Perform Naked! You Can Do It With Your Clothes On

February 2, 2012

Posted by James Navé

A couple of days ago, I was standing on the subway platform at Grand   Army Plaza, Brooklyn. The electronic sign above the tracks announced the train’s arrival in two minutes.

Since I’d been thinking that performing naked made the difference between an exciting public reading/presentation and a boring one, I decided to synchronize the recording of my thoughts with the arrival of the train.

I stood close to the edge of the platform. Watch what happened: Perform Naked!

Mobile Blog: From My iPad to Your Pad

February 24, 2011

The post in Preview mode

On the go a lot, I am always looking for ways to lighten my load and accomplish more. That’s why I was happy to find the two cool apps that allow me to blog on my iPad.

WordPress for iOS
Although not as robust of course as the regular application, it does offer quite a lot. You can import media, photos or video, as well as view and delete comments and pages. It allows you to add more than one blog too, which makes it easy to go back and forth without logging in and out. You compose the post in the “write” mode, then click on “preview” to view it, much as you do in the regular WordPress.  There is no visual mode, so once the post is written, you have to edit without seeing the photos, only the html coding of them. (see below.)

The post after it is published. Photos only visible in html mode.

This is one of the coolest iOS photo apps I have seen–and it’s free. Before I found it I had downloaded Adobe Photoshop Express. It allows you to adjust exposure and contrast, and has some cool borders and effects, but I rarely use those. What I really needed was the ability to scale my photos to exactly the right pixel width for my blogs. Photoshop Express offers cropping, flipping, straightening, and rotating, but not scaling. Here’s where Photopad really works for me!

In the top navigation you select your photos from the photo library on your iPad. Cropping and rotation, paint brushes, paint bucket, color adjustments and special filters are located in the tools menu accessible at the top of the screen. There is also a history, so you can retrace your steps and go back to something earlier if you change your mind.

Cropping is easily managed by manually dragging the edges of the bounding box with your fingers. When you like what you have created, just tap the check mark in the upper right of your screen. Done. If you don’t like it, no problem. Just tap the “x” on the top left and it will bring you back to the original.

The brush tool lets you draw on the image. Great for adding notations, such as the arrow I placed on the above image.

Want to  create artwork from your photos? There are some cool things you can achieve with the filters. The example above was created using the “abstract” filter.

This image was posterized. Kind of cool, eh?

But my favorite feature is the scaling mode. It allows you–albeit a bit slowly–to adjust up or down the actual pixel height and width of the image (in green.) Photopad does not constrain the ratio, so I took note of the percentage (x1.00) on one, then matched the other to that. It worked perfectly.

Once I saved my images, they were in my photo library and I could upload them into the WordPress app to post from there.

Now go blog from anywhere!

I’m Thinking of Cheating on Facebook

February 10, 2011

I am, and I feel horrible. What kind of person does that make me? We’ve been together for a good five years now and suddenly out of nowhere I’m bored? And for no good reason, Facebook has been so good to me. He’s always there with good news first thing in the morning, and something sweet and nostalgic to say good-night with. He has kept me company on lonely nights, kept me connected to friends and family overseas, he has even gone out of his way to find long lost friends and reconnect us. And he makes me look good, too – reminding me of people’s birthdays and keeping me updated on current events.

And he respects my independence, gives me space. In fact all he requires is a check in, a fix whenever I need it. I can tell him when I want him to call or write me, I can even tell him how much or how little about our relationship he can share. And he is so organized! My photo albums and musings were one hot mess till he showed me an easy way to keep them under control. And he’s fun too, with all these games and so in the know with social events and art openings. But here’s the thing, I met a new guy at my sister’s house over the holidays and made friends with him. He and I have been in touch, and now he wants me to go out with him. At first I didn’t take him seriously, but the more I find out about him the more I want to know. He’s a straight up man of a few words, 140 to be exact. I like the way he challenges me to think about the efficiency of language, and that sound he makes when he has something to say – so sexy!

I think Facebook is starting to notice. He hasn’t said anything yet, but how could he not? We used to talk all the time, but lately I’ve only been check in when twitter’s quiet. Should I talk to Facebook? If do talk to him, what do I say?

Maybe I can date them both…why, oh why can’t we all just get along?


About the Author
Tish Vallés was born in New York and raised in Manila (during the years of the Philippines’ martial law) by her Spanish father and Filipino mother.

For almost twenty years, Tish has worked with brands and their power.  She was Planning Director at Ogilvy Manila at the height of that company’s creative and commercial growth.  She spent six years as Regional Planning Director at Ogilvy Asia Pacific, where she was responsible for the strategic direction and stewardship of leading brands across the region’s twelve markets. Global brands on which Tish has worked include: Dove, Pond’s, Pampers, Hyatt, Pfizer, Kraft, Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, Kotex, Listerine, Tylenol and Huggies.

