Thursday, November 25, 2010

"The Warrior's Way"

You will certainly enjoy the video (seen here) of Sngmoo Lee's The Warrior's Way, which is out in theatres on December 3rd. It stars Dong-Kun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, and Geoffrey Rush. It's quite the visual feast! Billed as a "martial arts, western fantasy", it features the kind of stylistic battles that became popular with the massive success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - one of my favorite movies of all time.

Some of the recent martial movies have used amazing battle scenes and breathtaking cinematography to enhance the story, and leave moviegoers spellbound. The aforementioned Crouching Tiger and The House of Flying Daggers always come to mind. It looks like The Warrior's Way may follow it their footsteps.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Marc Parent and the Art of Twitter Activism

This is cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Technology Section.

This is the latest post in our series, Twitter Powerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.

Throughout history, activists have used a wide range of tools to bring about change - economic, social, political and otherwise. Letter writing campaigns, marches, boycotts, and hunger strikes are just a few of the things used to make a strong impact. Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, and Rock the Vote's Maegan Carberry are just a few names that give vision and voice to the truly dynamic history of world activism.

Marc Parent, one of the most celebrated observers and activists on Twitter today, dedicates his thought-provoking feed to shining a spotlight on that history, and provides great links that are often the subject of great debate. If its happening in the world, it will likely show up on his feed. Parent has maximized his social media presence, allowing him to take full advantage of the huge Twitter stage on which hundreds of millions share their views.

What is a great activist, you ask? I'll tell you: one who informs you of the issues, inspires you to take action, and empowers you to make a difference. And for years now, Marc Parent has been that activist. As you will read below, he is most certainly for real, and absolutely necessary.

How do you see your role as an online activist?

I have been into "activist blogging" for 10 years, and what a great field it is. As I learned the techniques to gather information and motivate readers, I found that many appreciated this service. Handling controversial material brings on loads of criticism and frequently censorship. I have learned the value of a trustworthy and known blogging platform. For me, Twitter has become this and so much more. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised Twitter hasn't ditched me (Laughs).

Speaking of Twitter, explain how it has helped you connect with both your fans and the issues you are passionate about?

Twitter posts cross the many boundaries between people and reach a much larger audience than on most well-known, social media platforms. Instant and positive reader responses to posts provide the comfort of knowing others are just as passionate about issues. No matter the country or continent, folks are incredibly engaged and hungry for the truth. If you want to create a deep, lasting connection with people, you have to be of value to them, and it's a blessing that many value what I post.

How important is technology to your particular kind of activism?

I am driven and dedicated to providing enlightening commentary on politics, finance, media, society, government, and the internet. Technology gives me a connection to the vast network of media outlets and independent online sources. Armed with great information - some of which the mainstream media never touches - I have great hope that I can help change political systems and atiitudes for the better. My readers understand this. It is extremely rewarding to see them take action and use all of constructive tools available to them. I can't tell you how much I love being an activist.

How would you describe yourself in 140 characters?

Persuer and sharer of truth that matters.

For more information on Marc Parent and the international issues that inspire and inform his activism, follow him on his Twitter feed and friend him on his Facebook page.

Author's Note: In case you missed it, here's Part 13 of the series: 16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Social Media "Influence"

The current social media conversation on Influence is something I really shy away from commenting on. And for good reason. I only joined Twitter and Facebook to do two things: promote my blog and meet great people. I believe I've done a fair job in that department.

But the other day, Todd Weiss, a great tweeter from New York City posted this on his feed: "If you want to be a person of influence, be of value to someone." Indeed, this completely sums up my thoughts on the matter. As we all know, social media started as an avenue for people to share. So it makes sense to use Twitter in this way. I love seeing people recommend folks in different fields or in various cities. When I log in, that's what I do. And when I log out, I take pride in knowing that I've helped enrich the Twitter Experience, and in a small or grand way, honored the roots of social media.

So let no one tell you differently: when any of us inspire, empower, share, connect and educate through social media, we are influential. Millions value this sort of engagement, so its a brand that should never be discarded. Never.

I don't mind talking about Influence. But I'll never let conversation about "what it is" get in the way of sharing practical ways to use social media influence for the greater good. That should be the ultimate goal.

Monday, November 8, 2010

President Obama's Interview on "60 Minutes" (VIDEO)

I liked President Obama's interview on 60 Minutes (above video). One of the most striking things about him is that he takes responsibility for his mistakes, miscues, and mishaps. That comes through in the interview above. Also, I like how he maintains a sense of civility with those who oppose every single piece of his agenda.

I am not one who is disappointed in the president. I remember what he promised. And, I know what he's done the last two years, and its quite significant, as this great, cleverly constructed website shows.

It doesn't matter if you voted for him or not. This interview above is a must see. It is Obama at his best.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

World's Smallest, Greenest Movie Theatre Rocks!

All Photos Courtesy of Facebook/The Sol Cinema

I saw this online and knew I had to share it. It is the world's smallest, most creative movie theatre. It seats 8 adults or 12 children. As you can see from the picture above, it also has a solar panel, making it environmentally cool. No, this is not the future of movie theatres. I see it as an example of the solutions people are putting in motion to save our planet.

