Tag Archives: 7

December’s 7

xmascard-finalEvery month I share a short list of ideas that I think deserve your attention, or at least commandeer my own.  This month I’ve included a few extra as an early holiday gift to readers.  I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays, and hope to see you in the new year.

Blog: Framing Science. Matthew Nisbet will change how you understand science.  We take for granted that the facts should speak for themselves, but our understanding of these complex subjects are largely a matter of communication.  His blog covers so much of what I learned in his classroom, and it is recommended reading if you care about climate change, public policy, or evolution.

Colleague: Nina Keim.  I met Nina as a Graduate student at American University (maybe Classmate is a better title), and have always been impressed by her initiative.  Unlike some of my peers, Nina displays an endless curiosity; she seeks out new ideas in communication and isn’t afraid to try them out for herself, often before their value is readily apparent.  Rather than merely acting as an informer, Nina embodies the role of an opinion leader in her own right.

Meme: PR does not equal “Press Release”. Sure Press Releases still work, but the question is “should you send one?”  At #PRCamp we first realized that the words Press Release should never be used near anything Social Media.  PR practitioners build relationships and tell stories, and in today’s media landscape that cannot be limited to broadcast and print news releases.

Music: Bob Dylan’s “Christmas in the Heart”.  I’ve made many jokes over the past month about the music video, which I’m convinced will soon become another Rick Roll.  What convinced this unassailable icon to record his first Holiday album may have been a favorite charity, but I’m convinced it must’ve been Santa.

PR Agency: 2ChicksInc. Full Disclosure – I’ve been working (as an intern) with this start-up PR group over the last month.  Working with the women who are its namesake, I’ve learned how a boutique PR firm can use their expertise to innovate online campaigns.  And their generous part-time position has helped me continue my own career search (thanks again for the opportunity).

Shameless Plug: The Brew Noob. My side project has evolved from 140 charecter beer reviews on Twitter into a Tumblr blog of own right.  As usual, I’ll test the brews so that you can enjoy tasty beers.

Social Network: Hot Potato. Why use hashtags or checkins if you only want to talk about an event while it’s happening?  It’s not meant to replace Twitter or Foursquare, but its a new take on an old idea. Another revelation we made at #PRCamp was that not everyone will use Twitter (the brand), but that SMS/mobile messaging (the idea) were here to stay.  Try it.

Continue reading December’s 7

November’s 7

Since moving to New York City I’ve kept busy; enough so that I skipped the month of October with this recurring feature, in which I share the ideas currently shaping my life. Between applying for jobs, connecting with professionals, and getting acquainted with the neighborhood, I have more to share than ever.

Blog: Scouting NY. At the last Future of Local Media NY event we talked about finding a niche for your blog; I think Scouting NY has an appeal to an audience outside this city. By treating New York not as a tourist or resident, but as a scout for film locations, it reexamines the metropolis as though for the first time. Be sure to check out their series revisiting locations from famous films set in NY, including my favorite “Ghostbusters”.

Colleague: Jonathan Coffman. I connected with Jonathan not as a professional, but as a peer; he was one of the first people IRL from Twitter. Since then he has made himself available as a professional resource, but with a personal touch using social media . Jonathan seems unafraid of ambitious projects, and inspires others to try the same through his personal example; to say he has developed a personal brand is an understatement.

Group: #PR Breakfast Club. Of all the professional networks I’ve been connecting with, this online group must be the most friendly. Almost immediately I was welcomed into this tight-knit club upon joining their happy hour on Twitter, and IRL that courtesy was returned. This club is connected in every sense that a group should be.

Meme: BAD09. I had the opportunity to participate in the third annual Blog Action Day, and I’m glad to say I wasn’t alone: 13,604 blogs helped spur discussion of Climate Change. This 500% increase in blog posts were read by over 18 million estimated readers, demonstrating the power of individual bloggers to organize and influence others online.

Music: The Beatles RockBand. Since September it seems like The Beatles have been everywhere, and now they finally come together again through this special edition of the music game franchise. Playing as the fab four might seem intimidating, but this game manages to pull it off; I have been singing along the whole game. You will respect Ringo after playing the game, and It’s still the only way you can (legally) download The Beatles music.

