Thanks for listening to the Ericast! Yes, listening! The underlined program titles below are links to the recorded show.

Click a title to listen to a show, or right-click it to save it to your hard drive and play the show from there.

Add this feed to your podcatching software by connecting to:

Get in touch! Send an e-mail to or call 1-701-645-ERIC (3742) and leave a message!

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Ericast 310 - EDUCAUSE in Chicago

Where did October go? Well, I was busy jetting off to a location literally dozens and dozens of miles from home. Let's recap the EDUCAUSE Conference.  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I'm trying to get better at flying.

This year's EDUCAUSE focus was Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Last time, seven years ago, it was on student retention analytics.  Seven years before that was lecture capture.  And eight years before that I had a focus on "computer competency" because that's where I started my career, so I don't really know what the other key themes were at the time.

I try to make the most of whatever opportunity I'm given. I don't always succeed, but if I'm conscious about preserving "an attitude of positive regard" then I can watch out for living in negative space.

Do I want to be a CIO?  (Hint: No.)  That's best explained by a clip of Tony Wrighton on the Zestology podcast and his interview with Chris Ryan, author of Civilized to Death.

Questions? Comments? Observations? Give a call to 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) and share.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Ericast 309 - One Small Step...

Sometimes you hear things that weren't said. And sometimes you don't hear things that were said.  Confused? Curious?  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

Spoiler alert: I made it 10 seconds into this episode without making a mistake. Can you hear it?

Are crickets good luck? I don't think so, but I have to live with it.

I listen back to my podcasts after they're published, not for vanity's sake but to make sure that everything is as I intended it to be, that it sounds okay, that I didn't misspeak, etc.  And from the last episode, I caught myself saying something that sounds like something I didn't actually say...

(I have a common phrase -- "the God of the Universe".  That probably dates back to a record that I had when I was a little, little kid -- a really cool transparent red acetate record that discussed the nature of the universe.)

So, what did Neil Armstrong actually say?  (No, that's not a non sequitur; listen to the episode.)

There are at least three distinct topics in this episode, so share your thoughts on one or more of them at 701-645-ERIC (a.k.a. 701-645-3742)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Ericast 308 - Making Old Friends

Every once in awhile, someone -- like an old friend -- says something really profound that pivots your life. Want an example? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

It's still "the weekly podcast that comes out about once a month" but I'm bringing back the "listener feedback at the end of the month" theme... because I couldn't sleep.

I did get some feedback way back in June. Every so often I think, there's got to be a better way to automate these podcasts and stitch files together and maybe we could just take the feedback and push it straight into a feed...

...okay, so maybe that's not a good idea, and maybe automation isn't all that it's cracked up to be.  But we do get calls from reliable longtime listeners, like the one Matt made right after I was talking about informercial giants...

How long will be it before spelling things out with the phone keypad makes no sense?  I'm glad my car dashboard still includes it because I only know our main office number based on how it's spelled.

Anyway, that brings is to the final call of this month's show, which came right after the last episode about my Tall Mike Stand.

I called and talked to Mike after he left this message, which was great, and we didn't get to dive into the church-naming conversation.  Some other time!  As an aside, Gimlet Media has a podcast on "startups" and the series from a year ago was on "church planting"... where one of the things they mention is competition for attendance numbers so that the math works out to become financially self-sustaining.  That's also a topic for another day.  But during that call with Mike (after I mentioned how wonderfully amazing it is that we can pick right up in the conversation after being away from each other for years) he said, "You can't make old friends.  You can make new friends, and they might become old friends, but you can't make old friends."

And it's funny that he mentioned the church-naming thing, because we actually visited our old Berean Baptist stomping ground a couple weeks back thanks to a break in our Oak Hills Church schedule.  We walked into our small-group classroom and picked right up where we left off three years ago.  Jonzer was at the coffee cart upstairs (and apologized for being behind on listening to the podcasts; I pointed out I was behind on recording them, so he was probably fine). It was really strange to drop into an environment like that and get another living example of the value of "old friends".

