Cafe Witness

Thursday, April 26, 2007

45 Minutes

That's how much time my not-even-two-years-old LG phone carries in a fully-charged battery.

Time to go phone shopping... Maybe this time, I'll get one that's internet enabled and has a camera. That's right: I'll finally step into the '90s...

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quick Flight Notes

I'm in New Jersey, staying with John C. Havens of's guide to podcasting. He asked me if I wanted to work with him on a freelance project that had come his way and I agreed, so here I am.

This means I rushed around town all day running errands because I knew I'd be out of communication for most of tomorrow. So I get to the airport and I have 80 unchecked messages in my inbox. I answer those, and now I logon to my account and find I have 30 more responses in the 4 hours I've been away from my machine.

Egad. If this is busy for me, I can only imagine what the Jeff Pulvers and Andrew Barons of the world are greeted by when they click their "Mail" icon...


Meanwhile, I saw a fantastic example of customer service in action today. I went to Quizno's in the Pittsburgh International Airport food concourse and ordered a vegetarian sub (which is not on their menu, but they have the ingredients to make it; interestingly, it IS on their register keypad...).

While waiting for the sandwich to come through the mini-oven, the girl who adds the post-oven toppings dropped my order sheet on the floor. She stared down at it, perplexed. She was wearing plastic gloves, and she knew that picking up the paper would mean she'd need to throw the gloves away and get a new pair.

So she TURNED THE ORDER SLIP OVER WITH HER FEET, which was not an easy task -- many failed attempts preceded her success -- and read it (accurately) off the floor.

Now THAT'S finding a creative solution to a simple yet vexing problem...

PS The sub was excellent.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

BootCamp Pittsburgh Wrap-Up

Photo by Kimberly Reed (aka m0xie)

This past Saturday, dozens of bloggers, podcasters, students, teachers, politicians, small business owners and even a few senior citizens joined us at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh for BootCamp PGH. Considering this was the first warm Saturday (77 degrees!) of the year here in the 'burgh, we're quite impressed that so many people preferred to spend their day learning about social media instead of catching some sun.

The Statistics:

- 176 registrants
- 130+ attendees (including a number of walk-ins)
- 8 hours
- 23 sessions
- 250 mugs from
- 200 gourmet pretzels
- 1 Bostonian (Chris Brogan)
- 1 Canadian (Tommy Vallier)
- 1 Tennessean (Matthew Ebel)
- 3 after-parties

The Audience Sits, Enraptured...

How It Went

As a co-organizer of the event, I was confident in the quality of our schedule. We had sessions covering the basics of blogging, podcasting, web design and social networking, plus branding, monetization and new business opportunities.

Most attendees stayed throughout the day, which was great. Attrition at a daylong event can be high, but we layered the sessions in such a way that the more specific information could be covered after the "bare basics" sessions were out of the way.

(And after lunch...)

We also found a way to Ustream some of the sessions. It wasn't an exact science, but it definitely created a buzz from attendees and presenters alike. (It also led to interesting audience feedback, like the moment when Steve Garfield -- watching from his home in Boston -- disagreed strongly with information presented in one session.)

Now, local events like this can become worldwide at the click of a mouse...

No Money, Some Problems

The Most Important Sign of the Day

Because this was a bare bones event, we purposely chose NOT to overburden ourselves with the hassle of sponsorship. That didn't mean.

One unusual predicament: at an event like BootCamp, which is aimed at the true newcomers to the field, it's entirely possible to offer sessions that DON'T appeal to longtime bloggers and podcasters.

Our solution? We set aside a room called the "Mentor's Lounge" (really a cel animation lab), which was intended for use by folks who wanted to pursue one-on-one follow-ups to vexing questions. What it ended up becoming was just as interesting -- the "default hangout" for folks who weren't drawn to a specific session but instead wanted to chat with other attendees in a low-stress environment.

Aside from a few minor tech issues -- janky projector connections, internet login drama and a faulty mouse -- the event ran quite smoothly.

