My ooVoo Day In The Pink (Political Edition)

Posted by Connie Reece on July 30, 2020 at 4:36 pm

I’ve mentioned my favorite political blogger here several times. She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s extremely knowledgable on politics, and I give her much of the credit for getting me interested in social media. Now I get to be on some high powered panels with her as part of My ooVoo Day Political Edition this Sunday and Monday.

My political blogging hero is Eileen Smith, creator of In The Pink Texas and editor of the online edition of Texas Monthly magazine. OK, I tricked her into doing this with flattery and small bribes. That’s not really true, but if you read her blog posts regularly, you’ll get the spirit.

The Pink Lady and I don’t always agree and when we don’t, she’s always right. Well, except on a few issues and I won’t mention what they are. If you watch the replay of our panel here on Every Dot Connects, or on one of Eileen’s blogs, you’ll probably figure out what those very, very few issues are. Here’s a hint, I supported Barack Obama and she still wants Hillary to take it to the convention. Other than that, we agree on everything.

Politics can get really boring for normal people. Eileen gets that and makes the issues of the day fun. She isn’t Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert…she’s better. Recently, she posted about our upcoming panel, which just happens to be on Obama’s birthday (I thought you’d like that Eileen) and, once again, she cracked me up.

Here’s her take…

When my blog friend and yours, The Other Guy, started telling me about some new, exciting platform for online communications and digital media, I quickly said “unsubscribe” and hung up the phone. But then he told me it had something to do with a live video chat and I’m like, sign me up. Who am I to pass up yet another opportunity to embarrass myself and the entire staff of Texas Monthly?

God knows I’ve had plenty of practice, appearing on panels I have no business being on, where I nod my head thoughtfully and continuously blink so as to appear awake. No matter. I’ve already coerced the lovely Karen Brooks and the lovely Andy Brown to appear on the virtual panel so they can save my virtual ass.

ooVoo is the hot new video chat and conferencing tool (and I say it’s “hot” and “new” because I just found out about it). They’re hosting several virtual political panels over the next week. You can sign up to be a participant if slots are available (especially if you have a mac and a built-in web cam). Live streaming is not an option yet, but you can watch the recorded sessions once they’re uploaded. I’ll be posting them here once they’re online so you all can make fun of me while I get all defensive and then burst into tears. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?! Who’s the Other Guy?

Here’s the full line-up:

Adriana Maestas, Marisa Trevino & Edmundo Rocha / Latino Politics Blog, Latina Lista & XicanoPwr
Albert Maruggi / Provident Partners
Arlene Fenton / Black Women Vote
Baratunde Thurston / goodCRIMETHINK
Eric Roston / Carbon Nation
Eileen Smith & Mike Chapman / In The Pink Texas & Every Dot Connects
Erin Kotecki Vest / Queen of Spain
Jason Rosenbaum / The Seminal
Joanne Bamberger, Glennia Campbell & Stefania Pomponi Butler / PunditMom, The Silent I & City Mama
L.N. Rock / African American Political Pundit
Leslie Carbone
Liza Sabater / Liza Sabater, culturekitchen, Daily Gotham
Mary Katherine Ham / HamBlog
Matt Parker / Political Buzz
Morra Aarons / Women and Work
Nicco Mele / EchoDitto
Robert Millis & Will Coghlan / Hudson Street Media
Todd Zeigler / The Bivings Report

Join us or one of the many others who are participating in the ooVoo Day Political Edition. Tune in.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: Connections, Conversation, Bloggers, Audio, Video

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When women blog, it’s fashion?

Posted by Connie Reece on July 27, 2020 at 2:01 pm

The New York Times has done it again. They’ve taken a story about women in tech and relegated it to the Fashion and Style section. In “Blogging’s Glass Ceiling,” a story about last week’s BlogHer conference, Kara Jesella wrote, “There is a measure of parity on the Web. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, among Internet users, 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women blog….Yet, when Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities, only 11 of them were women. Last year, ran a similar list, naming 3 women on its list of 25.”

