Writing Fundamentals from Fifth Grade

The fundamentals don’t change. This is a notebook I used in fifth grade to write an essay (monograph?) about photography.

This should be fun to explore.

Right there on page one, they set us up for success.

Writing tips from fifth grade

It’s all here, the outlines, the notes, the rough draft. I look forward to digging in to this, what might be the first time I followed a process like this from start to finish, something that eventually becomes second nature to anyone engaged in longer-form writing. It’ll also be fun to see my fifth grade predictions about photography.

I hate a goose egg month

So to avoid a goose egg in the archives for August ’11, I rescued some photos from my phone.

Here’s a shot from the making of the birthday week spinner I created for Molly:
Wheel of birthday week, in progress

Max annoying my dad, who is trying to get down to some serious solitaire on the iPhone:
Whatcha doin?

This one feels like a polaroid:
Mom and dad visit in July

I should meditate more often.
The owls are exactly what they seem.

The Internet button on planes continues to amuse me.
Home routers should be this simple.

A Reunion Of Sorts

I’m moving on this week from my position at Edelman in order to focus on some projects with a few old friends up North and invest quality time in a personal project or two with old friends out West. I’ll continue to be based in Atlanta for now.

I started out in Web work over a decade ago at Pagano, Schenck, and Kay’s PSK01, which eventually became Circle Interactive, Circle.com, and a progression of names and ownership structures. I’ll even claim responsibility for this masterpiece of an under construction screen from ’98:

Through much of that time I worked with Joe Polevy and Erik Pelletier, who went on to become a founder and a pillar of Almighty, respectively. We formed a bond over the time we worked together around shared values, frustration at the conventional processes and work models of the time, an abiding interest in how the work could get done in a better, happier, simpler way, a love of Web culture, and perspectives on what’s most important. As I left Boston to move to Atlanta around ’04, Almighty the agency was just starting to take shape. When I hit the fast forward button recently and looked in after an inquiry from Erik on what I was up to, it was gratifying to see that our disparate work experiences have only reinforced what we had in common professionally. That Almighty has brought together a larger group of people aligned under some of those views, including an interdiscliplinary, silo-free approach to work, is exciting to me as well. I look forward to becoming a part of the unfolding story.

I’m also excited to set aside some time to work with my friends Gregg and Josh at Incredibly Lifelike (who I met, worked with, and was inspired by while at EarthLink) on an important part of my personal and professional life that sometimes get short-shrift — making stuff. More on that as it develops.

I learned a great deal while at Edelman and had the privilege of working alongside some great folks, both in terms of clients and agency colleagues, in the midst of a meaningful and challenging evolution taking place throughout the firm from Public Relations to Public Engagement. Many thanks to all those I worked with, within Edelman and without. I’m glad to have made what I know will be some lasting friendships and professional relationships in my year here.

As is customary as I make career transitions and from time to time, I’ll be changing my The Wire “feeling most like” icon on my about page from Cedric Daniels to…let’s go with Brother Mouzone for now.

When he heard the news, my friend Jonathan contributed this jam, later matched in video by Doug, for your enjoyment:

Advice To The Ten Years Ago Me

I was talking to Leah about a project I worked on ten years ago, and the question came up of what advice would I give that version of myself — from 2009 Dave to 1999 Dave. Here are the three thoughts that popped in to my head:

  • Don’t worry, AOL is not going to remain/become the browser/platform of choice.
  • Trust your instincts on digital engagement strategy; the business jerks will catch up to it.
  • Ask for forgiveness more often and permission less.

Stay classy, 1999 Dave.

Joining Edelman

Last time I changed the “feeling most like” photo on the Extraface “about” page, it went from McNulty to Colvin as I made the transition from my role at EarthLink to that of an independent consultant. Today, it’s time to change the photo again as I’m extremely excited to be joining Edelman‘s Atlanta office as a Vice President, Edelman Digital. I’m not sure who it’ll change to yet, and I may expand beyond The Wire’s character set. It’ll be back up once I decide who my next status indicator should be.

I’ll be working mainly with the Atlanta account teams, helping companies relate to people, the people inside companies relate to people outside, and vice versa. If you’ve followed me at EarthLink and/or Extraface, you know I’m about approaching technology as a means and not an end, figuring out how regular folks and specific niches adopt technology and what they want to use it to accomplish, and resisting all that which makes human forms of communication incrementally less human.

