Monthly Archives: January 2008

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Connie Reece, Every Dot Connects”

It may be overcast outside, but today’s “3Q’s in 3Min” guest will brighten your day.

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

During a recent trip to Austin, socialTNT met up the lovely Connie Reece, founder of social media marketing consultation firm Every Dot Connects. She’s also the Executive Director of Social Media Club, and Twitter friend to all. In today’s interview, Connie outlines her definition of social media and explains how she has been using new media tools to put the “fun” back in fundraising.

I can’t really remember exactly how I met Connie. It was either when someone responded to her on Twitter and I looked her up, or after Jeremiah Owyang’s piece on building a Twitter community. In either case, I’m so happy I met her; Connie’s warmth shines through ever Tweet. Whether someone is tweeting about the death of their cat or a knee injury, Connie is always there to send words of encouragement. That’s why I lovingly call her the Twitter Mom.

When Twitter friend and future business partner Susan Reynolds was diagnosed with cancer in December 2007, Connie decided to use her connections–and Twitter–to help. Twitter users created PEAvatars to show solidarity with Susan while raising awareness. The Frozen Pea Fund, founded by Susan and Connie, sprang up organically to raise money for breast cancer research. [For a great case study on the Frozen Pea Fund’s effective use of Twitter as marketing/pr strategy, check out this piece by Michael Allison.]

More About Connie

  • Recently purchased a beautiful island on Second Life
  • Had to cut her RSS feeds from 300 down to 50
  • We are both alums of University of Texas at Austin
  • Is on Facebook, Flickr and Utterz

Connie’s fascinating, sociological Venn-Diagram explanation of social media is not to be missed. Find it–and more on the Frozen Pea Fund–in the video below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How do you define social media? Do you agree with Connie?

Over the last few days, Connie has been very ill. Please send her your well wishes.

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[Above photo, “Inspired by Color,” by Connie Reece”]

[This post was originally published Thursday morning, but was taken down because YouTube kept registering the video as not available. I uploaded the video again this evening and re-published the post. Sorry for the delay.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview

“2.0 Politik: Do Republican Candidates Make the Grade?”

Today’s post was written by socialTNT Contributing Writer, Marie Williams. I promise we’ll get personalized bylines showing soon. 🙂

“vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr

With Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential campaign yesterday evening, the competition for the Republican nomination is heating up. Social media tactics have the possibility to tip the balance, but which candidates are using social media to their advantage and which are missing the boat? Today, socialTNT separates the cool kids from the amateurs.

Ron Paul, Class Valedictorian (Overall Grade: A)

  • Online Video—up-to-date and frequently refreshed YouTube channel, a Justin.TV channel (although that hasn’t been updated for two months), and Mogulus Live Streaming Video. Impressive, Ron! Grade: A+
  • Blogging—There’s a hidden bloggish section called “daily updates” (click here and scroll down to below the Flash-animated banner to find it) and a very difficult-to-find blog called The Daily Dose campaign HQ blog. While not very aptly placed, both blogs are well updated and contain some good, meaty posts. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Very active Facebook profile updated with hundreds of posted items and notes pertaining to Paul’s campaign. While his MySpace page is definitely not as snazzy as his competitors with all the bells and whistles, it is very personal and includes all pertinent links to more information on campaign activities. Grade: A
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the daily updates blog, as well as The Daily Dose, although the newsroom sections don’t have RSS feeds available. Grade: A-
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Unlike all the other Republican candidates, Ron has an official Twitter page.

Mitt Romney, Second in Class (Overall: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, Mitt has the token YouTube channel, but the Mitt TV section of Mitt’s site is what sets it apart in terms of visual online content. The section is incredibly well-organized and catalogs videos by category, including events, interviews, news, and even a section for “fun” videos. Grade: A+
  • Blogging—Mitt’s “Five Brothers” blog, which includes posts from Mitt, his wife Ann and five sons, is updated on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. The posts are often made by Mitt’s sons (Mitt himself hasn’t updated since 9/11 of last year), and add a great personal element to the blog even if Mitt isn’t the one posting. Grade: A
  • Social Networks—Facebook profile? Check, and it’s well fleshed out and updated with news and videos to boot. MySpace page? Check, and also very well-organized with personal profile info, a video welcome, and Slide photo show. Mitt also has a Meetup page and a Flickr account that includes photos from the campaign trail. Grade: A-
  • RSS—While the “Five Brothers” blog does have separate RSS feeds for all authors (click here and see lefthand corner), there’s no RSS feed for Mitt TV and no RSS feed for the news section. Bummer! Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope! But if Mitt decides to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, someone’s already parked the MittRomney username and has 34 followers (no updates to speak of).