Well, hello! Yes, there’s a glass ceiling. And instead of addressing the question, the New York Times editors are part of the problem. A story about men who blog, especially if they had built the kind of powerhouse network the BlogHer folks have, would have run in the business or technology section of the newspaper. But women’s accomplishments in the blogosphere are celebrated in Fashion and Style.

New York Times article Blogging’s Glass Ceiling


(Hat tip to Amber Naslund for pointing out the Times story and the disparity.)

A few months ago, in my post Five White Men Talk About Social Media, I pointed to another New York Times article that diminished the accomplishments of women by its placement in the Fashion and Style section. “Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain,” by Stephanie Rosenbloom, details the gender gap in tech among teenagers. “Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites) are not misfits resembling the Lone Gunmen of ‘The X Files.’ On the contrary,” Rosenbloom wrote, “the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls.”

These women cyberpioneers, young and old, will have a better chance at smashing through blogging’s glass ceiling when editors quit assuming that all stories about women belong in the Fashion section.


UPDATE:   Tricia Romano at Pop + Politics asked the New York Times, Do you need a suit and a penis to be in the business section? She published Style section editor Trip Gabriel’s response. Short answer: the journalist only pitched the story to Fashion & Style, not the technology or business sections. For the online edition, the story has now been cross-posted under Technology.

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Category: In the News, Bloggers

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Barack Had to Be Authentic

Posted by Connie Reece on July 23, 2020 at 10:19 pm

This past weekend I had the opportunity to catch up with my former colleague and political phenom, Steve Hildebrand, Deputy Campaign Manager for the Obama Presidential campaign. Steve and several of the key staff members from the Obama campaign were speaking to the Netroots Nation conference about their online campaign.

Steve recounted that while planning the campaign with the Obamas, they decided that “Barack had to be authentic.” The online campaign, like the overall campaign, had to be about the movement and changing the country. Further, it had to allow for volunteers to be true partners in the online efforts, allowing for a wide range of affinity groups created within the campaign’s own website and for local volunteer organizations to be truly empowered.

They recognized that the “internet alone won’t win elections. It must be combined with on-the-ground efforts.” That combination could allow Obama’s skills as a community organizer to be translated online to reach out in ways never before possible on a Presidential campaign.

According to Hildebrand, they determined that the Iowa caucuses could provide the “path of credibility” they needed to go the distance. Simultaneously, they began preparations for a full-scale national campaign based largely on volunteer support and coordinated largely online.

They discovered that Obama would draw support from across the country and further used their website in a serious attempt to win the “the first primary, the financial primary,” in spite of the huge advantages of their opponents. When the fundraising results for the 4th quarter of 2007 were announced, they had won the “financial primary” with a record number of donors and dollars coming from their online efforts.

The goal of, the hub of all Obama campaign online activity, is not to win awards, but to win the election. The Obama campaign has kept it simple, sticking to the fundamentals. All functions of the online campaign are specifically done to compliment traditional campaign strategies.

The Obama campaign is fully embracing the potential of the online organizational opportunities and they are active in a number of online social networks. While the online activities of the Obama campaign did not win the nomination, they were a integral and key component. Fundraising, community organizing, get out the vote (GOTV) activities, voter registration, meetups, and rapid responses to media and opponent charges, are all greatly enhanced by the internet efforts.

Smart companies, non-profits, and government agencies will certainly be studying the Obama online efforts to see where they might enhance their own consumer and constituent services.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: Social Media, In the News, Connections, Social Networking, Fund-raising, Bloggers

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Spammers and Scammers on Social Networks

Posted by Connie Reece on July 18, 2020 at 4:05 pm

It’s ironic that a few days before speaking on Using Social Media for Social Good I would wind up filing a complaint with the FTC about a possible fraud being committed on social networks. That same day we held a plurkshop on Internet security issues and microblogging. Hence the title of this post: spammers and scammers have arrived on your favorite social network.

