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 ūüėČ

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.

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snapshot-of-me-11I have repeatedly neglected my blog.¬† Which is not that big of deal because I write this blog for me, not necessarily you.¬† But like I’ve said to you before, I have good reasons.¬† The main reason is that I have taken my first professional blogging gig.¬† If you haven’t heard, I am writing for ReadWriteWeb’s new website, Jobwire (I haven’t updated my “About” page here yet).¬† This is challenging, but it is no excuse for not posting on my blog.

I have been wanting to re-do my blog for some time now and I’m not sure which direction to go.¬† I am still contemplating my next move.¬† Until I get it figured out, I am going to try to post more often, even if it is just links to other people’s cool stuff, videos, etc..¬† I also plan to write a series of posts about my wonderful experiences working with Marshall Kirkpatrick and our super-smart, supremely talented Jobwire team.

Here’s a couple of cool things to tide you over:

November 23rd Episode of Strange Love Live– With special guest Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb

The Great Portland Interview Experiment– Check it out, it’s another cool thing Portlanders are doing

San Francisco Artist Looks To Replace Lost Eye With Webcam

I am also going to start posting what apps I am using lately and probably post some screencasts and demos, so look for that.  Look for new, functional additions to the Multimedia Misfit real soon, like my recently added FriendFeed badge. Please feel free to contact me with tips and suggestions.

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library), Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape

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I’ve heard great things about this guy. Wow, I’m impressed. Just when I start questioning what I am doing, I’m gonna watch this video.

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Get Busy Dude!

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I have been slacking on my blog lately.  It is not because I have nothing to write about or nothing cool to show you.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  Since the day I really discovered blogging and other social networks at WebVisions 2008 , I have thought of little else.  But there are other issues to consider when you enter the blogisphere, and I got a little spooked until I was able to sort it all out for myself.  The main issue I had was about privacy.  But instead of writing a post about privacy issues on the internet, I will just let you know the conclusions I reached about privacy:

1.¬† I don’t care if the world knows everything about me.¬† As long as I can keep my bank account, financial and medical records safe, I am not too concerned.¬† Otherwise, my life is an open book.

2.  I will use my own name.  After all, Doug Coleman is my brand right now.

3. I will put my resume and contact information in my blog.   I think a blog is a great tool to get work.

So, there it is.  I am not so spooked anymore.  Like I said in an earlier post (Why Have a Blog?), I am still very new to the whole social media scene and I have much to learn.  And I have much to write about.

Besides WebVisions 2008, I have had been to a number of events and gatherings that have given me a lot to write about.¬† At a DevGroup NW event, I heard Greg Rewis, the Group Manager of Creative Solutions Evangelism at Adobe Systems, Inc..¬† I also attended the Cascade Siggraph “Get a Job in Computer Graphics” event.¬† My PCC Multimedia Club has been busy building computers for needy students at Free Geek, and we just had our end of the year party.¬† I am fresh out of some interesting classes with Phillip Kerman, Scott Mazariegos and Mark Dustan.¬† I was not able to attend Ignite Portland 3, but I followed it on a Twitter feed (that was cool!).¬† I recently discovered Beer & Blog and met some great people.¬† I still want to review some great tools and techniques I use for multimedia projects.¬† These are but a few of the things I want to write about, not including my other interests.

In other words, I have no excuse for slacking on my blog.  Get Busy, Dude!

Web Pages the Misfit Way

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Why would any self-proclaimed website designer like myself use a WordPress blog template? The answer is easy. Because they do a pretty darn good job of designing their blog sites and that frees me up to concentrate on content. Besides, the type of website “design” I do is not really pure. By that I mean that I don’t usually start with a blank page, lay it all out, write the code and attach a CSS file, etc. I usually start with a template in Adobe Dreamweaver , choose a color scheme (COLURlovers monitors and influences color trends), choose an appropriate font and start plugging in content. Choosing fonts for web use is easy. There are only about seven fonts that really work in all browsers, so I use one of them (Arial, Comic Sans MS, Georgia, Courier New, Tahoma, Times New Roman and Verdana). This is hotly debated among font nerds but trust me, these are best if you want everybody to be able to view your pages in all browsers. Remember, computers can only display the fonts that are installed on that computer. The average internet user does not have all of your fancy fonts installed on their computer.

Once I find appropriate places to put content, I go to town. Making graphics, finding and linking pages, writing, taking and optimizing photos, making animations, video editing and music are the fun things I like to do. It is usually pretty easy to insert these things into an html page.

When I run into any trouble with the inner workings of a page (often), I call upon my trusty sidekick, Robin (after all, I am Batman). She tidys up my mess and makes it all work. If my design isn’t working then it is easy to plug the content into a new design. This is also what having a WordPress blog site does for me. I can concentrate on content and leave the real design to the pros. I have designed a couple of pretty cool looking websites by slicing up a Photoshop document and importing it into Dreamweaver. There are many perils accociated with this method, so I warn against it. I will write about that in a future post.

Until I can get my hands on a copy of Adobe Thermo, or until someone throws a big pile of money my way, that’s how I roll, dog.

Why Have A Blog?

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I never really gave blogging much thought until a few months ago when I was asked about setting one up for a school’s trades and industry program. ¬†The director of the program obviously understood the power of the blog. ¬†I had to decline the offer because I knew virtually nothing about blogging, but it got me interested in how blogs and other social media can help businesses and education. ¬†Meanwhile, I was busy with other projects and sort of put that on a back burner.¬†¬†But I kept hearing about social media’s importance to business and education.¬†¬†I also began reading a lot of blogs. ¬†A couple of my favorites are boingboing.net and technorati.com. ¬†Blogs are a great way to display your portfolio and there are some pretty good ones out there. ¬†I was beginning to get the picture. ¬†But then last week I had the opportunity to see Jim Turner speak at WebVisions in Portland, Oregon.

Jim Turner is an inspiration to me. ¬†Jim is a well-respected professional blogger, mentoring others to become professional bloggers and leading companies through successful online campaigns. Jim is a leader in the new industry of social media and business blogging, and is well connected in advertising, public relations, marketing and other business circles.¬†¬†He told us he began blogging about four years ago as a “daddy blogger”, writing about issues related to the stay at home father.¬†¬†He also told us that he made a very comfortable living blogging and that many of us could too.¬†¬†His best advise to get started was simply to have a blog (duh!), and so here I am! ¬†I love to write and I love the internet, so this makes perfect sense to me. ¬†Check out Jim’s website:¬†¬†http://www.bloggersforhire.com/ .¬†¬†Here is the introduction for his presentation at Webvisions 2008:

“Blogging For a Living:¬†¬†Taking your skills to the Next Level-

Blogging has been a new phenomena and companies and businesses are now looking to make this a part of their marketing, advertising and public relations plans. Bloggers are now taking their newly learned skills and translating that into a career. The skills of a blogger, like basic knowledge of blog design and development, analytics, copywriting and other facets are making it possible to earn a living as a professional blogger.”¬†¬†*Webvisions 2008 Program

There are other reasons I want to blog.  It will give me an opportunity to do some of the things I love to do.  I will use this place to display my portfolio of various multimedia projects.  I will try my hand at posting my own tutorials of cool things I know how to do.  I am going to interview some of the smart, interesting people I have met in school and around the Portland multimedia scene.  I plan to report on geek conferences, presentations and club meetings.  I also want somewhere to post podcasts of these things.  This will also be a place to house some of the best sites, blogs and news stories I have found on the internet as well as other things I like.  Stay tuned.