Three things I’ve learned from blogging for the past 15 years

These things also come from just being around for a lot longer than 15 years.

I post them today after seeing reports of a controversy that is strange, only because it’s in Nashville, my home for the past four decades. Dueling tech conference organizers are quite common in other places.

While I am not attending either conference, in brief, here’s what happened. A locally organized conference was the scene yesterday of some trash talk by a country music star (who is very smart and is a savvy business person, but whose schtick and music is of the bro-country genre) and a successful tech entrepreneur who loves to shock people by using lots of profanity when speaking before groups (disclosure: I like this person, but don’t endorse his approach to panel talk).

As the target of the trash talk was a Tennessee native who is now a well-known tech journalist and media entrepreneur, it didn’t take long for her to let the dogs out.

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Nashville Will Have its First Open Streets Festival on June 27

Nashvillians, mark your calendars. In three weeks, a mile-long stretch of Division Street and 11th Avenue (basically, “The Gultch”) will turn into a three-hour family-friendly greenway.

Open_Streets_2015 The inaugural Nashville Open Streets Festival takes place on June 27, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (And it’s free.)

It will be a somewhat shorter version of such open streets events that have grown extremely popular in cities around the world. (They are also referred to as ciclovias or cyclovias, a spanish word meaning “cycleway,” as they originated in Bogata, Columbia, in the mid 1970s.)

What is an Open Streets Festival?

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Bike rides take you places you never knew were there

As we often do on Saturday mornings, my long-time friend John Darwin and I yesterday met up for an early-morning bike ride around Nashville. We ride in-town (anywhere between West Meade and Inglewood) and take our time. Conversation and serendipity are the only destinations we have for such rides.

Sometimes, when we’ve started early enough, we decide to include breakfast somewhere along such rides. Yesterday, we decided to stop at the Edgehill Cafe, a great local coffee shop and restaurant in Nashville’s Music Row area.

The restaurant is next door to GreenFleet, the bikeshop owned by one of my friends met through bicycling, Austin Bauman — one of his many bike-related ventures. As another of those ventures is Austin’s extremely popular Nashville-tour-by-bike company (don’t take my word, read the reviews on Trip Advisor where the tours are ranked #2 of 33 Nashville “outdoor activities,” with #1, the pedal tavern, being an outdoor activity one seems to enjoy by the pint rather than the pedal), I thought the group of a dozen or so cyclists we saw gathering at his shop were there to start a tour. (See: My post about Austin’s Kickstarter tour-company project where I first heard about him.)

John and I stopped to chat with the group (John stops and chats with any group or individual) and discovered that it wasn’t a tour, but was a group doing a “victory ride” to celebrate the conclusion of a New York to Nashville trip during which four riders took 17-days of 46 miles-a-day rides in support of an organization called the Rally Foundation. Money raised in such “Rally Rides” support childhood cancer research, including a research project being conducted at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital, where, we learned, the celebration ride was to end up.

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When disaster strikes “someplace else,” first send money (continued)

I’ve re-run the following post several times. It’s about what the experts tell us we should do when a major disaster strikes ‘someplace else.’ I make it a point to say “someplace else,” as I know when disaster strikes “someplace near,” you’ll know what to do.

My thoughts go out to those who are impacted by the Texas/Oklahoma floods.


Over the years, I have written about many natural disasters and the human toll they’ve taken. I believe social media, writ large, make such events more personal to us all — a shared phenomena, even for those of us not on the scene.

Continue reading When disaster strikes “someplace else,” first send money (continued)

Why I Like Slack

A few days ago, Dave Winer asked the question to those who follow him on Twitter and Facebook, “Why do people like Slack?” Because Dave rarely asks questions for which I have an answer (I know nothing about “nodes”), I thought I’d jump on this one, as Hammock Inc. has been using Slack since last year.

So I started to answer with a comment on Facebook, but within a sentence I knew this would grow into a post.

First, some context

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