Spring 2016 – Saving Time – Use Facebook Less

Spring Cleaning: How to use Facebook less.

Happy Spring. Like many, I find myself using Facebook at lot of time when I have other things to do.  My simple hack is to have Facebook open on one browser and the rest of my productivity tools (Hello, WordPress) open on another. This has led to using Facebook a whole lot less. Many of us learned to use Facebook for marketing our businesses back when it was free and reach was a real thing. Now that you have to pay to play, and even that is an unreliable indicator of any kind of usefulness, that which Facebook is useful for has shifted. I still do think that Facebook is useful – especially for networking and keeping in touch with others. Organizing things also goes pretty well – groups, events – still are great ways to gather people for a cause.  Try putting Facebook in it’s own browser and having the rest of your world happening on another and see what you think – I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

2.6.18 – Update: I took Facecrack off my phone (as well as Instagram) = this has led to about 70% decrease in my use of Facecrack – I highly recommend this move! 

In other news, it was quite a weekend. I attended the first ever Cultivation Classic.

Cultivation Classic

Spring into Cultivation Classic

According to Jeremy Plumb, one of the organizers: “This competition welcomes growers who can demonstrate a commitment to organic production methods, moving toward a regenerative approach,” said Jeremy Plumb, owner of Newcleus Nurseries and Farma dispensary in Portland. “This competition regards the quality of the process used, as well as the quality of the product.

I learned a ton. I met great people. My Congressman, Earl Blumenauer was there. I’m still tickled by how incredible the event was – really great speakers; good food; people dedicated to organic; good music. I can’t wait till the next one.  Here’s info about the winning strains

Then, there’s global warming. You just can’t escape it.  We just had the warmest April in Portland’s history. I still believe the answer is lessening the number of people on the planet, gradually.  I can’t believe how little the topic of human population growth in regards to climate change is discussed. I had a talk with a friend this past weekend who was arguing that US populatin growth is just fine. We’re the fastest growing population of any developed country and our consumption levels are over the top – so, hello warmest month ever, we’ve been expecting you.

I’ve been inspired, lately, to make more content and to share more of my thinking with the world. So, that’s what this is about. Thanks to Tim Ferris and Seth Godin and Michael Katz, some of the people who put out great content on a regular basis. I hope to fit into this tradition 🙂  I used to write a whole lot more – my newsletters used to be little tomes and as the trend has changed to shorter format, so have I.

That’s it for today. Have a great Spring! I hope life is treating you well. Feel free to leave comments below and to share this post on the social network of your choice!

AlbertCultivation Classic

More pictures of the event here.

NextDoor.com – The Future Is Here

NextDoor.com – A Great New Way to Meet Your Neighbors and Build Community

nextdoor.com

If you’ve been anywhere near me in the last year or two, or have been reading my newsletter, you’ll know I’ve been doing my best to spread the word about NextDoor.com.

I have been a fan of local all my life. I love the idea of the 20 minute neighborhood – being able to walk to everything you need in 20 minutes – which leads to less car use and having a lighter impact on the Earth. It leads to a lot of other benefits, as well. Not being in a car means you use other modes of transportation such as walking, biking and roller-skating. And while you’re out you end up meeting your neighbors and catching up – sometimes learning important news that you wouldn’t find out any other way. Knowing who lives around you also creates safety as everyone can keep an eye on things. This is what life used to be like in village days of yore. We’ve lost much of this familiarity as the United States has developed suburbs and we’ve designed our world to fit the car rather than what’s best for our thriving.

Enter the internet and social media platform, nextdoor.com. Nextdoor is a combination of social media worlds that many of us are familiar with (particularly, Facebook). Once you’ve signed up (which is a simple process where you, a real person, living at a real address are verified) you suddenly land in the neighborhood you live in on-line. There’s a newsfeed where you can see what your neighbors have posted, and you can also view the feed of your surrounding neighborhoods. For me, that’s North Richmond, Portland, Oregon = 200+ members, and the greater area about 2,000 members. I can connect to the people on my block, or to all the people in about a mile radius around me.

