Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

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I Gave $10 to David Armano to Help Daniela and Now I Regret It

The #1 Thing You Need to Know From This Post:
Raising money for someone’s private benefit does not improve the social good; it just proves we are all selfishly altruistic.

The More Detailed Explanation:
Although I have never met David Armano or his friend, Daniela, I gave $10 this week to help him help her. It turns out I wasn’t alone. Over 500 people pooled about $16,000 in a matter of days, with most of it in the first 24 hours. Without a doubt, that’s a very effective fund drive.

Didn’t hear about this yet? Here’s the short and sweet.
Daniela is from Romania and has three kids, the youngest with Down’s Syndrome. According to Armano, “Daniela is divorcing her spouse after years of abuse. In recent years her mortgage went unpaid and she’s lost her house.” Since I have no firsthand knowledge, you’ll need to take it for what it’s worth.

Armano and his family have taken Daniela and her family into their home. This week, he decided to leverage his social media network to raise money to get them into their own apartment and on their feet again. For more details of the drive, Scott Drummond gave an excellent recap in the second half of his post, while David Griner analyzed why it worked so well from a fundraising perspective. more

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My Most Amazingly Awesome Blog Posts of 2008…in my humble opinion

As 2008 comes to an end, so does a full year of blogging with over 70 posts on this blog and a more modest number on my personal blog. 

The following posts represent what I view as my best work. Don’t see your favorite? Let me know by posting a comment. Think I’m a self-absorbed ego maniac? Let it all out here, so we can enter into 2009 with a clean start.

What is a Revolution? – My first MediaSauce post and one that still frames my thinking

Perception is the Barrier, Not Age – It’s not your demographic, but your psychographic that matters

A Dandelion Interlude – A metaphor for viral content

The Digital Horde: Lessons from Genghis Khan – The importance of strategy and innovation

If it Ain’t Baroque, Call it Web 3.0 - Those living in an era aren’t the best at naming it

Pulling Back the Curtain with Social Media – We’re just dudes and chicks working together

Social Media and the Farmers Market – A trip to Ferry Plaza Farmers Market seems a lot like the Internet

Why Do We Blog? Because We Care – Banging at a keyboard on a regular basis requires passion

What Compels You to Comment? – This simple post generated 25 comments that shed amazing insight into the psychology of posting comments

Why Chris Brogan’s Kmart Moment Matters: Personal Reputation vs. Corporate Brand – This summary and analysis of a heated topic generated our single largest day of traffic

Echoes of the Past: The Effects of How We Were Raised – My favorite post on my personal fatherhood blog

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Why Chris Brogan’s Kmart Moment Matters: Personal Reputation vs. Corporate Brand

The #1 Thing You Need to Know from this Post:
Personal reputations are more important than corporate brands.

The More Detailed Explanation:
Most of the world went about its normal affairs this weekend unaware of Chris Brogan, a blog post he wrote on December 2, and a swarm that formed around it yesterday and today. For a networked group of people (including me), this was THE topic of this weekend, with people assailing Chris Brogan, defending his actions, following the conversation, and/or trying to put the uproar in context. 

So why the uproar?
Chris has built up a strong personal reputation teaching others how to use the Internet and social media to grow their businesses. For those in the trenches of social media, there is great premium placed on authenticity, transparency, and the celebration of the individual’s voice being more important than the controlled messaging of corporate brands. more

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Social Media Sleuths: The Search for the Butler Bulldog Costume

For those of you haven’t been following the story since the start of September, Butler University is on the hunt to recover the only two costumes of Butler Blue, the school mascot, that were stolen.  All the major news outlets picked up the story and the school is offering a $550 reward (odd number, right? – it started at $100) for the safe return of the costumes.

While I don’t know the black market prices for mid-major conference costumed mascots, I do know plenty of kids and adults who will miss his presence this Fall.  One student likened the news of not having Butler Blue at Homecoming to the same tragedy as not having Santa Claus at Christmas.

Being a Butler basketball fan and a friend of the school’s Web 2.0 admissions star, Brad Ward, I decided to send a little encouragement his way to do something about it.  We both maintain a consistent presence on Twitter, so I sent him a challenge on September 6: “So what’s your social media solution for recovering the stolen Bulldog costumes?”  While I’m sure he was already formulating a plan, I didn’t want him to think his adoring public expected anything less from him.

