Podcast: Connie and Sheila talk social media

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on December 29, 2020 at 9:11 pm

Connie Reece and and I joined the Blog Talk Radio program Tech in Twenty to talk about how we are using social media tools….

  • for good, like the Frozen Pea Fund for cancer research and
  • for business, like our client’s HomeAway Getaway contest for bloggers, photographers and video bloggers.

Here’s the link if you’d like to listen on Blog Talk Radio, or download the podcast:  Tech in Twenty - Using Social Media

There’s further discussion on Daily Slackr as well.

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Category: Social Media, Conversation, Marketing, Audio, podcasting, Contest

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We have an Age of Conversation 2 winner!

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on December 26, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Congratulations to reader Alexis….

Random.org chose his comment as the winning number, so he’ll get a copy of Age of Conversation 2 - Why Don’t They Get It? autographed by both Connie Reece and me.

Thanks for playing!

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Category: Social Media, Conversation, Fund-raising, Books, Contest

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I Really Need a Getaway …

Posted by Connie Reece on December 23, 2020 at 9:51 am

Our client Homeaway is sponsoring a Getaway contest, a dream vacation worth up to $5,000, to the blogger, videographer or photographer who creates the most compelling answer to this question: Why do you need a getaway, and where would you like to spend it?

Oy, I wish I could enter this contest. The whole time Sheila Scarborough and I have been helping the HomeAway team put this contest together, my imagination has run wild. Travel is something I rarely get to do-for pleasure, that is; I’ve done a fair bit of travel this year to speak at conferences.

But a real vacation? The kind without succumbing to the tuneful ring of a cell phone or squelching the urge to check email every hour? Haven’t had one of those in five long years. A day off here and there, maybe a long weekend, that’s it.

Oh, and sick days. Had quite a few of those. 2008 has been a year of struggle health-wise: I’ve battled an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, and a back injury. Then there was selling the family homestead and moving my mom out of the house where she’d lived for 38 years into a house with me and my sister. Combining 3 households took 2 estate sales, 2 garage sales, and trips to auction houses and consignment stores as well as donations to the Salvation Army.

How’s that for a sob story for why I need a getaway? Well, at least you can understand why I’ve been daydreaming about where I’d go for my dream vacation.

Chateauneuf-de-Gadagne vacation rentalFirst choice: a sweet little château in the south of France.

I studied at the Université de Clermont-Ferrand the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college, and I have always wanted to go back to France someday. Here’s a lovely place I found on the HomeAway site-a charming little castle (in fact, that’s its name) with 7 bedrooms and 5 baths. (Not too big; I wouldn’t want to appear pretentious!)

The Chateau de Charme is a 12th-century castle. Totally restored and modernized, it offers luxury accomodation, inlcuding a private swimming pool. Situated in a rural hilly area where the famous ‘Charolais beef’ is bred and offering panoramic views, the château is 5 minutes away from the medieval village of Charlieu. Many vineyards are nearby-the Beaujolais region is just 30 minutes by car. The local wine is Les Côtes Roannaises.

stylish home San Francisco vacation rentalSecond choice: a stylish San Francisco house with panoramic views

A U.S. city I’ve always wanted to visit is San Francisco. HomeAway’s site features vacation rentals from Nob Hill homes to Victorian apartments in Pacific Heights and even a Sausalito houseboat. But the one that captured my eye was this stylish, 3-story, architect-designed house with two killer features: panoramic views of downtown San Francisco as well as the Bay, and a Steinway grand piano in the living room. A Steinway grand-hello!

This home, high on Potrero Hill, would be a perfect spot for a writer’s retreat. I feel creative just looking at the photos! The owner, who lives here when not traveling, says: “There are sweeping views of downtown San Francisco and the Bay from almost every room. The large, open living room has a dramatic marble fireplace, an award-winning staircase, antique Japanese furniture, original art and sculpture, a Steinway grand piano, and a soaring cathedral ceiling with sunlight streaming through the two double French doors, and a huge skylight. The master bedroom, which occupies the entire third floor, has a Japanese-style bath, a wall of glass framing a magnificent view of San Francisco, and a private redwood deck.”

It even has wireless Internet throughout the house. And, this vacation rental is under $3,000 per week-which means that HomeAway would give me $2,000 cash to cover travel expenses!

Oh, wait. I can’t enter the contest. *big sigh*

But you can. Where do you want to go on your dream vacation? You’ve got 120,000+ vacation rental properties to choose from.

I hope you’ll give it a try with a blog post (350 words); a YouTube video (two minutes); or a set of photos on Flickr (up to 10 photos w/ captions of less than 20 words each). You can find more information here: How to Enter the Contest. Just tell us (and the world) why you need a getaway, and where you’d like to spend it. Entries will be accepted through January 7 and voting begins January 8.

If you win, all I ask is that you send me a postcard so I can live vicariously.

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Category: Events, In the News, Blogging, Video, Contest

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Why Don’t They Get It? Win Our Book and Find Out!

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on December 21, 2020 at 12:24 am

Age of Conversation2 - click here to buy it!Both Connie Reece and I contributed chapters to the latest version of the groundbreaking, multi-author book Age of Conversation2 - Why Don’t They Get It?

The book is a follow-on to the very successful Age of Conversation, to which Connie also contributed a chapter.

That’s right — this year, 239 authors from 15 nations banded together to wrestle with why so many still don’t understand and in fact are NOT big fans of the Age of Conversation.

Why are so many folks nervous about, or even downright afraid of, those two-way discussions with customers….anything with a Comment box underneath it?

You know - social media.

AOC2 has Manifestos to challenge our thinking about what it means to live, work and participate in today’s two-way world. There are also sections about Accidental Marketers, A New Brand of Creative, Life in the Conversation Lane, From Conversation to Action and some bloopers in My Marketing Tragedy.