What I’ve seen so far is a mixture of things. People use NextDoor to offer each other extra of what they have (fruit was popular last Summer), kind of like Freecycle, which I helped jumpstart in 2003. The conversations are about everything from people seeking recommendations for home improvements; bodyworkers; tech support; local events; to neighborhood-watch type notifications about break-ins; missing pets and the like.  There’s also a fair bit of discussion about how our neighborhoods are developing. Currently, in the neighborhood I live in there has been an increase in old houses being torn down to be replaced by much larger scale buildings and that’s led to a lot of discussion of where we’re headed as a neighborhood and city.  These type of discussions used to happen on community discussion lists and at neighborhood council meetings, but this new forum provides an opportunity to use collaborative technology at the neighborhood level.  Without ads! Then, there are the yardsales and notices from the City and other odds and ends – things for sale; re-posts of Craigs List ads; homes for sale or rent; and new groups forming (the first of these I have seen is a local singles group).

There are many reasons why I am so gung-ho about Nextdoor.com. As someone who has been involved in high-tech for years, I am always excited when I see something come along that will help on a local level. I see this as that – a way for us all to get closer – to build community resilience through locals being in each others’ lives more. To make local bonds rather than keeping up networks that take a lot of fossil fuel to maintain. NextDoor also dovetails with another passion of mine: Farm My Yard. Farm My Yard is an effort to connect homeowners who have sunny yards with those who have urban farming skills and would like to grow food, but are lacking the space to do it. I also see Farm My Yard as a possible youth employment/business opportunity. In my dream I see teenagers using the Farm My Yard agreements and walking their neighborhoods to find a few yards to farm. This can and does lead to real income; vegetables for all; and less trips to the grocery store for everyone.

Farm My Yard

So, for me, it’s all coming together – and, I hope, we’re coming together. I see these types of developments leading to something fantastic in the future. Nextdoor.com is not perfect yet – it doesn’t always correctly identify neighborhood boundaries; the tech support can be iffy; disputes are left up to neighborhood “leaders” who sometimes make questionable calls; and I’m sure there are other imperfections, as well. That said, for now, this is one horse I am betting on! And, I recommend, if you’re not a member yet that you give it a try and see what you find. If you have comments, please leave them below.

For a better world,

Albert Kaufman
February 21, 2015

Update: 6.25.18Here’s a new article about Nextdoor by yours truly – about How to use it effectively for neighborhood change

March 4, 2015 NYT Article

9.24.15 – My neighbors pulled together via a great conversation on Nextdoor.com to preserve some giant trees and build community at the same time in Portland, Oregon, The United States.

NEXTDOOR2 – neighborhood change

NEXTDOOR3 – how to build a local community via Nextdoor.com

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES – The main issues 

2015-09-22 09.46.51

 

Register to vote online in Oregon NOW!

Vote

yes on 92 and yes on 91

Sensible Changes Coming to Oregon – Be a part of history!

Let’s legalize marijuana – I want to see us sending less people to jail for no good reason. Labeling GMOs also makes sense. Voter registration in Oregon ends on 10.14 – don’t miss this historic opportunity!

Ed: 11.13.19 – Recreational Cannabis is now legal in Oregon! We won!

I’d love to legalize marijuana here in Oregon in a couple days. There are so many reasons this makes sense – not putting people in jail unnecessarily (freeing funds for other actual problems) – creating all sorts of job – making it easier for people who need marijuana-related products for healing to receive them, legally – reducing peoples’ intake of alcohol (more on that another time, but I see a connection) – hemp may be the best answer to a lot of problems we face today – climate change, clear-cut logging of Oregon forests for paper products. Anyway, I think I could probably brainstorm about 100 reasons why this will be good for Oregon (tourism) – feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below. The news media mainly focuses on tax revenue – but I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the positives!

We have 5 days left to register to vote here. And then, we get our ballots in 9 days, and then we vote.

We will also vote to Label GMOs (poison), which would delight me. As far as I can tell GMOs are poisons that are increasing the rates of cancer. By labeling any products that have them – I believe it will force food companies to reformulate their products (as they’ve done in other countries) so they can avoid having to include a GMO label. I learned about this and more in the film GMO OMG which has been showing around town. The film-makers are making screening rights free for anyone who wants to host a gathering on the topic – it’s quite brilliant and I highly recommend viewing it if you’re interested in learning more about the issue.

Some relevant links to share:

Register to vote on-line here

  1. Vote yes on 91 – Legalize It! Vote Yes on 91 – Endorsers
  2. Vote yes on 92 – Label GMO (poison) – YES!

91: Video with Rick Steves

92: Lively Video about GMOs by my friend, Dana Lyons

Thanks for your efforts to get everyone you know registered to vote. Know someone who has moved in the last 2 years? Know someone who turned or turns 18 before election day? Send them this link, thanks!

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/orestar/vr/register.do?lang=eng

Both of these campaigns can also use our $-support and any time you can spare to Get out the Vote (GOTV) – Bring a posse with you for best results 🙂

The Eleven, August 2014 – Beloved & Next Door (a new tool I’m ga-ga over)

The Eleven 8.2014

Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Eleven, my monthly e-letter where I tell it as I see it. If you’d like to unsubscribe, there’s a handy link below. And, if you’d like to know more about what I do for work, please click the “update profile” link below and join one or more of my biz lists that will appear!

Nextdoor.com - The Eleven

OK, first of all, I’ve been secretly and not so secretly giggling over my newfound love of NextDoor!  NextDoor is a new platform that is a super-local bulletin board. It allows you to connect with your immediate neighborhood (our cat is missing, is a common announcement (our cat actually is missing – come home, Scooter, we miss you!)). Then, you can also connect with the 7 neighborhoods nearest you. This makes finding others with similar interests (Spanish conversation group, anyone?) a synch. I have been waiting for something like this all my life, and I am very excited to share this with you and see what you think. For those of us wishing our lives were lived closer to home, this is a Godsend.

The Lucky Cock - The Eleven
For 3 years I lived at a big group house. Downstairs was The Happy Clam and upstairs, The Lucky Cock. Last month, the last folks who lived upstairs moved out and we had a great, sweet goodbye to our communal home. I had some of the best times of my life in this house on 13th and Hancock (thus, Alex Kain dubbed the house – The Lucky Cock 🙂  We had many great parties; lived with some close friends; and the house is a beautiful 1910 craftsman – a beautiful, historical Irvington house – a great home for all of us in so many ways. I’ll miss this house and the community we experienced there.
https://www.belovedpresents.com/
Beloved: Photo by Zippy Lomax

Last weekend, at the last minute, I decided to attend the Beloved Festival for my 7th year. I’m glad I did. It’s one of the most beautiful festivals I’ve ever been to – the music, food, people, setting (Oregon temperate coastal rainforest), dancing, art (lots of live painting), camping, community, purpose, (the porta-potties had Rumi and Hafiz poems in them this year!) and general evolved communication and connection – is a welcome change from how our society generally connects. I’ve often mentioned to friends that it’s also a “mens’ retreat” for me. It’s a chance to hang out with my men friends in a relaxed environment where we don’t have to be anywhere else – and so can hang out for long stretches – over a meal; watching some incredible music or going for a walk together. I don’t know, but somehow I find it hard to have that kind of ease with my men friends in the city. I applied to lead a mens’ workshop this year at Beloved, but the workshop was not accepted. I’ll definitely apply again as I think it would be a great addition to an already incredible experience. I could write a book about this year’s experience – here are some quick highlights:

  • Rafe Pearlman‘s Shabbat invocation on Friday night was like nothing I’ve ever heard before – part mystic, part kirtan – it was other-worldly and beautiful.
  • YogiTunes. They did some sound-scaping at the yoga dome which was delicious. I’m enjoying continuing to learn about them. Kristen, Ryan, and Jon R’s sound-healing offering were super-fine, too!
  • The fountains of green drink, oxygenated water, and vitamin C water were provided by Healthforce Nutritionals kept me dancing and hydrated all weekend long. In the food category, I was also elevated by Lydia’s Kitchen, Get Fried Rice, Coconut Bliss – you get the idea – delicious, conscious food, at a reasonable price, available all weekend long.
  • My friends. Their friends. The kids – bouncing all over the place and having the time of their lives.
  • the art – and especially all of the alters.  Annie and her crew were at the festival a week early to install dozens of little and big alters all over the grounds. They were beautiful – temporary – created by Nature and Annie Eshaia.
  • Here’s a nice collection of pictures that can give you an idea of what the Beloved Festival is all about.  I look forward to going back again next year – it keeps improving from year to year.
  • Oh yeah, I almost forgot – hanging out talking to Michael Meade for a while – definitely a highlight!
Work-wise, I’ve been going a bit lighter this August. Meeting with clients (feel free to refer people to me who are seeking to up their online presence through email marketing and social media!). I’ve got a couple of free classes coming up (see below).
Yeah, Summer! – heat, sunshine, friends, playing guitar, and being my activist self, too 🙂  Making sure friends are registered to vote (for labeling foods with GMOs in them in Oregon this Fall – to Legalize Recreational Marijuana here in Oregon this Fall, and more).  More on these issues this Fall.
I hope life is treating you extremely well. Rest, relax, and please take some time to have a Summer 🙂
Much love,
Albert

Upcoming Events

Getting Your Business Thriving with Email Marketing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Getting Started with Email Marketing is the most cost-effective way to build your business – join me, Albert Kaufman, for a guided discussion about how email marketing works and how to get up and running. 8.20.14 – great inner NE PDX location.

Holladay Park Church of God

Social Media Marketing for Small Business Success

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT

Come learn about social media from a local expert, Albert Kaufman. This presentation is a guide for small businesses or nonprofits who have been using social media marketing but need some tips to take them to an intermediate level and/or add new channels to their marketing efforts. Heather Fulton, a social media expert, will also be speaking!

Uptown Billiards

 

 

100 Year Weather Event, or the future of life in the Pacific Northwest?

Climate Change: My heart goes out to everyone in the Pacific Northwest who is being adversely affected by the current rains.

In the Pacific Northwest we’re used to heavy rain and all that it entails. But the recent rains have led to a level of flooding and hardship that people are calling a “100 Year Event”. I most recently heard people talking about this at Breitenbush where I spent new years and learned that two of the newly built bridges that span trails there had been washed out. Next up have been the January rains which have led to roads washing out, peoples’ houses being flooded and lots of landslides. Some towns like Vernonia, Oregon, seem to be having repeat flood events and the recent news is of thousands having to leave homes around the state, car accidents and lots of property damage.

My main question is “is this global climate change and its effects?” If so, are those who are calling this a “100 year event” actually missing the possibility that this may be how life here will continue to be from now on – rainy, with more and more rain and displacement.

I’ve long been following demographic trends around population growth and have been making the connection between our increased numbers and our effect on the environment. More pollution, species loss, rapid glacier melt, and running out of resources like oil have all been shown to be happening on an upward trend for years. What is less obvious is how all of this effects our world in places like Oregon, where we’re in a situation like the frog in the slowly heating water – we probably won’t change what we’re doing until the heat is turned way up, otherwise, the frog, in this scenario slowly boils and dies. Now, with the current rain, we have a warning sign that can’t be ignored.

Will we be smart and move towards actions that will slow global climate change or will we continue to adjust to its adverse effects and grin and bear it? Some smart moves that I think Oregonians could take that might increase our chances of experiencing a better future would be to plant trees and stop clear-cutting the ones we have. This would improve our (and the rest of the world’s) air quality, help control stormwater and erosion problems and keep hillsides from sliding. I also think it would make sense for there to be some sort of program to move people out of floodplains and onto higher ground.

If there’s a chance that this year’s rains might repeat regularly what other moves should we as a society consider to avoid the high costs of the damage and to keep us all safe and dry? I’m sure there are hundreds. Should we be removing any extra pavement that exists as the group Depave works to do? Should we be planting millions of fruit and nut trees to make ourselves more food self-reliant and cut down on shipping costs of food? Are millions of new community and backyard gardens in our future? I’d love to see a state-wide or bioregion-wide analysis done of how we currently use our land and other resources and plug in possible weather events into the equation. I’m sure that would shed light on how prepared we will be for any future contingencies.

Will we learn from the current weather event? I suggest we treat it not like a “100 year event” but plan for the possibility that it may happen again next week, and next year. Let’s plan for the future not be run over by it.

————-

I posted this article on Daily Kos and there have been 100+ comments in one day. It’s a very interesting discussion of this topic. I highly recommend giving it a read – some very cool analysis, ideas, links and videos on the topic.

Sending Sunflower Seedy Goodness Out Into The Year

For many years I’ve been sending sunflower seeds into the world.  Here are some of the pictures over the years! and more background, here.