Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I haven't written a blog entry here for a while, reason being all my energy has gone into my day job. I love the social media world, and learn something, or make a new connection, every day.

So, time to join the start-up world: myself and two trusted friends have been working on a cool new site, soon to be launched. Very excited as I believe there is a niche for it. Details coming soon ...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dorm Room Biz

I'm all for people trying to start a business for themselves -- one thing I have plans for in the future, working towards it!

So, a quick plug today for Dorm Room Biz. Check them out, I might win some stuff, it's a totally selfish act ;-)

Heard on Peter Shankman's HARO.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coming Soon To A Website Near You

I am back in the entrepreneurial kick again, and purchased yet another domain name a month or so ago. A couple of my trusted friends are working with me on the idea, so hopefully it will pan out. Can't give much away, suffice to say that it will involve helping people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Daniel Needs A Job!

I've never met the guy, but as my own blog proves, he is someone after my own heart -- so give him a job!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Whyless Network

I bought a domain name last year with the aim of setting up a social network to help people. Ning offered that free option, so today I launched the Whyless Network.

If you work for a charity, need help, food, clothing, or just want to boost your good karma, then please consider joining the network. Give hope, not a poke!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Please Send This To At Least 007 Friends

Triiibes Members LinkedIn Group

I signed up early for Seth Godin's Triiibes social network, and getting a lot of value from it. I took it a step further today and (with Seth's OK) started a Triiibes Members LinkedIn Group so people can connect on a more professional basis:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Do Ya Feel Lucky, Punk? Well? Do Ya?

Easier to find me now.

1) Go to Google.
2) Type john carson blog or john james carson.
3) Hit "I'm Feeling Lucky."

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Website Got Dugg ... Sorta

A website called Matador Volunteer linked to my kibbutz volunteer website, and just by chance, it was listed next to the Digg box with 696 diggs, so my traffic has shot up today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The above image is a tag cloud I made from my resume using Wordle. I like it a lot.

You can click here to see the full version.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In Good Company

I haven't blogged for a while at Make Johnny Cash as I've been busy blogging here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Little Geeks

The PR agency I work for does pro bono work for a good cause called Little Geeks. It was set up by Canadian tech journalist Andy Walker:

Little Geeks is a philanthropic organization and registered Canadian charity that collects, refurbishes and re-distributes donated home computers to children in need. These computers are given free of charge, and are coupled with an Internet connection at the child’s home.

On June 12 from 3 p.m.-7 p.m., The Little Geeks Foundation will hold an event and give refurbished computers, complete with Windows 2000 and Microsoft Office, to 100 families of underprivileged children, free of charge. This event, the first of many to come, is one way the Foundation is reaching toward its 2008 goal of 1,000 PCs delivered to the homes of the families that need them.

The event will be held at:
St Andrew’s United Church, 117 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 1A9

People with a child in need of a computer, can visit to register. Once qualified, recipients will be contacted by a member of the Little Geeks staff to attend this event and pick up their free computer.

Twitter's Business Model

Brian Alvey thinks he has cracked Twitter's business model. Genius!

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Chance To Be On Seth Godin's Next Book Cover

Seems like a cool opportunity.

It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Tweet It

I've had some more thoughts on the way Web Who.0 is going since my last post on the subject.

My contact list is growing steadily, and I've found it very useful recently in finding experts in a given field as part of my work. People are very approachable if you treat them as a busy person, with respect, and be succinct in what you need from them. A link? Referral? Advice? Just ask -- the majority will get back to you in a reasonable time frame; sometimes immediately if they're monitoring their own and/or company's name.

I love the interaction of the Internet. Someone mentioned PR being chained to a desk all day. It's not, really. I am looking out the window on the world, but strolling around the Web Who.0 and talking to people, swapping ideas, giving help, soaking up knowledge, picking brains, offering intros to my network for others. It's addictive.

So, if anyone wants to get in touch fast, here's a recap:

Microsoft Messenger:
Good old e-mail:

Running around inside a server somewhere near you.

Mesh 08: Enterprise = My Customers Shared

Day two of mesh was better than the first for me, as more of the sessions I attended were relevant to my work. The overall theme that came across was that customer satisfaction is paramount, no matter what business you are in, or starting up.

I came up with a formula to summarize that: e=mc2. (Sorry, Einstein.)
That stands for: Enterprise = My Customers Shared.

The point being that everyone in a company is facing the customer now. Not just the people on the end of a call centre line, the marketing department or the sales clerk. We -- whatever business you are in -- all face the customer, and should have the leeway from the Big Corner Office With Windows to interact with them, and make sure they're happy, without checking if it's OK with 10 levels of management, and oh yeah, I'll get back to you about that next Wednesday.

