Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Avere Group Blogger Nominees Embark to USS Green Bay

In Print Media on August 17, 2009 at 8:50 pm


The Bloggers’ Embarks to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during May and early June christened a new journey of research and development on using social media to reach audiences of all kinds and ages.   I had nominated Guy Kawasaki for a Distinguished Visitor Program embark to an aircraft carrier.  Commander Charlie Brown, Public Affairs Officer for the Commander-Naval Air Forces-Pacific, selected Guy to participate, so I coordinated with Commander Brown and Guy to get him squared away to embark … paperwork, you know.  Guy embarked to the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier during late September 2008 with a group of 16 distinguished visitors from various professional disciplines.

Guy Kawasaki, Dennis Hall, Bill Reichert

Upon return to shore, Guy wrote the longest blog in history.  I try to meet up with people whom I’ve nominated and get selected, so I visited Guy at his offices of Garage Technology Ventures in Palo Alto, CA.  It was a reunion of sorts, as I’ve been acquainted with Guy since June of 2001 through the Asia Silicon Valley Connection (ASVC.org).  Bill Reichert, also a Managing Director, was there, too, that day, and we go back a few years, so we had a bit of a reunion roundtable.  Guy discussed with me his idea of a bloggers’ embark to an aircraft carrier.  He said, ‘what if the Navy loaded 16 bloggers into a Navy C-2 Greyhound transport and embarked them to sea.’  My gut reaction was that the Navy would love his idea.  So, I wrote the proposal, submitted it to Commander Charlie Brown, and as forecast … he immediately supported Guy Kawasaki’s vision.  He arranged for such an endeavor to-from an aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).  Guy and I orchestrated the nomination process with the Navy during the latter part of 2008.  We embarked out with a total 16 bloggers, podcasters, experts, and authors during spring 2009.  I have that blog and links to the others here at my Avere Group blog.

Having achieved embarkations to-from an aircraft carriers with scores of blog and podcasts reaching hundreds of thousands of readers worldwide, it was time to explore other areas of the Navy.

7217_129254757818_504712818_2562761_4385544_nTo advance further understanding, Lieutenant junior grade Jan Shultis, a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the Commander, Naval Surface Forces – Pacific, coordinated with me to create a Bloggers’ Embark by Navy helicopter for September 10, 2009 to the very recently commissioned USS Green Bay underway in the Pacific Ocean.  Embarking via SH-60 Seahawk helicopter to and from the vessel were bloggers Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Jennifer Leo, Jennifer Van Grove, Gina Hughes , Adam BrownJake McKee, and  Ponzi Pirillo, a most eclectic band of bloggers-podcasters.

Jennifer Van Grove and Jen Leo are Bloggers’ Embark veterans, as both embarked as part of a Bloggers’ Embark to the USS Nimitz aJen Leo & Jenn Van Groveircraft carrier via fixed-wing aircraft, the Navy C-2 Greyhound, during May 20-30, 2009.  We arrived to the USS Nimitz abruptly via the tailhook of the C-2 snagging the arresting cable of the flightdeck.  The following day we departed via catapult launch aboard the C-2 off the bow.

Working closely with Navy Lieutenant Jan Shultis, I contacted bloggers-podcasters who embarked with me during MayLt.j.g. Jan Shultis 29-30, 2009 to the USS Nimitz to see if they would like to participate in Leaders to Sea, the program implemented by the Commander-Naval Surface Forces.   While all wanted to do so, schedules were too packed except for Jennifer Van Grove and Jennifer Leo.  Assisting me in finding high-profile bloggers-podcasters were  Guy Kawasaki, Andy Sernovitz, Jennifer Jones, Beth Blecherman, and Robert Scoble in making referrals to other bloggers-podcasters.  Their referrals lead to instant success! For example, Beth Blecherman referred me to Gina Hughes. She accepted the opportunity for me to nominate her, and she in turn recommended several bloggers, e.g. Ponzi Purillo and Jake McKee.

