Speaking at SupConf NYC

I'll be speaking at the SupConf New York City 2016 conference behind held at the Digital Ocean HQ in Soho on November 15th and 16th.  My talk is on a topic I've enjoyed thinking about and working on over the years, moving customer support interactions from transactions to partnerships. I'm also excited to meet and hear from some other great speakers.

If you're interested and can make it, tickets are available now. I'll also be sure to share the content of my talk here after the event.

Update December 3, 2016: My slides from the talk are below. Continue reading "Speaking at SupConf NYC"

Speaking at WordCamp Dayton

WordCamp-Dayton-2016-LogoI'll be speaking at the upcoming WordCamp Dayton 2016, happening March 4-5, 2016 at Wright State University. I'll be talking about "WordPress as your digital home," a topic I've thought about for a long time and blogged about recently:

There are tons of places to put your content, but not all of them give you the control and ownership you should have. Your WordPress site is still probably the best place to call home for your online creations. In this session I’ll show you why that is, walk through tools and techniques for using WordPress as your digital home while pushing content out to other places, and answer your questions about how to build an online presence that is fully yours.

Continue reading "Speaking at WordCamp Dayton"

My YAPC::NA talk on framing and Perl

In June, a delegation from Summersault attended the YAPC::NA Perl Conference in Columbus, Ohio for a few days.  My second YAPC conference, it was an interesting experience full of inside jokes, engaging discussions, more inside jokes, and good food.

I was only scheduled to give one presentation ("How to talk, or not talk, to your clients about Perl") but after hearing some of the opening remarks at the conference that spent too much time and energy, IMHO, declaring that "Perl is not dead!" I signed up to give a new talk about possibilities for re-framing that sentiment.

You can view a video of the talk, or you can view my slides [PDF].

Preparing for Blog Indiana 2009

Blog Indiana sponsorsLast summer, two generally swell guys in Indianapolis, Noah Coffey and Shawn Plew, decided to put together a conference for people in the area interested in blogging and social media, and it went quite well for a first-time effort - you can read my full reflections on Blog Indiana 2008 in a previous post.  (I believe it also marked the beginning of my Twitter usage - gasp.)

The dynamic duo have teamed up to do it again for Blog Indiana 2009, which starts later this week.  It looks to be an expanded and amplified version of the inaugural event - the conference will span three days with multiple tracks - blogging and social media, higher education, non-profit, etc. - and it sounds like there will be a lot more people there too (with great representation from Richmond).  Summersault has returned as an event sponsor, and I'm also presenting again, this time with a session on "Using Social Media for Real-World Community Improvement" and as a panelist in a session about "technology."

I've apparently also been nominated for the award of "Best Hoosier Blogger" in the "2009 Blindy Awards," and while I'm not saying that I will give you significant amounts of cash just because you click on this link and vote for me, I'm not saying I won't do that either.

I'm looking forward to gathering with fellow bloggers and fans of technology, and sharing about how these tools can help us make life a little better for everyone.  I hope to see some of you there!

Blog Indiana 2008 Reflections

Panel on New Media and PoliticsThis past weekend I attended Blog Indiana 2008, a conference by and for bloggers in the region, which I mentioned here a few months ago. Overall, I would call the event quite a success. For $50, participants had access to a weekend packed full of rich and informative sessions, great networking opportunities with friendly and good-natured people, good food, and a lot of fun - a pretty excellent deal by most measures, especially in the world of tech conferences.

I really appreciated that it was a "grassroots" conference, organized by Noah Coffey and Shawn Plew of Indianapolis, and not a big corporate conference organized by people trying to sell us stuff. Sure, there were corporate sponsors (Summersault was one of them), and there were some grumblings about session leaders spending too much time promoting their own products/services. But on the whole, this was a group of people who are passionate about new media and wanted to get together to see what else was out there, talk about some of the issues that come up, and just get to know each other better. Oh, and we also totally geeked out on Twitter.
Continue reading "Blog Indiana 2008 Reflections"

Request for tips on blogging basics

In a few weeks, I'm presenting at the Blog Indiana 2008 conference, and my first session is on "blogging basics." My hope is that anyone with any comfort level around blogs and website tools will be able to leave the session with what they need to know to start blogging that day.

