#StillHere Gets Some Sass! (And Violet & Christiana Too...)

Here's an excerpt of a blog post made by my dear friend Jeff Sass -- a former co-worker and contributor of 2008's 7th Son: Obsidian -- at Dad-O-Matic. It's about the #StillHere experience:

"I found out about TheColony.Discovery.com from an unexpected package that I received, and I made the short video below to document my own experiences with this clever promotion.  If you are reading this, then you can assume I survived and am #STILLHERE.  Enjoy!"

Check out Jeff's brilliant video below ... and then read his post at Dad-O-Matic. He gives the #StillHere experience a big thumb's up, and also poses an intriguing question about kids and new forms of entertainment. Give him an appreciative shout in the comments at Dad-O-Matic!

Also, be sure to check out additional unboxing videos from two of my personal #geekcrushes: the stellarly-talented blogger/author Violet Blue and ever-awesome author Christiana Ellis (who was also an Obsidian contributor).

As someone who's received special packages like this in the past, I'm thrilled that they've all enjoyed their experiences so far.

#StillHere,

--J.C.

OBSIDIAN Episode 16: "Voices From the Darkness"

Transient

Welcome to the fourth audio episode of "Voices from the Darkness," a series of OBSIDIAN episodes that feature stories from 7th Son fans from around the world. These tales are the first of their kind anywhere in podcasting: J.C. Hutchins invited fans to imagine themselves as residents of the 7th Son universe -- and to share their stories of survival and horror for inclusion in this anthology.

This week sees the release of Love Thy Neighbor, written by J.C.'s Myxer.com co-worker and friend Jeffrey Sass. Jeff has written and produced for both film and television, with projects ranging from nationally-syndicated childrens' programming to classic Troma films such as Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD. Jeff has also collaborated with William Shatner for a PC game based on Shatner's TekWar novel series.

If you enjoyed this tale, send Jeff Sass and email at jwsass@gmail.com. You can also learn more about him at Sassholes.Blogspot.com and SocialNetworkingRehab.Blogspot.com.

Coming up next on 7th Son: OBSIDIAN: The fourth episode in the "Voices From the Darkness" video series!

I have a new job! Thanks, Twitter!

As many 7th Son fans know, I'm a Twitter evangelist. I use the soc.media tool in my everyday life, "tweeting" my moods, my wild ideas for new fiction ... and especially, my wily experiments in new media marketing. From my forthcoming "Operation Grid Failure" viral video project to my feel-good pet Stweet Team concept, I try to bend the boundaries of Twitter as a means of self expression, and a way to build communities. The Twitter karma gods have looked favorably on my constant use of their tool, and have granted me a boon.

In early December, I spotted an intruiging tweet from Twitter follower Jeffery Sass (@sass). It read: "I am hiring. Here's my 'social media' recruitment video." There was a link to the video below. That was it.

Curious, I watched the vid. You should, too.

It's an effective recruitment video, particularly when the rest of the country is in its December shivers. But for me, it resonated on another level. I recognized that pier. I recognized that beachfront skyline. Turns out Jeff's company, Myxer, is based minutes away from my South Florida home. I immediately DM'ed Jeff (that's "direct messaged" in tweetspeak), introduced myself, hinted about my involvement in podcasting and "zero budget" soc.media marketing, and left it at that. I suspected I'd have to later conduct the traditional "brainbreaking" exercise of educating him on podcasting and soc.media marketing.

No need, Jeff said in his reply. He was already a fan of my podcast fiction, and was well aware of my marketing and community-building techniques. That, friends, is a testament to social media, podcasting, and online marketing/networking.

And now, I'm proud to report that as of Tuesday, March 4, I will be working for Myxer as its Social Media Marketing Manager.

Myxer's slogan is "Go with it," a brilliant allusion to its service. A less-catchy alternative would be, "Never pay for a cellphone ringtone again." Myxer is the world's largest provider of user-generated ringtones and wallpapers ... all of which are created by normal folks like you and me. It's a savvy blend of MySpace-meets-content creation, where everyday people can create their own ringtones, download them to their phones, tell their friends, download others' ringtones and wallpapers and more. The best part: the service is completely free, the ringtone-creation service is simple to use, and nearly all of the content on the site is free. (Creators can charge for their ringtones, if they wish.)

The site has more than 6 million users. They've downloaded nearly 60 million files of content. There are more than 330,000 ringtones and wallpapers in the Myxer catalog -- 99 percent of which is free.

Free content, created by normal people. Longtime fans of my work know why this is a perfect philosophical match for me as an creator and Myxer employee. (The shorts-and-T-shirt dress policy doesn't hurt, either.)

So what will I be doing as the Social Media Marketing Manager for Myxer? (Dig that job title acronym: SMMMM. Gotta love it.) I'll be podcasting and blogging, and reaching out to content creators such as bands and podcasters -- yes, podcasters -- to create new, killer content for the Myxer site. I'll also be creating marketing projects to attract brand new users to the site. In essence, I'll be getting paid to do what I've been doing as a hobby for the past two years. I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to be part of the Myxer team.

Oh, and they're sending me to South By Southwest next week. Wicked cool.

I owe much of this to Myxer peeps Jeff Sass and Steve Spiro, who saw a great opportunity for Myxer to benefit from my expertise. And I absolutely owe even more to the more than 36,000 worldwide fans of my podcast fiction (who have downloaded nearly 2 million episodes of my content).

But for now, I'll give all the credit to Twitter ... and to the wise Twitter gods, who permitted a wonderful moment of serendipity in which I was online, reading tweets, at the moment that Jeff broadcasted his recruitment video. If Jeff had tweeted five minutes later, I never would have seen his video -- and wouldn't be getting paid to play in the soc.media space.

Tuesday can't come soon enough.

--J.C.