GPS Has Made Society Dumber

gps-brain-fryThe evolution of man(woman)-kind has regressed as technology continues progress. Specific individuals determination to progress society’s convenience  factor will ultimately dwarf future generations ability to process and complete simple tasks. My generation is a perfect case and point: Calculators have made my generation basic math degenerates. While incredibly convenient, they have made younger generations lazy. GPS systems, society’s latest and greatest convenient enhancement, stands to make future generations directionally and street sense challenged. Continue reading

New Year’s Goals

new-years-goalsI’m nearly 2 weeks late, but for the sake of putting thoughts and ideas to paper I find it necessary to write and disclose my New Year’s Resolutions Goals. After discussions with many people I decided goals was the preferred word compared to resolutions. Resolutions is centered towards correcting your mistakes, while goals is centered on your accomplishments. A different state of mind can often lead to a different outcome. I accomplished quite a bit during this past year, a key year, in my very short lifespan. I graduated from Portland State University with a double major in Marketing & Advertising, I secured a job coming straight out of college, I ran my first ever marathon, I put on 10 lbs. of ‘upper body mass’ on, and I successfully completed my first year refereeing college basketball. All goals I set and all goals accomplished. Every year’s a pivotal year, but I have some lofty goals in several different areas set for 2010.

Health & Wellness

Last year my goals were set on running a marathon while ‘getting huge’. They were pretty counteractive, but in the end both were accomplished. I’m STILL feeling the ill effects, nearly three months later, from running the marathon. As a result, I’ve decided 2010 is NOT the year to try and beat my time. I do plan to run a marathon again, someday, but I need a more consistent program without having injury cycles every 2 weeks. My running goals for this year are to participate, at 100% health, in Hood to Coast, for my 4th consecutive year, and run at least one half-marathon. If I can end the running season at full strength, heading into basketball season, I will call 2010 a success in the running department. On the lifting side, I want to continue to progress towards my goal of not physically looking like an ‘8 year old girl’ while gaining more functional strength. I think the proof is in the pudding and simply making the decision to lift three days a week every week, for the past two years (I’ve only missed about 7 days total in that span), has been the true testament to my results and success.

Knowledge

I’ve had a bit of a relapse since I graduated and found myself not having my normal curious nature since birth. This needs to change or I will become bored and a trouble maker just like when my mother started me in school a year early. I want to learn and expand my computer skills in the areas of web design, graphic design, and coding. I’ve always been a computer nerd, but currently have some extra time to actually dedicate to this mission. I specifically want to re-design this website and create at least one additional personal web project. This website has unfortunately become stale over the past six months because of the subject constraints. I enjoy working and learning about social media, but it’s not something that I can write about every single day. I became an exponentially better writer over the past year simply by going through the exercise of writing a blog post on a daily basis. I need to make it easier to write on a daily basis. By re-designing the website, and blog, it will open up my abilities to write on any subject I desire. My website re-design will also give me th opportunity to brand myself professionally. Look for the re-design to be released sometime in May if not sooner.

In addition, to the computer based knowledge I want to get back into the regular routine of reading. Not just blogs, but actual books. I believe when I was 12 years old and reading on a regular basis I was much smarter than I am today. The computer and the calculator have been the rebirth and death of me all at the same time. I was a math genius until someone said I needed to buy a TI-83 calculator and I use to love reading books until the Internet was born. My mission is to read at least two non-technical books per month.

Personal Skills

Like my knowledge, I feel my lack of curiosity has stunted my growth as a person over the past few years. I’ve become a shut in of sorts and have the social skills of a Hobbit. I’m over exaggerating a bit, but I do feel the need to get out of my comfort zone and leave the nest more than I ever have before. I’m still committed to my goal of buying a house, but I doubt that will be accomplished by my 23rd birthday. Instead, I want to get to know Portland better. I finally have a car and need to take advantage of this transportation source to get out. My mission is to make a more concerted effort to get out and see the Portland nightlife. I’ve met so many great new people during the past few weeks that it would be a personal injustice to not continue the trend into the warmer months.

