My way of changing the world – take 1

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, good deeds, Inspiration, News 47 Comments »

My way of changing the worldConsidering that my reputation is one of being helpful, you’d never know that as a kid I was a shoplifter, a vandal, I blew frogs up with fireworks, and I was a jerk to many people – even my parents.

Good becomes bad, bad becomes good… where I used to cause trouble, I now work on helping. Whether it’s cheering up the sad, bringing families together, giving lectures to raise funds for the sick, making websites to raise a few thousand for a young poodle that needs an expensive surgery…. I now bat for the good guys.

I’ll remind you that good and evil are only opinions—history decides who the good guys are… and the ones whom the world consider to be bad, always consider themselves to be good. Thus, the guys who flew planes into the Twin Towers, they considered themselves to be freedom fighters.

We choose what’s right and wrong in our eyes. I’ll come back to that in a second.

You see, good and bad aren’t the only priorities that have shifted in my life.

For 6 years I have couch surfed (traveled around, based on who’s couch I’m crashing on next), and my priorities were meeting new people, and having adventures.

Traveling for 6 years can rack up a large tab.

I’m going to tell you how I paid for it, as you can do the same if you choose. More importantly though was that this journey has absolutely transformed my life- and I’ll discuss that too.

At first my parents contributed gas money. Then, after a year, they realized that this is not just a phase, and they withdrew their assistance. They wanted me to settle down and get a job (and get active in making some grand kids for them), but my travels were too much fun, and I was not going to quit.

I have not told this story to many people, it’s very personal, and I’m a bit twitchy to share it… but recently my best friends have busted me on not being intimate with anybody in my life… so here’s me pouring my secrets, so you can have an appreciation of the magnitude of things when I get to my point—and trust me, there is a point. Read the rest of this entry »

Rebecca Black bad — transformation of the web.

humor, Information, Marketing Lessons, music, News, opinion, party, rant, video 1 Comment »

Rebecca Black and Ice Cube star in FridayOne of my couches / buddies Jason Moffatt just did an epic thing.  Despite being a surfer, and loving La Jolla, he moved to LA to participate more in comedy.  Originally he took the comedy bootcamp just ’cause he wanted to… thought it might make a good blog post (We’ve all done crazy things for that reason, right?).  Well, doing things on a whim often leads to amazing things.

Jason  is funny, and fearless, and smart (He has experience in selling magic tricks at bars, he was a PI, he is a marketer and copywriter… many of these things combined let him be confident, and know how to read people, and know what to say…. plus he has more street smart than most people I know– and that’s a lot of people), so he was a natural at this. Here is his first show!

I was lucky enough to get to be there in person to show support for a friend. There’s not much better than being able to show support for your friends in their big dreams. Jason is also the only other person I’ve ever met who’s taken shrooms and gone to a stripper club (his experience sounded way more painful than mine).

Anyways….not only was he funny, but his marketing superpowers are able to help these comedians– Louie Anderson and Kyle Cease. Jason has been out to Vegas a few times since to hang with Louie. How cool is that?

So… as I started this post with, Jason gave up the peace, quiet, and beauty of La Jolla to go to LA to work on comedy with Kyle Cease. I know he’s going to crush it!

The other day Jmo posts “Check out this spoof that we just filmed for Rebecca Black’s Music Video, Friday” –And he posted this video.

Ok… cute… funny…. but I didn’t see the original, so… I googled it, and here’s what I found…. Good luck watching the whole thing- *shiver*

I couldn’t watch the whole thing.. But heck, I’m not her demographic, right? I think it’s intended for teenagers. This girl is in 8th grade after all.
Well, at the time of writing this blog post (Saturday the 19th, 11AM CST), she is approaching 22 million views! Read the rest of this entry »

#140Conf Roadtrip

adventure, announcements, business, events, good deeds, Interviews, News, travel 2 Comments »

I am embarking on a roadtrip to serve a social good.

