I found the secret to success in Chicago

adventure, design, Get to know Ori, Inspiration, product review, travel 4 Comments »

I’ve been trying to better myself for a long long time… I think we all do.  We read books on weight loss or business or people skills…  we take courses on goal setting and time management… and yet, it seems most of us go back to our normal routine (Don’t believe me? It’s been proven that the average new year’s fitness resolution is broken in about 3-4 days).   23% of resolutions are actually kept.  35% are broken before January is up.

We know how to lose weight (burn up more calories than we ingest), yet… most of us are upset about our excess weight.  Knowing doesn’t seem to be enough.  Aftr trying so many times, we just give up and claim something like “Well, it’s my genes,” or “I come from a fat family, there’s nothing I can do.”

This doesn’t apply to just weight… it applies to so many parts of our lives.We just give up, put our dreams and goals on the shelf, and make an excuse.  We think that we were not meant to have that particular thing in our lives.

I’ve given up on drawing so many times in my life. I wanted to be an artist since I was a kid.  I’d always quit  though… ’cause it took a lot of work, not just spending money on fancy brushes.  Recently, I made this image, and I’ll tell you how I was able to do it in this post.

I’ve tried just about everything, and I’m fairly sure I found an approach for accomplishing anything, that works (for me).  I discovered it in Costa Rica in late 2010… but I did not take action until this year– but boy, am I glad that I did!

Read the rest of this entry »

READING The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

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This is me reading out loud the way I got to Hawaii… and all the crazy stories that happened along the way. Thought I’d see how people like having it read for them.

Click the play button, or download it to your mp3 player of choice.
[wpaudio url="http://couchsurfingori.com/wp-content/uploads/movies/05-25-201-The-Epic-Tale-of-One-way-ticket-to-maui.mp3" text="Reading of The Epic Tale of 1 Way Ticket to Maui"]

The Epic Tale of One Way Ticket to Maui

adventure, business, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, photography, product review, travel 3 Comments »

Had to hit the beach within minutes of getting to Maui, with Craig Allen, and Terra Ganem“What are you doing for the next 2 months?”

“Seriously?  I hardly  know what I’m doing next week.”

“Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been thinking about that business idea you mentioned the other month… a lot… and you’re working Terra’s website anyways– why don’t I buy you a 1 way ticket, come stay with us, and if you want to get back, you have to finish the project, and get some sales!”

“Well, damn! For story-telling purposes alone, I have to say yes!”

And thus, I agreed to come visit Craig Allen and Terra Rose Ganem in Hawaii….  Read the rest of this entry »

Run to hell and back….

adventure, Couches, events, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, travel 2 Comments »

Hell RunSerendipity shows her sexy face again. This time on April 6th. I was jogging – which is where I get many of my best ideas – and I call Brandie “I have an idea to help Japan, and help promote the book.” I told her, and svhe said “No!” “No???” “That’s right, no!” “But it’s a great idea!” Read the rest of this entry »

Back to Iowa!

adventure, announcements, business, events, Inspiration, travel, video 2 Comments »

Last time I was in Iowa, I spent a month with cage fighters, causing all sorts of trouble. This time (May 9th) I am going for a reason that I’m even more passionate about… speaking at the 140Conf.

While I speak at conferences, seminars, schools, and even lunches, one of my favorite events is the 140Conf. Perhaps I am just utterly fascinated by the founder, Jeff Pulver (A coFounder of Vonage, and the guy who went to fight for us regular people, so that Telecoms can’t charge us for calls made over VOIP), who is just so multi-faceted, and so caring.

The 140conf is an event with the slogan “Characters Wanted” — the format is Read the rest of this entry »

A journey to Quality Time

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As I told Chris why I hadn’t met him the night before, his eyes were wide, “That’s Crazy!” “Yeah… I suppose… but, if I said ‘I drove from Austin to South Florida, and it was a breeze… that wouldn’t be very interesting.” Here’s what happened.

