Can you feel the love? We sure can.
The past couple of weeks have been a little out of control, which is nothing new for Stephanie and I and for some of these reasons we’ve been slacking a bit here in our digital home way from home. Some of the highlights have been moving into our new place here in San Francisco (and not having Internet connected until yesterday), me wrecking yet another bike and tearing up my shoulder (yes, I’m having surgery in May), exploring all kinds of new places here in the city, getting a new couch and getting a ton of bedroom furniture from our homie Ben, who is going to be traveling to Thailand and is chillin’ (working) there for the next couple months. People out here in SF do that type of stuff and it’s actually considered to be normal. For real.
So, yeah — there’s been a lot going on and although that’s not an excuse from me, it is an explanation. I have to keep my peeps in the loop, you know? I’m glad that you’re stopping back by and if you have any other news to tell us about, please do so in the comments below.
I’m going to shift gears here really quick and talk about the topic that I titled this blog post with — love and relationships in the world of social media. This is a very familiar topic to Stephanie and I as we’ve documented most of our relationship together over the past year or so (our first post) and have broadcast it out on the web for all (who care) to consume and view for themselves. We’ve kept up this blog for over a year, we’ve put together tons of videos and we’ve practically talked about all different aspects of our relationship together. I’m not really sure why we started doing this, but I’m really glad that we have as it has helped us do things and meet people that we would have never been able to connect to if we hadn’t been so out there and findable.
Putting our relationship out there has been a great way to let friends, family and complete strangers know about who we both are, what we’re about, our beliefs, our faults, our ups & downs and all things in between. Oh, and we’ve had a TON of fun doing it.
I bring all of this up because as I logged into the blog a few minute ago for the first time in a week or so, I saw that a blog post was linking back to us. The blog post was written by a woman her in SF named Stephanie Gerson (her Facebook) and it’s titled Love and relationships in the era of social media and as I read through it I saw that she referenced our Hup and Steph blog towards the end. The blog post is interesting and it talks about a relationship that she had with a guy that lives across the US, whom she kept in touch with via Skype and then blogged (most of) the details for the world to see. The blog is still live on the web — it’s aptly titled this might be a love story and as you start scrolling and clicking it becomes awful addicting.
As word of her long-distance social media relationship got around the web, CurrentTV showed some interest in producing a piece called Video Chat Love Story on Stephanie’s story and the video below is what they ended up with. Hopefully I can get to know Stephanie a little better now that I’ve learned a little bit more about her. I can’t wait to talk more all about this stuff. I think it’s all so interesting, especially since Stephanie and I are right in the middle of it.
So it seems that Archana Ramachandran, whom Stephanie and I met last October in SF, has really grown to enjoy (become addicted to) our videos. No, really — I’m not just saying that, she even let everyone know about it earlier this week over in her blog…and of course, the Internet never lies.
Thanks for the props, Archana and keep an eye out for some sweet, new videos coming atcha’ soon.
Also, if you have any ideas for a video that we could do (no, not those kind of videos), let us know in the comments — we’re more than happy to take some suggestions from all of you.
Back in the day I was lucky enough to work for an amazingly creative company called MediaSauce, who is still representing the Midwest well back in good ol’ Carmel, IN. The one thing that I really liked about working there was that with all of the awesome talent that we had working there, I always had a feeling that we could literally take on the world and that anything was possible. Yeah, that was a great feeling to have.
Well, after chatting with one of MediaSauce’s biggest evangelists, Scott Henderson, a couple of weeks ago it seems that the MediaSauce crew, along with some close and helpful friends, actually are taking on the world. Over the past few months they’ve somehow put together a project that
is going to take care of has already taken care of sending literally a semi-truck full of food to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas in Austin during the SXSW Interactive Festival (which I’m attending — woot!). They accomplished this by having over 1,000 people pledge to do something about ending kid’s hunger. Here’s some more details from a blog post that my boy ScottyHendo whipped up:
One Click Feeds 140 Kids
By simply signing an online pledge to share the website with others, volunteer, and/or give, you will trigger a 35 lb food donation from Tyson. That means every person who joins the movement will help feed 140 children. With 1,000 people taking the pledge, we can make sure the Tyson semi-trailer will arrive in Austin during the SXSW ’09 interactive festival.
