Ever I Saw Your Face: The Lure of Conferences

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on January 22, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Conference-hopping is probably not the best use of your time, if it’s just for the sake of racking up those badges, schwag laptop bags and stacks of business cards that you’ll never look at again.

Are you stuck on a social media conference circuit, hearing some of the same speakers again and again?  Why do we sometimes do this to ourselves?

Maybe it’s because you can’t replace the warmth and understanding derived from genuine human contact. Nope, not even with clever replication in Second Life (though try telling that to the Web-savvy daughter of Direct2Dell’s Laura Thomas.)

I want to see your face.  You can see mine, too - I’ll try to have a “good face day” for you.

For maximum business effectiveness in a connected world, it’s all about the face-to-face, according to Business Week:

“Paradoxically, the great work diaspora unleashed by technology is making physical connection all the more important. As companies open more outposts in more emerging markets, the need to gather intensifies.”

On a personal level, it’s very enjoyable to commune with other bloggers and online folks who understand your work (even when your dentist does not.)

Just like diet plus exercise, combining online and offline acquaintances is a “force multiplier,” to use a military term.  Online networking has the pleasant result of enhancing your face-to-face meetings at conferences.  You feel as though you already know people; very helpful in those first awkward moments of walking into a crowded room during an event.

One drawback to geek conferences is the audience; a roomful of people pecking away on open laptops. Hey, is anyone really tuned in to listen to the speakers? They’d like some face time, some eye contact from somebody sitting out there. Don’t make them talk to the top of your head.

The danger of liveblogging, Twittering, Seesmic-ing, etc. the conference proceedings is that you spend too much time doing secretarial duties and not enough engaging your brain and listening to what’s being said.

I’m glad to see that my colleague Connie is heading to BlogHer Business and Blogger Social 08, both in April in New York, but I’m doing my bit for face-to-face as well.

South by Southwest (SXSW) InteractiveFirst, it’s a no-brainer for me to attend the Austin, Texas South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference March 7-11, since it’s held right where I live.   The current list of programming panels is pretty enticing, with more additions to come, and wikis are springing up to keep track of who may be coming from my Twitter group.

I also love the many evening social events/parties, but they’re usually so loud that I get tired of trying to have a conversation by shouting.

The Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog has great advice for fitting in at SXSWi….

SOBCon08, for Successful and Outstanding BloggersSecond, I simply have to fly to Chicago for SOBCon08 May 2-4, because Liz Strauss and her cohorts did such a bang-up job last year that I know I’ll miss seeing some marvelous faces if I don’t go to her “Biz School for Bloggers.”

Unlike the SXSWi behemoth, SOBCon (”Successful and Outstanding Bloggers”) is kept small and very focused, with lots of interaction amongst conference attendees during the sessions, not just squooshed into moments in the hallways or bathroom.  Gotta go!

BlogHer08 - the theme is Reach!Finally, I’m heading to San Francisco in July to go to BlogHer 08.

I spoke at this conference last year, and had a blast meeting all kinds of bloggers and soaking up inspiration from speakers like Esther Dyson and Annalee Newitz.

Will I see your face soon?

I hope so!

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Category: Social Media, Events, Connections, Bloggers

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Diva Marketing Talks: Micro Blogging

Posted by Connie Reece on January 22, 2021 at 12:03 am

[from Toby Bloomberg at Diva Marketing Blog]

Diva Marketing Talks is a live, internet radio show. 30-minutes. 2-guests. 1-topic about social media marketing. Why? To help you understand how to participate in the “new” conversation without getting blown-up. Miss today’s show? You can pick it up as a podcast.

Today’s Diva Marketing Talks focuses on how micro blogging is creeping into social media marketing. Can 140 characters of text messaging really impact your marketing strategy? B.L. Ochman and Connie Reece tell about their experiences on Twitter and how a few little tweets turned into pea soup. With B.L. and Connie as guests at the mic this is sure to be an exciting conversation you won’t want to miss!

