My Lifestream

November 16, 2008

I’ve been posting less original content here and more on Dad-O-Matic lately, plus directing lots of content from all over the web onto facebook. If you’re interested and on facebook, that’s probably the best place to friend and follow me. For those of you not on facebook, you can get all of my online content from a tumblr site I’ve created here, and which you can get to via You can subscribe to that feed in your RSS reader here.

Thanks for listening, and please let me know what you like and what you don’t.


Twitter Starter Kit For Execs

November 12, 2008

twitterrific-iconI get asked about this a lot… Here’s a kind of Twitter starter kit for execs:

First, my take on why it’s important, from this blog:

Here’s a slightly more authoritative source on the subject:

After you join, pick a few folks to follow to get started:

* The Wall Street Journal:
* NY Times:
* Digg News:
* The Paisano:
* Chris Brogan:
* The Savvy Entrepreneur:
* TechStars:
* John Battelle:
* Kevin Burke:
* Jason Calacanis: / Mahalo
* Andy Gadiel / Jambase:
* Brian Halligan / CEO HubSpot:
* Guy Kawasaki:
* Sean Moffitt / President, Agent Wildfire:
* Rob Lane / CEO,
* Kevin O’Keefe/ Lexblog
* Tim O’Reilly
* Biz Stone / Co-Founder of Twitter

Other sources:

* The Top 100:
* Big VCs:
* Directory of brands:

There are also tools to search Tweets… Here’s the buzz on Obama:

You can also import and search your own address book for members if it’s in Google or Yahoo.

Finally, here’s how to get more followers, if you want them:

Did I miss something? Add it below!

Still trying the video thing

September 9, 2008
Find this odd, as you can see from pedestrian delivery above. Still… need to keep up, people.

Mobile post sent by MikeTrap using Utterzreply-count Replies.

Coaxing Virality

August 13, 2008

Post here from the perennially provocative Marta Kagan, distilled with significant loss of charming snarkyness to this:

I’ve said it before—and I’ll probably have to say it a zillion times again before anyone listens: YOU CAN’T CREATE “VIRAL.”

Got me thinking… Is that right? She added a list of things that contribute to virality:

  1. Value
  2. Fun
  3. Creativity
  4. Timing
  5. Distribution
  6. Magical pixie dust

Good list… but are there more? Here’s my list of Other Things That Increase The Likelihood of Virality:

  • Celebrity. The playing field isn’t level among people who create viral content. Generally speaking, famous people have an easier time creating famous content. George Clooney’s output is more likely to become viral than Robert Scoble’s, whose is more likely than mine, whose is more likely than my Aunt Lala’s. If you buy that, and expect that making something viral might be useful down the road, then you should be investing the time and energy to cultivate and maintain some level of personal visibility on the web. While fame is a long shot, if you can at least get a large network of people interested in what you have to say, you’ll increase your odds of getting the word out when you need to.
  • Proximity. Too lazy, dumb, or time-pressed to get a large number of people to be interested in what you have to say? You, my friend, need to get closer to the People Who Matter. The good news is that if Steve Rubel LOVES your whatever it might become famous among persons of a certain archetype. The bad news is you need to cut through the clutter of the thousand or so other schmucks competing for his affection.
  • Tenacity. You either hit or you don’t, right? Bullshit. How many “Will It Blend?‘s” were there before that thing went nuclear? LONELYGIRL15 took a long time to build her following, as did Zefrank, Fake Steve Jobs and others. While it’s true that some things come out of nowhere and are everywhere suddenly, just as many others bide their time in the woodwork before being ignited by something they might never have anticipated at the start.
  • Scarcity. Think about this: Would Evolution of Dance be the 2nd most viewed video on YouTube if it were added today? NFW. It went viral because in the vacuum of genuinely entertaining stuff that was on YouTube when it emerged from the primordial ooze in April of 2006, it was the thing to watch. Every new service launch creates the potential for a breakout, viral event. Blogging did it for Doc Searls, MySpace did it for Tila Tequila, Twitter did it for Pistachio. All of these people have something to add (two of them, anyway,) but so do lots of other folks. They offered something of value in an emergent context, and rode the wave of that new “medium” to become viral “brands” in their own right. If you want to go viral, you need to be among the first to try new media as they emerge.
  • Humanity. Finally, it seems to me that most of the stuff that goes viral touches something fundamental in us. It’s not intellectual, or well crafted; it’s rarely overproduced, or requiring of special skills. It’s something universal, something anyone anywhere can easily grasp, appreciate, and want to pass along to someone they care about. At it’s most base it might be toilet humor or a great rack (had fun considering a link for that, thought the better of it…). At it’s most elevated, though, it’s something that gets under the stuff that makes us different, and touches the things that make us all the same.

So what am I missing? If you can’t make something viral, what else can you do to improve your odds?

What the frak is Social Media?

July 2, 2008

Great slideshow here, from the lovely, talented and rarely-limited-by-underconfidence Marta Kagen.

Entrant in the “World’s Best Presentation” contest on Slide, please vote for it if you’re so inclined.

Authenticity & Leadership

May 30, 2008

Great article in the New York Times about how the nature of leadership may be evolving. Leaders themselves are stuggling to integrate their professional and personal lives, just as people within companies are more hungry for authenticity and a personal relationship with those they choose to follow.

This ties very tightly to the twitter / blogging sensibilities I’ve discussed here, about trying to be a real person and sharing your true feelings with others. I’m not sure which way the causality runs (did the blogosphere create this desire for a personal connection, or did the desire for more personal connections create the blogosphere?) but I find the topic pretty fascinating as both a leader and a student of human nature.

What do you think?

“Thought I otta share my naked feelings…”

April 27, 2008

Dropped the kids off with their Mom in Lee, MA, earlier today, and was feeling kind of mellow for theFinal Cut two-hour ride home.

I started with some Joni Mitchell, who I came to appreciate later in life after that scene with Emma Thompson in Love, Actually, featuring a miraculously fresh and poetic version of “Both Sides Now.” After a few more songs it was onto Jeff Buckley, who I first heard about on, of all places, American Idol. “<Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah> is one of my favorites,” said Randy Jackson, sending the brilliant album on which it appears to number 1 on iTunes for a few days.

Warmed up for something heavy and emotional, I dialed over to Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut,” an album (yes, I first bought it on vinyl) I remembered fondly from my youth. “Cut” holds up as a modern masterpiece, IMHO. It’s a rock album about a son struggling with the death of his Father in a foreign war, and I found it even more poignant today than it was when I was 16. Do yourself a favor, buy and listen to this album when you have the time to really listen to it. It includes the tale of a soldiers death from the perspective of his son, describes thoughts running through the mind of an airman shot out from the under bubble of a B-29 as he floats toward the earth, and climaxes with The Final Cut, a disturbingly intimate reflection on depression and suicide.

They don’t make ’em like that anymore. So what’s the point of all this?

It struck me that what made these artists special was their willingness to share their innermost feelings with the rest of us. What’s made their work into enduring art is the respect the rest of us have for how difficult this is, what an extraordinary act of faith it is to expose yourself to the extent necessary to establish a real connection with another human being.

They say web 2.0 has democratized media, made all of us artists in a away that was never possible before. It’s not any easier to tell the truth about what you feel, though. Do you? Do you know of someone who does?