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Chris Whissen
1,657 followers -
Living life as much as possible.
Living life as much as possible.

1,657 followers
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So, have you guys ever seen the grand old houses we have in Pittsburgh and wanted to see what they look like inside? Sunday, August 9, from 11-5 is your chance!

Manchester is holding its annual house tour. We have houses in all stages of renovation on the tour this year. Family homes that have been maintained, but not updated, for decades; homes brought up to be as modern as possible inside the beautiful architecture of the Victorian era; homes faithfully restored to their jaw-dropping original grandeur. We even have beautiful gardens and live jazz from local musicians.  Plus, my favorite this year, Anderson Manor - home of Colonel Anderson who loaned his personal books to boys in the neighborhood. One of those boys, Andrew Carnegie, would recall the loaning of books for all and start America's earliest public library system.

Tickets are available through Friday, August 7, for $12.50 and the day of the event, in the 1300 block of Page Street for $15. Ticket sales end at 4PM. For more details and a link to the order page, visit www.manchesterhousetour.com

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Just sharing this one more time - last time I promise. We've had some changes to our lineup - we now have five great old houses in various stages of preservation and using different approaches. Three gardens, a local coffee roaster and live jazz from 1-3. Come see Pittsburgh's largest historic district and help us raise funds for our local preservation efforts! Please, share this around if you have Pittsburgh local in your circles.
So, have you guys ever seen the grand old houses we have in Pittsburgh and wanted to see what they look like inside? Sunday, August 3, from 11-5 is your chance!

Manchester is holding its annual house tour. We've got houses in all stages of renovation on the tour this year. Family homes that have been maintained, but not updated, for decades; homes brought up to be as modern as possible inside the beautiful architecture of the Victorian era; homes faithfully restored to their jaw-dropping original grandeur. We even have beautiful gardens and live jazz from local musicians. 

Tickets are available the day of the event, in the 1300 block of Page Street for $15. Ticket sales end at 4PM.

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So, have you guys ever seen the grand old houses we have in Pittsburgh and wanted to see what they look like inside? Sunday, August 3, from 11-5 is your chance!

Manchester is holding its annual house tour. We've got houses in all stages of renovation on the tour this year. Family homes that have been maintained, but not updated, for decades; homes brought up to be as modern as possible inside the beautiful architecture of the Victorian era; homes faithfully restored to their jaw-dropping original grandeur. We even have beautiful gardens and live jazz from local musicians. 

Tickets are available the day of the event, in the 1300 block of Page Street for $15. Ticket sales end at 4PM.

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I don't often promote kickstarter campaigns, especially not publicly (rather than to specific circles). This one though, is something worth passing on. Take a look...

Just went to view my profile as public and it looks so sparse. So, if you're looking at this profile, you're not going to learn much until I add you to a circle.  Sorry, that's just the way I use Google+. I'm not using my profile to market myself, I'm using it to have interactions.

That said, there are some communities and circles that I'm interested in and it might help to know these are my actual interests. So, here's some things that get me involved on G+:

* Gaming - mostly pen and paper (DnD - especially 2E hacks, shadowrun, Spirit of the Century, FATE in general) and board (Dominion, Cards Against Humanity, Small World, basically anything on Tabletop), but also some video (Assasins Creeds, Skyrim, GT and GTA). 
* Wine & food - anything about wine, eating, cooking
* Travel 
*Graphic Design and web design - though that's work
* Use of design in marketing
* Mini Coopers and car geekery in general
* Old house restoration
* General Geekiness
* Pittsburgh 

That's not all, but a general list. If you're looking for someone to join in those discussions, add me and let me know why. Or, if I've found you and you're checking me out - those are the things I generally talk about, but I limit it to circles and don't post publicly.

Okay, on to life. Have a good day all.

Yesterday evening, my wife and I were headed downtown on the subway for dinner and a show. The guy in front of us turns around and says, "I have some news." Pause. "Want to hear it?"

After living many years in New York, we are cautious of such beginnings, and while i've noticed that people will strike up conversations with strangers here in Pittsburgh, this still seemed an odd beginning. But he obviously needed to talk so we listened to his story. I'm glad we did.

The stranger went on to tell us that he had been diagnosed with a rare, incurable disease. At first they thought it was cancer, but then they realized it was something worse. As they say, it was all over but the waiting and all he could do was bide his time.

However, just the day before the doctor had walked into this stranger's appointment smiling. The stranger told the doctor he was a "sadistic bastard." The doctor laughed and brought the stranger over to a computer. He indicated a portion of the stranger's recent X ray. "See this area here? A month ago this was (full of the crap that would kill you). Today, this a model of a healthy X ray."

After months of thinking he would die, our new acquaintance had discovered that he was as healthy as ever. Spontaneous remission I think it's called. He was riding the train downtown just to walk around and enjoy everything.

This guy who thought it was all over has a new run at life. And he shared it with two strangers on public transit. We spoke a little more and then parted on the sidewalk outside the subway. Him renewed and full of possibility. Us, I don't know. Hopeful? Awed? Choked up? whatever it was it was good. Thank you stranger.

I just want to share this with everyone. I know many of you are having rough times and the holidays aren't helping. No matter how bad it seems, it can get better. Remember that and pass it on.


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I'm in the habit of keeping my posts within my circles. For me the most public I typically go is my extended circles.

However, it was pointed out that the people who most need to read this post (target audience in marketing speak) probably won't see it unless it's public. So, I'm resharing my own post publicly. There's a first time for everything.
Dear Marketers,

Just because you're not able to achieve the same success on Google + that you did on Facebook doesn't mean there's anything wrong with G+. In fact, you are doing it wrong. We don't want your half-arsed attempts at "engagement." We want real people that really care about the things they discuss. We want conversation and debate, news that we care about, something to make us laugh or cry.

We want humanity. That's what we really come to Google+ to find. Not that happy montage movie of the week bragging on Facebook - complete with your sappy commercials. Actual humanity. Real people, discussing all areas of life. We want to discuss gender politics and racial discrimination, the latest tablet and patent trolls, games and art and music and protest. We want the whole experience and people who understand it. Not pithy marketing messages that you can cram into 140 characters.

So, go ahead, post yet another article on how dead G+ is, on what a low ROI it brings and how the engagement is lacking. You don't get it and probably never will.

Meanwhile, a woman who decides to talk about tropes is video games just raised over a $160,000 dollars due in no small part to discussion on Google+; a game based on a decades-old RPG 80s raised millions practically overnight, again due in large part to word on Google+. Indy artists are making fans for life while just having conversations on Google+. 

Let me sum this up for you in words you can understand: quit phoning it in. If you want to be seen as thought leaders in the realm of highly targeted social media, actually give it some thought! Until then, I'm sure there's someone just discovering Twitter or who still reads ads on Facebook. Go bother them and let the actual people get on with their lives.

Sincerely,

Chris
Marketing designer/developer, geek, Google+ user since day 2

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Pittsburgh Sci-Fi and Fantasy book club

Great writing takes you to new places. Great sci-fi and fantasy takes you to new worlds. After many years in an active sci-fi & fantasy book club, we'd like to recreate that experience in our new city, Pittsburgh, PA.

So, if you or one of your favorite geeks is in driving distance of Pittsburgh, let them know about our new book clubs. Members can look forward to fun, intelligent conversation and maybe some new friends.

If you're not in the Pittsburgh area, but know someone who is, please spread the word.

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Passing this along...check it out people.
I'm announcing it on Google+ First! My first full length 10 song album as Ely Silverthorne (and first album in over ten years!) is officially available for download today: http://elysilverthorne.bandcamp.com! Yes, I had to get in on the 11/11/11! This is officially what I've been doing since I graduated this past May- Please enjoy and let me know what you think.

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Go Pittsburgh! I've been impressed with the selection and services at the Carnegie libraries and, as a soon to be homeowner, I'm more than willing to pay a little extra on my property taxes to ensure the library can keep up the good work.
Proud of my new hometown for supporting the library! (And baffled by the guy who thinks the library should fund itself through "naming rights.")
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