How'd We Do?

We won't know that for sure until we send and collect the post-BootCamp surveys, but informally, it looks like we did pretty well. I've already received individual feedback from several attendees who experienced the same inspirational jolt that most folks get from PodCamp, which means we must have done something right.

Ideally, this means a LOT more people are now properly prepped for PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 in August...,

BootCamp Pittsburgh After-Party @ Bar Louie

What Happens Next

THAT, I'm very interested in.

A lot of attendees were not currently blogging or podcasting, but were very interested in finding out how they could get started. That's perfect, because that's what we were there to help with.

I'd like to see what everyone takes away from the event, and what kinds of new (or old but now updated) blogs and podcasts we see created in the very near future.

As for us, the planners, we'll step back and confer. We'll figure out, based upon audience feedback and observation, what went well and what needs to be improved. And we'll update the website with feedback, reference materials AND the numerous videotaped sessions (we're editing and encoding them this week).

And then we'll turn our attentions toward PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 -- which is a mere 4 months away...

Oh, and next time, we'll probably order a little less food. There was a LOT left over, but Jia Ji from and Mike Woycheck from Wear Local made the smart decision and donated their overages to charity. (We're talking soda, water, sandwiches, pretzels, bagels, danishes... the works.)

Special thanks to our volunteers (Rachel, Josh, Erik, Ann, Jim, Rick, Jessica, Scott, Andrea, Amy and everyone else I'm probably forgetting) AND our sponsors -- Guru, WearLocal, Big Big Design, Something to Be Desired, Spreadshirt, The Maryland Zoo and, of course, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh...

... where we hope to see everyone again in August at PCPGH2!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Personal Banking Blues

I received a $500 check from a freelance client last week. I deposited it in my bank on Friday. Despite the fact that it was (as far as I can recall) from a local bank, the check still took 5 days to clear. The teller neglected to mention this, though they usually do when a check will have a hold.

So I presumed the money was there.

On Monday, I tried to book a plane ticket using my bank card.


I checked my online bank account, which showed that the money was, indeed, there.

I tried again.


Confused, I tried to PayPal myself $150 -- the price of the ticket -- and PayPal accepted the request.

The next day, I called my bank's homebase and asked what the situation was. The clerk explained that there was a hold on my check for 5 days, and that my account was actually $5 in the negative.

I wound up malling 3 different bank branches -- on of them twice -- to settle the matter. The last thing I was told, by the manager at my branch, was: "I'll try to find an image of the check to verify that it was a local bank. If that's the case, I'll see if I can lift the hold. In the future, remember that deposited checks may take up to 5 days to clear."

(Never mind that I've deposited checks from this client before that cleared automatically.)

"Will I get hit with overdraft fees because my account is in the negative?"


"But my online bank account tells me the money's there."

"Right. But just because the money's there, it doesn't mean it's available."

Cut to: today, the day I was told the check would finally be available.

I check my bank account. $467 available.

I inspect further. "$150 PayPal transfer - returned. $30 Insufficient Funds Cancellation fee."

Meanwhile, the price of the ticket is now $194.

So, essentially, I was charged a $30 penalty by my bank for not being able to transfer my own money from one account to another because I was overdrafted by $5 because no one told me there was a hold on the check.

Entire cost of not knowing there was a five day hold on the check? $74.

Personal banking = broken.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Failure Junkies

How often do you come SO CLOSE to what you want to accomplish... only to let it slip away?

Not that you meant to fail. You just didn't plan properly. Or you forgot an element of the process. Or you misunderstood the directions. Or you overslept.

If this happens to you once or twice, it's an aberration. If it happens enough that it becomes synonymous with your personality, it's a problem.

Some people might call this kind of chronic shortfall "self-sabotage" -- a fear of success. I'd counter that argument: it's not fear of success that sends people stumbling en route to the finish line; it's complacency with failure.

