Monday, December 21, 2009

The Full Story: Why and How I Am Moving to L.A. - and How You Can Help

My name is Will Conley, and I am looking for a few square feet to rest my head in Los Angeles for $300 a month beginning February 7th, 2010 for the duration at least the next few months of my interesting life.

I am traveling there from the Twin Cities, Minnesota via three-week road trip beginning January 16th.

I know how this sounds. Three hundred bucks a month in Los Angeles?! Ha ha ha! Good luck! Such have been some of the reactions to my all-points bulletin. An understandable response!

But my faith is unshakeable.

My basic needs are surprisingly simple: A few square feet of space to rest my head: A room, living room, a cave. The use of a shared kitchen and bathroom. Access to WiFi.

That's it. That's all I want.

Do you know someone - including yourself - who could use an extra $300 a month in exchange for a clean, quiet roommate? If so, please email me: willconley777 at gmail dot com.

So who am I, anyway?

I am a creative person. My bread and butter is freelance writing. My basic source of income is through http://DemandStudios.com, a web content production company. I mainly write how-to articles. Topics range from the mind-numbingly simple (How to Tie Your Shoes) to the somewhat more complex (How to Convert WAV Files to MP3, How to Produce Better Tone on a Euphonium).

My creative pursuits include writing, film production, and comedy. (See my YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/willconley777 for some samples.) I have traveled and lived throughout the world in various capacities. My earlier days of travel were the most exotic and "noteworthy" of my adventures: I lived in Paris for a month in 1999 on a University of Minnesota program; appeared in the original London cast of a Tony- and Emmy-winning musical called Blast! in 2000; worked for the National Journal in Washington D.C. on a political journalism internship in 2001.

In Minneapolis, my hometown, I attended the University of Minnesota and formed an arts collective called "Afunctionul". I also learned how to write and perform spoken word poetry and hip hop. In Minnesota, I performed extensively in Minneapolis and St. Paul (2000-2004). Elsewhere, I made a small name for myself as a poet and rapper in New Haven, Connecticut (2004-2007). I lived in Roswell, New Mexico for the last six months of 2007 as a construction worker; I lived in Yonkers, New York for the entirety of 2008 as a writer. I love New York.

I have a taste for the varied and interesting. That is why my next move will be to Los Angeles. Until recently, I had only heard negative things about it. I had been planning to move to San Francisco. When I learned that L.A. was a creative and cultural hub, and not just some washed-out Hollywood ghost town like so many led me to believe, I decided to change plans. After all, half the reason I am moving is for the warm climate; Los Angeles beats San Francisco hands-down in that arena.

I have designs on "settling down" in L.A. permanently. Although I love to wander, I am now 29 years old. I figure L.A. is the perfect place for a wanderer to call home. It is gigantic. I love big cities. I have spent much time in New York City, and I love it there, but L.A. suits my warm blood much better. Long may the sun shine on SoCal.

You can learn more about my mind, personality, history, professional resume, and everything else, via http://willconley.extendr.com. That's my entire Web footprint. Fair warning: It's huge. (Cliff's Notes: Friend me on Facebook at http://facebook.com/wconley. Get LinkedIn with me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/willconley. Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/willconley777.)

One other curiosity about this permanent move is the route by which I will arrive. I will be driving with a journalist friend named Katherine Glover (http://katherineglover.net), who is traveling throughout the West on research for a series of articles about human trafficking (Interesting, right?) We will go down through the Midwest, Texas, the Southwest, and finally Los Angeles. Katherine will continue on to Fresno, where she will be performing in a one-woman show, after which she will drive home through Denver. The reason this aspect of my move is so interesting to me is because it matches up beautifully with a dream I dreamed early this year (2009). Check it out: http://americanwest.crowdvine.com

I have been using the above social networks to get the word out about my need to rent those few square feet of space (or "a clean, well-lighted place," if I am to affect my best Hemingway.) My needs are very simple, as you can see. I travel light. My only belongings will fit inside a couple of suitcases and a backpack. I will carry with me an air mattress, so that even if I end up with an unfurnished place, I will be able to sleep soundly.

I have plenty of references and testimonials, both from people I know only online and from people I have known or lived with in real life. Get in touch with me via willconley777 at gmail dot com if you think I am someone with whom you can share a living space.

Life is an adventure. Take risks. Be safe. Live fully. Give me a try as a roommate if you think you can use $300 a month.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get the word out about this. When you are done reading this, please consider taking me up on this offer if you live in L.A. In addition, spread the word! Link to this article and send it to people you trust.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,
Will Conley

















Monday, December 14, 2009

Humorist Jerry Abejo Mentions Me in "portraits of nausea"

http://portraitsofnausea.com/post/281816668/mention-douchebag-automatic

Posted via email from Will Conley's Random Things

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Decline and Fall of the Word "Douchebag"

Faceboook Lexicon showing the decline of the word "douchebag" in status updates.


I rest my case. "Douchebag" is dying. There there, my douche. There there. I said it was dying, not dead. We're all dying. Feel better now?

Long, long ago (Spring 2009) in a social network far, far away (Twitter, click here) I overheard (saw) David Armano (@armano) say (tweet) ENOUGH WITH THE PARENTHETICAL ASIDES ALREADY (okay, okay) the word "douchebag". Naturally, I engaged him in some stimulating scholarly dialogue about the popular status of the word "douchebag". Douchebag, douchebag, douchebag. It really is a satisfying, mildly offensive word, isn't it? Like a nice, milky, hefeweisen drunk by the fake fire, "douchebag" goes down easy.

Heh heh, I said "goes down".

So David crosses his legs and he says to me:

"Why William! My good man. I daresay. Fucking 'douchebag' is all the rage! Is it not what all the children - Jeeves! Get me my bowler! Good man! - is "douchebag" not simply the most amenable utterance among the youth of our day?"

I lowered my monocle and replied:

"My dear friend. David. Davidoff. Can I call you Davidoff? Davidoff. Davidhoffen. Meister. I shall call you Davidhoffenmeister. Davidhoffenmeister? Davidhoffenmeister. I daresay 'Douchebag' has been in decline for nigh on some goodly time, now, I would imagine. Why, upon my word, at my last high society function in a shithole basement apartment in Alphabet City, I heard the word 'douchebag' on eleven, perhaps twelve different occasions, not counting the use of the 'douchebag automatic.'"

Davidhoffenmeister cleared his throat:

"'Douchebag automatic', William? Whatever do you mean?"

I was like:

"Douchebag automatic. 'Tis when your 'mate' says 'douchebag' three dozen times in the telling of a single droll anecdote."

And Davidhoffenmeisterweisenheimer was all:

"Oh. Well then. Why do you say, my goodly gentleman from Andover or some shit, that 'douchebag' is in decline?"

And I said, like bam:

"Just as an aging star glows brightest in its death throes, or as the Roman Empire rushed headlong into a spectacular fiscal expenditure spree on muskets and F-14 stealth jetpacks during its final moments before the Hitler came in and nuked those douchebags to Timbuktu, 'douchebag' is heard everywhere now only in paean to its own demise."

