NMSTag Archive -

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: (more…)

Happy Birthday, the Internet!

@NMSosphereThis week is the 40th anniversary of the internet, when ARPAnet was created in 1969 almost no one could imagine a world of email evolving into Google and Wikipedia, much less Facebook. Last week New Media Strategies celebrated their 10th birthday as well, some small eternity of life on the internet; among good company like Google and Amazon this Word of Mouth marketing (WoMM) and online PR agency has thrived in two dotcom booms (and busts).

Coincidentally 2009 marks the first 10 years I’ve been using this network of computers we call the Internet, in many ways I could have never anticipated using. Yet somehow New Media Strategies knew where things were heading years in advance.

This summer I had the unique privilege to gain hands on experience at NMS as an intern/online analyst, learning first-hand what online brand promotion and protection mean today (and some ideas about the future). Working with corporate clients from both Fortune 500 companies and Non-profits alike, I learned how Word of Mouth marketing carries influence; I was called a “Social Media Power-User”. Working with NMS was different than any other internship I had heard of, especially since I was given all the same responsibilities they expected of their entry-level employees.

Most importantly I contributed valuable research and report writing along with my team members, using online communication as a sort of public focus-group style audit to measure opinion and perception, and on at least one occasion to avert a crisis. These experiences were my primary responsibility at NMS, and helped me understand how to identify (and sometimes create) discussion in many valuable and unexpected venues; in many cases the majority of conversation took place outside of Facebook, and most of it cannot be found using a simple Google search.

Working at New Media Strategies I also met great people, who I’m looking forward to recognizing for their work, as I will describe in upcoming case studies of our work with clients. In the meantime I would like to thank NMS for the unique opportunity they gave me, and to congratulate them on their first 10 years on the Internet.

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.

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Et cetera, Etc.

Here’s a few updates to previous posts, and some news on my professional life:

  • The Twitter Internship is soon to become simply An Internship.  Last week I was happy to join New Media Strategies as their intern, starting in May 2009. I’m looking forward to learning more about how they use new media tools, including Twitter where I got their attention to begin with, to participate in online communities where they promote and protect brands for their clients.  I think we’ll be a good fit together since we share the same inclination to try new online tools for ourselves so that we can understand any opportunities they offer for those we represent.
  • I have signed up for summer semester at American University.  The two last classes of my Graduate degree in Public Communication will be Crisis and Political Communications.  And since they take place in the evening, it shouldn’t be any trouble for my internship.
  • Rock the Vote, which I had previously applied for an internship, has begun to offer a fellowship program for young students like myself.  This largely self-defined fellowship encourages individual innovation using social media to reach young people and engage them in civics.  Although I probably will not be able to become part of their program because of my internship responsibilities, I hope to join their team and help out via Telecommuting over the course of their campaign.  Ask me or tweet Chris Kennedy for an invitation if you’re interested in joining the program.
  • To date I was able to raise $195 from 7 donors for People to People on Facebook.  Although this did not reach my goal, it surpassed my expectations, and has raised the bar for non-profits like PTP online.  I am proud of what I could contribute using these social media tools as an individual, and look forward to helping them in the future.

While some of these updates might warrant a post of their own, thanks for letting me be a little self-indulgent.  If you’re dying to keep up on the latest as it happens, why not join me on Twitter already? After all, it did help me get this internship, etc…

The Twitter Internship?

Work ExperienceSure Twitter is great for getting feedback from your work and building relationships online, but what if Twitter actually helped generate work opportunities instead of just creating work for you? That is exactly the opening I discovered for myself, and all I had to do was make a comment on Twitter to find it.

In my search for a summer internship in DC, using Twitter has become indispensable for learning about the social media and PR firms I might apply to for work.  Not only does it help me understand those communications companies on the cutting edge, but the participatory nature of Twitter helped a company find me.  Before I knew it I had the inside-line on internships offered to me, even as no such positions are being publicly offered.

About 3 weeks ago I bookmarked the website for New Media Strategies, using a service which publicly shares my bookmarks through Twitter.  I was surprised when NMS, who must have been following public discussion of their company using Twitter (as they would for any of their clients), replied almost immediately to my update on Twitter directly.  I was impressed, and we started to follow each other on Twitter.

Almost a week later I had finished a short internship inquiry application, with the intent to discover any more job openings at NMS, but their website did not make it entirely clear where such applications might be sent.  So I sent another message on Twitter directed towards NMS, inquiring about where to send my application, which replied to me a name and email address of the right HR rep for social media.  Their employee was also polite enough to include their personal Twitter feed, giving me access to someone inside of their organization that could help keep track of my application.

After a few modifications to my resume and a new cover letter, I am happy to say my application has earned the attention of New Media Strategies.  I am definitely excited in learning more about this possible internship, although I am still seeking and applying for positions around DC.

To me the most revealing aspect of this whole development is how new communication tools, like Twitter, mirror the process of networking in real life.  While NMS took advantage of Twitter as a tool to monitor public opinion about their organization, it also gives individuals like myself powerful access to information that might otherwise have been achieved with a phone call or a fishing letter.

At the very least, the counselors at American University were impressed with the job offering I found outside of those being posted online.  Perhaps a little initiative and novelty in communication might help me stand out from the rest of the job market in my internship applications for this summer.