New England Revolution has announced plans to collect canned goods on behalf of the Greater Boston Food Bank, extending a partnership with the City of Boston and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Mayor’s Food & Fuel Campaign that began earlier this spring.

Each fan who makes a donation of a canned good at the Revolution match against the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, will receive a coupon for a free 12 oz. soda at that night’s match. Donations will be accepted at the stadium gates, beginning one hour before kickoff until halftime.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

job search notes: unemployment changes coming

Current rules, including those requiring people to give up unemployment benefits when they have stopped looking for work, run counter to their long-term solution: finding not just another job, but a better one, according to the president.

"Now is the time to change unemployment from a period of 'wait and see' to a chance for our workers to train and to seek the next opportunity," the president said in a morning address. When a new and better day arrives, he said, individuals and the nation as a whole would then be "ready to make the most of it."
Read the full article in the LA Times here

Friday, May 08, 2009

Robins: from fuzz balls to distinct bodies one egg remains

Give a hug today!

I met Gail at last weekend's SOBCon conference in Chicago. I was inspired to donate for a hug and encourage you to try to do the same. From their website:

What we're doing

Inspire Me Today Founder Gail Lynne Goodwin and her husband Darryl will take off in a small prop plane from Colorado to circumnavigate the globe and literally hug the world. The tour will stop in 45 locations over a period of five months.

On a personal mission to make a difference, they will be:

  • Delivering an estimated $1,000,000 to important causes throughout the tour raised through grassroots contributions from people like you
  • Giving at least 2,000 hugs in each location to literally wrap the world in 100,000 hugs
  • Gathering great wisdom, inspiration and brilliance from leaders and luminaries in the far reaches of the globe to bring back and share on

Why we're doing it

In this time of doom and gloom when it seems the whole world is struggling, we choose to change that focus by inspiring humanity to trust in what is good and what is possible. We believe in a message of hope, change, responsibility, and commitment to others.

We believe through opening our hearts and celebrating our global connectivity, bridges and understanding can be built between us. By connecting Hug Sponsors with the exact hug recipients, we will create opportunities to connect people from all walks of life, from different religions, cultures, ethnicities, and create friendships that extend from one continent to another. By raising money with people like you, we will be making a tangible difference in the world and supporting important causes together. We welcome your participation and look forward to working with you!

Do you believe in a message of hope, change, responsibility, and commitment to others?

Global Hug Tour

For more information on their world tour, and to contribute if you can, please visit their website here

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Laid Off Camp: Lessons Learned

I talked with Chris Hutchins on Wednesday, 5/6/09. Chris has been part of the organization for each of the camps run thus far. He is working to establish LaidOffCamp as a formal non-profit organization including 503c status.

These are my notes from the conversation. They were initially captured as the conversation flowed and over time edited to move like sections/topics together.

The intended audience of LaidOffCamp (LOC for short here after) is anyone without a full time job.
The audience has generally been not as tech savvy as other unconferences
While 90% had not heard of an unconference before, they all loved it

LOC works for the PR angle, it catches the press attention
would like to find a better name
still needs to reflect folks laid off, out of work, looking to network and use peer learning to improve the process of finding their next position

History to date
San Francisco - approx 400 attended with four rooms available, during the evening, at a night club
New York - approx 150 attended with 6 rooms in a college building
Dallas - approx 80 attended (Chris did not go)
Los Angeles - 60-75 folks attended (Chris did not go)

New York was a two-part affair with a keynote and panel on the night before the full conference. Feedback says it did not work out so well.

Recommends running the event from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
this avoids the expense of providing breakfast and lunch and really minimizes the cost of the event
if you can get a free venue, this helps

SF had great energy at the event, possibly due to the night club atmosphere
NY had an educational feel, likely due to the college setting

if you obtain sponsors, you can use their support to provide for beverages, etc
you'll also need to print a page with the sponsors listing (including info, logo, etc.)

on attendee badges, remember to include space for them to tag themselves
I mentioned the Jeff Pulver "social media networking kit"
you can view the video here

Back to facility needs
should plan for 25-40 folks per room
about 25-33% of the rooms should have technical capabilities (wifi, projector, etc.)

there have been three kinds of sessions
  • a presentation with Q&A
  • a story and facilitated discussion
  • straight facilitated discussion
much of the audience has been willing to sit back and listen
don't schedule any sessions before the day itself
about 45 minutes works best for sessions (I agree from prior experience with other camps)
should feel free to experiment with our own way of holding/conducting the camp

Schedule Day of
NY (similar to HealthCamp Boston) posted the grid of rooms and time slots on a wall
then filled them in the day of
need a moderator to watch the sessions being scheduled and make intelligent combinations
make sure each session has a person's name associated with it
a person can either be suggesting the need for a session, or proposing to conduct a session
some of the camps tried doing the scheduling on the wiki but it didn't seem to help
many folks were not aware of a wiki and how it works

