Correction: Four White Men Exploit Social Media

Posted by Connie Reece on March 27, 2021 at 11:08 am

note: above video has no sound; animation onlyThis is an update to my recent post, Five White Men Talk About Social Media. When last we visited the little drama surrounding our local Chamber of Commerce event with a surprising lack of diversity, I had been invited to be on the panel. The following day the invitation was withdrawn because I’m not a member of the Chamber. (Brenda Thompson, part of our Every Dot Connects team, is a Chamber member and the one who originally brought the event to my attention.) Also, we were in error that “five white men” constituted the panel; there are only four of them.The Chamber’s policy of featuring members at their events is reasonable, even laudable. While it does not excuse the lack of diversity, I certainly have no quibble with their policy. I do have quibbles about the content that will be presented, or at least the way it is described in promotional materials for “Today’s New Marketing Tools.” One of the panelists, a flyer says, “specializes in using new media and viral tactics which leave an indelible impression on a target audience.” Another “advises clients on how they can exploit digital and social media …”

You get the drift. I can’t help thinking it sounds like tacking some new buzzwords over traditional marketing methods.

Of course, my opinion is colored by my immersion in the world of social media. My business partner, Mike Chapman, and I do social media consulting, and I serve as the executive director of the international Social Media Club. I also just agreed to be a contributing author to the 2008 edition of The Age of Conversation, subtitled “Why Don’t People Get It?”

Yes, I am blatantly self-promoting here. That was, after all, the gist of comments to my “Five White Men” post: women are not as likely as men to promote their own work. Advice taken. The comments, by the way, are well worth reading, and I appreciate those who took the time to add their thoughts to mine.

My original post spurred others to write about the topic further. In Everydotconnects Post Ispires Michelle’s First Official Rant, Michelle Greer said:

We’ve never seen a female U.S. President. Great Britain elected Prime Minister in Margaret Thatcher. Indira Gandhi served as Prime Minister of India. Finland, a country with the highest number of scientists per capita in the world, elected Conan O’Brien look-alike Tarja Halonen as president. Although the Catholics in Argentina will not see a female priest, they did elect Cristina Fernandez de Kirschner, who is following in the footsteps of her husband and former president Nestor. Pakistan, a primarily Muslim nation, elected Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister in 1988 and she was leading another election until she was assassinated last December. This is supposedly the freest place on Earth for women, and yet, a Muslim nation elected a female for a leader 20 years before we even get a viable candidate for President.

One of the men who contributed to the discussion, accessibility consultant and web designer Pat Ramsey, wrote in Gender, Social Media, Why It Matters, OK…I’ll Dive In:

It’s an uncomfortable subject for many. It cuts down to a deeply personal level in us, a group already made up of uncomfortable, fidgety socially awkward nerds, geeks and dweebs. Uncomfortable though it may be, we’ve got to look at this.

Brenda Thompson and I will be attending the Chamber event on April 30. I look forward to learning a thing or two from four white men who are very successful in their respective fields. Seriously. It just won’t be about exploiting social media, because I know just how unsuccessful attempts to manipulate the conversation (buzzword alert) can be.

I also intend to follow up on the tongue-in-cheek recommendation of Jackie Huba, who left this comment on my original post: “Maybe we should do a women-only panel on social media for the Social Media Club. And maybe at the last minute we’ll invite a man to be on the panel.”

Stay tuned for that news, which will be posted on Austin Social Media Club as soon as I can get with Jackie to determine a date. If you want to talk about “Today’s New Marketing Tools,” you couldn’t ask for a better presenter than Jackie.

And in the meantime, if you’re in Austin, plan on attending SMC’s April 17 event featuring Jon Lebkowsky, an authority on social media, online community, technoculture, Web strategy, and Internet trends. Jon helped pioneer both the theories and the software behind many of today’s new marketing tools and technologies.

You might say he is One White Guy Who Really Understands Social Media.

