Monday, August 31, 2009

The napkin method of explaining health care reform

Best description of health care reform that I have seen. Now I have a better understanding what the discussion is all about.

thanks to the tip to this from Common Craft

Trust Agents - dramatic reading

Well done, a wild idea! A great way to get the effect of the book.

Thanks to John Moore at Brand Autopsy

job search notes: good links

1 - When Seth Godin says something, somebody somewhere starts to listen. Be prepared if you find this kind of interview process

Two ways to hire (and a wrong way)

by Seth Godin

2 - Amongst the many lessons available from Ted Kennedy's passing is this one that should have some mileage for all of us

How Ted Kennedy Got Things Done

by John Baldoni

3 - From the Harvard Business Review, some trends that could be helpful in determining your target markets

Trend to Watch: Shifting Consumption Patterns

by Eric Beinhocker & Elizabeth Stephenson

4 - Along the lines of determining our future opportunities, one key question for consideration "Does the work you chose enable you to be happy?"

Should Work Make Us Happy?

by Gill Corkindale

5 - From TED Talks, the philosopher just referenced above (Alain de Botton)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to school routines

This last Sunday before school opens for the new school year, I return to my cooking routine. You may recall that Dolores and I divvy up our household duties. To help her prepare for her kindergarten student friends, I do the food shopping and cooking on the weekends. During the summer, she returns to the kitchen to keep her touch up to speed. With school opening Tuesday, the teachers reporting on Monday, I returned to my cooking today.

So what's for dinner?

A fine meat loaf (recipe here)
3 bean salad (recipe here)
Steamed summer squash

My modifications

On the meatloaf, I used Progresso Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs in place of the plain.

On the 3 bean salad, I used black beans in place of the garbanzo. I did follow their suggestion to use cannellini white beans allow with the red kidney beans.

What are you doing for dinner?

To the spirit of soccer

A statue of Eusebio, celebrating the spirit of soccer was an appropriate symbol for the New England Revolution game on Saturday.

The remains of tropical depression Danny blanketed the area with rain and clouds all day. By game time, the rain had moved off shore leaving some mist which also cleared leaving gray skies and a wet turf.

The Revolution won 2-1 with two good goals by Steve Ralston and Wells Thompson. The defense cracked slightly to allow the one goal for San Jose in stoppage time but it was not enough for them. We took the three important point from this home game.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

job search notes: It's on

No, that doesn't refer to Southwest flying out of Boston.

No, that doesn't refer to the NE Revolution game tonight in the remnants of Danny.

It does refer to the LaidOff Camp being organized by a core team of folks for Providence and Boston. Other sites may be added as we go.

The core team meets for the first time on Monday to start planning for these events.

As details start firming up, the communication campaigns will kick in.

If you want to get in on the planning for these, please let me know.

Share from Nav Bar

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Blogger Buzz by Talin on 8/28/09
by Talin, Software Engineer, Blogger (Mountain View, CA)

It's fitting that our newest birthday present was announced first on Twitter. Starting yesterday, the Blogger Navbar includes a new button: "Share."

When your readers are on your blog's home page, they can click "Share" to post the blog's URL to Twitter, Facebook, or Google Reader. If they navigate directly to an individual blog post, clicking "Share" in the navbar also lets them share the post by email.

We've already seen some nice adoption of this new feature and hope this helps you build out your audience and share your story with the world. Here's a fun hack: each URL that gets shared has a specific parameter appended (?spref=nn, where fb=Facebook, tw=Twitter, and gr=Google Reader). If you're using Google Analytics to measure traffic on your blog, you can search for those strings to see how much traffic you're getting from each source.

On the other hand, if you're interested in seeing which blogs people are sharing, head on over to Twitter search and you can watch as people share blogs and posts that they like. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter while you're there!

This is one of many features announced as part of Blogger's 10th birthday. Happy Birthday!

Things you can do from here:

Friday, August 28, 2009

job search notes: attitude and gumption

Carolyn gets to study in Greece this coming semester.

How does she manage that?
She asked nicely saying: "Can I go abroad for the semester? It won't cost more than it would on campus."

Having done a little traveling abroad in my lifetime, it is an opportunity for a great experience. Given the scenario as posed, what else could we say (yes, Dolores of course was part of the decision): yes!

Attitude and gumption tend to go together. That is, if you have the proper attitude, you can get the gumption to do stuff. Like almost whatever you want. If you can think it, it can become real. Imagination requires very little other than some time.