LOC Miami has developed their own website
risk with creating their own is they won't be found as easily as if they were part of the main site

use Facebook to publicize and obtain interest
use Eventbrite to actually register the attendees
create a ticket for attendees to participate for free
create a ticket with an open dollar amount for the sponsors to self serve their contribution
otherwise, they would have to contact someone on the committee and that complicates the transaction

In SF they also used some Blue t-shirts, with "I'm Hiring" to identify sponsors who were willing to identify themselves as hiring.
don't want to deliberately include recruiters as this could compete with a job fair
want to emphasize the peer learning opportunity

Chris seems likely to modify the PodCamp rules and keep only 2
  1. use an open grid for scheduling, the grid remains open until the day of
  2. sponsors are all treated alike, no matter the level of contribution

job search notes: personally relevant experience

Tom Asacker writes:
Sure, it's a hell of a lot easier to make marketing decisions based upon what influences you, layouts, copy, media measurement, creative execution, etc. but that's not what is important. What really matters is what looks and feels good to them. And in an age of hype, spin, and desperation, what looks good to them is increasingly a personally relevant experience that they can wrap their minds and hearts around. An experience that reveals the vision and intention behind the brand. An experience that conveys look, feel, and, especially, meaning in a no spin, passionate way. An experience that allows people to alter their own attitudes of mind, without a hint of external persuasion. And when that happens, they’ll happily alter their lives (and hopefully, yours as well).
Read his full article here (PDF). Bold for my emphasis.

There is our challenge. How do we, anyone wanting to convey a message, create that "personally relevant experience that they can wrap their minds around"?

If we are selling a concept, a product, or ourselves in a job interview, the challenge is the same.

What do you think?

What works for you?

Robins: the chicks are fuzzier today still one egg in the nest

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Slide show: SOBCon09

The photo slide show from the SOBCon conference this past weekend is available:


"the real problem for Google is attention"

I am late to this guessay by Joshua Porter but I think it is intriguing:
Editor’s Note: this is a guessay, a portmanteau of the words “guess” and “essay”, which means that I’m officially making this stuff up.

I remember it very clearly. Four of us were getting together for breakfast last year at SXSW. We were waiting for a cab, and we started sharing our Twitter stories.

Each of us had one…mine was that I had used Twitter to find a room to share. Someone else had used it to find a ride from Dallas to Austin. Yet someone else had used Twitter to plan this very breakfast. We had used Twitter in ways that it was never imagined to be used, getting real value from it.

It was at that point that I started to think about Twitter as something other than a fun little SMS tool. It had real use, and the ability to shoot messages out to a larger audience was extremely valuable. I also started to wonder if Twitter might be the game-changer that finally put some heat on Google…the favorite conjecture of recent times is “Who is the next Google killer?”.

Well, I think I figured out how Google will be “killed”. Or, more precisely, their dominance will be eroded by Twitter and Facebook.

Read the remainder of this guessay at Joshua's blog here

job search notes: Honor yourself

You Teach People How to Treat You
by Christine Kane

There I was in Web Guy's office.

Christine He was having a moment of overwhelm. He complained that clients were calling on weekends and late at night. No one was honoring his schedule. He was frustrated.

I told him what I learned many years ago. It's a fundamental truth that has served me (and my coaching clients) immensely. It is this:

You teach people how to treat you.

His eyes lit up. He couldn't believe it was that simple. And the more we talked, the more excited he got. (I refrained from calling him Grasshopper.)

So, what does it mean?

It means that it all comes back to YOU. It's up to you to allow or not allow certain treatment. It also means that you have to get clear about how you want to be treated. It means that you have to take responsibility for writing your own Owner's Manual, and hold yourself accountable for living by it.

Here are four steps for teaching people how to treat you.

1 - Start by Knowing What You Want (and What You Don't Want)

Pick an area of your life where you want to be treated differently. Describe how you'd like to be treated. Or, write about what you don't want.

For instance, when I first began to apply this work to my performances, I knew that I no longer wanted to stay in hotels that scared me. (Promoters often lodge musicians in dives.) I had to start there because I didn't yet know how to ask for what I wanted.

You'll probably have some obvious beginning points. For instance, if you're tired of people wasting your time with latest office drama, you might decide, "I don't allow people to gossip in my presence."

Simple? Yes. But it's amazing how many of us allow these kinds of interactions without ever making necessary changes.

2 - Learn from your Current Situation

Ask yourself how you've allowed certain behaviors from others.

Choose one situation where you feel mistreated. Ask yourself how you allowed this to happen. You'll be amazed to see that often you choose to ignore your own needs or desires.

This process can show you where you get triggered. For instance, you might be tempted to say, "Well, I don't have a choice! He makes me feel guilty if I don't do it his way!"

Bingo! There's your trigger. Guilt!

Acknowledge that you allowed the situation so that you could avoid feeling guilty. Then, recognize that guilt is a trigger that will tempt you to ignore your own Owner's Manual. This is a valuable awareness to have.

