Time to Move

It’s kind of cool that this blog has covered me living in what will soon 4 different places.  I started this blog in 2004 when I was living in Redmond, WA.  At the time, I used that and a gallery located on my server to communicate back home to my parents and friends.  I had never lived away from home, and the blog at that time allowed me to communicate back home in a way that had never before been possible.  Of course, now I’m like an old fuddy-duddy, because blogs are old-school, and nobody’s reading blogs and RSS and is dead and yadda yadda yadda.  Who cares, this technology is still the best for long form publishing on the Internet, so I’m going to keep on writing, if not frequently.

In 2005 and into 2006 I was heavily involved, because of this blog, in the videoblogging community and through it, a startup called Mycelia Networks, which produced FireAnt.  That was my first introduction to the Bay Area startup community and the Bay Area in general.  I had wanted at that time to consider moving to the Bay Area,  at least, in my head I did, but I began to wax philosophical about days gone by and friendships abandoned back in Arkansas, as well as a pending adoption, so we headed back to Arkansas for a year’s respite from real professional life and continued the startup work there.  I figured I was starting two companies, one local, one remote, hedging my bets, and who cared where I worked at a startup from anyways.  One startup folded and didn’t really need me; I ran out of money, again; and off to Colorado we went.

Over five years later, and it’s time to leave.  I very much enjoyed my stay here.  I met a lot of interesting people, but I am sad that I’m leaving behind so few friendships.  Of all of you I know and respect from Colorado, it’s been awesome knowing you, and I’m very sorry we weren’t closer.  That’s my fault not yours, and I wish I had been more open to having better friendships while I was here.  It’s something I hope to correct in California.

And now, on to California.  I love the Bay Area.  I’m so excited to be coming.  I do, very much, plan for this to be the final move.  I have the Pacific to the West, Napa to the North, Yosemite to the East, and Disneyland to the South.  I have a pool in my backyard.  I have a job that is currently in contention for the best job I’ve ever had.  I’m not sure life can get much better, and with a few resolutions for our new life in my head off I go.  Thursday will see us riding into the sunset.  So long Colorado, it’s been great!  California, here we come.

Response to divecorps.net Post

I can’t post a comment on your blog, so I’m going to post it here on mine and send you a trackback.

A local developer, Benny Westphal, has sold 10 acres of his 75 acre riverfront property to the Keetowah Indians so that he can legally put a casino in downtown Fort Smith. … His name certainly should be closely attached to such a terrible endevour so that no one can doubt in 15 years who brought the destruction of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

This argument is the same argument people make against lotteries. The fact of the matter is, whether you legalize gambling or not, people will find a way to throw away their money. There are plenty of endeavours in which can relieve poor people of the little money they have. If there’s a casino in Pocola and a casino in Roland, how is having one 7 miles closer going to make a difference? However, what it will do is bring a thousand jobs to the area, sponsor the critical Riverfront development all the citizens of Fort Smith have been crying for for the last 15 years, and above all that provide an entertaining place to go. My only hope is that Arkansas adjusts it’s gambling laws to allow poker rooms in Casinos.

On the same note, I’m excited to find someone talking about this on their blog. It’s about time! Local politics matter, no matter what side of the subject you happen to be on. I’d like to see more postings like this from you. What I’d like more is to see you join the group I’m trying to get together, a Fort Smith Bloggers group. We’ve got a Yahoo Group started at http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/fsbloggers, and we’re trying to get enough people interested to have a meetup. I hope to see you there!

The Skunk Spray


Originally uploaded by Coccyx.

This is Maggie after her bath. Apparantly Maggie picked the wrong skunk to mess with tonight and ended up permeating the entire house with a wonderful aroma. Ah, the pleasures of living in the country.

Fort Smith Blogger Meetup Group

I’m organizing a meetup group for bloggers in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. If you’re interested, contact me or join our Yahoo! Group.

Web 2.0 Marketing

Tom has a good post over on his personal blog about marketing in the Web 2.0 age. Something we’re finding a lot of people are missing, especially in Arkansas, is how to integrate their web presence into their existing marketing strategies.

It’s especially fascinating to be bringing the web to people,especially skipping the last 10 years of the Internet, and trying to bring them up to what people are calling Web 2.0. People, even in Arkansas, are either going to get that the Internet is changing everything about the way they do business, from marketing to customer interaction, or go out of business. Tom’s a leading mind in this area, IMHO, right up with the best of them.

Some Local News in Fort Smith

Shareholders approve sale of Beverly Enterprises, Inc.. Kind of scary, since they have a rather large corporate office in town. They employ 600 people in the area, white-collar, office jobs, so their loss would hit the community quite heavily. The reason for the sale? Mostly litigation. Turns out it’s pretty expensive to defend a nursing home operation against lawsuists, with Arkansas, their home state, being one of the worst.

City leaders eye $175 million in tax revenue for city improvements. This isn’t really necessarily a bad idea. Funny, 15 or 20 years ago we had a study done to the tune of a couple million dollars telling us we need to develop the riverfront. Since then we’ve built an ampitheatre. The rest of the area has continue to run down, and we’re wondering why we’re having a hard time competing when the newest major buildings in town are a new police office and county jail. We don’t even have a good City Hall! Luckily, earmarked in this budget is funding for a new City Hall as well as a sports complex down on the riverfront. The majority of the funds are earmarked for fixing the sewer system, which although we always pass water quality tests, is apparantly not up to snuff according to the EPA. I’m all for improvements that don’t require increasing our already exhorbanant sales tax. As a secondary note, this article was written by Adria Lynch, who I went to school with. Strange that I’m starting to see classmates in professional jobs locally. I don’t know why that’s strange, just is.

FBI gives vague time frame for investigation. This is the real gem. Apparantly the Roland, OK and Moffett, OK police departments are being investigated by the FBI. About damn time! Those PDs have been corrupt my entire life, to the tune of confiscating and selling drugs, trapping out of state motorists for transporting alcohol interstate, etc. I hope they fry them.

The Local Web Experiment: Fort Smith, Arkansas

A while back, I wrote about what I’m calling the Local Web. The Local Web, in my mind, is a group (an infinite number of groups are possible) which arrange their interconnectedness by sharing a geographical point of reference, traditionally Metropolitican Statistical Areas, or MSAs. The Local Web is already built in many of the larger cities, with directories and vertical search engines to allow you to search for stuff in major metropolitan areas, but a good percentage if not the majority of Americans live outside of a major metropolitan area. The connected netizens from those areas are being largely overlooked by current major initiatives to create localized web experiences.

I’m starting an experiment in a town that should be the perfect size. My hometown is Fort Smith, Arkansas, a town of about 80,000 with about a quarter million in the MSA. There are billions of dollars of business done every year here, and many companies here ship worldwide. However, for doing business in town, most people still reach for the phone book. The reason for this, of course, is because you can spend days Googling around for information about Fort Smith businesses without finding much but spam sites. No one in this town has made a concerted effort to make sure things are easily found on the web about businesses they’d like to do business with.

So, I’m starting an experiment. I’m going to organize a blogger meetup to start. I’ve already found several local bloggers and I’m going to find or create more. I’m going to organize them and attempt to get them to write about business and other activities (softball, church, whatever) they that they do locally and where they do them at. I’m going to try to incent people to create links from site to site across town and try to make information more easily indexable by the search engines so that when you search for something in the area you don’t end up at a spam site. We will be holding the meetings at Kirkham Systems of Fort Smith.

Once this is going strongly, I, along with the staff of Kirkham Systems are going to start showing the results to local businesses and convince them they should have a website with a blog and incent them to link to the people they’re doing business with and write about their experiences with it. The goal is to create an interconnected web of links focused on this geographical area, so that if you end up at Kirkham Systems website you’ll find annotated links about the people we do business with, and when you end up there you can find the people they do business with.

If I’m right, by the time I’m done, Google will be a far more interesting resource to find information about businesses, things and places in Fort Smith, Arkansas than any other resource, anywhere. This may seem boring to people who live on the coasts and can find a well designed and well organized website for even local businesses, but for the large portions of the country that have been ignored by businesses attempting to organize information for them on the web, I think this will be a large step forward. No one understands or cares about this because they haven’t been educated as to what it can mean for both their businesses, themselves and their community. My goal is to educate everyone here.

The Local Web is long overdue.

Almost done…

Truck arrived today. Brent and my mother came by to help, but in reality it turns out we didn’t need a whole lot. We unloaded the trailer in 2.5 hours with just Bob, Vicki, Melanie, my mother and myself. Pretty impressive. Now it’s just time to sift through all the boxes. At least I’ve gotten the iMac out and setup (Brent saw to that 🙂 ). One of these days I’ll find the time to write a real blog entry as well. Maybe some video too. Stay tuned, it’s coming.

We’re here

Only 30 minutes late. Everything went great. It’s amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better move.

Updates on the Move

My wife is doing a good job updating everyone on the move. Check out her posts here, here and here.