Archive for September, 2011

Scapegoat strategy. A {growtoon}.

Kacy Maxwell is guy who loves his work, family and a good challenge.  Follow him on Twitter @KacyTheDude.

The blogger’s electronic arsenal

I am in the middle of a heavy travel schedule and I seem to be carrying around more and more electonics to support my office on the road. I laid everything out on the hotel room bed and … it is getting to be a little ridiculous.

But for your amusement, here are the electronics in my briefcase on nearly every business trip:

A- Power cord for computer.

B- iPad 2.  This is sometimes optional, but it is required for the classes I teach at Rutgers. The iPad comes standard issue for all students, so when I’m teaching, I pack it. It is also handy for reading while working out or hanging out at the hotel bar.

C – Toshiba Portege R835.  Please … no lectures about Macs!  For my work, this computer is perfect.  It is extremely light, durable, boots up quickly, and has a nine-hour battery life.  I love this laptop. This is my rock. All of my writing is done on this computer.

D – Kodak Zi8 HD video camera. I always carry this with me in case I have an opportunity for a great interview. This device packs a wallop in a small package and it was less tham $150. Fantastic picture quality and it has a very handy built-in USB jack that pops out of the bottom for easy uploads.  Sometimes I also carry a small tripod but left it home this trip.

E- Remote for video camera. With this, I can switch the thing on and off remotely so I can set it up and go. This saves editing. Every video I have published on {grow} has been done with one take and no editing.  Just don’t have time for it!  The remote did not come standard.  I got it off Amazon.

F- iPod. I know I could use my iPhone, or even my iPad for music, but I just like the idea of carrying 10,000 songs with me at all times.  Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep in hotels and the iPod is what I need to settle my mind. I know I can leave it behind, but I won’t.

G – Shure noise reduction headphones. These cost more than the iPod. Why? Because life’s too short for grainy music. And when you’re in the airport, those crying babies, annoying beep-beep-beep golf carts, and ridiculously loud gate announcements all fade away so you can concentrate on writing. Good headphones are a little luxury I allow myself!

H – External Flash Drive.  I carry two with me actually because I’m paranoid about losing data.

I – Energizer brand external battery for iPhone. I am a heavy data user and the battery life on the iPhone does not last the whole day so I always carry some reserve power.

J – Charger for reserve battery.

K – External mouse. I don’t use this very much but it comes along for the ride.

L – iPad/iPhone charger.

M – Targus “clicker.”  I don’t know what the offical name for this is, but this is what moves the Powerpoint slides along. Very well-crafted device. Has internal compartment for an extra battery and the USB thingy.  I have to figure out a way to stop losing these things. This is the third one I bought this year and they’re not cheap.

N- Sony external microphone. If you buy a video camera, make sure it has an external microphone jack.  This mic works well but I didn’t buy a long enough cord. This is only like four feet long. I need one about 10 feet long!

Missing from photo – iPhone 4.  It was missing because I was taking this photo with it!  The iPhone4 is the greatest productivity device known to mankind. It does everything except take quality videos.

So now I would like to hear from you.  What does your blogging arsenal look like?  Any key tools I’m missing?  Any you would take away to make my bag lighter!! : )

Disclosure: I have no official ties to any of these products or brands, and have received no compensation for this article.

Has BP learned NOTHING about PR and communications?

I saw some beautiful ads on TV promoting tourism for the U.S. Gulf Coast.  But after the heart strings were sufficiently plucked, who is identified as the sponsor?  BP — the company that caused the mess in the first place!  This really pissed me off.

Luckily I was in Memphis at the time and had the chance to have PR Expert Amy Howell calm me down, as you will see in this short video discussion.

Did BP do the right thing with these ads?  What were the alternatives?  Am I right to be venting over this?

I think you’ll enjoy the conversation and hope you’ll add your views on the subject in the comment section! Thanks!

P.S.  You know what else pisses me off?  If you “Google” BP tourism ads, all you get is BP PR fluffy stuff.  They have their SEO machine working overtime, don’t they?

P.P.S.  Grrrrr.

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