In Chicago with the rest of the SOBs

Posted by Connie Reece on May 11, 2020 at 5:30 am

By the time you read this, I’ll be strapped into an airplane seat, iPod plugged into to my ears, listening to podcasts while I fly to Chicago, where I’ll be attending a conference for relationship bloggers. It’s an opportunity to meet in person with some of the people who populate the blogroll here . . . and to discover other bloggers who enjoy connecting through conversation.

I’m looking forward to every minute of it, except for the killer travel schedule: 6:00 a.m. departure on Friday and a late-night return flight on Saturday.

Some of the folks I’ll get to meet are Liz Strauss, who bestowed on me the honorable badge of SOB, and Mike Sansone, a business blogging coach whose site contains a ton of valuable content for those just getting started.

And here’s a shout-out to Drew McLellan, who will also be at SOBCon. Drew has just been invited to write for Marketing Profs: Daily Fix. Read his excellent debut post here. And scroll through the comments as well, because the conversation continues.

Get ready, Chicago — here I come!

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Category: Events, Blogging, Connections

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PodCamp San Antonio - May 19

Posted by Connie Reece on May 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm

PodCamp San Antonio - May 19

The first PodCamp in Texas will take place on Saturday, May 19, in San Antonio. It takes a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes works to put one of these events together — but it costs attendees nothing. That’s right, it’s a free “unconference.”

Today’s Austin Chronicle featured an article about the event, and even referenced the presentation of yours truly:

Geeks across Texas signed on to present sessions. As of press time, Arlington-based Gary Leland (aka “P. Dilly”) – mastermind of podcast directory Podcast Pickle and the Second Life-based hangout Podcast Island – will share 10 Things Every New Podcaster Should Know, while Austin’s Connie Reece (Every Dot Connects) considers the vital skill of How to Survive a Snark Attack. Jade Lindquist of mobile-learning company Edufone will teach Audacity, a cross-platform, open-source audio editor, and Buddhist blogger Lans Hobart offers Podcasting 101 for absolute beginners.

This will be a very laid-back, fun but educational event. It’s a perfect intro to podcasting if you’re just starting out. And for the “old hands,” it’s a chance to share what you’ve learned and pick up some new ideas.

Sign up by editing the wiki, filling out the form here or by sending an email to

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Category: Events, In the News, Podcamp

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Productivity: Snooze It or Lose It

Posted by Connie Reece on May 9, 2020 at 10:20 am

[Ultimate Guide to Productivity]My first thought when Carolyn Manning tagged me to write a contribution to The Ultimate Guide to Productivity was, “Who, me? The Princess of Procrastination?”

We writers can be some of the most unproductive people on the planet — or at least it seems that way sometimes. Even when we’re not in full-blown frantic, deadline-inspired, caffeine-gulping, nothing-can-break-my- concentration writing mode, our brains are rarely set on Idle. What appears to be mindless activity or unproductive distraction — say that third Sudoku puzzle of the day, or taking the time to give each of the nine Greek muses an amusing Twitter name (yep, did that yesterday) — can be mere procrastination. But it can also be a way of letting our subconscious work things out creatively while we’re focusing on a different task. This is different from multi-tasking, when you’re trying to do everything at once.

The best way to recharge your brain for writing productivity however, is to give it a complete rest — something that most of us neglect, to our own detriment and, unfortunately, to everyone else’s. Studies show that sleep deprivation costs companies $18 billion a year in lost productivity. [source]

So, here’s my number one tip for ultimate productivity:

Get enough sleep; take naps if you need to.

[sleep deprivation and the caffeine culture]Quit taking pride in your ability to push your body to its limits.

Quit staring at the monitor until your eyes are glazed over — literally — from not blinking. (Studies show that your blinking rate while working on a computer is far slower than for other activities; this infrequent blinking dries out your eyes.)

Sleep is when our bodies, and our brains, repair themselves. But most 21st-century office workers are sleep-deprived to the point where we “microsleep,” those couple of seconds where your head suddenly bobs in front of an open book — or your boss. Inadequate sleep breaks the body down, causes chronic health problems, and results in dangerous accidents.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to accidents, both at work and on the way home, as well as a myriad of health concerns, including obesity, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal diseases, stomach ulcers. Studies also show that shift workers suffer from short-term memory disturbances, decreased overall mental ability, headaches, decreased productivity and negative moods and behavior. [source]

When I take my own advice, my writing improves dramatically, and so does my productivity. I’ve written some of my best dialogue, for example, while standing in the shower after a decent night’s sleep.

