Monday, November 30, 2009

Twitter Ads are Evil - Here's Why

Advertisers are frustrated. You’re all having direct conversations with friends on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the rest while totally bypassing the mass mediums they understand. Rather than consuming content all day on TV, in newspapers and on the radio, you’re engaging, one-to-one, with individuals you trust. They can’t get in the middle of that. They hate it.

So it’s perhaps predictable that we’re experiencing the rise of in-stream Twitter advertising. How do you get inside those conversations? “You pay to do it!”, they exclaim. Ah yes, so suddenly we have Sponsored Tweets, and others offering to pay users to Tweet out their ad messages. Problem solved! Except it’s not. That’s the exact same outdated model of interruption-based advertising that we’ve been trying to block out with a TiVo or an internet ad blocker. We don’t want it. We’ll ignore it.

** This is a repost from Mashable! The Social Media Guide Nov. 30th 2009.   They did a nice job of calling this out. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The 15th Annual Turkey Bowl Kicks Off "Bowling" Season

Admire the players of The 15th Annual Turkey Bowl yesterday at Arno Park on Ward Parkway in Kansas City!  It was glorious weather and 911 did not have to be called this time.  WOOT!   We know other bowl games were going on the Friday after Thanksgiving... The Gibblet Bowl and The Gravy Bowl to name a few.  We hope they faired as well as we did... lots of laughs, some amazing trick plays not allowed in sanctioned football and they hopefully let their kids play too.

Being this is the first bowl we know of before the more publicized collegiate one's, we say "CHEERS TO BOWLING SEASON!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cool Hand Lex

Growing up as a kid in the Midwest, I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving.  Truly, it was off to Grandmother's house we go... in Joplin, MO.  Lot's of touch football with many fun-loving relatives of all ages.  The men were always so nice to include me in the football games... even as a squirrely 7 year old girl.  I appreciated that then and I do now.  I mostly remember laughing.  I come from a family of loud laughers and this annual family event fueled that birth defect for all of us! 

Now, as an adult with my own family, we have another family tradition for Thanksgivings.  We go to my brothers farm in Bucyrus, KS.  That's Blue Sky Ranch to the rest of you.  It's a beautiful rural oasis on a hill next to a Christmas tree farm on the outskirts of Kansas City.  The view in every direction is fabulous.  The winds rarely stop blowing and several times my brother has called me from his cell phone outside to yell "I'm standing at a 90 degree angle into the wind and not falling!"  

This year, Owen and his wife Laura, along with their two young children, graciously and dare I say excitedly hosted Thanksgiving again. For a decade they've pulled out the stops for up to 25 of us, continually wowing us with the details. We know we can count on a hayride no matter what the weather.  Sometimes we'll ride the ATV's, pet the horses, throw the football...  but this year we got something new.  We had the first annual TURKEY SHOOT!  We used my great grandfathers rifle, given to my father in 1938 and then to my twin brother when he was in high school.  We grew up in a nice surburban neighborhood of Kansas City, but what do you with an urban teenage boy who's infatuated with westerns, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, John Wayne and Paul Newman?  Apparently you give him a rifle.  Many times my brother would shoot the gun in our basement, at a target built from many blocks of wood hammered together... it even caught on fire one time.  We'd all be about the house, doing our thing and then "BOOM!" and the windows would rattle... and the smell of gunpowder would float up through the vents.  I never shot the gun.

Yesterday, I did shoot the gun.  I don't want to brag, but maybe I do...  I'm a born shooter.   Here's the proof in the photo...  My first time at bat, I got a 10 pt. shot just outside the red bullseye.  My 2nd and 3rd shots were IN the BULLSEYE!  The raised eyebrows by the rest of the men/boys witnessing, was totally worth the wait of 44 years to figure this out. My father however, thought the event should have been us running with the rifle shooting at the target and probably yelling... like a pioneer might have, and not so much in the "sniper" position I chose.  I went on to the 2nd round with Owen, Scott and Cotton Smith.   I didn't get a bullseye to move on to the final round... but was thrilled with my efforts nonetheless.  Mainly because I wasn't really trying.  I pondered if my success was genetic especially this being my first time. Perhaps. 

I can't wait for the next Thanksgiving... my membership to The Bullet Hole begins Jan. 1st.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Word of Mouse Wins Porter Hovey a Role on AMC's Mad Men!

