Friday, July 31, 2009

Quick-n-dirty Social Media Podcast: Episode 9 Recap

After a week off for a little family vacation, imagine how relieved I was to find out that I still had a job as a cohost of Quick-n-Dirty podcast. Apparently, Kyle Flaherty, did an admirable job filling in for me but my partner in crime, Jennifer Leggio, decided that he's more fun to make fun of than me so he was the odd man out (sorry Kyle).

For anyone new to the show, here are the recaps of episodes one, two, three, four, five. six, seven and eight. Not that the first couple of shows weren't good but we really started to hit our stride around show five and six so if you're digging back through the archives, you might want to start there.

If you missed this week's show, you can listen to an archive of episode nine here. If you're more of a reader than a listener, you'll find a recap of this week's show below:
  1. Featured Social Network: Friendfeed. To be honest, we focused more on the contraversy surrounding Friendfeed that came up a couple weeks back when blogger/uber Tweeter, Aaron Brazell pulled the plug on his FF account. Friendfeed evangelist and big time tech blogger, Robert Scoble was less than pleased because when Aaron pulled the plug, it wiped out all of Scoble's comments. Rather than take my word for it, read Scoble's and Brazell's accounts of the story.
  2. Special Guest: Michael Feferman, director of digital for C3. No, we didn't just have Michael on the show because his name is fun to say. But we did invite him on Q-n-D because he works in a job where music meets digital, and in particular, social media. What I liked most about our interview with Michael was his candor around the music industry's need to embrace some of these new ways of embracing their communities.
  3. Case Study: EMC thanks to friend, Len Devanna. During the show, I shared the following bullets with the listeners:
    * About 18 months old now.
    * Greater than 50% adoption across a global workforce of about 38k.
    * It’s been instrumental in breaking down internal walls (geo, divisional, organizational, etc.)
    * Among initial intent was to drive proficiency with E2.0 across global workforce. I’d say we’ve done that in spades. Many of our current public bloggers honed their voice on EMC ONE pre going public.
    * We’re seeing more and more movement away from traditional processes and migration to online collab via wikis, etc.
    Len was also kind enough to pass along these two links that highlight the importance of EMC | ONE to the company.
  4. Featured Twitterer: Ryan Kuder. What was cool about this is that both Jennifer and I know Ryan (her IRL and me via Twitter). I think Ryan was one of the first 250 people I followed on Twitter so he of course has a special place in my heart. What is particularly cool is the fact that Ryan was one of the first people to publicly tweet about his experience of getting laid off from a major company... in this case, Yahoo. If you don't follow him yet, make sure you do because he's smart, funny and always helpful.
  5. Point / Counterpoint: Sponsored blogging. Yeah, don't get us started on this one. To be honest, neither Jennifer nor I am a huge fan of sponsored blogging. I am a little softer in my stance around sponsored Tweeting -- something Jennifer has very little tolerance for. One interesting point that Jennifer brought up that I liked a lot was that if companies want high profile folks to talk about their company/products, they'd be much better off hiring subject matter experts -- paid or unpaid -- to support their brand. We didn't mention this but certainly Wal-mart's Eleven Mom's program would fall into this category.
Up next week, we'll be talking about social network, Aardvark and bringing on special guest, personal branding expert, Dan Schawbel. Of course we'll have a featured case study, tweeter and point/counterpoint as well. Be sure to join us!

What, this recap wasn't enough? Well go and listen live or download archived podcasts here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time to Help Mobile Loaves & Fishes Do Good!

This is a re-post from the MLF blog. I want to support Mobile Loaves and Fishes so this is a re-post. Please feel free to re-post this to your blog as well.

Mark Horvarth (@HardlyNormal) for those of us on Twitter, has been garnering national attention for his efforts to bring voices to the homeless. His blog and his website have given him a place to explore unexplored stories, and call attention to some of our most overlooked citizens—the homeless among us. Alan Graham, President of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, (@MLFNOW) invited him to come see Austin and go on a truck run, attend the screening of Happiness Is, and serve the homeless. So, Mark decided to make Austin a stop on his nation-wide tour! He’ll be here from the 29th of July through the 1st of August.