Simply put, if you fail often enough, you learn how to do it really well. You subconsciously understand how NOT to get the job done. And that kind of perpetual second (or third, or thirtieth) place finish becomes a bizarre version of a safety blanket.

Once you learn how to handle failure, you realize it's not so bad. Once you fail enough, you realize it might not even matter.

Sure, you're not planning to fail, but you're not necessarily concerned about winning either. Because you know failing won't kill you, and -- in a best case scenario -- it might even allow you to prolong your current lifestyle, which you've become accustomed to.

In short, you've become a failure junkie.

I understand this kind of behavior because I live it more often than I'd like to admit. Odds are, so do you.

So, what do we do about it?

The first step to recovery is admitting we have a problem...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BootCamp PGH: 2 Days and Counting!

In 24 hours, I'll be wrapping up an evening of food, drinks and preparation with the presenters at BootCamp Pittsburgh. Then, the following morning: the event itself.

Unlike PodCamp Pittsburgh, BootCamp really snuck up on me. We all arranged to launch the event about 2 months ago, and then it was backburnered for several weeks.

Then, when the planners' schedules collectively opened, we sprang to life. In the past 3 weeks, the event has really come together. At last check, we have about 130 registrants, of which about 30 are slated to speak at some point during the day. We have food and beverages. We have some swag. But, by and large, we don't have a lot of pomp and circumstance.

Instead, we have great information. Check out this (ever-updating) list of sessions -- everything from Intro to Blogging (and Podcasting, and Social Networking) to Audio and Video Production, ways to integrate new media into existing businesses and politics, and thoughts on how social media is changing the way we live.

If you have questions about new media (or eMedia, or social media -- whatever term you prefer), come to BootCamp. If you want to improve your existing content, come to BootCamp. And if you're looking to expand your contact base and meet new, exciting, passionate creators, come to BootCamp.

I'll be there... asleep under a table after all this planning...

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Monday, April 16, 2007

"Too Much Stability Means We're Not Trying Hard Enough"

I just typed that sentence in an iChat conversation, and it suddenly seemed far more applicable than just in the context it was intended.

So often, it seems like I (and everyone else I know) is striving to reach equilibrium. We want a day where we can "just relax." We want all the bills to be paid, the work to be done and the hard questions to be answered. (Hell, we even strive to ensure our Twitter friends are numbered the same as our followers.)

We want stability.

Fortunately, we rarely have it. Because when we do, a funny thing happens: we get complacent. And last time I checked, it was necessity, not complacency, that was the mother of invention.

Embrace Your Broken Pieces

I'm in the worst financial shape of my life.

I'm in relatively good shape health-wise. I have a good group of friends. I have a supportive family. I have a girlfriend who loves me despite my regularly asinine behavior. And I have this web series that continues to grow in all directions.

If I weren't embarrassingly broke, I'd be bored off my ass. Because being broke means I need to bust my ass and get as much done as possible to create new solutions to this problem.

I could say the same thing if I were ill, or lonely, or single, or working a job
I despised -- and I've been in each of those situations before. But the same methodology would still apply: my need to improve upon an existing trouble is the motivation that will lead me to new creative, social, economic and experiential endeavors.

I won't be able to solve my problems sitting at home. Or working alone. Or making the minimum possible effort and being otherwise content with my unsatisfying present situation.

Instead, I'll be inventing all kinds of harebrained schemes. I'll be taking risks and pushing myself to the edge. I'll be meeting people I never would have cause to talk to if I didn't need to track them down. And I'll be learning more about myself, and this wonderful world we live in, through my response to adversity than I ever would learn by waking up every day in a state of absolute contentment.

It may not be pretty, and it may not be the most zen-like approach to life, but it's what I have right now. And that's exciting.

It's our broken pieces that set us free.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

The Sound You Hear Is the Flapping of Pig Wings

It finally happened. I agree with a blog post by Michelle Malkin.

Next thing you know, I'll be pimping Rush Limbaugh in my sidebar...

