Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When time stood still, okay it's a screen shot

For a blink of an eye my work stood in front of the Altimeter Group. It was a beautiful moment, a social media coup. It started with an email from SlideShare: Congrats, 'Carol's Save a Life Birthday Party' is hot on Twitter.

That would make you wake up and sit up, right? Well, I did. It was extremely exciting. Especially the part where they called me by name, "Well done, you!" The handy dandy exclamation point did not escape my notice. It was perfectly placed.

My shaking fingers trembled over the keyboard as I surfed over to SlideShare.net and scanned their home page. There on the left rail was a light blue text link that connected every Slideshare viewer on earth to my uploaded power point, and not just any power point, it was the very first one I'd uploaded to SlideShare.

The purpose of my power point was to recap the social media trail I blazed while organizing a blood drive for Southwest Washington Blood Program.

It's quite believable that I would click the link and review the SlideShare 'Hot on Twitter' landing page, right? Well, I did. 

It's UNBELIEVABLY lucky that I grabbed a screenshot, because that is the only proof I have that my creation stood three paces in front of the Altimeter Group's work, and as I said in the beginning it happened in the span it takes to rub your eyes and wake up.

Of course, someone who would think it was base to brag that their work eeked out in front of the nations top analysts would never have begun this post in the first place. That person would not be me. And I'm keeping track. Yes, according to ItDatabase the Altimeter Group houses three of the nation's top analysists: R "Ray" Wang, Jeremiah Owyang, and Charlene Li. Both Ray and Jeremiah follow me on Twitter and we've had some lively conversations, and Charlene Li tweeted a comment I made on on a blog. Once.

The trio is well respected and actively followed in the social media sphere. When Owyang posts a SlideShare such as, 'Social CRM: The New Rules of Relationship Management'  he pulls in 38,000+ views. When I post a slideshare I pull in . . . well, check it out here. Almost as good, right?

Most of the time when something really cool happens you call your parents and blurt out your success in semi-comprehensible excitement and they say, 'Yay, way to go, honey.' For some reason social media coups don't have the same impact as getting your name in the newspaper, or showing up on time for the family dinner and remembering what you were supposed to bring.

I needed an alternative cheering squad. I turned to my kid and jumped up and down, "Slideshare, my PowerPoint it's like on their home page and it's neat-o, and wow."

She blinked and returned to texting.

Therefore, my 360 Convos Friends I have chosen this venue to celebrate with you.

You get it, right?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Angst Gallery: 360 Biz of the Month

Angst: an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety.
Gallery: the moment after.

When I first envisioned 360 Biz of the Month I imagined it as an opportunity to recognize start-ups creating awesome technology—the new stuff that gets you excited if only for its simplicity and cleverness.

April appeared with a couple of nominations, but the timing wasn't right for the interviewee or interviewer.

The second week of April rolled in, and all available resources focused on finishing taxes.

Foursquare Day, April 16, took the collective pent up tax anxiety and funneled it into a hashtag: #superswarmpdx. I headed toward Whiffies and cherry fried pie. All kinds of people and entertainment awaited, but no inspiration.

Does it have to be technology? I asked myself on the drive home. Or, can I change the 'rules?'

Rules are made to be broken, I decided, or at minimum to be enhanced.

So, it is with pleasure that 360 Convos announces Angst Gallery as April's 360 Biz of the Month. This honor is awarded for demonstrating that a small space on Main Street can change the landscape, if not the world.

It's not technology that drives the Angst Gallery but a community of creativity, environmentalism, and active loyalty to Southwest Washington.

Owner and Gallery Director, Leah Jackson, opened the gallery in 2008 after she curated a masterful Baby Boomers exhibit at the Clark County Historical Museum. Prior to that she co-founded and directed Sixth Street Gallery, a Southwest Washington artist co-op.

I met Leah Jackson when our kids were in grade school. I picked up my darling in a car, she picked up hers via bicycle. Jackson is an avid fan of green transportation and championed PARK(ing) Day in Vancouver, Washington. PARK(ing) Day is a global event that originated in San Francisco and temporarily transforms metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

Three years later, the City of Vancouver rewarded Jackson's efforts by capturing on-street parking for bicycles directly in front of her gallery (pictured above). Today, anyone who rides a bike to downtown Vancouver can park it on the street at 1015 Main Street, Vancouver, Washington 98660. The bicycle parking will be officially celebrated in June during Angst Gallery's annual "Bike Love" show. For this event fees are dropped and any bike related art is welcome to be juried for the June show.

