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Entries in social media (9)

Tuesday
Nov012011

PSE&G: A Public Utility's Failure to Inform the Public

It's been nearly four days that I, and a number of my neighbors, have been without power due to this year's early snow storm.

While the storm was unexpected, the results were not: the snow was dense and heavy and the abundance of leaves still on the trees made it easy for snow to find purchase on weak limbs which fell onto power lines. Given that I live in a town called Maplewood, you can imagine how many old, large trees we have in town and that extent of the damage is probably higher than other towns.

Needless to say, it's got me a bit torqued out. Finally, this morning, I had to get on a plane to go to Blogworld LA, leaving my wife and son home without electricity and a wood stove that neither of them are comfortable operating.

But what's really got me pissed off is our utility company, PSE&G.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun152011

QR Codes Provide Quick and Easy Access to Facebook Likes On-The-Go

Recently, Optify shared some research inferring that social signals (Facebook "Likes") correlate with search engine results. Given this fact, it's a no wonder that so many web sites and businesses are asking you to hit the Like button.

I advised a client that he could use a number of incentives to get people to Like his Facebook page, including using a Like as an entry in a drawing. He took the advice and decided to giveaway an iPad to people who like his page.

What he didn't tell me was that he wanted people to Like his page and perform the giveaway at a professional conference made up of less-than-tech-savvy attendees.

This was a bit of challenge. Access to social networks are, by design, very personal. Most people engage with them on their computers or smartphones - neither of which would be on-hand by many folks at this event.

The fallback method I suggested for acquiring Likes and entering people into the drawing was SMS. Simply send a text to

32665

with the text 

like yourpagenamehere

The only problem with this approach was the name of the page. Instead of being something quick and easy to type like facebook.com/YPN he had chosen a long, search engine-friendly version such as facebook.com/thisismyreallygreatsuperduperpage

It's enough of a challenge to get someone to opt-in so the last thing you want is for him to feel foolish when he can't type the long name on his flip phone or his touchscreen smartphone.

The solution - which I didn't deduce until after the fact - is a QR code. Yes, there still aren't too many people who have QR code scanners installed on their phones either, but it does solve the text-entry challenge.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec202010

Trunk.ly: Delicious for the Twitter Era

I'm as nostalgic about the "sunsetting" of Delicious as anyone. Delicious was a staple for me back in the early 00's when I used it as a way to share links with my friends, post the links I found to my blog and even do show prep for my digital media podcast.

So what happened?

Twitter.

Sharing links via Twitter  is just so much more natural for me and with social syndication services like FriendFeed, Ping.fm, etc. links were easily shareable everywhere - except Delicious. As a result, I simply just stopped using Delicious. That said, there's one aspect of Delicious that I miss: a searchable database of all the links that I share.

But no longer, thanks to Trunk.ly.

Connect Trunk.ly to Twitter or Facebook and it will automatically grab those tweets or status updates that you share that contain links and save them for you on in your Trunk.ly account. For those of you who are packign up and leaving Delicious for greener pastures, there's even a way to import your delicious bookmarks.

From there, finding something you've shared is as easy as typing it into the search box.

Search is a bit slow right now, but it works. This is most likely due to the number of new accounts and link indexing that Trunk.ly is performing at the moment. My guess is that it will improve over time.

[Trunk.ly]

Wednesday
Jul212010

Meet Flipboard

Monday
Feb082010

Today's Tweets

11:36pm, Feb 08 
Amazon Job Posting Hints At Full-Color Multi-Touch Kindle With WiFi http://ow.ly/15jRq
 
11:30pm, Feb 08 
@eduardoortiz Have you had hands-on a Nook yet? Thoughts?
 
