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Social Media for the Sophisticated, Seasoned & Scared

Wednesday, October 20, 2010





Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blogalicious10 Recap

Last weekend, Blogalicious10, one of the newest and fastest growing blog conferences took place in Miami. This blog conference differed from all of the others because it celebrated diversity among bloggers. Collectively, the conference attendees were double minorities, females first, then a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

I attended a panel, sponsored by Buick GMC and OnStar, called "How to Write a Rockin' Product Review." The panelists were from GM's PR and Social Media team, along with one of GM's bloggers. I was pleased to learn how a major corporation really takes time to connect with bloggers and developed special positions to encourage positive relationships. The panelists cited examples of how they loaned bloggers vehicles for the weekend in order for the purporse of product reviews. In fact, there were actually several bloggers in attendance that had driven a GM vehicle for a product review. One blogger received a loaner vehicle for a road trip to take her daughter, a high school graduating senior, to visit a prospective college.

I left the panel with one major question. Are we (as publicists) doing enough to identify influential bloggers that will likely deliver a favorable review for our clients? One of the panelists, now employed by GM, was a fan first and blogged frequently about their brand. In every industry, there are niche bloggers that are deemed the most influential mostly due to their traffic or the quality of their content. However, these bloggers, even if they are accessible, aren't necessarily the best bloggers to engage. In most cases, the bigger the blog means more red tape,. Finding a smaller, lesser known blog can often produce the same results as a larger blog if you take the time to nurture the relationship. Engaging a smaller blog over a larger one can be the difference between a mention versus a detailed product review with images and video.

To learn more about the conference, visit . Use the keyword, "Blogalicious10," on any of the following social networks, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Youtube, to gain a better idea of what occurred during the conference.

Last weekend, I attended Blogalicious10, an all female conference that celebrates diversity in blogging. This was the second year of this fabulous conference, which took place on South Beach in Miami. The conference hosted more than 250 attendees, sponsors and vendors. Blogalicous10's founders are 3-women team of bloggers named the MamaLaw Group. This was also my second time attending. In 2009, I attended the last day of festivities with one of my clients, who performed at the closing breakfast. However, this year, I attended as a speaker. I conducted a session called, Media Training 101.

Some of the most popular people in social media were also in attendance, including James Andrews (Everywhere), Wayne Sutton, StyleMom, Adria Richards, the BrokeSocialite and more. Recognizing the fact that some of the most influential female bloggers would be present, countless sponsors signed for the opportunity to engage attendees. Sponsors included General Mills, GM, Onstar, Kellogg, Pampers, Macy's, Que Rica Vida, McDonald's, Kenmore, Sears, Kmart, Yoplait, Johnson's, Bali, Nature Valley, Invisalign, Cover Girl, Lifetime Moms, Carol's Daughter, Carnival Cruises, Blogher, Softcup and many more. For brands seeking favorable reviews or mentions, this conference was a goldmine. Many brands offered luring gifts like iPads, iPods, iTouches, gift certificates and free trips to bloggers that posted live tweets, facebook updates and blog entries with key messaging on site. So dependable on how desirable prize was, a brand would receive no less than 20 impressions just for the chance to win a gift.

The creators of Blogalicious10 definitely planned this conference with careful consideration of their attendees. Since, the majority of the registrants were mothers, they offered on-site child care, which was sponsored by the Ritz Carlton (the host hotel) and Pampers. Even though the conference bags were already overflowing with free promotional items, there was additional swag disbursed at nearly every session or event. This presented the good but challenging delimma, how to transport all of the swag back home, considering the strict airline baggage rules.

The sessions offered something for everyone from neophyte bloggers to the seasoned pro. Use the keyword, "Blogalicious10," on any of the following social networks, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Youtube, to gain a better idea of what occurred during the conference.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's SXSW Panel Picking Time

For music, film and tech lovers, the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) is one of the biggest events of the year. It's a place where we can get together, enjoy great entertainment, great panels, preview great advances in technology and network with some of the most influential people in music, film and technology.

I'm really excited because I have proposed a panel for one of my clients, to be considered for the 2011 SXSW Interactive Panels. The panel is called "In Living Color: Marketing and Branding to Urban Audiences. The panel will be presented by my client, twtMob, an in-stream advertising network.

Here is an overview of the panel:

Panel will bring together experts from various areas of the digital frontier who’ve successfully carved their niche, thus, building some of the most successful online brands in “urban” America. From TV/ Film, Music, Entertainment, Fashion and Technology, the panel experts have excelled in developing online destinations and executing winning viral campaigns through online and offline partnerships.

Prior to the panel discussion, panelists will be able to present individual brief slide shows/ videos of their brands, demonstrate the history of their brands’ development and share case studies/ success stories. Panelists will also:

- Review trends and case studies of consumer online habits.
- Review challenges of marketing.
- Discuss the rules of engagement.
- Discuss the importance of listening to audiences when developing key messaging and brand development.
- Explore and examine the cross-promotional branding opportunities.
- Discuss social and corporate responsibilities vs brand integrity.
- Discuss the challenges and tips to maintaining relevance in the changing social media landscape.
- Examine technical challenges.
- Examine the growing trends in blogs; beyond beats, gossip and fashion.

Panel attendees will gain a better understanding of:
- Brand strategies involved in marketing.
- Tools for marketing brands, bands, products, events, etc.
- Unconventional and out-of-the-box promotional tactics.

