Monthly Archives: May 2013

Best of the Best. The Webby Awards.

The Webby AwardsDid you catch the Webbys?

You know, the annual award show that celebrates excellence in the internet?

Well not excellence in the internet, but excellence of the internet.

Actually, it’s not just of the internet.

It’s websites really.

And interactive advertising and media.

Also online film and video.

Oh yeah, and mobile apps too.

And social web, I think.

Let’s try this again.

The Webby Award honors exceptional work on websites, interactive advertising and media, online film and video, mobile apps and social web.

The New York Times calls The Webbys “the Internet’s highest honor.”

I think this means it’s a big deal.

In it’s 17th year, The Webbys brings together some of the most innovative and creative minds to pay homage and acknowledge some of the tremendous work being done in the online, social media and interactive space.

For we geeks, it’s like the Oscars of the online and interactive world.

Win a Webby and you are somebody.

This year’s Special Achievement honorees include Steve White (“JIF” not “GIF”) Frank Ocean, Kevin Spacey, Grimes, Obama for America 2012, Chris Kluwe and Tribal DDB Worldwide, among others.

And nominees ranged from Funny or Die to The Onion, Mashable to Tumblr, Google to Ted Ed – and everything in between.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Webby Awards, it’s all good.

It is a thing of geekdom.

And unless you’re into the internet, mobile, apps, advertising or social media, you probably don’t care.

And that’s cool.

But if you’re interested, The Webby’s gives out over a hundred awards each year, to the best and brightest among us.

Yes. I included myself in the running for “best and brightest.”

Don’t trip.

Each year, two awards are giving out  in various categories: The Webby Award and the People’s Voice Award.

Winners of The Webby Award is selected by the members of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

While the People’s Voice Award winners are selected by the people, via online voting.

Now if you visit the site, you will be overwhelmed.

There are over one hundred different categories and the page of the website listing the winners and nominees scrolls endlessly.

So here are my faves:

Mobile Advertising

Best Use of Social Media

Media Streaming

Best User Experience Tumblr

Web Services and Applications

There were infinitely more categories and winners.

And as I was going through them all, I realized that it was better to simply give you the link to check out the full site, winners and nominees for yourself.

I know, I know.

I originally said that you’d be overwhelmed if you visited the site.

But I was getting overwhelmed, and we can’t have that.

I’m just saying.

There are loads of videos, memes, and content galore, so give yourself a chunk of time to go in.

It’s taken me two days to get this out, just because I took such a deep dive.

And I couldn’t figure out what to write about.

It was all so compelling.

Especially all the mobile stuff.

Nerdy right?

Whatev.

So, if you want to know what the most amazing web, online, social media and interactive stuff of 2012 was, peep The Webby Awards site.

If not, kick rocks!

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Filed under digital advocacy, social media, technology

Fast and Furious 6 was sick! Or was it seven?

20130530-085036.jpg

This past Friday, I (along with tens thousands of other movie goers) took in Fast & Furious 6.

As the title connotes, this was the sixth installment of Fast and Furious.

If you thought that the series was starting to lose its pale, becoming just another rehashed plot line, you couldn’t be blamed.

But you’d be wrong.

I can sum up Fast 6 in three words:

What. A. Rush.

Non-stop action from the door.

Or from the word “go” rather.

Mind you, I’ve never seen any of the Fast & Furious franchise in a theater before.

I like driving fast cars and all, but a movie built around driving fast cars?

Not so much.

I’m not a teenage boy with muscle car fantasies.

My first car was a two-tone Ford Escort.

Station wagon.

Clearly not the demographic they’re targeting.

I was content to wait for it to hit Netflix.

That is, until I saw it in theaters.

And now I am remiss that I didn’t take at least the original or Tokyo Drift in on the big screen.

There is something to seeing car stunts larger than life that made Fast 6 super exciting.

It’s not like the movie was all stunts and driving.

But mostly.

There were some genuinely humorous moments.

Provided primarily at the expense of Tyrese.

Why a Black man got to be the butt of all the jokes?

Why is the man always trying to demean a Brother?

Why can’t old blue eyes be comic relief?

Oh wait, I’m sorry.

I didn’t even realize I had my black beret and leather gloves on.

My bad.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, Fast 6 was more than just fast cars.

