Monday, October 01, 2012

Coming soon.... An all-new Buzz on a Budget!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Rocking Horse Studio is Best in NH

Have you heard? The Seacoast's hottest recording studio... Well, isn't exactly in the Seacoast. It's in Pittsfield, NH, which is actually only 38 miles from downtown Portsmouth. It's also where the Seacoast's hottest band Tan Vampires chose to cut their new record For Physical Fitness

NH Magazine named Rocking House the "Best" in its annual Best of NH awards:
Rocking Horse Studio is a first-class recording studio that offers the best in recording and audio production. The finest equipment, rooms designed by renowned acoustician Michael Blackmer, a skilled house band and a crop of up-and-coming performers all point to big city bells and whistles, but this studio is set on a farm with open pastures and apple trees in rural Pittsfield. This is truly a New Hampshire recording studio.
Sweet set-up, eh?

Watch the WMUR Ch. 9 Chronicle episode filmed on location at the Rocking Horse Studios! The segment features another hot NH act, The Dusty Gray Band, who laid down their tracks there. So if you're a musician looking to take your game up a notch, contact Rocking Horse Studios, ask for Brian, and tell him I sent you!

(With Tan Vampires and Dusty Gray, is the start of a NH-based music explosion? Or will we be doing another documentary about how our local scene just missed becoming a national music scene?)

Monday, August 06, 2012

MozCation Coming to Portmsouth. Natch.

[Yawn]  This surprises me not at all.  This is just what Portsmouth and the eCoast do.  We pull together like nobody's business -- without rivalry or worry about credit or reimbursement of time -- and we make shit happen for the betterment of the community at large.  In fact, I'd be more surprised if Moz didn't pick Portsmouth!

OK, enough playing it cool.  This is pretty damn big deal... it's OK to get excited about it.  Hell, Moz is excited about it!  

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

My Buddy Colin

I've known Colin since we worked together at Flywire (nee VisuaLink Technologies) back in those heady frothy early days of the Interwebs.  This was round-bout 1999, if you can believe it.  Colin is legend for his 3-D rendering of the FleetCenter seating charts -- as I recall, he slept on the floor in the office to make sure the 2 G4 Macs kept rendering all night.  He also created the Flywire mascot, a 3-D figure we affectionately called Noodleman. But he's not just good at creating things in virtual 3-D, he does it IRL, too.  Check it out!  And if you've got some cake, consider kickstarting him! 

CONTACTS:  Colin James  (603) 617-4921
Marc Heberley  (603) 498-0206

World’s first convertible rocking chair released by OMGIGHO Inc

DOVER NH, July 31, 2012

Today, New Hampshire-based start-up OMGIGHO Inc. (prounounced ohm-GEE-go) officially launched its first product campaign on the popular crowd sourcing website  With Kickstarter, OMGIGHO hopes to secure project funding by offering the public the ability to support the production of their new product, a multi-function rocking chair, by being a Kickstarter backer 

Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, offering a unique platform where donors are offered rewards like limited editions and one-of-a-kinds based on their donation level.

The product is named the GO-GO Multi-Function Rocking Chair or "GO-GO." The chair is the first of its kind and is expected to receive significant attention from representatives of both the video game and furniture industries. OMGIGHO secured a provisional patent on the GO-GO earlier this year.

At first glance, OMGIGHO's GO-GO looks like a sleek, modern rocking chair with a birchwood base and black rubber trim. But the trained eye will note one of its most unique aspects almost immediately: The GO-GO's chair is an actual autoseat. That's your clue to the GO-GO's finest feature: The rocker converts into a simulated racing cockpit for video games or a laptop workstation.

"The use of a real auto seat allows for a full range of adjustment," Colin James, OMGIGHO co-founder and creator of the GO-GO, explains. "It's unlike any other rocking chair on the market," the avid gamer affirms.

When the user wants to convert the rocking chair for either gaming or working, they simply tilt back the auto seat to reveal the hidden compartment located within the base of the chair.
This compartment  contains a hidden foot rest and controller platform that easily rotates out in a motion similar to that of a Swiss Army knife. Lock the hidden parts into place and the rocking chair has taken on a new form—a home office or racing cockpit.

"The GO-GO was designed to allow racing video game fans to keep their controls at the ready, plus experience play with the ergonomics of a real race car," says OMGIGHO co-founder and CFO, Marc Heberley, also a big gamer. "And as a fold-away workstation, the GO-GO has just as much potential. It's also a really comfortable rocking chair," he noted.

OMGIGHO hopes to leverage the Kickstarter campaign not only to raise funds, but also to solicit feedback from what Heberley praises as their "fantastic online community" and gauge interest in the chair's other possible uses.

ABOUT OMGIGHO – OMGIGHO was founded in February 2012 in Dover, NH by four seasoned veterans of Silicon Valley and Boston-area technology industries. 

OMGIGHO is a cooperative of inventors and DIY enthusiasts who collaborate on ideas and use their collective skills to launch new and innovative products.

For more information, contact: Colin James (603) 617-4921 or Marc Heberley (603) 498-0206

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Seacoast's Creative Class Cooking with Crisco

Gotta say, I'm really digging what's going on lately here in Portsmouth. While the eCoast's eBrews will be on break for July and August, our "Creative Class" is cranking from low-key gatherings like Crystal Paradis' burgeoning breakfast club to Digital Portsmouth's formal presentations on tech topics at the Music Hall Loft. It's all organic and locally-grown business networking goodness!

And now comes this from the splendid brain of Mr. Joshua Cyr: 
Alpha Loft is pleased to announce Hoopla: A gathering of creative and developer masterminds from around the Seacoast.

Lets be honest -- you work way too hard. You need a vacation. But you are way too busy for a vacation. How about going out for the night? Yes! That's the ticket. If only there was some sort of event where you could go and hang out with creative, interesting, occasionally OCD people like yourself. A place to share the crazy stories of projects, clients, Internet Explorer, etc.

Introducing Hoopla. A gathering just for you and 100 or so of your favorite peoples. Enjoy a cool beverage and relax. No presentations. No fuss. Just a lot of hoopla.
RSVP here.

But wait there is more! This is also a fundraiser for 3S Artspace. Donations ($5 minimum) at the door. The more you donate the better you will feel on the inside.  Corporate donations happily accepted.

Remember, this event is for creative and tech people only. We love all of the rest of you, we just need a break for one night.

This event is a product of Alpha Loft and sponsored by Dyn Inc.
In fact, there's so many cool events going on lately, frankly, it's tough to keep up with them.  Josh is striving to make the Alpha Loft calendar the one-stop shop for this sort of thing, so if you're planning something cool -- or planning to attend something cool -- let him know.

For more social-media-driven stuffs on the aforementioned:
@MusicHall, @NHTweetUp, @alphaloft #DigitalPorts #portsbkfstclub

Monday, June 11, 2012

Melanie Puts a Pin In It at Alpha Loft

After the Social Media Club of NH event last week at Alpha Loft, a mutual acquaintance approached me and gushed: "I always knew you were great, but your wife is amazing!"

(It's nice to know I married up.)

The seminar my wife, renown social media expert Melanie Burger, had just led for 3 dozen professionals was on Pinterest -- the latest social media sensation which lets you "pin" interesting things to a virtual wall.  I liken it to the collages we used to display on our college dorm room doors under clear contact paper.  Remember?  We posted pictures of cars, athletes, models, rock bands, artists... basically, all the things we liked.

If you recall, more girls doors had more stuff displayed on their doors than boys -- well, the same is true of Pinterest users: Over 2/3rds are women. The attendance at the SMCNH event was also 2/3rds women, but men and businesses (especially those targeting women) are quickly closing the gap.

So how exactly are businesses using Pinterest?  What can Pinterest do to extend your brand?  If you're an entrepreneur, you need to be on Facebook, tweeting, and pinning?  These are the kinds of questions Melanie was answering.  If you're like me and couldn't make the event itself (although I caught the after-party!), the Social Media Club of NH site reviewed the event here

Want more?  Below are Melanie's slides.

Want even more of Melanie?  Sorry, she's taken.  :-)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dateline--PORTSMOUTH (NH)---Specifically about 50 yards behind my house.

It's not every day that your home town makes national news.  It's even more rare when it's your neighborhood.  But a tiny flower garden a stone's throw from my back yard is making national news.  Yes, I said flower garden. 

We walk our dogs down Albacore Way all the time, but I never noticed anything out of the ordinary. When I heard the news reports of the dispute, I went to specifically look for the offending garden... and I still didn't see anything.  I had to ask a neighbor which house it was.  I looked.  I still didn't see anything worthy of any sort of scandal.

Before social media made going viral a buzzword, the same thing would happen with news stories, and it still does.  Local stories can make headlines in their own cities and towns, then the next day it's literally yesterday's news and is replaced with a new headline.  But if a story catches the eye of a wire services editor, it can quickly make news anywhere and everywhere, building buzz and attracting ongoing attention of the public.  This is a story that is said to "have legs."  Once this garden scandal took off, it hit he Huffington Post, MSN, the Boston Herald,, Yahoo, America Online, Newser, the Portland Press Herald, New England Cable News, and various other news outlets. Here are a few more examples of stories this garden has garnered:

Flowers Prompt $13000 Condo Lawsuit: ABC News

Please Don't Plant the Daisies - or We'll Sue: Reuters

New Hampshire woman faces legal action, fines for planting flowers at condominium: Fox News

Amazing, isn't it? 

