Last update: 2015-04-08

Talking about Blogger & SEO with Mihai Vasilan

2015-04-08 Length: 19s
An SEO Gig?  I met Mihai through the gig site Fiverr when I was looking for some help with the Blogger site I was creating for this podcast; the site you are currently reading. I needed help making sure all the posts and pages loaded fast, some help understanding SEO and testing to make sure that the blog worked as well on mobile devices as on desktops. Mihai was the 3rd or 4th person I tried. Everyone added a little bit of value but Mr. Vasilan had more to offer, albeit at a higher price. Mihai is a 21 year old college student studying public administration but actually earns his living blogging, and helping others with their blogs.  What is SEO? SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization -- this is the art and science of making a web sites, web pages, pictures or posts easier to appear within a search engine results on Google or Bing. There are legitimate organic ways of doing this and that is known as White Hat SEO; there are some tricks and methods which attempt to "game" the search engines; that is Black Hat SEO. Mihai's SEO journey has evolved from trying all of the SEO tricks (and being penalized (by Google) for that), to becoming a self proclaimed White Hat SEO practitioner. Mihai's specialty is his experience and expertise with Blogging which includes Wordpress, and general web sites, but his true expertise is in the Google owned Blogger platform.  Growing up Romanian  Besides talking about SEO, blogging and other geeky topics I was excited ask to Mihai what it was like growing up in Romania... After all, the fall of CeauÈ™escu happened in 1989; in Romania the advent of the Internet revolution largely coincided with the fall of Communism. In many ways Mihai discovered the Internet through blogging.  Mr. Vasilan has used his blogging skills to help a few local charities, posts Photoshop CS4 tutorials plus SEO tutorials for blogger and how-to's guides. One of his blogs has scored in the top 100 psychology blogs in 2015 and he reports his readers increase everyday. While is blog is aimed at a Romanian audience (and written in the local Romanian language [Daco-Romanian]) Mihai has expressed interest in creating at least one blog in English.  Blogger or Wordpress? A large percent of the Podcasting community uses and recommends Wordpress, which is a free and open source blogging and content management system. It is highly flexible and is build upon a core platform with 100's or even 1000's of independently created modules known as "plug-ins." Plug-ins don't always work well together and the quality of them varies. While hosting a Wordpress based website can be free, many of the plug-ins are offered for a fee, often on a yearly basis. For a variety of personal reasons I selected Blogger as an alternative to Wordpress, which is certainly a minor (perhaps major) disadvantage for a podcaster; however, the benefits of a stable and complete free platform (thanks Google) appeals more to me than the Podcast friendly advantages of Wordpress. For me, Blogger seemed more affordable, easier to get off the ground; my plan is to slowly adjust and improve this page (with Mihai's help).  l Do you Need to SEO Optimize your website?  Mihai is available for hire and I have already recommended him to a few friends. His starting price is $75 (project basis), but he is willing to work on an hourly basis as well. For one friend in NY State, Mihai is providing weekly SEO training via Skype (by the hour). Organic SEO is always the best approach as Google (and Bing) frequently change and adjust their search algorithms; aggressive SEO tactics are increasingly identified and sites employing them are penalized. Mihai and I talk about this and more in the Podcast. I hope you enjoy listening. How to Find Mihai Vasilan? Blog/Website: Gandim Rational - Dezvoltare Personala  E-mail:    …


2015-04-06 Length: 32s
The continued discussion from part I. We talk about everything from Steve's appearance on America's Got Talent to what he wants to do with his future!…

Talking with Steve Price about STEM Education and Chain Reaction Art

2015-04-04 Length: 20s
Steve Price is a Chain Reaction Artist You may know him from America's Got Talent... Steve Price is a full time college student (Junior), and when not in school spends his time thinking about and building complicated constructions of dominoes, chemical reactions and other physical elements that once started "detonate" in one long chain reaction. Here is a great example on YouTube: Steve Price (Sprice) on America's Got Talent. Steve's web site | Steve on Twitter | Steve's YouTube Channel | Sprice Machines on Facebook Help Support STEM ED There is a lot of Science, Techonology, Enginering and Math (STEM) invovled in Steve's creations... It is a way to make STEM very real and tangible for students and of course when a chain reaction detonates it is also a lot of fun.  Kickstart Steve & his 15 Friends Besides trying to support STEM Education, Steve his 15 friend will be trying to create two records. The American Domino record, plus the world record for Rube Goldberg Devices.  LINK TO The Incredible Science Machine KICKSTARTER (Ends April 20, 2015).   Some Of Steve's Work:    …

Talking About Social Media with Dr. Santa J. Ono (@PrezOno)

