Archive for September, 2007

A Moment in Boston’s Public Garden

I’ve been riding my bike in and out of traffic all through Boston for a lot of this afternoon. I have to say that this city feels really, really good. There’s something about it, its charm, character, feel, whatever you want to call it, that I really like.

This park, for example, juxtaposes the nature of its ancient willows with the horizon of a just-big-enough modern city showcasing the John Hancock building. It seems like this is what New York City’s Central Park might have felt like at one time before it became tainted with a name.

It’s clean, but not too clean like a hospital or the city I grew up in. It feels safe, but vulnerable. There is a sense of wisdom here.

Or maybe it’s just the fresh New England air.

Either way, it is because of these moments that I recently discovered my love for travel.

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HTBOTI - Get Famous.

Honk To Be On The Internet, if you didn’t already suspect. Being on the road for only 6 short hours, it has already proven to be a hit with the locals of NYC and Connecticut! Check out how to become Internet Famous, and our other Participate! items to quench your boredom.

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How to Destroy Your Cell Phone…and Why You Should Do It

If you’re anything like me, you keep constant tabs on your cell phone. It’s your leash. Your connection to others who are so very important to you. Regardless of how often you actually answer it, etc, and like with checking your email, you’re obsessive compulsive about seeing if anyone called.

I’ve been looking at this trip to push a lot of my boundaries…something to use in order to force myself to redefine various realms, definitions, and characteristics of comfort.

On this trip, one of those ways is through my personal connectivity. I want to know what it’s like to free my mental time and space for things other than checking my cell phone or worrying about if I’m connected or not.

Now, I don’t have a choice. It’s not convenient for me or others, but I won’t know how truly valuable that convenience is until I remove it from the equation.

By destroying my cell phone, I’ve made myself virtually unreachable and unable to reach others when I may need to do so. I have backups, such as using Skype through my cellular internet card, but it’s far from convenient or luxurious.

By trashing my cell phone and getting a Skype phone, not only do I reduce my personal and business operating costs from over $80/month to $6 per month. This $6 gets me unlimited call time to any land line in the United States. I can call any other Skype user in the world for free. For an additional $3 per month, I can place unlimited calls to land lines in an additional 28 countries.

I can do all of this…so long as I’m within range of an accessible WiFi network.

From many perspectives, this makes sense.

From many other perspectives, it doesn’t.

And that’s what I’m about to find out.

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Goodbye NYC and Jersey, Hello Boston

Last night, we ended up going to Stoned Crow in the upper East side to meet up with a good friend of mine, Sarah, who has awesome music tastes and great intellect.  It was definitely a good time with some beer funds being used as well.

We’re just outside of Boston tonight. The ride wasn’t too bad. It would have been nice to miss NYC traffic and see Connecticut during the day, but we made do.

Speaking of, New Haven and Hartford seem like they could be really cool cities. We both agree on that based on the kind of experience that you get driving through a city. It’s well-founded.

Tomorrow, we have a few options of plans including meeting up with an old friend, sneaking into college classes, and riding my fixed gear around town. If the weather is good, I’ll definitely be downtown on my bike. Saturday, we’re aiming for the Samuel Adams brewery.

After that, we’ll be heading to the coast of Maine either Saturday night or Sunday morning.

For now, we’re going to crash. Hard. In another Wal-Mart parking lot.

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Van Tracking

The van’s actual position is now marked in close-to-real-time on the Itinerary map. It could come in handy in case you want to dispatch a couple of Omaha Steaks to save us from yet another tuna-based meal ;-)

We also finally got the “Honk to be on the Internet” sticker up on the back. Given that people have already been honking at us (our van is sloooow,) it should add an interesting dynamic when we start to snap their pictures.

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Philly Cheesesteaks Go Down Smooooooth.

Ever wonder what all the hype is about Philly Cheesesteaks? I sacrificed $7 of my hard earned cash, and precious stomach real estate, so that the world can decide if it’s worth the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Bon appetit!

