18 Dec 2013
December 18, 2013

Early Online Memories: Dawn Debbe

December 18, 2013 0 Comment

I remember communicating with “Shari” online in the early 80s, liking and enjoying her abundant intelligence and enthusiasm.  What I did not know then was her real name was Dawn, how old she was, what she looked like, etc.   As her story points out, the anonymity and freedom of the online world could be transformational.  We were only barely beginning to discover how vast the transformation would be. – Mike

By Dawn Debbe

Dawn Debbe 1985

Dawn Debbe 1985

Toledo Blade Sept. 7, 1984In high school I worked part-time for a global company with a desire to advance technology. They had a corporate account with an early online service called The Source, and all employees were encouraged to experience and actively use it.

As a receptionist/co-op, I had plenty of spare time. So I dutifully set out, just as Management wanted, to explore the world of online communications and to learn as much as I could. Games held my interest for a while because they were puzzles — but how many times can you figure out how to light an acetylene torch?

Eventually, I discovered an area that seemed complicated but intriguing. It was more intellectually challenging than games, so I surmised that it must have been exactly what my employers wanted us to learn more about. The service was called “Participate” or “Parti On The Source” (POTS).

I have always been an avid reader, and Parti was comfortable for me – as natural as reading books.  But … read more →

17 Dec 2013
December 17, 2013

New Song Benefits Alzheimer’s Organization

December 17, 2013 1 Comment

My dad – Samuel Clifford Greenly — is the reason I’m fanatically punctual, believe in fairness and in keeping an open mind, and have a good sense of humor, even though I’m too earnest to properly tell a joke.

Dad is also one of the reasons why Alzheimer’s Disease matters so much to me … and having seen it up-close, why I’m so afraid of it.  (I work to keep my mind active, to help prevent this terrible affliction.)

My mother, Lucille Greenly, is probably the single most significant reason I became a writer – of speeches, video scripts, songs, you-name-it.  Another big reason is my lack of grace and dexterity in the physical world.  I seem to live in my head; furniture never gets out of my way when I’m walking, deep in thought, and find myself bumping into it.  Better just to write!

My latest song — “With You” – was composed by Jim Papoulis and produced by “Soulbeats NYC” (Jim and DJ Tony Smith in collaboration.)  It is Kimberly Davis’s third single, released today from D1 Music in NYC and available in multiple formats on iTunes.  The song is part of the Soulful House genre – with a meaning that could be either romantic or spiritual:


There’ve been times when I have wondered
If I’d ever find my way
Days with so much darkness
All that I could do was pray
But now with you beside me
Here’s the way I live each day

With You!
I can be whatever I want
I can do whatever I need to (etc.)

Some DJs have already previewed “With You” in their Clubs, and they expect it to do very well.   Here are a few seconds of sound as DJ Abel Aguilera & Ralphi Rosario previewed a remix of it (by DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio Mix) at their Alegria party in NYC, 10/27/13 and report that the song pulled crowds out onto the floor.  http://bit.ly/1bN9qRx   I hope you’ll check it out on iTunes and amazon.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of “With You” benefits the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to “providing optimal care to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families, through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.”    High Res AFA logo

14 Dec 2013
December 14, 2013

“Always My Angel”

December 14, 2013 0 Comment

Today is the One Year Anniversary of the terrible shooting of children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT – Dec. 14, 2012.  That incident was the genesis of a new choral song of mine – not yet available to the public.  (Sheet music expected before Spring, 2013; also exploring possibilities with recording artist.)

I make my living as a writer of speeches, video scripts, voicemails, letters, presentations, etc., for corporate clients.  I’m also a speech coach (to help them deliver their messages more effectively) and a creative director (helping to develop the elements of a meeting that help its communications be motivating and memorable.)

When clients learn that I’m a songwriter, they seem to correctly infer, “Maybe the guy can write speeches, too.”  (I can!)

In the meantime, though, it gives me great personal satisfaction to write songs and to use many of them to raise awareness and/or funds for worthy causes.  I’ll be honest – I am proud of “Always My Angel.”  Here is a link to a video about its creation in choral form.  http://bit.ly/1fcDKcx

05 Dec 2013
December 5, 2013

Early Online Memories: Stefanie Kott

December 5, 2013 0 Comment

For many reasons, I will always be grateful to Stefanie Kott.  Among them is the way she demonstrated the power of “networking” … by bringing me to the attention of TIME magazine, which covered the work I was doing as an early online journalist. (Some day, I hope to publish a remembrance from the article’s writer, himself.)  Stefanie’s passion for online communications was evident to me, from our first correspondences as “strangers” online. – Mike

By Stefanie Kott

Stefanie Kott 1961 - Before becoming a cheerleader for communicating online

Stefanie Kott 1961 – Before becoming a cheerleader for communicating online

It was an alluring black world with a flash of green in the upper-left corner. The green was the cursor on a black PC screen. I had entered EIES (pronounced “eyes”), the Electronic Information Exchange Service, created in the 1970s by Murray Turoff, author of Network Nation and “father of computer conferencing” http://web.njit.edu/~turoff/ .

Behind the black screen was a fascinating world of conferences, or discussions, some of which we could enter, others not, because they were private. I can only liken the phenomenon of EIES to being in rooms without light among people without faces. In those rooms people tossed around ideas, or solutions to problems, or thoughts about things they had in common. There were active people who drew us in, who kept challenging us to keep the conversation going. There were others who responded from time to time, others who just read without writing.  read more →

29 Nov 2013
November 29, 2013

Early Online Memories: Michael King

November 29, 2013 1 Comment

I’m proud to share the recollections of Michael King, with whom I interacted online over three decades ago. He’s not only an accomplished journalist — he’s a gentleman. Mike

By Michael King

Michael King - 1981

Michael King – 1981

I virtually stumbled into the world of online networking. I was looking for part-time work while in school and ended up working for The Source in McLean while being a student in DC. I initially saw “Parti on the Source” (POTS) as a fantastic tool for authors and wanna-be authors like myself to create, curate and solicit criticism of my work.   “Parti” was short for “Participate.”

One thing I loved was that it was truly colorblind. At the time, I was very aware of who I was, as an African-American male, and the sorts of differences I had with so many people.  But since I never spoke about race, it never came up. Back then, I was still a wide-eyed idealist, and nowhere near the joyful cynic I was destined to become in later years.

I reveled in the realization that this online medium was going to become the future of communication and read more →