Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Social Media...it's not an age thing!!

Hey there,

So every now and then it comes up when talking about social media: generation generalizations, particularly the younger ones not being able to disconnect and the older ones not connecting at all.

Photo from Pew Internet report
on Older Adults and
Social Media
Which is where the impetus for this post is coming from. Because I was recently a part of a conversation in which a person older than me who doesn't personally use social media projected their own communication preferences among the rest of their age demographic.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that the perception is reinforced by their circle of friends. But to say that older people as a whole are not on social media, as if it were a fact...well...it ignores the facts.

Everything is relative, though. I'm sure part of the reinforcement is that compared to younger generations, older ones might not be on, in the same sheer quantities. But they've been catching up.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has had a couple of relevant pieces in the past couple of years, one particularly looking at older adults and social networking.

In 2010, Mary Madden did an overview about their Older Adults and Social Media report. The overview begins with:
"While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010."
She even briefly mentioned Twitter:
"At the same time, the use of status update services like Twitter has also grown—particularly among those ages 50-64. One in ten internet users ages 50 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others."
Again, might not be as much of a percentage as other age demographics, but the pattern of growth is certainly noteworthy. I highly recommend checking out the rest of the overview and the actual replort, even though 2010 seems like such a long time ago now. I especially recommend it if you like crunching numbers, and would like some to pull out the next time someone says that older people don't do social media.

She also gave a presentation in 2011 which is available at their website.

Just this past November, Joanna Brenner posted some commentary, Pew Internet: Social Networking (full detail).

While she provides a general overview, one graph that was particularly relevant was this.

That grey line (I'm sure it wasn't intentional) represents users age 65+ of social networks, which has been growing steadily over the past several years. The lighter blue line right above it is 50-64 year olds. Which has also been growing steadily, and then made a particularly noticeable jump in '12.

30-49 years olds have more or less leveled off. The 18-29 year olds had leveled off, and then jumped in '12, but being in the 90 percentile, there's only so much more room for growth.

All that being said, older people are clearly on social media in steadily increasing numbers, with almost 4 of 10 65+ year olds, and almost 6 out of 10 50-64 year olds.

So the next time you're having a discussion with someone of any age about older people not being on social media, you can better inform them.

Because it's not whether or not a particular demographic is on social media, whether it be age, race, etc., but it's about where they are and deciding to be there too.

You know, time, energy, money...resources in general, provided. Let me know what you think, if you've been a part of similar conversations, and what your own personal experiences have been,

- JR

Monday, January 28, 2013

The first Ingress DMV Ceasefire Happy Hour

Hey there,

So this past Saturday was our first local cease fire happy hour for Ingress players in the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia area. If you're not familiar with the "game", I recommend you check out my post on ten things to know about the Niantic Project.

One of the main organizers, of the event and of the local Enlightened faction, Andrew Krug, posted a great recap of the night, on Google+. To which I simply say read it, and I concur.

So here are some of my highlights.

To kick it off, it was my first time using Google+'s Party Mode!! Read more at the link, but it allows anyone who's at an Event on Google+ to upload photos and videos to a joint album, in real-time.

So, when I got to the event, we had color-coded name tags, depending on which faction we belonged to, the Resistance or the Enlightened.

One of the guys from my faction, the Enlightened, had made special pins for Level 8 operatives.

By the time I got to the bar, I was actually just 8 points away from reaching level 8, and I waited until 8pm to remote recharge a resonator to level up.

Anyway, was great meeting old and new friends, meaning people who's screen names I've been seeing for weeks and months on the app, as well as new folk from lands a little more distant.

More than anything, I did not feel the animosity I was afraid I would feel when I met players from the other faction. As Andrew mentioned in his own post linked above, we just shared stories of run-ins or narrow misses, but then just got to know each other, where we lived, what we did.

And at times some of us discussed what was going on with the story, and where it all might be leading as well as how it would affect..."gameplay".

As an arts manager, it was great being able to hear how much people appreciated this simple yet effective gaming prompt to be more aware of public art, as well as other geo-specific landmarks, buildings, and historical places.

