★ My Twitter Popularity Since Moving to SF

I moved to San Francisco on June 1st of 2008 which is 8 months ago to the day. That’s pretty cool actually. Anyway, I signed up with TwitterCounter only a week after moving to San Francisco and according to the graph I had 817 followers on June 13th.

My TwitterCounter

Today I have 2,150 followers which means I’ve added 1,333 followers since moving to San Francisco which is an average of 18 new followers a day.

I joined Twitter on March 21st, 2007 and when I moved to San Francisco I had been a member of the service for 14 months and only had 817 followers. Fast forward 8 months and I’ve nearly tripled that number. This goes to show that moving to San Francisco and playing an active role in the social media / Web 2.0 community has directly affected the amount of followers I have on Twitter.

On a side note, that dip in the graph was when Twitter killed millions of spam accounts that had joined the service. My follower count dropped by 300 that day. It took a month to recover from that.

★ Criminals and Good People who Do Nothing

mybikeLiving in the city has taught me many things and one of those is that no one cares about you. Every resident in a big city is, for the most part, out for themselves and it’s not that people were raised that way or want to have those traits but that’s just how it is. It’s a mentality and an acquired taste living in a metropolis and I’m the only person who’s not getting it but I’m sure I’ll reach that selfish point pretty soon at this rate.

Tonight, I had dinner with Katrinah. She’s a friend of mine who I met at a Social Media Club drinkup during BlogHer during Summer ’08. Katrinah has been a great friend, supportive and inspiring and has coached me on many projects. I was updating her on things and I committed to help her with Homeless Connect Camp which is a barcamp style meeting to help homeless residents of San Francisco and beyond. I’m going to do everything I can for this cause because I believe more can be done to help families who just need a helping hand to get off the streets and into homes of their own.

In fact, many of you know that I have my hands in many charitable organizations right now and I spend a portion of each day helping people over the web, in person and I’ve lately spent a lot of extra time with young entrepreneurs to explore their dreams and aspirations to make a difference as well. Homeless Connect Camp is a great act and something that I hope inspires more people to get off their asses and make a difference.

While I was eating, someone was stealing something from me. I’ve been complaining about money lately and I know I shouldn’t but it’s been difficult. Living in this city for 9 months and still living beyond paycheck to paycheck has been difficult. I’m looking for a break and realizing that I make far less than all of my peers. That’s okay and I understand I’m new to this town, 22 years old and inexperienced but no matter what financial situation I’ve been in, I’ve always done what I can to help people.

I saved for months to get my bike. When my grandmother saw photos of my bicycle and noticed I didn’t have any lights on it, she sent me a check to get some decent lights. Well those were stolen. I used part of my paycheck in early January to buy some better lights that can only come off with a screwdriver and those were stolen too but the person ripped them off which means that the lights are basically unusable. Tonight, someone used pliers to cut off all four of my brand new lights I bought upon returning to San Francisco this week. I can see the paint chippings on my bike where the lights were cut off.

I’m sure the person stealing my things saw the nice new bike and thought, “this rich yuppie has plenty of money and he can afford a new one.” Well, with $98 dollars to my name for the next 3 weeks, I don’t have money to get more lights and I don’t have money to do anything right now and I honestly don’t know if there’s a market for used and torn bike lights but if there is, I guess he probably has more money in his bank account than I do.

I posted a blog entry a few days ago about transparency and that people preach it but no one really follows through. Well here’s some transparency for you. I barely make rent, I spend 20 hours of my week contributing to charitable causes and helping people, 50% of the weekly work I’m doing doesn’t make any money and the only nice thing I own that isn’t a used and hand me down is my bicycle and now it’s legally unridable after dusk because I don’t have any lights.

Thanks to the coward who proved to me that the city will always bring you down no matter what you do to help it and its inhabitants.

Photo Credit: Dominic Sagolla (Thanks Dom)

★ Blogs with Question Marks. Stop it!

You’re a blogger and you write about technology, news, gossip and trends. You make millions of Internet dollars a year authoring this blog. That’s awesome and I’m happy for you. I’m not jealous of your fame but I embrace our need to write about mundane things and regurgitate news from all over the Internet.

It’s 10AM and you’re a tech blogger filtering through press releases and copying & pasting those to your blog and acting like you’re a journalist when someone with an @live.com email account messages you and says the following:

Hi. My name is John and I work for [insert tech company here]. We have this new product coming out soon. It’s a followup to our award winning [insert cool product here] that came out last year. This year we’re adding a touch screen and doubling the storage plus a breakthrough feature called “OMFG-ism” but I can’t tell you what it does yet. Please keep this anonymous and I’m just giving you a heads up.

As an attention starved blogger living in your huge mansion, you post tidbits but because you’re in the Technorati Top 100, you shouldn’t really post that because you do have a sort of influence in this industry that can get people fired, inflate or deflate the stock price and cause mass hysteria. How do you post this juicy info, make enough money to buy a Jaguar S-Type and still maintain your credibility?

You add a question mark. “Apple to release touchscreen 52″ laptops in Q4 of 2010?” All of the sudden you’re free and clear. The entry goes up, you make some money, Apple’s stock goes up, people take your post as truth and you’ve covered your ass when Apple sends you that Cease & Decist letter. Good work blogger. You’re really proving that traditional print and broadcast media is old news. You’re cool, hip and awesome because you can post whatever you want. CNN.com doesn’t have any posts with question marks so why should you be able to?

Ok. Rant over. Thanks for reading.

★ Sharing is The Key to Success

I’m lucky to be where I am in life right now. I have many projects that have potential to make a lot of money. I have a very supportive girlfriend, a roof over my head and a great network of friends that I can rely on and they are there to give me advice and assistance in life. I achieved this from one of the first things you learn as a child; sharing. Not enough people share these days and it’s not considered sharing if you want something in return or equal value. The idea that I give someone a quarter today and expect a dollar next week is how banks were founded and would you consider your bank a “friend”? Exactly. Sharing has benefited me indirectly for a long time now and I still feel that no one is sharing enough.

Today, don’t give away things but share a bit. Share your time to listen to a friend who is having a problem with their job. Share your sandwich with a significant other, share an experience you had on your blog or share a photo with the world on Flickr. Share something today and you’ll feel pretty good. I share things every day in person and via the web and I’m happier because of it.

What will you share? Put it in the comments and maybe I’ll share something with you.

★ A Little Reality and A Little About my Childhood

So I was creating an account somewhere today and generally it asks for a secret question and answer and asks for your mother’s maiden name or your “hometown” and those I can answer easily. This site has questions that I don’t have an answer for.

Sadness

  1. I don’t have a favorite museum. If you asked me that whole desert island question and having one album with me, I couldn’t answer you. I have nearly 20 thousand songs in iTunes and always listen to music on Shuffle.
  2. I never had a favorite teacher. I think I did in 3rd grade but can’t remember their name. My teachers in high school didn’t inspire me.
  3. I never had a “best friend”. Sad right? I never missed it but I never had a best friend so picking one name that I’ll remember is impossible.
  4. I don’t know what hospital I was born in. It’s on my birth certificate but mom lost that so I don’t know where I was born.
  5. I have 5 frequent flyer numbers and remembering which one I put here is impossible.
  6. My family and I moved (on average) every 2 years since I was 3 years old. I can’t remember any of my streets.
  7. I don’t have a favorite book and stopped reading books as soon as they weren’t required reading which I think was 9th grade.
  8. I don’t have a favorite author. I don’t know any authors in particular except for Mark Twain but that’s just cause he’s popular.
  9. I spent my childhood summers wherever I lived at that time. I went to space camp one year.

Thanks Yahoo Network for reminding me that I was too busy as a child to make friends, read books, find a favorite artist and never lived anywhere long enough to have a “street I grew up on.” Sigh.

★ Where The Party At?

Social Calendario Parties

I just wrote a blog post over at called, “Where The Party At?” and here’s an excerpt.

The community is affected. Connections, networking, deals and general conversations are handicapped when the face to face isn’t happening. I rely heavily on in person interaction and it was more than schmoozing but a chance to meet the dreamers, inventors and share ideas. Saving money is great and I’m on the team that looks at Web 2.0 and says, “the bubble had gotten too big” but I also feel that interaction and conversations must continue for innovation to really blossom. Parties, barcamps and conferences act as fertilizer and help to cultivate big ideas.

I propose we step it up a bit. Let’s organize more open source events around happy hours and co-working spaces. More Tuesday meetups of like minds at 21st Amendment and hour long mixers at Citizen Space / PariSOMA where we get one startup to spend $75 on a keg and we meetup to chat. The parties and events still need to happen but on a smaller scale.

You can read the full post here.

★ Twitter: What’s in a Name? [An Excerpt]

 choosinganame

I just did a post on about choosing a Twitter name. I’ve posted an excerpt of this entry below.

Choosing your username is very important depending on what you plan on doing in the twitterspehere. Individuals who frequent social networks and have many logins or have built up their own brand on Twitter, will go with a name that they use on every other network. I use AdamJackson on every network as the default username. Other users have aliases that they use everywhere. Where things get complicated is when you are going to use Twitter for business and then choosing a name becomes a little challenging.

You can read the full post here.

★ Prioritizing With only 24 Hours in a Day

clock

This post may become many posts once I’m done but I’d like to start on this topic in hopes to inspire some others. I can’t count on my fingers how many thing I have my hands in right now. My workload is crazy, I have a full time job and 10 other part time projects. I have a girlfriend of 3 years and I have to take care of adult things like laundry, bills, groceries and hygiene. Actually, I’ve always struggled with hygiene but that’s destined for another post.

Let’s discuss prioritizing your workload and focusing on life. Life is so important. Without it, we wouldn’t be here and many of us forget that there is a bigger picture and forget to look up at the sky. I look up at the sky every single day. I wake up at 7AM, stand at my window and look above the cityscape into the skyline long enough for a cloud to pass by. If you’re not doing this, you’re not living. Where I come from, living is working 9-5 at a job for 40  years, buying a house, raising a family and preparing for retirement. That’s exactly what I’m not going to do and you shouldn’t either. We all should be able to have an equal ammount of freedom and responsibility in our lives and not worry about 60 years from now so much. If you’re 30, just know the average live span is around mid 70s in The US so working what you’re doing beyond that shouldn’t be at the top of your list.

Priorities are key. What do you need to do and what would you like to do. Those should both be exactly the same. I want to help a company be the #1 most used social media aggregator in the world and that also happens to be my job description so it’s a match made in heaven. If you need to answer 500 emails a day and honestly could care less about doing so then you’re wasting your time. There are thousands of people out there who are doing a job that you would really like to be doing and would gladly trade you but unfortunately that’s not how it works. Oooh, that’s a good idea for a startup.

The Bushido always lived by the sword. One of their teachings is that you live today as if you were going to die tomorrow. Like many teachings in eastern philosophy, it can be taken two ways. I’m hoping that you don’t go on a cocaine binge and 5 days later run out of cash and realize that you probably could have been doing something more productive with your time. The lesson is meant to force practitioners to use their time wisely, enjoy life and make choices that benefit humanity so in your death, you won’t have the remorse that your life was a waste. That’s the lesson and I attempt to live this way every day.

You’re not working if you don’t work 16 hours a day on weekdays and 8 hours a day on weekends. This is the absolute truth. In tech or any profession, it’s key to bust your ass even after you’ve made it big and when you retire, actually retire but until then work as hard as you can. You can still live a healthy lifestyle with a 16 hour work day but there are some things you must do.

  1. Stop being so high maintenance. Avoid weekly haircuts and ironed shirts unless absolutely necessary. Take a page from young Bill Gates and you’ll see that appearances don’t always guarantee success. You can skip a shower one or two days a week but it means you’ll have an extra 30 minutes at the office. Only shave when you have to and spend the extra time working.
  2. Don’t watch television or visit YouTube (ever). Just stop tuning in. if you turn off the television for 6 weeks and turn it back on, you’ll realize that the shows you were into don’t matter anymore, have lost importance and there are new shows that you just don’t get. TV lives on and you’ve made great headway in your career. It’s all advertisements anyway.
  3. Find a flow and culture it. Every morning I wake up, reach over and grab my computer. I answer about 30 emails that are the easiest to respond to in about 5 minutes. I put my computer down, wash my face, put on some tea and watch the skyline taking deep breaths and enjoying total relaxation. This is how I start my day and it works well for me.
  4. Schedule things. Find a scheduling tool that you will actually use and get in the habit of scheduling everything. I schedule phone calls, meetings, time to blog, time to email, time to read RSS feeds and time to hop on FaceBook and find parties in my area. Schedule it all and you’ll feel relieved and more relaxed knowing everything going on in your life and you can tackle things one by one.
  5. Exercise. I haven’t been doing this but I need to do more. Take 30 minutes a day to walk, run, stretch or go to the gym and do these things. CrossFit is great for @home exercise. Do it and you’ll be happier when you’re 50 and you’re the only CEO that hasn’t been diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure.

Here are things that I avoid and have avoided for the past year with remorse:

  1. A thriving social life outside of tech / startups. I don’t go out to meet people outside of my circle. I’m fine with that. If I’m meeting someone who isn’t in my circle or founders, marketing people and visionaries or someone who is trying to get into the industry then I’m wasting my time. That sounds completely insane, I know but it’s what I’ve had to do to optimize my progress in this industry.
  2. Television, seeing every new movie when it’s released and get togethers outsite of technology. You can really optimize your time when you’re ignoring such things. It’s worked out for me.
  3. Travel for travel’s sake. I saw my family last week and that was awesome and there is huge value to not forgetting where you came from but if you’re a bootstrapped startup founder trying to breakthrough, it’s important to get things going and never let up even if a free ski trip to Lake Tahoe sounds like just what you need to rest a bit.
  4. Spending Money. I’ve lived on a very tight budget the past 10 months. This budget has enabled me to dress a little nicer, afford a faster computer and traveling to conferences that are truly worth my money. The more money you spend on fun things, the more you feel compelled to use those fun things. Buying a cool new camera, plasma TV or XBox is just what you don’t need and it only means less time toward your project.

I’m going to talk about this more and more and begin exploring workflow optimization soon. This was just a short (3 page) intro to prioritization of your life and becoming a leader in your industry. There’s more coming soon.

★ Social Media Transparency and Real Transparency

see-thru

I just wrote a blog post over at The Yoono Community Blog about Social Media and Transparency. Here’s a snippit.

I’ve been preaching to people about being transparent on social networks but I’m not doing that myself. In fact, I don’t know anyone out there who is completely transparent. What I mean is, tweeting that you’re in X amount of debt or that you just went to the doctor for a specific illness or that you lied about being sick today so you wouldn’t have to go to work

Read the Full Blog Post Here