Carolyn gets to study in Greece this semester. Had a little party to wish her wel

In the job search work team session this week, there were a couple of new folks. One just recently notified of her change to "unemployed" status, the other had already been out since early in July. Time makes a difference in this case. The most recent one was so down in the dumps it was almost funny if it wasn't so sad.

Those who have been unemployed have seen this first hand, been there done that. You have down periods, usually right at the beginning and then sometimes along the way. Working in a group setting like this job search work team, the dumps can be handled with appropriate support from the others.

The one requirements is a willingness, a readiness to accept the help. If the person in the dumps keeps coming back with "yes, but..." they are not ready yet.

We can only hope that when they are ready, that they do reach out. Help is available. We are in this together and we can succeed by helping each other.

And when we land our next position, we can celebrate with a delicious cake, or brownies, or cookies or whatever really floats the boat (if you know what I mean!).

Attitude and gumption go together like cake and ice cream!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

job search notes: Bee positive!

Do you see weeds?

Or like the bumble bee who was just here, do you see a good source of food and sustenance?

If this was in front of your house, you might see weeds.

That would be a natural reaction.

While the bee was quicker than I in the photo above.

I was successful and caught the bee in action in this photo.

Lesson for the day: be positive!

Your positive approach makes the world a different place!

join the Reading Odyssey!

Many of us have a certain passion for reading and sharing about what we have read, so you maybe interested in this site I just found:

Reading Odyssey is a nonprofit dedicated to helping adults reengage their intellectual curiosity through reading and discussing some of the best books and ideas.

Many of their events provide for registration for an 'in person' experience as well as a teleconference, via web or Skype.

You can view their Eventbrite calendar and register here

The series is looking to promote discussion around the 150th anniversary of Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species.

Join their Facebook group here

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

job search notes: links to share

From my recent cruising, these are good links to share:

1 - tips on negotiating salary

2 - free webinar on how to use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

3 - free mission statement builder from Franklin Covey

4 - and since this has been a recurring topic amongst discussion groups

Did I Screw Up My Job Interview Thank You Letter?

from Work Coach Cafe by Ronnie Ann

What links would you share to help another person's job search?

Monday, August 24, 2009

job search notes: leave no buddy behind!!

While on the job search, one thing I think most would agree on is that there is success in working together.

Let's expand upon this idea.
  • Let's find a place such that we can open the event to a large audience of job seekers.
  • Let's meet say on a Saturday afternoon from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
  • Let's all come together, share our tips and insights on resumes, interviewing, dealing with recruiters and other topics near and dear to the job search effort.
This expanded idea has been held in other major US cities as a "Laid Off Camp".

Why not hold one in New England?

If you would like to help organize one for Providence, or Boston, or Worcester, please let me know.

If you can't help organize, no problem, stay tuned here and we'll keep you informed. You will have the opportunity to participate.

Let's leave no buddy behind!

Note: The main wiki for LaidOff Camp can be found here:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

job search notes: how do you define success?

... what I want to argue for, is not that we should give up on our ideas of success. But we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas. And make sure that we own them, that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it's bad enough, not getting what you want. But it's even worse to have an idea of what it is you want, and find out at the end of a journey, that it isn't, in fact, what you wanted all along.
Alain de Botton says this towards the end of his recent TED Talk. You can view the approximately 17 talk here:

How do you define success?

Scenes from Providence, RI

The weather was hot in Providence when I was walking around taking these photos.

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

job search notes: check the foundation

Have you checked your foundation lately? How is it holding up?

Is there any erosion you need to be concerned with?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

my copy of Trust Agents arrived!

Hurray I can start to read the new book by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith. It just arrived via today. I had pre-ordered this sometime ago.

If you have not yet ordered your copy you can do so from here

job search notes: feedback letter

Two stories this time, leading to a lesson on creating a great experience.

1 - I trust that my feedback will not create the anticipation and anxiety it used to for me with one boss that I had early on.

It was so early, it was in the days of typewriters. Yes, a long time ago. :-)

Anyway, each report or memo I wrote, needed to go through him first before the secretary would send it out in the old fashioned inter-office mail. The first one I sent him came back with so much red ink on it, I thought someone had spilled a bucket of paint on it.

Over time, I did get to the point were I was able to get the report or memo back with one minor correction. It took time, patience and work but the end result was a great one.

