My first WAR experience since Aliyah (Ever)

A chaotic,heart pumping, fear and adrenaline filled Shabbat it was. This past Friday, a friend who gets these 30 dollar a day rent a car deals asked me if I wanted to head down south..Ya know..Support the folks…At first there was hesitation…I’ve never been within 30 miles of Gaza..Maybe Yavne where I lived for a year in the early 80s..It sounded too inviting to be with those suffering…So, three of us headed out of Tel Aviv from Florentin where I dwell…After visiting the Iron Dome Missile battery in Ashqelon (Notice the armored porto potty that doubles as a bomb shelter. There is a hatch door to underground once you step inside)

Iron Dome Missile Battery, Ashqelon – Operation Defensive Pillar
Iron Dome Crew, Ashqelon -Operation Defensive Pillar 2012

On Friday early afternoon..We headed..Here, Kibbutz Nahal Oz

Military OutPost – Kibbutz Nahal Oz – Operation Defensive Pillar

Probably unknowingly.But, what the heck..We saw soldiers..One thing I noticed is that while soldiers welcome visitors with open arms, they don’t tell people to get the heck out of there..When they should..This was pretty much as close as anyone not dressed in green or has a press pass was going to get to HamasStan…My first taste of war ever was Diving under a military vehicle, 20 minutes after we arrived and were about to leave.. with 5 soldiers outside this kibbutz during a missile alert…A Qassam rocket landed and burned a mere 50 meters away.

Honestly, I wanted to come straight back to Tel Aviv..But we headed to Sderot to watch the bombing campaign from 2KM away on a hill where we saw missiles firing out of gaza in the directions of Tel Aviv, Ashqelon and Be’er Sheva and on a few occasions. Straight at us…

I don’t know if even Einstein could have created something like the Iron Dome missile system..It’s comprised of a few different systems at a central post..There is no one touching the launchers..The crew are just there to guard them so the dome can guard us…We saw it live as it  senses launch, identifies trajectory, speed, direction, wind speed and blasts missiles out of the sky right over our heads..Eating dirt on a few occasions to protect ourselves from falling shrapnel

57 MM Piece of Shrapnel from a Qassam Rocket that landed in a room next door to an Australian journalist that was Staying in a Sderot cottage.BEFORE THE JUBARI Assasination

such as that destroyed a car in Tel Aviv yesterday….My friend works for Raphael Advanced Defense Systems (That is all I am allowed to divulge) and told me the basics last night..

<———–Alex sitting on a hill as an Iron Dome Missile coming from Beer Sheva is on its way to blast a rocket out of the sky seconds later..See the streak in the sky..

A short while later we heard there were sirens in Tel Aviv..This wasn’t TV or YouTube..This was LIVE..and SO WAS I…After Nahal Oz we headed to the Kfar Azzah gas station,

Entrance to the Kfar Azzah Community

where they had these sandwich specials..Lots of soldiers, some reporters..For the rest of Shabbat we stayed close to Sderot, shooting (no pun intended) pictures of Gaza and Missiles from the hills around…..I saw Missiles as they were launched heading in the direction of Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva and straight for us..Booms that lasted 30 seconds and waved from Gaza targets passed us for another 20 seconds all the way to the desert..Smoke columns from direct hits (see photo below)..The smell of burnt metal seeping into my nostrils..

IAF Bombing Gaza, Operation Defensive Pillar

After some nudging at a Cafe Joe in Yad Mordechay that was swarming with Press and Soldiers..We made a plan to leave Motzei Shabbat, I told my friends that I have seen and experienced enough…They agreed and we headed back to Tel Aviv by 7 Saturday night…By us being there, I feel we showed support to the people of Sderot and the South who for the most part think they are alone, barely a 45 minute drive from Tel Aviv..I don’t know what prompted me to go to Sderot for the first time ever..There was a voice in my head that said I had to be there…And even though there were a few close calls, I can say I was happy I did..There are some who watch movies and some who watch TV..I was watching a war…As darkness fell and the explosions became more vivid, I heard my name..It was my neighbors Orit and Uri from Ha’Tikva and who helped me move a few weeks back..On this hill? Here? Why? I dunno but their presence was felt zand Orit gave a solid interview to Channel 2..Speaking of..I was on Channel 2 for my 7.5 seconds of fame this past Friday night..

