Ever Summized yourself?

Hoping this won’t read like a very self-involved egotistical ranting, but have you ever Summized yourself? **Please, i know you’ve googled yourself before.**

So why do I ask? Well, last week, I was in San Francisco attending BlogHer 2008. My quick and dirty recap of the conference:

The conference was eye-opening (mommyblogging what?), the content so-so and the people – extraordinary. Per usual, I gained the most value meeting new folks and from the hallway conversations. It was definitely a different perspective and audience. It was great to hear everyone’s  perspective on blogging. I guess, I’m just more information driven and not looking for the emotional – “here is my life and everything you wanted to know about it” connection. I look for news and tips/tricks.

WIll I attend again next year? More than likely not.

While at the conference, Twitter was down for a scheduled maintenance. By now, we are all well aware of Twitter’s constant Fail Whale floating to the top of the internets.  I decided to check for missing @ replies. Luckily, it worked and I found several that I had missed earlier that week.

Should I have to summize myself? Absolutely not.

Is it better than googling myself? Only because it makes me feel less narcissistic.

Will I do it again? Only, if I see that damn whale again.



Know it’s been quite sometime since I’ve written a genuinely thought provoking post – hell, not sure if I have yet or not. But, I recently decided to check the numbers on a couple of the videos.

Steady and sure, each are picking up great traction (e.g. DreamBig video #1 and @garyvee’s Austin visit). However, most surprising was the Twittter cliff jumping video. I literally slapped that together in about four hours. It has over 1,200 views and more than 675 trackbacks. w00t! Also, it was recently featured on Viddler Blog as a community spotlight piece.

Needless to say, I’m seriously considering a sequel.

Also, would love to say thanks the Austin community for their continued support to Austin 3.0. Joey and I are quite impressed by the responses we’ve received from the tech community. We’ll be at all of the upcoming events, so please make sure to stop by and say hello.

Lastly, as if I don’t neglect this blog enough, I will be heading out on a string of trips for the next couple of weeks. Most notably, I will be heading to San Francisco. Watch out Bay Area. I’m hoping to meet a ton of people and to rep Austin!

So, if you’re in the area and want to meetup, drop me a line. Oh! I suddenly have an idea for a mash-up sequel featuring SF Twits. Let’s make it happen!

The Thunder visits Austin – @garyvee’s visit

Today, I had the opportunity to meet and listen to one of the most passionate men out there – and a true Internet celebrity, HA!. Check out his book

Here’s a guy who genuinely loves life, loves what he does and loves to share that with others. It may be too intense for some, but I figure it evens out somewhere.

Building on my post yesterday, about who/how/when will social media change our conversations and identify those truly genuine – Gary Vaynerchuk is that rare example of someone who “get’s it”. Someone who understands how to use social media – how to combine that with business and be succesful – and how to live life in general.

It was inspiring to hear him talk about his past, what he’s learned and what he thinks of the future. Gary is a natural connector (the people’s person) and uses this to his advantage.

Love the following ideas he threw out there:

  • We now live in an era where an individual’s personal brand is super important – a gold mine as he puts it
  • Think Expectation Zero (looking forward to that post from @garyvee)
  • 80/20 approach to life
  • Understand that in giving – you will receive – it just takes patience
  • The Jets = “America’s team”

I’m a total newbie to wine, and I appreciate Gary’s POV on it (which is much less intimidating than my local sommelier). He’s definitely got something here. If wine is a common thread in bringing people together and the Internet is a tool to get that message out – you’re golden.

Looking forward to reading my *signed* copy of the book as well as watch Gary take over the world!

A Challenge for Social Media

I write this post after a 20 minute drive home from North Austin that had me reflecting over the events from the day. Fair warning, this post betrays quite a bit of personal information.

Today, I proactively excused myself from any and all forms of social networks in order to regroup and prioritize. Luckily, with this attempt, I stumbled across something I had seemingly thought I had lost.

As often as I would consider myself a digital evangelist, I find myself equally stepping back and running – fleeing – the other direction. I’ve come to realize that today’s tools (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, AIM etc) will never supersede the value of face to face conversations.

Despite the worries and thoughts that have weighed down my mind and heart lately, life has a funny way of readjusting my POV.