Social Network: MyPRSA. If all social media is based on building relationships, who better builders are there than PR professionals. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel by competing with other social networks MyPRSA incorporates them into a professional network that better connects colleagues, so this relaunched network is indispensable for job seekers like myself.

Website: Craigslist. We all will need to use this site at one time or another, because it is the closest thing to a monopoly on the internet. Many sites do specific aspects of Craigslist better (and make more money), but if you want to find an apartment or job, this is usually the best place to start. For a site that looks almost the same as it did 10 years ago, Craigslist has developed a model for web 2.0 communities.

September’s 7

Every month I share a list of trends and great ideas, because of the benefits they have brought into my life.  This last month has been filled with personal triumph and tumult in which I’ve finished an internship in DC, visited friends far away in Kentucky, and celebrated a 3rd-anniversary in NYC (where I’ll be living by the next time I write this feature next month).  For extra credit, and because this assignment is late, please keep reading after the bump for a few more good ideas worth sharing this month.

Blog: Lifehacker.  Whenever I’m in search of inventive solutions to everyday problems, (including some I didn’t think were problems), this blog is my default resource.  Apartment hunting? Check. Turn an old PC into a NES arcade? Ditto. Going paperless in the home and office? Indeed.  Lifehacker makes the impossible seem practical with it’s a DIY aesthetic.

Colleague: Renan Borelli.  As a colleague at NMS, Renan was an exemplary addition to every team: innovative, analytical, and fiercely ambitious. As a mentor of my own he demonstrated climbing the ladder through his own example, and shares my passion for social media.  I’m also happy to call this colleague a friend of mine.

Comic: Toothpaste for Dinner.  I LOL’d.

Location: Louisville, Kentucky.  This river city is is more than a one horse town; it’s a metropolis of burgeoning home-grown food, culture, and is the home to many of my esteemed colleagues.  On my recent visit I rode in a VW Karmann, tasted inventive brews, listened to a coffeehouse concert, and attended the Kentucky State Fair.  I would visit again.

Meme: Auto-Tune anything.  This should be old news, but in spite of Jay-Z’s wishes this vocal gimmick refuses to go away.  It has been the subject of much debate between me and my colleagues lately.  And now with the “I am T-Pain” iPod app, this fad is irrevocably bound to this time in history (or at least news coverage of it).

Politics: Health Care Reform.  Regardless of what you think the best solution would be, the status quo in is unsustainable.  Those who believe in shutting-down necessary changes, through the undemocratic tactics of an angry mob, only serve to protect those who profit the most from the injustice of a health care system which leaves us more sick and poor. We need to reform our health care system, now or never.

Social Network: LinkedIn. So your boss wants to become your friend on Facebook? Well you could play with your settings, or you could redirect them to your LinkedIn network. Let’s keep our professional relationships in a professional setting, where you can fully take advantage of professional networking in ways that Facebook just isn’t designed to facilitate.

Extra Credit: Continue reading September’s 7

August’s 7

They say one’s influence is limited not by the frequency of their communication, but by the quality of ideas and recommendations. At risk of diminishing my own role as an online opinion leader of sorts, here is my monthly anthology of 7 ideas I think are worth sharing with others.

Blog: Things Marketing People Love.  If you ever work in or with a marketing agency, this will make you LOL.  You have heard these words bandied about as if they were sacrosanct, although on their face they mean very little.  Since we’ve already learned about white people and journalists, why not marketing?  And make your own submissions via Twitter.

Colleague: Gabe Bullard.  Back when we were working on Highway 61 (revised), there was no one who’s insights into online communications I trusted more. That hasn’t changed, so if you’d like to share these ideas, he’s still on the internet.

Meme: #hcmyth . With so much disinformation being active spread about Health Care reform, why not make fun with ridiculous myth-making of your own?  My colleague Beth Carpenter helped start and promote this hashtag on Twitter, which set off any number of LOL funny myths about health care.  My favorite? “RT @tobytobitobe : Under ObamaCare, all Starbucks beverages will be pre-ordered “skinny, nonfat, hold the whip.” It’s for the best. #HCMyth

Music: Blip.FM . As you might have guessed reading my post about music and opinion leaders, I am enamored in the peer recommendation system of Blip.  Or maybe I just enjoy playing DJ, even if it’s just to my Twitter followers.

