November 2008 – Stay N Alive

Presentation Recap

3031057176_0a2290d8e8_o-1.pngI’ve had a presentation every week for the past 3 weeks. I shared with you my Facebook Development for Beginners Presentation, so you have the first week. Last week, I had the opportunity to speak in front of Ignite, Salt Lake City in front of about 100 or so people (so it seemed at least) about whatever I could teach about Facebook development in 5 minutes. It went amazingly well, and I’m surprised I was able to fit it all in within such a short time-frame. Among the other presenters we had talks about anything from photography along the Highway 89 corridor, to stopping an invasion of zombies (by Josh Coates, CEO of, to (my favorite, having lived in Indonesia as a child) Balinese Gamelan music and instruments. Thanks to Jesse Harding, Andrew Shafer of Reductive Labs, Bryce Roberts (who I heard helped get the idea going) of O’Reilly Tech Ventures, Pete Ashdown of Xmission (who treated us to a wonderful speaker dinner the night before), and all the rest (including The Leonardo for hosting it – I strongly recommend them for a conference after this event!) who helped organize this event. Oh, and I got third place in the paper airplane contest! (in the picture above)

I’m including the slides from my presentation below in case you want to see what was presented. It’s much better in person, and if you or your business would like me to present for you I’d love to talk with you about it!

In addition to Ignite Salt Lake City, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel with Steve Spencer of Twelve Horses and Melinda O’Brien of Acumen Biologics at the first annual Global Entrepreneurship Week Utah Conference. I was amazed at the turn-out and the only regret I have is that we didn’t have more time! In the panel we got to cover new marketing technologies and strategies. As a software developer I found it ironic that I was talking on a marketing panel, but that really shows you where marketing is evolving lately – an understanding of the technologies you need to connect people is crucial! We talked Twitter, blogging, went over creating a blog and Facebook Page, and covered some issues like #motrinmoms and the great campaign Papa Johns is doing right now on Facebook. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to come back next year! One thing I did notice about the conference is it was almost 90% men there – I would have loved to see more women! Hopefully next year the women bloggers of Utah can get the word out and we can get a more balanced group of entrepreneurs there.

My next presentation will be in 2 weeks, December 5 at the UTC PR Event, where I’ll be joining a group of traditional reporters, representing bloggers and speaking about techniques for approaching bloggers and getting your product or service in front of them. It should be a very interesting discussion, as I’m sure the techniques used to approach traditional reporters are far different from that of bloggers.

In addition, I have been recently selected to be a judge for the Bebo “Engage to Succeed Today” developers competition and will be selecting the best from among 250 or so apps (Bebo is my only regret for not including much of in FBML Essentials – the next edition will definitely include more of Bebo’s role in FBML). I’m in great company with Frank Gruber of Somewhat Frank and Dave McClure, Mr. Master of 500 Hats himself also judging the competition. The winner gets a free Lightscribe pen, along with accolades, and probably quite a bit of media attention. You can enter the competition here if you haven’t already. Contest entries will be judged in January.

Here are my Ignite SLC Slides:

Facebook Development in 5 Minutes[swfobj style=”margin:0px” width=”425″ height=”355″ src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”425″ height=”355″]

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: facebook platform)

Photo courtesy Michael Calanan, Calanan Photography, LLC

SocialToo Announces SocialSurveys!

socialtoo_logo.jpgI’ve been talking about the “next new feature” of SocialToo for awhile now. Tonight, in a partnership with Guy Kawasaki of AllTop and Garage Technology Ventures, announced the release of SocialSurveys, a viral way of polling your followers in a very easy manner. Here’s how it works:

  • You go to and register if you have not done so already – you must provide your Twitter credentials to get the most out of it (other services will be added soon)
  • Click “Create Survey” to get started
  • Add your question and some answers
  • Leave “Send a URL for this SocialSurvey to your Twitter friends” checked if you want to send out an update on Twitter. This posts an update automatically, with the question in the content, followed by the URL to your SocialSurvey to Twitter.
  • It redirects to the survey – you can then use this URL to send to any other friends you want to see it.

In addition to SocialSurvey creation, you can also subscribe to the surveys your friends create via RSS. To do so, when you log into SocialToo, click on the RSS icon, or the link that says “Click to add (your name)’s surveys to your RSS Reader”. Add that to your RSS Feed Reader and you’ll now get every survey that user posts. It should also be noted that you can post your own surveys to FriendFeed through this method. With all this, SocialSurveys could be compared to “TwitPic, for Surveys”. You can see all my surveys here, and add them to your RSS reader via this link.

