Lessons Learned

5 top reasons why I suck at blogging

1.  No time

Don’t we all just love this catch-all excuse for just about anything? It’s a poor albeit very convenient crutch; Of course I never have the time to do anything if it’s not planned and prioritized. I’m very guilty of omitting blogging from my time management.

(Time and task management and prioritizing in itself is another very interesting topic I will save for a later GTD post.)

2. No focus or general topic

All the blogs I read tend to read focus on some general or specific area of interest. The topics interest me, I know I can expect more of the same and hence I keep coming back. Makes sense. My blog varies wildly in width, quality, depth and (ir)regularity – probably to the point where my close friends and even my mother have lost any vague novelty interest by now.

Perhaps it’s descriptive of me as a person. I’m interested in a whole bunch of confusing things, chatty have a lot to say and a lot of biases opinions about most things. I’m probably hard to conveniently tag.

3. Lack of incentives

My .com biz already had a very high page rank even before SEO and SEM entered the vernacular (ATH 9/10, currently 7/10) and asking Google for my name returned relevant top results pages long before I started blogging. I never intended to make money from blogging. I have no books to flog, no conference talks to pimp offer, no sponsors, no ads, no agenda, no brand, no product, no concrete goals behind the blog. I do not have anything to sell you – other than myself, if you will.

I did have a vague notion about sharing my thoughts and ideas with the world and participate in a sort of global conversation. (No, seriously.) I’m not going to pretend it was all well thought out, though.

Twitter is now catering for my conversational needs in more and perhaps better ways than my blog. That is perhaps a topic worthy of a separate post in itself.

4. No experience with the blog format

I do write professionally on a regular basis. It does not come particularly close to blogging, though. I do not have to consider that the whole world – or as the case may be no one – is going to read it. In my day job I get paid to deliver a well informed and professional opinion; Palatable or controversial, witty or droll.

On a my personal blog, I tend to end up with long winded blog posts like this. That post takes too long to read and took too long to write. Not surprisingly, it didn’t make for much of a conversation either.

My lack of experience with blogging probably leads to a lot of lost opportunities. A successful blogger sees a new post whereas I’m still stuck in an old mindset. As an example, I enjoy taking pictures and shoot videos and upload them to flickr viddler youtube and or vimeo to share with you. It very often ends there.  Now, someone with a different mindset than myself would probably have made a small story to go with many of those uploads and recycle blog them.

5. No lab experience

According to social media oracle niceguy Chris Brogan, a lab is something you could need.

It’s not like I had no web exposure prior to securing this painfully long and stupid cleverly named URL, but i never conducted any conscious lab experiments before entering the fray.

On the other hand, this probably IS my lab – my soapbox.

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Lessons Learned

5 Lessons Learned

In my previous post I tried to provided an explanation for my involuntary online hiatus. But what did I learn from entering and escaping a black hole?

A. I made mistakes
B. See A

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1. You can never prepare early enough for changes in personnel and/or workload.

If you are responsible for recruiting your own staff, get involved with appropriate universities and other places of education to keep ahead of the curve. Get good recruiters working for you – for free (that’s another post, though).

Engage and be present in the relevant professional communities.

You can never start to soon to look for your next rock star employee(s). Think of it as a mandatory continuous process. Commit to the appropriate time for getting involved and engaging.

2. Let your surroundings know you are experiencing an exceptional situation and how and when they can expect a response. It’s OK. It happens.

Post a disclaimer on your blog as soon as possible.

Add an auto responder on your mail, private and/or professional.

Call people personally to let them know in advance.

3. Do not let your personal life suffer unreasonably and over time.

This is hard. You’ve probably been there too. Be very conscientious of your personal life in times of professional duress. You are going to need that personal time with yourself and your loved ones more than ever. You will be stronger from it. Take two or three steps back and plan accordingly. Share with your close ones; chances are they can help you.

4. Don’t even try to catch up on every single piled up correspondence.

Write an honest apology response explaining the situation, making sure that the senders know that they will have to get back to you yet again if they still have open issues in need of your attention.

5. Fess up when you fuck up.

Admit to your mistakes personally, identify possible improvements and move on. This is not the time to be pointing fingers at others or to be playing the blame game. This is the time to be on the offense, taking responsibility.

Just one more thing.

6. DON’T TAKE IT TOO PERSONALLY.

If you are like me, you might find this very hard too, but hey! It’s real life – not Hollywood fiction. Shit happens. You make mistakes too. It’s just business. Cheer up – you’re going to die anyway! :D

I probably failed on several accounts the last three months. Hindsight has 20/20 LOLCAT vision, but I hope I’m now stronger and more prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow by the experience.

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Lessons Learned, Little Known Fact, News

The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Repentance and Apologies

It’s no secret that I’ve been out of the online and offline loop for over three months.

I’ll eventually tell you why, but the theories and rumors surrounding the absence are probably more interesting and entertaining than the actual truth.

No, I was not hired for the Obama Campaign. I did not help establish the future political platform 2.0 to turn America around. Barack should still feel free to call, though.

No, I did not lose it all in the great Crunch. Credit Crunch or Tech Crunch 50, I never get invited. I don’t discriminate.

No, Pownce did not hire me. That fail train already left for euthanasia station without me.

The actual factual truth is that I was busy keeping a company afloat, thinking forward and expanding at a time where time and resources were getting record scarce, saving and securing workplaces and business for the future.

It paid off, though. We’re solid. Golden. Sorted. Awsun, akshully.

However, I’ll drink that glass of champagne with you later.

It’s hard to be enthusiastic left with a head stuck through several brick walls, wondering what the hell life is all about, desperately in need of a timeout.

I do honestly and sincerely apologize to anyone who tried to mail or call me in the last months. I feel like human manure. I’m finally getting around to you. I am so sorry that I did not tend to you earlier.

I am getting back to you. You mean a lot to me. No, seriously. You do. Hold on to that little speck of trust that you may still have in me.

If anything, I’m proof positive that information do indeed flow back out of black holes.

Update: I’ve posted some of the lessons I learned from the experience.

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Hardware, Software, video

Autodesk’s ‘Lustre’ at IBC 2008

I happened to stumble in on an interesting presentation of the software based colour grading tool from Autodesk named ‘Lustre‘ at the IBC 2008 and bagged a small part of it. Have a look for yourself in the videos below.

Apologies for not catching the name of the presenters and for the poor sound quality of my Samsung NV8.

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3D, Hardware, Little Known Fact, News, Software, video

NewTek at the IBC 2008

Some of you may know NewTek from the good old Amiga days, the golden era of the VideoToaster and LightWave 3D. I certainly do. I’ve been a fan and user of LightWave 3D over the years.

So, it was with a certain nostalgic fervor I made it over to the NewTek stand at the IBC 2008. It turned out that I was in for a surprise. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that none other than the legendary Kiki Stockhammer is back at NewTek. Have a look for yourself in the video and picture below.

For those of you who might not know, Kiki at one point used to be the figure head of NewTek of sorts.

I lost Kiki off the radar way back when she left NewTek for Play Inc. in the mid to late 90s and was marketing a product called Trinity, a competitor of sorts to the VideoToaster of the time. Now as luck or faith will have it, it looks like Kiki Stockhammer is back with NewTek helping marketing a product named TriCaster – a product not at all unlike the Play Inc. / Trinity – if memory serves me correctly. I’d love to know for a fact if there’s an actual lineage or connection there.

In further cool trivia, Kiki Stockhammer appears to have a star trek sci-fi post punk band called Warp 11. I’d love to check them out if they should ever happen to play gigs in Europe!

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