2016 Alliances & Partnerships

Sometimes, it isn’t the best thing to be the smartest person in the room.

Sometimes, it isn’t the best thing to be the smartest person in the room.

This is where consulting, business partnerships, and other sorts of teamwork come into play.

Even when you have the right idea for yourself, your consideration of the situation may be limited by what you know about yourself.. The personal limitations you know you have.

Adding one or more other people to the equation does way more than double your abilities now that there are two people involved.

The other person comes to the table with his or her life, personal, and business experience, none of which YOU HAVE! 😀

The other person comes to the table with equipment that they spent their money on that you didn’t.

I’ve seen the future… It’s creating alliances and partnerships in 2016. Continue reading “2016 Alliances & Partnerships”

Conflation and False Societies

There’s no such thing as “The Female Society”. There is no annual meeting where all women sit down and decide what all women are going to do as a collective.

Therefore, the concept of all women stopping giving it up at the same time doesn’t make any sense, though it makes for good theater. 😀

Conflation occurs when the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, seem to be a single identity — the differences appear to become lost.

In other words, when you look at two people and assume they’re part of the same society but they actually aren’t, you make mistakes in dealing with those people.


Spike Lee just did a movie based on the play Lysistrata, which is, literally and without exaggeration… THOUSANDS. OF. YEARS. OLD.

If you think it didn’t represent the modern day horror story that is the slums of Chicago, Illinois, USA, you’re absolutely right.

Here’s what the play was about:

Lysistrata (/laɪˈsɪstrətə/ or /ˌlɪsəˈstrɑːtə/; Attic Greek: Λυσιστράτη, “Army Disbander”) is a comedy by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC, it is a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace—a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.

Sound familiar? 😀 Continue reading “Conflation and False Societies”

Videoblogging & Vanity

My friend Matt asked me a question the other day, regarding videoblogging and vanity. [Click Here to read the Google+ conversation.]

His question reminded me of the line you have to walk.. assuming that you want to be involved in social media at all.. between being too souped up over yourself and not souped up enough… “Souped Up” being a slang term for thinking that you’re a great person.

Basically, the question comes down to “Who cares what *YOU* have to say? o_O”, which is followed by who cares who cares what I have to say, which leads you down the spiral of vanity.

My friend Matt asked me a question the other day, regarding videoblogging and vanity. [Click Here to read the Google+ conversation.]

His question reminded me of the line you have to walk.. assuming that you want to be involved in social media at all.. between being too souped up over yourself and not souped up enough… “Souped Up” being a slang term for thinking that you’re a great person.

Basically, the question comes down to “Who cares what *YOU* have to say? o_O”, which is followed by who cares who cares what I have to say, which leads you down the spiral of vanity. Continue reading “Videoblogging & Vanity”

Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By

Bill CammackI had a conversation a few days ago with a friend who asked me what I thought about blogging / podcasting / creating video content, specifically as it pertains to viewership and even more specifically as it pertains to NUMBERS of viewers for content we post to the internet. Continue reading “Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By”

Haiti Earthquake + Social Media = HaitiXchange.com

Yesterday, there was an horrible earthquake in Haiti that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale‎. We won’t know until the sun comes up how horrible it was, because electricity AND telephone service was knocked out.

Haiti National Palace destroyed in earthquake, Port-Au-Prince

My long time friend and college homeboy, Pascal Antoine is Haitian. He founded and has been maintaining a website called HaitiXchange.com for a lot of years now.

I normally don’t watch the news at all, but I’ve been fascinated by the recent trend of channels showing 3% news and 97% punditry (people giving their OPINIONS about what the news means instead of showing us a bunch more news stories). So I turn on the television around 8pm and flip to CNN, where the slot says “Campbell Brown”, so I’m like “*yawn* Here we go!”, and she has a different look on her face and the marquis below her reads something like “Hospital Collapses In Haiti”. Continue reading “Haiti Earthquake + Social Media = HaitiXchange.com”

Hire an Executive Producer (EP)

2007 International Emmy Award JudgingIf you’re going to make television shows, or at this point, shows for the web… SOMEBODY on your team needs to KNOW. HOW. TO. MAKE. TELEVISION. SHOWS!!! :/

If you cut this corner, your productions will look like trash, and deservedly so. Now you can’t say no one ever told you.