SocialSurveys top out an existing feature set that is yet to be beat amongst other individual tool providers. Existing features include:

  • Automatically follow those that follow you on Twitter and, with no effort or e-mail rules to set up on your part.
  • Specify users to “blacklist” and exclude from the auto-following
    Automatically unfollow those that unfollow you on Twitter – this improves your ratio of followers to following, improving your ranking on sites such as TwitterGrader.
  • Send direct messages to your new followers on Twitter.
  • Get daily e-mails with statistics surrounding who follows and unfollows you during the day, including your last Tweet when they followed or unfollowed you, similar to Qwitter.
  • When you provide your Facebook credentials, redirects to your Facebook profile, giving you a short, easy-to-remember URL to give your friends to point them to your Facebook profile. You can visit my Facebook profile via

With the launch of SocialSurveys, SocialToo is poised to be at the fore-front of providing all the tools you need to stay on top of the Social Networks you belong to. With current integration points into Twitter,, and Facebook, and plans to add many more in the future, SocialToo is set to be your one-stop shop to being “Your Companion to the Social Web”. Expect more tools and features very soon!

You can see screenshots, and an excellent write-up over at

Facebook Development for Beginners

This morning I had the opportunity to present via O’Reilly Webinar on Facebook development. I covered the basics of how to get started in Facebook development, and the resources that would get you going. I mentioned I’d post these slides online, so here they are. I was hoping to get audio attached to them, but we’re still waiting on that. Regardless, if you want me to present this to your organization or group, feel free to contact me.

Facebook Development for Beginners[swfobj style=”margin:0px” width=”425″ height=”355″ src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”]

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: facebook fbml)


[swfobj width=”400″ height=”300″ src=”″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always”]
Salt Lake City No on Prop 8 Rally from Reid on Vimeo.

I came across this video tonight after a protest they called a “hate rally” in downtown Salt Lake in front of the headquarters of my Church. You can see the temple, one of the places we worship, and the place my wife and I were married in the background. It’s normally a peaceful, tranquil place to be – I enjoy visiting, and feeling the spirit that is there. This video was not like that. From an outside standpoint, I see a lot of anger, a lot of hate, a lot of people mad at my religion, and frankly that has an affect me because this religion brought me up to be the person I am. It hurts a lot to see so many people hating something that has brought me so much joy.

Then, I see stories like this one of people wanting to boycott Utah because “Mormons are in Utah” and “Mormons supported Proposition 8”. Tracking Utah and SLC on Twitter I’ve seen a lot of Tweets, some from people I talk to regularly and would consider friends doing the same thing. And at the same time I’m thinking for the most part I’m on their side – I don’t know what I would have voted for if I were in California, but I do know I don’t fully understand why my faith thought this proposition was important enough to publicly announce support. Frankly I don’t care and I don’t think it should matter. Do those in other states not realize that there are people in Utah on their side?

After all, the “No on 8” campaign did raise more than the “Yes on 8” campaign so surely they can’t be blaming this election on the campaign contributions of the “Yes on 8” campaign. After all, regardless of the Mormon Church’s involvement it was its members who contributed as a whole, and many members who contributed to the “No on 8” campaign as well. What happened to Democracy and the choice of the people being the reason elections are won? Campaign contributions weren’t the cause of this proposition going through. Frankly, if the Mormon church had not stepped in, the pro-campaign wouldn’t have had anywhere near as much money as the anti-8 and the vote would have been unfair. I’m not saying I’m pro-8, but I think the pro-8 campaign won this fair and square.

Then there’s these “lists” I keep seeing passed around showing members of the Mormon church who donated for Prop 8. Ironically, many of those were put together by members of the Mormon faith, living in Utah!. Where’s the “list” of those Mormons who voted against the campaign’s contributions? Where are the “lists” of Catholics who contributed, or Evangelicals or Jews who contributed to the “Yes on 8” campaign? What about Gay people who contributed? The bias in this campaign, especially after the fact seems as though the Mormons were the only ones fighting for the campaign, when in reality, the Mormons were actually in the minority when it came to total voters voting for the proposition. Add to that the Mormon-targeted videos like this, see why I feel hated?

