Archive - July, 2009

Thieves ‘using Google Earth to steal koi carp’ –

The evolution of the privacy issue continues. My mother was concerned about people posting information about their holiday travels.  At the sames time, many have begun to transmit their coordinates via GPS to connect with other friends by searchable proximity.  This alleged crime via Google Earth, however, falls into a “I know what’s in your backyard” category. Is it an invasion of privacy to peak if a company like Google has made the data public without our permission? Can I fill out a form somewhere that says my house is a little black square on the map? Should I be concerned or should I embrace it at the same level as my drooling over a kite boarding advertisement in Facebook that understands my interests? I guess I’d feel differently if I had Koi pond.

Thieves ‘using Google Earth to steal koi carp’ –

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Speed Networking by

I really enjoyed attending a speed networking event this week that’s produced by (Get Networking Now). Rebecca Johnson and Darby Flynn do an awesome job of promoting and organizing events. It didn’t hurt that the event was at Brew It Up with some tasty grub and really good beer.

The real value was in the quick connections, although I think my approach is a bit different than that of some others. Many sit down with their new, instant contact and quickly pitch their product or service after sticking a business card in front of you. Instead, I ask people what their goal or dream is and how I can help. I’ll also ask about passion. I find the connection is better and deeper faster. For example, Jennifer Wilkins is a Human Resource pro for Tony’s Fine Foods. Our very short discussion was just enough to learn that she loves doing floral arrangements and has a passion for history. She’s debating what Masters degree to pursue. We committed to learning more about how we can help each other and are more likely to do so than if I only knew about her current job.

Try it at your next networking event! And, if you can make it in Sacramento – get to an event by If someone sticks a business card in your hand then ask, “Why would I call you?”

Twitter – looking past spam and celebrity tweets

I’m often asked questions like, “What is Twitter?” and, “How is Twitter useful?” It can be easier to demonstrate than it is to talk about and explain – at least it is for me. The real technological capability above and beyond the “What are you doing?” phenomenon is just beginning to be tapped. And, the opportunity for invention and creative application reaches beyond the mainstream noise. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find interesting examples of how twitter is much more than just another way for the MLM crowd to spam you!

Often I reference a story about a college student that “twitterized” his laundry machines to announce availability.  This could have saved me a lot of trips to the basement of my dorm freshman year.  The twitter feed is

Here’s Justin Wicket’s video on how he’s set up his lights to go on and off by sending a tweet via text:

Control Lights with Twitter from Justin Wickett on Vimeo.

And this from Gizmodo: “Ryan Rose added an ethernet port and a limit switch to his washer to detect on/off cycles and transmit the data in a more forceful way than some lame “ding” sound. When Ryan’s drawers are done, his washer sends the signal to a couple of LED signs in his living room that flash “WASH,” as well as sending Tweets to his questionably-named Twitter account, Pimpy3Wash.”567813_com_botanicall

Another great example is the Botanicalls House Plant Twitter Kit.  It’s still very Do-it-yourself with regard to assembly, but you can use twitter to monitor your plant and whether or not it’s getting the water it needs.  It’s discussed on as well.

Have some other examples of unique uses of twitter or other social technology tools? Please comment or send us a tweet ~ @socialmediapath.