Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Art of Social Media Review

A review of The Art of Social Media

The book The Art of Social Media is written by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. They are basically heavy social media users. So, it is my pleasure to have their knowledge available in the form of this book. Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy in exchange of a review.

The nice thing about reviewing a book, especially non-fiction book is the fact that I can use it to do stuff with it. In this case, my usage of it was light. It's my fault, though. I was expecting to use it with my Nanowrimo project, and this is the first time in years that I failed to complete my project. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

The book itself is excellent, typical of Guy Kawasaki's work. If you haven't done so, I suggest that you check out his other books as well. They are all terrific. To be honest, there's some information overlap across that many books, but I don't mind. I'd rather have all the knowledge contained in a book, than having a book refer me to other books just to complete my knowledge. The fact that I have an electronic copy on my Kindle is a bonus. It's very convenient to just open it up and read, without having the burden of carrying papers around.

I think I screw up on my first item. It says that my profile should give the impression that you are likable, trustworthy, and competent. I guess the name "Simpleton Geek" isn't all that likable (who likes a geek?) and competent (Simpleton? Eh, move along, please). You can be sure to trust me, though. Would it help to say that I am likable (at least to other geeks), and competent?

Overall, I took notes on the first chapter on how to spruce up my profile. Maybe not enough to go the whole professional looks in one evening, but enough that I should be able to be more approachable, and not at all clueless looking. Yes, the book features a whole chapter on "cluelessness."

Chapter 2 shows several ways to curate contents. That's because according to Guy, a twice weekly content is not enough. Mind you, I subscribed to several on-line comics, and some of them are  3 times weekly. I even read Megatokyo webcomic, which if you're in the know, once-a-week update is not adhered to most of the time. I have to differ with Guy here regarding frequency. I don't know about timeliness, but sometimes people are responding to my old posts. So, I'd like to post well-crafted posts. Unfortunately, that's a weekly schedule for you, as I am terribly busy and lacking in free time. I tried to do a little each time, but it didn't work, and I predictably burned out. 

Still, if you do as much research as I do, the book does list useful resources that you can tap into, of which I am eternally grateful. I don't have to do 6 hours of research daily anymore. Now, I can compress it down to just 2-3 hours. Eh, not much time saved? Oh, well.

Chapter 3 is basically the meat of the book. What are you trying to say? What kind of posts will people find popular? Will you find a date on Tinder? These and other questions like them defines this chapter. I was just feeling very sad. If only I had known better. Then again, there's no time like the present to start improving yourself. Already my head is spinning with ideas on how to re-phrase certain planned posts. Thanks, Guy and Peg! What you write down here is worth the whole book to me. I know it's kind of silly to say that the a mere chapter is worth the whole book, but I'd say this holds true for me.

I do have some issue regarding some advice. Giving free Wifi to an event is great. Not providing password to the wifi is incorrect. Yes, if you put on password, it'll have to be posted everywhere. But you'll see the network name and connection, and this will mitigate the man-in-the-middle attack. I certainly don't think that a free wifi is a big deal to risk that and absolutely refuse to connect to free public wifi, which means that the existing wifi is useless to me. If you have the means, then by all means provide more than one, with at least one as protected "premium" version.

A very useful plan is provided for a book launch at the end. It provides a comprehensive step-by-step method to promote your book on Amazon, Goodreads, and other platforms. It is certainly useful to anybody who has any aspiration to promote a product or service on social media. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm still here!


Alright. So it has been awhile since I last post here. In truth, there's no really reason for it. I've been doing a lot of research in the past few months, and I think I finally got it. There's a tremendous amount of backlog of materials that I want to post, but in truth, I have to cut down on the topics I want to post.

I pretty much give up doing some semblance of topical posts. I'll just do it the natural way my brain works: Rambling all over the town! As far as topics are concerned? Well, there's the search button. :)

Computer programming is always part of me and I will be posting that on my other blog, Simpleton Geek blogspot. Book/movie reviews will go there as well. Things that are of interest of geeks will go there.

This Ramstrong blog will feature Arts and Crafts. You know, the complete opposite of tech. Dean Kamen is a nerd, and so he has STEM, instead of STEAM. As I'm a geek, I think Art is an important element to the equation. So, I will be featuring those kind of things here.

I just recorded a video of me making markers with Crayola Marker Maker. I did it using just the refill, not the whole package. It works great. I'll upload it sometime, and feature it here.

There's also a comic project, although that is still in initial progress, so I don't know how that will work yet.

Oh, well. Nanowrimo is up and I have yet another blog for it. That one is private, though, so only friends will be able to access it.

In the meantime, AH'M BACK!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IKUSA Board Game

So, today is TableTop Game Day. One of the sponsor is Wizard's Chest in Denver. I swung by there today. The second floor is full of Halloween costume. Hmmm. I wonder why they keep those year round? The first floor is a collection of anything that is of interest to "gamers". They actually have a magic trick demonstration table in the corner.