I showed him a graph. Much like the one you see in this post. Its contents speak for themselves. But I will speak over its contents anyway. It says Facebook users don't use "douchebag" as often as they used to. It peaked in 2007 and has been in decline ever since. While network television continues its increase of the word "douchebag", the Facebook elite (all eleventeen million of them) are no longer as tickled by the word.
Davidhoffenmeisterweisenheimenkopf laughed a jolly laugh, took a sip of brandy, said "Fuck that noise, Jeeves, gimme quaaludes", and said:

"Jolly good show, William! Jolly good, jolly good. I see you have bested me yet again!"
After which, Davidhoffenmeisterweisenheimenkopffleupagus and I headed out for a sporting round of Scottish baseball (such a wee little ball!) and some crumpets and empire building.

















Monday, April 27, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuck Finally Gets the Recognition He Deserves!

My new friend Jennifer over at http://www.jenniferreviews.com/ has reposted my Gary Vaynerchuck parody video, "Man of Many Wines - Episode 1" on her blog.

In honor of the momentous occasion of my newfound fame, I would like to present me with this garland of roses (de-thorned for my comfort, spritzed for due effect) and a kiss on the cheek. Thank me, me. Thank me very much. I am honored. Muah.

Do check out Jennifer's blog. She reviews wines, knows her marketing stuff, and demonstrates Christian pity on dime-store web-cam hacks ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Video Review of the Red Hot Referrals Chapter of Business Network International (BNI)

I attended Visitor Day today at the Red Hot Referrals chapter of Business Network International (BNI). This is my review of the experience.

What is "Red Hot Referrals"? It is the White Bear Lake, MN chapter of an international real-world network of business professionals, called BNI. Similar to a chamber of commerce, members give each other business referrals.

Pretty straightforward.

What sets BNI apart from a chamber of commerce is that each chapter allows a maximum of one member from each type of business. For example, there is only one lawn care specialist in the Red Hot Referrals chapter, based in White Bear Lake. This creates an atmosphere of "preferred referrals" within the chapter and "locks out" the competition. If you join BNI, you will never see a "rival" company in your chapter. This lets you breathe easy and just be yourself. And trade lucrative business referrals with other members.

Pretty smart, right?

It costs about $400 a year to be a member of BNI. You have to attend meetings about once a week. "It's not netsitting, it's not neteating, it's networking," as they say.

The benefits of the organization became obvious to me when I attended Visitor Day today. Many long-time members attested to the effectiveness of the organization. Some members said they get as much as 70% of their business from Red Hot Referrals alone.

Everyone seemed to me very real, very genuine. I detected little to no bullshit whatsoever.

Those at RHR who I spoke with, please feel free to get in touch with me via http://willconley.extendr.com. Also: Comment right here freely.

Those who are not in BNI: Consider joining. It's awesome. And comment here freely.

I hope you enjoy the review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Product vs. Brand: An Anecdotal Résumé for a Brand Revolutionary

For a rote employment history please view my résumé on LinkedIn. For an anecdotal résumé, please enjoy this post.

Youth was not wasted on the young.

Not in this case, at least. Here are some of my happiest branding memories from the days of yore. (Or my, as it were.)




The Product: Homemade Cookies



The Work: Sold a big plate of homemade cookies for 50 cents apiece door-to-door at age 6. Made six dollars, paid my sweat shop worker (mom) a dime.

The Brand: Big Brown Eyes






The Product: Greeting Cards and Stationery



The Work: Sold greeting cards, gifts and stationery for Olympia Sales Club (R.I.P.) during my pre-teens. Again with the door-to-door.

The Brand: Gumption. Strangers were impressed by a young person selling things to them.




The Product: Money



The Work: Put in my hard time as a telephone fundraiser for powerfully peppy librul organizations. Learned how to sell an idea to a stranger for $270 in under 60 seconds.

The Brand: Peace and Solidarity






The Product: Art



The Work: Post-college years: Assembled a collective of like-minded (and un-like-minded) artists, musicians, writers and misfits to throw shows and sells zines. (What's a zine?) Afunctionul, as the group was called, was more than just about the art. It was about the movement. It was about the method. It was about the activity itself - especially the marketing.

The Brand: Activity






The Product: Ad Space

The Work: While at tiny alternative weekly newspaper Pulse of the Twin Cities (now gone the way of Belushi and Cobain, R.I.P.), co-opted behemoth rival City Pages' Minnesota Music Directory and used it to market ad space to musicians. City Pages sales director threatened "legal action" for having "filched" their public list but ended up offering me a job instead.

The Brand: Big brass balls of steel and impudence.




The Product: Ad Space



The Work: I built a classified advertising section for Pulse from the ground up. Kept it humorous but classy.

The Brand:






The Product: Street Promotion

The Work: Passed out promotional flyers on the streets of Manhattan. The challenge: Holding a piece of paper in front of a New Yorker is like saying "Here, you throw this away." Solution: target one person and start talking to them a half a block before they reach your position, then lunge with the flyer as if jousting. Score.

The Brand: Pure golden sunshine energy charged in the palm of my hand and released.




All Grown Up Now...

But I will never forget those formative years. I never knew I was learning the difference between products and brands.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to Use Twitter for Business

A few rules of thumb for businesses using Twitter. For beginners and experienced Twitter users alike.

Are you considering using Twitter to promote your business and communicate with customers and prospects? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Twitter user, the following rules of thumb will help your business get the most out of Twitter.

1. Relax, my friend! It's a cocktail party, not a sales presentation or board meeting.

2. Link your Twitter profile to your website or blog (and your website or blog should include easy links to the rest of your entire Internet presence.)

3. Have a to-the-point but interesting Twitter bio. Include your title and business name, but follow it up with something personal, distinctive or even wacky. You're a human being, act like it.

4. Tweet. Duh.

5. Vary your tweet content and style. Again, you are a human being living on Planet Earth. Don't try to tell me that your business is the only thing you care about. If something random but interesting comes to mind, tweet it.

6. Balance regular tweets with replies. Reply too seldom and you will be correctly identified as self-absorbed. Reply too often and you will be properly pegged as a follower not an initiator. Find an instinctive balance and I might just think you're human.

7. Be genuine. Are you seeing a pattern here?

8. Make your promo tweets AWESOME. Study great newspaper headlines and commercial tag lines. Take note when you see a great tweet and analyze it to find out why you love it. Apply what you learn to your tweets.

9. Time your promo tweets to coincide with UNUSUAL sales, promotions, events, etc. Timing is everything.

10. Help others. Freely re-tweet great tweets.

11. Share great links you think your followers might love.

12. Make friends. This goes along with that whole "try to pretend to act like a human being" thing.

The take-home lesson here is be human, interact, promote others as well as you and your business, be human, be brilliant, be human, and be...

What's the word of the day?

How to Throw a Yard Sale Using Social Media

This article describes how to leverage social media to supercharge your garage or yard sale and make a few hundred dollars in one day by selling things you do not want.

Do you have too much stuff in your house? Do you need a few hundred dollars to help lessen the blow of the economic recession?

Throw a garage or yard sale. Gather all the things you do not want or need, sort them into groups, put some thought into the prices for your things, and present them to your neighborhood for sale.

But how are you going to get people to come to your sale and BUY your things? How will you target the right people who want what you have?

How will you CRUSH IT and MAKE SURE your sale is worth your effort?

Use social media. If you build it, they will come is WRONG. Or at least incomplete. The quote should be, If you build it AND you market it, they will come.

My roommates and I threw a MASSIVE moving sale in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA this weekend. We got rid of all the things we did not want to keep as we all move on to our respective new homes. We made hundreds of dollars. And: WE HAD FUN!

(If you're not having fun, what's the point. Really. Everyone should know that by now. Come on.)

Here is how we made it happen.