10:42pm, Feb 08 
Nook Available In Time For Valentine’s Day, New ‘More In Store’ Content http://ow.ly/15j50
 
9:59pm, Feb 08 
ZoomIt Lets You Read SD Cards On Your iPhone. Will It Work With iPad?http://ow.ly/15iq9
 
9:40pm, Feb 08 
Get a Free iPad (or Nine) Here http://ow.ly/15hRI
 
9:35pm, Feb 08 
How Digital Marketing Helped 'Avatar' Break the Box Office http://ow.ly/15hQK
 
9:30pm, Feb 08 
The Majority of You Aren't Interested in Paying More than $10 for an E-Book [What You Said] http://ow.ly/15hPO
 
9:12pm, Feb 08 
Rumor: MacBook Pro refresh imminent, SKUs dropped from Best Buy systems http://ow.ly/15hM0
 
5:45pm, Feb 08 
Battle of the Deathburgers: Heart Attack Grill sues Heart Stoppers Sports Grill [This is Why You're Fat] http://ow.ly/15dug
 
5:40pm, Feb 08 
Netflix Streaming Getting a 1080p Upgrade [NetFlix] http://ow.ly/15dqz
 
5:35pm, Feb 08 
Minute Suites: Rest and Recharge, Airport Style http://ow.ly/15dq5
 
5:30pm, Feb 08 
Report: EMI Plans 'Radical' Cost Cuts, More Layoffs http://ow.ly/15doo
 
5:25pm, Feb 08 
Degrees of Personalization http://ow.ly/15dn8
 
5:20pm, Feb 08 
(Pic) Cargoshell’s Flat-Folding Shipping Containers http://ow.ly/15dmw
 
5:15pm, Feb 08 
Mobclix and Nielsen Ink Mobile Ad Targeting Data Deal http://ow.ly/15dlg
 
5:15pm, Feb 08 
Stat Shot: How the iPhone Changed the Handset Market http://ow.ly/15djZ
 
5:10pm, Feb 08 
Win A Mentoring Session With Founders Of Digg, Flickr, Mint, Ning, Slide Or Zynga http://ow.ly/15dhL
 
5:05pm, Feb 08 
Sketchpad: Simple web-based painting/drawing app. No Flash. http://ow.ly/15dfL
 
5:00pm, Feb 08 
‘The Gadget Disappears’ http://ow.ly/15dek
 
4:55pm, Feb 08 
Google Wave in Action: Real-World Use Case Studies http://ow.ly/15dgA
 
4:55pm, Feb 08 
Google Wave in Action: Real-World Use Case Studies http://ow.ly/15dbh
 
4:50pm, Feb 08 
100,000 Fans Send Target's February E-Card http://ow.ly/15cY0
 
4:50pm, Feb 08 
@ Local Online: The Hyperlocal Rev Model: Sell Services, Not Just Ads http://ow.ly/15cWy
 
4:45pm, Feb 08 
New Tweetdeck Puts Twitter On Crack – Adds YouTube and Flickr http://ow.ly/15cSP
 
4:40pm, Feb 08 
Vitamin D Webcam Monitor Hits 1.0, Still Has a Free Option [Updates] http://ow.ly/15cPF
 
4:35pm, Feb 08 
How Nerdy Is Your City, In Dollars? [Data] http://ow.ly/15cG5
 
4:30pm, Feb 08 
Linus Torvalds is now a happy Nexus One owner, pinch to zoom put him over the edge http://ow.ly/15cCl
 
4:19pm, Feb 08 
Wisair-based wireless display adapters head to Macs http://ow.ly/15cBo
 
10:15am, Feb 08 
The E-Book Marketplace: Does Anybody Really Know What Price It Is? http://ow.ly/152Kx
 
10:10am, Feb 08 
Canon Rebel T2i: 18MP and Legit 1080p Video for $899 [Digital Cameras] http://ow.ly/152Ec
 
10:05am, Feb 08 
Social Media Engagement Trends http://ow.ly/152BA
 
9:50am, Feb 08 
Loopt Partners With Mobile Spinach To Offer Location-Based Deals http://ow.ly/15281
 
9:45am, Feb 08 
Online TV Shows May Get More Ad-Heavy http://ow.ly/1526o
 
9:34am, Feb 08 
iPad in the family: What it'll take http://ow.ly/1524n
 
9:26am, Feb 08 
My own private... hydrogen power station? http://ow.ly/151IK
 
9:23am, Feb 08 
Using Calibre to convert an RTF ebook to MOBI so I can read it on my Kindle.
Thursday
Sep172009

Event: Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site, September 22

I've been invited to participate in an upcoming event produced by Professionals in Media. If you can join us in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey please come! Information is below.