2015-04-01 Length: 29s
Spring 2015 Business leaders in the Spring of 2015 (at the most senior levels) are still not using social media tools themselves (even senior PR Pros). Yet there is plenty of data suggesting that when the C-Suite uses social tools, it helps them and their teams strengthen consumer trust in their company. The sad fact is that often C-Suite executives are unwilling to learn the needed skills or are simply just risk adverse. Game of RISK: In academic circles these same two issues are often seen as a barrier. There are some who only see social media (especially Twitter) as a tool for youthful and trivial interactions instead of for its untapped potential: a gate-free medium that can facilitate cross generational and cross cultural communications.   Santa J. Ono, PhD. Dr. Ono's usage of Twitter has been recognized  as a leading example that academic leadership can harness social media to accomplish personal, professional and institutional objectives. This leadership has been recognized within the UC Community, locally in Ohio, and by researcher Dan Ziaontz.  It takes a bit of fearlessness to present yourself to your stakeholders without a safety net; it is a common perception of social media that a tiny misstep can lead to embarrassment. Dr. Ono's acclaim stems in part from his ability to market himself adeptly in the social media realm. Ono on Social: President Ono recommends that individuals, departments, and companies need to find their "authentic voice." My impression of Dr. Ono is that he considers authenticity of voice to be a critical requirement for using social tools like Twitter. While Dr. Ono makes use of a variety of social networks, his reputation for using Twitter is significant. Students at UC have analyzed his tweets, and he has taken their advice to heart, proving that his use and command of Twitter are both dynamic and evolving. He informed me during the interview that a student in Canada is analyzing his Tweets as part of his PhD. research Biography: "Santa J. Ono is the 28th President of the University of Cincinnati, one of the nation’s top 30 public research universities. An avid user of social media, he is also an accomplished researcher in eye disease.  A new book called #FollowtheLeader (Lessons in Social Media Success from #HigherEd CEOs) says that with his use of Twitter, Dr.Ono “epitomizes the institutional champion” – 'highlighting his university’s achievements, both academic and non-academic, interacting with key stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners; and also serving as ‘cheerleader-in-chief’ whenever possible.' "    …

Judith talks about the great Hartford Circus Fire

2015-03-26 Length: 19s
The Great Hartford Circus Fire Judith talks about growing up in rural dairy farming Bloomfield Ct, her neighbors, and even Mr. Webster the local butcher. Judith Survived The Circus Fire "One of America's greatest fire disasters occurred on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut"  She talks about surviving the great Hartford circus fire including her rescue and the aftermath (starting at the 00:08:23 mark). Judith considers herself to be the "girl in the little yellow pinafore dress" written about by Henry S. Cohn. (The Great Hartford Circus Fire: Creative Settlement of Mass Disasters Yale University Press, 1991).  …

Mike Linksvayer, Creative Commons and Free Society

Guest Mike Linksvayer: Mike talks about the economic value of information and why the freedom of information should be valued by a free society. Mike talks with Harry Hawk about his previous role as the CTO and VP at The Creative Commons.  Background: I've known Mike for about 20+ years... and have followed his transformation from technology hacker to a hacker of society... trying to create a more free world by freeing some of the worlds most important information. I talk to Mike for about 28 minutes and we cover some of his work story and try to understand some of the critical aspects of the creative commons licenses. Raw & Uncut: My entire conversation with Mike took over an hour and forty-five minutes. Click here to hear the entire discussison from start to finish, raw, and uncut. Links: Creative Commons Mike's Web Site  |  Mike's Blog  | @mLinksSVA Wikipedia Entry for Mike About the DMCA Peer Review Comes to Wikipedia        …

Talking About Competency Based Education at College For America with Chief Learning Architect Yvonne Simon