Now it’s my turn to tag others to share their best tips on productivity. And since I spend so much time on Twitter, I’m going to tag five people I have recently met online and know only through their tweets and blog posts: Cathleen Rittereiser, Annie Boccio, Paull Young, Julie Bonner and Cathryn Hrudicka. *UPDATE: I just corrected the link to Cathryn’s blog; I had it incorrect in my original posting.*

Remember, taggees, that you get more than 140 characters for this assignment! :-)

Note: The Ultimate Guide to Productivity is the brainchild of instigator Ben Yoskovitz.

Connie Reece

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Category: Blogging, Twitter, Memes

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Austin: Good Soil for Garden Blogs

Posted by Connie Reece on May 7, 2020 at 2:37 am

[backyard garden]My hometown, Austin, is more than just the “live music capital of the world.” Seems it may also be the garden-blog capital.

In a special feature for the Statesman, garden blogger Pam Penick said an informal survey turned up 10 local blogs devoted to home gardening. Given Austin’s mild climate, long growing season, and a tech-savvy population, it’s not surprising that our “green thumbs” would share their passion for planting and pruning online.

Penick has enjoyed the conversations with fellow bloggers. It’s “the Internet’s version of the garden club,” she said, “but one not limited by geography, climate, or exclusivity.” The bloggers recently extended the conversation offline, organizing visits to each other’s gardens.

Now, if you owned a local nursery or related business, how would you respond to this proliferation of garden blogs? Here’s what I would advise: join the conversation. Not as a retailer but a participant.

Subscribe to the local blogs. Read them regularly and post a comment that adds something valuable to the discussion. Don’t hide the fact that you’re in the business-in fact, you should post the URL of your Web site if the comment form includes a place for it. But don’t use the bloggers’ comment area to solicit customers.

As you build relationships with these bloggers, however, they will come to trust your advice. And the next time they need seedlings or supplies, they’ll be much more likely to visit your business because they’ve already made a connection with you.

Not only that, they’ll probably share their visit to your nursery with their readers. An endorsement from a well-read blogger can send a lot of traffic your way. How much? Well, some of these local blogs have a loyal readership in the thousands.

What are you waiting for? Join the conversation. You may enjoy it so much you wind up starting your own blog.

[Connie Reece]

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Category: In the News, Blogging

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SMC Panel: Social Media Press Release

Posted by Connie Reece on May 6, 2020 at 8:45 pm

Every Dot Connects team member Cynthia Baker will serve as moderator of the next Social Media Club meeting in Austin. Here are the details. Please join us for an entertaining and educational evening.

Topic: The Social Media Press Release

Who should attend: PR professionals, business and association communicators, interactive marketing and tech professionals, bloggers, vloggers and podcasters.

Thursday, May 17
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ZACH | Zachary Scott Theatre
1510 Toomey Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is not necessary but is strongly recommended. We expect this event to sell out, so make your reservations early. The $5 registration fee helps us cover the cost of renting the venue. Register here.

* Cynthia Baker, public relations professional and co-founding member of Social Media Club

* Kevin Dill is president of Press Release News Network and CEO of Applied Internet Research. Austin-based PRNN is a press release and archival network capable of dynamic social and multimedia press release creation and distribution. A.I.R. is a third-party provider of R&D and implementation of Internet technologies; the company developed proprietary kiosk software for a gaming company this past year. Kevin has an extensive background as a systems engineer, facilities engineer and Internet marketing.

* Omar Gallaga is a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman covering the culture of technology. While at the Statesman he has been editor of ¡ahora sí!, the Cox Newspapers’ Spanish-language newspaper, and an editor of entertainment and technology. He’s a staff writer for and other Web sites including his own, the online comic “Space Monkeys!” and his Statesman staff blog, “Digital Savant.” He’s a founding member of Austin’s sketch comedy troupe The Latino Comedy Project and also writes for “The Almost Late Show with Bobby Bones.”

* Clint Howell is the account executive for Business Wire Austin/San Antonio, assisting local clients from Dell Computer and Introgen Therapeutics to Tootie Pie Company and As a product specialist for EON-Enhanced Online News, he shares what he has learned as a frequent host of Business Wire’s weekly EON webinar. Previously, Clint was a founding member of Market Wire Inc. While he is fairly diligent about updating his “Clinternet” profile on MySpace, LinkedIn and FaceBook, he’s also been known to take an occasional flight in Second Life as “Sword Sabre.” Clint prefers his first life as father to two loving boys and three rowdy dogs.