Jennifer Leggio, network security geek and ZDNet blogger, introduced us to Adam J. O’Donnell, Director of Emerging Technologies at Cloudmark. Together they fielded questions from more than 60 participants and explained some of the dangers lurking on social networks. Spammers have moved from unsolicited emails to using friend requests on social networks. Clicking on their profiles can trigger malicious code. You can read the entire transcript here (Plurkshop 7 - Security and Microblogging) and Deb Robison’s excellent analysis here (Plurkshop 7 Recap).

The alleged fraud relates to a Plurk and Twitter user who goes by the name LillyAnn and a request by someone claiming to be her daughter who was raising funds to pay for dialysis for Lilly. Many conversations on Plurk link to various social network or Web profiles for Lilly Calandrello, but if you want to read the entire thread (1500+ replies) with the original request and the evolving revelations about the real identity of this person, use this link: LillyAnn’s daughter wants her Plurk friends to know…

When I first read the request last weekend, I recognized that I was connected to LillyAnn on several networks. I recalled having a few brief exchanges with her. I decided to give a small amount to the cause and do some checking on it. Because of my work with the Frozen Pea Fund, I’m very aware of — and supportive of — using social networks for social good.

My first concern came when I checked the PayPal account and saw that the verified business user associated with the account was, a network devoted to psychic readings and spiritual guidance of the nebulous sort. The Web site owner, however, was the same Lilly Calandrello on the social network where the request originated. So I set aside my prejudice against the stereotypical psychic-as-con-artist and decided to err on the side of compassion: I gave $10.

I also suggested that it would give more credibility to the fund-raising effort if the online friends who knew Lilly better set up a ChipIn widget with more information about her and her health needs. I was immediately contacted by Gabrielle, Lilly’s daughter, asking for my help in setting it up. Red flag #2. I responded that I did not know LillyAnn well enough and that it should originate from those who did. That private message thread was immediately deleted, as was another thread that had started raising concerns about inconsistencies that were coming to light. Red flag #3.

A ChipIn page was quickly set up by someone, though, and raised $357.50 before being suddenly shut down. By this time too many questions had been raised — legitimate questions, like the name of the hospital where Lilly was supposedly in ICU awaiting a life-saving treatment — that could not be ignored. Communication from Gabrielle also stopped at that time.

Other social network users began to weigh in with discrepancies. It appears that most of LillyAnn’s LinkedIn profile, for example, was plagiarized. Pictures she had posted online were found to be digital renderings that could in no way be associated with her actual home. Evidence indicates that her real name is Barbara Calandrello, but at this point none of us know if that is the person who was using social networks to perpetate some kind of scam, or if someone else was using her identity online.

To make a long story short, I was glad I had given that $10 because it allowed me to file a claim with the FTC so the case could be investigated. As far as I know, none of the others who gave to the cause — at least a couple of whom stated they gave $100 — has filed a report. I strongly believe that when a community’s trust is violated, the community should respond appropriately so that others are not affected.

Just as social networks can be used for good, they can also be abused and used for nefarious purposes. When that happens — whether for good or evil — our reaction as a community is important. Think about what it means to be a good community citizen. Should we let angry accusations of being “self-appointed police” stop us from speaking out? Or do we take a stand against bad behavior?

The spammers and scammers are hoping we’ll remain quiet.

~ Connie

UPDATE: Please read this excellent review of the Calandrello case, and its similarity to the Kaycee Nicole scandal, here: Quantum Entanglements - The Social Media Scandals.

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Category: Social Networking, Fund-raising, Twitter, Plurk

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Plurkshop on Social Media Measurement

Posted by Connie Reece on July 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm logoOn Plurk, a newer microblogging/presence app, we have been having a series of “plurkshops,” an online DIY workshop where we start a topic and discuss it in real time, effectively turning Plurk into a chat room. This has been peer-to-peer knowledge sharing at its best. Some plurkshops have yielded over 600 comments in two hours, with the quality of the information shared being impressive. That’s a firehose of words, of course, so some of the participants have started writing recaps to summarize the discussion and put it into perspective.

