St. Pattys 2012 with Faded Industry!

I don’t know about you, but in Pittsburgh St. Patty’s day is a party day for sure! Even if you are not Irish. There are 3 main party spots for St. Patty’s day in Pittsburgh. You have Market Square downtown, Station Square and South Side. Usually you can only make it to one of those spots during the day. Well this year Faded Industry made it so you could experience all 3 spots in one day.

They rented a school bus that took us all around the city. We started in Station Square, I got down there around 9:30AM and met up with everyone. That is when the drinking started. From there we all piled on the school bus and headed up to Mount Washington where we got out and took a group photo on the lookout. Yes everyone in the photo was on the bus!

From there we headed towards downtown. Did I mention our school bus had a keg on it, a case of vodka and about 500 jello shots! It made for a very interesting ride, throwing jello shots out the window at people, filling squirt guns up with vodka and spraying people and just having a great time. We made it downtown and were able to spend about 2 hours there. Luckily we were able to catch part of the parade downtown. Downtown was packed with a ton of people.

After spending a couple hours downtown we got back on the bus and headed to South Side. It was packed as expected. We spent most of our time at S Bar and our course we ran into so many people we knew. Another couple of hours went by and we made it back on the bus for our final trip back to Station Square. By that time it was the late afternoon and most of us were beat! It was a great event put on by Faded Industry and made it possible for us to experience all of the great St. Patty’s day party spots all in one day. I really hope they have the event again next year.

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.