Social Network: 3121. This is an idea who’s time has come; the social network for Capitol Hill staffers. While you need a House, Senate, or Committee email address to sign up (still in beta), it’s easy to see the promise of a networked directory (3121 is the extension of the Capitol switchboard) that connects people and ideas in such a focused audience. Congrats to the National Journal and New Media Strategies, and god luck on launch.

Theory: Balance of Power. In politics, this describes a group of strategically allied parties that come together to create parity in systematic power.  In the world of hip-hop, there are Great Powers (Jay-Z, Kanye West, 50 cent) and middle powers (The Game, T-pain, everyone on Def Jux). This theory actually works well when it’s explained at length, so please

Video: Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate. Your favorite neighbor was always there for the children, inspiring many generations of kids to know they are special and loved.
One time I was asked “what’s cool and new in your ‘hood?”, to which I replied:

Being polite, friendly, and helpful. Lately I’ve been helping my new neighbors move in, or even just talking with them about things I would ordinarily care less about. Since we’re together we might as well stay. Sometimes they don’t even steal my packages.
But as usual, the cool things in my ‘hood are IMAGINATION and MAKE BELEIVE. It helps out a lot when you live on the wrong side of the trolley tracks. Won’t you be my neighbor?

Please support your local public media.

Continue reading August’s 7

July’s 7

Just when you though 2009 couldn’t get any more crazy, this last month saw witness to revolutions taking place in the streets and online, overshadowed by celebrity deaths and iPhones.  So it’s time once again for me to share some of the trends and ideas that have emerged  in my sphere of influence recently:

Comic: Superhouse. A new webcomic, illustrated by the Chris Maue.  Required reading if you like to LOL.

Meme: Michael Jackson. Did anyone even remember how much they enjoyed the King of Pop as an entertainer anymore? Within minutes of his death millions of people reacted in shock, and later celebration of this musical icon. In the wake of the news, websites like CNN, Twitter, and even Google received spikes in traffic that nearly took down their servers.

Music: Beck’s Record Club project.  Every week Beck releases a cover version of a song through each sequential track from a record album. First up he’s recording The Velvet Underground & Nico. These cover songs are accompanied by original music videos they make themselves. Beck has always been and will probably remain the most significant musical influence in my life.

Politics: Iran Election. Maybe you remember hearing about this before a bunch of celebrities died? For a little while it looked like real democratic reform was about to take place at the will of it’s people.  People around the world rallied to their support, and Twitter became really important.  This last month has been heartbreaking.

Social Network: TIE – Reddit & Kirtsy.  Social Bookmarks are the agenda setting mediums for the 21st century.  Whereas Reddit serves an audience more engaged with newsmedia, with measurable influence in this community.  Kirtsy offers many of the same great shared links, but without the misogyny that prevails on Digg (among others).

Theory: Image Repair Discourse.  Benoit provides a model through which reputations can be repaired through appropriate responses to each crisis.  Depending on the nature of the crisis, there are several strategies through denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, mortification, and taking corrective action.  These are strategic approaches to communicating with the public about your impact during a crisis.

Video: DTV Transition.  On June 12th, broadcast television signals were   switched from analog to all digital signals.  Believe it or not, millions of people did not know about or how to make the switch to DTV.  After all my work helping to spread the word online last year, I was happy to tune in for the last night of analog TV.

June’s 7

Mr YogatoIn the month or so since my last update my life has become busier than ever as a full-time Intern and a part-time student. Perhaps therein lies the time-deprived unironic logic behind this month’s list of great ideas that have entered my life recently. A day late, a buck short, I’m writing this report…

Art: Artomatic. No curators, no judges, just open-source art. Unlike most art shows, this series is democratic ordeal more like a craft fair, stretched out for weeks on end of open submissions with fine art. Now in its 10th year, Artomatic uses over 9 floors of space in an unfinished office building which compromises the showroom and performance art venue for this show, which runs through the 5th of July in DC.

