Monday, March 30, 2009

Simple Social Media Tactic

As I tap into why I find social media so addictive to my own personality, I find that I'm distracting myself with "why" I am so drawn to spaces instead of "how" to best use them. So I should just be honest about the "why" - get it out of the way, and then focus more on the how. So here's why...I desperately want people to like me. I am one of those people who will work tirelessly for the promise of a compliment.

Now that that's over, here is a tactical "how" that you can use, created because of my desperate desire for thank yous and kind words.

I created content a little while ago. It was a helpful schematic for me as I was exploring a new tool, The tool is relatively new to the technology/social media scene, so there are several who are being newly introduced to every day. After I created it, I wanted to share it with others, get their feedback, and bask in some thank yous.

Every few days I'll hang out on a twitter search feed for and anytime any random person asks a question that seems like my schematic can help with, I send them a link to it. It is so addictive. You should try it. It is a great way to move your business or non profit organization from listening to the online conversation to participating in it.

By the way, this post is going out to yammer (through ping) for the first time. The schematic will need an update. By the way, do you use ping? What's your use of it look like?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Technology Etiquette and Very Cute Kids

As a follow up to emerging etiquette clashing with technology, here is net etiquette being taught to elementary aged kids in Korea.

This blows away our American PSA, cyberbullying campaigns. These kids will be singing this little tune to each other for the rest of their lives.

So, will you dive in as an early adopter so you can participate in forming the continually-forming, emerging etiquette? Or will you be a curmudgeon who watches it happen from the sidelines while bemoaning the good old days? Remember now, with rapidly changing technology, the good old days was 2006!

Company Man

Here is part of what has been keeping me very occupied over the last several months.

Matt Frazier, CEO Pursuant, Introduces Mikey Ames and Social Media Basic Services from Mikey Ames on Vimeo.

This Vimeo Channel has videos that answer several questions I have been getting recently from clients.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitter Smackdown

Some blogger, speech writer, conference speaker, etc. named David Murray writes this post about his ongoing, well known hate-affair with Twitter.

The post is a mere sentence.

The video he links to is a four minute interview from a PR guy who is highly influential in his own PR circles. The PR guy thinks that Twitter is the best thing ever invented.

The comments that follow are voyeurly hilarious.

People love twitter and people love to hate twitter. I think most of the argument stems from a collision of competing and emerging etiquettes. The etiquette of a world without text messaging vs. society with a text catalyst like twitter in the mix.

Being the kind of guy who has always tried to make peace, I have empathy for both points of view. I am frustrated with the person who cuts me out of a face to face conversation to answer and reply to a text message. I am just as frustrated with people who refuse to find the redemptive qualities of very cool technologies because they are good at tearing things apart.

I don't think there is any escaping the fact that "rude" is constantly in flux. If you are going to embrace new media, you must accept the fact that you are not able to simply learn the graphical interface without also dealing with the social implications of the technology becoming mainstream. 100 years ago, you could go from decade to decade and see very little shift in the way technology questioned the opinion of Emily Post. Today, even the wiki version of Emily Post's blog would have a difficult time keeping up with the rewrites.

Society's need for increased immediacy is killing the newspaper business, our eating habit's, as well as our etiquette. But hasn't the destruction and rebuilding of etiquette been happening throughout history? Isn't it simply happening at a much more rapid pace today?

So come out of your caves and make your arguments for the way we should act toward each other! But don't blame twitter. There is much more at work, changing our society, than this latest fad.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twitter Satire - funny video

This explains a lot about my desire to stay a tech hermit.

On the other hand.
It's easy to rip something apart.
"Sarcasm" is from the Latin word sarcasma, means to tear the flesh.
I don't really believe that most people shoot to the twittershpere and become as dopey as all the cloud people. I believe most people are trying to find practical ways to redeem technology without being owned by it.

Very funny!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I created my own TokBox Contest and won!!!