Some great people I met or listened to at mesh day two included Lane Merrifield (Club Penguin co-founder, makes sure every single customer inquiry gets a personal response from a real human being), Ali Asaria (makes sure that a handwritten note goes out with every order) and Garrett Camp (co-founder of StumbleUpon, still follows the same values now as he did as a start-up in Calgary).

Companies to keep an eye on: Enomaly, Overlay.TV and GigPark (co-founder Noah Godfrey was the publisher of Dose back in the day).

All in all, mesh 08 was an excellent event and a great networking opportunity.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mesh 08

Opening day of mesh was great. Sold out. I've never been surrounded by so many people Twittering at once, or checking e-mails -- it was like a BlackBerry convention.

Got to listen to and/or chat with a number of cool people, including Michael Geist, Colin McKay (aka Canuckflack), Rachel Sklar and AmberMac.

Day two tomorrow.

Nice To Win An Award Part 2

My former boss e-mailed me today; my team won the Council for Advancement and Support of Education 2008 Circle of Excellence Bronze Award. Cool!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Marcel LeBrun, CEO, Radian6

I attended Third Tuesday Toronto this evening, and over a nice pint of Guinness, listened to some interesting and informative talks on how to monitor social networks.

One of the speakers was Marcel LeBrun, CEO, Radian6, a provider of social media monitoring tools. He said something along the lines of the company replying whenever they see their name mentioned in the blogosphere or social media space.

I thought that was very interesting, hence this post as a virtual invite. Marcel, if you come across this in the next few days, please feel free to add me to LinkedIn. David Alston is in my network too and it would be good to connect.

Tomorrow, I'm spending two days at mesh, should be cool.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bloggy Award Review

Just found out that Make Johnny Cash got reviewed by a site called Bloggy Award, and got ... drumroll ... 8/10. Not bad, considering I'm not a full-time blogger. (I did get 10/10 for reading enjoyment which is nice.)

Click the image for the review:

Toronto Star Editors Asleep At The Switch

The last line is priceless. They feel the same way I do about clebrity gossip.

Bob Ross Is Back For A Cause

An example of how a parody can help a cause. Seems like a joke at first; watch till the end for the message.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Who's Mikey Boots?

"Who's Mikey Boots?"

I always remember that question from a college friend back in 1993. I was telling him about "my kibbutz" experience, and he misheard me, having no idea what a kibbutz was. I pointed him to my site and hopefully educated him.

Those two years I spent in Israel were great, fun, life-changing times for me, so it was nice to be interviewed about them for The Media Line recently.

Here's the article.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Month, New Job

My contract was coming to an end at the College, so after an excellent year of working there, I moved on, and today started work at GCI Group as Senior Digital Media Specialist in their Toronto office.

It's an exciting opportunity, and I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Does Anyone Know If Money Laundering Pays?

I got an e-mail today inviting me to be a money launderer. Does anyone know if it pays? Dental plan too?

"We are looking for canadians who would like to work from home in an administrative support function for businesses. I have a large amount of funds on numerous bank accounts which needs to be laundered. I need your help to do that. Many of our clients are small businesses and executives who are busy and on the go. Your job will be to: 1) Process payments and disburse to payment officers under you. 2) To send weekly reports on status of payments of transactions. Administrative Assistants can work full or part time."

I'm glad there's a part-time option as I'm already busy with my arms-dealing business.

Monday, April 21, 2008

CaseCamp Toronto 7

Really wish I could attend CaseCamp in Toronto, but I have a leaving drink the same night.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Social Networking Could Kill Web Search As We Know It

A very interesting prediction from a "tuned-in venture capitalist" who says that we will be using our social networks more frequently in the future to find the information we seek.

I think it may happen too, actually, but not quite yet. How many of you have asked your friend on Facebook, "Hey Paul -- check out my photos of the trip to Vegas, and by the way, what's the capital of Denmark?"

OK, that's a stretch, but Google is still my first choice for finding information fast. The first result may not be what I'm looking for, but it generally leads me around the Web until I do find what I need. I love digging deeper into sites, checking out for extra leads about who is up to what, and generally using my gut instinct to know when it's all smoke and mirrors.

It's all about Web Who.0 baby!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Here's Tomorrow's News Today: Churnalism

"The Churner Prize (churnerprize) is now following your updates on Twitter."

Yes, I got an e-mail today that The Churner Prize is following my updates on Twitter. Notice how I just cut and pasted the above statement, again? That's called Churnalism, and it's when hacks are too lazy to research their stories and just copy what's out there already.

