Two For One Special

Giving Thanks

A Huge thank you to all of you for your continued support and love through twitter and the comments you have been leaving. And now that Chat Creative is underway I feel like I get an even bigger chance to give back to this great community that I love so much.

Meet Firehost

If you haven't heard of Firehost yet, just wait, they are taking the hosting world by storm right now.

A few weeks ago I was having issues with my old hosting company, which seemed to be a regular occurrence, and while venting to a friend of mine was recommended that I try out Firehost. That same night another friend on twitter messaged me about a partnership opportunity Firehost was offering. So I filled out the form and BAM! the very next day I got an email from the CEO telling me they would love to partner with me.

Needless to say the past week has been a breeze getting my site migrated over to Firehost. Their support team is friendly, courteous and very knowledgeable about what they're doing. This opposed to my previous hosting provider who I held on this pedestal as the "Best Thing Since Sliced Servers", but ended up leaving me dumb-struck as to what all the hype was about. So please, go check them out at Firehost.com and learn about their Advance Secure Hosting services.

Back to School

Going back to college has been a constant struggle for me over the past year. One day I will convince myself that it's a good idea and the next just blow it off and continue working.

Well this past weekend my wife and I were able to spend some quality time together and talk through some things, one of which was school. And now I feel confident in my decision to go back to college and finish my degree. The plan right now is to finish my core classes at a community college the next two semesters and then starting in the Fall 2010, transfer to the College of Visual Arts and Design at University of North Texas.

I know it won't be easy, and I'll probably feel like giving up more than once, but with a good support system (a.k.a. my wife) I know I will pull through. And in the end I can look back on what I accomplished and feel proud that I stuck it out.

Meet Josh Cagwin

I first met Josh in tinychat over a month ago, and then just a few weeks ago met him in person when I flew out to Southern California. Josh recently just launched his website/blog over at CagwinDesign.com where he shares his thoughts and experiences in design. Yesterday he posted up a new article called "What Makes Us Hungry" where he poses the question about what inspires us to do what we do.

I think that we as creative people, more than any others, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to always be better. You can read more about that here. But what I really feel inspires me the most is the chance to meet (and work with) great people and do great things. Fame is fleeting but change is permanent, meaning that I could care less about being famous and more about helping people realize their true potential.

On faith

I'm not usually one to be so open about my faith. But when I'm passionate about something I can't help but speak what's in my heart. It's been a hard lesson to learn, and I still have a long way to go, but I'm learning that I don't need to be approved by anyone to feel complete in what I'm doing. God has already approved me. But I just like to share what He has done.

Seven Eight Nine

Without further ado I'm pleased to announce the first ever tinychat design panel. I've been working out the details over the last few weeks and finally got word back from everyone on the panel, so I decided now is the time to let you all know.

I'm really excited about this, as it's different from other "design chats" in that we will actually be live via tinychat and will be able to answer your questions.

However, this is the first time I've done something like this, so I'm not expecting it to go perfect. But that's what living is all about, getting our hands dirty and learning by experience. So over the next few weeks we will be working out the details and getting everything in order. As of right now I'm not sure where we will be hosting the site. My initial thought was to embed it on my site, but there's also talk about creating a new site branded just for this event. I really like the way Mashable has set up the lounge on their website.

I hope you will join us and get even more excited about it than we are. Joining myself on the panel will be:

Confirmed: Aaron Irizarry - thisisaaronslife.com Chad Engle - fuelyourapps.com Chris Spooner - blog.spoongraphics.co.uk David Perel - from-the-couch.com Graham Smith - imjustcreative.com

Tentative: Adelle Charles - fuelyourcreativity.com Liam McKay - wefunction.com

Please use the hashtag #TCDP when tweeting about this event.

Let's Be Honest

Today I wanted to let you guys know about the Dallas Wordcamp that will be going on next weekend (June 27 and June 28). Please register if you haven't already, there are going to be a ton of great door prizes and some great speakers. Matt Mullenweg will be speaking on Sunday afternoon about the state of WordPress as well as a Q&A session. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Also I touch on an all too common subject... being honest. More importantly about not being afraid to voice our honest professional opinion. We don't have to be a jerk to say how we really feel, but if we never speak up no one will know. There's no such thing as a mind reader.

Managing my client relationships is something I'm learning right now. And I have to say that I haven't always been the best at it. It's easy for me to be laid back and wait for them to contact me instead of being more proactive. But the more independent work I get the more I see how important it is to stay in touch with my clients and make sure their needs are being met. Putting just a little bit of extra effort in can go a long ways.

Please forgive the camera shaking. I was holding it by hand and didn't realize how sensitive it was. I need to use a tripod next time.

Links Mentioned

Caleb White - Thanks for lending me the Flip Mino camera Dallas WordCamp - Register now before it's too late Garth Humbert - Looking forward to meeting this guy

People Not Popularity

I'm back with my second video blog, thanks again to all of you who left a comment, critique or other piece of advice. I value what you have to say and it's helping me get better at this.

Today I wanted to talk about relationships, and how important they are in the realm of social networking. Regardless of how many followers I have on Twitter, because sometimes it can be overwhelming, I am glad to have a group of people to really invest in. And that's what I think we should focus on, people not popularity.

Other links to check out

Why I never want to be an expert by Seth Simonds Who Do You Know? (Part II) by Nate St. Pierre

Vlog #01

Here in my first "official" video blog I talk about the design community and give some shout outs to a few people worth mentioning. I recorded this last night in bed, armed with just a few notes on what I wanted to talk about and my sleepy dogs for comfort.

This is part of a process where I'm learning things don't have to be perfect in order to be posted. So please, I would love to hear any and all comments (so long as they're constructive) and any tips to making it better. Hopefully this will become a regular part of my blog.

Links Mentioned

Brandon Muth - BrandonMuth.com on twitter @brandonmuth Matt Simo - Matt-Simo.com on twitter @m_a_simo Joseph Allen Kohlhas - JosephAllenKohlhas.com on twitter @joseph_allen Designer(d) Advice from Joseph Allen Kohlhas Arcade theme and free wallpapers at From-The-Couch