My chapter asks why should people get it - what’s in the conversation for them?  I wrote:

“Why doesn’t Joe Six-pack or Jane Latte understand social media? Because we, the go-go Web 2.0 evangelists, forget to address some basic problems….”

Connie’s chapter draws an analogy to the Texas two-finger salute from drivers:

“Twitter is like the two-finger salute, 140-character snippets of conversation conducted in passing. Blogs are the truck stops of the Information Superhighway, where newcomers mingle with long-time online friends….”

The book is actually a fundraiser for Variety, the children’s charity, so when you click here to buy, your money goes to their good works.

Leave a comment below about why you think so many folks “don’t get it” about social media, and you’ll get a chance to win a copy of the book that is autographed by both me and Connie.  Using the cool tools on Random.org, we’ll pick a winner on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020 (ho ho ho) and we’ll mail it to the winner anywhere in the world.

For more about the ideas behind the book, including interviews and podcasts with the authors, we recommend the Age of Conversation2 blog, and here is a full list of the talented authors who joined us…..

Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock,Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay,Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins,G. Kofi Annan,G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw and James G. Lindberg, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Thanks for your support!

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Category: Social Media, Conversation, Fund-raising, Books

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Twitter: Lessons from Mumbai

Posted by Connie Reece on December 2, 2020 at 1:54 am

As a news junkie, and one with an interest in global terrorism, I was glued to my computer monitor for a large part of the almost 60-hour siege at the historic Taj Hotel in Mumbai and the related terror attacks. I had NDTV from New Delhi in one browser window; CNN/IBN streaming in another.

And, of course, I was closely following the conversation on Twitter. In the process, I learned some new Twitter tricks to share with you here.

1. Advanced Search Leads to Eyewitnesses

With a huge volume of tweets adopting #mumbai as a hashtag, it was hard to sift the wheat from the chaff-or as my tech friends would say, the noise to signal ratio was way too high. Many people were tweeting and retweeting news reports, some accurate, some dubious. But buried in the avalanche of 140-character messages were some eyewitness reports, and I learned a new way to mine the nuggets: advanced search.

Go to http://search.twitter.com — now, see the small type to the right of the Search button that says Advanced Search? Click on it. Or, you could just go straight to http://search.twitter.com/advanced.

I used this feature to search for Twitter users located within 15 km of Mumbai. Voilà! Not all of these people were eyewitnesses-some were reporting what they were hearing on local news or from friends-but I quickly found three people who were nearby and tweeting about what they were seeing and hearing first-hand. They were also taking lots of photos, which soon found their way on to Flickr.

CNN found them too because before long, @vinu, @arunshanbhag and @dina were being interviewed via telephone for international newscasts, and the following day several mainstream newspapers quoted them as well.Twitter Advanced Search - Mumbai

Click the thumbnail at left to see a screenshot of the Advanced Search form with the input parameters. Alternatively, you could use these search operators to get the same results:

#mumbai near:Mumbai within:15km

2.  Twitter Detective: How to Spot the Trolls

After a few hours the #mumbai hashtag was infected with a number of people taking advantage of the opportunity to spread their propaganda. Suddenly we were hearing that the Mumbai terror attacks had been perpetrated by the Mossad (the Jewish conspiracy theory that routinely gets trotted out ); that all Muslims are terrorists (ditto); or that the attacks were the handiwork of Hindus, etc., etc. Some tweeters were more subtle but still had an obvious agenda.

It was interesting to see how many of these trolls had created Twitter accounts strictly for that purpose. Click through to the profile and you could see that they were following zero people and had zero followers, or a handful at most, and that the oldest updates had begun after the terror attacks took place.

The obvious trolls I blocked, in the hope that if enough people did that, their account would be suspended for unusual activity. Additionally, I found that you could eliminate these users from your advanced Twitter search by the use of the minus operator: i.e. #mumbai -trollname1 -trollname2

However, the list of people I wanted to block from the discussion got too long, so I just waded through their wretched rhetoric to read what interested me.

3. Tweetchat: Like a Chat Room for Hashtags

Brooks Bennett, whom I met as a fellow panelist for an event sponsored by the Texas Public Relations Association, created a new tool I enjoyed using to follow the #mumbai discussion. After we had discussed Twitter and hashtags at the TPRA conference, Brooks went home and thought, “What if you could have a Twitter chat room based on one topic?” … and then he created just that over the weekend. I had the fun of demoing it to the American Heart Association just two days later. (I’m telling you, things move fast in this social media world!)

Tweetchat turns a hashtag into a Twitter-style chat room. It’s just like Twitter Search in the way it displays a stream of each post that uses a particular hashtag. Unlike Twitter Search, the page autorefreshes (yay!). Plus, you can post to Twitter directly from Tweetchat-no switching between browser windows or applications. Additionally, when you post a Twitter update from Tweetchat, it automatically appends the hashtag for you, so you don’t have to worry about typos.

Tweetchat #mumbaiTo use Tweetchat, go to http://tweetchat.com and log into Twitter with your username and password (not stored by the Tweetchat server; simply used to authenticate your account with the Twitter API). The “room” name is the hashtag you’re following. You can also send someone a direct link by using a format like this: http://tweetchat.com/room/mumbai

UPDATE: The original version of this post incorrectly formatted the above link with a hashtag; it is not needed in the URL.

Brooks recently made some tweaks so that links now open in a new tab, and he fixed a bug that truncated messages that included an ampersand. I’m sure he would appreciate feedback when you try Tweetchat, so ping him on Twitter @BrooksBennett.

Those are my recent discoveries about Twitter. What new tips or tricks have you learned?

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Category: In the News, 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