Anyway, good times. I even stayed longer than I was supposed to, as I was seeing a show right after, at the Artisphere. Fortunately it was not even 10 minutes away.

Already looking forward to the next one. Just loved that, while we could have focused on the thing that divided us, why we chose the side we did, we simply connected with each other, in real life.

When was the last time you heard about a group of 40 or so people do that because of a game they all played on their mobile device,


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Singing at HRC's Out for Equality event: AMAZING!!

Hey there,

So I had mentioned in a previous post that the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington was performing at the Human Right Campaign's Out for Equality Inaugural Celebration.

It was amazing. We started off the evening with a flashmob-esque performance of the National Anthem. Then after one of our small ensembles performed, we wrapped up our set "Make Them Hear You" from Ragtime: The Musical.

Check out this clip of one of our small ensembles performing it in Denver this past summer, at Gala Choruses quadrennial festival. It's a clip of their entire set, but the song kicks it off

After we finished, the host for the evening, Ross Matthews kicked off the celebration. He brought up to stage our first round of political guests, Sen. Al Franken, Gov. Maggie Hassan, and Mayor Cory Booker, all phenomenal presences.

Tammy Baldwin also graced us with her presence. She was amazing.

After an interlude of music and dancing, another round of speakers came up, Rep. Sean Patrick MaloneyRep. Jared Polis, & Rep. Mark Takano.

It was particularly great seeing Rep. Mark Takano speak, being the first LGBT person of color in Congress, which the Advocate had a great piece on in November, as an LGBT person of color myself.

Ross Matthews then introduced the next musical guest for the evening, Frenchie Davis. After a couple of songs, she asked a selection of guys from GMCW to join her on stage for one final number, "Seasons of Love" from RENT.

There's my big chorus brother, Marcus, singing with her up front. And she was phenomenal!!

Anyway, appearances and singing aside, it was a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of HRC's event celebrating President Barack Obama's second inauguration, with GMCW,

- JR

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Using Tabbedout at Nellie's from now on

Hey there,

So I wanted to blog about an app I had previously mentioned in a post, Eating and drinking and apps, oh my!! I discussed three apps that were related to dining out and drinking. Two of them were LevelUp  and Belly. The third was Tabbedout, and is the focus of this post.

As I also mentioned in the other post, I had actually almost forgotten about this app, but fortunately Nellie's Sports Bar (or as I like to clarify, a sports-themed gay bar) in DC has a reminder in one of its doors.

And in keeping with my New Year's resolution to take advantage of mobile apps like this, I made sure to do so when I went last Sunday. And, oh my gosh, was it super simple!!

I showed the app to a couple of friends I was with and they were amazed, so I thought I'd break down just how easy it is to use.

First, when you open it, the default tab gives you a list of nearby locations which use it:

Select the establishment you are patronizing, and you will see a button to Open Tab. Also note that next to it is an option to Join Existing Tab.

Personally, I think the ability to join an existing tab is genius, particularly if you're at a restaurant!! You don't have to worry about having to break down the check with your server. Your entire party (well, at least those that have the app) can do it form the comfort of their own mobile screens, which they've probably been using a handful of times over the course of the meal or drinks, anyway.

But I digress. Once you've opened the tab, you get a five letter code for you bill for the night, which the app asks you to show to your server.

That's it. If you go back to the same guy, more likely than not he'll remember you. And you can check your tab at any time back on your phone.

And the BEST part? Because you never gave your card to the bar, you can not just view, but pay for your tab on your mobile device, avoiding the often unnecessary trip of going back to your original bartender, just to close your tab. This also means there's no chance of you ever forgetting your credit card there.

It's even got a handy dandy tip calculator, to appropriately express your gratitude monetarily.

And when all is said and done, there's the obligatory Thank You screen.

As well as an option to email yourself a receipt.

Which shows up almost instantaneously in your inbox, attached in PDF form.

You might be wondering about fees, particularly if you didn't notice any. Well there aren't. Outside of a very minuscule initial transaction they do to verify payment, an amount less than a dollar which they refund, it doesn't cost you, as the customer, any more financially to use this free app.

