Archive for the 'social media' Category

What do you do?

     People who don’t know you love to ask what you do.  Here in the Midwest that often is asking what you do to earn a living.  With the growing breadth of online tools and toys, more people don’t just ‘do’ their job.

     Ordinary folks like you and I not only do programming, or teach grade schoolers, but we blog, make videos, create social media and network.  We don’t just network either; we inspire, conspire, and admire; we encourage, uplift and share; we are not passive.

     So when I ask my contacts and friends what it is they do, I don’t want to just hear how they bring home the bacon, I want to know all they are in what they do.  I want to know that you write and inspire through your blog, to know that you raise funds for cancer by making videos, or that you raise kids in a digital world.

     In this spirit, I polled my Twitter pals, and here are the answers they gave.  Enjoy.

     Do you know these folks? Any of this sound familiar? Perhaps one of these is you, or very close.  Note that on one up there does just one thing.  Many have a full life living and doing a variety of things. It’s not a crime to specialize but don’t sell yourself short.  Very few of us wear only one hat.

     Ask yourself today, and be ready to answer when we ask, what do you do?  What do you do?

Twitter Attack?

Twitter ninja attacked?

Twitter Shakes It Up During EarthQuake

Twitter was first media source again today, and here’s the lead in.

St. Louis residents were awakened around 4:30 a.m. by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake centered several miles from West Salem, Illinois. The forceful shaking which lasted nearly a minute. As the shaking stopped, many St. Louis area Twitterers (and beyond) went to their keyboards to discuss damage. This was nearly 30 minutes before any word from the local media.

     The full article, shared on the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, gives a first hand perspective of new media’s impact. Twitter was the source for folks to find out what the all the shake, rattle and roll was about.  Waking to find pictures falling, windows rattling, and dogs going crazy, the TV and radio had nothing to say.

     Has the world turned on it’s ear when the first place people are going for live and important news is online, perhaps to people they’ve never met?  The Bhutto assassination news came to me with live reports relayed from the scene over Twitter. Now that’s speed. With the contacts I have, I can get the unabridged version of what’s said at many televised speaking engagements.  It’s neat to hear a first had report of Hilary Clinton’s remarks as she’s snuck out the back at an appearance and a few stray reporters are there to see.

     It’s not just Twitter were the news comes.  Many of my contacts have not only written blogs, but video blogs, and can do live video recording on their phones.  Talk about exciting to not just have someone tell me the news over Twitter, but to show me.  What better than pictures captured at an event and instantly transmitted across the world.

     Not only has new media brought us new tools, but a whole new sense of community to news.  No longer is an overly primped strong chinned host the only face on the news.  Becky down the street can bring me live coverage of her first walk for Cancer. Sanjib in overseas in the East can share what life is really like there, free from the cleansing of national and international television rules.  Jim in NY can share pictures of the Pope, pictures you won’t see on the news.  Want crowd reaction, why listen to some guy on NPR report on it.  Get it from the folks in the crowd through Twitter, Utterz, and Qik.

     Downsides you say, what about not coming from a professional? Heck, I’ll trade polished and good looking for raw footage any day. I’ll trade super quality video and sound for fresh and interesting as well.  So no, maybe the guy sharing isn’t briefed in world political history, and can’t comment except about how he feels.  But that guy bringing us a fresh view, and a view not likely tied to keeping his reporting job.

     There’s one thing I forgot to mention though in my excitement to brag about new media.  You can’t just tune in and turn it on and get the news.  You can’t just know which of your contacts will bring it to your door, and not even where the news might be about.

     How to get around that? Contacts and quality = value. Lots of contacts isn’t enough if most of them live down the street, though you might be surprised.  Contacts who never engage in conversation and never share, they won’t be of much news value either.  But you can cultivate great contacts.  I’ll leave that for you the reader to think about how to do it.

     To wrap up, is Twitter and such the end all and be all of getting your news? No, but it’s quickly becoming the place in my day to day life that I find out first about breaking news.

     What about you? Has your online network of friends, contacts, and feeds brought new life into finding out about the world around you? Or are you certain that the only good news is brought through nice safe professional channels, like Fox and CNN? Where do you stand?  Is a bloggers voice good enough? Or do you only read the newspaper?  Tell me where you get your info.

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Push My Follow – Social Media Podcast

Push My Follow » Episode 1 is up
Hi everyone. The first episode of Push My Follow is up and ready. It took a little longer than normal to edit it, I had some audio issues to deal with, but be sure that all episodes after this one will get better.

We’re very excited about this show. We’re all very passionate about social media and where it’s going. Hopefully you’ll all enjoy listening to it as much as we did making it.

The topics?

Domain squatters
Friendfeed and Socialthing
Wordpress 2.5

This podcast was very conversational, and comfortable to listen to.  Felt like I was right there at a table with these folks.  The most controversial piece for me is the Oddfollow section.  Creepy is the word.

Check out the MP3 directly here.

I’ll be listening again and I recommend you give it at least a quick listen.

Video on Flickr?

Video on Flickr?

Originally uploaded by heather

Yes, that’s right, video is now live on Flickr. How much video? 90 seconds, but hey, it’s a start. Their term is long photos. Me, I’m going to read up on the how and the what and see about putting some video up.
You, get hot, let me see you bring it big on video!

SAP Global Survey: Pistachio’s Laura Fitton

Shel Israel bring it home again with another great interview, Global Neighbourhoods: SAP Global Survey: Pistachio’s Laura Fitton.

