Thursday, November 30, 2006

Divita Speaks - Chloe Divita

Chloe Divita is making success waves on her own. Her company, Divita & Assoc, is growing. Her blog, Divita Speaks, is helping.

What do they do?

DiVita & Associates provides a full range of bookkeeping and accounting services for small business. Our unique virtual network environment allows our clients to have real time access to their files, and to split responsibilities to fit each client's needs. We work in a professional manner with attention to quality while being flexible and reliable.
On her company blog, they write:

When I was growing up, we had a set of encyclopedias to go to and find our answers to our questions. No computers, no online search engines. It was a favorite thing for me to do on a rainy or snowy afternoon -- to take one of the encyclopedias and just look thru the pages and see what I could find. A few years later, I used these for reference for homework assignments.

It seemed a lot easier to be able to find your specific answer to a question. Today - I often find myself frustrated by "googling" a topic and after clicking on numerous links - I've gotten so far from my original search that I wonder what I was searching for.

Recently, I ran across this wonderful little gem - our modern day's technological version of an encyclopedia: It's a free reference search service. Instead of a search engine that serves up a long list of links that you must chase down, displays quick, snapshot answers based upon content from more than 100 authoritative encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries and atlases.

Read the full posting by Benecia Beyer here.

For advice on QuickBooks, on Windows Vista, and on "Improving your cash flow". For a small business looking for accounting and practical advice, this is one place to visit.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Spirit in Gear - Debbie Call

Dick Richards gives Debbie's site a great award:
Before heading out to an evening meeting yesterday, I ran a final check of my email. There I discovered Dick Richard's email, urging me to read his latest post. It appears that he graced me with the honor of receiving his first ever Platinum Trumpet Award for a piece of work I did earlier this year that he felt was most important to him.

The series of posts Dick refers to focus on True Guidance vs. False Guidance - Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Read the full post here.

Debbie writes:
But hey, I'm not here to talk about politics per se. To do so is to miss the larger point. I. F. Stone set a high standard we would do well to emulate. And it is this. To use our blogging forums to illuminate the conversation. To expand understanding and meaning. In short, to BE the substance the world needs, and allow our voice to reflect that.

I didn't say it was easy to speak openly, honestly, truthfully. Some days I can't find the time to blog. Some days I can't hear my own voice. Some days I'm feeling timid. And some days I just can't stand not to speak up. I'm still learning to give myself permission to show my strength - to let my "substance" out. And be damned with whatever gets "thrown" at me.

Read Debbie's full posting here.

And then consider adding Debbie's site to your RSS Read of choice. You'll be glad you did.

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The Wikipedia Knowledge Dump

The purpose of this blog:

From the bold to the beautiful, from the wicked to the wise, every day the Wikipedia team relegates possibly "inappropriate" submissions to the garbage dump of time. Here, we make selected rejects immortal and preserve them for posterity.

A sampling of terms or entries that they have preserved:

I find the visual graphic of evolution evolving via the entries and edits on wikipedia very interesting.
The entry for evolution on Wikipedia was altered 2,081 times by 68 editors between December 2001 and last October. IBM's Watson Research Center produced the image at left, which tracks the transformation. Each vertical line is a new version; each color is a different editor. A black line occurs whenever the entire entry is deleted by a vandal. The initial version of evolution (indicated by the "1") is 526 words long.

A picture of how knowledge is being crafted.

You might want to add this site to your RSS Reader of choice. There are some obscure but good tidbits here.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Sense of Place

A few years ago we'd stopped at the planet Leeds to repair the Starship's main support system, a powerful computer capable of cognitive intelligence. We met a girl named Emma that day who forever altered our perceptions of beauty, compassion, heart, soul, love, humor and intellect. Technicians transplanted cells donated from Emma, into our computer. That fusion between Emma's DNA and our electronics created a brand new support system. We call her Emma.

Initial coordinates for today's mission have been downloaded and Live at Leeds is playing throughout Emma's audio network. "People try to put us down..." bellows Roger Daltrey as the Starship approaches Workit, a small satellite of Steelcase. Mark Greiner meets us at the spaceport. Mark is a Senior VP who says his company's passion is to create great work environments. He recently visited Asia and was impressed by the level of importance people place on their culture. Mark asks, "how does culture effect work process, and can ancestral cultures be seamlessly braided into the American corporate culture?

A sense of place permeates ones conscious. It melds from the land, from the history, from the environment, from the culture, from the people and the surroundings. Art, design and architecture weave throughout to support an awe and wonder. A short ride to the world of Interactive Architecture as the fellows sing, "I don't want to cause no fuss (Too much, Magic Bus)
But can I buy your Magic Bus?
" Ruairi Glynn walks us about a visual feast of kinetic sculptures, performative architectures and interactive installations...all with the ability to instill a sense of place.

"Substitute you for my mum, At least I'll get my washing done..." Emma fusses with the volume but our attention is on Jill Fehrenbacher. Jill created Inhabitat, a vehicle to document innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. One could see how style might win over substance in design. This would seemingly deteriorate a sense of place. Jill and her crew strive to balance style and substance while keeping the user, the experience, the social context and the impact of an object on the surrounding environment at the forefront of their design intentions. Managing editor, Sarah Rich, has edited an interesting piece of work, World Changing: A user's guide for the 21st Century. We should pick up a copy for the trip to Brooklyn, New York and Treehugger.