10530_130197782681_714437681_2422706_3478839_nThe embark began early in the morning at 7:00 a.m. PST (o700 hours).  All arrived to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, the Headquarters for the Commander-Naval Surface Forces-Pacific, and incidentally, the home, too, of our Navy SEALs (Sea Air Land warriors).   Video of Boarding the UH-60 Seahawk shot by Jennifer Van Grove. The sky was filled with dark cumulous clouds, but winds were light.  Following take-off, the cameras came out. Here is video shot by Jennifer Van Grove. Writes Gina Hughes in her Facebook posting, “We took a helicopter ride to the USS Green Bay in San Diego. What an experience!” (turn down volume)

Per Navy Lieutenant Jan Shultis, and the bloggers, the Bloggers’ Embark was an immense success.  You may immediately see posts for on Facebook for Gina Hughes (TechieDiva.com) and Jennifer Van Grove, and Ponzi Pirillo.

Lt. Jan Shultis, USN

Lieutenant (j.g.) Jan Shultis, Public Affairs Officer, Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Pacific

Group Shot XL


It’s not just a blog; it’s an adventure.

USS Green Bay cap

USS Green Bay cap for Every Blogger

SH-60 Group Shot L

Boarding the Navy SH-60 Seahawk Helicopter

Jennifer Van Grove with leadership

USS Green Bay Leadership with Jennifer Van Grove (www.Mashable.com)

Adam Brown strapped, SH-60

Adam Brown (www.Coca-ColaConversations.com)

Gina Hughes with Command Master Chief

Gina Hughes (www.TechieDiva.com, GadgetSpin.com) with Command Master Chief Cecilio Macias


Deborah Keyek-Franssen (Colorado.edu)

Jen Leo & Chaplain

Chaplain & Jen Leo (www.JenLeoLive.com, latimes.com)

Jake McKee listening

Jake McKee (www.antseyeview.com, www.communityguy.com) listens to briefing

Ponzi Pirillo in Goggles-Helmet

Ponzi Pirillo (www.GadgetSpin.com)

Jennifer Van Grove shotgun & pistol - great

Jennifer Van Grove (www.Mashable.com, http://www.JenniferVanGrove.com)

XO Briefs Bloggers

Greeting by Commander Randy Zamora, Executive Officer

Jen Leo, Ponzi Pirillo, Jennifer Van Grove aiming

Onboard Virtual Shooting Range Simulator

Gina Hughes - High calibre

Gina Hughes with High Caliber Weapon


Navigation Monitor

LCAC Approaching fast

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Hovercraft Approaching for Boarding


Landing Craft Air Cushion Hovercraft Holding Pen

Ladies' berth 2

Womens’ Berthing Area

Adam Brown - in berth

Adam Brown in Men’s Berth

Jennifer Van Grove in LCAC

Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Tour

USS Green Bay bow 2

Bow view of USS Green Bay (Note Green Bay logos)

Aerial view of flightdeck

Aerial View of USS Green Bay flightdeck

NAS North Island - aerial

Aerial View of Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado, CA

Ponzi Pirillo & Gina Hughes

Upon return to shore, Gina Hughes wrote me via Facebook, “Best experience ever! Just got off a Seahawk , being briefed by Admiral Curtis talking about their mission and robotics.”

Jen Leo wrote, “Dennis – it was a lovely day out! Very different from the Nimitz experience. I really felt the emphasis of the Navy as a family and how they try to be connected to and provide for the entire family – not just the sailor was communicated and appreciated. Obviously this was a much smaller ship. I think we were only the 3rd DV group to go be flown out there. It was sparkling clean, we were toured by the XO and the Master Chief the entire day. And Jan [Lt. Jan Shultis, USN] was amazing.  Extremely well spoken, passionate and knew her stuff. She was truly excited about us. Thank you for this. It was a nice group too.”

Ponzi Pirillo recounted her day, “Hi Dennis, I had a wonderful time! Jan and EVERYONE was so caring and attentive.The whole group on the USS Greenbay were amazing! It was an experience I feel really fortunate to be able to say I’ve had and I’m looking forward to writing about it. 🙂  Jan [Lt. Jan Shultis, USN] was simply amazing as was everyone literally from the top Admiral to the youngest seaman, I’m totally impressed with how things were handled.  Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to be able to join in The Leaders to Sea program.  I feel honored be able to help shed some light on the amazing efforts of our Navy.”