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RFC Boston

Boston, Massachusetts is the next lucky city to be blessed with RT2.0’s presence, we’ll be arriving in the afternoon on Thursday. To help brainstorm things to do, places to eat, etc, check out our Boston page (also linked off the Itinerary) and see if you have anything to add. If you’re in the area and want to meet up, hit us up!

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Andy Beal Video Interview: Online Reputation Monitoring, His Upcoming Book, and Traveling with Geekery.

Before we left Raleigh/Durham, Andy was kind enough to join me for a video interview. He’s making great progress in the realm of online reputation monitoring and management, and is quite possibly the top expert in the field, earning him the ability to co-author the upcoming book, Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online.

He and I worked together for several years and he has since gone on his own and now runs, an online marketing blog with over 7,000 subscribers. I could go on and on and on with his credentials of speaking engagements, consulting, and groundbreaking blogging efforts. But, what I love most about Andy is his unshakable integrity and great conversations.

To see some of the great things that he’s contributed to the marketing community, check out these links here:

Without further ado, the first in our video interview series:

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Social Media Marketing Efforts for, Part 01

One of the things that we’ve loved about this trip is being able to test some ideas and concepts for getting the word out about the website. As some of you know, I’ve become very interested in social media marketing and the future opportunities that exist in that realm…both for businesses and consumers.

Despite only two months from coming up with the idea of the trip to our departure, we pushed hard to also create presences in various realms of social media. While we’re not necessarily looking at road trip blogging to be our primary source of income, we did feel that the entire process, lessons, and adventures might be compelling and interesting enough to entrepreneurs, marketers, travelers, and other mobile lifestylers that we wanted people to be able to find this information if they were looking for it.

We also wanted to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what we didn’t know would work and did.

So, here’s our marketing/social/internet geekery that we have setup.

Social Networks: MySpace and FaceBook. Since we’re quite familiar with each site and already knew several people on there, it has been relatively easy to get started on those networks. In the coming weeks, we will also be utilizing each of the services’ groups functions in order to find other “Friends” who may be interested in what we are doing as well.

Photo Sharing: Flickr. We actually debated between using Flickr or using Google’s Picasa. I personally use Picasa because I love their photo management software. But, when it came down to it, Flickr just has more features and more ways to bend and break and shape their data and access. It was ultimately a combination of extensibility and network size that won us over.

With Flickr, we’re tagging each image with the city and state that it was taken, what the photo is of, and any other local landmarks. Despite being only 6 days into the trip, we’ve already had a couple of people find our images through this tagging, mark photos as favorites and comment on them as well.

Video Sharing: YouTube. This decision was pretty easy and straightforward. Yes, we have the option of going to Metacafe, MySpace Video, etc. (And still can distribute our videos there.) With limited internet connections and upload speeds, we decided to go solely with YouTube because of the size of their network. Surprisingly, the same day we posted our first video, we received a message from Passport America, offering us a sponsorship with a free membership offering a 50% discount to their network of RV parks.

Blogging: WordPress. The ability to utilize the largest network of plugins, along with a high-featured and high-supported platform put them square in the lead in our decision. For anyone looking to start a blog, I would absolutely recommend them. Alexi is relatively new to blogging and has often been amazed at the ability to quickly implement features and launch our blog.

So, those are the highlights of our social media marketing efforts. As they expand, we’ll keep everyone posted. Since we’re also just getting a lot of it off the ground, we’ll also let you know of how things grow and any tips and advice we may have for your campaign.

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Thanks for the Booze!

Yesterday, we took some time to learn how the internet works.  After a series of amazing discoveries and referencing Google Analytics click data, we checked our PayPal account that is setup to accept beer donations.

We were totally stoked to find several donations!  Thank You!

Seriously, that’s so awesome.  We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted with the shenanigans that occur as a results of those donations. ;)

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