Yerba Buena Fundraiser

As I tinker with my new blog, I have received the sum total of two comments (both of which I tagged as SPAM), leaving me to wonder if a tree falls in the forest whether it makes a sound? Eventually, I trust someone will read my blog. I know I can at least count on my mom and my social media coach KurtyD.  Until WOTW is ready for prime time, this post is an example of something going on in my life that I would be compelled to share with thousands of followers if I had them.
When my son entered kindergarten, I dove headfirst into the Yerba Buena Elementary School Parent Faculty Association by volunteering to chair its publicity committee. Although the job mainly consists of supplying the local paper with photos of the kids doing interesting things and calendar of events listings for book fairs and the annual Halloween carnival, the 40th Anniversary Festival and Fundraiser next weekend is much more important.
As public education has suffered severe funding cutbacks, I have learned firsthand the increasing pressure being put on parents to pick up the shortfall. In addition to being asked for a $300 booster payment at the beginning of the year, there are countless fundraisers throughout the year and teachers routinely ask for donations for specific items. The pains of public education can be felt everywhere — and we live in a good district! I can’t imagine what issues parents in the poorest parts of Los Angeles and elsewhere must be dealing with.
What I do know, is that Yerba Buena must make up a huge budget shortfall each year to pay for music, sports, computer and education programs. And next weekend we’re hosting an auction fundraiser in conjunction with the school’s 40th anniversary celebration. It’s going to be a great evening full of music, fun and games like Jell-O relay and Hotwheels races, hula hoop competitions and dancing to music from the past four decades. After a live auction we’ll be watching classic cartoons like The Jetsons, Flintstones and Scooby-Doo under the stars. Should be fun!
While all of the festivities are geared for YB families and alumni, a wider swath of our community can help by participating in the online auction, which is now open. Come one come all to our family festival next weekend, but more importantly, please bid on some of these items and pass this information along to anyone you know who would care, especially residents of the Conejo Valley.


Finding my voice

Though I may be too busy writing down the next big idea or taking a photograph to enjoy certain moments in life, be they special or not, ironically recording them is my way of paying homage to living in the moment. For me, capturing images and words honors the importance of how precious every moment truly is – or for that matter the whole human experience. Beyond nostalgia, somehow writing a note here and there and snapping pictures (at special events or just day-to-day) gives my own existence more meaning. Maybe it’s just part of being a dad and/or the existential issues that come along with entering your forties.
I expect blogging will fulfill some of this need to play historian and serve as a creative outlet for the nonsensical. But my true intent is for my observations and opinions, needs, pains and desires to both stimulate and add value to conversations, be they professional or social, as they inspire those around me and those who read this blog. 
For years I have learnked (my term for lurking/learning) on some great e-mail lists from GoodTimes to OldTimers to METAL, but I’m hoping this environment will become a more comfortable and practical one in which to express myself. Whether or not this experiment proves as fruitful as I think possible, at least I will have gone on record with my views and given some permanence to my thoughts in Cyberspace.
Though I don’t know yet exactly what will fill in these pages, as I find my “voice” I trust it will have real meaningful and add value to my fellow tradesmen, colleagues, friends and family who wish to have a better understanding of where our worlds intersect and what possibilities that could create.  Otherwise why bother? At the very least they will have a better understanding of me, for better or worse, and I will have a [theoretically] created a more permanent home for my thoughts online. 
My primary intent is for this to be a space for the discussion of all things media and marketing online, and I hope it will stimulate interesting new dialogue and help me to assert an editorial voice for “Tony Winders,” where for years I have been authoring articles for others and hocking products and services that were not my own.
Even more, I hope it will serve as a creative space for thoughtful, critical thinking about many issues of our day. There’s plenty to wrtie just within the online advertising space where I’ve developed my expertise, but I also foresee an opportunity to create a context for addressing issues of deeper social and philosophical concern and look forward to seeing where the two shall intersect.
As I write this second post of my first true blog (though The Baja Buzz made good training wheels), I am reminded of my first tweet several months back when I asked if Twitter was more form or function? And while the answer may be subjective, I’m now asking the same of my foray into the blogosphere – to what end? If nothing else, the process is sure to be an exercise in critical thinking, media analysis, writing and social media interaction. We shall see. If you are reading this at all and got this far, thank you! I hope you’ll follow my posts and send feedback as I set out on this endeavor.

Why Blog Concept

Why Blog? It’s Time.

Fourteen years into my interactive media career, and nine years since the rise in popularity of blogging, here I am. Embarrassing as it is to say, I have no regrets. Things happen in their due time and now I’m ready and excited to have staked claim to this corner of Cyberspace. Here I intend to share my online marketing expertise, along with a few opinions and general musings about media, marketing and life.
Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to meet thousands of people working in digital media, entertainment, technology and marketing, many of whose business cards now sit in shoeboxes and whose faces and names are part of a collective sea of faces and conversations from years of networking events, trade shows and parties. I’ve met hundreds more with whom I’ve transacted business and built my professional network. There are dozens who I consider respected colleagues, peers and industry friends whose guidance and feedback I rely upon regularly. And then there are a handful who I’m fortunate to consider among my dearest friends (you know who you are). My hope is to reconnect with all of my media, entertainment and technology friends of years gone by, communicate en masse with those who care to follow what I have to say and highlight the expertise of those whose views and opinions I respect, admire and would like to share with you.
In addition to working in the Southern California digital media community and the broader U.S. online advertising industry, I also identify with several other communities from my past, which collectively comprise my network. By Malcolm Gladwell’s terminology, and by most accounts of those who know me, I am a “Connector,” or someone Gladwell  says has an ” ability to span many different worlds as a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.” I enjoy this distinction and especially appreciate when I’m able to connect two people who should know one another or be doing business together.
Like you, my business and social network is primarily a function of the groups with whom I associate. Everyone we meet has a story and our interaction with them contributes to our own. I am passionate about people, and in the absence of being able to spend quality time with everyone I’ve met or care about, I am grateful for the ability of the Internet to empower us to keep connected. It is my hope this blog will contribute to doing that in a meaningful, interesting and scalable way and I hope you will come along on the journey with me.