2015-03-05 Length: 1s
Learning without grades Education in America is focused on how many days you spend in the classroom, and the grades you are assessed. Education in America rarely focuses on mastering new skills and quantified evidence of learning. If you show up for every class and you get a passing grade, you have passed the course, even if you haven't mastered everything covered in the course. Gaming Education Students who wish to complete a course or a degree don't have to really strive -- they just have to figure out how to pass a few tests, and how to impress the teacher enough to get a passing grade; students have been known to beg, cry or even cheat their way to a better grade. Students learn that the emphasis of their studies should be focused on jumping through the right hoops, at the right time, and cramming for tests. Sure there are some students who really try for deep learning and put all their effort into their studies, but the vast majority are there to do just the most minimum effort. Master The Skills College for America CFA) has designed a new approach to higher education, and theirs is the first program accredited by the US Dept. of Education based authorizing funding/payment based on skills learned vs. time spent in the class (contact hours). Students do not get letter grades, and they are not subjected to the vagueness of Pass/Fail; there is no teacher to beg for a better grade. Students are assessed with either Not Yet or Mastery. They need to fully master 120 skills to graduate, and can move through the course at their own pace. They negotiate the length of time they will spend on assignments (projects); they even get to pick their own graduation date. Miss a date? No problem, they are learning through their own "failure". Blue Vs. Purple Students at CFA have to complete about 40 unique projects. Smaller projects that are easier "to eat" are called Blue Projects. Purple projects are more complex, and involve more skills. Every student needs to complete at least 3 Purple projects, in addition to a few group projects in order to graduate. It is easy to reject any educational scheme that doesn't involve the letters A, B, C, D & F --- because we have been conditioned to see those letters as the gold standard of education. No Grades - Self Paced & NO Teachers?? Typically only a few students get As and that means everyone else has failed to grasp all of the material. How can that be the gold standard? Everyone learns differently and the online, self paced courses offered by CFA compel students to master each of the skills not 60% or 70% but 100%. The educational coaches at CFA, and the structure of the Blue & Purple projects, and even the negotiation over the time limits for the assignments "force" students to not only learn, but to think about how they learn, and to learn enough about themselves to master their own educational journey. Famous Partners Today CFA is open to students whose employers are partnered with College for America. This includes many famous companies like McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, The Gap, GULF Oil, and ConAgra. They have also been cited by the White House and President Obama as one of the examples of how American education needs to transform. One of the benefits that will appeal to both students and employers is the Associate degree costs $2,500 per year. Finish in a year and $2,500 is the total bill -- often paid by the employer through their tuition assistance program. CFA also offers a BA in in communications and healthcare management (with more on the way); students need to complete the Associate degree first. The BA is also very affordable. CLA Yvonne Simon  In this episode of Talking About Everything, I discuss education theory and the practical implications for this new style of education with CFA's Chief Learning Architect Yvonne Simon. Yvonne is the former CEO of the SNHU Online education program and was the co-founder and VP at Six Red Marbles. Lead Learning Coach In this episode I also speak with Deo Mwano who is the lead learning coach at CFA. His personal journey is remarkable but no more so than the 100s or even 1000s of educational journeys that he and his team help CFA students accomplish. "Deo Mwano joined College for America at Southern New Hampshire University in January of 2013 as a Learning Coach and was part of the original pilot program launch. The coaching team and he developed the coaching model with a focus on the student experience. His focus was on helping students adapt and succeed in a personalized online competency program. He learned how to work with a diverse group of students and had some of the first graduates.  Today, Deo is a Team Lead Learning Coach. He develops student success skills through coaching and training other coaches and partners. He oversees coaching development strategies by researching and conducting studies on other effective coaching methods. Deo works closely with employer partners to customize the coaching support to the students’ environment.  His experience with College for America has strengthened his ability to help a wide range of people achieve their personal goals."…

#FollowTheLeader with Dan Zaiontz

2015-01-18 Length: 30s
College/University Presidents Learn Social Media Dan Zaiontz, a faculty member of Seneca College, started researching senior academic usage of social media while completing his Master's degree in Communications (MCM). That research is now part of a book called #FollowTheLeader, which is being published by M. Stoner; January 20, 2015 is the publication date. Best Practices Dan talks about several educational leaders he admires, like Santa J. Ono (@prezono) from UC, and Paul LeBlanc (@snhuprez) from SNHU. I'm a particular fan of Dr. LeBlanc for many reasons including that I am an SNHU alumni. Being a leader on social media doesn't mean filling their Twitter streams with lofty quotes; often it means reaching out to rank and file members of the community and being simply accessible to students. Methodology: While Dan says he reached out to as many as 150 individuals, all of the folks in the book were initially contacted via Twitter. College and University presidents who use Twitter are not only setting the pace for their institution and their community, but also making themselves role models for all types of enterprises including businesses and non-profits. Warmly yours, Harry Hawk (@hhawk)…