Panel attendees will also leave the session with:
- Practical exercises to incorporate in their current business model.
- List of resources to refer to when developing their brand.
- Tips for successful marketing and campaign execution.

In order for the panel to be a part of the SXSW Festival, it must be voted on by the public.

Here is where you come in. Take 5 minutes to register at the site to vote for this panel. Your vote will help bring another diversity panel to this forum. Year after year, attendees comment on the fact that there aren't enough diversity in the panels. Here is your chance to help change that.

Thanks in advance for your participation and assistance.

Friday, June 18, 2010

2010 Blogging While Brown Conference (#BWB)

Today is the first day of the 2010 Blogging While Brown Conference, which will be taking place in Washington, D.C. This will be my second time attending the conference, which I'm very excited about. The next few posts will recap the various sessions and activities that we'll be attending and participating in during the two-day conference.

Click here to see what's in store for us later today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CarLocate.com Adds a Socialize Page

CarLocate.com is a nationwide new and used car search portal. Their new "Socialize" page makes it easier to join the car-buying conversation with CarLocate.com and other consumer on the site.

The new page offers a number of resources to help you find relevant information about cars and car buying and the ability to interact with the CarLocate.com team and other car shoppers. You'll also be able to quickly browse information about CarLocate.com's activities, contests, events and social media. In the automotive forum, visitors an connect with other users and click the "Share" button. Fans can also join conversations on CarLocate.com's Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New social media game lauched for "The Last Airbender" movie release

Last week, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies and Crunchyroll, Inc., announced the release of "Become the Avatar," a freeplay interactive social media game, based on M. Night Shyamalan's July 2nd 3D release, "The Last Airbender."

The experience includes visuals from the film and allows fans to play as any of the Four Nations in various adventures.

For your personal experience, visit http://www.thelastairbendermovie.com/ or go to their Facebook at http://apps.facebook.com/becometheavatar.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today is National Doughnut Day

Prepare to see a lot of pictures with Krispy Kreme doughnuts and their sign taking over Twitter and Facebook today. In honor of National Doughnut Day, Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut to customers. No purchase is necessary. All they ask is that this promotion invade Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #KrispyKreme. Once you've picked up your free doughnut, they'd like you to take a picture of yourself at their establishments with your favorite doughnut then post it to Twitter and/or Facebook. What a sweet treat or should I say sweet tweet. To monitor their promotion, be sure to follow them at www.Facebook.com/KrispyKreme and www.Twitter.com/krispy_kreme. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Study Explains Gap Analysis between Techies and Tech Marketers' Usage

UBM TechWeb (www.ubmtechweb.com) just released a social media research study that provides a comprehensive portrait of how technology professionals and technology marketers are using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs. The study, "Social Media at Work," is the first study of its kind to examine both the usage and preferences of technology decision makers and the activities technology marketers employ to reach them.

The research, which studies the social media consumption habits of 630 technology professional respondents and 350 technology marketing respondents, reveals a gap between the social networks that technology decision makers are most consuming and the networks technology marketers are using to connect with them. "While many technology marketers have established a presence on Facebook and Twitter, many are not taking full advantage of the sites that technology professionals frequent and value most, such as LinkedIn and blogs," said Brandon Friesen, VP and online strategist at UBM TechWeb.

The study also confirms a significant rise in the role social media plays professionally, as it now accounts for an average of 13% of the total time that technology professionals spend consuming media for work purposes. While this is a substantial lift from a study conducted on IT professionals just two years ago, study results also point to the importance of using social media in combination with a fully integrated communications strategy.

Research Highlights:

-- Technology professionals (CIOs, IT VP/Directors, IT Managers,
Line-of-business management, etc.)
-- Social media is ranked fourth out of eleven in terms of time
investment devoted to information sources; technology B2B web
sites were #1.
-- Four in ten respondents plan to increase the amount of time they
spend with social media.
-- LinkedIn and blogs were ranked as the top two most used for
business purposes.
-- Almost 60% use social networks to get information about technology

-- Technology marketers (CMO/SVP/VP Marketing, Directors, Managers, Media
Management, etc.)
-- Technology organizations are increasing marketing spend for social
media outlets over the next 12 months.
-- While most have not used social media to deliver a marketing ROI,
one-third will be tasked to do so in 2010.
-- Facebook and Twitter were ranked as the top two most influential
-- Corporate blogs may be more influential than marketers believe.

"Understanding the technology decision-making audiences' motivations and behaviors when it comes to social media is exceptionally critical - especially at this stage where marketers are still feeling their way when it comes to social networking," said Scott Vaughan, VP Marketing, UBM TechWeb. ''Social media allows you to get a market pulse and truly listen to what your customers and prospects are saying, driving both short and longer term go-to-market strategy."

For related perspective and insight, visit www.createyournextcustomer.com, UBM TechWeb's site for technology marketers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

In Honor of Mother's Day, Groupable, Inc. Names Most Influential Moms Groups; Work It Mom Leads Top 100 List

Groupable, a leading social media platform that enables brand advertisers to connect with targeted communities, today announced its list of the most active and influential moms groups. Its Top 100 list ranks moms groups who are among the most engaged within their socio-demographic target and who have the greatest potential to influence buying decisions.
Based on a proprietary Groupability Index, influence ratings take into account Groupable's sponsorship activity data as well as activity from a variety of social media data points including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Klout Score, blogs, and podcasts. The index rating is calculated based upon aggregate scores in the following categories: authenticity, engagement and relevance.

