Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week that Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

First off, a massive shout-out to Laura Fuentes from MOMables for the inspiration to move my weekly newsletter from everyone’s email to my blog.

Dad 2.0 Summit 2018

In seven years, you can learn some things. I’ve seen great success in growing this brand, but at the same time developed habits that hold me back. Spreading myself too thin to give my all to any one area. Not finding the time to do better with what I’ve already produced rather than always chase after new leads. You reach a point where you understand what will help your growth and strive to make as much of that happen as possible.

And this move’s just that—putting more of my efforts into the digital home I’ve built myself rather than fritter it elsewhere. This weekly write-up will be more connected, more intentional and more focused than ever before. I’ll spend less time thinking about what to write and more spent learning from what I’ve done—that’s what makes for a better story, right?

So without further ado, let’s get it.

The Week That Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

This Week’s Tweets

Alright, so firstly, if you’re not following me on Twitter, I promise you’re missing out. Here are some of my better-performing tweets from this week, designed to make you laugh, think, or lick the flavour off your screen:

Don’t Stop (A Year Since BiSC)

A New Blogger for a New Age — Father and Son With Matching Shirts!
The shirts say it all 🙂

As a newly-minted father with one foot out from his previous life, nothing’s like it used to be. At my peak, I tweeted hundreds of times a day, partying near-daily with tweeps full of spontaneity, drama and hilarity. I felt connected to a thriving Toronto, present in a world where presence mattered, making sure I was seen to be heard, indiscriminate on where I spent my time in the Twitterverse. I’ve been scrawling away on how much the world’s changed, the things I miss and what I’d bring back if I had the power, but Ive been looking at it all wrong.

Yes, Toronto’s changed. Yes, social media’s not what it used to be, ever-changing to accommodate a cast of characters under continual flux. But none of that controls who I am, and that’s what I need to remember…

I’ve changed.

After months of near-misses, Peter DeWolf and I finally connected for #thepetecast’s 63rd episode, talking Toronto, blogging, fatherhood and more! I trolled his site the day after, surprised to find he’d done an episode with my good friend Simone 17 episodes prior on a few of the same things!

I was blown away by the interview — not expecting to hear about myself in the podcast, Simone had very flattering thing to say, warming my heart and inspiring reflection on what a certain 6-day trip to Vegas did for me last year!

Last Vegas, I Gave You My Heart….

Timehop — 1 Year Ago — Bloggers in Sin City — Group Shot

A year ago, Bloggers in Sin City — an unconference bringing bloggers together as people, not just bringing them together to talk blogging — made me more than 60 new friends, complete with adventures, inside jokes, and the joy of people who don’t care about your blog traffic, clickthrough rates or blog marketing strategy.

A year ago, I had late-night conversations over pizza, sharing parts of myself that rarely surface in Toronto, feeling comfortable enough to know that I could be brutally honest and it wouldn’t come back to bite me later.

A year ago, I re-discovered it was possible to share your story without putting yourself in a box, choosing instead to create based on interest — not the best practices you’re told to follow!

A year ago, I not only became a better blogger… I became a better person.

Where I’m From

A New Blogger for a New Age — Casey Palmer the Performer

Let’s not kid ourselves by thinking we fit the Canadian stereotype — Toronto’s a cutthroat city! Our blogosphere ain’t gentle, with thousands trying to show value while suffering an inferiority complex from the New Yorks and LAs of the world; we’re a city of the world, but not a world-class city, with bloggers yearning to be taken seriously. For years I drank the Kool-Aid — party hard;  be seen; get your name on everyone’s lips, making sure the world will never forget you.

But I was entirely missing the point.

I won’t re-hash my thoughts from my return to Toronto last May (there’s already a post for that) but they weren’t happy. I’d found wonderful people not trying to oust me from some imagined “spot” as a blogger. They were personal bloggers, blogging about life and everything in it — your opinion be damned.

In many ways, like my friend Simone often told me of her previous visits to BiSC — it was like finally finding my people.

Don’t Stop.

Casey Palmer: Mini-Portrait Sessions in Las Vegas during #BiSC // Erin Parker Photography

In the year since, I’ve changed — you might even read these words and think me a hypocrite with my sponsored posts, trips and a lifestyle that couldn’t be farther from the idea of just writing about things I’m passionate about.