Mike Huckabee, Average Abe (Overall: B)

  • Online Video—Typical YouTube Channel and a video archive in the newsroom. Nothing special, nothing innovative. *Yawn* Grade: B-
  • BloggingMike has a very consistently updated blog that runs the gamut from video posts to general news announcements to calls to action. Also includes a great, incredibly lengthy blogroll of other blogs supporting Huckabee’s campaign. Extra credit for some cool blog widgets for supporters to load on their own blogs. Grade: A+
  • Social Networks—Very basic Facebook profile, but brownie points for the active discussion boards. Standard MySpace profile with a video welcome as a nice personal touch. Mike goes for the basics but could stretch his social networking skills much farther. Grade: B-
  • RSSRSS for the blog, but nothing else. Eh for minimal effort to syndicate content. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—No dice. Not even a parked page for this one.

John McCain, Barely Passing (Grade: C)

  • Online VideoYouTube channel and some videos on MySpace. Blase, much? Grade: C+
  • Blogging—The blog is a very basic set of general updates and video posts with little to no personality. Grade: C
  • Social Networks—Blah Facebook profile, although his MySpace page boasts some multimedia facets and a few videos. Overall pretty weak. Grade: C
  • RSSFeeds are available for the blog but there’s no feeds for the newsroom or any other part of the site. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope, but as with Romney, someone’s parked the JohnMcCain username and already has 28 followers (no updates to speak of).

And that’s a wrap. No doubt as the race for Republican nominee continues to heighten in intensity, candidates will consider additional social media tactics as a way to boost their visibility among their wavering constituents.

But don’t worry Dems, we haven’t forgotten about you. socialTNT will be posting on the Democratic candidate reviews this week. In the meantime, tell us how you’re following the presidential race using social media technologies. Is it Twitter? Blogs? Online video? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Future of Media, Politics, Social Media, Social Networking

“Micro-Managing Out, Micro-Blogging In: A WordPress Prologue Review”

Today, all of us who have ever dreamed of integrating Twitter into the workplace have something to smile about; last night, the makers of WordPress unveiled a nifty new tool, to help pave the way towards a Twitterpated world. Prologue–like Twitter, but for Enterprise–is a group blog designed for efficient team collaboration and communication.

For me, Prologue is a great implementation of the instant communication, micro-blogging technology Twitter pioneered. It really seems to be a great tool for global companies with employees scattered across time-zones.

It works like this:

  • Leave a status update, comment, helpful link or question, so that everyone on the team can see the progress of other members on the team, answer questions, etc.
  • Tag each Tweet with a project-specific category to quickly filter through the other posts and find only information regarding a specific project.
  • Add an RSS feed for instant communication.
  • Better yet, add an RSS feed for each category tag to filter for project specific “news.”

Right now, Prologue is only available on WordPress. Make the blog private if you don’t want the world to see. (Personally, I’d love to see someone remain totally transparent and keep their Prologue Blog public.) Since the code is open, you should be able to adapt it to most enterprise scenarios.

Click on the screenshot below to see the demo blog set up by the WordPress team.

Do you foresee your company utilizing this for Enterprise 2.0 implementation? Will this be a Twitter Killer, or is it another testament to the greatness of all things Tweet?

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Recommended Reading:

“Twitterpated: A Twitter How-To”

“RSS for Success: A Primer”

“PR to Enterprise: Beam me Up!”

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Filed under Enterprise Public Relations, Future of Media, Internal Public Relations, New Media, Review, Social Media

“Let’s Get Physical: 10 Lessons Abt Social Media I Learned at the Gym”

“getting-huge.jpg” by ericmcgregor on flickrA little secret about me: I’ve been involved with sports since I was a kid. I can give a rocking sports massage or plan a kick-a workout. At one point in my life, I’d even studied to become a Physical Trainer. Today, I’m here to pump you up with ten lessons about social media I learned at the gym.

