Campaigning, Twitter-style

There has been a little talk today on Twitter about making campaigns better. My original question was what would it look like if politicians weren’t allowed to run ads of any kind? What if they simply had to campaign their butts off?

How different would the landscape look? How much would people’s opinions of politics change?

Then Jeff had the bright idea that they all have to campaign Twitter-style. 140 characters or less. No speech can be longer. No blog post can be longer. All 140 characters or less. I am all for it.

And in the spirit of reforming campaigns, something I wrote earlier.

So how would you feel if campaigns had to go to a no-traditional-ads route?

MobileMe wins a little love

So I haven’t been crazy about MobileMe ever since it’s problematic launch. The web apps part hasn’t been quite as snappy as promised which has led to little use from me. So basically I use to for over-the-air syncing of all my machines and my iPhone.

But it won a little more love from me tonight after I upgraded to an iPhone 3G. The phone works right out of the store, but I would have to wait until I got home to sync it up with all my old information (calendar, email, contacts, etc.). So I decided to try something. When we pulled up to a red light, I punched in my MobileMe information and after about 30 seconds, all my information was downloaded to the new phone. Just like that, I was up and running.

So I like MobileMe slightly better than I did yesterday.

Quote of the day

My Twitter-friend Dustin on staying accountable via Twitter:

“I have 500 people, some spam robots and some porn linkers to hold me accountable. A shady group of folk but a good group nonetheless.”

Anyone who uses Twitter knows the truth behind that. The rest of you, move along, there’s nothing to see here.

Do what you know

Everyone seems to lament the fact that Apple doesn’t make a sub-$500 machine. Analysts can’t make a report on Apple without bringing it up. People considering switching always complain that they “can’t afford it.”

The fact is, Apple just doesn’t want to do a cheap, do-nothing machine. They want all their machines to be able to do the same things. Same software, same functionality. And there is a huge amount of brand benefit there. Like using a Mac, buying one is just easier.

Steve Jobs addressed this so well at their last event. “There are some customers which we chose not to serve,” he added. “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that. But we can continue to deliver greater and greater value to those customers that we choose to serve. And there’s a lot of them.”

Apple continues to beat expectations by doing what they know to do. They decided a long time ago who they were going to be and they are sticking with it.

Nicole and Storm’s engagement session

I shot Nicole and Storm’s engagement session all around downtown Austin. The funny thing was these two never stopped smiling. The entire time they were making jokes and laughing. I love seeing couples so comfortable with each other. That’s what love is all about. Having someone you can completely be yourself in around. Nicole and Storm are the type of couple I love working with.

These are just a few of my favorites. You can view the entire set here.

Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm
Nicole & Storm

Living on buzz alone

For weeks I’ve been craving a Cinnabon.

Various people in my life have been talking back and forth about Cinnabon and how great they are. All that sweet awesomeness. The “fresh baked, all day” promise was enticing.

So after lunch today with Tony I decided to try a Cinnabon for the first time. I’d heard so much great buzz about it before, I was pumped. I even planned out the last part of my trip specifically so I would be near a Cinnabon location (this one happened to be inside a Schlotzsky’s).

Three bites into the wonder that is a Cinnabon, and I decided I would not be finishing it. It just didn’t taste great. Even after a little reheating, it tasted like it had been sitting out all day. Hardly “fresh baked.”

Cinnabon has clearly done a great job building buzz. I was excited to be spending money on a Cinnabon. But every bit of that effort died because my initial experience wasn’t even close to great. First spend time making a quality product every time. Then build buzz.

But what will it look like on me?

Today I was buying a new shirt from Zazzle. It will be my election day shirt.

The part I really found cool about the Zazzle experience, though, was the simple fact that you can see the shirt on different models with different body types. Just click the “see this on a different model” button. Wow. Turns out we aren’t all the same shape. What a great feature for a t-shirt site. There’s nothing worse than ordering a t-shirt online and finding out it doesn’t fit quite right.

Social media circles

I’m curious about what social media circles you walk in.

I can group all my online friends into boxes. I do a lot of discussion among pastors and ministry types. I’m relatively active in the creative design and photography community. Recently I’ve been talking to a lot more people about social media itself.

The fun part is finding people on Twitter, for example, who are interested in the same things you are and really connecting with them. I’ve connected with hundreds of new people this year. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taught a lot. I’ve made some genuine friends. And I’ve won some new business, which is a nice bonus.

So what circles do you walk (type?) in? Are there interesting pockets of people out there we should be talking to?

What a year it’s been

October 18th marks exactly one year living in Austin. And what a year it’s been.

In no particular order we’ve:

Had one of our biggest clients close down.
Had the same client reopen and rehire us.
Had one surgery and two expensive trips to the ER.
Become a huge fan of Twitter.
Signed Becca up and actually found she likes Twitter too.
Completely reorganized our roles at church.
Seen some growth at church that can only be described as perfect.
Learned our way around Austin quite well.
Tried a ton of great restaurants.
Really enjoyed life here.
Officially launched the wedding photography side of the business.

I was telling my mom yesterday that I could see us living in Austin for the rest of our lives. I know things can change and we are young, but I really do love it here. It’s the perfect combination of everything for our lives right now.

I can’t wait to see what God has for us in our second year here.

The Show – Episode 6

Today I talk about the challenges of today’s economy and what we’re doing as a small business to grow in this time. More importantly I want to know what you are doing in whatever it is you do to maintain your business and grow it. There are huge opportunities right now for people willing to bust their butts. So what are your thoughts on the current business climate?

Today’s links:
My Twitter
Something I’ve been working on
My current site

What’s in your BackPocket?

One of the things that’s been keeping me busy is designing a marketing site for my friend Scott’s new iPhone app, BackPocket.

This has been fun for me for a lot of reasons. One, Scott and I work very well together. Two, I love the iPhone. Three, I love Backpack which is the entire point of BackPocket. It’s an app designed to make interaction with Backpack a little smoother on the iPhone. So far it looks like a great app. We’re finishing up the site soon but for now, follow the development of the app at the BackPocket Twitter page.