According to Nate Brochin, Groupable CEO, "Moms Groups represent the most passionate part of a very influential consumer segment. This list shows that influence is more than just Twitter followers. Brands can use Groupable's ratings as a filter to find groups that will be both responsive to marketing initiatives as well as influential in spreading the word of these brand experiences."

The following are Groupable's Top 10 out of the 100 most socially influential moms groups*:

Brochin notes that a group's collective influence and ability to spread a message can reach a much wider audience as compared to that of an individual. "It's about knowing which groups to engage with so as to maximize word-of-mouth equity," Brochin says. "The Groupability Index provides marketers with a single reference point that captures a group's ultimate influence potential."

For a complete list of the Top 100 Most Influential Moms, email Groupable at info@groupable.com or for more Top 5 Influential group lists, go to http://influence.groupable.com/.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Flash Mobs

How cool is this. Do you know what a flash mob is? It's basically a covert meeting planned by a group of people to meet in a public place and do something simultaneously. I've seen flash mobs consisting of college kids converging on a parking lot in order to make a statement or to just do something rowdy and spontaneous.

Apparently, with the craze and excitement of the show, Glee, fans are planning flash mobs all over the world. In fact, if you performed a search of "glee flash mob" on Youtube, you'll find a handful of videos, capturing these stunts. Today, I came across one that was performed in Seattle. I'm sure it had something to do with the fact that the new season is returning.

It's hard to watch this stunt, which had more than 800 people, without wanting to dance and wishing that you'd been there to witness it. Check it out.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Identifying Brand Ambassadors on YouTube

One of the publicized benefits of social media for businesses is creating brand evangelists or ambassadors. However, depending on your business, you may not have to create these people or find a platform for them to congregate in order to create an affordable campaign. Just the other day, I happened to be looking for a certain type of footage on Youtube and was fascinated to discover how many “how-to” videos had been uploaded on the same topic. There were thousands and these were mostly uploaded by fans that hadn’t been paid to promote a particular brand or product.

I’ll use the hair industry to demonstrate my point. If you use search terms like wig or weave or extensions, along with the word hair, you’ll find pages of videos, both professional and amateur. Ironically, the majority of the video uploads are from amateur fans of a particular brand showing their viewers how they use the product. Some of these Youtube users have taken time to review every single product in a line. I was really amazed because it was obvious that they weren’t contracted by the company that they were endorsing, yet they had tens of thousand more views then the handful of professional company videos.

This got me to thinking. Instead of spending a ridiculous percentage of marketing budgets to hire a model, some of these companies should pick a few of these loyal customers to gift their products to along with decent camera equipment. Since most of the Youtube users were already uploading video for a hobby, most would love to be brand ambassadors. What female wouldn’t like free product of their favorite line if all they had to do was record a 5 minute video demonstration and review.

My suggestion to business owners is instead of creating separate websites with social networks to pull fans away from the most popular ones, allow the loyal customers to continue using the network that garnered the most attention and following. Use widgets to embed the most popular footage and user information onto the business’ website. Contact the Youtube users and propose an arrangement that would benefit both parties. Create campaigns and contests that the Youtube user can promote to their followers, who share the same common interest.

Think about it. Some of the most memorable advertising campaigns featured everyday people talking about the benefits of a product. Just ask Jerod, the famous spokesperson for Subway.

Below is a video by Youtube user, bunny101010, demonstrating how to use the CHI flat iron. The video has over 1.3 views.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peddling Social Media Door to Door?

As a part of my profession, I monitor certain key words that could lead to possible business opportunities as well as any terms that will alert me to industry changes. Today, I received a Google alert about a company that was seeking social media solutions in a particular reagion. When I clicked on the link, I was surprised to see that it was a company that was hiring sales representatives. That part was not shocking but what did intrigue me was how the job ad basically told their business strategy for gaining new business. The strategy, itself, wasn't anything new or innovative. It's just that it never crossed my mind to apply this particular model to securing new social media clients.

Here is what they do. They hire field representatives and assign them to a certain territory where they will go pound the pavement, door to door, pitching social media solution packages. See, like I said, the strategy isn't new. We've all seen field representatives pushing anything from magazine subscriptions, credit card processing machines, vacuum cleaners, cutlery to printers. So it was only a matter of time before someone thought of this. Afterall, any business that sees the value in buying an ad in the yellowpages, investing in a direct mail campaign, or purchasing TV, print or radio ads, should appreciate the savings and "added value" that an effective social media presence guarantees.

Aside from basic traits that most employers expect candidates to possess, like ambition, the company only requires that you be curious about the newest trends in social media. That's it. They promise if selected, territory managers will be trained and provided with local support. The earning potential is limitless, however, the position is commission-based. This is the caveat. Regardless to the amount of hours and gas spent prospecting, when you don't sign a new client, you won't receive any compensation. That's scary in a time like this. While the listing states that you'll receive competitive benefits and an option package, this is only after you've achieved set performance goals. The company also states to get managers motivated and "quickly up to speed" commisions will begin at 80%. Although that sounds tempting, the ad also states that the packages range from $99 per month to $950 per month.