Yesterday’s plurkshop on social media measurement generated over 450 comments in one hour. It was hosted by David Alston of Radian6, a social media monitoring and measurement service. I’ve been impressed with Radian6 not just as a tool, but with the way the company markets itself by joining and fostering social networks and communities. David could have used yesterday’s plurkshop to promote the company; instead, he merely participated in the discussion. It also shows foresight that Radian6 is active in Plurk, which has far fewer members than Twitter but is a very engaged community. In this post I have not provided the thoughtful questions David used to lead the discussion; you’ll have to read the entire plurkshop transcript for that.

Amber Naslund has an excellent recap at The Brandbox. So I will simply highlight here some of the key participants and their thoughts. As you can see, we raised more questions than we answered, but it’s amazing to me just how much valuable information can be shared in short bursts of 140 characters or less. These quotes will give you a glimpse into the minds of some of today’s social media practitioners and thought leaders, and give you a taste of what the plurkshops are like in case you want to join us for future events.


  • Measurement is not only about $, but about lending credibility to social media as a marketnig tool.
  • says in order for it to gain wide acceptance social media will have to prove its value in terms of ROI
  • says yep, sm is not a “campaign,” but an ongoing conversation. Got t b n it for the long term.
  • As to need for SM, if our customer base is there (think Forrester technographics) how can we not be, regardless of direct monetary benefit.


  • The issue I see most often is trying to define SM in terms of direct marketing, it has to be able to show something in terms of ROI
  • trying to convince old school direct marketers of the value of social media can be very difficult in my experience
  • wishes he could get DM people to understand that SM is the ultimate form of one-on-one direct marketing
  • SM in marketing bears more resemblance to PR than to standard marketing, it’s this shift that is hard to sell sometimes
  • Community Building is the best description I can think of to describe how SM can be used as a marketing tool
  • Great point Connie. I’ve been trying to convince our PR people to get on board for over a year. Its as if they resent SM at this point
  • SM is about engagement, and Amber is right, too often it is used to push content, not to start discussions
  • I work for a small company that exists solely due to DM, we can’t afford traditional “brand advertising”
  • SM has the ability to be a very cost effective form of brand advertising (minus the advertising portion)but they still see it in terms of DM


  • says I think the biggest source of confusion is that cos see Social Media as being marketing, and want 2 apply same metrics
  • says the prob is cos want to immediately know what they will get back, but it takes time to get quantifiable results
  • wonders if the tie between SM and link to $$ is integrating as a support for other marketing efforts
  • says ike it took Dell 2 years to see blog mentions fall so dramatically that they could tell their SM efforts were working
  • says right, you make money with social media INdirectly, not directly. Many cos can’t wrap their heads around that
  • says if used properly, SM leads to more connections with customers, more feedback, which means more efficient (costs less) marketing
  • says i polled my blog readers a couple of weeks ago, the content they most wanted to see was social media case studies
  • says but I think as companies hire more younger workers that are more familiar with social sites/tools, cultures will become more open
  • says should we call it Return on Interaction?
  • says i think cos need to realize that with social media, they have to get their hands dirty, they have to provide value


  • trouble is coming from the “search” background, so many clients are thinking it’s about links and measuring that.. when that’s not it’s goal
  • so to a degree, the measurement, somewhat needs to be a cross between PR measuring & web analytics


  • I think you have to measure SM more like you to BizDev, where not every interaction is going to have a tangible vlue
  • and how do you mollify a CMO that wants impact right now?
  • Everyone wants that special word: ROI
  • i spend X and I get Y.
  • maybe it’s a goalsetting issue: not understanding really what the endgame should be from your efforts in SM aside from just revenue.
  • “social” has a casual connotation that undermines its credibility in the business world
  • agrees that we need to get vigilant with capturing and sharing case studies among this community
  • connie you’re onto something there. maybe it’s not measuring the “what do we get” but “what are we missing if we don’t”
  • you’re so right. the irony is that my newest client is a PR firm because they now realize they’ve been left behind