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Category: Social Media, Events, Marketing

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Podversation 03 - David Neff on

Posted by Connie Reece on March 25, 2021 at 12:55 am

If you followed the story of the Frozen Pea Fund from the beginning, you know that just before Susan Reynolds was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, David Neff of the American Cancer Society had asked me to do some pro bono work for the Society on a new project. has now launched, and I’m very happy I was able to be part of the effort to let people know about this new Web community created to help connect cancer survivors, their friends and family members.

David, who is director of Web and interactive strategy for ACS, was kind enough to sit down with me recently and talk about the origins of the idea for, and why they decided to build it with Ruby on Rails and enable OpenID. (My video skills obviously need a lot of work. Note to self: buy a tripod for the Flipcam.) allows users to

* upload videos, photos, music or artwork
* add free background music from independent artists
* view content, make comments, and share it with others
* embed videos on their own blogs or MySpace and Facebook pages
* store twice as much video content as YouTube
* log in with an existing OpenID
* create an OpenID using ACS Passport

For more information, read the news release. Susan Reynolds has started posting videos on, sharing information she wishes she’d had access to before her surgery, such as this one where she talks about the process of making treatment decisions.

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Category: In the News, Video, Podversation

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Feed Reader Down, Reading Up

Posted by Connie Reece on March 23, 2021 at 11:16 pm

A few months ago I did some serious pruning on my Google Reader, which was choked by an overgrowth of blog feeds. I’d been trying to stay around 200-250, but somehow the number kept climbing toward 300. One day I decided I had officially hit Information Overload. I was either spending so much time reading that I had no time to write, or I was feeling guilty for clicking on “mark all as read.”

Choices were difficult, but I managed to cut back to 50 RSS feeds. It meant I missed reading some people whose writing I really liked, but it became much more manageable and enjoyable.

Now I’m trying another tactic: cutting RSS feeds even further, yet increasing the number of blogs I read. Here’s how I’m accomplishing that.

1. Twitter links. Many of the bloggers I regularly read are on Twitter, so I have unsubscribed from their feed. Whenever they tweet a link to their blog, I click to open it in a new tab. At some point during the day, I’ll skim through the posts and close out the tabs. I try to comment on several blogs every day.

2. Instapaper. When I come across what looks like a good read but I don’t have time for it at the moment, I click on Read Later in my browser toolbar. This handy bookmarklet creates a personalized newspaper with the links I’ve saved. When “later” rolls around, I can browse through the links and Skip, Edit or Delete them. By the way, Instapaper was developed for the iPhone, so it’s a great mobile tool as well as Web app.

3. Social Media Today. Because social media is my primary business, many of the feeds previously in my reader were from people writing in the field. Most of those same bloggers, however, are published at Social Media Today. I pulled their Vortex widget into my home page for Netvibes, which has replaced my Google Reader. With one click I can check the latest posts from scores of bloggers.

4. Marketing Profs Daily Fix. Many of the top voices in marketing are featured here, so I have unsubscribed from their individual blogs in favor of reading them at the Daily Fix. Of course, when I read an article by one of my favorite marketing bloggers, I often click through to their blog to browse around and see what catches my eye.

5. is Guy Kawasaki’s latest venture. I was flattered to be included both in the section for Social Media and the Twitterati, but I did not think I would have much use for the site myself. Recently, though, I’ve been using it to find new voices in areas outside my primary interest of social media. Want to find information on personal finance or small business, for example? is a good starting point.

So what’s left in my feed reader? Mostly fun stuff, like I Can Has Cheezburger and Crazy Aunt Purl, “the true-life diary of a thirty-something, newly divorced, displaced Southern obsessive-compulsive knitter who has four cats. (Because nothing is sexier than a divorced woman with four cats.)” Laurie Perry’s ramblings have turned into one of my all-time favorite blogs.

The item I check most frequently in my feed reader is what I call my “me-monitor.” It’s where I subscribe to feeds based on search results for my name and our blog name.