But BiSC taught me that everyone walks their own path — there’s no shame in being who you are. We are not the food we eat, the clothes we wear, or the events we go to. BiSC taught me that life isn’t a race, and there’s nothing wrong with doing things at my own pace — that if you’ve got something amazing to share with the world, it’s worth taking your time, channelling your thoughts and creating the best damn piece of work you possibly can!

BiSC reminded me that it’s useless to compare myself to the next blogger — my  real competition is myself. Making each blog post better than the last; honing my skills, continually evolving my ideas and projects; changing my paradigms to speak with the voice I always had, but never knew how to use. This last year’s been intense, and I know there’s more to come.

It’s taken me a year to learn this lesson, and I hope you’ve the opportunity to experience the same. While BiSC is no more, it made its way into my heart — and I hope all I learned will continue to do so for many years to come.

–case p.

DO ALL THE THINGS: The 2013 100 Wrap-Up 11-20: Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

In the second of 10 posts, I look at The 2013 100 to show what I managed to pull off in 2013,  what I had to cancel, and some peeks at what I have planned for 2014!

Previous Posts:

The 2013 100, Items: 11-20 — Birthdays, BiSC and Blogging

  1. Spruce up my about.me page
  2. Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate
  3. Launch the Mansformation website
  4. Update my résumé
  5. Create my creative résumé and portfolio
  6. Attend Bloggers in Sin City
  7. Do something awesome for my 30th birthday
  8. Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind
  9. Get new glasses
  10. Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

11: Spruce up my about.me page

Spend enough time on the Internet and you start to learn a little something about Web presence. When it comes down to it, the only places where you should focus your efforts on standing out are:

  • Your own website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Reddit

Frequent anywhere else all your like, but create amazing content across these sites and I promise that what you share will make its way wherever else you want it to get in due time.

So about.me, it’s been a slice, but I’ve got things to do.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

12: Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate

The 2013 100 11-20 — Stack of Business Cards
So many people, so little time to talk to them all!

This is one I didn’t pursue. As years pass, you learn more and more that it’s not the number of people you know, but the strength of the relationships you make. While tweetups and networking opportunities are great, you’re rarely going to find yourself entering a lucrative, sound business opportunity with someone you barely know. Instead, I weeded through the pile of business cards I’d collected, dropped quick notes to the few I’d connected with and moved on.

Life’s too short to spoil it with poor relationships.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

13: Launch the Mansformation website

Mansformation Logo
Mansformation — A much-needed service; I’m just not sure I’m the one to deliver it.

Let me tell you a little story about an idea called Mansformation. Somewhere in 2012, I jokingly replied to a tweet with a Man Lesson about how a man should act in a situation if he wants to get anywhere with the women. Somewhere soon after that, I was tweeting daily Man Lessons, which carried over to my Facebook page, and eventually to its own Facebook page as it got more hype. If I was going to run a business, this would be it!

But I wasn’t passionate about it. Much like many things in my life, I feel into it because the opportunity was there. So I tried it out and enjoyed it for a while, but ultimately found it more effort than I wanted to invest in the project, and slowly started turning my sights elsewhere.

So in early 2013, Mansformation took a hiatus, much to the chagrin of some (including some who’d piggyback off of the success of my Man Lessons to try to make a name for themselves.) Though I’ve no immediate plans to revive the brand (not without a solid business plan, anyway), I can’t say it’ll stay gone — I’m getting a better handle on the blog and real-life stuff, so who knows? Maybe I’ll find someone else who wants to take it on and give them the kick-start they need to succeed!

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

14: Update my résumé

STATUS: SO done.

15: Create my creative résumé and portfolio

I’ve always wanted CaseyPalmer.com to be more than just a blog. At no point in my life have I been just a blogger — I’ve drawn logos, designed layouts, been in plays… a blog is cool, but it really sucks at showcasing what you can really do.

So I’ve worked at building a portfolio into the website, focusing on all the things I’ve done over the years. I had to learn some WordPress-specific PHP to do it, but it’s on my development version of the site, and I hope to roll it out in 2014!

STATUS: On to the next year!

