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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category
14 Sep

Words to live by: Bones Brigade

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“Don’t let anything poison your individuality. Be away. Break away. Look in not outward.” — Rodney Mullen

I need to remember these words when I am feeling down… alone… struggling to find my place.

Sometimes I doubt myself… my abilities… my impact. I worry that the ‘train’ is leaving without me.

I have looked at others and tried to measure up. But those standards aren’t mine. Never were.

I have to remember to keep my head down… keep working… build my own trains.

// Another post for me.

Categories: Movies, Personal Tags:
19 Jun

The Scientific 7-minute Workout timed, animated GIF

So, I’ve started doing The Scientific 7-minute Workout that was written about in the NYTimes recently.

Maybe I was doing it wrong, but keeping the exercises, times and cycles seemed a little more challenging than it needed to be.

So, using their graphic/chart, I converted it into a timed, animated GIF:


[ CLICK TO LAUNCH PAGE ]

the-scientific-7-minute-workout-timed-animated-gif

[ CLICK TO LAUNCH PAGE ]


Think of this as an animated, clip-n-save graphic.

Let me know what you think of The Scientific 7-minute Workout Timed, Animated GIF!

UPDATE: Posted this on imgur and, well, people liked it: http://imgur.com/gallery/qaBLnIr

23 May

Four requirements for successful development

At this stage, this is more a hypothesis… I want your reactions to this concept.

It’s based on my past successes and failures in projects/development. I, like all of us, have strengths and weaknesses in different categories, but for successful product developments, you need each… equally… at different times, perhaps, but constantly evolving and influencing the project.

ThinkListenBuildSell-fourneeds

Again, these requirements are in constant flux through different stages of the project, actively influencing each other.

Think: You have to have a creative, useful idea.

Listen: You have to truly listen/hear and adapt to wants/needs. From your community to stakeholders.

Build: You can talk. You can listen. But to have traction, you have to build something. A mockup, a demo or a working beta. Very much from the “show your work” model.

Sell: For journos, this is a new phase. But you have to promo your project… sell it to people. From your supervisor to actual investors.

I’ll try to write/explain more about this later… but I wanted to post this before I forget it… and I also want to collect reactions.

Categories: Personal, Projects Tags:
08 May

Primus’ The Pressman (lyrics)

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“The Pressman”


By the light of lamp I’ll sit to type
My notes on tab at my side
I don’t see the sun much these days
Fluorescent tan covers my hide

How much impact shall I have this time?
My goal today is to reach the deadline
I write between the lines, I deal with fantasy, I report the facts
Give them to me, please

Ham and egg salad on white bread gives me company on nights like this
Pack of mentholated cigarettes keeps my air nice and thick
When I write, words flow like coins from a candy box
Get out of my way, I’ve got something to say

The pulse is beating louder now, the pulse is beating louder now
The cramps in my hands grow more intense with each
Tik, tik, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap on the keys
My social life is at an end, so it seems to be

Why don’t I just trample on your lawn today?
I’ll take the skies of blue and turn ’em … skies of gray
I write between the lines, I deal with fantasy, I am the pressman
Acknowledge me

Mother always told, “Never stay too far from home”
The little lady said, “Boy, you’ll never have to be alone
‘Cause you build with fountain pen
You create the memory stain, you are the pressman
Stand up straight, boy”

– 30 –

Categories: Journalism, Music, Personal Tags:
15 Apr

John Cleese’s Factors to Make Your Life More Creative ht Maria Popova @brainpicker

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This is gold.

“As we all know, it’s easier to do trivial things that are urgent, than it is to do important things that are not urgent, like thinking. And it’s also easier to do little things that we know we can do, than to start on big things that we’re not to sure about.”
— John Cleese

GOLD!!!

Maria Popova / @brainpickerThis post by Maria Popova on her brainpickings.org site is gold! Go there and give it deserved traffic: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/04/12/john-cleese-on-creativity-1991/

Go there! Click… and even donate!

So, why am I posting parts of it here?

If you haven’t noticed, this “blog” is more for me… and I want to remember this post. I want to find it easily… and get the inspiration from it when I need it.