1. Agree to the sale date, time, and mission. Our mission? In our case: to get rid of 90% of our material belongings so as to live a more Spartan - and hopefully more free - life.

2. Market the hell out of the sale, one week running up to the sale date:
3. Make sure your inventory matches the tone of the marketing campaign. (A "massive" moving sale had better have a lot of stuff in it, which it did in our case.)

4. Stay PRESENT during the sale. This means demonstrating a little respect for your customers. Greet them. Answer their questions before they can muster the courage to ask. Listen. Respond. SELL. MAKE FRIENDS!!!

5. Continue your marketing efforts DURING THE SALE. How? Just be awesome. Help carry larger items to your customers' vehicles. Offer coffee to make customers feel more comfortable and at-home. Be fun. Be real. Word-of-mouth will do the rest. In our case, excellent customer service resulted in multiple compound sales referrals.

So, to recap:

How to throw a yard sale using social media? Plan what to sell; market like a hustler; be honest; execute well; and give customers something to rave about.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Parody of Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library TV (Man of Many Wines - Episode 1)

This video is a tribute to/parody of Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library TV show. Watch an episode or two of Gary's lively wine tasting video series at http://tv.winelibrary.com/ to get in on the joke, or just dive into Man of Many Wines - Episode 1, right here. Guaranteed to amuse, annoy, or bore you to smithereens.

Then make absolutely sure to check out and subscribe to my blog, Man of Many Words, at http://manofmanywords.blogspot.com, else you shall surely die (of boredom).

I hope you enjoy this loving dig at "the Internet's most passionate wine show", and remember: You, with a little bit of wine? Much more interesting.

- Will Conley, Man of Many Words

Credits:Will Conley, Host and Co-producerBrittany Wheeler, Director and Co-producer
Nicole Christine, Quality Assurance
Gary Vaynerchuck and The Wine Library TV Team, Inspiration
Wine, Truth



P.S. Be sure to get your free issue of Il Mio Vino, the Italian wine magazine, at http://tinyurl.com/ilmiovino

P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter for shits and giggles.

P.P.P.S. Please share the hell out of this loving parody of Gary Vaynerchuck.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My First Video Log EVER

Hi. My name is Will Conley, a.k.a. Man of Many Words. I have been blogging since Spring of 2006 and this is my very first video log. I will be talking about everything from social media to Italian wine to just why and how come it rains and snows when all we really want is nothing but bright, bright, sunshiny days.




Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Make 1.5 Cents an Hour on Twitter

Or, How to Be Jaguar/Land Rover and Spend Less Than $1,000 on Your Twitter Marketing Campaign


Screenshot of my Twitter profile with Land Rover's display ad and their first of three promo tweets. (As seen in PowerTwitter, a handy Firefox addon for enhancing your Twitter Web experience.)

So you've tried making money online by embedding ugly Google ads on your website and by the end of the year you had made enough money to buy a sock.

Time for a new get-poor-quick scheme.

Enter Twittad.

Twittad is a way for you to make big, big money on Twitter by uploading a display ad to your Twitter profile and allowing the advertiser to tweet a promo from your Twitter account: one tweet at the beginning of the agreed-upon time period, one tweet at the end, and maybe a little in the middle depending on the ad agreement.

It's not even all that obnoxious.

Me, I'm letting Land Rover advertise with me for 7 days for Two Dollars and Fifty Cents. They tweeted (see screenshot above) the moment I accepted the agreement and will tweet two more times through me. No big deal.

I won't get my Two Dollars and Fifty Cents right away at the end of the week. Twittad makes you earn $30 before they will cough up all over your PayPal account.

My ad agreement with Land Rover is better than some other ad offers. One advertiser wanted to give me Two Dollars and Fifty Cents for a whole month. I was like, "No way, I'm rolling in Land Rover dough, ain't got time for your chump change."

On the other hand, other advertisers will pay a whole ten bucks for just a week. I'm guessing others will pay more - especially if you have a lot of followers.

I have about 1,000 followers on Twitter. I tweet frequently. I engage my followers. I try to keep things interesting. (Follow me.) TweetValue says my Twitter profile is worth $644 based purely on followership. That's bull. A Twitter profile - or anything in the world, actually - is worth exactly whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Besides, followership means nothing. You can have 50,000 followers, but how many of them actually listen to anything you say? Branding is not about sheer numbers, people. Don't get me started.

Land Rover is pretty smart. They're spending less than $1,000 on their Twitter campaign, recruiting 300 Twitterers to the cause just in time for the New York Auto Show.

Now if I can just get Jaguar/Land Rover on board as a Westward Invasion sponsor.

If you want to make some money on your Twitter account (and you might as well) then visit Twittad and sign up. Give it a shot. If you save your proceeds, and I save mine, and we put it in the bank, it will gain interest and our great great grandchildren will be set for life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Seesmic Desktop Preview - 9 Amazing Thoughts for Seesmic Founder Loïc Le Meur



    "Seesmic Desktop" is the make and model of the latest and greatest Twitter client for Mac and Windows.

    And that was a triply-parallel sentence.

    And that was a fragment.

    Seesmic founder Loïc Le Meur (who created the soon-to-be-downsized Twhirl, another Twitter client) pre-released Seesmic Desktop today at 6pm PST to the ultra-elite "Team Seesmic" - of which yours truly is a member, thank you, thank you.

    So I gave Seesmic Desktop a test drive.

    (Join Team Seesmic here - no higher brain functions necessary - and become one of the elite few-dozen thousand. Like me.)

    As a loyal and steely-eyed member of Team Seesmic, it is my sworn duty to give Loïc Le Meur some honest feedback about Seesmic Desktop. So here it is - my feedback - blow by blow:

    1. Figure out a catchier name. Something more...je ne sais quoi...more Twitter-esque. Come on Loïc Le Meur, "Seesmic Desktop"? That doesn't sound like a Twitter client to me. Sounds like some Frenchman trying to be incognito. How about "Tweesmic", bub. Try that. Then we'll talk.

    2. Right off the bat, Seesmic Desktop looks and acts much like TweetDeck. You've got your maximizable window with the multiple columns - one for the general tweetstream, one for replies, one for direct messages, and one for groups (sneakily dubbed "userlists" to differentiate from TweetDeck). Very nice, love it, old standby feature, must-have, you're beautiful, don't ever change.

    3. You tweet from up top as in TweetDeck, only instead of a tweet zone that appears and disappears at the click of a button, the tweet zone stays there, right out in the open, encouraging copious amounts of over-tweeting. Again, I-love-you-don't-ever-change.

    4. You can tweet from multiple Twitter accounts using Seesmic Desktop. Awesome. You can't tweet from them simultaneously though. You should be able to do that. Get on it, Loïc Le Meur.

    5. Some of the same bugs I see in TweetDeck and DestroyTwitter (another Twitter client you must try - wins the Will Conley Award for "Most Beautiful and Most Fluid Twitter Client") appear in Seesmic Desktop. For example, I open SD, I see tweets in my Replies column, I close the client, I open it again, and some of the tweets I saw earlier are now missing. WTF, mate? Also: What The Fuck, mate? Probably just Twitter's fault, not that of the client itself.

    By the way, quick commercial break for those who don't know what a client is: In Computer Land a "client" is "an application or system that accesses a remote service on another computer system, known as a server, by way of a network." Some people say "app" or "application" interchangably with "client" but those people are wrong and sad and need therapy and are socially awkward and will fork over their lunch money or else.