כך נראתה תל אביב של אחרי האזעקה

For now, this Tuesday morning it is quiet..Sunday in Tel Aviv was my 4xth Code red in about 60 hours..It’s time to end it..IDF..You know what you have to do…

A crowd sitting on a hill watching a War – Operation Defensive Pillar 2012
Cup a Joe – Yad Mordechay – Close to the Israel/Gaza border – Operation Defensive Pillar
Room Number 13 at the Sderot Cottage where the Australian journalist was staying. The Qassam demolished the room. James was staying in the room next door. #14 and left unscathed. At least physically.
MORE Coffee – Cup a Joe – Yad Mordechay – Operation Defensive Pillar

Just the sound of cats in Florentin…Let us hope it stays that way..ALL OVER THE LAND…Peace be unto you my brothers and sisters..Stay strong..Stay Safe..Am Yisrael Chai! עם ישראל חי!!

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Technology Found. Elements of Sound. Marketing Bound.

222177_10150180713083934_509708933_6732563_2013994_nSeeking Full Time Position or Contract Opportunity in a combination of the following areas: Marketing/Growth Hacking, PR, Social Media/Content Strategy, Product Evangelism,  Sales, Sponsorships, Business Development (B2B/B2C)

SEE LinkedIn PROFILE HERE with references. PLease reach me at Alex_Gutman@Hotmail.com

Technology Found

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I was a computer junkie during High School, having found a passion for technology via my Apple IIe, that my parents bought me for my 15th Birthday. It was then that I formed the foundation of my knowledge in Information Technology, becoming exposed to databases via Ashton Tate’s Dbase I, Wordstar, Visicalc and the Internet, which back then was known as the Arpanet, developed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. I connected via a 300/1200 Baud modem, Kermit (Transmission Protocol) and a phone line that dialed into the University of Maryland’s VMS system (Yes. The phone bills dialing from Queens, NY were very high) It opened up my world and I connected to people globally via a green dot and relay chat and was in constant touch via email with my Dad’s cousin who was head of Tel Aviv University’s Computer Science Dept (Taunivm). I was a Usenet aficionado, and was amazed and enchanted by the huge amount information that was available for FREE. I didn’t realize it back then, but I was essentially marketing in the pre-web world to spread the word to my friends about upcoming campus events using the CUNYVM Bitnet system via email and instant messaging. I even had set up a BBS in my parent’s basement (the connection screech was too much for my mom to bear) on my dual 5.25 inch floppy equipped IIe. I aptly called it the Apple Orchard BBS and after a while had some active users. It was fun. Hey. I was 15 years old!

I began programming in Motorola 6502 Assembly language and Apple Basic and created some graphic games. With my favorite show being Airwolf, for example I created a game that had a helicopter controlled via a joystick and fired missiles on command.

When I entered college in the late 80s, I signed up for a Bitnet account on the computer center’s IBM VM/370 and instantly became connected to thousands of Universities worldwide. My dad purchased a Maxum 286 Turbo (6/8 MHZ) Intel computer for my 18th Birthday that had a whopping 42 Megabyte Priam Hard Drive and Dual 5.25 floppies. I quickly became an MS Dos 3.3.expert. This was before Windows 3.1.

Upon dropping out of Queens College after 3 years of my failed search of what I wanted to do in life, I was hired by a 70 Store national beachwear chain (Sales 80 Million Annually) as a Project coordinator for store systems. On the first day at the company, my manager, an ex-IDF Sergeant showed me 100 stacked boxes that contained state-of-the-art IBM POS registers and said. You know POS? I said What’s that? He answered Point of Sale and handed me a stack of manuals and said here you go. I dove right in, learned the 4680 Operating system that was at the core of the General Sales Application, the software that ran the system. Shortly after, at the age of 23 I was having conversations with senior IBM engineers in Raleigh, NC and I learned 4680 basic which the software that ran the registers was programmed in. For the basic modifications that the company needed, I wrote much of the code and spent a few weeks down in Raleigh in sessions with IBM engineers.

Over the next 8 months or so and 70 hour + work weeks, I had traveled the country, installing systems in over 50 stores, taking fresh inventory, setting up the systems with scanners, implementing communications between the head office in Queens and all the stores, training store personnel, handling price changes, SKU classification and pretty much all that was needed to maintain strict inventory control and sales for a full-blown multi-million dollar retail operation. I spent many nights in the stores, barely sleeping and operating the bar code ticket printers and managing retail/distribution operations on the companies AS/400 – Based ERP system via dial-up modem.