While I was in Costa Rica, I decided that  I’d like to go spend some quality time with my parents.  None of us are getting any younger, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen them. When I called them up and asked if they’re cool with it, they were thrilled.  So, 2-3 weeks in February was what we decided on, and then I also lucked out and ended up having a 13 hour layover on my flight back to the United States, so, I got to have dinner with them in January, before hitting Dallas.

I love Austin, but the only reasons I stayed until February were that David Gonzaelz was holding another Internet Marketing Party (and he gets irate when I leave town right before the event, and don’t make it), and my good buddy Rob Burns was coming into town for that event as well. I hadn’t seen Rob in a while, and I missed him, so it was worth staying. We had an epic day of hanging out, followed by an epic night of hanging out.  Internet Marketing Party was a blast.  I ran into another really close friend I hadn’t seen in a while (Jesse Jameson), and now have an invite to go snowmobile and ski in Breckenridge, CO in March.

Since Rob was flying out Wednesday at 6pm, I was going to leave town about that same time, then drive to Dallas for four hours, hang out with friends, and leave for Gainesville, FL in the morning. However, at 3AM, while losing my voice from telling so many jokes at the Thai place , Jonathan Herberts informs us that the weather will literally be freezing by noon.  This was not cool. Wrecking to black ice once is enough.  Change of plans. As I curled up to bed at 5AM with my laptop, I skyped Brandie to see if she can figure out where the storm is going to be, and where I can go to avoid it.

I got up, packed up, and punched in Gainesville into my new phone (Oh yeah… I’m finally done with my Palm Treo!  I got an LG Optimus S, which was cool.. but had some glitches that pissed me off… so I just traded it in on Tuesday for a Samsung Epic… NOW I’m happy.  Geez, the things I can do with that phone (That’s what she said)). ‘s GPS, and it concurred with Brandie’s route that I should get on I10, and not go up to Dallas, to I-20.  I got on the road at 1:15PM, and hauled ass.  It was 28 degrees out, and I had seen a few snow flakes fly by. Tweets from Dallas were telling me that Dallas would be 18 degrees by morning. I was also informed that I’m about to drive into a storm and freezing weather, so watch out.

I was cold, and the heater didn’t help much because it made me sleepy.  I would use it when my windows fogged up.

Icicles on signs made me nervous…. but the road seemed dry.  The weather slowly warmed to 30 degrees, then I hit the rain.  My car slid around a tiny bit, but I think that was more from the force of the wind than the rain.  It wasn’t enough to spin me around.  The gloomy weather was not fun though… I like my daytime driving to be blue.  It was only once the temperature rose to 36 degrees that my hands eased up on the wheel.

Once I had driven for 5 hours, the temperature rose to 41 degrees, and stayed at that level until I arrived in Gainesville at 8am.  It hadn’t stopped raining at all.

I had used the wrong cable with my phone, so I was not able to transfer audio books onto it.  This was quite frustrating, as I had to do music and news the whole way.  It’s nice to hear that both Katy Perry and Pink have songs out with a positive message (Fireworks, and F’ing Perfect). But damn… everything gets overplayed…. especially on an 18 hour drive.  I did switch between radio and Pandora. By the way, if you want to do your own version of the Fireworks video, I suggest playing with a program called Particle Illusion.

I barely stopped for bathroom breaks.  I only stopped for gas.  For food, I had home made Kale chips that I made with my buddy Perry’s dehydrator using this tasty recipe for Kale Chips. I also had a few boxes of Wheat Thins sent to me by the Wheat Thins team, since I praised them on their awesome marketing campaign “The Crunch is Calling”.  Oh yeah… and I got 3 $0.99 McChicken sandwiches with no lettuce.  I’m not sure why some places have them spicy, and others have them non-spicy.  I prefer the non-spicy version.

My pun that evening was that pumping gas is so cool.  Yeah… it was 41 degrees out for a long long time.

I got to my little brother’s new place in Gainesville around 8am.  His dog, Nugget, remembered me.  He wouldn’t leave me alone.  He didn’t let Itay take him on a walk, he didn’t even want to sleep in Itay’s room.  He just wanted to hang around me.  That was so sweet… Nugget’s getting a little old now, but he’s still so adorable… and his tail still stings like a barb!

