Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Sports Shorts & Thing Shots" Podcast, Episode 3 and "Tacos and Bowling" by Bill Wood

Obsessive-compulsive house flipper, Jeff Lewis, and his staff: classic brutal boss and prey? Part I

"I’m selling a lifestyle. You either live like me or you want to live like me."
-Jeff Lewis, Flipping Out (Episode 1, Bravo TV)


Obsessive-compulsive, and sometimes abusive, house flipper Jeff Lewis is the queen B. of Flipping Out, and Bravo TV's newest reality star. B in his case, stands for Biyotch, Bully and Browbeater as much as for Brutal and Boss.

View the premier episode via video to "Meet Jeff and his staff and the business that validates and celebrates his disorders." Then you'll likely agree: the show's "Drama For Sale"tag line and "My Flipping Boss" blog title both hit the nail on the head. So do my comparisons of Jeff and his staff to situations described by Harvey A. Hornstein, Ph.D. in books ike Brutal Bosses and Their Prey and by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster in Working With You is Killing Me! (which I referenced last year).

As BostonHerald.com - "Buyers beware: Bravo’s house-flipping series needs renovations" describes, Jeff has found, in house flipping and in staffers who stay, ideal outlets through which to channel his dysfunctional quirks, narcissistic tendencies and occasional tyranny. His projects (buying, renovating and reselling real estate in Southern California), with help from his team (which he seesaws between praising and disparaging in the course of the episode, and between hiring and firing, in the course of their relationships), have made him millions. But there's a flip side; Jeff's management style is unnecessarily costly both relationship- and resource-wise.

Jeff recognizes both phenomena. For example, he wonders, on camera, if anyone would ever live with him whom he didn't pay. Hmm. And he confides, but seems incredulous, that his "credit scores are" lower than those of some people who don't own property." Potential creditors “don’t care what [he's] worth." All they care about, he observed, "is my debt.”

Despite those concerns, and self-improvement efforts with a therapist and psychics, Jeff's bad boss and business behavior seem uncurbed. For example, when asked by Executive Assistant Jenni-Pulos Elwood, "Do you feel you can be stern without being degrading?" Lewis quickly answered, "No." Jeff doesn't think twice about assigning unreasonable, unproductive tasks, either, such as requiring assistants to face all labels in his 'fridge forward, or about demanding employees to submit formal, written mea culpas when they behave insubordinately.

Lewis' quirkiness, occupation, and even villainy are not unique in unscripted TV-land. But Jeff distinguishes himself from the speculators featured on A&E's Flip This House and TLC's Flip That House by more brazenly indulging, even flaunting, his disorders. He also brags about investing more money in his projects, and about being more "painstakingly meticulous" than his counterparts.

Jeff believes leveraging himself to the rafters and taking time to add substantial value (that may or may not pay off) is superior to typical house-flipping practices, which involve investing "a few thousand dollars" and reselling within weeks. However, some critics, such as the author of "A Los Angeles Speculator Sold on Himself ," disagree.

Bankers are not keen on Jeff's situation either. Lewis confided having difficulty getting financing, seemingly incredulous that his "credit scores are lower than those of some people who don't own property," and that potential creditors “don’t care what [he's] worth. All they care about," he observed, "is my debt.”

Forget about those obstacles and the roller-coaster nature of Jeff's cash flow. (He can begin a month with a million dollars in the bank, and within weeks "there will be days where he has $1500 left in all his accounts combined, with no savings"). Forget documentation that the Southern California real estate market is well past its peak, and the law of diminishing returns and that the Pareto Principle (a.ka. 80/20 Rule) dictate limiting the level of investment in each project.

Jeff is obsessively, compulsively committed to mining more gold from them thar California hills, and to doing so in the same vein he always has. [Pun intended.] He will maintain his flimsy financial footing by accelerating the sale of a residence he renovated and currently lives in.

Jeff's determination, desite the real risks of bellying-up, channels two iconic American images. CONTINUED.

SHAMELESS COMMERCE: The Amazon.com banners below link to pages containing reviews and purchase options for the TV shows and books referenced above.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

SimpsonizeMe.com and podcamp: you don't come out the way you went in

Lynn, Lynn,
city of sin.
You never come out

the way you went in.

- Popular rhyme about Lynn, MA.