I've been preaching for a long time about how affordable social media marketing is in comparison to traditional advertising and marketing. So you won't get an argument from me that this company miscalculated their target or approach. What I can offer is words of wisdom to small business owners. It's a gamble to contract a business to handle such an integral part of your business's identity. If you don't know a lot about Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, LinkedIn or Flickr, please don't be fooled by the first well-dressed and socially articulate person that approaches you, just because they have a lot of friends, fans or followers. Studies show that the quantity of friends or followers doesn't equate to influence or a strong understanding of social media. Investigate their case studies, client roster, and the reputation of their own brand across cyberspace before hiring your strategist. The beauty of social media is the process of sharing and discovering information. It's the exchange, interaction and immediate reaction that makes social media such a vital business tool. Strategist know that the process is just as informative as the outcome.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Facebook contest gives fans 10 chances to win an 18K gold and diamond engagement ring

Verragio, the manufacturer of engagement rings and wedding bands just launched a Facebook contest to give fans 10 chances to win an 18K engagement ring in a sweepstakes called "Ten Verragio Rings, Ten Weeks, Ten Winners." The contest offers a way for the company to reward their loyal fans and introduce their newest Verragio Collection before it hits retail locations.

To become eligible, Facebook users must become a fan of Verragio's page. Ten winners will be selected at random and announced on the official fan page. Visit http://www.facebook.com/Verragio to read the terms and become eligible for the contest.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chris Hughes, Former Facebook Co-Founder, Launches Jumo

Yesterday, the former co-founder of Facebook, Chris Hughes announced his new start-up Jumo on his blog. Jumo is a platform to connect individuals and organizations working to change the world. Aside from Facebook, Chris Hughes is widely credited for being one of the driving forces that put President Barack Obama in office, as Hughes ran Obama's social media campaign. Hughes left Facebook in 2007 to work for the Obama campaign and create MyBarackObama.com. After the campaign, Hughes felt the need to continue working on efforts that encourage global change and awareness.

Jumo, which means "together in concert" in the West African language of Yoruba, is designed to foster relationships between everyday people and issues and organizations that are personally relevant to them. Jump will provide each person with information and opportunities for meaningful action tailored specifically to who they are. The Jumo office will open in Soho next week and, according to his blog, Hughes is looking to hire a developer, a design director and an "outreach director" who it says will require a "wide-ranging, nearly unparalleled command of the global development field and the command of the global development field and the ability to see through ideological constraints fairly and analytically."

To get updates on Jumo's development, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reserve Your iPad Now

Emails went out today from Apple to reserve their latest invention the iPad. You can reserve or pre-order the iPad, versions with Wi-Fi — 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB. Click here.

Note: They are scheduled to hit the Apple stores on April 3rd. So if you reserve yours instead of paying in advance, your iPad will only be held between 9 am to 3 pm then it will go back on the floor for 1st come 1st served.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I hadn't realized how long its been since my last post. I've been busy consulting and blogging for the other 2 blogs, FlackMe and the Examiner.

I also put together a video about social media as an example for a client. Check out the video and later this week, I'll show you how you can throw one together with basic software that is standard on most PCs.

Let's chat! from Jonnice Slaughter on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pip.io claims to offer a more intimate experience than Facebook and Twitter

There's a new social network in town and it's called Pip.io. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pip.io claims to provide a way to take conversations semi-offline into "rooms." Users can invite people to join and accept invitations from others.

The development of the platform is just leaving the beta phase. So it's still early in adaptation. Some of the features include a video chat, update posting (privately and publicly) and an application store.

I'm going to keep my eye on this to see if it catches on. At first glance of the website, it really doesn't seem inviting and doesn't offer any information about the network on its homepage. How do they expect people to learn about them. An "About" page or demo video would be nice. With the influx of spam, who wants to sign up for something just to get a snap shot of how it works or to determine if it's the right network for them. I received more information about the site from the press release, which was hosted on a news wire service, not on the site. But I did say that it was still in the early stages of development, perhaps, they'll make those visual changes soon since they are in public launch mode. Below is a picture of the homepage, does it look inviting to you?

If you want to take a gamble and see what it's all about, go to http://pip.io/ and let me know what you think. I belong to a bunch of networks now so I'm not eager to join any new ones with such sketchy details and a limited first impression.

Is your loveone cheating via Facebook or Twitter? Catch them in the act with new monitoring device

One of the oldest uses for social networks has been to meet and hopefully find a mate. This is great for single people, however, it's also created a convenient way to test the waters for those that may be on the fence. Apparently, there is gadget called the Stealth iBot that is being used to spy on the internet use of significant others.

I'm sure when BrickHouse Security created this device, they probably had parents in mind, who wanted to monitor their children's use and law enforcement agencies. According to the company, they've received a spike in sales from insecure or curious mates. The company reported that they received even more of a spike in sales in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, a whopping 242% increase. What does that say about the times we are living in, huh?

The Stealth iBot logs all computer activity including Facebook interactions. For more information on this gadget or to purchase one, visit http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/pc-computer-spy.html.

Disclaimer from BrickHouse Security CEO Todd Morris, "We're pleased to aid so many people with our products. At the same time, we encourage our customers to show good judgment and to use them responsibly."

Class Action Complaint Filed Over Google Buzz

Google is really having a time with their new social network, Buzz. I recently wrote how the new networking service seemed a little to invasive for most users. Despite the recent changes that they've made (Google just launched Buzz less than 2 weeks ago), they still have a ways to go before they can assure users that it's safe.

Mashable is reporting that a class action complaint has been filed in San Jose, CA. The complaint alleges that Google broke several electronic communications laws with the plaintiff seeking monetary relief and injunctions to prevent Google from taking similar actions in the future.

