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Martin W. Smith
Works at Curagami
Attended Vassar College
Lives in Durham
5,736 followers|2,272,387 views


Martin W. Smith

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My favorite Pema Chodron books. 
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Thanks Martin
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Martin W. Smith

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Marty's Assistant: Now Hiring
+Morris Gelblum's +Sweeps Jobs really came through today. I'm moving across town and Sweeps sent Nicole and Kyndra, two students from +Campbell University over to help. They were a HUGE help. I messed up the posting and Sweeps rushed to the rescue. 

Today's experience got me thinking. It may be time to hire a part time assistant. While my #leukemia  is controlled by drugs from Dr. John Byrd's amazing team at +Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute I'm slowing down. I notice this "slow down" when I try to do things I used to be able to do without difficulty such as packing boxes all day. I co-founded in 1999, a specialty gift comapny. I  could pack boxes long into the night. Sadly those days are gone, baby, gone (lol).  

I just posted a weekly or biweekly cleaning and light housekeeping job on Sweeps ( ). The more I think about the job the more the scope grows (lol). Eventually the person who is trusted, obsessed with clean and organized will create too much value to continue just doing that. 

This is the hidden value of Sweeps (to me). There are no "stupid" jobs anymore. Every job requires skill, intelligence and care. And every job can become bigger. Those who can truly SERVE something and someone are more rare than you may imagine. 

One of the students who helped pack is studying social work. That is a  special kind of selflessness. It took me forty years and getting cancer to understand the importance of service. Here was a twenty year old whose emotional maturity, at least in her understanding of how service is one of the ways we find and know ourselves, is twenty years ahead of mine. 

Any job is what the person doing the job makes it. I need help around my tiny studio apartment. I need help doing things I'm finding it harder and harder to do and some day that may be MOST of what I do (lol). 

If this sounds like I need to create a mini-me you aren't too far off :). I think I need a BETTER VERSION of me someone capable of challenging, learning and teaching (an old dog new tricks). I'm not giving up. 

I will never "give up", but today's moving experience convinced me investing in mentorship should be mutually beneficial. If that sounds like I'm trying to lower my cost let me set that straight - I'm not. Money's primary value is to create experience and TIME. I have plenty of one and no one ever has enough of the other. 

I recognize the need for the kind of intelligent help who can be trusted to assume more and more. I also understand, within six months to a year, the "intern" I hire will need to fly the coop. People who collaborate with me usually make 30% more in their next gig. 

I'm not the reason for such a rising tide. The value of the #ecommerce  and #marketing  experiences I've been able to collect and am still creating is what makes a resume jump off the stack. My "assistant" will be able to walk and talk #seo , #contentmarketing , #socialmedia  and #startups  even if only partially listening.

Combine any two of those skills and your #personalbranding  is more valuable after learning something about those very hot topics than before.I'm OFFERED jobs on a regular basis now and am interested in almost none of them (don't need 'em). Much like my friend +Mark Traphagen these days I get paid to be me, a great gig though hard to create :). 

If you can write a little code too your asking price should be six figures as that is where the market values such important skill sets these days. Coding without a sense of what to code is the definition of insanity. I have the one (knowing what to code) without the other (coding) and that too can make a person a little nuts. 

So, if you are interested in learning the web, marketing and hard won secrets from an aging entrepreneur go to Sweeps Jobs #12867 ( and start by cleaning up after the real king of my castle - Lucian the Wonder Cat. Do that job with care, brilliance and value and we will pile things on fast. 

If you are sickened by the prospect of cleaning don't apply. To those so sickened let me share a story.

Sweeping +Morgan Manhattan Moving and Storage's Yard
"Sweep the yard," the "Yard Boss" at Morgan-Manhattan told me handing over a broom. I must have looked uncertain because he swept his hand across the space where large moving vans slowly exited like lumbering dinosaurs earlier that morning. 

And with that, a puff of smoke and the Yard Boss' back I began the first job I ever had. I wish this story had me thinking about the best ways to accomplish the job, but that would be projecting fifty years backwards. 

But I wasn't an idiot. I noticed the Yard Boss' cigarettes were the most dominant and random detritus. I brought in a coffee can filled with sand the next day. The first can received about 25% of the Yard Boss' spent cigs. 

