Remember Your Passions

Some­one con­tact­ed me recent­ly to do a sto­ry about Bring Your A’s Game, my quest to bring the Oak­land Ath­let­ics back to Philadel­phia, and it real­ly sparked my imag­i­na­tion about the cam­paign again. Last sum­mer was great: the A’s came back to town for inter­league; we had fun at Mem­phis Tap­room’s beer gar­den, and we even ral­lied for a Sat­ur­day night game at the ball­park. I had a great time meet­ing peo­ple, young and old, and talk­ing to them about the A’s and base­ball and Philadelphia.

Then things stalled a bit. What do you do next? Sure, these things are long, drawn out affairs, so how do you get peo­ple to pay atten­tion to your sto­ry? The answer, at least for me, is to remem­ber the pas­sion that drove me to it in the first place. I want to con­nect Philadel­phi­a’s rich base­ball his­to­ry to some­thing in the present. I want to get peo­ple excit­ed about a crosstown rival­ry that has­n’t exist­ed in near­ly 60 years. It’s not easy.

What awoke in me as I talked about what moti­vat­ed me to start Bring Your A’s Game was the fun of it. Most­ly when I talk about it, I expect­ed peo­ple to have the kind of reac­tion Gargano did when I talked to him in the sum­mer of ’10, which is to say, com­i­cal­ly neg­a­tive. I’m often stunned when peo­ple agree that Philadel­phia not only could sup­port two ball­clubs, but that it should. Maybe they don’t all like the Bring Your A’s Game page, but it’s a good feel­ing to not be laughed out of the court of pub­lic opin­ion. So I want to do more of it.

I men­tioned last week on the long neglect­ed Bring Your A’s Game blog and now I’m seri­ous. I’d love to find new ways to con­nect to new audi­ences, espe­cial­ly those that aren’t base­ball mad. I want to wage this con­ver­sa­tion with folks who don’t know any­thing about base­ball, but who like provoca­tive, dis­rup­tive ideas. If you know of such a forum, let me know and I’ll pre­pare accordingly.

The only way to tru­ly real­ize your pas­sions is to engage oth­ers who don’t share them and invite them to join you. It’s invig­o­rat­ing and a vital way to keep the cre­ative juices flow­ing. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.

The Last Guy on Flickr

Did some­thing last week that I know most of you will think is crazy: I bought two more years on Flickr. Trust me, I think it’s pret­ty crazy, too. 

I used Insta­gram for a while, but I real­ized those pics are trapped in an ecosys­tem that’s just as com­pli­cat­ed as Flickr, but with­out sets and at much low­er resolution. 

Pri­va­cy is impor­tant, too. Flickr offers me options. I don’t need to broad­cast every­thing. If I want to share, I’ll twit­pic and be done with it. Fil­ters are nice, but a bit gim­micky and square pho­tos have meant that more than one great image of my son crops his head off when I try to print. Bum­mer, that.

To top it off, I have a ton of pho­tos host­ed on Flickr, going back six years. Do I wish I’d snagged my real name instead of my ’00s alias? Yes, but they’re mem­o­ries, no mat­ter how sil­ly the permalink.

Am I afraid of what might hap­pen in the near future at Flickr? Of course. The Deli­cious spin­off went about as bad­ly as pos­si­ble. But I have to believe that Flickr can be adapt­ed to a more social mobile expe­ri­ence that still deliv­ers what peo­ple loved about the ser­vice when they first bought a pro account. At least I hope so.

So ‘fess up: who still uses and enjoys Flickr? Let’s connect!

Unfollowing Is Hard

One of my dig­i­tal New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions was to “go pro” on Twit­ter. I’m near­ly there and I can tell you it’s not easy. For me it’s meant unfol­low­ing and plug­ging folks into lists or just dis­con­nect­ing alto­geth­er in order to pay atten­tion to things that are, you know, work-relat­ed. In some cas­es it means sev­er­ing ties with old co-work­ers, high school class­mates and vibrant locals in exchange for nation­al and region­al media, cur­rent co-work­ers and influ­encers. It’s a win­dow into their process, some­thing that would­n’t have been pos­si­ble a decade ago, and it’s more impor­tant to my work than ever. Thing is, has this trans­for­ma­tion sucked all the fun out of Twit­ter and Face­book?Con­tin­ue read­ing “Unfol­low­ing Is Hard”

Facebook Places or Foursquare?

Face­book Places. Game, set, match. Why? Because even though every last des­ti­na­tion I vis­it has­n’t been loaded into Face­book, it means acti­vat­ing one less wonky app that crash­es unex­pect­ed­ly and then scolds me if I try check­ing in again. Anoth­er plus? Peo­ple I know actu­al­ly use Face­book. Foursquare? Not so much.

Face­book Places does to Foursquare what Twit­ter’s acqui­si­tion of Tweet­ie did for every­one else in the mobile Twit­ter app mar­ket: killed ’em dead, at least on the iPhone. I know Foursquare’s try­ing to put on a brave face, but if Face­book want­ed to intro­duce badges and oth­er rewards, it would­n’t be hard and it gives peo­ple the all-in-one con­ve­nience they want in a mobile experience.

I used Foursquare off and on for months, some­times delet­ing it from the phone, then rein­stalling it if a friend con­vinced me to do so. It was point­less. The loca­tions are sil­ly, as are the tips and rewards. I know how it feels to be a reg­u­lar at my local bar. It’s great. I don’t need an app to dri­ve that point home. As I tweet­ed after Face­book Places was launched, “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” At the same time, I like to let friends know that I’m out if they’d like to join me some­place. Revive the drop-in vis­it! How fun!

Do your­self a favor and delete Foursquare already. You’re wor­ried about pri­va­cy con­cerns? Here’s a thought: don’t both­er check­ing in! I’ll go a step fur­ther and say that you should real­ly cat­e­go­rize all of your Face­book con­tacts in a way that pro­tects you from weirdos. That should be a no-brain­er at this point in the game. As in so many things, be care­ful and have fun!