Geesh, I just took their advice and turned the feature off but if I thought there was a chance to cash in on the slight invasion of privacy, perhaps I should have filed a legal complaint.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Online Magazine strikes gold thanks to Twitter prank

You remember the show "Punk'd" and how you thought they had some of the best pranks? Or if you are little older, perhaps, you remember "Candid Camera." Well those aren't the only shows that played jokes on unsuspecting individuals and captured it all with hidden cameras. There are a host of shows that you can name.

Well this prank wasn't recorded by hidden camera but it was just as good. In the tradition of pulling pranks on brides and grooms, this one will definitely go down in the history books. And it sure to give self-proclaimed professional prankers a new batch of ideas. Recently a best man pulled the mother of all pranks and did so by allowing a newly wed couple believe the statute of limitations for executing a prank had expired. Naively, the couple entrusted the best man to house sit while they embarked on their honeymoon. Little did they know that this was the opportunity that he’d been waiting for. The best man rigged their bed to record any activity and transmit the reports via Twitter using the handle, @newlywedsontjob. The report logged weight, durations and descriptions of the activity. Before long, @newlywedsontjob had more than 22,000 followers.

In December, the prank caught the attention of Staggered, an online magazine geared towards men, that offers pre-nuptial articles and advice. Wanting to get in on the action, Staggered aggressively pursued the Twitter user, called Anon Bestman, in hopes of getting an interview. "At first he didn't want to do an interview so we asked about sponsoring the account, which he eventually agreed to," explained Andrew Shanahan, Staggered's editor. Everytime the newlyweds were on the job Staggered paid a fee. As a condition, the magazine also made him promise to give an interview when he was going to reveal the joke to the newlywed couple, which he did. When the interview went live, the best man tweeted it and traffic on the magazine's site suddenly spiked.

This was a major feat for the magazine which had only launched this past August. Once the interview link was posted to Twitter, more than 7,000 people tried to access the magazine's site simultaneously, which crashed the site. Fortunately for them, Staggered's hosting company was able to move the site to another server, which had the site back up within 10 minutes.

Thanks to Anon Bestman and the newlyweds, Staggered was able to introduce their brand to thousands of new readers. Not bad for a start-up that had only been running for 4 months, huh?

How did the newlyweds react to Anon Bestman's prank? You'll have to follow him on Twitter to find out. He plans to reveal his prank to the couple on the groom's birthday which is February 26th. So until then, you still have time to follow the action (if that's your thing). Ironically, the last tweet was Friday, Feb. 12th but I hope for their sake (of course, definitely not mine) we see some action activity today. After all, it is Valentine's Day.

Expect to see big things from Chrysler

Chrysler has tapped New Media Strategies (NMS) to spearhead their social media efforts for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep. "Automotive social media is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic areas of consumer engagement online," said New Media Strategies founder and CEO, Pete Snyder. "Manufacturers are wisely investing because social media is having a direct impact on automotive purchasing decisions for consumers."

New Media Strategies will collaborate with each brand team and partner agency, including interactive, media and CRM (Customer Resource Management), to ensure social media initiatives are closely tied to overall marketing and business objectives.

The buzz on Google Buzz, not yet the Biz

In less than a week since Google launched Google Buzz, their answer to Facebook and Twitter, they are already making adjustments based on the unfavorable feedback they've received. Now anyone that knows me, knows that I'm one of Google's biggest fans. I incorporate as many of their products into my personal and professional activities as possible. However, when testing out their latest creation, I, too, wasn't pleased with the "auto-follow" feature in Google Buzz.

The way it was originally set up, all of the fellow Gmail users contained within your address book instantly became your followers and vice versa. That function could instantly pose a problem if some of your contacts were private. Let's say you were, like many today, seeking a job and use your personal Gmail address as the main email contact. You also use your personal Gmail address to communicate with friends and family. Unbeknownst to you, you've made it to the top of a short list of potential employment candidates but were disqualified due to your association with either a competing employer or worse, several questionable Gmail users that contain body part references in their email address. Not cool, right?

Well, now Google has made the "auto-follow" feature an option that you can select, which is now more prominently displayed. They've also made the option to turn off Buzz, all together, more prominent. Before you had to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen to find it.

Google also announced that they will no longer connect your public Picasa web album and Google Reader automatically to Buzz. This feature will also be an option that you can enable if you choose.

They also have added a Buzz tab in Gmail, where you were able to adjust other Gmail settings. From the tab, you'll be able to show, hide or disable Buzz completely.

In a blog post from the weekend they stated, "...we've been able to read the buzz about Buzz itself. We quickly realized that we didn't get everything quite right. We're very sorry for the concern we've caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback. We'll continue to do so."

Click here to read the complete update on their blog about the new changes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Audi Provides Daily Webcasts from Behind-the-Scenes as the U.S. Ski Team competes in 2010 Winter Olympics

Just about every major Olympic sponsor is incorporating social media to provide added exposure for their brand during the 2010 Winter Games. Audi, the proud sponsors of the U.S. Ski Team since 2007, will be streaming live updates daily of the U.S. Ski Team as they prepare to compete. They've tapped TJ Lanning and Resi Stiegler to host their daily 15-minute webisodes, titled "Live at the Lodge with TJ and Resi." Lanning and Stiegler, both U.S. Ski Team members, will be sitting this Olympics out due to injury.