I completed a small project before going to sleep… I had promised that I’d have it on Thursday, and it was thursday morning… so I got it done.  Fell asleep.  Woke up, went to Brunch with Itay, then got on the road to Orlando. I was going to meet up with some people in Gainesville, but I also hadn’t planned on sleeping in until 2:45pm.

I gave Itay a big hug, and got on my way again.  The rain had of course picked back up again.  Now I was heading to Orlando, to grab some coffee with some friends there.  That too didn’t quite happen.

Apparently, the whole “You get 30 miles to drive once your gas light comes on” is more of an urban legend… and definitely does not apply when your car is filled to the brim with belongings to weigh it down.  The light came on, I didn’t keep an exact tally of the mileage, and next thing I know, the motor sputters… but roars back to life, then sputters…. it was clearly gasping for air (gas).  Like Irony?  I do!

I ran out of gas, and let my car glide as far as it would go… which was 1/2 a mile from the next exit, and 10 feet after the “Gas at this exit” sign.  So… there’s the sign for gas stations ahead, with my car out of gas in front of it.  Lovely.

More irony you crave? Well… ok.. I have more.  So, less than a week ago, I get to Kate Buck Jr’s house to hang out for Superbowl weekend. She’s telling me the tale of how her gas light came on, and she was freaking out, and barely made it to a gas station.  What do I say? “Oh… I wouldn’t worry about it.  You see, when that gas light comes on, you still have 30 miles to go.”  See the irony here?

So.. I’m on the side of the Florida Turnpike with all my worldly belongings (except the 2 remaining boxes at Kate’s Garage– down from 5 boxes.  A computer that Craig has in storage, some photo lights at Rob’s house, and a few of my old paintings at my parents’ house). My buddy Johnny Diggz just happened to have a gas canister in his car, and was willing to come get me…. but Orlando is a bitch to navigate… you have to go through all sorts of tolls, and lots of lengthy bits of road to get between sections of the turnpike.  I told Johnny not to worry about it, as I got AAA.

I called them up, they call me back and say it’ll be within the hour.  Really? It takes an hour to get a truck to me when I’m on a major road?  Oh well.  I had my wheat thins, water, internet on my phone… I was good to go.  I actually fell asleep while waiting.  When I woke up because there was the AAA guy knocking on my window, I realized that I had run out of battery while waiting.  Maybe I left my lights on.  I’m not sure, but it was good that it was AAA, they can fix everything.

So, Chris Hughes now had to cancel on our meeting, ’cause it was almost 10PM now.  Joel Lepp said he’d still come out, and Johnny Diggz and I were going to hang out regardless of the time.  Now, instead of coffee, I went to Johnny’s house, and from there to his Dueling Piano Bar (it’s pretty fun to have a friend that owns a dueling piano bar. We got a lot of attention from the cute waitresses, and the band members kept coming to hang out with us, and it was 3 for 1 drinks), Baby Grands.

Joel met us there.  The thing that sucked was that I ordered 20 wings, so he could join in…. but when he got there I learned that he is a vegetarian.  I know Joel from ENTP.org– a site I visited for a bit when I found out that I am an ENTP on the Myers Briggs scale.  I was on a hunt for others like me. Joel seems more mild mannered than me, but when he jumped the rail and went on the dance floor impersonating the really drunk guy, his wild streak was pretty evident.  I was highly amused.  And then, he had to go.

Johnny and I spent our time there brain storming.  His company Tropo does incredible things– they have an API that lets you add voice, text, sms, fax, email, IM, and much more to any of your web applications.  That’s actually how I met Johnny Diggz!  I was speaking at the 140Conf on Creating Serendipity… Johnny was also speaking about Geeks Without Bounds.