    6. Yo Loïc Le Meur, when I go to make a "userlist" or group, when I close the program and then reopen it, the userlist is gone. Userlists are useless unless they are savable. Fix that and you'rebeautifuldon'teverchange.

    What else.

    7. Apparently you can save searches from session to session in Seesmic Desktop. That's like, if you want to track all Twitter mentions of your company name, you will always be abreast of the nasty things people say about your company by using the saved search function on Seesmic Desktop. I don't trust it though, not yet. Fix it and/or give me some assurance of its "saved" savedness, Loïc Le Meur. Love ya. Je t'aime.

    Sorry, I don't mean to keep saying your name and making excessive condescending use of French. I actually parles un peu de francais myself. I'm just "having a go" at you and your culture, as the lousy Brits say. You understand. I gotta play the part of a bigoted Fox News-watching American, being American and all. I loves me some freedom fries.

    What else some more.

    8. Seesmic Desktop is prettier than TweetDeck. Not as pretty as DestroyTwitter.

    9. Make it so I don't have to refer to a Web browser to find out what someone is replying to when they @ reply me. Let me do it within the client like DestroyTwitter does.

    That's all I got. Talk to me. What do you all think? I know you're dying to talk, so get it on. Right here on Many of Many Words. And tell Loïc Le Meur to say hi to me. I'm lonely for some Internet fame.

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Free LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION to Il Mio Vino?!

    FINAL UPDATE: The links in the post have all been corrected. Thank you for all your patience and feedback. You in the wine industry should now be able to enjoy your free lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino, the Italian wine magazine for serious oenophiles!

    UPDATE: THE LINK TO THE FREE SUBSCRIPTION IS WORKING, BUT WHEN YOU SIGN UP AND HIT "SUBMIT" YOU ARE TAKEN TO AN ERROR PAGE. Please refrain from signing for the moment. When the sign-up page is fixed I will post the go-ahead for you to sign up and get your lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino USA Trade Edition. I apologize for sending you down a dead-end. Please subscribe here to be alerted when the fix takes place (and to stay abreast of wine and social media news on Man of Many Words).

    FREE SUBSCRIPTION FOR LIFE!
    I am NOT kidding you. This is a free lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino, USA Trade Edition. If you are in the wine industry, you get the magazine for free, for life. No obligation, no tricks, no bull. Just click through to the landing page, fill out a few details, and you're done.

    Il Mio Vino, USA Trade Edition is ad-supported so that you in the wine industry can receive unfettered access to the latest and greatest news about Italian wines and stay abreast of the forces that are shaping the Italian wine world. Very cool, right? All I ask in return is that you pass on the good news. Tweet and re-tweet this article, Digg it, thumb it up on StumbleUpon, re-blog it, anything (see below for quick-submit buttons.)

    You get a lifetime of FANTASTIC information about Italy's best value wines, like:

    • Reviews and comparisons
    • Vintner biographies and winery profiles
    • General education about the Italian wine system
    • The latest news affecting the industry
    • Detailed charts, maps, and lush photographs of Italy's best-kept secret wineries
    • And WAY more.

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Il Mio Vino at Vinitaly April 2-6, 2009



    My sponsor Il Mio Vino will be present at Vinitaly, one of the most influential wine events in Europe, April 2 - 6 in Verona.

    Editors and experts from Il Mio Vino will be waiting for you at the Il Mio Castello S.P.A. booth, at the Centroservizi Castelvecchio - Stand Area 2.

    Give them a call (+39.348.228.1652) or drop an email either to info@ilmiovino.it or gaetano.manti@gmail.com, and they will set up an appointment with you at the booth.

    Vinitaly has been going on since 1967. A few dozen wine makers were present at that first event. Since then it has grown steadily to become a complete wine blowout every year. (View history here.)

    Just to give you an idea as to how big it is, here are some vital stats on this year's Vinitaly:

    • 89,630 sq.m. of net area
    • 4,215 exhibitors (148 international)
    • 157,177 visitors (43,524 international, up by 16% over the 2007 edition)
    • 2,054 journalists (347 international)

    So if you're into wine and you're in Europe, chances are you're already at Vinitaly. Please do stop over to the Il Mio Vino booth. Tell them Will Conley sent you. If they don't know what you're talking about, act real surprised and say, "You don't know who Will Conley is?"



    Sunday, March 29, 2009

    Apparently Someone Thinks This Blog Has Hit The Big Time (HA!)

    Trolls happen. It's a fact of social media.

    What is a troll? A troll is a person who harasses people online. They attempt to evoke an emotional response. They target a person and they generally do not stop until they have had a few laughs at someone else's expense. Without getting into any gory details, I can assure you that trolling has sometimes ended very badly in real life - either for the target or for the troll himself/herself.

    Obviously that's boring.

    This blog has officially been hit by its first troll. You don't need to read the comment that was posted twice. I can tell you it was somewhat creative but definitely mean-spirited. It was intended to discourage me and others from participating in Westward Invasion 2009. The troll knows that some people are easily frightened. It is an interesting psychological phenomenon, I will say that much.

    But just because it's interesting or entertaining doesn't make it worthwhile. As I stated in my response to the comments (now deleted) I have no problem with censorship. None whatsoever. On the Internet it's called comment moderation. That's where I get to delete any comment I want.

    Well, since I don't feel like dealing with it, I'm instituting automatic comment moderation on this blog. I will approve any and all comments that agree with me, disagree with me, make fun of someone or something, opine in a loud manner, speak in a soft tone, lampoon me, encourage people, offer constructive criticism, or pretty much anything else. I will even approve a comment if it is completely off-topic.

    I will not approve spam or trolling.

    We clear? All good? Let the good times troll. I mean roll.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009

    Earth Hour, or Twearth Hour If You Will


    blackout 3
    Originally uploaded by polkabike
    This blog is about social media. Talk about a broad topic. Allows me to write about, oh, I don't know, how about Earth Hour. I found out about it through Twitter.


    I joined Earth Hour fifteen minutes late tonight. At 9:15 p.m. I turned off all my lights, shut down my computer, turned off my music and just laid there in my bed with my shoes and clothes on.

    I thought about tigers, as @cara19 has pointed out I am doing a lot of recently. Tigers are what some people are deep down. They struggle bravely to live peaceably as a human among humans. They sometimes lash out, but they are tigers. One does not begrudge a tiger its instincts. One does not try to reason with it, make it purr or snuggle with it. One stands at a safe distance and respects the magnificent beast.

    I rested the mind.

    I laughed. Yeah, I laughed. Why? Because tension was melting away. For once I was lying down not because I was exhausted but because I had some social reason to do so. To express solidarity with people who care more about things like Earth Hour than I do.

    I am a cynic. I do not believe Earth Hour will save the world. I do believe it can heighten consciousness. It can provide a sense of community.

    At 10:00 p.m. I turned on one light and for once it was enough. Glad to have my computer back. I love my toys.

    On Twitter, I found others doing Earth Hour in a variety of ways.


    Amazing what you can do in the dark, isn't it.

    Two songs to capture the spirit of Earth Hour. The first is a dark and stormy hip hop song by underground lyricist Acey Alone called "Lights Out". Sayid and High Priest guest rap. I can't find an online version or sample for you to listen to but here is the song's Last.fm page.

    The second is a rawk song by Bad Religion. The chorus goes:

    I'm a 21st-century digital boy
    I don't know how to live but I got a lotta toys
    (Listen to the whole track on Blip.fm.)

