Facebook is showing us our “Year in Review” today. You can click the image above to view mine – see friends I added, things I “Liked” and various photos I’ve been tagged in. (There’s a photo of Trey Ratcliff in it so I count that as a win.) Maybe they thought they had to go ahead and get it out there today, considering the world will cease to exist tomorrow. So live it up. Go check out your year in review while you still have time, people. But be warned, you’ll have to provide your own appropriate theme music. I think I’ll go look at mine again and queue up this one.
Find the prints here: http://goo.gl/QoghG
If you don’t know Lee Daniels, she’s a passionate, poetic, and sweet woman gifted in photography who has been very active in the G+ Photography Community. Lee was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and, like many photographers, does not have health insurance. Barry Blanchard, Ivan Makarov, & SmugMug have set up a charity print sale that benefits her and will help fund her treatment. If you’ve been wanting to buy prints, this is the right time and place to do it. My donation to the cause is the photo below, colorful and happy and which I hope sends a message of joy and hope. I’d love it if you purchased this or any of the prints available in the gallery – so many talented photographers have donated their amazing work. http://goo.gl/QoghG All profits from the print sales go to fund Lee’s cancer treatment.
It might be hard to pick just one, but it won’t be hard to find one you like.
If you’ve been following me at all you know that I’m a big fan of Google+ and feel that it’s the best social networking platform out there nowadays, and especially if you’re a photographer. The Photography community there is vibrant and active and engaged, and I can’t say enough good things about the connections I’ve made and the amazing work I’m exposed to every time I log on and watch my stream move by. I’ve had the best conversations about art, life, and passion there and it’s a part of my day I truly look forward to when I sit down at my computer.
Here’s another sign of community and art flourishing there – with Ivan Makarov at the helm, and many others working hard to contribute their efforts, there is a beautiful G+ community photography book that has been created. The book holds the work of photographers active on G+ and all net profits go to Kiva, a fantastic charity organization. There are going to be 3 versions of this book, and the very first one is available NOW.
You can purchase it here: +One Collection, 2011
The Limited Edition of the Plus One Collection launched TODAY and is only available to purchase for 10 days. After that, it will never be made available for purchase again. Here are some details about the book:
- 193 artists featured, 200 pages long
- 11×13, landscape
- Printed on Fine Art Paper
- Includes a bonus print, made to museum standards, of one of the photos in the book
- Only Available to purchase for the next 10 days
- Ships in early March
- All profits go to Kiva
Don’t miss your chance to purchase this book – one of a kind, limited edition with big, beautiful photographs and a wonderful contribution to charity.
When the 10 days for this Limited Edition are over, there will be a standard version of the book available as well, and eventually an eBook version with over 500 photos submitted from the G+ Photography Community.
You’re not going to want to miss tonight’s episode of Photo Talk Plus. Co-host Thomas Hawk and I are so very excited to have Ron Garan, the astronaut in question, as our special guest. We’ll get to talk to him about what it was like to take photos in space and to live there in general. I can’t wait!
Tune in to Vidcast Network at 8PM PST to catch the live broadcast and join Thomas Hawk and myself along with tonight’s panelists Keith Barrett, Catherine Hall, Ricardo Lagos, Jim Sherhart and Sandra Parlow for an exciting second episode of our new photography videocast.
Thanks so much to our sponsors, SmugMug & Drobo for all their support. We’ll be announcing the winner of the Drobo / SmugMug contest from last week, and SmugMug will also be giving away a custom metallic print tonight!
Join us live tonight at 8PM PST for the broadcast by going to Vidcast Network – if you enter the chatroom on Vidcast Network you’ll have a chance to ask questions after the first hour is up. For those who can’t join live, there will be a recorded version of the video as well as audio podcast available later.
Are you on Google+ yet? I’ve been there for a couple of months now and you know what? I love it. Now, is it new and something you have to put a little work into to get rolling? Yes. (You’ll have to put some time and thought into creating your circles and adding people.) If you’re going to roll your eyes at me or bitch about that, well, then, hey. Go back to working on that thing where you’re looking for someone to wipe your own ass too.
And when you figure that out, let me know. Also, the whole doing dishes and laundry thing. Man, do I hate that shit. (Insert: worst.housewife.ever.)
But really, look. Google has created a social media platform in G+ that answers so many of the problems we’ve all had with others. I’ve been on board with SO many social media platforms in the past few years. Notably and largest: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr. (More, but those are the biggest and best of them.) I’ve heard (and had) so many complaints about these platforms over time (especially FB). The smart muthas over at Google have been sitting back taking notes, people.