Mark, who is, as he puts it “not a solutions guy,” is embarking on his road trip to “see homelessness” and to “help people” by calling attention to their stories. According to Mark, he has two main strengths going for him: he’s "pushy,” and he’s "loud”—not to mention compassionate. During our conversation he was particularly upset about the stories he has heard of families “downsizing” by kicking out their eldest children.

So why is he doing this now? Good question. As Mark puts it, we are entering into a “perfect storm of homelessness,” with the economy in the place it is, with government out of money. (In fact, some of his sponsors haven’t even been able to commit because of financial difficulties!) So, what better time to call attention to this immense need?

Mark will be arriving in town just in time to take part in our social media extravaganza around the movie “Happiness Is.” You’ll likely be able to have your OWN conversation with Mark at any of the events below:

Happiness Is DVD Signing:
  • Waterloo Records Downtown from 5-7 PM on Thursday, July 30th.
  • free BBQ from Stubbs and free beer from Shiner
  • MLF catering truck and Stubb's BBQ World Tour trailer
Tweetup (you don't have to go to both the movie and the tweetup--stop by for a few!)
  • Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar from 7-9 PM on Thursday, July 30th
  • cash bar + free popcorn
  • Here's a link to the twtvite (#nosuffering), spread the word and RSVP:
Happiness Is Screening [I will be watching the documentary as well. MLF is prominently featured in the movie. Preview here.]
  • Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (directions) at 9:30 PM and 9:50 PM
  • Two theaters--one for the movie, and one for social media! You can tweet to your heart's content :)
  • Reserve tickets by visiting their site at and clicking on the email link for “tickets” on the front page.
For more information on the events visit:

We would love your help in spreading the compassion and awareness, please help!
  • Make a micro-donation to Mobile Loaves & Fishes (
  • Tweet and Blog the events and the movie--what did you think?
  • Follow @MLFNOW
  • Follow Happiness Is the movie @HappinessIs_tm
  • Help @MLFNOW start a conversation around homelessness and palliative care by interacting on Twitter and the MLF blog
  • Help MLF win a $25,000 social media makeover! Retweet the following: RT to help Mobile Loaves & Fishes win a 25K social media makeover @CommuniCause #cause3324
  • Hand out water to the homeless

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Former Jive CMO to Head Social "Niche-working" Co., BlackBox Republic

Remember Sam Lawrence, Mr. "Go Big Always?" I've interviewed him a couple of times in the past -- both in podcast and blog formats. He's one of my favorite people in the "social" space because he's smart, funny and thinks big... ALWAYS. Based one his announcement last night at 9 PM ET, his next move shows that nothing has changed.

Yup, Sam has taken on the roll of co-founder and CEO of new "social niche-working" company, BlackBox Republic. According to the press materials I received, Sam says BlackBox is, "focused on reinventing the online relationship market." Before you jump to any conclusions, I verified with Sam and his fellow co-founder, April Donato, that this is not another "Adult Friendfinder" or other nefarious porn/online dating site. Think of it as akin to Burning Man where "stuff happens" but there is zero judgement and adults can act like adults.

While I can tell you all sorts of thing about what Sam and April are up to, why not listen to them tell you themselves (yup, we recorded a podcast). If it's a little choppy at points, I apologize because my iPhone crapped out on me. I've tried to edit out the dead air and transitions but either way, it's definitely worth listening to. HINT: This is the future of social networking... at least one flavor anyway.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quick-n-dirty Social Media Podcast: Episode 6 Recap

Well, It's only taken six episodes but I think that Jennifer Leggio and I are starting to hit our stride on the Quick-n-Dirty podcast series. For one, we're starting to get used to each other's style (no easy task when you can't see one another). We've also figured out how to use Skype as a back channel for the show. A third thing that helps is that Jennifer and I do live feedback right after our broadcast which is a helpful way to look back at what's worked and what hasn't

For anyone new to the show, here are the recaps of episodes one, twothree, four and five. We'll also be posting the roster for next week's show on the Blog Talk Radio show site soon. The big news for next week's show is that we'll have CEO of music social networking site, Pandora. For no other reason, you'll want to tune in to hear what Tim Westergren has to say about the state of music, how Pandora has battled legal issues and of course, how you can fine tune your Pandora station to get the most out of it.

