The Ron Paul Phenomenon

Posted by Connie Reece on June 27, 2020 at 9:41 am

My colleague, Connie Reece, preaches to me about social media being all about transparency and authenticity. She’s right. Ron Paul, a libertarian who is serving in Congress and running for President as a Republican, has struck a nerve in the American online community by being absolutely who he really is and by letting everyone know, who will listen, just exactly how he sees the national and international situation today. In an age of consultant driven politics, he is defying conventional wisdom. Because of social media, he is becoming relevant. Wired magazine has an excellent article on the online phenomenon surrounding the insurgent effort by Paul. Most interesting to me is that the Ron Paul phenomenon is a spontaneous grassroots and ‘netroots movement, not one engineered from a campaign “war room.”

The one point the article does miss is that the Ron Paul “movement”, while made possible by the new technologies associated with social media, is really inspired by the message. Paul is speaking out directly in contradiction to the party he hopes to get the nomination from. He’s openly critical of his party and the President on matters ranging from the Iraq War, which he opposes, to the federal budget crisis, which he sees as very not-Republican. His willingness to be completely honest, within a process that is known for spin and nuance, is apparently winning him supporters. Will it make a difference in the end? We will see whether his adoring fans, who are proficient at participating in online polls and commenting on blogs, are willing to mix it up with the folks who are already out there “in the trenches”, organizing political efforts and voting on election day. If they do show up in person, Ron Paul’s followers might just be one of the big stories of 2008.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: Public Relations

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My fave new blog tells backstage stories

Posted by Brenda Thompson on June 20, 2020 at 11:55 am

The executive director of the Paramount and State Theatres here in Austin has started a new blog, and I think it’s destined to be a smashing success (disclosure: the Austin Theatre Alliance is one of my clients).

Ken Stein is a popular, well-known guy. His curtain speeches are a hit with crowds ranging from the tweens and 20-somethings seeing Altar Boyz to the older crowds for classic musicals like Carousel (I’ll be there this weekend).

As a blogger, Ken is conversational and funny, just like he is in person. His stories about what the Kodo Drummers wrote on the wall backstage at the Paramount, Kathy Griffin’s response to Dan Rather’s famous “Courage” sign-off, and Patrick Cassidy’s insistence that he’s NOT gay (like anyone cares) are fun to read. Ken’s having fun, and posting often, and I predict that he’ll draw readers from around the world to “Offstage with Ken Stein.” Check it out.

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Category: Public Relations, Social Media, Blogging, Connections, Conversation, Marketing, Bloggers

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Summer fun-library adult reading competition

Posted by Brenda Thompson on June 17, 2020 at 11:57 am

The Austin Public Library has initiated its first-ever Adult Summer Reading Program. I LOVE this idea. Being an avid reader all my life, competitive yet not athletic (I skipped gym class as much as possible) the reading programs were a contest I could always win.

The program has already begun and runs through Aug. 31. Complete an entry form for every three books you read or listen to. The library even has recommendations. And there are prizes. (There are also summer reading programs for kids and teenagers. The adult program is for ages 17 and up).

As geeky as it sounds, this is totally my idea of summer fun. All I need now is the perfect summer camp for adults.

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Category: Just for Fun, In the News, Books

Hiring Is a Conversation

Posted by Connie Reece on June 4, 2020 at 2:49 am

“Hiring is a conversation, about putting yourself out there.”

This bit of wisdom comes from Ben Yoskovitz, aka byosko, via Twitter. Ben is author of the Instigator Blog and also co-founder of the soon-to-debut Standout Jobs.

“Your blog is your resume.”

So says Lorelle VanFossen in her new book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging -

Every word you write in your blog is an example to a potential customer or employer on your writing skills. The structure of your blog, the arrangement and presentation of the content tells a lot about your organizational abilities.

What you put on your blog says a lot about who you are, how you work, and what you are capable of. Is your blog your resume? If not, consider making it one.

What do you think of this advice from Ben and Lorelle? How is hiring, or job seeking, like a conversation? Do you use your blog as your resume? As an expression of your “personal brand”?

Go ahead, chime in. Commenting is free. :-)

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Category: Blogging, Conversation, Jobs

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Bloggers Who Live by the Golden Rule

Posted by Connie Reece on June 3, 2020 at 1:31 am

Two stories circulating last week demonstrate that most denizens of the blogosphere live by the age-old admonition of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Dudley Do-RightWhen I was a kid, we used drive to nearby Wimberley, Texas, every summer, where one of our favorite activites was visiting Pioneer Town at the 7A Ranch Resort and attending the melodrama at the Opera House. The audience booed the villain and cheered the hero, who always managed to untie the heroine, lashed to the railroad tracks, just before the locomotive arrived. An alternate plot involved rescuing the property of the damsel in distress from the evil banker about to foreclose on her property.

Such was the news in the blogosphere last week. I learned of PR measurement guru K.D. Paine’s predicament from some of my blogger heroes, Joe Thornley, Shel Israel and Eric Eggertson. Her property, the historic Shankhassic Farm in Durham, NH, had been listed for auction by the mortgagee. A disastrous fire, a zoning dispute and a battle with cancer had caused Paine to fall behind in property taxes.

