5×5 With The Hook: Marc Saltzman.

The next time you think your schedule is jammed waaaay past capacity, just remember there’s always going to be someone out there who’s taken on far more.

Which brings us to today’s guest.

Tech guru extraordinaire Marc Saltzman has reported on the high-tech industry since 1996 as a freelance journalist, author, lecturer, consultant, and radio and TV personality. He’s the Western world’s coolest and most recognizable specialist in consumer gadgetry, web trends, interactive entertainment and underwater machine knitting. (Oh, that Hook!) In addition to weekly syndicated columns with Gannett (100+ publications a week) he writes for a gazillion periodicals (okay, over forty) in North America, including USA Today, the Toronto Star, CNN.com, and Blind Psychic Cat Lovers Monthly.

Okay, so I may not be right about that last one; I’m still waiting on a federal grant to fund my research department.

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In June 2006, Marc Saltzman was invited to join celebrities such as Donald Trump, Al Gore and Stephen Hawking to answer a question for the “Ask The Planet” promotion sponsored by Yahoo! Answers. Marc was tapped as a leading consumer technology expert.

He’s authored sixteen books (which unlike mine, have actually sold) and his smiling mug can be seen on various taped segments like CNN’s Gadget and Games. If you’ve ever been to a picture show you’ve seen a larger-than-life Marc Saltzman extolling the virtues of all the tech your kids are going to be begging for on Gear Guide. In fact, Marc has achieved demi-god status in my house because of Gear Guide. Running about five minutes before the feature film begins, the 1-minute Gear Guide clip airs daily on more than 1,650 theater screens, 6 times a day per screen, resulting in approximately 7 million “captive” impressions per month.

Marc’s a regular guest on CNN, CTV’s Canada AM, and various network affiliates like ABC, CBC, and NBC. And in a bid to usurp Howard Stern as the King of All Media, Marc Saltzman hosts a syndicated daily radio spot across Canada called Tech Talk. Also, Tech Talk with Marc Saltzman” is a nationally syndicated radio vignette (60-second interstitial) that airs daily Monday to Friday, on 35+ AM and FM radio stations across Canada, the U.S. Armed Forces Network and on XM Satellite Radio’s NHL Centre Ice channel (roughly 1 million listeners weekly).

Marc Saltzman is one of the busier technology experts on the circuit.

Speaking across North America on a wide variety of topics, he enjoys talking to groups big or small, consumer- or business-oriented, and ranging from kids to seniors – and even blogging bellmen who ask him to subject himself to an anything-can-happen 5×5 interview.

Some of Marc’s recent speaking topics include: the latest technology trends (for consumers and businesses); future technologies worth getting excited about (self-driving cars, space tourism, domestic robots, etc.); the app revolution; embracing social media; how to break through to mainstream journalists (PR do’s and don’ts); women in technology; “child-proofing” the digital world (video games, social media, netiquette, bullying and sexting); retail strategies in the digital age (including how to combat “showrooming”); online shopping safety tips; tech tools for students and educators; getting the most out of digital music, and more.

Finally, I don’t know how he does it, but Marc has some how found time to raise a family of three awesome kids with  his beautiful spouse. Okay, she raises the kids – but Marc helps.

But back to Marc and his accomplishments. Let’s face it, technology has become the cornerstone of modern society; take it way tomorrow and the results would make the landscape of The Walking Dead look like a paradise.

In this day and age of social media and indispensable technological wizardry we need beacons of knowledge and hope like Marc Saltzman to light the way. He’s not selling you the latest innovation… he’s making your life easier by ensuring you don’t get left behind. In fact, the day we spoke by phone (Bluetooth, of course) Marc was preparing a segment designed to help seniors and their caregivers utilize technology such as video screens and sensors to make their lives more efficient and vibrant. Personally, this would have made my father-in-law’s last years much easier, so in my mind Marc Saltzman is a true hero.

All right, now that we all know more about Marc Saltzman than even he does, let’s get down to the 5×5 portion of our program, what do you say?

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ONE)  In addition to “Tech Talk” and “Gear Guide” and numerous media appearances, you contribute to more than 40 publications. (I can barely blog twice a week and I still haven’t finished the basement of a home I moved into 13 years ago.)  How do you decompress, Mark?  Do you decompress, Mark? 

Ha! Not really! I work for myself, so my mind is always racing. I usually work eighteen hour days; in fact, I’ll get up early during family trips and work for a couple of hours answering e-mails before getting back into dad/husband mode. Luckily, my wife and kids are extremely understanding.

When I do take some time to relax, I like to read, listen to music, watch and watch movies, of course.

(Makes sense to me. He is the “Movie Guy”, after all.) 

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TWO)  If you could be any breed of dog for a day what would you be?  (Told you the questions would be unique.)

Wow, that is a good question! The funny thing is, I love dogs, and my family even boards them… but I’m allergic!