    Those lyrics state a problem worth considering, do they not? Did you do Earth Hour to any extent? Did you not? How was that for you? Do you care all that much?

    It's okay, you can be honest. This is Man of Many Words.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Why West? Because It's There.


    Saul Williams
    Originally uploaded by Jeremy Farmer Photog
    I want to help people overcome their fears. I want to be that T-bone collision that gets people off the highway and onto the back roads. To become pioneers, all of us.

    Do you realize how gripped you are with fear? Do you know you can do anything you want - at least in comparison to what you are doing?

    I love Saul Williams. His song "Coded Language" has saved my life. Gave it meaning, enriched it, reinvigorated it - dozens of times. An apt excerpt:

    "Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which has been given for you to understand.

    "The current standard is the equivalent of an adolescent restricted to the diet of an infant.

    "The rapidly changing body would acquire dysfunctional and deformative symptoms and could not properly mature on a diet of apple sauce and crushed pears."

    Listen to the whole track if you want.

    That whole idea - that we are accidentally living life normally when we could be living it extraordinarily and making the extraordinary normal - is one of my motives for organizing Westward Invasion 2009.

    Another motivation is that the United States is often pooh-poohed as too domestic for any self-respecting traveler to bother with.

    In fact, some people think the United States is actually five or nine different countries bundled into one monolithic beast of a bureaucracy. In fact, people are different wherever you go in this country. I want to talk to them and see all their secret gardens, don't you?

    Besides, even if you think you already know the U.S., consider that "A fish knows not wetness for wetness is all it knows. Make friends with whales and birds to learn water."

    As you were.

    Or as you want to be.

    Whatever Happened to the One-Word Brand Game, Hmmm?

    This...

    Wordle: Will Conley's Wordle (click the image)

    ...is a "Wordle": a word cloud of all my tweets from Septemeber 2008 through March 2009. Word or tag clouds are intuitive visualizations of a set of words based on frequency. The larger words represent more frequent occurences of those words, the smaller words just the opposite.

    You'll notice the most prominent word in my Wordle is "onewordbrand". That's a game I was running a couple months ago where you "brand" your friends in one word and add the hashtag "#onewordbrand". Try it out if you're on Twitter.

    I promised participants of the #onewordbrand game a tag cloud of all their one-word brands. That never worked out because I am lazy and because people had a hard time figuring out how to play the game. I guess it was deceptively simple. The questions I received were neverending.

    So if you played the game consider this your consolation prize. Go to Wordle.net and make your own word cloud.

    There. All-better-now.

    Also on the bright side: The #onewordbrand game got you to make more connections and solidify old ones. That's what it's all about, baby.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    A Social Media Experiment on the Grand Scale: Westward Invasion 2009



    What is Westward Invasion 2009?
    Short answer: An emigration. An adventure. An erasure of the boundary between online and offline. A social media experiment on the grand scale. A reality show that is actually worth watching, broadcast in a decentralized manner in real time by you, sponsored by visionaries.

    Clear answer: Westward Invasion is an emigration and adventure opportunity for me and you. I am moving to California. Some of you are coming with me. Others will just travel with us for all or part of the journey. We're packing light and taking the slow route, curling a path all over the West, visiting places both mundane and fantastical. Invaders who live in the West will act as hosts for a day. Those who don't want to participate IRL (In Real Life) can do so virtually. Sponsors are invited to pay attention.

    The whole thing will be blogged and vlogged here and elsewhere. I am inviting everyone I know on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, this blog, your blogs, and other networks to participate on some level. How far can social media go to make things happen in the real world? Is it possible to erase the line between online and offline?

    I invite you to join Westward Invasion 2009. No commitment is implied when you join the network. Just get your face up there, tell us about yourself, share some of your own ideas, poke around, ask questions, get excited about possibilities. Everything is explained there - inasmuch as Westward Invasion can be explained. We are in build-and-brainstorm mode, so I am wide open to ideas.

    While you're at it, get with me on Twitter if you're into that sort of thing. I like it.

    Talk to you soon. Be fierce.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    How to Make Me a Peanut Butter Sandwich

    Chunky peanut butter. It can be plain, or you can put some butter on that first, makes it go down easy. Or just some strawberry preserves. But I'll take straight peanut butter with the bread too. Can be white or wheat, but wheat is healthier. If the bread's got all kinds of nuts and grains and stuff in it, good. Like a nine-grain, or a 24-grain. I'll probably eat it in the sunlight with some lemonade as it's such a nice day out. This is all theoretical and could probably be improved upon, so I'm open to suggestions. Thanks.

    The sandwich that appears in this post is not how to make me a peanut butter sandwich. There is cabbage on it. I don't want cabbage on mine. I don't want Spam on it either, but I'll try it, I guess. You can see a lot of disgusting looking peanut butter sandwiches - and use them freely for commercial or personal purposes - by using Flickr's Advanced Search feature.

    How to Use Flickr's Advanced Search Feature to Find Images for Free Personal or Commercial Use:

    1. Go to Flickr.com
    2. Click "Search".
    3. Click "Advanced Search".
    4. Type "peanut butter sandwich" (or whatever you're looking for) in the search box.
    5. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen.
    6. Mark the box that reads "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content".
    7. Optionally, mark the boxes that read "Find content to use commercially" and/or "Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon."
    8. Click "Search."

    Or just click here for the disgusting peanut butter sandwiches.


    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Move Somewhere Warm This Autumn


    I'm spearheading a westward invasion this autumn and you’re coming with me. Enough is enough, the cold winters blow, and the road is the safest place on Earth.

    Couple of suitcases, my laptop in my backpack, some clothes and a good pair of walking boots. Three months rent in advance on a furnished room in California.

    With six months lead time that’s a doable goal.

    Hopping a Greyhound to do it. It’ll be my own little Merry Pranksters bus only I don’t have to pay for gas.

    You wanna come with? We’ll coordinate a schedule.

    The rules:

    1. You pay your own way.

    2. You pack light and don’t be addicted to your material things.

    3. You must have a sense of adventure.

    4. You must be physically fit. The Greyhound ain’t for the faint of heart.

    5. You must not be too picky about what happens at the end of the journey.

    6. You must live somewhere on Earth. We will all meet up somewhere between Minnesota and
    California, sometime.

    7. You must have at least one or two “nice” outfits. We might all get jobs working in Silicon Valley on the way. Bring overalls too; we might end up working construction.

    That is the vision. Sunshine, that California flakiness – all of it – here I come.

    If you’re interested in a fearless hobo journey beginning Autumn 2009, get in touch with Will Conley. Let’s see if we can’t make this country more interesting.

    I’m open to changing plans too. It all depends on who’s interested and who’s got big cojones. Get in touch with me on Twitter or Facebook.


    The Two People I Have Met in Person Because of Twitter




    Thus far I have met two people face-to-face because of Twitter. (Note: The following story was inspired by @ElliFordyce, @JosephRueter, and http://mytwitterstory.com.)


    Elli Fordyce (@ellifordyce) :

    72-year-old jazz singer based in Yonkers, New York. She’s hipper to social media than most people one-third her age.

    We met this January at a little pizza joint situated underneath the train tracks in downtown Yonkers, where I lived until 2009. Elli and I talked life history, life coaching, social media, and music. The conversation was punctuated at regular intervals by the Metro North commuter line and Amtrak trains roaring overhead.

