Archive for March, 2011
Well it was bound to happen again. Sooner later the stress would get to be far too much. The unjustified bill in the mail every month. The succumbing to just watch what’s in our queue on Hulu instead of actual TV. Realizing that the vast majority of what we watched was from or on FREE over the air television anyways.
Cable is canceled. Again.
Well it’s FIOS TV, to be exact.
We didn’t get off to a good start when they put me up to a plan I didn’t ask for after NOT giving me the discount plan I asked for. And after a year in handcuffs to a locked in contract, I dropped down a tier and cut the landline to hope I could swallow the cost more as we picked up a Mifi for Missy and looked to get a second car, along with my freelance juggling lately. It still felt like too much. So I called, dropped the TV as well, and upped my internet back up to 25/25 Mbps (oh, FIOS is sweet for that). I’d say my plan is pretty obvious. My TV is over the internet and over the air, and It feels a little bit better this time around.
All of the underpinnings from my last cord curt are still there. Dell XPS 1210 laptop still VGA’s up to the 42′ plasma (thought still stuck at a 4/3 ratio, forcing me to use the zoom option to watch widescreen almost correctly). PlayOn, a software I bought a license to for $40 is now useless for pushing Hulu to Xbox thanks to the laptop hookup on the same TV, but now requres a yearly subscription to access more content, or the very same content on my iPad or iPhone. PlayOn is lost on me. Never really worked without frustration anyways on my over requirement 1.6 dual core, 2.5 GB ram laptop I attempted to serve it from.
One new thing I was pleased with was something called CoolTV. It’s a music channel being served by our local MyNetwork station at the 22.2 slot over the air. It’s, you know, like MTV used to be. Where they play videos. A quick mention on Twitter Sunday gained some interest from people in the area.
Another surprise is how much we’ve just left the TV off. Instead of having it on just because while sitting in the living room chair working on her many new ventures, I know Missy will often leave the TV off on a Sunday morning. Without the multitude of options of Food Network, or Home and Garden television, I wonder if the TV will stay off more, or end up on a Pandora music station instead (which is mostly what we use Boxee for on the television) I know I sat down at the dining room table to work on a few things with only my iPad to catch up with this week’s WWE Smackdown with. Another new wrinkle in our television watching.
Is your cord cut? How long have you gone without? I’m hoping to have a bit longer run this time.
On a personal note.Well. Friday was my birthday. Number 30. The big Three OH! I wasn’t particularly “holy crap I’m old” but more “holy crap where’d those ten years go”.
It was also one of those things where I’ve had my head down doing so many things in this last week, and looking toward what needed done in the near future (holy crap there’s a lot) that when I finally rolled right into our reservations at Bravo (First time. Last time) I’m disarmed by seeing my mother, brother, sister, nephew, Chachi(my other brother), Veronica, and surprisingly, a coworker in Mulango, at a table. Seeing them playing with my crayons on the paper table clothe at the other end of the table was something to see. (oh. and there’s pictures)
This, and the utter blast at hitting up some bowling at Dormont Lanes, and some Tom’s Dudder joined by Dudders and da Ginga was a great way to top it off.
Then, over lunch, I was passed my iPad with this video ready to play.
This 17 year old kid lives in Corpus Christi, TX, and joins me just about every week via Skype to talk about wrestling on Tuesday nights and plays Quake Live with us on occasion. That he got all of my friends here in Pittsburgh, and one in the Bronx, to contribute to some thing like this without me catching wind of it was tremendous. </tear>
Forget all of your leads and followers and likes. This is when you know you’re doing social media right when distance
I’ve always saw the Tonight Show as one of those staple shows growing up. Carson raised my sense of humor, and I felt his leaving as one of those now rare moments in television. Since, it seems that show has been an oft battled for throne.
War for Late Night is another recommendation from TWIT’s long sustained Audible ads (affiliate link), which have fueled my wish list in that service fir some time now. I normally wouldn’t have delved into a book like this without a recommendation. What I found was a look at how truly screwed up the waning network television business really is. We discuss at great length at how much the content providers don’t “get it” when it comes to the battle of cable vs the Internet. It’s likely worse than thought if the history of this book holds true.
The book bounces back and forth in the timeline of late night in the last twenty years. First at thus up fronts featuring Jay Leno bombing at stand up heading into his 10 pm show. We get the story of elements of this plan being laid out five years earlier when NBC feared losing Conan and attempted to design a plan to keep both in the fold. Surprisingly, this book actually steps back and profiles anyone who’s mattered in the late night space in the last decade. Letterman, Ferguson, and Kimmel are all there, but so were Stewart and Colbert. Though with the final result of Conan ending up on cable, I shouldn’t be surprised.
In the midst of all of the motivations and conversations between execs, talent, and their representatives, there are also rumblings of the resistance of the “old ways and tradition” of something like the Tonight show as cable honchos and the pending Comcast merger are on the horizon. Conan is portrayed as the loyal employee, and a tiny bit neurotic, as most talents are. Jay is portrayed as all business, which is why he’s successful, and partially betrayed by NBC to begin with. We get incite into reactions and history of Letterman, Kimmel (including his Leno impression and shanghai’ing Leno on his own show), and more late night history than I ever wanted to know. The audiobook from Audible was very well read, and kept me into it for all 14+ hours of the book.
If your Team Conan, you’ll enjoy this one, for sure. I grew up on Carson and waned on Leno, and this was a great backstory for the last 20 years of that space!
Way back in about 2000, maybe 2001, my friend had a crazy love for all things football. this was something that led to his love for Arena Football. He sold me on a trip to Grand Rapids to see the Rampage play. This was coupled with a trip across Canada to the Falls and back home, making a trip out of it. We did this twice. I became a passing fan of the sport. Attended another one years later when the same friends moved close to the Ohio Valley Greyhounds to catch a game there with a smaller league. I knew from his and Wikipedia’s history lessons of Arena Football that Pittsburgh had the very first AFL Champions, and always hoped they would return.
I was ecstatic to hear we were finally getting the Pittsburgh Power this season. Not that I’m crazy about the name, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me. Chachi picked up tickets to the inaugural game, so it was on.
To begin the night, some organization snafus spoiled the night’s start for some. LiveingSocial had a deal for tickets. But you could only redeem them at one window, causing some to wait for 45 minutes, and well into the game in some cases. Aside from that, they closed the lower American Eagle (blech) entrance, forcing a mass of people to the Trib entrance, making another mess of things. The tickets for general admission are first come first serve, and seem to be open to most, if not all, of the upper seating area, which is plenty perfect for a view of the game from anywhere. Already people were sporting Pittsburgh Power jerseys and t-shirts. There was even a Power Man super hero that was walking around and got featured on the big screen!
It was the general feeling that most had no experience of Arena Football before this. For most, it seemed to resonate the Ginny’s That’sChurch.com posting first pegging the XFL in relation. A misnomer for most since this AFL has existed for over 20 years (sans that year they sort of folded and relaunched.) But it is sort of the best relation on a national stage. I was surprised to hear a familiar voice screeching on the mic in Bubba the Bulldog of The Fan, and more personally, filmed doing the same yells at IWC for one of my part time gigs, doing the in-arena announcing throughout the game. Mullens and The Fan plugs in tow.
Already, the sport was Yinzer-ized. Duquesne alum Joshua Rue, who fast was greeted with a low “RUUEEE” just as we have “Heath” in our Steelers games. Twitterers and other watchers started debating the yinzer version of Power “Let’s go see the Picksburg Pahr!”
By the second half, Chachi was hooked.
And he’s not the only one…
On Shireman’s point, you have to admit, this isn’t NFL football, and I think that cheaper option is the appeal. At one point of the game, I turned to Chachi and mentioned “if this was a Steeler game, we’d be broker, cold, and not able to see nearly as well the action from the nosebleeds”.
A tradition I knew from the old Rampage days, was after the game when the team and cheerleaders were on the field, and it was open to the crowd for meet and greets and autographs. I was more than pleased to see that that AFL tradition continues. Here’s a video of that experience, including Chachi meeting his new favorite player, Mike “Joystick” Washington, and Woycheck doing some field work for ThatsChurch.net.
Aside from the opening snafus, I haven’t heard a negative things since that game on Friday, and most are talking about going back just like Chachi is above. Here’s to the Pittsburgh Power. And here’s hoping they last longer than their predecessor.
Sometimes, In a rare instance, I’m pleased to look at what we’re building at SorgatronMedia.com and realize that, on the fornt page, it looks like an honest to goodness “content network”. We have so many irons in the fire right now, and it’s only going to grow.
SM Special: Doug Bradley Interview
This was fun. finally, the Toonseum footage was unveiled. Mulango really did a good job for not really ever seeing Hellraiser. And we did get a tip from one of the other patrons of the night to ask about the new Hellraiser. Mulango went into Football, and his disdain for it, soccor, and a little bit of what he’s working on.
Proof of the awesome stuff that can happen just for getting off the couch.
My only hangup with the interview was that Doug was a little slow and methodical to his answering. Nothing to bad, but I stretched for ways to keep it a little peppier. It’s a great interview either way.
I’m still on the couch. Along this time. The fun part of this episode was Chachi happening to still be on call for his IT day job. A problem since he was running the switcher. Awkward, but one of those “realism” spots to a live to tape Podcast like I like to run.
Mulango came back, which is always welcome. We’re working on some promotional stuff with him, and as always, his comic now at carboncopiedsquared.com
Jake Garrett is an independent wrestler from the area that I see socializing everywhere I work these days. Didn’t matter how awesome or less than awesome of a promotion I thought it was, he was there. I’ve engaged in some good conversation about said indy scene for a while now, and when doing so probably around January, I stopped mid conversation and said “why the hell aren’t we having this talk on the show? To which I made sure to note to myself to schedule him for a future shot. He was real great to have a frank discussion, without the hate that some workers seem to steam of, about the indies and even the big television. Jake was great enough to hang out with us going through the news of the week after our getting to know him session, and we made sure to give him a chance to plug his countingthelights.com
Chachi made an episode out of one tweet, and the causing situation, out of his endeavor to play 1,001 games via his blog (which has just been revamped and moved at www.ChachiSays.net). The man has become a machine in blogging. I’m still trying to find my ultimate muse on this one that he seems to make look easy with his gaming obsessions.
Part laziness. Part busyness. All because I really dug most of this new Noncents Vol. 17 album at Scrub Club Records.
It was a saying that I’d often hear as I left the house in Jamestown, PA as I ventured off in my early “career” as a bus boy at the local country club, or more necessarily, waiting at a Perkins on the weekends while commuting to my first quarter at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This was a period when I wasn’t all that excited about my job. Customer service is hard. And I was very much still developing my people skills.
But still, that was a phrase that resonated with my from my Dad. As I continued to find myself in work that didn’t quite excite me, or felt like where I wanted to be. I’d do my best to have fun, whether it be with my co-workers in the office, or making a game of the monotonous work. But then I looked at it another way. Maybe I didn’t have to struggle to counter the “job suffering” everyone thinks we are entitled to until retirement.
Have fun AND make money.
I made a choice back in August to change my work to grow a bit more. Thankfully, my employer went for it along with me. (along with some suggestions on how it could actually help the company. Yes, my not being here helps the company. Trust me. It makes more sense then it sounds.) Now, while still working a few days a week as a safety training “Video Specialist and Technologist”, I also have a a job helping with social media and new media oppurtunities, including, oddly enough, a print magazine, as a Director of Web Media. Aside from this, I have the openess to obtain gigs shooting pro wrestling, Democratic debates, edit activism videos, assist with a web series, and continue with my attempt to build a media empire on the side. I transition from videography, editing, and juggling social media on a daily basis. I’m busier than I’ve ever found myself in my life. And no matter how busy…
I’m having a blast doing it. Every day.
While it’s been hard to strike that balance to find the work that pays the bills, as long as that’s accomplished, what more could you want?
Are you having fun yet?
Norm came back! We got Norm to come back and in studio, so no Gene Wilder behind him this time. He works just over the hill at Loud Mountain, so it was opportune to have him in to talk about another area company and the relaunched StromHuelsman Podcast, which I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. He’s always trying new things over there.