If you're unable to attend, fear not - I'll be streaming the event live. You'll be able to listen at the URL below beginning at (or around) 7 PM:

http://go.gadgetboy.org/kicn

Here's the official announcement from PIM:

You are planning on building a web site or blog. Maybe, you already have one. Either way, drawing traffic equals good business. Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m., Professionals In Media (PIM) presents a seminar Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site. This event will be held at Summit Medical Group, 1 Diamond Hill Road, Berkeley Heights, Room C-100 in the Education Center of Lawrence Pavilion.

Allan Hoffman, Michael Shapiro, and John Federico are the panelists for an informative evening on using social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to promote your blog or web site.

Allan Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Web100.com. Hoffman is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Newsday, P.O.V., Rutgers Magazine, The MotherHood, Wired News, Worth, Yahoo Internet Life, and many other newspapers, magazines, and literary publications. He is the personal technology columnist for the Star-Ledger. Hoffman has been interviewed about technology topics on various television and radio programs, including NBC’s "Early Today," C-SPAN’s "Washington Journal," CNNfn, and NPR’s "All Things Considered."

Michael M. Shapiro, chief executive officer and editor of TheAlternativePress.com, the State of New Jersey’s all-online hyperlocal daily newspaper, is an attorney with degrees from Stanford Law School and Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He first made headlines as one of the youngest people to run for public office in New Jersey when at age 21, he ran for Mayor of New Brunswick.

John Federico is an accomplished marketing, communications and business development executive and founder of the web site newrules.com. He offers 15 years of experience in marketing communications and business development with passionate expertise in digital media.

Admission is a $10 donation per person. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Contact Jacqueline Herships at 973-763-7555 or Jacqueline@jacquelineherships.com or Michele C. Hollow at michelechollow@pipeline.com. For directions, please visit www.summitmedicalgroup.com.

Saturday
May092009

AAOTD: Twitter Followers for Sale

Nothing sullies authentic person-to-person communication more than money.

Click to Enlarge

 

Wednesday
Apr222009

How to Create Great Media at Conferences and Events

Conferences and other events can be great opportunities to connect with thought leaders in your industry and create buzz around your attendance while you're there.

One way to do this is to capture audio and video interviews with influentials while you're there and post them in your blog, web site, podcast or on YouTube and other sites that share and distribute digital media. However, you shouldn't just show up with a microphone or camera and hope that people will stop by to be interviewed.


After producing dozens of events like this, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my successes and failures. This guide just scratches the surface, but I hope you find it a good primer. 

Get a Booth

A "booth" or exhibit space is typically 10' x 10' but if you're just planning to record interviews, it doesn't have to be that large - just enough for two tall chairs ("bar stool" height) and your microphones and cameras. In fact, you don't even have to get a standalone exhibit space. Many conferences will offer small, "pre-built" conference booths that are comingled with other small companies - all you have to do is show up.

With that said, be clear about your goals: If you are using the interviews as a means to generate interest in your booth so that you can engage prospects for your product or service, be sure to spring for the 10' x 10' space (or larger, if you can afford it).

Why take any space at all? Simple: Presence. You want people to see your brand and what you're discussing while there and hopefully attract audience, potential interview candidates and prospects for your business (if applicable).

