Category Archives: Blogging

What’s Old is New, Again…

OldWritingOctober 2002 was my first public blog post. Back then blogs were all the rage!

You could ramble about a topic and publish it so ALL THE WORLD could see just how smart (or stupid) you were.

Blogs pre-dated VLOGs (made popular by Youtube Video Bloggers) and POD casting. Back in the good old days there were some great blogs like Joel on Software. But as the years took us into the two thousand teens, blogging became less popular –  blogging took to long for goodness sakes. You had to type and then hit a publish button. Bloggers evolved and went onto different services like Twitter and Facebook where they could communicate in “real” time. As if posting a blog isn’t “real” time enough!

Being old and crusty, I didn’t embrace the new media of the Internet… Sure, I created a Youtube channel for my video work, I got a Twitter and Facebook account. But I didn’t go all in. I kept my blog and slowly kept posting on a topic hear and a thought there.

Fast forward to today.

Even good ole Joel on Software is coming out retirement to document the development of one of his inventions, Stack Overflow. Other Bloggers are brushing the dust off their URLs and re-inventing the good ole blog.

What once was old is now new again!

There’s something about the written word that for thousands of years have kept mankind chronicling their existence and I suspect the written word still has a good future!

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Yep, I’m Still Here

I love my little blog.

For me it gives me a place to leave a piece of myself behind. I don’t expect that when I post these random thoughts that thousands of people will read and understand them.

mother-teresaI guess that as I go through my mid-life reconciliation I find that very few humans have the privilege to make a impact on millions of people’s lives. People like George Washington, good old Abe Lincoln and Mother Teresa and thousands of great people throughout history who have made humanity what it is today.

For me, I’ve reconciled that if I exist in this time and can be a great father, husband, son, brother and friend to the people I love and for the strangers that I have yet to meet that I’ve done a hell of a lot for humanity.

So, today I say, “Yep, I’m Still Here” – I’m still here working at being a better father, husband, son, brother and friend…

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A final lesson from Joel Spolsky on blogging

Do you have a blog? Why do you write one? Me, I write because I 1) have something to say, 2) want to record my thoughts so when I’m old an forgetful I have a means to remember who I was and 3) so that maybe someone reading my thoughts might just learn something from me and have a better life!

So, get this, if you or I had an average of 2,262,248 people per year looking at your blog over the past ten years and 22,894 of them sending me an email do you think you would quit writing in your blog? I know I would have a hard time of letting go.

But Joel Spolsky of www.joelonsoftware.com is quitting retiring from blogging.

Over the past ten years he’s posted 1067 articles on his blog and I’ve read most, if not all of them. I started reading his blog several years ago and I’ve learned at boat load of business sense from him. Even though I’m not a real software developer I still am able to read about his growth as an entrepreneur and I gain insight from him.

So like I said earlier, he said he’s done with blogging. He said he’s not totally done with writing, just that he’s done with the particular style and type of essays he’s been writing. You can read the explanation here – http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2010/03/14.html.

Joel has a lot of good points as to the current state of blogging. But he’s not totally on target. At issue with me is that much of blogging IS “opinion” and the blogging medium is, in my opinion, the best form for such style of writing.

There is, though, a big problem in today’s society in that science, news and opinion has become mangled together and the average person doesn’t have a super, duper, super-hero decoder ring to decipher the difference between the three. And sadly, many people who write think that their opinion is scientific fact or news when clearly they are not.

Without digressing to far, I think we need more bloggers like Joel. We need smart, insightful, witty people giving of themselves and their experiences. Writing good stuff isn’t easy – it’s a talent and skill that you have to work on. Even in his last blog essay (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2010/03/17.html) Joel manages to teach us that it is important to have an open mind and to be willing to change and see things from a new perspective.

I’m sad to hear that Joel is leaving mainstream blogging behind. I will keep Joel in my Google RSS reader and when I see a new post from him be excited to see what he’s up to and what he has to say.