As I’ve grown older, making a difference has become more and more important.

How did this start?

Recently I spoke at the 140Conf, a conference held by Jeff Pulver (CoFounder of Vonage.com, and the guy who is responsible for VOIP (Voice Over IP — Internet-based telephone calls) being free, rather than billed per-call by the phone industries).

I met Jeff prior to the event for coffee and a chat. He was (is) an incredible person. He has a good sense of humor, and helps many people.

His passion for what he does, as well as his intelligence are both quite apparent. I decided I wanted to get involved in spreading the word about the uses of social media for other reasons than just marketing or being social. Jeff recently started his 140Conf Small Town as well, to spread the knowledge of what industries and individuals in those towns can do with these real-time technologies.

Basically, it’s how to leverage social media for social good. That’s a cause I can believe in! I’m not the only one, the mayor of Detroit is opening up the event!

I’ve used social media to connect with people, to connect other people with the people that have exponentially increased their business, with people that can solve their problems, to raise funds for a poodle that needed a $2,500 operation, and much more… the speakers at the 140 Conf have even bigger stories than mine.

So what’s this trip?

I am driving from Las Vegas to Detroit, then down to Kansas.  I will be using Social Media (Facebook / Twitter / 4Square / etc) to announce my locations, and I will have Tweetups (get togethers at certain destinations, generally announced on Twitter).  I am looking to spread usage of social media as a tool for social change, and business growth, while meeting characters. As I find characters, I will be filming their stories.  I am also, as always, looking to connect with great individuals along my route.

If you caravan with me, you get in for free!

That’s right, Jeff Pulver agreed that anyone going with me to the Detroit 140Conf or the Kansas 140conf gets in for free.  Tickets are generally $140, which is a bargain to see the panels and speakers that Jeff has lined up. I’ve never had a Caravan, and that would be rad!

What’s my Route?

I leave Las Vegas on Sunday morning, with pit stops in

Richfield, UT
Grand Junction, CO (Stop for the night here)
Brighton, CO
Grand Island, NE (stop for the nite)
Cedar Rapids, IA
Chicago IL

Then of course Detroit, MI.

Tell Me Your Story!

I, like Jeff Pulver, am looking for characters.  If you have a great story, are a character, and/or are using the internet to affect social good, then I want to know you!  I want to meet you on my journey, and film your story.

Want to be a Couch?

I am also looking for people to Couchsurf with along the way.  If you want me to stay with you, fill out the form at Crash My Couch.

Know Characters?

I’m looking for characters, so if you got them, let me know!  Use the contact form on my site, and let me know who they are …. especially if they are on my route.

Want to go to the 140Conf for free?

Just caravan with me!  Contact me (on Twitter would be great:  I’m at http://twitter.com/couchsurfingori), and let me know!  We can drive together!

Where to have a tweetup?

If you know any places in those cities that would make for good tweetup spots, or own them and want the promotion, then let me know, and I’ll make sure we do it there.

Spread the Word-

Since I need to get the word out about my trip, get people interested in the tweetups (and decide where to have them), and of course to spread the word about the 140conf, I need to bring attention to this post.  So, please post this on Facebook, Twitter, Social Bookmarking sites, StumbleUpon it, e-mail it to your friends, e-mail it to your enemies, forward it to reporters, forward it to bloggers…. just get the word out!

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the road!

Happy Independence Day, 1984!

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4th of July pic from Wikipedia

4th of July / Independence day… a day where 234 years ago we told the Brits to suck it. It doesn’t seem to mean that much as a holiday these days.  Most holidays don’t seem to mean that much. This one is an excuse to play with fireworks – or break the law in certain areas to get the fireworks – over eat BBQ food, get drunk, and occasionally catch an orchestra.