So far I am actually reading more posts, by more authors, and I have given up worrying whether I’ve missed something important. If it’s truly important, I’ll come across it some place besides my feed reader.

I’m still a candidate for social networking rehab, but at least I’ve broken my RSS addiction. How about you?

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Category: Social Media, Twitter, Bloggers

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Five White Men Talk About Social Media

Posted by Connie Reece on March 21, 2021 at 3:54 am

Although I came of age at the height of the so-called Flower Power and Women’s Lib movements, the extent of my feminist activism was trying to join a men’s intramural snooker team as a freshman at Baylor University. Actually, that wasn’t even my idea; the guys I hung out with in the Student Union wanted to draft me because I frequently beat them. But I was denied permission to join a men’s team, and the administration refused to make snooker a coed event. So my days as a young, idealistic rebel — including momentary thoughts of a possible future as a professional billiards player — were short-lived.

All these years later I’m feeling some righteous indignation again. Maybe I’ve just been hanging out with Queen of Spain on Twitter for too long. (I’ve even been reading her blog occasionally, but don’t tell her.) Although Erin’s a couple of decades younger than I am and way more liberal, we agree that women are still treated differently, and that it gets old being invisible.

Every few months the blogosphere revisits the topic of gender differences at conferences. Jeremiah Owyang recently asked the recurring question: where are the women speakers in social media, picking up on a post by Lena West, X Chromosome Web 2.0 Rock Stars. Where the discussion really gets going is deep into the comments, with people cross-posting on both blogs.

This is my favorite quote from Lena:

People keep talking about how women are such ‘naturals’ at what makes social media so effective, so why aren’t the female leaders more visible? …

When I ask the question: Who are the male ‘action figures’ in social media? You can almost see them in your mind’s eye.

But, I ask, who are the female power players in social media…we start creating lists.

This afternoon I got an email from fellow Dot-Connector Brenda Thompson with the subject line: “Five White Men Talk About Social Media.” That got my attention and I opened the email right away.

“This just REALLY annoys me,” Brenda wrote. “The Chamber of Commerce is doing a thing on social media. … [she names the panel lineup] … It’s nothing against any of them, but did anyone think for a minute that they should have a woman on the panel?

“Having just renewed my chamber membership for a hefty $439, I will be passing along my thoughts to them, as well.”

It irked me too. It’s not like the organizers would have had to look very far to find some outstanding women to speak, and I’m not just referring to myself. In less than 30 seconds, Brenda and I came up with a list of five or six local women who would have made great panelists.

See, lists are easy to make. But women on lists are still invisible if conference organizers aren’t looking for the list.

We could debate endlessly about why women still lack visibility and what it feels like to be invisible (I’ve got some stories, so don’t get me started).

Instead, I’ll leave you with one anecdote that underscores the problem. This comes from BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort, pointing to Mary Hodder’s recent review of a New York Times article about girls who code online content:

So when they interview people like Doc Searls, Loic Le Meur or David Weinberger, all of whom are very smart about tech, those articles are in the Tech section or Business, but when they talk to girls, who for the record, are far more technical in this article than these three tech experts, girls are put in Fashion. I’ve never seen coverage with Doc or David or Loic in Fashion.

Maybe I need to take up snooker again. This time around I won’t take “no” for an answer. And I want my championship reported in the Sports section, not Fashion, even if I’m wearing my pink boa.

Update: I have indeed been officially invited to join the panel (which, I repeat, was not my purpose in writing this post) and am preparing a bio blurb for future publicity for the event. To avoid scaring the suits, I’m going with a corporate headshot, not my boa avatar.

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Category: Social Media, Events

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Podversation - Wanda Jackson at SXSW

Posted by Connie Reece on March 10, 2021 at 6:00 am

Wanda Jackson rock ‘n’ rollShe sparkles. Even without the stage lights or her signature sequins and fringe. Wearing a plain pair of jeans and a cotton shirt, Wanda Jackson walks onto the tiny stage at the Continental Club for a sound check. I can’t help noticing that she’s a tiny woman. But when she picks up the microphone, the band strikes a chord, and she growls, “Some people like to rock, some people like to roll,” there is no doubt that the larger-than-life Queen of Rockabilly is still making a statement at age 70: “Let’s Have a Party.”