You see, whenever you find someone smart and who is willing to depart of their wisdom freely it is in turn a smart thing to listen to them.

Joel, I’ll be here waiting to listen. Good luck in whatever you do and thanks for the great stuff you’ve given freely over the years.

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One Positive Thought!

I’ve had a blog for some years now. Over the past seven years I’ve posted two hundred and sixty five items. Some of my blog entries have been short and some long, some good and yes, some bad. But I really have enjoyed writing and sharing my thoughts and have enjoyed the comments of people who have passed by and shared their thoughts with me.

Sometimes I wish I had the drive to write more often in my blog, to share more of my life, to share more of my thoughts. I think somewhere deep in my sub-conscious I have a feeling that by sharing my “thoughtful” thoughts that I can change the world in some manner. You see, words are the beginning of the process of change. Thoughts of the human mind are, in my opinion, so important and powerful. If you are a believer of evolution you should realize that the human mind is the greatest evolutionary step for any animal to ever exist. If you believe in God you know that our mind is made in the image of God’s, which is the most powerful mind in the universe. So it is my opinion that the mind is indeed where all of our existence starts.

Yes, you must have action to follow-up what the mind thinks.

But, with this blog all I can do is think and write my thoughts to bits and bytes – electronic paper.

So I started thinking that it would be nice to write at least one positive thought a week. I’m usually not very good at keeping to a defined schedule, but I’m going to try.

Can One Positive Thought a week make a difference in the world? I hope so. If all that happens is my mind is re-focused once a week to think positive about my life and our world then it will be a worthwhile endeavor.

So, I challenge you to have at least One Positive Thought and to share it with the world. You just never know what deeds will come from them!

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Finding Diamonds In The Snow

I don’t know. Diamonds aren’t usually found lying on the ground, in plain sight, in the snow.

But the other day while reading Bob Lefsetz, because I’m interested in the music business, he made a reference to Michael Hedges, who was a huge twenty carrot diamond that apparently wasn’t noticed until it was to late.

But it started me thinking that with the new technological world we live in, we have to re-program our minds to look for diamonds in all the nooks and cranny’s of this world.

With the size of the Internet and the documentation of man’s knowledge seemingly exploding it will become harder and harder to find diamonds. So how do you find better quality information in today’s world?

Simple! You have to find trusted sources on the subjects you are interested in and pay attention to what they are writing about. You have to have an open mind about new information and you have to have curiosity to keep you looking for the diamonds in the snow.

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Some Lessons in Life Are Worth Repeating Over and Over and Over Again…

I’d like to think that I’m informed and up-to-date with what is going on in the world. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to become a person who listens to other people’s opinions and “facts” and I try to keep an open mind.

I know that at times I get tired of the rhetoric and stupidity in the world today. Lord knows that I have my own dumb things to over come. But at least each morning I wake up and I try to change myself and the world in which I live in for the better.

I haven’t  blogged much lately because, to be honest, I got tired. Tired of saying the same thing over and over and over again. Tired not knowing if what I was saying was actually being heard (read).

But after reading this post from Seth Godin, it re-charged my batteries and it made me realize that Some Lessons in Life Are Worth [and worthy of] Repeating Over and Over and Over Again!

Thanks Seth!


And here’s his post as I think it is worthy of copyright infringement in the hopes that other people will read his thought today!

Is effort a myth?

People really want to believe effort is a myth, at least if we consider what we consume in the media:

  • politicians and beauty queens who get by on a smile and a wink
  • lottery winners who turn a lifetime of lousy jobs into one big payday
  • sports stars who are born with skills we could never hope to acquire
  • hollywood celebrities with the talent of being in the right place at the right time
  • failed CEOs with $40 million buyouts

It really seems (at least if you read popular media) that who you know and whether you get ‘picked’ are the two keys to success. Luck.