Angst Gallery features unique offerings from traditional oil on canvas, pen and ink, watercolors, ceramics and jewelry to steel sculpture, mixed media, and fiber art. The gallery also hosts interns from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Their work included learning how to jury a show and they actually juried the April show.

The gallery promotes local poets such as Christopher Luna and offers gallery space off-hours to hold poetry workshops. The deadly duo, local mystery writers Carolyn J. Rose and Mike Nettleton, also found a spot in the gallery to sell their latest book, The Big Grabowski. The ancient upright invites keyboardists to finger the ivories and browse the gallery's collection of CD's and LP's from local musicians that litters its immense top.

Environmentalism carries over into every segment of gallery life. The gallery has in its collection a remarkable piece of wearable-recycled art. Jackson approached Sherry Mowatt, the Artistic Director of the Fort Vancouver Tapestry Project, to create her incredible idea: a form-fitting, sexy dress made out of recycled bicycle tires.

Seriously. Bicycle tires.

Leah Jackson wore it to the 2007 Bicycle Transportation Alliance Alice Awards Event, and it was also on view during the Clark County Fair that year.

Angst Gallery has infused itself into the economic success of the area. It was a founding member of LOCALS, Lower Columbia Alliance for Living Sustainably, best known for advocating diverting 10% of business expenditures into the local area. Angst Gallery also co-founded BikeMe! Vancouver. The front room on the gallery is home to a plethora of bicycle publications from many organizations. Most of the publications are free and available to all gallery visitors.

So, what's next for Angst Gallery and owner Leah Jackson? Well, that is a surprise, but it has her out front of the space next door scrubbing tile.

Angst Gallery
1015 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660

Vehicle (and bicycle) parking. First 20 minutes on meter FREE.

Open Wed-Sat Noon-5.
Open til 8pm on First Fridays.

View Larger Map

Angst Gallery:  Website
SW Washington Zest: 10 minute conversation with Leah Jackson
SW Washington Center for the Arts; Doc published Summer 2009
Art is in the eye of the beholder: Student interns at Angst Gallery
Bike Love event June 2009: Bike Portland.org photo gallery
Leah Jackson: Director Angst Gallery

March 2010 
February 2010 Moment of silence for bankrupt newspapers
January 2010 Gist

Monday, April 5, 2010

Four pint success!

Another really cool Carol stops in to party at the blood donation center

The First Annual Carol Save a Life Birthday Party was a four pint success! Me, @OntieC another Carol I met on Twitter (pictured above), Julie a job candidate who showed up early for her interview, and my sister all donated blood to SW Washington Blood Center in honor of my birthday.

My heart beat a steady 72, blood pressure a tad escalated, but birthdays make you nervous, don't they?

The venue is prepared to be relaxing, oversize cushy recliners with your own TV, full service snack bar and a full array of beverages. The chat fest got rolling and we were having such a good time we almost forgot to get the blood flowing.

I like to do everything fast and cut the usual ten minutes donation time down to seven minutes, so it hardly gave me any time at all to catch up on Perry Mason, but really, how much could have changed from last season to this one?

Once they unhooked all the paraphernalia I spent the afternoon greeting guests, drinking coffee and eating chocolate-chocolate cake. Two pieces.

In between we fired up the internet, took a look at my blogs, peeked in at Twitter, and @OntieC and I gave the phlebotomists a quick lesson in social media.

This was a first class operation. They had the center decked out in birthday decorations, bought me a cake, sent me a video thank-you from Seattle as the event kicked off and retweeted the pictures I was sharing on Twitter to bring the community into our unique, birthday event. 

I'm waiting to see if Julie got the job and probably just as cool is that our PR efforts inspired another donor to volunteer to celebrate her June birthday the same way. That's a present I didn't expect.

Hope I get invited. You can donate every 56 days.

Interesting to note, the center takes drop-ins, so if you couldn't make it for my party and happen to be in the neighborhood. Don that superwomanish cape, stop in and save a life.

SW Washington Blood Program
9320 NE Vancouver Mall Blvd
Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98662
 Schmap to the Blood Center 

Prefer an appointment? Call 360-567-4800.

Your turn! What fun thing are you planning for your upcoming birthday?