Regardless of the size of your space, spend the money to produce some good graphics that you can use consistently. A "banner stand" is a good tool for this. They are cheap and can function as a good backdrop for photos and video. If you need larger graphics, you can purchase multiple banner stands that, when next to each other, create the illusion of a large, nearly seamless background.

I've used Skyline's "Exalt" system to great effect.

From Skyline.com:

"Exalt is the ultimate banner stand. It features a slender base, bold fabric graphics and converts from linear to curved with the simple flick of levers. A single unit with soft case weighs only about 12 lbs. (6 kg)."


As you can see, the panels can be used together as a backdrop for a 10' x 10' booth or individually, if you design them with that in mind.

Broadcast Live

Delivering the interview as a podcast or as an embedded on-demand video is great, but people respond well to the concept of "real-time." It creates a sense of urgency to your interview request and presents the interview to the "real-time web". There are a number of services that enable you to do this cheaply or for free. For video, you can use Ustream.tv, Kyte, Qik and others. For audio, you can use TalkShoe or a Shoutcast server.

Keep in mind, you've just increased your costs dramatically. An ethernet connection at a conference can cost thousands of dollars. Even a standard telephone line can cost a few hundred dollars (and that may not even include toll charges). However, it can be well worth the expense if you plan ahead and secure good guests.

When you're done broadcasting, you can package everything up for podcast delivery at a later time. Be sure that you are able to download the audio or video from the broadcasting service that you're using as you may want to syndicate it using your existing podcast feed, if you have one. Also stay away from services that may make ridiculous claims of ownership to your content. It's your hard work, don't give up ownership to anyone unless it's advantageous to both parties.

Schedule Interviews in Advance

See if you can find out in advance who will be attending the conference or event. Reach out to everyone in your network using email and all your social media tools (twitter, facebook, friendfeed, etc.).

Another way is to contact the event organizer and ask for an attendee list. Many will be reluctant to share this list, but it will help your cause if you explain to the organizer what you'll be doing and ask ONLY for names and titles - not contact information. This diminishes any appearance of impropriety on your part and you can always find a way to reach these folks once you have the list. Of course, it will really help if you get a booth or exhibit space. (see above)

Next, prepare your target guest list. Who would make an all-star line-up for your series of interviews? Reach out to every potential guest in your network and on the attendee list, but also see who might be in their respective networks. Reaching out by telephone is the most personal method but if you're pressed for time, email will work.

Prepare an email to be sent to potential guests but be sure to address each one individually and personalize it before you send it. Nothing says "I'm trawling for guests," like an impersonal mass email.

NOTE: Keep egos in mind here.There may be people whom you may use as a conduit to reach your ultimate interview target that may be insulted that you didn't ask them to participate. Tread lightly.

Rights

Let your guests know upfront that you'll be asking them to sign a release to allow you to use the content as you see fit. Unless you're a media company, you won't likely be generating revenue directly from these recordings but you should still be sure that you have the right to use them in a reasonable manner. You can find a release online, but you may want to have your attorney review it before using it.

Post Your Schedule Online

As soon as you secure your first couple of guests, post your interview schedule online - ideally, on your blog. (You are blogging, right?) Post the link to the schedule on twitter, bookmark it in delicious.com, digg it, etc. Re-post it to twitter each time you make a change to the schedule. When you add or reschedule a guest, be sure to mention the guests name in your tweet - your guest will enjoy the exposure and it will be a good attractor for you and your efforts. If you have a booth #, be sure to include wherever you can as it will likely be listed in the program guide that attendees receive when they arrive at the event.

I like to post these types of things in the FaceBook Events application and invite everyone in my network to attend. Even if they don't RSVP, you will have at least had an opportunity to expose them to what you're doing. If it's a professional event, you can do the same thing in LinkedIn.

For an added lift in exposure, list each guest interview as a separate event. People might not be interested in every guest that you've scheduled, but one of your guests may entice them to tune in to your live broadcast from their desks or stop by your booth to hear them speak. The only challenge with this is that guests reschedule or sometimes cancel and you'll have to update your FaceBook Events. Only you can decide if you want to do this or if you have the capacity to coordinate all of it.