In addition, to seeing Portland’s nightlife is my desire to increase my cooking skills. I can make the staples for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I’m not going to wow a date with my cuisine’s flavor. My grandfather has always been curious in the kitchen and I feel it’s time the torch was passed to me. So get ready mom, a few more kitchen disastrous are on their way!

Conclusion

My efforts to return to my habits of high school, being as well rounded as possible, will help ignite my curiosity and peak my intelligence. In the words of Blink 182, “Nobody likes you when your 23” so why not do what I want to, when I want to, and how I want to while I still can.

Could Experience & Social Media Replace an MBA?

social-media-mbaWith the economy being in shambles more and more recent graduates are turning towards more education to help them on the job-front. University officials were correct in predicting that business professionals, and recent college graduates, would turn to an MBA program to solidify job security.  Dr. Randall S. Hansen has a great article on, “Is an MBA is worth it?” that makes me wonder if all that time an effort is really worth it? It depends on the industry you’re in, what you want to do, and how the market will respond to that extra piece of paper you’ve obtained. In the case of a marketing professional, I’m ready to debate that on the job training and the utilization of social media could replace an MBA.

First lets analyze an MBA and the advantages it could bring you. About 80 percent of business executives say a graduate degree is important to reach senior management within a company. An MBA could also give you negotiation leverage on job title and salary. Overall you’ll sharpen your communication skills, analytical skills, quantitative skills, and have a further understanding of how business should be run.

Of course for all of that knowledge you’ll be spending at least $40,000 a year and close to $100,000 for a two-year MBA program. Other factors on your MBA ROI will be if you’re staying at the same company, the amount of relevant experience you have, the industry you’re going into, the type of job you’re seeking, and the reputation of the school you attended.


graduate-school

Now I’m poking fun at graduate students with this photo, but in all seriousness I think there’s some validity to being able to utilize social media to garner the same skills an MBA would get you.

With an MBA you’ll be reading over case studys and examples of businesses that failed and businesses that were successful. Your job is to determine what actions caused them to reach their final destination and what could have been done differently to garner a more favorable outcome. Lets bring in Twitter to counter this example. Thousands of intelligent businessmen and women are tweeting while thousands more are tweeting about what these individuals are doing. By doing some legwork you could structure your own curriculum while using tweets and Twitter posted articles as your sources. It also gives you the opportunity to talk and ask questions directly to the source instead of it being in a piece of literature with a professor guiding you. Next we have the infamous lectures that you may relish or sleep through depending on your viewpoint. Lets have YouTube enter for this example. Now I haven’t found specific class lectures posted,which is a great idea, but I have found several lectures like Bill Gates address to Harvard University. If video is truly on the rise I would expect having the capabilities to find a lecture on any subject matter that you desire to fulfill the void from not being an MBA student. Last, but certainly not least, are these things called books. For example there’s the book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School: Notes From A Street-Smart Executive. Now of course I’d be naive to think that by simply reading this book, watching a few videos, and tweeting could suffice what an MBA does. However, if you actually built out a curriculum, crafted your subject matter, and ensured you were retaining your knowledge I think you’d have a pretty good argument.

I’m by no means putting down anyone who’s currently, or has been through, an MBA program. I believe for every rectangle there’s a trapezoid that could accomplish the same thing. A different perspective and methodology could help you get the same skill set and information that you would through an MBA. The steps I laid out would have to be in conjunction with work experience. I think that an MBA can get you in the door, but your ability to solve problems directly affecting the business can only be accomplished through physical working experience. By supplementing an MBA with the use of concentrated social media use, we will see a new bread of executives that wont be intimidated by the growth of technology.

Most Overused Word In Sports: Athlete

athlete

I sat watching College Football Saturday and kept hearing the same phrase used over and over again, “he’s an incredible athlete.” Sports announcers have always used colorful references and analogies to help paint an entertaining picture for sports fans. If you you can jump out of the gym and dunk you’re the next Michael Jordan. If you can run like the speed of light and jump like a gazelle you’re the next Jesse Owens. There will forever be inflated comparisons and expectations in sports, but one phrase I would like to see used sparingly is the term athlete.


World Class Athlete

World Class Athlete


As a marathoner, I can appreciate the time, dedication, and perseverance it takes to be a world class runner. Steve Prefontaine is a living legend here in Oregon, and if you go to the University of Oregon or Coos Bay you might as well call it Steve’s Shrine. I think one of the greatest signs of Prefontaine’s athletic ability was his VO2 max, a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use. It is a measurable level of exercise intensity that an athlete’s consumption of oxygen reaches causing a plateau that cannot be increased. Prefontaine’s VO2 max was 84.4 while another world class athlete, Lance Armstrong, has a VO2 max of 84.0.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines an athlete as:

a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina

I wont get into the debate of what is considered a sport or not, to determine who’s an athlete, but I will debate that we take this term too far.

Maybe it’s because I’m an avid College Football fan, but weekend in and weekend out we have sports announcers tagging players with the term athlete. An offensive lineman who gets burned time after time is an athlete, but he’s just going up against better competition. A linebacker who has a 100 yard interception for a touchdown needs oxygen to resuscitate themselves, but is an athlete. A quarterback who couldn’t run three yards for a first down to save his life is an athlete because he can fling the ball 50 yards for a touchdown.
I’ll probably never be able to bench 300 pounds, run a sub 4:00 mile, or jump 40 inches, but I still consider myself an athlete. The problem I have with the term athelte is we’re lumping a 6’8” 350 lbs lineman and a 5’8” 150 lbs runner together.

Another factor in the definition of athlete, or athletic movement, is age. 40 years old in basketball, football, or baseball is considered old and over the hill while in golf we put them in the ‘Senior Tour’. If you go to any local running events you’ll find the over 40 categories some of the most competitive at the event. I read about marathoners in their 90’s all the time and just pray that I can walk at that age. I think it’s a disservice to the ‘Masters’ division of sports to say they are not an athlete like a 20 year old.

If it’s not fair to say over 40 can’t be an athlete, it’s not fair to say someone overweight can’t be an athlete, and it’s not fair to say someone who can’t run isn’t an athlete then what is the true politically correct definition of an athlete? Age, flexibility, and VO2 Max are only factors in the degree of athlete you can become. The gray area has become too dark and I believe it’s time someone clear things up.

Does Anyone Care About Boxing Anymore?

boxing
This weekend Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will square off against each other for the World Welterweight Championship. For Filipinos and Puerto Ricans this fight is about country pride and bragging rights. For general boxing fans it could be an absolute war. But for the general sports world does it mean anything?

Growing up, every weekend I would go down and spend the weekend with my Grandparents. My Grandfather is a huge boxing fan and as a result I would stay up and watch Friday Night Fights, HBO’s Boxing After Dark, and any other fight that was on during the weekend. I’m a boxing fan thanks to my Grandfather, but also because I can appreciate the training, skill, and intestinal fortitude it takes to box the hell out of another person.

At the same time I took Karate until Basketball and Soccer became my sporting passion. My favorite thing to do in Karate was spar. I remember the internal Dojo competition we had when I had to go up against one of the girls. I gave her a roundhouse kick to the head, knocking her down, and thus disqualifying me with a flurry of tears. My one and only big competition I did was the Rose City Nationals in Portland Oregon. All three-foot 50 pounds of me dripping wet entered my favorite event, sparring. My mother had to go buy me head gear and I had to borrow gloves and boots because I didn’t own any of the equipment. A few hours later I kicked and punched my way to winning the Peewee sparring championship.


1st Place in Sparring at the Rose City Nationals August 13, 1994

1st Place in Sparring at the Rose City Nationals August 13, 1994



It’s still the main piece on my athletic award box shelf in my room, yet I’ve never had the desire to get back into it.

I’ve watched the UFC and MMA before and it flat out doesn’t interest me. Honestly, I find the majority of MMA fights boring to pieces while the lucky few are over in less than a minute. Yet for whatever reason, maybe it’s simply marketing, Dana White has made UFC relevant and boxing less relevant with each passing year.

Floyd Mayweather Jr., in my opinion, is one of the greatest athletes in the world. He is pound for pound the best boxer in the world, yet MMA fans probably have no idea who he is. Last time I checked, Boxing is an Olympic sport and MMA is not. Boxers can make ten times the amount of money an MMA fighter can make. Boxing is the essence of survival.

Without any studies, or scientific evidence to back up my conclusions, I’m left simply to believe that it’s a generational thing. Earlier generations like simplicity, challenges, and delayed gratification. Later generations like multitasking, anything that makes life easier, and they want everything instantly. Now I can’t say I’m not a fan of innovation and I do appreciate the resources technological advancements have given us, but I have an old school mentality for the fact I appreciate the journey as much as the result. While I may want everything now I understand that time matures wine and people. Which is also why I believe that boxing is dying and MMA is florishing.

Boxing can go for 12 rounds, in Championship fights, while MMA is only five rounds. Boxing has a southpaw or righty, while MMA has potentially 12 different styles. Boxing is about tactfully knocking out your opponent, while MMA is about knocking your opponent into oblivion as fast as possible.

It saddens me to see Boxing slowly dying, but just like the Gameboy all good things eventually come to an end.

What The Internet Can’t Replicate From TV

internet-advertisment-on-tvInternet advertising is quickly becoming the method of choice to market your business and products. The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported in March that Internet advertising grew by 10% over the past year, making it the third largest ad media category behind TV and newspapers. The tough economy caused a slight drop in ad revenues, but Internet ad revenue was still $10.9 Billion for the first half of 2009. Internet advertising is without a doubt the most measurable form of advertisement to date. However, I still don’t believe it can elicit the same emotional ties to a product or company that TV advertisement can. Why isn’t Internet advertising and TV advertising being combined more often to garner the best results possible?

To start, lets do an exercise by listening to a song and describing the emotions it evokes. We will use the theme of Peter from Peter and the Wolf.


peter-and-the-wolf

What emotions does this music evoke for you? How about when we combine the music with a product? Yes, Coca-Cola took the same music from one of my favorite childhood movies and used it in one of their Superbowl TV commercials this past year.




Banner ads, image ads, and SEO cannot replicate what Coca-Cola did on TV. They may help a searcher find Coca-Cola’s website easier, but they don’t have the ability to cause the same degree of emotional reaction that TV dose.


I think logical smart people can all agree on these points. My question to these same people is then why isn’t Google TV ads, Rich Media, or Digital Video online advertisement going through the roof?

 
FH 2009
FH 2008
Search
47% ($5,148)
44% ($5,064)
Display Related:
34% ($3,759)
33%($3,799)
    -Banner Ads
22%($2,394)
21%($2,418)
    -Rich Media
7% ($704)
7%($806)
    -Digital Video
4%($477)
3%($345))
    -Sponsorship
2% ($184)
2% ($230)
Classifieds
10% ($1,116)
14% ($1,611)
Referrals/Lead Generation
7% ($728)
7% ($806)
E-mail
1% ($149)
2% ($230)

Source: www.iab.net




How can it be that online classified advertisement has seen the greatest source of growth over the past year out of all the different formats of online advertisement? I’m not an expert on media buying, but I do understand that the more interactive the advertisement the more costly it is. A black and white print ad is cheaper than a color print ad, and a text link is cheaper than an image link. That being said, why aren’t more people taking Google up on its offer to have video media displayed on various networks?




Cost will always be a deciding factor for how to market or advertise your products. That’s why large companies like Anheuser-Busch will dominate the TV waves while your local boutique shops can only afford an optimized website. ROI has always been challenging to prove for Radio, TV, and Print, but with the tools Google offers you don’t have that excuse anymore.


So what are the reasons Google TV or video advertisement haven’t blow up yet? When will we see emotionally ladened advertisement combine it’s powers and flex its power on the TV waves through Internet advertisement? If the Interactive Advertising Bureau numbers are any indication, it may be further out than many people think.

Top 5 Sites to Visit When Bored at Work

Overwhelmed Office WorkerWe all have time at work when things are moving a little slow. You might have a slow season, week, day, or maybe just an hour where there’s not much to do. Getting ahead on your work sometimes just isn’t an option. If we all worked eight hours a day, 100% dedicated to work, we’d eventually go insane. If you have access to a computer, or work from a computer, then the Internet is your gateway to remaining sane. I’ve composed my top five sites to visit when work is moving a little slow.

