MakeConnieLaugh Winner: Grand Prize

Posted by Connie Reece on August 6, 2020 at 9:30 am

Announcing the Grand Prize winner of the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less Contest will be the last off-topic post; we’ll resume regular blogging tomorrow. On second thought, is it really off-topic when your blog is about social networking and making connections through conversation?

The winning entry for the Grand Prize not only made me laugh, it had a special significance for me — one the writer could not possibly have known about, and one that directly pertained to the reason I was feeling blue and needed cheering up in the first place. The synchronicity really does not surprise me, though, for Jon Swanson, author of Levite Chronicles, is a man who listens with his heart.

Here’s his winning entry, and remember that it appears here in reverse chronological order.


When I dreamed up this contest, I had just been through a rough week. Then on Saturday morning, I found this post in my RSS reader. The last time I’d had a chance to sit down for a chat with John Moore, we talked about his mom’s battle with ALS. In addition to reading his blog, I’d been following John’s marvelous video scrapbook, narrated by his mom, Glenna, until she lost the ability to speak. Just take a look at this sample, where John’s dad, Al, tells about his love for Glenna.

I knew all too well what the Moore family was going through, having lost my father to a neurodegenerative disease in December 2000. He managed to maintain his sense of humor until the end, but the suffering took a huge toll on our family. As time passes, you forget the suffering and remember all the laughter. But for a few moments on Saturday morning, it all came back when I found out about Glenna Moore.

Thanks to my Twitter pals, the painful memories soon faded as person after person endeavored to make me laugh. And here’s why Jon’s Burma-Shave for the Information Highway tweets bowled me over.

burma-shave-logo.jpgMy father loved to load the family in the car and take us places. Back in those days (remember, I’m older than the average Internet maven), the occasional series of weathered Burma-Shave signs still dotted the back roads of the Hill Country. Dad would slow down so my sister and I could read them out loud.

That would distract us momentarily, but like every small child on a road trip, we would soon be asking how much longer it would be before we reached our destination. “Daddy, are we there yet?”

Daddy would always reply, “Not much farther. It’s just over that next hill.”

Those words came back to me on that final, unbearably long night when we kept a bedside vigil at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. Dad’s breathing became so labored that each breath would raise him chest-first off the bed. The nurses increased the dose of morphine to ease his pain.

At one point, when this lifelong Daddy’s Girl didn’t think she could take it any longer, I kissed his cheek and whispered, “Not much farther, Daddy. It’s just over that next hill.”

Mercifully, a couple of hours later my father slipped from this life to the next. I like to think that if there are two-lane roads in heaven, Daddy has “the pedal to the metal” on a battleship-sized Cadillac Fleetwood or Chrysler Imperial (his cars of choice), slowing down only long enough to read the angelic equivalent of Burma-Shave signs.

With more love and laughter and appreciation than you can imagine, Jon, I’m sending an autographed hardcover copy of The Age of Conversation your way.

Comments (11)

Category: Just for Fun, Connections, Social Networking, Twitter, Bloggers, Books

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

MakeConnieLaugh Winner: First Place

Posted by Connie Reece on August 2, 2020 at 8:11 pm

I never imagined that the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less contest would turn out to be such a dangerous event. While I can’t award a Purple Heart, I can award a First Place prize to Tim Siedell, an advertising guru and jerky afficianado [inside joke] who was so determined to make me smile that he wound up injuring himself.

Tim Siedell / Bad BananaYou’ll have to dig deep on the Web to find a real photo of Tim; on his Bad Banana blog and Twitter he prefers to use the iconic image of one of his heroes, legendary adman David Ogilvy. A well-thumbed copy of Ogilvy on Advertising has a place of honor on one of my many bookshelves as well.

Here is the series of entries from Tim that cracked me up. Remember, these are posted in reverse chronological order, so it helps to start reading at the bottom.
Badbanana entries

Here’s a shout-out to Brenda and Ryan for adding to the fun.

A final note to Tim: I am still awarding you First Place, even though I later found out from your Web site that you also won the World’s Toughest Briefs competition. Somehow it sounds like you weren’t exactly playing fair here; nevertheless, you can still expect an autographed copy of The Age of Conversation. :-)

Comments (3)

Category: Just for Fun, Social Networking, Conversation, e-book, Twitter, Books

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

MakeConnieLaugh in 140 characters or less

Posted by Connie Reece on July 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm

What do you do when you’re feeling kinda blue on a Saturday morning? Start a silly contest on Twitter — I suppose that would be a competwittion? — and extend it to your blog.