Watch Johnny’s presentation, it’s mind blowing what they are doing to change the world with their technology.
There’s not much more to the story.  I ended up brainstorming with Johnny on some cool new ways they can grow the company some more. It’s always flattering to put my skills to good use with such impressive companies.  He gave me a tour of their downtown Orlando office… quite cool.  Then it was off to Johnny’s house, where we kept brainstorming, then watched a lecture by Rushkoff… interesting fellow!

It was time for sleep.  But I gotta say Johnny has the coolest couch of all the couches I’ve been on.  I slept in a bed, but that couch is friggin awesome!  I’m going to have him send me a photo of it.  His lights are all motion sensor activated / deactivated as well!  Totally rad.

Today I woke up, had coffee with Chris Hughes, since I didn’t get to see him last night.  I can’t help but business consulting!  It’s what I”m wired for… so that was our 1st meeting.  We know each other through Facebook and the internet marketing community.

I made a pit stop in Wellington, to meet a new client, and tour their facility.  Then I finally made it home.  Let the quality time begin.

Home made food (Mushroom Blintz) for dinner, along with a cup of tea.  Then mom and dad asked me if I want to watch a movie with them. We watched “The Resident” and it sucks.  There is no point to that movie except to make people feel creeped out, and women feel freaked out about moving in to a place, ’cause their landlord may be raping them in their sleep.  I will say that Hillary Swank looks uber-hot in it.

Since that movie sucked, dad apologized, and said “Let’s watch another” -so we watched yet another movie, which also wasn’t anything to write home about.  So…. now I’m writing late at night.

What do the next two weeks hold? Working on my book and projects, and then doing the things that mom and dad like- so… I’ll be playing card games, board games, watching movies, and I think we’ll even go to the beach.   Wish me luck.  Too much loving drives me bonkers.  Tonight it was”Would you like to sit here?” “No… I’m fine. I’m already being productive” “Here, I cleared off space for you” “Really, I’m fine. Since you’re standing next to the power strip though, could you plug my laptop in?” “But I plugged the light in, don’t you want light?” “No mom, I don’t need light. I need electricity, thank you.” “Are you sure you don’t want to sit here?” (I’m sitting there now by the way).

My parents are adorable.  I love them. I can endure two to three weeks of being loved. Their happiness is worth a 23 hour drive through crap weather.

It’s all about Perspective, and other stories.

Couches, Get to know Ori, humor, travel 4 Comments »

Everything stopped. Whatever had been going rushed into confusion, as the white searing light filled my entire existence.

“Wake up”

“Huh?”

The small Australian five year old child moved his flashlight which was on, and leaning against my left eyeball to my right eyeball Read the rest of this entry »

Happy New Year 2011!

adventure, announcements, business, Get to know Ori, humor, Information, Inspiration, Interviews, travel, video 2 Comments »

Happy New Year from Couch Surfing Ori - Ori Bengal

Who writes their happy new year post on January 7th?  I do! I’m on Tico Time ? Yeah… things in Costa Rica are pretty relaxed.  But.. it’s my last day! I leave today at 1PM, and I wanted to start my new year of blogging from another country. This blog post is very important to me.

Last year I started of writing about that new year’s resolutions are bullshit. I still think that.  Most people don’t even last 1 week! I do have a few declarations to make to you and the universe, but before I get into those, let me tell you something I’m really proud about.

January 1st was the anniversary of my Couchsurfing journeys starting!  I started on New Year’s day on 2007, which means I am now in my 5th year of couchsurfing! That’s also the reason that I wanted to send my blog post from here in Costa Rica… because that’s been a goal of mine which I finally accomplished: to couchsurf in another country.  I’ve been here for 5 weeks now on seven different beds.

As a kid I wanted Read the rest of this entry »

Coconuts, Bats, and My Birthday Surprise – another Costa Rican Update.

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A sign that shows Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica has a population of 7I have a beard going on.  I’m writing from a bean bag that’s overlooking the beach. We (Kathryn and I) are staying with Billy in Jaco. He built this tree house.  Funny thing is, we came here straight from staying in a real treehouse that was 90 feet above the ground in the Costa Rican jungle.  THAT was my birthday surprise that everyone’s been waiting to find out about.

Kathryn asked me a few months ago if Read the rest of this entry »

Costa Rica Birthday Surprise

adventure, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, Interviews, party, photography, travel, video 1 Comment »

Celebrating 34 with friend and Patron

The brakes don’t work!  We were gliding forward, and I was certain that this is it…. I was going to run over my 1st person ever! Why were they riding their bicycle right there?  It was a good 34 years of being free.

To start off, I don’t know what my birthday surprise is, so don’t let the title fool you. It’s the night before we leave Tamarindo, and I’m in a writy mood (apparently, Writy is not a word, but it’s how I feel– so… screw you red-underliny thing (underliny is also not a word)). I have a funny story, and a good life lesson. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday to me– in Costa Rica.

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, humor, Inspiration, party, photography, slideshow, travel, video 14 Comments »

I got my wish.  I’m couchsurfing in another country.  I have the most amazing friends I could have imagined, and even though most aren’t here with me, I feel that I am totally loved.  So, now I’m 34 — here’s the latest from Costa Rica.

1st, since you’re curious as to how I’m celebrating, I am going to learn to surf waves, not just couches.  I would’ve done it sooner, but I injured my foot when jogging barefoot on the beach. Read the rest of this entry »

Arriving in Costa Rica

adventure, photography, travel, Uncategorized 2 Comments »
Looking out at Costa Rica through the plane window

Descending into Costa Rica

What is your destination city?

Ummmm… Guarante or something? Hmmm… If only I can get on the internet…. Do you have the Wi-Fi Key? Can I use your phone perhaps?

Apparently, you can’t zoom out a Google Maps map without being on the internet, and since it seems that people don’t have addresses in Costa Rica, Brendan just gave me a Gmaps link when I asked where to go.

Am I not going to get to enter the country now? Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving and such

adventure, announcements, Get to know Ori, Information, rant, travel 2 Comments »

This is my last post from America this year.  This afternoon I take the Greyhound from Austin to Dallas, then I fly to Costa Rica (Got a nifty blog post about how that came up) at 5am. I’ve spent most of this month sleeping on a dog bed, although Bentley the St. Bernard didn’t always want to snuggle.

That dog bed is so comfortable. I started sleeping on it as a joke, because I was protesting the amount of time it took to inflate and deflate Craig’s air mattress, then I realized it’s really comfy, there’s nothing to set up or clean up, and Bentley makes a great pillow anyways.

I’m writing my “Thanksgiving and stuff” blog a few days after Thanksgiving, because I am grateful every day.  I’ve got a great family (regardless of how much we annoy each other after a few days.  You know what they say “Family and garbage.. they both start to stink after a few days.” :)  ), I’m traveling, I’ve met the most amazing people, I work on projects that engage me intellectually, I Read the rest of this entry »

I’m going Costa Rica

adventure, announcements, travel 7 Comments »

Costa Rican BeachThis is a short post.  I just wanted to write and announce it, so you can’t say you didn’t know.  I’m going to Costa Rica.  It has been one of my goals for a long time to start couch surfing outside the USA.  Heck, I’ve had many offers in the UK, Scottland, Amsterdam, Australia, Japan, and more places… I love change. I love new places, new people, and cool stories.

Caleb Jennings has told me about Awesomeness Fest after he told me about his trip to the Malaysian rainforests.  When I was photographing David Wolfe’s Longevity Conference, I was hanging out with Caleb and I also met Fatemeh, who works for Vishen, who is the organizer.

I wanted to go.  It sounded like “TED” but on the beach.  There’s some smart people going, and I love smart people.  I love learning, and bouncing ideas.  The tickets are costly, and would require flight, and the hotel is costly.  But just as I decided it was out of my range…. Serendipity comes into play.

Fatemeh pointed me out to Vishen as a kick-ass photographer.  I worked out a deal with them.  Hotels were still close to $200 a night, plus flight.  Well, Brendan has been inviting me to go to Costa Rica for a while.  He says he’s there because of me.  So, I figure if I go to the Awesomeness Fest, I might as well stay a bit longer. Read the rest of this entry »

Doing more good

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Sarah holding up her Soda and ice cream at Pops

Sarah enjoying her 10th birthday at Pops

Lately I’m noticing a major trend in helping people.  I’m kind of addicted. This set of stories is almost in order, but the shorter story that happens later, I’m putting in the front.

While at dinner at the 140Conf Smalltown, I got to talk to Sheila Scarborough, who was telling me about how on her drive to Kansas, she stopped by Pops Soda Shop in Oklahoma.  This place has over 500 flavors of Soda from all over the world!

This of course fascinated me, so I decided I would go on my way to Austin.  I went and it was pretty cool (and that will be another blog post- I took video and photos). In this blog post I’m not writing about the soda.  I’m writing about Sarah. Read the rest of this entry »

Puntastic Halloween

adventure, humor, party, photography, travel 1 Comment »

I drove into Hutchinson, KS to attend the 140Conf Smalltown event. On my drive down, they said I should present, so I said I’d come up with something.

It turns out that I’d be here Halloween weekend, so I was wondering what we’d do for Halloween. Thankfully, Jeff Pulver does things with style- he arranged to have a private costume party at the local salt mines! We were hanging out 650 feet beneath the ground.

I wondered what I’d wear… so I put it out there on Twitter and Facebook. I got many obvious suggestions: “Couch” “Photographer” “Wizard of Oz character”. None of them moved my soul, until Read the rest of this entry »

Keep on trucking, and keep on blogging

adventure, Couches, photography, travel 1 Comment »
Alissa and Lexi

Alissa and Lexi

Greetings from Gladstone, MO.

How did I get here?  Well, I drove of course… but, why am I here?  ’cause Alissa invited me.  So, who is Alissa, and why am I telling you to keep on blogging?  Read on, and find out (I also had a run in with Mark Twain, and had the luckiest car breakdown ever)!

I had just driven from La Jolla to Vegas to Detroit, and had met incredible people, and heard incredible stories at the 140Conf Detroit, and was about to head towards Hutchinson, Kansas to attend the 140conf Smalltown. I had too many opportunities, and wasn’t sure which way to head.  Should I head to Hutch?  Should I swing by Nashville and shoot (pics) some country stars?  I posted on Facebook / Twitter my thoughts, and got a contact form e-mail:

“I don’t have a chic cottage on the lake but I have an open guest room, with a bed, if you are in need. I started following you/r story when my good friend and former room mate, Holly, mentioned meeting you awhile ago. My house is just outside of Kansas City in Gladstone, MO if you are needing a place to pass through on your way to Hutch. Not promising breakfast in bed… but there is a room and wifi and offstreet parking :) Safe travels!!”

In early 2009, I met Holly, whom later became one of my couches, and even went on adventure with me in Oregon! It was thanks to Holly that I discovered most of the springs, waterfalls, and parks that Austin has.  She probably also makes the best margaritas in Austin, and as far as I am concerned, better BBQ than Kansas City.  How can I say that? Because I’ve finally eaten BBQ in Kansas City.

Alissa had heard of me through Holly, and for 1.5 years has been reading my blog, but not saying anything… until I was sort of in need.   Read the rest of this entry »

Blog World and the 140Conf Roadtrip

adventure, business, Couches, events, Get to know Ori, good deeds, humor, Inspiration, Interviews, Marketing Lessons, photography, travel No Comments »

The World's Largest Truck Stop

I just drove from Las Vegas (Sunday 1pm PST) to Detroit, Michigan (8pm EST Tuesday). It’s about 2110 miles.  I want to tell you how crazy Blog World was in Vegas.  I’ll try to do a short version, though being short-winded is not my strength.