On my third day of "sweeping the yard" I brought in 4 coffee cans and halved the number of cigarettes I had to bend over and retrieve. I began to understand. I could place a hundred cans and not capture 100% of the Yard Boss and the other drivers' cigs. 

There was something about flipping a spent cig that no coffee can with sand could replace. The coffee cans were like structure when I fished for bass. Those sand filled cans become gathering spots and so claimed more than half the previously flicked butts. 

Behavior was now molded by action instead of mandate. I had no mandate (or any presence or confidence either btw). No one said anything about the coffee cans. The drivers and Yard Boss just started using them.

My final gambit was setting up a can with a backboard and my first "leaderboard" scaled in chalk (back when you could read my handwriting) next to the can. I wrote the names of drivers whose butts landed in the can the most.  

The #gamificaiton  worked claiming another 25% of the previously randomly flicked butts. At 75% collection of what were previously scattered spent cigs requiring manual pickup I'd reduced yard sweeping time by half.

 "Marty," the thin, angular and taunt Yard Boss said motioning me over with a cigarette hanging between his fingers, "good job sweeping the yard this week that crazy game you created..." here he paused, looked up and past the stored containers he was in charge of and said, "was funny so next week you are on trucks". 

So sweeping then analyzing and gamifying led to my first promotion. Be careful what you wish for. "On trucks" meant I got to help move furniture. Wasn't long before I longed for my broom, the dinosaur moving van yard just off of Greenwich Avenue and the taciturn Yard Boss (lol). 

If you want to sweep, analyze and gamify my life apply for the Sweeps job. Remember any job is what you make it and be careful what you wish for :). Marty  

Since knowing who I am is important to valuing "mentorship" here are a few places to learn about my post sweeping the yard work and life experience:

Martin Marty Smith on LinkedIn 

On Facebook 

On Twitter


Company Blog 

Personal Blog


Heather Allen's profile photoMartin W. Smith's profile photo
Thanks +Heather Allen and I agree. The cost/benefit on an assitant seems easy. The hard part will be finding a great one, but then aht is always the hard part :). Marty 
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Freedom APP & 5th Anniversary
Today is the 5th anniversary of Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer, our 3,300 mile bicycle ride across America in the summer of 2010. I used this day to remind me what is important once again - family, friends and service to others. 

This +LinkedIn post discusses Martin's Ride to Cure Cancer, David Brooks Resume vs Eulogy values and +Fred Stutzman's new +Freedom app (the tool to use to keep the maddening crowd at bay).

Thanks to all those who made Martin's Ride a dream and BHAG come true. Marty  
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Yeah this +David Amerland post via +Frank Gainsford has #marketing NOW usual. And love the use of a Lichtenstein to make the point pop (so to speak :).
The Changing Face of the Web

Lichtenstein, of course, did not do SEO, but if he had, we'd be looking at the way our relationship with websites changed from catchment areas where we threw our net far and wide, getting as many people through the site in the hope of achieving a small percentage conversion to digital presences that have a fully-fledged, connected existence that unites the online presence with the offline one - the business, with the people in it and behind it. That is the change that semantic search has precipitated. No business can exist as a digital shell, alone. 
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No worries +Frank Gainsford you and +David Amerland are on it. Marty 
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Trending on Curagami
Amazing to think we have over 20,000 words on our #startups  website after less than two years. Time flies when having fun, so we created a #trending  on +Curagami category and will update every few days. 

Curagami incorporates our feeds where we have over 39,000 members and more than 200,000 views, so lots of trending content marketing, content curation and gamificaiton content to trend. 

If you have suggestions for posts, would like to contribute your thoughts on content curation and gamification or want to "vote up" your favorite Curagami post email me at Martin(at) and we will incorporate your feedback. Thanks, Marty 
Trending on Curagami features posts, some from out in the long tail, customers are reading now. We will update Trending on Curagami every few days..
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Web Design Jazz
Half of the students in my Iron Yard Code Academy front end engineering class were musicians. You and I know "front end engineering" as "graphic design" or "web masters" and the high correlation between musicians, web designers and marketers isn't random. 

Web design is, as we share in a short video on this post, a strange alchemy of art, science and rhythm. Websites are collaboration by proxy and with a strange time delay. Conversations provide instant clues. 