USS Green Bay

Commander Joseph R. Olson, Commanding Officer

Commander Randy Zamora, Executive Officer

CMDCM (SW) Cecilio I. Macias, Command Master Chief

The USS Green Bay (LPD 20)

Amphibious Transport Dock – LPD

Amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.

The ships are used to transport, and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or amphibious vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft in amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions.

LPD 20 USS Green Bay is the fourth of the San Antonio Class of amphibious transport dock ships.

Namesake – The city of approximately 100,000 residents was founded in 1634 by French explorer, Jean Nicolet.  The oldest community in Wisconsin , Green Bay is well known for its commitment to team efforts, and particularly for its support of its football teams. As Packers’ Coach Vince Lombardi put it, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

When the former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig announced the name of LPD 20, he noted, “Green Bay may be modest in size, but it is enormous in spirit. The city is well known for its commitment to team efforts and the LPD 20 will be home to another team – the Navy-Marine Corps team- that is no stranger to the hard work and sacrifice necessary to be the best in the world.” This will be the second ship named Green Bay. The first, a patrol gunboat, was in service during the 1970s.

The USS Green Bay transports and lands Marines, their equipment and supplies,by embarked air-cushion (Landing Craft Air-Cushion Vehicle – LCAC) or conventional landing craft or Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft. USS Green Bay will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions throughout the first half of the 21st Century.

Ship Characteristics:

Length 684 feet (208.5 meters)

Beam 105 feet (31.9 meters)

Displacement Approximately 24,900 tons full load

Speed In excess of 22 knots (24.2 mph)

Aircraft Four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters or two MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft may be launched or recovered simultaneously. The ship’s hangar can store 1-2 aircraft.

Armament Two 30 mm Close-in-Guns, for surface threat defense; two Rolling Airframe Missile launchers for air defense

Landing Craft Two LCACs (air cushion) or one LCU (conventional)

EFVs 14 Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles

Power plant Four Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, two shafts, 40,000 Hp

Crew 360 (28 officers, 332 enlisted), three Marines

Troops 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted); surge to 800 total.

Embarking to USS FranklinFor more information on Bloggers’ Embarks contactDennisHall@gmail.com, AvereGroup.WordPress.com

The word “Contact” is part of my e-mail address.  Anchors Aweigh!  Dennis


Avere Group & KVIE TV Producing Social Media & Networking Documentary

In Print Media on August 17, 2009 at 8:43 pm


With KVIE (PBS affiliate – Sacramento), I am producing a one-hour documentary with working title of Social Media & Networking. I am currently raising $120,000 from at least four sponsors.   Production begins as soon as I secure the $120,000 of sponsorship underwriting.


In being a sponsor, each company will enjoy greater brand awareness and brand image and earn respect of the audience.

The program offers your company one of four 15-second sponsorship spots for $30,000.

For each program broadcast, each spot will be broadcast twice during the program, once at the beginning and again at the end of the program.  This format provides for twice the number of seconds of the sponsorship spot of exposure per program, e.g. 15 seconds times two equaling a total of 30 seconds per broadcast.

A sponsor buys a spot directly from KVIE via an agreement.  KVIE will create the 15-second spot at no additional charge to the sponsor.

Social Media & Networking

charleneli_croppedThe focus of Social Media & Networking is global bandwidth proliferation to support global social media, and including interviews of acclaimed social media experts.  The experts include: scoblephoto

Charlene Li, prominent blogger (AltimeterGroup.com) and co-author of the book Groundswell,

Robert Scoble (Scobleizer.com), renowned blogger and author,

image001Jennifer Jones (MarketingVoices.com), podcaster and consultant, andAndy-Sernovitz300px

Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing and blogger (GasPedal.com).

KVIE, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate in Sacramento, will serve as presenting station to the national chain of over 380 affiliate stations.  I will be the producer.  Further, KVIE will contract with a company to do all on-location filming, and post-production.  Broadcasted during 2010 by affiliate stations nationwide in high-definition, the viewership is estimated to be about 20 million people.

