When The Samurai Speaks – My Journey of Public Speaking

When The Samurai Speaks – My Journey of Public Speaking

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Talking, It’s something we all have done since childhood. It’s our most direct form of communication. We do it without thinking to the point that many of us don’t know when to stop. Generally in a personal one on one or private group setting, there’s no real thought given to speaking and expressing yourself. Now, if you step back from that space, step up on to a stage and try public speaking to a group of strangers who are all there solely to listen you, how would you do.

That’s what swirls through my head every time I prepare to address a group. Class rooms, panels, conference halls, it all comes down to my ability to communicate a story and deliver a message to the people. That message shifts depending on the audience but that story is often the same at its core. How do you connect on a human level. Public speaking for me is generally framed in a business or teaching setting but even with the goal of sharing info and instructing the audience, they still need to connect with me in a way that gives personal value to what I’m sharing with them.

Think back to your youth. How many times did a teacher stand in front of your class with valuable info that never sunk in because it was delivered dry as the Sahara Desert? I’ll never be the guy to do front flips and cartwheels to hold your attention but I bank on the ability to say something that you can personally relate to enough to give me your full attention. After a few class room engagements and panel appearances I put this to my biggest test yet a few weeks ago.

The good folks at Blogger Week approached me as a representative of Nomadness to speak at their annual conference. I had the pleasure of working with B.W a few years ago as an Ambassador so from that interaction I now could take another step in my public speaking career.

It was a hot and humid day in Washington DC but it was a calm and cool setting within the hall’s of Trinity University where the Blogger Week Conference was held. I sat and took in the informative presentations of the speakers before like award-winning teacher Sabrina Kizzie. When it was my turn to speak to the people about entering the world of Travel blogging I was actually pretty relaxed. The crowd was receptive and eager to hear my message. Mixing in a balance of social media based strategies with Nomadness community building, I think I did a pretty good job.

**Click Here For More Info On My Public Speaking**

I’m still within the first full of my public speaker career. Like anything else it takes time to establish your position and patience is something I was always had and understood. From every engagement I look to take away a moment that tells me to keep going forward. The image below is what I’ll remember as the stamp of approval for my words. Might not have been a full house but it’s always quality over quantity in my book!

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Now I’m getting ready for my next appearance which brings me back to NYC as I join a community marketing panel at YMS NYC 2016. This is one of the largest digital marketing conferences today so It’s a massive step in my career. Now I just need to decide what to wear.

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**Click Here For More Info On My Public Speaking**

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New Daddy Adventures with Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget  #CollectiveBias

New Daddy Adventures with Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula

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As your favorite Social Media Samurai shifts into Digital Daddy mode with the recent birth of my son Max, there are a number of new challenges that I’m encountering. At this early stage, feeding has required some creativity at times due to timing and location. I move around a lot and traveling with Max to see my side of the family has been a little difficult regarding adequate milk production while away from his mother. Fortunately, Gerber® Good Start® baby formula serves as a great early supplement when natural breast milk is unavailable.

While preparing for Max’s arrival I knew that there would be periods early on where his mother’s natural milk may have to be supplemented with something. Primarily this was the case when I would take Max to see my side of the family in New York. With finite amount of natural milk that I could bring on the 2 hour ride with me, supplemental options were a must. Over the length of a 2 day visit I wanted to make sure little Max’s needs would be covered.

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The Gerber formula line has a few options depending on what it is your child is in need of. From routine feeding of infants to toddlers, to soothing a fussy child or for supplementing, you can definitely cover your needs with the Good Start line.

Max’s mom didn’t have to wait too long before she started producing milk which we were very thankful for. We wanted that to be the primary feed source during this infant period, but we understood that certain circumstances may call for some additional measures. Fortunately all it took was a quick stop by the local Target to pick up the needed Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula for when I hit the road. It wasn’t hard to locate either.

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The infant section was directly across from the electronic section which is my favorite area in the store. Once I had my Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula, I could prepare for my travel with a much more calm mind.

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Bag packing for the baby care essentials

At this tender age Max essentially is either eating or sleeping with a few periods of conscious activity. If I want those awake time moments to be pleasant for him and everyone around that is so happy to see him, then his food has got to be covered. That’s my biggest appreciation of the Gerber® Good Start® formulas. Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula is gentle nutrition for when moms supplement. It is designed to supplement breastmilk with Comfort Proteins® that are small and easy for tiny tummies to digest and probiotics.