The demonstrator there is pretty friendly, and he showed me a clever trick with "turn over card" where he flipped cards with just a gentle shake of his hands. Pretty impressive stuff. We chat for a bit, where I confessed that I used to do magic tricks. I showed him a couple trick bits. Then he asked me why I stopped doing it. "No audience," I replied. Yup. The hanging curtain of magicians everywhere.

So, they have set up a lot of tables where people were playing games everywhere. Nothing that stirred up my interest, though. So, I wandered over the the board game section. Now, this is the section where premium board games are sold. One caught my eye in particular: "IKUSA".

The name is unfamiliar to me. It certainly is Japanese warfare. I flipped the box over and I saw a familiar map of "Samurai Swords". This board game was formerly known as "Shogun" until James Clavell novel came out and they ended up changing the name. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, it piqued my interest so much that I looked at the price. Then my eyes bugged out. I couldn't believe it! The price, as clearly stated on the upper right corner was the incredible amount of: $4.95!

Yup. You read that right. Just a shade under 5 dollars. Are you kidding me? The build was definitely of high quality. Normally, these kind of builds would cost north of $80. So, I flagged a staff member. After having him read the price, I offered $20 for it. Ha ha.

Of course, he doesn't have the authority to sell the box at the price, so the owner, or a person of authority that I assume was the owner, confirmed that although the game is on sale, it certainly isn't at $4.95! Normally, the game sells for $90 range. I asked him whether on sale means half-off. The final price was $67.98. Not cheap, but I think that's a fair price for the game and its excellent build quality.

He asked me whether I'm familiar with GameMaster series. I replied that I did not, but I am familiar with the Samurai Sword game. He then proceeded to point out all the difference between this Ikusa game and Samurai Sword game. It turns out that it's the exact same game, except much updated for the modern times. So, I think that's great service that he provides.

In any case, I have been thinking of the old game a lot lately. I was impressed with the great gameplay system. I'm kind of curious why the new game only have one ninja, but otherwise, I do have fond memory of the old game. Since I'm a sucker for sale, out comes the credit card, and I bring home this Ikusa game.

I noticed that this is Avalon Hill Games + Wizardry + Hasbron. Made in China.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Leisurely Bike Ride

I went for a bike ride today. Strolling around the neighborhood took one hour. According to my computer: 59 minutes, 254 calories, 3.9 fat, 7.2 miles, 14.7 max speed, 7.3 avg speed. I wonder if that computation is based on flat road, or hilly?

I think I need a new saddle. The one currently on the bike is hard as a board and the path is rather uneven. I used the bike path on the road today, detouring when such path is filled with ice. Considering it's a small road, it's fine.

I really don't see me doing more than 15 mph at this time. Maybe if I can find a better bike path, I can do faster than that. In the meantime, I'll continue to look elsewhere. Too bad there's not a good bike path from home that I can see. Ideally, it'll be uphill going out, and downhill going home. That way, if I pushed it too hard, it'll be a simple coast to home.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Speed Bumps are Facts of Life

So, I haven't been too active in the last 2 weeks. There have been some progress, but not much. I bought a bicycle. For some reason, I got hooked with electric bikes, but the one I bought was not an electric model. It's a cheap Schwinn Frontier I got from a thrift store for $50. Another $65 for tune-up, and it's as good as new. I'm pulling out my old helmet and gloves. A good backpack, and it'll be good to go.

For some reason, there is a path between here and Confluence Park. It'll be about 25 miles. I'll have to check that out. It's possible that I'll have to cross some streets. There is bike path from here to Community College of Aurora, at least.

I was having fun, then the bad news hit. First, my car broke down on New Year. It took me a week to fix. Then I found out my tooth has hole on it. I went to a dentist, and have him x-ray and examine my teeth. Cost: $200. Verdict: Cavities, 3 minors and 2 majors. Will need deep cleaning as well since I've gone more than 5 years without it. I was quoted another $1000 for 4 quadrant, which I found out later was average. Apparently, inflation is alive and well. I think if it's major operation, I may want 3-5 days rest period in between. That's about 20 days. Well, there goes my vacation plan. I'll have to adjust it later, but January vacation plan is definitely off the book.

May as well. I guess I'll be entering Game Jam later this January 26 weekend. I'll be doing it PTC style. We'll see how well I do, and see what good will come out of it. I'm not even sure if I'll be doing vacation in February. It may be just 2 weeks, instead of a month as planned.

Well, bad things happen. That's a given. What matters is how do I handle things. At this point in time, I don't know. The dentist didn't want to commit on the price. So, it's still in exploratory phase. I don't blame him. I did make it clear that I will be financing everything myself.

So, there is this advertising on CraigList:
Dental Patients needed (University of Colorado Dental School). Call 970-480-7177. One would think that people's teeth are healthy and that they don't need patient to practice on, but I guess not. Oh, well. I did have that x-ray and pictures, and that should help them decide whether or not they can work on my dental.

As a plus, I find that real professionals will guarantee the standard of treatment if they know their work will be checked by another professional, especially of the educational institution!