On April 4th, 2010 3:40PM a 7.2 quake jolted Northern Mexico and Southern California. After having a number of exchanges with friends in San Diego I began to evaluate my disaster preparedness resources and found them to be inadequate. I solicited the San Ramon Valley Regional Fire Protection District for an expert that I could involve on an informational episode on Blog Talk Radio where I do a talk show. They provided Debbie Vanek who is a expert on emergency and disaster planning. One friend from the San Diego area Claudia Esquer participated and shared some personal experiences from the earthquake. The episode addresses earthquake safety, preparation and even myths. One of the myths being the “Triangle of Life” that does not apply to our construction methods and is very controversial in the States.
I’ll be moderating a monthly community chat with Amplify.com CEO Eric Goldstein. Our next session is scheduled for May 20th, 2010 at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern. Subsequent episodes will be scheduled for the third Thursday of every month at the same time/place. This will be a great opportunity for the Amplify.com community to actively participate in the development of the fast growing social network. Save this link and set your calendar:
I enjoy speaking with and learning from leaders of innovative companies. My interview last week of Paul Pluschkell, CEO of Pleasanton, CA innovation platform Spigit was extrememly enlightening. I learned how far Spigit has taken the concept of crowd sourcing to foster innovation and solve problems within the private and public sector. I queried Paul on a number of subjects, some of the highlights included:
- Advice to new Entrepreneurs
- Employment opportunities
- Operating a startup in the Tri-Valley Area
- Gov 2.0 and Spigit
- The companies growth and financials
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Tonight I interviewed H Abram Wilson current mayor of San Ramon and candidate for Assembly District 15. Mayor Wilson is a public servant that promotes values that are lacking in many leaders. He believes that law makers should read the bills they are voting on. He believes that they should be accessible and responsive to constituent’s calls, letters and communications. Most importantly he believes that they should not forget who they are there to represent, we the people. It is refreshing to hear a politician whose values are in step with their actions as Mayor Wilson has walked the walk in his service to the San Ramon community.
Clearly individuals like Abram Wilson cannot succeed without the citizens of our state taking a more prominent role in policy. We need to vote on Election Day. We need to stay informed of issues that affect us. We also need to make sure that our voices are heard by calling and writing our representatives.
Evidently Abram’s message is resonating with voters. His campaign announced today that his fund raising efforts are out pacing incumbent Joan Buchanan by 2 to 1. I wish Abram the best of luck with his campaign and respect his efforts to make positive changes to move this state forward. I hope that his values and message gain traction, because I agree with him that we as citizens need to be more involved in forcing better policy decisions going forward.?
I had the opportunity to interview Internet entrepreneur Eric Goldstein founder/CEO of Clipmarks.com and Amplify.com. Eric is not your traditional technology innovator; his entrée into this industry is the result of his appreciation for conversation. While growing up in Long Island Eric’s family would often have discussions around the dinner table where he would learn and appreciate the value of different opinions and ideas. Ultimately this led Eric to pursue a career in Law.
About 10 years ago the foundations of Clipmarks.com were originating in Eric’s mind. By 2004 the site was launched and evolved to be a community that he is very fond of to this day. There was one small problem with Clipmarks from the internet entrepreneur side of things, the model was not scalable. Eric was forced to make decisions that would provide insight into his character. Despite the suggestion of at least one potential investor Eric opted to keep the Clipmarks community alive and create a new scalable site – Amplify.com.
The emphasis on conversation is still the driving force but the new site has scalability in its DNA. Amplify was officially launched in 2009 without much fanfare. Eric realized that if a site was to succeed it had to be viral, so there was no hype, no pre-launch party, no balloons, advertising or marketing push. The site was officially launched by about a half dozen employees and family members. Amplify has since proven that it can grow organically and viral with the number of posts and users growing substantially month over month. As of the interview there were approximately 800 posts per day on the Amplify.com website.
When we talked about the priorities of the site evolution, Eric mentioned that the feed portion of the site will be undergoing an overhaul. It will not come as a surprise that the overhaul is intended to further improve the quality of the conversation. After the overhaul is completed it is likely that support for pushing the content you create on amplify.com to other blog sites such as WordPress or Blogger. Presently you can choose (via checkbox) to push your content to:
When the blog integration is complete it will allow most users to rely solely upon Amplify.com to generate their content. This will really be quite an achievement.
I will be following Amplify.com very closely both as a user and a fan of their technology and conversational approach. For me 2010 is the year of the conversation, and that extends from Social Media, Family, Work, Blogtalkradio, and face to face meet-ups. While we were wrapping up the show Eric and I agreed that we would explore having another conversation down the road perhaps where some of the users of the site will call in and interact.