Monthly Archives: December 2012

Is it possible to love a phone? Yes (if it’s an iPhone 5)

The author and his betrothed.

The author and his betrothed.

I’m totally useless.


Because I’m in love with my iPhone 5.

Sure, I’m an Apple Fan.

And Apple fans are freaks.

But I have true, deep, heartfelt affection for an inanimate object.

I’ll admit I’ve always checked for Apple products.

I beheld my first iPhone with wonder.

I held it up in the sky, Simba-like, examining it from all sides as the screen glint in the sunlight.

I recall the glee I first felt starting my iPhone for the first time.

I could barely contain my excitement as the apple logo illuminated the screen, and then cede to the landing page with all those wonderful icons.

The thought of it still makes my heart flutter.

But that was a time long ago.

Subsequent iPhone releases have failed to generate any similar reaction in me.

In fact, I’ve been downright hostile towards them.

I’ve resisted the old bait-and-switch Apple is famous for, and passed upgrades to the 3G and 3GS.

When the 4 dropped, I felt that enough had changed over the course of the three years I’d owned my phone.

To be honest, I felt a little embarrassed to still be rocking a first gen.

And while the 4 was a serious device, it didn’t move me the way my first iPhone had.

So it was with much consternation that I copped the 5.

I was still jaded by the Apple bait-and-switch.

I mean really, six phones in less than five years?

But it was love at first sight.

iPhone 5

It She was tall, slim and elegant.

I felt my heart palpitate as the AT&T associate handed it her to me.

As much as I tried, I couldn’t resist it her.

I just knew these feelings were fleeting.

It’s just a phone.

Sure, Apple came up with another sleek design and raised the bat.

But it’s just a phone.

Three months later, I can’t believe that I still have the same amorous feelings for my phone.

When I first got it her, I stuck it her in an Otter.

There was no way I was going to let anything happen to it her.

Not on my watch.

My Secret Santa got me an i-Blason Power Glider external battery case (because of course, the iPhone battery life is for shit).

iBlason_PowerGlider_External_Battery_CaseAnd for the first time since I’ve owned the phone, I gazed upon it her naked, unsheathed…

I slipped it her into it’s her new case…

It’s Her shiny white face exposed…

I’m verklempt…

Talk among yourselves…

I can’t believe I’ve kept this thing of beauty hidden for so long.

Nobody put’s Baby in a corner!

I love my iPhone 5.

Is my love so wrong?

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Filed under iPhone, Smack talking

The trouble with Gerry (not his real name) the Petty Tyrant (aka Karma is a bitch!)

No petty tyrants

I am so mad I can’t sleep.

I’m literally writing this post at 2:34 am Thursday morning.

To be honest, I’m probably more disappointed than I am mad.

But I’m mad.

Why? You ask?

Because the world is full of petty tyrants.

And unfortunately, I’ve had a run-in with one that has my stomach in knots.

If you know me, you know that I’m an easy-going person.

I’m pretty unflappable.

I’ve dealt with ’nuff PTs in my day, and come away unscathed.

But this one here…

Indulge me, if you will, and let me spin you a yarn.

I believe in paying it forward, and for the past few years, I’ve been working with several not-for-profits, helping them to build their digital and social media chops.

One not-for-profit (which shall remain unnamed because we still work together in spite of said PT) has been the recipient of a lot of my attention.

The great thing about them is that they serve kids.

Hundreds of thousands of kids.

And like most not-for-profits, they are somewhat behind the times.

A lot of their current programming is steeped in the old school.

So from day one, my objective has been to bring them (kicking and screaming if need be) into the modern age.

At the end of the day, if you’re an organization that serves kids, it behooves you to offer programming that speaks to the increasingly technological world in which these kids live.

To their credit, most of the organization has been willing to change, in order to get with the times.

But not Gerry (not his real name).

Who’s Gerry?

That’s the petty tyrant.

Just so we’re clear, petty tyrant (an expression coined by Carlos Castaneda), refers to individuals who simply live to frustrate, exasperate and annoy others to distraction.

