speaking – Stay N Alive

Sample Proposals for RootsTech Presentations – Which Would You Choose?

I’m putting together a proposal for a presentation or two at RootsTech, a conference put on by FamilySearch.org around family history technologies. The focus will be on Social Media. I have a few ideas – what else do you think would be interesting in terms of interesting uses of social media for family history?

Opening the Web for Humanity (This would actually make a great Keynote if they’re interested) – This would cover ways to make our human data more open, more searchable, and easier to find. I would talk about ways to help Google recognize individual ancestor records better, and ways to help Google and other search engines traverse the social connections available for each family history record on the internet.

Facebook – It’s Not Just for the Living – In this presentation I’ll show how to use Facebook as a way to not only connect living individuals to each other, but ways people can use Facebook Pages, Events, and Groups to connect people around historical records. I’ll also show ways people can turn their own individual records on their own websites into Facebook Pages and store timelines of information about each individual in history.

Facebook for the Living – I’ll show unique ways people can use Facebook Timeline and Groups for storing records about living individuals. I’ll share experiences I’ve had with storing my own personal history on Facebook, tagging old friends, uploading old photos, and getting back in touch with my past as a result.

Connecting the Living to the Dead Through Social Media – This will be a much broader presentation on all the different means of using social media for identifying living connections to identify dead connections. I’ll show examples of ways companies have identified the dead through the social graph of living connections we have. I’ll show other companies and products that are using social media in unique ways to collaborate and identify dead ancestors through social media.

What do you think? Any other presentations you’d like to see? I will likely only pick one, but I’m going to submit a few to see which they prefer.

On My Own Again – I’m Back in the Saddle

When I started working for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the first role with the title “social” in it (see my sum-up here), I came in with a desire to serve, but only planning to be there for 6 months. I had been on my own for several years at that point and really enjoyed my independence. I had no idea I’d end up there for 3 years, but thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there and was able to help organize and shape the organization of social media within the Church. I learned of the Spirit there that guides the Church and its employees, and the wonderful things the organization works to accomplish. After that I moved on to Deseret Digital Media, a for-profit, top-25 digital news organization owned by the Church to manage social media.

While at Deseret Digital Media a short but very productive 6 months, we were able to double our social referrals in the short time I was there through means of a combination of integrating social more into our websites and building perhaps one of the largest social presences in the world with over 20 million fans worldwide and over 200 social media properties on a very limited budget. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and hope to continue advising them in their progress.

It’s with excitement that after working for 3 and a half years for the Church and Church-owned entities I’m now moving on again, this time on my own full time to pursue building my own brand and publishing, speaking and some consulting efforts. Yes, I’m back in the saddle again and stronger than ever! I have no regrets and appreciate the experience the last 3 and a half years have given me.

What will I be focusing on now? My primary focus to start will be speeding up the number of courses I’ve been producing on Social Media for the the developer-focused curriculum company, Pluralsight. They’re a great organization to work with, and it allows me to keep up my software-development chops. Make sure you subscribe now and check out my courses with them! I’ll probably use this to get down and code a few things – maybe something cool for my new Google Glass (just ordered yesterday!)?

With that as my focus, I’m sure I’ll have lots of spare time. Here are the things I’d love to work on:

  • Speaking! I’m hoping to bump up my number of speaking engagements and turning that much more into a business. Contact me if you’re looking to hire a good speaker with real-world experience and true understanding of both the technical and marketing side of social media.
  • My next book. I have secured a wonderful agent with Waterside Literary Agents to represent what I hope will be a best-selling book on the paradigm change caused by social media and the things I’ve learned leading social media for major organizations as well as understanding the software behind them. Stay tuned for that (and any interested publishers please contact me!)
  • Youtube. I have 3 channels I’m focusing on currently, but will likely help out a few locals here in Utah on some more. My first is more of a vlog format chronicling my entertaining family of 8 – go subscribe to STAYTube here! Second, I’ll be focusing on my more techy-focused Youtube channel at TheSocialGeek – don’t forget to subscribe if you like tech! Lastly, I really want to chronicle what I’m learning in Gardening on my GeekGreens Youtube channel. Make sure to subscribe if you’re looking for geeky ways to learn gardening.
  • Blogging! I miss updating this blog regularly! I used to update almost daily – I hope to do it again. Stay tuned for more updates here, and maybe every so often I can scoop MG Siegler on a Techmeme headline or two 😉 I’d also love to do more reviews here and through my Youtube channel – if you’re a tech company looking to reach tens of thousands of people send me your stuff to review. I’d love to share my thoughts and opinions with my audience.
  • Consulting. I’m going to be picky in my consulting due to the time it takes – this will not be my primary income source so I want to help companies that really need me. However, I’d still love to give it a try – reach out if you need some help and maybe we can figure something out.
I’m so excited to have a little more time to focus again on what I love most – building, writing, and producing really cool stuff that can change the world! I’m excited to get back to writing and coding. I’m excited to share my real-world experience with more people. I’m excited to focus again on building this audience.
So if you get a chance, stick around and say hi. Let me know how we can work together. Come join my various communities and be a part of something big. You’re all part of the Staymates/Social Geek community (join us on Facebook!) so let’s make the most out of this!

Free Tickets to Come See the Will it Blend Guy (oh, and me)

Need I say more?  This Thursday (that’s tomorrow), I’ll be speaking at the Small Business Tech Tour here in Salt Lake at the Miller Business Resource Center.  I’ll be speaking on making your Small Business Big with Social Media – it’s one that can’t be missed!

Here’s why I’m coming though (who cares if I speak, right?) – Tom Dickson, founder of BlendTec, and Kels Goodman, Producer of the “Will it Blend” videos will be there talking about the success of their amazingly viral video campaigns.  These guys, more than anyone in Utah I know, know video, and are known throughout the world now as a result for their amusing “Will it Blend” series.  I highly recommend, if you come for anything, you come to see them speak.

In addition, some of my favorite other Utahns, Jeremy Hanks of Doba, Kelly Anderson of Startup Princess, Jyl Pattee of Mom it Forward (she started the #gno movement that happens every Tuesday on Twitter), Brandt Page of Launch Sales & Marketing, along with Jordan Guernsey and Brock Blake of Funding Universe, as well as myself will all be speaking.  It’s a great group of speakers and should be well worth your money – which, if you’re one of the first 20 from this blog, is, well, free!

If you do choose to come to my presentation be prepared for some great stats on Social Media and how it has improved business after business for little to no cost.  I’ll also be covering, hands on, some very small things you can do to your website that will make it instantly social, just by a simple copy and paste into your HTML.  Overall it should be very worth your time, and well worth the gas money you spend to come out here (and if you’re not one of the first 20, it will definitely be worth the price of admission).

So why aren’t you coming?  The first 20 that enter JESSESTAY at registration get in free.  Click here to register!

In the meantime, you can decide – will it blend?


Want to Come to Hawaii? I’ve Got a Great Excuse for You

I hear there’s no better time to visit Hawaii than October.  It’s just when things are starting to get cold in many states in the U.S., and I hear the weather is great there. On October 5, I’m going to be speaking at the Hawaii Social Media Summit at the Ala Moana Hotel, and I’ve got a great excuse to get you there.  Well, 2 great reasons: $97 and Double Bonus Miles on Delta.

My co-presenter (“co” meaning we’re each presenting at the same conference, not together in case anyone was confused), Andy Beal (MarketingPilgrim), put it quite well in stating that a conference like this normally, just for entrance, costs around $2,000 or more to get in.  You’ll join myself, and world-renowned speakers such as Andy Beal and Roxanne Darling and others as we talk on the technologies, techniques, and strategies you need to know to figure out how to use this thing called Social Media and turn it into profit for your business.  The title of my presentation is “From Fishers to Farmers – Bringing Your Brand to Your Customers Using Social Technologies”, and I’ll be showing you all the techniques I use with the businesses and brands I work with in order to integrate Social technologies into your own brand and website, and how you can gain full penetration of your brand on the social networks you participate in.  Roxanne is one of the best at viral video I know, and you can learn a ton from what she’s presenting with “Use Video and Go to the Head of the Class”.  Andy Beal is perhaps one of the top Marketers in the world and he’ll be speaking about “Reputation Management and Monitoring”.  In addition, you’ll get to hear from other experts in the industry who have all achieved top honors in their field.

Here’s the excuse you should pitch to your employer:

A typical conference of this caliber costs $2,000+.  Web 2.0 Expo at the end of this month in New York is $4-5,000 full price.  Hawaii Social Media Summit is just $97.  My plane ticket costs about $500, round trip (and I even got that non-stop from Utah).  If you search Craigslist, you can find rental apartments for around $100/night.  $97+$500+2 nights at $100 = Just about $800, a fraction of the cost of a typical conference plus hotel!  And as a bonus for you, Delta is currently offering Double Bonus Points for trips anywhere in the Continental U.S. to Hawaii between now and November.  So around $800 plus double bonus points for the entire trip is a steal!  Not to mention you get to stay in Hawaii!