"The Churner Prize is brought to you by a crack team of UK journalists and, um, the odd churnalist."

That's lifted straight from their site as I'm currently on a deadline ... to get to the pub before last call, so haven't got time to research the people behind the The Churner Prize and find out whether it's kosher. [Legitimate; permissible: "consolidating noneditorial functions of the papers, which is kosher" (Christian Science Monitor).]

I copied that from; only took a few seconds, pretty easy.

Great for traffic. Just goes to show you gotta be in the right place at the right time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grow A Pair

An excellent post from Rick Segal. Not working out? Grow a pair, step up and sort it out.

[Disclaimer: I know Rick. Listen to the guy. He makes sense.]

John Carson

Nice To Win An Award

My team has been pushing the e-strategy at the College for a while, so it was nice to hear today that we won The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education's 2008 PRIX D’EXCELLENCE Bronze Award for Best E-Innovation in University Advancement.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

[Snip from another site starts ...]

Have you ever wondered how much a Google employee makes?

Well this data isn't extremely easy to find, if you don't believe me just search Google. However, here is some interesting statistics.

Google Programmer in Phoenix - $174,000/year
Google Programmer in California - $197,000/year
Google Programmer in Chicago - $222,000/year
Google Programmer in New York - $242,000/year

[... Ends]

I'm curious how that stacks up to Facebook employees, and what sort of perks they get. Anyone got any info to share? Even anonymously?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gels Gone Wild, Fake UFOs And Zero Budget

I have a lot of crazy ideas for videos, but zero budget, so tend to make them myself. Here's a couple I made for a laugh just to see if I could get some traffic to my website.

The Clearest Fake UFO Video Ever
I took this video last summer on my patio, with a pan lid and some string. No script, cheap digital camera, and no CGI used at all. (I know, it's hard to believe, it looks so real. Believe.) I stuck it on YouTube, Metacafe and Revver. It's had nearly 19,000 views so far from those sites, which is not bad for 20 seconds of bad filming. It's also been picked as the "fakest UFO sighting clip" by this site, which helps my traffic too.

Gels Gone Wild
I made this in 50 seconds with no production value whatsoever. The Girls Gone Wild creator (Joe Francis) was in jail, and making the news, so I knew people would be searching for that term ... and would make spelling mistakes in their searches. Lucky I had the props and technical know-how to get all the right camera angles on this one. Over 5,000 views, with my website URL front and centre. [Disclaimer: All the gels in this video consented to being shown, and signed consent forms.]

My point is that anyone these days can make a video, stick it on the Internet and drive traffic to their site. Just seed it in the right places. Not rocket science. It's fun too.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Secret Microsoft / AOL E-mails Found On Yahoo Search!

I've been following the Yahoo bidding non-war with interest, so thought I'd do a quick search on Yahoo itself to see what else I could dig up. I was quite surprised at the search results that came back.

Click on the image for the shocking results:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Meet The Internet Stars

The Star Wars Kid, Numa Numa Guy and Dramatic Gopher are all "stars" that had millions of views on their -- sometimes unintentional -- videos.

South Park, in its usual fashion, features some of them when the kids try to collect what they think is owed to them at the Department of Internet Money. Hmmm ... think I know that place! [insert knowing winking smiley icon here, I refuse to.]

Meet The Internet Stars

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quite Possibly The Fakest Viral Attempt Ever

Take two terrible actors, an obvious plot, throw in some gratuitous lingering shots of the company's name and you have the fakest viral video I've seen in a while.

What are you doing? What are you doing?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

This Rick Roll Just Keeps Rolling Along

The Rick Roll. The viral joke of 2008 so far. I've been caught a few times, with links disguised as other things, such as "cool photos of my trip!" or "check out the sales figures for Q1!" or "here's a great recipe for muffins!"

[One of those is a lie by the way.]

So, I won't try and deceive you. Here is a link to a Rick Roll. I'm not disguising it. Just don't click it, you will regret it. But you will learn the words to Never Gonna Give You Up ...

UPDATE JANUARY 17, 2009: A lot of people are coming to this blog because of the Rick Roll. I am keeping the link up above in case the creator brings it back. In the meantime, you may enjoy the Benny Hill version here too:

UPDATE NOVEMBER 26, 2009: Thanks to Joe Scatamato for alerting me to this Rick Roll you can't exit easily:

Also, this demonstrates how I can get website traffic from popular items of the day. I can do it for you too on a freelance basis, click here for more info.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Finally got on board Twitter; curious to see if I get hooked on this. Very cool that I snagged my name at this late stage ...