Not that I would ever presume to be your boss, I just don't want my emails to be anticipated with dread.

2 - Tom Asacker tells a story in his book, A Clear Eye for Branding that I would subtitle "Content in Context". Briefly, Tom's story starts with a picture. A hand written sign propped up along a country road. The sign reads: "Fresh fruit and vegetables". The country road, the hand written sign, the text about "fresh" is reinforced by the wholeness of the package. These are likely to be as fresh as they can be. The content in the context works.

Second picture, similar setting, similar hand written sign further along the same country road. The text this time reads: "Free flying lessons". Now, is this something that would convey a warm and fuzzy feeling that this might be the best deal on flying lessons you can obtain? Or does this send off alarms as probably not a good thing to do? The content in the context (free flying lessons) does not work so well as the "fresh vegetables".

The point of the matter this week:
What can you do to ensure that you convey the whole message, and nothing but the message, in the proper context?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good links to share

1 - What do you leave behind after an interview? Hopefully, a good impression.

Job Interviews: 10 Impressions You Leave Behind After an Interview

from Work Coach Cafe by Ronnie Ann


2 -

Your 2 Critical LinkedIn Networks

from Social Media Sonar by Sean


3 - The PodCamp Boston archive of posts and reflections

Invasion of the Pod Tweeple #pcb4

from by Kara B


4 - One book recommendation. I have ordered it. I have read his blog for some time. I have read his PDF teaser. This will be a good book. I have no doubt about it.

The Big Push

from by chrisbrogan


5 - Food for thought. Band width sync correlation. Say what? Yes please read for more about this interesting item

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Millie!

Millie Garfield, have a most happy birthday today!

192 A P gold and blue mosaic tile Vintage LEGO brick letter P letter Y
letter B Educational Brick Letter I R T SPARKLE H KMcElman_090514_D letter A Y
M i24mex letter L L I letter E

job search notes: letter to self

How do you care for your inner circle?
The inner circle, that is those who have most subscribed to 'You'?

I appreciate your dilemma in trying to provide me something different and special here versus elsewhere. I think you can address this by providing some separation between what you do here and what you post elsewhere or tweet about.

The other part of the 'how' I would suggest is really how you deliver that special part of 'You' that we have subscribed to. We recognize that text is great for searching, speed reading, and ruminating upon (re-reading is easy). But does text really deliver 'you'?

I would suggest you consider video segments. Short, to the point, delivered with the passion and intensity that is provided by the person that walks in your shoes. Folks can see that when they meet you in person, why not help them when they can't?

Can you provide the video delivery via email?
Past experience has shown that clicking links within emails to open attachments, etc. are less successful than providing the text in the body. In this case, for the most devoted subscribers of 'You', it might be worth a shot to try.

After all, if anyone would click through, we are the most likely to do so. All other number studies were done from a study of the full population; the mix of 'followers', 'readers', and 'engaged' (to divide the audience into three parts). The engaged were the ones to click through. You have already segmented the 'engaged' here. It might be worth considering.

What do you think?

Monday, August 17, 2009

job search notes: mark of distinction

What is your mark of distinction?

How do you stand out in a crowd?

What is your mark of distinction?, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Do you wear a hat?

Do you deliver what you promise?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blackstone River State Park

Dolores and I explored a few miles of the Blackstone River State Park down along the Cumberland and Lincoln, RI town lines. We will return with our bikes to explore further but it was a very pleasant walk amongst the shaded trail. We stopped in to see the history Kelly House across from the Ashton Mills. Mr Kelly had built this house when he came to the area for his family. He built a mill next door (the foundation remains) and helped to build the canal along the Blackstone River in the 1820's.

The Franklin Citizens Rail Trail Committee is meeting this week to continue work on refurbishing the rail trail through Franklin that would connect us in Uxbridge to the Blackstone River Trail from RI up to the head waters of the Blackstone in Worcester.

Wouldn't it be something to ride your bike from Franklin to the Blackstone and then either south to Providence (and beyond) or up to Worcester?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home from school, finally

Carolyn had extended her co-op at Northeastern and finally came home this week with a full van load. It wasn't loaded quite so much going there but then things accumulate over time.

It is amazing how much stuff does accumulate. Fortunately, Northeastern provides the grey bins on wheels (laundry carts to some) that make it a little easier to move all that 'stuff' from the dorm room to curb side and thence to the vehicle.