16: Attend Bloggers in Sin City

resounding success! If you read my blog post — it was an amazing time and is helping to change the way I blog!

STATUS: SO done.

17: Do something awesome for my 30th birthday

DoomzDay 2 wasn’t quite as epic as DoomzDay in attendance (largely due to the threat of a second Stormageddon on the horizon, scaring people into staying home), but I’d argue that I had a closer group of friends around me in 2013.

Held at The Office Pub in Toronto’s Entertainment District (and now apparently one of Team Trolling‘s preferred birthday venues — shout-out to Marcel), I put a playlist together and brought a good 75 people together to celebrate the three decades I’ve lived so far.

The Dirtiest of Thirties

It was definitely a night with its ups and downs, from hugging friends I hadn’t seen in ages and partying the hardest I’d partied in months to finding out (again) that shot don’t agree with me and swearing up and down that someone’d stolen my wallet when I couldn’t find it the next day (only to have Sarah find it well-hidden under our bed five months later….)

In any event, we celebrated 30 in style, and while I don’t see going as hard in 2014 now that I’m a father, I’m happy that my friends and I got to go bananas for a night — even if it’s the last time for a while.

https://twitter.com/The_Jmoney/status/358454522739302401

https://twitter.com/mszablewski/status/358467083727675393

To sum it up best, I’ll take a line that Christine told me around the time of my birthday:

“Welcome to the best years of your life.”

STATUS: SO done.

18: Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind

After returning from Bloggers in Sin City, I was so filled with optimism and emotion that my post was both a thank you to the friends I’d made and an outcry for change in Toronto’s social media scene. Though far less pronounced now, there was way too much beef, backstabbing and blood in the water for a while, but eventually fizzled out as bloggers grew more professional and stopped causing so much drama.

Would I still want to work with others? Sure — I still believe that the power of man far exceeds that of one person if they’re striving for a common goal. But when I look around — and especially now that I have a son in the picture — I don’t see other bloggers trying to do what I do. Maybe I’ll find more bloggers to collab with in 2014, maybe not. In the meantime, I’ll do what I’ve done so far, working hard at constantly improving my craft.

STATUS: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

19: Get new glasses

Some people are really good at being on top of their employee benefits and getting health services when they should.

If I were that organized, I’d have gotten new glasses in May 2013.

With my optometrist hounding me for my bi-annual visit, 2014’s going to see a new pair of specs (with a pair of prescription shades to deal with harsh glares while behind the wheel!)

STATUS: On to the next year?

20: Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts

The 2013 100 11-20 — CaseyPalmer.com Post Counts
220 drafts isn’t a bad thing, right? *sigh* So many unfinished thoughts. Poor unfinished thoughts.

I’m not a linear thinker. I carry a notepad with me because I’ll have random ideas I think are great, but not developed enough to share publicly. With blogging, I’ll often get a sentence or a stream of consciousness about a topic that’s great on its own, but I’m not in the business of writing sound bites — as a blogger, my responsibility is to draft these ideas into stories.

So I have 200+ drafts on my site, 10-15 of which I’m actively working on to turn into live posts. I have no way of telling whether this number will rise or fall in 2014, but I can tell you this — my blog is important to me. I put a lot of time and effort into developing it, hoping to eventually build something truly reflecting who I am. To me, having real estate represents the freedom to create your own possibilities, free from traditional society telling you how your life is going to play out.

TL;DR — I’ll still be writing next year, no doubt about it.

STATUS: On to the next year!

Another day down, 8 more to go! Come back tomorrow when we talk social media, stock markets and some of the people who keep me alive!

Until then I stay…

cep wrap-up logo

WHAT YOU MISSED (Vegas Edition) — BiSC and Vegas, Day by Day

BiSClaimer: You’re about to experience my six-day Vegas adventure in the span of one post. If you’re not ready to take in all the awesome through text, video and images galore, turn back now. Once I start, I will not stop until it’s out of my system. You have been warned.


“What was BiSC? …It was Casey.”

Amanda Kruse

It’s been almost a solid month since Bloggers in Sin City, and it’s taken about this long to get off the buzz from my BiSC-uit high. In the time since I’ve been back, I’ve volunteered at a national conference, listened to amazing speakers, eaten delicious food and got up to much of the madness I would’ve done before I went to BiSC.