I guess this proves that no one has a monopoly on common sense.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Advertisers Keep Coming SO CLOSE...

... and yet they still haven't found a way to please me.

Or you.

Robert Scoble's post about Nexidia is right: hypercontextual ads in tandem with video content are a great step in the right direction... if you're already looking for THAT information.

For example, If I'm watching a clip about drywall, odds are, I'd love to see an ad for a Home Depot sale. That's the logic that powers TV ad sales, and that's the logic that can now be applied to the web world.

But what about LOST? How many ads for island getaways, Swiss army knives or travel insurance do you see served up by ABC?

So, by comparison, what about Ask a Ninja? Or Dutch West? Or STBD?

What I Want

Is there ever a time in your life when you don't need information about something?

Right now, off the top of your head, you can probably think of 5 things you need a hand with. Maybe you're planning a summer vacation. Maybe you need to buy an anniversary gift. Maybe your old college roommate just asked if you could somehow smuggle a case of Pennsylvania beer to his Houston wedding.

We, as humans, are forever searching for MORE information.

So, if I must watch an ad in order to see a video for free, can't I tell the ad server what I'm actually interested in learning about?

It's not good enough for Google to track my click habits and tell me what my profile is, because all that tells me is who I've BEEN; it doesn't tell me who I AM, who I'm GOING to be or -- most importantly -- who I WANT to be.

Google, please stop thinking you're smarter than me. Instead, all you have to do is ask me: "What do YOU want to learn about today?"

If I could actually obtain useful information THAT I REQUESTED every time I stopped to watch an episode of Tiki Bar TV -- and, hey, it might be about tax preparation, not alcohol or minidresses -- would I not be even more inclined to sit through commercials?

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Bare Basics Tech in a Blue Collar Town

Great observation from expert marketer John Wall: "PodCamps are a reflection of their cities."

Considering Pittsburgh is a city caught between its past as a steel town and its future as... well, we're still figuring that out... it makes sense that we cling to the traditions we know will work: namely, alcohol.

Granted, that's not the only reason Wall calls last year's PodCamp Pittsburgh "the best conference I have ever attended" -- it had something to do with the caliber of talent on display from around the country too. But the post-party at the Tiki Lounge certainly didn't end the event on a down note.

Peel back the bravado for a moment and you'll realize what really makes events like PodCamp tick: the community. People LOVE to come together and share ideas and information. We love to be "in the club."

That's why we're so excited about BootCamp PGH, next Saturday's "bare basics" guide to new media. We realized a lot of people still need a helping hand in becoming comfortable with the web media world, so we decided to offer a FREE event to ease them into the conversation.

Some interesting characters are already on board for BCPGH. Chris Brogan will be there, talking about entry-level podcasting and the value of community. Matthew Ebel is coming to town to share his success as a podsafe musician -- did you know he recorded his last album using GarageBand?! -- the ladies of Spreadshirt will offer their marketing and merchandising expertise, and iJustine will share some of her social networking secrets, guaranteed to help you generate your own rabid following.

Even TalkShoe ambassador Tommy Vallier is coming down from Toronto to help acclimate new faces with new media.

What are YOU doing on April 21st? There's still time to register for BootCamp. Bring yourself, bring a friend

(And yes, if you're wondering, there will almost definitely be another alcohol-fueled celebration after BootCamp. This IS Pittsburgh, after all...)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Do We Do About MySpace?

Admit it: you have a MySpace account.

You also haven't used it for anything productive in several weeks. Possibly months.

With the vast amount of spam crippling the communication channels, MySpace is no longer a fun tool to use. Instead, it's become a chore.

Checking in to the STBD account results in me cleaning out a bunch of useless crap in our inbox, from falsified friend requests to hacked email forwards.

Sure, there's the occasional bit of legitimate discourse, but by and large, it's a waste of time. An unnecessary evil.

In the Beginning

It wasn't always like this.

Once upon a time, I checked MySpace like an addict, dozens of times a day. So did you, most likely. The site was new, fresh, fun and filled with great ways to keep in touch with people you actually wanted to communicate with.