Powered by eSnips.com

It's common knowledge: Lynn (MA), Ivy League universities, boot camp, and my courses are places from which you don't come out the way you went in. Two others are SimpsonizeMe.com and podcamp.

  • First case in point: SimpsonizeMe.com. D'oh! [Full the full Simpsons experience, check out the eSnips.com playlist above.]

The before and after images (above), which I collectively call "Lisa-Lisa Simpson(ized)," speak for themselves. Bruce C. (Podcamp City Online Co-Organizer) Simpsonsized me (and the other Podcamp City Online speakers) during last night's Let's Not All Podcast At Once!! session.

  • Second case in point: Podcamp

Having attended Podcamp NYC and lectured at PodCamp City Online, I just want to testify: all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't undo the benefits associated with podcamp participation. And who'd want them to? It's a pod, pod, pod, pod world!

I "went to" PodCamp City Online and I all got was...

This badge is only one of several goodies guests got by participating in PodCamp City Online.

Ya know those souvenirs that read: "I went to... and all I got was this lousy..."? Well, I went, er telecommuted, to PodCamp City Online on Saturday and all the not-so-lousy benefits I got included:

If you missed the summer (pod)camp online, don't have a cow, dude. PodCamp City Online's organizers say, "Recordings of presentations are currently being processed and we will have them ready for download within the week." Moreover, they "plan on having the next Podcamp City Online in 6 to 8 months."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Today's podcast at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots

Today's podcast episode at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots is Bowling: Strike!

Tennis anyone? Comparative posts for PodCamp City Online

For the purpose of discussion, I created a super-basic, tennis-themed, episode entitled: "Tennis-themed image and audio to accompany Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online >> S'more about my podcamp session." The episode, or feeds thereto, are posted at three sites (Podomatic, MyPodcast.com, and Talkshoe.com), all linked and critiqued (briefly) below.

1. PODOMATIC - see the widget below, or follow this link:

Click here to get your own player.

1. PODOMATIC - see the widget below, or follow this link:

The Good about Podomatic:

  • Free hosting.

  • Reasonable charges for bandwidth plans.

  • Easy to use.

  • Episodes and badges can be embedded elsewhere online.

The Bad about Podomatic:

  • Each post accommodates only one image and one audio track.

  • Videos are not accommodated.

The Biggest Turnoffs of Podomatic:

  • Exceeding free bandwidth limits can be costly.

2. MYPODCAST.COM: [Visit this link: Tennis-themed image and audio to accompany Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online >> S'more about my podcamp session.]

The Good about MyPodcast.com:

  • Free hosting and bandwidth. (Good site for storing audio.)

  • Offers earning opportunities from advertisements placed in the post at points designated by the podcaster. [By default, ads are inserted at the front of each episode.]

  • Easy to use.

The Bad about MyPodcast.com:

  • Each post accommodates only one image and one audio track.

  • Audio tracks limited to MP3 format.

  • Accepting ads into 'casts is not optional.

  • Videos are not accommodated.

The Biggest Turnoff(s) about MyPodcast.com:

  • The site does not provide widgets or code for embedding podcasts elsewhere.

3. TALKSHOE: [Visit this link: Tennis-themed image and audio to accompany Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online >> S'more about my podcamp session.]

The Good about TalkShoe:

  • Free hosting and bandwidth. (Good site for storing audio.)

  • Offers revenue-sharing opportunities.

  • Easy to use.

  • Can host interactive chats, conference calls.

  • The Bad about Talkshoe:

  • Each post accommodates only one image and one audio track.
    Audio tracks limited to MP3 format.
    Accepting ads into 'casts is not optional.
    Videos are not accommodated.
    The Biggest Turnoff(s) about MyPodcast.com:
    The site does not provide widgets or code for embedding podcasts elsewhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Didja catch my guest spot on "The 3-G Experience" on WHCR 90.3 FM?

"The 3-G Experience" (Gift, Grace and Glory) is a gospel show that airs every Thursday at 6:00-10:00 AM, Eastern Time on New York Radio WHCR FM ("The Voice of Harlem"). Today's guests are Major Ouida Harding and I.

The show is hosted by velvety-voiced "Brother Bill" DeFossett. The former New York City policeman has been cited in books, movies, and other media. Books and movies that cite him are illustrated below. ###

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ON AIR: Atten Hut! Join Music Minister, Major Ouida Harding, and me at 1200 hours, Eastern Time on the 'Lisa Tolliver Show'

"Is there a doctor in the house?" is usually the call when one needs healing. And retired Army Major Ouida Waltryce Harding (affectionately known as "Major") made sure someone answered that call - sometimes answering it herself - throughout a 26-year career in the United States Army and Army Reserve.

"Is there music in your life?" is another call Major has long answered. As a musician (piano, organ), Chaplain Musician in the Army, church minister, clinician, musical director, support guest musician, prodigy, pioneer, and instructor, she has ministered to the spirits, souls and senses of diverse civilian and military audiences, off-air and worldwide. These are just three of the doctoral candidate's current roles:
  • Minister of Music at Walker Memorial Baptist Church in the Bronx,
  • Dean of Seminars and Training for the National Baptist Convention, and
  • Founder of The Worship Arts Theological Training and Resource Center, Inc., which, her bio says "will serve as a conduit with a training mission to assist persons who serve in Music and Worship Leadership, but have not had the benefit of dedicated training to support their assigned task; serve as pastoral consultant; and "grow" bona fide church musicians, especially back home in the Harlem community where for her it all began."
There's so much more. But I'll wait for the show to sing like a canary. Come and witness this glorious guest!

Today, Major will minister to the Lisa Tolliver Show audience on air and online. Join us at 1200 hours, Eastern Time. Tune to New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM, listen live at WVOX.com, or hear and share via phone at (01) 914 636 0110.

SUPPORT THE SHOW! Contributions and sponsorships to my creative and cultural works are tax-deductible. And with matching funds, you can double, even triple your money! Learn more, contribute here.### ###

BELOW: Dorothy Norwood and Cissy Houston are but two of the gospel artists Major has worked with. The ads below access some of their music.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ON AIR July 25, 2007: The Lisa Toliver Show features Minister of Music, Major Ouida W. Harding

Oyez! Hear ye! Lend me your ears! Tomorrow's Lisa Tolliver Show should get you shouting, clapping, and tapping your feet. You may even lift up your voice and sing.

My guest will be Minister of Music, Major Ouida Waltryce Harding (affectionately known as "Major"). If you've never heard OF her, you've likely HEARD her beautiful, award-winning music. That's likely, as she sometimes performs with well-known gospel artists, such as Dorothy Norwood and Cissy Houston.

For example, Major was Musical Director for Face to Face, for which Ms. Houston captured the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album. [Hear excerpts.] And the gospel singing group, 'The Reflections of Faith', which Major says she organized "with the intent to do more than sound good, but to also connect and encourage persons from all walks of life," won three consecutive NYC Gospel Grammy Awards for the Best Non-Recording Female Group. Amen!

The show will air at high noon (ET) on Wednesday, July 25. To hear and share, tune to New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM, listen live online at WVOX.com, or phone the call-in line: (01) 914.636.0110.

I've been trying for a year to interview the globetrotting musician (piano, organ), minister and retired military officer, and we're all blessed she's booked this broadcast. Hallelujah!

Major Harding and her gifts are in great demand, worldwide, to uplift audiences as personal as wedding ceremonies and as public as the National Baptist Convention (for which she is the Dean of Seminars and Training. Major also participates in and heads workshops (like this one) and international missions (like this one in Ecuador, and an upcoming one she recruited me for).

Experiencing Major in action at her house of worship, Walker Memorial Baptist Church (WMBC), and sharing her stage during the World AIDS Day 2006 event: "A Time For Healing", has revealed some secrets to her success and popularity. For example, her extraordinary musical talents, leadership, and Army officer experience are clearly manifested when Major leads her musical troops in Sunday services and special events.

Some facts about this superb musician (organ, pianist) and minister are detailed in her bio at Yahoo! Groups: WMBC Mass Choir. [I've copied it below, and inserted links and bracketed text.]
[Minister of Music and Sacred Arts, Ms. Ouida W. Harding] is a graduate of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta Georgia [Morehouse School of Religion, 2003], with a Master of Arts in Church Music degree. She is a native New Yorker (Harlem) and [has] been appointed to the position of Dean of Seminars [and Training for the Music Auxiliary] for the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.

A member of the
St. Luke Baptist Church (Harlem) for over thirty five years, under the leadership of her father Reverend Walter L. Harding who served as pastor for over 53 years, Ouida comes to us with a thorough understanding of her ministry not as a job or a hobby, but as a Calling.

Ouida's credits her Mother as her first music teacher at the age of 4, and is using opportunities given to her to effectively contribute towards the resurrection of trained musicians especially for our local Baptist community.

And that's not the half of it. Tune in and witness the rest for yourself.

SUPPORT THE SHOW! Contributions and sponsorships to my creative and cultural works are tax-deductible. And with matching funds, you can double, even triple your money! Learn more, contribute here.###

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Today's podcast at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots

Today's podcast episode at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots is Cowboy: Roundup!

Shark attack survivor says: "All we can do is try not to look like food”


Hapless Hawaii vacationer Harvey Miller was snorkeling in seemingly shark-safe waters when a grey beast nearly bit a limb off last Thursday. AP reports: the attorney from Toledo was about 450 feet offshore from Oahu's Bellows Beach, when "an eight-foot tiger shark chomped into his left leg." [See photos.]

Fortunately, Harvey fought back (as National Geographic >> Shark Attack Tips advises) and survived to share his story. And he'll likely not lose his leg.


Randy Honebrink, Hawaii State's Shark Task Force spokesman, surmises the shark was foraging for food when it found Miller. “The only way a shark can tell if something is a potential food source is by biting it,” he said.

Miller's response: “It’s their environment. We’re visitors to it. All we can do is try not to look like food.”

Amen! But...


For one thing, "often, sharks inhabit the same shallow, warm-water areas as humans. The shark may mistake a person standing or floating in water for natural prey."

For another, many people who don't know or heed these shark safety tips, which could mean the difference between life and death in open water.


Open water conditions can be unpredictable, even dangerous, for divers and swimmers. It's important, then, to take the proper precautions.

Some sharks - especially during feeding frenzies - can be, edacious, "vicious eating machines [...] that indiscriminately attack anything that comes their way."


Do sharks eat a lot? A shark eats about 2 percent of its body weight per day -- slightly less than a human eats. Because most are cold-blooded, they don't have to eat as much as a human eats. Some sharks can live for a year without eating, surviving on the oil stored in their livers.

Are sharks vicious man-hunters? Sharks are highly-specialized predators, with sharp teeth, strong jaws, streamlined bodies, and powerful senses. However, sharks don't hunt humans -- their feeding strategies evolved well before humans entered the water. Even today, of the over 350 different shark species, fewer than ten are considered dangerous to humans.

There are almost six billion people on our planet, and less than ten people are killed by sharks each year. More sharks are killed by people -- over 12 million each year.


I've swum with sharks, and not just in corporate America. For us scuba divers, close encounters with sharks (and other dangerous critters) is not unusual. Fortunately, legitimate Open Water Diver certification programs prepare participants to anticipate and survive such hazards.

Nonetheless, I don't sink to seeking sharks out. Not true for certain colleagues in the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and some other adventure-seekers, who swear by shark diving.

Whatever floats their boats. I just hope they follow these Top Ten Safety Tips When Swimming With Sharks.

SUPPORT LISA TOLLIVER'S CREATIVE AND CULTURAL PROJECTS & PATRONIZE THE ARTS: Contributions are tax-deductible. And with matching funds, you can double, even triple your money! Learn more, contribute here.###

Friday, July 20, 2007

Apple’s Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy: the most honest I've seen and a model for all

This morning, I read Apple's Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy. It is among the most honest I've seen, and a model for all entities that receive proposals, bids and feedback from external parties.

Two paragraphs, in particular, struck me: the TERMS OF IDEA SUBMISSION and PRODUCT FEEDBACK >> Feedback and Information. Here are the details:


You agree that: (1) your ideas will automatically become the property of Apple, without compensation to you, and (2) Apple can use the ideas for any purpose and in any way, even give them to others.


Feedback and Information

Any feedback you provide at this site shall be deemed to be non-confidential. Apple shall be free to use such information on an unrestricted basis.

I am forwarding this post to a pair of clients, with whom I was just discussing these issues. The partners recently hired me to certify their professional practice as a women-owned business, then expanded my role to squeeze the certification for all it's worth.

Both were smart moves. But then, they're brainy babes.

One partner had attended one of my seminars at the SBA (United States Small Business Administration) District Office in New York. It was either: "Want to Be a Millionaire (Or Just a Survivor)? Success Strategies for Serious Suppliers" or "Tolliver's Top Ten C's For Small Business Success."

No matter. Both seminars addressed the abundance of opportunities, tremendous benefits and how-to's associated with certifying small, women-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and otherwise "disadvantaged" businesses. That is, for suppliers who can qualify for, capture and competently manage contracts.

My classes covered certain precautions, too. Which inspired this post.

An ugly facet of contracting is the riskiness associated with submitting proposals to almost ANY entity. One concern is the effort required to prepare proposals that may not be accepted. Sometimes the winners are the most qualified bidders (either by price, qualifications or both), and sometimes they are not.

Surely, you're not shocked. There's been lots of press about contracts that have been inappropriately steered to preferred suppliers (some qualified, some not).

However, there is a greater concern. No amount of intellectual property protections or confidentiality clauses can prevent inappropriate appropriation of proposers' content, including trade secrets and pricing schemes.

Sometimes, in fact, bidding and information-gathering processes are initiated specifically to elicit best practices for use by pre-designated entities. Those entities may be favored suppliers or even the issuers of the Request For Information, Proposal or Quotation (RFI, RFP or RFQ, respectively).

Of course, some organizations and staff are above reproach. But I've personally witnessed and heard about many bad apples. That's why the frankness of Apple's Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy, albeit hard to swallow, is just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Power of Podcasting for Performers, Artists, Talk Radio Hosts, and Entrepreneurs

Summer camp, anyone? In less than two weeks, a few hundred friends and colleagues and I will be pitching tents at PodCamp City Online. I hope you'll join us there July 28, 2007.

What's on the menu? We will not have marshmallows, but we will toast the the joys and benefits of podcasting from 9:00 AM-9:30 PM, Eastern Time.

Why not come gather 'round the campfire from 7:00 PM-8:00 PM, Eastern Time? That's when I'll be hosting "The Power of Podcasting for Performers, Artists, Talk Radio Hosts, and Entrepreneurs."

Want to be spotlighted? My session, and others throughout the day, offer numerous opportunities to showcase your podcast, serve as a case study, ask questions and give feedback. To participate in my session, register for PodCamp City Online and follow the instructions provided at Lisa Tolliver On Air and Online: The pod people are coming! Come join us.

Are you wondering: "Whoa! What are podcasting and PodCamp?" Then read this post and participate in PodCamp City Online.

Need podcasting advice and tools, pronto? Then check out Shared Tools and Common Knowledge >> PodCamp.pbwiki.com, TheFreeSite.com: Free Sounds and Music, and the books featured here and in the ads below.

More interested in traditional camping? There are some resources here for that, too and in the ads below.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

At the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, older equals wiser

Don'tcha hate answering overly intrusive personal questions? I do, especially when I'm ignorant or uncomfortable about how my answers will be used.

Providing a middle name, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, and certain other vital statistics makes me fear an impending deluge of unwanted phone calls, faxes, and junk mail - virtual and real. Identity theft is an even greater concern.

In contrast, registering at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council site was mostly painless, even fun. I trusted the statement: "LMCC does not, and will not sell your information." And LMCC staff seems security-consciousness, what with operating in the shadow of the World Trade Center and all.

I'm less trusting about some other enterprises. Moreover, in this age of hackers, trojans and worms (oh, my)! the very act of sharing personal information online or by phone can be risky if the donor AND recipient's systems are insecure.

Although I wasn't thrilled to provide LMCC with my age (for reasons of vanity as well as privacy), I knew that datum, when aggregated with others', would help the organization understand and serve its stakeholders. Moreover, I couldn't help chuckling at LMCC's age categories: "below 18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, wiser."

I have a ways to go before getting wiser. When I do, I won't mind admitting it to the LMCC.

The Amazon.com ad above accesses a book about LMCC artist's residencies. Those below access books about identity theft, computer and network security; and UnBox Video Downloads about the World Trade Center.

Even when kicking up high heels to dance in drag, John Travolta's no stiff in Hairspray

With a leg up from Ellen Show DJs Tony Okungbowa and Jon Abrahams, Ellen DeGeneres has become well-known for bustin' moves onstage. Nonetheless, the multi-talented comic/actress/talk show host is downright stiff compared to John Travolta.

What has shined footlights on Ellen's dancing is the popularity of her daytime show, on which she dances with her DJs, the audience and sometimes guests. Those segments are fun to watch and inspire (at least in this fan) the urge to shake a leg, but Ellen's dancing is nowhere near professional. In contrast, pivotal roles have showcased Travolta's ability to shake it up, baby, twist and shout - as well as to act - and served as stepping stones to superstardom.

Such roles included: Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Staying Alive (1983), Danny Zuko in Grease (1978, which Travolta told Regis and Kelly was the biggest musical of all time), and Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (whose script made Vincent the brother of Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs and the cousin of real-life singer Suzanne Vega). Fortunately, taking a pass on the role of attorney Billy Flynn in Chicago (which was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won six), was no stumbling block.

Travolta's latest gig turns back to his roots, but with a twist. He dons drag to play Edna Turnblad in Adam Shankman's remake of John Waters' movie musical, Hairspray (1988). The movie opens July 20. The cast of stars and newcomers includes: TRACY TURNBLAD - Nikki Blonsky, CORNY COLLINS - James Marsden, VELMA VON TUSSLE - Michelle Pfeiffer, PENNY PINGLETON - Amanda Bynes, LINK LARKIN - Zac Efron, MOTORMOUTH MAYBELLE - Queen Latifah, WILBUR TURNBLAD - Christopher Walken, AMBER VON TUSSLE - Brittany Snow, SEAWEED - Elijah Kelley, and PRUDY PINGLETON - Allison Janney.

From the trailers I've seen, kicking up high heels in Hairspray has not cramped Travolta's style. In fact, if Travolta-as-Turnblad challenged DeGeneres-as-herself on Dancing With the Stars, the high school dropout/former Sweathog would be, hands down, Most Likely to Succeed.

The ads below and the following links access reviews and DVDs featuring John Travolta, Ellen DeGeneres and Hairspray.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ON AIR (July 11, 2007): Today's 'Lisa Tolliver Show' features Michael Bongar and Tina Volz of BongarBiz

IMAGE: Courtesy of BongarBiz. Pictured, clockwise from center: Michael Bongar, Julie Surrey, Tina Volz , and Cheryl Lynn Schruefer.

Come one, come all! My guest and I will be on air today at high noon, Eastern Time. Come join us. Tune to New York radio WVOX 1460 AM, listen live at http://www.wvox.com/, or hear and share by phone at (01) 914.636.0110.

Today's 'Lisa Tolliver Show' features an interview with two creative giants at BongarBiz, the entertainment and event programming company formerly known as "The New York Follies" and as "Michael Bongar Entertainment, Inc". Michael Bongar is the firm's savvy President and a real clown. Tina Volz is the company's Creative and Marketing Director and the woman behind the man in the photo above and in real life.

Come let us inform, instruct, intrigue, inspire and entertain you. You'll meet two fascinating creative folks, hear about Barnum and Bailey Clown School, learn about some exciting events BongarBiz has presented on TV, in the movies and at live venues worldwide, and get a glimpse into the worlds of talent booking, and event planning and management.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"10 Tips on How to Cultivate Relationships with Editors" actually addresses all media gatekeepers

Friends, readers, courters of the press: lend me your ears. I come not to bury Elizabeth Kirwin's article, but to raise the volume on it.

Today I ran across her two-year old, but timeless article: How to Cultivate Relationships with Editors >> Creative Weblogging. The intro says: "If you are an aspiring writer, or you simply want to augment your professional qualifications by publishing material related to your field of expertise, listen up."

I did. Here's my reaction.

The article is worth "hearing." Too bad the title and introduction muffle its important message by addressing a narrow audience.

Firstly, the title talks about courting editors. But Ms. Kirwin's excellent advice actually addresses all media gatekeepers, including those who work on air and online as well as in print.

Then the intro hails writers and professionals. It doesn't bespeak the article's value to others seeking a media mouthpiece. Consequently, large pockets of people, ranging from under-served populations requiring help to give voice to important issues, to purveyors of stupid, but potentially popular, pet tricks, could easily miss Ms. Kirwin's words of wisdom.

That would be a pity. Her ten tips should be shouted from mountaintops.

Maybe this post will help them get heard.

I hope so. Teaching as many people as possible to "come correct"(ly) to editors, producers, bookers, publishers and talk-variety show hosts would be a triple win. The benefits would spread like yodels through the Alps, benefitting those seeking media coverage, media gatekeepers who are open to good stories that are barely audible above a din of poor pitches, and media consumers.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The pod people are coming! Come join us.