Personally sounds like a win-win, and a reason I might just start going to Nellie's a little more than I do.

At least until other bars and clubs start picking up the service, too,


Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration '13 Cheat Sheet...mostly on Twitter

So here's an Inauguration Cheat Sheet:

Bookmark #inauguration.

Check out the join transportation plan, and here's the map if that's more your style.

What a pedestrian specific map? They've got it up at Google Docs.

Keep track of the convo with #Inaug2013

Have fun, be safe, stay warm, keep hydrated,


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Performing with GMCW at HRC's Inaugural Ball

Hey there,

So it's still sinking in. I'm performing with the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, at the Human Rights Campaign's Inaugural celebration, Out for Equality.

We'll be singing the National Anthem and several other songs. We join a line-up that includes, Cyndi Lauper, Audra MacDonald, Will Swenson, and Frenchie Davis!!

And the set-up...well I took some photos and video, but don't want to spoil the surprise. So for now, you'll just have to settle for a photo of us gettings some pre-sound check notes.

I guess it's one of those things where you get so used to the rhythm of the rehearsals, and it just becomes what you do, that opportunities like this really put things back into perspective, not just the work we do as an organization, but how far we've come as an LGBT community.

Speaking of which, how's this for a timely flashback, GMCW's appearance at the We Are One Inaugural opening ceremony from 2009, with Josh Groban and Heather Headley.

Yes, there's still much work to do, but celebrations like these, being a part of history as we celebrate the second inauguration of President Barack Obama...I'm getting emotional just sitting here, taking a breath, and thinking about it.

So in about 24 hours from now...I'm looking forward to doing work I could not have imagined I'd be doing, still sharing chorale music, like I was when I was a boy soprano at the Washington National Cathedral, about a couple of decades ago.

For anyone who's there, I hope you take photos and videos, and let me know if you do. Would like to see and share 'em.

Just glad to be a part of this moment, and appreciative and humbled now, more than ever, of being a member of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington,

Yours in song,


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stairmaster...for Dancers


So I've got another stairmaster post. My initial one was examining the Fatburner program, but this one is looking at using a stair machine through a dancer's lens.

Disclaimer: I received my B.A. from the University of Maryland in Dance.

So besides the calorie burn, I wanted to highlight three things I love to work on as a dancer, when on a stair machine:

  1. Turnout - Because you are constantly in motion, it does not give one the chance to do what some dancers do, and force their turnout. So rotating from your hip and then spiraling down and through the leg, where your foot is placed when it hits the stair is where your turnout is. Sometimes, I'll even alternate between turnout and parallel.
  2. Slow Extension - Imagine you're doing one-legged Pliés...each step up is just the recovery portion of it. One of my sub-goals is not to step up in bursts of energy, so I'm bobbing, but rather to do a slow press so that the movement is even. This speaks to my goal of good "form", from my post about the Four "F"s which sum up my workout objectives, as a dancer. One thing that helps me with this, with the slow press, is to imagine a space-hold with my torso, particularly with my head.
  3. Through the Toe - At the end of each step, roll through your foot, before disengaging it to step up. So yes, an Elevé, or rise, in English, for those with technique. This will help strengthen those calves and help prep for jumps, particularly if you do it consistently with each step, during your entire time on the stair machine.
And then rinse and repeat with the other leg. :-)

So, it didn't click until the third point, that I could've just described using the stairmaster as a series of single-legged Relevés. Just in case, a Relevé is just an Elevé from a Plié position.
Anyway, that's that, just my thoughts about using stair machines as a dancer. And I'm sure I'm not the first one. Curious as to who else does this, as well as other training thoughts dancers have had when using stair machines.

Let me know in the comments,


Monday, January 14, 2013

Dancer workout goals: My Four F's

Hey there,

So I wanted to write a piece about my four goals working out as a dancer. To put this into context, it's been forever since I've worked out...at a gym...with weights...regularly. It's been since running Varisty Track in high school at St. Albans. And I graduated from high school in '99...