Oh and where does it go when it comes home? Temporaily into the dining room and parlor as a staging zone so it can get sorted out and stored properly somewhere.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thanks to CC Chapman

While I continue to collect my thoughts about the recent PodCamp Boston, here is a great slide show of excellent photos taken by CC Chapman. The smiles on the faces reflect the positive energy that buzzed through the whole weekend.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Podcamp Boston 4

This was one of the highlights of the recent PodCamp Boston for me. John Robison on the left in the picture below had checked in with me Thursday night about coming to PodCamp. I told him that he would add value to discussions if he came. He did register and show up on Saturday.

Podcamp Boston 4, originally uploaded by CC Chapman.

Meantime, Chris Brogan when told John was going to be there, had already read John's book (Look me in the Eye; in the center) and wanted to meet him.

It was a pleasure to introduce the two during the lunch hour.

Thanks to CC Chapman for this photo. I took one also but his came out way better.


Selections from the Twitter stream

@tamadear: This. is. awesome. Twitter disguised as Excel. (via @janepyle @marciamarcia @jeffcutler)


"Learning occurs in its own good time." the latest in August's theme from @davidzinger #jjlhui


"Probably the biggest change from last year was within myself." @gradontripp writes about #pcb4


"You are much better than you think, but you have to awaken that inside you" wise words from @cspenn #pcb4


Formal study published on use of Twitter at conferences - need to be mindful of those without accounts #pcb4


"a communication tool which wielded correctly,is a very powerful sword" insights from @somebunnyslove #pcb4

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The tide was low before #PCB4 started

but it didn't stay low for long. As the folks arrived, the conversations started, the energy grew and is continuing even now. The Twitter stream for PCB4 is continuing to be active as the folks post their recaps, pictures, thoughts, etc.

The tide was low before #PCB4 started it has risen with the arrival of folks and, originally uploaded by shersteve.

I'll have mine here eventually.

It was a great event and I have a few takeaways to share. Just need to integrate the time to post those with everything else going on this week.

In the meantime, watch the Twitter stream or the Flickr group.

The Power of a Story

A good story, well told, will engage the audience. The story behind this film is almost as interesting as the story of one John Walker, one the world is more familiar with as "Johnny Walker".

I do like Scotch. I think this story is so good, I will consider asking for Johnny Walker.

This is what I would classify as a "good experience". What do you think?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Podcamp Boston 4 - puzzled?

Podcamp Boston 4, originally uploaded by CC Chapman.

Was the Welcome Desk that hard at PodCamp Boston for something to have puzzled Doug Haslam (@DougH) and I so?

At least for the moment that @CC_Chapman captured it was!

More reflections and pictures to come from the energizing weekend spent at PCB4 on the lovely UMAss Boston campus.


job search notes: What kind of lemonade are you making?

I met Eric Proulx at a "pink slip party" in February. We talked later about joining efforts to organize a "LaidOff Camp", he in Boston, me in Providence. When I called recently to check in, he had not done much because he had been busy with this project.

A 30 minute movie coming out in September. Here is the trailer:

What kind of lemonade are you making?

If you would like to help put together a "LaidOff Camp" in either Boston or Providence, or some other location in New England, please let me know.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

PodCamp Boston Anthem

This can be sung to the tune of "Oh, Susanna"
with apologies to Stephen Foster

I come from Franklin, MA with a recorder on my knee
I’m going to PodCamp Boston my friends there to see
The web was down the day I left
Wireless was so spotty
Text and Twitter were all I had left
To keep me from going dotty

All you bloggers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a PowerBook on my knee

I had a dream the other night
Google rank had settled still
I thought I saw my blog somewhere
High upon high, on top of the hill
Technorati, RSS, even Digg
Comments were incoming furious
How did this happen to get so big?
Ah, the Paris Hilton video drew the curious!

All you listeners, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With an iPod on my knee

I’ll soon be at PodCamp Boston
And then I’ll look around
And when I find Chris Brogan
I’ll fall upon the ground
But if I don’t find Steve Garfield
This podcaster surely die
And when I’m dead and buried
Bloggers don’t you cry

All you viewers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a camcorder on my knee

2007 Sherlock's Foolish Music, Inc.
(MADCAP Records)

originally posted for the PodCamp Boston 2 event in 2007

Friday, August 07, 2009

PodCamp Boston prep

Jeff Pulver has tips on how to get the most of attending PodCamp Boston this weekend.