It included the return of Michele Rodriguez.

You know, Letty.

Who was supposed to have been killed in Fast & Furious.

So you know all Fast aficionados were like “WTF?!”

I know I was.

If you’re not up on Fast at all, Letty is Dominic’s (Vin Diesel) wife.

She went undercover for Brian (Paul Walker) and was discovered.

Bad things happened after that.

Very bad things.

We all thought she was dead.

But Fast 6 keeps you guessing.

As I do, I checked to see if there was a companion app in the App Store.

Of course, there was.

fastandfurious6thegame

Fast & Furious 6: The Game includes five player modes that transport you into the world of fast cars.

I'm not really into games.

I’m not really into games…

I don’t really do games, so I had to feign interest just to check the app out.

But I will bust that ass!

…but I will bust that ass!

But if you dig racing games, or have time on your hands, I’m sure The Game makes for hours of mindless entertainment.

Anywho, the movie was great and the ending was a doozy.

I don’t do the spoiler thing, so I won’t go into any level of depth about it.

Although, I will say this: don’t leave until after the credits have rolled.

What comes next will knock your socks off!

You can thank me later.

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Filed under apps, branding, movies

Stephen Chukumba. How I became a Digital Kung Fu Master.

CAUTION_kung_fu_master_by_whopper1989Remember how I told you I was writing a book?

The Life Digital. Atari to iPad: Growing Up In the Digital Age.

I even gave you a brief intro.

Well, I had an epiphany the other day: I’m full of shit.

My book’s title is full of shit, actually.

It’s so boring.

It is.

I bore myself just thinking about it.

And I bore myself anew every time I read it.

The Life Digital.

Where do I get off?

Atari to iPad.

Just go for the most obvious crap why dontcha?

Growing Up In A Digital Age.

Just hitting puberty Stephen?

It’s descriptive, sure.

I mean, if you read that title, you can figure out what’s between the covers.

But would you really read it?

I wouldn’t.

Well maybe I would, but I’m biased.

The point is, every time I sat down to write, I looked at the title and it gave me writer’s ED.

I just couldn’t get it up.

No amount of mental Viagra could help me.

I simply couldn’t muster the desire to write.

I was flaccid and needed a boost.

And then it came to me.

Stephen, you’re not just some dude who lived in a digital age.

You’re a walking embodiment of it.

The Don Dada, in fact!

Maybe you don’t have Bill Gates money – yet.

But you know that shit is coming.

So you better re-title your as-yet-unwritten memoirs better than The Life Digital.

Rename the book?

Eureka!

I’ll rename the book!

I’ll make that shit sexy!

Give it a title I’d wanna read.

And write.

So this weekend, I did some soul searching.

Who am I?

Tall. Check.

Handsome. Check.

Intelligent. Check.

Well endowed. Check.

But that’s besides the point.

Who am I?

Digital.

Ok. Now we’re getting somewhere.

Mobile.

That’s right, I eat cell phones for breakfast.

Tech.

Damn skippy I’m tech!

And right then, I found my voice – and my new title.

Walk with me, now, and tell me you think I’ve struck gold:

Stephen Chukumba. How I became a Digital Kung Fu Master.

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

I know, thanks.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to read about my life?

Especially when it’s chock full of the interesting tidbits that made me – me.

Oh! The places I’ve been.

The things I’ve seen!

The dude calls himself a kung fu master!

Yes. I’m referring to myself in the third person.

For all you would-be entrepreneurs, DKFM will be a rags-to-riches story from someone still in the ‘rags’ stage.

DKFM?

It’s the acronym for Digital Kung Fu Master.

The short title.

Please don’t let the absence of riches fool you.

I am a master of this digital shit.

I’ve just been wearing the garb and trappings of a plebe as cover.

Think Shaolin monk begging among the townspeople.

Oh, he looks shabby.

But he’ll bust that ass if shit gets too hot.

Ya dig?

That’s me.

Shaolin.

I don’t wear my digital kung fu on my sleeve.

I let it seep out in my little blog posts here and there.

A few know I’m a digital black belt, but they don’t let on – do they bugs?

Anywho, that’s my new title, and I should be able to crank out some chapters.

Now that I got my mojo back!

Hiiiyyya! (said making a karate chop in the air)

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Filed under books, branding, social media

Dear Dr. Putrino. I will slap you.

Put your hands on a Chukumba and I will slap youMy letter:

Dr. Putrino,

I’m quite disturbed by what appears to be a disparity in treatment regarding an incident on the bus yesterday between my daughter Asha and 4th grader <name redacted for his safety>.

Asha inappropriately tapped <name redacted for his safety> on the head with a rolled up piece of paper when she got on the bus at the end of the school day. In response <name redacted for his safety> slapped her. She then slapped him back and then he slapped her again. When the bus aide intervened, she moved <name redacted for his safety> to a separate section of the bus, at which point <name redacted for his safety> also kicked her.

When my babysitter, who is also <name redacted for his safety>’s older sister, met the children at the bus stop, she told me about the incident and that Asha was written up but not <name redacted for his safety>.

<name redacted for his safety>’s response was completely disproportionate to Asha’s “provocation.” We find it totally unacceptable that this boy is putting his hands on girls. And while we wholeheartedly agree that the children should be written up for fighting on the bus in any fashion, I’m at a loss as to why Asha was the only one written up when <name redacted for his safety> is the one who actually escalated the incident by striking or otherwise putting his hands on her.

My son Stephen is good friends with <name redacted for his safety> and he witnessed the incident, so I am confident that we have a clear understanding of the event. He feels that she shouldn’t have bothered <name redacted for his safety> at all, but that <name redacted for his safety> overreacted by slapping her.

Ultimately, the result we are expecting is equitable treatment. If the driver is going to write up this incident, both students should have been written up, not simply Asha, especially in light of the facts. More importantly what kind of message does this send to <name redacted for his safety> about slapping girls in response to foolish, playful behavior?

Please give this incident your immediate attention.

Thank you.

SC

His response:

Hi Stephen,

I was not able to address this today but will mediate this immediately on Tuesday morning.

Joseph A. Putrino Jr., Ed. D.
Principal
Northeast Elementary School

Lesson?

Put your hands on a Chukumba and you will get slapped.

I tell my kids: Don’t ever put your hands on other people. And don’t ever let another person put their hands on you.

The first time someone hits you, don’t hit them back. Tell a teacher, authority or any grown up bigger than you and the kid that hit you. They will address the situation appropriately.

If they don’t or if he or she does it again, hit them back as hard as you can.

This way they will think twice about hitting you again, because then they will know (1) you hit hard; (2) you know how to fight; and (3) you’re prepared fight them.

More importantly, they’ll know what kind of fight it’s going to be from how hard you hit them back.

If someone hits you, defend yourself. Never let anyone push you around, even by force. Fight back. No one will ever bully a Chukumba.

Mommy and Daddy will always defend you if we hear about a fight like that. And we’ll talk to that kid’s parents too, just so that everybody knows the consequences of messing with you.

This post is not meant to condone my daughter’s behavior.

She was definitely the “antagonist.”

It’s not even to vilify the other kid.

Although I question what kind of home training <name redacted for his safety> is (not) getting if he’s hitting girls.

He’s lucky he’s a little kid or I would have whupped his ass!

Nor is it to glorify violence.

Despite my previous statement a few lines ago.

The wise man knows to walk away from a fight, if a fight can be avoided.

But I’m not raising no punks.

Male or female.

Double negative above notwithstanding.

All you parents out there, pay attention and I’ll show you how it’s done – Chukumba style.

Steer clear of Chukumbas with all the BS.

Or you will get slapped.

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When it comes to blogging, be like Nike. Just do it.

Just do it. Blog!

Just do it. Blog!

I was talking to one of my peeps the other day, and the discussion turned to blogging.

Actually, I was chatting via IM…

And I most likely asked if they blogged…

There probably wasn’t a discussion prior…

But that’s besides the point.

The point is that blogging came up.

I was (as I do) extolling the virtues of blogging.

It builds your brand.

It establishes you as a thought leader or authority in your field.

It separates you from the undifferentiated (non-blogging) masses.

It builds credibility.

It helps you develop your voice as an author.

It generates traffic.

I could go on and on – and I’m pretty sure I did.

Invariably, after my diatribe on the virtues of blogging, they were like “I need to find the time to write.”

Time to write?