The webisodes will kicked off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. PT/ 9:30 p.m. ET and will stream at the same time each day through Feb. 27 at http://www.facebook.com/audi, http://www.justin.tv/audiski and http://www.usskiteam.com/. The daily webcasts will utilize social networking to create a two-way dialogue with fans, bringing them inside the U.S. Ski Team house. Fans' questions can be submitted prior to and during the show for Lanning and Stiegler, or any of their interview subjects, via Twitter @audiski, Facebook posts, and YouTube.

Lanning and Stiegler will also be collecting personal footage, which will air in a short documentary, once the athletes have returned home. The documentary, titled, Truth in Motion: The U.S. Ski Team's Road to Vancouver, will chronicle the skiers as they prepare to compete.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Having a hard time sleeping? Tweet about it and win a free mattress.

Simmons Beautyrest Mattress is launching a new Twitter contest to promote the anniversary of their Beautyrest queen size mattress.

Now through April 30th, sleepy consumers can send a Tweet that will automatically enter them in a sweepstakes to win a new Beautyrest Anniversary queen size mattress valued up to $2,000. All you have to do is is post a tweet about sleep that includes #simmonsbeautyrest and the URL http://bit.ly/beautyrest.

Winners will be randomly picked weekly during the 12-week contest. For more details, visit http://contest.simmons.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

FEARnet Celebrates George Romero & Declares February 4th #TweetLikeAZombie Day

Today is #TweetLikeAZombie Day, as declared by FEARnet. In honor of the 70th birthday of George Romero, the director of Night of the Living Dead and proclaimed father of the modern zombie movie.

SXSW Music Announces Partial Band List, Panelists and Day Stage News -- AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ --

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival, scheduled to take place March 17 - 21, 2010 in Austin, Texas, is pleased to announce a few of the bands scheduled to perform, artists that are participating on panels and exciting changes at the SXSW Day Stage.

This year's SXSW Music Conference will feature some notable artists that will be speaking on panels taking place in the Austin Convention Center. Judy Collins shares her thoughts on "Where Goes English Folk Music?," John Doe joins Ian Rogers' panel "The Cultural Significance of Direct-to-Fan Marketing," DJ Spooky encourages the spread of music into established cultural institutions in "Performing Arts: New Frontier for Live Acts," Melissa Auf Der Mar exhibits her photographic side on "Image Makers Of Rock and Soul," Suzanne Vega kicks MP3 butt on "Music Artists: Getting A Digital Ass-Kicking," Andrew WK dissects rock star myths on "What Becomes A Legend Most," Chris Walla highlights his studio work on "Producers Adapt & Survive," Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth recall early gigs on "CBGBs Stories," and Anya Marina talks soundtracks on "Case Study: New Moon." Join these artists and over 350 other speakers for an enlightening look at the past, present and future of the music industry.

The SXSW Day Stage also in the Austin Convention Center, presented by SESAC, will be partnering with six great radio stations from around the country who will present Day Stage performances on their airwaves. These are KCRW, KEXP, WXPN, The Current, KUT, and Mexico City's Reactor. Each station will present a three hour block of music. Highlighting KCRW's block on Saturday March 20 will be Rogue Wave, Middle East and Lissie. More artists will be announced soon. SXSW Day Stage performances take place in Ballroom D from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.

And now for the bands, a few highlights selected out of over 10,000 music applications include:

!!! (Brooklyn, NY), Amaral (Madrid, SPAIN), Anita Tijoux (Santiago, CHILE), ApoptygmaBerzerk (Oslo, NORWAY), Athlete (London, ENGLAND), Bajofondo (Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA), Balkan Beat Box (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL), Band of Skulls (London, ENGLAND), Bear In Heaven (Brooklyn, NY), Black Milk (Detroit, MI), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Los Angeles, CA), BombaEstereo (Bogota, COLOMBIA), Broken Social Scene (Toronto, CANADA), Chalie Boy (Hearne, TX), Chamillionaire& Paul Wall (Houston, TX), Cymbals Eat Guitars (New York, NY), Deer Tick (Providence, RI), Evan Dando (New York, NY), Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk, SCOTLAND), Fucked Up (Toronto, CANADA), Grant Hart (St. Paul, MN), Hauschka (Dusseldorf, GERMANY), Here We Go Magic (Brooklyn, NY), Hudson Mohawke (Glasgow, SCOTLAND), Invincible (Detroit, MI), jj (Gothenburg, SWEDEN), Killer Mike (Atlanta, GA), LA Riots (Los Angeles, CA), Les SavyFav (Brooklyn, NY), MalditaVecindad (Mexico City, MEXICO), Marina & The Diamonds (London, ENGLAND), Mayer Hawthorne & The County (Ann Arbor, MI), Midlake (Denton, TX), Miike Snow (Stockholm, SWEDEN), Mr Hudson (London, ENGLAND), MundoLivre SA (Recife, BRAZIL), Murs (Los Angeles, CA), NataliaLafourcade (Mexico City, MEXICO), Pretty Lights (Charlottesville, VA), Rye Rye (Baltimore, MD), Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (Brooklyn, NY), She & Him (Los Angeles, CA), Shwayze (Malibu, CA), Spoon (Austin, TX), Steve Aoki (Los Angeles, CA), Systema Solar (Taganga, COLOMBIA), Texas Tornados (San Antonio, TX), The Drums (Brooklyn, NY), The Middle East (Townsville, AUSTRALIA), The Soft Pack (San Diego, CA), The Very Best (New York, NY), The xx (London, ENGLAND), Trae (Houston, TX), VV Brown (London, ENGLAND), and Wolfgang Gartner (Austin, TX). This list is subject to change. This is only a portion of the bands that will be performing at the SXSW Music Festival.