Congratulations to Kansas City naitive Porter Hovey for winning a walk on role at AMC's Mad Men for season 4, Fall 2010.   Porter is a freelance photographer in NYC and when this opportunity arose, she and her sister, Hollister Hovey, compiled the chic look with vintage clothes and accessories... and took some shots.  It worked!  From what I could tell, back in August, Porter was one of the few, upon thousands and thousands of entries, to dress for the era.  Her effort paid off.   On Nov. 19th, AMC announced her as the winner of the Banana Republic Mad Men Role contest!

I couldn't wait to ask questions and she has graciously obliged.  Being in the thick of social media, my mind was whirling thinking about how awesome this process went down using social networks and blogging.  Porter and Hollister both posted the link to vote on their websites and KABLAM! ... word of mouse began.  Others began posting Porter's submitted photo and AMC voting link on their blogs, Twitter and Facebook pages.  According to AMC, Porter was the early front runner and it pretty much stayed that way.  To think that so many strangers took the time to read a message from a friend, go to the link, click to vote... sometimes for many days...  is humbling to Porter.  The use of social media as word of mouse (like word of  mouth, but on the web... you get it, I know...) was textbook perfect.  Or should I say e-book perfect.

Here is our brief interview...  enjoy her thoughtful responses:

Q:  How do you feel about what’s to come your way… publicity, paparazzi, calls from old boyfriends to get back together and such…?

I’m pretty excited about everything. Throughout the process, it has been great reconnecting with old friends. But it was the support from strangers that I found truly amazing. It’s quite a lot to log onto a website every day so some gal you’ve never met can have her 15 minutes. It was utterly cool and humbling to see so many people take the time and be so kind.

Q:  Are you a “Jackie” or a “Marilyn” or other? Explain? (Mad Men's Don Draper said all women want to be Jackie Onasis or Marilyn Monroe)

It’s a hard one . . . Even though I try to flirt like Marilyn, I lean more toward Jackie. For years, I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with the Kennedy family and even dedicated a semester-long photo project to them.

Ironically, in the way that Jackie gracefully became the cornerstone of the family during times of crisis, it’s Joan who fills that role at Sterling Cooper. Betty, the outwardly more Jackie-esque character, tries her best to keep it together while teetering on the brink – much more like Marilyn. I suppose I’m a less polished, ever slightly less graceful hybrid of them both - with a tad less smoldering angst than Marilyn.

Q:  With the strong overtones of sexism throughout MadMen, and you being such a Renaissance woman… do you have any concerns about what kind of female role they’ll give you?

I’m not worried at all. I think that’s really what’s so wonderful about the show – even though these women are in mostly traditional roles, they’re all very strong and independent in their own right. I’m excited to see where I fall into the story line – even if it will just be the background.

Q:  Your photo submitted in the MadMen voting, had you in what seemed a perfect era of clothing. What is your authentic style?

I’ve always considered myself pretty preppy with a hip edge. I love classic vintage finds. I look to the classics for inspiration and then try to add my own unique spin to them. My mom was always adamant about the importance of wearing nice shoes, bags and jewelry. So I tend to wear a lot of basics and mix in the accessories. You can’t tell in the photo, but I actually have a sharp, ‘20s style bob, which is like a vintage accessory in itself – and probably my most iconic feature to those who know me.

Q:  What childhood experiences do you have that will help guide you through this new one?

My mom’s constant nagging to straighten my back! I cannot look like quasi modo in a sweater set on national television!

Q:  What do you feel was the biggest contribution to winning the contest?

I couldn’t believe the out pouring of support from the blogosphere. My sister and I posted the link on both of our blogs. Suddenly everyone was excited about it and wanted to help out get the vote out! Michael Williams (A Continuous Lean) posted it on his twitter page, Joanna Goddard (Cup of Jo) posted it on her blog, and it really went from there. I couldn’t have done this alone with just my friends. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

 Q:  If a movie were to be made about this experience, what current actress would you like to see portray you… and why?

I’m just in love with Carey Mulligan. I thought her performance in An Education was brilliant! She’s now one of my new favorite young actresses. She just really lights up the screen with such a presence and carries herself with such maturity and poise – just like I do. Ha!

Q:  Have you always wanted to act on the stage, TV or movies?