Then I, like many others, created a secondary account. This one wasn't personal; it was "business," -- more specifically, it was meant as a promotional tool for our web series. And it worked well in that regard; we're currently somewhere around 7,000 "friends."

Except we don't talk much with those friends these days, because we're too busy sifting through the volumes of spam mail we receive every day.

Who Clicks on This Shit?

If you've ever received a piece of spam mail on MySpace, I'm sure you weren't surprised by the profile it originated from.

Nearly every "dude, check out these ringtones!" or "man, it's true what they say, size DOES matter!" message we get is sent to us by someone who absolutely, categorically does NOT look like someone who would realize these messages are spam in the first place.

And so they click.

And so they perpetuate the cycle.

Considering the alarming number of people who, when faced with the daunting task of adding STBD as a "friend" or not, respond back with "what r u?" or "who dis?", I really shouldn't be at all surprised when reams of spam come to me from these types of mouth breathers. These are the people who walk into Yahoo Chat rooms and strike up conversations with bots.

Where Do We Migrate?

Meanwhile, I never even check my personal MySpace profile anymore. With two legitimate blogs and a Twitter account to keep up with, who has time for MySpace?

Am I jumping the ship prematurely? Does MySpace have what it takes to become valid again? Or has the vast majority of intelligent internet users moved on to something better? (Virb? Nothing?)

I feel like the evolution of "internet hot spots" is growing at an alarming rate. Case in point, everyone on Twitter seems to have decided to move over to Jaiku today, due to Twitter's unpredictable lag. And yet, Jaiku's servers are already creaking under strain.

Is patience dead in a world where everything is at our fingertips? Is there any room left for gradual improvement, or do things merely fall apart with time?

And what does any of this mean for social networking?

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Year's Resolution Update

"Wow," you thought as you read this headline in a midday, coffee and lunch-induced haze... "Who's still thinking about New Year's resolutions? It's April."


As spring prepares for arrival, the promises we made to ourselves three months ago now seem like college love letters or old grocery lists: full of passion or practicality but, now, ultimately useless.

Or are they?

Punctuality and Organization

Those were my top two bugaboos back in January, as they have been my whole life. So, what better way to kick off the new year than by whittling away at old habits that die so very, very hard?

I knew going in that I couldn't change my world at the flip of a switch, but I could make inroads that, over time, would add up to something proactive. So I identified several key factors in my life that I needed to improve:

- I wanted to become more punctual (as in, not perpetually late).

- I wanted to find a workflow and daily schedule that worked for me.

- I wanted to clear off my desk and my inbox and clean up my apartment.

How have I fared these first few months of the year? Not great, but not horribly either.

Punctuality Status Report

Nope. Still need a lot of work here. (Ask my cast -- I don't think I've been on time for one shoot all year.)

- I still have trouble planning ahead for things, especially activities that require input from multiple sources.

- I still routinely show up a few minutes late for meetings.

- I still turn in paperwork / documentation / finished product at or near the 11th hour before a deadline.

However, I have learned a few tips and tricks that help me avoid the slip-ups that cause the tardiness in the first place. [Side note: does any word connote the spine-tingling shiver of gradeschool like "tardiness"?]

- DON'T check email on my way out the door. (Nothing says "ten minutes later" like one last email sweep.)

- Print out directions, itineraries, files, etc., as soon as they come in / the night before, so there's no need to rush right before departing on a trip.

- Snooze less. The extra ten minutes I buy myself after a nap could be the ten minutes in which I can get everything else packed and out the door on time.

Organization Status Report

It's not perfect -- not even close -- but my approach to keeping track of what needs to be done when, and where everything IS, is improving.

- I've narrowed my ToDo list down to one primary document, which I then (try to) update daily. I keep all ancillary ideas (STBD tasks, BootCamp tasks, bills, etc.) in separate text files, and then I (try to) review them once per week while setting up the following week's big list. That way my daily document isn't overwhelmed with EVERYTHING I have to do, and I have easy access to everything that does need to be done over the long haul.

