“Having fun trying new things”

That’s how my friend (and MD) Jeff describes my job. Today he invited me to speak to a group that goes by the nome de nerd, “Geek Salad.” They meet with some regularity but I’m unclear on their raison d’être:

My friend Steve Mays works for Learfield Communications in Jefferson City will present for 20 minutes or so on “Having fun trying new things”. Steve has the enviable job (IMHO) of evaluating new technologies for his organization. And he’s effective and productive! He holds court at the Coffee Zone in Jefferson City on High Street most AM’s.

Is that really my job? Is that anybody’s job? Let’s just pretend that it is. I’m looking forward to meeting these folks and sharing some of my favorite Gadgets & Apps.

UPDATE 9/1/09: Had coffee and nice chat with the Geek Salad gang this morning. Bunch of smart doctors and university types at University of Missouri.

Screen shot 2009-09-01 at Tue, Sep 1, 1.17.40 PM

The siren call of Posterous

http://ihnatko.posterous.com/damn-i-really-like-posterous-now-what
The siren call of Posterous
I continue to be enamored with Posterous, the bare-bones blog service to which you post via email. So much so, I’m moving one of my Typepad blogs over.
My friend Taisir doesn’t have time (on inclination) to post to a traditional blog. With Posterous and his iPhone, he can update the blog with minimal effort. And Posterous did a pretty good job importing the the 160+ posts I had on Typepad.
Like tech columnist Andy Ihnatko, I’m boiling down my online life to my WordPress blog, Twitter and –now– Posterous.

I continue to be enamored with of Posterous, the bare-bones blog service to which you post via email. So much so, I’m moving one of my Typepad blogs over.

My friend Taisir doesn’t have time (on inclination) to post to a traditional blog. With Posterous and his iPhone, he can update the blog with minimal effort. And Posterous did a pretty good job importing the the 160+ posts I had on Typepad.

Like tech columnist Andy Ihnatko, I’m boiling down my online life to my WordPress blog, Twitter and –now– Posterous.

How far would you walk for a cup of Rocket Fuel?

5.1 miles according to Google Maps. And — as Google predicted– it took just about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

The battery on my 12 year old 4 Runner conked out Sunday evening. A neighbor jumped me and I dropped the car at the local Toyota dealer.  This morning I could have called someone for a lift to work but that would have meant missing my visit to the Coffee Zone.

So I set out on foot just before 6 a.m., with a sign taped to my back that read: “Latte for a ride.” I figured I’d get a ride in no time. Seriously, I thought it was cute (but later learned it was just creepy). I left just before 6 a.m.

Big strong men in pick-up trucks passed me by. They were either afraid of me or just didn’t give a shit.

90 minutes later I arrived at the Coffee Zone, sweaty with two quarter-sized blisters on the bottom of my feet. When the oil is all gone I’ll be able to ride a bike down the middle of the street.

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

While flipping through the latest edition (were there previous editions?) of Jefferson City Magazine, I came across this ad for KRCG TV. Actually, it’s only half of the ad. I think the facing page had some news guys or something. But Marketing Consultant Kristi Gratz was clearly out front.

marketing-consultant

I don’t know Ms. Gratz but assume she is a very good Marketing Consultant or she would no be so featured. But this ad does not conjure up reams of ratings data and CPM charts. Frankly, Ms. Gratz looks hot. I don’t think that was her –or KCRG’s– intent, it’s just the filthy old horn dog in me.

jeffcitymagazineAnd if you imagined Jefferson City as some midwestern hayseed haven, take gander at the cover of Jefferson City Magazine. It would seem you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a babe or a hunk (and the occasional horn dog).

This cover has given me a great idea. Coffee Zone: The Ones To Watch. I don’t have time to lay it out tonight, but watch this space or YanisCoffeeZone.com later this week.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to call KCRG regarding some spots promoting smays.com.

“Oh, hello. May I speak with Ms. Gratz, please? Yes, I need some marketing.”

World’s first Bluetooth webcam

webcam“The new Ecamm BT-1 combines high-quality video and sound with complete freedom from wires. The new webcam integrates advanced technologies to allow video and sound to be sent through the air to most any Mac. The BT-1 streams 640×480 H.264 video and AAC audio to video applications such as iChat and Skype, taking advantage of Mac OS X’s rich media capabilities to provide a seamless wireless webcam experience.”

This rascal is about half the size of an iPhone. As for video and audio quality? We’ll take her for a test-drive in the morning down at the Coffee Zone.

iTunes DJ

Dj-taisirI’m not sure, but believe the DJ feature is new with the latest version of iTunes. @georgekopp played with it for just a few minutes on Saturday at the Coffee Zone and if I understood his explanation, it works likes this.

If Taisir is playing music (through the Zone ceiling speakers) from iTunes on his laptop and that laptop is on the Coffee Zone wifi network, I can see his play list from my laptop (or my iPhone) and “request” a song from his list. That song would then be moved up in the queue.

You can see how this could quickly get out of hand. An Elvis nut could take over the play list. Perhaps iTunes DJ gives you some control over that. Maybe a limit to 3 requests or something.

But it looks like fun way to add some interactivity to the morning coffee experience. Stay tuned.

Tessie Hubbard is Panty Mython

Tessie Hubbard (aka Panty Mython) has produced more than 80 videos that have been viewed more than 34,000 times by a thousand YouTube subscribers. Along the way she managed to watch some 25,000 videos.

We bumped into each other online and she was kind enough to meet me at the Coffee Zone this morning to talk about her work/play/art. For someone who is so comfortable in front of the camera, she seemed a little shy but that’s common with most of the people I stalk. It is my fondest desire to someday collaborate with her on a project. And for goodness sake, watch some of her videos.

PS: As part of my on-going effort to find the best way to share video, here’s the YouTube version of this video, and .m4v files are in my Mobile Me gallery.

PPS: Tessie’s Oragami Star and 51 Random Things videos.

A career in radio prepares you for (new career goes here)

Missouri’s new governor will be sworn in tomorrow and, as part of the transition, about 150 people working at state jobs under the previous administration were terminated. This happens with every four or eight years.

A few days before the state ax fell, I had a routine meeting with the chief public information officer for one of the state departments. Like many in that line of work, he had –I believe– started in radio or spent a number of years in broadcasting. The years of consolidation in that industry had left this person weary from new owners, pay cuts, job elimination… and happy to have a more stable job in state government. Two days later the person is, once again, looking for a job.

It’s only a rumor but I’ve heard many of these communications positions will be filled by attorneys under the new administration. Our new governor was formerly attorney general, but I’m not sure why one would want/need a lawyer in these positions. As I said, that’s just rumor.

All of which reminded me of the dozen years I spent working in local radio. They were more fun than I can describe. Whatever skills I acquired during that time (talking on the radio (??); writing commercials; covering a news story (sort of) seem so… irrelevant now. Okay, it’s a quarter of a century later, so why should this surprise me?

If I had stayed in radio, what would I be doing now? Programming a “cluster” of stations? Managing? (unlikely) And what would those years have prepared me to do?

I have no idea why so many radio people go into public relations or become PIO’s for some association or state agency. I always suspected they were hired for their communications skills. Comfortable in an on-air interview; familiar with writing news releases (?); good voice?

Still a useful skill set. But what else do you need to know how to do in 2009? Blogging? Podcasting? YouTube? Social media? Couldn’t hurt.

I hope everyone that lost their jobs last week finds new ones. And better ones. Free advice every morning from 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. at the Jefferson City Coffee Zone.