This is a good time to touch on the subject of logistics: Regardless of your goals for the event, don't ever work alone. At a minimum, you should have someone ensuring that your gear is functioning properly and that guests are arriving on time. It also doesn't hurt to have a third person walking the show floor and grab guests for open slots or invite attendees to come listen.

Post Your Schedule at the Event

Posting your schedule isn't just show prep - it's an ongoing effort throughout the event, especially as your guests reschedule or don't show (see below). At a minimum, have a dry-erase board with your interview schedule for all to see. If you can, create a self-running, looping presentation using Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint with your schedule. In addition to the schedule, you can post pictures of your guests, their bios and their affiliation.

A word on scheduling:

Guess what? You're going to have guests that don't show up. They may have forgotten, they may have had business to attend to or they may have been snagged for an interview with a major media outlet. Don't take it personally. It happens to everyone.

However, here are some tips to ensure that your guests show up:

  • Have their email addresses handy
    Most business people carry BlackBerries or iPhones and will be checking their email at the event. Send them an email one hour before their scheduled appearance.
  • Get their cell phone numbers
    I like to text my guests and hour before their scheduled appearance, then again fifteen minutes before. If they aren't there five minutes before they're scheduled, call them.  At that point, you've done all you can. If they don't show, take a break and get a snack.

Be Loud

Your interviews will only be interesting to passers by if they can hear them. Bring a small PA system with you so that you and your guests can be heard across the aisle of the exhibit hall floor. Any louder than that and you might raise the ire of the adjacent exhibitors.

I've used the Califone PresentationPro 300 PLUS with great success. Placing it on the floor and in front of you helps prevent feeding back or echoes in your recording.

Go for Groups

If one guest is good, three may be better - especially if some of them are known to be opinionated and vocal. If you have the space and appropriate gear, invite three guests to participate in a panel discussion with you as the host/moderator.

Again, this increases costs dramatically. You'll need to have headsets and microphones for each of them and if you're shooting video, you may need to widen your shot or even add a second camera. That said, three experts discussing a subject which they find themselves passionate about can make for a great draw of crowds - and great media to distribute later.

Allow Questions

If you're able, reserve a microphone at the event for the audience to ask questions. It makes it much more engaging to passers-by knowing that they can initiate a dialogue with your experts and can help keep the conversation flowing. If you're using a live streaming application, be sure to activate the chat room so that people tuning in can ask questions from afar.

Encourage inquisitors to state their name, title and affiliation. A little self-promotion always greases the proverbial wheels.

Give Away Something Cool

Yeah, drawings and giveaways are standard fare at conferences and events but you can use them in conjunction with your media creation efforts to really increase visits to your booth and your live stream. Selection of the giveaway is dependent on your budget and what your company produces in its core business. Since you're producing digital media, you can give away something digital media-related - an iPod or iPhone is always a great gadget to get people excited. Regardless of what you select, the process should be the same:

 

  • Tell everyone that you're going to give it away during one of the live broadcasts/recordings and that one of your guests will perform the deed.
  • Give away two of them - one for the folks participating in your live stream and one for the folks at the event.
  • Provide a mechanism for people to enter the drawing. Email works for the online participants and of course, a good ol' business card will work for the folks at the event. You can also get a badge scanner that has the ability to select a random winner designed for just these sorts of things.
  • Produce a large sign announcing the giveaway and have it perpetually visible at your booth.
  • Post a similar message in all your online event listings.
  • Always give it away on the last day of the conference. Do it randomly so that people have an incentive to stop by the booth or listen online throughout the last day.

 

Do you have any other tips? Post them in the comments.

Wednesday
Apr152009

AAOTD: "We don't do brand development, that's for sure."

Here's today's AdSense Ad of the Day. What do you get when you combine twitter and strategy? 'nuff said...