But MakeConnieLaugh is a real contest with real prizes! Here are the rules:

1. Use @conniereece to tweet your entry.

2. If you’re not on Twitter, enter by leaving a comment below. However, your entry must conform to the 140-character limit.

3. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Sunday, July 29, 2007. (I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.)

4. Twitter entries will be favorited with a gold star so I can review them later. Judging is entirely subjective; after all, the goal of the contest is to make me laugh.

5. Winning entries will be announced on Monday, July 30, 2020 via Twitter and this blog.

Age of Conversation bookNow, what will you receive if you actually Make Connie Laugh?

Grand Prize: Hardcover copy of The Age of Conversation, retail value $29.99, autographed by yours truly.

First Place: Softcover copy of The Age of Conversation, retail value $16.99, ditto on the autograph.

The Age of Conversation is a collaborative book by 103 authors, including some of the top voices in marketing and social media today. Click the book graphic for all the details about this innovative project. I’m privileged to be found in the pages of this remarkable book with a chapter called “The Two-Step of Conversational Writing.”

All MakeConnieLaugh entries will get some link love here on Every Dot Connects, as well as my appreciation for participating. My heart is already lighter after just a few entries.

So go ahead … make me laugh. :-)

Update: This contest is turning out to be so much fun that I’ll be adding a few more copies of The Age of Conversation softcover as prizes. So get those entries in by midnight tonight, Sunday, for a chance to win.

Comments (10)

Category: Just for Fun, Social Networking, Conversation, Twitter, Bloggers, Books

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

Crafty Nation Debuts at CHA Chicago

Posted by Connie Reece on July 21, 2020 at 1:43 am

Yesterday friends Jim Long and Toni Lyn launched the beta version of Crafty Nation, a new social network for crafters, at the giant Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Chicago.

Online video is in the process of altering our television viewing habits. In a recent post Jim, a veteran videographer and self-described “new media micro mogul,” wrote that social networks are becoming the New Television. “Social networks, empowering core constituencies of passionate users around targeted, niche market content, are emerging as a powerful media marketforce.”

If you’re interested in making or finding beautiful handcrafts, or if you want to see some excellent video samples of niche market content, give a visit. Here’s a short (1:30) clip from their video blog of opening day at CHA. (I chose this one, of course, because it features a shout-out to me. What can I say? I’m shameless.)

Note: RSS readers may need to click through to the site to view video.

Online Videos by

Comments (3)

Category: Events, Connections, Social Networking, Twitter

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

Happy Birthday, Jon Swanson!

Posted by Connie Reece on July 10, 2020 at 12:19 am

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the special birthday page for Jon Swanson. Go ahead, have a virtual slice of chocolate cake and leave a personal message for Jon.

Leave a comment

Category: Events, Just for Fun, Connections, Social Networking

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

NBC Cameraman Gives Micro-Glimpse at Major Story

Posted by Connie Reece on April 16, 2020 at 8:45 pm

One of the friends I’ve made online this year is Jim Long, a cameraman for NBC news, who is usually on the White House detail. (By day, that is. After hours he morphs into a superhero named Micro Media Mogul. Or so I’ve heard.)

Right now Jim is covering the horrific story of the massacre at Virginia Tech, and in the crazy way that new media is merging with network news, I’ve been following Jim’s behind-the-scenes reports today. In fact, it turns out that Jim actually learned about the breaking story from me, when I Twittered about it this morning. Shortly after that, he got the call from 30 Rock to load up and head to Virginia.

I already knew that Jim was a great storyteller with his camera. Turns out he can capture a story in words too — in fact, in very short bursts of words sent from his cell phone. Reading his numerous “tweets” today, I was caught up in the dash to get to the studio and load the gear. Jim described seeing other news crews traveling the same highway in the mad rush to get to the scene.

And then this message really drove the significance of the story home:

Jim Long tweet #1

Then there was this:

Jim Long tweet #2

And finally, everything was in place, and after sending these two short messages, Jim put eye to lens and brought the story into our living rooms.

Jim Long tweet #3

A few minutes ago Jim messaged that the “adrenaline is waning” and wondered if anyone had booked a hotel room for the crew. These short messages — some mundane, some eloquent — provided a personal perspective on the news that I found fascinating.

Twitter has a lot of critics who dismiss it as something frivolous, but today was just one more demonstration that it has a legitimate business purpose.

Just before I pressed “Publish,” I saw another tweet from Jim cross the ‘Net:

Jim Long tweet #5

Get some rest, Jim. And thanks for the micro-reporting today.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

Comments (1)

Category: In the News, Blogging, Social Networking

  • Add this post to
  • -
  • Digg

Enter your email address: