Creative Communications

15 September, 2008

A little bit of luck goes a long way…

Filed under: Mental Refinery,Publish Often — Tags: — Sean Canton @ 3:54 pm

Wow, what can I say but wow, it’s been an exciting month. I’ve started freelancing again, got a few clients who need some web programming. This time is going much better then the last time I tried freelancing.
Last time, I only managed to land one client, and despite my best efforts, that dried up. I think the economy wasn’t feeling the pinch at that time, so there was not as much need for my skills. Or maybe I wasn’t all that great a year and a half ago? Who knows.

I think that a large portion of my current success is due to the business lessons I learned in the last place I worked. Business lessons meaning:

  1. You can be an idiot and succeed if you have sufficient focus and resources. Intelligence can only take you so far, turning ideas into action is critical
  2. Confidence goes further towards trust then knowledge. Talking to people from a place where you know what you are doing and where they are coming from is much more valuable than the latest arcane knowledge.
  3. Social Capital is key. The people around you are your opportunities and limitations, take time to nurture these relationships.
  4. Don’t be afraid of risk, doing nothing is a choice you can’t afford to make.

I went to GnomeDex 08, and had some wonderful interactions there. If anyone reading this wants audio of any of the presentations, I have them archived, just email me. One of the most interesting aspects of that show was the audience participation. The room was full of macBooks (i was rocking my iBook) and over twitter and IRC the most vibrant discussion of the material was taking place.

It was truly a revolution of what education could be. Instead of a one-way street, one person communicating to many, you had a many-to-many conversation surrounding a subject matter. What if THIS is how school was? Wow. What a world that would be.

Anyway, I don’t really have a point with this, except to keep google noticing my blog, and that I put some content on it with some regularity. ;)
Drop a line sometime. I’m on skype at sean_canton.

If anyone wants to see my (in construction and welcoming feedback) freelance biz site, please visit:

15 August, 2008

No AC & Hot Weather? Got a Freezer?

Filed under: Insights,New Ideas,Publish Often — Tags: , , , , , — Sean Canton @ 12:26 am

Here in Portland, Oregon, they’re predicting 104 degree temperatures tomorrow. This is not good. You see, buying an air conditioner in Portland is a terrible waste of money, 360 days out of the year. The weather is tolerable and tends towards the cold more often then the hot.

However, for those five days out of the year that the temperature tops 100, having a solution is critical. Probably the reason there are heaps of public fountains in the Portland Metro area, besides the pretty looks.

Swamp coolers are generally a good idea, except the weather is far too humid to support evaporative cooling.

My solution? Get a hand towel wet, wring it out and stick it in the freezer. Be sure to fold it several times, and place it flat side down, so it’s easy to remove once it freezes.

After an hour, you have a damp (not wet), very cold cloth. For maximum cooling, place over the top of your head, then drape around shoulders & neck when the center begins to thaw.

I figure that since most of your body heat escapes from your head, cooling off the area is a wise idea. I believe the greatest volume of blood flows through your neck, so cooling down your blood should cool down the rest of you.

The frozen hand towel stays icy cool without dripping for 30+ minutes. Works for me! Although it could be too cold for some.

Another argument for always having your towel handy.

11 August, 2008

NBC’s Xenophobic Olympic Coverage

I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to peruse any Olympic coverage on traditional media sources, but the ubiquity of Americans being shown at this international event almost sickens me.

I’ve watched two hours of Olympic coverage, and only TWICE, was a participant from another country identified and given on-screen time. A Chinese swimmer got 15 seconds, a French swimmer was pictured and attributed with some quote about ‘smashing America’. Wonderful.

Oh wait, they did mention something about Japanese people being too short for volleyball….

Beyond the argument that this promotes a self-centered international identity, I am irritated by all this for SEVERAL reasons.

One, the whole POINT of the Olympics is for us to drop our flag waving and come together in the spirit of human achievement. By offering America exclusive coverage of just Americans completely destroys this spirit and replaces it with the mundane ‘we are the best’ competitive mentality that causes no small amount of human suffering around the world.

Two, as a viewer and a citizen in this global community, I want to be exposed to other cultures and see what I have not seen before. I have seen America, not all of it, not even a significant portion of it, but I have not seen China, I have not seen Japan. I want to. I want to know their back stories, their struggles, their triumphs. To let our national pride interfere with our humanity, our interest in the people we share this planet with, is just ego-centric.

Finally, as a student of mass communication, I was taught that it is the role of the media to provide as many angles to a story as possible, so that an informed populace can make decisions. Now today, with the right-wing and left-wing pundits serving as our major media outlets, the bias is apparent. They do our thinking for us by controlling the conversation. Objectivity goes straight out the window.

I would hope that our coverage of a world event is not as one-sided as the advertising permitted within. I would hope that in order to promote an understanding between nations, the major media would step up to their responsibility as information providers, and show us the whole story.

Not just the American version.

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