My favorite quote?

All my work now comes from people I know through Twitter. All of it. Not only do all my clients come from Twitter, by the time someone contacts me, they thoroughly understand how my mind works and have already decided I am the one for the project.

Laura Fitton, @Pistachio on Twitter, is everything this article describes and more.  She’s outgoing, and spirited, sharing and engaging; she’s one of my most interesting contacts.

Laura and I became contacts some months ago.  Since then, she’s not just someone I’ve listened to, but had several conversations with. She’s me and others with crisis in her life, and the joys as well.  Laura sought those of us in her network out for thoughts about her website, her business, and her blog.

Nothing fake comes across in those connections. Lively, honest, and fun communication is her way of doing business online. It seems to stand her well offline as well.

It is my hope to go beyond simple conversations to becoming long time friends, and perhaps business contacts as well.

Do you know Pistachio?

FriendsForSale – Facebook Addiction Again

FriendsOnSaleFirst there was Scrabulous, more recently Packrat, and now? FriendsForSale. You read the right, Friends For Sale. Go figure that would be popular. What it amounts to is you can ‘purchase’ your friends for game dollars.

Each of your friends that’s never been purchased starts out at the same price. As a person’s persona is purchased, the value goes up. The increments are fairly small at first, but quickly escalate.

Purchasing a person is not a straight buy either. There is a markup factor as well as profit for the current owner. Also, the person being purchased receives a little bit of game cash. This results in those being purchased frequently acquiring a good bit more cash than those that receive few or no purchases. Purchases can be made of unowned personas as well as those owned by others.

Basic play aside there are a couple of camps of folks involved in this game. Those that see it as demeaning, and those that just see it as fun. The demeaning side can be seen in how a person is bought and sold, as some would say, like a piece of garbage sale junk. Even others in that camp just see the game as another way to feed on the cliques and elitism they see happening in social networks and social media across the board.

On the flip side, those just in it for the fun do have a few interesting takes on it. Some treat it like a trading card game, with each trade being more like stealing away someones best rookie card. Some take the fun into more risque things, playing up on the innuendo of ‘owning’ someone. And of course there’s the crowd that just finds it another cute game to play with friends.

The truth, in my opinion, is that neither side is all the way wrong. Elitism is hard at play in this game in a way, but more of elitist worship. It’s the groupie effect. Persons like Robert Scoble and Jeff Pulver bring the most cash for purchase. Yet ostensibly, neither plays the game themselves. But because of hero worship, the one who owns becomes envied. Now is this all bad? Not really, it’s definitely a parallel to collecting trading cards.

Trading cards have value based on how famous the player on the card is, and how hard the card is to get a copy of, and finally, what sentimental value there is. Friends For Sale’s economy behaves the same way essentially, with social media rockstars being generally the most valued cards as it were. However, like in trading card collection, there are a wealth of those collecting their personal friends over the rockstars.

Unlike in collecting trading cards though, there’s one big difference. Any player can buy your cards right out from under you in FriendsForSale. All they need is enough game dollars. This can make the game frustrating to participate in, especially when you play with your friends.

My thoughts on it? If you have time to play more games, this one is a low involvement game, with no clear winners or losers, and the game bucks are free every 4 hours. There are definitely worse games and applications on Facebook.

If you don’t have time for more Facebook games, why the heck did you read this far?

Go, buy your friends, and steal my cards. I dare you!

ChessPro – Scrabulous Builders Bring Us Chess

ChessPro is the newest Facebook application from the guys that brought us Scrabulous.

Here’s a quick screenshot before I head into some details.


The pieces are immediately recognizable on the default board. Classic choices here for black and white pieces.  Above the game is show the game number, and the opening name.  This feature alone makes this version of online chess a notch above.

Over to the right is the menu, allowing viewing of all open games, statistics, and more.  From words to pictograms though as you move down.  The next menu row is of symbols. Those of you who play Scrabulous will be some what at home with those.

The buttons from left to right are:

Settings, Capture Pieces, Move History, Refresh Board, Move List, Delete/Resign, Help

Below the buttons is the player names, and rankings.  The rankings are based solely on games played with ChessPro.

Next down is the shown the last move.  The notation choice here is standard alpha numeric. This will allow for easier use across languages and skill levels.

Underneath the message box area are three colored dots.  One is refresh, one flips the board, and the last shows captured pieces.

One additional feature here, not present in Scrabulous, is the private notes area.  This area is only visible to you as a player.  The probable intended use is for annotating your games.  Notes are free form.

Several people already show up as users. Some friends and I have started a few games

My initial thought is that this will likely become my home for chess on Facebook.  The game play seems bug free, and the game appears to be built on the same framework as Scrabulous.  I expected it will scale well with much use.

I already have feature requests too:

– allow me to export completed games – at least the moves

– allow handicapping

– allow game snapshots to be posted to the news feed – or at least share the game in the stream

Looks good though. And you can find me playing there.


With thanks to Jeff Hibbard, @jeffhibbard.

Shashi B. Does SxSW – Pictures

Shashi, a social media guru from up in D.C. is down in SxSWi this weekend.  And from his pictures, he’s having a blast!

I hear he’s rubbing elbows with another friend, Liz Strauss, of SOBCon and Successful Blog.

If you are hanging out down there and have a minute, how about visiting his photo set and tagging them.