The Naked Rowers

2015-01-15 Length: 20s
Everyone know that sex and sexy sells. Example: decades of posters, calendars and advertising have often included photos and illustrations of younger, attractive often busty women. Learn how Angus Malcolm and the Naked Rowers have used nudity and social media to engage, influence, and tell a very unique story about sports and inclusion while raising "nearly £100,000". Listen to my Interview with Angus from July 2014; this is "raw and uncut edition." My interview with Angus Malcolm Naked Men? Yes. The male, mostly straight rowing crew at the University of Warwick have turned this traditional on it's head. First to raise funds to keep their "cash strapped" club afloat, but now to increasingly raise money to fight off homophobia in sports. The first time Angus Malcolm uploaded images from one of their shoots "within 24 hours it generated over 36k downloads." A "making of" trailer from their 2014 effort generated more millions of downloads from at least "1.5 million unique viewers." Angus is the photographer on all of the Warwick Rowers photos below. Angus Malcolm, the producer of the Naked Rowers Calendar notes, "The tradition of the naked college calendar" does exist in the United Kingdom. A quick Google search turned up a mix of naked men, women and coed charity calendars from Universities in Oxford, Bristol, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Kingston, Exeter, Aberdeen, Birmingham, and Cardiff. Sheffield Hallam University's Men's Rugby Union has produced naked charity calendars since 2001 yet has a Twitter page with 858 followers. In contrast the Naked Rowershave nearly 22k followers and 15k Likes on Facebook. The Warwick Rowers Prove Organic Reach Works Six Calendar Years Now in it's 6th year, Mr. Malcolm who has a long history working with non-profits as a professional communicator, attributes the success of the Naked Rowers calendar to many factors including: "Give people what they want" "Produce high quality content" "Be relevant to the people who support you" "Openness of the mostly straight rowers who are comfortable being naked [for a cause]" The power of organic reach: "we don't pay for promotion" "The project is student run but it isn't amateur" the 2015 "crowd funder" has just kicked off (July 2014). Watch the 2015 Trailer.  …

Smashing Burgers 001

2015-01-13 Length: 29s
My Love Affair with Burgers: Starting To Flip I've helped sell more than 100, 000 burgers and I've cooked them 5x at the James Beard House. I also won the 2008 Burger Battle of the Boroughs. This is my story about my love affair with the hamburger. I've decided to start to tell this story because on Jan 17th 2015 I'll be cooking a burger pop-up in Brooklyn. If you are reading this before that date, you can buy some tickets and taste my burgers --> Jan 17, 2015 Tickets. You can visit the Schnack Web Site which is still online, or check out the Blog. I mention the Gowanus Yacht Club in this episode, learn more here. A Juicy well cooked, medium rare slider burger (a Schnackie) on a NY Handmade Breads Brioche bun.   This "Slide" ran at the local Clearview movie theater promoting Schnack burgers and meals. A view inside of Schnack designed by James Mamary the most amazing restaurant designer I've ever met.…

PUT is Down -- Full Length (00:16:17)

2015-01-08 Length: 16s
So in America more and more homes only have high speed internet -- that means no cable TV subscription. This was written about in by Wayne Friedman in an article called Broadband-Only Home Accellerate Cable TV declines. PUT??? PUT is the acronym for People Using Television. Since Nielsen started counting broadband only homes in 2013, the broadband only category has grown to be "2.7% of the sample size." That's not a huge number but it is growing and it's bigger when they look at younger viewers where it's down about 7%. Local TV Should Be Free!! Let's face it, the old ad driven model of TV was fairly reasonable. You watched TV and you watched Ads; now you pay to get cable and you STILL have to watch Ads. That the FCC allows TV stations to charge cable companies for local TV doesn't harm their ad revenue -- since it keeps people watching their shows, stations are paid by their advertisers and they get to do FCC Approved Double-Dip. Stop: FCC Approved Double-Dib The good news is that you don't need an act of Congress to stop this double-dip. Just get a $50 or less digital antenna; it is a one time cost and once again your local TV will be free. Then use Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime, Apple iTunes or Google Play to get all the other shows you want; or watch them on YouTube, or the networks web sites. Back to the Fireplace Of course if you don't want to spend any money you can go back to the good old days and start watching your food cook by the fireside.…

Test Episode

2015-01-04 Length: 27s
Talking About Everything hangs out with Ken X Ruan. I was joined by Ken to talk about society and marketing; topics we also blog about (here). This was a test of how well we could record together over Skype, testing out Ken's Microphone, and of course getting used to speaking to each other while recording everything we said. This is episode is the edited copy which has a running time of about 27 minutes. We talked about our person biases, what Ken might look for in a wife, a few of Shelly Turkle's books, Ken's affinity for getting random strangers to make a "selfie video" with him (on the mean streets of NYC), and we talk about technology,  antipositism, and politics: Libertarianism, Communitarianism, Neoliberalism and my meeting 20 years ago with Machinery of Freedom author David Friedman and his son Patri (picture). Here is a picture of Ken X Ruan…

Episode 0 - My 30 Second Promo

2014-12-01 Length: 30s
Talking About Everything, a podcast with Harry Hawk offers a wide range of interviews, rants, discussions and more. Please use this promo if you would like to help me promote the show. Please consider subscribing on iTunes and giving us an honest review. Harry Hawk - LinkedIN Harry Hawk - Twitter  …

About this podcast:

Talking About Everything with Harry Hawk.

Talking About Everything: A podcast with Harry Hawk. Speaking about society, marketing, food, technology, media, fun & games, education, funny stories, odd art, + everything else... New episodes every Thursday plus specials and news bulletins. Talk back on Twitter @hhawk. Harry would like to talk to you too! So let us know what you want to talk about!

Talking About Everything with Harry Hawk.