John Cleese’s entire talk on being creative:


Some of the best highlights: http://youtu.be/ijtQP9nwrQA

John Cleese’s factors to make your life more creative:

  1. Space
  2. Time
  3. Time
  4. Confidence
  5. Humor

“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.”
— John Cleese

Categories: Culture, Personal Tags:
28 Mar

A plea: Why you should not leave journalism

This isn’t a post defending why I love journalism. Nor is it one condemning those that have left it.

This post is a plea.

This morning I saw a tweet that led me to this sad reality:

A new study finds that, in 42% of companies, low performers actually report being more engaged – more motivated and more likely to enjoy working at their organization, for example – than middle and high performers do.”

That line made me reflect on my life… and the lives of the peers I truly respect. We’re all frustrated and “unhappy.” Well, according to some people.

Why?

Because we are passionate.

Because we are not satisfied.

Because we know what it could be, which is so much more than what it currently is.

And we’re fighting for it. It’s a struggle… but we do it.

In many of my peers’ careers, including mine, you look around the organization and are in shock.

In shock because while we bust our collective asses in our struggle, others – these “low performers” – have moved up along side us.

They have failed up.

Don’t tell me you can’t immediately think of at least one name in your newsroom right now.

They’ve been there forever. Before you got there and started trying to change things… and quite honestly, they’ll be there after you leave. These people mean well… but they don’t fight for their beliefs like we do.

We – and I am not saying this is healthy – break down in tears from the frustration of our struggle. We question our own value, despite our incredible track records of change and success. We question our life and doubt all the sacrifices we’ve made along the way… even though we’d do it all over again.

But, which is understandable, we burn out. And we leave. Leave the heartbreak. (Or, which happens too, we leave the company for a better one. But we will inevitably be unsatisfied again.)

In all this… we also leave behind those satisfied “low performers” … and that’s how they move up.

Back to my plea.

I know it sucks. I know it is so crippling at times. I know you question the direction of your life. I know you think you are crazy (you must be, right, because no one is freaking out as much as you are). I know all this.

But I also know you are not alone. That you are not crazy. And that we are better off with you fighting for your beliefs.

We are better off with you in journalism – or in what ever industry you are frustratingly passionate about.

Take a break. Make a change. But don’t give up… and don’t you dare get falsely satisfied.

Stay hungry. I know it hurts sometimes, but stay hungry.

When you have doubts, look to your passionate peers. Remember Horizontal Loyalty. Re-read the Holstee Manifesto. And, occasionally, watch videos like this or this.

But stay. And make the difference.

PS: Please read this back to me if/when you see me doubting/questioning myself. Please.

12 Mar

Learn Code Project: A year ago…

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It was about a year that I was boarding my plane headed back to the West Coast, recharged and inspired by SXSW12.

By the time I landed, I had coded and launched this new project.
learncodeforjournalismwithme-logo-thumbnail
Man, what a difference a year makes.

Frustrated (and starting to get desperate) with finding partners to collaborate/experiment with, I figured I should put off the inevitable and teach myself code. I know I wouldn’t be the best coder — like I’m not the best audio storytelling or photographer — but I respected the craft and know its power.

I had been director of development for seattletimes.com where we designed and built cool shit, which was ahead of its time… and now feels… so… quaint.

In my quest for dev skills, I tried a variety of different non-journalism, code classes… from video to web-based tutorials. I, as ONA pre-conference and NAHJ conference coordinator, recruited friends and colleagues to craft custom journalism focused all-day coding workshops.

I even offered a (nearly free) all-day, intro to Python bootcamp at USC Annenberg thanks to the awesome PyLadies.

For the record, while this benefited the community as a whole, I was doing it for me. And none of it worked… for me.

But after SXSW, inspired by Codecademy‘s Code Year (even though I had given up on it like other New Year’s resolutions) and a curious user of Google+ Hangouts, I created the Learn Code for Journalism with Me project.

Yes, it’s a loooooong name. My partner-in-crime Kim Bui openly hates it. I know.

But it comes from a series of projects I’ve hung around the domain journalismwith.me.

Anyway, the idea was a simple one and the reaction to it was overwhelming. I was clearly on to something… and I wasn’t the only one trying to solve this.

Cindy Royal of Texas State University was trying to build a curriculum, Dave Stanton (who was joining two other friends and myself in launching a cooperative consulting firm) had expressed interest and I’m sure others were trying to grapple with this issue.

But, again, what a difference a year makes.

As I wait for my plane to take me back to the City of Angels still recovering from SXSW13, the landscape for this has completely changed.

There are two projects I want to point out:

First is Sisi Wei‘s Code with me project that offers weekend coding bootcamps for about $85.

Second is For Journalism, the successfully-funded kickstarter from Stanton, which will create journalism-focused coding tutorials.

Outside giving money to For Journalism and being a cross-country supporter of Code with me, I had nothing to do with their launches.

Even if their project names sound familiar, as people have point out … to be fair, my loooong title clearly had all the right words required for any successful coding for journalism project aimed to empower the community.

For my little project that is reaching its year anniversary, I didn’t have the bandwidth to make tshirts to use crowd funding.

It was just me.

Actually, it’s not just me anymore.

It’s me and my amazing cohort of determined classmates-turned-friends that still meet every Monday at 3PM PT via Google+ Hangouts since April of last year.

We’ve abandoned Code Year and have been developing our own journalism-based, project-focused coding lessons. We’re teaching each other code and hoping to share what we learn with others.

You can hear about the LCFJWM phase 2 in this View Source podcast interview or read about what I’ve learned in this post.

What a difference a year makes. And I am so glad talented people have come into this mix and found ways to address this need… in ways I couldn’t have for lack of the bandwidth or connections.

God only knows what the next year will bring, but we all know we’re going to benefit from this work.

05 Mar

Documentary: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez reminded of a documentary I saw years ago… and one, thanks to someone posting it to YouTube, people can see: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

A documentary film crew happened to be filming Chávez during the April 2002 coup d’état, that removed him from office for two days.

I believe I was still in El Salvador, working for La Prensa Gráfica, when this all happened or recently moved back to the U.S.

NOTE: This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about Chávez. I wrote about him when he first joined Twitter nearly three years ago: Hugo Chávez selects his weapon of choice for Twitter

23 Feb

My first tweets: live-tweeting my son’s birth

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Before I created and focused on the @webjournalist account, I had – and still have – a “personal” Twitter account named after my original domain name: @isoardotnet.

Since Twitter archives were being released, I recently went back to look at my first tweets.

Overall, like now, I talk about work and experimenting with technology… I remember sending my second tweet via txt tweet using my Motorola Razr. I remember being disappointed and wondering what the point of Twitter was.

What I didn’t remember was that I live-tweeted my son’s birth:

Well, here we go – we think. Connie has begun to have early contractions. Stay tuned.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



Contractions began at around 4pm, so we are 6 hours into it. Connie has been doing her breathing techniques.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



We’re at the hospital. Been here since 11:45PM. After being in triage we got moved into a labor room.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



About 20 min after being admited, the doc checked and Connie was at 6 cm! Doc is still monitoring baby’s heart.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



We have reached 8 cm.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



Doc says baby’s heart rate has improved.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



Well, we’ve just started the drug ‘petocin’ which is to increase the intensity of the contractions.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



It’s a boy! Nico Peter Hernandez arrived at 12:26pm. He was 6 pounds 8.4 ounces. Mom is doing great!
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



Successes! Nico took to breastfeeding fast and dad gave him his first bath.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez



Thank you all for your warm wishes. Connie and I are truly grateful.
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez

This started with my EIGHTH tweet ever! Sheesh. It’s amazing to me that I did this… I’m not sure I would do it now, to be honest. I try not to name my son on Twitter, actually.

But, I have to admit, it is incredible to see that this moment was documented.

BONUS: Look at what other historical event I captured on Twitter!

Today, at 6:19 p.m., our parenting dream came true… the circle is complete… Connie and I introduce Nico to Star Wars: A New Hope!
@isoardotnet
Robert Hernandez

NOTE: I first posted this discovery on Facebook, but I also want to “document it” on my blog… for future reference.

Categories: Personal, Social Media, Twitter Tags:
03 Jan

E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops ‘read’ by SoundGecko

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This is perhaps the most meta thing I’ve ever done. I uploaded The Machine Stops, the powerful 1909 essay by E.M. Forster, to SoundGecko, a Web service that converts any text into an MP3, Siri reading.

NOTE: I first read this essay on my iPad and did not miss the irony. So, bonus points of you are listening to this ‘audio reading’ on your mobile device.

π