Sen. Johnson and Woodruff: Connected by Courage

Posted by Connie Reece on August 27, 2020 at 2:57 pm

On Tuesday, August 28th, my friend and former boss Tim Johnson, a United States Senator from South Dakota, will be featured in a full-length Nightline program. I’ve posted before about Tim and his courage and determination to come back from a brain hemorrhage last December to resume his duties in the Senate. Tim is on the right in the photo below which ran in the Washington Post. In it he is seen working from home with his Chief of Staff, Drey Samuelson, who has been with Tim since his first election to Congress in 1986.


The Nightline show is the culmination of a series of interviews of Tim by ABC’s Bob Woodruff. Apparently Woodruff has spent hours, starting in March, documenting Tim’s recovery. Tim’s family and staff are hoping the interview will provide some encouragement for viewers who have also suffered brain injuries or who have loved ones who have.

woodruff_824.jpgWoodruff was severely injured in an IED attack in Iraq in January of 2006. According to ABC News, Woodruff has been spending much of his time reporting on stories related to brain injuries. Recently on Nightline, Woodruff reported on how some U.S. soldiers who’ve suffered TBI, or traumatic brain injuries, in Iraq are recovering more quickly than others.

Woodruff’s story, which will air Tuesday on World News with Charles Gibson and on Nightline, will include the first interviews Tim has done since undergoing brain surgery on December 13, 2006. I hope you can join me in wishing Tim and his family all the best in his recovery and with his imminent return to the Senate chamber.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: In the News, Connections

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Another “w” worth mentioning

Posted by Connie Reece on August 22, 2020 at 12:09 pm

I am extremely excited about the response that the W-List is getting on this site and everywhere else. In the grand scheme of democratizing communications, it is wholly appropriate to help each other find the best and the brightest. As a man, I’m honored to be associated with a social media consortium, and its blog, that is majority female. I’m happy to counsel any male out there who doesn’t understand why the list a good thing.

I have a another notable “w” that I want to ballyhoo a little. Through Connie Reece, our own member of the W-List, I have met one of the smartest people I think I might ever meet…and I’ve met some really smart people.

William Hurley, also known as “whurley”, hence the “w”, is the open-source expert at BMC Software, Inc., which has a major campus here in Austin, Texas.

whurley calls himself an “evil genius”. I don’t know about the evil part, but I do know that he is seeing the future when many of us are still trying to make sense of the past and present. What I also know is that he is a true visionary regarding social media, an internationally recognized expert on open source and will be sharing his thoughts with a bunch of us at the August meeting of the Social Media Club of Austin.

I also know that this “evil genius” is a really nice person and is interested in all kinds of efforts to bring the advantages of community, through access to information and the latest innovations in technology, to as many people as possible. And I haven’t asked him yet, but I’m sure he supports the W-List as well. In fact, maybe whurley and I should start the “Friends of the W-List” list.

Join us if you can. Excerpt from the Social Media Club Austin website:

The Social Media Club of Austin will resume monthly meetings on Thursday, August 23rd, at 6 pm. The first meeting of SMC Austin, since breaking for the summer, will be held at BMC Software’s headquarters located at 10431 Morado Circle, Building 5 / BMC Software Executive Briefing Center, EBC-A and B, Austin, Texas 78759.

The meeting will feature a special presentation entitled:

“Open Source, Social Media, and the Art of Community”

The speaker for the meeting is William Hurley, aka “whurley”, Chief Architect of Open Source Strategy at BMC Software, Inc.

Y, also of BMC, will be introducing him…I couldn’t resist that one. Hope to see you there.

~Mike Chapman

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Celebrating Women Bloggers: The W List

Posted by Connie Reece on August 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Many thanks to both Liz Strauss and Drew McLellan for adding my name to The W List, a celebration of women bloggers. I found it especially interesting that the announcement of this list coincided with my partner Mike Chapman’s post about the dearth of women bloggers at major events like Yearly Kos.

I’d like to call attention to several outstanding women who have informed / inspired / entertained me through their blogs. Please consider yourselves added to The W List …

StealthMode by Francine Hardaway — I love Francine’s spunky attitude toward life, adventure and blogging.

Spacey Gracey Review & TrueGritz by Grayson Daughters — Southern humor and outrageous opinion at its finest. (note to self: make Grayson an honorary member of Blogabillies; or is she too much of a refined Southern belle?)

Beltway Confidential by Julie Mason — Houston Chronicle’s Washington correspondent is dead-on funny in her blog about Beltway insiders and the press corps following their every move.

Crazy Aunt Purl by Laurie Perry — She learned to knit as a newly divorced wreck of a woman then found her voice when she started to blog. I’m really looking forward to her upcoming book, Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair.

Jen McClure’s Ruminations & New Communications Review by Jen McClure — If you want to know what’s happening on the cutting edge of new media, you’ll find it in the New Comms Review, where Jen is the managing editor.

These names have been added to the list below. Is someone keeping a “definitive” list as we add more names of deserving women? If so, please let me know.

45 Things by Anita Bruzzese
A Look at Art & Design: Lisa Mikulski still a great pair of legs Angie McKaig
Ask Dr. Kirk
The Artsy Asylum by Susan Reynolds
Back in Skinny Jeans by Stephanie Quilao
Beltway Confidential by Julie Mason
BlogWrite for CEOs Debbie Weil
Biz Growth News by Krishna De
Brain Based Biz by Dr. Robyn McMaster
Brain Based Business by Dr. Ellen Weber
Brand Sizzle Anne Simons
Branding & Marketing Chris Brown
Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk
Build a Solo Practice, LLC by Susan Cartier Liebel
Christine Kane by Christine Kane
CK’s Blog CK (Christina Kerley)
Communication Overtones Kami Huyse
Confident Writing by Joanna Young
Conscious Business by Anne Libby
Conversation Agent Valeria Maltoni
Corporate PR Elizabeth Albrycht
Crazy Aunt Purl by Laurie Perry
Creative Curio by Lauren Marie
Customers Are Always by Maria Palma
Customers Rock! Becky Carroll
CustServ by Meikah David
Debbie Millman by Debbie Millman
Deborah Schultz by Deborah Schultz
Designers Who Blog by Cat Morley
Design Your Life Ellen and Julia Lupton, identical twins
Design Your Writing Life by Lisa Gates
Diary of Claudine Hellmuth Claudine Hellmuth
Diva Marketing Blog Toby Bloomberg
Do It Myself Blog by Glenda Watson Hyatt
Dooce by Heather B. Armstrong
Email Marketing Best Practices Tamara Gielen
Emily Chang - Strategic Designer Emily Chang
Enter the Laughter by Marti Lawrence
Escape Blog by Melissa Petri
Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
eSoup by Sharon Sarmiento
Essential Keystrokes by Char
Every Dot Connects by Connie Reece
Fish Creek House by GP
Flooring The Consumer CB Whittemore
Forrester’s Marketing Blog: Shar, Charlene, Chloe, Christine Elana, Laura and Lisa
Forward Steps Life Coaching by Thea Westra
Franke James by Franke James
Get Fresh Minds by Katie Konrath
Great Presentations Mean Business by Laura Athavale Fitton
Hey Marci by Marci Alboher
Get Shouty by Katie Chatfield
ifelse by Phu Ly
Illustration Friday Penelope Dullaghan
Inspired Business Growth by Wendy Piersall
Jen McClure’s Ruminations & New Communications Review by Jen McClure
J.T. O’Donnell Career Insights by J.T. O’Donnell
Joyful, Jubilant Learning by Rosa Say
Kinetic Ideas Wendy Maynard
Learned on Women by Andrea Learned
Lindsay Pollak by Lindsay Polla
Live The Power by Karen Lynch
Liz Strauss at Successful Blog by Liz Strauss
Lorelle on WordPress by Lorelle VanFossen
Making Life Work for You by April Groves
Manage to Change by Ann Michael
Management Craft by Lisa Haneberg
Mandarin Design Daily:The MEG Blog Michelle Goodrich
Marketing Roadmaps Susan Getgood
Moda di Magno by Lori Magno
Modite by Rebecca Thorman Molly E. Holzschlag
Narrat Assets Karen Hegman
Netdiver Carole Guevin
On My Desk Linzie Hunter
Peace, Love, and Harmony by Kristen Harrell
Presto Vivace Blog Alice Marshall
Priscilla Palmer: Personal Development Demands Success by Priscilla Palmer
Productivity Goal by Carolyn Manning
Purse Lip Square Jaw Anne Galloway
Small Biz Survival by Becky McCray
Small Failures: Sustainability for the Rest of Us Jess Sand
swissmiss Tina Roth Eisenberg
The Brand Dame by Lyn Chamberlin
this is Rachel Andrew
Sheriar Designs Mani Sheriar
Spacey Gracey Review & TrueGritz by Grayson Daughters
Spare Change Nedra Kline Weinreich
StealthMode by Francine Hardaway
Talk It Up Heidi Miller
Tech Kitten by Trisha Miller
The Copy Writing Maven Roberta Rosenberg
The Blog Angel by Claire Raikes
The Engaging Brand by Anna Farmery
The Floozy Blog by Kate Coote
The Kiss Business Too by Karin H.
The Origin of Brands Laura Ries
The Parody by Sasha Manuel
The Podcast Sisters by Krishna De, Anna Farmery and Heather Gorringe
Veerle’s blog 2.0 Veerle
Water Cooler Wisdom by Alexandra Levit
Wealth Strategy Secrets by Nicola Cairncross
What’s Next Blog B L Ochman
That’s What She Said by Julie Elgar
Versa Creations by Vivienne
Ypulse by Anastasia Goodstein

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Category: Connections, Bloggers, Linkworthy

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The W-List, Yes!

Posted by Connie Reece on August 12, 2020 at 9:13 am

Following my recent post about the online mistreatment of women bloggers, my colleagues at Every Dot Connects pointed out the W-List: Gathering a List of Outstanding Women Bloggers. What a great idea! Our own Connie Reece is on the list, which is so appropriate. If you knew how hard Connie works, you wouldn’t be surprised.

Essential in the new economy - where we often work from home, a virtual office, or a third space - is the need to create communities where we gather to work and play. Every Dot Connects is one of those. We learn from each other and collaborate constantly on a variety of projects and topics.

The W-List is a great venue for highlighting just some of the many talented bloggers, who just happen to be women, and to create a community across the world. Invariably, someone out there will take offense to women being so assertive. Yes, unfortunately, some of those guys still exist, and they, too, have found their way into the blogosphere.

Just like the strong women who have made every other major advance in civilization possible, these women of the W-List can help pioneer the way for others into this exciting, possibly lucrative, and certainly challenging arena.

So, how does this tie in to the abusive behavior of some toward women in the blogosphere? There is strength in numbers. One lonely guy, who doesn’t have appropriate social behavior on line, might be able to sway one female blogger, but probably not a larger group. Although most women I’m around can handle themselves very well, thank you, it is understandable when someone is affected by abuse from an anonymous source.

The real value of the list is the promotion of skilled, talented, hard-working writers, who happen to be women. The strength in numbers that comes from creation of community is an added benefit. I say yes to both! Congratulations to Liz Strauss for her good work on this.

~Mike Chapman

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A Sea of White Males

Posted by Connie Reece on August 8, 2020 at 10:16 am

A major challenge for the burgeoning “netroots” movement in politics will be to make sure that there is a diversity of opinion and involvement. In a report on a recent meeting of Yearly Kos, a gathering of bloggers considered a dominant force in the left-leaning grassroots movement on the internet, it was pointed out by the Washington Post that the participants were predominantly white and male. At that same meeting, former U.S. Senator John Edwards, a candidate for President who has been very active in the blogosphere and other social media venues, and who happens to be a white male, received an overwhelming show of support from the participants. Conversely, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, obviously not a male, and also a candidate for President, did not receive as favorable a welcome. In fact, she was verbally jeered.

In fairness, the responses each received were reported to be based more on the respective candidate’s positions on the war in Iraq, and relationships with Washington lobbyists, than just on the candidate’s gender. But the article reminded me of a problem that is something many of us white male bloggers don’t think about enough. Even if the participants disagreed with the “woman” on the panel, would a more diverse audience have been so comfortable booing and hissing her? Or would a more representative group have behaved differently with a greater percentage of females participating?

I have yet to be harassed sexually, or in any other way, on a blog. The same Washington Post article reports, however, that “many women bloggers complain of sexism and harassment in the blogosphere.” Frankly, this makes my blood boil. Whoever these guys are, they should be ashamed. I’m hoping we can begin a conversation about how we address this in an effective way. If someone is stopping short of breaking the law, but is clearly harassing someone based on gender, how do we offer a way for would-be and current female bloggers to feel comfortable on line?

~Mike Chapman

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Category: In the News, Blogging, Bloggers

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We Need Coworking in Austin

Posted by Connie Reece on August 7, 2020 at 6:45 am

I’m a new evangelist for coworking in Austin. After spending time talking with my friends whurley, Kelley Burrus and Erica O’Grady about it, I’m convinced that Austin shouldn’t just be a coworking location, we should be a model for others. If you’re not familiar with the term “coworking”, check out the Coworking Community Blog. Simply defined, coworking is a movement to create cafe-like community/collaboration spaces for developers, writers and independents.

I agree totally with C.C. Chapman of Crayon that working from home and the office can both get creatively stifling at times. I’ve sought out just about every coffee bar in town looking for that perfect third space where I feel just right. Every time I venture out, however, I never know exactly where I’ll be able to set up the laptop and get right to work. All too often, I end up just drinking coffee and thinking about how I might be getting more work done back in the office. If only there was a another place to go.

What some of us are talking about for Austin is a place where tecchies, writers and creatives of all stripes, could buy a membership, much like a gym where you go to exercise. Necessary technology would be built in and provided in a comfortable setting. Of course there would be a coffee bar and maybe even food. Workspaces and lockers would be available. Venture capital and government sponsorship could foster the creative genius that would gather. Relationships would develop organically and natural collaboration would be inevitable.

If you think this is a good idea for Austin, I’d love to hear from you. Many of us involved in the Social Media Club of Austin want to help see it happen right here in the creative capital of the U.S. We’d love for you to help. I’ll keep you posted on how the movement is progressing.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: Social Media Club, Connections, Conversation

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MakeConnieLaugh Winner: Grand Prize

Posted by Connie Reece on August 6, 2020 at 9:30 am

Announcing the Grand Prize winner of the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less Contest will be the last off-topic post; we’ll resume regular blogging tomorrow. On second thought, is it really off-topic when your blog is about social networking and making connections through conversation?

The winning entry for the Grand Prize not only made me laugh, it had a special significance for me — one the writer could not possibly have known about, and one that directly pertained to the reason I was feeling blue and needed cheering up in the first place. The synchronicity really does not surprise me, though, for Jon Swanson, author of Levite Chronicles, is a man who listens with his heart.

Here’s his winning entry, and remember that it appears here in reverse chronological order.


When I dreamed up this contest, I had just been through a rough week. Then on Saturday morning, I found this post in my RSS reader. The last time I’d had a chance to sit down for a chat with John Moore, we talked about his mom’s battle with ALS. In addition to reading his blog, I’d been following John’s marvelous video scrapbook, narrated by his mom, Glenna, until she lost the ability to speak. Just take a look at this sample, where John’s dad, Al, tells about his love for Glenna.

I knew all too well what the Moore family was going through, having lost my father to a neurodegenerative disease in December 2000. He managed to maintain his sense of humor until the end, but the suffering took a huge toll on our family. As time passes, you forget the suffering and remember all the laughter. But for a few moments on Saturday morning, it all came back when I found out about Glenna Moore.

Thanks to my Twitter pals, the painful memories soon faded as person after person endeavored to make me laugh. And here’s why Jon’s Burma-Shave for the Information Highway tweets bowled me over.

burma-shave-logo.jpgMy father loved to load the family in the car and take us places. Back in those days (remember, I’m older than the average Internet maven), the occasional series of weathered Burma-Shave signs still dotted the back roads of the Hill Country. Dad would slow down so my sister and I could read them out loud.

That would distract us momentarily, but like every small child on a road trip, we would soon be asking how much longer it would be before we reached our destination. “Daddy, are we there yet?”

Daddy would always reply, “Not much farther. It’s just over that next hill.”

Those words came back to me on that final, unbearably long night when we kept a bedside vigil at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. Dad’s breathing became so labored that each breath would raise him chest-first off the bed. The nurses increased the dose of morphine to ease his pain.

At one point, when this lifelong Daddy’s Girl didn’t think she could take it any longer, I kissed his cheek and whispered, “Not much farther, Daddy. It’s just over that next hill.”

Mercifully, a couple of hours later my father slipped from this life to the next. I like to think that if there are two-lane roads in heaven, Daddy has “the pedal to the metal” on a battleship-sized Cadillac Fleetwood or Chrysler Imperial (his cars of choice), slowing down only long enough to read the angelic equivalent of Burma-Shave signs.

With more love and laughter and appreciation than you can imagine, Jon, I’m sending an autographed hardcover copy of The Age of Conversation your way.

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Category: Just for Fun, Connections, Social Networking, Twitter, Bloggers, Books

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MakeConnieLaugh Winner: First Place

Posted by Connie Reece on August 2, 2020 at 8:11 pm

I never imagined that the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less contest would turn out to be such a dangerous event. While I can’t award a Purple Heart, I can award a First Place prize to Tim Siedell, an advertising guru and jerky afficianado [inside joke] who was so determined to make me smile that he wound up injuring himself.

Tim Siedell / Bad BananaYou’ll have to dig deep on the Web to find a real photo of Tim; on his Bad Banana blog and Twitter he prefers to use the iconic image of one of his heroes, legendary adman David Ogilvy. A well-thumbed copy of Ogilvy on Advertising has a place of honor on one of my many bookshelves as well.

Here is the series of entries from Tim that cracked me up. Remember, these are posted in reverse chronological order, so it helps to start reading at the bottom.
Badbanana entries

Here’s a shout-out to Brenda and Ryan for adding to the fun.

A final note to Tim: I am still awarding you First Place, even though I later found out from your Web site that you also won the World’s Toughest Briefs competition. Somehow it sounds like you weren’t exactly playing fair here; nevertheless, you can still expect an autographed copy of The Age of Conversation. :-)

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Category: Just for Fun, Social Networking, Conversation, e-book, Twitter, Books

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Jan. 29 Up to Speed with Sheila
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