The pod people are coming! And I'm one of 'em. Come join us at summer camp on July 28, 2007. We'll be pitching tents at PodCamp City Online, the virtual “un-conference” about everything podcasting.

1. WHEN IS IT? - July 28, 2007 from 9:00 AM – 9:30 P.M., Eastern Time.

2. WHERE IS IT? - PodCamp City Online is, well, online. You can register access information and participate at the PodCamp City Online wiki. NOTE: webcam owners who intend to participate in the underwear should first read: WHAT HAPPENS AT PODCAMP STAYS AT PODCAMP, SORT OF.)

3. WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE? Anyone interested in podcasting, from beginners to experts, from tire-kickers to techno-geeks. In particular, I invite members and friends of The Field and SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business who have something to say, show, sell or learn – that means YOU! - to participate in sessions we are hosting.

4. WHAT ARE PODCASTS? Anyone who asks really should attend PodCamp City Online! Good defnitions are available at Yahoo! Podcasts and at Podcast –Wikipedia.

5. WHAT IS A PODCAMP? – PodCamp.pbwiki.com states:

A PodCamp is a FREE BarCamp-style community UnConference for podcasters and listeners, bloggers and readers, and anyone interested in New Media. The first PodCamp was held September 8-10, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. PodCamps are now being held worldwide.

You do NOT need to be a podcaster to attend a PodCamp. If you're interested in podcasting or blogging, if you're a podsafe musician (or want to be), or just someone curious about podcasting and new media, then please join us -- and bring a friend or colleague.

6. WHAT HAPPENS AT PODCAMPS? PodCamps (in New Media parlance) are “meet-ups” by the pod-people, for the pod-people, where everyone from tire-kickers to techno-geeks participate in panel discussions, seminars, demonstrations, chat fests, and meet-and-greets. Most live sessions are interactive.

7. WHAT CAN PERFORMING ARTISTS LEARN AT PodCamp City Online? Come learn how podcasting can promote you and your work, build and engage stakeholders, raise funds, and sell tickets and wares. (Yep, there can be gold in them thar podcasting hills.)

8. WHAT IS THE PodCamp City Online ITINERARY? You can access scheduled sessions and add new sessions at the PodCamp City Online wiki. Learn about how to participate in The Field’s sessions below.


  • Hosting Sessions and Artist Showcases: The Field’s Membership Director Patricia Burgess and member/multimedia artist Lisa Tolliver have “pitched tents” to host interviews, case studies, and show-and-tell sessions with members and friends of The Field. They invite you to join them.
  • Transforming The Field’s members into pod-people. Lisa Tolliver offers seminars on Harnessing the Power of the World-Wide Web and on The Power of Pocdcasting. She can also help create your pod-presence before (and after) PodCamp City Online. She is offering special rates for The Field’s members. Contact her at ltolliver AT 360meridian.com.


  • Be a voyeur and voyear: watch and listen.
  • Be an active audience member: ask questions, get answers, get noticed, and network.
  • Be a session leader.
  • Be featured in a case study, interview or feedback session.
  • All of the above!

Send an email to patricia AT thefield DOT org and copy ltolliver AT 360meridian DOT com.

  • Include PodCamp City Online in the Subject Line.
  • Provide the following information:
    .Your name, phone number and email address.
    .Your discipline.
    .Your company/tour name and website.
    .Brief description of your goals for the session (e.g., to get advice on how podcasting can help you, to obtain feedback and pointers for your podcast, to participate in a meet the artist interview, other – please specify).
    .URLs to relevant home page(S), blog(s), podcast(s),
    press kit(s), reviews, etc.
    .URLs to media you’d like to include in the
    session, e.g., photographs, videos, audio files.
    .The title of your podcast site, if you own one or want to create one.
    .Your preferred time to participate.
  • After reviewing your materials, we’ll contact you to schedule your session and to discuss any other relevant, open items.

12. WHERE DO I REGISTER/LEARN MORE/CHECK IN? Visit the PodCamp City Online wiki.

13. WHAT HAPPENS AT PODCAMP STAYS AT PODCAMP, SORT OF. - - All PodCamp City Online sessions will be archived to permit on-demand access, in perpetuity, to the world, free of charge. They’ll be accessible at the PodCamp City Online wiki.