Please Help Me Run in Chicago to Help Mitchell Swaback Charities

Shortly after becoming the lead web developer for Ignition Studio in early 2007, I was introduced to one of our clients, Bob Swaback and Mitchell Swaback Charities. I don't care who you are, or what your background is...if all you do is read the story of Bob and Gaye's son Mitch and why this organization even exists today...you can't help but be inspired. If you continue to read his journal entries, the testimonials, and the lives that have been touched by this group, you will be moved. I've watched from the sidelines; posting story after story, reading everyones comments, posting new projects, events, and all of the updates, pictures and videos that go along with them. I've attended the annual golf outings and dinners and listened as friends and family shared their memories of Mitch. I've helped put together the monthly e-blasts...and yes, even the ones on Mitch's Anniversary.

Isn't it beautiful though, to see all of the great things that have been done with the loss of this young man?  It's painful...and beautiful...all at the same time.

However, the impetus for me to run the half marathon this year goes back to that first year I became involved. In 2007, MSC had a similar fundraiser where several people signed up to run either the half of full marathon in Chicago. Mitch's dad, Bob, committed to running both!  Together, they raised nearly $100,000 that year. At that time, I was nearly sixty pounds heavier and wouldn't have been able to run around the block without taking a break...trust me, I tried.  I told my coworkers at Ignition Studio that if MSC would do this fundraiser again, I would run...well, here I am.

I might not be ready to run the full thirteen miles yet, but with the help of my son Parker, my daugher Meredith and all of my family, friends and supporters....I'm gonna run...one step at a time.

Please consider supporting me with either a kind word, or even a token donation to Mitchell Swaback Charities by sponsoring my run.

If you're interested, please feel free to follow my training activites and updates at http://twitter.com/RunWithSteve

Thank you.

Fast Company Social Media Experiment

Ok, this is pretty slick ... a friend of mine (Andy Matthews) tweeted something about an awesome social media experiment thrown together by Fast Company, so I just had to check it out and thought I should spread the word too. When you follow this link http://fcinf.com/v/dmqa, you'll be taken to the page that contains tons of photos (think facebook and twitter profile pics). When you click on one, you're given some brief info on that person such as their 'influence rank', bio (picked up from either facebook or twitter), etc. Then, if you click to see a person's 'influence' you're whisked off to another area to visually see the people they've 'influenced' to stop by. There's so much more, but you'll just have to see it for yourself.

In the end, you're given a link and the ability to either tweet or post on your facebook status something similar to this:

Fast Company is searching for 2010's Most Influential Person Online. You are more influential than you think. http://fcinf.com/v/dmqa.

In any event, it's a cool idea and thought others might like it too.

MySpace Can Update Your Twitter Status ... Who Cares?

MySpace has announced users can now automatically sync their status updates with Twitter. Is having the ability to create a "Global Social Status" (yes, you can use that ... I just made it up) really such a good thing?

Not long ago I ran across an application in Facebook that would pull in my Twitter updates and automagically update my Facebook status. I quickly learned that this was not exactly the best idea in the world (and I'll tell you why in a moment), so I'm not so certain the efforts of MySpace are going to bring about any kind of improvements in the social media communities.

Let's think about this for a minute ... if you're a friend of mine on Facebook (or MySpace) AND you follow me on Twitter ... do you really want to read my status updates everywhere you go? For serious, does it make sense to "shotgun" your updates to every single social community you belong to? I think not.

Sure, there are rare occasions that you might want to do this ... but I say resist the temptation! I've found that for the most part, people I follow on Twitter are a completely different group of people than I have on Facebook. Sure, there is some overlap and that's to be expected, but the vast majority of people I know of Facebook (or MySpace) are people I've actually met, am friends with, family with, grew up with, you get the picture. Many of the people (and/or companies) I follow on Twitter are people I've never personally met (although many I hope to meet someday) but we share some commonalities ... maybe it's programming, maybe it's music, maybe it's geography. You know?

Where I'm going with this is that something I might "tweet" about may not necessarily be something I want to update my "Global Social Status" with. The audiences are completely different and often warrant their own unique message, even if the messages are very similar.

The flip side to this is if you like to Twitter ... and you know who you are ... you have the potential of overwhelming your family and friends with updates like "RT @stevewithington CF9 is the bees knees ... I have ORM, do you?" or "This site rocks: http://tinyurl.com/nv62na #muracms #mura #coldfusion #sql"

Heck, I don't know about you, but I already get a little irritated having to scroll through things like "Help Me on Mafia Wars" or the ever popular "Steve Withington took the 'What Kind of Car Are You?' quiz and got the result: You're a 1969 Bitchin' Camaro. Read more ..."

So if you're goal in life is to annoy the crap out of people in your social communities, then go right ahead and applaud the efforts of MySpace and others in their quest to become THE place to go to update your Global Social Status. In the mean time, I'll continue along, grumbling and complaining about silly things like this.

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