Designers Giving Back

I wanted to take a minute and share a site focusing on civilian volunteer efforts in cleaning up the BP oil spill. Designers Giving Back is a site started by a few AiP grads and from what I can tell they just organized themselves to make a difference. Here is an excerpt from their about page:

Designers Giving Back is exactly what it sounds like.

Designers Giving Back is a group of friends and young designers with backgrounds in Multimedia and Industrial Design. Brian Mezzi, Charles Beal, and Erin Surrock have teamed up to tackle obstacles that they believe DESIGN can help fix. Working in conjunction with United Way of South Mississippi, DGB is venturing to the Gulf Coast from June to July to work on multiple projects from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, to getting families who are still displaced from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita back into their homes or new homes. Going down to the Gulf Coast and getting their hands dirty is their first step to understanding the potential of Design in Disaster Relief.

Make sure you check out their tumbler as well. I reached out to Charles earlier this afternoon and I’m hoping to learn more about what they are doing. Charles’s mother initially sent me a link to the website.

Blog Share – The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett’s Journal

I wanted to take time out and share a blog that I’ve been following for a few months, The Watchtower of Destruction: The Ferrett’s Journal. I started reading the Ferrett back when he wrote for Magic: the Gathering about playing magic for fun, around a kitchen table. I always enjoyed his writing style and sense of humor (not to mention his skillz at magic). Until one day he never came back, I’m not sure why but he was quietly replaced and no one was the wiser. 

I was sad that I had lost another blogger I enjoyed until I stumbled upon The Watchtower of Destruction. With the regulation of writing only about magic lifted and only as a personal blog can do The Ferrett writes on uncensored. I still enjoy his sense of humor and sort of random postings. What put me over the edge today was a post about Jones Soda no longer pushing the edges of its soda making. 


BlogShare Weekly – Seth Godin

Haven’t uploaded a blog share in a while so to get back in the swing here is one a little earlier than usual.

I always enjoy checking in with Seth Goodin’s Blog. It’s one of those sites that always has a lot of information and while I may not read every post I think of it as browsing the newspaper. He provides a great insite on marketing and thinking about consumer experience, even a bit of personality. Or in other words, another avenue to help me keep my finger on the pulse of things.

Today I saw to posts that I thought were great. The first, relating firefox users to college graduates. I liked this post for two reasons. One commenting on firefox users as people closely linked to internet power users and what that means for web traffic. New thinking for me as I review our current web stats. Second is the positive feeling about users of firefox. While I use firefox differently and less often it is true that you have to seek out and download firefox.

The other post is entitled, write like a blogger.  Personally I don’t have great writing skills  but blogging does help me focus and think more like a writer than any other time previously in my life (outside of school of course).

One interesting aspect of Seth’s blog is that he doesn’t enable comments. When I sent him an email asking how I could comment on his blog. He replied letting me know that it was decision he made because the goal of the blog wasn’t to have a conversation, but create a place where he could post without being swayed by the audience. He posts about it here. While I don’t totally see eye to eye with his decision to disable comments I respect his decition to do so. The fact that he quickly responded to my email shows that he will engage with his audence.

How do you feel about his lack of comments?


Blogshare-My Brilliant Mistakes

This week’s blog: My Brilliant Mistakes.

This blog written by Cindy Closkey is one of the first blogs I started to follow. Mainly because we met at a time when I was just starting to follow blogs, and our involvement in PodCamp PGH. I enjoy reading her comentary on life and society as well as her depth of knowledge about the liquor cabnet. She is always the go to gal in a questionable hard drink situation. You can read about it on her regular "Mixology Monday" posts.

Thanks Cindy.




This week’s blog: Croncast.

I’ll admit, Croncast is a podcast. But most podcasts post like blogs, there is RSS. It is all there in one neat package.

I’m breaking the mold today to share a podcast I absolutely love. In a nutshell Croncast is Kris Smith and his wife Betsy who get in front of the mic to retell the story of their lives. Not only is the story interesting but the gem is in the way it is told. And it is funny. The first time I tuned in I was listening with headphones and laughing so loud my roommates thought I had gone off the deep end.

I also wanted to share croncast because, sadly, it is coming to a close. The show will end sometime in April, because they want to move on to other projects. So if you need a nice little podcast to get you through the first part of the year your listening is cut out for you.


BlogShare-Fake Steve


This weeks blog: The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.

Ever since I started reading blogs and listening to podcasts regularly, people near me have found me laughing out loud for no apparent reason. The culprit is all the great content being produced online, and the Fake Steve Jobs blog has had me struggling to control my laughter quite often. While I am not as much of a tech insider as some people, he writes in a way that makes it so you don’t have to be. His whimsical name calling and mud slinging while maintaing an angelic like persona is the heart of the content.

He also speaks well of our own iJustine as well. So thanks Fake Steve keep on writing.

BlogShare-That Night



This week’s blog: That Night.

For blogshare #2 I would like to recognize That Night. A well written blog about life in Pittsburgh from the first person perspective of Rachel. If you visit her blog you will usually see interesting photos but what really keeps me coming back is the great way she presents her experiences. An especially memorable post is this one about when she was stranded and received some friendly help.

So thanks Rachel keep on writing.



I would like to welcome you to my first ever weekly feature, BlogShare. Late in November I wrote a post about new things to come from me. Especially along the lines of community development and communication. BlogShare is a way for me to give back to my blog community. The idea is simple, once a week I will write a post about a blog I visit regularly, because listing a blog in the blog roll really doesn’t say anything other than I know how to post a link. I’ll write about what I enjoy and why I keep coming back to said blog. I hope this will be a useful feature for everyone, especially those whose blogs I visit regularly.


This weeks Blog: Echoflip

Echoflip is co-written by Matt Gondek and Jacki Vesci, but most of the posts are from Matt. I’ve only met Mat once or twice at the Creative Treehouse, but what keeps me coming back are the great links to all the different artists he posts. Ron English or these little nemo cartoons for example. I might also suggest he comment on Gary Baseman (seems to fit his style). It also helps that I like Matt’s sense of humor.

When Jacki writes a post it is usually about community events and we can always use another channel for things we need to check out. In previous conversations I’ve had with Jacki she is very interested in finding and communicating everything that is happening in Pittsburgh. As a person who doesn’t always take the time to pick up a city paper I would enjoy more posts and events from Jacki.

So if you check out Echoflip I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.