Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Pan Mass Challenge Training 5-31-08


Another relatively short ride today– about 20 mile, but nice scenery alongside the Charles River, and I managed not to plow through a flock of sheep– I mean, French tourists taking up the entire path.

For those of you new to these posts, I am training to ride the Pan Mass Challenge in august- a 2-day, 160-mile ride that is a benefit for the Jimmy fund (children’s cancer research).

To sponsor my ride, please go to (http://www.pmc.org/…ofiles.asp) , or if you are at my blog, simply click on the blue PMC logo to the right.

Thank you!

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Utterzcast: Doing What You Like?



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The picture is of a new book by my friend Cliff Stoltze of Stoltze Design. He obviously does something he likes.

I am lucky enough to be doing something I like too. Yup, I like PR. I liked radio, too, in my many years there. I have always been drawn to media and communications, even as a teenager.

Are you doing what you like?

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Utterzcast: Branding careful



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I have talked about naming your brand in other posts, but sometimes you just get hit in the face with a reminder of how careful you really need to be.

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Making a Move

The last time I switched jobs, I was barely blogging, and didn’t feel the need to publish anything about my move. Really, who cared?

Today is different. I suspect that most of the people who read this blog closely are friends or know me enough to be interested, which is why I am writing here about my move from Topaz Partners to SHIFT Communications (actually, I suspect many of you know already, but I’m still posting here just in case).

Oops, did I bury the lead?

Yes, I am changing jobs, to become an account director at SHIFT. My new role will stress management and team-building rather than pitching the media, an evolution I am eager to make. As much as I loved pitching stories to the media, applying my expertise to helping others do it properly holds a ton of appeal for me.

Also important: SHIFT keeps in place many of the things I look for in a public relations agency, especially a social media emphasis that does not ignore- or segregate- “traditional” media PR.

I look forward to joining Todd Defren and the team at SHIFT, including former (soon to be “former-former”) colleagues Sandy Kalik and Ashley Girard and some of the other young social media stars in the PR world.

As for Topaz, I want to thank principals Tony Sapienza and Paula Slotkin for the opportunity and encouragement over the last three-plus years. Similarly, I would like to thank colleagues and friends such as Adam Zand, Todd Van Hoosear, Glen Zimmerman, Tim Allik and a bunch of others, too many to include them all (sorry!). My time at Topaz is the reason I am so active in social media in the first place (Tech PR Gems, PRobecast, my introduction to PodCamp and more), and I did not make this decision easily.

Still, I can’t wait to start a new chapter in my career, and I will share what I learn as I settle in to my new role.

One Last Thing
The toughest part of changing jobs is packing the desk and deciding what to keep and what to throw out. The most difficult decision: I never EVER throw out my copies of PC Magazine, some of which are pictured below. But how to carry them? I fret.

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Utterzcast: It only takes one



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It only takes one numbskull to have an accident and tie up traffic for miles.

I need to think of a single act I have done to make a difference- in a good way, preferably. How about you?

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Utterzcast: Careful blogging?



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Recent stories in print: Sunday’s New York Times piece by ex-Gawker Emily Gould, and today’s Boston Globe piece about blogging Federal Judge Nancy Gerstner, have touched on the subject of how careful we need to be revealing ourselves online.

Gould’s story moved me not at all. Through her blogging addiction she shared too much and pissed off people. I learned nothing from her, but wish her luck as she continues to grow up.

As for a blogging judge, people in any profession should pay attention. On the one hand, legal blogging- similar to but much more than other professions- necessitates weighing discretion against actually writing something valuable. On the other hand, she is in an industry where many people see blogging as dangerous and not valuable. I wish her success in blogging and hope others follow suit.

Where do we draw the line between value, danger and vanity? It’s usually a judgment call, I think.

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Pan Mass Challenge – Training (& English Beat)


Got some more training in for the pan Mas Challenge this weekend. Today (Sunday) was the longer ride, in which I topped 40 miles. However, Saturday I had a bit more fun. In the midst of a 20-mile ride, I stopped at Boston’s Hatch Shell, hung out on a friend’s boat on the Charles River, and caught the English Beat in concert. No better way to train.

Again, thanks to those of you who have sponsored my ride, in support of the Jimmy Fund. I have raised nearly $1,300 of my $3,400 goal. To join the growing list of sponsors, please visit: http://www.pmc.org/…ofiles.asp.

Thanks!

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Social Media Top 5: Outage Outrage


Twitter’s frequent (enough) outages have caused some rumblings of mutiny among the Twitter community. Just listen:

While the Twitter Blog tries to explain the outages as the service tries to keep up with its increasing popularity, the community needs to take things into its own hands. So, I asked people, on Twitter of course, where they turn when Twitter goes down. Here are the top responses (weighted by my own editorial opinion, so there), with my comments:

  • @pprlisa “I go straight to your blog, read your archives and think deep thoughts when Twitter’s down”
    (Obviously delusional, but i like her style)
  • @geechee_girl: “I go… back to work/writing *laughs*”
    (“laughs?” Points for spelling the word out)
  • @lizwebpage: I go to www.cuteoverload.com and stare blankly at kittens and duckies until twitter comes back. ;)
    (No. No, you don’t)
  • @fairminder: returning to a previous activity or position (I made that up)
    (I’m confused, but I think you did that on purpose)
  • @jljohansen: Twitter Down SM 5: 1 Check Twhirl settings, is it just you; 2 Plan tweet about outage; 3 Check facebook chat; 4 Catch-up on FF; 5 Cry
    (FF? French Fries? Fantastic Four back issues? Oh- FriendFeed)
  • @spazcer: top 5? i guess id have to say Plaxo, FriendFeed, GMail, Facebook and Jyte
    (Plaxo= still creepy; FriendFeed= info firehose; GMail= no thanks; Facebook= what do we do with Facebook again?; Jyte= Jyte? Do I need an invite to that? Must..check…out…jyte)
  • @susank: I just shut my computer off. J/K. Seriously, news sites, Facebook, Google reader, email and maybe eeks, I pick up the phone.
    (Phone? Phone is for Twitter! How would that help?)
  • @jonathanfields: Lunch…then dinner! ;-)
    (You’re not accounting for a few hours’ activity here- or maybe not)
  • @paulswansen: to the local bar, bowling alley, shopping, the mall, your hairdresser
    (Um… the mall? And my hairdresser’s identity is a secret)
  • @csuspect: Top 5 sites to turn to when Twitter is down? Mine are Pownce, Utterz, Viddler, gmail and www.pheer.com
    (I think gmail doesn’t count. Isn’t email the enemy? I see a vote for Viddler but not YouTube. Cool)
  • @andycaster: I’m sure Utterz is on your list..if it isn’t … it should be!
    (It is)

So, My 5 sites:

  1. Utterz (but I link that through Twitter!)
  2. Blogs (but I find out about the best posts through Twitter!)
  3. News sites (blahblahblahblah Twitter!)
  4. GMail (To catch up on new Twitter Followers!)
  5. Seesmic (just kidding; actually, Facebook, which consists mostly of my Twitter updates — but I intend to check back in on the Seez soon)

My simpler take? I’m with Twitter until the people leave. patience among the community is starting to fray, but there is still plenty of headroom for the Twitter-folks to get Twitter stabilized before any real exodus occurs. Of course, the appearance of a tool that is as simple to use (or “stupid” as I like to say), as ubiquitous (i.e. mobile-accessible), and stats to draw enough of my crowd, there could be a more urgency. I don;t see FriendFeed as the solution yet, but anyone, feel free to prove me wrong.

*Photo by “Owlhere”, from Flickr

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Utterzcast: Using what you have



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Sometimes the right set of circumstances means a change in plans. The key is in making it into an opportunity. For example, my inability to sleep in today turned into an unplanned trip to the gym. OK, lame example.

My wife is a master at this. I look at this fridge and say ‘we have no food.’ She looks at it and sees a great dinner for three.

It’s not about ‘making do.’ It’s seeing what you have and turning it into something. How do you do that?

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Utterzcast: Again with feeling



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I never had much luck with Facebook groups. They all seem to just lie there and do nothing- really not a great feeling when clients are trying to use them.

The temptation is to put a wall around Facebook groups and bar myself from going there again. However, I started to notice to some groups did work- generally those formed around an event or a cause. So I set up a group that is both, focused on my participation in the Pan Mass Challenge charity bike ride this summer. After one day I already had 50 members and started receiving sponsorship donations.

Passion and a call to action- not just an affinity- are key here. Have you had something you thought was useless until you took a different approach? Tell me your stories!

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