I create context. I also write blog posts:

I’m thankful for you all

Posted: November 24th, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

I know, I know, I won’t *shut up* about my mustache. Bear with me:

My goal was $300. The deal I made was at $400, I would keep the mustache around for another month.

This morning, on Thanksgiving of all days, I crossed the $400 mark. I’m stunned. Thanks, everybody. The ‘stache is sticking around for a little longer.

(Haven’t donated yet? You still can here.)

Movember Update!

Posted: November 23rd, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

So I’ve reached my goal of $300, and I couldn’t be happier! In fact, it only goes down hill from here for me. If you read the previous update, you know that if I raise $400, I’ll keep the mustache for another month. Well, folks, I’m only $95 from that. I don’t *really* want to go through another month of being made fun of, but if you’re willing to go the distance, I am too. So whaddaya say? We gonna make this happen? Click it:

Of course, I don’t want to forget to say thanks to everyone who’s donated so far. We’ve done a lot to further the cause against prostate cancer (my 300 bucks raised is part of over $61 million that’s been raised by Movember participants in the last 23 days! This has been an awesome month!

I Want To Create Things

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

I’m not an innovator. I’m not an inventor. I’m the last person on Earth who would ask, “you know what would make this easier?” and then answer myself with something never before thought of.

I just don’t think that way.

But I’d like to.

I’d like to create things. I’d like to come up with the next Twitter to change the way we communicate, or the flying car to change the way we move. I’d like to invent some sort of device that allows us to interact with the world more and better. But I’m no Steve Jobs.

At least I know that. I’m a writer. I craft messages and tell stories. But I’d like to do more.

I’m not going to invent something to rival twitter or to fly from place to place, and I’m certainly not going to redesign the MacBook Air or the iPhone. But I’m trying to open myself up to that kind of thinking. I recently bought a Wacom tablet because I’m trying to make my writing more visual. I’m enrolling in drawing classes because I want to think in doodles, not outlines. I’m paying more attention to creators than I am writers, because I want them to help shape the way I think.

We don’t have to be creators or writers or any other one thing. And we don’t have to be everything. But when we know there’s something beyond what we see on a daily basis, we gain from knowing that we’re not the best we can possibly be yet.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

I need to create something before I sleep.

A Little Movember Update (challenge included!)

Posted: November 13th, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

Hey Everybody!

Here’s the deal: We’re in the month of Movember, where men across the world grow mustaches to support research for prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives. This year, I finally took the plunge and entered my upper lip.


Here’s what it means for me: I’m growing a mustache. I shaved my beard off at the beginning of the month, and started from scratch. It’s been ugly so far, and I don’t think it’s going to get any better, but I’ve finally got a mustache worthy of a bad cop show. And I’ll have it until the end of the month.


Here’s what it means for you: You get to laugh. A lot. Because when I say ugly, I’m talking really ugly. But I’m doing it for a reason. I want to help raise money to support efforts against prostate cancer (this year’s beneficiaries are the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LiveSTRONG). I don’t know much about the disease — other than the fact that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with it — but I do know that I’d rather have a mustache than prostate cancer. If you can help me raise money, I — and my mustache — would appreciate it.


Here’s my goal: I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into this for the first time, but I’ve had a chance to see how things are playing out, and I’ve set a goal. I’d like to raise $300. It’s not much, really, just $10 a day. I only need 30 people to get on board. And I’ve already had a few generous donors pick up the tab for the first few days this month. Let’s get this show on the road!


Here’s what happens if we exceed my goal: If we reach $400, I’m gonna keep the ‘stache for an extra month. I won’t get rid of it before midnight on December 31. Think about it: any photos I take on Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Years will all feature me and my mustache. And you’ll be able to make fun of them… but only if you donate. I’m willing to look ridiculous, but you have to be willing to help!


Here’s proof that I’m willing to do it:

What more can I say?


Here’s how you can help: Just head on over to http://mobro.co/peteshelly and hit the donate button!




What’s Stopping Us From Being Better?

Posted: November 6th, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

(Still getting used to my new Wacom tablet; how’s that for handwriting?!

Just saw someone online saying that, with Twitter and other nearly-immediate online news sources, the press release is becoming defunct. Now, I don’t want to talk about the merit of press releases, because, frankly, I don’t know anything about them. But I do want to use this as an example of a broader thought, which is about ideas and where they come from.

So anyways, there’s this article that points out how journalism is changing and one of the conclusions to be drawn is that press releases are less relevant than they used to be (again, whether that conclusion is right or wrong, I don’t know…). And I started thinking about a recent press release that got my attention, because it was a good *idea*.

In August, Hubspot (a marketing blog) announced they had purchased social media marketing company One Forty. They did so with a series of tweets… that made up a press release.

To make things interesting (and easily sharable!), the company wrote out the announcement in 140 character chunks, perfect for pasting to Twitter. It caught my attention because it’s exactly the kind of thing that combats the “press releases are becoming defunct because Twitter boils everything down to the shortest possible blurb” theory.

*More importantly,* it was a creative spin on things. I couldn’t really care less about the actual event, but I checked it out anyways. It caught my attention, so imagine what it did for people who actually *did* care?

My point: it’s easy to say that one thing changing completely changes something else. So you change too, and move on with life, right?

But that might be a little lazy. What if, instead of saying, “Twitter is killing press releases,” we said, “Twitter is changing the way we need to share information?” Instead of giving up, what if we put effort into reacting and adapting.

When something changes, we need to be more creative in our reactions, not less. It’s not that we’re out of ideas, it’s that we seem to have run out of time to think of ideas. Too often, we say “it’s fine” or “it’s dead” or “if there were a better way, someone would have thought of it.” The press release isn’t dead, it just needs to be refreshed. So does the website and the television ad and the direct mail campaign and everything else we’re doing. Everything needs refreshing, because I keep hearing about things the Internet is killing, and I don’t think it’s all true.

I Don’t Know Much About Prostate Cancer…

Posted: November 2nd, 2011 | Author: | No Comments »

WHOA. Forgot to put a link to donate! Click here:

I don’t know much about mustaches either, but I know I’d much rather have the latter than the former.

So I’m donating my upper lip — and probably some of my dignity if you all play your cards right — to fight prostate cancer and celebrate mustaches.

I did some preliminary research (thanks, Google!). According to the American Cancer Society, this:

About 1 man in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. More than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.

How much more do you need to know?!

We’re not going to cure prostate cancer tomorrow, and probably not the next day. But every day is a day closer, and — for the time being — a little more hair on my face.

I’m anticipating it looking something like this:

(And as long as you’re in the giving spirit, why don’t you head over to TheHungerSite.com? Just clicking on the button donates food to the hungry all over the world. It won’t cost you anything but the time to do it… which is about as long as it took to read this paragraph… if not less. In fact, it’s so easy, it’s been my homepage for a while now.)

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