A word-of-mouth campaign, led by Paine’s many friends in PR and a number of notable bloggers, resulted in an outpouring of donations. Reports today are that the farm has been saved. **wild applause and cheers for the good guys**

Robert Scoble brought another situation to my attention when he described the troubles bombarding the photo-sharing site Zooomr. Eqiupment failure brought the service down, and 19-year-old founder Kristopher Tate started working around the clock to reinstate the service, which had no backup servers.

To explain the lack of service to users, Kris started ustreaming the crisis 24/7. Competitor Flickr sent over pizzas one day. And as the week bore on, the Scobleizer reported, several companies came to the start-up’s aid, including Zoho, Dell and Sun Microsystems. “Sometimes Silicon Valley bums me out,” Scoble said, “with all the greed and talk about getting great valuations and all that. It’s nice to see companies help get customer data back up and live.” **more wild applause and cheers for the heroes**

The next time you hear that tired accusation that bloggers are just a bunch of mean-spirited miscreants, remember that those “bad apples” are the exception, not the rule. The blogosphere is populated with quite a few Dudley Do-Rights and millions of everyday people who exhibit a spirit of generosity.

So, tell me. Have you experienced the generosity of a particular blogger? Who was it? How did they help you? Give them a shout-out here.

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Category: In the News, Bloggers

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How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Posted by Connie Reece on June 2, 2020 at 3:08 pm

This weekend Darren Rowse asked Problogger readers these questions:

  • When was your biggest day of traffic?
  • Where did the traffic come from?
  • What (if anything) did you do in order for it to happen?

My answers:

  • May 16, 2020 - Podbit 001 - Why I Switched to NBC News.
  • Biggest traffic source: Twitter; second: Google.
  • Fresh, original content. First-ever audio file posted. I promoted it through Twitter and a few personal e-mails to the people I linked to in the post.

When I post something I believe is worthy of attention, I mention it on Twitter and provide a TinyURL link. I only have about 100 followers, but they are a very engaged, influential group. So the Twitter link to my first Podbit file pulled more traffic to the site than any other source.

Chris Brogan often promotes a particular blog post on Twitter. And even though I am subscribed to his RSS feed, I usually see his “tweet” letting me know about the post before it shows up in my reader. So what do I do? I click on the Twitter link and go directly to his blog to read.

My question: how are you promoting you blog in general or specific posts in particular?

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Category: Blogging, Podbits

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Austin Business Bloggers

Posted by Connie Reece on June 2, 2020 at 1:22 am

It really is a small world. When I was in Chicago last month, I met Jason Alba from Utah. When he found out where I was from, he immediately asked, “Are you part of the Austin Business Bloggers?” Turns out that Jason, founder of Jibber Jobber, helped organize the first get- together here back in January.

If you blog for a business, or blogging is your business, or if you just want to hang out with a great bunch of bloggers, then make plans to join the group for dinner on Monday night, June 4, at Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress.


5:30-5:45 gather for conversation in the bar area
At 5:45, transition to the dining room and continue the conversation

Note: Please bring cash to settle your bill. The restaurant does not do separate checks for large groups.

Glenn Ross, who blogs for the American Cancer Society’s Central Texas Relay for Life, said: “We’d like to discuss the future of this group and how members can benefit from attending [besides the beer :-) ]. One idea that has been proposed is to become a special interest group (SIG) of the Austin Social Media Club. Other ideas consist of breaking up into smaller roundtables and discussing various topics.”

Every now and then, you need to get out from beind the computer and meet some like-minded folks. Monday night’s meetup of the Austin Business Bloggers is a great opportunity for that.

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Category: Bloggers

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How Nerdy Are You?

Posted by Connie Reece on June 1, 2020 at 12:39 am

Attention, Roberta Rosenberg: I am nerdier than you!

I don’t know why I should feel so proud of that fact, but as you can see from the graphic on the right, I do have the credentials to back up my claim. The Copywriting Maven scored a mere 53, making the esteemed copy coach only “lightly nerdy,” while I reached “mid-rank nerd” level. Perhaps using Linux gave me a competetive edge, or the fact that I remembered the symbol for the element Manganese.

Kirsten Vangsness - Criminal MindsMy colleague Kelley Burrus has the mistaken notion that I can do absolutely anything when it comes to computers. (She grossly overestimates my capabilities, but let’s not tell her that, okay?) Kelley has even nicknamed me Garcia, after the character played by Kirsten Vangsness on the TV show Criminal Minds.

When I googled the show to find out how to spell Kirsten’s name, I discovered that she writes a blog for the CBS series’ site. No comments or trackbacks, so I can’t send the Nerd Test to her. I have no idea how the actress would score, but Penelope Garcia would ace this test, for sure.

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Category: Just for Fun

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New events from Every Dot Connects:
Jan. 29 Up to Speed with Sheila
Feb. 17 Consulting with Connie
Feb. 19 High Tech, High Touch with Jennifer