Category Archives: work

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When you’re amazing it shows. Ode to a professional gangsta.

You're packin' a mean piece o' steel, Mister.

You’re packin’ a mean piece o’ steel, Mister.

I know when you read the title of this post, you thought, “Oh here he goes again!”

And on a normal day you’d be right.

I would absolutely be talking about me.

Heaping mounds upon mounds of praise on myself, crowing about how great I am at everything I do, and how the world hangs on my every word.

But today, not so much.

You see, today I’m going to heap praise on someone whom I consider a professional gangsta.

Who, I might add, bullied me into even writing this post.

Listen to me when I talk, y’all.

G.A.N.G.S.T.A.

Her name is Dianne Ramlochan.

And she’s not to be trifled with.

In the almost two years that I’ve known her, she has impressed me as one singularly bent on getting her way.

It’s her way or the highway.

Perhaps it’s the only child thing.

Who knows.

But whatever Dianne wants, Dianne gets.

Case in point, I don’t usually “friend” co-workers and professional colleagues on Facebook.

I like to keep my virtual personal world separated from my real professional one. Ya’ dig?

We can be LinkedIn, and you may get a trickle of the virtual real me from the incomprehensibly-difficult-to-disconnect Facebook/LinkedIn nexus.

Can someone pleeeeaaassssseee tell me how to decouple this bullshit?

But by and large, you’re not peepin’ my personal shit online unless you’re digging.

Somehow, though, Ms. Ramlochan managed to Jedi mind trick me into waiving that work-professional life separation.

Don’t you know I friended this heifer?

And she’s following me on Twitter.

She famously quips about how if ever she can’t reach me at my desk via landline, email, mobile phone or text, she’ll “tweet” me.

Tweet me?

How are you going to be tweeting your project manager?

Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous?

But that’s this chick.

To her credit, when I met her, she had just been hired to the team of one of the illest executive dudes I’ve come across to date.

No nonsense Anthony McLoughlin.

This dude was like Miles Finch from Elf – except a lil’ taller.

Point was, you didn’t eff with Anthony.

If you did, it was your ass.

And D worked for this dude.

Trial by fire is all I can say.

But then Anthony left for the West Coast, and Ms. Ramlochan inherited his fiefdom of projects, vendors and responsibilities.

And turned us all into her vassals.

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What it felt like to work for Dianne.

Overnight, we went from watching Dianne do all Anthony’s dirty work, to having to do Dianne’s dirty work.

I still get cold chills thinking about the day Dianne took over…

Homegirl is relentless.

RELENTLESS.

She had one word you never wanted to see come across your email.

“Unacceptable.”

That’s all she’d say.

Unacceptable this.

Unacceptable that.

Unacceptable the other.

Unacceptable, and cats would gets to steppin’!

Chills.

But we worked it out.

And in the process, she pushed through a few apps, next gen mobile web, iPad kiosk update, a couple of mobile web and app-specific pilots, and a tablet web project.

She had help, of course (=your’s truly), but it all went down under her watchful eye.

And now, she’s leaving the nest – where she truly learned to abuse fly – to new shores.

Those of Saks Fifth Avenue – heaven protect you (said in a whisper).

To leave a wake of psychologically traumatized victims forge new trails.

Anywho, on the last day of our professional lives together, I bid her adieu in the best way I know how.

Memorialized in my blog.

There, D. I’ve made you famous.

PS Congratulations on your new job!

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AfroBeatles: Fela + The Beatles. Yoda is real.

The AfroBeatles. John, Ringo, Fela, George and Paul.

The AfroBeatles. John, Ringo, Fela, George and Paul.

I’m sitting in NY Penn Station jamming to an AfroBeatles mash up.

I’m sorry.

What’s an AfroBeatle?

The Afrobeatles are an imaginary group from an alternate universe.

It’s The Beatles meets Fela Kuti.

In this alternate universe, these two musical icons (who, through fate, were never able to collaborate in life) create a musical journey and show us what the “what if” would have looked, sounded and felt like.

