What’s In A Name?
You’ve probably been wondering why my blog is called BenSpark. Is it my name? No, my name is Drew but these days I answer to Ben. Is it a nickname? No, that would be Drewbie but very few people are allowed to call me that. Is it a pseudonym? No, why would I do that and post each blog post as Drew?
BenSpark came from my last name, Bennett which was combined with my wife’s, (then girlfriend) last name, Sparks. We started the blog together as a way to keep people informed as to our activities and outings. Allison stopped posting but I increased my frequency. I liked the name and kept it, but took off the pretentious “The” that used to be there (I added it for some reason)
Who Am I?
Sometimes I feel as if I was born with a computer. As a kid I was a huge fan of LEGO and loved to figure things out. A voracious reader and a kid with a good imagination I loved playing with systems and when I got my first computer a TI994A I spent hours programming fun little games. From there we moved on to an Apple IIC. I loved that computer and making signs and things with Print Shop. I even created a database to log all of my Transformers and their tech specs. I’m a Huge Transformers fan.
As I got older we went the PC route and I set up the first computer for my Dad back in 1990 something. We were using Windows 3.1.1. for Workgroups. I was in college in 1993 when I got my first computer of my own, it was a beast but I loved it.
The Internet was introduced to me by my roommate my senior year, 1996. He brought home two sheets of HTML code. I learned that code and I also learned that I could get half a meg of space from the college and put up my own website. In about two weeks I already had a site up and killed the amount of space I was allotted.
After college I worked for a bit at Sacred Heart University in Student Programming and Activities. I did that for a year and attempted to get into the Computer Science Masters Program. Let’s just say that didn’t work out. I wanted to work on things that had a purpose and that you could see instantly. I wanted to work with HTML. I had a Geocities site at one time or another. I even bought that stock and made good money on it.
I went back to Saint Anselm College in 1997 and became the college’s webmaster working with Frontpage, redesigning the entire college website and taking most of the photos. I was part time but working a 40 hour week and also working as a Residence Hall Director. It was a great second four years of college. In 2000 I quit the Webmaster Position and took a job with Leading Edge Media. There I met Allison. She was the office manager and I was one of the secondary designers. I would take the design from the primary designer, blow it apart in PhotoShop and hand code the pages in HTML to make them look great.
2001 comes and I get laid off. Allison does to. We decide to start dating (Or rather Jose Cuervo and Bud Light nudged us in the right direction). Heck we had already been “dating” for over a year but didn’t realize it.
I spend the summer teaching kayaking lessons for Cape Cod Kayak and getting my motorcycle license and bumming around the Cape. I decide that I need to pay the bills so I apply for a job as a graphic designer for a company in MA. I don’t get that job but the company wants me to be part of their Implementation division. I spend the next 3 1/2 years traveling the country teaching customers how to use our software. I get burnt out from that. However through the whole time I was on the road I took a camera with me and took photos.
In 2004 I switch over to the Marketing side of the house and go off and market the software that I used to teach. The change is a good one but eventually I tire from being a road warrior. Also Allison and I have a beautiful baby girl on October 10, 2007. You may have see a photo or two of her on the blog. I turn then to teaching other people how to go out and market the software that I used to teach and used to market. That is where I find myself today.
The BenSpark.com / Drew Bennett Timeline
- Been writing HTML since 1996. Self Taught
- Webmaster for Saint Anselm College 1997-1999
- Web Designer for Leading Edge Media 1999-2001
BenSpark.com – History & TidBits
- In 2003 I discovered blogging. I was looking for an outlet for my creativity and I wanted to keep up on what was happening with web design.
- I started that blog because I traveled and wanted my girlfriend and my friends and family to be able to keep in touch.
- The name BenSpark is an amalgam of our two last names.
- Blogged sporadically
- Took lots of Photos
- April 9, 2006 – Year 2 of Photo-A-Day starts
- October 2006 – Started Blogging for PayPerPost
- April 9, 2007 – Year 3 of Photo-A-Day starts
- May 2007 – Filmed 1st Wired Kayaker Episode
- May 2007 – Guest Blogger for FuelMyBlog
- June 2007 – Attended SB^3
- June 2007 – Webcomic @wesmolebash of YHTComic stayed with us for a weekend, we took him to a comic book signing at Double Midnight Comics
- June 2007 – Attended BotCon in Rhode Island, introduced the xshot to various attendees.
- September 2007 – Hosted 1st xshot contest on BenSpark.com
- September 2007 – Postie Reporter at CollegeFest 2007 for PayPerPost
- October 10, 2007 – The love of our lives, Eva Grace Bennett was born.
- November, 2007 – Publish most viewed post on BenSpark.com review of a GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr.
- November 2007 – Attended my 1st Blog World Expo as member of FuelMyBlog
- November 2007 – Attended PayPerPost Sponsored PostieCon
- November 2007 – Spoke at PostieCon – Panelist on Fab 4.
- February 2008 – Attended IZEA Loco
- February 2008 – Began writing IZEA Guest Blogger Posts
- April 8, 2008 – Year 4 of Photo-A-Day starts
- June 2008 – Last Guest post with FuelMyBlog
- July 2008 – Filmed Wired Kayaker Episode – Roger Williams Paddle
- July 2008 – Wrote last IZEA Guest Blogger Post
- August 2008 – Chosen by WOM world to film Famous Death Scenes for Nokia Productions Short Film – Directed by Spike Lee.
- September 2008 – Moderator of Big Money Bloggers Panel at IZEAFest 2008
- September 2008 – Attended 2nd Blog World Expo
- November 2008 – Attended Premiere of Nokia Productions Film, interviewed Spike Lee.
- January 2009 – Became an IZEA Insider, my “I’m not a Famous Blogger” Crew is awesome.
- January 2009 – Featured blogger for Nokia Chronicles
- March 2009 – Hosted 1st Blogs, Brews and Belly Laughs event
- April 2009 – Turned 25 and started year 5 of Photo-A-Day
– Threw major fundraiser for Walking 4 Second Base
– Blogs, Brews and Belly Laughs II
– Attended Digital Days in Boston with @StephenTheDog
- May 2009 – Took Family to Disney with Trip I won
– Family were Special Guests of Market Leverage
- June 2009 – Participated in the Relay For Life – Raised $500 from the blog.
- July 2009 – Participated in Roger Williams Paddle
- August 2009 – Attended G.I. Joe Charity Movie Premiere
– Attended Affiliate Summit East
– Announced Winner of the Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack Contest!
– Began working For Ed Gerety’s Dream Big Blog
– Began working for Kim Ann Curtin’s Coach Shoppe Blog
- September 2009
– Photo Shoot with @PopImages
– Co-Sponsored Wings and Pings with @PokenGirl
- October 2009
– Attended IZEAFest, Co-Sponsored Karaoke Event with @PokenGirl
– Created BenSpark.com Schwag
– Blog was revamped by Ted Murphy of IZEA
– Eva Turns 2
– Attended Blog World and New Media Expo (3rd Time)
– Helped Stacey Hylen with Business Optimization Week, Blog consultant
- November 2009
– Went to CT to meet Gary Vaynerchuk, he signed my Kindle
– Celebrated 4th Wedding Anniversary
– Was visited by Dina Riccobono
– Raised $400 for my friend Maureen when Marriott Screwed her.
- December 2009
– Participated in the Beyond Blogging Launch
– Launched my own Newsletter
– Attended Boston Megatweetup
– Had Dinner with Chris Brogan
– Donated to Christmas is for kids and Heifer International
- January 2010
– Launched “”I’m Not A Famous Blogger” Crew Newsletter
– Launched Personal Branding 101 course on Prfessor.
– Spoke at Affiliate Summit West 2010
– Attended WordCamp Boston 2010
– Became Official Shuttercal Blogger for 2010
- February 2010
– Became writer for Blogging Tips.com
- March 2010
– Hired as consultant to Collective Bias on Philips Norelco Campaign
– Made Benspark’s Personal Branding Bootcamp Free for all.
– Guest on Geek Dads Weekly Podcast
- April 2010
– Photo-A-Day Year 6 begins!
– Helped Launch WordPress Providence.
– Joined Geek Dads Weekly as a regular co-host
– Interviewed on inaugural DADVocate Podcast
– Photographer for Boston Media Leaders Event
- May 2010
– Shot photo that would become part of major advertising campaign for Free Comic Book Day
- June 2010
– Became Community Leader for Collective Bias campaign for Philips
– ShaveNewWorld.com Launches
– Spoke at the Evolution of Women in Social Media Conference – Utah
– Photographed 1st Wedding
– Began Relationship with Kodak, Wired Kayaker Sponsored Event
- July 2010
– Gave Lighting Talk at WordPress Providence on Content Creation
– Part of MyBlogSpark campaign with Wanchai Ferry Frozen Dinners
– Videographer for Roger Williams Paddle
- August 2010
– Began Photo-A-Day Podcast
– Spoke at Affiliate Summit East 2009 – New York City
- September 2010
– Spoke at Modern Media Man Summit 2010
– Began Relationship with Seagate – Product Sponsor
– New Kodak Campaign – M580 camera
– Major Family vacation at Disney – Kodak supplied camera
- October 2010
– Spoke at Blog World Expo – Content Creation
– Seven Day Test ride of a Chevy Tahoe
– Sponsored by Seagate to attend Blog World Expo
– Seagate, Kodak and XShot product sponsors of mine a Blog World Expo
– Created Content You Care About ebook
- November 2010
– Ran a month long contest called SwagsGiving. Gave away over 50 products
– Attended 1st Boston Media Makers Event
– Attended 1st Southern New England Media Makers Event
– Created 30 consecutive daily videos to promote swagsgiving
– Joined Boston Parent Bloggers for Launch Party
- December 2010
– Official MegaTweetup 2010 Photographer
– Interviewed Beth Riesfgraf, Timothy Hutton, Wil Wheaton, & Aldis Hodge
– Began Road To Thin Podcast
- January 2011
- January 2010
If you are interested in what States I have been to in my travels I have been to all but four of them.
visited 46 states (92%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
- Special Edition Skylander: Green Flame Fire Bone Hot Dog
- Join me Thursday in the #NoPhoneZone for a #Manwich Twitter Party
- Review: Transformers Rescue Bots: Mystery Rescue DVD
- Hello, Screen Door
- Getting Wild with Wild Kratts Toys from Wicked Cool Toys
- Our Latest Technology is an ASUS MeMO Pad 7
- Eat your Insects
- Review of our Silverlit Toys DigiBirds Chorus