Category Archives: Social Media

Denver Startup Week

Denver’s First ever Startup Week is almost here. In fact it’s the week of October 22nd.  If this is news to you, I’m glad I caught you with enough time to do something.

There’s a lot on the schedule for the week, and more, much more being added.

I want to highlight the things I’m most excited about. You definitely need to check out the full schedule though, because there’s tons of stuff going on all across town during the day.

  1. The opening kick off Lunch. None other than Gary Vaynerchuk is helping to kick off the week. The Lunch is free, if you can make it, go sign up. It’s gonna be a great way to see how truly behind startups and entrepreneurship the city of Denver is.
  2. Tuesday night is the Startup Job Faire and Denver Founders Network, “Bootstrap vs. funding” throw down.
  3. Ignite Denver (spark submission still open!) is that Wednesday, the 24th. We’re holding it at the Oriental Theatre, and doors open at 6. Thanks to Startup Week, admission is free, and everyone gets one free drink ticket when they walk in. It’s gonna be an awesome ignite.
  4. Friday has two cool things going for it. Ok three. One, it’s Friday. Two, while not on the schedule, there’s a “resource Faire” planned for the afternoon at Wynkoop brewing. Folks that offer services to startups, will be able to be under one roof meeting everyone. Three, the “Celebration of Startups” finale event.

That’s 4 things out of more than 60 that are planned for the week. There’s also awesome stuff the weekend before like Startup Weekend, and before that Lean Startup Machine. Both are taking place at Uncubed Coworking :)

 

If you’re in a startup, thinking about starting something up, or just want to learn more about what Denver has to offer in a startup community, that’s the week to be here!

If you happen to be coming from out of town, you’re welcome at Uncubed, so you can stay connected and get work done. Free coworking all week

See ya there

to tweet or to app.net? That’s the question

so yeah App.net has almost 12,00o people on board, all of which at a minimum paid $50/year. some paid more though for API access etc. That’s awesome congrats to them!

Much like I want Samsung or someone to make a tablet that competes with the iPad, I’m glad someone is tryin to steal Twitter’s lunch money. I hope they succeed. Twitter is a classic example of a company sitting around, killing it’s most loyal fan base to appeal to advertisers while doing nothing of value for users.

  1. Promoted tweets, trades $ for my attention, which isn’t cool because it’s my attention to sell, not twitters’.
  2. Twitter has done nothing to tackle spam, one of the things that is appealling about app.net is it’s likely to be spam free, or at least mostly. Most spammers won’t pay $50 a year I suspect, since most get such low volume out of their auto tweets.
  3. I want to pay twitter. I’d happily give them $50/year if it reduced the amount of spam, though they don’t seem to actually care, so I doubt $50/year would make them care.

I saw someone tweet that Twitter exec’s are probably looking at app.net and wringing their hands, but I suspect they’re not. I’m sure they know about it, it’d be hard not to, but given twitter’s behaviour the last year or so I suspect they’re not worried at all. I’d guess they won’t be worried about app.net until they realize they’re the new myspace, friendster, plurk, etc. Like the frog in the boiling water.

That is of course if they’re not planning their purchase strategy.

In my dream world I’d pay twitter. They’d have an API hook for “Paying member?” with a yes/no bit. My client of choice would let me filter out non-paying members. It’d be easy to tell people “You’re nice and all, but you don’t pay for twitter, so you’re in the pool with the spammers and losers, so I just can’t see what you’re saying” It’d solve a lot of my biggest complaints about twitter, and net them some money. Course they’re living in the “money will come from ads” world or something, so just keep collecting funding rounds or whatever.

I haven’t signed up for app.net yet, but I think I will. If nothing else to secure a username so I don’t end up johnwilker9385 or something.

 

Dear Gov’t please fix existing problems first

I worked on the title of this post for a while, and it’s often tough to be clear and succinct at the same time. I think it works.

Take a minute and click the bar over my top banner or this link. It’s definitely important.

I don’t think anyone (well maybe the 1%) would argue that it’s a pretty fucked up time in America right now. Record unemployment and foreclosures. The Middle class is vanishing faster than Bengal tigers, and the wealthiest 1% is quickly rising to essentially a ruling class. Didn’t we have a revolution about that notion? Before anyone jumps in. I don’t care if the rich are rich, nor do I think they should just give away money to balance the scales. That’s not the same as expecting a bit more equal playing field to compete and earn money.

We’ve got banks making terrible decisions, doing shady ass deals to get richer, and then being bailed out by the government because we let them get so big, failing would further damage our fragile economy.

We’ve got small businesses struggling (mine included) to stay afloat while big businesses get loans and buy outs. You know, I’d love it if the American public owned a portion of my business, can I get a small bail out loan?

And while all this is going down the government is trying to install a kill switch on the internet. You know like what Egypt and the rest of the middle east, and of course China, like to use when their citizens get uppity wanting peace and freedom from oppression.

I’m against anything that puts the internet in the control of anyone, especially a government or corporation. I think it’s a US responsibility that the internet be free, open and as makes sense unrestricted. I remember watching the news feeds, and of course tweets about shit going down in Egypt and elsewhere. People rising up against their corrupt and sure I’ll say it, evil, governments. The first thing almost every government does in that situation is kill the internet. I remember thinking how strong and brave those folks were not having twitter, Facebook, etc to use to rally. Having to rely basically on old school approaches, and risky in person exchanges before rallies to spread the word. I thought how impressive for one thing, and how sad. And mostly how lucky I felt that such bullshit didn’t happen here. Heck we’ve got popular revolts in many major cities right now, enabled, supported, and enboldened by the internet.

How many occupy(city name) websites do you think there’d be if the US government could simply turn off the net. Block sites they don’t like or that disagree with their world view?

It bums me out when people we elected to office do things that are so far from what the general population wants, let alone cares about. I mean really, do our law makers think the guy who’s struggling to make his mortgage cares about whether the internet has a kill switch?

Think he’s concerned right now as he decides which bill to pay and which to put off until the second notice, that the government is enabling big business to come in and shut down sites that they think might be poaching their shit. Sites where someone made a disparaging comment on a blog post, etc.

He doesn’t care, he can’t. Oh wait, i guess that’s probably their plan… silly me.

 

Go click the link up above, it really is important.

Tips for Travelers. To Make MY Travels easier

This isn’t a ‘help others’ post, so much as it’s a ‘help me’ post. By that I mean if I can get your in and out of the airport faster and more efficiently, well that helps me!  Travel season is rapidly approaching, and in fact I’m traveling soon. I thought I’d share some tips for making travel out of DIA easier. For you, and not very indirectly and more importantly, for me. You see, your not knowing what to do  and how to do it, messes with me and my travels.

Travel sucks, it really does. The TSA has made it absolutely miserable to go between two places in our country. BUT you can try to make it as painless as possible.

So here we go, a few helpful tidbits to help you (and me) get through security and on your way.