Anyway, thanks to an awesome roommate, I had the opportunity to work out again regularly, beginning this past November, at Vida Fitness. As a dancer, though, I had certain goals in mind, and so wanted to share them. And yay for alliteration, as I will share them as my Four F's!! Check 'em out, let me know what you think.

Visuals are thanks completely to Autumn Mist Belk, a colleague and friend from our overlapping tenure in UMD's Dance Program, and Artistic/Executive Director of Code f.a.d. Company, based in NC, who responded to a request for photos to compliment this piece.
Indulge, choreo Autumn Mist Belk
Photographer Stephen Aubuchon
Performer Kelley Y. Murphy

  • Flexibility - This is probably my highest priority. While flexibility speaks directly to range of motion, on a philosophical level it addresses my desire to have more options for movement, a wider range of choices for articulation.

    Regardless of whatever else I do, I will not work out at the expense of limiting my ability to move. I don't want to work out just to look good, but for my body to work well. At the least I want to maintain my current range of motion, but at best I want to consistently increase it.
Yves Saint Laurent: Fashion Manifesto
choreo by Autumn Mist Belk
Performer: Brooks Owens
Photographer: Mike Harten
  • Force - This is probably my lowest priority, but still a priority. Force addresses my goal to increase my strength, particularly upper body.

    It also relates to flexibility, though. I can stretch all I want, in mostly static grounded positions, but then I need the muscles to be able to take advantage of that as well.

    Force also relates to just moving through space in general, particularly vertically, as the photo Autumn selected for this element so wonderfully depicts.
Coiffure, choreo by Autumn Mist Belk
Performer: Jill Bradley Hall
Photographer: Jameka Autry
  • Function - Function is the larger context for my workout goals. I want to do things that are functional as a dancer.

    This means that I keep in mind how a muscle group I'm working on applies to movement vocabulary I know, and affects it. Or if I'm doing cardio, how it is prepping me for extended choreographic pieces. Even with lifting weights, it's not a matter of how much I want to lift, but how much I need to lift, specifically my own limbs, my own body weight (particularly with inversion work as pictured), as well as partnering.
Dancer: Autumn Mist Belk
Photographer: Bridget Daily
  • Form - And finally form. Form, as I'm defining it for my purposes, relates to the form of the movement. What comes immediately to mind is working with weights. I don't just want to be able to lift a certain amount, but I want to be able to lift it well, in control and fluid, fulfilling the movement as well as keeping my muscles engaged.

    I notice some people lift weights with a large amount of immediate force, but then the returning motion is often sloppy and unengaged. A specific example might be a bicep curl, how the initial burst will provide momentum to complete flexion and then the extension is completely released.

    And I know it's a choice or a preference, and I'm not saying it's wrong. However, as a dancer, I suppose I treat my lifting the way I treat my plies, that the movement is sustained & even, and the muscles engaged in both flexion and extension.

    Because as dancers, it's not just about completing the movement, but often being able to give tempo and rhythm to it. It's about the aesthetic of it, not just getting there, but how we get there. So I treat my workout the same way, often times using the music playing and lifting in time to it.
Anyway, so there's that. Many thanks to Autumn, for providing the wonderful photos!! Make sure to check out her company, Code f.a.d. Company. And the "f.a.d." stands for "film. art. dance.". You can also like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube.

And in terms other dancers working out, let me know what goals you keep in mind. How and why do you work out? How do you apply your dance training to your gym routine and how do your workouts affect and impact your dance? Have you ever switched up what you did based on the demands of a particular piece?

Would love to hear all about it in the comments, especially if it relates to any work coming up!!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Great Charity Happy Hour for SMYAL last night

Hey there,

 So I went to my first Meetup last night. Ever.

I'd been on the site for years, but then this one came long, and I thought why not.

It was hosted by the 20s & 30s Going Out Group at Ultrabar, right at 9th & F St, NW.

And it was a charity happy hour, of which 80% of the donations collected were going to SMYAL, the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League here in DC, an organization for LGBT youth, of which I am actually an alumn.

