30 January 2009

The Friday Top 5

The Top 5 Versions of Summertime Ever Recorded:
  1. Billie Holiday
  2. Janis Joplin
  3. Gene Harris
  4. John Coltrane
  5. Nina Simone
(Because I happen to be listening to the Gene Harris version right now. And you should follow the link above to his version right now. RIGHT NOW. GO!)

29 January 2009

Caving to Peer Pressure

I'm back from Tech, my head is full of interesting information I plan to share with you all over the coming days, my pocket is full of business cards of interesting people I need to follow up with so I can maintain the connection, and I caved to peer pressure again. Last year, it was Facebook. This year, Twitter. Come check me out/follow me at: http://twitter.com/ewengel. And be nice to the nOOb.

26 January 2009

Catch me @Tech

Lots of good posts about the ASAE Technology Conference to come, but for the next few days, I'm AT the ASAE Technology Conference. So stop by and visit with me in the exhibit hall - Beaconfire's at booth #303 - or catch me in sessions, between sessions, or at YAPs in Space on Tuesday night.

And check back for the recaps later this week...

23 January 2009

The Friday Top 5

Top 5 Best Things About Working From Home (in honor of what I'm up to today):
  1. Can't beat the commute.
  2. No pissed off "where have YOU been all day?" looks from the cats when I get home.
  3. Getting to listen to Thelonious Monk and John Coltraine all day without earphones (frowned on in Cubeland).
  4. One word for you: sweats.
  5. Spending 4 solid hours peacefully working on a client deliverable, stopping for a bite of lunch, and getting right back to it. AAAAHHHHH!!!! No interruptions!

21 January 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Continuing Inauguration Coverage and Commentary.
  • Seth Godin on the future of newspapers. I should admit my bias right up front - I'm a long time WaPo subscriber and don't consider it a proper morning until I've had my coffee and the A Section. So I disagree with Godin. I don't think newspapers will go away, and I don't think that investigative reporting can be easily picked up by the blogs. Blogs - and TV for that matter - are great with "cat stuck in a tree" or "water main break" type local news. But DailyKos never could have broken Watergate, or produced the extensive in-depth series the Post has written about the financial crisis. And I'm not so sure that Amazon.com can really replace Book World either. Just call me "curmudgeon."
  • I'm also loving hearing from all the new CAEs! I am extremely impatient for ASAE to post the full list online!
  • And of course, I'm following the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth about ANOTHER NFC Championship Game loss. Sigh. I'm getting REALLY tired of saying this, but there's always next year....

20 January 2009

19 January 2009

National Day of Service

Today is not only the celebration of the birth of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

It's not only a free Monday.

It's not only T-minus-24 and counting from the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

It's also the National Day of Service.

What will you do?

16 January 2009

Friday Top 5

The Top 5 Things I'm Looking Forward to at ASAE Tech:
  1. Formally introducing Beaconfire to association techs in the exhibit hall - come visit us at booth #303!
  2. YAPs in Space - by now, you should know better than to even CONTEMPLATE missing this.
  3. Sweet video corner - get excited about the sessions!
  4. Twitter stream - be in the know.
  5. Check out the general sessions - Chris Sacca and Jeff Howe, wOOt!
January 26-28 in DC, and it's not too late to register! Hope to see you there.

15 January 2009

Always the Last to Know - Tag Galaxy

Following on to my earlier love-fest with PicLens (now CoolIris), I have a new image presentation crush: Tag Galaxy, which works with Flickr tags and presents the resulting images in a totally groovy way. The image to the right is what resulted when I looked for "French Quarter New Orleans."

Shout out to SocialFishFood for the link.

14 January 2009

What I'm Reading

Given my well-documented obsession with all things NFL and Philadelphia Eagles, it should come as no surprise that my non-football reading is down a bit this week. Seriously, though, at 5-5-1, who would have thought we'd make it to the NFC Championship Game? Not me.

So what else HAVE I been reading this week?
  • The January issue of Associations Now. The Association Turnarounds story is pretty interesting, and I love the lunch club idea.
  • Fellow Beaconfire Blogger Alan has some good advice for clients seeking to make the most of their consulting budgets: "We’ve already billed hours creating those documents and getting them to you. Why do you want to pay us to read them aloud? Put an end to story time, read the documents ahead of time, and we can trim down the meetings so we can both get back to your business." True dat.
  • The Buzz Bin's snarky take on personal branding. HEE!
  • Go Fug Yourself's annual Golden Globes Oscar warm-up. So mean! So awesome! Also, would someone please buy Cameron Diaz a freakin' comb already?
  • Blogging lessons from Kivi Leroux Miller.
  • Bernard Schlink's The Reader. Not too impressed. First of all, the translation seems clunky. Secondly, I'm only a few chapters into it, but I've already figured out [SPOILER ALERT] that Hanna's an ex-Nazi WHO NEVER LEARNED TO READ (sniff, sniff). How very After-School Special of us. Anvils, anyone? So not getting the hype, but it's a short book, so I'll probably finish it anyway.

13 January 2009

FREE Webinar on Associations and Social Media

Our friends at SocialFish are hosting a FREE webinar THIS Thursday, Januay 15 on the Five Fears Associations Have about Social Media. Mads started by posting her top 5 and asking people to weigh in, and there have been so many good comments that now she's thinking unconference, but either way it's free and promises to be a good and informative time, so you should go register.

12 January 2009

Always the Last to Know - BillTrakr

BMart's creating a new bill-tracking tool and could use your input.

Go check it out and weigh in!

10 January 2009

Friday Top 5

(one day late)

Five Biggest Things I'm Looking Forward to This NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend
  1. Ed Reed picking of Kerry Collins all damn day. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)
  2. The Carolina Panthers going 9-0 at home (too bad cutie Kurt Warner will be exiting the playoffs).
  3. Ben Roethlisberger being sacked a jillion times. And the Steelers winning anyway.
  4. At least one Asante Samuel pick-6.
  5. Brian Westbrook burning Antonio Pierce, and his resulting hilarious "what just happened?" expression.

08 January 2009

Always the Last to Know - TextFlow

Do a lot of editing with multiple authors? Sick of trying to keep track of everyone's changes using the rather inadequate MS Word "track changes" feature (particularly if more than 1 person at a time is editing)?

TextFlow might just solve all your problems....they even have a fun intro video you can play on your iPhone.

07 January 2009

What I'm Reading

06 January 2009

Top Trends for 2009

Don't miss Principled Innovation's first PI Briefing of 2009: Top 2009 Trends for Association Leaders. Registration is free for association staff, and Jeff De Cagna is soliciting input for questions to address during the call. The call takes place THIS Wednesday, January 7, so get a move on!

05 January 2009

Last Chance to Vote!

For the 2008 Crunchies!

The Crunchies are an annual competition that recognizes the most compelling startups, internet innovations and new technologies of the year. And WE get to choose them. So get voting before midnight PST TODAY.

02 January 2009

Friday Top 5

Five Things That Are Great about the Holidays Being OVER:
  1. No more pine needles to sweep up, stockings to hurriedly remove after starting a fire in the fireplace, daily cat barf cleanups from silly felines drinking the water in the tree stand (it ALWAYS makes them sick, they ALWAYS have fresh water in multiple bowls around the house, and they ALWAYS drink it anyway)
  3. The end of those annoying Lexus commercials. Who buys someone a CAR for Christmas?
  4. The cessation of the pangs of guilt I, a non-card-sender, feel whenever I get a holiday card in the mail.
  5. End of December = end of regular NFL season = beginning of PLAYOFFS!

01 January 2009

Happy New Year's!

As most who know me are aware, I only believe in fun resolutions - no save the world/become a better person/lose 10 pounds for me. If I want to start saving the world, I'll just start whenever the idea occurs to me.

New Year's, on the other hand, is for setting a goal of trying something fun I've wanted to try. Past resolutions have included:
This year, with the advent of the new kitchen, I figured the resolution should have something to do with cooking. But what? Cook my way though some fantastically difficult cookbook? Been done. Learn to make fantasy desserts? Jim doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, which is a lot of wasted butter, sugar, and chocolate. Pursue the creation of the ultimate veal stock? Jim's already on that himself.

Finally, it struck me: learn to bake the perfect French baugette. I like to bake bread, I love baugettes, and it will probably take me at least a year of trying, so that'll keep me out of mischief.

What's on your "to try" list this year?