- I've found my productive times of day for certain activities, and I try to stay within those bounds. For example, it's best to get my blogging and emailing out of the way early, get the hands-on work (like writing or editing) done during the afternoon, and then I re-fuel and return to work in the evening, where I find I can be productive until at least 3 AM.

On the other hand, my desk looks worse than it has in months, and the piles of stuff around it continue to grow. Once we're done with this season of STBD (if not gloriously sooner), I need to take a day -- or even an hour each day -- and whittle away at these towering infernos of obligation. Something tells me it'll do wonders for my psyche.

Future Outlook

So I've made some improvements and fallen short with others. Fair enough. But what happens now?

Instead of tabling the discussion until January ("I'll just try again next year..."), let's consider a few short-term goals:

- A clean desk by June 1st (talk about a long view)

- An empty "Pending" mailbox by June 1st (that's where all the items in my inbox that require more than 2 minutes of my attention get thrown)

- One week of meetings / errands in which I'm no more than 5 minutes late for anything. (Sounds like I'm planning to fail, but 5 minutes is definitely an improvement over 20...)

So, that's my quarter-year evaluation on all those sweet nothings I whispered to myself back in January. How about you?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

SplashCast and Growing Goodness

I stumbled across SplashCast today -- can't recall how I found it, actually -- but I'm intrigued.

I haven't fully prowled around the site yet, but at first blush, it looks to be a template of sorts for creating your own content channels.

One example they use is Growing Goodness, a channel devoted to videos about farmer's markets and their related healthy foods communities. While you may or may not be down with the farmer's market angle itself, you have to admit, an aggregator that pulls from user-generated content throughout the web and builds a cohesive, multi-faceted look at a highly-targeted niche has some real value.

Information surfers could stay on the channel for a very long time.

Advertisers could appeal to an audience almost guaranteed to be in a buying mood. (Like farmer's market vegetables? Perhaps you'd be interested in handmade vegetable steamers, or would be inclined to donate to Habitat for Humanity, etc.)

I know I make entertainment video, but seeing the success of highly-targeted (and often informative) niche-based content has me seriously considering numerous other directions and properties in addition to STBD.

(As though I don't have enough else going on...)

So: what other uses do you see for SplashCast?

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cafe Witness Moment

Returning to the roots of this blog for a moment -- back when it was a glimpse into the coffee culture of Pittsburgh, rather than a treatise on new media...

I walked to the Tazza D'Oro cafe tonight, only to realize it was the meeting place for the latest of their (seemingly irregularly-) scheduled "women's nights," for which the place is closed to non-club members (like me).

So, instead of working from home, I hopped in my car and zipped down to Crazy Mocha in the South Side Works. The trip took half an hour. Along the way, I passed a Starbucks (no free wireless), a Coffee Tree Roasters (no free wireless), a Kiva Han (janky free wireless that doesn't always work) and ANOTHER Crazy Mocha (which allows smoking), all to come here.

My point is not to prove my loyalty to Crazy Mocha (though I do like this joint).

My point is: is it so hard to give away a free wireless signal? Think of the business these cafes are missing out on from 100 other people like me, who would rather drive out of their way for the free wireless (and the good coffee, and the comfortable scenery, and the pleasant community, and the friendly baristas) than pay to login.

John Moore touched on this in his "What Must Starbucks Do?" ChangeThis manifesto, which tackles the larger problem of what Starbucks must do to become relevant again. The lessons there are fairly specific to the Starbucks challenge, but the need to reinvent yourself applies to all of us sooner or later.

And why do most of us need to reinvent ourselves? Because we're out of touch with what our customers / clients / audiences want.

In this day of instant uber-communication, isn't that inexcusable?

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Dutch West. Jump On Now.

At Video on the Net, I preached the value of sustainable content. By and large, I was talking about episodic content, similar to traditional TV (or what we're already doing at Something to Be Desired).

