PotF: Presenter’s View

PotF: Presenter’s View, originally uploaded by JoshB.

My view during the “Business of Podcasting” panel at Podcast on the Floor.

I’m tagging photos from the conference with “podcastonthefloor“, and Johnny just created a Podcast on the Floor Flickr group, so if you’re here, share your photos, and if you’re interested, check them out!


Morning at Podcast on the Floor

Arrived here at the convention center. WiFi is $12.95 a day, so I hooked up my Sprint Ambassador phone with it’s EVDO connection as a modem, and got online that way. Then we hooked up the iMac next door, and are sharing the connection out (couldn’t figure out how to share via the wireless on my Tablet PC).

Instant free mobile WiFi hotspot. πŸ™‚

Did a workshop first thing with John Anthony Hartman on producing a podcast from scratch, then sat on a panel on the Business of Podcasting, representing podcasting at Intel, and how podcasting is happening in the corporate world. Both were great, and we recorded the audio, which will be released later (I’m guessing at, so I’ll definitely point to those when they’re up.

Off to find something for lunch, then more workshops in the afternoon.


How to delight your users (or: FeedBurner support rocks!)

A few days ago, when I posted about turning off FeedBurner ads, I wasn’t very worried about it. It was more an experiment to get familiar with their tools than anything. But Rick Klau, VP of Business Development, contacted me not once but twice via email, and also left a comment on my post, to let me know that I had uncovered a bug in their reporting process that was incorrectly reporting my ad revenue as $0.

So, even though I never contacted them, they:

  1. Watch the blogosphere for mentions of their company
  2. Respond rapidly and personally to customer issues
  3. Followed up to let me know that they fixed the problem

That, my friends, is how to do support in the new conversation-connected world. πŸ™‚

Thanks, Rick, for the help – I’ve turned FeedBurner ads back on for now, to give them a run, and see how they do. I won’t be retiring off of the revenue any time soon, but at least it’s non-zero, showing me that it’s working. I’ll keep you updated, and even though I don’t drink, we’ll definitely have to hook up at Gnomedex. πŸ™‚


I’ll be at InnoTech/Podcast on the Floor 4/19 and 4/20

I’ll be participating at the Podcast on the Floor part of the InnoTech conference at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland tomorrow (4/19) and Thursday (4/20). I’ll be presenting a workshop on “Building at Audio Podcast from Scratch” with John Anthony Hartman at 9:30 AM on 4/19, and participating in the “Is Podcasting for Real?” panel with organizer Alex Williams and other podcasting luminaries at 2:45 PM on 4/19. I’ll also be hanging out both days at the “Tech Lounge”, doing equipment demos, showing off gadgets, answering questions, and generally schmoozing with attendees.

Come by and see me if you’re in Portland! You can get free tickets to the conference! There’s also going to be a Podcast Hotel party at the Jupiter Hotel Thursday night, and good times are guaranteed. Come check it out!

Oh, and just because I’m a geek, I created a Google Calendar for the Podcast on the Floor workshops and events. You can subscribe to the iCal feed if you know what that is, and you are so inclined.

Thanks to Alex Williams for inviting me to participate. See you there! πŸ™‚


Feed weirdness

Jason pointed out to me, in email, that my Feedburner-powered feed ( hasn’t been updating for a few days (since April 12).

I hit the feed in my browser, and sure enough, he was right. Why is that weird? I’m subscribed to my own feed in Bloglines, and it’s been updating normally – stuff I posted yesterday and today was showing up.

Anyway, I resynced my feed at Feedburner, and it appears to be updating normally now. Not sure if there was some time warp glitch at Feedburner that threw my feed into last week, or what.

All should be well, now. Let me know if you’re seeing otherwise.


Microsoft Intellipoint software for Mac

Well, what do you know. My previous post about using my Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse on my Mac mini led me to see if Microsoft’s Intellipoint software, for programming all the extra buttons, etc., exists for Mac.

Lo and behold, it does. πŸ™‚

Installing now. Kind of weird that the download comes from, and not, but oh well. Seems official enough to me – the “post date” is March 14, 2006 – about a month ago, so it seems this is a recent revision. I’ll report on how it goes.


MS Bluetooth Keyboard On My Mac

MS Bluetooth Keyboard On My Mac, originally uploaded by JoshB.

I rearranged my desk space at work today, and decided to try out my Microsoft Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with my Mac mini. Pairing happened without a hitch, and even though I did have to jump through some “identify your keyboard” hoops after pairing the keyboard (press the button next to the shift keys), my Mac now sees a Microsoft Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse.

The volume up/down and mute buttons on the keyboard work, as do all of the Function keys. The “Sleep” button brings up a dialog prompting to Restart, Sleep, Cancel, or Shut Down. All the other fancy buttons, though, such as Favorites, Media, Mail, etc. don’t work (to be expected, since Microsoft’s Intellipoint software controls these on Windows). The scroll wheel on the keyboard works, which was a pleasant surprise. I also learned how the “Windows” key behaves on a Mac – it acts like the Apple/Command key on an Apple keyboard. Alt and Ctrl both do the same thing you’d expect them to.

The Bluetooth Intellimouse Explorer works as expected, too. The scroll wheel works, and when I click the scroll wheel, it brings up Dashboard, just like on the Mighty Mouse. The side button (“Back” in WIndows”) activates ExposΓ©, just like the squeeze side buttons on the Mightly Mouse. There’s a fifth button on the side of the Intellimouse Explorer that the Mac doesn’t seem to be able to use (it was “forward” under Windows), which is kind of a bummer, but again understandable, since it’s the Microsoft Intellipoint software that handles all those fancy functions under WIndows.

What did I do with my Apple keyboard and Mighty Mouse? Why, hooked them up to my Tablet PC, of course.

It’s a topsy turvy Mac/Windows mashup in Josh Bancroft land, folks. πŸ™‚


Turned Off Feedburner Ads

I just deactivated FeedBurner’s ads in my site feed. The experiment was successful – I discovered whether or not their ad service performed well. It did not. A couple hundred impressions, 3 clicks, and exactly $0 in revenue.

I don’t know what kind of feed would perform better with their ad service, but if you’re a blogger, it’s probably not worth your while.

Thanks for being patient with me. πŸ™‚


Craft Stick Catapult

Craft Stick Catapult, originally uploaded by JoshB.

Not really a gadget, but here’s a shot of a craft stick catapult that I built with my Webelos den last week (I’m the Den Leader). We used the sticks, rubbber bands, and plastic spoons to build catapults, and then had a distance/accuracy contest to see who could best launch little mini marshmallows across the room and into a wastebasket target.

The initial design had a relatively small rubberband on the bottom, which controlled the force of the launch. It was pretty weak, so I beefed mine up with a bigger band. I was worried that the structure wouln’t take the extra tension, but it held up.

The extra resistance from the bottom band meant that the upper band (which you can’t really see in this picture), which held the spoon and acts like the axle, needed to be beefed up, too.

With those two modifications, the catapult became a formidable marshmallow launching machine, though accuracy was low. Coupled with the PVC marshmallow shooters we made last year, I’m amassing quite the soft white sugary arsenal. πŸ™‚


Impromptu Tablet PC demo in the Men’s Room

Last week I ended up giving an impromptu demo of my X41 Tablet PC in the men’s restroom at work. I had set my tablet in “slate” mode, screen facing up, on the little shelf by the door while I, uh, did my business.

On the way out, someone saw it and remarked “cool toy – what is that?” I started explaining that it was a Tablet PC, proceeded to show off how the digitizer pen works, etc. During this time, three or four other people had come in to the restroom, and were crowded around to check it out. It was kind of weird, but fun. πŸ™‚

Do you ever evangelize your gadgets to others? What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever given a demo? Anyone who can beat my restroom story gets a cookie. πŸ˜‰