A step back:

I’m often approached and asked: “what’s happened to you? You’ve changed.” And, with this, I think back and look to the latter half of 2007. Those closest to me would agree that 2H 2007 can be appropriately labeled as “2007: the year of F* you!”.  

Fast Forward:

Nearly a year later, I find it interesting to note the changes (or often lack of one). Three bottles of wine, one bottle of champagne and picking through three different Ben & Jerry pints later, I found myself immersed in a conversation with two of my closest friends, DH and DL

In typical fashion, our conversations ran the gamut:

DL: “As long as it sticks up and goes in, I’m cool with that”

Interpret that as you will.

Coincidentally, this brings me to a short aside on Sex and the City (SATC). Despite what critics may have against SATC – strip away the materialism and cattiness – and you’re left with the essence of what every women claims they can relate to: relationships (sexual, personal, family etc…). I mean, what women can’t relate to that moment in life when your tears are the only thing that separates your face from the cold hard surface of the kitchen floor? but, I digress.

This weekend would have been DH’s wedding. “6..7..8 – we picked that date so it would have been easy for DD to remember,” said DH. And in that simple sentence, my own troubles were abolished.

Throughout tonight’s conversation I would cock my head to the side and think: “Now, this is exactly what I’ve been missing.” From complete silliness to tears, I had the privilege to share in my friends’ lives.

Now what? Social Media:

I’m the first to admit that keeping up on social networks can be a daunting and full-time task in of itself. I’ve been told that these tools add an extra layer/dimension to conversations. I, on the other hand, find that no matter the amount of adjectives, superlatives and emoticons used, these tools will never usurp the art of conversations.

To tie it all together, I refer to this post on Fred Wilson’s blog about the future of Social Media. If social media is truly at its infancy and if people will one day actively participate with their own message, I am left to ponder how will others capture connections similar to what I had experienced tonight? (Truth be told, even this post does little justice).

As much as I am a fan of these tools, as I do believe in their power to bring people together, I grapple with their ability to replace quality face time. So here-in lies the challenge – for those sm buffs out there – how and will SM bridge  into “reality”? And, how does one identify genuineness in such a noisy space?




Summer has officially started

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, especially when asked by non-Twitterers: “What is it and how is it used?”

My standard answer would include a lengthy explanation about microblogging and social media. About 30 seconds into the conversation, I’ve lost them.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just provide them with a real-life visual example? Well, you’re in luck. Check out the video below (find it on: YouTube and Vimeo too). Props to @michaelcummings for helping with the editing and music choice.

Obviously, the video showcases only one facet of Twitter. But, it worked! From the inception of the idea to its execution, and finally to everyone’s recap, followers are privy to the day’s festivities. In roughly 140 characters, you can share your entire story.

The past weekend is marked by complete spontaneous acts based on an “I do what I want – and – sure why not” attitude. From impromptu swims to torch bicycle races to cliff jumping, this weekend should be a reminder to always take the time to do something different.

P.S: I may not be in my own movie, but I do have my battle scars. That last cliff owned me and now it hurts to sit.   Want to see?

Social media kids being social..(in real-life)

Ever tried to explain what Twitter is to someone who isn’t an Internet junkie or generally tech savvy?

You can almost imagine their eyes glazing over long before you say: “It’s a micro-blog”.

Over the past month, it has become quite clear that I’ve created two sets of friends: 1) Internet-lovers and 2) the “I’d rather be outside” crowd. Having the two has kept my life in balance – continuously playing a check ‘n balances act.

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of resistance and mockery from group 2 about the lack of “true” social interaction of group 1. My best friend of decades, who happens to work for a little company that rhymes with “Oogle” scoffed and blurted out:

Social media? What does that mean? What happened to calling someone – don’t ever tweet me.

Touché, I say.

But, interestingly, group #1 of late has started to evolve and, dare I say, cross the line into group #2. <<Check out the listing of events here>>

Could my online social networking groups actually generate new offline social groups?

I’m a Facebook user, but I never thought of it as a tool to actively make new connections. Everyone I befriend is someone I’ve met and have had face-to-face conversations. Since SXSW, the tables have turned. Now, an introduction is made online, and then we meet-up.

Is this the next iteration of social networking?  Or, perhaps I’ve been using these tools incorrectly this whole time. ..