This theatre is a powerful metaphor for the green revolution taking place across the globe. So let's celebrate this small marvel. And commit ourselves to saving our planet: one small, green movie theatre at a time :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Success of Twitter's Bulls and Beavers

This was cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Travel Section.

To world traveler Chris Burget, every minute of one's life should be an adventure. So he launched Bulls and Beavers, a fantastic online resource for the active outdoorsman. However, when he connected it to the excitement and global reach of Twitter, it became a social media success.

Burget has tapped into the outdoorsman market with a vengeance. He's done the research, and the outreach, and the results have been quite favorable. This has led to great partnerships with companies, and great appreciation for his content from conservation groups.

This all shows what is possible when businesses place a "targeted social media" strategy in their overall promotional efforts. Respected for his creative approach and energetic presence, Burget envisions an even bigger role for Bulls and Beavers going forward. He was kind enough to share his thoughts with me in a recent interview.


Chris Burget, Publisher of Bulls and Beavers

The "Outdoor Sportsman Culture" is huge business. How are using Twitter and social media to take advantage of that market?

I am a firm believer that the true heart of social media is the desire to share a story, to bond with others who posses similar passions and new adventures. This is my simple vision for Bulls & Beavers. I had a burning desire to share my enthusiasm and respect for nature and the outdoor sportsman lifestyle.

In the beginning, as a novice blogger, I wrote about interests and issues that were near and dear to me; things like the meaning of hunting as a tradition handed from generation to generation, as well as heate topics on current conservation issues such as protection of the grey wolf and wild horse round ups.

As my knowledge of blogging grew, I naturally encountered Twitter and found that my stories and articles resonated with the readers. From these readers came the organic, exponential growth which has now resulted in Bulls and Beavers being the number one followed Twitter account for fishing and hunting with over 20,000 engaged followers.

I like how your site embraces conservation. Certainly, as Rochelle Veturis and Olivia Zaleski point out, how we take care of our planet is one of the great issues of our time.

One of the things I am most proud of with respect to our Bulls and Beavers community is that readers of the blog consistently discuss multiple sides of complex outdoor issues with intelligence and respect.

As a nature lover, hunter, and entrepreneur, I understand and try to always communicate that the outdoor sportsman lifestyle has both impact upon, and great responsibility for the stewardship of natural resources and wildlife populations.

Our core site visitor, the outdoor sportsman or woman is an intelligent, enthusiastic, reflective and educated individual who has a sincere desire to enjoy his or her current passions, and works to ensure that those passions are available for future generations. Our readers understand that natural ecosystems are clearly impacted by the presence of man and when specie populations fluctuate there is a clear ripple effect.

Great story behind the name 'Bulls and Beavers'. Can you explain that for the readers?

The name is an interesting story with its roots grounded in homage both to my mother and father. As a young child, my dad would take me hunting for wild boar, deer and elk and deep sea salmon fishing. Before each hunt he would speak to me about respect for nature, as well as the skill and patience needed. To track a bull elk is to pursue one of the most regal and majestic creatures. This equals the bull component of the name in essence which represents not only wonderful memories with my dad, but also a deep reverence for nature and hunting.

While many people understand the icon of the majestic bull, fewer understand the rationale behind the beaver half of the logo. My maternal great-grandfather's company, Shea Construction, is a prominent company that has been involved in some iconic construction projects such as "The Golden Gate Bridge" and "The Hoover Dam." The construction industry' highest award for quality is called The Golden Beaver Award, which relates back to the Hoover Dam. To me, the beaver not only represents the industrious, likeable ecosystem builder, but it represents the "Best of the Best" which is an award given by Bulls & Beavers.

Where is your corporate headquarters?

I love answering this question. Well, prior to founding Bulls and Beavers, I had a very successful career in high-end home sales in both Colorado and Southern California. About 12 years ago I purchased a 2,000 sq. ft. cabin on the Big Lost River in the rugged mountains of central Idaho. This became my mental and physical escape and vacation spot from the demanding corporate sales regimen.

Three years ago, through the miracle of telecommunications, the cabin received the ability to have high-speed internet access. During this time, I often found myself day dreaming about my own serene riverside oasis and felt an ever-increasing desire to be based there full time. With laptop in hand, I took a relocation leap-of- faith and developed multi media outdoor brand, Bulls & Beavers, and began my first blog posts.

So, now my 2,000 sq. ft. cabin has conveniently turned into the corporate headquarters for Bulls and Beavers! Board meetings consist of a couple lounge chairs river-side, an ice chest full of cold beverages and some lucky fishing poles. When we convene for a lunch break or afternoon snack, it usually includes trying out a new bow and arrow, a game of horseshoes, or the occasional shooting contest.

Events at corporate headquarters are best described as harmonious gatherings of friends and family with sounds of children's laughter, the beauty of Idaho nature, and the warm feeling in one's soul of living the dream envisioned, and don't forget the s'mores. (Laughs)

To learn more about Chris Burget and the exciting world of camping, hunting, fishing, and the full range of the great outdoors, log on to his great website.