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facebook’s vanity urls


Do you have one yet? Some people were so excited last week when they came out that they proudly stayed up until midnight to grab theirs when it was first available.

I did not do that. In fact, until I read it on Twitter (which smacks of a bit of irony) I didn’t know Facebook was offering such a tool. And for a couple of days, I thought about it a bit.

Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean I spent days thinking about it. I mean when I read about it in a conversation I’d think about it – was it even worthwhile, what was the point- and then move on.

While briefly on the computer Sunday, I remembered, signed in and went to www.facebook.com/username and secured www.facebook.com/peterkoconnell

Overly impressed? You shouldn’t be.

Because a good portion of my voice over brand is…well, me, using my name makes sense. audio’connell voice over talent is a good portion of my brand too but Facebook is all about the person, not so much corporate names.

Why the K? A number of reasons and I’ll explain them briefly because it seems like 1 out of 3 people are kind enough to ask what the “K” stands for.

First, it’s my middle initial representing my middle name: Kinney.

Second, my middle name was also my Mother’s maiden name and I am the only one of the children in my family to carry the last names of both parents.

Third, I think maiden names sometime get the short shrift so I like to promote it a bit (although I am old fashioned, I think wives should take the husband’s last name- let the rebuttals begin!)

Finally, I’ve always used my middle initial on business documents and contracts (even the full middle name on my college diploma).

So you’d think with the preceding rather vain explanation (me, me me!), I would have been there right at midnight a few nights ago on Facebook to secure my spot.

Nah. I use Facebook mostly for fun, not so much for business (although a few folks realize I do voiceovers on Facebook and some business gets done, yea!) So a vanity URL doesn’t have as much branding value as it might elsewhere. But since its free and there may be a chance to do some business, I grabbed it.

For strictly social users, I can see the value of more easily directing friends to your page. So if you haven’t been vain on Facebook today, here’s your chance.

And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll friend me on Facebook and all of your social networks.

AND, report back here on what your new Facebook vanity URL is now.

“the year media died” – way creative!


If your business in any way involves advertising, marketing or social media, this is worth a look.

Whether or not you agree or disagree with the plight of media portrayed in this clip, I was very impressed with the time, effort and talent put forth.

Just to save you a bit of time, after you hear the chorus once, you can zip past it cause its the same lyrics and graphics each time.

I’d tell you to enjoy it but some folks who are living this right now may not completely enjoy this as it may cut a bit close to home.

live, local, late breaking : born in buffalo


No this isn’t about me voicing news promos for a client TV station, but rather some late breaking news for readers/subscribers to this blog living in Western New York (yes, both of you).

Like me, my friend and neighbor Dave Hassett had the terrible sense to start his own business with some buddies 😉 It’s a Buffalo-centric t-shirt company call Born in Buffalo.

The unique point of these shirts as the web site notes is that “Born in Buffalo apparel designs are instantly recognizable by anyone who has truly known the rewards and risks, the benefits and burdens or the joys and sadness that are unique to the experience of being Born in Buffalo.”

While you can and should buy some of these designs for men, women and children on-line, the Born in Buffalo Crew will also be out THIS WEEKEND (June 13 & 14) at the world-famous and also uniquely Buffalo Allentown Art Festival.

Their booth will be on Allen Street near Elmwood Avenue during the festival, a beer bottle’s throw from Mulligan’s Brick Bar which is also uniquely Buffalo in an alcoholic sort of way.

So check out the shirts and buy something. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

voice 2010 in l.a.


My pal John Florian over at VoiceOverXtra! features the latest announcement on VOICE 2010 from show producers James R. Alburger and Penny Abshire.

The conference will take place from Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5, 2010 at the Century Plaza Hyatt Regency Hotel in Los Angeles. On Wednesday evening, June 2 they’ve schedule a great opening night reception that you’ll probably want to attend as well.

If you want to keep track of the fun, visit the conference web site.

Will you be going?

letters, we get….well, we get e-mails actually


A couple of quick notes for a Tuesday grabbed from the e-mail bin.