He responded in spades, using the real life bulldog mascot, Butler II, as the spokesdog.  For the record, Butler II keeps a blog and has his own Twitter account as part of the admissions social media plan (you’d be amazed at how popular he is).

Seeing an opportunity to help and garner attention for the school in the admissions realm, Brad crafted a plan to do both.  Here’s the strategy he used:

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Why Do We Blog? Because We Care.

It’s been about nine months since I started blogging.  I had heard about blogs for a while prior to starting (how could you not working at MediaSauce?), but didn’t really understand why I would need to blog.

After spending a little time with Sarah Robbins, our Director of Emerging Technologies, I discovered that blogging was a natural extension of what I was already doing – having conversations with people who wanted to learn more about what I had to say.  She even showed me how easy it was to set up a blog and add new posts.  If I knew how to type, I could do it.

Now after 50+ blog posts on this blog, ten posts on my personal blog about fatherhood, and creating a number of different social communities, I can tell you why people blog – they care. more

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Erasing an online consumer complaint from your search results – Part 2 of Power to the Consumer

So here’s the secret. You can’t.

You knew that was coming, didn’t you? But there are ways to push the complaint farther away from your site and out of your search results.

The first thing I would do. Go after that customer, face to face, and see if you can correct what happened. Now some people would say that there are people who are never going to be happy, no matter what you do.

I would disagree and say, “You really don’t know that until you are face-to-face with that person.”

Too many times I’ve seen emails and comments start flaming because when it comes to digital communication it is easy to forget there is another human being on the other end of that discussion. It’s almost like we are flipping mad at our computer and just letting them have it. But once they are in person or on the phone, the anger settles and people can talk in the right TONE to one another.

The other thing to do is to go to those sites that have your complaint and explain your side of things. Tell them how you’ve tried to work this situation out.

But if you can’t fix it, you can out-content them on search results.

If you have only one website on the internet (your singular web presense) on the internet, this is going to be very hard. Because you essentially have only one link or two links that will come up when there is a search for your company.

But if you have multiple web presences…say a YouTube Channel, a Flickr account, a Twitter account, an outside blog or multiple blogs, a facebook page, a myspace page, then you have a chance.

Now what I would do is start pushing lots and lots of content out on the web through these different channels – and there are a heck of a lot of more of them than I mentioned.

Also, don’t do it all at once. Space it out. Get stuff up there at least once a week.

Other things you can do is change your static site frequently. I don’t care if it costs you money because you built a site without a CMS. By not changing your content, it just sits there and Google has no reason to re-index your site.

Get involved in other people’s conversations on their sites. If you are scared of the internet, then talk to someone who understands it and can help you.

The bottom line is get more active on the internet and you can drive them down on the search results.

This is also not a great idea in theory – I’ve done this before with companies. It does work. But make sure you understand this. The same rules that apply to you, also apply to the consumer and that’s why when you step it up – they can as well. So it’s better to just work it out together and not go through this mess.

Good luck. And if anyone else has some ideas on how to do it, let me know. I would love to hear them.

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Between the Posts: Presentation from Blog Indiana 2008

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to speak to a group of the most enthusiastic members of Indiana’s blogging community at Blog Indiana 2008 at IUPUI’s amazing new Campus Center. My topic was “Between the Posts” (which I admittedly have plenty of experience with) and it centered on using social media to connect people around your ideas, thoughts, posts, and so on.

Between the Posts

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: maratriangle mediasauce)

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Family Farmers Use Digital and Social Media to Tell The Other Side of the Story

How much do you really know about how the food you eat is produced?  If you’re like most Americans, it’d be safe to assume not too much.  This weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking about digital and social media to the Young Farmers of the Indiana Farm Bureau as part of their annual leadership gathering.

While animal activists and environmental groups have taken advantage of these tools, most family farmers are just becoming aware of them.  Because rural areas lag behind urban areas with their internet connectivity, broadband is not as prevalent for many farm families.  Not surprisingly, this has placed them at a disadvantage with far more content being produced by those with agendas at odds with the average farmer.  A simple search of YouTube or Google with phrases like “hog facility”, “pork farm”, and “factory farms” can verify this.