NOTE: Work productivity may increase with the use of one or more of these sites.

Craigslist

If you checked my Mother’s Internet history you would find Craigslist if the #1 visited site by a mile. While I’m not selling belongings, bartering services, or offering carpool rides I do find myself visiting Cragslist for my own personal entertainment. If you haven’t discovered Craigslist’s Best-of section you are missing out on a gold mind of material. These are posts that have been flagged by visitors that deserve to be recognized. An example would be a gem like this:

somewhere to PARK my CAR at NIGHT

Date: 2009-11-10, 9:08PM
my girlfriend and dog and I live in our car
we normally drive up into the forest every night to sleep
but its starting to cost us too much money to drive up there every night
and its colder up there
looking for a driveway in which to park my car at night
must be ok with me peeing in your yard (discreetly)

If you find similar posts please flag it for Craigslist Best-Of and pass it on to the rest of us. With everyone’s help we can filter through the garbage posts and find the real gems waiting for us in the Best-of section.

Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon is a social media tool that many people use as a tactical way to increase traffic to their website or linkbait creation. For the non-social media user it’s a great way to find the best websites on the web. Stumbleupon has a top rated page too, but I prefer to go on my own stumbling adventures.


stumbleupon-site

A result from my own stumbling

You pick the criteria and categories of sites you want to stumble and the algorithm then takes control. Each site you visit you can rate with a thumbs up or down to enhance the results. After playing around the with site you should be optimized and ready for those long winter afternoons.

Twitter

I use Twitter for a multitude of reasons, but I’ve found it’s a great way to break up the day. If you’re looking for basic ways to use Twitter you can read my post on Twitter Strategy.


Who you follow really depends on what your interests are. I enjoy sports so I follow people like ESPN, Chad Ochocinco, Andy Roddick, Lance Armstrong, and John Daly just to name a few. I recommend getting an application like Tweetdeck, or Tweet-r for Mac users, and then going to Twellow to find people that fit your interests. You don’t need to have a Twitter account to view others tweets, but you do if you want to respond and interact with them.


The one Twitter user that I recommend everyone follow, for the purposes of spicing things up at work, is Shitmydadsays. A 29-year old male who lives with his 73-year old father tweets his daily conversations with his father.

“That woman was sexy…Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won’t screw you, don’t do it for them.”

I’ve been trying to convince my mother that we should set up an account for the things she says on a daily basis, but so far she has been unwilling to cooperate.

Addicting Games

Addicting Games.com should be visited with the understanding that you will be on this site for a significant amount of time. The adage of, “I wont get addicted, I’m not a gamer,” is a bunch of Bologna. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 13-year old kid playing hooky from school or a VP of Business Development. If you go there you will play games.


addicting-games

The ‘What’s Hot‘ page is a great place to start or you can search via category. Addicting Games.com is great because it only uses one window, it doesn’t require you download any software, you can be playing games in a matter of seconds, and it’s completely discrete! With a simple close of the tab you can get back to work without your boss ever knowing you’ve spent the past 3 hours killing zombies.

Schadenfreude

The last category of sites to visit when you’re bored I’ve titled Schadenfreude. It’s a collection of four of my favorite sites that feature either photos or posts by people that will simply make you laugh.


Look at That Fucking Hipster – Maybe it’s because I live in Portland Oregon, but I’ve seen way too many people walking around downtown like this. This site is a collection of photos with individuals dressed as hipsters.


look-at-that-fucking-hipster

“Okay, seriously. Not funny. Who deflated my dog?”


F My Life – One of the first sites that I came across featuring people posting their own personal mis-happenings and having the general public vote on how bad your life really is.

Today, my first girlfriend of over 3 years left me for another guy. She said she’s looking for someone who can financially provide for her in the future. The dude owns a T-Mobile kiosk. I’m going to medical school. FML

People of Walmart – I could spend hours upon hours on this site looking at all the photos posted. It’s truly amazing what some people will wear to go out shopping.