But there's also value in sustainable skit comedy, as long as your ensemble is truly talented and your sense of humor is unlike anything else on the block. To succeed, you need to generate more than one good idea; you need a library of consistently buzz-worthy comedy.

Which brings me to Dutch West, the funniest web TV you've probably never seen.

Seriously. Stop everything you're doing right now and watch this.

I learned about them from the most recent episode of Viral on Veoh, which STBD did the lead-in for. One of the guys in the ensemble refers to them as "a garage band for comedy," which I think is an excellent way to approach it: find your own personal talent, find others who play in the same key (give or take), and riff.

The Dutch West writers / actors are incredibly talented. Each of them has the facility to portray multiple characters (over multiple age ranges). But what makes them truly special is their delivery, their attention to detail, their point of view.

Their production values are also extremely polished. These people understand story AND structure, camera angles and genre trappings -- and how to satirize all of it. Most importantly, they understand how to tell various TYPES of story, finding the (dark, intelligent, renegade) humor in everything from board meetings gone wrong to letting the army pay for college.

Admittedly, like most things I truly enjoy (MST3K [the Joel years], Achewood, Whit Stillman films), Dutch West is an acquired taste. Not everyone will be able to see the humor they find in racism and child molestation (by, um, Bigfoot...), for example, but those who do will spread the word because they'll realize: Dutch West GETS IT.

After watching a few of these clips, ask yourself: isn't THIS the kind of cutting-edge comedy we'd expect from, say, Saturday Night Live?

No wonder no one watches TV anymore...

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Not Dead, Just Delayed

My blogging has gone south as I work to meet deadlines for projects that result in paychecks. Go figure.

And somewhere, in all of this, is the fanfare you HAVEN'T heard yet about the majesty that is (or will be) BootCamp Pittsburgh! NOW only TWO WEEKS AWAY!

(I knew there was a reason we aimed for late April -- it's because anything earlier would have been ludicrous, given how much else everyone else who's planning it also has to do at their "real jobs.")

BootCamp is like the training-wheels version of PodCamp, which means we actually need to put even more thought into the structure of the event than we did for PodCamp Pittsburgh last November. That event essentially drove itself. This time, we're the ones directing everyone else, shepherding people toward their own specific "track" of information -- Intro to Blogging, Intro to PodCasting, Intro to Social Networking, etc.

Our goal is to ensure that everyone who wants to learn something leaves the event feeling like they've accomplished what they set out to do, and then some.

Oh, and it's free to attend.

And now, if you'll excuse me, we (and, in most cases, I) have exactly two weeks to pull off what's going to end up being one of the most amazing events of the year for a lot of people. The team is ready. The flags are up.

All we need now are some energy drinks and an emergency futon to curl up on during emergency naps...

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

100 Posts: PodCamp NYC Unlikely

Wow. I'd like to spend my 100th post proclaiming how ecstatic I am at going to PodCamp NYC this weekend.

Instead, I'll proudly proclaim I'm NOT going to PodCamp NYC because, quite simply, I'm too busy and have too many bills to pay.

I was wracking my brain this past weekend, trying to figure out how I could creatively disrupt both space and time to generate the phantom cash and extra hours in the week to fuel my NYC trip, when I realized...

... I'm quite content to work my ass off, get done with all the items on my to-do list, and enjoy myself.

To wit, I'm currently:

- Doing a freelance gig that's due for delivery tomorrow.

- Working on the next episode of Something to Be Desired, which is due Monday.

- Continuing to co-organize for BootCamp PGH, which happens in two weeks (!).

- Getting ready to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday on Sunday, which also happens to be Easter.

So, yes, as much as I'd like to attend PodCamp NYC -- which I truly believe will be an amazing time -- I'll instead be an adult, which is something I so rarely say I am, and get my work done instead of going to play.

Sorry, PodCamp NYC. I'll look forward to PCNYC2 next year!

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