Back in late December, 2012 and early January, 2013, a small but might event occurred across the US – Hug Train USA. As the name implies, there was a journey across the country by train, stopping in major cities and offering hugs and raising money, all in the name of mental health.
Rather then telling the story myself, I asked Arié Moyal to tell it himself. The format is in the order of the 6 Questions I have asked in the past, but as a video. It was recorded on January 3, 2013 on his second stop in Chicago. If you can’t see the video below you can view it on YouTube.
If you would like to get involved with Hug Train USA you can learn more at their Web site or you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
On December 30, 2012, with no fanfare (once again), this blog – thehotiron.com – turned 6.
Where I got back into a small groove of blogging as of late, I am over a month late in acknowledging the anniversary of this venue. Like last year where I tried not to set unrealistic expectations, I will not set any again, and rather would like to take the opportunity to thank you, my loyal readers, who have given me the encouragement to keep writing and keep The Hot Iron going! Without you, I would be simply talking to myself.
So let’s see what THIS year has in store…
This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.
To all of my friends and readers in the US and abroad who celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving, a happy and peaceful and fulfilling holiday!
Thanks go to the Web site Keep Calm and Posters for the Thanksgiving poster. If you have seen these posters around and are wondering about their origin (as I was) here's a great article from Wikipedia about the original Keep Calm and Carry On poster, whose roots are ironically British.
2012 has turned out so far to be a very interesting year for me in many ways, and there's still a lot to happen in the next few weeks. I am thankful for my lovely bride, my 2 lovely princesses and all of my family, whether they are blood relatives or not. So even if you live someplace where there is no Thanksgiving, I hope you are thankful for all you have and the opportunity for more!
At Dunkirk Systems, LLC we have decided to shutdown our Facebook page. We have recently changed our photo and cover to the following image and will shut it down within the next week.
Why are we doing this? After much thought, many reasons surfaced which led to this decision. The following is what I posted on the page.
Thank you for your “like” and support of Dunkirk Systems, LLC. We have decided to shutdown our Facebook page and will do so within the week. As someone who has expressed interest in us in the past, we wanted to let you know this and the reasoning behind it.
Like many businesses, when Facebook started allowing business pages we created one. And like many businesses we did not have a plan for this. As much as we have consulted our clients on social media, we followed the cliché of the cobbler’s kids having the worst shoes and did not put in place and execute a plan for managing the site. So there it sat.
As we are continuously rethinking our business, this page came to the forefront. As a B2B business, we are not reaching out to consumers. We have never received business through the page, and as we look forward we do not see this as a place to solicit business. We also do not have the continuous volume of original content that will allow Dunkirk to be omnipresent in the changing timeline structure of Facebook. And we would not be thorough without taking into consideration our general concern for privacy and security which are frequently coming to the surface within the Facebook walled-garden ecosystem.
There are other ways to keep up with Dunkirk and get in touch with us, including Twitter @dunkirk, our Web site at DunkirkSystems.com and my blog, TheHotIron.com. We of course welcome your thoughts and opinion on this, and as the page is going away feel free to comment on it on the accompanying blog post at TheHotIron.com.
Founder and President, Dunkirk Systems, LLC
What do you think? Am I crazy, spot on, or do you even care? Your comments are very welcome.
On December 30, 2011, with no fanfare, this blog – thehotiron.com – turned 5.
As I write this it is almost 2 weeks later, and only fits with how the year was for the blog. Where I had high hopes in the beginning of the year 2011 was an interesting year to say the least. Where it had tremendous highs for me, it also presented many challenges that, in the end, affected the quality of The Hot Iron.
For 2012 I will not make such grandiose predictions so not to promise what I can’t deliver. I am taking a more grounded approach, going back to the “roots” of what The Hot Iron has been – tech, business and a few diversions – and using it as a medium to share my background and experience, as a way to let people learn more about me as I go forward in my career.
Recently the folks at Dell sought out “trade secrets” from small and medium-sized businesses to ensure on-the-job reliability. This campaign coincided with the launch of their E series for their Latitude line, which the E6320 notebook I received from them is a member of.
Ask anyone and I always have some advice to give, so I shared this, one which always creates a win-win situation when in a busy airport terminal or one without enough power outlets. It was chosen for the new Dell Trade Secrets 2 – Reliability eBook which is available for free on SlideShare.
For those of you with your images turned off or using a screen reader, it reads:
When I fly, I always bring an extension cord with multiple outlets on the end. Most always, if there is an outlet, it is nowhere near where you can find a seat. And when you do find one, it is most always taken. This way, you can politely ask if you can plug in, have them tap off of you, and you still have an outlet or 2 to share with someone else!