Anyway, I don’t mean to be pitchy on this blog – I don’t get paid for this, other than my travel being covered (and a great getaway with my wife).  I just thought Andy Beal made a great point – this is an opportunity many of you shouldn’t pass!  Will you be there?

You can register here.  See you there!

Learn How to Game Twitter at My BlogWorld Panel

BlogWorld09_150px_SpeakerThat’s right – you heard it right.  Next week I’ll be on a panel at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas where we’ll show you all the ways you can game Twitter, increase your followers, and be the top Twitter user in your area.  Be prepared though because we’re also going to show you why that’s also not the best focus and how it actually could hurt your brand more than help it.

The panel I’m on is with some big names in the industry, especially in Twitterville itself.  My friend Micah Baldwin, inventor of #followfriday will be joining us, along with Lucretia Pruitt, a.k.a. @GeekMommy on Twitter, and one of the Wal-Mart 11 Moms.  I’ll of course be bringing my experience with SocialToo and the Twitter API, and we’ll also be joined by Reem Abeido of GroupM Search and Mr. Citizen Marketer, Aaron Strout himself.

We’re going up against some big names in the industry at the same time, so be sure to mark our session and make sure you’re clear which room and what time ours is at.  We’re in room 228 from 11:30am to 12:30pm on October 16th (that’s Friday).  The session is called “The Twitter Game – How to ‘Play’ Social Networking and Why it’s a Bad Idea”.  Go ahead, mark your calendar – I’ll wait…

Are you done?  Okay, I’ll wait some more…

Okay, now that you’ve marked your calendar and confirmed that you’re coming to our session and not the others (although I’ll forgive you if you don’t, maybe) let me give just one more motivation for coming.  To those in the audience I’ll randomly hand out one signed FBML Essentials book.  This book is valuable for both developers and marketers, as it will help anyone trying to understand the Facebook platform get into the hang of things with just a simple knowledge of HTML and maybe a little Javascript.

Also, if you haven’t registered for BlogWorld Expo yet, I’m told you can use PeopleBrowsr’s special code, “PB20” at this link and you’ll get 20% off registration.  Now, be sure to thank me by coming to our session!

I Want to Meet You

mediums2_300_144604_n543030955_526717_5433I want to meet you. I’m no TechCrunch, nor am I aspiring to be, but I really do enjoy meeting my readers in person. I’ll never forget the day I met Daniel Ha and Jason Yan at Disqus Headquarters with Robert Scoble and them mentioning that they were readers of my blog – I was blown away!. I think it’s really fun to meet my readers and discover why you think my content is so interesting.

There are several events coming up that I wanted to make you aware of. Some more personal than others. I really wish they were in more diverse places – if you or your organization are interested in having me speak please don’t hesitate to ask! Here is what I have planned thus far:

Today, February 16 – Interview with Krishna De on BlogTalk Radio. You can tune in and listen to her interview me about SocialToo, Facebook, and whatever else comes up. You can call in on the show’s number at +1 347 633 9467 or listen live on the web at 11am MST.

Omniture Summit – While I won’t be speaking (maybe next year?), I’m looking forward to attendance at Omniture’s annual Summit this week. It starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. Look for me and say hi if you’re visiting!

Social Media Club, Salt Lake City Panel – I’ll be on a panel this Thursday, February 19 with Rachael Herrscher of TodaysMama, Sara Brueck Nichols of Operation Kids, and Anthony Power of Recipe31. The basic topic is, you guessed it, Social Media.

Bebo B.E.S.T. Contest Awards Night – While I won’t be there in person, I had the privilege of judging the Bebo B.E.S.T. developers contest with Dave McClure and Frank Gruber, in which the winners will be announced this Wednesday, February 18, in a special awards ceremony in San Francisco. I’m looking forward to seeing the winners.

Nevada Interactive Media Summit 2009 Keynote – This is a highlight for me which I’m really looking forward to. On Saturday, March 7, I’ll be flying out to Reno, NV to keynote at the Nevada Interactive Media Summit. I’m excited to meet everyone attending at the summit, some very new to Social Media and looking to find ways to better integrate Social Media into their organizations. I’m looking forward to sharing some inspirational successes and failures in the realm of Social Media and how the organizations attending can improve their use of Social Media through Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and more. Come say hi to me!

PhotoCamp, Utah – Saturday, March 14 I’ll be presenting at PhotoCamp, Utah, where I agreed to speak about promoting photography through Social Media. I’ve always said if I were a photographer I’d get on Facebook and start tagging those in the photos I took. There are other techniques that I think would improve any Photography business that I will share.

Dr. Larry McFarland’s PR Class at Brigham Young University – On Thursday, March 19 I’ll be guest presenting for a PR class at Brigham Young University, speaking to Dr. McFarland’s first year PR students about Social Media. I’m sure what I share will be very different from what they’re used to hearing, but very valuable!

Utah Medical Marketing Association – On Wednesday, March 25, I’ll be speaking with Josh Carr, of Sprout Marketing, on Social Media, targeting the BioMedical fields. This will be an interesting topic, and I may need to do my research to hit the right audience considering my medical background is limited, but I’m really looking forward to it. Social Media is Social Media, regardless! This is a very interesting area, and maybe I’ll try to pull in some of my learnings from UnitedHealth Group when I speak.

As you can see, I have an extremely busy schedule ahead of me in the next month. I’m really looking forward to it, and if I can schedule you or your business in for a quick hour or two (or 4) of consulting I would love to see what I can do to help! My consulting sessions are jam-packed, and well worth the time. E-mail me if you’d like to meet some time, or please, just stop by and say hi next time you see me!

Stay N’ Alive Has a New Design!

If you haven’t been by to visit the actual blog lately (hello my loyal RSS Readers!), you might want to click on the link up there to come see what it looks like. Thanks to my friend and talented Graphic Designer, Brandon Babb, we now have a new design! I’d also like to announce a few new directions for Stay N’ Alive.


You’ll notice on the right there’s now a “Community” sub-section with options to join the community on either Google Friend Connect, or Facebook Connect.  Choose one, or the other, or both!  Right now it’s a great way to know what other friends of yours are readers of this blog, or perhaps get introduced to someone new.  Or you can just invite your friends and tell them about a story you like, asking them to join the community as well! (I suggest you personalize your message)

It should be noted that by joining Friend Connect (just a single click if you have any Google account anywhere), you’ll have the option to also post on the wall you’ll see under the same “Community” subsection.  I encourage you all to get on the wall and communicate!  You can leave a message for me, or respond to others’ messages.  The replies are threaded, so it makes for a great place to just talk amongst yourselves.  Also, through Friend Connect, if you are a Twitter user, you can now invite your friends to read an article via Twitter by clicking the “Invite” link, choosing the “other” option, and then Twitter.  Google just announced this today.  I’m sure you’ll see many more features launched in the future as Google tries to compete with Facebook.

If you join Facebook Connect, you’ll have the option to invite your Facebook friends.  In the very near future you should be able to also use this same identity to comment on posts, post those comments to Facebook, among other things.  (It’s still unclear if this will be through Disqus or not)  For now you can still share the posts to your profile, and see other Facebook users and friends that have visited the site.  Expect to see much more as I begin to enhance and expand both Friend Connect and Facebook Connect to further enhance the site.

More About Me

Let’s face it, I have to pay the bills.  So I have included some more information about me, and about the blog.  Go ahead – click on the “About” section.  Oooh – see it expand and contract?  Pretty cool, eh?  This will only get better.

You’ll notice I now have information about my Speaking, and Consulting.  If you know someone, or have an opportunity in either of these areas, please don’t hesitate to send people my way.  I’d love to see how I can help you, as I feel I have a few talents I can share with you and your friends in various capacities.  Check out my client list if you want to know results.

Also, I’m avoiding it for the moment, but those little square boxes in the upper-right could be for sale if you would like to make an offer.  I also have 3 more boxes that could go below those, and they can be combined to make bigger boxes.  Let me know if it’s something you’re interested in.  Make me an offer and I’d love to consider it, although I’m still debating if I want to sell ads here or not.


Dooce, watch out – I’m coming for you!  There’s more than enough room for the two of us here in Utah, and us Daddy bloggers can compete with the rest of ’em!  As of yesterday, I’m now starting (at least) a photo of the day.  What the subject of these will be I’m still debating, but I’m open to suggestions, and feedback.  My goal is to tell a story.  Photography is a passion, and hobby of mine – I’d like to share some of that with you.

You’ll still get the same tech news, same early adopter technologies.  I’ll still be blogging regularly on LouisGray.com, InsideFacebook.com, and occasionally Dadomatic.com (just search for my name on any of those sites), but this is always my home.  Keep coming back!  Oh, and trust me, there’s much more to come.