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Archive for the ‘geekery’ Category

PodCamp AZ: it’s a blog blast ya’ll!

Posted by Ms. Herr on 09.24.2009

PodCamp AZ

is in 7 weeks!

Be. There.

That’s all I got.

kthxbye!

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@MsHerr hits 10k tweets… & hands over the keys

Posted by Ms. Herr on 07.21.2009

Twitter_MsHerr_9953rd tweet

After 26 months on Twitter, I’m fast approaching ten thousand Twitter updates. That’s a lot of characters. It’s a bit of a milestone. Not like turning 18. Or turning 21. Or losing your virginity. But a milestone nevertheless.

@spectagirl suggested 10,000 shots. Indeed momentous, but not quite what I had in mind. @smarti9 started #MsHerr10kWatch2oo9. My friends are often quick to rally behind my endeavors in some fashion or another.

A few hours ago, I was 10 tweets away from 10k. By the time you read this, I’ll be 7 tweets or less from 10k. The build up to that 10,000th tweet has been fun, but also a bit daunting. Suddenly 140 characters has become a much bigger deal than necessary. There is this pressure to be momentous. Funny considering I’m much more likely to miss it completely (despite @smarti9’s 10k watch) and either use it on a reply or post something completely irrelevant.

I’ve decided to hand over the keys to my Twitter account. That means you (and everyone else) will have the opportunity to post as and from @MsHerr for up to 26 hours.

Why am I doing this? This is not the first time I’ve yielded control of my social presence. A year ago, I asked my community to help me select my avatar. My reasons then still hold true today. I believe in the social web. I believe in trusting my friends, connections, and communities. I believe in yielding control. And I’m curious to see what will happen. It could be phenomenal success or it could be an abysmal failure. But why not? Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.

How will it work? I have set up a Ping.fm account linked to @MsHerr and will publish the associated posting email address in my 10,000th tweet. You (and everyone else) can send a tweet to this address, where it will then feed automatically to @MsHerr. My only request is that you sign your tweet with ^@yourtwittername (please replace yourtwittername with your actual twitter name so people can link to you). Ping accepts text updates and photo updates, so feel free to post pics too. If you need a how-to, check out Ping’s posting guides.

My disclaimer: I reserve the right to delete any tweet. If you do not sign your tweet, I will probably delete it. If I feel violated by your tweet, I will probably delete it. After all, this is my account we’re talking about.

That’s it. That’s the deal Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me proud. And remind me why I fell in love with the social web so many months ago.

Posted in blogging, geekery, self-portraiture, social networks | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

#SXSW wrap & rawk: part 2 of 2 … the highlights

Posted by Ms. Herr on 04.7.2009

As I listen to the podcast of Rawking SXSW Year Round panel, I’m finally writing the last of my South by Southwest wrap up posts. What can I say, March was a busy month, first getting my #getmetosxsw on, then the event itself, then returning to a visit from my aunt and cousin from Kansas, and finally getting backing into the groove of work and the real world.

So how was it? In a word: AWESOME! In all realness: the dress rehearsal for next year.

Despite all the people I talked to and the questions I asked before I went, there really is no way to know what to expect until you’ve experienced it once. Over and over I was told that it was less about the panels and more about the people. As a knowledge lover, it’s hard to let go of the desire to attend panels, lots and lots of panels. My selection of these was hit and miss. Some I couldn’t even get into because they were over capacity. The good news is that most, if not all, of them are supposed to be available as podcasts.

But the people… The people were a definite hit. Three types of people specifically. Type 1: The people you only get to see when you’re both in town for the big conferences. Type 2: The people that you’ve connected with online, but have yet to meet in real life. Type 3: The people you never knew you never knew. My SXSW highlights are [almost] all about the people.

Blowing kisses at SXSW. (photo credit: Brian Brodeur, mightyb.com)

Darryl Ohrt2, Missy Reitner3, and Joey Leslie3 discover a new tasty bizzeverage – I’m not a beer drinker, so when I rendezvoused with Darryl for drinks, I ordered a snakebite and black. Part lager, part cider, with a splash of black currant. The slightly red coloring piqued curiosity. The taste won over a few new fans. >> Darryl and his Plaid colleagues on will venture on their third PlaidNation tour this summer. I’ll be watching, and I’m scheming on how to secure one of their super nifty retro hotel keyrings.

Clarence Smith, Jr.2 – For my part, I was captivated by @dykc from the first “Marinate.” We mutually followed fo a year, text tagged the first two days of SXSW, greeted like old friends, and the got up got up & got down and the dance floor before all was done. Not one moment was anything less than uplifting. >> Clarence, both storyteller and storyseeker, took a turn on the mic at Fray Café 9.

WLTV impromptu wine party(s) – This was my first time seeing Gary Vaynerchuk1 in a big conference setting, and he impressed me on a variety of ways. From greeting people he’s met only once or twice before to yielding over two-thirds of his panel to his audience, he has a way of seeding meaningful sentiment into each encounter. One night, Gary threw two impromptu wine tasting parties advertised with a few simple tweets and drew a significant turnout. The magnetism this man has with an audience thirsty for inspiration is awesome to behold. >> Gary’s got more projects than a girl has breath to talk about, one of which is a book due for release this fall (likely under a different title than the one listed in the article).

Kissing Penguin – By the second day, I had decided to kiss Jeremy Tanner1 every time I saw him. Plant a quick peck on the cheek, then walk away without a word. He’s like a big teddy bear. But he’s got some stealth too. The sneaky devil beat me at my own game once! >> Penguin was recently selected as a Ford Fiesta Movement Agent.

Declared missing by the #phx crew (sorta) – At the WordPress BBQ, Curtis Miller and Chris Chandler told me they thought I’d disappeared. We’d had an early dinner two nights before, but not even a passing in the halls since. I took it as a compliment. It meant I was off meeting new people. >> Chris and Curtis deliver a wickedly dry humorous podcast called Personality Flatline. It’s been on a bit of a hiatus as they get their new company, Flatterline, off the ground, but I hope it makes a quick return.

Lunch with strangers –I bumped into Jeremy Hubert3 after tweeting about wanting to have lunch with strangers. I’d met Jeremy the night before, so he didn’t count as a stranger. The two guys with him did. After lunch, and I told Jeremy I’d eat with him everyday on condition that he introduce me to strangers each time. Call it an effort in outsourcing my networking.

And gettin’ my dance onFriday night, Saturday night, Monday night… I got my dance on quite a bit. Indeed, one morning I woke to soreness and a monster blister on my little toe. More often than not I was with Chris Smith3 (aptly named @groovemonkey), Brian Brodeur3 (a #phx peep I never knew I never knew), and the Blurb crew3. Good, good times! >> Brian was at SXSW photo documenting Media Trust’s Relevantly Speaking shoots at SXSW, and is responsible for the shot of me shown above.

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#SXSW wrap & rawk: part 1 of 2 … the THANK YOUs

Posted by Ms. Herr on 03.30.2009

Twelve days ago, I returned from South by Southwest. Twelve days ago, “SXSW wrap up post” has topped my to do list. I’m overdue, but before I talk about my experience, I need to say thank you.

Having been underemployed for the better part of six months, there is no way I would have made it to SXSW on my own. I needed help.

I started my #getmetosxsw hustle four weeks out. I carried a piggy bank around the third Ignite Phoenix. I secured a second part-time job (not officially hustle, but it helped). And I offered business services in exchange for contribution. This last led to some really cool opportunities. Notably:

  1. SnapFactory Twitter Interactive photo shoot – Mark Wallace of SnapFactory was given the opportunity to test Profoto lighting equipment in a fashion shoot. He opened the shoot to live behind-the-scenes interaction via Twitter and Flickr, bringing me on as his online journalist. (See video here.)
  2. Guerrilla Dance Attack press release and web presence – Aileen Mapes is a Dance MFA candidate at ASU’s Herberger College of the Arts. Her thesis explores the dynamic merging of choreography and site-specific improvisation that occurs once dance is taken outside of traditional performance venues and into the streets. Aileen engaged me to create press materials and Tumblr logs for leveraging both Guerrilla Dance Attack and future work.
  3. Texder product testing and alpha launch – Texder is a personal SMS sales tool that has been in bootstrap development for several months. As an integral part of the development team, I have led internal product testing, social outreach, community previews, and most recently, SXSW promotions.

The icing on all this cake was the outpouring of support of my community. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Diane Wallace, James Archer and Forty Agency, Jason BaerTom Chapin, Mark Dudlik, Aaron Post, Todd Huffman, Biray Alsac, and more.

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Bit Gravity releases a free, customizable flash player

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.20.2009

BitGravity just launched a subdomain for their sandbox projects, and the first release is a free flash video player. Lead developer, Dean Casalena provides a great video demonstration and writeup of player features. I don’t do a lot of video. Correction, I don’t do any video (unless you count 12seconds). But the BG player is sexy enough that I almost wish I did.