I'm putting together my own notes and tools for bloggers just starting out, but I thought I would also put the question out to you, constant readers, about what tips, tools and conventions you would have found useful or even essential when you first entered the world of blogging? Even if you're not an active blogger, I'd still enjoy hearing your thoughts on how you think blogs (especially newly formed ones) can be made more useful, engaging, exciting, etc.

What advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?

Upcoming conference for Indiana bloggers

Blog Indiana 2008Are you a blogger in Indiana? Are you interested in learning more about blogs and blogging? Consider attending the upcoming Blog Indiana 2008 conference in Indianapolis on August 16th and 17th, 2008. The event is a 2-day blogging and social media conference that aims to promote education, innovation and collaboration among Indiana’s fast-growing blogging community. The lineup of sessions looks great (even if it didn't include me as a presenter and panelist, and even if it wasn't sponsored in part by Summersault). You can learn about blogging basics, legal issues, corporate blogging, monetization, podcasting and videocasting, analytics, and much more.

The cool part is that the conference is only $49 for both days, and even cooler, I've got a 15% discount for you if you use this link to register. If you're interested in blogging and social media at any level, I hope you can make it.

Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana

011_15.JPGAs I mentioned when I came back from the energy conference in October, I was going to give a talk in November called "Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana". I had agreed to speak earlier in the year and didn't really know what I was going to talk about beyond the expectation that it would fit into the "sustainability" theme of the series of talks in which I was participating and have some focus on peak oil and related topics.

It turned into one of my most intense speaking experiences to date.
Continue reading "Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana"

You know the world is ending when...

oil-gunI've blogged before about turning points in awareness of the issues that we face with regard to "the environment" and the energy crisis. Today I received a postcard in the mail with a photo of a man holding a gasoline pump nozzle up to his head, in an image that unavoidably evokes a suicide act in progress for most Westerners.

I, having met Richard Heinberg and read his book The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, of course presumed it was something related to addressing the impact of the end of abundant, cheap oil. The cover has a very similar image that complements the book's exploration of our relationship to oil. But when I visited the website that the postcard mysteriously directed me to, I found that it was an ad for...a credit card company. Their solution to the energy crisis? Gas credits when you make lots of charges on your card. You know we've reached a new level (high or low, I can't say) of public attention to the state of affairs when credit card companies think they can make a few dollars off of people who are worried about our dependence on oil.

If you're interested in a more effective approach than "going into debt for Mother Earth," you could join me at the upcoming Fourth Annual Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where Heinberg will be speaking. It's always a smashing good time, grounded in an accessible exploration of real community-based solutions.

The Indiana Energy Conference

Last weekend I had the opportunity to head to Crawfordsville for the first session of the Indiana Energy Conference, a series of film showings, discussions, and presentations designed to help us explore our culture's relationship with energy. The conference was organized by my friend Frank Cicela, who has been a long time participant in the IshCon conferences I've been involved in putting on since 1999, and he and I have collaborated on a few other projects as well. The IEC comes out of our trip to the Peak Oil conference last fall, and so much of the content of this new event is derived from the excellent presentations and materials that we encountered back then. Frank did an excellent job putting it all together at the local community theatre, and we had at least 60 people from around the region show up ready to learn and discuss. I was running around doing lights and sound and greeting and popping popcorn so I didn't get to do a whole lot of networking myself, but I could tell there were some good conversations happening. You can see some photos from the event, as well as the amazing press coverage Frank has generated, on the success story page of the conference site. The conference continues throughout the month; make sure to stop in if you're in the area!