I was minding my business one day and got a call from some so-called television production company to come in and interview with them to create a pilot for this show they were trying to sell. They had received my name from someone I had worked with before, so I decided (against my better judgement, haha) to go see what they wanted.

This was back in the day, so I show up to this so-called television production company with tapes. Beta tapes & 3/4″, just in case they were so primitive as to still be using 3/4″. Of course, it turns out that they had NEITHER. No Beta Decks in-house and No 3/4″ decks. So, that was that for my demo materials. Of course, at this point in time, my demo reel is right here on my site ===> (see sidebar), and companies are encouraged to check it out before wasting my time. Continue reading “Hire an Executive Producer (EP)”

Twitter Evolution (Here Come The Civilians)

I joined Twitter a little over two years ago, around the time of SXSW 2007. I was already about a year behind its launch. I wrote Twitter Has “Ruined” My Life in June 2007. This picture is on that post, and includes Mike, Justin, Anil, Kenyatta, Debbie, Grace, Eric & myself and was taken by Jared. I fully expect to see 5 if not 6 of these same people later today at an IRL get-together.. two years later:

Photo Credit: Jared Klett

The reason I joined Twitter is the same reason I joined any Social Media site. There were people that I ALREADY KNEW that started using a new site, app or tool and I wanted to be involved in this new (and hopefully BETTER and INNOVATIVE) way to contact them or keep up with what they’re doing. What that did was give Twitter a particular flavor for me. It was the place where I went to receive up-to-the-minute information about people that I was keeping in contact with anyway via newsgroups or forums or email or their blogs or whatever. Continue reading “Twitter Evolution (Here Come The Civilians)”

At Least ACT Like You Give A Damn

Sean Bohan‘s article, “The 50/50 Rule, Link Love & Reciprocity” starts out like this:

Sean: “The 50/50 Rule is something I started sharing with clients a while back. It’s nothing new or earth-shattering and TONS of individuals and companies are doing it EVERY SINGLE DAY. The idea is simple – to connect in the Social spaces where the users live, you need to spend half as much of your time talking about the users as you do about your brand/product/service/website/effort/whatever.”

This is an intelligent idea. At least ACT like you give a damn. People aren’t being taught this. All they’re being told is that there are new and wonderful technologies available on the internet that they can utilize to make money, and here they come, a-runnin’. I currently have 1,567 followers on Twitter. I’d say I get five (5) new followers every single day. Somebody told these people to put auto-responders on their Twitter accounts. Continue reading “At Least ACT Like You Give A Damn”

Community vs. Territory

I watched a video just now by Laura “Pistachio” Fitton that clarified for me a distinction I wanted to make, but that previously wasn’t coming together properly for me.

“sxsw seesmic junkies dinner” [permalink]
Now, that was a table FILLED with people that I’m either in direct contact with or follow on social sites: Laura Fitton, Jane Quigley, Jim Long, Phil Campbell, Steve Garfield, Christian Payne (“Documentally”), Patty Hartwell, Shannon Newton, Cathy Brooks

Around 4 minutes 30 seconds, Cathy mentions “community”. By the smiles on the participants’ faces and the fellowship, you can tell that they are all part of a community. What made this post finally possible for me is that while they became a community because of Seesmic, they weren’t interacting via Seesmic. They were IRL, having dinner together, chatting and having a good time. Somehow, what I wanted to talk about clicked after Cathy’s speech and seeing ‘community’ exist in a totally different environment.

There’s a difference between Community and Territory.

The word ‘community’ is often used to indicate ‘territory’… Like they might have a housing project named “Chicago Community”. In fact, those houses are territory. What makes them a community is how people interact with each other WITHIN that territory. You can live near someone and have NOTHING to do with them, not even to say hello as you pass in the street. You can live far from someone and talk to them every day and spend a lot of time with them, virtually on the net or by other means.

Having this feeling of community can easily give one the feeling of dominion over a territory. This is a false feeling, with no standing or merit… UNLESS members of said community are ACTUALLY owners of the territory, appointed agents of those owners, or members of the community that are willing to stand up and accept leadership of that group, lay down laws and enforce them. When there’s nobody in charge, there ARE no rules definable by the community. There are rules definable by THE OWNERS OF THE TERRITORY, which must be followed by all inhabitants of the territory, whether they’re a part of the community or not.