    Elli hired me as her social media adviser to help promote her albums. I hope to stay in touch with her long after she has surpassed all need for my advice.

    Joseph Rueter (@josephrueter) :

    Entrepreneur and sharp-as-a-razor proprietor of extendr.com, the ingeniously simple web link headquarters for anyone and everyone. (Think of extendr as your virtual business card.)

    Joseph and I met this month at the Caribou Coffee on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, the city in which we both currently reside. He regaled me with some interesting insider information about how he goes about designing and implementing various social networking strategies.

    Joseph urges all those who meet online to “Don’t just wave. Say hello.”

    Twitter rocks. For me, no other social network I use has been single-handedly responsible for an in-person meeting. I hope to have many more “tweetups” in the coming months.

    This autumn, 2009, I am spearheading a westward invasion from Minnesota to California, and some of you are coming with me. It’s going to be huge. Details at http://tinyurl.com/invadecalifornia.


    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    An Open Cry for Help to Woot.com

    To explain:

    Woot! is a product review website and distributor. They write funny reviews. Hilarious, even. As I am always on the lookout for new clients, I thought I would hit up Woot! for some freelance writing work. The contact page on Woot.com was frightening, so I said screw it and wrote an email posing as a depressingly poverty-stricken person begging for a job. So Woot!, open your damn email or just read this post and respond. People are starving.

    *****
    Subject: So funny you won't believe I'm unemployed.

    Seriously, how can one so funny be so jobless?

    Hi. I'm Will Conley, and welcome to My Cry for Help. Brought to you by:

    My landlady.

    These and other fine clients (and my mom) are supporting me in my time of need, but not quite enough. That's why I'm foregoing six meals in a row to craft this email to Woot.com, so that I might make a plea for paid employment, if only on a trial basis. I have no food.

    Send me one product and I will review the living f*ck out of it for Woot.com. Just to show you how flexible I am, you can pay me whatever you want, as long as it's $500, give or take my last remaining shred of pride.

    I love you.

    Sincerely,
    Desperately Hilarious

    My Awesome Sponsor: Seriously, Who Doesn't Love Italian Wine? Be Honest Now.

    Introducing: Me! Brought to you by:



    Il Mio Vino, the Italian wine magazine, now available in English. Want a free issue? Click here. Fill in your name and email address. You will not be asked for a credit card. Later, if you want, you can get a year's worth of Il Mio Vino (12 issues) for $4.99.

    Here's the deal. My client, Il Mio Vino, has been publishing their magazine and distributing hard copies on newsstands throughout Italy for years. This January they finally came out with an English version, but here's the twist: it's only available online, in a PDF-based flash program called FlipIt. Basically the thing looks and behaves almost exactly like a regular magazine.

    You flip the pages, you browse stories, you get your read on, you get the inside dope on some of the lesser-known Italian wineries and you end up looking cool in front of your friends and enemies.

    So how is Il Mio Vino different than a regular Italian wine magazine? Obviously, the first way is that it does not exist in the physical world. Il Mio Vino decided to publish online-only for cost and environmental considerations. No paper, no plastic sleeves, no shipping costs, infinitesimal carbon footprint. It just makes sense to publish online these days. Especially when you look at how some of the old heavyweight publishing companies and news conglomerates are crumbling into bankruptcy.

    Some other features of Il Mio Vino's FlipIt format:

    1. You can bookmark pages "flag"-style. Neat and tidy that way.
    2. You can zoom in and out, scroll to any page, and view the magazine in fullscreen mode.
    3. It is fully searchable (only single-word searches, for now).
    4. Download and print any full story in PDF format.
    5. When you scroll over ads they light up and you can click them if you feel so inclined.

    Il Mio Vino prides itself on its totally blind taste tests and stringent editorial standards. The two latest controversies in the wine industry:

    • Wine Spectator recently gave out a wine award to a restaurant that failed to exist. Oops.
    • Decanter has been widely rumor to sell positive reviews to highest bidder. D'oh!

    I'm a journalist by training, so I'll give it to you straight: I'm new to the world of wine tastings, celebrity taste buds, Gary Vaynerchuck and that whole crowd. I don't know how often these wine reviewers let ethics fall through the cracks, and I don't know that anyone is particularly immune to lapses in judgment. But I have never heard of Il Mio Vino being caught with its pants down like that. So far it's got a nice clean reputation. Therefore if you're looking for credibility, I suppose you should make Il Mio Vino one of your wine information sources.

    Am I right or am I foul? How can you tell what's a credible source for good information about wine? Let me know in the comments.

    Il Mio Vino focuses on reviewing wines from the smaller producers. These vineyards generally have no advertising budget, so this is a nice way for them to get seen. The benefit for readers is that they get to learn about some of the one million-plus "ma-and-pa" wineries that produce top-notch stuff but just don't have the money to get reviewed in Decanter. (Oops, did I just take a potshot at the competition? My bad.)

    In the same spirit, Il Mio Vino often pits less-expensive wines against pricier varietals/blends in blind taste tests. The February issue, for example, features a story entitled "David versus Goliath: Six Sagrantinos at less than $70 vs. one at $126."

    I'll let you read the story to see who wins.

    So that's my sponsor these days. Do me a solid: take a look at the magazine and tell me what you think.

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    How to Share Admin Permissions on a Facebook Group You Control

    To make someone an admin on a Facebook group, you have to add them as a friend, invite them to join the group, and then make them an admin.

    Those are the simple instructions. If you know how to do that, stop reading and go play outside or something. If you get stuck, however, here are the

    Detailed Instructions on How to Make Someone an Admin on a Facebook Group You Control:

    1. Log into your account on FB.

    2. Find and "friend" the person you want to make an Admin of the Group.

    3. Check to make sure the person has confirmed your friendship.

    4. Go to the Group.

    5. Click "Invite People to Join" in the right-hand menu.

    6. Find and check-mark your friend in the drop-down list at right (or just type her name and hit enter to search).

    7. Make sure his name appeared at left.

    8. Click "Send Invitations"

    9. Check to make sure the person joined the group.

    10. Go back to the Group.

    11. Click "Edit Members" in the right-hand menu.

    12. Find his name in the list (or just type her name and hit enter to search).

    13. Click "Make Admin".

    It seems like a long process but it's shorter than you think. I just included every little step from beginning to end. Drop a comment and let me know how it all went down for you.

    Note: This post was cribbed from some instructions I wrote to a client this morning. I figured other people might want to know the same thing. Hey look at me, multiplying my efforts, effortlessly. That's how I roll. Smooth.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    Does My Lack of a Head in My Twitter Avatar Make Me Less Trustworthy?

    Why not, another poll. It refers to my avatar on Twitter.

    Question:




    Results:


    Should I Run Ugly Google Ads Here?

    I used to run Google ads on this blog before I really started devoting my time to posting. I took the ads down because

    1. they are ugly,
    2. I don't need the income, and
    3. the income would only be a few bucks if anything, since I only get a hundred visitors a day here.

    What do you think I should do at this point? Leave things the way they are? Or do you think I should put some ads up and try to make some money?

    Vote:




    Results:


    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    What is the One Word Brand Game and How Does It Work?

    The One Word Brand Game is an ongoing tag cloud formation project exploring the phenomenon of "personal brands".

    How Do You Play?

    1. Make sure you have a Twitter account. (Sign up here.)
    2. Tweet a personal brand for yourself or a friend in one word and tag it #onewordbrand.