Well . . . I’ve always been a bit dramatic! : )

Thank you Porter for playing along and we give you a tip of our Jackie O pillbox hats in honor of your win!

Here is a photo of Porter and her sister, Hollister, in their apartment in NYC... what's not to  like... dark walls, animal heads, fencing gear, apothecary cabinets ... omg... I want to move right in!  This is definitely the look of someone who SHOULD be a star!    I'll keep you posted as filming begins.  WOOT!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grade Your Website to Become a Modern Marketer

Here's a great tool for you, if you are a social media marketer wanting more money from your CEO/President to fund your social  media efforts...  Website Grader   It's the brainchild of HubSpot who provide awesome analytical software for businesses to track their efforts through social media.   To get your grade is really easy...  simply type in your company website AND, this is the best part, type in competitor websites too!  It will give you a grade for all.  Take that information to the powers that be, to shake more funding out of their pockets for your social media efforts.  This is a wonderful way to get a baseline and build from there.

What next?    Prepare to show them how the company grade is getting better and better each quarter because of your fabulous social media skills.  Woot!

There is also Twitter Grader, which is a really great tool so measure Twitter activity, view the user historytime on Twitter, analyze followers and who you're following and if your grade is worthy of sharing...  display it on Twitter!      

Facebook Grader, Press Release Grader to name a few more.  All by  

Tell me if you found these tools helpful...  now go play on the internet!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Avian Einsteins" Fuel My Bird Thang

I was excited to recently see a video on Facebook from my friend, Beth Taylor... an incredibly smart and funny woman... regarding a conference at the World Science Festival back on June 2-13th, 2009.    World Science Festival?   I know.  I probably wouldn't have watched it if it wasn't endorsed by my friend Beth.   It had  segment with Bobby McFerrin (yes, of music with only his mouth fame) in a conference called Tones and Neurtrons.  This segment was about 3 minutes and it was riveting.  Really!  Then, I ran across another conference there called Avian Einsteins.  This was a study about learning to speak... the connections between language and movement... through birds.  Again... the series of video segments were spellbinding.  ( Apology to my parents for not being a fraction of this interested in high school or college about neuroscience.  My bad. ) The inspiration and motivation behind these studies came from video of a cockatoo named Snowball.  The video has over 3.5 million hits in the year it's been on the web... and with an avian scientist owner now, this bird has over 12 self taught dance routines ... and making up more all the time!  

Snowball's original owner loved the Back Street Boys and played them non-stop.  Apparently, Snowball doesn't mind their music even after all these years.   

Here's another dancing bird,  Frostie, who loves songs with a good beat too... in this case, Ray Charles singing "Let Me See You Shake Your Tail Feather"! 

Why the interest?  Birds are really smart!  They are a lot like humans.  They like to be chatty and social, they  mate for life, they imitate what they like, they have friends and enemies, they each have a signature song and when slowed down for our ears, those songs are beautiful!... and like the chimp, they invent tools!   If you watch the video, be sure you check out the one about the crow that makes a hook out of small piece of wire using its mouth and a hole in the wall and fishes out a small pail of food.  Brilliant.

This just hammers home from a previous confession... I dig birds!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quotes I've Enjoyed on Twitter

Here are some quotes I've seen on Twitter and have been earmarking for future or frequent reference.  Some are from famous people.... some are anonymous.  Either way... I like them and hope you do too.

Your tongue can make your ears deaf.

A clever person solves a problem.  A wise person avoids it. 

Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.

People can keep nudging us off course a little at a time until finally, we find ourselves asking, "How did I get here?"

No person was ever wise... by chance.

If you reach out to someone who loves their profession, they will reach back to you. 

Don't wait for people to be friendly... show them how.

Your mind is for having ideas... not holding them.

If you think you can, you can.

Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.

If you have a college degree, you can be absolutely sure of one thing... you  have a college degree.

No one has ever become poor, by giving.

The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.

The only lead worth having is the one you generate.

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

To have more than you've got, become more than you are.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Urban Mining, Amy Barickman and Christmas Stuff... Yea!