I have known about tokbox for a while now. You really should check them out. My friend, Bob, turned me on to tokbox back in the early days. Back when I had a cell phone, but was refusing to turn it on unless I had an outbound call to make.

Anyway, I lost track of the company and the service until I saw they integrated their service into facebook chat. Very cool. I can set up my account, but the friends I invite into a video chat (through email or facebook) don't need to have their own account in order for us to have a webcam chat. They just click on the url I send them and all of a sudden, Booyah!, they are in the browser based video chat. Just download the plugin and you are set for a one-click invitation to video chat with your facebook friends.

My mom was here for a visit and I was getting her set up with the facebook plugin. I remembered that the tokbox facebook fanpage had a little tutorial on getting the install, so I headed there.

Upon arrival, I noticed that tokbox had 999 fans. Now, I don't typically "do" facebook groups or causes or fanpages. It has to be a very unique set of circumstance that has me actually join any of these facebook distractions. In this case, I thought it would be a funny joke to claim to be the 1000 fan, and write on the wall in celbration of my awesomeness.
So I did...

A day or so later I receive a message in my inbox from Damon Billian. Check this out...

I created my own fake contest inside the facebook fanpage, and tokbox honored my stupidity! When it comes to making loyal fans, this little process has worked on me. I have been at dozens of conferences, behind a vendor table, giving away all kinds of things in drawings. I have even won a few contests like that too. However, I am much more of an energized fan when a company reaches out to me, as an individual, like this, than if I had entered and won some drawing they hosted. This is bomb diggity.

I really liked the service, but now I like the company.
I like Damon.
I like Micky O'Brien and Ron Hose.
I like that I can reach out to them instantly.

I started chatting this experience up in and around the office. Then Lance says to me, "Did you get that message from Damon?"

"You know Damon?"

"Yeah" says Lance. "Frazier and I were on a video chat that we made public the other day. Damon popped in to say hi and see what we were chatting about."

"You know MY Damon!?"

Anyway, so many lessons for social media marketing. So many things that make this aspect of technology very redeemable. I will probably not IM chat with a facebook friend except on very rare occasions, but I am in for a surprise video chat with you anytime.

Thanks Damon. Thanks tokbox. 1000th fan! Woohoo!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Social Media Schematic or How I Use

When I first jumped into the exploration of I thought that it had one application for me. I had just figured out how to use twitter as a hub, and now ping was trying to throw off my groove. I quickly concluded in a previous review, that the only reason I might use ping is if I wanted to get a quick webcam video out to my networks. Seesmic works with ping in that way in a very easy flow.

Then I added the synergy of twitter feed and my opinion has drastically changed. With these two tools working together, Ping works as a hub that I don't have to visit. It works as a background resyndicator of my content. Here's how I use the tools to sync together...
If you are going to try this out, and you don't already have profiles on some of these services, I would recommend starting with getting yourself an openID. An openID will be something that twitterfeed asks and directs you to early on in the sign up process. So, while you are at twitterfeed, you will choose to pull/push your twitter and your blog feeds. The rest of your profiles will be tied in when you open up your account.

If you are just going to simply test this work flow, and you don't have any existing accounts, start by opening a quick email account with gmail. Don't use your productivity email account to simply test these services out. You don't want to accidentally take a potentially usable user name off the table just because you are playing around with the technology.

There can be all kinds of reasons not to follow this schematic. Most of those reasons have to do with a series of strategic questions you should ask yourself about why you are participating in these spaces to begin with. Your strategy should inform your schematic.

And, by the way, feel free to use the image however you want. I haven't dug deep into Beth Kanter's advice about the Creative Commons License yet, so the image isn't labeled properly, but feel free to take and use. I hope you can show me your own schematic work flow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009 review revision - Got a pencil?

I think I need to draw a diagram for myself, but I think I found a way to use for more than just

The schematic includes twitterfeed pushing my blogger posts to both twitter and to ping. In turn, facebook brings it in from twitter with the status update and a link. The feed to ping pushes it out to all my other spots, and you never have to use ping except for the setup.

