Tag Archives: opencamp

Does Microsoft Hate Open Source Software?

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Josh represented Microsoft during OpenCamp recently. People were quite confused as to why Microsoft would be interested in Open Source products. While Windows and Linux may be competitors, much of the Open Source applications are not. They run really well in Windows.

The IIS team is making sure that open source software runs better on Windows than it does on Linux. Microsoft is very supportive of the people making these applications, and attends a lot of conferences to help them in every way they can.

To anyone who feels that Microsoft hates Open Source, Josh asks them to take a new look at the Redmond team. They compete hard where they have a product that may be similar, such as the operating system and Microsoft Office. However, when it comes to everything else – keep your eyes open and let Microsoft work with you to make the best application you can produce.

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Caption This Conference Photo

While at Openca.mp last weekend, I couldn’t help but ham it up for Ian Aberle’s camera. Your task is to caption these pictures, either here in the blog comments or directly on Flickr. Let’s see how much more hilarious you can make these shots by adding your words.

The Many Faces of Chris Pirillo

I personally think that one of these should become my new profile picture… but which one?

Social Media SEO

During my time in Texas at OpenCa.mp this past weekend, I reconnected with an old friend. Lee Odden used to write about Marketing on Lockergnome back in the day, and it’s great to see all of the things he has accomplished since that time. Not only did both of us go skydiving with the Army Golden Knights, we were both honored to speak at the event.

Lee and I took a few moments out of our hectic schedules to discuss SEO specifically as it applies to social media.

The things I do are SEO-like in nature… but I’m not an SEO person per se. Everything I do is organic. I create solid content and make sure to use keywords that people may be looking for. The funny thing about social media is that some of us have been doing it since before it was even a term. It has allowed us to really get to know the type of person that someone is. That tends to cause us to be taken advantage of at times, sure. The tools are in place for all of us to use. But it’s easy to see who is gaming the system. Those are the types of the people I won’t follow. This is what I mean by taking advantage of things and people.

Someone who takes an anti-transparent approach is someone I don’t want to associate with. I strive to be as transparent as humanly possible with my business and my life. When a person has to work at NOT being transparent, you have to wonder what the hell is wrong with them – and their business.

Yes, you should use certain tools to help you. But there are a handful of them floating around which are just bad – almost as though you’re cheating the system. Don’t fall victim to get rich fast schemes. Don’t let yourself be swayed by a fast-talker who claims they can turn your site into the most-visited place online. These things will do nothing but set you back several steps, causing you to lose site of your original goal.

You cannot just exist in one place online. It doesn’t matter how people find you. It just matters that they DO find you.

The biggest tip I have for you when you’re starting out on your own blogging journey is that you should not spend any money. There are numerous platforms and design tools available that will not cost you a single penny. You will find plenty of things to help you achieve your dreams without spending a bucket full of money.

Skydiving for Dummies

As mentioned already on Twitter and Facebook, I jumped out of an airplane yesterday. Yes, intentionally! I’m quite afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop me from jumping (pun unintended) at the opportunity to skydive with the Golden Knights.

It was a terrifying – and awesome – experience. Be sure to check out my other skydiving photos.

Keep in mind, I had difficulties climbing a narrow ladder to a platform to swing on a trapeze at last week’s final Gnomedex party – and, even while doing THAT, I thought about backing out from the skydive. Even this couldn’t prepare me for what was going to happen:

Seriously. A few weeks ago, Cali Lewis reached out to me and asked if I wanted to jump with the Golden Knights – given that this is what they do “for a living.” These are the same people who jump with former presidents and other various dignitaries. So… why were they asking bloggers to do this with them?!

It’s easy: the United States Army (like every other organization on planet Earth) is trying to grok social media and embrace it to build community and foster two-way communication. That’s kinda what I do.

Cali invited me to participate in OpenCamp a few months ago, and I was more than willing to do so. She’s one of the most genuine people working in this industry (which is saying A LOT). Both she and John reassured me that these guys (and gals) knew what they were doing. That’s what gave me enough assurance to agree in the first place.

I’m glad I went through with it.

I was more nervous on those rungs last week than I was 15,000 feet above the ground. Michael Elliott has over 9,000 – OVER 9,000 – jumps under his belt, and that’s the guy I was strapped to:

Every step of the way, he was reassuring me – and long before we left the runway, I yielded control to the Golden Knights and trusted that they would keep me safe from harm. I granted them more confidence than I’ve ever given a single amusement park roller coaster – and that faith paid off.

It was surreal.

Minutes before the jump, I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. My mind was blank. I didn’t want to second guess my decision to do this; I wanted to live in the moment. Still, I couldn’t focus too much on the moment without risking the possibility of abandonment.

As the straps were tightened, I remember thinking that I was nothing more than a passenger. The Knight knew what he was doing, and I was ready to trust him with my life.

And with that, all nervousness disappeared – believe it or not.

I only needed to follow a small set of directions: (a) resting my head against Mike’s left shoulder during the exit; (b) arching my back and grasping the straps tightly to help Mike gain stability before we let our arms float freely; and (c) lifting and holding my legs during our landing in the LZ (Landing Zone). I didn’t have to do ANYTHING other than enjoy the ride.

I am absolutely not a daredevil, but I’d jump again… with the Golden Knights (and NOBODY else). These men and women are absolute champions, and I hope they opt to allow more civilians to jump with them.

Oh, and I’m happy to report that only a few bugs were sacrificed during this experiment.

So, thanks to Cali and the Golden Knights for enabling me to experience something I never actively sought independently – and for giving me the ride of my life.

How to Survive Jumping Out of an Airplane

My name is Chris and I am afraid of heights. I’m not talking about the type of fear where you sweat a little bit. I’m talking the kind where you warn an entire state that they may see yellow “rain” in the very near future. This is the stuff that movies are made of, and doctors get paid big bucks to cure. However, I’m also the type of person who cannot walk away from a dare and is willing to try almost anything once.

Thanks to my stupidity willingness to meet a new challenge head-on, I jumped out of an airplane today. Lucky for me, @gkmikett has done this a couple of times in the past and did not let me die. I have a feeling that I held on a little too tight at times. My hands didn’t want to unclench themselves even after we were safely on the ground.

I have to admit, though… it was pretty damn awesome. There is no other way to describe it. Even being afraid of heights… it was the single most exhilarating experience of my life. Would I do it again? Let’s not push your luck.

I have to thank Cali Lewis and the OpenCamp team for convincing me to give this a try. The US Army Golden Knights were hilarious dudes to work with. If you’re going to risk your life, there’s no one better to do so with than any of these guys: @gkmikett @gkjoe and @gjdave – follow them now!

Even hours after we landed, I was still flying high during dinner at the May Dragon Chinese Restaurant.