A little over a year ago, at last year’s BlogOrlando unconference, I was sitting around a dinner table with some of the presenters, including Shel Israel, Nik Wilets, Geoff Livingston, and Joseph Thornley. I remember remarking to Joe, to my left at dinner, that “I don’t do PR.” As a long-time, influential PR practitioner, he questioned my statement and its implications, and we spoke for a bit about how the field has changed and what it means to “do PR” nowadays. Here I am a year later, joining a field that I had lots of questions about, not because they are all resolved, but perhaps because many of them are interesting to me. I also think the point of entry from which we approach the challenges at hand matters less and less. The best approaches are interdisciplinary. What matters is seeing as full a picture as possible and understanding how it all fits together. After knowing Leah as a colleague and friend for the past couple of years and then meeting with Claudia, Patty, and the Atlanta team and Kevin and Rick of Edelman Digital, I feel strongly that that’s what’s important to them as well.

The hodgepodge of digital culture analysis and observation, personal reflections, ephemera, and East Atlanta notes that you find here as Extraface The Blog will carry on just as it is. I trust if I meander too far into industry blather too often, you’ll let me know. For their part, Toofis and Max will continue to provide the kind of brilliant but scatterbrained design work you have come to expect from two middle-aged Italian Greyhounds curled up on a sofa.

For Your June Bulletin Board Displays and On The Road

As usual, taken from my copy of Bulletin Boards For All Occasions, by Margaret B. Randall, 1966.

Pack Your Vacation Bags

This morning I am packing my own vacation bags full of wholesome thoughts, good books, and clean fun for an 11-day trip to Germany and Switzerland to visit a very special person. I’m not sure how much time I’ll get in front of the blog, but there’s a good chance I’ll be updating my Flickr photos. If you have any suggestions for things to see and do in Frankfurt, Munich, and Lucerne, or are one of my recently-added Twitter friends from those parts and want to meet up, do drop me a line.

Visit The Valley Of Fun
I’ll make sure to get some photos of the Valley Of Fun.

ROFLCon. Wow.

Hehs/Mehs From The Crowd
Heh/Meh signs by Extraface

When asked about what started his first “Andre The Giant Has A Posse” sticker campaign, Shepard Fairey tells the story that it was for an assignment that asked him to “affect the quality of the day.” I think that’s what motivates the parts of my work I’m most proud of. For ROFLCon(which was a completely amazing event that I will write more on once I’ve gotten some sleep), I got signs made that said “Heh” on one side and “Meh” on the other, in the hopes that they’d add to the character of the conference and give people something fun to do. The organizers handed them out at the 6pm “live comment thread” and they were put to extremely good use.

Meh on Anonymous' Threadjack
Mehs on Anonymous’ live threadjack

Cheez Meh
Cheez from I Can Has Cheezburger shows his meh face

Tron Guy Jay Maynard Is Heh
Tron Guy is of course heh

Click the “read more” for a few more hehs and mehs.

Continue reading “ROFLCon. Wow.”

We Have Jazz Cap

Thank you Extraface reader Gegen_you. You have ended the search for an obscure 80’s Wendy’s artifact called a “Jazz Cap” that began in February with a request from Melanie and led to various sources including Wikipedia, Metafilter, the Wendy’s customer information line, one of my favorite bands in Australia, and the open internet. Thanks to you, we finally have the visual evidence we sought. Let us now exchange emails and I’ll scare up a suitable reward for your efforts. I salute you, Gegen_you, and I salute all those Extraface and Metafilter users who pitched in on the hunt.

Maintenance: Upgrading To WordPress 2.5, Things May Break

I’m about to flip the switch to a new version of my blog software. Hopefully it’ll go smoothly but I won’t know until I try it and give everything a once-over. Thank you for your patience in the meantime. I’ll delete this entry once I give Extraface a clean bill of health.

Bananas Foster At Brennan's
Bananas Foster tableside preparation at Brennan’s, photo by Article133

Update: Everything looks ok so far. Let me know if you see anything that’s not working right. And on second thought, I’ll just keep this entry up.