Why Facebook’s “Lookback” is so great.


So, I have to admit, I love Facebook above all other social media platforms. Why? Because it’s a personal experience with friends and co-workers, that isn’t really business focused. But I mostly have “business friends” on it.

I have a modest amount (compared to some) of friends on Facebook. Somewhere north of 350+. However 90% of those are friends I don’t get to see on a regular basis, we were probably co-workers at some point and I loved having lunch with them, and we shared lots of fun times, but I don’t hang out with them. It brings folks closer together that would have drifted apart. I love seeing them get older (just as I do), seeing what food they eat (and make!), and love seeing them have children and families and finding out about their lives. It’s much better than simply drifting apart. It makes them real. Real people with lives outside of the work environment.

So that brings me to Facebook’s latest thing, “Lookback”. I spend most of Facebook’s 10th Birthday Party watching my friends videos. I could hum the theme by the end of the day. It was great to see people’s posts in action. I really brought the friendships we have to life. I think it had the most “success” of anything they have done in a long time, just based on how many of my friends participated.


But it’s even greater than that. I think it’s the next step for Facebook. Talking with my friend Ken, he commented that he doesn’t use Facebook that much, but would if there were more interactive, creative things to do on Facebook like this. Today, they added the Edit feature to the Lookback videos. Being able to edit a highlights video of posts, should only be the first step Facebook does. Imagine being able to share your vacation pictures as a cool video with music. Or instead of a yearly look back that Facebook decides for you, how about an interactive wall of posts and videos that you can create.

I saw a blog about “Nobody wants to see your Facebook Lookback Video”. Written by a self-proclaimed “hater”. Well I stand up and say “I want to see yours!” I maxed out over 40 on the first day alone, and have tried my best to keep up. I am standing up for the people who liked (loved) the feature and wish there was more of it. I’m a sappy guy I guess.

Imagination could lead to many more users, that are constantly getting drawn to the latest social media darlings like Vine. Mark and team, thanks for 10 years and keep doing things that will bring users back to Facebook, because that’s where my friends are.


Where do you sit?

So this topic came up last night with my wife.

Where do you sit in a classroom, or event? Does it show who you are? Are you a “front row” person? Or a “Back of the class” kinda guy (or girl) Do you think it reveals something about yourself? Does a back of the class person goof off? Not want to be called on? Is the front row person a “teacher’s pet”?


I have no answers, I was just thinking about it.

BTW, I sit in the first few rows usually, if I can.


My few days with Google Glass (And my thoughts on other wearable technology)…

I had noticed my friend and CEO of the awesome TeeFury Company (Unique T-shirts only sold for 24 hours), Sam had posted something about getting a pair of Google Glass(es) on Facebook and I immediately posted that I would love to take a look at them. He was gracious enough to give them to me to try out for a few days over the holidays.

After setting them up (Which involved signing up on Google and generating a QR code which held my information, and Wifi Router SSID/Password) and pairing it to my iPhone, I was ready to go. Or was I? There was a bit more things to set up. Do you want to “Wink” to take a picture? (Yes) You can do that right on the glasses themselves. There was a few other options, like powering off, if they tilt down enough, or sleep options. The option to add contacts needed to be done on a PC. Some reason it didn’t pull over my gmail contacts (Or at least I don’t think it did) and I had to go into my “Glass Contacts” to add at least myself. More on that in a moment.


So I got them connected and going. I was worried the small screen being less than 2” in front of my eyeball was going to be a problem. I wear reading glasses and can’t see anything up close. And there is no room for your regular glasses in-between (or over) the Google Glass. However once the screen was up and running it was as sharp as can be! It’s small at .5 inches, but it seemed to be big enough. Not sure why I could see it clearly, but the screen appeared to be floating out in front of me, with no blurriness issues from my poor sight. One thing that my friend noticed was you can adjust the screen in and out, but not up or down. Playing with the Glasses, the viewing angle worked best when the glasses were a bit above your eyelevel and you needed to look up a little to see the screen. It makes sense as the screen shouldn’t be directly in front of your eye, and more at the eyebrow level.

Interacting with them was a little confusing at first. Now, since this pair was borrowed, I’m not sure if I missed out on an included owner’s manual, but the “plastic” side of the glasses (on the right side) acts as a touchpad. You can swipe up or down, or forward or backwards to activate, scroll, pinch/zoom (never got that to work) and tap to enter. There are only two buttons. One power button and one capture button. The thing labeled “Glass” back by your ear, looks like a button, but is actually a bone conduction speaker that feeds audio right into your brain! Google Glass understands voice control as well. I was mostly impressed with speaking and having it understand my voice. Moving through the menus whether by voice or by touchpad/buttons, took a little figuring out, but once I understood the commands and gestures, it was easy to navigate through the controls.

Using them, I really only got to search the web and take pictures and videos. Not sure if it was because I was using a iPhone, but the GPS option was not available. Viewing YouTube on the Glasses, didn’t give me a fullscreen view unless I happened to “google” and select a video right from the results page. Otherwise going to YouTube and finding a videos gave me a small frame, with the YouTube logo at the top. Taking pictures and videos were certainly easy and the pictures and video it took were decent, but it wouldn’t let me preview anything before I could snap a picture. Some of the pictures weren’t framed exactly how I thought they would be because of the lack of a preview. The wink option to take picture worked great, and recognized a wink vs. a blink. Fun to goof around with, but I would still prefer a camera or even my cell phone. One thing that was a bit annoying was the need to add contacts to send the pictures to someone or to even post to my Google+ page. (Wait, I have one of those?). After I added myself to the Google Glass Contacts, I could at least send myself a picture/video.

Here is my pug Cosmo, in my backyard.


Which brings me to the summary. Wearing technology like this is not for everyone. You look at best like a cyborg, and at worst a total dork. Friends commented that I should wear them “out” and record people’s reactions. Umm, no. You would certainly start to look creepy. I am much more of a fan of smartwatches. Now, I don’t have one yet, as I am still waiting for Apple to introduce their watch, but I have been eyeing the Pebble quite a bit. The price is right, the battery lasts more than 24 hours, and it does what a smartwatch should. I’ve seen the Galaxy Gear and think they tried to do too much. Camera in the strap? Not the best idea. Speaker phone on your wrist? Not as dorky as Google Glass, but close. The screen is fantastic (at the expense of the battery life) and navigating it looked good. (This is all from a 30 second demo my friend Ken gave me so take this with a grain of salt) I want my watch to just tell me who is calling, what the text message I just got said, maybe link up to weather and RunKeeper to tell me how far I’ve run. If I need to make a call, I can pull out the phone. Maybe have a couple of pre-determined messages to reply or send back to a text or call if I am busy. I don’t need a Dick Tracy watch on my wrist, I just want a smaller duplicate screen to see what is up. Until then, I thank Sam for loaning me the Google Glass Explorer Edition ($1500) to try out, but you won’t catch me looking like a Cyborg at South Coast Plaza anytime soon.

Because I Said I Would…

As we close out 2013, I wanted to write about New Years Resolutions. According to statisticbrain.com, 45% of Americans usually make a New Years Resolution and another 17% infrequently make a New Years Resolution.

The Success rate? 8%.

So over half of us, sometimes make a N.Y.R. but only 8% of those folks keep it. An interesting tidbit, was more people in their twenties keep their resolutions than those over 50. The most popular resolution in 2012 was “Lose Weight”. There are more stats here for your enjoyment.

But this brings me to the point of this post. How can you get better at keeping your resolutions? Do you keep your promises? Like, I promise I will call you. Or I promise to send you that email. How often do those slip away and don’t happen? I know you may not say “I Promise”, but telling someone you will do something, and not doing it, is really a promise broken. At the end of the trainings I do, I emphasize the importance of doing what you say you will do. Clients respond to those that keep their word. You told someone you would send them the quote on Tuesday? You better get it to them Tuesday. You said you would call tomorrow? You better call tomorrow. Do what you say you’re going to do!

How can you be better at it? Realize the importance when you say something. Treat it as the most important promise you can make. Sounds silly, but if you PROMISED to send an email, you would probably make a greater effort than just, “I’ll send you that info tomorrow”.

For something as important as a New Years Resolution, publicize it. Share it with friends and co-workers. If your goal is to lose weight, or some self-improvement/education development (That was the #1 “Type of Resolution”) let others know. They can help and be supportive.

The title of this post is from the website Because I said I would. I love the idea of this place. Download and print a card. Write your promise on it and tell people about it. The site received a lot of publicity recently when a drunk driver took responsibility for hitting and killing a man but there are plenty of success stories on the site, and it was started by young man, whose father taught him the importance of a promise kept. Here is the website’s own description.

Because I said I would is a social movement dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise. To encourage positive change and acts of kindness, we send “promise cards” to anywhere in the world at no cost. Because I said I would also executes charitable projects in support of other non-profit organizations and good they bring into the world.  

So, I started really thinking about what I wanted to write on my first card. It had to be really important to me. It had to be something I would have to fight to do, and I wanted to post it for the world to see.


Boom! Here is to a great 2014.

Travel Tips. Or how to be a better traveler!

As my 2013 draws to a close, and I think about my record-breaking (for me) travels this year, I wanted to remind folks of some travel basics, and my thoughts on travelers.

This year was certainly a record for me. Now, I am not a “Platinum” anything, nor have I ever been. But I did go to five international destinations this year (Singapore, Sydney, Mumbai, Amsterdam and Brussels) and I certainly saw my fair share of folks traveling. My first “Tip” is always a laugh for me, because it’s so basic yet folks are often not concerned with other travelers that might be late for a plane or in more of a hurry than they are.


