MakeConnieLaugh Winner: Miss Congeniality

Posted by Connie Reece on July 30, 2020 at 9:17 pm

At every beauty pageant a contestant is chosen as Miss Congeniality, the young woman who best exemplifies the spirit of the competition. Last month my cousin Jordan Chanley won the Miss Congeniality award in the Miss New Mexico competition. I’m not proud or anything. :-)

While the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less Contest was not a pageant, it did motivate some very beautiful people to encourage someone in their community-me-who was feeling down.

Marti LawrenceAnd nobody, I mean nobody, got in the spirit of things more than Marti Lawrence (Twitter name: Marti_L), who is hereby crowned Miss Congeniality.

Marti had a bit of advantage, since she is a humor columnist and author of Queen Klutz, a collection of essays about her misadventures.

On her blog, Enter the Laughter, Marti says, “I write humorously about bad luck, being a klutz, cars that hate me, life, love and family. I’ve broken both ankles twice, amputated my right index finger and had it reattached. I’ve had the transmission fall out of a Dodge van while driving down the interstate. My teenage son wrecked my car, resulting in an E-Bay auction for the $2,000 French Fry, which caused the wreck. If I couldn’t write about this stuff being funny, I’d be in a rubber room.”

I have not even counted up the many one-liner entries Marti tweeted during the two-day contest, which included her birthday celebration. Here’s a sampling:

5 out of 4 people have trouble with statistics.

If you smoke after sex you’re doing it too fast.

Why is “bra” singular and “panties” plural?

“Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.”

Dyslexia: it can warn without striking!

I’m always late. My ancestors arrived on the June Flower.

Corny? Yeah. But Marti plunged into the contest as if she were bungee jumping off the Tallahatchee Bridge. I simply could not let such exuberance go unrewarded.

So, Marti. A softcover copy of The Age of Conversation is headed your way. Many, many thanks for Making Connie Laugh!

Oh, and I’m sorry @EvilBambiOhio assaulted your husband’s car today. But I figure you’ll just turn it into another chapter in another book. :-)

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

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MakeConnieLaugh Award Categories

Posted by Connie Reece on July 30, 2020 at 7:09 pm

How can I possibly thank the 32 people who sent 103 short, funny messages to brighten my weekend by entering the MakeConnieLaugh in 140 Characters or Less Competwittion?

What started out as a blue Saturday morning soon turned into one of the sunniest weekends I’ve had in a while-not because of the weather, because we are still having our daily downpours. Instead my “mourning was turned to joy” by a community of friends who hang out here and on Twitter.

I wish I could award you all a prize. (But it ain’t gonna happen, so don’t get your hopes up.)

Last night I stayed up late rereading the entries and making my decisions. Because I want to spread out the fun, I will announce the winners over the next few days. I’ll also create a page where I can share some “link love” with everyone who played along.

MakeConnieLaugh Trophy

Here are the final award categories:

Miss Congeniality Award

Accidental Entry Award

First Place Prize

Grand Prize

My next post will announce the first award, so stay tuned!

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Category: Just for Fun, Connections, Twitter, Bloggers

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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.

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

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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

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Category: Events, Connections, Social Networking, Twitter

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Podbit 001 - Why I Switched to NBC News

Posted by Connie Reece on May 16, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Kelley Burrus and I have embarked on a new adventure: we’re creating a podcast, called Podversation. Because we’re novices, we’re still in the learning stages of audio production, figuring out how to edit various recorded pieces together, then add podsafe music and voiceovers to make an enjoyable listening experience.

In the meantime, we will release individual audio files. Podversations will be longer interviews and discussions; Podbits are “audio appetizers” — tantalizing, bite-size snacks of opinion or observation to whet your appetite for conversation.

In this first podbit, I describe how my Twitter pal Jim Long influenced me to change my news-viewing habits. Click to listen, and let me know what you think in the comments.

By the way, the audio player I’ve used here is a free service from Evoca, one of the sponsors of the SOBCon conference. Evoca appears to be drop-dead easy to use, and I can’t wait to explore the social networking capabilities of the site as well as its recording and uploading features.Shout-out to Diego Orjuela, COO and co-founder of Evoca, whom I met in Chicago and with whom I had to share my most embarrassing moment as part of a group exercise. He’s not gonna tell, though, because I know his deep, dark secrets too. :-)NOTE: If you’re reading this in an RSS reader, you may need to click through to the site to hear the audio file.

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Category: Connections, Twitter, Podbits, Audio, podcasting

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The Grandmotherly Type Who Twitters

Posted by Connie Reece on May 14, 2020 at 4:05 am

Wouldn’t you know it. Sheila Scarborough and I had to fly all the way from Austin to Chicago to get acquainted at SOBCon07. Sheila blogs about family travel and drag racing, and I really enjoyed having a conversation with her.Connie Reece

And thanks to Sheila, I earned a new description at SOBCon: “the grandmotherly type who was live twittering” — which is exactly what I was doing at open mic night. The next morning we were laughing and chatting away at top-speed when Sheila made that comment (she’s definitely a high-energy talker and blogger), and for a split second I didn’t realize she was talking about me.