This universe contains a series of music and video mash ups of the AfroBeatles musical collabos.

Right now, I’m rocking out to Drive My Car with ODOO.

Its a mash up of the Beatles’ Drive My Car from the Rubber Soul album, and Overtake Don Overtake Overtake (ODOO) from the Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Egypt 80 album of the same name.

This is an assignment I’ve been given by Yoda.

Not this Yoda. The real Yoda.

Not this Yoda. The real Yoda.

Who is Yoda?

He’s my sensei.

I’m his student.

Digital kung fu.

Per Yoda: “If we transplant a concept of any serious value in the digital space, it will germinate and grow. But you must be attentive to it for it to initially sustain itself.”

So I’m documenting AfroBeatles.

Which I’ve just planted in all of you.

Did you see what just happened?

You’ve become part of Yoda’s experiment.

You’re in the Petri dish.

You’ll probably never experience his all-seeing eye.

But it’s on you.

No camera necessary.

You’re already a blip on his mental radar.

You wouldn’t even know how to avoid it if you could.

It’s been trained on all of us for a long time.

I. Sound. Crazy.

One day, you’ll think back on this post and be like “Oh yeah. He did say that was gonna happen.”

That being this AfroBeatles thing.

You’ll be able to point to this post and know when you were officially put down.

It may be because we took a walk down AfroBeatles Lane together.

Or because one day you see your neighbor on TV talking about their “walk down AfroBeatles lane” from an AfroBeatles concert in London.

And you’ll wonder, “how the hell did they get to London?”

I never really listened to the Beatles back in the day, so this will be somewhat an education for me.

Sure, I know a few of their songs, but I can’t say I’m familiar with their full body of work.

My “assignment” from Yoda is to document the AfroBeatles movement.

Including the symposia where the project will be discussed, the concerts and screenings taking place along the way.

Of course, you’re invited.

And I’ll gather more data about you.

I’ve been reflexively typing as I’ve been listening to this, so AfroBeatles music clearly has a creative effect on this listener.

My feet have been tapping this whole time, and I’m bopping my head.

Outside looking in, there’s a dreadlock on the train jamming to something.

Baby you can drive my car…

But if you got up close you would see me rat-a-tat tatting on this iPad.

Anyway, here’s how to formally participate in Yoda’s experiment:

1. Visit AfroBeatles.com (it’s a work in progress)
2. Listen to any mash up in the timeline.
3. Decide for yourself, the minute you finish listening it, within five seconds, whether you want to walk down AfroBeatles Lane.
4. If “yes” document your walk down AfroBeatles Lane. Read the blog, listen to more tracks, download, like, share, comment and become a fellow blip.
5. Record where you are the day AfroBeatles becomes mainstream.

Yoda predicted lots of blips.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Oh…welcome to my world.

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My Top 5 (Productivity) iPad Apps

I’m frequently asked which apps I’ve got on my iPad by friends, colleagues and clients, alike.

Notice OutPost and OmniFocus in my dock.

But unlike most folks, who use their iPads for entertainment and have a gang of apps on their devices, from Angry Birds to HBO Go, and everything in between, I primarily use my iPad for work, and my apps are focused on productivity.

And while I’m sure you were ready for a juicy, fun, exciting or at least interesting “top 5 apps” list, this one will probably be very dry by comparison.

But among my six loyal readers, I’m certain that one of you will be rewarded with a salient or applicable take-away.

So without further ado, reader “X”, here are my Top 5 iPad Apps.

1.  OnmiOutliner

OmniOutliner is the ultimate outlining app.

For most of my clients, I am really a glorified project manager.  In this capacity, I’m routinely called upon to come up with creative ideas, and then figure out ways to design, develop, resource, implement, staff, deploy, track and report – essentially everything from ideation through execution.

I’ve found that being able to outline projects, from start to finish, and make adjustments on the fly is critical to managing all these moving parts effectively and efficiently.

OmniOutliner, by The Omni Group, is the perfect tool for creating, manipulating and sharing outlines.

OmniOutiner’s most appealing feature is it’s ease of use and malleability. I’ve created instruction manuals, proposals, schedules, equipment lists, budgets, you name it, with OmniOutliner.

From basic text/data entry, to hierarchical organization, lists, attachments, notes, reminders – I could go on and on – OmniOutliner is an organizational godsend.

2.  OmniGraffle

The perfect tool for mapping ish out!

If you’re a visual person or think in pictures, you probably find your notes peppered with sketches, diagrams, flow-charts and various other forms of doodles and drawings.

While your scrawling may appear to be scribbling and goofing-off to the casual observer, you know that these crude drawings are replete with meaning and value.

Your Moleskin notebooks are probably full of such drawings, which may (or may not) ever be referenced or used again, relegated to some dusty shelf of half-baked ideas.

OmniGraffle, also by the Omni Group, saves your (probably) good ideas from a life of obscurity, by making them useful and understandable by the common man, team member or just you.

OmniGraffle lets you create “graffles” (or drawings), maps, flow charts, organizational diagrams, wireframes, processes, or layouts, using stencils, lines, connectors and a host of useful tools.

Using the iPad screen as a canvas, OnmiGraffle can even take your hand-drawn sketch and turn it into something immediately useful.

3.  OmniFocus

OmniFocus helps you organize disparate thoughts.

Sometimes, you just want to jot down a thought, note, to-do or what-have-you because you don’t want to lose or forget the thought.

If the impulse to jot down a thought happens to you a lot, you’ve probably got a collection of scraps of paper, and/or fragments of ideas, notes and reminders, scattered about.

If you could assemble them in one place, you’d probably have a fully formed thought, idea or plan of action among those various disparate thoughts.

OmniFocus, by (once again) the Omni Group, helps to coral your random note-taking, thought-jotting, to-do-ing(?), and helps you, well, focus.

OmniFocus is all about task management, helping you to define, assign, prioritize, track and manage tasks.

With a simple-to-use interface, synching between multiple instances of OmniFocus, and integration with your calendar, it’s the perfect tool for staying organized.

4.  Outpost

Productivity personified.

As a Basecamp junkie (FYI Basecamp is a web-based project management and online collaboration tool developed by 37signals), being able to access my Basecamp account is critical to staying on top of my projects.

Sometimes, however, when wi-fi isn’t available and my 3G is spotty, accessing my account sometimes proves challenging.

OutPost, by Enormego, is an app that puts Basecamp on your iPad (and iPhone).

OutPost give you access to all of your accounts, projects, messages, assignments, contacts, calendars, milestones, writeboards and time-tracking.

It also synchronizes your activities, so that all your activities in Outpost seamlessly integrate with the Basecamp account.

OutPost is the ultimate in on-the-go productivity.

*Note: OutPost is one of the “buggier” apps that I use. It’s prone to frequent crashing. Can we work on this Enormego? Hello?

5.  SoundPaper (aka SoundNote)

Note-taking+audio recording. SoundPaper.

If you’re like me, whenever you take a meeting, you take meticulous notes.

I’ve always been really good about recalling the details of conversations – even when I wasn’t taking notes.

But sometimes, people talk fast, you mishear something or you get so caught up listening, that you stop writing.

Even the most meticulous note-taker missed an element or two, that for the life of them and despite their best efforts, they can’t recall.

SoundPaper, by David Estes, remedies that.

SoundPaper is a really handy app that combines a notepad with audio recording capabilities.

Simply click record and SoundPaper will automatically begin recording audio.

What’s especially cool about it, is that the recording is linked to your note-taking.

SoundPaper is really useful for lectures and other scenarios when your note-taking might not match the pace of the speaker.

So if you get caught up and can’t recall what was said, simply click on a word and SoundPaper takes you to the exact session and you can play back the audio you missed.

Three of the big five are in my "Productivity" tab: OmniGraffle, SoundPaper and OmniOutliner.

I’ve got a few other apps on my iPad, that I use from time-to-time, but these five are my “go-to” apps that keep me focused, organized and on-point.

If you’re looking to get yourself organized in 2012, and you’re planning on using your iPad to help you do it, then by all means, check out the apps I use!

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Filed under mobile, opinion, technology, work

I’ve been on hiatus (not really)

I haven’t made an entry to my blog in over a month.

Its not that I haven’t thought about it, or that I didn’t want to.

My issue was that I had so much to talk about, I didn’t know where to start.

And you know what they say about inertia…

But today I’ve resolved to just sit down and type, until I got it all out of me.

I’m thinking the best way to do it is to start with the most recent stuff, and work backwards.

All you’re getting are sound bites, and hopefully, at some point, I’ll get around to elaborating.

So, without further ado…

Midnite

Last night I attended the Midnite show at S.O.B.’s. If you’re not familiar with Midnite, you should be. They are one of the hottest Caribbean reggae artists out today.

They played some classic tunes and well as new music, and as they went through their set, I felt as if I were communing with the music, swaying back and forth (or side to side) as part of one large rhythmic body.

I totally forgot I was supposed to be checking out their performance (my first) and assessing how their brand could be further leveraged. But DAMN! their music was good!

Check out some video from their last S.O.B.’s visit.

Third World

For the past few months, I’ve been working with Third World band’s management to produce a number of different on and offline projects.

It started with the Third World simulcast of their rehearsal at Circle Studios in Miami. Over 7,700 people tuned into the live stream on iNation.tv, which featured special guests, such as the incomparable Tessanne Chin.

Currently, we’re working hard to get their digital store, the Third World Digistore, up and running in anticipation of the August 10th release of their 22nd studio album, Patriots.

We’re also working on the video for the remake of their classic, 96 Degrees in the Shade, featuring Stephen and Damian Marley.

Check out a live version of 96 Degrees in the Shade.

Global Boxing

My good friend, Michael Havaien, is the president of Global Boxing Gym, a state of the art facility for professional boxers and MMA fighters, located in North Bergen, New Jersey.

He recently invited me to two press conferences, preceding the Zab Judah (vs Jose Armando Santa Cruz) and Tomasz Adamek (vs Michael Grant) fights.

We’re working on enhancing the overall digital signature of the Global Boxing brand, focusing on their young up-and-coming fighters, which include 21 year old Brooklyn native Adam Kownacki (5-0, 5 KOs) and (potentially) Bronx native and newly crowned NABF champion Maureen Shea (15-2).

Check out a clip from the Adam Kownacki vs. Yohan Banks bout. Spoiler alert – someone gets knocked out!

Morgan4Congress

As many of you already know, we’ve been working tirelessly on the United States Congressional campaign of Vincent Morgan, who is in a historic race against the embattled Charles Rangel.

We’ve redefined Vincent’s online presence, and provided ongoing support to all of his digital efforts, including the development of branded video pods, the production of offline events and the creation, management and support of various social media and mobile initiatives.

With the primaries rapidly approaching September 14, I anticipate getting a tad busier.

Check out one of the RapidFire series pods:

A Restless Media Musical Showcase

We’re planning a musical showcase featuring Meta & The Cornerstones, Malik Work, Zing Experience and Radical Revolution, at one of the meccas of music in NYC, Sullivan Hall.

We’ve got DJ Twilite Tone on the ones-and-twos, and all kinds of special treats in store for our guests.

If you’re in town on August 15th, please stop in.

Oh yeah, its also summer, and the kids are home. So things have been hectic on the home front too.

I don’t want to blame my hiatus wholly on work. I’ve had a little bit of fun too.

My sister-in-law and her husband invited us to Martha’s Vineyard to stay with them in a lovely five bedroom, four bathroom house in Oak Bluffs, two blocks from the beach.

It was really nice to get away (even though I jumped on my laptop a time or two).

But I’m back to the grind!

So hopefully, you’re all caught up and I’ll be able to get back to writing on a schedule.

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