You know what happens to me all the time on Facebook? I get notifications about crap I have no interest in whatsover. It’s basically spam that is not only tolerated, but supported and integrated into the system by Facebook. Oh look, someone did something interesting and I got notified! Nope, someone asked me to like the Chevy Tahoe Fan Page. Oh, look! Something in my sidebar! Oh. It’s an ad asking me if I’m a Mommy Blogger Who Wants To Go Back To School. Um. Really? Oh, look, someone posted something on my wall! Oh. It’s a request to help their cow birth a calf on Farmville.
On Google+ none of this crap is happening. On G+ I am not limited to 140 characters, conversations can be easily had on every update in comments, images are huge and beautiful in posts and on my stream, nobody tries to get me to help them water their corn or shave their sheep, I don’t have ads in my face, WetBecky8325 isn’t following me and inviting me to her nude webcam, and I’m not forced to go in and turn off email settings every time some yahoo adds me to a new group just so I won’t get spammed ridiculously. Games are there for those who love them (including Angry Birds!) BUT – I haven’t heard a single peep from them in my stream. They are in a separate tab, and you don’t have to become involved.
“Circles” allow you to share your content exclusively with certain groups of people and not with others, publicly, or just with one person. They allow you to filter the content you receive in your stream, as well. You can block OR ignore specific users, based on your needs. You have control over your content, where it goes, and what you see. Oh, that just makes all kinds of logical sense, doesn’t it?
Google+ launched in Beta with a better product because they’re overcoming issues that we’ve all had with Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr for years. And on top of that? They’re actively listening and innovating like CRAZY right now.
Google+ is especially vibrant for photographers, and that is so great! If you are a photographer, you really, really need to be there. Photo sharing rocks, the photography community is bright and engaged – photowalks are happening all the time (and being actively supported by Google Staff) and you just can’t find a better place for photographers on the web right now.
So yay for Photography on G+! But you know what? This can also be an amazing place for Bloggers, Musicians, Videographers, Crafters, etc., as well. The key is getting your community over there, testing the waters, asking for changes relevant to your community and making it happen. The community on a social network is built by… guess who? The members of that community.
The developers will give the burgeoning community the tools they need. You can believe that this time that’s true – I’ve seen myself the members of the Google+ team interacting with the community of users, asking in posts and “hangouts” (awesome video chats on the G+ platform) what ideas we have for making things better, what we want, and talking about what they’re doing. They are hungry to make this product the best it can be, and just what we want.
Feed the machine by not only signing up for an account with G+ but also if you have one USE IT. Engage, consume, interact, add content, and use that “Send Feedback” button at the bottom right to tell them exactly what you think and what you’d like to see.
I haven’t seen anything in social media as good as Google+, and I’m really active in that area, and have been for years. Get in early and help build this thing up. Circle me here on my Google+ profile, leave your G+ profile link in comments – let’s hook up there. Support your community of users, whatever that may be (blogger? Go post your content there and also engage with your peers! +1 their blog links and comment on their stuff).
And if you’re not on G+ yet – click this link and grab one of my limited invites or just let me know you want an invite and I’ll send you one. I have a bunch to give out and I want you there with me.
Like this post? Get in the spirit and click that +1 button right down here on the lower left.
Sometimes you meet the most amazing people online. If you’re one of those people that uses the acronym IRL or thinks that the people who are active online are “imaginary friends” then you won’t get this, but maybe that’s even more reason you should read it. I’ve been really lucky to have met a lot of really remarkable people through The Internet (remind me to thank Al Gore with a respectably green and energy efficient gift someday). Many of these people will be my friends forever. Some of them live deep in my heart, and I’m better for it.
One of those people is a lil’ lady who became known ’round Blogosphere Land as Moosh In Indy. That would be Casey Mullins.
I was reading her years ago, impressed with her writing and the way she just put it all out there (I tend to be drawn to those types, go figure) which really made her something of a role model to me. That’s the kind of person I have always been and wanted to continue being.
And then she went and mentioned me in a post.
And what she said about me, completely unprovoked, took me by surprise and totally melted my heart. It was pretty much one of those girl crush moments in your life when your pittery pattery heart is singing that song of “weeeeeeeeee, she likes me tooooo.” (Please tell me you’ve heard that song in your heart.)
And over the years, I’ve gotten to share moments with her when we both ended up at the same travel destinations, and many a laugh through blog comments, Facebook posts, and Twitter reply conversations. She’s a part of my world that keeps it spinning with a smile at the top and a little booty shake at the bottom.
It hurt my heart to see her struggle with expanding her family. This is a woman with so much love to give, so much creativity and wisdom to share. Her body was not playing nice with her for some time; The Universe was not playing nice with her. I was angry on her behalf.
She? Kept it real and was honest about her feelings and I’ll be damned if she didn’t still handle the most difficult of things with the most amazing grace you could ever imagine from a person trapped in a sack of turds with no sure way to see the light or open the knot at the top.
(Forgive the imagery, but something tells me Casey will appreciate it.)
And that’s what makes her not only a friend in my book, but also a role model.
Later, when she finally got pregnant, she emailed me to tell me before she posted it online. Somehow, in some incredibly selfless way, she was concerned that the news of her pregnancy would upset me (after having had 2 miscarriages).
And that’s what you call selfless and loving, kind and generous, to the utmost degree. And again, she was not only a friend, but a role model.
Are you catching this trend?
Just this past year, when my heart was in a very tenous place, she sent me a magnet. It had a saying on it that I needed so very badly to see/hear.
The Universe might be a jerk sometimes, but it often delivers the very best things just at the right time. Somehow, Casey is really good at being the vehicle of the Universe’s better side.
This woman is the kind of woman who you are thankful to call friend if you are so lucky, and who you want to be like. The kind that makes you want to be a better person, while at the same time making you laugh and expanding your mind.
Casey, thank you for being you. The world is a brighter, happier, more meaningful place because you exist.
Happy Birthday. I hope you’ve enjoyed your first 25 years on this earth. *wink* We’ve sure enjoyed having you here, my friend.
Class notes are up, so if you missed it live (shame on you!) you can still go see the amazing food that was prepared, and get lots of ideas to use in your own kitchen. You can see the full transcript, including recipes (like the one I use to make the awesome beef brisket with beer you see below), ways to help the less confident chefs feel at home in the kitchen, and much more – like learning Jim’s ancient secret to cooking the perfect rice, which he shared with us at the risk of being disowned by the ancestors!
From the site:
Now We’re Cooking
Jim kicked off with words of support for those who aren’t quite comfortable in the kitchen. “We want to show you that even if you don’t have all the skills you think you need in the kitchen,” he said, “there are ways to make you LOOK like you know what you’re doing!”
Shannon and Jim prepared variations of beef short ribs in their separate kitchens. Jim offered up an Asian version of the short ribs (with soy sauce and ginger), along with side dishes and dessert, and Shannon cooked an Irish version (with Guinness), also with sides and dessert.
When Shannon emailed me recently and asked me to help her and Jim with a cooking class they were doing for The Motherhood and ConAgra, I was all for it. Look, I love those two, and Shannon’s email said something about food, porn and cheerleading outfits. It was pretty much absolutely and completely a given that I going to say yes.
I mean, really. Could you say no to these two?
So: I’m co-hosting an upcoming class in the Web’s first-ever virtual cooking school, Cooking Connections, and I would love for all of you to participate! So check out the information below and get ready to see Shannon & Jim cooking and being dead sexy live, on camera, while their co-hosts heat things up in the accompanying chat. (Cheerleading outfits are not required and have absolutely nothing to do with the class, but I’m pretty sure that if you wear one, it can only enhance your experience. Especially if you send me photos.)
Here’s what you need to know about the cooking class:
When: Wednesday, March 16, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: TheMotherhood – here’s the link to the page where the class will be held: Cooking Connections Class with Shannon & Jim
What: The class I’m co-hosting is called “Cooking with Dad,” and it is hosted by the awesome Jim Lin, aka BusyDad of The Busy Dad Blog, and the equally awesome Shannon, aka Mr Lady of Whiskey in My Sippy Cup. Join us for a fun and hilarious class – we are going to have a blast! Jim and Shannon will be chatting via live video feed, and the rest of us will be sharing anecdotes and tips for having fun in the kitchen with Dad (and/or the other non-cooks of the family) in the text-based comments below the video. Don’t miss out on the party!
Julie – Angry Julie Monday
Mishelle Lane – Secret Agent Mama
Ashley Evans – Schadenfreudette
Tanis Miller – Attack of the Redneck Mommy
Dan Deguia – Deguia.net
Melanie Sheridan – Mel, a Dramatic Mommy
PJ Mullen – Real Men Drive Minivans
Diane – Momo Fali
Robin Sue Joss – Big Red Kitchen
Eddie Carroll – Life, One Pixel at a Time
And prizes even! Booyah.
To make it even more interesting, there’s a pretty awesome way that you can enter to win one of three gift baskets from The Motherhood and ConAgra. You need to create a short video ahead of time, so get on this now! Go see Shannon’s post for details on exactly what you – brilliant, creative, and fabulous reader – need to do to enter. (FYI, Shannon says cheating is totally encouraged. How can you not want to be a part of that?)