Thus, as popular as *A* community might be, without authority, anything they say regarding the territory is a SUGGESTION, not a MANDATE. It carries ZERO weight, except amongst the people of THAT particular community who are willing to follow the lead of whomever stood up and decided to make a rule… such as “How people SHOULD use this site” “What’s good etiquette on this site” “What new people need to know about this site” “How long posts should be on this site” “How you have to act after you post to this site”…. etc etc etc. It’s all hogwash and trivial banter to anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the community in which this so-called leader has chosen to lay down some laws.

Now… You ask “But, what if there’s only ONE community? Doesn’t that mean community=territory?”

No. 😀

Even if there’s only one group of people in a territory that calls themselves a community, or in some cases, THE community (like THE HIP HOP VIOLINIST :/), without connection to or authority from the owners of the territory, they have ZERO say in what happens to that territory. Do they have say over their community? Absolutely. Community exists in the ‘heart’ and mind. Inside or outside of the territory, the community thrives as long as there are still people that believe in that community. Dominion over one’s community FEELS LIKE dominion over the territory that community’s sitting on when there’s nobody else there. 😀

When nobody else has access to become a member of the territory, there’s no turnover. It’s like having the air conditioning circulate air inside your house without bringing in fresh air from the outside. It’s cold, and it feels good, but it’s only representative of a tiny subset of the actual air available inside your house and outside. As soon as others are given access to the territory, strictly by definition, “the” community will shrink drastically in the percentage of the territory in which it can hold court.

As soon as you double the number of currently active participants, assuming that “the” community doesn’t welcome and absorb these new people “into the fold” and assuming everyone contributes an equal amount of posts, the visibility of “the” community is AT LEAST split in half, and they now occupy 50% of the territory. So now, there are at least TWO communities, even if they’re “the originals” and “the newjacks”. Even if the new territory members don’t form a formal community, they’re meeting each other and making connections and having conversations and adding each other to their friends lists and following and replying to their contacts’ posts. Depending on frequency of posting and replying to popular newjack threads, looking at the front page of a site, the presence of the original community (which, of course, was dominion by default, being that nobody else was there) won’t be seen as any stronger or relevant than the new territory members. As a matter of fact, “the originals” will be completely indistinguishable from “the newjacks”. This is only when you merely DOUBLE the number of active participants…..

The ‘solution’ to this is to enjoy COMMUNITY without feeling ENTITLEMENT. If you have constructive comments for people joining the territory that your community has occupied by default up until now, that’s great! 😀 If you have rules and laws and crabby things to say, “Save it for David”. What you have to say is meaningless without authority. The laws will be handed down by the owners & appointed rulers. In most cases, those are found in the ToS (Terms of Service). There’s no point in trying to defend a territory that you never owned in the first place. There’s no point in trying to maintain “market share” when eventually, ten times the number of people in your community will be “outsiders” occupying the same territory.

What you DO HAVE is YOUR COMMUNITY. You have your friends that you’ve made and socialized with and had good times with. You have the relationships you’ve fostered and the feeling of goodwill that flows between your community members. Nurture that and Enjoy It. 😀

Are You A Tech Elitist?

Are *you* a Tech Elitist? If so, how’s that workin’ for ya?

As it’s now Christmas, and we think of The Grinch sitting high on the hill, looking down on all the little people of the village with contempt… Let’s consider our own positions in our respective fields and how we’ve chosen social media sites & groups as well as whom we’ve chosen to affiliate ourselves with.

There was much change during 2007. More ways to communicate. More social sites to join. More video hosts with their own little gimmicks that made them slightly different from the rest. New video editing software. New storage solutions. New live streaming options….

As new opportunities arose, there was a lot of bandwagon-jumping. Sometimes it stuck, sometimes it didn’t. When Twitter was initially unreliable, OFTEN, eventually, Jaiku came along, and there was a mass exodus. The backup plan for when Twitter would go down was for people to immediately start posting on Jaiku until the problem was resolved. Eventually, Twitter became stable, and I didn’t hear a peep about Jaiku for months until they got bought by Google. All of a sudden, here come the Jaiku friend requests.

Even within Twitter, there was bandwagon-jumping. Apps were created so you didn’t have to use the twitter web page with your browser. Some people stuck with them. Some people bailed back to the web site when they realized how many twitter posts the apps weren’t picking up. Eventually, people found found satisfaction in how they received twitter posts. At some point during ’07, Pownce became a player as well.

