Brian Shaler

Occasionally Interesting

Gravity is for chumps

Posts Tagged ‘Fun’

Twitter, Let’s Play a Game

Recently, I have been brainstorming ways to spur more interaction from my friends on I have always tried to post questions, conversation-starting statements, and interesting links, all in hopes of getting more and more people to respond.


The problem I am facing is that a very, very low percentage of my “followers” (the term for users who receive your updates) on Twitter actually know who I am. An even smaller percentage interact with me in any way. This is a problem because if my friends on Twitter don’t know who I am, then the following I have built up there is pretty pointless.

As of this writing, I have over 7,400 users receiving my messages. When I pose a question, I can get anywhere from zero to forty replies. With a maximum of about forty people responding, my participation percentage (on a good day) is 0.54%.

That’s not good.


One of my favorite blogs,, holds weekly “Caption Contests” on Fridays. They post an image and users are encouraged to comment with a caption for it, the funnier the better. It is great to see the level of interaction the blog gets because of those contests.

That is something I wanted to replicate in some way on Twitter. It would be great to play some sort of recurring game where I would post a Twitter message up to 140 characters and people could participate by replying with a creative answer.


I have decided to try out a simple weekly game that could be fun and amusing. It’s like Mad Libs, but instead of asking for words then filling in the blanks, I will just provide a sentence with blanks for people to fill in. While the game itself is played entirely on Twitter, will be the main resource for archives, suggestions, and discussion. I will post the TwitLibs starting statement as well as any Twitter replies I receive.

Only time will tell if people will enjoy the game and interact with me more because of it.

Video: Making of a ‘ShalerJump’

At the last Refocus Phoenix metting, Adam Nollmeyer took some great action shots using a 3-piece lighting setup — the most sophisticated ShalerJump shoot so far!

The results were some stunning captures with very distinct lighting. We staged the jump at a memorial on Washington Street where Adam could get below my jumping start level (to increase the perceived height of the jumps). In the background, there was a building with a giant ad on it for, and I decided to jump over it!

Awesome photos by Acme PhotographyWhile I’m on the topic of videos, I have been making a video every day since July 1st on So far, these “metodays” have not been anything too exciting. I am using them as an exercise to get more proficient with video production. Tune in and watch as the quality and content get better and more interesting!

SXSW Bowling Technique

This is a video of me bowling at SXSW 2007 in Austin, TX. The video shows step-by-step the technique I’ve developed (though, I use that term loosely). First, you extend the ball forward, in front of you. Next, you lift it over your head. Then, you bring it behind you. At the release, you spin your arm around the ball (I recommend ‘palming’ the ball — don’t use the thumb hole). You should try to land the ball near the left edge of the lane, aiming at the right gutter. This will give it a more dramatic effect as it curves at the edge of the gutter and comes back to strike the pins. The most important part, though, is a good victory dance! Even if you don’t get a strike! (just don’t fall down..)