I’m Still Here

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I don’t know how to begin to explain the incredible, sad, scary, surreal and utterly crazy details of my life the past year. If nothing important or special ultimately comes from it, then it’s not that great of a story anyway; wait for the book ;)

I’m not a real fan of excuses, so I won’t offer you any. In short; I hit an especially bad patch in my personal life and during the long, painful and pathetic healing process I’ve been a bit of a recluse. B00-hoo, right?!

I suspect that a sudden and prolonged absence from “public life” is not necessarily a good choice for a person whose main career focus the past few years has been web technology, social media and community management.

Since I can’t go back time, I’ll just have to deal. Regret and dumb mistakes are simply not going to stop me this late in the game.

I’m Not Back; I Never Left

Despite my year-long personal funk and temporary loss of mojo, I have not lost the underlying passion for web technology, sharing knowledge and connecting with people that originally started me on this journey.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who continue to believe that I have enough talent and skills to keep me employed in the career field I chose. I owe much more to those who have taken me under their wing, educated me and allowed me such close access to their brilliance. The only way I can repay those people is to reach my full potential.

I have not been a total loser, check out my updated LinkedIn profile and stay tuned here to see what I do next. My plan is to use this blog as a home base for everything I do. I already have tons of cool and useful things to show you from my social media internship at Tripwire, Inc. and much more.

DC11 Toolbox ‹ Doug Coleman — WordPress

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Tools ‹ Doug Coleman — WordPress.

What I’m Up To

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After seeing fellow Portland writer Steven Walling’s post Changes Afoot, it occurred to me that I should update my status to reflect my recent changes also.

I am no longer covering the weekend news beat at ReadWriteWeb.  In my situation, the amount of time I had to spend writing and covering breaking news during the weekend was not conducive to a harmonious family life.  I do hope I can continue to be useful to RWW in the future, as working there has been one of the great experiences of my life and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.  It’s hardly possible to properly thank Marshall Kirkpatrick and founder Richard MacManus for the opportunity they have given me.  Working with the whole RWW team has been a worthwhile experience for sure.

Right now I am continuing to work as a freelance writer and I’m beginning to specialize in social media and community management.  I have been writing various articles for newspapers and magazines as well as online and lately have been putting out some feelers, looking for a “real job”.  I love freelancing, but the feast-or-famine nature of it is stressful now that I have a family to support.  There are at least a couple of exciting opportunities I am looking into and for now I am keeping my options open.

I am determined to do what I am passionate about for a living, that’s just how I roll.  This is a exciting and challenging time for me, I’ll keep you posted.

This thing actually kind of sucks becaus…

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This thing actually kind of sucks because I can’t add links when I post this way (from the “Hi, douglas. Whatcha up to?” box in this theme). What’s up with that and why didn’t I notice it before I installed the P2 theme? I guess it’s because I don’t really post here much.

My personal blog was supposed to be a real thing of beauty, my ticket to blogging super-stardom. In reality it’s kind of a piece of crap. I try to do this shit for a living and frankly this site doesn’t pay me, so I don’t work on it much.

Well anyway, just testing this out writing things nobody will ever read.

How’s your mother? Tell her I said hi.

JournoPDX: Video 101 Cheap Software and Editing Tricks

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This is an excellent presentation from Digital Journalism Camp PDX 2009. KGW Live @ 7 producer Aaron Weiss and StrangeLoveLive.com producer Mike Gebhardt (@drnormal) show us their best software and editing tricks to produce, edit and post videos on the Web.

Iterasi Now Tracks and Archives Traditional and Social Media Sites (Sweet!)

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I had occasion to remark yesterday about how cool I think Web archiving startup Iterasi is. My wife, owner of our small multimedia company, had discovered that one of the Websites she designed and built for a local sign company had been changed. There was apparently a spat between the owners about money and someone did not want to pay for any more Website changes or updates. They were happy with Robin’s work, they just thought they could save some money on Web maintenance.  You know how that goes, right? Some secretary or intern has a Facebook page and maybe a cool blog and convinces the boss that they can update and maintain the company site for a lot less money. Anyway, the end result is that Robin can no longer use that site in her portfolio because it’s a mess now. Most people I bitched to about this problem told me to try Wayback Machine, an internet archive for researchers, historians, and scholars.  The Wayback Machine is great, but there were no matches for this particular local small business site.  It’s not really that big of  deal, she has plenty of good Websites for her portfolio, but I feel kind of dumb for not archiving it myself.  This whole mess could have been avoided if we had archived the entire site in Iterasi.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with Iterasi and what it does.   I am not going to review it here for you now, but I will tell you it is one of my favorite internet apps ever.  Rick Turoczy described it best when he called it “your own personal Wayback Machine”.   Admittedly, I haven’t used it much lately, but that’s going to change.  I mostly use it to archive my own writing for various outlets and other projects.  You can check out my public archives here.

As fate would have it, call it some sort of cosmic synchronicity if you will, I was reading my favorite local Portland tech blog Silicon Florist today and the headline read: PositivePress: Iterasi uses Web Archiving Technology to Track Traditional and Social Media Coverage.  Sweet!

Basically the company has “retooled” its technology, updated its site and added some functionality for tracking and archiving traditional and social media sites.  The cool part is that it’s using good ‘ol RSS to feed its archiving engine.  According to Iterasi CEO Pete Grillo:

We really didn’t have to look too far to find the best method to monitor and capture interesting stories on the Web. Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is both simple and ubiquitous. It is simple in that it exists on virtually every news source, blog, search engine and social media source. Most browsers identify RSS feeds automatically. RSS has emerged as the de-facto technology used throughout the Internet to pass information. Think of RSS as the silk that makes the Internet into a Web. From simple tools like browser-based readers to complex programming tools like Yahoo Pipes, RSS is the answer to subscribing to information flow in the Open Web.

To learn more about Iterasi and its exciting new changes, be sure to check out the Iterasi blog.  While you’re at it, follow the company on Twitter @Iterasi and definitely go bug CEO @petegrillo for his latest omelette recipe.    His own personal archived pages on Iterasi are pretty darn interesting also, you can pick your way through those here.

Random Email Stuff

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Here is a correspondence with a person looking for some help building a Website. I don’t know why I am making a blog post out of it, it just seems interesting. Nobody reads the crap I write here anyway, right?!

Hi,

Word on the street (actually a Twitter update from @XXXXXXXXX) is that you may be looking for some help with WordPress. I have some experience with WordPress and I could help you out and even teach you about it if you want. I have included my contact info in my signature, feel free to email or call me anytime.

Thanks,

Doug Coleman
Freelance Writer, Social Media, Multimedia, Web and Communications Specialist
Blog: http://dougcoleman.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @dougcoleman
Friendfeed: http://friendfeed.com/dougcoleman
Phone: (503) 912-1446 (503) 869-3416 (cell)

I got this response:

Hi,
Thanks for your interest in our project. I’ve heard from a bunch of folks interested in the re-design so I need to winnow. Any ideas on how to choose a web designer? I’d love to hear them. Thanks.

and I responded…

Hi Gary,

I would say right off hand to look at that person’s portfolio of sites they have designed. Do some research to see if their cost fits your budget. Speak with others that they have done work for. It sounds like a no-brainer, but meet that person face-to-face and simply see if you like them. A good designer should also have good communication skills as they need to communicate with those providing the content and administrators. You should have some sort of written contract that provides a timeline and spells out what is expected from both parties involved. I would say go local, there are many good Web designers in Oregon and the Portland metro area.

Ultimately, the success of a site is up to you (or whoever is in charge of it). You need to be very clear about your goals and expectations. It doesn’t hurt to meet with a consultant about the Web and what social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) could do for your business. It’s not as expensive as you might think to hire a consultant and most businesses really benefit from it.

Here is a search page about choosing a good Web designer. Look through these, there is some good info here: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=eDQ&ei=d1d3SoezMo7gswPh26TVBA&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=choosing+a+good+web+designer&spell=1

I hope this helps, good luck.

Doug

I helped a little, right? I answer people’s questions like this all the time, on lots of different networks. I think I would make a great community manager…just sayin’.

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