This year I’m in the middle of a health kick, so I don’t care about the BBQ food.  In La Jolla, it was cold today, so I didn’t feel like taking people up on their beach BBQ offers.  For some reason I was really tired, so slept a lot during the day (my neck still hurts, and my head’s a bit foggy.  Glad it’s my day off P90x).  I did walk outside to watch the fireworks for a few minutes, then yawned and walked back in.

Why? Because in 2007 I ate shrooms at Burning Man, and watched a (literally) 1,000 foot fireball come out of an oil derrik, followed by probably about 40 minutes of the most amazing fireworks I’ve ever seen!  Since then, nothing compares.  These were not the skimpy one firework at a time stream that you see in most fireworks show… these were hundreds of them at a time…. the sky was filled with them!  Like most things at Burning Man, these were done by artists who put everything into it… and probably didn’t have nearly as many fire-safety ordinances as most cities.

This year’s fireworks sounded about the same to me as a bag of popcorn getting ready in the microwave.  I went inside to hang with Webber, whom I was informed ahead of time hates fireworks.

I just don’t feel this holiday anymore. This year, to celeebrate independence, the United States has decided to pass a new law that suspends the 1st ammendment Read the rest of this entry »

Watch the TedX Oil conference live today!

events, News, video 1 Comment »

If you’re not familiar with Ted/TedX, it’s a conference of the most brilliant minds…. They’re having a conference all day about the oil mess…. should be quite educational- just click play.

Watch live streaming video from tedxoilspill at livestream.com

My big announcement!

adventure, announcements, Get to know Ori, News, opinion, rant, summary 16 Comments »

Dear friend – yes you!

I have something really important to tell you. It’s very exciting, and very difficult for me all at once.

I’ve arrived here in La Jolla, CA where the weather is truly amazing, and I am house-sitting for the next 5-6 weeks.

On my drive here from Austin, TX I had a lot of time to think, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the best answers come from asking the right questions. My question that I chose was “How do I make the best use of house-sitting near the beach for 6 weeks?”

I came up with many ideas, but the ones that made the most sense are also the most difficult, and I’d like to share them with you.

I have completed 3.5 years of couchsurfing around the USA.  I’ve met the most incredible people that I could ever imagine.  I have had amazing adventures, where Read the rest of this entry »

How to screw BP

humor, Information, Marketing Lessons, News, opinion, rant, Scam Warning 2 Comments »
Sponge Bob Square Pants died in BP oil spill

Sponge Bob Square Pants died in BP oil spill!

Here’s a fun one to share with your friends!

British Petroleum has a gag order on their staff.  During this cleanup, no one can tell you what’s really going on.  So… all those dead animals, all that failure on stopping the flow of oil…. yeah, they can’t

Click this to see BP's "Oil Spill" ad

talk about it.  Additionally, BP is paying for sponsored ads, so whenever you search for a term like “Oil Spill” their ad shows up at the top, like so (see image on left).

Their BP ad (the one with the yellow background) costs them money for each click.  It takes you to their page, where they get to present the information however they want to… i.e. “BP cares, loves you, are the good guys, and are really making the world a better place…. and a little oil in your sea food is good for you!”

Now, I may be paraphrasing a little bit, but you get the idea.

The sad part is that millions of people do not know that it is an ad.  They search for “Oil Spill” (or any other term relating to the worst ecological catastrophe in history), they see “BP”, click on it, and think they are seeing the real news, and thus believe it.

So, to show BP that this campaign is just a waste of their money, and that people are smarter than that, just keep searching for Oil Spill, and clicking on BP’s ads!  Then just hit the back button on your browser, you’re back in the Google page, and you can click again… rinse and repeat!

Send your friends to this page! With enough people doing this, maybe BP can invest their resources into cleaning the environment, rather than just trying to bully us into thinking that everything’s peachy.

Here! I’ll save you the effort– Just click here, and it will take you to a Google page where you can click on oil ads.

Have fun!