But it just wasn’t the same.

When I got back, many friends and family members expected that I’d spent all my time partying, getting drunk and gambling, because that’s what you do in Vegas, right? At least that’s what TV and movies tell us.

But there’s so much more to the Vegas experience than you can imagine. You need the right people and the right opportunities to make it happen, though!

And BiSC? BiSC was a perfect combination of both!

WHAT YOU MISSED (Vegas Edition) — Being a #BiSC-uit: A Weekend That Changes EVERYTHING

A whole group of BiSC-uits dressed up for the White Party at BiSC 2013!
Photo courtesy of San.

Sometimes you just won’t recognize something that’s been missing in your life until you experience it.

I’ve been back in Toronto a few days now after almost a week spent in the crazy of Las Vegas — but I haven’t blogged. I haven’t felt the urge to get back in the mix and put my blood, sweat and tears into my content… not unless I was ready to chance everything and start to write stuff that lives up to my potential. That week in Vegas — much of it spent at Bloggers in Sin City (BiSC) — returned something to me that I didn’t know I was missing. It gave me something that makes me look at the world around me in a different way, and changes what I’m trying to accomplish with everything I do.

It gave me hope.

A WEEK IN THE LIFE… Sodas, Saving and Bowling

Sunday, May 5th – May 11th, 2013

Not all weeks are created equal. Some have events that you may have waited ages for, like a vacation, a birthday or a milestone in your life – but some will pass by in the blink of an eye, without you fully realising what you did or why you did it.

So, in the spirit of making the most of the life I have, every now and then I’d like to put together posts called “A Week in the Life…”, a quick look at the madness I get up to and the lessons I learn from my experiences (if any).

Let’s start with May 5th through 11th!

SUNDAY the 5th

Saw Iron Man 3, and despite some clever one-liners, was generally underwhelmed by the closing act of the Iron Man trilogy. Also planned some downtime — a picnic down at the Toronto Islands, because you can’t be on “go time” all the time.

MONDAY the 6th

Went to ING Canada’s #SaverSearch as a +1 and got to see the launch of their ING Superstar Saver Search with their special guests and partners, Walk Off the Earth 🙂

TUESDAY the 7th

Hit up the Scarborough Dishcrawl to see what Wexford Heights had to offer.

WEDNESDAY the 8th

Got an email from Nicole letting me know that we were only a week away from BiSC and to get ready!

THURSDAY the 9th

I took Sarah to Kraft’s SodaStream promo events at 2nd Floor Events.

What we got:

  • SodaStream-carbonated drinks
  • appetizers
  • a SodaStream source and Country Time lemonade mix
  • candy

How it was:

Okay. Mostly mingled and took photos; we had a good chat with someone we met named Avery about travel, Twitter and how the Internet is changing the way we live. But the SodaStream is ridiculously amazing! We’d put it in action at Sarah’s birthday party later in the week (see below)

Danforth Pizza House

FRIDAY the 10th

Got together with some fellow Ingress players from the Enlightened faction at Pour Girl to socialize…

A Week in the Life May 11 2013 (8 of 39)

…and later hit up Bite Bar to get what would turn out to be some delicious miniature cupcakes… (Buytopia Deal: http://www.buytopia.ca/deal/3546/?a_aid=4de9b34e683ca?skip=true&a_aid=casepam)

 

 

…ending the day with some Indian from Banjara Indian Cuisine, eaten with Sarah’s siblings to celebrate her birthday 🙂

weekend 11-12 pics-1

SATURDAY the 11th

We wrapped up the week with Sarah and a number of her friends to celebrate a milestone birthday that I won’t mention any more specifics on. It was a good time at the house and at Danforth Bowl, and I’m prettysure she enjoyed herself!

Until next time,

–case p.