Topic for January 22, 2008: The Impact of Less Is More: Micro Blogging

Time: 6:30p - 7p Eastern/ 5:30p - 6p Central/ 4:30p -5p Mountain/ 3:30p - 4p Pacific

Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924

Read Tips from the Diva Bag about microblogging.

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Category: Social Media, Blogging, Twitter, podcasting

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Marketing Ideas for Online Grocery Delivery Service

Posted by Connie Reece on January 21, 2021 at 1:21 pm

An interesting discussion got started on Twitter over the weekend and has migrated to blogs to continue the conversation. It started when Laura Fitton mentioned how happy she was to be able to do her grocery shopping while in her pajamas. She uses Peapod to order groceries online and have them delivered.

Merlene complained: “I’m jealous.. I’m *just* at the edge of suburbia and the online grocery shops won’t deliver this far. Asking for 11 yrs now.”

I added that I had used Peapod years ago and wished they had not discontinued service in our area. That led to speculation that perhaps they had launched too early. Merlene responded: “Exactly. A lot of companies (not just grocery) who tried to sell online 10 yrs ago not doing it now because of early losses. I’m in a city of +500k and within an hour there are over 5 million ppl. Huge market. But I can haz grocery online? NO!

Anna Lenardsen jumped in to say, “My brother is trying to launch a similar (peapodian) type venture on a local level in Michigan,” and asked for suggestions.

As usual, the Twitter community was quick to respond. Following is a sample (in reverse chronological order, with apologies to those I may have missed outside my twitstream):

BarbaraKB @conniereece “tweet specials” Now, that sound intriguing. I don’t do coupons. No time for clipping & remembering. Ugh. Just give me the deal

shawnz @conniereece It could be created single sheet 8.5×11 and put on flyers all over neighborhoods, businesses, etc. Pick one up anywhere. Fax it

shawnz @conniereece This ALL OUT OF pad is what I’m talking about: http://snurl.com/1xs7v Use something like this for an ad.

shawnz @conniereece Have you seen those grocery store staple lists? Where you just check things off you need? That should be his ad. Just fax in.

kdpaine @conniereece I’d offer a discount as a member benefit to local church groups, quilters, professional associations etc

hardaway @oemperor. Repeat experience establishes trust. It’s about performance.

hardaway @oemperor. Absolutely. But grocery staff turns over. I’d like a vegetarian produce picker.

oemperor @hardaway if bashas.com were more like dating service, with ability to select personal shopper based on profile/prefs, would you like this?

hardaway @conniereece. You know what I mean. Sometimes I get ugly produce and meat. Or they forget something. But it is great service

oemperor @shawnz delivered to you automatically, on request only, or both?

hardaway @conniereece. Worst thing about grocery delivery: depends on the produce piclker or butcher picker.

jeremymiddleton @conniereece I think if you go to smallsmallbizpod Alex Bellinger posted a site of a guy in the UK doing the same thing

mourningcloak @conniereece what kind of online grocery is this? a pickup service, delivery service, both, or mail-order type of service?

oemperor @alenardson create hashtag for local online market eg igrocery in arlington va could use hashtag #igrocery22206

conniereece @alenardson You can use 3rd party Twitter clients to search by zip code/location - think it’s Twittervision? Somebody help me out w/ name.

hardaway @oemperor @conniereece. My grocery delivery: Bashas.com, “groceries on the go.” Saves my last list, gives me the specials.

oemperor @conniereece hmm…modeling online grocery on dating service, in terms of establishing TRUST between shopper and shoppee

oemperor @conniereece or if you want metrics based matching between personal shoppers and customers, steal a page from eharmony

alenardson Re: twitter for local marketing: is there a way to tap into local tweeters?

oemperor @conniereece have each personal shopper, and each customer, complete survey “8 things most important to me in shopping”

conniereece @oemperor Excellent idea of offering oppty to meet shoppers - hold “class” at grocery store when they begin using service.