They’re two-faced backbiters and gossips.

Your modern day hater.

Now Gerry (not his real name) is new to the mix at this not-for-profit.

Before dealing with him, we had run several programs with the kids.

Based on feedback we’d received from kids in our previous programs, we put together a new program that the kids (in our initial session) really responded to.

But somehow, between this first session (held last Thursday) and the second (which would have been held today), Gerry (not his real name) put the kibosh on the entire program.

Just like that, a program for which numerous individuals invested countless hours to bring to life, has been deaded.

Over some straight BS.

Mind you, Gerry (not his real name) has been trying to throw salt in the game for a hot minute.

My strategy for Gerry (not his real name) has been pretty consistent.

I deal him with kid gloves.

He has a fiefdom, which he guards jealously.

Any threat to his authority is dealt with by excising it from his fief.

Prior to dealing with Gerry (not his real name) I got the 411.

I was regaled with tales of his treachery.

Apparently there were a host of individuals, no longer working for said unnamed not-for-profit, who owe their untimely departures to Gerry (not his real name).

In fact, Gerry (not his real name) is currently engaged in smear campaign against a new target, another one of his colleagues.

But that’s another story for another time.

Since I don’t work for the not-for-profit, I took the intel about Gerry (not his real name) under advisement.

And since Gerry (not his real name) wasn’t particularly discreet about his scandalous behavior, I figured it wouldn’t be long before he was exposed for the wretched snake he was.

You’re only going to be able to get away with talking shit about folks in your organization before there’s a target on your back.

Karma is a bitch!

Anywho, Gerry (not his real name) has apparently trained his sights on our program.

And now the 13 kids signed up for it are going to be extremely disappointed when they find out that its been scrapped.

That’s really what has me up in the wee hours of the morning venting to y’all.

I could give a fuck about this Gerry (not his real name) fella.

We all have to deal with petty tyrants in life.

It’s the fact that he’s taking away something very valuable from these kids that has me all up (literally) in arms.

Our program teaches real world digital skills, an area in which this not-for-profit is woefully deficient.

Our instructors – Ivy Leaguers, computer geniuses, music and entertainment industry veterans who work (and have worked) with big dawgs: think Kanye West, Cee Lo Green, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mos Def, Common, and the list goes on – were essentially giving their services away, to make this program happen for these kids.

And Gerry (not his real name) is throwing away an opportunity for these kids to work with people and projects of this caliber.


Why indeed.

To hear Gerry (not his real name) tell it, the logistics behind our running the program were proving too difficult to manage.


But who knows why petty tyrants act the way they do?

All I know is that I’m going to try to get my program back.

For the kids.

Fuck Gerry (not his real name).

His treachery is (eventually) going to catch up to him.

Like I said, karma is a bitch!

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Filed under rant

Online sales (driven by mobile) hit the $1B mark on Black Friday. What does 2013 have in store?


Pardon the exceptionally long title of this post.

I’m typically more succinct.

But, I’ve been extolling he virtue of mobile for years now (to no avail).

In the past, I threw out a few statistics to help support my position.

I figured facts and figures would add to the legitimacy of my argument.

Make me seem credible.

My eleven readers were suspect.

Thoroughly unconvinced by my infographics and colored pie charts.

But the weekend of Black Friday, I received the coup de grace.

That would, once and for all, put an end to any opposition anyone could ever offer for not having a mobile presence.

You ready?

$1 billion.

That’s how much money people spent online this year on Black Friday.

$1 billion.

With a “B”.

And 16% of that spending was done on mobile devices.

That may not seem like much to you (if you’re a gazillionaire), but it’s huge considering that number was only 10% last year.

And smart phone usage (which is growing) was a significant driver of that growth.

This post is three weeks late, so you’re probably like “so what?”

Black Friday has come and gone.

So has Cyber Monday.

But as the final few days before Christmas are upon us, I suspect that this will be a record breaking holiday shopping season online and on mobile.

Even in the midst of the largest recession most of us have ever experienced, online and mobile growth continues unabated.

With the release of the SG3, the Galaxy Note, the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire HD, and service providers like Boost, Metro PCS and Simple Mobile making it easier to get your smart phone on, I suspect this cycle of growth to continue.

So the next time someone approaches you or your brand with a mobile growth strategy, before you pshaw them and shoo them away, think $1B.

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Filed under digital advocacy, mobile

Get more traffic to your blog. The Stephen Chukumba way.

Drive traffic to your blog

If you’ve arrived here, you were probably doing a search for tips for driving traffic to your blog.

Perhaps you typed “how do I get more traffic” or “increasing traffic to my blog” or “tips for improving your blog’s ranking in search engines”.

Invariably, you came across a number of different results, and settled upon this site to hopefully find the information you were looking for.

You may have even passed up a number of higher ranked results, when you determined that it was just some joker spewing some non-specific set of tips.

Or worse, using jargon that you could neither understand or apply.

Dejected, you navigated away from that page, back to your search results and happened upon my blog.

Well, friend, you’re in luck.

Years ago when I started blogging, I performed just such a search.

I got back loads of articles, written by folks who, while well intended, gave crap advice for building traffic or publishing a better blog.

Not one of them was truly helpful.

And I spent the next few years, engaged in trial-and-error.

But now I think I’ve arrived at the secret sauce of blogging.


Keywords AND tagging, to be a bit more specific.

What are keywords?

In their purest sense, keywords are how content is organized online.

They are descriptive words that serve as reference points for finding information on the internet.

When used singly or in combination, they help someone performing an online search locate the information they are looking for.

When I started blogging, I would write and post frequently.

One of the ‘tip’ sites I visited said that posting frequently helped to drive traffic to your blog.

So I blogged voraciously.

I paid no attention to tagging my posts with keywords.

Regardless of whether my post was timely, insightful, clever or well written, search engine bots simply did not crawl to it.

And as a result, my little blog saw very little traffic.

Then, I read a blog about the importance of metadata, and started tagging my blogs with keywords and descriptive text.

I just knew that I had found the keys to my blogging salvation.

If I was writing about President Obama, my keywords would be “Obama”, “President”, “Democrat”.

I write, tag, post and wait.


I didn’t realize that there were about a zillion other blogs and online articles using the exact same keywords.

My blog was simply one in an undifferentiated mass.

If the New York Times and I both wrote an article that day, about the POTUS, which article was going to come up in a search?

Hint: NOT mine.

Even if I was keyword stuffing (loading a web page with keywords in the meta tags or content), I wasn’t getting more traffic.

All these so-called tips for driving traffic were crap!

But then, my younger brother, Celestine, a friggin PhD, gave me the most valuable tip I ever received about keywords and tagging.

Descriptive phrases.

It’s one thing to add keywords to your blog posts and meta data.

It’s another thing entirely to utilize full descriptive phrases.

Think about it.

Who ever just types one word into Google?

Typically, you type out the full query and hit enter.

The results you get back are those whose meta tags most closely match yours.

If there are only one or two words that match, they are lower ranked.

If several words match, or if whole phrases match, those results are ranked higher.

For example, if you type: “get more traffic to your blog” this post will probably be returned on the first page.

And that’s for two reasons.

1. Because that’s the title of this blog post.

2. The phrase is in the body of the blog post and the meta tags.

Over the years, my blog has seen a significant increase in traffic.

I’ve become much more adept at tagging my articles with relevant keywords and keyword phrases, and that has greatly improved the trafic to my site.

When I first started blogging, I’d get 10-20 views per day.

Today, it’s about 100-200.

Now, I don’t claim to be a blogging expert, but I do know a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’.

But don’t take my word for it.

Try tagging your blog post with descriptive text, and see if your traffic doesn’t improve.

And when it does, tell ’em Stephen Chukumba showed you how.

But if it doesn’t…keep it to yourself!


Filed under Smack talking