Five Years Talking

Obviously, I have been talking for much longer than that.

However, today marks five years being a spokesman for Alabama Power.

That’s an odd sort of thing to remember, as it did not involve a massive employment change, or promotion. If you’d like, you could consider it a “battlefield promotion” of sorts.

I was dubbed a company spokesperson at 11:32 a.m. – squarely between two enormous storm systems that struck Alabama on April 27, 2011.

I remember self-deploying to the office at 5 a.m., when I realized we had seven counties with tornado warnings, and 35,000 customers without service. I even stopped in a parking lot on the way, to avoid a coming gust front of more than 90 miles-an-hour.

The deadly wave hit around 3 that afternoon, and continued for hours. With my “promotion” in hand, I suddenly had more leeway with what I could tweet from the @AlabamaPower account, how I could engage, and how to use it to get intelligence. We assured whole neighborhoods, we got pictures directly from the heart of the carnage – and we also shared images of coming recovery and hope.

Who knows what I will be doing five years from now? Probably looking back at ten years after. Because it was that kind of day.

It is rather odd how the days that define us the most can remain so clear, vivid and detailed in our memory.

almost midnightI will be doing more talking in the coming weeks.

And after more than eight sporadic years, I will be doing less talking here.

At some point, this site and archive will be coming down. It’s time to mothball these essays, and figure out what they are and what they mean and what value they might still hold.

Of all the acclaim, I was proudest of something my mother said: “I like how what you write there seems timeless.”

Maybe what passes for my wit and wisdom will retain some of that value, and I can salvage it into something else. A different project, different product, different format.

I have several presentations to wrap up this week, and some conference work. So I don’t know how much longer this Razr will stay sharp.

But it has been one hell of a ride, hasn’t it?

Share Button

When Personalization Becomes Impersonal

impersonalIn my daily work, I end up on the receiving end of many solicitations. Often I am not the person they really want to reach, and more often than not what they are pitching has little relevance to my business or my industry.

Sometimes, those pitches are the source of very unintentional humor.

In this case, I will do my best to protect the less-than-innocent.  If you have gotten the same pitch, you might recognize it. Please don’t out them in the comments, but I am very curious to see if you see what I found…

[Continue reading]

Share Button

What Questlove, Nate Silver and Andy Dick taught me about viral headlines


[Continue reading]

A Field Guide for Spotting Social Fakery


I have written before about the art of spotting fake online accounts. Many of the tactics the tricksters use remain the same, but get a fresh coat of paint to maintain the illusion of appearances. For the most part, you really don't even have to know … [Continue reading]

Objective Reality, RIP


"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell What do we know anymore? And how do we know it? We live in scary times. Not because of threats at every turn - we exist in the greatest era … [Continue reading]

Stop failing our kids


Apparently, the number one thing you can do in school is Fail. Not "fail," as in the lowercase meaning of "missing a standard." No, I mean "Fail," as in "make a particular grade that comes with a negative connotation." I was talking with my friend … [Continue reading]

Talking Back to the Fans

rodney anon

This just goes to prove that you never know who is listening in social media these days. I suppose our sensibilities would not permit the Dead Milkmen to record "Taking Retards to the Zoo" in 2015, right? — Erik, Just … [Continue reading]