I’m loyal so a Bernese Mountain Dog springs to mind or maybe a poodle. But if I had to think about it, I’d have to say a Golden Retriever would be my choice.

980xYes, this is weird – but I couldn’t resist.

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THREE)  As someone who doesn’t own a cellphone (you’re either gasping or staring at your screen in utter disbelief) I’m constantly puzzled by society’s reliance on tech; do you think we need to achieve a better balance in that regard?  (The only grass some kids ever see in on Google Maps.)

Absolutely. The pendulum has swung the other way and even my kids get anxious if they’re away from their phones for too long. Teens are losing their ability to socialize face-to-face and this could even affect their ability to get through an in-person job interview in the future.

I consider myself an Technological Evangelist, but I’m the first to admit there is no substitute for the human connection.

 

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FOUR)  People seem very willing to indulge in angry tweets, raging Facebook posts and so on these days, especially where politics are concerned: Do you think social media has made us a more hateful society?

Well, certainly the anonymity of social media has allowed people to post anything they like with no fear of consequences. Even celebrities and the current president of the United States have gotten in on the act.

I remember my kids were shocked the first time they read a negative comment about me online. They thought everyone loved me! I’d go to their school and be mobbed by their friends who knew me as the “Movie Guy” from Cineplex and online they’d see people posting negative comments about me simply because they disagreed with my opinion.

But platforms like Twitter have gone to great lengths to battle the problem presented by trolls, so I think we’re heading in the right direction.

 

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FIVE)  As North America’s #1 tech guru (honestly, if he were real Tony Stark would be working for you) what new device/trend are you most looking forward to this year, Mark?

 In my opinion tech is becoming evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but I’m most excited right now about the Moto Insta-Share Projector. They’re called Moto-Mods and they transform your smartphone into a projector with a 100 inch screen, or a speaker or a zoom lens.  The screen feature is an amazing innovation. Not only does it allow you to create instant, convenient power point presentations, you can use it to transform a hotel room into a movie theater.

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Technology is a never-ending work-in-progress and so this is an amazing time for consumers.

 

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If you’ve just become an instant fan of Marc Saltzman (you know you have, don’t fight it) he’s made it easy to find him:

Friend Marc: facebook.com/marc.saltzman

Follow Marc: twitter.com/marc_saltzman

See Marc: instagram.com/marcsaltzman

Watch Marc: youtube.com/c/MarcSaltzman

Hire Marc: linkedin.com/in/marcsaltzman

 

All right, kids, this is the part where I thank Marc Saltzman for taking part in the most ironic interview in 5×5 history. (He’s a Technological Evangelist and I don’t even own a cellphone.)  Marc is by far one of the coolest people I’ve ever interviewed and my daughter even thinks I’m cool for doing so.

And yes, you’re right… that won’t last long.

See you in the lobby, friends…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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20 Responses to 5×5 With The Hook: Marc Saltzman.

  1. davidprosser says:

    I bet he wouldn’t get many movie seats in a hotel room. I think I’d be happy to give that one a miss as I’d have to buy a smartphone and can’t cope with the old phone I’ve got.
    Hugs

  2. Love that movie thingy. I have to say I stopped going to movies years ago so Marc is new to me. I very much enjoyed your interview.

    • The Hook says:

      You don’t go to the movies, John!
      My kid would live at the movies if she could!

      • I have a illness and have no immune system (suppressed by drugs). Can’t afford crowds. Anyway I don’t miss the spilled soda on the floor. I have walked out of many a loafer on the sticky floors in the movies.

  3. umashankar says:

    Such a lovable guy, this Mark Saltzman! He offered me a hope of ray when he said he loves the value of connection. He made me green with enevy though. Thanks for hooking him in.

  4. Archon's Den says:

    I can’t do any of the five blue ‘linky’ things. I don’t own a cell phone because I don’t even know how to turn one on, so my question is, who’s Marc? 😉
    Truthfully, I am on LinkedIn (as The Archon) but, being retired for 7 years, I think it’s more to find a good therapist than a job. 😳

  5. People have become so conditioned to relying upon their phones that common sense has gone out the window. Some younger people, raised on gadgets, seem to have lost any sense of direction if that’s possible. “Just keep going north.” “North?” “Yes, I’m pointing north. You were heading in the opposite direction, south.” “South?” And so on.

  6. Thank you so much, Robert, that was a fun interview. Appreciate it. And thanks for the great comments, everyone.

  7. Didn’t know ‘im.. but now I do! 😉

  8. Britt says:

    Great interview, as usual. Now I know what to get Bernie for Father’s Day. Thanks, Marc!

    How can this baby faced boy be so… accomplished? I feel lazy.

  9. curvyroads says:

    Cool guy, and as a senior caregiver myself, I do love that he’s working on technology to ease life for seniors. Robert, you have such a knack for finding interesting, accomplished, and good humans to share with us, thank you!

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