During my presentation, someone suggested I search for the YouTube video entitled “Truth about Modern Pork Production”, which was produced by Chris Chinn, a former national president of Young Farmers.  She and her husband made the video themselves to tell their side of the story.  With over 3,100 views, it came up second when I searched “pork farm” on YouTube.

What I love about the video is how Chris presents the family farmers’ perspective with a highly authentic production.  No cue cards, no fancy editing, no fancy graphics.  Just a real person talking with real passion about how her family and she take great care of their animals and farm.  

In searching YouTube, you can also find videos made by the Ohio Pork Producers Council on the Ohio Pork Tour channel.  These are most definitely professional productions and feature real people talking mostly from scripts.  While they have an air of authenticity, I didn’t find them to be as engaging of the home production.  You can see their website that contains the hi-res videos and other information. 

As we continued with my presentation, we found a number of great blogs written by farm families shedding light on daily life on a farm.  I recommend checking out Nature’s Harmony Farm, “a family owned, pasture-based, local-market sustainable farm.”  Also, you can work up a good appetite drooling over the recipes at Farmgirl Fare, as well as see plenty of cute animal photos.  Another fun one is Season Eatings Farm, which includes posts on their daily lives and has great photos.

My guess is that these blogs and videos are just the tip of the iceberg that’s possible once more family farms get rolling with the power of today’s internet.

What do you think are some good ways for family farms to tell their story using digital and social media?

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Join Us This Weekend at BlogIndiana

Want to sharpen your social and digital media skills?  Want to learn from some great MediaSaucers?  Join Sarah Robbins, Don Schindler, and Mitch Maxson at this weekend’s BlogIndiana here in Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus.

For anyone who’s blogging, wants to blog, or deciding if blogging is a good idea, here’s your opportunity to soak in the collective knowledge being shared in 25 different sessions.  For just $49, you’ll be able to connect with a wide variety of perspectives and learn from real world experiences, including Barack Obama’s national blog editor.

We congratulate the IU School of InformaticsCompendium Blogware, and all the other sponsors for bringing together the state’s first blogging conference.  Looking forward to see you there!

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Self-Organized Swarms: The Power of User-Generated Content (part II)

Thank you to everyone who attended the August 5 “The Power of User-Generated Content” event we held in Indianapolis.   We had over 90 people come together to learn about and experience how social media is changing the landscape for all types of businesses and organizations.  

Do you want to experience the event for yourself, even if you didn’t attend?  Great, you’re in luck.  

We encouraged everyone who attended to use social media to help us create a digital mosaic of the morning.  By using cameras, cell phones, and laptops with wifi, anyone could upload photos, blog, Twitter (microblog), and add their thoughts directly to the event’s Google site.  See it for yourself:

  • Flickr Stream - photos taken and uploaded by various people who attended the event.  To get photos to flow thru the stream, everyone tagged their photos with “sauceugc”.  
  • Twitter Stream - I enjoyed watching the various comments being made about the event.  It started with those of us attending, but then it quickly attracted people outside of the event.  If you start here, you can work your way in time order to see how the “back channel” conversations transpired.  It’s almost like getting a play-by-play and color commentary at the same time.
  • Presentation Slides - you can view and print off the slides we used via this Google document.  
  • Our Google Site - To bring all of these strands together, we created a very basic Google site.  While it’s not the most appealing design, you can see how simple tools can make a big impact.  
  • External Blogs - Anyone who is passionate about a topic or wants to share their perspective can do so with the world.  We were glad to have Ryan Crozier join us and even more pleased to know he had a good experience.  Check out his blog and see how we made sure to say thanks.  If we had someone blog negatively about us, we would have made sure to reply and share our perspective – whether that was to acknowledge a shortcoming or explain more clearly the point we were trying to make.  

The best thing about all these tools is that they’re easy-to-use and available to anyone.  Just what every revolutionary and evangelist loves to know.  

So how do you make sure these powers are used for good, not evil?  The key is having a solid strategy for how your organization is empowering your customers, clients, employees, friends, allies, etc. to use them to help share your story.  Without a strategy, you’ll be at the mercy of more organized, more passionate, and more driven people.

What advice and experiences do you have to share on how UGC can be harnessed to grow your organizations?

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