Wiz Khalifa drops Taylor Allderdice

In the rap and hip hop world mixtapes are extremely popular. They are normally free and allow artists to put out music on a constant basis without having to worry about labels or record deals. Many artists get discovered because of mixtapes and some of my favorite songs are actually from mixtapes.

You know five years ago I would have never have thought there would be a major artist from Pittsburgh, but over the past few years Wiz Khalifa has come up and really become a major name in the rap and hip hop world. Being a fan of hip hop I’ve watched his rise and it is crazy to see someone from my own city on MTV and touring all over the world. Now we are watching Mac Miller do the same thing.

Two years ago yesterday Wiz released his 8th official mixtape Kush and Orange Juice. After released it became the #1 trending topic on twitter and #1 hot search term on Google. This is what really started his big rise to the top. Now just 2 days ago Wiz Khalifa dropped Taylor Allderdice, which of course pays homage to the high school that he went to and probably his most anticipated mixtape ever. Already the mixtape page on datpiff has over 2 million views and over 500,000 downloads.

This shows you the power of the internet and what you can do yourself, Mac Miller is doing the same thing. Releasing these free mixtapes both Wiz and Mac Miller are getting their music out there to the fans and setting them up for their actual albums. They are both perfect examples of how to use the internet, social media and smart marketing to take themselves to the next level. Great to see Wiz keep on making hits and still releasing mixtapes for fans. So how is the mixtape? Check it out below…

Why You and Your Brand Needs to be on Google+

Google+ keeps on growing and growing, but many people and brands still have not decided to move over. Well now with Google’s Search, plus Your World feature and other things they are doing to promote Google+ you and your brand better be on Google+. Actually before I continue why don’t you head on over to Google+ and create a profile!

Moving on, you may have noticed a few months ago that when you started searching on Google you would get personal results or results that your friends may have shared, gave a +1 to or talked about. Also photos, videos from YouTube and content on Google+ shows right up in your search results. Personal search results are turned on by default as long as you are logged into Google when searching. These personal results are mixed with other normal results you would see from Google. So the more you +1 content and share things on Google+ the more likely it is to show up in your friends search results. Check out the video below to see what the Search, plus Your World features is all about.

If that is not enough to get you to create a Google+ profile there is more. Google+ profiles are being directly promoted within the Google search box. If I go to type in Colin 2 of my friends come up showing information from their Google+ profile. Not only that their Google+ profile shows up in the search results showing some of their latest posts.

Finally type a known brand into Google, let’s say Ford. Scroll down and to the right you will see a People and Pages section with Ford’s Google+ profile and Google+ profiles of people who are working at Ford. You can see how Google is promoting Google+ profiles and brand pages here.

So if you or your brand is not on Google+ stop what you are doing and create a profile. I am already finding more interesting information on Google+ than anywhere else.

Awesome Weekend at FITES LANFest 2012!

It has been quite a while since I’ve been to another LAN Party besides Pittco. I always go to Pittco because ThinkComputers sponsors it and it is in Pittsburgh. My good friend Nik told me about FITES and suggested I signup as a sponsor, so I did and this past weekend I headed to Mechanicsburg, PA to check it out. It was about a 3 hour drive, which was not that bad at all since most of it was on the turnpike. The event was held at the Park Inn, which is actually a very large hotel, with quite a few buildings.

As soon as I got there the FITES staff was very friendly and helped me get setup. I brought 3 system for the ThinkComputers booth. This was also the first event that I was able to use the new ThinkComputers banner I had just got made. Check out the picture of our booth from the event below.

The event was great and it was the perfect place to spread the word about ThinkComputers. I met some really cool people and actually did some gaming. They had a 32 person Battlefield 3 server going and we had a great Team Fortress 2 match going on for a while. Also one of the coolest things was an arcade machine that someone made that had 4 joysticks and had pretty much every popular arcade game ever made! There were some awesome mods there as well. You can check out ThinkComputers full coverage of the event here. I will definitely be back next year!

Why is it Important to Attend Industry Events

Each year when I attend CES I am always reminded of how important it is to attend industry events. Even if there was nothing to cover at CES it is still very important to attend for many reasons, which I have listed below.

Showing Face
Most of the communication I do with companies I work with is via e-mail. So attending CES I get to see them in person and really talk to them about what we have going on.  It gives you a more personal connection with the person or company you are dealing with.

Being at an event like CES brings out everyone who works in and covers technology. This means it is the perfect place to make new friends, business contacts and more.  You can get so much networking done at the press events and parties at CES. Even if its the little things like meeting a site owner and now they will post your news on their site. It can even be bigger things like meeting a CEO of a company at an industry party and now you are doing business with them.

After coming back from an event like CES I am always charged up and really motivated to work. I think that actually getting out from behind the screen and doing “real work” gives me this extra kick. It is a great feeling and something that should not be taken for granted!

Over the years I have become friends with many people in the industry and CES is like one big reunion for all of us. Most of us usually only get to see each other once a year.  So attending CES is a great time to not only hang out with old friends, but meet new ones.

Finding More Interesting Content on Google+

I’ve always liked being able to find interesting and intelligent information and conversations online.  I think it all started with people posting links on IRC and on forums.  From there it went on to social networks.  Of course MySpace was first, but when that was overrun with garbage and profiles that gave me a siezure so I moved over to Facebook.  This was when you still needed a .edu E-mail address to register for the site.

On Facebook I was delighted to find interesting posts and great conversations, things that I actually wanted to know about and discuss.  Then along came Twitter, it seemed like this was the new thing.  People were posting as things were happening and it felt like you were really there.  Not only that so many interesting people were joining twitter.

Over the past year or so both of those social networks have blown up and it seems everyone has either a Facebook or twitter account.  Your friends and people you meet out add you and you accept them because you have met them etc.  So now your news feed and twitter stream is filled with garbage and things that do not really matter to you.  I mean you can block posts from a specific user on Facebook or create user lists on twitter, but who wants to do that really.  Even if you do that Facebook’s Edgerank determines what posts actually show up in your news feed anyways.

I remember Facebook being an awesome place to find great content, now it is just full of garbage. I have turned to Google+ to find actual good and intelligent conversations. It seems everyone in tech is on Google+ and they use it to create great conversations and share really awesome content. Some people you should definitely be following are Robert Scoble, Mike Elgan, and Guy Kawasaki.

Another great thing about Google+ is when you “add” or start following someone you can add them into a circle. Then you can filter your stream by circle, this would be really helpful on Facebook, although most of the people who I followed on Facebook who had interesting things to say are now on Google+. Twitter is limited to only 140 characters, Facebook is 63,206 and Google+ is 100,000. So since you are able to write more you are able to have really in-depth conversations.

If you feel like Twitter or Facebook is lacking great content and you are tired of seeing people talk about meaningless things give Google+ a chance. You can search for great circles and people to follow.