After reading all of this I almost figured that it had to be WAY too good to be true, but according to Scott and his band of merry helpers, there’s now a semi full of food headed directly down to good ol’ Austin, TX. Now that’s what I call taking on the world.
So what I’m asking each of you to do is to take the Hunger Pledge, too by going to pledgetoendhunger.com and giving a click to give some hungry kids 35 lbs of food. Once you take your pledge you can fulfill it by giving, volunteering or by simply helping spread the word about it. It took me a little longer than I (and Scott) initially expected, but I finally officially took my pledge today — even though I gave Indiana credit for it. I guess that some habits are harder to break than others.
Um, yeah — you’re welcome for the pledge, Indiana (my bad, California)
So now that they’ve hit the goal of getting 1,000 Hunger Pledges, the next step in the project is to open it back up to everyone to see which two states can now pull in the most Hunger Pledges before the end of the campaign. The top two states with the most Hunger Pledges will then both receive their own semi-truck full of food from Tyson, meaning that their community is going to be a lot less hungry for quite a while.
As more details roll through I’ll post ‘em up, but until then, please head on over to pledgetoendhunger.com when you get a chance and take your Hunger Pledge today. It’s for the kids, yo!
It’s mid-February and that means its time to check in on the ol’ New Year’s resolutions. Now, I’m not one for making resolutions but instead I prefer New Year’s “goals”. I think its more of an optimistic way of looking towards the new year, don’t you? So on the plane ride home from Indianapolis after our Christmas vacation, Ryan and I created a list of 50 goals that we hoped to strive for in the upcoming year. Below is our list complete with short description of what exactly each goal entails and as we reach these goals we will update the list with appropriate check marks or strike through.
Ryan and Stephanie’s Awesome Goals to Rock out 2009!!
1. Special Olympics
- back in Indy we coached special olympics basketball. see video here or watch it below. We’d like to get involved in some way out here as well.
2. Get involved in something in church
- merely than just going to church every Sunday we want to get involved in some kind of group Bible study or young adults group. The church that we currently go to is Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City.
UPDATE: Went to an awesome couple’s session at our church and met some new couples afterward.
UPDATE (1/4/10): We are now much more involved in our church and have also enjoyed getting to know other young couples who call PCC their home, too. More specifically, some of the things that we are doing include:
- A weekly small group with other younger couples (including Matt and Christen who are fellow bloggers)
- A weekly group with a woman named Donna who also goes to our church — she’s awesome sauce
- We helped out with Beautiful Day, which our church puts together as a way to help out our local community
- We have gotten to know both the lead pastor (Gary Gaddini) and the community pastor (Todd Gumbrecht) very well over the past year
- We now are signed up to help out with the ‘welcome station’ in front of the church whenever they need someone to fill in
3. Figure out Stephanie’s next move
- find a new career path or back to school for nursing? just some options
UPDATE on (3/7/09): It looks like Stephanie might be a runway model?
4. Plan wedding
- duh we’re getting married on August 29th. better plan something
- figure out creative methods <- we of course want to make our wedding unique… how can we do that?
UPDATE (1/4/10): We were married on 8/29/09 and headed off to Mexico for an AMAZING honeymoon (where I lost my wedding ring after 3 days). Our wedding photos can all be seen over here on Holly and Ryan Gauper’s website if you’d like to check out just how much fun we really had (you’ll be asked to enter in your email before you can view).
- we both want to train for and run a marathon within this year
UPDATE (1/4/09): Stephanie ended up running the San Francisco marathon, but unfortunately due to my shoulder surgery (I wrecked my bike), I didn’t end up running it with her. However, that didn’t stop me (and Frank) from helping her train. Check out the breakdown of her marathon times below (yeah, she rocked it):
6. Visit Megan
- my best friend, Megan (see pic below) moved to South Carolina last year and I still haven’t made it out for a visit… something must be done about that.