Your local police is using drones to spy on you in your home, your car, etc…

Information, News, rant, video No Comments »
Insitu ScanEagle drone can spy on you

Wave hello to the drone that's spying on you

Grrr…. Houston Police has been lying to the press about restricted airspace (and god knows what else), in order to test out their new secret drones.

Channel 2 in Houston had the balls to check with the FAA, and investigate/film anyways. These drones can fly ofor 15-24 hours, look into your house, car, etc… and of course, be equipped with various other sensors.

Will they be giving speeding tickets? Will they be spying on you? I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled about this.

I think that if enough of our rights are violated, and we’re spied upon, someone will fight back… destroy these things (using something like uni-directions EMPs), and waste tons of tax dollars that you paid.

It may be entertaining to watch what they’re watching though :)

The following video is brilliant. Channel 2, you’ve earned my respect.

Couchsurfing Radio – The very first Couch-Cast!

couchsurfing radio, Couchsurfing Radio Episodes, Get to know Ori, Marketing Lessons, News, rant 11 Comments »
Couchsurfing radio - the show graphic

The Couchsurfing Radio Host- Couch Surfing Ori

Have you ever felt you were destined to be on TV or Radio?  Yeah… me either.  But I sure was told it often that I should have my own show.  At least for 10 yearas now.  So… here it is :)

I present to you CouchSurfingRadio, my latest creation. Right now it will be on Monday nights at 11pm EST, with replays available for your downloading pleasure (so you can hear it again and again… have it on as you clean, drive, work, jog, poop, etc..).

The show will cover many topics, but most of them will be what I often blog about: adventures, travel, incredible people and places, marketing, life lessons, motivation, design, jokes, and of course, my odd perspectives on everything.

Here is the very first episode.

[podcast]http://www.CouchSurfingOri.com/couchsurfing-radio/couchsurfing-couchcasts/Couchsurfingradio-couchcast-number1-december28-2009.mp3[/podcast]
Download the episode for home/car/plane/etc.. listening.

It’s a great story… the forming of this radio show:  I felt like putting on a radio show, I tweeted and facebooked that in 2 hours I’ll be putting on a radio show, and then I put on my radio show.  Exciting, huh?  There was more to it than that, of course. I didn’t figure out how to log-in to the host number until (literally) 3 minutes before showtime. I was a distracted spaz.  I didn’t know how to read the questions that were coming in through the show’s chat-room, through twitter, and through skype. So.. yeah.. I was all over the place.

The feedback thus far has been great though!

For next episode, I will have a surprise guest, someone to filter the questions/chat for me, and segments… so, some kind of structure.

Take a listen, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show (Leave a comment below please)

Site improvements – and more on Falcon the Balloon Boy

News, opinion, rant No Comments »
motion gears -team force

Oiled up the machine

I find that I’m a lot more productive when I work through the night.  Last night, not only did I write an awesome article on Falcon, the not-so-adventurous Balloon Boy (I wonder how many years that name will stick), but I also tinkered around under the hood.  Some of the changes I  made to my site:

  • Made it interact with Facebook.  You can now share your posts on Facebook, become a facebook fan, etc….
  • Added Tweeting functionality.  You can now push that green button in the top right of every single post, and instantly tweet that post.
  • Added Disqus & Tweetmeme — Now it’ll be easy to track not only comments, but the replies they’ve gotten around the web.
  • Swapped out analytics code.. it turns out my last structure was slowing the site down.
  • Added site-caching to try and speed up the site.
  • Added mobile-phone support, so that Iphones/Blackberries/Androids can all enjoy the site in a more convenient manner.
  • Fixed a few things on the SEO front, so the site will be easier to find.
  • Backed up site database & files (WAY past due on that).
  • Added some idea-organization tools.
  • Improved my mailing tools, so I can actually keep in touch with you better. Read the rest of this entry »

Balloon Boy proves how easy a good PR Stunt is to pull.

adventure, business, humor, Information, Marketing Lessons, movie reviews, News, opinion, rant, video 4 Comments »
It's Falcon! The balloon boy!