It was a well attended event, and a great mix of folk, both 1st timers to the group, and veterans. Met a handful of people working on PhD's, as well as some tax folk, and IT people. I was the token arts & nonprofit person, it seemed, representing, which was fun. I even met someone who works at the International Spy Museum and knew a friend of mine who just started there, working with their media.

Small world, right?

It seems like most of the people in attendance were just looking to meet fresh faces, as well as find things to do. So as a SpeakeasyDC board member, I did my due diligence and suggested they check out our monthly open mic at Town Danceboutique. And, yes, I had brought our cards with me, just in case the need arose. And it did.

Speaking of board members doing their due diligence, as I was leaving and just about at the door, I was stopped by a member of SMYAL's Board of Directors, Billy Feitweis. He had actually recognized me from seeing a tweet of mine which @SMYALDC retweeted, about going to the event.
I obviously appreciated that he took the time to say hello and connect. And I especially love that it happened because of social media!!

So yeah good people, good cause, good times. Hoping to catch up with the new friends I made last night, as well as looking forward to the next 20's & 30's Going Out Group event. What's especially great is that even though it says 20's & 30's, a regular attendee told me that it clarified it on the website, that the group was for people who were, or simply still felt like they were in their 20's & 30's.

Which is good...I was afraid I only had 8 more years of being involved. And hey, if you're in the DC area, maybe I'll see you at an event soon,

- JR

Best wedding proposal ever & a question for the Arts

Hey there,

So several friends shared this video on Facebook, one which previously made its rounds, but has resurfaced, as such things often do online.

To which I shared with the following:
So thanks to Andrew, Salman, & Joe for sharing this video, which I also shared previously but couldn't help but watch again. Trying not to tear up from sheer and unbridled warm squishy feelings, mostly due to being able to hear her reaction to each addition to the experience. 
Also, the arts manager in me can't help but kick in and wonder if established arts organizations (in general) are missing a chance to be a part of crafting experiences like this, engaging & participatory, to bring the arts to people where they are, instead of just having audiences come to them? 
I am aware that I might also just be out of it, and this is being done more than I know, as well as that a proposal is a very singular example for a singular audience.
Don't get me wrong, I believe the theatre and the stage are a sacred place and will always have an essential and crucial part in my life and in society. But there's just something beautiful and magical about this...
At some point I wonder if it's an American thing, because in other countries I feel like you to have the dearth of citizens who proclaim themselves not artistic when interacting with someone who's pursued any semblance of an artistic life, whether professional, community, or whatever.

I refer to moments like when people find out I'm a dancer, and (as if to validate my own ability) they immediately testify to the lack of any ability to move rhythmically in a coordinated fashion.

But I digress. I love these instances of participatory and public art, like flash mobs. In fact you can check out my post from last month about Holiday Flash Mobs, with what I thought was a diverse selection.

Anyway, what do you think? Is there an opportunity for artists and arts organizations as a sector to help make those special moments in people's lives, those celebrations, that much more special? Or even to make the every day and mundane ones extraordinary?

And has it already been happening and (as I mentioned above) I just don't know? If that's the case, please help keep me updated and share any recent public displays of art.

Either way, I'm excited and inspired!! Definitely looking to see the opportunities in my own life to do things like this,

- JR

Looking for a Digital Media certificate program

Hey there,

So a couple of nights ago, I had dinner with the 'rents. I'm definitely grateful that I still live in the same city as them, and don't take the opportunity to see them as much as I want to and probably should. And yes, doing so is one of my New Year's resolutions.

And, don't get me wrong, I love them, but once we bring up work and careers, particularly my own, the inevitable happens: my dad informs me that I should be making more money. And I love my current place of employment and it pays adequately, but I also realize that with an M.A. in Arts Management from American University, I'm also at the lower end of the pay range for that degree.

I credit my dad's advice with maybe not knowing what the current job market is like as well as the fact that working for a non-profit does not mean we work for change. I mean, I was fortunate to get a job right out of grad school, with the position offered to me before the interview was over. And the organization regularly communicates how much my effort is appreciated and valued.

But I digress. Part of what my dad did put out there which struck a chord, was taking a look at technical certificate programs. He went on to talk about how good I am with computers, and how I could earn extra and maybe even more money doing additional contract work. I wanted to remind him, that's kind of been my plan with social media and that I've already started doing that, both paid and pro bono.