I need to draw a diagram. Review - One-Stop Posting Shop?

So, you might be able to tell that I chose to do some experimenting with It is billed as a web app that will tie all your social media tools together so that you can use update status, post a blog, or microblog in one place and have it syndicated all over.

I appreciate the development effort. It was pretty user friendly to both explore and to understand the basic functionality. The advanced functions just made me want to go back into my cave. There are some ways to preference how each of your social media spaces are updated based on the way you send out a status update.

I can't find any real compelling reason to use it as my hub to send status out, maybe I just don't get it. If I use it as my hub, I can't see the emerging conversation that happens outside of it. There are enough ways to create a full circle with the popular tools out there without thinking of as the main hub.

There is one reason i can see using it. introduced me to It is a service where you can do a quick webcam video and it integrates on the fly with ping and turns it into a short url. Again, I can't see the responding conversation if I stay inside ping, but it is a very cool way to get a quick vid out.

I guess was created with the idea that people want to get their updates out, and don't care as much for the conversation that happens after. For that reason, it's more compelling for businesses who are using social media as a broadcast channel (which is the wrong reason to use it) instead of the indivdual who is particpating in a conversation.
Ping from phone
will syndicate this email for me? tests

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dear Twestival...I owe you an apology

My friend, Bob, first alerted me to Twestival and the local Dallas event that was being organized, just about two weeks prior to the date of the scheduled event.

In that time, Lauren Vargas answered the call that was publicized by London resident and events-minded entrepreneur, Amanda Rose. Hundreds of other volunteers answered the call to organize local events in over 200 cities around the world. The London group of twitters who organized a tweet up with a fund raising recipient (charity : Water) last year, shared their learning experience and merely announced that the event was "going global" when 50 cities had local volunteers sign on.

It was exciting to watch, and by the time I decided to observe the Dallas event as closely as I could, there were only 10 days remaining before the planned event. Several volunteer chair positions had been created and filled by people like Lauren who were simply looking for ways to share what expertise they might be able to lend. This is where I first failed you, Dallas Twestival, and I am sorry. I should have been looking for a way to share the professional knowledge and expertise that I had.

This is the essence of what I am learning about social media. What makes it really sing is the recognition of it as an emerging, open-source conversation. The most transparent, authentic voices participating in the conversation are generally the most appreciated voices...just like any conversation.

This is the professional strategy information that I wish I had humbly offered up to you, Dallas Twestival. It is late, I know, but I offer these bits of strategy in hopes that I might be a better participant the next time we meet. Perhaps

1. Order the schedule of events in a way to make a direct appeal for gifts. Many people who attend a fund raising event simply need to be asked to give. Most attenders are prepared to be challenged to give over and above the ticket paid for admission.

2. Tipjoy was a great tool we could have used, while at the event, to secure additional gifts and pledges. A group-led event of being guided through the donation process (tipjoy or whatever) would have possibly garnered attention and small donations from passer-bys.

3. When I saw the big screen at the event, I thought for sure we would use it to watch the #dallastwestival or #twestival feeds. It would have bee a clever way to corporately watch the community interact with those who weren't able to be with us in the flesh.

4. Use the event to coordinate a strategic appeal that leverages the networks of our assembled twitterati. Many people will give when they hear a specific, impassioned appeal from a friend. If we took a few minutes to do our own little twitter bomb on our own networks, guided by the emcee, it would be both a fun group activity and a great way to get a few additional gifts.

The fantastic event that was had all around the world raised a bunch of money for a great cause. My reflection on how it went is not a critique on the amazing efforts by people who stepped up and shared their expertise properly. This is simply me, ripping myself for not authentically bringing my best effort to the Twestival table. It is also my commitment to share all of my goodies the next time around.

Sorry, Twestival, I treated you too much like an interesting case study to observe instead of engaging what you really are.

The ironic admission is not lost on me -- Tech Hermit ought to come out of his observatory cave more often.

[Punching myself in the throat as gently and firmly as possible]