We know if we've engaged our conversational partners instantly. #webdesign  is having a conversation too, but there's a time lag. Web design has conversations where we, as designers, share, listen and respond. Like throwing a stone into a quiet pond. 

If web design and marketing is like music and that's why so many musicians are drawn to design websites then #jazzmusic  would be the archetype. Jazz with it's collaborative frameworks and improvisation feels like web design to team +Curagami

What about you? Do you play music? I'm tone deaf, but I LOVE music from Miles to Sun Kil Moon music creates the soundtrack of my life. What music do you think web design is like and why? Shares will be worked into the piece with thanks. Marty  
Web Design Jazz is the conversational alchemy that is website design riffing important conversations your brands have with visitors and potential customers.
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SEO Summary on Curagami
Wrote a brief summary of #seo  findings for The Iron Yard Code Academy and included it along with an embed on +Curagami for this mornings meeting at The Iron Yard in  +American Tobacco in Durham. 
SEO for web designers Haiku Deck viewed by almost 15,000 people means the tips, tricks and insight into how SEO works & role web designers play hit a nerve.
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Great presentation. Thank you, +Martin W. Smith 
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Martin W. Smith

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Durham #startups  +Sweeps Jobs is on to something, something important and cool. is about to Uberize the summer job and that is nothing but net for student "sweepers", employers, brands and companies. 

Sweepers helped me pack today. Movers come tomorrow and those same sweepers will help unpack on the other end. This +Curagami outlines how (or any "tool") can transition into a social network as outlined by +Medium's founder Ev Williams outlined (his post is linked on Curagami).'s journey is the journey we are ALL on, so I shared commonalities team Curagami is seeing over and over as websites and mobile apps transform becoming the communities we need them to evolve into.  
Sweeps Urberizing the Summer Job is Uberizing the summer job. Hanging their like pregnant low hanging fruit... Read More
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3 Survival Stories
Martin's Ride 5th Anniversary stories include:

* Storm on the Grand Staircase. 
* Drowning In Lake Topaz. 
* Falling into CA 395. 

On the 5th anniversary of our 3,300 mile bicycle ride across America thought it was appropo to share 3 survival stories from our sixty day adventure that started today five years ago.

Thanks to everyone who help make my life possible including parents, siblings, friends and docs :). Marty 
Martin’s Ride To Cure Cancer After hearing “cancer” and my name in the same sentence I thought, “Now I won’t... Read More
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Web Design: Got Next?
Want to read a brilliant post about 7 trends you may not be thinking about but are sure to influence your #webdesign ? Answer to that question has to be yes (lol), so read this great +Medium post from +Jowita Ziobro.   
Too many articles will tell you what is cool in web design. I’m going to take you past the obvious to make some real pre…
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Relief From Digital Chaos: Freedom
My friend Fred Stutzman's #startup is on to something. The +Freedom app puts YOU back in control of your digital life.

Relief From Digital Chaos: #cool #startups #apps - 
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SEO for Web Designers
#seo  can be a daunting topic. Spoke with about sixty web designers about spiders, gorillas and setting realistic expectations at the Iron Yard Code Academy today. Used a +Haiku Deck for the presentation:
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Agree +Mikko Hakala free is amazing even when attached to a "freemium" model love being able to get started and figuring out if there is value before paying. Marty 

PS. Free tools are endangered too, so showing support in other ways (other than cash) for tools like, and others is important.  
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2,323 people
Have him in circles
5,736 people
Buah Matoa's profile photo
Ben Moll's profile photo
Bilz Bah's profile photo
Jamie Kahgee's profile photo
Emma Charlotte's profile photo
Bill Leiser's profile photo
Денис Донецкий's profile photo
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  • Vassar College
    Psychology, 1976 - 1980
  • Choate School
    Prep School, 1973 - 1976
Basic Information
Other names
Martin W. Smith, Martin Marty Smith, ScentTrail, Marty Smith, ScentTrail Marketing, Martin's Ride, Story of Cancer
Cancer survivor, entrepreneur, Internet marketer and artist who loves to create websites, apps and software.
Fighting cancer to a draw provides perspective. Time is short, do what you love is one lesson. Time is short work with people you love is another lesson. I remember, during the first round of chemo, making a decision to remove negative thoughts, ideas and people. 