  • When first starting out, get to know the gym, the exercises and proper use of the equipment.
    • Same goes for a social media campaign. Check out your surroundings. Listen to the community and see how they interact before diving in. It also doesn’t hurt if you know the tools inside and out.
  • Flexibility can prevent injuries.
    • Communities are built from people. People don’t always react how we want them to. Go with the flow. If you are flexible to their needs, listen and respond to their comments accordingly, then you can prevent a PR disaster.
  • Have patience. Quality results require a long term commitment.
    • Rarely do you see results in a short period of time. Lasting relationships are built with time and interaction.
  • Eat healthy. You have to feed your body to grow muscles.
    • Same goes with a blog: consume relevant media content to help develop your ideas and grow your community.
  • Healthy living requires a complete lifestyle change. If you want lasting results, you have to let go of old habits.
    • Social media isn’t just about looking pretty, it’s about opening up. You have to let go of corporate messaging and the tired notion of brand. It may be scary at first, but I guarantee once you get the hang of it, it will feel great!
  • When in doubt, get a trainer.
    • Sometimes we need someone to give us that extra push to help get us in shape. A community manager can help shape community relations.
  • A workout partner or a team can keep you motivated and increase results.
    • If your company has a hard time maintaining the corporate blog, bring some more writers on board. This will make it easier to keep producing content.
  • Different bodies need different routines.
    • Not all workouts and diets work on every body. Same can be said about social media strategy. Play around until you find a plan that works with your marketing objectives and fits your community’s needs.
  • Don’t wait too long between exercises.
    • In order to keep that target heart rate, you have to keep moving. If you slack on a blog, your readership will drop.
  • Make it fun!
    • It doesn’t have to always be serious. Fun posts make it enjoyable for the reader and easier for the blogger. 😉

Happy Friday, Everybody! Thanks for your continued support!

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[The above photo, “getting-huge.jpg” by ericmcgregor on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

Don’t miss a post: Add us to your RSS reader [what’s that?], or Sign up for our Email.

Recommended Reading:

“It’s a Conversation, Stupid! Part 1″

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back”

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Mario Sundar, LinkedIn”

“I’m a Binge and Purge Blogger, What About You?”

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Filed under Best Practices, Community Manager, Community Relations, How To, It's A Conversation, Just For Fun, Marketing, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jon Ray, Suited Productions”

Like a marshmallow in a cup of hot cocoa, today’s “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min” is guaranteed to sweeten up your cold winter’s day.

Jon Ray is the FutureEvery Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

While on vacation in Austin, socialTNT was able to catch up with Twitter friend and Social Media Marketing Consultant, Jon Ray. Today, Jon tells us what it is a Social Media Consultant does and also what to look for when choosing a live videocasting host.

At the ripe age of 23, Jon is founder of Suited Productions, a media production and marketing firm. The company, founded in 2005, originally started off as an HD video production company for television and music video. Jon’s move into social networking campaigns began in the early days of MySpace, when a real estate company asked him to figure out ways to attract a younger crowd to the near-campus district. Jon set up a renter community to help calm parents’ and young renters’ fears, while also generating leads for the real estate firm.

Since then, Jon’s main focus is helping brands integrate their ad campaigns and marketing goals into social media campaigns that create a conversation. His biggest success so far has been the Toyota Line of Scrimmage to introduce high school students to Toyota. The series involved reporting on and broadcasting high school football games from the back of a Toyota Tundra. Not surprising, Jon has been hired as a consultant for ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

Jon’s approach to social media is very hands-on and experiential. He’s not just satisfied with reading about the various tools and strategies, he has to test the technology and see what works. You can find him on Twitter, Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Right now, Jon is testing transparency while trying out various lifecasting and video casting platforms.

[For an archived video of Jon’s lifecast from our interview and warm-up, click here. Watch as we talk about Apple’s lack of social media strategy and other geek stuff.]

See the results of Jon’s trials to find out which videocasting platform Jon prefers and listen to him say sooth on upcoming social media marketing and advertising trends for 2008!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Are you as much a video fan as Jon and I are? Or do you think live video is just another fad?

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[The above photo, “Jon Ray is the Future,” used by permission from Jon Ray]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Stick It To the Man, Video, Video Interview

“AwardShow2.0: A Crunchies 2007 Recap”

[ Today’s post is written by socialTNT’s new contributing writer, Marie Williams. She joins us from her other blog, flackette. Please join me in giving Marie a warm welcome.]

