Want to see me make a fool of myself?

I know, I know. When do I NOT make a fool of myself, right?

How about voting for one (or all four) of the panels I could present on next year at SXSW (March 13-17, 2009) to test the theory I won’t be able to get through a public speaking gig without saying something silly:

(1) Beyond Social Media: Introducing Social Communications
Who really “owns” social media? Is it PR, Marketing, Branding? This panel will demonstrate that it’s all of the above and more. Thus the new category “Social Communications,” which we can think of as a hybrid of PR, marketing, branding, WOM, customer service, product development and more.

Co-presenters: Jackie Peters, Connie Reece, Chuck Hester, Todd Van Hoosear

(2) Climbing the Corporate Ladder in a Mini Skirt (or pant suit?)
Powerful tech women share their secrets regarding kicking ass, moving up the ladder, dealing with jerks, and helping other girls reach the top.

Co-presenters: Mel Kirk, Sally Strebel, Bronwyn Jones, Aubrey Sabalas

(3) Walking the tech runway in stilettos
Being a girl in a boys world. And succeeding. Similar to the panel above. But different. It’s a fun and lighthearted discussion that prepares females for greater success by helping them get comfortable in their own shoes. 5 panelists share the lessons learned on their journey toward success.

Co-presenters: Mel Kirk, Sally Strebel, Bronwyn Jones, Aubrey Sabalas or Tara Hunt (I think)

(4) 5 Common Misperceptions of Technological Creativity
Drinking the creation koolaid can sometimes be deceiving. It’s like trying to acclimate your taste buds to dog crap. 5 successful panelists share with you the ways to tell the difference between koolaid (the purple stuff) and Sunny D. to get results rather than reaching into a risky over populated grab bag.

Co-presenters: Sally Strebel, Mel Kirk, iJustine, Laura Fitton

Added bonus, my Heuer also submitted a panel idea:

Against All Odds-A Media Literate World

Presenters: Chris Heuer, Howard Greenstein, Alex De Carvalho, Brian Solis (with possibly Howard Reingold too)

You can vote for one or all of them at the SXSW website up through Friday, August 29th. Winning panels will be announced early October. Vote now and please don’t forget to use the ‘stars’ option too!

Twitter rotation, take IV.

Another month, another rotation on my Twitter stream. It continues to be an interesting experiment for me, one I will continue for a while longer as it is exposing me to new people, thoughts and ideas…and I kind of like it outside the echo chamber.

The only negative, per se, is that I have found the amount of conversations I have within Twitter has slowed drastically as the number of people I follow grows (added 250 since April 29th). And while 250 may not seem like a lot to some folks (I have friends who follow 1000’s of people), it is a huge number to me (remember, I am a Dunbar number kind of girl and I like to know a lot about the folks I follow, aka: my personal ‘network’), so I end up spending more time just reading about them and what they are writing than responding or contributing to their conversation. Maybe I lose out on some things, but I think I am becoming richer (personally) for the experiences.

So it will continue…as long as my sanity allows it.

Spammers suck.

NSFW – or my mom (though I don’t think she reads this anyway so it doesn’t matter) as I am venting. As you will see, when I vent, my potty mouth comes out in all it’s glory…

———————–

Every fucking day, the same fucking asshole spammer (lovingly known as ‘jtsfds356’) posts the same fucking comment to one of my blog posts. What could this so very important comment be that they are trying to make sure I see, you ask?

Snippet: pharmacy; purchase viagra professional,; cialis; hoodia online; hoodia; purchase cialis; altace,; prozac; order cialis online; viagra; cheap rimonabant; kamagra; buy cialis online; hoodia; purchase tramadol online; buy zyprexa,; viagra without prescription; levitra vardenafil; prednisone online,; buy cheap rimonabant,; levitra vardenafil,; purchase viagra online,; viagra no prescription;

Every fucking day I tell WordPress to mark it as spam.

WordPress is nice enough to send me credentials on each commenter, but this bastard is smart enough to change IP addresses every single time s/he/it posts a comment, so I don’t think I will ever be able to stop it.

Author : jtsfds356 (IP: 78.136.14.82 , 127932-web1.nex.nemerix.com)
E-mail : aegnaw386@sags.us
URL : http://cgchannel.com/forum/viewthread?thread=45026
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=78.136.14.82

All I can do is continue to mark it as spam, and then close down comments to the various blog posts. Not a super big deal I guess as I don’t get that much activity anyway, but what a friggin pain in the ass this is.

So a wish for this fucking spammer who has decided I was a good target – may you get a very deep papercut, one that comes into contact with salt every time you send a spammy comment and takes months to heal (if it ever does). Bastard.

Twitter rotation, take II.

In keeping up with the little experiment I started on April 29th, I went through another cycle today in my Twitter account by following 50 new people, and removing 50 people I had been following.

Only one month in, but so far – I am pleased with the results. I am able to keep my following list at a reasonable (to me) number (330) while constantly being exposed to new folks, ideas, experiences. And like the first round, I tried to keep it as fair as possible by adding every 4th person in the list of people following me, and then removing every 4th person in the list of people I was following.

I think next month I might hit the general timeline and pick a few off there to really mix it up, but the experiment as a whole seems to be working as planned, so for that I am very happy and look forward to reading and learning more about these new folks.

Spring cleaning: more than my closet

I have been taking a look at my Twitter ‘network’ as of late, wondering how I can mix up the information that flows through my world without requiring too much more investment of time on my side.

For a while the list of people I followed was intentionally kept small (under 150), as I am a big believer of the Dunbar Number and the power of a small(er) networks. Over time, I have allowed it to squeak up to 225 which made the conversations more interesting and diverse, but also required a bigger investment of time as I try to stay attached to my ‘community’ (yes, I am one of the nut jobs who likes to try and read every tweet from the people I follow).

I took a look at some of my pals who are able to follow 1000s or 10s of 1000s of people and still participate and contribute regularly. Their way of thinking was a much bigger leap than I wished to make, so while I am hopeful my network can expand, it means baby steps to ensure success.

So today I started a little experiment.

I decided to stop following 25% of the people currently on my list and then add in another 100 people I don’t really know (or don’t know at all) to mix up the information coming through this channel and test the waters on expanding my network.

The fun part – the additions. I decided the only way to do this, the fair and balanced Libra minded way of doing this, was to follow every 4th person in my ‘followers’ list. Why the 4th? I don’t know. It just seemed like an easy number to track I guess.

Doing so, I added 145 people. I was supposed to stop when I got to 100, but I got a little overzealous and didn’t think it right I add, then immediately remove, folks, so I am leaving it as it and hoping I can keep up. I also didn’t get through the entire list of my followers as I want to do this in chunks, but it was an interesting and exciting process as I realized there are a lot of people who follow me who I don’t personally know, and I am looking forward to getting to know them a bit better.

Adding 100 new people I follow on Twitter

Now came the hard part. The unfollow process. It sucks as I know some people will take this personally. Please don’t. I went with the same fair and balanced Libra minded way of doing this by removing every 4th person in my following list. I removed 40 people. Most of them close friends or people I adore, so it was a very odd feeling when I hit the ‘remove’ button.

Removing 40 folks I follow on Twitter

I do feel bad as I cut a couple of my Joyeurs. I cut several of my good friends. I also cut my boss and the company I work for. Everyone I unfollowed popped up 4th in the list. I had to do it to keep the experiment ‘true’.

With the unfollow made, I will not see their updates in my Twitter stream. It also removes the ability of them sending me a direct message via Twitter. There is an easy way around this as they can do an @kristiewells with a message and I will see it – or they can shoot me an email. I can also still go to their personal Twitter page and send them a message (as long as they continue to follow me) and read through their stream to check in on them from time to time. I just thought the removal process was a necessary part for the whole ‘changing the information I receive’ part.

So there you go. The great Kristie experiment. I think I am going to do this ‘spring cleaning’ once a month for three months to keep things interesting, and will clean up the lists as needed; meaning if someone starts posting things I find offensive or not beneficial to my world, I will unfollow and add someone else in their place.

Excited to see/hear new things, meet new people, AND keep in contact with those in my original network (whether directly following you or not).

Gah! WordPress is killing me…

So I finally make the move from Blogger to WordPress (thank you again Judson for doing all the hard part), and I have been having nothing but problems when trying to post items; if I add a video, I cannot add any content or the video gets kicked left off the page -and- the site is not allowing me to add text to the right or left of a photo, only under or above. Very odd behavior.

I hear WP version 2.5 is coming out soon and I can only hope it will correct some of these ills or poor Judson will be getting the call to move my ass back to Blogger. :/

Scoble vs. Facebook, Scoble wins… unfortunately.

Earlier today, Robert Scoble posted the following note:If you are trying to contact me on Facebook, please don’t. My account has been “disabled” for breaking Facebook’s Terms of Use. I was running a script that got them to keep me from accessing my account. I’m appealing. I’ll tell you what I was doing as soon as I talk with the developers who built what I was using and as soon as I talk with Facebook’s support (I sent an email in reply to the one below, but haven’t heard back yet).Seems he broke Facebook’s TOS by using a 3rd party software (Plaxo) to extract his 5,000 contacts into his Outlook contact manager.Some folks applaud Facebook and their decision to lock his account down, while others claimed this was a PR nightmare for the company and demanded they reactivate his account. In the end, Facebook buckled and Robert’s account is active once again.Robert is a likable guy. But being likable does not give you the right to do whatever you want, whenever you want. He had agreed to the Facebook terms when he signed up for an account, he was fully aware of his rights. With all the platforms available to him, he could have chosen another social network. He didn’t. He knew Facebook would give him the ability to build an audience quickly so he chose to deal with the TOS. Then he knowingly broke the TOS trying to extract his contact’s data.But my opinion doesn’t count.So we move on.

Wells Fargo just lost three customers

I find it fascinating how little customer loyalty seems to mean these days. My latest dose of reality on this point came from my recent dealings with Wells Fargo Bank.

———I have been a Wells Fargo Bank (‘WFB’) customer since 1992, a respectable 15+ years. I have had two car loans with them. I have several accounts with them, all in good standing. I rarely go into the branch, or call their customer service line so I am not a drain on their resources. I think I have been a pretty darn good customer.So when Heuer and I got to discussing the need to consolidate our personal finances, I naturally leaned towards WFB as they have always done right by me.Until now.I called customer service spent about 45 minutes reviewing our options and guiding me along the path of checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, personal finance services, consolidation loans, etc.When we got to the topic of consolidation loans, my ears pricked as one thing I would really like to do is clear Heuer and I from some of the high interest rate cards we somehow accumulated. Don’t know when it happened, but somehow his American Express went to a whopping 32%. 32%!!! One of my Visas was 27%, another 24%. Neither one of us noticed when the rate increases happened, we just kept making payments until recently when it all came to light. Needless to say, we were both shocked, so a lower interest rate consolidation loan could really go a long way to ensuring we get our fuzzy butts out of debt – much more quickly than we can now.So after some lengthy discussions with the customer service rep, I applied to WFB. Two hours later I received word I was denied. When I called in to ask why, they gave me several reasons (at my job less than a year, Chris is an independent consultant, blah blah). They recommended I contact another department within WFB and try for a different loan. Ok. So I go through the whole process again only to find out I am denied. Again. When I asked why, I was given the same exact reasons. Crazy I was recommended to this second department when they had the same exact requirements to get a loan. Even worse for me, both departments tapped my credit report which is something I was trying to minimize as it does affect your credit score (trying to keep mine at a decent level).
So I decided it was worth the effort to plead my case. I explained I had items we could post as collateral, they didn’t care. I mentioned I have had two car loans with them, both paid in full (one even paid early), they didn’t care [one had even been more than the consolidation loan I was applying for]. We seem to be square pegs trying to fit into their round holes.  In the back of my head played Janet Jackson’s “What have you done for me lately” and made me realize my 15+ years of loyalty to them meant nothing.With their simple decision to deny my loan, WFB ensured ISo I will be. I don’t need my hand held, but I do expect that 15+ years of business would 

Florida Trip, Part I – BlogOrlando

Home from the BlogOrlando conference, and I need to tip the proverbial hat to Josh Hallet. He did a great job not only in structuring the conference to provide diverse topical tracks, but also by bringing in some of my favorite people to share their stories/best practices, and then filling the seats with a good mix of both seasoned bloggers and those new to the ‘sport’ to make for a well-rounded crowd in the room. Josh also went out of his way to entertain the out of town guests by setting up day trips to Kennedy Space Center (‘KSC’) and Epcot – both great ways to experience the goodness of Orlando.I had a good time catching up with old friends, meeting up face:face with some of my ‘online’ buddies (finally) and chatting with Orlandians to hear what they are doing to help bring that community together.We took a lot of photos, but thanks to our Canon SLR not wishing to work anymore, most of them did not turn out well. Ack. Bums me out as I would like to have had some good photos from Heuer’s closing keynote (which, biased or not, I thought was brilliant) to use on his website, but at least we got it on video (coming soon) so all was not lost. Josh is not sure if there will be a BlogOrlando III, but if there is, count on us being there.

Chris and Kristie: Episode #1

So everyone seems to be a buzz around UStream.tv, a new service where you can stream live video easily, without any real investment in equipment (we used the video camera in our laptop), that comes with a chat room as well to bring a little more interaction into the fold.Anyway, Chris has been itching to do something together; a podcast, a video, something. So tonight, the decision was made to fire up UStream.tv, turn on Fox’s 24, and have us a chat. Well, kind of. It is more like watch us, watching TV. Exciting right? Not really. But it was an interesting experiment to test the new service and see what all the fuss was about. The funny thing about it is I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up. But we posted the UStream.tv link on Twitter (a mini publishing tool I simply adore), and within minutes, several of our friends showed up to see what silliness we were partaking in. In fact, at the end of the session, we had 73 people stop by to take a view into our world. Totally crazy stuff. Well, thrilling and scary all at the same time. Now mind you, this is our first creation. It is rough. In fact, the first four minutes are so painful even I was thinking of turning it off. But I think it got a little better as time went on. The format was odd as we were trying to watch the show, monitor the chat room and work a bit all at the same time, so there were moments where nothing was being said which is really hard to watch (in my opinion at least). So there is room to improve. Lots and lots of room. Will we ever be famous for this? No. But it was fun to play with Heuer and test out the technology. I think UStream.tv is headed down the right path, but think this platform still has a long way to go. But it is a really good start. Will we do this again? Absolutely. Not sure we will sit in front of the TV trying to watch a show again, but I am game for more experimentation and playing with the format/topic. Especially now that we have such a cool tag line for the show, compliments of our buddy Scott: Chris and Kristie, ‘…it’s like Seinfeld, but less.’ I mean come on…we can’t quit now. 🙂