Last Thursday, I had the pleasant task of going with Amy Barickman (Vintage Workshop, Indgyo Junction and many many books!) to one of our favorite antiquing digs in town... Urban Mining Homewares.  It's only open one weekend a month, and this was a preview of the Holiday treasures for sale.   Check 'em out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So Wrong... They're Right

Confession... I like to laugh.  Not much of a confession, however,  I like to laugh a lot.  Big loud hardy laughs.   Really though, who doesn't?   Each day on the various social networks I frequent, I am guaranteed several good laughs.   I'm always amazed by the genuinely clever people out there, living amongst us, delivering one liners left and right.   With that in mind, I want to share with you a few sites I get a kick out of.

My first suggestion is on Twitter as @OHnewsroom  which stands for OverHeard in the newsroom.  This page posts up daily some of the best overhead quotes in newsrooms around the United States.   This page has approximately 9000 followers, which has doubled from 2 months ago!

  • Anchor being introduced to new intern: “The name’s Rick. The ‘P’ is silent.”
  • On-Call Reporter: “I’m glad I got called in today. It will keep me from drinking as much.”
  • Over-worked and underpaid Editor: “The only thing I do well anymore is bitch.”
  • "What’s the world coming to when Ryan Seacrest has a stalker?”
  • At a student journalism conference: “Pull quotes are like condoms. You only need one.”


My second favorite suggestion on Twitter is @shitmydadsaysThis is posted by Justin, 29 years old living with this 73 year old father.  "He is awesome.  I just write down shit that he says".  This page has over 650,000 followers and is a bit colorful in its language. 

"You worry too much. Eat some bacon... What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon."

"The baby will talk when he talks, relax. It ain't like he knows the cure for cancer and he just ain't spitting it out."

"Remember how you used to make fun of me for being bald?...No, I'm not gonna make a joke. I'll let your mirror do that."

"I wanted to see Detroit win. I've been there. It's like God took a shit on a parking lot. They deserve some good news."

"The worst thing you can be is a liar....Okay fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but THEN, number two is liar. Nazi 1, Liar 2"

"My flight lands at 9:30 on Sunday...You want to watch what? What the fuck is mad men? I'm a mad man if you don't pick me the hell up."

An all time fave of mine is @BluntCard   I originally met Mike (site's creator, designer, copywriter, editor, talent, everything) on Myspace a few years back but now you can find most of his goods here at his homepage on Bluntcard. In Myspace's hayday, Mike would get up to 11,000 hits to his page PER DAY!  Now... with the slow choking death of MySpace, you can find Blunt Card on several social networks. Here is a sampling of his work... and again, be forewarned:  It's colorful and targets every group within mankind. 



Twitter has been a little bit of Utopia for comedians.  Two I like to follow are Jim Gaffigan and Michael Ian Black.  Here's Michael's post from one hour ago.  "My son is reading this over my shoulder. Hey busybody, I'm not your real dad." They tweet often & frequently post photos.  Awesome. 
Other sites throughout several social networks draw large crowds.  One is FAIL.   Below is a typical "fail" and below that is a very rare "win".


and  Cake Wrecks   Yet another reason not to order over the phone.  Goodness.

and People of Walmart  This one is titled "Lots of Tail".  Notice the guy's rat tail... when you divert your eyes from the other "tail" on the girl.

and Awkward Family Photos.  Wha?... Wher?... Huh?

   Almost all of these creative page owners pretty much became overnight sensations and it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people.   Enjoy.

So... what do you think?

logo designI've got enough business now, I need a logo.  What a wonderful predicament to be in.  WOOT!   In looking at the logo on the webpage... it looks grainy. Hmmm...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

She's At It Again! (Yea!)

Debbie Dusenberry, owner of The Curious Sofa (in the Prairie Village shopping center at 71st in Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS) rolled out her holiday look and products for the upcoming holiday season, on Friday morning Oct. 30th.    It's fabulous with a bit black and white and red all over.   A few nostalgic Santas and lots of glitz and shimmering glimmer.   I loved it.  I'm not quite in the holiday spirit yet... but I found visiting the store helped sway me in the right direction.  Swing by if you're a local... you won't be disappointed.

I love these doves on her wall.  If you recall from my Halloween post at her store, she had black crows on these limbs and they were minus the snow. Brilliant.

It might be a little hard to see, but she has a cool Frosty the Snowman black tophyat at the top of this black tree.

Who else would have thought of putting Jesus in a bird cage?  I love it and may do it too.

Lighted sticks (natural or all white sitcks) are a huge favorite this season.

This is what I like to call the floursack chair and I desperately want it!