UPDATE: Megan is coming to visit in May for Bay To Breakers (here’s last year)!!!
Megan and Stephanie — 2 peas in a pod.
7. work on keeping in contact
- It’s so hard with a busy schedule to keep in contact with friends and family, we need to do better
- List of friends to contact
-Family on Facebook (an idea that Ryan has about getting our family on Facebook)
-More cards (we want to send more cards, like the paper kind)
-one post a day on blog (we’re doing better at this)
8. Extra source of Income ( something enjoyable)
- it’s nice to have extra money to play with.. and we also have other ambitions for our life, that we would LOVE to make a career of, we just don’t know how yet.
9. Cheer for Smitty in Hawaii
- one of our good friends, Jason Smith (see pic below) will hopefully be competing in the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii this year in November. We live close enough, we should definitely make it over there to see him.
Smitty is a bike-ridin machine…
10. Travel outside of the U.S.
- We have a few friends all over the world, it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay
-Roger (Costa Rica)
11. Ryan start speaking
- He already talks, yes, a lot. We’d like for Ryan to become more involved though in what he truly enjoys doing, speaking at conferences, panels, etc.
UPDATE: Ryan spoke at the UGCX conference in San Jose in early February — check out his speaker page here.
12. Start some type of fitness training
- still not sure how we’re going to do this, but we have some ideas… it’s definitely a passion of ours
13. License and License plate
- finally we got Ryan’s license, next is the license plate
14. Get to know Homer House Better ( and Palo Alto people)
- we’ve been blessed with a great group of friends that live in a house just right down the street. We’d like to hang out with them more. Read more about the Homer House homies over here and check out the video below to see how they roll.
15. Actually see the Golden Gate Bridge
-yep, still haven’t seen it up close and personal
16. Visit Wine Country
- I’ve been dying to go since we moved here
17. Explore more of S.F.
- It’s an amazing city and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what all it holds
UPDATE: We got to check out a lot of SF while we were getting our engagement pics taken — what an awesome day.
18. Something different with blog and/or video
- Always looking for different ways to keep things fresh with our blog and videos
19. Couples’ blog group
-It would be cool to set up some sort of group of couples’ blogs
20. One Year Celebration
- we’ve been here for almost one year.. amazing let’s celebrate!
21. Get to know Kelty’s, Greg, Jocelyn better
- It’s amazing how you can live next door to people and still never see them…. busy schedules.
22. Still get out even when we’re tired ( don’t become boring!)
- our biggest fear is boredom… we want to fight it all that we can
23. Continue/get better communication ( accountability/relationship with God)
- communication is key in any relationship… continuing our growth and development of that is a very important goal
UPDATE: Both Ryan and I are dedicated to reading the Bible every day, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
24. Make sure Steph doesn’t turn into a bridezilla
- hey what can I say… it’s easy to get caught up in all of that stuff
- no explanation necessary.. we’ve both done it in the past (see pics of us both below) and we’re ready to do it again
My hair after 160 mph.
Ryan after his wild ride in the sky
26. Ryan build relationship with TechCrunch and Arrington
- obviously a relationship with one of the biggest tech bloggers could be important. Ryan has been in TechCrunch twice already — check ‘em out here and here. We also got invited to TechCrunch’s annual Crunchies awards, which is where we met MC Hammer (see pic below). Hammer don’t hurt ‘em.
Ryan, Hammer, Me.
27. Continue to be consistent with workouts
- it’s hard to make time to workout, but obviously it’s more than beneficial
UPDATE: Ryan has been consistently working out in the mornings now and I’ve been hitting the gym after work — boo yah!
28. Get Frank
- another goal that holds no explanation… I. MUST. GET. A. DOG. See what Frank will look like below.
