Friday, September 17, 2010

One Idea at a Time

Wouldn't life be great if it only handed us one challenge at a time? That way we could tackle one before moving to the next. Unfortunately life is generally more like juggling than walking in a line. Whenever I write, I want to sneak off topic and throw in random ideas that belong to another topic, paper or discussion. This post will be covering my personal goal of coloring within the lines.

The people I enjoy talking to the most are people that can switch gears quickly because it allows for dynamic conversations that cover sprawling topics. These people are interesting to talk on the phone, online or in-person. They are generally less focused on themselves because there's really a lot to talk about in life. These conversations are jammed packed with interesting tidbits, so much that there str usually a few tracks the conversation goes on and even at times, one or both parties might say "What were we talking about again?" or "What did you say before I told you about the time that caribou drove my boat?"

I seriously love these conversations but there is a few problems with being spontaneous when it comes to writing. One problem is that some stories never get told because something else gets covered. A bigger problem is that it lacks focus. Looking through my previous blog entries, my posts are not clean, they tend to meander. It could be that I'm being to tough on myself, but it could also be that I am still not 100% sure of what my blog is about. Either way, I need to be more tough on the editing side of writing and just delete or tweak the wayward topics.

(No kittens were harmed in the making of this video *at least I hope not)

Problems that could be adding to my dilemma:
  • Wanting my posts to be a certain length
  • Trying to do too much a once
  • Not editing enough
  • Not planning, just blogging 
Still a n00b blogger over here and I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you focus / stay on topic when writing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Social Media: It's What You Do on the Toilet, Stupid.

Social media is not low-flow.

Social media is not a panacea. Most of us social creatures have heard this a few times, experts have heard it hundreds. It is not a panacea; it is a lens to look at your (business) world through. Even if it were a cure-all, by the time you figured how to use it, your problems are likely to have changed. For example, if you wanted to be taller and social media promised it could deliver, would you be okay if you were balding by the time you got it? Did you have a reason you wanted to be taller or was it just a want?

Social media is easy, fun and rewarding in a fiscal sense. You can also do it all while sitting on your toilet. In only 5 minutes a day.

The only thing that is true in those last few sentences is that social media IS rewarding and *can* be financially rewarding as well. Social media can be a grind but learning generally is. Studying Korean language is easy, fun and a financially rewarding. This is another slightly less than true statement. In college, I studied Korean for three years. Two years in the U.S. & one in South Korea and the truth of the matter is I can barely speak any Korean. Pretty rough stuff considering the drive I had to learn the language and the amount of effort I put into it.

I never thought learning an Asian language was going to be easy but I was willing to do a lot. I even stayed in Seoul twice as long that I expected due to the difficultly of the task. The extended stay not 100% by choice. While trying my damnedest to learn a foreign language, I failed a lot more than I excelled. Even after studying this one specific topic extensively, I still feel like a failure in that particular area. If I had to guess, it would take me another 2-5 years while living in Korea to learn Korean well enough to say that I speak it.

Social media is like a language and if anyone tells you that you can learn in a few minutes a day, that person is a liar. I've been getting paid for social media for a while now and it is time consuming, just like learning a language. If you or your company wants to make it work, it is a commitment. If you are not committed you will never make it. It might start like a weekend vacation but if you want to be successful, you will have to consider living here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 'Soylent Green' Blog

I do know for fact, one component that I will be a theme in my blog and that is the amazing people that I get to meet, work with, spit fire ideas at and people that I respect. I could go on for weeks about the people that kickass and don't get enough props for it and I like cheering for the underdog. The underdog is something that everyone can relate to. That is one reason it is part of my twitter bio @michaelpearsun. There are so many people that go through life everyday feeling like "Rudy" Ruettiger, you know from that movie, "Rudy", right? A smaller football player, not perfectly suited to compete versus NCAA caliber opponents, but against all odds gets to play for the University of Notre Dame.