    Two Examples:
    • If entering for yourself: Righteous #onewordbrand 
    • If entering for a friend: @TwitterUserFriend = Bunnies #onewordbrand
    3. Repeat early and often.

    Simple as that. You have to include the hashtag #onewordbrand. You do not have to send the tweet to me, unless you want to. I do enjoy getting tweeted at. Just make sure you tag your entry #onewordbrand so I can find the results. Don't overthink it. Just type it in. You're not going to die, I swear to Bob.

    Some frequently asked questions:

    1. "What are you going to do with the results?"

    I will manually go through all the data and create a tag cloud out of the results. I will make the tag cloud will be available for anyone to embed anywhere as a widget. The tag cloud will look something like the following but much bigger:

    created at TagCrowd.com

    The bigger, darker terms represent more occurrences of the word; the smaller, lighter terms represent less frequent occurences. 

    2. "Um, why are you doing this"?

    Many reasons:

    Games are awesome and participating in this fun project is easy!

    Tag clouds are awesome and a great way to visualize massive amounts of data!

     It will be interesting to see and share what the Twittersphere thinks of itself, how common or rare certain personal brands are, and so on.

    "Personal branding" is all the rage these days and a topic of great debate. Some people say personal branding is insulting to the human race, as we are not brands, we are people, for cripe sake. Others say personal branding is a necessary evil in this day and age. Others actually enjoy the process of personal branding. I myself am a mix of the latter two, and I suspect many of my readers are too. (What do you think about personal branding in general? Drop a comment and let our friends know how you feel.) 

    Your answer here. Why do you think this could be an interesting project? What would you get out of the data? 

    3. "I do not believe in branding myself. Let others speak for me."

    How about you speak for others then? Enter a One Word Brand for as many Twitter friends as you wish, in the form of: 

    @YourFriend=Contagious #onewordbrand 

    4. "How many times can I enter?"

    You may enter the One Word Brand project an infinite amount of times. In fact, it helps the project to spread virally if you enter as many of your friends as you feel comfortable with. 

    5. "Won't multiple entries mess up the data?"

    Yes and no. Yes, because it allows more active participants to inject their own creativity into the mix, leaving others underrepresented. No, because continued participation will lead to greater viral spread, which in theory will overpower any one person's ability to dominate. 

    6. Can I use compound words, made-up words, etc.?

    Yes, yes, and yes. And yes. 

    7. "What is the "#" symbol for, how do you use it, and why do you want me to use it?"

    The "#" symbol is called a hashtag symbol. Whatever word or phrase appears directly after the "#" symbol is automatically converted into a link to a Twitter search for that word or phrase. For example, when your Tweet contains #onewordbrand, Twitter users can click on #onewordbrand in your tweet to see all tweets containing the keyword "onewordbrand". In fact, it is how I will be gathering all data for the One Word Brand project. That is why you must tag your entry #onewordbrand. 

    8. What is the deadline?

    I originally imposed a 24-hour deadline, but the implications for this project are bigger than I originally guessed. The deadline is never. Keep entering brands for yourself and your friends, and keep retweeting the news about the project, so we can all learn as much as possible. The tag cloud will be updated accordingly for time to time.

    That's about it.

    Enter as often as you like, for yourself and your friends, and I will keep you apprised. Make sure you tag your entry #onewordbrand. (Did I repeat myself enough times for this to finally stick?)

    Questions? Drop a comment here. I will respond.

    Cheers,
    Will
    @willconley777

    P.S. Don't forget to tag your entry #onewordbrand. Lova ya.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Today is International Thank a Woman Day!

    *****

    UPDATE: Ha ha ha! I lost readership due to this post. Ha ha ha! Somebody give me a Purple Heart.

    UPDATE: This post was partially responsible for a Twitter conversation that churned on for two hours and left some of us more confused than ever.

    Confusion: That fragile state of mind in which evolution and devolution are equally likely.

    *****

    Yeah, I'm declaring a Day. Granted it's not as if we don't have enough Days. There's International Day of Literacy, National Talk Like a Pirate Day, Doris Day Day, Zip-a-dee Doo-da Day, and Da-Dum Diddle-Diddle-Diddle Doo-Da Day.

    We don't need another Day. But we do need to get slapped back to reality once in awhile, and if that means creating another Day, then here it is.

    Today, January 17th, 2009 and every year hereafter, is International Thank a Woman Day!
    Bring on the marching band.

    Why and how come am I doing this? Am I some kinda softy? Some liberal? Perhaps there is a special someone, somewhere, maybe someone I am stalking, who I need to suck up to, seem more sweet and well-meaning, maybe? Yeah, that must be the case.

    And really, what's the point? I mean, come on, "thank a woman"? Condescend much?

    Yeah, well, here's the thing. Earlier today I assumed a Twitter profile to be a man, referring to its owner as "he". Turned out he was a she, so I excused myself for the assumption. She replied, saying,

    It's ok! A lot of people think that over there. Sometimes there is an advantage (it's sad kinda.)

    One small piece of evidence that it's still a man's world, even if your whole world fits inside Firefox 3. Yes, I know Carol Bartz is the new CEO of Yahoo. Obviously there are exceptions.

    All I'm saying is Hi. You're either a man or a woman. You sometimes ignore women/fellow women. You sometimes forget women can move mountains with the best of them. So as a way of actively reminding yourself to do your part to level the playing field, just thank a woman. For anything, I don't care. Go out of your way to say thanks for something she did or does.

    The whole point is to remind you not to ignore half the population. Just stick it on your calendar for next year. Simple as that. No big deal.

    So for all you who think I'm some kind of creepy out-of-touch throwback to the heyday of the feminist movement, allow me to overcompensate:

    • Next post we will be talking about monster trucks and Rambo and the sports.
    • Maybe even have a "Thank a Man Day", just to make things even, because:
    • Men are so patient with all these skirts and their demands and their issues.

    I trust I have correctly reclaimed my status as a "regular guy".

    Please don't hurt me in the comments.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    Operation: Twixicon Alpha: The Twictionary Papers

    Here it is: The full list of twords invented by those who attended the first spontaneous Twictionary build in the history of Twitter. First, a few facts:


    • A few of these have already been invented prior to Twixicon Alpha, but I am quite confident this is the first time anyone has copyright the terms. So am I getting all legalistic on your collective ass? No. The whole point of this is to make connections and establish creative relationships that people actually care about. If you want to make money off any of the following twords, you have to follow, message, and ask permission from the Twitter user who coined it. And don't be boring. Think of the children.
    • Did you know there are Twitterers out there exclusively devoted to collecting new twords and saving them for posterity? Two I have found are @twitdictionary and @twittonary. Hit them up if you are into this kind of thing. Hit me up too: @willconley777.
    • We will likely create other games based on Twitter in the near future. When and where we don't know. These things just happen, you know? Stay tuned!

    So now, the list. It is alternately hilarious, brilliant, deep, beautiful, cute, odd, contentious, insulting, pointless, useful, and of course twitastic. Enjoy:


    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    The Top 13 Submissions from the World's First Twictionary Build

    Last night a few of us spontaneously got together on Twitter and started spouting off new Twitter terms. Someone retweeted and suddenly our cozy little game of words turned into one helluva twitstorm. I struggled to log it all by retweet, and I think I caught every last submission.

    Most of them were brilliant. Some were hilarious. Some were touching. Some Twitterers were especially prolific, while other simply strolled in all cool and dropped a gem into our laps before strolling back out.

    I am just about out of my gourd at the amount of linguistic talent we've got out here in Twitterland. Some of you people make me sick with pride.

    The following are my 13 favorite Twitter words out of the 100-or-so we invented. (Why 13? I don't know, pumpkin, go ask your mother.) Each tword is accompanied by its definition and the Twitterer who submitted it. I selected these 13 for their wit, depth, complexity, humor, brassiness, appropriateness, obscurity, acoustic texture, cuteness or because I was the one who thought of it. Heh, heh. It's MY blog. MY blog. Mine. Nice blog... Oh and I also modified some of the submissions for the sake of fascist conformism.

    The full list will follow with a juicy report today or tomorrow. You hear? Juicy. Don't even question it. Stay tuned, and remember: social media is all about taking the time and the consideration to think about the flesh-and-blood being on the other side of the string. SO DITCH YOUR AUTO-RESPONDERS ALREADY, for crying out loud murghle muff mf...break something...mrff mrf


    13. TwitloadWhat someone with thousands of tweets must sift through
    @slots777


    12. Tweener
    Non-committal to any one side in a Twitter dialog
    @smashad



    11. Twinge
    What I get every time I scoop @guykawasaki on a news item
    @smashad



    10. Twingle
    What a particularly touching or suggestive tweet'll make you
    @getspine



    9. Twance
    An inability to take one’s eyes off Twitter
    @AlanEggleston & @ElmerFudd



    8. Twitic
    Armchair or deskchair critic of all things Twitter and Web 2.0
    @samismail



    7. Twaitress
    Female waiting on the Fail Whale
    @dougmillison



    6. Twax
    To write more than 140 characters
    @dougmillison



    5. Tward
    Pronounced "toward"; the “@” symbol when used on Twitter
    @perri_watson & @willconley777



    4. Twixicon
    Twitter lexicon
    @Daniel4is



    3. Twildren
    The children of people who met on Twitter
    @cara19 and @willconley777



    2. Tweetcred
    What many here don't have and might never
    @slots777



    1. Twham!
    A tweet from Emeril Legasse
    @AlanEggleston

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Rizzn's Personal Blog: Barack Obama and His Blackberry [Legal Loopholes]

    This might be my first re-blog ever. I promise not to make a habit of it. I just happen to dig what rizzn is saying here:

    rizzn's personal blog: Barack Obama and his Blackberry [Legal Loopholes]

    Posted using ShareThis

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    How to Sync FriendFeed Comments to Disqus

    As many readers know, I'm a fan of the Disqus. You don't f*** with the Disqus (see The Big Lebowsky). Disqus is a comment system you can use to replace and enhance your blog or website. It is supported by Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, Movable Type, Tumblr, and many open source content management systems (like Joomla and Ruby Rails). It is totally customizable. Using it, many of your comments around the web (and your blog visitors' comments) are saved in one convenient location at your Disqus profile.

    I also use FriendFeed, a lifestreaming service. (I hate that term, lifestreaming. It seems to imply that I spend too much of my life online, never you mind if it's true.)

    Well now you can make it so that all the comments you drop at FriendFeed are copied to your Disqus profile. Nice! How to do it? Just use the FriendFeed-to-Disqus Comment Sync:


    1. Make sure you have a Disqus account and a FriendFeed account.

    2. Go to https://ff2disqus.appspot.com/.
    You will see a message stating you need an invite as FriendFeed-to-Disqus Comment Sync (FF2D) is still in private beta. All you need to get an invite is click the link provided. This will take you to the FriendFeed discussion room for FF2D. Drop a comment stating you would like to beta test the service.

    2. Within a day or so they will send you an invite to join the FF2D discussion room on FriendFeed. Accept the invite and go to the FF2D room to find the secret link to instructions for syncing your FF comments with your Disqus comments.

    And you're done. Done! Just. Done! So easy.

    So what good is FF2D? I will tell you: Disqus is steadily becoming the preferred hosted comment aggregation service around the web. (That is, if you exclude BackType, which finds comments you post under your blog or website name and then puts them all in one place for everybody to spy on, woot.) With all your comments in one place, you now have even tighter reign over your Web activities around the Net.

    Bottom line: For those who use FriendFeed and Disqus, FF2D further tightens your grip on your reputation.


    The world is getting smaller. With FF2D it just shrunk even more. Now if Disqus and BackType got married, I think we would all be throwing rice.

    Amazing Web 1.0 App Allows for More Than 140 Characters!

    It's called my blog.

    (I realize I am in the middle of a five-part series about online fundraising sources for non-profits, so consider this the non-commercial break.)

    *****

    UPDATE Jan. 12 2009 I no longer hate Twitter. Some good people convinced me to stay on, including but not limited to many of my old Twitter pals, but also plenty of new, quality ones sent my way by @Armano. I feel the need to iterate that I was serious about leaving. It's just, sometimes, well, I'm wrong.

    *****

    After three months of giving Twitter the old college try, I've decided Twitter can go piss up a rope. It's not that Twitter isn't addictive or compelling. Many times I have spent hours on end tweeting, reading other people's tweets, clicking the links in said tweets, checking out the profile links for the many different Tweeple to see what my fellow Tweeple do when they are not tweeting, and of course twiddling around with all the different awesome Twitter apps du jour like TweetDeck, Twhirl, Twellow, and Twatter. (Yes, I made that last one up, but I'm sure someone will see this, invent a Twitter-based hooker hotline app by that name, and sell it for $1,200 on SitePoint all within 24 hours like Twlpy did.)

    I witnessed some fascinating things unfold on Twitter. For example, I proudly watched as t-shirt model extraordinaire Jason Sadler embarked on his year-long expedition to wear a different branded t-shirt every day for a year.

    Cried, as marketing visionary David Armano unleashed the philanthropic power of his network on an indigent mother of three, raising over $7,000 in less than 48 hours to help her escape an abusive relationship.

    Laughed, as idiot blowhard blogosphere critic Loren Feldman (a.k.a. the Arrington Family's Lurch) systematically rendered his wildly successful vlog moot by deleting all the video files.

    I also was privy to an unstoppable mudslide of boring, boring, boring spam from nameless finance experts, daily minutia from acquaintences, and obligatory reports like "I'm working" and "I'm tired".

    Twanks, but no thanks. Hey, I can watch these people do their thing in other ways, like, oh, I don't know, on their blogs. With a blog, if you have something to say, you can say it in 140 characters or less, you can say it in a word, a whisper, you can say it in a novella or a Moby Dick, with a video or on an MP3, on a plane or even, yes, in a train.

    You can do it all with a blog. And now they have these things called RSS readers whereby you can actually read all your favorite blogs in one convenient location! That is so neat! So useful, so not-limiting! So Web 1.0, and SO SUPERIOR to Twitter that I don't even know why I tried Twitter in the first place.

    The power of the crowd, that's what got me. The crowd had convinced me that there was truly some value in being limited to 140 characters or less. I applied the same logic I had applied when, at my first church experience at the age of six, I loudly concluded of the belief in God, "Well Mom, if all these people think it's true, it must be true!" (I'll bet the other churchgoers just loved that.)

    After all, the power of the crowd is what the Twitter spirit is all about, and it is growing FAST. Heck, right now is probably the worst time for me to quit, considering that in 2008 Twitter's membership grew 752% to a total of 4.5 million users.

    Or maybe that means now is the best possible time. Who's with me? Can I get a witness? Drop some comments on my awesome blog.