One other thing you can do to prepare: review the potential attendee listing.
  1. Follow their links.
  2. See what they do.
  3. When you happen to meet you can put the name and the site together and get right into the conversation.
For example:

When you see Betsy or Peter Carson, ask about

When you see Rakiesha Chase, ask about the Social Butterfly Experiment

When you see Keren Dagan ask about

When you see Vanessa DiMauro ask about

I could go on but I think you get the idea. There are over 300 registered to attend. There are plenty of folks to meet and learn from on this listing

By the way, when you arrive, I should be at the Welcome Desk to help you get your visit off to a good start.

Government that you can trust

While I work on Franklin Matters sharing information to create an informed community, the fact that there is still mistrust of government is an issue to be addressed. The ethics changes made by Governor Patrick and others are a step in the proper direction for the state level. This Common Cause effort should help us on the national stage.

What change would you like to see to enable a government you can trust?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A PodCamp Primer

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via PodCamp Boston Podcast by (Christopher S. Penn, PodCamp Co-Founder) on 8/4/09

Lots of folks have written about their experiences at PodCamps past and what they're doing to get ready for PodCamp Boston 4. We wanted to take a few moments to reinforce some things that will help you get the most out of your PodCamp experience, whether this is your first or fiftieth PodCamp.

1. PodCamp promotes the Law of Two Feet. If you're not getting what you want out of any activity, session, discussion, or conversation, get up, walk out, and find something that makes better use of your time. PodCamp is full of people who have rich knowledge and experience from all walks of life. Everyone has something to share, to teach, to learn.

2. PodCamp is what you make it. I compare it to an artist's setup. The organizers, the event, are basically setting out an easel, canvas, paint, and brushes for you. You and your fellow participants determine whether you take home a masterpiece or a blank canvas. Not sure where to start? The best way to experience PodCamp is to make a list of burning questions you have about new media before you go, and then ask around at the event and get different perspectives on your questions.

3. PodCamp is not BarCamp, WordCamp, FooCamp, or *.Camp. PodCamp is probably more structured and certainly organized differently than other unconferences you've been to by design. It was our experience very early on at the first PodCamp Boston that for folks who are new to new media and new to unconferences, additional structure helped them make the transition from their experience with other conferences to a new media conference easier. If you're an unconference veteran, you'll find a day-of wiki and plenty of open space to do as you like. If you're brand new to PodCamp, you'll find enough on the schedule to make you comfortable (or justify the expense to a boss who isn't coming!) while letting you experience the unconference format at your own pace.

4. PodCamp promotes the Law of Null Space. We do our best to pick venues that have lots of open space, flexible seating, and opportunities for ad hoc discussions and conversations. The formal programmed sessions exist only as support for people not already engaged in great conversations of their own. If you and a few like minded folks want to talk about something, broadcast it on Twitter, yell it in a hallway, and gather people to the nearest convenient space to have the discussion you want to have.

Things you can do from here:

PodCamp Boston 4 Schedule Posted!

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via PodCamp Boston Podcast by (Christopher S. Penn, PodCamp Co-Founder) on 7/31/09

The formal discussion schedule for PodCamp Boston 4 has been posted and can be viewed on our Schedule page. A few notes:

1. Don't print it out just yet. It's subject to change.

2. You'll note there are 3 rooms and 1 space (possibly more) that are designated as open/unplanned. These are spaces that are lounges with comfortable seating designed for all the impromptu conversations, discussions, guitar performances, etc. that happen at PodCamps. We'll have a wiki page up on the day of the event that will let you schedule these spaces freely, and they're being left up to you entirely.

3. Did we mention it's subject to change?

4. The most important part of PodCamp isn't the schedule or planned discussions. These are at most a third of your PodCamp experience, if that. The real juice is in all the hallway conversations, all the side chats, impromptu activities, etc. that happen spontaneously. The planned discussions are there just to give you some starting points for discussions.

5. PodCamp obeys the Law of Two Feet: just because you sat down in a scheduled discussion doesn't mean you have to stay there. You are expected- obligated, really, to get up and walk out if you're not getting what you want out of the discussion. Go to another one. Go to an unplanned space. Get the most out of PodCamp by doing what you want to do, listening to the conversations you want to listen to.

Things you can do from here: