Pan-Mass Challenge Update: Riding Strong, & 60% of Funds Raised

May has come to a close, and there are only two months left until the Pan-Mass Challenge. There has been lots of good news on both the training and fundraising fronts:

As of this writing, many of you have helped me reach 60% of my $4,200 minimum goal. Still, there is more than $1,600 left to go, but with your help I know we will keep up the pace and make the goal. To help beat cancer by sponsoring my ride, please go to http://bit.ly/PMC2010.

To those who have been supporting me so far, an those who will– a huge thank you!

As for training: this weekend, I managed consecutive 30-mile rides Friday and Saturday. I have been feeling stronger, and we (my training partners and I) have been going faster, and while there is work to do here as well, I feel we will be ready for the PMC on August 7.

(UPDATE: Managed our first 40-mile ride today, May 31. Still feeling great!)

Here is a little video from the second ride:

Pan-Mass Challenge: Training Ride and New Camera from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Technical note: on this ride, I was trying out my new Kodak Zi8 camera. It seems to have a little better image stabilization than my old Flip Camera (which conked out on me), but the microphone is not so great. The good news is I can try using an external mic, which I might do later. I was also using a new, sturdier handlebar mount. Please let me know what you think based on this brief video.

Social Media Top 5 (2) You Might Not Vomit But Your Head Will Spin

(Social Media Top 5)

Social Media InfoGraphics

Perhaps my previous post on Google Buzz vomit fuels my nausea meme, but my new acquaintance LaSandra Brill (met her at Smash Summit this past week) posted a SlideShare presentation she compiled of social media infographics from a variety of sources. Extremely useful, but I dare you to flip through the slides quickly without feeling a little, well, queasy.

Social Media Top 5 (1) Google Buzz Vomits on My Twitter Stream


(Social Media Top 5)

Buzz Kill?

To keep track of goings-on in the social media world, I use bookmarking services. For a long time I used Delicious, which made it easy to see and share wjhat I had saved. I did sometimes have difficulty accessing it via mobile. With my Android phone and use of GMail and Google Reader, I decided that using Google Buzz would make more sense.

I does work great. Buzz integrates with my GMail and Reader services easily, and sometimes discussions break out among friends who subscribe there. Also, I can set up sharing via Twitter. Great, right?

Well, one problem. Sometimes Buzz seems to save up my Buzz shared items and Tweets them out at once- instead of sharing them on Twitter as I mark them. Annoying. Obnoxious. Makes me look like a jerk.

This has only happened a couple of times but it’s enough to make me move back to Delicious. Maybe. If I get around to it.

Anyone else have problems with Buzz?

Social Media Top 5 (2): Teaming Up in Social Media For a Cause

I am breaking up my usual “Top 5″ post for a couple of reasons: first, the two (not five) topics I picked were enough material to stand on their own; second, I wanted to monkey with the format to see if the posts turn out better if they are a little more focused.

Those who know me (or at least read this blog) know not only that I ride my bike for charity every summer in the Pan-Mass Challenge to raise money to fight cancer (please feel free to sponsor me at http://bit.ly/PMC2010- thanks!), but that I experiment with social media to raise funds, using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube/Vimeo and other channels.

The people behind another anti-cancer movement, Ban Asbestos Now!, have also been enthusiastic about using social media to get their message out. It was their idea to team with me- I would try to draw attention to their petition to get asbestos banned (I thought it already was, that’s how little I knew), while they would donate cancer-fighting dollars to sponsor my ride.

While I had blogged about this as the campaign was going on, I wanted to take the opportunity to embed these videos the BAN folks made after the fact. While they have more signatures to go, I feel that even raising awareness is helpful in the long run– the same way I feel that people don;t have to donate money to be actual contributors to the cause.

Social Media Top 5 (1): Utterli Depressed

I am breaking up my usual “Top 5″ post for a couple of reasons: first, the two (not five) topics I picked were enough material to stand on their own; second, I wanted to monkey with the format to see if the posts turn out better if they are a little more focused. Let me know what you think.

Image Borrowed from ByteMonkey Post

Utterli Depressing

Beginning in 2007, I started using a great service known as Utterli (actually, it was originally known as Utterz) to facilitate mobile posting of pictures, audio and text (and, if I wanted, video) from my phone. It was a great solution for reducing the barriers to posting more frequently and when ideas occurred to me. I got some wonderful help from their support folks when setting the service up with WordPress, and met several of them, as Utterly was based not far from Boston.

Over the last several months, it became apparent that Utterli was gearing down- friends who were still using it heavily complained of support disappearing, and I worried that my posts, or some of the material in the, might disappear.

Just this past week, I noticed the site was down completely, with no announcement. As you can see from this post for example, the photo and audio I had posted are now gone- thankfully, the text remains. On the one hand, it would have been nice to have a little warning and a chance to back up our stuff. On the other, Utterli was a free service and you have to expect some risk in relying on a third-party service to provide your content in the cloud. We got what we paid for, didn’t we?

Still: what’s up, Utterli?

Pan-Mass Challenge Update: A Big Wet One

With May here, I want to make sure I get some riding in any day I can, as I train for the Pan-Mass Challenge (to sponsor my ride against cancer, please go to http://bit.ly/PMC2010)

What’s bike training season without a good weather disaster? Ignoring the forecast this morning (Saturday May 8), I saw it was not raining and headed out, only to get soaked. As I say, you only get wet once- but of course, you stay wet…

Pan-Mass Challenge Training May 8 2010 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

The Pan-Mass Challenge is a charity ride in which we raise money to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. 100% of the finds we raise passes through directly to the charity. Last year riders raised $30 million, and over 30 years that figure has totaled $270 million!

Please help me fight cancer by sponsoring my ride at http://bit.ly/PMC2010, and help by spreading the word. I finished April having passed 50% of my fundraising goal, but there is still at least $1,900 left to raise.

Thank you- everyone- for your support!