Back to my hotel room example:

I had allowed years of unacceptable treatment on the road because I had a fear of being called a "diva," and of losing gigs. Once, when I told a promoter I wanted a different hotel, she retorted, "Everyone stays there! No one has ever complained before!" I felt myself shrink. "But all the kids are doing it!" is a trigger. I saw the trigger, and I was able to honor my needs in that situation.

3 - Honor It and Practice It

This is a process, not an event.

It's not a one-time thing. When you've taught people how to treat you one way, it can take some time to change that pattern.

One reason people struggle with this is that they wait until they're triggered before they attempt to set boundaries. Try not to communicate when you're in a highly charged emotional state. Most likely, you're not teaching people how to treat you. You're probably blaming them and making yourself into the victim.

Instead, wait until you get calm, then start with Step #2. Take the necessary course of action to right the situation.

4 - Teach YOU How to Treat You When That's the Only Choice

Not everyone is going to honor your requests or your clarity. Sometimes it'll have to be YOU who treats you well.

In my hotel room example, there were times where contractually, I couldn't ask for a better room. So, I opted instead to pay for my own room and move myself to a better hotel. "I don't stay in hotel rooms that scare me," means that I don't allow it. Period. If I don't honor that, then I won't feel safe with me.

You must include yourself in your equation. If you've told your clients that you don't take business calls on weekends, then don't make business calls on weekends.

Honor yourself. This is the best way to teach people how to treat you!


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Robins_Birthday, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Two of the eggs have hatched today.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Yardwork break: lilacs about to bloom

Stop and smell the roses is good advice.

I don't have roses (yet) but I do have some lilacs.

Back to the yardwork!

Jen's Recap - SOBCon Day 1

While I work on my write up from the SOBCon conference this weekend, here is a recap by JenChicago from Day 1

Saturday, May 02, 2009

SOBCon: KD Paine

KD Paine's presentation is available

SOBCon: Geoff Livingston

Geoff's presentation at SOBCon can be found here:

SOBCon: Glenda Watson Hyatt

SOBCon_GlendaWatsonHyatt, originally uploaded by shersteve.

My raw notes from this wonderful session on accessibility. The more thoughtful recap will come later.

41 million, over 15% have accessibility issues
disability folks find only 40% sites found easy to use
non-disabled 7 of 10 sites

1 - all content is perceivable
2 – operable or navigable by multiple devices
3 – understandable (content)
4 – robust

how to improve the posts to accessibility

1 - provide text alt for all images
2 - expand acronyms the first time they are used
3 – make hyperlinks distinct and distinguishable

SOBCon: Smith Shorr

SOBCon_SmithShorr, originally uploaded by shersteve.

My brief and raw notes from this session. The thoughtful recap will come later.

writing for the web
inside, outside

key words, keyword phrases

assume that branding and positioning has already been figured out

SOBCon: Bullock

SOBCon_Bullock, originally uploaded by shersteve.

My raw notes from this session, the thoughtful recap will come later.

Barack 2.0
used snagit to capture screen shots from the campaign over 1100 artifacts

blog post, podcast, tag
made a book stuck it up on Lulu

publishing is a trip

free does not get me paid

we can show yo because we have done it
that helps when you compete against Internet expert marketing

this model is a duplicating model, I am not going around the country to tell this

SOBCon: Brogan Smith

SOBCon_BroganSmith, originally uploaded by shersteve.

My raw notes from this session, the thoughtful recap will come later.

Make your own rules (those who do have succeeded on the web)
it's all about standing out

being one of us; membership has it's privileges
outsiders do not influence insiders
insiders influence each other

the Archimedes principle
the ultimate leverage engine

don't do work twice, leverage

be helpful, be humble, share

human artist
don't be “that guy”, empathy

know when to be visible and when to ghost

reputation comes from empowering others

build an army, the power of many

from craft to craftsperson
from craftsperson to cottage

SOBCon: Strauss Opening remarks

SOBCon_Strauss, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Over 125 folks gathered to talk about the ROI of relationships here at SOBCon in Chicago.

SOBCon09: UStream available

The current events of SOBCon are being UStreamed

SOBCon: Hruzak Sherlock

SOBCon_HruzakSherlock, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Men in hats at SOBCon.

view profile

Joanna Young Pro User says:

This is asking for a caption competition!

Please feel free to chime in.

Friday, May 01, 2009

River view from hotel in Chicago

The sun is setting creating some glare on a wonderful river view.

Wall Art on CTA

In Midway Airport, following the arrows to the Orange line to heading into the city of Chicago for #SOBCon Biz School for Bloggers Conference this weekend.

Kicked off with good sessions today. Full day scheduled on Saturday. And an interesting morning on Sunday before heading back home.

I'll be posting updates as I can.

Enjoy the weekend!

Slide Show: SMB13 Boston PumaCity

Social Media Breakfast in Boston on Tuesday 4/28/09 was held at the temporary Puma City. Here is my slide show of the event and facility.