It's Falcon! The balloon boy!

This 6 year old kid, Falcon (I think that’s even more ridiculous– the kid goes flying, and his name is Falcon? Hmmm) climbs in his Dad’s helium baloon that looks like Jiffy Pop.  The baloon takes off.  The whole nation is talking about it.  Everyone’s tweeting and facebooking about it… I even know of a certain stay at home mom that got her drink on ’cause she was so worried about this kid.  I was already making jokes (If “He tried to go visit Michael Jackson one last time!” gets popular, just remember, I made it up! Funny enough– I just looked up the newsline, and there WAS a Michael Jackson single that just debuted online just the other day), and people were giving me grief, “Oh… you gotta at least wait till he lands safely!” People were telling me how they’re praying.  Wow.  What concerned people we have, it’s nice.  It’s also not nice, because they were bamboozled into being concerned.  What a waste of positive emotion.  Oh yeah… I forgot to mention, for those who haven’t heard, turns out that the kid was never in the baloon… he was hiding at home in the attic, in a box or something.  So… let’s take a look at what happened. Read the rest of this entry »

I lost 20 pounds… In a week!!!

adventure, announcements, News 4 Comments »

Seriously! I got on the scale, and thought “This can’t be right!”  So I asked Suzanne, “Are you sure your scale is working properly? Maybe it’s not zero’ed properly?”  Walk to the  bathroom “Nope… works fine.  *sigh* looks like I gained two pounds.  Why do you ask?”  “Ummm… Can you read what it says?” I step on the scale, and Sue says “195 pounds.”  “Ummm… so.. you’re confirming that I lost 20 pounds in 7 days!”

Read the rest of this entry »

Keith Olbermann said it much better than I did (California Prop 8)

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I said my piece on Prop 8 before it passed.  I donated money to help “No on 8″, but I don’t think I did enough to promote.  I never said anything about it on my blog after it passed.  I think Keith Olbermann said it best in this video: Read the rest of this entry »

Wow! Sarah Palin was even dumber and more incompetent than we previously thought! Republicans should rejoice at loss.

announcements, humor, Information, News, rant 1 Comment »

Now, I sure had my fun poking at angry republicans… but this is not just to mess with you.  You should be glad that the Mccain/Palin ticket lost, because this woman was even more unprepared than anyone knew…. well.  some knew, but couldn’t tell us… (dramatic pause) until now! Read the rest of this entry »

PRESIDENT OBAMA!

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Woo Hoo!  Wow, the sun will shine brighter, the air will become cleaner, people will smell better… oh yeah folks… it’s a brand new world (assuming the president doesn’t get assasinated). Read the rest of this entry »

Obama joke – and the sad times we live in.

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St. Peter’s standing at the pearly gates when Barack Obama shows up.

“Hello Sir, welcome to Heaven.  I’d like to remind you that entry is only granted to those on the list. What is your name?”

“Barack Hussein Obama.”

“Hmmmm… I don’t see you on here… did you maybe do something you’d be known for?”

“Well… i was the 1st black man to successfully win the election for United States President”

“well.. that sounds impressive enough… I’m still not showing it… when were you elected president?”

“About 15 minutes ago!”

——- I laughed when I heard it.  I suppose it was funnier coming from a drunken redneck.  I laugh at all sorts of improper jokes, and often tell them.  But, this joke does bring up a sad reality… Obama has had the most death threats of any presidential candidate ever.   Over 500 so far.  Just 2 days after I heard the joke, here’s what’s showing in the news:

Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama

My republican neighbor had said from the start, “He’ll get killed before he even gets sworn in!”

I have a lot more respect for Barack and Michelle for doing this, knowing that grim possibility that there are a lot of ignorant folk that would go to extremes to harm them. That, and I truly believe that they’ll make a positive difference.