My Writings. My Thoughts.
I absolutely got a kick out of this Facebook Update from my cousin, who is a freshman in high school. This is definitely one of those “When I was your age” stories, but I think you’ll enjoy the story. Kyle just updated Facebook:
In 2010, students get text messages as soon as school is cancelled. Notification has been streamlined, information is disseminated quickly, cheaply and efficently.
Rewind 10 years to 2000, my sophomore year of high school.
One night, I decided I’d have a little fun with the snow that was falling. So, I changed my voicemail on my cell phone. In my best impersonation, I said something along the lines of this:
“This is Matt Plater, Superintendent of Schuyler County School District #1. School is cancelled tomorrow, January 7th, 2010. There will be no school on January 7th.”
Then, I posted my MSN Messenger Away Message.
“NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!!! CALL 217-322-7533 IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME!!!”
I let it sit overnight, went to bed, and got up the next morning. Called the *real* number, found out school was on, took my away message down, and went to school.
The hallways seemed pretty empty. Some people told me how they almost bought it. We all had some laughs.
3rd period, I get called into the office to speak with the Principal, the Superintendent I had impersonated, and the Dean of Students.
Turns out that over 1/3 of the high school did not show up for school. I talked my way out of it, but the school district lost quite a bit of money from the state for the missing students. Whoops.
So in 10 more years I’ll be sayin “Pssh, I’ve been doing viral before you were born.”
Happy Snow Day!
Lots of great things going on in life, but this blog seems to revolve around my Craigslist encounters lately.
We wanted to clean up the 2nd bedroom (aka the official headquarters of BlueFuego) to make a little more room in it. Actually, it wasn’t quite like that. It went more like this:
Sunday: Jen says “I wonder if we could have more room in here if we re-arranged, or got rid of one of our two desktop PC’s and just used one desk.”
Monday: Jen leaves for work, and comes home to a re-arranged room, a missing computer, a desk in the middle of the room, and lots of stuff boxed up and taken to the garage.
Tuesday:Jen comes home to $180 on the table, a missing desk, router and monitor.
Give me an idea and I’ll usually run with it.
SO, long story short, I sold my computer monitor and decided to meet the guy in the Fry’s parking lot. Personal safety win! He ended up being 90 FREEKING MINUTES LATE, so I was naturally bored. He had asked to see the monitor in action to ensure it worked, so I brought my laptop. And I brought my Verizon MiFi so I could get an internet signal and get some work done while I waited (only expecting it to be 15-30 minutes, not 90.)
At some point, I decided…. Let’s uStream it.
So I fire up uStream and tell everyone on Twitter what’s about to go down.
And people started watching.
186 viewers came through in the 75 minutes I was streaming. Combined, they watched 32 hrs & 54 mins of the stream.
And this is what they all waited for…. The Transaction. (PS – I definitely brought along the router I was trying to sell and upsold him the monitor AND router. Ohhh yeah!) And while it might have not as been as funny as last month when someone from Craigslist drove through my yard, it was still quality entertainment.
We had to chop down a 30 ft tree in the backyard because it died, and I had no clue what we were going to do with the wood. (When we dug Jen’s garden, I threw several hundred lbs of dirt in the pond, but I thought the HOA might notice floating branches a little more…..)
Jen suggested we put it on Craigslist, so I gave it a try. To my surprise, 15 inquiries for FREE WOOD rolled in within a few hours. I had all of these people wanting my cell phone # so they could call me and ask if the wood was still there before they left.
Well, I hate talking on the phone and I really hate talking to strangers on the phone.
So, I set up my webcam from the window and positioned it on the wood pile. I started a stream on uStream and sent them all the link, telling them to check the video instead of calling me to see if there was any wood left.
And…. I decided to record it for the heck of it.
20 minutes from when I sent the email, a few people rolled up in a car and took every single piece of it. But the best part was their triumphant arrival……
THROUGH MY FRONT YARD.
Check out the video. Hilarious. Another Craigslist Success Story.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Twitter is a circus. Allow me to explain.
