Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How To Transform A YouTube Video To iTunes

Transform YouTube to iTunes

1. First, go to your uploads on YouTube and choose a video you want to create an audio version of. This is only for your own material. It is a copyright violation to use video someone else created.
2. Copy the share link.
3. Open a new tab for or another YouTube to mp3 program. Paste the link and you will get an audio link to download to your computer.
4. I recommend you edit the file with a program like Audio Audition to smooth out the audio.
5. Re-save the edited mp3 onto your computer.
6. Open up a account. Use this video to guide you through that process. It will also take you to the rest of the steps to get the audio on iTunes. 
7. If you already have an iTunes account, you don't need to do anything new, except log in when you're ready.
8. It takes a couple of days for iTunes to respond with an approval, meanwhile, as you wait, you still have the profile and audio library on Podomatic that you can share.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Become Like A Tree That Bends With The Wind

Let's face it. It's not going to happen. There is not a lottery ticket on life. It's usually a series of ebb and flow, up and down, side to side, down, then up again.

Human nature tends to look for the pot at the end, but what if it were the journey that counted? 

In the journey, if we don't stop and remember to be thankful for where we are, for the people who have crossed our paths, and yes, even the situations that caused us grief -- we miss out on the whole point of what life is about: the experiences and relationships that shape us. Harboring grudges, bitterness, and hate only makes us less appealing, shortens our lifespan, and makes everyone around us miserable.

Here's to mastering gratitude, focusing on love, and wishing our enemies well. Maybe if we try that, our ebb and flow will bring us a little more joy.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

You Do Not Own Your Published Book; The Creator and Designer Do

Whether you use a traditional printer or a self-publishing service, whoever turned the manuscript into a published form owns the copyright.

If there is a substantive edit of the original manuscript, the editor actually has rights to the finished works. 

Unless there is a signed release indicating that 100 percent of ALL rights are waived and turned over, the author does not have permission to republish that book in the same form.

There may be implied permission for the author to use the published materials for marketing purposes, but that permission is likely waived as soon as the author picks a fight with the publisher or creator.

Ideas are not copyrighted but images are, so if there are illustrations, a unique cover design plus interior layout, these are copyright materials.

The Canadian Copyright Act has been reformed and these are some of the key points for creators and copyright owners

Creators and copyright owners will have new rights and protections that respond to the realities of the digital environment. For example:
  • Copyright owners will have stronger legal tools to pursue online pirate sites that facilitate copyright infringement.
  • Copyright owners will have new making-available rights to allow them to control how their works are made available online.
  • Copyright owners will also be given distribution rights, which will enable a copyright holder to control the first sale of every copy of their work;
  • Performers will be given moral rights, which will ensure that their performance is not altered in a way that harms the artist's reputation.
  • Photographers will be given the same rights as other creators. They will be the first owner of copyright in their photographs and will receive the same benefits as other creators.
  • If copyright owners decide to use digital locks to better protect their works, they will have the support of the law to do so.
  • Copyright owners will also benefit from legal protection for rights management information, which connects the creator's identity and other key information to the work.

For the most part, there is not usually a problem on a contract for service basis, but if there is a legal battle, note that, as the author, you may be surprised who actually owns the copyright to your book.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


What's your favorite meme? Grumpy Cat? Overly Obsessed Girlfriend? Success Kid? First World Problems?

Have you made up your own memes?

Here are some of my faves.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Is For Other Cosmetic Luddites Like Me -- Solid Makeup Tips

When it comes to makeup application, I get by. I think I improved a little bit when I watch What Not to Wear and cut out some ads in magazines to show better ways to apply.

However, until my +Virtual Newsmakers hangout with +Terry Jacobs and +Cynthia K Seymour, I had a LOT to learn.

The good news is Terry was so wonderful in her simplistic descriptions. Geez, I never knew that powder on your lips before lipstick would keep it from bleeding. All these years of doing it wrong...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Education and the New Economy

How realistic is it for school curricula and administrators to find the resources they need to train all their teachers to teach digital media and to use digital media as a way of teaching in all of the classrooms?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When Times are Tough, Know Your Rights When It Comes to Creditors

The good news is -- there is no debtor's prison.

That said, there are collectors and creditors who try to put you in prison through incessant calls, threats, and other tactics.

Many of these are in violation of the debt collection laws, which are on the books both federally and provincially (the laws are similar in both Canada and the United States). 

You only need to turn on your television to see how stable (not) the economy has been since 2009. Recovery has been better some centers, but that doesn't mean all of a sudden everyone is on Easy Street.

In fact, the average personal debt in Canada is over $100,000. 

No wonder the collections industry is on the rise. Those companies seem to have enjoyed a healthy incline at the expense of others' misfortune.

It may be easy to judge those who have fallen into the credit abyss, but most people are just one paycheck away from the homeless shelter. An injury, industry downslide, job loss, health issue, natural disaster -- anything can turn even the most financially secure to Collectionville. 

If you are in collections and the calls are excessive and downright harassing, check online for "debt collection violations" in your jurisdiction. There's a good chance you can cite the violation to the person acting it out and stop the behavior right there. If not, there are reporting options. 

Here is an example of prohibited creditor practices

No collection agency or collector shall
  • Collect or attempt to collect for a person for whom it acts any money in addition to the amount owing by the debtor;
  • Communicate or attempt to communicate with a person for the purpose of collecting, negotiating or demanding payment of a debt by a means that enables the charges or costs of the communication to be payable by that person;
  • Receive or make an agreement for the additional payment of any money by a debtor of a creditor for whom the collection agency acts, either on its own account or for the creditor and whether as a charge, cost, expense or otherwise, in consideration for any forbearance, favor, indulgence, intercession or other conduct by the collection agency;
  • Deal with a debtor in a name other than that authorized by the registration; or
  • Engage in any prohibited practice or employ any prohibited method in the collection of debts.
  • No collection agency or collector shall engage in conduct described in any of the following paragraphs with respect to the debtor, the debtor’s spouse, a member of the debtor’s family or household, a relative, neighbor, friend or acquaintance of the debtor, the debtor’s employer, a person who guaranteed the debt or a person mistakenly believed to be the debtor:
  • Publish or threaten to publish the debtor’s failure to pay.
  • Otherwise communicate in such a manner or with such frequency as to constitute harassment.
Know your rights.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When Does a Post or Website Cross the Line to Cyberbullying and Breaking the Law?

Cyberbullying is not unlike identity theft -- when there is a knowing and willful malicious act to discredit another person or business' reputation through a website or web post -- that is an act of cyberbullying.

Did you know that the act of cyberbullying is a violation of both Canadian and American criminal codes?

Because I am Canadian, I will speak to this issue from a Canadian perspective. That said, the laws are very similar and almost word-for-word equal in the United States. Note that I am not one to usually highlight specific words or passages in many of my postings, but I do want these terms to jump off the page to show readers that cyberbullying is indeed both a provincial and federal crime.

Cyberbullying crosses over to international borders of law enforcement when the post or website that originates in one country includes a citizen or link to a business or website owned by a person in another country.

The Criminal Code of Canada describes libel, to which cyberbullying falls under:

Public slander and false accusation is the spreading of deliberately falsified information that denigrates the honour and dignity of another man or woman or undermines their reputation.

That the victim materially suffered by virtue of the false claims.

That evidence existed at the time of the public utterances and offence proving such allegations to be false.

That actions of the accused contributed to the false accusations.

That the actions of the accused were done with the intent to cause harm to the reputation of the victim.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, convictions for blasphemous libel:

Everyone who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, defamatory libel is:

Everyone who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Even provincial laws show cyberbullying falls under their criminal codes, such as in the case of Ontario:

Defamation -- would lower the opinion of the person in the minds of others or cause a person to be shunned or avoided or exposed to hatred, contempt, or ridicule.

Cyber-libel is when someone has posted or emailed something that is untrue and damaging about you on the Internet.

Next cyberbullying blog: Criminal harassment, including debt collection violations.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Socialnomics Meets Webonomics

+Erik Qualman knows something about digital leadership. His Socialnomics videos have been the quintessential tool many of us have been using to educate others about the merits of social media.

If you really want to be inspired, check out his Ted talk

My co-host +Cynthia K Seymour and I were uber-excited about having Erik on our +Virtual Newsmakers show, after several months of planning.

As it turned out, Erik would Hangout from the passenger side of his car, en route to another city. 

No problem. But as mobilenomics met webonomics -- no video. 

No problem. We reverted back to traditional technology: the phone. 

A couple of Internet outages later, a Hangout was born. As always, Erik did not disappoint. So have a listen and learn how to step up your own digital leadership.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

See-Sawing Into the National Hockey League: Radoslav Suchy

Stories From the NHL Locker Room

Slovakia-born Radoslav Suchy’s journey to the National Hockey League might be typical, although not a well known. For the most part, it’s rare for a young player to make the grade on the first try. Things were no different for Suchy.

"Always my dream, when I was a kid, was to play in the NHL."

However, his venture to the Show started in Canada -- Sherbrooke in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League -- to be exact, and he didn't know a stitch of English -- or French.  

"I knew three words: 'thank you,' 'sorry,' and one that’s bad, starting with 'f.' I went to school for English, but as soon as I came to the dressing room, everybody was talking French. For two months, I didn’t talk to anybody."

Hindsight told Suchy it may have been a good thing he didn't know English. In the beginning, he found it very difficult, so much so, he seriously thought about going home.  

"I didn’t know how to tell them. So I stayed there."

The transition for any young player into the next level of competition is difficult, but especially for someone who doesn't know the culture or language.

When he met his billets he was painfully shy. 

"That was very weird. They were really nice. They offered me everything. I could eat anything in the fridge. But I was really shy. I remember the first time, I just ate a little bit. I didn’t want to eat too much. At night, at nine o’clock, I was still a little hungry but I was shy to go up and ask them for more food. I had to wait until they go to sleep. I was sneaking in the fridge when they were sleeping. It was a good laugh.

"(The billets) had some special food. The first time I had it, I didn’t really enjoy it. I was being polite and said I liked it. Then we got invited to (my billet) family friends. They asked what did we like, they would make for dinner. They said, 'He really likes the... He really enjoy it.' After a while, I got used to it. Now I really like it. It’s pretty good."

He had to get used to the smaller ice surface, and the hockey style was much more physical than he was used to. 

"The coaches always took me on the side, although I didn’t speak English, took me to the boards and showed what they wanted me to do. 

"The atmosphere was good because in Slovakia, we have just the parents in the stands at the junior games. In Canada, there’s real people even paying for that to see your game. The people recognize you on the street. In Slovakia, nobody knew that I was playing hockey. In Quebec, I’d be walking in the mall and people stopped me, asked for autographs -- kids came to me. I was really impressed how big the hockey is in Canada."

Suchy was traded to Chicoutimi in his last junior year in junior as an overaged junior. While Sherbrooke didn’t go far in the playoffs, Chicoutimi was a contender for the Memorial Cup. 

"They trade me for three young players. Before Christmas, they sent me home for a week. That was nice of the team. I asked them, 'Am I getting traded? Because if I am, I’m not coming back.' I wasn’t drafted, so there was no need for me to come back to junior. They said, 'No, no, no! Over my dead body.' So I went home. I came back. The first thing, the coach asks me to come into his office. They told me I had been traded. It was really hard. I didn’t want to go."

But Chicoutimi had a very good team and Suchy was able to star in the Memorial Cup -- where all the scouts saw him. 

He received an invitation to try out with the Phoenix Coyotes. 

“I was in camp, and I didn’t have a contract. We had already played five exhibition games. They sent some guys down, and I still hadn’t played one game. After I got called, I was going to play the next day. I played the one game, and right after, they called me and tell me they are offering me a contract. At that point, I would take any contract. Then they sent me down to Las Vegas."

After a couple of months in Nevada, Suchy broke his finger. The Coyotes sent him to its minor league team in Springfield to get healthy. As he healed, his ice time increased due to three injured defencemen.  

“The second year (at Coyotes camp), the coach says, 'We have too many defencemen. You’re going to play forward in the camp.' I think, 'Oh, my God. What am I going to do?' So I just play forward. I had also played one NHL exhibition game as a forward. Then they sent me down. I didn’t really have a big shot of playing in the NHL."

In his third year, Suchy came into training camp and made the team. Although with eight defencemen in the preseason lineup, he was a healthy scratch for five games.

Facing Chicago, +Jeremy Roenick was suspended for high-sticking Tony Amonte, which meant moving a forward up into the lineup. With too many players on the roster, Suchy was the odd man out and was sent back down.

“I thought, okay, that was my chance. I didn’t play any games. I’m down in the minors and the general manager from the Coyotes came down and said, 'We want you to stay down here and play a lot. Up there, you’re not going to play a lot of games. You’re not going to have a lot of ice time. We have too many defencemen.' Luckily two weeks later, one of the defencemen got hurt. Then I got called and played a few games. They decided I’m going to play the rest of the season. I’m glad I never gave up and kept working. I kept hoping that I’m going to make it."

And he did.

Never give up on your dreams.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stories from the NHL Locker Room

If there is one thing we learn from working in sports, regardless of the position, there is no end to great stories.

Some are funny, inspiring, and some just give you an insight into the people and atmosphere of the game.

I spent over 20 years living in a locker room.

My time goes back to the Wayne Gretzky dream team years of the +Edmonton Oilers of the mid-1980s to the Jonathan Toews era with the +Chicago Blackhawks.

As a freelance reporter, I can tell you first-hand that life in the NHL is not all that glamorous. Yes, we had fun. Yes, there were moments you can count as the times of your life. But for the most part, the professional sports life does not reflect what most fans see during the three hours of game time.

There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, and not much of it is what you'd classify as glamorous.

That said, it's during those behind the scenes moments when the best stories come out. It's time I shared more of them.

Coaching Drills

I had the good fortune to watch one of the greatest players practice almost every day. Here is a clip of Jarome Iginla I took from one of those skates.

There was one moment, when all the players, including the goalies, had long since gone to the dressing room and Jarome was still on the ice getting one-on-one coaching from multi-Stanley Cup winner and Hall of Famer Guy Lapointe. Much like the drill you see above, Jarome meticulously shot at the same spot at the net from the same spot on the ice over and over until every shot hit the target perfectly. If it didn't, Lapointe would point his stick and yell out some instruction.

But not all drills seem all that skill developing.

Dave Lowry and friends during a public skate at the Calgary Saddledome
Dave Lowry has enjoyed a lot of years in the NHL as both a player and a coach. He mentions a fellow to whom many will shake their head in acknowledgement at -- a fellow I knew from junior football. Don't get me wrong, I actually liked the man, but there are many who thought he was just plain nuts. He's no longer here to defend himself, but Bill Laforge certainly had a reputation.

"When you’re a young kid, your dream is to play in the NHL," recalls Lowry. 

"I was 19 and went into Vancouver for my first camp. Teams (clubs broke up their training camp squad into teams) that lost the game had to run a mile in their gear. You had two minutes to get your skates off and you had to run. Unfortunately, I was on a team that didn’t win a game in training camp. We spent a lot of time running. 

"One of the drills Billy had for us was he had his 13 stations. One was jumping in and out of the bench. One was fighting with another guy, sparring in a circle. Another was running in and out of sticks and having to run in and hit the boards. Another had players lined up on the top of the circles on both sides and you had to skate as hard as you could and run over each other behind the net. I thought, if this is what pro hockey is like, I don’t know if I want to stay."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Face Your Fear of Technology By Being Yourself

Facebook and Twitter, along with other digital media sites have one thing in common. They are all just tools.

They are networks of real-live people.

You seek out the ones who already know you, who are already your disciples, who are like-minded, have the same interests, and perhaps friends of those individuals. You would treat them the same as you would in a face-to-face environment: with respect.

+David Meerman Scott describes social media brilliantly in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR. He likens social media to a cocktail party. You wouldn't go to a real event and start (spamming) feature-dumping and "buy my stuff" your business to anyone who will listen, even if you just met. Or would you? Or would you be someone hiding in the corner with your face to the wall, hoping no one will talk to you? That reflects the people who set up profiles and then never engage or visit their networks.

You will have the best time at the cocktail party when you take the time to say hello (connect), get to know other guests (see what others have posted, like and make a positive comment on their feed), and share good stories (make your own posts interesting and ones that will elicit engagement).

When it comes to working the networks to promote your brand, think like a content creator, not like a content consumer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mr. Rodeo Is Worth A Follow at the 2013 Calgary Stampede

You might be hard-pressed to find someone who knows as much about rodeos and cowboys as Arnie Jackson. "Mr. Rodeo" has had a stellar career in the sport.

So respected is Arnie, there is even a push to have him put in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

Arnie's rodeo and chuckwagon reports will be posted here daily:

Here is a sample of Day 5 and a few of his photos from the grounds. If you are a rodeo fan, follow his reports throughout the 2013 Calgary Stampede.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Secrets to a Successful YouTube Channel

It's considered to be the lottery ticket of the Internet: the viral video. Everyone is on a quest to own the next Grumpy Cat or Double Rainbow.

+Cliff Baldridge will tell you the viral video is much like the music industry's one-hit wonder. It's all there is. There is no follow up.

Rather than chase the viral video, instead develop a plan, a strategy, and build your network. That is the key to longevity. Viral videos are the large rocks that fill a jar. Your YouTube channel can be the sand that fills the gaps.

Take a few moments, learn from the master, and find map out a plan to be that sand.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Be the CEO of You, Incorporated

Lisa Sparks
Success is not about your mindset. Rather it is about looking at opportunities instead of operating from fear.

As the traditional workplace is downsizing, we have to learn how to succeed in a different way, and most of the time that is a good thing.

+Lisa Sparks knows about what she speaks. After 15 years with Constant Contact, she took a giant leap and started her own business, Verity Content, which helps others tackle content marketing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

From Professional Athlete to Incapacitated in a Moment Alone

Imagine watching TV at home, then getting up to leave the room, and all of a sudden, without warning, you can't walk. Not just a blip on the radar, you're faced with a long and painful rehab, unanswered questions, and struggling to learn how to move, when it once seemed seamless.

That's the story of former professional lacrosse player +jim moss.

Moss was considered one of the top box lacrosse players in the world. He's been a member of Team Canada, had numerous all star appearances and accolades, and has been one of the game's biggest ambassadors. He won a Mann Cup with Brampton in 2002 and was inducted into the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame.

While it is difficult to put ourselves into his position, knowing what it is like to be an elite athlete in one moment then have your legs cave in the next, what makes Moss' story even more remarkable is his attitude. He never looked at this situation as permanent.

The story gets better after he realizes that he is more than just an athlete, that his physical condition does not dictate who he is as a person. That's when he set off to inspire the world by sharing his gratitude for the little moments of happiness in social media. It's a concept that exploded, and then The Smile Epidemic was born.

He explains more in an interview with +Virtual Newsmakers.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is the Internet a Right or a Privilege? California Trial Lawyer Mitch Jackson Weighs In

Given the speed at which technology and platforms are evolving, it may be difficult to imagine where the Internet will be in five years, but +Mitch Jackson suggests that it may be a place where governments can no longer use an off-switch.

"(The Internet) is a great tool for people around the world to connect. ... I would like to see it available to everyone with all propaganda washed aside."

While service providers determine if you can connect your devices to an in-home or telephone service, the neighborhoods are filled with shops and services that provide free wireless for anyone to hook onto.

It may be that the Internet is still in its wild wild west stage, but there are still do's and don't's that can have legal ramifications.

Check out more from Mitch in this interview:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Pause for a Friend

Those of us who spend our lives strapped to a computer are really connecting with real live people. Still, it is not the only place we foster relationships. I want to take a moment to celebrate one person I did not meet online.

The blue toolbox -- I still have it
I can still see Doug Rooke sitting beside me in the second row of Doc Todd's Starcraft van as we embarked on yet another long seven/eight-hour trip home in the dead of night from Regina after another Calgary Colts junior football game, which was usually a loss. 

After taking care of the players, coaches, and trainers before they boarded the bus, and the locker room was emptied and swept clean of debris, "Dougie" could finally settle in and relax -- well, not really.

This is when he jumped into his next line of duty -- a self-imposed one: driver watch. Regardless of who drove the van, Doug slightly leaned forward in his seat behind the driver and kept a watchful eye on his alertness, keeping him awake, in case he got tired and his eyes began to droop.

What I remember most about Doug is his selfless and tireless giving of service, no matter what that might be. He was also the beacon of light, the person everyone came to air their differences, tell their good news, seek a shoulder to cry on, or just have company. His office (the equipment room) was open nearly 24/7.

Oh the stories, the laughs -- there are many. The conversations: years' worth. 

Some of the smaller moments end up being big ones, such as our stop at a Kindersley, Saskatchewan eatery. We were chowing down when looking down the middle of the aisle of tables was the biggest, fattest black cockroach we had ever seen, just motoring straight down the middle towards us like he was on a mission. I think we kept eating, but we lifted our feet up in the air and were kind of afraid it was going to come to our table. Back in the van, after the good doctor played up on our ewwiness, pretending that his takeout fries were crunchy, we were creeped out for the rest of the road trip, but laughed. We had eaten at that establishment many times since but never forgot that moment and laughed about it often. 

Then there was the tub. To our last days with the Colts and afterwards when I would meet up with him at the Stampeders, we couldn't think of or look at that white tub without laughing.

The Shack
It was a statutory holiday. The arena at Optimist Park in Calgary was closed. There were no games or practices on the fields, therefore no personnel at the facility. Doug and I were completely alone. Our equipment "shack" was situated beside the arena and we were loading up both our vehicles to take everything to McMahon Stadium to get ready for a walk-through and a game.

Dougie didn't have a very big truck, so the height to lift anything into the back wasn't too onerous. As usual, he checked his list to make sure everything was packed. It was custom that the tub would be packed with game jerseys, and it was. Most of the items were loaded and the tub was next. In a matter-of-fact sense of duty, we grabbed either end of the tub to lift and only needed to strain for about an inch to get it over the tailgate. We got it up and just as we were about to push for that last inch, we burst out laughing. Of course, we let the tub to the ground, shook it off, and tried again. One more time for that last inch, and just before, I saw Doug smile out of the corner of his mouth and down went the tub again. Every attempt ended up in laughter. It got ridiculous. We even started to panic and tried to think of anyone in the immediate area we could call to help. How the hell are we going to get this on the truck? We continued. I swear it took us at least a half hour, although seemed like more than an hour. We just couldn't stop laughing. I don't know how we did finally get it onto the truck, but we did. 

Over my 18+ seasons with the Calgary Colts, I probably spent more time with Doug than anyone else in my lifetime, as well as with our general manager Keith Evans.

While my heart is heavy with the knowledge that he has passed on to the next life, his gift of friendship is one of my prized possessions.

Dougie attending a player on the sidelines

Me with Keith Evans, Aubrey Cummings (Stampeder player), Doug Rooke, and the Grey Cup

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mr. Google: Martin Shervington

If anyone is ever stuck on how to use certain elements and recent changes in Google Plus, +martin shervington is your go-to resource.

This is perhaps the most generous and giving man on the Internet. If you can't get enough of his resources on his website, YouTube channel, or Google profile page, then there are more on his +Plus Your Life! community.

+Cynthia K Seymour and I had the pleasure of interviewing Martin on +Virtual Newsmakers on Friday. I'm sure you will find a wealth of tips to help you plus your life.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Savvy Business from a Gen Y Perspective

When two generations close their minds, nothing gets done.

That is one of the takeaways from a +Virtual Newsmakers Hangout with +Daniel Newman and +Cynthia K Seymour this week.

Technology and social media is no longer about a generation gap, as you will see in the mobilenomics video by +Erik Qualman.

If there are over a billion people on Facebook alone, and eight in ten social media users prefer to connect with brands in social media; if mobile devices outnumber toothbrushes in every household, then how disconnected is Corporate Everywhere if only one percent of firms spend less than one percent in mobile?

Newman says many companies may be technologically connected, but they are not engaging.

Bridging the generation gap is easy. It takes a willingness to learn, to communicate, and attempt to put yourself in the other person's shoes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can't Is Not An Option

There is a story in Alvin Law's book: Alvin's Laws of Life where he is a frustrated kid who was accompanied by his therapist to a Canadian Football League game. Not his favorite team, but he was thrilled to be able to attend a live event.

Alvin was annoyed because doctors and therapist had been trying to "normalize" him to fit in for years. Born without arms, he had actually learned how to use his feet for hands, and quite well, at that. Meanwhile, the medical experts were forcing him to wear prosthetic arms, which in those days were uncomfortable, heavy, and cumbersome.

To play along with his therapist, he used these arms to pick up a cup of soda, but as the cup got closer to his face, the arms stopped working. They were stuck. So instead, he took off his shoes and picked up the cup from the security of the prosthetic arms and finally took his drink.

I love this story. To read how he tells it is has me rolling off the chair laughing every time.

But this story is a symbol.

If everyone conformed to society norms, then there would be no inventions, technology would not have evolved, we would not have a lot of the comforts we take for granted today.

Sometimes, you need to make up your own rules, as long as they are not hurtful to others.

I encourage you to visit Alvin's website to get a copy of his book. It's a good read and it will inspire you, no matter what types of challenges you face.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cooking Up A Successful Show on Google

+Larry Fournillier will get you looking at cooking in a whole new and delightful way. 

It's a brilliant concept. Learn recipes with nine people from across the globe at the same time, having them help walk you through the process. It's like kitchen group therapy and people are having way too much fun doing it.

+Virtual Newsmakers was fortunate to have Larry on the show this past Friday. He talked about a few things, but the one thing you will get is how empowering it is for people to be able to connect with their common love of food.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Theater and Film Fraternity

Whether someone is an A-list actor or trying to break into the business, everyone needs encouragement now and then. 

While many of us have Facebook and Google Plus, sometimes we need to find support from a group of people who have been through the same journey. That is where +Stage 32 comes in. It was founded by +Richard Botto, a 10-year veteran of the industry.

If you have any aspirations of working in entertainment, professional speaking, media, or any performance-based industry, or you are already many years in, check out and watch this Hangout. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Traveling the World In Person, From Your Computer

Picture yourself dipping your toes into the Dead Sea from your living room couch in Glendale, Utah and the scene is so real, you can actually feel the heat of the sun.

This is what it is like to take a trip on  +Virtual Photo Walks™. It is where one screenshot is worth a thousand smiles.

Here is the story behind the photos with +John Butterill, +Bruce Garber, and +Cynthia K Seymour:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Computeritis and Stepping Away from the Screen

Can anyone go a full day without checking their device? How about an hour?

The thought of going a full day makes me hyperventilate. Seriously. I know I can't be alone.

From the moment I get out of bed until I return to it, I'm switching between three or four devices, sometimes engaging them at the same time.

But it's my business.


What if I miss that all-important message that could make or break the career?

If anyone needs to hear what +Chris Brogan has to say on Friday on +Virtual Newsmakers, it's me. He's going to be on our Google Hangout at Noon EST. He'll be talking with me and +Cynthia K Seymour about maintaining a computer-life balance.

I don't know about you but spending your days (and nights) on a computer wreaks havoc with your body, and I suffer from Computeritis big time.

What is Computeritis?

Do your neck muscles get so stiff that you can't turn your head, or you get a knotty lump in the back groove of your skull? Are your shoulders and upper arms so taut that it hurts to slightly touch them? If any of these apply, you, too, suffer from Computeritis.

If it get so bad that the pain keeps you awake at night, you need to go to a physiotherapist. Or you can do some of the things I was told to do when I saw mine. :)

There is the "close the door" chin exercise where you stand tall with shoulders back and pull the chin back with the rest of your head still -- about 10 times. This pulls the muscles on your upper under arm and kills at the beginning. You do it in 10x intervals many times a day.

The effin' roller can be used for your back. Lay on it and roll the heck back and forth against your shoulder muscles. You'll know why this piece of equipment is nicknamed that once you begin.

Those two things help a lot and it won't be a whole lot of fun.

It's the only time I seem to disconnect...when I'm working out the muscles to step back in.

If you have any ideas on exercises or how you put down the smartphone or tablet, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chris Yates, Grumpy Cat, and Video Fail

Suck early, suck often, and you'll be okay.

This is the takeaway nugget from +Chris Yates for those viewers thinking about embarking on their own web show.

How fitting that Yates was a fill-in for the inaugural launch of a new weekly webcast that bridges traditional and digital media. Even better, he was the first journalist to interview Grumpy Cat at South by Southwest.

+Virtual Newsmakers, with guests lined up until mid-June, received its first cancellation just a few days before the show. But you know what they say. When one door closes, a better one opens. Chris Yates was that better door.

So here we are -- Friday morning, scrambling to finish blow-drying the hair and get the live link pushed out before hitting the On Air button. All goes according to plan, then poof! One of us disappears.

Yep, no matter how much one prepares and tests the equipment, you can't account for the complete shutdown of a laptop and a less than stellar Internet connection, even though you are wired in. Sigh.

This black screen is me scrambling to get back into the Hangout while the laptop s-l-o-w-l-y loads back into Google Plus. Impatient, because I'm using Chrome, I foolishly try to open Firefox at the same time, thinking that the browser will load faster, and instead, slows the laptop to an absolute crawl. It's so slow, I can't even see the spinning wheel of death.

All this is going on while my co-host flawlessly carries the show and Yates fires off nugget after nugget.

Like many productions, what you see on the front end doesn't always show what's going on in the back end. The only thing we know for sure is it can happen to anyone. Preparation negates panic and a production schedule with suggested questions can help guide a co-host with a security blanket, if needed, to carry the rest of the show.

See what you think:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg, Say It Ain't So

We knew it would happen but were hoping it wouldn't.

Facebook plans to subscribe to full screen auto-play ads some time in the next couple of months.

We get that once a company goes public, it has to appease its shareholders. But if Facebook goes through with its plans, that goes against its reason for being in business in the first place.

It doesn't fit the medium.

So by the summer, one or two things may happen, and it likely won't be business as usual. 1. Users will boycott the advertisers.  2. An exodus of users to Google Plus.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Not Available In Your Country


This is just a little annoying. Is it only in Canada? 

We see the same message on Jon Stewart clips, +Team Coco , +Saturday Night Live , and worst of all: +Nickelback YouTube videos. 

What's the big deal with Nickelback? They're CANADIAN.

Even those multi-million dollar commercial spots for Super Bowl are replaced with the two or three continuous ads that seem to run through every broadcast. Hmm. Wouldn't that bother the advertiser that spent all those bucks to have those ads aired live? 

I'm not sure which end blocks content from the United States -- whether it is the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission, which is a thorn in every Canadian viewer's side), the cable company, or the network.  

Given that we can communicate live via video in a heartbeat with someone from Malta or Papua New Guinea, or that we can purchase anything on the Internet and get our news almost before it happens -- this type of service blocking from/or of a neighboring country and biggest trade partner seems just a little ridiculous.

Every time I see this, it makes me pine another day for a US green card.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Armchair Sports Has Become Interactive

This is my favorite example of how to watch UFC and other sports live -- with Twitter peeps and offering periodic updates on Facebook and Google Plus.

What you don't see in this screenshot is the two television sets I had on at the same time: likely one with Hockey Night in Canada, the other with NCAA college football.

Watching sports with my social peeps has become a new way of life, especially during big events, such as an Olympic Winter Games gold medal hockey game, the NFC conference final, or the BCS championship game.

It's like having everyone in your own living room. Sometimes a new guest will appear, as in the case of Twitter, when you search the hashtag and engage a conversation with a fellow viewer.

The Internet and social media has really made our world more social -- and global, even when just watching a game.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Perception and the Fight Club Rules

I've never met Kevin Trudeau. I cannot tell you first-hand if he kicks puppies or snuffs out butterflies. What I can tell you is he has been one of the single-most positive influences in my life for the past year and three months.

There is no doubt he can be controversial, off the wall, and just plain out there. So when I saw the ABC News piece about Kevin, it kind of made me smile. It just goes to show that no matter what side of a fence one sits on, everyone is in good company.

December 2011, I was introduced to the 14-CD package Your Wish is Your Command. It was everything I was looking for at the time. It was the missing key to all the motivational puzzles. It took over where Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich left off.

Money was tight, but I joined the Global Information Network. I never really looked at it from the multi-level marketing aspect that many people do. I looked at it for the value that the audios had brought to the table and how they impacted my thinking...which for everyone is a constant challenge. The bathroom mirror is not unlike a vehicle side mirror: outward confidence and togetherness is not always as it appears.

I listen to one or more of the GIN audios over and over again nearly every day. I listen to them when awake and many times play them when I go to sleep so they stick to the subconscious brain. They have been my lifeline.

From outward appearance, some of my choices and ventures may look as unconventional and crazy as Kevin's do to the haters. Sometimes I question my own choices, but hindsight means you have to live with them and work through them accordingly. That said, what has happened since GIN and KT have come into my life is that a dream project materialized. This is where the craziness steps in. This project is out of my normal genre, but it also includes an element of it. When it finally launches, it will allow me to work in a way I've always dreamed of: tapping into extreme creativeness, using every form of media known to man, and seeing final products that entertain, inspire, and even create a few jobs in the process. 

The sacrifices made (shelter, belongings, time, lots of debt) have been extremely personal, but will be worth it in the end. All the dogs will be sent to the pound and a new beginning means working at something that is way bigger than me or anyone else involved. I knew I had to risk everything to do my part to see it through. So while things like this do not happen overnight, the challenge is to keep the focus while juggling the back end of survival. I know I am not alone. Any project worthwhile demands the same sacrifices. Just look at Walt Disney and Milton S. Hershey who went bankrupt several times over before their existing companies came to being.

The Global Information Network may indeed feel like a scam to the people in the ABC piece, and KT may seem like he is too good to be true. It all boils down to the messages in the GIN audios. It's about every one of us as individuals. The hardest thing in the world to do when other aspects of your life are crashing around you is this: BELIEVE. Without belief, nothing will manifest except the belief you hold that it won't happen. 

There is a close friend of mine who has had similar challenges. Knowing that has been comforting and encouraging, especially as I watch him now on his upward swing. Pointing a finger and judging him would mean my life is perfect and that I have never made a bad decision.

We are all the sum of our choices, for sure. They may not always be the best ones, and sometimes the decisions lead to a venture really worthwhile, which allows you to go back and make good on all those other choices. The one thread that binds it together is belief. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meme of the Week

Movement to end the Defense of Marriage Act and foster equal rights for the LBGT community.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Journalism Is Alive After All: AJ English Buys Current TV

Watch 10 minutes of North American network and cable news stations, then take a look at Al Jazeera English (Channel 513 in my area in Canada). Words won't be necessary to explain.

As anchors across North America make the news about themselves or are featuring tabloid journalism--one story 24/7, AJ English is broadcasting real news, and focusing globally. While North American networks are laying off staff and pooling international stories, Al Jazeera is hiring. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Typewriter Works Just Fine

I may have actually used this line back in the early 1990s when the personal computer was all the rage and the Internet was becoming populous. Back then, it was Yahoo over Google.

As a writer getting published in the local newspapers and national magazines, I actually prided myself on being loyal to the typewriter. It's not that much work to revise, I said. I completed two book manuscripts on the typewriter, I'd proudly state. Meanwhile, my friends and colleagues would look at me as if I had a third head.

Then I noticed the freelance gigs were drying up. Editors wanted their stories emailed, not faxed. They wanted the electronic files. It wouldn't have mattered if I were a Pulitzer Prize winner.

So what I did was stay late at my day job and type out articles for my local editor, download them on a floppy disk, and drive the disk over to his office. Accompanying these stories were also photographs, which I had to take to a certain developer that was under contract by the paper, when they were ready, pick them up and drive them over to the editor. That's a lot for one story and doesn't even include the face-to-face interview with the subject.

Soon I broke down and got a computer.

Now I could write the stories at home, load them on the floppy disk and drive them over to my editor. I was terrified of the Internet and all its evil viruses and trolls. I still had to make those two trips to the photofinishing place.

Finally, I had enough. This is WAY too much work. I saw how the computer was incomparable to the typewriter. Oh my God, what was I thinking! Now a new world opened up and I could email the story and save myself a trip across the city (except for the photofinishing place).

I've never looked back.

Now I see the same thing happening, only with Internet media. People are terrified to learn the social networks, to ditch their traditional methods for more advance ones. If it isn't already, it will soon impact their business. They will see opportunities dry up. Why? People want to be communicated with in the platform of their choice, not yours.

Sadly, few educational institutions are teaching this because the curriculum, administrators, and teachers have been schooled from a previous era and either haven't deemed learning it is important or there isn't enough qualified personnel to teach it. 

But graduates are experimenting the impact of not knowing this. Some are finding it difficult to find work, no matter how many degrees are behind their name. Quite frankly, if you have an MBA in marketing and public relations, I personally can't hire you unless you are well versed in and actually participate in Internet media. Businesses are hiring the person with the degree because they are desperately hoping they will help them catch up with the times. However, because too many are being taught how to use Internet media badly, businesses feel justified in not needing to move forward because "they tried Facebook and it didn't work."  

Here are some comments from recent grads that show the state of where we are today:

"Everything is going digital now and people need to learn how use it, or eventually we will have another epidemic of illiteracy... but this time with smart devices."

"I'm a recent college graduate, and I probably would not be able to take over a social media campaign with just the knowledge I got from my courses. All I learned was textbook information on what marketing was. A lot of the marketing/communication jobs also expect some Adobe program skills along with web design. In addition to that, many relevant jobs require some sort of analytic experience with social media and SEO practices. But I didn't learn any of that! My marketing courses had me create marketing campaigns, but we ignore the evaluation part of the plans, which I think is one of the most important part of marketing. Knowing how your marketing campaign turns out and how to measure the success is so important today."

"The educational system appears deeply divided in America. I meet some people who have graduated college, but you wouldn't know it unless they told you, because they are dumber than a box of rocks! I think some of the private colleges and for profit schools are churning out worthless degrees. Simply having a degree doesn't make the person fit for the job. The real question is whether or not that candidate has the required skills to get the job done! Technology changes incredibly fast so we have to keep up."

I plan on doing my part to try and bridge these alternate universes. At least if I can arm people with a general understanding of the platforms and how to make them work -- also steer them from the bad advice they're already getting from those non-experts, perhaps graduates will be well versed before they enter the workforce and it will ease the frustration you hear in the comments above.