Wrestling Mayhem Show 259: #winning #iwantwrestling
Dave Lagana joined us for this one. An interview I’d looked forward to since I’ve been a big fan of his latest iwantwrestling.com blog and podcast series. It was a good half hour of talking about writing for WWE, Ring of Honor’s iPPVs, and the new social media stuff. I hope to have a chance at a more extensive conversation some time in the future. Maybe on the AwesomeCast?
Aside from that, I’m tackling this issue of settling for my usual compatriots on the show. Everyone is good and usually have great chemistry when we’re not all angry about TNA, but I really believe keeping different faces from week to week keeps things fresh. You know. So there are different takes on why TNA sucks from week to week at least. So we’ll be invoking a “week off” approach to the regular crew members to make room for new faces from week to week.
Also. We’re the first ones, I’m aware of, to Charlie Sheen hashtag a title. Just saying.
Sorgatron Media Attached to 2 Proclamations!
Wednesday, we went down to support Chachi in front of City Council for his Chachi Plays Day announcement. We had plenty of people both onhand in person and in the chat room courtesy of the Justin.tv app for my iPhone 3GS, until the battery died, then Chachi’s G2, which didn’t hold a connection for long periods at a time.
Apologies to those swamped by the tweets every time I resumed the feed. Whoops. #TwitterConnectFail
A nice companion piece to the proclamation for Chachi Plays for Kids. We did some quick FlipCam stuff before and after, and had the…grand…Justin.tv footage of the proclamation moment itself.
Music Funtime Show 35
More nerdcore. More free music. Really need to consider a way to mix this up again. Perhaps a look at ressurecting some interview concepts or the video version may be in order soon…
Since this is aimed for a print publication that will be gracing doctor’s offices across the tri-state area, I wanted to share this with you, my faithful blog readers (Hello? Are you out there?) first. Stay tuned to (client) S’eclairer’s website for details as we get things off the ground!
I have been a student of social media for years. The early days of Twitter. The opening of Facebook to more than the closed college crowds. I’ve had my try at building communities before many of these tools were available to us. Over the years watching others create communities and broadcast their deepest thoughts, and sometimes not so deep perspectives, I’ve been amazed at the ways that it’s been used as a tool for people to overcome obstacles or grow closer.
I’m a fan of Kevin Smith since my early days watching Clerks, and the rest the Jersey series. I’ve listened to Smodcast (www.smodcast.com. Warning: Explicit Content) for a while now, and discovered I was behind on this new series titled “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old”. I’m not a fan of all of their shows, but love the dialog between Smith and Scott Mosier or Smith and Jason Mewes. I ran through about the first seven episodes of this newer show as they detailed the stories of Mewes and his battles with addictions and rehab over the very same years that I was enjoying the Jay and Silent Bob series of movies.
Then it hit me. The reveal. The fact that these Podcasts were a way to keep Kevin Smith’s friend Jason Mewes clean by creating a support group of thousands of listeners every week that he has to answer to. This way if he were ever to fall off the wagon once more, the purpose of a show like this was tremendous, and on such a large stage. I started thinking about similar uses of Podcasting.
Others have started using social media to meet other goals in their lives. One of the most recent phenomonons is to “Tweet your weight” or have a food blog. Leo Laporte, a technology radio and netcasting host for his own This Week in Tech (www.twit.tv) network, is someone making his weight loss accountable to over 2,700 followers by using the Withings Wifi Bodyscale to report his latest weight at www.Twitter.com/leos_scale automatically. Others, such as Will Rutherford of www.thoughtfulriot.com, reports his daily eatings on a separate blog (thehungrylunchbox.blogspot.com), which is a concept he networks with a group of friends doing the same, which helps him think twice about what he may be eating.
But social media can also be less about accountability, and more about connecting, as well.
Joe and Betsy of www.joeandbetsy.com were a couple that were displaced in Pittsburgh, PA and used blogging to cope with that fish out of water situation and stay connected to their friends and family back home. Norm Huelsman, a fellow organizer of the Podcamp Pittsburgh “Unconference” has used his blogging tools to connect his family through a series of blogs rooted at www.huelsman.org.
