It’s been a great week of meeting new folks, reconnecting with old friends and knowledge sharing. On Tuesday, I was privileged to speak during the RISE Austin 3-day multi-location event at the Mexican American Cultural Center. The topic of my session was “Cultivating Community With Social Media At The Local Level”. It was based upon my own personal experience of creating the San Antonio Podcasting community in 2005 which then led to organizing PodCamp San Antonio in 2007/2008, Startup Weekend San Antonio in 2008, Barcamp San Antonio in 2008, Social Media Club San Antonio and Social Media Breakfast San Antonio.
Once I created the first group, I was able to find other passionate folks to help champion future groups and events. The same can be true for anyone. Whatever your passion, hobby, business or non-profit the social media tools can be a great tool to find “your people”.
Here are the presentation slides from the session:
Then on Thursday, Susan Price of Firecat Studio and I presented at Innotech San Antonio. We had a morning session called, “Twitter: A Business Tool Or A Complete Waste Of Time?” (< --I think you know my answer to this). The group was comprised of about a 50/50 mix of folks who were either on Twitter or Twitter-curious. In the afternoon we did a session, "Building Community Online and Offline using Social Media". We used the Co-Working model as a way to illustrate how social media can be used to keep folks connected both online 24/7. However, the value of face-to-face community should not be overlooked. For the business person, Co-Working gatherings are a way to have the best of both worlds. With only 25 minutes, the sessions went by at breakneck speed. The slides for the "Building Community" can be seen here:
Kudos to Armando Rayo, Hispanic Engagement Consultant for RISE Austin and Sean Lowery, Executive Director at Innotech They were lively, interactive gatherings and I really enjoyed being a part of the vibrant conversations.
Thanks to fellow San Antonian and self-described Code Monkey, Vidya (@mapetite on Twitter), I’ve been tagged and charged with the task of sharing 5 things about myself you may not know…yet. Which is sort of a challenge for me at this point. I mean what don’t you know about me yet that I care to reveal?
1. Although I am a huge Lenny Kravitz fan, I consider the Beatles my all-time favorite band.
2. A few of my all-time favorite classic films: Bringing Up Baby, It Happened One Night, Gone With The Wind, Splendor in the Grass
3. My salsa is a friend and family favorite. My secret recipe is called Aunt Jenny’s Salsa.
4. Although I’m not very good at pool, I do have my own pool stick.
5. I enjoy the occasional romantic comedy in either paperback or film.
One more thing before I can cross this off my list is to name the folks I’ll tag: Todd O’Neill of Doing Media, Susan Price of Firecat Studio, Nathan Lott of Lott’s Thoughts, Leslie Baldwin of Springanew and Christina of This Girls Life. And with that, I can now cross this meme off my list of To-Do items.
With all the cool ways we have to stay connected to one another it’s no wonder that the simple things seem to win out in the end. Blogging in and of itself requires a bit more thought and planning. Whereas microblogging is done quickly and on-the-fly. It suites my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants style.
I’m able to express my thoughts, ask questions, get feedback and so much more. All in small bits. What’s even better is that the feedback is instantaneous. If I need an answer to something I know I can count on my friends in the Microblogging-sphere to come to my aid.
Having been an active member of Twitter for the past 9 months, I consider it an essential part of blogging. It has been well worth my time to participate in this small but daily bit of conversation. As a matter of fact, you might say it’s my preferred method of communicating.
The sense of closeness within in this tight knit community is never stronger than when our fellow microbloggers need help. Sickness and sorrow have moved my fellow microbloggers, Connie Reece & Dan Mosqueda, to create fundraising initiatives towards breast cancer research and unexpected funeral expenses. An amazing accomplishment for such a simple medium. I applaud the folks who take this simple but effective form of communication to a real and human level. That is what it means to be a part of the microblogging community.
As of yesterday a group of us have kicked off the start to our training for the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon. With November 2008 just a mere 10 months away, I for one am going to need every moment to train. Especially considering the fact that I haven not spent any serious time running since the last half-marathon in October of 2006. I have gotten gluttonous in my ways and it’s high time to shake off the excess (literally).
To spice things up there are six of us who are using a Nike+ Challenge for motivation. It started on January 2, 2008 and ends January 31, 2008. Each month the challenge will change. From Most Miles Run to Longest Time Run to First 100 Miles etc… The challenge this month? Most miles run within the month.
Our group is wide and varied even though our challenge members are all ladies . We live in 2 states and 3 cities. We have a full marathoner,three half-marathoners, a non-runner and someone who runs but has never participated in a marathon event before. Our ages range anywhere from the late 20’s to the mid 50’s. Our careers run the gamut from professional to dental to entrepreneurial to philanthropic.
