Pan Mass Challenge Training: Picking up the Bike

I have reached the next big step in training for the Pan Mass Challenge: getting my bike tuned up and repaired. My 17-year-old ride is not yet ready to retire (I hope).

The Pan Mass Challenge is a 2-day, 160-mile ride to raise money for the Jimmy Fund, an organization that supports treatment and research for cancer in children.

I plan to do posts along the way to show my training in progress, and produce more media during the ride itself- should be fun!

If you feel so inclined, please sponsor my ride. I only need 292 of you to donate $10 each to reach my goal!

To sponsor, go directly to the PMC site at:…ftinfo.asp, or go to and use the "ChipIn" widget at the right to use PayPal.

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The Age of Conversation: Bum Rush the Amazon Charts on March 29

Those of us in social media, particularly the marketing and communications practitioners, have long been aware of The Age of Conversation, a collaborative book in which 100 marketing authors bring one page of their ideas on the topic of “conversation.” the book is a remarkable exercise in mobilizing a passionate community of marketers into producing a single document.

Join the Age of Conversation Bum Rush on March 29th

Now, the book is coming out print, and the editors, Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan, are donating all proceeds to Variety, the Children’s Charity. To publicize this, the authors have planned a “Bum Rush the Charts” style assault on, to try to move the book up the charts for a single day.

How do you participate?

  • Buy the book- click here for the Amazon page
  • Tell your friends, blog about it yourself, spread the word
  • (Not necessarily last, but) Go to and familiarize yourself with the contents. I’m sure you will have your own opinions on the varying thoughts coming from 100 different authors
  • This effort is named for the “Bum Rush the Charts” effort of a year ago, in which the online communities successfully placed a song by the band Black Lab on the iTunes charts for a day.

    Why do I care? Aside from working in the industry and knowing several of the authors personally, I decided to sign up to contribute to “The Age of Conversation II.” I’m looking forward to joining my colleagues in the industry to continue the success of this experiment. If nothing else, it keeps us all thinking about how we approach the changing media world and use the evolving communications tools in our lives and livelihoods.

    here is a full list of Age of Conversation II contributors:

    Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, R.J. Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

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    Social Media Top 5: Why Bother?

    Time for another Social Media top 5, after another long week of being immersed in the biz:


    1) Marketing guru Seth Godin says you don’t need to bother having a resume. Instead, just write a string of best-selling books.

    Actually– a great idea– the resume needs an update, but people need to be careful to consider their audience– their potential employer– before trying to change the game. A good example of an opportunity for experimentation is what Mzinga (a company I am currently doing PR for) is doing to hire a couple of social media and PR-related positions.

    2) Will urban dictionary allow PR people to update entries? I’ll wager an entry for “Steve Rubel” (noun or verb) will get thousands of votes in a matter of days..

    3) Advertising ideas for Microsoft: look to successful ads and copy them, for example:

      “Vista Freakout” — people walk into a computer retailer and are told that there is no Vista available

      “Folgers test” – replace MAC Leopard OS with Vista and see if anyone notices

    That should work.

    4) By far the worst name for a social media application: “Profilactic.” Actually, it’s a very useful site (cited by Scott Monty in a recent MarketingProfs article) for harvesting your disparate online identities. Upcoming social media sites include: – Where did you leave that profile info? will act as a constant reminder. – To ease the insertion of large multimedia files into even the tiniest social media sites. – Erase any evidence of that ill-considered blog/Facebook/Twitter post you fell in love with after too many drinks.

    5) The Twitter Color War: Just days after Barack Obama addresses race in the presidential campaign, Zefrank makes Twitter all about color. Coincidence?

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    Social Media– one big Middle

    A quick thought on all the social media networks, messaging tools, feeds and virtual worlds out there.

    Dave Huston asked on Twitter: “Staring in awe at the front page of … where does it end???”

    Of all the thousadns of messages out there, this one caught my eye.

    Why? Random timing sure, but the question is bigger than FriendFeed.

    My response: FriendFeed is a big Middle. There is no End. That’s based on my impression of how FriendFeed is working. People re-add their friends from other social networks to see all of their feeds in one place. Great! But for now I only go there to add people and respond to people following me. I haven’t figured out how I might process this information. Will there be a search function? Will other social networks and portals take the feed information and find ways to sort it for us? For now, it’s just a big middle; adding, being added and knowing that information is there, whether I do anything with it or not.

    Of course, Dave responded with: “Aye, but now we have aggregator aggregators? What’s next?”

    — Well, first, how about a FeindFeed to keep track of all the jerks and bad guys out there :)

    Then Ike Pigott chimed in with: “I need a meta-aggregator to aggregate my aggregated feeds. I’ll call it Aggri-vator!”

    Seriously, I feel all of these social media outlets are a big Middle. If people stop using one, it doesn’t “end,” the network just moves on. The important thing is I know where the people i want are, and where they are and how we can tap each other’s expertise, wit, friendship, connections and whatever else we are in this for. These are the little Endings I take out of the big Middle.

    Middles can be wearying, but it’s those mini-Endings along the way that help us get stuff done.

    Plus, Middle is good. Middle is the sandwich meat; Middle age is the new Young (I hope), and Middle C is an important part of any musical piece. Please add your own forced metaphors in the comments section.


    Beginning training for the Pan Mass Challenge

    I guess I can say I have officially started training for the Pan Mass Challenge ( in August. The 160-mile bicycle ride across Massachusetts benefits the Jimmy Fund, helping research treatments and cures for cancer in children.

    For now I am biking indoors at the YMCA to keep in shape. It’s much harder to keep up the intensity here than on a real bike, but it’s a start.

    I am daunted by the ‘official’ training schedule, but I feel if I basically live on my bike starting in Spring and get a few long rides in, I’ll be OK.

    To raise the money for my ride, I put a ‘ChipIn’ widget in the sidebar of the blog, to the right. If you feel so inclined, please click and donate a few dollars to help me reach my goal of ,400 (I have actually raised about 50 as of this writing, but am having trouble adding offline contributions to ChipIn). Thanks!

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