Treehugger is a web magazine that cares. Cares about sustainability and the environment while looking for solutions, constructive developments and positive initiatives. There are a ton of interesting topics listed on a pull down box under categories. "People try to put us d-down (talkin bout my generation) Just because we get around (talkin bout my generation)" As Roger sings, we can't help but think Treehugger guides us in the right direction to enhance our sense of place.

While we visit with these interesting people, Emma amoeba-itizes the culture and sense of place of each location into her knowledge banks. Occasionally she'll conduct conversations with buildings, cars, desks and pets. It is best at these times to leave her alone and let her do her own thing.

Instead of specific coordinates, Emma lets the navigator choose random. We land in Canada at Bruce Mau Design. "Every time I call my Baby, try to get a date, my Boss says No dice, Son,you gotta work late, Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do, but there ain't no cure for the Summertime Blues." Bruce Mau Design publishes an in-progress manifesto. It tells us about the firm's culture, vision and direction. Point number forty stands out - Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

The Starship is in need of wide open space and to vaporize fences. Emma delights as she lets the engines scream. The greater the distance, and the faster she flies from status quo, the greater potential of growth we realize.

We set down on the Red planet. Hilary Cottam leads an ambitious team with the goal of confronting complex social and economic problems. A paper titled Transformation Design explains how design is used to address these problems. Emma raises her computer bank eyebrows when she hears the six characteristics of Transformational Design:

  • Defining and Redefining the brief
  • Collaborating between disciplines
  • Employing participatory design techniques
  • Building capacity, not dependency
  • Designing beyond traditional solutions
  • Creating fundamental change

She thinks, "have some of these not already existed deep within our knowledge banks?" "Quivers down my backbone, I got the shakes in the knee bones, Shivers down my thigh bones, Like I'm Shakin' all over." Was that Emma or Roger??

I've got the quivers down my backbone! What a glorious mission today! Folks out on the edge, caring for and improving our workplace and overall environment. It is because of people like this that our ancestors will one day be jolted by a sense of place.

Peace. Out.

Healing Iraq

Not a site that would normally fit into the "long tail" objective of this blog because it already has some substantial readership according to Bloglines (over 460 at this point).

But the topic is not something that is regularly discussed from the Iraqi point of view and hence my decision to share it hear.

Read about Iraqis Prepare for Further Sectarian Violence

As the cycle of sectarian violence in Baghdad rages on, despite a three-day curfew, many people in the war-torn capital are bracing themselves for what they fear is the worst phase of the war to come.

The attack on Sadr City with five car bombs last Thursday will most likely be another turning point, ushering in a rising level of violence in Iraq, just the same as the shrine incident in Samarra last February.

Read the full posting here.

For "Daily news and comments on the situation in post Saddam Iraq by an Iraqi dentist" add this site to your RSS Reader of choice.

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Detective Marketing - Stefan Engeseth

Stefan writes on "How to double the traffic on Google"
The simple fact of the matter is that good business is essentially childishly simple. Google, for example, could let visitors search its 8 billion pages by opening pages visited in a separate window so that instead of leaving the Google page, the visitor stays with the brand a little longer.

Stefan writes on "Ghost Riding, a trend ore a massage?"
In a time when people look for new leaders they express it in different ways. One-way is to do a new dance: Ghost Riding. It is danced like this; you drive your car slowly then walk out of it and dance around the car. At the same time the car is slowly moving down the streets with the music playing, but no one is sitting in the driving seat ...

Click through to read the full posting.

Stefan writes in the About Page:
The power of the consumer is stronger than ever. Yet, the gap between what a company promises and what consumers experience has never been larger. Consumer power makes or breaks companies. The purpose of this blog is to make, not break, companies and close that gap. Use this blog as an open source platform for the most important business and consumer trend of the future: ONE.ONE means that companies must let consumers into the process of creating new products and services, and even into marketing and selling them. This is more than theory, it’s survival. The power of interactivity, Internet and word of mouth is a force to be reckoned with. Those who don’t listen, will be crushed by it.“If you’re looking for creative business opportunities, this is the place, but if you’re more interested in a forum for grievances and gripes then this is not the right ONE for you.” Stefan Engeseth, author of ONE and editor of this blog.

Is this the right ONE for you? Then add Stefan's site to your RSS Reader of choice.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ask Dr Kirk - Dr Delaney Kirk

Dr Delaney Kirk, professor at Drake University and author of Taking Back the Classroom: Tips for the College Professor on Becoming a More Effective Teacher writes at Ask Dr Kirk.

There are quite a few parallels between managing in business and teaching. Or at least as a former teacher, I believe there are. So while Dr Kirk's blog is focued on teachers helping their students, there is a definite cross over possible for managers to help their associates.

For example: Assignment rubric.
If you had something like this, the performance review would be easier.

Do you find other parallels? If so, you might want to add this site to your RSS Reader of choice.

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A Portal of American Small Business - a Group Blog

Put 17 authors, or as the title bar claims "editors" together.

Have them post frequently.

Enable "thumbs up" or "tumbs down" voting per post.

Enable RSS, comments and links to digg or

What do you get? A Portal of American Small Business sponored or hosted by The Wizard of Ads.

Check it out. Good writing goes a long way! Add this site to your RSS Reader of choice.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Peace talking - Jon Swanson

In introducing this new project John writes:

I want to know how people find peace or make peace. This isn’t about productivity, this is about peace. I know the methods that people have to fit more into their lives or make things work more smoothly. However, somewhere in the middle of all that juggling, aren’t there moments when you stop and say, “this is why”?

And I’m not talking world peace here, I’m talking family or personal or where we live day-to-day peace.