Vegas: Fun! Tons of friends from all over the world.  Met new ones.  I love memorable meetings- When I met Deb, it was at a club, and Kate said “Give her a foot massage” “Ok” – so.. I’m on the floor at this club, this woman is writhing in pleasure, and that’s when we made introductions.  We’re great friends now.  I even danced!  A lot!  Like, pick the girl up, swing her around, Salsa, Cha-Cha, swing, hip-hop… who knew?!  I wasn’t even drunk.  Good mood can make a huge difference.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roadtrip addendum

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  1. The best way to keep track of where I’m at is through Twitter (http://Twitter.com/CouchsurfingOri)
  2. I just remembered there’s the 140Conf event on Tuesday, so I will be speeding up to get there sooner.
  3. Traveling is a real time thing, and adjusts to circumstance, so… I may end up in different cities (like Denver tonight)
  4. Follow the hashtag #140Conf Roadtrip to keep track of all this.
  5. Follow @lttlewys – she will be helping me manage this stuff, since SOMETIMES it’s not safe to tweet and drive!

#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!

Crash My Couch Contest – Win 4 Hours of consulting!

adventure, announcements, business, Couches, events, Marketing Lessons, travel No Comments »

Ok, I am packing up right now to go to Vegas for Blogworld.  I have no couch lined up because I want to see what happens when I have a contest, to bribe people to get the word out.

It’s a 4 hour drive, and I’m looking to find places to stay until Sunday morning.  Do you think I’ll have a place to stay for tonight by the time I get to Vegas? We’ll find out!

People are always inviting me to stay at their places, all over the world… sometimes they Skype, sometimes email, sometimes IM, sometimes Twitter, sometimes Facebook, sometimes Myspapce.  Sometimes they just tell me when they meet me.  So, I’ve created Crash My Couch(though that’s not the contest page) – a site where people can fill in the form, tell me a little bit about themselves, and now I’ll have a database of where people are, and what they’re about.  This way as I travel, I can contact you when I get to your neck of the woods.

So, to put that site to the test, and to get the word out quickly that I am looking for cool people to stay with during Blog World (I’m not going to the expo, just the parties), I am bribing you with 4 hours of my consulting time.  Check out my services page, to see all the massively valuable things I can do for you.  You may even recognize some of the people I’ve done things for already.

At Blog World I’ll probably be working on my laptop during the days, and going to parties in the afternoons and nights to meet some of the cool people that i have chatted with on Twitter and Facebook to take our connection a step further.  Everyone I stay with will get a few headshots by me (check the photography link at the top).

So, sign up!  It’s easy!  Seriously… uber easy, go to the BWE 10 contest page for full instructions.

By the way, the drawing will be held electronically (by this incredible contest program I’m testing, not by me) on Sunday morning!

[contest_fb_comments contest_slug="bwe10" width="520" numposts="25"]

Blog World Export (BWE10) 2010 – A call for couches

announcements, business, events, Information, travel No Comments »

the cover of Scott Stratten's BookI am going to mingle in Vegas, and I intentionally haven’t gotten a couch yet!  Check this out:

My buddy Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) is having some parties at Blog World to celebrate his new book.  Since the author’s photo is one that I took, and Read the rest of this entry »

Traveling in Real-time, and Creating Serendipity – My 140Conf story!

adventure, business, Inspiration, photography, slideshow, travel, video 9 Comments »
Jeff Pulver holding up a sign that says "Characters Wanted #140Conf"

A photo I shot/made of Jeff Pulver

I just spoke at the 140Conf – here’s my presentation (with lots of pics), followed by how I got there, and an insane amount of serendipity that follows:

In the presentation I mention how Brandie connected me with Jeff Pulver.  Here is what she wrote!   Read the rest of this entry »

The stars are aligned…

adventure, business, Couches, events, Marketing Lessons, party, travel 6 Comments »

There is no witticism or bad pun here, this is just an update on where things are going, some life lessons (that can be practical for everyone), a new toy I got, and that sort of thing. So read on, pass it on, and I hope it adds value to your life. Oh yeah, stay till the end, ’cause there’s a funny story about some federal agents patting me and my friend down for drugs! Read the rest of this entry »