Just like the circus, Twitter has all sorts of things to see. All kinds of people. You’ve heard the media talking all about it and how it’s coming to town, and it’s probably the coolest thing at that moment. There are a ton of things to see underneath the big striped tent. Your admission ticket is free, but make sure you spend your time at the Circus wisely. Here’s a small sample of who you might encounter at the Twitter Circus.
The Ticket Taker
The Ticket Taker is the one to greet every single person through the door. “Welcome, thanks for being here! Have fun.” That’s when you know you’ve arrived. It’s time to go inside and see who else is around.
According to Wikipedia, the ringmaster’s job is “to create a sense of hyperbole whenever possible while introducing the acts. Declarations of the “biggest”, “most dangerous”, “amazing”, “spectacular” and similar expressions are common, regardless of the actual caliber of the performance.”
Twitter is no different. Look for the Ringmasters with huge amounts of followers and few updates. They have the biggest, most amazing and spectacular thing for you. Just click the link. It’s gotta be great…. right?
The Tight Rope Walker
High in the sky is the tightrope walker, performing what seems to be an incredible act of skill and bravery. But come on, you know the real reason we all watch the Tight Rope Walker…. to watch them fall. And after they fall, it’s over. Tight Rope Walkers don’t get a second chance. The Twitter Tight Rope Walker is no different. High up there, seemingly unreachable, and they have one chance to prove themselves. Fall and it’s game over. Maybe it’s a failed ‘viral marketing’ campaign, maybe it’s just the fact that everyone realizes that # of followers does not equal credibility or knowledge.But come on… you know you’re watching.
The Lion Tamer
Taming a lion is no small feat. Taming people who talk on the internet is no different. The Twitter Tamer is typically the peacemaker in the network. They want to know how you’re all doing, they truly care about you and want to make sure you’re good. Stay on the Twitter Tamer’s good side.
Ahh yes, the elephant in the room. Your boss, your competitor, the company that still doesn’t really get Twitter but joined and got 50 followers in 2 weeks, so now they are an expert for their clients. They’re there, you see them, and they just kind of stand around and do nothing. You don’t really have the desire to go see them.
Every Circus has a clown or two, Twitter is no different. Very easy to spot. Colorful and vibrant for awhile, but then they get on your nerves and you end up having nightmares about them. Approach Twitter Clowns with caution.
What do you want to see today? The Contortionist can make it happen. Constantly doing something interesting and unique. The Twitter Contortionist is similar. One week they are an entrepreneur, the next a Social Media Maven. A few days later, marketer and viral product evangelist. You never know how it’s going to turn out, but don’t worry… it’ll be over soon enough.
How do they do it!?! The Twitter Juggler is seriously impressive. How do they juggle the day job, the night job, the blog job, the twittering, the family, the friends? Hustle. Keep an eye on the juggler, you never know what’s going to come next. (I’m a fan of the flaming arrow).
The Bearded Lady
Sorry, I had to.
Able to do anything with no explanation. How it happened is a mystery, but you know something’s up and just can’t place a finger on it. The Twitter Magician is no different. What are they talking about, and how did they get to that conclusion? Where did those numbers come from? You could please explain what you mean? Oh, you’re on to the next trick already… maybe next time.
“Peanuts! Get your peanuts!!” Just here to make a few bucks real quick. Ignore him and don’t make eye contact. He’ll be gone soon enough!
Everyone else in the crowd, who’s trying to decide where to go and what to see next.
Who else is in your Twitter Circus? I want to be a part of it. @bradjward, follow me today.
I’ll let you decide which cast member I play in your network.
Hey everyone – sorry for not posting in awhile. Life’s been busy, in a good way.
You might remember that a little over a year ago I got a brand spankin’ new Mac Mini for under $60: http://blog.bradjward.com/?p=266
I would never post something like this unless I have personally done it and know it works. Trainn is a very reputable company in the ‘freebie’ world and the only one I will deal with. Since I’ve already had success with them before, I’m going to share with you and hope you will join me as well to get a free computer for minimal work and $$$.
Well, Trainn has a new offer up, this time your choice of a netbook. A netbook is basically a miniature laptop with a webcam. They are great. I have an Acer Aspire One that’s really good for travel and just surfing the web on.
So here’s where you come in. I’m going for the Samsung NC-10 and I need 9 referrals. 9 people who can get 7-9 people to join them (Michael Scott pyramid scheme? Haha!) and get a free laptop.