So that’s why the peacetalking project. Over at is the place for video posts to picture peace.
When I think of "world peace", the parody from "Miss Congeniality" comes to mind. But world peace is a serious matter and personal peace is a good place to start.

Give it some thought.

If you have any input jump on over to the wiki to provide some input.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

From the archives: Talking Story - Rosa Say

Was it already a year ago?

The Hitchhiker Team found and posted about Rosa Say writing at Talking Story and her Ho'ohana Community last Thanksgiving.

I said then that you would be glad you did join. I hope you took that advice. I am thankful for having done so myself.

An outgrowth of the Ho'ohana Community is the new Joyful Jubilant Learning Network.

Check out Talking Story.
Check out Joyful Jubilant Learning Network.

And enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

selearninggames - Sandra Dickinson

Sandra writes:

As adults, we want to learn stuff that is directly relevant, practical, and useful to resolving the real challenges we face in our work. We learn best by doing what matters to us personally. We want to build on what we already know, transfer our prior experience to a new situation, share what we know, find out what like-minded others know, and form connections. We want rapid feedback. We want to learn what we need to know right now, just in time to complete the task in front of us. We might need to know a little or a lot; either way, we want to decide what we learn, when, and how we learn it.

Does that ring a bell with you? How does she do that? Sandra is combining a blog and a wiki to explore learning games.

What does an elearning community look like? (click through to see the image) This is what she describes of the activity:
The starter image presented was the intersecting circles inside the box. Representing the interaction among ‘course’ content, other learners, external resources, etc. Clearly - the elearners are saying most of the learning takes place outside the box. Most of the learning takes place is unstructured ways. The learning process goes back and forth among content, other learners, external resources along unpredictable, often frustrating, definitely nonlinear pathways. Learning one thing leads to another question leads to another learning…and sometimes to something concrete you can put in another box.

Read her full posting here.

I need to warn you not to get too involved in playing "Flood" on the front page of the wiki. It can be addicting.

Explore both of these sites. I think Sandra has concepts you might be able to leverage. I know the folks at Joyful Jubilant Learning will be able to benefit.

Marketing Profs Daily Fix

This is a group blog but what a group! The contributor listing could serve as a good start on who's who in marketing.

Tuesday's post on a Movember campaign about marketing to 20-30 something males to grow a mustach during November ("M" ustach, n"ovember") was sufficient to solicit a comment from me. The posting was from a writer from an early stop on the Hitchhiker trail, Andrea Learned.

Alain Thys writes:
... did we really all join the wonderful marketing trade to shuffle GRPs, bicker over budgets and chase yet another piece of mindless creative which no one cares about, except perhaps a few media sellers only who pretend to like us anyway ?

Or did we join it to make a difference? To use the millions at our disposal to really do something useful in the process as well. To really affect people, even only in a little way.

Read his full posting here.

And if marketing is anywhere near your alley, then this site is for you!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

That's on point!

Mike Cardillo writes on soccer at That's on Point:

Let's take a brief moment to respect the passing of Hungary/Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas. Though it doesn't roll off the toungue like a Pele or a Platini, he's no less important to the growth of the world's game.

By all accounts the 1950s "Magical Magayars" were one of the best teams of all time, although they did lose the 1954 World Cup final to West Germany 3-2 in wild fashion.

Fast fact, he scored 83 goals in 84 international matches. Who knows what the quality of some of those games were, but that's still an impressive feat. He even picked up a Olympic gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki games.

Read his full posting here.

And about his experience in a focus group:

Now, if you've ever been to a focus group, let me tell ya, you are missing out my friend.

You and 7-10 random folks with some basic similarity to you are put in a room with a two-way mirror and asked questions by a moderator who is waaaaaaay too chipper not to be on some sort of medication.

What's fascinating is that as the session continues some of a participants get more and more chatty. They start throwing out their clever ideas on how they can make the product better.

Read his full postng here.

And he talks about MLS's "Beckham rule"

Well, they finally did it. The MLS adopted the "Beckham Rule." Don't want to totally naysay it, but let's think about it logically. Will a 30-something David Beckham, an overweight Ronaldo, etc. help MLS? Sort of. It'll increase the media coverage -- at least short term. Becks will do all the rounds -- Regis, Ellen, etc. Commish Don Garber will smile and tell us this is exposure the league would never otherwise receive. And that will be true.

But they're AGAIN not catering to real soccer fans in America. From what I've read, in the mid-to-late 90s the Beckham-mania in England was without par. Here was by all accounts a normal English bloke who could do marvelous things with the ball, who eventually married one of the nation's biggest pop icons. How's that going to translate in the States? Most people know him from the title of that Kiera Knightley flick and his Gilette razor/skin care ads.

Read his full posting here.

And then if you love soccer, you'll add Mike's site to your RSS Reader to keep in touch.

I Heart Farms

From Tana Butler at I Heart Farms, she writes:

One of the biggest problems with being a writer/photographer is the balance between looking and listening. And frankly, just being. When I'm at a farm, especially one as beautiful—orderly, healthy, happy, humming—as Linda Butler's oasis, Lindencroft Farm, I tend to dial down the volume on my work. I just want to hang out with the farmer and look at the pretty things growing. Or pet the kitties—Linda and her husband, Steve, have four. (And about ninety-seven bird feeders, so I wonder how that works out. Stay tuned: she answers my question.)

Read the full posting here.

In her about section she writes:

Do you detect a theme? Good, you're smart. I like smart people. And without getting too political about it, people who are smart support sustainable agriculture, and do not support the pinheads and reptiles who make policies that hasten the destruction of our fragile environment.