The good people at Gerber sent me a nice sample set of formula too. The enabled supplementing option gives flexibility to me as a father that generally would force Max to be attached to his mother 24/7.

As parents we all have different needs, and circumstances vary across the board, but I’d definitely recommend Gerber® Good Start® to new parents in situations similar to mine. My little guy has many miles ahead of him so it’s essential that I do everything to make his travel as comforting and stress free as possible. I mean who would want to upset a face like this?

Click below for a Cartwheel offer available exclusively at Target from 9/4 – 9/17. 

http://cbi.as/53bhg

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Max taking in his first trip to Target.

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The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

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See Full Infographic

I’ve referenced Dark Social before. In short terms that is the social media activity that most analytic systems can’t trace. Most of that activity to linked to mobile usage. In this, instance when I speak of the Deep Web there is truly a deeper, at times more dangerous connotation. The internet that most of us know, Youtube, Facebook, Amazon, etc….really only makes up at most 1% of the actually Web. Researchers are still trying to calculate a more exact figure but much like deep space the web continues to grow.

For moment though let’s think of the Web in terms of the ocean instead of outer space. What we generally navigate is the bare surface of what the web actually is. It is space that we navigate often via search engines. Yahoo, Bing, Google and the like open the doors to a vast array of web pages but they are far more limited than you may think. Their actual search capabilities still leave TRILLIONS of web pages untouched. Here’s an excerpt from CNN that gives some more insight to the matter.

Though the Deep Web is little understood, the concept is quite simple. Think about it in terms of search engines. To give you results, Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing constantly index pages. They do that by following the links between sites, crawling the Web’s threads like a spider. But that only lets them gather static pages, like the one you’re on right now.

What they don’t capture are dynamic pages, like the ones that get generated when you ask an online database a question. Consider the results from a query on the Census Bureau site.

“When the web crawler arrives at a [database], it typically cannot follow links into the deeper content behind the search box,” said Nigel Hamilton, who ran Turbo10, a now-defunct search engine that explored the Deep Web.

Google and others also don’t capture pages behind private networks or standalone pages that connect to nothing at all. These are all part of the Deep Web.

50% of Deep Web Institutional databases and more all create material that are public but generally can’t be reach by standard means. It’s estimated that half of the Deep Web is a seas of reports, databases and study pieces ranging from The Patent and Trademark Office to NASA. Businesses with their own Intranet systems make up another 10-15%. These are spaces you generally would need to pay to access.

That leaves the most dangerous corners of the Web which experts refer to as Tor. Existing within a system of redirected, bouncing signals to avoid tracking, this is where illegal online activity is taking place. Weapons and drugs sales, pirated media and all types of generally banned services and materials can be found here.

While most of what I’ve mentioned today most of you will never see, there is a growing professional push to gain access to more of the web. Various universities are diving into the Deep Web looking to regularly search it’s contents. Stanford, for example, has built a prototype engine called the Hidden Web Exposer, HiWE. Others that are publicly accessible are Infoplease, PubMed and the University of California’s Infomine.

There is also a browser bundle to reach Tor but that is not something I’d share with the masses, but it’s out there. As with most great technological advances, we are always playing catch up. It’s so much bigger then Retweets, SEO and Keywords when you step back and look at the bigger picture. Just keep in mind the how vast the space is we are engaged in daily and be responsible.

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How To Keep WhatsApp From Sharing Your Phone Number With Facebook

How To Keep WhatsApp From Sharing Your Phone Number With Facebook

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The ultra popular messaging app WhatsApp currently has over a billion users. Along with its international uses and ability to function fully off standard wifi, it’s the security of the app that has made so many people happy to use it. That mood has changed a bit recently as WhatsApp announced it would be sharing info with Facebook or “advertising and marketing”  purposes. They have recently rolled out a new terms of agreement before this info sharing kicks in. Now let’s be honest and admit many of us don’t read or at best skim those terms. We often just accept and go about life. No problem. For those that haven’t accepted yet or even if you have accepted within the past 30 days you can still protect your info.

See below for the short steps to securing your information.