Regardless of these differences, we are united in this common goal: To stand at the starting line on race day. We will not run the same pace. We will not finish at the same time. We will train individually. There will be times we will have the opportunity for a joint training session. But for the most part the next 10 months we spend training together will be online.
I hear the trash talk has already started.
With NaPodPoMo & NaBloPoMo under my belt, I felt I was up to the challenge of Blog365.
Yep, you read right. By December 31, 2008 there should be 365 posts between here and some of the other blogs I contribute to (Morning BrewCast & San Antonio Podcasters ). You might be asking yourself, “Wait a minute isn’t there 366 days in 2008?” You would be right to ask. It so happens that even we Blog365ers (as I’ve taken to calling us) are taking a day off. With 2008 being a leap year and such we’re calling Feb 29th a holiday. Afterall Blog366 just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Blog365 now does it?
By the time we have completed one lap around the sun over 642 folks (as of a bit past midnight on Jan. 1st ) will have posted 234,330 blog posts. Staggering, huh? That doesn’t take into account others who will inevitably discover Blog365 throughout the year. Of course, we don’t know what the future holds for the brave 642 so I wish us all the best in this exciting and some would say insurmountable challenge.
I spent some time today looking at DIY Sound Booth sites. I also spent time checking out some of the pro sound proof material. The things folks use to create a sound booth ran the gamut from carpet to duvets to specialty foam/mat boards. It could be free, using items from around the house or it could be several thousand dollars for professional sound tiles/rooms.
As much as I would like to have a functional and beautiful sound booth, I opted for the ‘use whatever we have in the house’ method. It took me all of 5 minutes to concoct the preliminary set up. The materials I used? Two sleeping bags, two sheer curtains, one heating blanket, a piece of leftover floor carpeting and my sweater.
What’s missing? Foam bedding for the ceiling and a barstool to sit on.
With this basic setup done, I decided to test out the sound. I was surprised at how well it turned out. Even in it’s unfinished state, I think the audio from my test is much better than the audio I’ve been doing sitting in my office.
Let me know what you think.
With 2007 winding down it’s time to reflect about the years events and consider upcoming 2008. Once of the things that will help bring 2007 to a close and prepare me to dive into 2008 will be to clear out the clutter. By nature I’m a stacker. I have stacks and piles of things in various places. It starts off innocently enough on my desk with a sheet or two and before you know it a pile has been born. Who knew creation could start so simply?
Eventually the pile becomes more than the desk can handle and it becomes a stack or two. Hmmmm…..is this how rabbits multiply? Pretty soon there are several stacks and a mini skyline is born. Once again I’m getting the idea I have a production factory here. Overall, I have a good idea of what is where and can locate things. The taller a stack get, the more difficult that task becomes. When I haven’t touched a stack in a while or I get tired of looking at it the stacks gets relegated to a box. The box then goes into the closet. It’s the place where boxes live, isn’t it?
Over the course of the last couple of years the closet in my office has become home to office supplies (on the shelves), my son’s old pc parts and cpu’s (look under the boxes), books, 3.5″ floppy disks (I don’t even own a computer with a 3.5″ drive anymore), ebay items that are waiting to get listed or did not sell (wire basket shelf storage), and of course the boxes full of paper stacks. What is in the boxes? It varies from invoices, receipts, junk mail, bills, and even school projects. Business and personal stacks are mostly separated, but occasional there is an errant page to be found in the mix.
For some time I have been looking to create an in-house studio. Working from home and homeschooling takes up quite a bit of space. So far, I have not been successful at convincing my family to help me turn a portion of the attic into a studio. I did get a warmer reception to my idea of the closet being a good size for a sound booth.
So while my dream of an in-house studio may not be close to a reality, a sound booth will be soon. Well, as soon as I can clear out the clutter. Which brings me back to my reasoning for posting the pics of my embarrassingly cluttered desk and closet. My goal is to be done by Friday, December 28th. Not just the clearing out of the desk and closet clutter, but the throwing out and recycling of unneeded stuff. I mean, do I really need the plastic case to a CD that is only God knows where?
By Friday the closet should be empty, the boxes should be gone and all the stacks inside the boxes should either be filed or thrown. The ebay items will be donated to Goodwill. At the very least I can take a tax-deduction. My son is on his own with his items. I am taking them out and putting them in his room.
With that done the goal is to spend the weekend turning my (hopefully) empty closet into a sound booth. My husband has stated, “As soon as you clear out that closet I can get to work on your sound booth.” Will it happen? I’m looking to you to keep me honest. If by Friday I haven’t posted a pic of my empty closet. You have my permission to call me out.
I’ve gotta go now. The boxes are calling me. Wait a minute, wasn’t there a Twilight Zone like this?