The battle to survive is so immersive forming a team of CHAMPIONS who stay calm, are willing to help more and more as your need scales and who LOVE and want to help you more than themselves is critical. Winning any dog fight depends on having the right dogs.

I'm LUCKY and have a great group of smart friends who drop everything and help. Sometimes strangers do that too confirming our innate human desire to help each other. Think about it. There are FOMs, Friends of Martin, who I know have helped me survive and accomplish big things like riding a bicycle across America

There are also FOMs I don't know. People who've dedicated their lives to saving mine and we've never met. Those are special people who have my love and appreciation too.  
Bragging rights
Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer ( a bicycle across America raising $27K for cancer research summer 2010.
Founder of CrowdFunde and Curagami, tools to help ecommerce merchants sell more stuff by becoming great content marketers.
SEO, Internet marketing, content marketing, content curation, writing, ecommerce, email marketing, video marketing, cause marketing,
  • Curagami
    Founder, 2014 - present
    Curagami is our Triangle Startup Factory accepted mashup of content marketing, online community, and crowdfunding to create an engine of high quality User Generated Content (UGC) and social shares for ecommerce websites.
  • Story of Cancer Foundation
    Founder, 2013 - 2014
    Created one of first crowdfunding websites for cancer research launched December 2013. Created
  • Atlantic BT - Marketing Director
    Content Marketer, Internet Marketer, 2011 - 2013
    Doubled traffic to with content marketing, contests, games and social media. I
  • ScentTrail E-Commerce
    President, 2010 - 2011
    interviewed startup entrepreneurs including Jesse Lipson immediately before his $50M sale of ShareFIle to Citrix and Chris Hievly now running Triangle Startup Factory.
  • Townsend Enterprises
    Director E-Commerce, 2002 - 2010
    Managed team that beat sales and profit goals for 7 years contributing more than $30M topline dropping more than $5M to the bottom line.
    Founder, 1994 - 2002
    Created one of the first B2B and B2C websites helping Magnetic Poetry Kit, a specialty gift, become a $50M gift.
  • NutraSweet
    Marketing & Sales Director, 1989 - 1994
    P&L responsibility for $22M dairy business where we set sales and product launch reacords for three years.
  • M&M/Mars
    Unit Manager, 1982 - 1989
    Managed team that sold "World's Largest Snickers Bar Display" setting off a competition and helping Midwest region to win a major sales contest.
  • Procter & Gamble
    Sales Rep, 1981 - 1982
    Learned to sell the P&G way: Situational Summary, State The Idea, Explains How It Works and Share the Benefits.
  • Vassar College
    Assistant Director Admissions, 1980 - 1981
    Traveled across America interviewing perspective college students and pitching Vassar.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Greenwich - Chicago - Buffalo - Kansas - PA - Chapel Hill
Martin W. Smith's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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I heard passion, commitment and love in a comment from Yellow Cabs of Columbus owner Jeff Katz to a negative review on Google. I reached out and emailed Jeff. That voice, the authentic one he shared, was missing from his site I noted. He agreed and let me know he has a team working on his site. I bet he does. They already have apps (impressive). I took three cab rides with Yellow during my 3 day stay in Columbus and was impressed with driver courtesy, friendliness and care. I asked each driver how they liked working for the Katz family and they both loved working for Yellow Cab of Columbus. One driver was from Ethiopia and the other was from Mauritania (south of Morocco in Africa). Both were fascinating, kind and careful. They discussed the pressure they are under from Uber. I've yet to try Uber but I was in Columbus for treatment at the James Cancer Center. Climbing into a car with a stranger to save $5 seems crazy (to me) especially when there is a family owned and managed business that has been around since the 1920s as good at getting me around town as Yellow Cab of Columbus. One caveat is Columbus is not NYC. It takes 10 to 20 minutes to get a cab so build that in, set your expectations straight and don't stand out in the rain (like me duh). I realize this review is different (better) than others, but being in the cab biz is TOUGH. Nice people, careful and willing to wake up in the middle of the night to get me to the airport deserve 5 stars and continued patronage (will be back and forth to Columbus and the James until the end of the year). If you are in Columbus and need a cab, call Yellow Cab and bet you have a safe, fun ride too. Marty --- Martin Smith CEO & Founder Curagami - Cool Tools for Ecom
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Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
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