Wow, nothing says “I know how to make friends” like a shirt that incorporates computers AND farting! Ohio

Wow, nothing says “I know how to make friends” like a shirt that incorporates computers AND farting! Ohio



My Drunk Texts.com – This is a little bit of a knock-off of Fmylife.com, but it’s a little more situational. Who hasn’t sent a drunk text they wish they could go back in time and not send? Another great perk of the site is you can create merchandise with your favorite quote from the site on it. A great way to blackmail your buddy who sent you this:

(330): So, last night. You got into your closet, and shut the doors. And then you opened the doors, walked out, said you were in Narnia and that it was cold. You grabbed your coat and went back in..

If you have any sites that didn’t make the cut just send them in a comment and I’ll be sure to put them up.

Google Caffeine Coming To An Engine Near You

google-caffineMashable initially reported in August about Google’s secret new search project called Google Caffeine. Reports are now showing that Google has completed their testing period and will be releasing the project in the immediate future. Of course, like any Google project, it will be in beta and will be released incrementally to the public. So what does that mean for the average user of the Internet? Quite frankly, nothing that you’ll be able to notice.

Google Caffeine will not replace Google or force the company to change its logo. This is simply an advancement on the back-end of the search engine. The speed and relevancy of the search results will change drastically. Google is moving towards more real time search and making tweaks to its search algorithm. This means your search results will rely more heavily on the keywords you use.  A greater index size will be another result of the changes Google is making. In layman’s terms that means there will be more results for every search which will hopefully lead to more accurate and relevant search results. I also predict that Google’s Social Search will eventually be integrated into the Google Caffeine algorithm in attempt to give users as much power and control over their results as possible.

These changes will have a profound effect on how SEO professionals go about trying to optimize their client’s websites. They will have to find new ways to exploit Google and its algorithm just like  they had to do when MSN Live moved over to Bing. In the end, Google Caffeine will move closer to Google’s ultimate goal of providing the best search results possible for any and every user.

UPDATE: Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, has reported the full Google Caffeine will roll out after the holidays.

Referees Support The Cause With Uniforms

refereeReferees are criticized on a game to game basis, but one thing is clear, you cannot criticize the support they have shown of late. For every uniform that’s updated with poor taste (i.e. NFL Referees uniforms) an alteration is made in support of a cause (i.e. Pac-10 Referees prostate cancer support sleeve). There are several websites on the net that look at uniforms like the uniform obsessive Paul Lukas, but I haven’t found anyone examining exclusively what the referees are wearing. Below is a look at some of the referee uniform alterations should have been kept off the field along with the alterations that should be applauded.

NFL Referee Uniforms


nfl-orange-referee-uniform

I realize that we’re paying tribute to the old AFL Referees, but some things were better left in the past. As if the NFL Referees don’t have a hard enough time convincing coaches, players. and fans their credible. The new orange on white NFL Referee uniforms make me cringe every time I see them.

Enough with the bad. Lets take a look at some of the causes referees are supporting with their uniforms.

Pac-10 Referees Support Prostate Cancer Awareness


pac-10-referees-blue-sleeve

Yes that blue shooter sleeve that the Pac-10 Referees wore this weekend was to show their support for prostate cancer awareness. This was done exclusively by the Pac-10 this weekend and was worn by the crews on all five of the Pac-10 conference games this Saturday.

Women’s Basketball Referees Support Breast Cancer Awareness


pink-whistle-referees

Those pink whistles being worn by Women’s Basketball Referees is to show their support for breast cancer awareness.

MLB Umpires Support Breast Cancer Awareness Too


mlb-umpire-pink-wristbands

Just like the Women’s Basketball Referees wearing their pink whistles, MLB Umpires have worn the pink wristbands for breast cancer awareness and also for Mother’s Day.

MLB Umpires Support Fathers on Fathers Day


mlb-umpire-blue-wristbands

Initially I thought the blue wristbands were worn to show support for prostate cancer also, or maybe Viagra was a sponsor for a day. Instead the blue wristbands were worn by MLB Umpires in support of Father’s Day.