I Hate The Fact That I Bothered To Research I Hate Sarah Marshall!

I've seen a lot of posters on the back of Toronto buses proclaiming, "I hate Sarah Marshall!"

I smelled a viral, so I visited the website: -- it looks like a blog, cool, someone really does hate Sarah Marshall, and bothered to tell the world.

I then went to IMDB and found this, so I suspect it's just a promotion for a new film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Interesting enough to get me to learn more about it, so it's done its job.

Friday, March 28, 2008 Seems To Have Gone A Bit Flat

The relaunch took place a few days ago, and as the site’s former managing editor, I’d like to give my opinion on the new redesign. Unfortunately, I think they have missed a great opportunity to make it one of the best sites on the Net.

For starters, just the domain name itself is one of the most sought-after URLs out there. People search for it, link it, type it in their browser, stumble upon it. It’s worth millions in itself, and all you get now when you go there is very annoying scrolling percentage numbers of who likes what out of 10.

“The most exciting features we introduced with the new are the abilities to comment and rate the content, so we encourage you to do that.” You mean, like Digg has been doing for years? I don’t see that as exciting.

The word I got is that six people were locked in a room with a plentiful supply of beer and snacks and told: “Revamp the site in a month.” That sounds like pressure to me, and not a very conducive way to plan, design and relaunch a major website. I wonder what the parent company -- dthree Inc. -- were thinking in setting such a deadline?

The fact that there’s three “Place Your Ad Here” boxes on the home page is not a good sign. Might have been cool to get some sponsors in place first.

My previous boss left the company a few months ago, and now I understand a former intern called Chris Balon is in charge of -- that’s a swift promotion, and I wish him luck.

One suggestion I have for him is to bring back Virtual Bartender, the smash hit viral sensation that made famous. For the life of me I can’t find it on the site; I might have missed it, but some of the comments from users reflect that omission too: “Please tell me that you guys didn’t do the STUPIDEST thing possible and got rid of the Virtual Bartenders? Please tell me that you aren’t that brain dead.”

A message from the team says that they have a lot more planned for the future. I sincerely hope so, because it’s a shame what the site has turned into.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Chance To Get Free Face Time With A Top Canadian VC

Rick Segal is a Canadian VC, very smart, and -- best of all -- very accessible. He doesn't sit in an Ivory Tower behind a fortress of minions. I got to know him when he wrote a column for me a few years ago at Silicon Valley NORTH about how to get funded, what start-ups should look out for, term sheets, that sort of thing.

He has just announced a series of FREE VC Roundtables across Canadian cities starting April 14, and asked me to help spread the word. I'm happy to do so. [I'm not getting paid with any kind of commission, by the way. I just think it is a golden opportunity for start-ups to pick Rick's brain for a few hours. As they say, space is limited!]

Here's details snipped from the site, with a registration link at the end:

Something's missing in Canada's tech community -- the chance to informally interact with VCs, learn about what it is exactly that they do and how the funding process works.

The VC Roundtable series aims to fill this gap, by hosting small (free!) get togethers across Canada's major cities where Rick Segal, JLA Ventures Partner and VC blogger ( will walk through what getting involved with VCs is all about.

What To Expect:
25 attendee limit
About 2 - 3 hours in length
Information on VC/Angels and the process
Sample Term sheets, documents, business plans, PowerPoints
Example Pitch or Pitches to show what's interesting/good/bad
Lots of time for questions

What A VC Roundtable Isn't:
VCs trashing your ideas
You trashing somebody else's ideas
Hours of PowerPoint slides

What You Will Leave With:
An understanding of the VC world as I see it (and I am a user group of one!)
A good set of reference documents/examples/materials
Some of your top of mind questions answered
A better feel for the VC industry and if raising third party capital is right for you

Click here to register.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

28 Days Later ... Or Maybe Longer!

My journalist friend went for a job interview on January 3 at one of the largest Canadian media companies.

It went well, and he was called back for a second interview. That went well, too, and he was called back for a third. Cool.

Then, nothing. Not a peep. He had to call the company himself last week to find out that he hadn’t got the job. WTF?!

Why are companies so disrespectful to job-seekers by leaving them in limbo for so long, and then not even give them the courtesy of at least an e-mail to say they haven’t been successful?

Don’t put up with it. Don’t be a job-hunting zombie, shambling along with the others, seeking that elusive call-back. Don’t wait 28 Days Later -- call them first!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Two Words

Made a new video to promote my site, hope to get some traffic. If not, at least it was fun to make!

Two Words