Canton Ohio Network Alliance

The LinkedIn group, the Canton Ohio Network Alliance (CONA), holds informal gatherings the second Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held at the Canton Courtyard Marriott from 6-8 pm.

There is no charge to attend the meetings or fees to join the group, however, guests are responsible for their own food and beverages.

As with the best intentions of social media, the meetings are designed to be an opportunity to meet other business people in a relaxed and friendly environment. There are no expectations for members to make presentations or to wield a dynamic personality. In fact, hard sells are not encouraged. The get-together is intended to give members an opportunity to introduce themselves to other area professionals, interact with each other and learn about everyone’s businesses and related skills, and hopefully form associations that will lead to networking and new ideas. By all means bring plenty of business cards and any other related handout information. Everyone is encouraged to invite their friends and associates to come along as well.

Please be sure to follow updates for any weather related cancellations or other modifications to our group’s activity. You can follow and join CONA on LinkedIn here: Canton Ohio Network Alliance.

How Do You Shoot Your Smartphone Video?

It’s a question as old as time. Well, not really. Mainly since smartphones have become a force in the field of video production.

Up and down or side to side? Vertical or horizontal? More technically speaking portrait or landscape

The portrait way, which is up and down so to speak, has its uses. If you are sending someone a video of yourself walking in your new suit, it may be the way to go. Or, if you enjoy producing lip-syncing music videos in various apps for Instagram and the like that’s fine too. Various social media sharing platforms encourage slightly different ratios at times and that is great. I guess.

woman with smartphone
That’s right! Landscape is the way to do it!

However, for a traditional and some might say a real video, I prefer landscape or some version of 16×9. It’s a great fit for YouTube and websites. It’s also the format that resembles television and movies. Although movie ratios can vary, that’s why sometimes they still do not quite fit your TV screen even with the newer wide TV formats, I have yet to walk into a theater and find a vertically mounted screen as opposed to a horizontal one.

I’m pretty sure some version of portrait was  tried a while back for certain movies and the concept sank like an iron ore paddle boat down to the bitty bitty bottom of the sea of misguided and bad ideas.

Last year I participated in a Video LinkedIn challenge and shot a little video about the subject. How about you? How do you shoot your video?

 

HumorOutcasts Radio “I am So Sick of White Guys” by Jim Corbett and Tim Jones

I am So Sick of White Guys Cover ArtHow many of us need more white guys? Probably not many of us right? So here’s a podcast with three more white dudes for your listening pleasure.

On behalf of HumorOutcasts Radio and HumorOutcasts.com, I recently had the chance to interview Jim Corbett and Tim Jones who are the authors of, “I am So Sick of White Guys – The Coloring Book Experience” available on Amazon. And we don’t mean the good “sick” either, but rest assured the book and the podcast are definitely “cool sick.”

Naturally to enjoy the content of this satirical and adult coloring book it would help for the reader to be progressively minded. Therefore, how “good” you may feel that the book may happen to be is rooted heavily in subjectivity.  However, even though I may not agree with all of the concepts on every single page, I can put on an objective hat. I have no issue stating that for me this book was a creative and witty isometric exercise into a fusion of political satire, humor, and social commentary.

The book’s illustrations were created by Steve Hartley, who in my opinion did a great job maintaining the recognition of the caricatures yet portrayed expressions that match the essence of the scenes and situations depicted.

Jim and Tim
Jim Corbett and Tim Jones

In this day and age it doesn’t take much to inflame a segment of the public. Jim and Tim have had their fair share of angry blowback from the right and from the land of social media. They sent me various links prior to the interview to show me this aspect of their experience and perhaps to give me fair warning of some of the grief that I could possibly catch as the interview migrates its way through the digital media cyberspace.

We touch on some of this negative feedback during the podcast but we really wanted to stay centered on the humorous aspects of this book as well as the societal messages conveyed in the content.

If you share an illustration with someone and it sparks a conversation, it has done its job.

During our pre-production meeting I suggested to Jim and Tim, that given the provocative title of the book, it may help to give the interview some depth if I threw them a few curve ball questions as opposed to producing what amounted to an audio infomercial.  They were very receptive to the idea and they both did a fantastic job making their points in this podcast which give it an intrinsic value of substantive content above what would otherwise be considered as just a digital media marketing tool.

I hope you enjoy the podcast. You can play the podcast from this site below or under Billy Dees on nearly all of the major podcasting platforms including iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

 

HumorOutcasts Radio Interview with Molly Stevens

1BOTL coverI had a lot of fun interviewing Molly Stevens, who is the author of, “Boomer on the Ledge.”

Molly brought up some good points during the course of our podcast. One of the themes that seems central to her message is that it is never too late to discover new passions and ways to be creative as we mature. In fact, sometimes life experiences can enhance our ability to tackle original endeavors and challenges.

1Molly with book and doll no frame
Molly Stevens

Another concept that seems very dear to Molly is the idea that humor is a great way to deal with life challenges and can also be a way to inspire others to examine their own place in life in a more lighthearted and positive fashion.

Molly lives in Maine and still works as a registered nurse part-time after a long and fulfilling full-time career in the medical field. More recently Molly discovered the joys of writing and over the past number of years has been showcasing her work on her blog ShallowReflections.com.

1Molly Billy Pod
Billy Dees and Molly Stevens

“Boomer on the Ledge” is an interesting blend of musings and observations about the positive and negative aspects of being a Baby Boomer as well as an inspired pictorial of images photographed by Molly to illustrate the perceptions conveyed in the book.

Molly is a contributor to HumorOutcasts.com and can be found on Twitter @ShallRef and on her Facebook pages Shallow Reflections and Boomer on the Ledge. Her book, “Boomer on the Ledge,” can be found here on Amazon published by HumorOutcasts Press. You can follow @HOPress on Twitter.

Please take a moment to enjoy our podcast interview with Molly Stevens.

The playable audio program is right here:

HOPress HumorOutcasts Radio Molly Stevens

Is Podcasting a Bubble that is Due to Pop?

Press conference
So many microphones, so little time.

Is podcasting part of a digital media bubble that is due to implode?

Although it is impossible to predict the future, in a word I would say “no.” Podcasting is here to stay as a viable media tool although the landscape of the medium will change. At the same time, for the time being I would be remiss not to acknowledge that there is an overabundance of podcasts.

Podcasting is going through what the blogosphere did over ten years ago. At first there was such a hunger for articles and information that was an alternative from magazines and newspapers, that everybody jumped on the blog bandwagon. Contained in the inundation of blogs were poorly written posts and frivolous content. There is still no shortage of blogs but the cream has risen to the top in many cases by the most talented and consistent bloggers. Not to mention many of the people who were blogging about their morning breakfast a decade ago are now taking pictures of their toast over on Facebook.

We have that dynamic now with podcasting. The podcast medium is over-crowded and many podcasts have poor sound quality and production value. Furthermore, I certainly do not know how some podcasters come up with their show ideas. I would need a hit of acid to listen to an hour long podcast about ten things to use a condom for other than its intended use. Since I am strongly anti-drug, suffice it to say the likelihood of me medicating myself through that type of content is pretty slim.

The novelty of this type of podcast is sure to wear off and in time the crowded podcast field will level off. In my opinion there are three things that will keep podcasting, in essence, alive for a good while into the future.

For one, the good thing about many different creators being attracted to podcasting is that a good diverse talent base is also expanding, which will only serve a growing audience. The audience itself is becoming much savvier in terms of what constitutes good production value and content. Screwball shows can have a viable share of the marketplace as well but will have to up their game on par with professionally produced comedy shows and radio programs.

Second, the landscape for digital media regarding content marketing is enormous and the demographics for podcasting are possibly wide open depending on the subject matter. A big advantage of podcasts over video or written blogs is that they do not require your complete attention. A busy listener who is juggling a career and family can easily listen to an episode while doing pretty much anything else simultaneously. As big businesses and their marketing divisions are realizing the new potential to build a bridge of good content to their client base by utilizing podcasts, investment in the medium will likely propagate.

Thirdly, the utilization of audio only in general is increasing rapidly. Audio streaming devices in the home are already very common and as internet enabled cars are also on their way to becoming a norm, a loftier potential to reach a large audience is being set in place. The day is coming when while on your way to work, you can simply ask your car’s dashboard how your local councilperson is planning to vote on an upcoming issue and within a few seconds you will hear his or her voice. From this aspect alone I have been advocating the idea that building a reservoir of audio content online is a good idea for many people who need to get the word out about what they do.

Predictions about the rise or fall of podcasting have been happening every year especially since 2012 when the medium’s popularity began to soar. My opinion is that the rage will level off but podcasting and especially audio content in various forms is here to stay.

In the meantime I hope that the sheer number of podcasts do not hurt the brilliant shine of the medium. There was a time when telling someone that you had a blog was met with a deep sigh because of the saturated blogosphere. For the serious practitioners of podcasting the best advice I can give you is to stay consistent, don’t try to compete with every new podcast that comes along, and be sure to serve your loyal audience members with great content.

We’ll just have to wait for the dust to settle around us.

“Running Log” by Roger Hollis

Running Log front pageThe “Running Log” On Amazon

Publisher: HOPress – Shorehouse Books  Twitter:  @HOPress

The day before Thanksgiving I had a chance to stop by the office of Roger Hollis with a mobile production set up and talk to him about running and his new book, the “Running Log.”

The “Running Log” essentially encompasses three elements; running, cartoons, and motivation. Roger has been a long-time runner and has enjoyed both the physical and mental benefits of running. He has also enjoyed drawing cartoons and illustrations for personal enjoyment and for various books.

Roger HO1
Roger Hollis

My experience with Roger has allowed me to appreciate his down-to earth attitude and practical approach to most given situations with a little bit of humor as part of the mix.

I would describe the “Running Log” as a diary of sorts for runners and other fitness enthusiasts to document their progress alongside various illustrations and motivational witticisms authored by Roger. However, you don’t have to go by my

Roger and Bill HO
Roger Hollis and Billy Dees

description of his book because you can listen to Roger himself in this episode of HumorOutcasts Radio at the bottom of this post.

You can find the “Running Log” on Amazon and it makes a perfect companion to all of those New Year’s resolutions to get out and to be more active. Roger is also a contributor to HumorOutcasts.com and you can find his newborn presence on Twitter @roger_hollis.

Please give our podcast a listen. Thank you.

HOPress HumorOutcasts Radio – Roger Hollis “Running Log”

SKO Radio, a New Internet Radio Station, Debuts in January Based in Akron, Ohio

IMG_1789
Earl McCune, one of the principle owners of SKO Radio

For generations listening to the radio meant having an antenna. Broadcast radio is under the province of FCC regulations, has a limited and measured transmission area, and all of the airways essentially are part of the public domain. What we normally refer to as print and broadcast media (radio and television) has dominated the dissemination of news and information for most of the last century.

Again, just most but not all of the last century. The rise of the internet over the past few decades has opened many new metaphoric “airways” for a wider diversity of voices to be “transmitted” via internet streaming to worldwide audiences. Furthermore, these new channels are not beholden to the restrictions of the public airways or other terrestrial broadcast boundaries. Welcome to the world of online media.

IMG_1792
SKO Radio will be based in Akron, Ohio

You don’t necessarily need a computer anymore. If you have a smartphone or a tablet you have access to this new cyber media world both as an audience member and as a participant. Streaming devices in the home are also giving greater access all of the time to growing audiences of both audio and video online media.

Along these lines investment in internet radio and podcasting, both by traditional media entities beginning online diversification and new online startups, is rapidly growing. Style and presentation are also evolving for the better due to the talent base that internet radio and podcasting are attracting. Moreover, marketers are aware that internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of internet radio listeners where almost half of general radio listening takes place.

IMG_E1791crop
Earl McCune and Billy Dees

This January 2018 a new internet streaming radio station, SKO Radio, is hitting the proverbial “airways” from Akron, Ohio. This past week I had a chance to talk with one of the principle owners, Earl McCune. We talked about what internet radio is, how it differs from standard broadcast radio, and what the hopes may be for a new era regarding audio media and internet radio programming.

You can find SKO Radio on Facebook at SKORadioNetwork and on Twitter at @SKORadioNetwork. The website is not fully implemented at the time of this writing but will be online at www.SKORadio.com. In the meantime if you have any questions about being an announcer or a salesperson for the station, advertising, or the programming that will be available you can contact the staff of SKO Radio through the Facebook site.

For your convenience my interview with Earl McCune is available at the bottom of this post. You can also find it on your favorite podcast service under the “Billy Dees Podcast” including on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, PlayerFM, and Spreaker. You can follow my “Billy Dees” persona on Twitter at @BillyDees.

On air sign

“On the Air” with Earl McCune of SKO Radio and Billy Dees