I’ve seen BitGravity players in action with MultiView, revealed during a special episode of Diggnation, and various live streams set up by Brian Shaler. Each time, I’ve been impressed by the production and player quality, so I assume this new player is up to par. But what really sets my branding and marketing heart a beating is the theming options. The interface allows you to insert your logo into the viewer and change the colors of the player’s status bar. This ability to customize is great from a branding perspective.

It’s not uncommon for individuals, startups, and small businesses to search out low cost ways to meet their needs. In the process, they must settle for the default appearance of a tool, usually designed to reinforce someone else’s brand. With the BG player, there’s no need to settle. You still have the BG logo on the left of the status bar, which is great because it denotes quality. But the rest of the player is all you!

BitGravity flasy player

Note: This message is inspired in part by BitGravity co-founder, Barrett Lyon. I’m guessing I popped on his radar with this tweet, and he reached out to say thanks. Just thanks. That’s it. Simple and easy. Yet that acknowledgement led to me to talk twice more, on Twitter and here, focusing on exactly what I liked about the BG player … twice more than I probably would have otherwise. That’s community/fan/advocate relationship building. Bravo!

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#getmetosxsw

Posted by Ms. Herr on 02.12.2009

If you follow me on Twitter, you’re going to see the #getmetosxsw hashtag pop up a lot in the coming days and weeks. It means Get me to South by Southwest.

Where it started…

On January 29, a handful of the #phx social media / web tech / interactive marketing crowd broke into conversation about the upcoming South by Southwest Interactive March 13-17 in Austin, Texas. Lots of people are going. Some people desperately want to go but don’t know if the can. I fall into this last group with my don’t knows fueled primarily by fundage issues. But let’s focus on the positives, otherwise known as my desperate want to go and my ideas for how to get there.

What is SXSW…

What started as a music conference and festival has since expanded to include nine days of immersion in music, film and interactive media. SXSW has it all. Keynotes, panels, trade shows, film screenings, listening parties, product launches, book readings, socializing, networking, reputable knowledge leaders, unreputable celebrities, up-and-comers.

Why I want to go…

Rather than bore you to tears with the long list, here are my top five:

  1. Absorb, learn and participate in dynamic conversations that dissect the current and foreshadow the future of interactive and social media.
  2. Extend and deepen my socially-networked connections.
  3. Promote projects I’m working on, and to discover others that promise exciting opportunities for sum is greater than parts collaboration.
  4. Rock the nine to five AM that underpins the learn hard play hard lifestyle.
  5. Beat Gary Vaynerchuk in poker for the third time.

Ideas for how to get there…

This is the part where I need some help…

  1. Get on a panel.
  2. Be a spokesperson for a company or product looking to launch.
  3. Be a SWAG girl.
  4. Sell my left forearm.
  5. Trade strategy, marketing, and social media services in exchange for conference and travel expenses.
  6. Flirt my way in.

I don’t believe anyone is going to send me to SXSW without expecting a little ROI. And that’s fine. I dig mutually beneficial arrangements, so if you’ve got a lead or proposal for me, hit me up on Twitter or email ( heather lynne herr at gmail dot com ).

Posted in events, geekery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

window shopping Christmas wish list: SXSW

Posted by Ms. Herr on 12.11.2008

Or geek spring break as it’s sometimes called.


And day 4 of the wish list.

South by Southwest started as a music conference and festival, but has since expanded to include film and interactive media. It’s held in Austin, Texas each March. This year (meaning 2009), the interactive portion falls on March 13-17. To hear them tell it:

The SXSW Interactive Festival features five days of exciting panel content and amazing parties. Attracting digital creatives as well as visionary technology entrepreneurs, the event celebrates the best minds and the brightest personalities of emerging technology. Whether you are a hard-core geek, a dedicated content creator, a new media entrepreneur, or just someone who likes being around an extremely creative community, SXSW Interactive is for you!

In other words, it’s the place to be. So if you know and love a geek whose not yet registered, sign them up!

Last year I missed it. In truth, I had never even heard of SXSW until sometime in late January. I was still a n00b to the local geek scene. I didn’t really understand what SXSW was, nor was either myself or my company in a position to foot the registration fee. So I sat home. But oh how I wanted to go! To absorb the culture and knowledge surrounding current developments interactive and social media. And to hang out with all the #phx geeks I’d recently me and knew would be there.

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