Last Friday, socialTNT attended the very first Crunchie awards. For those of you who were unable to go or who missed the live webcast, we offer you a short recap with our picks for the best highlights.

The Crunchies 2007 were hosted by our favorite tech-blog monarchs TechCrunch, GigaOm, Read/Write Web and VentureBeat . With nominees like Twitter, Digg, Facebook, and TechMeme, the event was a who’s who of technology greats. My dates for the evening were the talented team over at UGOBE, whose adorable robotic dinosaur, Pleo, was nominated alongside the iPhone and the Wii in the best new gadget category (full disclosure: UGOBE is a SHIFT client).

The event lay in stark contrast to the recently canceled Golden Globes awards, the infamous snoozefest known in recent years for its boring lineups and watered-down content. Without official “script writers” and fancy schmancy talent, the Crunchies awards presentation was one of the most entertaining awards ceremonies we’ve witnessed in quite a few years. I mean, who needs the typical, scripted dribble when you can watch Fake Steve Jobs drop f-bombs from the comfort of your own computer? Take that, FCC!

The awards ceremony was broadcast live over the Web and integrated a number of social media components. The Crunchies’ heavy incorporation of Web video may foreshadow a whole new era in award show formats. One of the most entertaining social media integrations of the night was a video compilation of 10-second responses from nominees. Introduced by video blogger Sarah Meyers, many of the responses were filmed using unconventional methods, including personal digital cameras and webcams.

Without further ado, here are socialTNT’s video picks of the night:

Best Live Version of a Viral Video: The upbeat crooning of The Richter Scales performing their popular You-Tube video “Here comes another Bubble” on-stage.

Best Award Into Video: CrunchGear’s John Biggs, dressed in a chic blazer with a floral ascot and a pipe hanging from his hand, announcing the nominees for Best New Gadget. Am I watching “Animal House” or an awards ceremony? No matter. The video is hilarious.

Best Acceptance Speech: (Fake) Steve Jobs (aka Dan Lyons) accepting the award for the iPhone as winner of Best New Gadget. My favorite part: “Steve” talks about the new MacBook Air while bending and twisting a Manila envelope to showcase the Air’s awesome design (“it’s actually in there right now”).

Best 10 Second Nominee Response Video: All of these were so amazing that we couldn’t pick just one. In the first video, the ProductWiki guys shows you how to bootstrap like a pro. In the second, Nova Spivack of Twine shows off THE most disruptive technology of all time. I promise, you will be blown away.

And that’s a wrap! Still not satisfied? Take a look at the full list of winners, or check out other recaps to munch on:

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Filed under New Media, Recap, Social Media, Video, Viral video

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Kara Swisher, All Things D, Part 2”

It’s Thursday. I’m up in the sky on a trip to Austin, and you’re reading “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week is part two of our discussion with Kara Swisher from All Things D. Last week, Kara told us why she LOVES blogging. In this week’s “3Q’s in 3Min,” Kara tells TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington how to “Just Say No” to PR pitches, gives her tips on good PR, and explains the art of good video interviews.

A few days ago, PR pros everywhere sighed with relief; a study came out showing that reporters truly need the relationships they have with their public relations contacts. Although she knows a thousand and one ways to say No, Kara does value a good PR professional. For Kara, PR is more than just a one-night stand. It’s a relationship.

Here are Kara’s tips to becoming a good PR pro:

  • Know what the reporter writes about
  • Create and build an ongoing relationship
  • Bring interesting stuff
  • Be loyal to your client, but address issues and problems in an honest way

Wanna know more? Watch the video. She’ll even throw in a description of her beat.

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What are other traits you think a good PR pro should posses?

On All Things D, Kara obsesses on companies/stories as much as she wants. How does blogging change the traditional media flow of information? Do news bloggers convey stronger opinions through their pieces than a traditional outlet? If so, do you consider that a good thing? Love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t miss out: Add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email.

Recommended reading

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 1”

“3Q’s in 3Min with John Markoff, New York Times, Part 2”

“How Media Relations Got Its Groove Back”

[The above photo, “Kara Swisher is looking at YOU, yes YOU. You know who you are.” by Mark Montiero on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Community Relations, How To, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview