My Books Read in the Last Year

Another year, another book list.  I read less book this year than last, but over two thousand more pages!  Here’s the list:

2.) Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
4.) Debt: The First 5000 Years – Peter Graeber
5.) Warmth Disperses and Time Passes: The History of Heat – Hans Christian von Baeyer
7.) Clausewitz’s On War: A Biography – Hew Strachan
8.) Tanks in the Cities: Breaking the Mold – Kendall D. Gott
13.) Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality – Eliezer Yudkowsky
15.) A Magic Broken – Vox Day (Novella)
17.) Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender Wiggin Saga) – Orson Scott Card
18.) Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology – Rosemary Radford Ruether
19.) Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale – Ian Morgan Cron
24.) The Last Stand of Fox Company – Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
27.) Liberation Theologies: The Global Pursuit of Justice – Alfred T. Hennelly, S.J.
28.) Human Security in a Borderless World – Derek S. Reveron and Kathleen A. Mahoney-Norris
31.) The Mathematics of Life – Ian Stewart
40.) Worm: The First Digital World War – Mark Bowden
44.) Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
45.) Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War – Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss
46.) How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth – Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart
51.) Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty – Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson
54.) Beginning Programming – Adrian and Kathie Kingsley-Hughes
55.) Sure Fire (Rich & Jade #1) – Jack Higgins with Justin Richards
56.) Just My Type: A Book About Fonts – Simon Garfield
60.) Head First HTML and CSS – Elisabeth Robson and Eric Freeman
63.) Star Wars: Scoundrels – Timothy Zahn
66.) Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think – Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier
67.) The Tao of Programming – Geoffrey James
68.) The Myriad: Tour of the Merrimack #1 – R. M. Meluch
69.) Caliphate – Tom Kratman
70.) Kris Longknife: Mutineer (Kris Longknife #1) – Mike Shepherd
71.) Shadow Puppets (Ender’s Shadow series) – Orson Scott Card
72.) Starting Out With Visual Basic 2012 – Tony Gaddis and Kip Irvine
73.) Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live & Die for Bigger Things – Ken Wytsma with D. R. Jacobsen
74.) The City: A Global History – Joel Kotkin
79.) Theology: A Very Short Introduction – David F. Ford

The Chris Brogan 100 on Social Media

Although I’ve been using the Internet since 1992, I was slow to join the Social Media bandwagon.  I first started reading blogs in 2004 or so, and I joined MySpace and LinkedIn in October of 2005.  I started blogging in August of 2006 and joined Facebook around the same time.  Still, it’s been an interesting, incredible, and rewarding journey since.

I met Chris Brogan in April of 2007 at Bootcamp Pittsburgh.  Chris has the enviable job of spreading the social media gospel by attending Bootcamps and Podcamps all around the country.  His blog is always interesting and informative.

For his next 100 posts, he plans to help people:

grow the value of your social media and social networking efforts. I will post specific strategies, tactics, tips, and resources to help you develop your skills and abilities in these areas, particularly insofar as these might help you develop your personal brand, build business for yourself or your organization, or otherwise perhaps be helpful to what interests you.  He’s currently accepting suggestions and requests for those 100 posts, so go over and check it out – and join the conversation!


Boarding the Facebook Train

I created a Facebook profile awhile ago, mainly because I already had done so for LinkedIn and MySpace (links to those are in my sidebars).

Recently, it seems, Facebook is becoming more and more popular.  There are those that say it will replace the other two.  But I’m not so sure.  Facebook IS popular, but most of my contacts are late teens / early twenties, or people that have been using social networking apps for awhile.  My LinkedIn contacts tend to be older, and mainly business oriented.  MySpace is all over the map as far as age, but most of my contacts there are bands, actors, etc.

So as far as business, LinkedIn is still the most useful for me.  facebook may grow as time goes on, but we’ll see.

The biggest problem I’ve noted is this:  the people you really want to get ahold of, that is, buyers and users, often either don’t have any type of profile, or rarely use the one they’ve got.  I think it’s mainly due to age – they tend to be late thirties and up and so don’t use it (not that all people in that age range don’t, just most).  The real users are early thirties and below – so as they progress upwards, that’s when it will really take off.

I’ll write more about using them and how my online wrold is getting more intertwined, but these are my initial thoughts.  What do you think?


It’s All Greek to Me

I don’t usually post “link posts,” but since I’m in North Carolina for training today, here’s some useful links for learning languages.  These will only take you a few minutes a day, so check ’em out!

For Spanish:

The best one I’ve found to date, for maybe ten minute podcasts, is Coffee Break Spanish:

If you are more advanced, try Notes in Spanish:

For you Italians out there (and I’m tired of Italian-Americans saying how proud they are to be Italian but the only word they know is spaghetti!  Gotti fans, you know who you are!), try My Daily Phrase in Italian.  C’mon, one phrase a day, ANYone can do that!