If you missed this week's show, you can listen to an archive of episode six here. If you're more of a reader than a listener, you'll find a recap of this week's show below:

  1. Featured Social Network: Loopt. This geo-location based social network is helpful because it provides real time, GPS-informed data on members' whereabouts. It also allows for members to text, ping or call anyone within their network. Jennifer doesn't love the concept of geo-based networks that don't give you a full of control over who can see what (but she caveats that it's because she's a "'fraidy cat.") I like these types of geo-based services because they are a great way to connect with friends or acquaintances when at a conference or out on the town. For what it's worth, our special guest, Greg Matthews sided with me on this debate. Score one for the guys.
  2. Special Guest/Case Study: As I mentioned, Greg Matthews, director of consumer innovation at Humana, was our special guest. He also doubled as our weekly "case study" as he talked about some of the best practices Humana is employing to change the way customers -- not just of Humana, but of the industry in general -- perceive health benefits providers. You can read more about what Greg and Humana are doing over on Amber Naslund's Altitude Branding blog. By the way, Greg's best quote of the podcast (as captured by my partner in crime) was easily, "The concepts of governance and social don't go well together." You can find Greg's blog here.
  3. Featured Twitterer: For our first five episodes, we've focused on finding executives that Twitter and blog. As you can imagine, this is no easy task so we've decided to shift focus a little bit to a "featured twitterer." This is someone that "gets it" and that you may or may not know but should be paying attention to. This week, we highlighted none other than Mr. Clue Train himself, Doc Searls. In a nutshell, Doc is funny, human and helpful. He also follows back... okay, not everyone but enough people to avoid the criticism of being to clicquey.
  4. Point / Counterpoint: Speaking of clicquey (our point/counterpoint two weeks ago), this time we went toe to toe on a topic Jennifer covered in her ZDNet blog, namely, Is Twitter Making Us All Self-Centered. Jen argues, "yes," because everyone is becoming too broadcast focused. I didn't disagree with her overarching point but stuck with my guns that at the end of the day, you control who you follow. If people are too broadcast focused, you vote with your feet and unfollow them.
Oh, the REALLY exciting news was that we gave away a free 2009 Blog World Expo pass. What was really exciting was that our friend, Jen Wojcik of Austin, TX won (I did the drawing randomly so no griping about the process being fixed). Congrats Jen. We look forward to seeing you at Blog World Expo this fall.

What, this recap wasn't enough? Well go and listen live or download archived podcasts here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Engagement vs. Serendipity

Earlier this morning, my Twitter friend, Michael Calienes who is also the co-founder of The Conversation Factory, tweeted out a clip he did on video social network, 12 Seconds. You can watch for yourself but for those of you that prefer the written word, Michael's question was "What if over the next couple of weeks you un-followed everyone who's never engaged with you on Twitter?"

What I liked about Michael's question was that it wasn't an "eff you" kind of statement but rather a thoughtful one. His follow up question was, "Do you think it would improve the relationships you have with the people who do engage with you?"

unfollowing the unengaged on

What I liked most about this quick video was that it got me thinking about engagement vs. serendipity, two things that are possible more now than ever via social media. The first concept, engagement, is obviously something that is high on any marketer's priority list. The second, serendipity, is something that we love when it comes our way but rarely do we feel like we have much control over the phenomenon. To me, that is really the beauty of Twitter because it allows both to happen simultaneously.

But that's not what Michael asked in his clip this morning. He wanted to know would paring down on followers that are essentially "dead weight" allow us to spend more time with the people that matter. In essence, this is something that I think we all grapple with in life in general.

So here's my answer... as tempted as I am to pare down my 8,000+ followers, I never will. You know why? Because every day someone new who was in the list of "haven't previously engaged with" crops up and adds value to my life. There are a few personal examples of how this has helped here and here It's also been invaluable in my professional life helping me helping me drive leads, create partnerships, find podcast/blog interviewees, or even land speaking engagements.

What do you think? If you had your druthers, would you slim down the number of people you engaged with based on reciprocity? Or are you like me -- willing to roll the dice based on the possibility of what might be?