Over the past two years of pretty heavy social media involvement, I met hundreds of people, if not in the thousands. Some amazing, some great friends and then the many others. Austin is a terrific place to engage in social media. Some have even gone as far to call Austin - "The Social Media Capital of the World". Not sure if I completely agree with that, but due to small size of the city with some many social players & a little know event of SXSW & SXSWi  , I'd say Austin has an unarguable right to be in that debate.

People are everything. People are behind all the technologies, companies and products that make our lives easier. People need love. They deserve kudos. Something that I noticed a long time ago, is that most people do not give compliments enough. This might not be completely analogous online because bloggers & other social media types are often very appreciative & giving people but in day-to-day life, it seems that most people are not attentive when it comes to giving regular positive feedback. Most people tend to look for the bad, instead of immediately looking for the positive. It is a rough call sometimes. I guess it can depend of people level of comfort or communication style. In general, if someone is new to something or a slower learner, I try to look for the positive improvements, no matter how small, rather than the things that I might do different.

Three of my favorite people that I have met through this journey and people that I'm lucky to consider friends:

1) @codypo on twitter. He is awesome. Clever, funny, and perfect for the webs. His blog "The Goulash" looks to be a little neglected but he is a busy dude and expecting a little one. There content he creates is a great little piece of the internet.

2) @jos3ph on twitter. He is a pretty recent dad himself, not sure if Cody & Joseph have met, maybe Joseph can give you a few pointers on 'Parenting Excellence' and what to expect. Joseph's blog looks like it has been neglected a little also but I expect great things from him. He is a super smart guy that I think everyone should know. His blog.

3) @be3d on twitter.He is a cool dude, despite being from California, we still love this dude. ;) He is smart, kind, has an eye for what is relevant and gets social media from a business perspective. He is younger than me but in terms of a lot of this stuff, I really respect his opinion. Recently I tweeted this because I truly believe it. He does good stuff. Like his blog - "!

I've never actually seen "Soylent Green" but have seen back in 1993 SNL skit that spoofed "Soylent Green" that made a lasting impression. SPOILER ALERT "IT IS MADE OUT OF PEOPLE!!"

Phil Hartman - Soylent Green
Uploaded by Cinecruche. - See more comedy videos.
(Not sure how long this clip will stay here and the quality is low but it made me laugh.)

In this clip we learn that Soylent-Fill-In-The-Blank is made out of people. Even after they told us that they had changed the recipe, it was still made out of people. So I think that my 'Soylent Blog' will also be made of people! Rest In Peace Phil Hartman & Chris Farley. You all were immensely loved & personally brought great joy to my life.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Building A Blog Habit

This is my 2nd real blog entry & I need to get into the habit. In my 1st real entry, I spoke a lot about twitter and this will be a theme to a lot of my entries because twitter is how I got online (upcoming post) and how I relate to most of the online world. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the twittersphere or even saying twitter in public and I suspect it will take me years to get comfortable with the blogosphere. For starters, I am really not 100% sure what the hell this blog is about!?! But as soon as I know, I promise to share. ;)

I quit twitter once because I could not see the immediate value but being a persistent guy, I went back with renewed fervor. This blog must be part of my routine so my blog doesn't peter out. I will also need a plan to keep this thing moving. Planning every detail out piece by piece isn’t exactly my forte…..

So I just started a new paragraph. That just happened. 

I fear my blog will never be in a straight line. Staying on topic, providing value consistently and concise story telling are my long-term goals. For example, I feel like the title for the post should be "Fake it till you make it" because this post isn't really speaking to the point of building a habit. I guess I will have to do a "Building A Blog Habit - Redux" later, after I have some knowledge to share. 

Earlier today, I got a tweet from @WebAnna, that led me to her post titled: "Why Do We Blog?"  and while reading her blog, I ran across a link within Anna's post by @TollyM titled: "Blogging and Ego". I was lucky enough to meet both of these terrific people at #VideoCampATX  (for all y'all non-hashtaggers - 'Video Camp Austin Texas 2010'). Big THANKS to David J. Neff III or (@daveiam on twitter)  for putting Video Camp Austin together for us!

Why did you start your blog? Did blogging come from a place of passion, professionalism or was it part of a plan?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blogging: Because I Need More Petri Dishes

Sterile is boring.
In my last post titled "Why Blogging", I discussed a little bit of why I decided to start but I'd like to do a little more of a deeper dive in this post.

