The Case for Auto Direct Messages on Twitter


Auto Direct Messages are NOT Social

I use to hate auto direct messages on Twitter. I would go as far as to unfollow someone if they sent me an automated direct message. Twitter is a social platform after all. Automation is not exactly social. In my mind, if you are sending me an automated message you only want to sell me something and I’m not interested. Alex Howard asked his followers what they thought about automated direct messages and the responses were mixed. Some thought that it was “cheesy” while others didn’t even know that it was an automated message. David Chevalier, Chief Sales Officer of SalesBlend, is completely against the practice. He makes a great point that “What you want to do is tweet valuable information and be helpful.”

Happy Medium?

I set out to test Auto Direct Messages on my own Twitter account. This was half-experiment/half-marketing campaign. I used Crowdfire to setup the automated direct message and here is what my message said:

I hate auto-dms! So why am I sending one to you? I also hate missing opportunities to meet new people. I have nothing to sell you so no worries there. I blog at and I don’t sell anything there either. Don’t be afraid to chat me up especially about tech although I’m a pretty philosophical guy too. What I really want to say is thanks for the follow.

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Righting a Bad First Impression


A Very Bad First Impression

A first impression can make or break an opportunity. I am guilty of having some very bad first impressions that probably kept me from connecting with people at a level that would bring about greater success for me, them, and the project we were working on. I’m reminded of my first “All-Hands Meeting” at CNSI where I work as a Senior Infrastructure Engineer. I arrived late to the meeting, which has about 75 people in the room and another 75 on a conference call. The person running the meeting was one of our project managers who I will call “Dale” to protect the innocent. The door was locked so I knocked and when I entered Dale, rather gruffly, told me that if I was going to be late to the meeting that I should just not come. This was pretty embarrassing and I’ll admit I was resentful that he had made such a public scene. After all, I  was new to the company!

Never Disregard Third-party Feedback

I came back to the office and shared with my boss, whom I will call “Chuck”, who was on the conference call and unaware who was late, that I was the person that Dale had “handed his butt” to him for being late. Chuck and I kind of laughed off the entire thing. Later on though, Chuck asked Dale, “What did you do to my Chris?” Dale was confused and Chuck reminded him of the meeting and the impact that it might have left on me. Continue reading

Tutorial – Self-Host WordPress on Google Cloud


Tutorial Introduction

The purpose of this tutorial is show how to self-host a WordPress blog on Google Cloud. Wikipedia provides the following definition of Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing, also on-demand computing, is a kind of Internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Cloud computing and storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. It relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale, similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network. At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.

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4 Reasons I Deleted Games From My Phone


The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.

– Henry David Thoreau

Alto's Adventure on my phone

Alto’s Adventure

A few weeks back I made the conscious decision to delete all games off of my phone. I can hear you now. “WHAT??? That is one of the purposes of having one of these exceptionally expensive devices isn’t it?” For me the answer is no. Don’t get me wrong. I love to play games on my phone. My latest obsession has been Alto’s Adventure and trust me it becomes an obsession. The problem is I began to notice that I was missing out on some crucial opportunities that the games on my phone were taking away from me. I decided to list out what I was missing out on and in the end, deleting all of the games off of my phone was an easy decision.

#1 – I want to start a blog!

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3 Simple Rules to Live By

3 Simple Rules - 2010 Cross Country Teams

2010 Addison High School Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams

Not too long ago I coached the varsity cross country team at Addison Community Schools. We started with only five total runners (three boys, two girls) and eventually built the team up to over thirty members. Everyone that ever ran for me can attest that I kept a pretty loose reign on the team but that I wasn’t afraid to let them have it to change their behavior. What I didn’t do is present the team with a multi-page list of rules that they had to abide by. Let’s be honest, they wouldn’t have read it anyway. Instead I kept it simple with these three rules that anyone can use to make better decisions every day.

Rule #1 – Be a good person

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