Yep, Frank’s a Pug…duh.
UPDATE: We got Frank!!!!
29. hiking/mountain climbing
- we live within one hour of any form of outdoor activity you could imagine.. we need to take advantage of it. We have checked out Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which was cool, but we want to do more!
30. Learn to surf
- see previous goal
31. learn Spanish
- living around this area you see what the rest of the world will be like in a few years.. learn Spanish now
32. Ryan work on Anxiety stuff and Steph too
- It’s hard not to let yourself get worked up when you lead such hectic lives. Ryan has been dealing with some crazy anxiety issues since leaving Indy — I guess that’s what going 24/7 with no sleep does to you. He’s definitely getting better though, which is awesome. I just need to not let all of those preschoolers get to me!
33. Make a budget (for life and wedding)
- it would probably be good to try to stick to a budget rather than live frivolously
UPDATE: Both Ryan and I have both made budgets and have started to spend less money on things like eating out, etc. so that we can get everything paid off as quickly as possible. It’s been great for us and hopefully something that we apply to everything else in our lives.
34. Random acts of kindness
- one of my greatest joys is doing something for someone.
UPDATE: Ryan just made a video for our buddy Bobby, which is pretty cool.
35. run road races
- they’re a great way to increase your level of fitness all while having fun
UPDATE (2/17/09): Looks like we’re running an 8k!.
UPDATE (3/1/09): We ran the Juana Run 8k and we killed it!
Kids, don’t try this at home — we’re professionals
36. Be on time and planning
- it’s a struggle but very important
37. Keeping our house neat
- again, it’s a struggle, and living in such a small place can make this even more difficult. As of now, out place it spotless!
38. Getting the most out of our weekends
- it’s our time to shine… we need to experience all that CA has to offer whenever we get the chance
- ummm i like bubble baths.. i wish i had a jacuzzi tub… maybe when we move
40. Meet more non-tech people
- somewhat of a struggle to do so out here in Silicon Valley, but I need to meet some more people that don’t understand what HTML and SEO stand for
UPDATE on 3/7/09: We met Matt and Christen at church and had an awesome dinner with them — they rule!
Matt and Christen are not techy, but they’re definitely awesome /p>
41. Stephanie more planning for events
- Ryan does a lot of the planning of what we do, it’d be good for me to think of some things as well
42. Go to sporting event
- there are a lot of great professional teams in or area.. we should go to some games
43. Paint the cottage
- I hate white walls
44. NEW COUCH
- it’s impossible for two people to relax comfortably on our current couch
45. Steph learn to make videos
- It would be fun to put a piece of my own flare into our videos
46. Get all doctor/dentist/eyedoctor appt. taken care of (glasses, contacts)
- we’ve waited too long to get all of this stuff done and out of the way
UPDATE: Ryan got contacts and I finally got some new ones!
47. Ryan attend more tech conferences
- He needs to fulfill his need for tech
48. Start fun fund
- my idea of a savings account.. put away money for fun random stuff
49. Bring people out for Bay to Breakers
- the single most amazing day in San Francisco every year.. people must come to see this. This was one of the first things that we did when we first arrived in California and it was amazing.
50. Visit San Diego
- several of my really good friends now live in San Diego.. it’s a shame I don’t go down there more often
Wow, that’s quite a list! It’s great though to write them out to keep them fresh on your mind, and it’s funny how after just a month and a half of writing out these goals, I could easily think of 50 more that we could work on. We should probably stick to accomplishing these first.
This past week I woke up one morning and went through the usual routine… wake up.. workout.. check facebook. Like clockwork every day. On Thursday morning, however, things were a bit different. A random guy added me on facebook which is nothing too out of the ordinary, but I checked out his profile and noticed a link to his blog.. so I dug deeper into my facebooking stalkerness routine. To my surprise he had written an awesome blogpost about Ryan and I’s blog.. and how he had been randomly added as a friend by Ryan and stumbled upon our blog, only to end up wasting an hour (a good hour I might add) reading our posting and watching our videos.