So, even though it wasn't what he had in mind, I'm sure, I decided to google "social media certification". This was where my search started.

And the first result to pop up for me was an article at Social Media Today from 2011, The "Social Media Certificate" - Smart Move or Scam? by Tom Pick. From the get-go, he has no qualms about letting know exactly what his answer to his question is:
A growing number of community colleges, vocational schools, online universities, technical colleges and even big-name universities are now offering social media certificate programs (Google this if you like, I don’t want to legitimize any of them with a link). It’s understandable why the purveyors offer them—unemployment is high, social media is a hot topic, the federal government is still willing to spend our great-great-grandchildren’s future taxes on questionable education grants today—but are such programs really a good idea for students? When companies hire, does having a social media certificate really differentiate a job candidate?
In the piece, viewing social media as a tool, he compares having a social media certificate to having an Excel certificate, and...well I'm sure you get the idea.

Regardless, this didn't discourage my search, but actually energized it. As he seemed to draw comments from mostly like-minded folk, one person wrote:
"Well I think the idea of social media certification itself is absurd. Its funny how people think that they need to be certified in everything in order to prove their skills. It really is like being a certified artist or musician. I don’t need to be certified to prove I know how to rock."
I'm guessing this person missed the memo that the Arts are legitimate majors, and require skills and techniques that can be learned and refined, regardless of innate talent. And then the light bulb came on. Different people have different views of the value of education. For these people, the paper (certificate, diploma, whatever) isn't worth the time or money. They'll figure it out on their own, which is fine and valid, don't get me wrong. I suppose it's a matter of personal preference and learning styles.

But for me, the value isn't in what you get at the end, it's the process. It's the curriculum. It's the opportunity to discuss relevant subjects in a safe setting without real consequences (other than your grade), and to receive information and context from peers and professionals that have probably put much more thought and energy into the value and structure of a social media program than the author of the piece above.

So, you've probably guessed, I'm one of those people that appreciates learning in the Ivory Tower. I wouldn't be where I am now, as soon as I am, if I didn't have the knowledge and generate the appropriate critical thinking skills and vocabulary for the nonprofit arts sector, that I do from AU's program. Sure, I would've learned it all in time, and I suppose in the end it will always cost time or money.

Back to the certificate search. I must add, one other reason this is appealing to me is because with a couple of recent job applications, I personally know that having a certificate like this on my resume, could only help position me above other candidates that don't. All things being equal, that's generally the way it works. Unless a company or organization doesn't see value in that, so I suppose it ultimately depends on its culture.

I go further with the results, and see that HootSuite has an online University which provides its own certification upon completion. Now I'm not sure how long HootSuite U has been available, but I can see some of where the sentiment might come from, in terms of looking at social media certification warily. But I also see the value in Hootsuite U, and might enroll myself. I appreciate knowledge, and I don't think the majority of people who set up programs like this are doing it just to make a quick buck.

But then I come across AU's Digital Media Skills Online Certification. Not only is this a program at my alma mater, but it's online!! I took note of that, but also revised my search to "digital media certification". This provided another local program in the first page of results, Georgetown University's Certificate in Digital Media Management.

I look to see if there are any other local universities offering digital media certificate programs, but those seem like the only ones, and they're both appealing choices for different reasons. AU's is online, only requires 5 courses, and seems geared towards skills. Georgetown's is in person, requires 7 courses, and seems focused on strategy and implementation.

If could do both I would, but for now time to go back to the 'rents and talk them through this and see what they think. And that's mostly just so I can have an excuse to go back and have dinner with them.

What do you think about digital and/or social media certificate or degree programs? Do you agree with Tom in his piece? Does it depend? Do you have a certificate yourself, and how has it served you, or not?

Please let me know in the comments. And I'll keep you updated about this next chapter in my professional development,

- JR

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 reasons I won't follow back on Twitter

Hey there,

So I've been doing some seasonal pruning of Twitter accounts I manage. Realizing that there are general rules I've started following when it comes to following other tweeps back, so I thought I'd share some of 'em.