Commercial: Dirt Cheap. Those from Saint Louis know what’s up, but for the uninitiated this is a local advertisement for a chain of liquor and tobacco stores.  The ads have been running for at least the past 20 years, usually featuring the famous Dirt Cheap chicken suit and the trademark “Cheap cheap! Fun fun!” Sometimes the ads that stick in your mind the most can be the ones that seem the cheesiest.

Meme: Downfall. It’s not a new meme, but it has become one of the more enduring. (Here’s a Primer if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Like any good meme, Downfall continues to surprise me with the creativity applied to decidedly Shakespearean tragedy within real life.

Music: Pandora. As a 4+ year loyalist to Last.fm it pains me to admit that I have been using Pandora lately. Without the benefit of the 19000 songs counted on the rival service, Pandora has done surprising work referring me to good music I would like. But mostly because I can use it in my browser at work.

Theme Party: Superhero. Grabbed a flier from a dude wearing a superman t-shirt in Williamsburg last Saturday. Besides a couple hundred people crammed into a warehouse with DJs, fire breathers, and a man on stilts, the main highlight were the great costumes by those who joined us. I played their Accountant, complete with a balance sheet and calculator. Perhaps not since Studio 54 has New York seen these costumed heroes.

Theory: Belief Formation. A belief is different from opinion, so a belief cannot be easily changed once it is set, unlike an attitude through communication. You need to be proactive in order to prevent an opinion about your reputation, responding to each negative criticism with at least 3 positive rebuts, from solidifying into a belief. Especially because we are more likely to believe the person pointing out our faults than the individual defending themselves, so it’s important to manage these risky discussions.

Word Game: Crossword Puzzles. Since I started work I’ve had the chance to play crosswords on my commute. Riding public transportation has put a free daily newspaper in my hands every morning, so I’m playing this game for the first time in years. So far enjoy the rock music references in The Onion’s crossword best, but I’m still trying the every day’s paper until I finally finish my first puzzle.

May’s 7

Picking up on my friend Gabe Bullard‘s tradition (in turn borrowed from the Thomas Crone), here’s a monthly list of 7 things I’m enjoying these days. There is no particular order to the list, just a chance to pass along some genuinely worthwhile ideas and trends that wouldn’t warrant a blog post otherwise

Blog: Dork Yearbook.  This is why Tumblr is great;  Like Mortified, only geekier.  I could probably submit my own pics here, except I didn’t have a computer until I was 9 years old.  Just because a good blog doesn’t fit into a professional website’s blogroll doesn’t mean it need remain my guilty pleasure.

Meme: #sillyhats .  It started out innocently enough when @laurenreid photoshopped a whimsical hat on top of @gbullard‘s profile pic.  At some point, we’re not sure when, it became a meme of sorts.  You’re more than welcome to join in of course, with the right hashtag.

Music: Cover songs.  All my favorite musicians are making cover songs (or having their songs covered). Nothing new there, except there seems to be a dearth lately, or at least I finally have taken an interest.  This started well before Beck/Sonic Youth’s split-single covering each other’s songs.  Why re-invent the wheel when you can acknowledge your influences directly.

Social Network: FourSquare. Before I moved to DC I couldn’t really use Dodgeball, now resurrected as FourSqaure.  So I was skeptical about the usefulness of the network, versus my beloved Brightkite. Something about the gaming aspect, earning badges like Mayor of local establishments, makes this incredibly addictive.  Try the iPhone app, connect with Twitter, and see you around town!

Theory: Social Marketing. Contrary to the online connotations of it’s name, social marketing does not describe social media marketing.  Applying marketing techniques to positively change behaviors that benefit the public good has impressed me with it’s results. And it’s not Plato’s Noble Lie.

Video: Let Me Twitter That. As if my obsession with all things Twitter weren’t enough, this Andy Milonakis video has become something like a theme song. The video itself is ironic, original, and full of in-jokes that Twitterati will recognize immediately.

Word Game: Scrabble. I never thought I’d give this Hasbro classic a try after the Scrabulous fallout. But now that I can play with friends on Facebook, and make plays on my iPhone, this game is hard to put away.