Archives For April 2011

I still remember where I was sitting when I found out that P Diddy’s (then Puff Daddy) version of Come With Me was not an original. It was the summer of 1998 and I was in a deep conversation with a friend about who was better, Puff Daddy or Mase (I think Puff won). I know, deep stuff. As he started to counter ever argument with “not an original song” I was quickly surprised to find out that most of Puff Daddy’s career was a fake. He either sang a cover or did a collaboration on a track, but never anything original. That was the day that rap music died for me. The day that I found out Puff Daddy was a fraud.

We can learn something from Puff Daddy when it comes to blogging: the art of the collaboration.

I wouldn’t say that puffy is a great rapper (not even mediocre would probably describe him) but he does know what sells and what has potential. Because of this skill he has been able to do a lot of amazing things. The art of collaboration is all about figuring out ow your strengths can interact with others strengths.

The same can be said about blogging.

A blog is a community of people that center around a subject and add in thoughts, ideas, and reflections. When a blog losses its blogginess (ya thats a word) it losses the art of the collaboration. Because blogging is is not about you, it is about sharing. Sure the ideas come from your head and out to the people, but it is about doing what you do well and then collaborating with others in conversation and discussion.

A great blog is one that can cause you to think then act.

Who can you start collaborating with to make a “hit”?




About a month ago, McDonalds offered a Groupon deal that seemed way to good to pass up.

One dollar for three movies!

As I looked at this deal and thought about how fast this will take off I wondered why McDonalds was willing to give out such a great deal and lose so much money. Then I realized they will probably make more money off this deal then they will lose.

How? More on that later.
First let me tell you a story about Beats by Dre headphones and Groupon.

Around the first week of January, Groupon ran a deal in Chicago for some Beats by Dre (tour) headphones. The deal offered the headphones for $60. That was almost 50% the original price. The deal was almost to good to be true. Well, actually it was to good to be true. I ordered my pair, paid my money and then started the waiting game. After weeks of waiting I found out that the company (monster) that was offering this deal decided to cancel all orders because the response was much larger then they expected (Incidentally I got the same pair of headphones for cheaper. Here is how). Basically, they are losing money on this deal which makes it not worth the discount. Sound shady? It was. But on closer examination, it was more about laziness then losing money.
Continue Reading…

Evernote continues to dominate the note taking, idea generating, book writing, resource saving world.

There have been several resources written about the expansive use of evernote.
Randy Elrod did a whole weeks series on the uses of Evernote.
Michael Hyatt shared his note taking methods using Evernote.
Alicia Rockmore wrote about 6 baby steps for getting started with Evernote.

As you can see, resources are abounding all over the web for the many uses of Evernote. But there is one aspect of Evernote that I have not seen anyone talking about.

How To Use Evernote To Learn Code

I am a self-taught coder and designer. My teacher has been the world wide web and any free resource blog out there I could find. I learned by trial and error, paying attention, and a lot of surfing for the newest way to use CSS3. A lot of the times I would stumble upon a great resource or tutorial and have to bookmark the page for future reference. Most of the time that future referencing never happened. I was missing out on a lot of new techniques and ideas because they were being stored away in a folder rather then being put in a working document that I could check regularly.

Evernote has truly helped me archive and remember pieces of code that I use every single day and I think it can help you do the same.

Here is how to use Evernote to teach you all the code (or any other resource) in the world.
Continue Reading…

I love free and I love music. When their powers combine they make a whole lot of happiness.

Here is some great free music worth your time.

Tim Challs

Tim sent me his latest EP a week ago and I have been listening to it since. It is wonderful. I love his voice and the piano pieces that he has added to his music. This EP is available for free on noisetrade. Give it a listen below and then download it. And if you really want to make his day go and buy it here

David Ramirez

This was just shared with me today. But so far I am really enjoying what I hear. Most discovered David when he opened for the Civil Wars. Since that time his music seems to be spreading quickly. The best part, he is giving some of it away for free. Listen below then download it. And be sure to check out his covers of Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead and Viva La Vida by Coldplay on his blog. Also a free download found here.


I have talked about Customary before, but I think it needs to be repeated. I went to school with customary (aka Alex Post) and realized immediately that this guy is talented. Now that he has a platform to start sharing his music he is creating fans across the United States and beyond. Check out his latest project of tracks that he has created. Its worth a good listen.

You have any free music you would like to share with the class?


I am always looking for good music to listen to while I work. Let me rephrase that, I am looking for good music to listen to while I read. Usually when I am working I can listen to anything, but when I am reading it has to be pretty specific stuff. It is music that is filled with little distractions, a lot of emotion, and good white noise. I have found my new soundtrack for reading.

Friends, let me introduce you to Daft Punk Tron Legacy Reconfigured.

Now go and read a good book.


When competing one of the biggest things you want to hold onto is your secrets. You want to out-think, out-maneuver and out-smart your opponent. But when competing on the internet the opposite holds true. You want to give everything away.

You might think you are getting an advantage by holding things close to your chest. You try and get an advantage over someone else by not sharing information, ideas, thoughts. But ultimately you are losing.

Chris wrote a great post about this “Hustle Then Give It Away

My old way of thinking was that I didn’t want people to know about how I discovered my ideas, where I got my resources, and how I found great deals.

Ultimately I was afraid that if I gave anything away people would pass me up.

But I think the opposite is true, the more you give away the more you are growing. Why? Because you are constantly searching out new material, new ideas, and new thoughts. If you stop giving away it means you have stopped growing.

When you are confident in yourself you will give.
When you are confident you can share because there is always more.
When you are filled with confidence you will see the future differently.

Today we are not measured by our knowledge that we store away but by the information we give away.