You can choose between:
It’s really simple.
1) Create a new gmail account. You’ll want to keep it separate from your personal account. I made bradnetbook(at)gmail(d0t)com.
2) Go to http://www.YourFreeNetbook.com/index.php?ref=5857039 (This is my referral link, very important to click through it!!)
3) Select the netbook (or cash) that you want. Most netbooks are 7-9 referrals. You can also do a point system, where you complete offers for points and don’t have to rely on others to get your laptop. I did points for my Mac Mini, this time I’m going to do referrals because it’s less work.
4) Complete ONE OFFER from the Group A listings. Some are awarded instantly, some take time. One offer example is to become a member of Netflix. Do it for 2 months, pay $20-25, and have your laptop after getting your referrals. Another one is a jewelry store. Buy something for $10, get your referrals, and be done. There are other offers where you do the introductory ‘just pay S/H’ and get something for $5. Just make sure you CANCEL in time or you’ll get charged $25-50 for the next installment.
I would do Netflix BUT there is a 22 day wait on getting your credit. I prefer to go with the offers that give credit more quickly, because it helps move the process along.
*UPDATE* 11:30am Monday -
I did the IDWatchdog offer and got instant credit, like within 10 minutes. Going to try the service for a month and see what I think of it, then re-evaluate from there. If 9 people can take the 10 minutes to register for this service and give it a try, I’ll have my laptop offer done within the day.
5) Get your 7-9 referrals and then get your laptop.
When I did my Mac Mini, I started and 5 weeks later it was on my doorstep.
Once I hit 9 referrals I will change my link to help someone else out. Leave a comment below if you’re joining me so I can pass any referrals after my 9th completion on to someone else.
What’s the catch? Not giving it a try. When I did the Mac Mini, it was valued at $600 so I had to pay tax on it (I believe it was a 1099-MISC at the end of the year from Trainn). Since these products are valued at under $600, you shouldn’t get taxed on them at the end of the year!
Let’s do it.
*note* – While I can help and support you with what offers to do and how to get the free netbook, I can’t be held liable for your participation. Just wanted to throw that in there.
It was 5:30pm. Jen has just gotten home from work, and supper was on the stove. I hear a sound in the faint distance. Bells. Jingles. Circus Music.
In the friendly suburbs of Fishers, Indiana that can only mean one thing… THE ICE CREAM MAN!!
I threw my shoes on, grabbed my wallet, and busted out the door towards the glorious delicacy on wheels.
2 blocks down the road, the Ice Cream Man finally stopped. “Sorry dude, I thought you were just out for a run.” Yeah, that happens.
The ice cream was delicious, and Spring is here. Bella gave me a total “You forgot to take me with you…” look when I got back.
I love Spring.
Click to Enlarge
I had the awesome opportunity to spend Feb. 20-26 on a trip to Singapore. I spoke at a higher education conference, and it also was a time for Matt W and I to get together! He flew in and we got to spend 3 days together. It was awesome, just like the good ol’ days at UIS. Here’s a quick video of the first few days of the trip. Working on the rest of the footage and uploading photos to Flickr. I’ll have more up soon!
You might remember about 10 months ago when I wrote about earning my evangelism wings. Well, the story doesn’t end there.
Last week I found out that my email to Guy Kawasaki was turned into a chapter of his latest book, Reality Check. I got the book for Xmas and have yet to tear into it (It’s sitting behind Outliers in the queue).
Chris at GotShoo.com talks about it on his blog, because he wrote the code behind the site, bloghighed.org, which is the premise behind the chapter, titled ‘The Art of Sucking Up.’ Me? Suck up? Hah.
Fun Fact: There’s something wrong with the very first sentence of my email to him in the article. It should read ‘Here it goes.’ Instead, it reads ‘Here goes.’ I doubt many people even notice, but I sure did. Also, there were some URL links in the email that don’t come through in print. You can see the original email here.
(Photos by GotShoo.com)
To read it, check out the book or sneak a peek by clicking this link and typing my name in the search box.
So make that 2 books for 2008. A photo on the cover of Tribes by Seth Godin and a chapter in the book Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki. Not bad company to be around.