If you have not accepted WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions yet, do not click the Accept button. Scroll down to the bottom of the terms and tap the line that says “Read more about the key updates to our terms and privacy policy.” Next, uncheck the box that says “Share my account information with Facebook…”

If you have already accepted WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions, but have done so within the last 30 days, you can still opt out of sharing your info with Facebook. Go into Settings then hit Account and uncheck the “Share my account information with Facebook…” box.

Simple actions that you’ll be thankful for later.

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NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

 

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The gift and curse of the mega popular streaming service Netflix is that often we get overwhelmed with options yet can’t seem to find exactly with we want. Netflix operates off a specific internal formula that tries to provide the best options for you to select from based on previous viewings. Notice I said the best options, not all options.

There are very detailed sub categories that open up a sea of new options for your viewing pleasure and they are accessible via a pretty simple method.

To view the categories, select a code from the list below and enter the category code at the end of the URL.

(Here’s an example: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/11146

Note: You must be logged into your Netflix account on a desktop pc for this to work. This is not a mobile device or direct streaming device hack (i.e a bluray player or roku)).

Hit the jump for the full list of the most popular secret codes. I’m certain you’ll find something you like plus a few surprises!!

Continue reading NetFlix Mega Hack – Welcome to the Hidden Categories

Finish The Summer Strong – Half Off Social Media Audit

Finish The Summer Strong – Half Off Social Media Audit

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Believe it or not August is one of the most  important months of the year. What you plan and set in motion this month will create the tone for the second half of the year and in turn lay the ground work for 2017. With that being said for many people they have had just over half the year to run their businesses, build their brands and manage their expectations. How are you doing so far? Are you hitting your goals? Are you under performing digitally? Do you know what you want to do but aren’t sure how to achieve it. If any of this describes you then this is exactly what you need.

Take advantage of this summer price slash so you can get your social media strategies set up to par so you can go into the fall and winter seasons ready to make a major impact.

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SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

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#SamuraiRides #DriveMazda

To say that time flies is a grand understatement but in this case you’ll get no complaints from me. One of my favorite times of the year just finished. The 5th Annual Nomadness Summer BBQ, now known as Reunion Weekend went down amazingly in the Atlanta area. While it’s always a hectic time for me, I enjoy the fact that I move about town in style thanks to Mazda, For the 2nd year in a row It’s me and the Mazda CX taking care of the business at hand. Last year it was the CX-5. This summer it’s the 2016 CX-9 Signature AWD edition.

Summer time travel is the season of all carry-on bags. Without the need to wait on checked luggage, I hopped off my flight and made my way through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport to my vehicle pick up location. I rarely know the color of the ride I’m getting so when this gorgeous Metallic Gray  SUV rolled up I was delighted.

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Hit the jump for the full review.

Continue reading SAMURAI RIDES: BACK ON THE ROADS OF GEORGIA w/ the MAZDA CX-9 FOR NOMADNESS REUNION WEEKEND

How Are You Doing With Personal Branding on Snapchat?

How Are You Doing With Personal Branding on Snapchat?

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There is so much going on around us in the digital world. Every day there’s another app or site launching giving you a means of sharing your life with the world. When managing those platforms is how you ear a living is can truly be overwhelming. Right now I want to talk about Snapchat. Actually I want to ask you about it. How is it working for you all? If it’s more then just a way to kill time for you how is it benefiting your business? As much as a Social Media Samurai as I am, I’m also honest. I can say that for my own brand, Snapchat is still a work in progress. I’ve directed other more outgoing folks on how to capitalize on it, but personally it’s still on the lower level of things for me. *Follow me at SMediaSamurai.*

The most consistent aspect of my snaps are that you get pieces of me. I may be out clearing my head at the bar, on the road traveling or at the gym but you get genuine parts of my life. At times I’ll share thoughts or direct folks to other spaces online where I’m active. With a platform that is so new I’m cautious telling people that they are “doing it wrong”. We’re still figuring it out but maybe I’m just taking my time more then others.

Having said that I came across some Snap “Fails” that apparently you should avoid. Take a look after the jump and see what these ideas/views can do to give your Snaps a little more kick.

Continue reading How Are You Doing With Personal Branding on Snapchat?

Is Writing Truly a Dying Art in Social Media?

Is Writing Truly a Dying Art in Social Media?