  • says as we blend the disciplines of SEO, SMO and SM it becomes more complex
  • says telemill agreed however think of other mktng efforts such as trade shows not always a 1:1 but cos understand need 2 participate in key shows
  • says what about the service aspect of SM? One could argue it is an extension of customer service


  • says someone told me once that instead of thinking of return on investment, think about return on initiative to get the complete picture
  • says it’s about relationships and can’t put a price on the real relationships.If you build them with $$ as a bottom line, they aren’t as valuable


  • I agree with pchaney, as well. A history needs to be created to convince clients.
  • absolutely. Companies want instant results. Social media is long term
  • hinks SM is also potentially more effective purely due to access to people who are listening!


  • asks is customer satisfaction and loyalty a metric that has short term results that corp types understand
  • says even the best case studies I’ve seen use involvement as the metric for success. Hard to convince corp to invest $$ w/o business case.
  • says H&R Block has stated that they are in SM for the long haul as a long-term strategy to build younger client base.


  • i think the problem is that social media has such a broad scope and affects so many aspects of business
  • is SM in the context of new product development very different than PR around a product launch
  • says I think the issue is cultural, in a big company the people responsible in PR and Mktg are the most threatened by loss of control


  • wants to understand how to capture data on relationships. And does anyone want to feel their relationship is being measured?
  • thinks storyspinner has point about R of ROI. R should be redefined - Relationships, Opportunity, Investment


  • I remind ppl that “social” simply refers to people as opposed to “computer”. They understand computer networks. Social media is people net
  • says pchaney raises a good point. What is the cost of NOT being in the social media/web space?
  • says Or should we change the I of ROI. Return on involvement.
  • Mack, how can you tie a great story in WSJ about your product to bottom line impact of sales? Same with SM.
  • thinks PR missed the boat by not taking the lead in SM. They are more accustomed to measuring “soft” benefits of their work.


  • says my focus is on employer branding and we assess & monitor the # of and tone of SM mentions related to a company and employment
  • says and then we look at how that changes over time (the number and tone) as participation increases


  • says I deal with the ROI problem in my niche segment (medical influence) and no matter what RO(x) you call it, it all comes down to
  • MONEY saved or money earned.
  • says mackcollier I do think companies believe they are providing value with their “push” mentality. Perhaps need to define “what” value to “whom”

After the plurkshop, DaveWebb, shared a link to similar topics he had discussed on Mission Driven Marketing.

This is just a small sampling of the rapid back-and-forth discussion from a few of the participants. Others who offered opinions include Contrapuntist sweet2685 Thoughtwrong pierrefar anniemal martinbogo Teeg tipzu TDefren Debra ╬ I Am Gay ╬ bhamlibby BarbaraKB potsie 6consulting nowsourcing ItyBites Telemill ablereach bethharte denise205 epodcaster DebInDenver ConnieBensen

Now, to make sense of all this, go read Amber’s recap. She is the Great Plurkshop Synthesizer.

~ Connie

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Category: Social Media, Events, Conversation, Marketing, Workshops

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Social Media Club Takes Giant Step Forward

Posted by Connie Reece on July 9, 2020 at 10:04 am

The team members of Every Dot Connects were some of the earliest members and co-founders of the Social Media Club (SMC). Therefore, it’s especially gratifying for us to see the SMC take steps to form an interim board, comprised of 42 well-regarded industry leaders, with the goal of creating a new legal structure for a full-fledged professional association.