These are just 10 reasons why I might not follow someone back:
  1. If your profile pic is still the Twitter egg.
  2. If your profile bio is blank.
  3. If you haven't tweeted since 2011 or before.
  4. If the hashtag #TeamFollowBack appears in your bio and/or Tweets.
  5. If you drop the "N" word in your profile or your tweets.
  6. If I don't see you mention or RT other tweeps in your stream, even after scrolling down a reasonable amount.
  7. If you tweet the same content multiple times within a short period of time, which I would put out there as an hour or less.
  8. If the majority of your tweets are sync'ed to your Facebook posts.
  9. If you haven't tweeted at all.
  10. If you tweet in an language other than English, and Google Chrome can't translate.
So there's that. Whada you think?

Do you have any? Please share in the comments,


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Twitter Tweekly Twednesday Twrap-up

Hey there,

So...yeah, that subject was a force. It sounded better in my head. That's it...just don't try to sat it out loud.

Anyway, this past week was so great on Twitter (and I really don't know what I even think that, because I don't even think I've had a "bad" week on Twitter), but I just wanted to share some of my highlights, ten to be exact.

Who knows, maybe this'll become a regular thing. I suppose part of why I'm doing this, is just to give myself a chance to reflect, but also to provide an example to some of my friends who still "don't get" Twitter, about how it's different from Facebook. More conversational, and more about connecting to people and organizations or companies you're not necessarily friends or family with.

So to kick it off, the first highlight was YMCA DC responding to my reply to their tweet asking the Twittersphere if we'd drank enough H2O, among other things.
And as the convo went on, I got retweeted by DC Tap.
I had a tweet favorited by Peter Marks!!
And I had an old school RT from the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
US Airways replied to a tweet I tagged them in, about my upcoming trip to Mexico:
And the Foundation Center DC gave me kudos for a blog post I did about several free classes of theirs I signed up for:
Lisner Auditorium expressed excitement for GMCW's spring show:
As did their ED, Maryann Lombardi:
And ending on a couple of personal notes, although there were a number of personal interactions over the week that were just as great, these are obviously in my mind as they are the most recent.

My theatre colleague and friend, Jon Jon, expressed gratitude for my live tweeting of tips from the Foundation Center DC this morning:
And finally, another theatre colleague tweeting me encouragement to work out, when I was having second thoughts:
So that's it. Let's see what the next week brings,


4 weeks 'til I go to Mazatlán's Carnival!!

Hey there,

In four weeks, I'll be visiting Nico in Mazatlan, for their Carnival!!

So, Nico and I met at the American Dance Festival in 2006, held at Duke University, in Durham, NC. It was an amazing summer after I finished my undergrad at the University of Maryland, for Dance. It was an incredible 6 weeks of meeting phenomenal dancers from all over the country and the world, dancing 4 days a week for at least 4 hours a day.

Nico has been studying and is wrapping up his final year at the Escuela Profesional de Danza De Mazatlán (the school of Delfos danza contemporánea, I believe; my Spanish is a little rusty, and Google can only translate text, not flash, obviously). And after visiting me in DC a couple of times, it was time for me to make it there. Disclaimer: I have an awesome mother who used up some of her reward points to help get me the airplane ticket for the trip, as an early birthday present. Thank you mom!!

This will be my first trip to Mexico and I feel like I'm going to be spoiled. Not just going for Carnival, sure, but also going to visit someone I met years ago at such a formative event in my life, with such an intimate knowledge of the city.

So stay tuned for more posts leading up to, during, and after this trip. I'm going to do some research as to sites to see, but I'm also going to trust my local guide, as well as just enjoy the ride, during my time at Mazatlan's Carnival.

Now I just need to figure out what I need to do with my cell phone plan while I'm there...

- JR

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Foundation Center classes and the return of Big Duck

Hey there,

So I was in a Fundraising committee meeting for SpeakeasyDC last night (of which I am a board member), and one of my fellow board members mentioned wanting to take advantage of the resources of the Foundation Center's location in Washington DC.