Mike Maddaloni | thehotiron.com
Though I may get funny looks at first, people realize I am sincere, especially when I show there are open outlets on the end of the extension cord. Thus I believe the merits of it alone were why it was chosen and put on page 10, and not because I am using their notebook. And from what little bit I have written so far can back that up, but I digress.
The Dell Trade Secrets 2 – Reliability eBook showcases some great advice from some other great business experts, such as Barry Moltz and Carol Roth. Feel free to read the SlideShare presentation on their site or embedded below, and if you have a SlideShare account you can download a copy of this eBook.
By tweeting this, you are entering YouthBuild Boston in a contest run by Nokia Care US, the domestic support arm of the mobile phone giant. There are 15 charities around the US vying for this, and the top 10 charities, as counted by the number of tweets they receive, will make it to the final round, where judges will select the winner of the $2,500 prize.
And I couldn’t think of a better charity to win this prize! YouthBuiild Boston, or YBB for short, is located in the Roxbury section of Boston and daily lives their tagline of “strengthening you, rebuilding communities.” This is the description of YBB which I submitted when I nominated them for this contest:
Since its inception, YouthBuild Boston (YBB) has been dedicated to improving the lives of young people of Boston by teaching skills that will enable them to become both self-sufficient and civically engaged. While YBB promotes the core values of youth development and community service, it stands out as an innovative non-profit by offering young people a hands-on approach to skills training and community building.
Its Theory of Change is predicated on the belief that, “young people, when empowered with the skills and education necessary to improve their quality of life, will realize that they can play a leadership role in strengthening their communities.” From construction to landscaping to design skills to encouraging and supporting young people to get their GED degree, YBB has become a cornerstone for all whose lives are touched by their work. During its 20 year history, YBB has helped more than 1,000 young people develop the skills and opportunities necessary to successfully enter the workforce.
YBB has adapted to the needs of the community over the years and their programs reflect it, branching out from their early programs solely on construction. They also offer the greater Boston community the opportunity to get involved, benefitting the students even more. As a result of what they do and how well they do it, YouthBuild Boston has gained a stellar reputation in the community, and with your support they can only make a greater impact.
I have been proud to support YBB for almost a decade, going back to when I lived in the Boston area, helping them with their Web technology over the years. What impresses me most about YBB is not only the amazing things they do, but also how they do it. Their level of professionalism is only matched by their dedication and compassionate service to the youth who are involved with their programs as well as to the community.
The deadline for tweet voting is this Friday, November 18, 2011. One vote per person, but feel free to pass it along to your friends. More information on the contest is available on the contest page on Facebook. As this is a contest sponsored by Nokia, and I evaluate their mobile devices on this blog, I must mention that, but it will have no impact on this contest.
You can read the article here on the Web Central Station Web site, which is a Canadian Web site sponsored by Microsoft. In short, as I have always said to my consulting clients at Dunkirk Systems, LLC, it is about the right tools or technology for the project.
I've always been an interactive guy. With crowds, as a DJ and improv performer. With causes, raising money and awareness for non-profits such as the fight against liver disease. With customers, as a Web strategist and developer.
Interaction defines me, and now it’s leading me down a new professional path.
In recent years, my professional interaction has meant building Web sites and Web applications strategically integrated with marketing, sales, HR and other key functions. Through Dunkirk Systems, LLC, advising corporations to small businesses as a Web consultant fulfills a lifelong goal. And it provides incredible insight into different businesses – where I listen, collaborate, help think through strategic implications and costs, and ultimately, build some pretty tough sites.
Consulting independently has been nothing short of amazing. Where I have always worked with some equally amazing people on a project basis, it has not been a full-time practice. The interactive side of me is pushing me toward a new path of engaging again directly with a team. After much soul-searching, I’ve decided to seek a partner for my current business, or to take on a new professional role with an established firm.
At this point, I’m open to where talent, experience and any interesting opportunities may lead. My LinkedIn profile sums up my tenure as a manager, director and consultant – delivering Web solutions across development technologies, taking a big picture approach with comprehensive understanding of all aspects from strategy to building sites to the ensuring sites thrive with analytics, SEO, SEM and social media.
As usual here on The Hot Iron, and on such weighty matters, I’m first interacting with you. What kinds of experiences do you have with shifts in your career path – corporate, startup, independent consulting or other scenarios? Do you have suggestions or perhaps an opportunity for an interactive guy like me? I would love to hear your voice in this conversation that I’ve only mulled about on my own (and with my lovely wife) in recent months.