The thing about luck is this: we’re already lucky. We’re insanely lucky that we weren’t born during the black plague or in a country with no freedom. We’re lucky that we’ve got access to highly-leveraged tools and terrific opportunities. If we set that luck aside, though, something interesting shows up.

Delete the outliers–the people who are hit by a bus or win the lottery, the people who luck out in a big way, and we’re left with everyone else. And for everyone else, effort is directly related to success. Not all the time, but as much as you would expect. Smarter, harder working, better informed and better liked people do better than other people, most of the time.

Effort takes many forms. Showing up, certainly. Knowing stuff (being smart might be luck of the draw, but knowing stuff is the result of effort). Being kind when it’s more fun not to. Paying forward when there’s no hope of tangible reward. Doing the right thing. You’ve heard these things a hundred times before, of course, but I guess it’s easier to bet on luck.

If people aren’t betting on luck, then why do we make so many dumb choices? Why aren’t useful books selling at fifty times the rate they sell now? Why does anyone, ever, watch reality TV shows? Why do people do such dumb stuff with their money?

I think we’ve been tricked by the veneer of lucky people on the top of the heap. We see the folks who manage to skate by, or who get so much more than we think they deserve, and it’s easy to forget that:

a. these guys are the exceptions
and
b. there’s nothing you can do about it anyway.

And that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.

This is a hard sell. Diet books that say, "eat less, exercise more," may work, but they don’t sell many copies.

With that forewarning, here’s a bootstrapper’s/marketer’s/entrepreneur’s/fast-rising executive’s effort diet. Go through the list and decide whether or not it’s worth it. Or make up your own diet. Effort is a choice, at least make it on purpose:

1. Delete 120 minutes a day of ‘spare time’ from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.

2. Spend the 120 minutes doing this instead:

  • Exercise for thirty minutes.
  • Read relevant non-fiction (trade magazines, journals, business books, blogs, etc.)
  • Send three thank you notes.
  • Learn new digital techniques (spreadsheet macros, Firefox shortcuts, productivity tools, graphic design, html coding)
  • Volunteer.
  • Blog for five minutes about something you learned.
  • Give a speech once a month about something you don’t currently know a lot about.

3. Spend at least one weekend day doing absolutely nothing but being with people you love.

4. Only spend money, for one year, on things you absolutely need to get by. Save the rest, relentlessly.

If you somehow pulled this off, then six months from now, you would be the fittest, best rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person in your office or your field. You would know how to do things other people don’t, you’d have a wider network and you’d be more focused.

It’s entirely possible that this won’t be sufficient, and you will continue to need better luck. But it’s a lot more likely you’ll get lucky, I bet.

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Contributing to the Noise Infested Internet Echo Chamber

As a kid I use to play in and around this long drainage pipe that was about a quarter mile long and about four foot in diameter. It was dark, cold and you could yell something to your friend on the other side of the pipe and the echo would eventually be heard on the other end. This “echo chamber” held our fascination and we had a lot of fun with it.

You could say that the Internet is the ultimate “Echo Chamber” as it provides a means by which thoughts can be echoed across the world in mere seconds, really cool!

But like kids playing with a drainage pipe, there seems to be so much noise echoing throughout the Internet. This high noise level is inevitable since there are millions, if not a billion or more people on the Internet.

I struggle with my own desire to communicate my thoughts versus the question of wether I am really contributing in a positive manner or simply adding noise to the Internet?

But after thinking about this issue I came to the conclusion that good, honorable, well intended thoughts, no matter how many times they’ve been communicated are worth repeating and repeating and repeating.

I think that with my limited audience that if I repeat good thoughts that one day, at least one of these thoughts will make a positive difference in someone’s life.

So here’s today echo…

Seth Godin wrote in his blog today about personal finances. The guiding principle of his post is this: Only borrow money to pay for things that increase in value.

I’ve listened to many personal finance gurus and none have ever really communicated the importance of debt control in this manner and Seth is in Marketing, not financial management.

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