oemperor @conniereece perhaps trust factor via personal online relationships. “i am avail to shop 4 u weekday aft. i pick newest bags of frozen peas”

oemperor @conniereece perhaps if you can meet the shoppers so that you can trust them to do what you do

conniereece @oemperor @alangutierrez Yes, but w/ perishables online grocer can tout services of thr “experts” & build trust factor by delivering quality

jeremymiddleton @conniereece @alendarson think that, that is a good idea, you could post things like whats fresh in season etc, just arrived new line!

agershenbaum @conniereece visit gigya.com and gydget.com

oemperor @conniereece i suspect @alangutierrez may be right. you lose control if someone else touches and picks out your food. esp for perishables

Merlene @conniereece offer a monthly or weekly discount coupon for subscribers to e-flyer, twitter, etc.

conniereece Question: @alendardson brother starting online grocery delivery service. Suggestions for using social media in their marketing? I’ll compile

conniereece @oemperor Discussion w/ @merlene @paulswansen seems to indicate too early to market, too tradtl in mktg approach. Your thoughts?

alenardson @merlene what else besides twitter? to reach a broader public. Not a particularly progressive community.

oemperor what shuttered the earlier online grocery efforts? lack of customer interest? no cost effective delivery? spoiled fruit?

Merlene @alenardson and sprinkle some tips, links to recipes, etc. to create flow of useful content to tweets/blog/etc.

Merlene @alenardson twitter profile for business. Daily tweets of specials, etc. with link to site. Easy opt in advert for those who want it.

Following our 140-characters-at-a-time marketing conversation, Ontario Emperor developed his ideas into a blog post saying that online grocery services should be like online dating services.

Marketer extraordinaire Andy Sernovitz (@sernovitz on Twitter) emailed some additional tips:

  • Peapod does very well here in chicago, and I used freshdirect in nyc.
  • Peapod is great about hiring for personality. Drivers are friendly, chatty, helpful. Plus they know the merch, always making product reccos, bring the occasional gift. You welcome them into your home instead of fearing wierd delivery guy.
  • Another trick to try - unique foods that you can only get from the service. Famous cheesecakes, salt lick, some special cheese company, rare beers, cult classic comfort foods (mallomar).
  • How about gift boxes - sick kid box, breaking up with boyfriend box

Andy gave one last tip that is always worth noting: “Remember - free advice is worth what you pay.”

I wish that Twitter pals CK, DrewMcLellan, Mack Collier, BL Ochman and Toby Bloomberg had been online because I would love to hear their suggestions. Perhaps their interest will be piqued and they will offer advice in the comments here or blog about it themselves.

Thanks for the question, Anna, and I hope these tidbits are helpful to your brother’s new venture.

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Category: Marketing, Twitter, Bloggers

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Age of Conversation 2008

Posted by Connie Reece on January 16, 2021 at 12:21 am

One of the best things I did last year was to participate in the The Age of Conversation, a collaborative e-book. Editors Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton have announced they’re up to a sequel-and this time you get to vote on the topic.

But wait-there’s more! You also have the opportunity to be a collaborator. If you want to be an author for The Age of Conversation’s kissing cousin (the 2008 version), e-mail Drew and say you’re in.

He will be providing a lot more detail in a week or so — but for now, here are some basic rules for authorship:

  • You will sign over all rights to your chapter
  • You understand that all proceeds of the book will be donated to Variety, the Children’s Charity
  • You will promote the book, throughout the process, on your blog if you have one
  • You’ll embrace the cooperative, collaborative spirit that defined Age of Conversation
  • You’ll honor deadlines so Drew does not have to be a nag
  • You’ll honor word counts so Gavin doesn’t have to be a nag

What’s the topic for 2008? Drew says, “In the true spirit of collaboration, we’re going to decide together. Your choices are …”

  • Marketing Manifesto
  • Why Don’t People Get It?
  • My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

The only way to vote is via this SurveyMonkey survey: Click Here to take survey

You DO NOT need to be an author or potential author to vote.

The survey will close on January 31st, so help get out the vote.

