Gaming Social Media

Lately I’ve been sensing this trend with Twitter, illustrated in the pie chart below. Yes, I’m being somewhat facetious in regards to the actual percentages; but as it is with all good things, even Twitter is not impervious to those who feel that rather than trying to engage in meaningful conversations, and create valued relationships, they would prefer to cut to the chase and try and sell you something. I could give you 5 sites that are gaming twitter but why give them props?  Does this sound familiar? Following-880, Followers- 7 Tweets-1


Mardi Gras and Social Media


Today is Mardi Gras and given that I’m here in Naples and I’m from New Orleans, I need to do the next best thing. I’m going to compile a list for you. The list is of people that I would want to buy food and drinks for and a short reason why. You see with drinks and food readily available, we could have some killer conversations.   Hell we already do, and there ain’t no food and drinks!!!! 

And isn’t what this all about? Social Media, Mardi Gras, being together sharing, talking, laughing, drinking, eating…So,  laizzes bon temps roulez

Say Hi to…

Mack Collier– great conversation, good person, here’s some beers for you Mack, followed by  a shrimp po-boy…:)


Arik Hanson Loves a good hoppy microbrew, so pull up a chair and crack one open.

Amber Naslund, she can bring it. Between myself, Arik and Amber the beer scene will be covered. I’d have beers with Amber anytime.

I gotta have someone who can bring the crawfish. Ahh Paul Chaney is in Lafayette, he can do it. Plus he’s a great guy. I’d split 15-20 pounds of crawfish with Paul!


This party needs some flavor and maybe I can show David Alston that his Canadian beer is not up to snuff. Molson? ick…:)

I can’t forget some Austin Flavor right? How about Peter Kim, Jack Leblond and Dave Gonzalez? I need to buy all three of these guys beers for their ability to share so much with me, for that, they can drink for free!


What party wouldn’t be complete without some wicked people from the Boston area? Rachel Happe between sips of her Sam Adams, would be a welcome addition. As long as she kept the Red Sox talk to a minimum!

I’d buy a beer for good friend Jason Breed anytime, as long as it was a 2 for 1 special!

Speaking of Jasons why not have Jason Falls? He has an “in” over at Makers Mark! Plus, he’d be a welcome addition to any party.

I better invite George “Loki” WIlliams since he lives in New Orleans
and does write a blog called Social Gumbo!

I’d buy a few beers for David Armano provided he hooked us up with some Chicago dogs.. waddya say Dave? Plus he’s a good dude too. As big a heart as someone can have.

It goes without saying that 3 of my favorite gals would all be getting beers AND shots from me. Beth Harte, Liz Strauss and Toby Bloomberg. If They didn’t want that, then we’ll settle for splittin a Muffeletta from Central Grocery– Trust me you won’ be disappointed. These sandwiches are ridiculous!


I’d also like to have beers with the following: Sonny Gill, Daria Steigman, Ari Herzog, Nathan Taylor, Lisa Trosien and Shannon Paul, Todd Defren, Brian Solis and of course the Yat Pundit! Because they all are great conversationalists and thinkers and even more importantly, better people!

One more rule, You can bring 2 friends. Mardi Gras is all about blowin it bring a friend or 2. Who ya bringin? and Where Yat?

Oh we need someone to do the music, any suggestions?

If you’re going to tweet from a conference..10 things I want from you.

I just read a guest post by Olivia Mitchell titled How to present while people are Twittering and it was very informative. but the following struck a nerve for me:

6. You don’t have to be physically present to participate Not only can you watch a live videostream of the presentation, but you can also tweet or chat with the physically-present participants.

I get this. There’s the back channel where people are tweeting like mad during the presentation and using hash tags to do so and supposedly that’s as much for the benefit of the people that are physically present as for those that are not. Though I have a feeling those that are not there are for the most part being completely ignored.

But here’s the odd thing. I can’t tell you how many times I get anywhere from 10-20 people at the same conference tweeting the exact same thing, repeating it word for word, and that’s very cool. I know not all of them have the same followers, so it might be fresh for each of their constituents but that tells me something. They are tweeting for your benefit and not for the benefit of the back channel. Why would they repeat what they heard to people that are present in the room?

With that being said then,  if you’re going to repeat and tweet for your followers then you need to know more about your audience, right? Or at least frame the scene for them..set it up, give it context. Perfect case in point is SXSW, its coming up and you may be tweeting from there and sharing some awesome presentations.  Common marketing sense bubbling up here, yea?

So here’s 10 quick tips I thought of for those who plan on Tweeting from a conference for the benefit of their followers.

1) Add or create a hashtag from the get go. Simply put, a hashtag in twitter parlance, is how things are tracked and followed on Twitter, here’s a more formal explanation. Usually these are predetermined, but nothing worse then someone spouting some heady philosophy on social media and you have no clue as to what generated the thought.

2) There’s an assumption that you are tweeting to people that are hinged on your every tweet. That’s not entirely true. So don’t act like it. Don’t forget this is a 2 way deal.

3) You need to assume that maybe we might want to respond back. Allow for it. You are not a court reporter.

4) What do you want from us? We might just tell you. You could ask.

5) Why are you doing it? For who’s benefit? Let’s make this a mutually beneficial experience.

6) You really need to allow the people who are reading your tweets, from the conference you are attending, to question your tweets/or their origin. Why?

7) Because you thought they were worthy enough to be tweeted in the first place, right? Engage the non-attendees as well.

8) How about framing the speaker, the forum and the topic for your readers? What are you hoping to learn/ and tell us in 140 characters or less!

9) You may have 300-900-1500 or whatever number of followers, but understand that not all of them are on and following you at the moment that you are tweeting. This rule might be different for those whose followers number in the thousands.

10) Instead of just repeating what you’re hearing, frame an opinion on what you just heard. I know I do. I want to challenge and think out loud. You have just as much capacity to do the same as they do. But share it with us. and perhaps you are in the back channel, but lets not forget about your “other readers”.

I’m not saying that a lot of notable Twitter do not does this already but  more and more people are starting to Tweet at conferences, and believe it or not they may not know why or for who or how. As Twitter grows, so will your number of followers obviously, and as well, not all of them will have the capacity and resources to attend some of the bigger conferences in other cities. But they will certainly benefit from you being there and from your tweets if you aknowledge and utilize your followers as a resource and ally as well while you attend.

Transparency-Where are you drawing the line?


Susan (Kang) Nam, aka @pinkolivefamily in Twitter asked the following question late today on Twitter: Point of transparency = where do u draw ur line? I said, The line has been drawn in the sand.  It’s changing fast.  Don’t believe me? Read David Armano’s latest post.

The Project 100-Connect

I am one of the 100 authors that have contributed to The Project 100. It’s a book about social media from the  perspective of 100 marketers and social media experts. It was the brainchild of Jeff Caswell.  All proceeds are going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I hope you all will consider buying this when it’s released.  Some amazing and awesome authors.

The beauty and sadness of social media

This week for me brought to light what makes social media so great. But conversely, it also showed me or allowed me to share in the pain and sadness of the passing away of someone who made a difference in the lives of many.

Andrew Bourland, the co-founder of ClickZ passed away this week  after battling cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease.

Bourland was also the former publisher and CEO of ClickZ.  In 1997, He and Ann Handley, founded ClickZ  to cover the Internet advertising and marketing sector.

Andrew Bourland also had, his blog where he covered everything from blogging and email marketing to video marketing and viral advertising.   But back in November, he did something amazing; similar to Randy Pausch he used his blog to announce that his heart condition was worsening, stemming from having radiation treatments to treat testicular cancer many years before, and that he wasn’t sure how much longer he might have.

He subsequently had posts from him, his brother and his wife, who all chronicled his remaining time with family and friends and loved ones.

It was painful, it was joyful, it made me cry, it made me smile;  but most of all, it dawned on me that this very private time was there to be shared by anyone and everyone. Social media, specifically this blog, had allowed us to share in the life and times of Andrew Bourland.  Andrew Bourland and his family had allowed it. They let us in. For me, these are truly amazing times. Thank you for that Andrew.

Social Media is the Platform for Bad Relationships too…


There are people out there, that don’t like you. I know,  shocking isn’t it? For some of you, it might be. In social media we talk about,  and write even more about  how social media creates these magical relationships  of synergy, business alliances, and friendships. But what people rarely talk about, are the relationships that have originated from social networking-that have gone sour.

On the Today Show recently they did a segment about “friending” people on Facebook. And you don’t have to look too hard to find blog posts  about people who have written about breaking up via Facebook.

As you should know by now, relationships that are played out through social media channels take on another dynamic. There are many layers. The most prominent layer now being that all aspects of it, are out there for all to see. Warts and all. Sometimes I wonder if part of us wants everyone else to see whats going on. Of course we can  “choose” to make it or take it private, but a lot of us don’t. We want others, should things take a turn for the worse, to participate in the drama. We want people to choose sides.

What I’m talking about above  are truly personal relationships. But what of.. the business relationships that have occurred from social networking? Or the blossoming relationship? What are the business rules for that? What if your paths cross with many of the same people and your relationship with one of them has just turned sour? What do you do?

How are you going to play it?

Better start thinking about it.

I know I am, because it’s happening to me.

The Sweet Spot of Social Media

sweet spot is a spot where a combination of factors suggest a particularly suitable solution. On a racquet or baseball bat, it’s the ideal spot you want to hit the ball. It’s the spot where you have a confluence of things that all align into harmony at once. Below is diagram that defines what I think is the sweet spot for social media.


Social media causes you to check your ego at the door.

If you don’t, someone will do it for you.

I have so much to learn about the human condition as it pertains to social media, it’s not even funny. I learn something every day. Today I learned that I really don’t know as much as think I do. Case in point. I smugly tweeted the following:

So I comment on a person’s blog who claims 2 b all about the conversation & they choose to delete it. Guess it’s not about the conversation…

I was thinking that I was right and  I was thinking that it might be cute to tweet that if it’s so much about the conversation, then why are they deleting comments?  So what did I get back in response? Ken Beaulieu tweets the following:

No. There are times when you have to push back to protect the integrity of your business.

Pretty succinct and to the point, wouldn’t you say? The bottom line is this. My comments, no matter how cute or clever I thought they might have been, brought zero value to the conversation. ZERO.

That person, who I highly respect, who probably has zero respect for me at this point, pushed back to protect the integrity of her blog and a very good blog post. She had every right to not include my snarky, baseless comment.

As I said, I have so much to learn about the human condition as it pertains to social media.  In social media, our human condition is there for everyone to see. Regardless of who you are, there is a certain amount of respect that we need to show everyone. I learned that there is no place for ego here.