As I prepared to fire off a dismissive reponse, I realized that I’d heard it before.

In fact, I’ve heard loads of reasons for not blogging before.

I don’t have the time.

What would I write about?

My writing sucks.

No one would read it.

As I listened read, I had to give some credence to the fact that blogging legitimately challenges folks.

So today, I’m going to address the most common objections to blogging I’ve encountered, and hopefully provide some useful advice for overcoming them.

I don't want to hear it!

I don’t want to hear it!

Objection No. 1: I don’t have time to blog.

If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

And I’m sure each person who has ever uttered these words hasn’t really thought about how much time they waste devote to other things, that could be devoted to blogging.

Blogging is like anything else you want to master.

You’ve got to set aside time for it.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of time – 30 minutes a day.

An hour a week.

Once a week.

Something.

Anything.

Just put it in your schedule.

And don’t make excuses not to.

If you can make time to wash your ass, you can make time to blog.

What to blog about? What to blog about?

What to blog about? What to blog about?

Objection No. 2: I don’t know what to blog about.

I think this is one of the more valid objections to blogging: what to write about.

It’s also one of the easiest to overcome.

There are tons of blogs out there about anything and everything.

From quarks to Jimmy Choos.

Yes “quarks.”

I had to come up with truly random shit to emphasize my point.

Write about what interests you.

There. It’s that simple.

To get your blog flowing, you should always write about what interests you.

You could give a shit if it interests other people.

Start off blogging about things you like, experiences you have, stories you’ve heard.

If you keep your blog “you” centric, you’ll never have writers block.

Unless you’re a boring dolt or shut-in.

But even then, you could write about your life as an agoraphobic.

And be the don of agoraphobics everywhere.

If Snoopy can do it, so can you!

If Snoopy can do it, so can you!

Objection No. 3: I am not a good writer.

Now this objection is tricky – and valid.

Blogging requires working knowledge of the English language (or whatever language is your native tongue).

And while I am a wordsmith, a human lexicon, one who gets busy with the vocab, not everyone is not similarly endowed.

But just because you haven’t mastered the Queen’s English, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a compelling blog.

There are plenty of blogs out there that are a hot mess!

Not because they are written poorly, but because they could give a shit about writing convention.

The good thing about blogging is that you don’t have to be a poet laureate.

Your blog can be linguistically challenged, ebonics laden with misspellings galore, and still have folks flock to it because it’s genuine.

But if you want to be a better writer, blogging will help you become one.

The more you blog, the better you’ll become.

Please read my blog. Please?

Please read my blog. Please?

Objection No. 4: No one will read my blog.

My response to this objection is universally: how the fuck do you know?

Once again, unless you’re some kind of anti-social shut in, you likely have folks who give a shit care about you.

And at least one of them would take the time to read your blog if you created one.

The truth is that that if you blog it, they will come.

They may not come immediately, or in droves, or regularly.

But they will come.

You can be assured though, you’ll never get any readers if you never blog.

So go the fuck on and blog already.

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Ghost in the machine. I want to touch my MacBook Pro.

Must touch the screen. I must!

Must touch the screen. I must!

It happened again.

An alert went off on my computer and my hand reflexively reached up towards the screen to silence it.

I stopped myself, as I realized that my MacBook Pro does not have a touch screen.

While I avoided adding another smudged fingerprint to my collection of errant touch-my-screen attempts, my aborted impulse revealed a long standing desire – for a touch screen MacBook.

Mind you, this is a brand new machine.

I got it less than a month ago, but it’s got no touch screen.

When I heard that the Pixel, the new Chromebook by Google had one, I was miffed.

The Pixel has a touchscreen

The Pixel has me hating on my MacBook Pro. Damn Chromebooks!

Google?

Chromebook?

Touchscreen?

Laptop?

The thought was incomprehensible.

Pangs of jealously racked me.

The sensation was unbearable.

Another alert went off on my laptop.

In my blind rage, I jammed my finger into the screen – again.

Will I never learn?

My rage gave pause to a temporary moment of reflection.

How is it that the greatest tech company in the world doesn’t have a touch screen laptop?

But upstart new jack entrants to the game and booty throwaway device manufacturers do?

Sure, there are other Windows based touchscreen laptops.

But who wants some third party laptop by Lenovo or a Dell?

Yeah, the Surface is like a touch screen laptop.

But it’s an inelegant and clunky Windows tablet (with a keyboard).

Surface Pro

The Surface Pro has me hating my MacBook Pro. Damn Surface!

And who the hell wants that buggy piece of crap (aka not-a-Mac)?

No one, that’s who.

The fact that lesser device makers have touchscreen laptops in the market never seemed to bother me before.

But an Android notebook running Chrome and Google’s suite of integrated apps?

That’s gotten under my skin.

I mean reeeaaally Apple?

What’s so hard about adding a touch screen to your line of laptops?

If an old school NEC POS machine can have a keyboard and a touch screen, why can’t I?

C'mon Apple! Even dinosaurs have touch screens.

C’mon Apple! Even dinosaurs have touch screens.

If Acer can make a touch screen laptop – ACER! – why can’t you?

And I know I’m not the only one with this desire.

I’ve seen mad other people stupidly jamming fingers into screens desperately trying to depress untouchable icons.

In this new fangled world of smartphones and tablets, touch and gesturing has become a norm.

People are used to touching screens.

Everywhere you turn, there are touchable screens: MTA, Redbox, ATM machines (and the aforementioned booty throwaway machines).

Why then, are our MacBooks still stuck in the stone ages?

Free our screens, damn it!

I demand it!

Apple, don’t let Steve Jobs’ stubborn shortsightedness rule you from beyond the grave.

Tim Cook, grow some cojones and stop living in a dead man’s shadow.

Think for yourself!

Know ye this: I shall not buy another MacBook unless and until said MacBook includes a touchscreen.

There. I said it.

Now make it so!

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Filed under digital advocacy, technology

Live Long and Prosper. Or not. But go see Star Trek.

star_trek_into_darkness-HD

In case you weren’t aware, I’m a trekkie.

Don’t get it twisted.

I’m not a trekkie trekkie.

I don’t don pointy ears and get all Comic-Conned out or anything like that.

My greetings do not involve splitting my middle and ring fingers in a Vulcan salute.

You'll never see me doing this.

You’ll never see me doing this.

Aside from Captain Kirk and Dr. Spock, I couldn’t tell you the real names of any of the actors from the original series.

But I get my Star Trek on.

And I’m a purist.

Any of the various Star Trek spin-offs can sick a duck for all I care.

But I will curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and a snuggly blanket for a Star Trek marathon.

And watch any rerun of an original Star Trek episode as if it were the first time.

So it was with unbridled excitement that I took in the latest installment and went where no man has gone before

Except the folks who caught it before me on Wednesday or Thursday.

Or all the media folks who got the advanced screening.

But I digress.

Friday, I saw Start Trek Into Darkness and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

In fact, it was a little more.

I hadn’t expected to laugh as much as I did.

Into Darkness was peppered with genuinely humorous moments that had me literally laughing aloud.

I was going to say laughing out loud, but than I would have been soooo predictable, and I hate that.

I also copped the Star Trek Into Darkness app.

startrekapp

Because they had one, that’s why.

No, seriously, it’s a cool app that appeals to the trekkie trapped inside all of us.

When you get the app, you start as a non-commissioned officer.

Complete a few missions, and watch your rank rise to Cadet, then Crewman and on.

Missions include ‘listening’ to portions of episodes on Hulu, visiting URLs and answering trivia.

I was ashamed about how little I initially knew about my beloved Start Trek, but my perseverance was quickly rewarded.

And now I’m a Petty Officer, so take that!

But back to the movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed all 2 hours and 20 minutes of it.

It was fraught with incredibly exciting and suspenseful moments.

Lucky for you though, I’m not one of those dickhead spoilers who spill the beans and give the entire movie away.

You can read Rotten Tomatoes for that.

But I’ll say this much: Ricardo Montalbán is probably pissed.

I brought the original pain! You better recognize!

I brought the original pain! You better recognize!

Now because I know many of you aren’t up on Star Trek, like I am, I will leave you with this bit of advice – go see the movie.

But in case my persuasive writing isn’t enough, peep the trailer below.

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Filed under movies

Google I/O 13. Not quite an Apple Keynote, but not far off. I’m lying.

Google IO 2013Today I did the geekiest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life.

What’s that, you ask?

I watched day 1 of the Google I/O 2013 keynote.

On the internet.

That’s right.

I suffered through almost four hours of it.

At first, I thought I was going to be sitting in on an Apple-style keynote.

With all types of interesting announcements and clever quips from engaging Ted-X style speakers.

But as the hours dragged on, I realized that wasn’t going to happen.

Instead I was assailed by one listless speaker after the next.

Where did these people come from, Zombieland?

Google IO backdrop

Don’t get it twisted, I love me some Google products.

But damn!

They could have used some adrenaline over there.

I’m just saying.

Pop a molly. Snort a line. Guzzle a Red Bull!

Do something to liven up!

Anything!

How hard would it have been to not slouch?

Or not speak  in a monotone?

Or tell a joke that was not completely devoid of timing – or humor?

Abysmal delivery aside, Google went deep into their bag of tricks today.

And made some announcements that had me like “wow!”

Here are a few of the more interesting parts of today’s snorefest.

Google's VP9

VP9

VP9 is Google’s open video compression standard that provides high quality video compression at half the bit rate.

Google wants to expand VP9 in mobile web which means faster video load times, but lower data rates for streaming over cellular networks.

Google Pixel Chromebook

Pixel

Pixel is a touchscreen Chromebook and the first laptop built by Google, which combines easy access to all of Google’s software in a high end (and expensive) machine.

The six thousand attendees of I/O 13 each got one.

Why wasn’t I invited again?

First my invite to Oprah’s Favorite Things show gets lost in the mail and now this.

Google Play in Education

Google Play for Education

Google Play for Education is Google’s answer to Apple’s iTunes U.

Through their partnership with hundreds of educational app developers, Play for Education provides educators with a way of providing educational apps to students en masse.

Another initiative to provide students with Chromebooks, makes the Google Play in Education announcement one of the most aggressive pushes to bridge the technological gap in schools in decades.

Auto Awesome

Auto Awesome is one of a suite of new photo-related enhancements from Google, which turns photographs in GIFs for you.

Other photo-related features can enhance images, create all smiley face photos from a collection where you weren’t able to get everyone to smile in one shot, and collages from groups of related photographs.

All automatically without you having to lift a finger.

Hence “auto”.

I could go on and on about the keynote, but I don’t want to bore you.

I’ll let Google do that themselves.

If you’ve got nothing better to do, and want to watch all 3 hours and 51 minutes of it, click play.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you want a more comprehensive breakdown of the all today’s announcements, without being bored to death, check out Techcrunch, Wired or Gizmodo (who all speak geek far better than I do).

Umm, Google, you guys need to get a ouija board, contact Steve Jobs and get some tips on tricking out a keynote.

Cause that shit was booooorrrinnngggg!

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Filed under digital advocacy

Hide your kids! Chukumba is coming!

Hide your kids! The Tech Pied Piper is coming!

Hide your kids! The Tech Pied Piper is coming!

Look out East Orange.

Stephen Chukumba is coming for your kids.

Not in a pedophilic way you moron!

Like the Pied Piper.

Well, no.

Not like the Pied Piper.

Depending upon which version you’ve read, he was kinda a bad guy.

A tad spiteful.

More like a nurturing Pied Piper.

Who leads the children with his magical pipe iPhone.

But brings them back – happy and healthy – and smarter.

Damn Ariel, you got me all jacked up just trying to start a post.

What I’ve been trying to say is that this Thursday, I’ll be hosting career workshop sessions for middle schoolers in East Orange, New Jersey.

I was invited to speak.

Scratch that.

I volunteered to speak after my wife came home and told me about the event.

Her organization, Arts Unbound, is sending someone to talk to the kids about professions in the arts.

This will be a departure from the traditional career days these East Orange 8th graders are accustomed to.

Which typically involve cops and firefighters speaking to the kids.

But rarely individuals from other professions.

Much less a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious cat like your’s truly!

Not that there’s anything wrong with cops and firefighters.

Actually, there are often things wrong with (people who decided to become) cops – but that’s another story for another time.

And there are a few that genuinely protect and serve.

But my point is that our kids need to know that there’s more out there for them than dodging bullets or flames for a living.

They can actually make a living by using their b-r-a-i-n-s.

You know – the grey matter between their ears.

Novel concept, I know.

I fully intend to blow their minds with knowledge.

And I’m the perfect dude to do it.

Have you seen me?

6’3″ Black man with dreads and tattoos?

What kid wouldn’t be like “who is THAT?” when I walk in the room?

They’re probably expecting me to talk about rapping or entertainment or something.

Imagine their shock when I start dropping jewels about apps, mobile web and technology on ’em!

I’m sure a few heads will explode.

Note to self: wear goggles and a smock.

So parents of children attending the Patrick F. Healy Middle School in East Orange, be forewarned.

I’m coming to your town.

And I’m getting at your kids.

All up in their heads.

Turning them into little technologists.

Minion doing my bidding.

And if your kids come home from Career Day talking about APIs, platforms and networks, know that your boy Chukumba did that.

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy

The iPad 2. My “new” favorite device.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Have you heard?

I’m in love!

No. Not with my wife.

I mean, I’m in love with my wife.

Don’t get me wrong.

She’s a sweet chick that doesn’t get on my nerves too much.

Just kiddin honey. You don’t get on my nerves at all.

The point is, I’m in love but its not the wife.

No. Not the kids.

Love the kids (by default, not design).

But I’m not talking offspring here.

My job? Gimme a break!

Check in with me when I’m clocking seven figures.

For now, negatory.

Alright, last guess.

Wrong!

I do love sex.

But it’s an act, not a thing.

You suck at this.

Remind me never to pick you as a game show partner.

It’s my iPad 2!

I am head over heels in love with it.

I recently got it from wifey for my birthday.

I was, in a word, verklempt.

Why all the emotion?

After all, this is my second iPad.

I had the original for three years.

Mind you, I was pissed when Apple dropped the 2 within months of my copping the 1.

But I wasn’t going for the okey-doke and buying into Apple’s manipulative bait-and-switch (and rape your pockets).

So for three years, I made do with my camera-less, FaceTime deficient, slower iPad.

Don’t get me wrong, we had our run.

But when the 4 was released, followed by the Mini, and talks began about a 5 and a retina display Mini, I realized enough was enough.

I had to step up my game.

Then came the dilemma.

Do I cop the 2, 3, 4 or Mini?

The Mini was out of the question.

I tooled around with it in the office, and it was so not a tablet.

I mean it is a tablet, but its not a tablet.

Knowhatimean?

You’re daft.

Try to keep up with me, please?

Anywho, the debate really centered around the 2, 3 and 4.

Do I just go for it and drop coin for the latest and greatest, the 4 with its retina display, 4G LTE and all the bells and whistles?

Or do I settle for something less bells and whistley from an earlier generation?

The decision was easy.

The 2.

Same (general) features and functionality of the (now defunct) 3 (and 4), less price.

Sure it’s maxed out at 16GB.

And there’s no Siri.

Lower resolution photos and video recording.

But for all intents and purposes, its the same thing.

Truth be told, my love affair with the 2 started the day I beheld it in the wild for the first time.

My man’s girl had one in Miami, during Art Basel.

And before I knew what was happening, I was one of those dorks shooting video with a big ole tablet in my outstretched arms – Frankenstein’s monster-like.

Get it right. Frankenstein was the man, not the monster.

The foolishness of my appearance did little to dampen the unbridled affection I felt – and presently feel – for it.

Even today, well after the novelty has worn off, as I cradle my very own 2 lovingly in my mitts, affection wells in my chest.

Why the love affair, you ask?

Well, nothing in my arsenal impacts my day-to-day productivity more than the iPad.

My iPad helps me get shit done.

Shout out to Moses.

If you’ve every tried to work on your iPhone while out and about, or even on your laptop, you quickly realize there are – limitations.

One’s too small and cramped.

The other’s too big and bulky.

But my iPad is just right.

I power through emails.

Schedule appointments.

Knock out to-do’s.

I’m generally bout-it-bout-it.

Bout-it bout-it=handling one’s business in a professional and thorough manner.

When I’m rocking with my iPad, you might as well give me a cape and call me the Black Superman.

I gets that busy.

So if you see me out and about, fondling or kissing my iPad, and it makes you feel…uncomfortable…

Avert your eyes.

Nothing’s going to stand in the way of my love.

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Filed under digital advocacy, iPad