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Category: Conversation, e-book

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Blogger Social 08 - Going to the Big Apple

Posted by Connie Reece on January 12, 2021 at 4:01 pm

Blogger Social


It’s all CK’s fault. She’s the one who talked this timid traveler into venturing all the way to the Big Apple. To be fair, there was no arm-twisting involved. I wanted to attend Blogger Social ‘08 from the moment it was announced. But first I had to make sure I could swing it budget-wise. And second, I had to overcome my disinclination toward cross-country travel.

You see, I love visiting new places; I just hate the process of getting there. I dread long flights with my ample derrière squeezed into a 17-inch seat. And the last time I flew to New York, I tore a tendon in my foot getting off the moving sidewalk in the Newark airport. (Let’s just say that Grace is not my middle name, and New Balance will not be offering me an endorsement contract any time soon.)

So what persuaded me to break my new travel rule for 2008 (No Cross-Country Flying to Some Whoop-Dee-Doo Event Unless Someone Pays Me Big Bucks to Speak)?

People. Bloggers I’ve met and bloggers I want to meet.

Diva Power. Just the thought of me and CK and Toby Bloomberg in the same room gets me energized. Throw in Valeria Maltoni and Anna Farmery … makes my toes tap impatiently and I start counting the days until April 4.

Reconnecting. Looking forward to sitting down again with David Armano and Drew McLellan, whom I met last year at SOBCon and have kept in touch with since then. I love these guys, even if they do have a weird affinity for beef jerky. (just kidding) I’m also hoping for another real-time Scrabble match-up with Geoff Livingston, like we had at BlogOrlando.

International Connections. Blogger Social ‘08 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to meet some fellow Age of Conversation authors from around the world: for example, Luc Desbasieux and Kris Hoet (Belgium); Gavin Heaton (Australia), co-editor of Age of Conversation; and Arun Rajagopal (Sultanate of Oman).

Blogger SocialApril in Paris? Maybe next year. This year April will find me in New York-will you be there? Look for me. I’ll be the one with the pink hair and boa.

Blogger Social ‘08 attendees so far include: Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Terry Dagrosa Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet CeCe Lee Jonathan Trenn Toby Bloomberg Seni Thomas Darryl Ohrt

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Category: Social Media, Events, Connections, Bloggers

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Debut as Top 25 Marketing Blog

Posted by Connie Reece on January 4, 2021 at 10:06 am

Top 25 Marketing BlogOn February 9, 2007, an idea was born-and you’re reading it. The idea came out of conversation around a table at Starbucks with Mike Chapman and Kelley Burrus, two professional colleagues who were fast becoming personal friends. I was venting about the PR firm that had brought us together but not let us use our talents-especially when it came to social media.

In between sips of a latte, I went on and on about the power of social media for making connections between people and ideas and causes and … and … and …

After a while Mike scribbled something on a piece of paper, tore it out of his legal pad, and pushed it across the table. “You need a name,” he said, “and here it is-in three words.” Every Dot Connects.

Three days later I had a logo and an exit strategy. And here we are-not quite a year after that memorable conversation at Starbucks-debuting in Mack Collier’s Top 25 Marketing Blogs list at #23. (Please excuse me while I remind myself to take a deep breath.)

Over the holidays it has been fun to get to know Mack better on Twitter (mackcollier). He is a social media consultant and author of The Viral Garden, a blog focusing on marketing and social media. Mack is also a frequent contributor to the marketing blog Daily Fix, and one of the contributing authors to the Age of Conversation project.

What a year it’s been! During 2007 Mike Chapman and I became business partners. Kelley Burrus and Brenda Thomspon remain our head cheerleaders, go-to resources, and occasional contributors to the blog. While not yet listed as part of the Every Dot Connects team, Sheila Scarborough and Kara Soluri will be frequent contributors in 2008. Our goal is to continue to create value for readers and to continue connecting people, causes and ideas.

Thanks, Mack; thanks, Team; and most of all, thanks to all who read and contribute comments here.

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Category: In the News, Blogging, Connections, Marketing

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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