Marine Week Boston: Hitching a Ride in the Osprey

As part of Marine Week Boston, I (along with a few other boston social media community members) were lucky enough to be invited for a ride on the V-22 Osprey vehicle on Tuesday, May 4. First, big thanks to our host, Eric Schwartzman, for the invitation. Here’s the bird we flew out of Hanscom AFB:


Of course, I brought out the Flip camera for some glimpses of the experience.

Marine Week Boston; MV-22 Osprey Flight from Hanscom AFB from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

And here is the group; from left: Eric Schwartzman, David Meerman Scott, Todd Van Hoosear, Marine Sgt Sean McNevin (corrected– thank you, Todd)), Steve Garfield (, CC Chapman, and YT.


After our ride, the Marines introduced us to several native New Englander marines. I had a nice chat with Lt Col (I believe, trying to remember the insignia)  Desgroselliers from Auburn Maine, who finally set me straight on the pronunciation, despite my having a childhood friend with the same name (we called him “Gus”).  I also chatted briefly with Lt Francona, who moved to Brookline, Mass. back in 2004. It was only later I realized (thanks to Todd V) that he was the son of Red Sox manager Terry Francona. Talk about unassuming.

Finally– I couldn’t resist getting this glimpse of CC, by the way– to be fair, we all looked this ridiculous in the gear (helmet = “cranial” – great lingo). Even though I took this photo with the Droid phone, I got lucky with the lighting.

@CC_Chapman ready for flight

For a slicker video of the ride, please see Eric Schwartzman’s blog here.

And for the record- I enjoyed making friends, neighbors, and members of my sons Little League team extremely jealous yesterday.

Blog Experiment: Video Blog-Casting

Notice I didn’t call it podcasting? I’m not sure I want to set up a special feed for video subscriptions, but I am thinking about adding more video to the mix.

The challenge: I’m itchy about the visual piece of video. I think the visual element- even a talking head– draws the eye and attention better than pure audio. My aesthetic sense, however, cries out for something to look at other than my ugly mug flapping my gums.

So, here is my first experiment in how I might present video more regularly. As you can see, I showed my surroundings more than me- a trick I used in my Pan-Mass Challenge training videos. I think I still have to figure out some technical aspects, but I will definitely do some more– with real content.

Blog Experiment 11-18-09 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

What do you think? What would make you watch video blog posts here?

Pan-Mass Challenge Fundraising and Training Update

I have been keeping up (mostly) with my Pan-Mass Challenge training, but have been a bit slow in editing videos (you’re welcome). The reason? I got a new Flip Ultra HD, which will result in much clearer photos, but also necessitated new editing software.

This short bit from an early morning ride shows my fascination with the HD format, as well as my struggles with the new editing program- I’ll get a little better at it.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training June 11 (in HD!) from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the Pan-Mass challenge continues. We are a little more than halfway to my goal of $4,200 raised, but I can;t do it without your help. Will you join me in fighting cancer as I take a 2-day ride across Massachusetts August 1-2? Please sponsor me at

Thank you! Doug

Pan-Mass Challenge Update- Back in the Saddle!

Spring has arrived in New England, and with it the promise of occasional days warm enough to venture out on a bicycle. For me, that means starting the outdoor training for the Pan-Mass Challenge (please sponsor me by clicking here), a two-day ride across Massachusetts that raises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Those of you who have followed my posts know I have already been doing some indoor training, adopting spin classes as my bicycling substitute. I credit Liz Page in particular with offering me a place in her classes and whipping me into shape (and I should note that her husband, Jesse, has also offered a place in his classes. I hope this isn’t some kind of spousal challenge as to who can kill me first. If I make it to Jesse’s class- and especially if I make it back- I will report).

After a short test-ride, much of which was spent figuring out how to operate this new-fangled bike I got, I got out this past weekend with some friends who are also riding the PMC, and got our first “real” ride in- 25 miles, and all seemed to go well.

Here is my first training video to give you a quick (3 minutes) idea of how things go on the roads. I’m still working on securing my Flip camera better, and I’m not working at all on my editing technique, but please have a watch and tell me what you think.

Pan-Mass Challenge – First Training 2009 from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

(Click here for the YouTube link in case you are on a device that can get YouTube but not Vimeo video).

Fundraising Update
Remarkably, I have been blessed by wonderful friends from all parts of my life who have already become sponsors (click here to become a sponsor yourself). With the rough economy and the fact that I have committed to raise $800 more than last year, I am very happy to say that my fundraising total is way ahead of last year’s pace.

So far, you have helped me raise $1,180 towards my $4,200 goal! For perspective, last year at this time we had raised $725 (and figured I would need $895 to keep that pace for 2009). Not only are we ahead of the pace I set for this year, we are already ahead of the pace for April as well.