Not only is is true that "You are what you eat," but this: "You are what you ate, ate."

Lettuce praise farmers.

Lastly, I am a good combination of the sacred and the profane. Don't be shocked if I'm salty or appalled if I get all spiritual. Babies love me: that's my litmus test.

A nice combination; pictures, good food, appropriate spices... what more could one ask for?

If you like this, then add this site to your RSS Reader of choice.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bigger isn't always better - Bob Tomasko

Bob Tomasko writes a blog at "Bigger isn't always better" which happens to be the name of his fourth book.
He writes on the Clear Channel deal
Clear Channel made itself more attractive to private investors by adopting a “less is more” approach to selling advertising 18 months ago. It reduced the total number of minutes devoted to commercials each hour on its radio shows and shortened their average length. Result: happier listeners, better ratings which led to more ad revenues for less air time, and constructive pressure on the advertisers to make their shorter commercials more engaging. Which led to more product sales for the advertisers – a win-win all around.
In his posting on Growth involves subtraction, not addition he quotes from
Lao Tzu said:

“In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired; in pursuit of wisdom, every day something is dropped.”

Expansion – the pursuit of bigness – is a lot like the pursuit of knowledge. Growth, however, has more to do with acquiring wisdom.

This reminds me of Dan Ward's Simplicity Cycle.
If any of this strikes your fancy, then you should add Bob Tomasko's blog to your RSS Reader.
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Success from the Nest - Tony Clark

Helping parents who want to do meaningful work from home and have more time for their family - both those who want to make the leap and those struggling with the best way to do it.

Tony writes in his about section:

My name is Tony D. Clark and I’ve had the privilege to be able to work from home for most of my working life - close to 14 years. I’ve been a work-from-home parent for 9 of those years. Throughout this time, I’ve given advice, shared resources, and helped others who were interested in working from home. I’m passionate about being free to live my life on my own terms, and doing fun and meaningful work, while having a rich and close-knit family life. That passion comes out when talking about working from home, and I love seeing and helping others make the leap.

He also writes about Your business plan as a story

He writes about some author struggles when their books get paired in bizarre ways.

He writes about his podcast The Creative Venture
In this week’s episode, I look at what it means to be creative, the ways in which we view the world and our craft, and what I call the inner destructor - the inner critic that is always telling us what we can’t do. I also offer up some simple strategies for overcoming the inner destructor.

This is a site worthy of being added to your RSS Reader of choice.

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Thoughts & Philosophies - Carolyn Manning

I've lived in Pennsylvania, US, all my life. The water here is good, so I stay.

writes Carolyn Manning on her "About me" page at Thoughts & Philosophies.
Mike talked about web developers who don’t blog trying to give blogging solutions. He speaks of people who try to help when they don’t know what they’re doing. He speaks to people who need help and don’t know where to go to get the best they deserve.

It’s some state of mind we’ve grasped and won’t give up. People for centuries have looked to priests for marital difficulties. I know a man who spent three years in jail because he went to a tax lawyer instead of someone versed in the DUI laws.

Read the full posting here.
What justification do we have for putting ourselves out to the world? Every. We seem to crave validation. And, for those of us who are writers, we need such venues as Technorati.

Read her full posting here.
Give the kids some discipline. You’re the adult; they’re not. I think it was Dr. Phil who said, “you’re not raising children, you’re raising adults”. Don’t throw your hands in the air as if you have no control. You are making the adults of tomorrow. You’re the Moms and the Dads. Instill in those children of yours a sense of love, responsibility, gratitude for the world around them and you’ll reap the rewards.

You, me, all of us can afford to take the time to make our lives better and richer. We have no excuse for doing otherwise.

Read her full post here.

Then take Carolyn's advice to heart and add her site to your RSS Reader!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How do you get the short list from 74?

In the course of exploring the use of wiki to enhance this blog and others, I found a good comparison site: Wiki Matrix
Did you know that there are 74 wiki software packages available to choose from?
How do you wade through all that to make a choice?
Use the Wiki Choice Wizard! or check off ones on the list you want and do the compare yourself.
I used the wizard and it was easy. From the 74 it brought my choices down to 12. I further made a selection (by pricing, i.e. "free") to create a short listing of 3. Then when one I had heard about wasn't on the listing, I went back to see where the choice got dropped off. Yes, it was one of the feature sets that the wizard asked. Now, I know and understand my short list.
If you use a wiki, I would be interested in finding out how you choose the one you did and what you are using it for.
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Never Eat Alone - Keith Ferrazzi

The book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi has a blog that is active.

You can subscribe to the Tip of the Week.

I like the posting on the SpotMe gadgets for use at conferences.

He posts on building the mind body relationship and links to a podcast by Rob Notter.

You should consider add this site to your RSS Reader of choice and stay in touch with Keith.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hot Points - Bob Parsons

Not exactly the long tail but when a CEO blogs, you might want to check in once in awhile to see what's going on.

Especially when the CEO is the head of GoDaddy

and he writes about their new commercials

and he writes about Danica Patrick

and he talks about his 16 Rules.

Check the site out, and then consider adding it to your RSS Reader of choice.

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Jeremy Zawodny's Blog

What does chili in a slow cooker,

adword advertisers,


cool pictures of planes

have to do with anything?

You can find them all in one place: Jeremy Zawodny's blog.

Don't believe me? Go see for yourself!

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Customer Service

On our last adventure I left Christine Kane talking to Dorothy and Toto began to follow me down the Road. Christine uses the time she found her dog to explain experiencing creativity. For me, this is a perfect example of trying to find my place in the universe. So far the dog hasn't come home, but I feel one is following me. I even named it, RadioBack.