Having lived in Manila, Bacolod, Singapore, Bangkok and New Mexico, Tish is now based in New York, where she is an independent strategic consultant. Her roster of global clients includes: Big Green Door, a London-based Marketing Innovation Consultancy; Strawberry Frog New York, a boutique agency that builds brands by sparking cultural movements; Ogilvy Healthworld and t-3: The Think Tank. Tish also heads Strategic Stiletto, an independent brand advocacy consultancy firm.

Also a social entrepreneur whose focus is on harnessing the power of digital technology for the empowerment of those who need it most, Tish is Co-Founder of the Women’s Worldwide Web and a board member of the Nepalese Youth Foundation. You can follow her on Twitter and on her two blogs: Strategic Stiletto and An Accidental American.

Had Jack Kerouac Been a Blogger

January 22, 2011

Jack Kerouac’s typewriter on display in Lowell, MA.
Photo from The Beat Museum on Wheels, via Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub

by James Navé, Co-Facilitator, The Blog Workshops

In a recent post from, Logan Zanelli contributed an article entitled 125 Tips For Building and Irresitable Brand. Zanelli opens by asking: “How, exactly, do you create a brand that’s irresistible to your audience and positions you as an authority?

Zanelli asks 125 provocative questions that he uses in his coaching to help people build a personal brand.  If you’re as curious as I am, and I suspect you are, you would, as I did, read on.

After reading all the questions, I decided to answer them. Here’s the first question followed by my answer.

“What drives you? Is there an emotion, need, desire, or past event that motivates you to take action? How can you infuse some of that energy into your brand?”

When I was fifteen I watched my father go to work at the Power Company everyday. He went because of duty, not passion. It was his job, something he had to do to feed his family, a wife, three sons, and one daughter. His passion was music. After work he played music; during work he longed to play music.

One summer’s day, the fear of having to spend my life working like my Father shook me. I decided, precisely at 4:37 pm, while walking down a two lane road, that I would never be subservient to a boss, someone else’s schedule, or the grind of an impersonal workplace.

In that flash, I gave my life over to the unpredictable notion that I could live on my own terms, in my own way, and with a sense of wide eyed joy that would wake me every morning with one question on my lips, “what’s next?”

I seldom quote Jack Kerouac’s The Road. But I think in this case, Old Jack sums up exactly “who and what” I saw when that flash of inspiration surged through.

Here’s what Jack said.

“They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”

There’s a wild spirit that infuses Jack’s quote. It stirs your heart, makes you want to put on something fancy, dance all night and when dawn comes yell out to anyone who is listening, “Here I am world, good morning!”

That is the kind of energy my brand will radiate.

Seven Tips for Getting More Twitter Followers

December 16, 2010

Like a blog, Twitter is a platform for communicating and engaging but in a very limited way: with a maximum of 140 characters. Also known as a ‘microblog,’ it can be one of the best tools for drawing traffic to your blog. Here are five tips for establishing a strong Twitter presence and for engaging effectively:

1. Build Realationships
Be authentic and personal. Social Media is all about establishing relationships, after all that’s why it’s called “social” media. Being open and honest builds trust, encourages connection and word-of-mouth traffic. This will extend to your offline relationship building as well. Some of my biggest followers have also become good friends offline.

2. Share the Wealth
And not just your own: strike a good balance between posting your own content—or pointing to your own blog posts—and sharing what others have to say.
Some “experts” insist that one out of four tweets should be about you, the rest not. Here again, I suggest that the quality of the content you offer up–whether it be on your blog, on Twitter, or in person–is what makes people want to follow you. Would you want to sit next to someone at dinner who had nothing interesting to say or just talked about themselves?

3. Engage: It’s a Two-Way Conversation
Reply to those who tweet you, and, as often as possible, thank folks for their mentions, RTs, and for following you.

4. Be Consistent
Just as you need to blog consistently to establish and retain followers, you need to do the same on Twitter. Although some say one must Tweet 4-5 times per day, I don’t believe there are any hard and fast rules. Using a Twitter client like Hootsuite (my personal favorite), TweetDeck, or Seesmic not only helps you manage your tweets, it allows you to schedule tweets in advance. That said, schedule them for times when you think your followers will be tuned in.

5. Set a Time to Tweet: Timing is Everything
Or is it? Statistics indicate that the best times during the day to Tweet are 9am (just getting to work), Noon (taking that lunch break), 3pm (afternoon coffee break), and 6pm (just before leaving the office.)

6. Make Them Short and Sweet
Keep your tweets short so others can retweet them without going over the 140 character limit. Remember, when someone RTs your tweet, their Twitter handle is added, making the next tweet longer.

7. Incorporate Twitter Into Your Overall Web Strategy
Perhaps this last one should have been the first: Offer people as many opportunities as possible to connect with you. Link Twitter to your other online activity, including your website and/or blog, and your other social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

How to Add Twitter to Facebook

How to Add Twitter to Your Blog (Step-by-Step)

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