Why I am blogging.
Because I need more petri dishes. As I business person, I am always interested in what works versus what does not. Via twitter & a little over 11,000 tweets later, I am fairly confident in what works for me & others for developing  microcontent. I can test out questions, topics & people on their platform but I really still don't know what works for me in terms of blogging. The learning curve was painful for twitter and this will be no different but there is no time like the present to start experimenting. When it comes to marketing it is generally about how you spin things & making your views the most palatable to others. This is very difficult for me because I generally just want to whack people over the head with my version of the truth and be done with it.

If I can take my thoughts and make them accessible to the masses then I have done my job. It has been fun being unpredictable and fly off half cocked but I will leave that for twitter. After saying that, I hope to keep it light, fun & yet interesting, like the feather at the beginning of "Forrest Gump." 

I would also like to thank @HeatherJStrout (her community management blog ) & @Aronado (his website for startups ) for urging me to do this. There were others but I specifically remember these two friends straight up telling me that I had to do this. Thanks y'all! It should have never taken this long!

So many of my friends are doing such a good job that I feel like I need to step my game up and contribute. I've been on twitter for a little over two years now & before that I was a Luddite or at the very least a technophobe & now I could tweet a hundred times a day if I felt like it. When I started on twitter, I was very confused & had little direction but with the help of community & my persistence, I do believe I've figured out A LOT about twitter. Now it is time to move into the blogging arena.

My writing skills lack something to be desired. The good news is "I don't have to be a journalist to be a good blogger." The bad news is, I need to be conscious of my audience & EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. One of my professor at UT Austin once told me that on average when most writers do their thing, they end up editing or completely removing about 2/3 of what they wrote. It makes sence because I can tend to run around issues or more often than not, "go all tangential on your ass." (this will be a later blog post).

Like I mentioned, I am on twitter already but I know I need a papa bear to all my baby bears. In terms of online content, twitter is my baby bears & my blog will be my papa bear. Related, if I get good at blogging, it might be a 'Big Love' situation with multiple papa bears but I digress. Tweets are great. I love twitter. On a 1 to 10 scale, I'd say I'm about an 8 on twitteraddictiveness. I'd like for that to be lower & I'd like to have the same love for my blog.

Twitter is great for a lot of things, but expressing bigger ideas & terms of influencing others, twitter is pretty wimpy versus creating a well written post. In a lot of ways, I feel like hitting my head against a wall on twitter because I've taken it as far as one can go without starting some new avenues for content creation. I've heard of twitter being called a gateway for blogging and for me this is true. I am still planning on tweeting all I can tweet but I want to have a nice mix of randomness & thoughtfulness whereas my tweets provide most of the randomness & my blog should act as the thoughtfulness (or at least the less random of the two).

I was planning on talking about my fears & why it has taken me this long to blog but this post seems like it should be wrapping up so I will save it for my next entry. If you have a story of why you finally decided to get into blogging or any blogging tips for a total n00b, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Blog?

Over the past year or two the term blog or blogging has become much more important in my life. A lot more important. Honestly, it is a little embarrassing that it has taken me this long to sit down and do this. I can tell you, numerous people have asked me to blog. Or at least "Why don't you blog?"

My response (like a lot of others people I've met), "I don't have anything important to say" or "I don't know what I'd talk about."Well, that is a lie. I do have something to say. I do know a think of  two that will be valuable to others. I can't help but thing or Stewart Smally's "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

Cheesy, I know, but as American as Velveeta. The purpose of this blog is TDB. If I had to guess, it will be about my friends, Austin business news, startups, tech and where search meets the social web. Most of all, I want to blog to get better at blogging because I want to help out. Help my friends, help strangers and help myself. The benefits to blogging largely outweigh the benefits of not doing it.

Blogging is good for so many things. It will always act as a time-capsule of memories, help my writing and give me an outlet for my thoughts. Throughout this digital journey, please always feel free to comment. I have faith in us. We can make this worth reading.

Thursday, June 10, 2010