*Michael Pranikoff, director of Emerging Media at PR Newswire, is responsible for educating PR Newswire staff and customers about the role emerging media, such as RSS, blogs, social networks, search engines, and other Web 2.0 technologies, play in public relations. He has been with PR Newswire since 1998 and is an active participant in the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the DC Technology Council, the Software Information Industry Association. Michael has been a featured speaker and moderator at events for PRSA. Prior to joining PR Newswire, Michael worked for MacNeil / Lehrer Productions, which produces the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.


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Category: Public Relations, Social Media, Events, Social Media Club

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The Blogabillies Are Back!

Posted by Connie Reece on May 5, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Terry TaylorMy friend and fellow creative genius (*tongue placed in cheek*) Terry Taylor and I write a humor blog called Blogabillies. T-Bone can write funny stories faster than I can post them, but we had to take a break for a few weeks. Life happens, ya know?

Well, I’ve got good news for you redneck intellectual wannabes. The Billies are back! And there is plenty of fun in store.

Connie ReeceFor example, T-Bone’s latest “gloom, despair, and agony on me” essay is about a 26-year-old chimp named Hiasl, whose attorneys are trying to get him declared a person.

Yep, we cover all the important news of the day over at Blogabillies.

So mouse-click your way on over to the site and give T-Bone a shout-out. Tell him Belle sent you. That would be me. :-)

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Category: Just for Fun, Blogging

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Quit Selling and Start a Conversation

Posted by Connie Reece on May 4, 2020 at 10:01 am

Von Reece logoToday’s post was triggered by this sage advice from Drew McLellan, whom I look forward to meeting next week at SOBCon07. Drew has been telling clients who complain that they’re not closing enough sales to toss their canned sales pitch and start listening to their customers.

That reminded me of something my dad, who was a gifted salesman, taught me. I never once heard my dad use what could be called a sales pitch. Instead, he just talked to people. Struck up conversations.

“The secret to sales,” he once told me, “is to find out what the customer wants and figure out how to help them get it.”

It dawns on me that my late father knew all about conversational marketing, and I can’t help but think he would be proud to know that I am, internetically speaking, following in his footsteps in this digital Age of Conversation. I’ll also be participating as Austin’s local host-speaker in a new series of regional social media workshops, called Starting the Conversation.

My story of inheriting the “early adopter gene” from my father is here, and I also wrote a tribute to him here.

The “little man” logo above was Dad’s trademark for more than 30 years. It was drawn circa 1958 by local artist and advertising agency owner Windy Winn, who became an institution in Austin’s graphic arts community.

Thanks for the advice — and the memories — Drew. And thanks for my conversational heritage, Dad.

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Category: Conversation, Marketing

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Social Media Workshop - Starting the Conversation

Posted by Connie Reece on May 3, 2020 at 11:24 am

Austin will be one of the first cities to host a new social media workshop series called Starting the Conversation, and I’m honored to be participating.

Just getting Shel Israel, Chris Heuer and Howard Greenstein in the same room will send the energy level skyrocketing. Check this page to see what they’ll be presenting.

But the workshop is not just about presenting; it’s about participation. As you’ll see from the agenda, we are planning on plenty of time for discussion. In fact, you’ll leave the workshop with a plan in hand for implementing what you’ve learned. That way you can get the conversation started with your clients and customers.

So put June 26 on your calendars, and when you’re ready, sign up here. Save money by registering early. Discounts are available for students, nonprofits, groups and for members of Social Media Club.

The workshop has been postponed until September. As soon as the date is confirmed, I’ll add it here.

If you have any questions, please get in touch. Hope to see you in Austin in June! September!

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Category: Events, Conversation

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Tagged: What’s Your SOBCon One-Liner?

Posted by Connie Reece on May 1, 2020 at 11:25 am

Bloggy Tag
Just ten days until SOBCon07 and leading lady Liz Strauss has tagged me to answer the question: What’s Your SOBCon One-Liner?

Puh-leeeeeeez! Limiting this drawling Texas diva to just one line is like telling Rosie O’Donnell to go stand in the corner and take a time-out. (Oh, that someone could actually make that happen …)

* One person: Mike Sansone
* One thought: so little time, so many friends to make
* One promise: not to hog the mic on Friday night
* One question: How can we collaborate and increase our blogabilities?
* One event: SOBCon07

Bonus one-liner: What would the Beach Boys sing at SOBCon . . .

And we’ll have fun, fun, fun . . .

Let’s see . . . I think I’ll tag these lucky five:

Carolyn Manning
Cord Silverstein
Easton Ellsworth
Robert Hruzek
Lisa Gates


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Category: Events, Blogging

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