So, if there's any advice in this podcast, I guess it's to go out and make some old friends... and you do that by either strengthening the old friendships you have, or make some new friendships and keep them strong enough to become old.

Let me know what you think!  701-645-3742 (which, while you're using a device that can spell something out, spells out 701-645-ERIC).

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ericast 307 - Stand Tall, Mike!

I got a tall mic stand, so it sits on the floor and doesn't pick up table vibration. But if I do a podcast on that topic, nobody's going to listen.  Maybe it'll sound better if I just move the words around?  Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I'm not kidding.  That's really what this episode is about.  I'm still trying to streamline the recording process because that's the only thing that's keeping me from coming down here to Studio A (which is comfortably cool in Minnesota summers) and getting an episode recorded.  In this case, it's going to take three or four times longer to post this than it did to record it.

Thanks to Matt from California for the feedback -- in Northern California, which I assume was earthquake free this month.  One of my colleagues experienced a 3 a.m. aftershock while at a conference in Long Beach, which is south of L.A., and I realized that "experience an earthquake" might be on the bucket list that I don't keep.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ericast 306 - RIP Russell Whitney

People live. People die. I get that. But sometimes things line up in a way you didn't quite expect. If you ever wanted a peek inside my fascination with get-rich-quick celebrities, here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

We're continuing with "the weekly podcast that comes out about once a month."  And while I'd much rather be upstairs sleeping right now, I came down to Studio A because the chances of me getting a podcast out on a Friday night are slim, and then we're in June already!

Growing up reading magazine ads but having no money to send the $9.95 and the SASE.  The famous "What is this woman doing?" ad that I can't find any sign up; that might be my summer research project.  (Anyone know what it was?)

Whether they knew it or not, people know the kind of world I'm talking about because Don Lapre was popular, and popular enough to be parodied by David Spade on SNL.  He'd set up a half-hour informercial where he'd stand someplace exotic like a beach and tell you the magic of "placing tiny classified ads..."

Well, that didn't end well.  "Lapre died on October 2, 2011, while in jail awaiting his trial, which was scheduled to begin on October 4, 2011."

The other infomercial king at the time was Carleton Sheets. His informercial theme was real estate, and his videos usually featured palm trees between him and the ocean.  In search for more information years and years ago, I came across the website of John T. Reed.

John T. Reed maintains a website of "real-estate-invesement gurus" and in addition to discussing Carleton Sheets, he spent a realy long time documenting his lawsuit with a guru named Russ Whitney.  Those lawsuits were settled in 2005 and that information is gone now... but it stuck in my head.

So, fast-forward to the fall of 2017.  I had signed up for some sort of "internet investing" seminar that was being held at the new Radisson Blu hotel attached to the Mall of America.  If nothing else, it'd be cool to see the hotel.  So I went, and the speaker introduced himself as "Russell Whitney".  That sounded realy familiar.  Long story short, this was Russell Whitney Jr., who's the spitting-image son of Russ Whitney of 1980s real estate marketing fame. The seminar was for MOBE, which was an internet-marketing Ponzi scheme (which then got shut down by the FTC last summer).

Prior to that shutdown, Russell gave an interview on a marketing podcast talking about overcoming his (major, dangerous) drug addictions and staying 100% clean because of his addictive personality (NSFW language in the podcast, but it's a really great interview: )

Last September, he posted an Instagram photo with a touching note that concluded: "I love my wife and son with all my heart. They have made my life complete. # success # familymatters"

(You're right; this story doesn't end well.)

Miami-Dade is an open-records county and less than 24 hours after I requested it I got a copy of the coroner's report: Russel Whitney Jr. died on November 20th, 2018 of "Acute Combined Drug Toxicity (Heroin, Fentanyl, Acetyl Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Cocaine)"

What do you do when you have a "comeback story" and the comeback doesn't stick?