10 Random Things, Volume 1

Unlike the 10 Things You May Not Know About Me, this is just stuff that’s been on my mind as of late:

  1. Who do I have to sleep with to get a good deal on a camera lens? I’m not paying $2500 for a Canon EF 2.8L II USM. Guess I’ll need to wait until Henry’s next Exposure Show and see what deals they have (or check out used lens deals across the city).
  2. Paying $600 return to Las Vegas for BiSC is something that drives me insane when I paid $750 return to fly to Tanzania just last year. Currently exploring standby options and waiting on my haunches for something better to come along! Fortunately, Graham has some good suggestions for this.
  3. If I could find the time to learn how to play the drums, I totally would.
  4. Infinite Cables — a Canadian equivalent to Monoprice — may very well be my new favourite thing.
  5. To switch things up, I joined The Scintilla Project — a two-week blogging project focusing on storytelling. Hopefully it’ll have me explore some parts of myself that I haven’t visited in a while. [pause]
  6. I don’t know whether anyone’s noticed, but I’ve taken a short break from putting Man Lessons out — I’ve been working at taking all my Mansformation ideas and committing to getting an actual website launched by mid-April.
  7. Just bought tickets for a National Geographic show at Roy Thomson Hall; learning from other photographers — especially the extreme ones — can really add to how you pursue your own compositions.
  8. I think we decided that we might finally trek out to San Francisco sometime this year — it’s been on my list since forever, and it didn’t take our friends very much to convince us to go.
  9. Some days I write and wonder if the Age of the Blog is gone and dead. I see things like RebelMouse and wonder whether our attention spans have grown so short that we rather just consume bite-sized pieces of information and not focus on an entire argument or discussion.
  10. I’m weird and old school. If I want to do my best writing and editing, I need to do it on paper. I am the worst enemy of forests everywhere.

–case p.

Becoming a Better Blogger

Great People Talk About Ideas; Average People Talk About Things; Small People Talk About Other People
I need to remember to repeat this to myself all the time.

Every time I write; every time I come up with new ideas and spend hours putting them together into the most coherent and compelling stories that I can muster, one core thought runs through my head:

“I want to be a better blogger.”

We are our brand. We are the sum of the things we’ve done in life, what we’ve learned from them, and how other people see us because of these things. The sum total of these is the personal brand that’s associated with us individually.

But if our brands are so precious and define how people see us, isn’t it our duty to make sure we do all that we can to make them stunning?

The Importance of the Personal Brand

When I was young, my parents wanted me to be a professional — a doctor, a lawyer, or even an actuary — but there was an underlying lesson they were always teaching me:

Be the best there is at what you do.

Being the best means constant learning. It means improving your craft with every new thing you learn and never truly being satisfied with what you offer to the world. Just as the world never stops progressing, neither should you.

It’s ignorant to think that you’ll always be the best — it takes all types to make the world work, and eventually someone will come along who’s faster, stronger, smarter, or just plain better than you are.

But you never stop trying. Never.

If you’re passionate about something — if you’ve got the drive to keep wanting to put the very best that you can out in the world — whatever that is at any given time — then it’s a feeling that’ll never leave you alone. It’s an itch that you’ll never truly scratch, but it’s that very itch that keeps you going.

And it’s because of that itch that I want to take advantage of opportunities like Bloggers in Sin City and Brandgasm 101.

What IS “A Better Blogger?”

But what is “a better blogger”?

Does it mean increasing my Alexa ranking? Does it mean getting more shares and retweets on Facebook and Twitter? Or having your audience show you love through a flood of comments when you post something new?

It means different things to different people.

Me? I want my blog to mean something. I want to know when I shuffle off of the mortal coil at some point in the future that my blog somehow made the world a better place.

So that’s why I grind. That’s why I hustle away, trying to make this blog better and better when I can work on it.

And that’s why I want to join Brandgasm 101.

Brandgasm 101 logo
Brandgasm 101 — How to take your design and copywriting game to the next level

Much like making sure the clothes on my back are as fly as I can get ’em, who’s gonna remember a blog that fails to make an impact on them?

You can buy all the tools in the world to become a better designer, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why I’d love to join Brandgasm 101 — to go back to basics, unlearn bad habits and build something I’ll be proud of. Something that’ll stand the test of time.

While the pricing hasn’t been revealed for Brandgasm 101, I think that anyone who’s serious about taking their presence anywhere — both digitally and physically — should consider making the investment in learning great design!

Hopefully I’ll see you there!

–case p.

[disclaimer: this reflection’s inspired by a call for entries in a Brandgasm 101 contest which I hope to win so I can kick my design game up a few levels]