Walk on Left, Stand on Right!
Come on folks. This one is basic. Blocking an entire walkway, with you cart/bags/children/body is not only rude, but you might be preventing someone from catching their flight. If you are not walking, move you and your 17 items to the right side, far enough for someone else to pass. Easy.

Along with Walk Left/Stand Right is its close friend, The “Wall O’ Family”. Now I don’t expect families with all their children to walk single file, but can you corral them into a smaller herd so they aren’t blocking an entire walkway? I love the parents with the child on a leash that extends so far that no one can get by, or the folks that basically walk hand in hand, so no one can pass. If you want to hold your children’s hands in a crowded airport (Something I completely understand), make an effort to keep them close to you, and understand other folks might want to move faster than you.

Now, I would much rather have a crying child near me than a drunk, a loud mouth (More on that under “Speaker Phone Idiots” below) or other obnoxious adults, however I can not stand “KICKING THE CHAIR” kids. My seat is my space and when your child is pounding the back of my chair when I am in it and you do nothing, I will. Once or twice? Not problem, but if you ignore your child, I will parent your spawn and you won’t like it.

You might think my childless attitude is just uncaring and I don’t understand being a parent. Well you’re kinda right. I don’t have kids, and I haven’t had the joys of traveling with my own children. But I have traveled with many well-behaved kids, been stuck on the runway for hours right next to well-behaved ones, that the parents kept under control and I have even assisted! One of my best flying experiences was with a kid right next to me and the mom ran out of food and I shared my snacks and made it a good time. The lovely well-behaved (yet hungry) child even drew me a picture. (It’s a squirrel on a motorcycle, jumping through a flaming hoop, while a plane drops axes on him and bombs, and there are sharks in there, and all us passengers are at the bottom)…hmmmm


It’s not about having perfect children, it’s about just making sure they are somewhat controlled.

Now, if you are still reading and don’t think I am a total crank, here are some of my other tips for both newbie flyers and you “Status” folks.

  • Armrests / Reading A Newspaper: You don’t own the entire space across all the seats. Reading a newspaper usually requires a width wider than a seat. Two of my flights this year, I had half a newspaper across my face because the seat hog next to me, thought he could take over the row. Fold it up if you must read todays news. With that, the middle seat should get priority on the “center” armrests. Both the window and the aisle get their own, exclusive armrest, the least we could do is give the poor middle seat the armrests. And armrests are ALWAYS down.
  • Putting Your Seat Back: Now if it was up to me, seats wouldn’t recline, but I know some people like to recline. Just two requests. If you get up from your seat, put your seat back up, and on those rare occasions you get food on a plane, put them up then too. Nothing like trying to eat with a seatback in your face.
  • Turn Your Speaker Phone/Tablet Sounds Off: No one wants to hear both sides of your conversation, your video game, your movie or anything else. Also file under controlling your children. Turn their sounds off too.
  • Carry-ons / Too Much Baggage: When did a rolling garment bag qualify as a carry-on? I have often seen 3-5 bags for a single person. What is up with that? And women, your purse is your personal item. My wife puts her purse in a bigger duffle bag, and that goes under her seat. I did all my traveling this past year with just carry-ons. And I limited it to TWO. A carry-on sized roller and a backpack. My backpack fits under a seat. If my wife can do 8 days in Europe with a carry-on, anyone can. Or CHECK IT.
  • Personal Hygiene: This goes without saying, yet I need to say it. Take a shower before you travel. Limit your perfume/cologne. I have been next to stinky people, dusty people, dirty people and it’s nasty. Clean yourself.

Thanks for listening.

Do your business cards stink?

I still love business cards. There is something about fresh cut card stock that sends my nose into heaven. But are your cards in need of a makeover? Ask yourself a few questions.

Who am I branding?
If your card has other logos or brands besides your own, why are they on there? I know this will hit people hard, because so many folks do it but…Do you think it makes you unique? Trust me, there are about 26.52 billion MCSPQRS3.14159265359 Certifications out there and slapping that logo on your card doesn’t mean anything to your customers. Now, I have seen some cards with certifications on them that don’t really seem out of place or really are a differentiator, but think twice before you brand someone else, over your own brand.

Will this card be kept?
I love catchy cards. I was given one recently for an IT company that was created to look like a old computer punch card. Make it special. You have a chance to stand out from the crowd with your card, so find something cool, new or different. I have received metal cards, plastic cards and other unusual materials…however that leads me to…

Can I write on it?
I hate glossy cards. (would Patrick Bateman carry a glossy card?) I often take notes about follow up and what I want to discuss with you on the back of your card. If it’s glossy, or full of logos (See above) I can’t write on it. Think of them as a mini note card.

Take advantage of this old school networking tool and make it great.