And last but not least, German.  I took five years of it but this is helping me to remember it!  My Daily Phrase in German:

One last resource, for when you think you’re ready for the next level, is a post at open culture.  They put news stories in slowly read German, French and even Latin, so you can follow along and learn more than just tourist speak.

Have fun!


Bootcamp Pittsburgh Rocked!

Chris Brogan Cindy Closkey Mike Woycheck Justin Kownacki

This weekend I attended Bootcamp Pittsburgh at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I volunteered to be part of the setup crew which was cool because I got to start meeting people before the event got rolling. Food was provided by WearLocal.

The keynote was by Chris Brogan, Cindy Closkey, Mike Woycheck, and Justin Kownacki.

My first session was on how to do a podcast – seems simple really, but I’ll need to learn Audacity and/or MovieMaker.

Second was a Branding session by Kimberly Reed, Lindsey Patross of Spreadshirt (and I heart PGH, and various others!), iJustine, and Rachel Arnold. It was good stuff and I learned:

  • People are loyal to people, not brands
  • Be yourself and let that show through
  • People want to do business with people they like
  • Branding is a process and takes time
  • Choosing the right name is critical
  • Get a professional to do your logo – it will pay off in the long run
  • Everyone should have a logo

Lunch was generously provided by!

STBD and iJustine

After lunch, I went to a panel on how to find your voice. It was interesting and the panel consisted of the cast of STBD and also iJustine. Things I learned:

  • Be yourself, flaws and all
  • Be energetic but not forced
  • Get feedback from family / friends
  • Authenticity is Key!
  • Be Consistent
  • Take care of your voice
  • 2 people are more interesting than one (conversation)
  • You can’t please everyone – pick your audience
  • Don’t take feedback personally
  • Be honest
  • Know when to stop talking!
  • Have a plan but don’t be restricted by it

The last session I attended focused on Monetization, and was hosted by Lindsey Patross and Gene Bromberg. Good stuff! Spreadshirt has a great model, and Gene showed how to take something you care about and blog about it, and an opportunity might just come along! They also reviewed things like Google AdSense and reviewing blogs.

We had lots of food left over so we donated it to a homeless shelter at 3rd and Wood, and then walked over the Smithfield Street Bridge to Station Square where we had the afterparty at Bar Louie’s

Cindy Closkey and Norm from AIP

iJustine chugs one down

Mike Woycheck learns a little about wrestling

I met a lot of neat people, too, like Dawn Papuga and Alex Landefeld, Sportsocracy, John Carman, the Wrestling Guys, and Brian (check out his new blog!)

All in all, it was fun, I learned a lot, and did some good networking! I’m looking forward to Podcamp Pittsburgh in the fall…


Bootcamp Pittsburgh!

I’ve been keeping a blog since September of last year, and it’s a very basic WordPress-hosted blog. Now it’s time to learn how to take it to the next level – CSS, podcasting, vlogging, adsense, and so on. I could surf the web and attempt to figure out how to do all these things….

Or I could go to Pittsburgh Bootcamp!

There will be over 30 people speaking and at last count there will be 130 attending this Saturday. This Bootcamp assumes no knowledge on the part of the attendee but will teach you how to use New Media to get your voice heard. It has lots of sessions and was conceived by Justin Kownacki of STBD – the web series I’ve spoken of highly here before!

Hope to see you there!


My Love/Hate Affair With Bloglines

I love Bloglines.

I don’t have to surf from one blog to another, because they are all gathered in the same place.  I can save posts so that I don’t have to go back through archives searching for one of two hundred that I want to reference.  I can quickly see a new post.  It’s just makes my life easier.

I hate Bloglines.

Sometimes there’s so many new posts that I don’t have time to read them all, so I’ll mark them as ‘keep new.’  Eventually I get so far behind I know I’ll never catch up.  Then I either delete the blog and re-subscribe, or just ignore that climbing unread number.  To print them takes a large number of pages and if I copy to Word, it’s even worse.  But copying as text leaves out hyperlinks and images.

Sigh.  Bloglines, I love you.  I hate you.


New STBD webisode!

Yay!  New Episode of STBD!

I’ve been pointing this series out in other posts, and for two reasons.  One, it showcases Pittsburgh in a great way.  Two, it’s a great example of future media transmission.

Oh yeah, the writing and acting are pretty good too!

One of the discussions that have been brought up by the producer is monetization of podcasts and vblogs and web series like the above.  The issues range from how to do it to whether it should be done at all.  Give ’em a look, check out the blog, and leave them comments!