I noticed that when I went by one day, the condo association's hired hands were landscaping around all the buildings.  Every spot was being watered, mulched, planted, and weeded... except one little spot.  Guess which one!  I asked one of the landscapers and they admitted their instructions, when it comes to this particular flower patch, are to just "work around it."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moran Tugs Save Miss Stacy

My lovely and talented wife @melsieburger proved herself to be Melanie-on-the-spot when she caught this drama unfolding in the Piscataqua River.  The Miss Stacy was foundering and the Moran tugboats proved themselves more than just photogenic Portsmouth icons as they saved the ship and the day.  Watch this! Crazy stuff! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

RIP Memorial Bridge: And We All Float On

The big news in Portsmouth these days is all about our old decrepit rusty bridge.  Personally I always thought it was pretty fuggly, but everybody is waxing poetic about the thing, so I won't kill the buzz. In fact, I find the entire process fascinating, not only from a civil engineering standpoint but from a psycho-social angle. This "float-out" simply captured the imagination of an entire city... and to be fair, it does only happen every 100 years or so. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DirecTV and Sunbeam Work it Out!

Multiple sources are reporting that the dispute has been resolved.

I'd post the video announcement from WHDH, but I don't want to give them any clicks, nor do I wish to sully my blog with it.

Still not happy about it.  Don't appreciate being used as a pawn.  Don't appreciate my access to news and information being usurped by greedy corporations.  Nope, don't like it at all.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Patriots Super Bowl Game Blacked Out for DirecTV Viewers?

This is what I see when I turn the channel to 7 WHDH-Boston, our designated local NBC affiliate.
At midnight on January 14, 2012, Sunbeam Communications shut down its link to DirecTV for the stations WSVN (Channel 7 Fox Miami), WHDH (NBC Channel 7 Boston), and WLVI (The CW Channel 56 Boston).  The result is what you see above.  We first noticed it when we tried to tune in "Saturday Night Live."

Of course, SNL is one thing.  "The Office" and the Thursday night NBC shows are another thing. But there's this little sporting event coming up called THE SUPER BOWL, and that's an entirely different matter!  Not to mention the tiny fact that the New England Patriots are in it! 

So what's the issue?  Sunbeam reportedly wants the transmission fees paid to them by DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) increased by 300%. This is a private negotiation but Sunbeam has not denied that number, saying only that they are looking for "market value." 

Thousands of customers are affected in their homes, plus the numerous sports bars that rely on sporting events to draw customers. 

Here's what appears to be DirecTV's official original press release.  

It's strongly worded! As it should be! As this is one of the major broadcast networks, I consider this nothing less than an infringement on my rights as a consumer, and my rights as an American, in that the freedom of press, and my freedom of expression, are inhibited by a private dispute denying me access to a major news source.

We have complained to DirecTV on Facebook and Twitter, but clearly their customer relations staff have been instructed to follow a script: "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you, and we will continue to work towards a swift resolution."

Sunbeam, for its side, is not a public-facing company and are clearly overmatched in this PR battle.  They have no Twitter, no Facebook, not even a web site! Worse, they have pulled the Ch. 7 news clip announcing the failed negotiations from the WHDH site. And they've deleted comments on the previous story. Near as I can tell from my research, the owner -- 73-year-old Ed Ansin -- is a crotchety "maverick" along the John McCain lines.  Frankly, they come off as extortionist thugs, holding the signal feed for ransom. 

Sunbeam did, to its credit, allow a temporary reprieve to let the signal go through for the Giants-49ers game yesterday. This gave us hope.  HOWEVER, according to a post on the protest Facebook page "WHDH Boston - DirecTV Negotiations," FOX Miami pulled the channel with 3 minutes left in overtime! Talk about a tease!

Because the situation has not yet been resolved, and because I believe the FCC will have to intervene, I have called Senator Jeanne Shaheen's (D-NH) office.  They were aware of the problem and took down my information. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) have already written letters urging the two to play nice and come to an agreement.

For my part, I'm turning up the heat as a disgruntled customer, blogging and Facebooking and Tweeting about it to anybody who will listen, and contacting local media outlets.  Yes, I know I can switch to Comcast, but we just upgraded to DirecTV HD over Christmas.  Yes, I know we can buy an antenna and get the signal that way.  But there is a principle here.  A customer paying over $100/month for television signals beamed directly from satellites should not have to buy a set of rabbit ears!  

Oh, and... GO PATS!  

Saturday, January 07, 2012

e-Coast Birthday Weirdness

OK, so a wicked head/sinus cold kept me from attending the 13th eBrew Birthday Bash. 

My dutiful and beautiful wife brought me some (Lemon Zinger) tea with (local) honey. 

The mug she chose for the job, totally at random mind you, was this one.

You can't make this stuff up!

Happy 13th Birthday e-Coast!  You're a teenager now.  Ugh!