I’ve got KIXEYE in my crosshairs

Very few people who read this blog, and even most of my friends, have no idea what it is that I actually do for a living. I kind of like this, it makes me artificially mysterious. The fact that I flew around 150,000 miles last year only increases the rumors that I’m a covert agent, rumors I may have spread myself. Here’s what most people think I do:

  • Photographer – because I studied it in college, have had gallery shows and some know that I shot for the New York Times as well as a few national magazines.
  • Videographer – because I have reviewed video equipment, regularly yell at Final Cut and its render times on Twitter and because videography is big in my family.
  • Marketing – because I did work for a marketing agency back in Missouri and I’ve been known to kvetch about horrible marketing campaigns I see online.
  • Public Relations – because it is known that I represent a few non-profits and it’s what just about everyone in my family does or has done at some point in their lives.
  • Internet Celebrity – because, well I’m still trying to figure this one out.
  • Technology/Gadget blogger – because of this site, though I hardly make a living off of it. It pays for itself, like a hobby that breaks even. I’d love to make it more profitable but that hasn’t happened for me, yet.

In reality, it’s a little bit of all of the above. I do marketing and public relations for food commodity boards, resort communities, restaurants and chefs. In the past I’ve also done this sort of work for political campaigns, pharmaceutical companies and the military, among others.

But now that I’m in San Francisco, I’m looking at other options, especially options that put me in the heart of the technology sector. It’s always been a dream of mine to work for one of these companies. As a kid I wanted to work along side Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. These days it’s the small, scrappy startups and the cutting edge companies that catch my eye. KIXEYE is the latest to enrapture me.

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I’m in the New York Times!

Well, not me, but a photo of mine.

One of our ventures, Globalpoint, was written up in the New York Times Technology section today. The freaking New York Times! Major hats off to Michael Urban, who is highlighted in the article, for working so hard to create such an awesome product/technology and matching that effort with getting the exposure that resulted in this article.

The article highlights the trend in measuring sentiment through the social web and how this information is being used in not just political campaigns, but really all sorts of campaigns. I know we use sentiment analysis for all sorts of projects and ad campaigns. The information you get from these sorts of tools can be light years more informative and real than what you may get from a focus group or cold call survey.

Of course, there are natural biases and difficulties in fully understanding the sentiment in a medium not known for its ability to evoke tone, but the technology is definitely promising! Companies like ViralHeat, ThinkUp, Radian6 and more have all put their hat  in the ring in this burgeoning research sector.

“We’re not necessarily seeking to replace — immediately, in 2012 — the traditional mechanism. But it’s got to have a seat at the table,” said Michael Urban, who worked on several Republican campaigns and on polling for Mr. Hancock’s political consultancy, before starting Globalpoint, a start-up that develops sentiment analysis tools for use in politics.

I lucked out in that the New York Times needed someone to take the picture for the article and I was given the honor of taking on the task. I recruited the help of Amy and Krissy as my lighting grips and shot this photo.

Michael Urban of Globalpoint

For the shot I used my Nikon D700, Nikon F1.8 50mm, SB800 flash corded to my camera and fired through a 52″ pop-out diffuser. Really simple one light setup but it worked! I’m really pleased with the image and the quality of light.

What do you think?

One of the best parts for me is that I actually got a byline! It’s not an easy feat getting credit in any newspaper, much less one as venerable as the New York Times!

So totally check out the article online or in print. It’s on page B4, above the fold for today’s edition, November 1, 2010. And if you can spare a copy for me… I’d love to have a few for my portfolio and family. Thanks!