August 26, 2006

Sweeeet! WordPress.org bought ad space on my laptop!

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, business, emacs, entrepreneurship, geek, idea, laptop, marketing

Remember my crazy idea to sell advertising space on my laptop during BarCampEarthToronto? Well, Matt Mullenweg of WordPress.org – *WORDPRESS.ORG!* My favorite blogging platform! (Okay, my *second-favorite* – nothing beats Emacs Planner)

!!

They are *uber*cool. Another thing I really, really, really, really like. Whenever I need to set up a blog for someone else, the very first thing I do is download the latest version of WordPress, unpack it, and set it up. I like it a lot.

So here’s what’s going to happen. I am going to make the logos for Orange & Bronze and WordPress.org as large as I can. I don’t mind potentially wasting space. It’ll be a *fantastic* story.

I’ll blog more from BarCamp tomorrow, and I’ll post my D*I*Y tutorial on Sunday. =) Or today, if I feel particularly diligent…

Anyway. WordPress.org. They are totally, totally cool.

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Livening up your laptop lid: self-adhesive reusable surface

August 26, 2006 - Categories: laptop, marketing

All you need to transform your laptop lid into a reusable surface
where you can display your latest doodles are: one photo album with
self-adhesive pages, a knife, and double-sided tape. Get a photo album
that uses plastic and a sticky(ish) surface. Life is easier and neater
if the strip that keeps the plastic attached to the book is on the
outside edge. You’ll see what I mean.

Step 1. Position the laptop face-down on one page of the photo album
so that the strip that keeps the plastic attached to the book is along
the top edge of the laptop lid. Trace laptop outline onto one page of
the photo album. (If you feel particularly diligent, you can measure
it instead.)

Step 2. Cut the photo album page to size. Trim a bit off the bottom
part to avoid hitting the laptop hinge.

Step 3. Attach double-sided adhesive tape to the laptop.

Step 4. Mount photo album piece on laptop.

Step 5. Peel back plastic and put in stuff.

I like this approach because it doesn’t require me to bring any
special supplies in order to add to the display. For example, I can
add fortunes from fortune cookies, Post-it notes, or even business
cards.

This is handy for my wild idea about selling advertising on laptop. This laptop hack’s primarily about creatively expressing yourself, though. =)

Good stuff.

I came up with a terrific plan B: a whiteboard with a plastic
protector to keep it from being erased in one’s backpack. That one’s
pretty cool, too. I’ll blog about it more on Sunday, Aug 27. In the
meantime… enjoy!

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BarCampEarthToronto: Networking for Introverts

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, connecting

I ran a terrific session on networking for introverts at BarCampEarthToronto. I shared a few stories about blogging and conversation-starting pins, and then asked people to save me from having to talk for an entire hour by myself. People shared tips and asked questions, and we had a wonderful, wonderful conversation.

We talked about why connecting with people is important: it opens up
new possibilities and helps us learn more about ourselves. People
shared many tips for how to network, from initiating conversations to
developing friendships.

One of the useful tips I heard was to practice talking to people by
asking strangers for the time or for directions to a place. Hmm, might
try that. Another was to physically open the circle of conversation in
order to invite people in. Yet another was to keep track of people’s
interests and wants, and this gives you an excuse to get back in touch
with them.

Someone suggested using breaks to invite more introverts into the
conversation. I’ll facilitate the next session better. It was a great
session! =)

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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BarCampEarthToronto: Search engine optimization

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, marketing

@BarCampEarthToronto: Search engine optimization

I’m learning a lot from the session. Some points:

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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Win-win-win: The power of asking

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, marketing

The problem with conferences is that I always, always run into
scheduling conflicts. I really, really wanted to go to the two talks
about communities, the two talks about culture, one talk about
perception, and of course I have another session to run on information
overload.

Six sessions, three time slots. Aiyah. You don’t need a CS degree to
know that’s a problem.

So I convinced Mike and Quinn to merge their talks on culture. Then I
looked for the people responsible for the meta-community talk and
asked if they could merge with Ryan’s talk about building communities.
They agreed!

I couldn’t merge with Mike’s talk – thematically different, and I’d
probably run a long conversation – but hey, that was a great win. All
the people who merged said it would be a good idea because they needed
less than an hour. Everyone else gets a nice panel. And I learned that
if you ask, people will probably say yes.

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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Building a community

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, marketing

@BarCampEarthToronto: Search engine optimization

Terrific idea! Ryan McKegney identified the top 1% in his RedFlagDeals.com community, rewarded them with stickers and other stuff, and encouraged them to evangelize. Great! Also, you have another 1% who want to get more involved. As for the 1% who are jerks: do things in an open and fair way. Also, keep in mind that there’s a negative response bias in large online communities. People who disagree with something will be the loudest. Takeaway: You set the tone for the site, because you are such an integral part of the community.

Random notes:
Alan Hietala talked about bridging multiple communities in World of Warcraft. Event planning for MMORPG. Heatware – independent reputation system. Jason: no one makes the first post, so you seed.. but dependency? .. Also, start with existing communities.

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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Starting your own business

August 26, 2006 - Categories: barcamp, marketing

@BarCampEarthToronto, Brooke Gordon, serial entrepreneur

Know what your value is. Know what your customer looks like. Create
scenarios. Find out what a typical customer looks like, so you can
tell other people what you look like. Make sure that you get involved
in networking. Get those government resources.

Dana: Clients.

Laptop ads sponsored by: Orange & Bronze and http://www.wordpress.org

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