It's been a while since I've been, but they have a regular schedule of classes and trainings, many of which are free. You can check out their calendar here.

And before the night was over, I signed up for several of them. The first two are ones that they provide regularly (one of which is tomorrow and they still had space for!!), and the third one is a special program:
What I love about that last one, other than the Valentine's day themed title, is that the guest presenter is Farra  Trompeter, VP of Big Duck. My first experience with Big Duck was also at the Foundation Center DC last September, and it was with Principal and Founder, Sarah Durham.

You check out select tweets from that workshop on Brandraising, a model Big Duck developed, storified here. After that, I posted at my Hashtag the Arts blog, my top ten takeaways from it. This also informed a piece I wrote as prep for an #ArtsMgtChat I was hosting, Your Artists on Social Media: An Essential Part of Brandraising.

Needless to say, I'm a fan, and am grateful for the perspective I was introduced to, and am VERY excited to attend this class with Ms. Trompeter. And if you're free and available, I would highly recommend you register and sign up for it as well.

Wondering if you should attend? They recommend the following attend:
Nonprofit executive, communications, development, board members, or marketing staff. This workshop will be most helpful if you have an existing list of supporters, a website that can process donations, a database for tracking contributions, and a system for sending email blasts.
Definitely check out the class page for more info, including what you'll get from the workshop. And hopefully see you there, either for some donor love or either of the other classes.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

NMWA's New York Ave Sculpture Project: A Closer Look


So, I'm not much a visual arts person. Not by choice, just be experience and preference. But playing Ingress has really made me want to take a much closer look than I have before.  It is an augmented reality game that takes things in the physical world, public art, buildings, etc., and makes them objects to interact with in the virtual world, in the form of portals.

And if you find something that doesn't appear as a portal in the game, you can take a geo-tagged picture of it, and submit it for consideration. So far, work I've submitted has consistently been approved, three of which I mention in a previous blog post.

Today, I wanted to blog about four new findings, all part of the National Museum for Women in the Arts' New York Ave Sculture Project's current exhibit. The work on display is that of Chakaia Booker, and the exhibit opened March 8, 2012 and will end March 9, 2014. So as of the time of this post, you still have a little over a year to catch it.

Ms. Booker is only the second artist to be displayed in this exhibition series. From NMWA's website:
Based in New York, Booker (American, born 1953) works almost exclusively with recycled tires that are cut, shaped and folded, then woven into dynamic, highly textured sculptures. Her large-scale expressive works fuse ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender.

Honestly, my mind was blown when I read this. As much as I'd walked and driven by them, I never bothered to wonder what material they were made of, much less what each piece was called. And now that I do, I'm beginning to get just that much more from them and what they mean to me.

What inspired me, though, was playing Ingress and seeing that the only a single portal exists for the sculpture project and it is of a piece from the previous, inaugural exhibit.

So I took pictures and submitted them for consideration. Here are the four pieces she has up:

Pass the Buck, 2008

Gridlock, 2008

Take Out, 2008

Shape Shifter, 2012

Yes, that last piece she made specifically for this exhibit. There's a nice, succinct blog about it and her exhibit here, in the Washington Post from last March.

Now one thing I love about public art, and a lot of the monuments and memorials around DC, is how different they look at night. So, I walked by these pieces before rehearsal at a church down the street, and by the time I left...well, here's what they look like at night, photos taken by myself, again:

Anyway, hope you get a chance to check these pieces out in real life, for yourself.

And for my fellow Ingress players, if you're with me and the Enlightened, you can trust that I will be very passionate about maintaining these for our faction. If you're with the Resistance...you've been warned.

Stay tuned for more posts about public art I've come to appreciate more, all because I'm "playing a game" on my mobile device. But assuming this is another example of how the shapers have influenced us...what do these pieces mean?

And yes, the arts manager in me is all sorts of fascinated by this and wondering how to collect data and feedback from other players regarding their interaction with and appreciation of public art, if and how it's changed.

Thoughts? Do you play? Similar experiences (re)discovering public art/new portals? Would you like to weigh in? Please do so in the comments,