Back offline

I think I’m going to fold the computer tent for most or all of the rest of the day. I’m going to trade the iBook for the Marantz and do interviews around with people for the balance of the afternoon. Too much gear and you become your own sherpa, and that ain’t fun. Later, taters.

Musicians Panel at PME




Musicians Panel at PME

Originally uploaded by evilgenius.

CC Chapman is always super supportive of me, and has been at every talk I’ve ever done here so it seems only reasonable to return the favor. This panel is about musicians promoting via podcasts. One of the things I talked about yesterday as a power of podcast was the advocacy of musicians that you yourself love. My buddy Butler is an anarchist of this point, but I prefer the hands on approach of going band by band asking for permission. It began as a bug, but now it seems like a feature.

Crazy Times

It’s been a nonstop whirlwind since I got up yesterday, and I hadn’t even opened the laptop in the almost 24 hours since the talk. I did a panel with Ray Slakinski at the Podango booth, I met up with Susan Kitchens and we hung out for a while. I had long political talks about voter turnout and the politics of Northern Ireland at various points inside of party situations, kind of bringing the vibe down but what the hey. I can barely keep up with the many people I’ve met for the first time, renewed my acquaintance with or just said hi to and conversed with when neither of us knew who the other was. Today I’m shlepping the Marantz around and doing pickup interviews. That should be fun.

I should note that the gift shop/sundries shop in the Ontario Marriot has the most reasonably priced toiletries of any such store I’ve ever seen. I forgot my saline solution in my travel bag, and it was cheaper there than if you buy it at the Piggly Wiggly, rather than being the traditional $17 of the “where else are you going to go?” hotel store model. Thanks!

T Minus 20

In the room, about 20 minutes before the talk is to begin. It’s not quite the brown trousers experience of last year, but it is still a pretty large room and the basic human fear of this stuff is hard to suppress. Hopefully when the adrenaline rush kicks in, I’ll open mouth, deploy index cards, ???????, then the magic happens.

People I Hate While Travelling

  • The fidgety lean-backer who not only does everything they can to stick their headrest in your face, the they keep doing it and wiggle around the entire flight.
  • The noisy friends who are sitting apart. We all got it, you know each other yet you are on different rows. Spare us all the performance art. Your in-jokes don’t get any funny the louder you bellow them.
  • The AC plug hogs. Here in Hartsfield, the first eight wall plugs I found all had both a laptop plus a cellphone charger plugged in. If you had a USB phone charger, you could get the job done with only occupying a single plug. From here on out, I’m throwing a little cube tap in my backpack when I travel. I’m sitting two gates away from mine so I could plug up my computer.
  • The salmon person who in the midst of a swift moving crowd decides to come to a dead stop. Extra points if you do it right in front of a guy pushing a cart loaded full of heavy stuff. I saw an old man come this close to getting wiped out, and a dude almost throw his back out trying to stop the cart short of this oblivious jackass.
  • Here’s one that just happened ten seconds ago: a guy walked by and dropped a piece of paper covered with handwritten notes out of his pocket. Several flight attendants tried to get his attention as he walked by them. When he got to me I flagged him down and when I did he was a complete dick. Even as I was trying to point his attention to his own stuff lying on the ground, he was blowing me off and giving me the skunk eye for bothering him. He made me wish I had just thrown his crap away. If there is one bad way to be in this life, it’s being the kind of person that makes others regret doing you favors.

Information Overload

The biggest bit of stress I have out of the whole Podcast Expo is remembering people. I’ve talked to so many people, met so many last year, received so many comments and audio bits and logos over the last few weeks. If I meet you and don’t immediately recognize your name, or the name of your show or your face or the fact that we have met before, please don’t hate me. My memory is like a sieve and I have had my capacity to remember stuff swamped with an order of magnitude over what I can assimilate. I’m not a dick, I swear, just overwhelmed.

The Journey Begins

I’m sitting at the gate at MYR. Because I’m a travel spaz, I went ahead and got here plenty early and decided to chill. Since there is free wifi at the gate, it made more sense to pack and check in several hours before the flight left than to answer email up until time to leave. I’m just answering the email here. I’m bringing audio equipment, and I figured I’d get the hand search of my carry-on. I ain’t checking the Marantz MPD 670. I don’t trust the TSA and the baggage handlers that much. The surprise is not that I got the hand search this time, but that I didn’t last year either direction. I have a tackle box full of wires and screwdrivers and such. If I saw this on the xray, I’d sure as hell hand search it.

I’ll be laying over in the ATL for a few hours, and then flying Hartsfield to Ontario. It would really be odd if there weren’t any podcasters on this particular flight, so I’m trying to think of something to bring them out of the woodwork. If I had thought ahead, I’d have worn a more podcasty shirt. I’ll think of something between here and there. Last year, Chuck Tomasi was on my connection from wherever (Cincinnati?) to Ontario. Who will it be this time? With any luck, it will either be someone I know by sight or that knows me by sight.

When I land, I’ll be going straight from the airport to the hotel to check in and then across the street to the speaker’s reception. I’m going to work on the talk more in the 10 hours before I get to Ontario. Dear Bob, I hope that I feel like it is done by then. If not, I might nip back to the room for a little while this evening to work on it. Either way, I’ll spend a little time in the hotel bar hanging out and shmoozing. Look for me there if you can.

I’m excited, about 1/100th as nervous as I was last year about the talk, and ready to have a good, enlightening, networky, fun, and uplifting time. See you there!

Ho Ho Ho

Joy of Tech has a funny cartoon about Apple’s newest round of absurd lawsuits. I kind of like this. Apple has bugged me in relation to podcasting from the day they rolled out their original highly broken support in iTunes. Screw them.

Not So Impromptu BBQ




Podcast Expo EOF BBQ

Originally uploaded by Kreg.

Last year, one of the great things about PME last year was the impromptu BBQ on Saturday night. Susan Kitchens my partner in crime will probably not be there this year. I’ve had a generous offer from the guys at Backbeat Media to pay for the food if we want to do it again. Considering that we pulled it together in about 2 hours last year scrounging up all the supplies and such on the spot if we actually planned it for, like, a day or three ahead it should really be something.

Is someone going to be there with a car who is willing to drive with me a few miles to Rancho Cucamonga early Saturday evening? If you’d like to attend and eat some food Saturday night, please leave an RSVP as a comment. If you’re willing to drive for the food or otherwise help with setting it up, mention that in the comment too.

Update: This post makes it sound like I’m still considering whether or not to do this. There will be an event at the Marriott poolside at 7 PM on Saturday. Exactly how big and involved depends on the feedback, but one way or another we’ll make this happen. If you want to volunteer to bring beverages in non-glass container, that would also be highly appreciated.

EGC Clambake For September 25, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 25, 2006.

I play a song from the upcoming Michelle Malone album; I discuss my session at PME and give the framework for what the talk will be; I play a song by the late great Nikki Sudden; I talk about Jon Kincaid and play a snippet from his show in which he mentions me; I discuss my problems with the Podcast Circle Jerk; I play a snippet from Smart City about balance in work and life; I mention the passing of writer John M. Ford and play a sad Brian Jonestown Massacre song; goodbye;

Today’s egregious factual mistake: Jon Kincaid’s heart attack was in 2004, not 1994.

You can subscribe to this feed via RSS.

To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:

PlayPlay

WWJB

I’m in a Holiday Inn, the same one that is currently housing many attendees of a regional Southern Baptist convention. Oddly enough, the amount of noise created by the Baptists is about equal to what you’d expect from spring breakers. They have no problem shouting to one another from opposite ends of the hall at midnight or carrying on conversations at the top of their lungs right outside your door. Rather than closing the door gently they let that automatic hydraulic arm slam it. Even at this moment, about every 30 seconds I hear “SLAM” somewhere on this floor. It sounds like the Fourth of July. Apparently, one of the things that happened at the convention is that they voted to suspend the golden rule.

Pros and Cons

I’ve had to decline a heartbreaking number of invitations to come to conventions and/or conferences this year. In several cases, I was invited to speak or lead sessions and I just couldn’t do it. Being in a job situation without vacation contributed a lot, where I would have to not only pay my way plus lose several days pay. Being exhausted for a big chunk of the early part of the year also didn’t help, which led to me skipping some things that I could have driven to. Here’s a tally of things I have said no to, every one of which I wanted to attend:

That’s the downside. Here’s the upside: in the latter half of the year with a new lease on life, a new work situation, vacation days and a little more breathing room I’ll be attending more events.

Podcast Expo y’all know about. Converge South was a big blast last time. It’s where I met Amanda Congdon and Mario Librandi, first met Dan Conover and Janet Edens in person, got to hang with Ed Cone and buy Dave Winer breakfast right after he sold Weblogs.com. My video of the event is still out there. I expect to have a good time and will try to make a point to meet and say hi to Elizabeth Edwards, renew acquantances with the Greensboro blogging contingent, eat my body weight in BBQ at Hoggard’s house and generally pass a good time.

I’m also looking very forward to going to Orycon and participating in the programming. I hope to carry the Marantz with me and interview writers and other people there like a banshee the whole time I’m out there. I went to almost every Orycon when I lived out there, and I’ve returned for a few since. When I was telecommuting to Portland, I made it a point to schedule a work trip that coincided with the con (free flight for me). I’ve been back for one on my own dime, but this is the first in a few years. I’m happy to see that they’ve moved the con from Jantzen Beach to downtown. Jantzen Beach is nice and all, but it was a huge drag to try to do anything in downtown like go to Powell’s – particularly if you didn’t have a car. Since they have this great bustling and walkable downtown, it sucked to not be able to take advantage of it. Now you get it both – hang out at the con at the riverfront and also walk across the Morrison Street bridge to Montage (if it is still open), and so forth. I might even try to renew my favorite lunch jaunt – a bus ride down Burnside to Future Fantasy and gyros at Foti’s (again, if they are still open.) I used to do that every week or two and I miss it. Best of all, with any luck I get to see old friends like Jonny X, Mark Bourne, Mary Rosenblum and the whole PDX crowd.

So, all in all I’m looking forward to working a little more enjoyment and travel back in the mix. Doing nothing but working in your home office 70 hours a week is fun and all, but getting out and about and spending time with my friends and internet acquantiances is good. If you see me out and about, come talk to me!

Update: Added dates. Let’s hang out, PDX folks!

Send Me Your Logos and URLS, You Devoted Amateurs

Just to clarify even more, you people who podcast for the love of it, send me your logo to dslusher@gmail.com if you have one, an URL to your web page if you don’t. If you do multiple shows and they all fit that standard, send me all of them. If you do a show for your employer that you get paid for, and a personal amateur podcast on your own time – send me the logo or the URL for the amateur one. Don’t procrastinate, kids, do it now because I got a late jump on this – having only decided to do this a few days ago. Be better than me, don’t delay.

To reiterate, my talk is Friday September 29th in room 200ABC at 10:30 AM. I hadn’t noticed this before, but I get to open this track. I hope to do what I can to set a tone for this particular slate of programming – the “podcasting as a hobby” track which to me is really the “podcasting for every motivation in the world except money” track. Come see me, please.

Untitled

As of last Friday, I work for the third largest MSSP (managed security services provider.) It’s the largest “pure play” company now, meaning that we are the biggest company not in any other business but this. It’s not a sidelight, it’s the only thing we do and we focus on doing it well. Thus far, the customers seem to agree with us.

I found out about this Monday as did all the employees of the former LURHQ, but it was embargoed until today. I’m not sucking up when I say that I’ve seen a lot of mergers and buyouts of companies I’ve been involved with, and this is the one that makes the most sense of any of them. SecureWorks and LURHQ had complementary strengths that are so complementary as to be nearly disjoint. They focussed on customers of different sizes, on different technologies of protection and monitoring. The thing where they (now we) do line up is on culture, specifically the focus on customer service. That’s really the heart of this whole game. You might think it’s all about whizzy technology but it’s mostly about a timely and professional phone call from a calm sounding person that knows what they are talking about.

Like I said, the clientele is almost completely complementary. Of the combined customer list, only four or so were ones that the two companies would have previously been in competition for. That’s less than 0.5%. It can always be awkward when you have a merger of two fierce competitors and suddenly your enemies are your best friends. That’s not the case here. The former companies worked sufficiently different ecological niches as to have been in almost no direct competition.

I’m excited about the future. I had no idea something like this was on the horizon when I joined up a few months ago but I’m looking forward to seeing it out.


This post complies with my work blogging rules of the road.

PME, Amateurs, Love

It’s getting towards crunch time for the Portable Media Expo. My talk will be Friday September 29 at 10:30 AM in room 200ABC, titled “Amateur Means You Do It For Love”. I hope to have a little EGC and AmigoFish schwag to give away to those interested, so if you come by there will be a (slight) material benefit in it for you. It will be highly interactive, so if you’ve got something on your chest to get out this would be the session. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be podcasting anyway.

As I said in the last show, I’m collecting logos/screenshots of those podcasters who do this for love. The standard for this isn’t whether you have or would like to make money. If you could be given a guarantee tomorrow that you would never make a dime (any any more dimes) on your program, would you continue to do it? If the answer is yes, you are who I’m looking for. Send me your logo to dslusher@gmail.com. If you don’t have a logo, just send me the URL to your show and I’ll take a screen shot. I’ll be playing all the logos on the screen behind me while I talk, so come join in the media barrage! Spread the word about this, if you would please. Tell your friends to send me logos and URLS, post in your knitting podcast message boards or whatever. Thanks.

Podpress Second Try

I decided that I hadn’t given PodPress a fair shake, because I realized to my chagrin that I was still on WordPress 1.5.X here. So, I upgraded wordpress and reactivated. I posted a show last night, and although I do get the neat little flash player, trying to get it to do the torrents in my RSS have been between challenging and impossible. I had to go in and rewrite some of the code to even make torrents show up, and now the blog is behaving in really weird ways such as showing my different XML in Firefox versus downloaded by my management scripts. Even though it worked better this go around when I was on a proper version of WordPress, it still seems insufficient for someone who wants to use torrents primarily.

Update: I disabled the plugin, and then my RSS was correct again. This says to me that if I like the little flash player, I should just use one and leave PodPress out of it.