My friend Robert Bailie of www.BurghsEyeView.com started his show as a father/son bonding show of sorts to follow his football career. ”The show was actually a vehicle that helped me connect with my son in a man to man enviroment as we navigated my divorce from his mother…” said Hutch when I asked him about it recently. A purpose not discussed ,ever, on the show, but important to the show’s creator. But when Hutch Sr. was sent to Iraq for a period of time, it helped cope with the time away, and eventually became a way to connect, as he calls it “Pittsburghers in exile”, those that love their fair city, but have been drawn away by their career, education, or other means.
Looking for help to start a conversation?
- podcamppgh.blip.tv - There are over 100 videos from right here in the Tristate area thanks to Podcamp Pittsburgh. Everything from Twitter to Podcasting to the Pittsburgh Penguins is discussed.
- www.CommonCraft.com – Developers of the wildly popular “…in Plain English” series of videos that explain social media and technology in an easy to digest method.
Michael Sorg is the Director of Web Media at S’eclairer, a Co-organizer of Podcamp Pittsburgh, and Video and Web Media Producer for his own Sorgatron Media where he continues to stretch his creating muscles.
- Bringing an iPad to a meeting means you will talk about the iPad. To keep light on the travel since I was going to be bouncing around downtown, I’ve converted to bringing my iPad along instead of my bulkier 15″ laptop. Of course, I do this on the day they announce new iPads. But still, it’s a curiosity. The commercials are everywhere. The variety of tablets coming out claiming to edge into the iPad’s market. It’s tablet fever out there man! Thankfully, some of the conversation was around digital distribution, so it was a nice sample platform to show off.
- Repetition. In all three of my meetups, I had some very similar conversations about social media and content development. And I certainly was not bored reiterating those points. It’s just interesting to see friends’ Twitter feeds fearing meetings and to have a packed day like this that can have not one meeting I fretted, even though all were about future or expanding projects. And some of it was a great practice for my upcoming Twitter teaching session coming up this week.
- Starbucks. It is everywhere. And a quick go to. That’s why they win. I wanted to go to a Crazy Mocha so bad. But it wasn’t open to 11 in Greentree, or around the corner from my potential client’s office in Market Square. It’s like Facebook. You don’t really enjoy the process, but you go make a presence there because everyone is already hanging around it. When you put one every three blocks, or every outlying borough in the ‘burbs, you get a day like this that earned me a Barista badge on Foursquare.
- I love downtown. And I miss it. I love these days that give me an excuse to venture down there. Maybe not daily, but it’s great to get down there and be a “townie”
What sort of meetings are you having?
AwesomeCast 39: Peanut Butter on the Shelf
I was having something of a rough day at work, and Chachi stepped up and offered to take on switching the show, putting me on the couch! This was something different and really brought out a different side of me on the show. It’s amazing how much freer it feels when you’re not tied to camera switching and juggling show notes behind the board. Somehow, I decided to take Android to task as a platform, bashing it any chance I got.
Wrestling Mayhem Show 258: A Room Full of Bill Cosby
We got back to some fun, and heated, discussion. This time, AJ and Mad Mike took a side of the lack of awesomeness of the Undertaker/Triple H staredown. So heated, in fact, that our chatted wanted to know who got wrestlefan in the divorce.
Chachi Plays 23: Happy Birthday Zelda!
Chachi was back to the home office, and showed off his love for Zelda on his sleeve. It was a nice homage to ove of the best games of all time.
Music Funtime Show 34
A great week for new music! This week, we were welcomed with a release of Zealous1′s newest album Rise, and I was passed an advance of Dirtball’s new Nervous System disc out today.
SM Special: Toonseum
Already discussed, but a great interview, and I’ve heard some great feedback on it. Look for Doug Bradley this week!
I also had another wrestling shoot over the weekend where the ring broke in the first match. This as well as one of our cords for the ringside camera going black and white during the same. Here’s a shot from the DVD booth at the impromptu intermission.