The South By Southwest Music & Media Conference and Festival takes place at the Austin Convention Center and on over 80 stages throughout downtown Austin. The previously announced Smokey Robinson keynote will anchor four days of panels, interviews, workshops, peer meetings, a trade show exhibition and the world-renowned music festival.

For a full listing of events or to build a personalized schedule, go to http://my.sxsw.com/events. my.SXSW.com is the official social networking tool for SXSW Registrants and is powered by The Social Collective. Access my.SXSW from your iPhone with the official my.SXSWiPhone app powered by DUB and available now in the iTunes Store. To register to attend this productive, educational, and overwhelmingly musical week, access the website at http://sxsw.com or email us at sxsw@sxsw.com.

SXSW is sponsored by Miller Lite, Sonicbids, Chevrolet, ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars, AOL, IFC, Monster Energy, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and the Austin Chronicle.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ann Curry Trapped in New York Times Elevator for One Well-Documented Hour - Ann Curry - Gawker

Source: Gawker

What happens when a group of social media freaks—including Ann Curry—get trapped in an elevator? It is electronically recorded and broadcast over the internet at near-dizzying speed. Welcome to the most thoroughly documented elevator entrapment ever.

Today, after a Times-hosted panel on social media & Haiti, Ann Curry got stuck in the Times' building elevator. The ensuing events constitute a textbook example of how "the crowd" beats Old Media in covering breaking news. EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOUSE.

To read the rest, hop over to Gawker.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Event Planning Social Media Webinar

Special Webinar for Event Planners, Publicists, Activity Coordinators, Promoters, etc.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST

Applying Social Media to Event Planning


- Planning

o Learn the best free social media tools for pre-event coordination and promotion.

o Identify the best tools for tracking the pre-event buzz.

- During the event

o Review social media tools that will offer the best attendance predictions.

o Utilize tools that will engage non-attendees with play by play updates in real time.

- After the event

o Recap the event with free tools that share images and videos.

o Create platforms for attendees to share their experience at your event.

o Learn how to summarize the event with social tools that allow for easy evaluation by client, attendees, existing and potential sponsors.

o Learn how to create a user-friendly, innovative social media portfolio of events for free.

Each registered attendee will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE FLIPCAM!

Click here to register.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Examiner Post: Flickr shows what Atlantans love to photograph

Post on Examiner.com - Flickr shows what Atlantans love to photograph

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Business Series Webinars

Social Media Webinars for Small Businesses
& Entrepreneurs
the 1st Thursday of every month

Beginning in February.

Each participant is eligible for to win a prize.
All webinars are only $149.99, limited seating, 1st come, 1st served.

Series Schedule

Feb. 4th - Twitter 101 (Click here to register)
Learn all the basics to starting your branding campaign on Twitter.

- How gain followers.

- Trending topics.

- Utilizing Twitter functions like Twitter lists.

- The best desktop and mobile Twitter clients and applications.

- Peak times for Twitter usage.

- Coordinate Twitter feeds with other social networks like Facebook and blogs.

- The power of retweeting.

- Using keywords and hashtags.

- How to monitor conversations about your industry and/or business.

- How to schedule campaigns.

- The best Twitter ad networks and promotional companies to use.

- How to identify the most influential users based on your industry.

- Brief overview of successful Twitter campaigns launched by major brands, popular case studies.

****All participants are eligible to win a free Flipcam!


Mar. 4th- Facebook 101 (Click here to register)

Learn all the basics to starting your branding campaign on Facebook.

-To set up a friend page or a fan page.

- How gain friends/ fans.

- The best desktop and mobile Facebook clients and applications.

- Peak times for usage.

- Coordinate Facebook feeds with other social networks like Facebook and blogs.

- How to monitor conversations about your industry and/or business.

- How to schedule campaigns.

- The significance of ads.

- How to identify the most influential users based on your industry.

- Brief overview of successful Facebook campaigns launched by major brands, popular case studies.

Tomorrow Viacom's MTV Networks Presents 'Hope for Haiti,' an Earthquake Relief Global Telethon... -- NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ --

Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting Will Appear in New York City;

Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, and a Group Performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles;

Coldplay, and a Group Performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in London

All Performances to be Available for Purchase from Apple(R) iTunes(R) Store with Proceeds Benefiting Select Haiti Relief Funds

More than One Hundred of the Biggest Names in Film, Television, and Music to Appear on "Hope for Haiti Now," Along with Wyclef Jean in New York City, George Clooney in Los Angeles, and CNN's Anderson Cooper in Haiti
Additional Television, Online, and Mobile Partners Make "Hope for Haiti Now" the Most Widely Distributed Global Telethon in History

NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, and LONDON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief," today announced its lineup of superstar musical performances. The global telethon will feature performances by Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in a newly added London location. All musical performances will be available for purchase for $.99 per song through the Apple® iTunes® Store beginning Saturday, January 23, with all proceeds benefiting Haiti relief funds managed by "Hope for Haiti Now" charities.

In addition to musical performances, Wyclef Jean in New York City, George Clooney in Los Angeles, and CNN's Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti, "Hope for Haiti Now" will feature more than one hundred of the biggest names in film, television, and music supporting the cause with testimonials and by answering phones during the telethon.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme have joined the list of relief organizations that will benefit from "Hope for Haiti Now," which also includes Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, and Yele Haiti Foundation. Proceeds from "Hope for Haiti Now" will be split evenly among each organization's individual funds for Haiti earthquake relief.