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It’s no secret that I feel a certain way about the shift in digital communication from written to image based. The continuous migration towards simpler forms of visual communication does serve a purpose in getting a message out to a population with steadily shortening attention spans. However I can’t stop but notice a pitfall in this rush to banish written expression to the sidelines. Simple does not always equal more effective. Yet as is the way of most businesses follow the numbers and statistics have quite a few experts already preparing for the rise of an all video based Facebook.

At a recent conference in London, the Head of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, Nicola Mendelsohn, said “In five years time Facebook “will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video.” While Zuckerberg himself has expressed his belief in the growing role of video and imagery, this proclamation of the written words’ irrelevance goes well beyond anything stated thus far.

She goes on to say, “The best way to tell stories in this world, where so much information is coming at us, actually is video,” Mendelsohn said. “It conveys so much more information in a much quicker period. So actually the trend helps us to digest much more information.”

Spoken like a true business person. Be clear, I don’t disagree with the data but every time there is a conversation on information sharing it almost always seems to trend towards quantity over quality. Everyone doesn’t take in information in the same way. Everyone isn’t a video star in the making. I fear we will be flooding the social Internets with dry, low quality media just because it’s quicker and easier than sitting down and writing out your thoughts. It’s essentially a return to the TV model with everyday citizen replacing the paid professional actors.

Yet Mendelsohn has her eyes focused firmly on the data.

“We’re seeing a year-on-year decline of text…If I was having a bet I’d say: video, video, video.”

Sounds wonderful and maybe this is the way things are going to trend but if there is one thing I’ve learned is that when the trends go right they often leave much uncultivated to the left. Writing is the basis of human civilization. No matter what else we develop to express ourselves, the ability to work and do so creatively will never cease to connect.

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Do you welcome a digital world driven by sound and images both stationary and moving? Is writing as primary function now on it’s last electronic legs? Only time will tell.

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SAMURAI RIDES: WELCOME TO DC WITH THE 2016 HYUNDAI SONATA – BLACK WEBLOG AWARDS

SAMURAI RIDES: WELCOME TO DC WITH THE 2016 HYUNDAI SONATA – BLACK WEBLOG AWARDS

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July marks one of the more active months for me. Besides my usual daddy duties, I have a number of events taking me out of town. After just coming off my time in Ocean City with the new 2017 Elantra I had Hyundai fresh on my mind as I prepared for my next trip to  the DMV area. Fortunately the 2016 Sonata Sport 2.0 with its 18 inch wheels, sleek appearance and extra muscle was waiting for me. The step up in model gave me some more room and power under the hood as I made my way down the 95.

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Space, Style and Power at your fingertips in the 2016 Hyundai Sonata.

My next destination was the Black Weblog Awards that were held during the 2016 Blogging While Brown conference in Washington, DC. That was one of the most smooth rides into the nation’s capital I’ve ever taken. I can see that the new Elantra took a lot of its design influence from the Sonata.

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Blogging While Brown – Black Weblog Awards Acceptance

Essentially the Sonata is the Elantra’s big brother. Ruling the mid-size class with the most interior space of any other vehicle, you know I’m already enjoying myself.

The Sonata includes some of our favorite and at this point expected features like hands free smart trunk access, remote key ignition, rear view cameras, blind spot and lane safety detection alerts and gorgeous leather laced interior with sporty gear shift handle, pedals and chrome accents.

Besides the increase in size and space, it was the Sonata’s power that quickly struck me after a week with the Elantra. Going from  a solid 147 horsepower engine to the twin turbo pushing at up to 245 horses, the feel on the road is night and day.  When you couple that with the Sport mode steering setting and you really do feel like gliding on the open road.

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I’m not even going to lie. There were a number of impressed looks as I pulled up on George Washington University for the Blogging While Brown Conference. Here’s the thing. People see the running around that I do. With so much going on and so many things on my plate, there is only so much time I can put into transportation. How ever I choose to move about needs to be quality so I can think about other things. The Hyundai Sonata allowed me 100% confidence in the fact that I’d be arriving where I needed to be without any issues.

If nothing else, Hyundai is coming through with lots of options for your driving desires. The Sonata Sport that I experienced goes for just under $30K with the Limited Edition running you about $5K more for all the top features and added treats. At either level, I’d say that you will be a happy customer once you hit that road.

**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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