Then I made the connection and I thought, “Me? Grandmotherly?” And I cracked up. I don’t have children, let alone grandchildren, so I’m not accustomed to thinking of myself that way. But hey, I am definitely old enough to be a grandmother.

The neat thing about that, which is what Sheila was pointing out, is that age is not the deciding factor when it comes to learning or adopting new technologies. Yes, I’m something of an anomaly as an older blogger and social media maven, but I’m still curious, still craving knowledge, and I’m following my passions.

So, Sheila, especially for you, I am posting my inner blogging diva photo here. You gotta admit. I am one rockin’ grandma, right? :-)

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Category: Events, Connections, Twitter, Bloggers

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Productivity: Snooze It or Lose It

Posted by Connie Reece on May 9, 2020 at 10:20 am

[Ultimate Guide to Productivity]My first thought when Carolyn Manning tagged me to write a contribution to The Ultimate Guide to Productivity was, “Who, me? The Princess of Procrastination?”

We writers can be some of the most unproductive people on the planet — or at least it seems that way sometimes. Even when we’re not in full-blown frantic, deadline-inspired, caffeine-gulping, nothing-can-break-my- concentration writing mode, our brains are rarely set on Idle. What appears to be mindless activity or unproductive distraction — say that third Sudoku puzzle of the day, or taking the time to give each of the nine Greek muses an amusing Twitter name (yep, did that yesterday) — can be mere procrastination. But it can also be a way of letting our subconscious work things out creatively while we’re focusing on a different task. This is different from multi-tasking, when you’re trying to do everything at once.

The best way to recharge your brain for writing productivity however, is to give it a complete rest — something that most of us neglect, to our own detriment and, unfortunately, to everyone else’s. Studies show that sleep deprivation costs companies $18 billion a year in lost productivity. [source]

So, here’s my number one tip for ultimate productivity:

Get enough sleep; take naps if you need to.

[sleep deprivation and the caffeine culture]Quit taking pride in your ability to push your body to its limits.

Quit staring at the monitor until your eyes are glazed over — literally — from not blinking. (Studies show that your blinking rate while working on a computer is far slower than for other activities; this infrequent blinking dries out your eyes.)

Sleep is when our bodies, and our brains, repair themselves. But most 21st-century office workers are sleep-deprived to the point where we “microsleep,” those couple of seconds where your head suddenly bobs in front of an open book — or your boss. Inadequate sleep breaks the body down, causes chronic health problems, and results in dangerous accidents.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to accidents, both at work and on the way home, as well as a myriad of health concerns, including obesity, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal diseases, stomach ulcers. Studies also show that shift workers suffer from short-term memory disturbances, decreased overall mental ability, headaches, decreased productivity and negative moods and behavior. [source]

When I take my own advice, my writing improves dramatically, and so does my productivity. I’ve written some of my best dialogue, for example, while standing in the shower after a decent night’s sleep.

Now it’s my turn to tag others to share their best tips on productivity. And since I spend so much time on Twitter, I’m going to tag five people I have recently met online and know only through their tweets and blog posts: Cathleen Rittereiser, Annie Boccio, Paull Young, Julie Bonner and Cathryn Hrudicka. *UPDATE: I just corrected the link to Cathryn’s blog; I had it incorrect in my original posting.*

Remember, taggees, that you get more than 140 characters for this assignment! :-)

Note: The Ultimate Guide to Productivity is the brainchild of instigator Ben Yoskovitz.

Connie Reece

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Category: Blogging, Twitter, Memes

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PR in the Google Age

Posted by Connie Reece on April 27, 2020 at 4:33 am

I have a number of friends in the public relations business, and there is no doubt that the practice of PR is shifting dramatically. The PR pros on the Every Dot Connects team understand this shift and have become very involved in learning about social media and integrating it into their businesses where appropriate.

This article from the Daily ‘Dog, an online PR publication, starkly describes the plight of the old-school PR types who are not comfortable navigating the blogosphere:

Google has upset the PR paradigm. It’s much harder to control information. It’s much harder to get out ahead of bad news. And every piece of public information about your company—the good, the bad, the ugly—lives on the Web more or less forever. …

The result is an enormous impact on a company’s “publics”—customers, vendors, employees, analysts, shareholders, regulators and everyone else capable of typing the name of a company, its management or product on their keyboards.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be blogging in this space about how PR practitioners can — and MUST — adapt their strategies and tactics in the Google Age.

Hat tip to Todd Defren, who posed the question, and Kami Huyse, who answered it — on Twitter. As you can tell from their “tweets” below, Twitter is becoming not just a “what I had for breakfast” medium but a valuable tool for conversation and research sharing. Give it a try!

Twitter screenshot 070426

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Category: Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter

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