Archives for the month of: February, 2011

Friends and colleagues may know I am in a band called The West End.

Over the summer, we were fortunate enough to play an awesome gig at the City of Rockville’s annual “Uncorked Wine Festival.” When we play City gigs, they always provide pro sound (usually through the very awesome RCI Sound). Since we knew there’s be a good sound engineer, we brought along a recorder to grab the performance.

We recorded through two mics set up at the back of the audience. The results were pretty good, I think, and they give a good document of our performance. (The only thing is the keys are not as loud as they usually sound in the mix, and the guitar is a bit louder than usual.)

These are all originals (Brad Rourke or Mike Shawn) except where indicated. Just click on the links to listen:

Summertime Summertime (Gershwin)

Sorry Somehow Sorry Somehow (Grant Hart)

Free To Choose Free To Choose (Rourke)

Persephone Persephone (Shawn)

Halah Halah (Mazzy Star)

Give You My Loving Give You My Lovin’ (Mazzy Star)

One Last Time One Last Time (Rourke)

Hard To Sleep Hard To Sleep (Rourke)

By The Mark By The Mark (Gillian Welch)

Mary, Don’t You Weep Mary, Don’t You Weep (Trad.)

Angel From Montgomery Angel From Montgomery (John Prine)

Snitch Snitch (Rourke)

Long Black Veil Long Black Veil (Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin)

Wishing Well Wishing Well (Rourke)

Please take this survey on social network services. It is short and easy.

Over the weekend, I innocently posted the following on Facebook:

Does anyone really use Twitter anymore? Why?

I should have known it would happen, but that question touched off a long comment trail that included lots of friends and colleagues. There was lots of food for thought.

That got me thinking it would be useful to do a blog post about how people are using various social networking services (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).

As an early adopter, I think about that question pretty often, and I have noticed my own Twitter usage change over the last twelve months. In fact, just a year ago, I said that Twitter is my main network — now it’s Facebook. (That is what prompted my question.)

So, I am planning a blog post on this subject. I am asking for your help. Please take this brief survey. I promise it has fun questions and is painless. You can do it in ten minutes or so.

Got that? Take the survey at this link.

I am writing this at the airport, between flights. There is a family nearby, with a toddler. He likes to wander around, clearly. The mother calls to him, “Stay where I can see you!”

It’s a parent’s nightmare: Losing your child because they wander off while playing.

I remember when I had my own epiphany about this. My children were playing on a large lawn that sloped away from where the adults were socializing. There were a number of kids, actually. We adults told the kids, “Stay where we can see you.” that’s when I realized: They have no way of knowing whether I can see them or not.

So I walked out to where the kids were playing, looking back to the adults. when the slope of the lawn made them invisible, I walked back toward them until they were in view again. Then I balled up a couple of sweatshirts and dropped them on the grass. “Don’t go past this line,” I told the kids.

That lesson has stuck with me in the professional world. In communications, we always talk about trying to adopt the perspective of whom we are trying to reach. But it is so, so hard. Something as simple as “stay where I can see you” is in fact put in exactly the opposite way.

Later, I figured out a less labor-intensive way of keeping the kids corralled. I would just say: “Make sure you can see me.” Just invert the statement and it makes sense (and makes my point a bit more neatly too).

In the day to day world, how many people are we communicating backwards to?