I was in my early 20s when I started at Wings and I had spent a few years at the company, when my former boss told me of an opening at Century 21 Dept. stores (then a booming retailer with 2 stores and sales of 100 million dollars plus) across from the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. The position was as the Director of Store System Infrastructure tasked with maintaining an outdated NCR 7052 POS system while writing requests for proposals and meeting with national vendors to discuss requirements for a new IBM based system. The budget for the project was close to a Million dollars. I worked 60+ hour weeks for 3 years and was in charge of every system that handled money including cash counting, the cutting edge hand scanning Time and Attendance system for over 1,000 employees, credit card authorization and the POS system which was comprised of 150 stations that sat in the Manhattan and Brooklyn stores. I was one of the most important employees at the company and the environment was all very dynamic which I thrived on.

After I left Century after a few years of hard (but enjoyable:) labor, I consulted in the area of Retail Systems for such companies as The Gap, Louis Vuitton and Steve Madden.

After almost 7 years in Israel, I am well-connected in the StartUp scene, having consulted well over 30 companies in the areas of Marketing, PR and Business Development.

Elements of Sound

ScreenHunter_399 Oct. 02 12.36

coolphotoIt was right around the time of my stint at Century 21 in the mid 90s that I became involved in the music business when I met a musician in my building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that I discovered had mutual connections with me in Israel. I fell in love with his band that melded the music of Shlomo Carlebach and 60s Psychedelia. I went on to manage, book and promote them using whatever technology was available with the still-in-its-infancy WWW (Way before there was a term Social Media Marketing) through the use of such avenues as email (for whoever had it) and YahooGroups coupled with real world marketing (word of mouth, posters, fliers and PR), booking and packing venues nationwide. Carlos Santana, Jane’s Addiction, Steve Kimock, Merl Saunders, Israeli artists Ha’Banot Nechama, J.Viewz, Geva Alon and Coolooloosh are just a few of the acts I have worked with, having placed artists over the years on stages in front of tens of thousands of people globally. As new technologies made their way into the public sphere, I would apply my acumen for sensing promotional opportunities via Blogging, MySpace, twitter and Facebook; all the while using writing as my tool to connect with music fans.

It was around this time, that I met a beautiful girl under a tree in Sheep’s Meadow in Manhattan’s Central Park. We got to talking and she told me that I should start writing. So, I began a journey that had a pen flying across hundred of sheets of paper over the next few years while on my global travel adventures and as the road manager for a few bands on East coast tours.

When I moved to San Francisco in 1997 for 10 years, I continued on my music path in a variety of ways, working in various aspects of the music business in Booking, Promotion and Music Production. I also graduated with a BA in Speech Communications from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Persuasion, my true passion.

I have also had the pleasure of working for and with some of NYC’s and San Francisco’s top Music Event Promoters and Production impresarios who have worked with the likes of of U2, REM, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan and with whose who had worked with who many view as the greatest Rock promoter in history, Holocaust refugee and the Legendary Bill Graham (discovered Carlos Santana, Managed Jefferson Airplane, founded the Fillmore in NYC and SF) ; taking part in producing events from anywhere from 500 to 60,000 people. This is my passion. To heighten awareness and raise visibility of products, ideas and entities via the written and spoken word; to place them on a pedestal via Sales, Business Development, Marketing, PR. Whatever it takes.

Marketing Bound

Killer Content is Key to Driving TrafficI strongly believe that in today’s Web 2.0 and traditional PR world, companies need a 360 degree marketing plan. I have a solid background in PR, writing, product evangelism and understand how Social Media all ties together so that organizations can enjoy increased visibility and secure goals.

Once I discover an opportunity, I naturally devise a strategy to contact the right person using the right words to make something happen. I’m a big fan or PR and have had much success in a number of different areas getting stories covered. I believe in Organic marketing and while advertising is great, there is nothing like good ol’ fashioned PR. Read this story that will communicate the difference between PR and Advertising.

So, at my first position in Israel in marketing tech, I was doing a lot of content marketing. This was in 2010 and I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was thinking of ideas, writing and disseminating content. They called me the online evangelist. The term content marketing would have made sense if I even heard of it, but LinkBait is what we called it. So, nearly 8 years later, Content Marketing is huge and only gaining steam and rightfully so. But, it must bring insight and new knowledge to audiences. By utilizing such avenues as LinkedIn, Reddit, Guest Posting and coupling it with a compelling content writing strategy, you can connect with your target market and drive enormous amounts of traffic that’ll convert.

When I explain what I did back then, today to interviewers, they say, Ah. So you’re a Growth Hacker. This term did not yet exist. I tell them I don’t know what it was called back then. I just do what’s natural.

Jan 15 Feb 15 Pageviews

I have a lot to talk about and I am very confident in saying that my skills and experience may very well be a great match for what you need, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss with you in person.