"Hope for Haiti Now" will be the most widely distributed telethon in history, both internationally and across media platforms. The two-hour telethon will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. CT. “Hope for Haiti Now” will also air on newly added networks including PBS, TNT, Showtime, COMEDY CENTRAL, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, and Canadian networks including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television, and MuchMusic. The event will be live streamed online globally across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV. "Hope for Haiti Now" will also air internationally on BET International, CNN International, National Geographic, and MTV Networks International, which is available in 640 million homes worldwide. "Hope for Haiti Now" will be the first U.S.-based telethon airing on MTV in China. Facebook and Twitter have signed on as official social media partners to help drive donations and tune-in to the telethon.

Based on production needs and venue sizes, all "Hope for Haiti Now" studio locations will be closed to the media. Photos, pool video footage and talent interviews from "Hope for Haiti Now" will be serviced to news outlets immediately following the event.

"Hope for Haiti Now" is produced by Joel Gallen and Tenth Planet Productions, in collaboration with Viacom's MTV Networks and George Clooney.

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom ( VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company's portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers, and Xfire.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ViVu Launches Video Collaboration Plug-In For Skype

source: Tech Crunch

ViVu an online video conferencing platform, has launched an easy to use plug-in that enables multi-user video conferencing on Skype (which has over 521 million users). Called VuRoom, the plug-in allows users to video conference, share presentations and their desktops and more with large groups.

ViVu’s “video as a service” lets anyone create a live video webcast that can be used for online meetings and events, sales presentations, demos or training sessions. ViVu’s cloud-based technology can be enabled via a PC, Mac or smartphone and provides an auditorium like-view within the browser making it ideal for large conferences or meetings.

Once VuRoom is downloaded, the host simply selects the Skype contacts they want to join the conference and calls the entire group. The participant joins clicking the URL provided in their text chat window. Call participants, other than the host, need not have the ViVu plug-in installed to participate in the video conference. During the call, the presenter and participants can share their presentations and desktop to other participants.

What this means to you....

If you are already using Skype to talk to friends and family, now you can bring in more people to join the conversation. So your screen would look like the split screens you see on TV when they are talking to people in multiple locations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wyclef livestreams his press conference and makes a global plea for help

Wyclef just concluded a press conference for his organization Yele that began at 2pm EST. During the conference, he made a personal plea to the world to aid efforts for a max exodus out of the devastated areas of Haiti to safer and secure areas, much like what we saw for Katrina.

The press conference was streamed live and had thousands of people watching and commenting on Facebook, Twitter and in the chat room. He also made a compelling plea in his native language, in which he began crying. It's obvious that he is hurting for his people, like most of the world is right now. They also took time to briefly address some of the rumors and accusations that have run rampant on the internet and through media about his organizations intentions.

It's sad that during this desperate time of need, a sincere humanitarian and global ambassador for his country has to take time to address these unfavorable and hurtful statements made against him. As a PR professional, I appreciated the time that his staff took to disclose and claim full ownership for some of the bad decisions that the organization made in the past. They also are offering financial and tax statements for the media that will prove that they've recently caught up on some of the legal filings that non-profits like his are supposed to submit on a yearly basis.

Watch live streaming video from clefzonemedia at livestream.com

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrities Will Meet at Sundance Film Festival to Address the Haiti Earthquake Crisis

Moviemakers And Celebrities Mobilize At The Tweet House During The Sundance Film Festival To Aid The People Of Haiti

The “Tweet House” Will Serve As A Central Hub During The 2010 Sundance Film Festival Establishing A Gathering Place and Forum to Raise Awareness and Funds for Haiti

(Park City, UT – January 14, 2010) In response to the powerful earthquake that has devastated the island of Haiti, the “Tweet House” which is being hosted in Park City during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, is offering a virtual and physical event called “The Celebrity Tweetup for Haiti”. The Tweetup will be held at The Tweet House, located at the SHOP Yoga Studio in Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 23rd from 5 to 7pm.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this crisis,” said LeVar Burton, of Burton/Wolfe Entertainment and co-host of the Tweetup, “I know from experience that members of the entertainment community can be counted on at times like this, and my partners and I are dedicated to doing what we can”.

During the Tweetup, the hosts are inviting talent and other Sundance Festival attendees to gather and “Tweet” messages encouraging their followers to make donations to the organizations that are accepting funds related to the Haitian disaster. Proceeds raised from corporate sponsors of the event will be earmarked to benefit the victims.

“We had originally scheduled a Tweetup hosted by LeVar where celebrities could message about their favorite charities,” said Steve Broback of the Parnassus Group, who is organizing the event. “With the recent happenings, we felt compelled to focus exclusively on the pressing needs of the Haitian people.”

More information can be found at the official Web site for the Tweet House: http://www.tweetforhaiti.org

BURTON/WOLFE ENTERTAINMENT was formed in 2009 by principals’ actor/director LeVar Burton and producer Mark Wolfe. The company is dedicated to developing quality productions utilizing all avenues of entertainment, including digital, feature film, television, 3D and the Web. Burton Wolfe Entertainment promises to deliver quality entertainment wherever audiences gather.

THE PARNASSUS GROUP is a Redmond-based technology consultancy that produces events and provides brand monitoring and reporting services.