  • Nothing has changed in the last few years with regards to shoes. Take your shoes off. Flip flops, sneakers, sexy boots, they all gotta come off and go on the belt, just do it. I actually have travel shoes i wear sometimes. They’re slip on deals, not really pretty and when not traveling their house shoes. Not slippers, they’ve functional shoes, I’m just not a slip on guy. BUT at the airport, shoes that go on and off fast are a big deal. I can’t say how often i’ve seen someone in fancy shoes (LADIES!) struggling to balance and take them off, then put them back on.
  • If you don’t know if your laptop needs to be out of your laptop, it does. Err on the side of not slowing down the process. There’s like 2 bags that laptops can stay inside of and maybe 3 laptops that don’t need to be removed. Unless you know for sure you’ve got one of those, take it out. It always makes me wonder who those people are that in 2011 that don’t know laptops have to come out of bags.
  • Is your phone in your pocket? OMG really? Pockets EMPTY! 
  • Got kids, maybe do some drills at home? Nothing messes up the line more than the freaking out mom, annoyed dad, and kid with toys in his pockets, shoes on, who’s picking up on mom and dad’s mood and starting to freak out too.
  • Prep your kid, we all benefit! I’ve seen pro families, and I’ve seen families I’ve wanted to murder. Preperation is key and you can tell the families that travel a lot or prepped ahead of time. It makes a ton of difference. I don’t have kids, so I can’t offer prep tips, but I’m pretty sure candy and rehearsals would be perfect! Or worse case, robitussin. But seriously, beready to go through security with your kid
  • Don’t be a dick in line. Here’s a true story. I suck at time zones, and one trip I showed up at the airport and the gal at the counter remarks, “oh you’re in luck, they’re just boarding now” I was like, don’t I have an hour. No I didn’t. My phone was still in denver time, or the appt reminder was, something, I was an hour late. But my plane was late. She checks me in, walks me to security and cuts the line apologizing but letting folks know I was late and my plane was boarding (honestly i coulda waited the line was 10 people long and the plane still didn’t board for 15 minutes) The guy who was next that I cut starts causing a scene “who’s he? Why does he get to cut? we’re all in a hurry.” I politely tell him, it’s my fault, she’s helping me make the last flight, and the one I shoulda been on time for but messed up my reminder calendar entry. I apologize profusely. As I’m waiting to go through the metal detector, TSA guy leans over and says “I really hate assholes” and then shouts “Bag check” on the bag behind mine. The rude guy’s bag.
    • Airports tend to bring out the worst in us, but keep in check. Karma is a bitch. I thanked the gal from the front desk, apologized again to the line behind me, and dashed off to my gate.

    OK that’s all I’ve got for ya, it should at least help you get through security and out of my way as efficiently as possible. I hope ;)

    See you at DIA.

     

    This blog post has been sponsored by CLEAR, the service that speeds you through airport security. CLEAR members save so much time at the airport, it’s like having Daylight Savings every time you travel! CLEAR, the (self-proclaimed) Official Sponsor of Daylight Saving Time, is celebrating the extra hour we get on Nov 6th with a series of travel and time-savings posts on their blog – and here, on my blog too.

    To help you see what CLEAR is all about, they are offering my readers a special 3-month FREE trial! Don’t settle for just one extra hour this Daylight Savings. No need to deal with unpredictable security lines, the stress of rushing to your gate, or the time you waste getting to DEN extra early. Click here to get your pass and try CLEAR’s enhanced travel experience for yourself. Just enter my code (CMNDST12) in the promo code field on the payment page.

    We’re all busy, stop saying it and do something

    I see this on twitter, and in real life face-to-face conversations a lot, “blah blah, working on something awesome, super super busy” or some other fairly douchey version of that sentence. Typically said by the same people over and over, as if saying something like that makes you cool, as if repeating it somehow makes you cooler. Maybe being busier than the rest of us makes you feel better? Hate to break it to you but you’re not busier than us.

    I have something to share with you ‘busy’ people. We’re all busy, just some of us are busy doing shit instead of just saying it. Shut your pie hole, and get shit done!

    I’m sure it’s a ‘for lack of more interesting things to say’ type of problem, but really if you’ve got time in your startup or whatever to tweet about being busy… you’re doing it wrong. Run your damn business, stop telling us about it.

    I have no respect for people who say (or tweet) that type of thing. As if running 360|Conferences, Cocoa Magazine, and everything else I do, didn’t keep me busy, you don’t see me telling anyone who’ll listen how many hours a day I put in, what time I get up or go to bed, etc.

    It’s simple, when you think to yourself, “Oh I should tweet some cryptic tweet about how awesome I am because I’m really busy, and that will make people think i’m even cooler…. STOP don’t do it, take 30 seconds… breathe, then get back to work.

    Reminder! National Comic Sans Day is Friday 10/1

    Last year several folks updated the CSS for their blogs to participate in National Comic Sans Day. I’m hoping more will do it this year!

    Why? You ask. That easy, we take ourselves too seriously. If folks directed their Anti Comic Sans energy into something productive, we’d probably have cures for Cancer and the Common Cold. And really it’s just a font. And it’s just one day.

    We need to lighten up, laugh at ourselves, and take a day to have some fun at our own expense.

    Do it, you know you want to! It’s simple, just create a second style sheet  of all comic sans and drop it in on Friday. Take it out Saturday morning.

    Be bold!