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5 Ways to Survive a Conference

It’s the final day of WordCamp Chicago and I’ve had a blast being here, doing a little sightseeing and just hanging with some online buddies I don’t see in person often (or ever) ….

So here are a couple of ways I’ve survived (and thrived) in this conference and am excited to come back ….

  • Laptop – This is obvious I know, but 90% have a computer fired up; this obviously allows most other fun
  • Internet – A great web connection is vital to making the laptop usable; if I went to conferences or traveled like this more often, I’d get a wireless broadband card as a backup
  • Chat – It’s a blast chatting with people at the same table so you don’t get busted for talking while the speaker is
  • Twitter – the real fun is chatting in public via Twitter – loved lobbing jabs at each other via Twitter; commenting on or requoting speakers; and using hashtag‘s to follow the whole conversation
  • Great Friends – Without a doubt, it’s just nice knowing people, meeting ones you’ve talked to online but not met face-to-face, and hanging out together after, between, during, and online later when we all return home

Find Out Who Else Is On Your Web Hosting Server

A friend of mine who’ll go nameless has had some seriously slowdown problems on his sites. After contacting his web host, he finally resolved to get a dedicated server, which ain’t cheap if you’re used to spending $15 a month on hosting or less.

Anyway, in the process of hearing the pains involved in moving his hosting, I wanted to see who all was on his shared hosting account … and I found a neat service that tracks who else has the same IP address as you called MyIPNeighbors.

I was a tad shocked to see my own hosting plans (on two different companies) … I’m sharing server space with between 400 and 600 domains.

While researching hosting companies in the past, I wonder if this is in the category or on the fringes of classic “overselling?”

YouTube Full-Length Movie: ‘Cult of Sincerity’

After I posted Why Free Internet Delivery is the Future of TV and Movies, writer/producer Daniel Nayeri emailed me about The Cult of Sincerity — a free, full-length movie that they’ve put on YouTube.

I got a chance to watch it over the weekend while I waited on my plane back from Chicago and LOVED it.

The message, acting, music — and stunts (Daniel) — were all excellent!

I’m going to save my comments about their marketing model for another post, possibly a Q&A with the filmmakers, but wanted to say a thing or two about the impression the movie made on me personally. Read More→

Using Instant Messaging for Business

One of my most valued tools that I use most for my business is Instant Messagging with clients.

My primary IM software is GTalk. But I’ve used multiple ones for clients, including the great Meebo combo IM servicce.

Here are 10 reasons why I love instant messaging for business ….

1. It saves time. Clients don’t have to be dedicated to a phone. They can chime in when they need me and vice versa.

2. It gives me a transcript to review. GTalk stores my chat transcripts for me and is easily searchable inside Gmail. This has been a tremendous help to me as I’ve forgotten details of a project when juggling multiple clients.

3. I can put up a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign when I need to focus. Although I can keep my chat client live all day, I can also tell people what I’m doing. One design friend of mine gives almost Twitter-like details in his status line.

4. I prefer typing to writing. I’m a fast typer. And, as an introvert, phone calls sometimes drain me.

5. I can juggling multiple tasks in a single bound. Like a Superman multi-tasker, I can continue my other projects while waiting for the orange alert tab to flash.

6. It makes connecting with people fast. I don’t have to wait for a scheduled phone call or time. I can simply invite them to chat with a mouse click and start chatting.

7. Now I can do group chats. Brainstorming just attracted a crowd now!

8. I don’t have to have any software installed. Gmail now has IM embedded in the sidebar, so if I’m on the road or at another computer, I can still do chat by logging into my email.

9. I can block and remove those who think my time is free. One of the only downfalls is some people will abuse your time through it. Although I don’t like to block or remove people, it can be done.

10. Clients feel they’re connected to you.  Overcommunication, I’ve found, is a good thing when working with clients. With chat, and without them seeing me, they know I’m reachable.