There was much debate about which status update application was better between the three of them. I ended up sticking with Twitter, and once every so often, I copy/paste redundant posts to Pownce & Jaiku for people that primarily (if not exclusively) use those sites. I’m also biased towards Twitter because I have 341 contacts there vs. 117 on Pownce and 50 on Jaiku, many of which are redundant for the reason I stated earlier. So, for the sake of this post, I’ll say I made the ‘elitist’ decision that Twitter was better for my purposes and essentially neglect the other two services.

On the social site front, I used to have a regular MySpace presence. I had somewhere around 500 “friends” that were rather randomly acquired. What I mean by that is that I had probably 100 contacts that I knew from some other site or forum or that I actually knew IRL and then another 400 or so people/companies that sent me a friends request and then essentially never talked to me “again”. 😀 … “Again” has to be in quotes, because they never TALKED to me the first time. All they did was click a button that sent me a friends request, and I accepted it. I enjoyed interacting with my actual friends on MySpace, but the vast majority of it I found to be utterly worthless. MySpace is fantastic if you’re a musician or an artist, but I didn’t make many new relationships on MySpace that were worth anything.

Eventually, Facebook stepped its game up, and I migrated to “the better site”. Similar to my Twitter bias for status updates, my MySpace dealings dwindled to ZERO. In fact, if someone didn’t have a facebook account, I wouldn’t even bother to look them up on MySpace. 🙂 “Everybody who was anybody” was on Facebook, so there wasn’t any need to ‘waste’ time on other mass social sites. Recently, someone mentioned MySpace to me, and I inadvertently laughed and said something like “You *still* use your MySpace account?” She replied that she interacts with the people that she knows because of business on Facebook, but her IRL friends are all still on MySpace. I hadn’t thought about it before, but as I sit here on my Facebook hill with contempt… I’m now wondering how many of my ACTUAL friends are still down in the MySpace village, having never made the jump to “the better site”.

The reason Facebook is better for me is that I deal with social media every day of the week. Now that I’m thinking about it, for the average joe, MySpace is more than enough, and there’s no reason for them to look for better connectivity to more REAL people. So now I have to consider whether it’s more beneficial to me to move some of my Facebook-time back to MySpace instead of concentrating solely on the site that’s clearly superior for my purposes.

Next, you have video hosts. I use blip.tv because the options and functionalities serve my purposes as I maintain my own video blogs using WordPress, Show-In-A-Box and vPiP. Meanwhile, other people talk into their webcams and post videos to YouTube. I’ve posted a few videos to YouTube for test purposes, but I wasn’t impressed with the video compression quality at the time, I wasn’t impressed with the Terms of Service and I *CERTAINLY* wasn’t impressed with the dimwitted remarks people love to leave in the comments sections.

For those reasons and others, I’ve left YouTube just about completely alone… However, you can’t argue with the numbers of views that people get, assuming they get “featured”. YouTube has become the go-to for people looking for any kind of video under the sun, so just by having your video there, you have more of a chance of it going viral than if you oh-so-elitely plan, film, edit, compress, upload, post, tag and advertise your own videos like I do. 🙂

The question, again, is “How’s that workin’ for ya?”. Fortunately, another 2007 development is TubeMogul which enables you to upload a video once and have it distributed to multiple video sharing sites. TubeMogul also tracks statistics for you across several sites. So now, there’s less incentive to keep “all your eggs in one basket”.

I’m sure we can look forward to lots more fantastic developments in 2008. 🙂 Personally, I’ll be paying more attention than I was this year as far as whether I’d like to consolidate or expand in the areas of status updates, social sites and video hosting sites. I didn’t even get to talk about live streaming options, like how I think Operator11 is infinitely better than BlogTV….. except Operator11 went completely offline for more than a week, so people like Jonny Goldstein had to retreat to other live streaming sites to keep their shows going. Of course, there’s no way to add a BlogTV archive to your Operator11 show archive, so c’est la vie. :/

Anyway… I think it’s in all of our best interests to pay attention not only to which new app or site has cool features or the elite people flocking to it, but also to whether we’re trading away communications with our core viewers, friends, contacts and followers. Just like The Grinch found out… it’s lonely at the top.

Bill Cammack • Cammack Media Group, LLC