Living in the Limelight, on a lighted stage is not only a product’s universal dream. It is also a dream of mine to put one there.

Thanks for your time and I optimistically look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Alex S. Gutman
Tel Aviv
NYC–> הארץ
Dec. 2009
Alex_Gutman@hotmail.com

Granular Configuration Automation

Granular Configuration Automation

What is Granular Configuration Automation?

Pioneered by Evolven, Granular Configuration Automation is a new strategy, framework and practice that focuses on the discovery and automation of an IT Environment’s configuration parameters at the most granular level.

IT managers can leverage this strategy to reach the next level of automation and efficiency with regards to IT management.

Operating within this framework empowers the user to discover the most granular level of configuration parameters from any source, including configuration files, registry, database schema, associated stored procedures and reference data.

Why Focus on Granular/Does Granular Really Matter?

When it comes to environment configuration, the devil is indeed in the details.

IT environments are complex. A typical environment includes thousands of different configuration parameters (for example, Websphere holds over 16,000 configuration parameters alone) in which the mis-configuration or disregarding of a single configuration setting, can cause an environment incident with major impact on the IT and business service.

A recent newsworthy example of a high impact incident involved critical financial information which was leaked. It took the IT organization several weeks to identify, investigate and resolve the incident; resulting in lost credibility, lawsuits, precious time spent plugging holes, and a full IT reorganization. The cause? As in many similar incidents, the cause of this high impact disruption was a single file that was not properly implemented during a patch deployment…

The Difference between PR and Advertising

 

pr3

Somewhere in America :

“Honey, we need to discuss which car we’re going to purchase before the sale at ABC Motors ends”, Tracy said to her husband Tom. “Ok. We’ll discuss it tonight after dinner”, Tom says.

Conversations such as this one can be heard across America every day. Advertising influences decisions like this, but so does PR. What’s the difference? This couple’s story will make it evident.

Later that evening, after dinner, the two took out their respective literature detailing the kind of car they were most interested in purchasing.

pr2

Tom was intent on purchasing the new Edelman PRo 4×4, which was recently ranked 1st in its class in fuel economy, handling, safety, and performance in Car & Driver’s 4×4 analyst survey. It was also among the top 3 in storage space, which was a big concern, as all three of their children need to be driven to little league practice every Saturday.

pr1

Tracy had her eye on the Saatchi ADvent 4×4 whose full-page advertisement she so proudly placed on the table in front of Tom. Her eyes gleaming, she said “Isn’t she beautiful? A car that big has got to be safe and roomy. And look at the soccer mom and her two cute kids in the back seat with all their equipment. Let’s get the Saatchi!!”

Based on the scenario above, which vehicle would you prefer? If you’re not sure, read on.

TV and radio advertisements, billboards, full-page ads in the New York Times, and signs on public buses are examples of advertising. Companies and organizations pay large amounts of money to advertising companies to create messages to compel the masses to buy, think, read, want, see, do, etc…Nothing that Tracy deduced from the advertisement was factual regarding the features of the vehicle.

Free radio ads, an article in the New York Times, a survey by writers in an automotive magazine, and an auto analyst’s review in a trade journal are examples of the placements a public relations firm secures. PR firms are hired by companies and organizations to promote their products and ideas with facts. All the vehicle’s features Tom deduced from the survey were factual.

The major difference between advertising and PR as described above is that:

  • Companies pay agencies for creating ads and placing them directly in the masses view. There is no intermediary, and no 3rd party to judge that which is being communicated to the public, and is a biased promotion. Advertising promotes a controllable message since it is essentially a pay-for-play scenario.
  • Public Relations is about promoting a product or service by making a persuasive argument based on fact. In PR, a 3rd party often judges the persuasiveness of the argument before it reaches the masses. That 3rd party can be a journalist, writer, or analyst that is educated by the PR firm who is called upon to determine if the PR professional has effectively made their case.

Alex Gutman is a writer, publicist and marketer. His roots are in technology coupled with over 15 years of writing (creative, B2B, B2C, PR) experience. In conjunction with his background in the music industry where he has put artists on stages in front of tens of thousands over the past 15 years, he seeks to take products and/or ideas to another level by placing them on the lighted stage.

His specialty is finding outreach opportunities and reaching out using the power of the written word. This could lead to success as disparate as securing press, a briefing with an analyst, a potential partnership, sponsorship or a joint alliance opportunity. Read more here.

Alex believes that storytelling is a powerful strategy to get your message out to the masses. He can be reached at promotionstlv@gmail.com.