Yesterday, I saw article after article of protesters protesting my faith’s religious places of worship, yelling at passers-by, and much of the same things you’re seeing in the video above. Yet, I see no one protesting at Catholic places of worship, Jewish synagogues, or Evangelical ministries.

This hate hits at the very cause these people are fighting for. Bigotry, equal rights, and freedom for all. As a Mormon, I don’t feel very free right now. I feel really hated. We need to all stand up for freedom, equal rights, and liberty for all – attacking a single faith for sticking up for their own rights to worship accomplishes nothing.

Freedom is accomplished peacefully, without hate or guile, with equality for all. Hate, and even anger, gets us nowhere.

I’m closing the comments on this post for the first time on my blog – if you guys want to discuss this on FriendFeed, so be it, but I’m writing this simply to get my feelings out on this subject. Those of you on FriendFeed know my position on this. I think the approach these protesters are taking is wrong.

How to Stop a Snowball – Using Social Media in the Enterprise

I presented this in Dallas in September to a room full of 100+ CIOs at the Dallas Chamber of Commerce CIO Symposium. We had CIOs from Mary Kaye, Boy Scouts of America, Bank of America, and the moderator was the Strategist for EDS that helped lead them to an Acquisition by HP. It was a lot of fun – I hope I can come again and share some more. I promised them I would upload this presentation. It may not make full sense to all, but if you’d like me to come present it to your organization, contact me! Some day if I get some time I’ll do a recording on top of it so it makes a little more sense, but at least you can get the idea for what I shared.

How to Stop a Snowball – Using Social Media in the Enterprise[swfobj style=”margin:0px” width=”425″ height=”355″ name=”movie” src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”]

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: enterprise twitter)

TechCrunch No Longer the #1 Tech Blog

techcrunch.pngIt would appear that in the last 2 days, TechCrunch has again gone down a spot in the Technorati top 100 from #2 to #3. This would put Gizmodo in the #2 spot, making Gizmodo now the #1 Tech Blog on the internet. The #1 spot on Technorati is still held by the Huffington post, a politics blog, and it’s unclear if it will remain that way now that the elections are over.

Technorati results are calculated by number of links in a short time frame, which means that fewer people are linking to TechCrunch these days. Is the internet revolting? FeedBurner shows their reader count still going up (I had to do an search, and the FeedBurner widget comes up there showing their current count – it’s interesting that they removed that count from their live site however). They hit 1 million readers back in September, and since then they seemed to have gained 300,000 more. Gizmodo has not published their subscriber numbers.

So it goes to show that links, and Technorati results really don’t matter in the end – it’s Readers that count. It’s still interesting however the trends of linking we’re seeing lately. There’s no doubt TechCrunch is still a force to be reckoned with.

Chick Fil A Stores Miss Out on Very Important Opportunity

chickfila2-1.jpgI’m a sucker for a deal. Let’s just say I’m a cheapskate. That’s why I was excited when I heard that Chick-Fil-A stores were offering free chicken sandwiches nationwide today. So I went out and voted, excited to celebrate my vote with a nice chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A. Never mind the $5 in gas it cost me to drive there.

I get there after a long drive telling them about hearing online about them offering free sandwiches, showing my “I Voted Sticker”. They’re response was “Chick-Fil-A isn’t doing that – it was a ‘Media Error'”. I responded arguing it was all over the web, and all they could do is tell me their manager said they couldn’t give anything out.

So what did I do? I got on Twitter (well, actually FriendFeed, which goes to Twitter) and hashtagged it #ep and #votereport (as a joke), and shared with my 1400 or so friends on Twitter, along with anyone monitoring #votereport and #ep, not to mention the near 800 friends on Facebook and near 700 friends on FriendFeed how Chick-Fil-A had made this huge PR error. And now I’m blogging about it to at least 500 more people, and who knows if others share this with friends and how many more people end up seeing it.

Here’s the problem – I noted to them that I had heard the offer on the internet. That means I have reach. I most likely share things with my friends through this enormous, now social tool. This should signal that to them, regardless of who I am. I know not all their customers have heard of the offer, so therefore they aren’t going to go broke giving stuff away. However, if they would have just given away a free drink (which, from my fast food experience, costs practically nothing), or free fries, or even a coupon to come in next time for a free sandwich, they could have taken advantage of that reach. I would have been tweeting about my great experience getting free food at Chick-Fil-A, they would have gotten more customers and more people aware of their location, and this blog post would have been much more positive in their favor.

Social Media is powerful, people. Yes, I did end up buying my own sandwich and I still like their food, but they could have taken advantage of a much greater opportunity to spread the word about their brand and promote that particular location. Chick-Fil-A, and especially that particular location, missed out on a huge opportunity here.

Let’s Meet in Person!

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The end of this year is turning out to be quite an eventful one for me. This Friday I’ll be doing a free O’Reilly Webinar, “Creating Facebook Applications — A Beginner’s Guide”. The webinar starts at 10:00am PST, and I’ll probably talk for about 30-40 minutes on how to get started in Facebook App development, after which we’ll have a question and answer session where you can ask your own questions about Facebook development. Register now, as attendance is limited! From the registration page:

“In this session you’ll learn how your apps talk to Facebook, how Facebook talks back, where to find the information you need, viral integration points to promote your app, and learn the very basics of creating a fully functional Facebook application. Come and listen in and bring your questions as [I] present this valuable topic towards getting your web apps recognized through the great tools Facebook provides.”

In the meantime, you may purchase my book on Amazon to get a head-start!

November 13, 6pm MST – Ignite Salt Lake City

Next week I’ll be condensing my presentation even more in what ought to be a fun night of fast-paced information, random facts, and hilarious stories at Ignite Salt Lake City. Each presenter is allowed to talk about almost anything – there are just a few rules. Each presenter has 5 minutes, 20 slides, and each slide automatically rotates every 15 seconds. I’ll be doing the impossible and talking about “How to build a Facebook App in 5 minutes”. The free event is sponsored by O’Reilly, and boasts participants such as Josh Coates, CEO of Mozy. O’Reilly does these around the nation, and Salt Lake City is quite lucky to have one of their own. I’m looking for a great evening of informative fun!

November 20 – Global Entrepreneurship Week Utah

Details are still forthcoming, but I’ve been invited to speak at Global Entrepreneurship Week, Utah on the 20th. I’ll share more details as that works out, but mark your calendars!

December 5, 7:30am MST – Utah Technology Council

On December 5, I’ll be on a panel with other traditional media reporters talking to PR and Marketing professionals at the Utah Technology Council. I’ll be “the blogger” of the group, and hope to share some of the ways marketers and PR professionals can get interest from bloggers, and the types of things we like and dislike. I warned them I may have very different opinions than the traditional media reporters there, and they were very open to that – it should be a very fascinating conversation! I’ll share more details about that as I get them as well.

In January I’ll be judging a yet to be disclosed development-related contest that I’m very excited about. The contest will take place in the Bay area, and I’ll be judging entries submitted – I’m really looking forward to this one. It’s fun to see the creative juices of developers and what others can come up within a limited environment.

So, if you’re in the area for any of these (or online for at least one of them), stop on by and say hi! I’d love to see you and welcome any questions or feedback you may bring.

Open Source – Do You Share Your Experiences for This Life or the Next?

01-1.jpgThis is a picture of my Great-Grandfather, Joseph Stay. With a son named after him, I’ve spent some time reading about him and learning about the experiences of his life that I can pass down to my son. One of my favorite things to do in my spare time (when I get any) is to read about the lives of my ancestors. My faith teaches about life both before and after this life, and as such, it’s important for me to know who came before me and how I came to be. Besides that, it’s just plain fun.

Some of my ancestors were very good at tracking their lives and what they did. Some of them kept journals and records, so that their progenitors could learn about them after they passed away. I have a journal like this, as do my parents and grandparents. These journals show a glimpse into our successes, trials, and failures, and what we did to overcome them in hopes that our children and those that come after us can learn from our own mistakes and make their lives better.

This concept is great, except it only applies to those after this life – only they can learn from us because we often keep these details secret. What if we could share the skills we have, let others try them out, play with them, learn from them, just as we’re able to do with the experience we’ve learned from our ancestors, but in this life?

This is the reason I like the concept of “Open Source”, which started with Software, but really, could be applied in all expertise. The concept of “Open Source” is all about sharing the experiences we have in this life and allowing others, still in this life to try those experiences out, apply their own experience, and continue to share with others. It’s just what our ancestors did for us, but applied to this life.

What if we all, in everything we did, shared what we did with those in this life, instead of planning for the next, so that we could start that legacy of learning right here and right now. What if we as a society were working together instead of just us and those that follow us after this life? Why do we have to wait until we’re dead to let others learn about what we’ve done?