The interim board will oversee development of membership goals, acceleration of local chapter development, and will work toward an increase in adoption of industry standards and ethics. The newly named/appointed members of the interim board are leading social media analysts, bloggers and business leaders, and are as follows:

  • Lee Aase - Social Media University, Global
  • Rohit Bhargava - Influential Marketing Blog and Personality Not Included
  • Richard Binhammer - RichardatDell
  • Michael Brito - Britopian and Conversations Matter
  • Chris Brogan -
  • Mike Chapman - Austin Social Media Club and Every Dot Connects
  • Megan Cole -
  • Alex de Carvalho - and Social Object
  • Todd Defren - SHIFT Communications and
  • Serena Ehrlich - Business Wire
  • Jason Falls - Social Media Explorer
  • Maggie Fox - Social Media Group
  • Jon Gatrell -
  • Howard Greenstein -
  • Francine Hardaway - Stealthmode
  • Josh Hallett - Hyku
  • Annie Heckenberger - and
  • Chuck Hester - iContact
  • Chris Heuer -
  • Sherry Heyl - Mind Blogging
  • Tara Hunt - HorsePigCow
  • Bill Johnston - Forum One Networks Forum and Online Community Report
  • Jennifer McClure - Society for New Communications Research
  • Mike McGrath - Dogpatch Dispatch
  • Jake McKee - and Ant’s Eye View
  • Gregory Narain - SocialTwister
  • Lee Odden - Online Marketing Blog and TopRank
  • Erica OGrady - and Peanut Butter Media
  • Jeremiah Owyang - Web Strategist
  • David Parmet - Marketing Begins At Home, LLC and PerkettPR
  • Jackie Peters - heavyBlog
  • Doug Pollei -
  • Pierre-Yves Platini - Yoono
  • Douglas Pollei -
  • Connie Reece - Every Dot Connects and Austin Social Media Club
  • Chris Saad -
  • Andy Sernovitz - Word of Mouth Marketing and GasPedal
  • Brian Solis - PR2.0
  • J.J. Toothman - and Red Pill
  • Todd Van Hoosear - Tech PR Gems
  • Des Walsh - Des Walsh dot Com
  • Kristie Wells -

We cannot help but be proud that the Austin chapter of SMC is one of the oldest and strongest in the nation, and it has been my pleasure to work closely with the founders and pioneers of the organization as we have sought to take SMC from a vision to a reality.

~ Connie Reece

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Category: Social Media, Social Media Club, In the News

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Think Twitter is silly? Look what it just did….

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on July 3, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Austin Blood Drive Tweetup sticker (Scarborough photo)We get this question a lot at Every Dot Connects — “What the heck is Twitter, and how can something that sounds so goofy possibly do anything useful?”

Today, many people in Austin, Texas saw firsthand what Twitter can do with a few dedicated people and a great idea.

It was the inaugural Austin Blood Drive Tweetup, perfectly timed for July 3rd, just before an Independence Day weekend when accidents tend to happen, the need for blood is high and supplies run low.

It was launched using a variety of online tools; particularly with this Tweetup announcement post on co-organizer Michelle Greer’s blog, but also with other blog posts, lots of tweets (Twitter messages, even ones from Australia,) emails and a Facebook page.

Here’s the amazing part….

The push started on June 29th, a Sunday  -  a mere three days for people to find out about it,  to perhaps get some time off from work during a four-day workweek, to decide to participate and for many, to face possible needle fears.

The result?

Mike Chapman gets a joking Fail Whale birthday cake. Dave Neff looks on. (Scarborough photo)

100 people signed up online for a donation timeslot to come in and give blood; the Blood Center averages around 40 a day.

The professionals who run the Blood Center said they’d never seen so many first-time donors.

As I filled out paperwork today to donate, my screener said, “Are you with that Twitter group? There are a LOT of y’all - that’s great!”

Never underestimate the power of a good idea, combined with enthusiastic, tech-savvy individuals and the exponential connections of social media tools like Twitter.

(Some blood drive photos are already up on Flickr)

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Category: Social Media, Connections, Marketing, Fund-raising, Twitter

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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