The documentary addresses global status of bandwidth to support social media and the investment underway to proliferate bandwidth expansion over the next five years.  It takes a balanced look at contemporary methods of social media and networking in regards to devices, software, and connectivity, and the future, e.g. use of the new technological process known as cloud computing, and expanding global bandwidth.  The scope weighs the benefits and risks through using the host’s commentary, the host’s voice-over narrative, the host’s interaction with experts’ interviews, examples of mainstream usage, including by Middle East citizens, for example as citizen journalists to expose violent, oppressive conditions in reaction to protests, and by NASA Space Shuttle and International Space Station astronauts orbiting earth in space to followers below, and absorbing, dynamic graphics including video, photography, and music.

Very early into the production following introduction to the subject of the documentary, there may be a short whimsical recap lasting a minute or two of the former, centuries old methods of social media and networking to provide a nostalgic look back at former, only-available methods of social media and networking, yet still used today in addition to the new disruptive technologies to provide a contrast to contemporary times.

Social media and networking technologies driven by texting, blogs, podcasts, digital photography, music, and video, and social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked-in, and Flickr revolutionized communication and expression, but are also a controversial disruptive phenomenon.  They revolutionized interpersonal communication, artistic expression, citizen journalism, opinion posting, e-commerce, voting, and consumer sovereignty, leading to personal, organizational, and retail relationship building.  However, as with most things beneficial, there is flip side controversy.  Exposed as risks for users, among other issues, are lawsuits and litigation, protection of organizational computer networks, national security, personal privacy, cyber stalking, identity theft, traffic collisions due to texting distraction, and workplace productivity.

Complementing studio and in-office settings for interviews, this documentary incorporates on-location, intriguing outdoor, and lobby settings for interviews in Silicon Valley, and Sacramento and Davis, for example at the Capitol, CSUS, City College, and UC Davis.  Locations in Silicon Valley could include the following: backdrops and lobbies of headquarters offices for Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Google, Apple, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and Sacramento for intriguing, fascinating content illuminating the global impact of social media and social networking.  At these settings, the host conducts walking and talking interviews of experts such as bloggers, podcasters, videographers, attorney, and government officials holding or using Personal Data Appliances, e.g. iPhone or Blackberry, to accent the ability to be internet connected continuously.

Supporting the authoritative interviews with the experts and mainstream users would be dynamic graphics, video, photography, and music.  These graphics and photography would illustrate the creation of social media, e.g. videos using phones and cameras, software editing, uploading for the viral reach, dynamics of texting and viral propagation.  Personal Data Appliances would be shown to give a broad perspective of the offerings for users staying connected and contributing to and/or responding to the conversations via feedback or comments.  Music would accent the tone of the scenes.

Content includes interviews of experts and dynamic, absorbing graphics to illustrate the points and processes.

Jennifer Jones Podcast 9-4-09 001On September 4th, I met with podcaster Jennifer Jones, founder of MarketingVoices.com based near Silicon Valley in Woodside, California to discuss the documentary and Navy social media.  She interviewed me and the podcast is posted at MarketingVoices.com.  My next visit was with Ken Kaplan with Intel’s Global Communications Group – Broadcast and New Media in Santa Clara, CA to discuss both the documentary and Intel’s future participation in embarks with the military and other venues, e.g. Lawrence Livermore Labs, etc.  I then met with Cromwell Schubarth, Multimedia/Research Editor for the Silicon Valley Business Journal.  He referred me to editor Mary Duan.  She and I discussed the project via e-mail, and will meet soon at her office to discuss potential for an article.

My recent documentary titled America’s Team, Being a US Air Force Thunderbird is currently broadcasting from Public Broadcasting Affiliates (PBS.org) throughout the nation.  Over 50 million viewers nationwide cumula068fe893e7a08a715a505110.L._SL500_AA240_tively have seen this documentary due to over 300 affiliate stations broadcasting it several times each on average.   I produced America’s Team with John Campbell and Paul Frederick.  Honeywell Corporation was our sole sponsor.  America’s Team addresses the mystique and realm of US Air Force personnel serving in the coveted US Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron know as the Thunderbirds.  The documentary does focus some illumination on Major Nicole Malachowski, the first-ever woman Thunderbirds pilot, flying the F-16C in the Right Wing position.  The DVD edition is sold through Amazon.com.

Please call me, Dennis Hall, at 916-541-1992 or e-mail: ContactDennisHall@gmail.com.  The word “Contact” is part of my e-mail address.