The Smithsonian Channel invited me to sit down with Wanda while she was in Austin for a screening of the documentary of her life, The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice. A second SXSW screening will take place on March 14, and the worldwide broadcast premiere will be Sunday, May 18.

In the 1950’s Wanda Jackson toured with the men who would become the legends of Rock ‘n Roll: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and the King himself, Elvis Presley, whom she dated briefly. Although she was the first woman to record a rock ‘n roll song, Wanda Jackson has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

That leaves Elvis Costello, who recorded “Crying Time” with Wanda on her 2003 CD, Heart Trouble, incensed. In an open letter to propose Wanda’s induction into the Hall of Fame, Costello wrote, “Look around today and you can hear lots of rocking girl singers who owe an unconscious debt to the mere idea of a woman like Wanda. She was standing up on stage with a guitar in the hand and making a sound that was as wild and raw as any rocker, man or woman, while other gals were still asking, ‘How much is that doggy in the window?’”

My Podversation with Wanda Jackson is split into two parts; we got interrupted for a sound check with the band. Both parts are included below, along with a snippet I recorded during the sound check. It’s a duet with Wanda and Rosie Flores. I could barely hold my little Flip cam still; I wanted to tap my feet, swing my hips and sing along to “Woman, Walk out the Door.”

Special thanks to my Twitter pal, Paull Young, for having a hunch that I was a Wanda Jackson fan. Check out the work he’s doing for the Smithsonian Channel Community.

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Category: Events, Video, Podversation

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Qipit and eMail our Military - Supporting the Troops

Posted by Connie Reece on March 9, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Though social media connections, namely Twitter, Connie and I have been part of creating a new relationship with a client of ours, Qipit, and a great organization we’ve come to know even though we have yet to meet in person, eMail our Military. Qipit is based in Paris and San Francisco, and eMail our Military, also known as eMoM, is based in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Conrad Hametner of Qipit, @hametner on Twitter, and Trish Forant of eMoM, @mailourmilitary, are now friends and colleagues and thanks to social media tools, are now working together on a project that reaches our military personnel overseas and who are separated from their families.

I’m a military brat myself. My dad, a “lifer” in the Air Force, was twice stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam war. So I’m very familiar with the hardship military families go through when they are separated.

eMail our Military was created in response to restrictions placed on regular snail mail in the current age of chemical warfare and following 9/11. Emails have replaced regular mail making it impossible to send many of the things we used to send my dad. Artwork, photographs, and other keepsakes, can only be copied or scanned. That’s if the military family can afford to do so on often very tight budgets.

Qipit’s idea is to offer military families their free service as a part of the eMail our Military program. By using a digital camera, Qipit allows for a high quality pdf to be made of artwork, photographs, love letters, report cards, legal documents, newspaper articles, or whatever you want to photograph and attach. The really great thing about it is that they can be sent quickly.

I remember waiting weeks to get a response from my Dad after we sent him a care package. This is so much better and it allows for that “almost being there” feeling that all military families crave so much when they’re apart.

You can help out even if you’re not a member of a military family. Some of our troops are single, may not have kids, and all of them can use a friend or a kind word. I encourage you to contact Trish at eMoM and get involved. All the links are here in this post, but if you have a question about any of this, please feel free to email me at or DM me @mikechapman.

I can assure you that any little thing you do, whether it is getting an email to a member of the military, contributing money to eMail our Military (they are a non-profit), or just spreading the word about this new program on your own blog, would be very, very helpful.

Regardless of our own individual political views, we can all show our support for the troops.

qipit_sticker36.jpg ~ Mike Chapman

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Category: Social Media

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