Starship_cruiserStarting today, our primary method of travel for Six Degrees will be the Starship Cruiser. The speed in which she vaporizes the boundaries of status-quo and flirts about the fringes of the universe is beyond human comprehension. The music piped on board originates at The Loft.

A short time in hyper-drive places the Starship outside our solar system and in the beautiful city of Des Moines, Iowa. (Thanks to Starbucker for these coordinates) Thea Gilmore is just finishing "When I'm Gone" as Tom Vander Well of QAQNA greets us at the Space Port. Tom doesn't just instruct when writing about customer service, a very dear topic of mine, he orchestrates. Before leaving, Tom takes us ten miles past the city's edge to a Mail Pouch barn. Inside we find this absolute beauty. Tom directs us to the West and CustomersAreAlways.

Dar Williams barely lays down "Echoes" before California re-entry. Maria Palma hands us an aromatic Breakfast Blend as we de-board. Maria injects heart and soul into positive customer service experiences. Thanks so much for your hospitality Maria! She says, "if you enjoy my stories you'll be delighted with Mary's.

The Starship elevates and rockets toward New Mexico and Mary Schmidt. Lindsey Buckingham picks a beautiful guitar on "Down on the Rodeo." The very first impression that leaves an everlasting one with us about Mary is that she's a professional - her writing projects this most clearly. While showing us around Albuquerque, Mary points toward Service Stars & Snafus. We found this inspiring tidbit there. Mary talks about sound, positive business practices, but she didn't hesitate to tell us about something Broken.

Screaming eastward across the U.S., Gold Frapp plays "Beautiful." Ordinarily we wouldn't be visiting someone line Mark because he has no blogroll. But Mark is one of those cats out here doing good things. His work, This is Broken, is a most constructive vehicle that businesses and folks should pay attention to. Here's what else Mark is up to. I recommend Uncle Mark's Gift Guide. We contact Mary from New York and ask, "who else has passion out here?" "Go Down Under guys."

Sweet! We can crank up the Starship. We might be able to get two songs in before arriving in Adelaide, Australia. Evanescence jams on "You" as we revel in our good fortune in meeting really good people today. Lee Hopkins greets us with most south of the equator warmth. Lee writes about blogging, communications and tools to help your personal growth. We can't help but to notice the sincerity and human voice that he weaves into his work. Lee says, "you guys look pretty tired, but try stopping in Winter Haven, Florida, before taking Route 4 back to Tampa."

Ben Lee closes out our trip today with "Catch My Disease." The Starship lands in one of the many lakes surrounding Winter Haven and we transport to shore. Josh Hallett welcomes us. Josh is a true Internet and Social Media consultant. I am veering off course just a tad here because I am familiar with Josh. The intent though, is to highlight Josh's vast experience on blogging - click on his blogging category and settle in for a fresh, educational adventure. Josh leaves us with a post on our topic of customer service today.

Once home, I see Rosemary attacking her computer. She's been averaging over 3,000 words a day for the last month on a book and it reminded me of a couple of posts on customer service that she wrote for me when she was still a bank manager. Mr. Fiorucci's House and Roger. Be advised, these stories are touching. Besides being one of the best managers I've ever seen, her customer service skills were almost better!

Man! What a fantastic day! Thanks for riding along in the Starship.

26.2 miles vs. Noami

Noami writes in her profile:

What happens when an unathletic anti-runner completes two marathons? This one moved to Africa. Stay tuned for the hijinks sure to ensue...
She writes about the differences between the US and Senegal

Looking just at gender relations, there are some major differences for women born here versus women born in the states. For one thing, polygamy is widely practiced, so many woman have to get used to the idea of sharing their husband with as many as three other women.

In poor families, when there isn’t enough money to keep all the children in school, education for sons is often prioritized over that for daughters. As a result, women are much less likely to be found as skilled laborers (tailors, electricians, plumbers)
which can pay a lot more than unskilled jobs, like being a maid or a cook. And the birth rate is very high in Senegal, on average more than four children per family, so most women spend a lot of time taking care of babies.

That being said, Senegal is not the worst country in the world to be a woman. Women hold key government posts and jobs at various levels in private business. In cities, at least, women can wear whatever they want, go wherever they want, and do what they want. The more remote villages tend to stick to traditional dress, which isn’t any more or less restrictive for women than for men.

Read the full posting on Hear me roar

She writes on

My favorite thing about having seasons is the changing over between them. Because after a long, cold, gray winter, that first moment of sunny, green, warm spring is a revelation. And after months of heat, humidity and tank tops, who doesn't love pulling on a brand new sweater in September or October?

So okay. There's not quite the same range of difference between winter and summer around these parts. It's November, and I'm still wandering around in tank tops and shorts, and sleeping with the fan on at night.

Read the full post on Dreams of fluffy blankets and frozen toes.

And then add Naomi's blog to your RSS Reader and follow along.

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Creative Generalist - Steve Hardy

Steve writes in his profile:

Steve Hardy is the founder of Creative Generalist, a popular weblog for curious divergent thinkers. He is formerly the Business Director of 2004's Magazine of the Year Maisonneuve (eclectic curiosity) and is currently a Creative Producer of wireless media at Airborne Entertainment. .... A proud generalist with a knack for observation, synthesis, and sensible ideas, I've had the good fortune of working with a number of exceptionally talented people on many wonderfully exciting projects in a wide range of industries. I've actively participated in both creative and strategic roles (effectively blurring the distinction) and have experienced business from the perspectives of management, agency, client, supplier, intern and student. ... I started Creative Generalist partly as a notebook for my varied finds, partly as a tool to force myself to learn something new and different each day, and partly as a reminder that ideas are important and a generalist outlook on life -- all of it -- is the best way to discover them.

Not bad. Good first name (we agree on that).

Last name reminds me of The Hardy Boys, a book series I loved when I was growing up. You're not related are you? No, can't be, they were fictional.

"A notebook for varied finds". That's pretty much what this is. We're exploring the long tail here.

You do find a variety of things:
You probably should add this site to your RSS Read of choice and follow along.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Peter Callesen

This is a special post.

This site is not a blog but the art found on this site is amazing.

I think you'll agree it is worth a special posting!

Check out Peter Callesen

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Friday, November 10, 2006

The Yellow Brick Road

Many thanks to Steve and Troy for letting me join in on the exploration of the Long Tail...

Today's journey will be magical, mystical and liberating. First, I need to instill a thought about our preferred method of travel and then quickly instill a more dominant one.Dorothy_slippers_1

Do you remember how Dorothy returned to Kansas? Ok, hold that thought. Because I can no more wear women's apparel than drink a glass of battery acid, we must overlay the visual of soft, worn and comfortable red leather boots onto the screen. Whew! I feel much better.

Other than early Clint Eastwood movies, no movie has touched my heart over the years more than The Wizard of Oz.Red_cowboy_boots It has provided so many personal metaphors and has been such a source of inspiration that, "Oz is the Yellow Brick Road," became the mantra for the journey of my life. So, come along with Toto, Dorothy and I and lets explore the Yellow Brick Road.

Man on the Silver Mountain by Rainbow is playing on our iPod as we click our boot heels three times. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Fog lifts from the yellow cobblestone and a gentleman appears. "Welcome to the Nest!" Tony Clark greets us with warm enthusiasm. He then asks, "Why Settle for Just One Path?" This question and the ensuing conversation captures my attention and holds me spellbound. Toto's ears perk. I thought I was the only person in the world who could not zero in on a clear understanding of passion and work!! Toto nods. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Ronnie James Dio belts out Catch The Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow... on the iPod as Chris Cree talks about work and passion. "I’ve been doing quite a bit of introspection these days. It’s not that I’m narcissistic or anything. I just keep hearing folks say over and over again that you will be most successful career wise if you work where your passion is." Yep brother, I hear that too! Chris mentions that we should check out another Chris. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...

A bit further down the road and we meet Chris Johnston from Chris's Blog. Chris relays the question, "Is this job for the money or does it give them fulfillment in life?" Chris is actually referring to Noah Kagan's post at, The Paycheck vs. The Life. The discussion that follows this post is quite lively. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home...

..." Danger, danger the Queen's about to kill
There's a stranger, stranger and life about to spill.
.." more iPod, more Rainbow, more Yellow Brick Road. ..."Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby...change directions." We can do that in cyberspace, really, we can.Yellow_brick_road_1 I can't seem to continue via links with the passion/work discussion so I throw out a few sandbags and change course. Chris talks about Adriana so Dorothy takes hold of my elbow and we stroll down the Road to Orlando and I Heart Tech. Adriana swims in a river of which I have no connection with. That's good. Travel is part of her work and she writes a post here on Travel Tips and the Internet. Adriana gazes down at Toto and then back at us, "you guys need to see Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools." I'm thinking that Dorothy has seen it all but she humors me. There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Ritchie B jams on Cold Hearted Woman as we read Kevin's post - Consensus Web Filters. Kevin, who was the founding executive editor of Wired has a very interesting site and it is well worth spending some time exploring. The connection to Wired magazine strikes a chord of ironee today. I just started reading Chris Anderson's The Long Tail this morning. Chris is the editor in chief of Wired. Toto notices my expression and barks, "you're not in Kansas anymore David." There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.Flying_monkeys

The three of us swirl round in circles through cyberspace. Cows, barns and flying monkeys pass us by. (Didn't those flying monkeys creep you out?) The iPod is gone but music begins to fill the cloudscape. Jimi Hendrix picks a few strings as Judy Garland eases into Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Dorothy smiles. Tota barks. I cry. Judy and Jimi are beautiful man. My soul lifts as we descend. We are back on The Yellow Brick Road, right where it intersects with Rt. 66. Christine Kane stands there holding her guitar. She looks at Dorothy eyes wide open. They start to talk. I start to walk down the Road. Toto follows me.

Wish Jar - Keri Smith

Seven is supposed to be a good number, lucky even. I borrowed the first seven of Keri's list of Ideas to find creativity within.

1. Go for a walk. Draw or list things you find on the the sidewalk.
2. Write a letter to yourself in the future.
3. Buy something inexpensive as a symbol for your need to create, (new pen, a tea cup, journal). Use it everyday.
4. Draw your dinner.
5. Find a piece of poetry you respond to. Rewrite it and glue it into your journal.
6. Glue an envelope into your journal. For one week collect items you find on the street.
7. Expose yourself to a new artist, (go to a gallery, or in a book.) Write about what moves you about their work.

The list goes on, find the rest of it here.

Keri writes:
This week I am forced to slow down due to a cold. while I resist the lack of activity at first I acknowledge that it could not come at a better time. work has slowed at least for a few days. and I allow myself the gift of being sucked into a good novel, one of those where the characters become a part of your life for the time being. you think about them while going about your day and wonder what crazy things they will be upto when you see them next.

I am wandering through the world of Ignatius P. Reilly, and it causes me to uncontrollably laugh out loud and lose a bit of my grasp on reality. (those of you who have read the book will know what i mean.) what crazy hero is this, with his tendency to preach about the ills of modern society to everyone he encounters, while taking no responsibility for the miserably, pitious state of his life? he must be one of the most annoying, insulting, obnoxious characters ever written. yet i can't help but like him somehow.

i can't put it down.

Read the full posting on a brief tour through my neighborhood, followed by a glimpse into the mind of Ignatius P. Reilly

Keri writes:
last week i bought a card with a picture of walt whitman on the front it, (not knowing who it was at first), because he had such beautiful eyes, and for the line "Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes."

now i am reading whitman everywhere. today a stranger sends me the most amazing book about corita kent (to which I am eternally grateful) and I open it up and read, "His [Whitman's] favourite occupation seemed to be strolling or sauntering about outdoors by himself, looking at the grass, the trees, the flowers, the vistas of light, the varying aspects of the sky, and listening to the birds, the crickets, the tree frogs, and all the hundres of natural sounds. It was evident that these things gave him a pleasure far beyond what they give to ordinary people." ~John Dewey

every day that i wake up i cannot wait to see what new connections the day will bring.

Read the full posting on a million universes all connected

Keri Smith writes at the Wish Jar. Now, go and add this site to your RSS Reader of choice. It will be a good thing to do for your creativity.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

POW, right between the eyes! - Andy Nulman

Andy's bio says in part (for me, this is the best part):

In his spare time, Andy is also an engaging speaker (motivating Fortune 500 companies the likes of GM, Eveready/Energizer and 3M), oft-published author, inventive stage director, half-decent snowboarder, hot-and-cold hockey goalie, and controversial pop artist.

Other accomplishments include being named one of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40” business leaders by the Financial Post in 1997, voted one of the “Top 100 Montrealers of the 20th Century” by the Montreal Gazette in 2000, and honored as a distinguished recipient of the McGill Management Achievement Award in 2004.

His major disappointment is that he has only one life to live…but he’s working on a solution.

I am interested in finding out what his solution to having only one life to live! I have enough to do to cover about two or three myself but anyway...

Andy writes:

Well, if you’re Fred, you can give the seemingly flavorless and colorless liquid a personality.  Instead of tinkering with the product, Fred’s stroke-of-genius was changing the packaging from the standard chunky and round to an eye-catching sleek and flask-like. 

Now not only does this water slide sexily into the back pocket of jeans, but it overflows with attitude.  It even has its own blog and MySpace page(!).

Read more of what he says about this new Fred Water.

Andy writes:

Think about it. Think back to the great Surprise moments in your life, the highlights you STILL talk about. Not just the bargains or exquisite service, but the unexpected visit from a friend, the Surprise birthday party, the time your spouse’s simple haircut became a high-flying Afro perm, the $100 bill you found in the street…

I could go on and on, but the point here is that hopefully, so can you.

Read more about the highlight reel of life!


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Sanders Says - Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App and The Likability Factor, has his own blog - Sanders Says.

He writes:
A few years ago, I shared a stage with Dr. Stephen Covey in Salt Lake City at a convention for hospice care workers. In his talk, Dr. Covey urged people to read books as a habit to improve their "emotional imagination". He said reading will increase the empathy you show people. This is true. When you read books (from self improvement to trash novel), you activate a part of your brain that unleashes creative energy. There is nothing more primal and perpetual than creative energy. You want to work out, write a protest song, call your mom. When you feel creative you feel alive.

Read his full posting Readers are Leaders.

Tim writes:
The secret is thinking about your Customer's experience as the sum of several little experiences. Think of it from thought to memory. From the parking lot to the exit. A great example of how one company did this is found in the Sharp Colonoscopy Experience article published in in a publication by Pine & Gilmore. The execs at this hospital found one experience that was bad, getting a colonoscopy, and broke it down into segments. They improved in all the little things and eventually they created a colonoscopy experience so good that their clients were known to run out and tell their friends to go to Sharp "and get a colonoscopy".

Read his full post on Segment the Experience.

I previously wrote a review of Love is the Killer App. The Likability Factor is on the "to be read" shelf so I'll get to it someday and then follow up with a review.

Tim is well worth reading and now that his blog has been found, add it to your RSS Reader of choice and keep in touch with Tim!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Maria Palma

Maria Palma has her own content network with a concentrated effort

on business with Customers Are Always
and Online Business Resources

on fashion with Beauty is Within

on real estate with Home Solutions San Diego

and her personal blog, The Good Life

You should be able to find something here to suit your fancy. Assuming you, add one of more of these to you RSS Reader of choice and keep in touch with Maria Palma

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ConverStations - Mike Sansone

Got to keep an eye or two on ConverStations where Mike Sansone writes on integrating and developing blogs for business.

What if your Purple Cow is a Pink Horse? is a good reminder about sticking to your knitting. What is that really separates you from the others? Don't go looking for the purple cow (Seth Godin's term) if you have the pink horse in your backyard corral.

Of special interest will be his new series this month, a Blogumentary, building a blog for a non-profit, Blue Frog Arts:
... a gallery with little web presence, but lots of character and talent. Our goal with the blog is to extend the reach and voice, and showcase the talents of this small, but creative community. The owner of the gallery and her team of artists is allowing us to document each step of building the blog site.

Read the full post here and then follow this as it develops.

Mike says in his about page:
My passion is to build community - offline and online. I've done this through property management, online community programming, volunteerism, and - for a short time - as an assistant pastor at a Baptist church in Maryland.

This is one of two versions. You can read the other here.

Then add this site to your RSS Reader of choice and continue to read and participate in ConverStations!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Chelsea Peretti

Chelsea Peretti, one R, two T's... is a comic living and working in the Big Apple and posting regularly on her blog.

She provides advice for Lazy Tuesday.

She writes about her brother and liking or not liking Chris Isaak:
When I went to visit my brother in college one year he convinced me to like Chris Isaak. I was reticent to say the least (3rd def). But we drove around listening to his CD and my brother was like: "He's funny. Listen to him, he's funny." I said WELL WAX OFF MR MIYAGI BECAUSE I THINK YOU HAVE A POINT! And then we shared a deep and genuine laugh together over every lyric and every wail.

Anyhow, now I do really love Chris Isaak.

Read the full posting here.

Add Chelsea's site to your RSS Reader of choice and if you are in the New York Metro area, you could catch one of her local appearences.

Way to go Chelsea!


Blogcritics is an online magazine, a community of writers and readers from around the globe.

The site comes with an attitude. They advertise themselves as a "Sinister cabal of superior writers".

A content network if there ever was one. You can find your fill of Culture, Politics, Sci/Tech, Music, Books, Gaming, Sports, and the list goes on.

Check out Blogcritics!

Beware of the attitude.

Monday, November 06, 2006

David Bordwell's Website on Cinema

David Bordwell writes on his "Website on Cinema" with Kristin Thompson. In his posting reviewing the argument that the screenwriter is really the author of the film (not the director), he says:

The screenwriter writes: “An office.” But the director and the cinematographer and many others must specify how that office looks, the style of the furniture, the way light strikes the surfaces, the position from which the camera sees the action, and hundreds of other factors that shape the image. No one could write all these details into a screenplay. Even if he or she tried, any item could always be construed in a different way when the image is created. Is the desk the shade of brown that the screenwriter envisioned? Are the lampshades the same size?

Read the full posting here. (Side note, since the argument originally comes from Joe Eszterhas, the screenwriter for the failure of "Showgirls", should we consider the source?)

He writes of getting a video iPod:

... I now realize, I missed part of the fun: picking out what you’ll put on and arranging items into playlists. I also met with frustration. I hadn’t realized the dominance of pop music as a paradigm for all music until I bumped into iTunes. Of course it had no trouble with my boomer tracks (Burt Bachrach, the Drifters, Sam Cooke, etc.). But the program didn’t like art music. It chopped up operas so that little gaps appeared between tracks that should flow seamlessly, and it couldn’t read my old and obscure CDs. At one point, iTunes decided that all my Sibelius symphonies should be arranged by movement, so it grouped together seven first movements, seven second movements, and so on.

Reinstalling and upgrading the program, as well as setting up playlists, eventually solved these problems. Now my Mahler plays seamlessly and my Björk has the right pauses between songs. I still listen more seldom than most podders; not when walking around the world, mostly just in airports or in hotel rooms. More enticing has been the video function.

Read the full posting here.

If this writing tickles your fancy, then add David's site to your RSS Reader of choice.

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Totally Wired - Anastasia Goodstein

Anastasia has some good advice for parents of teenagers:
For any parents or adults who want to communicate with a teenager using technology, don't use email. Teens don't check it that much. According to Extreme Tech, new research by Parks Associates showed that less than one-fifth of the 13-17 year olds surveyed profess to using email to communicate with friends, compared to 40 percent of adults aged 25-54. In fact, when teens do use email these days, it's usually to communicate with the adults in their lives. What they are using, at least to talk to their friends is instant messaging. They are also using text messaging on cell phones and internal messaging systems on social networks like MySpace or Facebook. They'll pick up email again when they enter the work world, but right now, it's the last thing they'll check.

Read her full posting here.

Do you have virtual friends? Anastasia writes:

What technology has done is to "power" teen friendships. It's like plugging them in or "crank them up a notch." Suddenly there are many more ways for teens to stay connected. They can instant message or text, and often do even when their friend is in the same room. They can comment on each others blogs or MySpace profiles or share videos and photographs. Instead of having to find a landline to get in touch, they can be in constant contact 24/7. Most of the teens I interviewed for the book drew a distinction between online friends they had never met in person and offline friends who they also corresponded with online. It was rare that they would become friends with complete strangers who didn't share some kind of mutual connection or offline friend in common.

Read her posting on "What are virtual friends for?"

This is Anastasia's second appearence here on the Hitchhiker's Guide. Her other web site, ypulse, was visited almost a year ago.

Keep up the good writing Anastasia!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Spotlight - Digital Media and Learning

The About pagesays:

Each week this Spotlight will provide a central focal point for "what's important" in the emerging field of digital media and learning.

But that's not all. This Spotlight is part of Digital Bridges, an initiative to bring coherence and collaboration to the field. Concretely, this site offers the public a first opportunity to get involved by signing up to get notified of major news and collaboration opportunities. This spring we will launch a larger Knowledge Network to centralize these efforts.

This blog is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

The blogroll contains the likes of Danah Boyd and Henry Jenkins amongst others. These two for some reason have been popping up on my radar recently.

This is ONE place to rut into your RSS Reader of choice if you want to follow digital media.


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Motto Blog

There was once a magazine called Worthwhile and it ran into some legal issues which were acknowledged after the issues stopped coming out.
Now, it is being resurrected as Motto. New title, new blog, new layout, and the magazine hits the stands shortly.
I still have a subscription so I should see a copy soon.
In the meantime, check out the new blog and web site here.
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