Friday, December 31, 2010

So you want to hire little old me?

MoneyImage by TW Collins
Because many have asked, yes, I am for hire.

I have served as a professional writer, editor, speaker, community administrator, and software product manager for over 20 years. I had a regular radio show spot, my name on a provisional patent, and citations as a source in the Wikipedia to show for it. Google "Jay Garmon" and you'll get plenty of details. (Or just check out my lengthy bio page.)

I'm a reasonably smart guy who understands technology, and I'm offering my talents in exchange for your coin. Specifically, you can hire me as a...
  • Writer of blogs, proposals, ads, scripts, or pithy commentary. If you need words strung together in interesting ways, I can get that done.
  • Speaker on a variety of subjects, including how to use social media, emerging technology and the like. I also wrote a trivia column for ten years, which means I have a knack for making even the most obscure topics interesting, and I can probably do the same for you on most any subject. Particularly as it relates to tech.
  • Strategist for software and interactive applications. I've overseen the development of features and functions for Web sites, including revamping a multimillion-dollar e-mail marketing system. I've launched HIPAA and PCI-compliant SaaS solutions for industry-leading healthcare software companies. If you're trying to make smarter, more effective customer-facing technology, I have a few bits of hard-earned wisdom I can bring to bear.  
But before you contact me with a job inquiry, there are some things to know.
  • I don't work for free. If your inquiry includes any version of the phrase "we can't pay you," spare both of us the effort, as this will only end in an awkward e-mail where I explain I actually get paid for this stuff. Reasonably well, reasonably often. I occasionally amend my speaking fees for non-profits and charities, but those are handled on a case-by-case basis and I agree to them rarely. You've been warned.
  • I have a day job. This is not to say I am unavailable during normal business hours, but my undivided attention is not on the table (unless you're offering a great full-time gig at great full-time pay). 
  • I am a very public geek. Look over this blog, and you'll note a pervasive interest in science, science fiction, and online media. In the current online world, you need to have a certain measure of imagination to understand how all these new tools and trends work and evolve. Moreover, as everything is now public, pervasive, and persistent, communications skills have become more important than ever. There's no better thought-leader for the current economy than a sci-fi writer. But if having a loud and proud Star Trek fan associated with your brand is a problem, it is best we stop now, because that's who you're hiring, and your customers will figure that out pretty quickly.
If I haven't scared you off with all the above caveats, we can now discuss price. My consulting rate is $250 per hour, and my per-word rate ranges from $0.25 to $0.75 based on required research for the piece. 

I typically bid jobs based on how many hours I estimate they will require, and for speaking engagements this includes preparation, especially if you want a PowerPoint presentation in addition to my words and voice. 

For recurring jobs -- such as an open-ended blogging assignment -- I discount my rate based on how much recurring work is required. 

Finally, I am available on retainer, with the regular fee negotiated based on the expected level of time investment.

Questions, comments, or proposals should all be addressed to jay [at] jaygarmon [dot] net.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Truly Trivial: What names besides Rudolph were considered for the famous red-nosed reindeer?

CD cover
Wednesday is my birthday, which means it's the holiday season, which means the TV networks (and yours truly) are going into reruns, so here's a classic solstice special from my Geek Trivia days to tide you over:
Few and far between are the denizens of the industrialized world who can escape the secular trappings of the Christmas season, perhaps best exemplified by Santa Claus and his loyal team of nine enchanted (or, at least, telekinetic) reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph — the latter also sporting the superpower of a hyper-illuminated red nose.
Eight of Santa’s flight-capable caribou can trace their origins to a poem: “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” Better known by its revised title, “The Night Before Christmas,” the earliest version of this poem first appeared on Dec. 23, 1823 in New York’s Troy Sentinel newspaper. ...
Rudolph ... didn’t appear until copywriter Robert L. May dreamt him up in 1939 — and Santa’s red-nosed team leader almost received a different name.
Get the complete Q&A here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What unusual geek source provided the crowd noise for arena scenes in Tron: Legacy?

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the ...Image via WikipediaTron: Legacy opens in US theaters today, and with it ends 25 years of computer geek anticipation of a sequel to the cult-hit 1982 cinema classic about a programmer being pulled into the metaverse of a computer mainframe. First word of the movie broke at Comic-Con in 2008, when Disney showed off test footage of lightcycle combat to an unsuspecting crowd. Grainy, cellphone-captured footage of the promo soon linked to the Internet, and the raucous and approving crowd reaction assured the filmmakers the project was worth pursuing.

Every subsequent press release about Tron: Legacy has seemed to be an act of escalating fan service. Techno-synth artists Daft Punk not only composed the movie score, but threw a rave on set during filming. Recognizer battleships, lightcyle races and disc wars have all been updated for 3D appearances in the new movie. Above all, Jeff Bridges reprises his role as Kevin Flynn.

But perhaps the most noteworthy, and apropos, bit of insider geekery surrounding Tron: Legacy involves the sound sourcing for those aforementioned updated gladiatorial arena scenes.

What unusual geek source provided the crowd noise for arena scenes in Tron: Legacy?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What cult hit game was the inspiration for the alt-holiday Day of the Ninja?

Day of the Ninja logo.Image via WikipediaIn case you missed it, Dec. 5 was the Day of the Ninja, the geeky alt-holiday counterpart to Talk Like A Pirate Day (which occurs on Sept. 19). Perhaps appropriately, Day of the Ninja has a much lower profile than Talk Like A Pirate Day, largely because Day of the Ninja hasn't enjoyed national promotion by humor columnist Dave Barry. Talk Like a Pirate Day, however, was highlighted by Barry in a 2002 column, and the holiday's founders appeared on a 2006 episode of Wife Swap as a "family of pirates." Thus, in the never-ending faux-war between pirates and ninjas, pirates have undoubtedly won the mainstream holiday PR battle.

In gaming circles, however, Day of the Ninja is as popular (if not moreso) than Talk Like a Pirate Day. That's due in some portion to ninjas making more compelling video game characters than pirates, but mostly because Day of the Ninja was created to help promote a cult classic tabletop game -- a secret origin that even most gamers don't realize.

What cult hit game was the inspiration for the alt-holiday Day of the Ninja?