This wasn’t just any blog review,however. This guy so kindly recognized myself as being quite a “hottie”. Haha. To quote the infamous words of Kevin, “I would want to douse Steph in Grey Poupon and whisper dirty things in her ear in German while doing things that we read in Cosmo.” Honestly, how can you read that and not die laughing or pee your pants.. I personally peed my pants.
This little posting got quite the response from readers, and suddenly turned into 200+ diggs on www.digg.com , which is pretty cool, right?!?! There’s just nothing like having somebody that you’ve never met before write up something about you. It’s so cool, and it’s awesome to see how others react to your blog when they find out about it randomly as well.
I’ve noticed that since living in Palo Alto I’ve really started to take on somewhat of a geek persona. I’m catching myself thinking about the internet more intuitively than I had before in the past, and even enjoying the spontaneous blog world from a different perspective. I’m amazed how things happen so suddenly on the internet, and how one day, we can just be two people who like to blog and the next day almost be on the front page of digg, it’s just crazy, and awesome. So, here’s to you Kevin, for making my day…
The couple to the left… is my father and step-mom. What’s special about them?? A lot actually, but what is most impressive recently about their relationship is the fact that they were inspired by our blog! That’s right, just recently we stumbled upon bartandshan.blogspot.com
Since they are such jokesters they also decided to make their website painfully similar to ours. In fact, the very first post is almost word for word exactly like ours, with a few adjustments just to spice things up a bit. I warned them that once you get a blog togther that means things are serious Their tag line reads… “Telling our story ( hmm sound familiar?) but we don’t think anyone is listening” Bart and Shannon, we are now listening… write on!!!
Before I headed to work out I wanted to let everyone know that I am feeling great today, that I am getting a little hungry and that my butt is asleep due to these damn wooden Starbucks chairs. I guess that it’s also kinda my fault since I’ve been sitting here for about 3 hours. Time to go get swoll - more soon.
p.s. I found Marc Andreesen’s blog(founder or Netscape, Ning.com and others) today and I have already read some amazing stuff that he’s written. The guy really knows what he’s talking about and he seems really, really down to Earth. I’ll meet him one day.
If you all weren’t aware, I’m a computer nerd and web geek and whatever else you’d like to throw out there that has to do with technology, batteries, screens, computers, things that light up, etc. I have worked in the tech field in some capacity the past 8 years or so dating back to my college years(wow, that was 9 years ago???), I’ve spoke to many groups about online social networks and have even written a book for Dummies on the subject - so I’m definitely no newbie when it comes to this stuff.
But, although this isn’t my first rodeo, the same can’t be said about Stephanie. She has never kept up a blog, much less ever created one and I’m sure that it’s not because she thought it was dumb or pointless - she simply has never had someone like me show her where to begin. It’s hard to know what you’re missing when you’ve never even known why you’d like it in the first place, right? So what does she think now that she’s up and running with the assistance of yours truly? She LOVES it and has already gotten some great feedback from a few of her friends and family about her first couple of posts.
So why did I even bring this up today? Well, after playing around with our Twitter account yesterday I started to realize something - most of the people who use these types of new web technologies, or those who ‘get it’, mainly use these web technologies to talk to others who ‘get it’ as well. Oh and what do they mainly talk about? They talk about new web technologies, of course! I thought that this was really, really funny for some reason and when I read Intellagirl’s UberNoggin blog today it was right on the money and it inspired me to state this example of extending the social media conversation beyond those who are already converted - like Stephanie. I believe that it’s all about taking the time to connect a technology with something that the non-converted view as valuable or simply cool and it’s the exact same thing when talking to a business, only it will be tied to something that they view as valuable in their world(sales leads, ticket saes, etc.).
It’s true - I have begun to teach Stephanie to fish and before you know it she’ll be pulling ‘em in all by herself. Have you taught someone to fish lately? If we don’t, who will?