That does not mean we are done, of course. There is still more than $3,000 (and many miles) to go, so we continue.

OK, enough with the numbers.

Please consider sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge to help fight cancer. Click on this link to go to my sponsor page:

If you have already given (thank you!) or cannot for any reason, please forward this post and the fundraising link to your friends.

As riders we all feel the effect of your support in the outpouring of thank you’s from cancer survivors, their family and friends all along the route. Those thank you’s are for you. I’m just some guy riding a bike and having a blast doing it.

However you choose to show your support– thank you!

Uttercast: Do Taglines Matter?


Do taglines matter? They’re supposed to convey the company or product meaning in a snappy few words. But do the audiences care?

Forrester Research’s Jeremiah Owyang ( has done something fun on this topic: he set up a quiz (the quix has since been closed) inviting people to identify the companies in the social media community platforms market by their taglines.

Even though I am involved in this space and know a number of the players personally, I am embarrassed to say I only knew one tagline off the bat.

Why even admit that? Because I am beginning to wonder if taglines even matter. Perhaps Jeremiah is making the same point.

Do you think taglines are working? What makes an effective tagline? Have it your way- tell me what you think.

Note on the picture: Marvel Comics’ taglines for their titles tended to become the titles themselves: "Uncanny X-Men,"."Amazing Spiderman," etc. That’s why these taglines work.

Mobile post sent by DougH using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Update: Jeremiah has already called out my post. I guess I’ll find out how embarrassed I should be.

Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message to go to my fundraising page– and thank you!

Social Media Top 5: Social Media High School Meets the Real Thing

Social media news and observations I came across while studying up for my appearance on the Media Bullseye Roundtable podcast this week:

  1. Social Media High School meets the real thing: I have noticed a number of high school classmates joining Facebook lately, so far the people who have friended me are people I don’t mind at all reconnecting with. Has there been some sort of push to get more reg’lar folks on Facebook? Has Generation X (a term I prefer not to be associated with, but by the book I belong to that group), finally started the march to take over social networking? It seems so random, but has me intrigued.
  2. Twitter has started an elections page– now you can view all the mindless rants, cheerleading, and tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories on one page– and not just those written by your Twitter “friends!” So, is Twitter moving into groups or topic pages? Have they woken up to the potential market competition from Yammer, and the like? Is their back-end stable enough to avoid the fail whale? TechCrunch has more thoughts on the topic.

    Election 2008 | powered by Twitter

  3. For public relations folks- Renee Blodgett lays down some common sense about how pitching bloggers fits in with basic PR tactics. She says something I have been harping on for a long time, but more eloquently: that blogger relations is not a whole new set of PR skills, but a great opportunity to do remember how media relations is done properly– as human beings, not mass email marketers. Recommended reading for all PR folks.
  4. You know Dunbar’s number? It says that one can only have effective social relationships with up to 150 people at once. Despite most of my social networks going fr past that number, I agree with that premise. Certainly, I am not actively engaging with more than that number of people at any one time- but I see the larger worls (even my larger Twitter network base) as a series of “Little Dunbars” that overlap often, but operate independently. At least, this is how I feel about the problem of scalability as it pertains to businesses and their engagement in social network. Susan Getgood adds to this the notion of “fans.”
  5. Last: My current favorite viral video, at least until the new FreeCreditReport/ Rappin’ Ed McMahon ads come out, is Katie Couric’s interview with Tina Fey. Priceless. I wonder what Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign thought when they heard about this sketch:

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Do We Need Video as a Communications Tool? Bizarro Edition

This week, Media Bullseye published an article I wrote titled “Do We Need Video as a Communications Tool?” While far from comprehensive, the article has generated some response (mostly private as of this writing, rather than in comments).

You can read the article over at Media Bullseye, but in essence i wanted to take all the myriad forms of online video, as they become more popular, and put them in their place as tools. You need a strategy before you need a video; if video fits that strategy, great, knock yourself out!

As for my “Bizarro” version, here is the snarky side of why we need video:

    File live, action-packed video footage from events at exotic locales:

    Disrupt a conference!:

    Make recruiting videos showing your employees working in harmony:

    Have a video chat about, um, video chat:

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Snowy Commute redux

Today, we had ample warning of a major snowstorm in the Boston area. A lot of people, remembering the horrid commute of last December 13, telecommuted or made plans to flee the office early and beat the storm.

In fact, here is some video I did during my four-hour commute Dec. 13, to while away the time sitting in traffic and snow. I posted this before, but stitched it together here for the first time:

Today, the traffic wasn’t nearly so bad, what with school vacation still going on and the aforementioned over-reaction to the weather report. Still, a snowy commute is worth a few minutes (to me). This time, a little less of an epic, but a little more ranting:

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