A listener in Denver , Colorado writes:

Dear Peter:

Just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know that my Big Fish Weekly updates are back! I’ve just posted a brand new demo. Check it out here: www.bigfishworldwide.com

Reasons to consider Big Fish Weekly…

-It’s format specific (AC, CHR, Country, and Rock) -One license required per cluster (access to all 4 formats) -Over 2,000 listener audio clips -Prefab sweepers -Custom voice over upon request -Creative idea starters -Updated weekly
-$29.99 per month, or $329.99 per year

Your pal,

Little Ian Sturgeon

Thanks Ian for writing and for your email you’ll receive a copy of Match Game ’75 – The Home Edition.

Another listener, this time from a completely foreign country – Canada – writes:

Dear Mr. O’Connell:

It’s been a very cold winter and prospects for heat this summer are looking kinda bleak so I’m going to go on a voice over cruise in the fall where us voice over passengers may all read some practice scripts on the first day but I’m pretty sure we’ll all be rip roaring drunk on the Lido deck for the rest of the trip.

But between now and then I’ll also be doing some non-drinking voice classes and I hope you can come:

Edmonton, AB – June 13/14th – There is still room!
Calgary, AB – June 27/28th There is still room! (early bird price in effect till June 15th)
Philadelphia, PA – August 29/30th (early bird price in effect till Aug 15th)
Vancouver, BC – Sept 12/13th (early bird price in effect till Sept 1st)
Dallas, TX – Oct 17/18th (early bird price in effect till Oct 1st)
Toronto, ON – Nov 6/7th (early bird price in effect till Oct 25th)

Learn more at www.MicnMe.com
Register with Brad at: workshops@MicnMe.com
Call: 604-459-5559 for more info

Your pal,
Lil’ Debbie Munroe

Aw Deb, you’re sweet to invite me but with the new border crossing rules, I’d have to have a passport chip implanted in my skull to get into Canada and that sound like it would hurt. But thanks for asking and for your letter you’ll receive seasons 1 &2 of The Love Boat on DVD.

newspapers: devalued and devolved


I am my father’s son in many ways I guess but one example is that I like to read newspapers as he did. We always got two newspapers in our house – the morning paper (the Courier Express) and the afternoon paper (the Buffalo Evening News). Around 1982-83, the Courier folded and Buffalo became a one newspaper town…seemingly before that became the national norm.

I’m a morning paper guy. When I travel (usually in the morning), I bring four newspapers with me on the plane to catch up on the days news and to get different perspectives.

You’d have to have been on a deserted island for the past few years not to know the terrible plight newspapers have been in (and this was before the economy tanked). Circulation is down (thank you internet) so ad sales are down and all major newspapers are scrambling to keep from folding. Some majors, like the Seattle Post Intelligencer couldn’t hold out – it has since gone all on-line.

Two newspaper stories caught my eye recently. One made me sad and the other confirmed my suspicions.

If you had worked in radio at all for the past 30 years, you’ve likely read Radio and Records. Well as of June 5, 2009, Radio and Records newspaper is dead, kaput, straight-lined. I had not read the paper in years as I couldn’t justify the subscription rate versus other business expenses. That didn’t mean it wasn’t a great paper. It was terrific.

But think about how big media chains are simply doling out play lists to their stations, homogenizing all their on air content seemingly ignoring true localization, trying to cut costs (mostly people) while their ad sales plummet and you can see why all that radio static doesn’t bode well for a newspaper dedicated to covering this sadly sinking medium. It’s just another stake in the heart of radio that depresses me. I’m probably being too nostalgic.

When publications have to start selling assets to make ends meet as The New York Times has done you know the newspaper industry’s problems are pretty severe. When it comes to New York City newspapers, I’ve always been a New York Post guy. The New York Times always came across as kinda “holier-than-thou” and I don’t trust people or institutions like that. And if you’re “the newspaper of record” as people and the Times itself sees the publication, you cannot be seen to have an angle on a story or an ax to grind.

So when I read this first-hand account by Michael Arrington of Tech Crunch about an interview he did recently with the New York Times and how the story ultimately came out, I just was not surprised. “All the news that’s fit to print” implies that the New York Times knows what’s best. Based on the Arrington incident and numerous other journalistic blunders by the New York Times, the publication is only the newspaper of THEIR record, how they want to news to appear and that’s not professional journalism.

Does the Radio and Records or New York Times issues bug you too or is it just me?