Monday, November 29, 2010

Confession Time: I'm in the Witness Protection Program

Well, at least it feels like I am.  

Since my fabulous 1996 Jeep Cherokee was stolen 2 weeks ago... no one knows me.  I am driving my husband's Maxima and sometimes "Big Blue", a huge Ford pick up, and as I see my neighbors and families of my children's school, I wave.  They just look at the car like "who the hell is that"?   

It's me!  These are people who would all but flag me down as they saw me arrive in my old Jeep.   Damn.  It's like identity theft. I had my identity stolen when my 14 year old Jeep was stolen.

Time to work on re-branding myself... on wheels.  
Side note:  I joined a gym too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perk #142 of Working From Home...

There are many obvious perks about working from home, but the latest became apparent on Monday morning. The #142nd perk is... when you're car gets stolen, like mine did two days ago, you can still make it to and from work.  

Yep, my precious 1996 Jeep Country, with a big ol' cracked windshield, license plate taped to the back window all classy like, fabric on the ceiling drooping down like a circus tent... was stolen.  It was a car only I could love... or so I thought.  Taken in broad daylight from a bookstore parking lot.  It's not as if I left it at a bar all night in some wild drinking district.  I also found out the police do not do APB's anymore.  (All Points Bulletin).  Don't laugh too hard... I really wanted them to do one.  Wouldn't you?  

So as of the end of this week, my official search will begin for a new, or rather "another" car.   Being I am a bit of a JEEK (Jeep Geek) the new Call of Duty Black Ops Jeep Wrangler has caught my eye...   Maybe it could stay with me for 14 years like my M.I.A. Jeep now has. (still might... we'll see)

This time, I am getting The Trunk Monkey to protect it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

13 LIVE Tweeting Tips

I've LIVE tweeted for 22 events in the last 10 months.  I'm anxious to share with you, what I've learned...  through some interesting trial and error.

13 LIVE Tweeting Tips:

  1. Create an easy short #hashtag for the event. Tweeple enjoying the LIVE tweets can play along simultaneously and you can track and interact with them.  Keep the #hashtag short, so there's more room for the meat of a tweet.
  2. Give plenty of promotion to the fact the designated twitter account (yours or if you tweet for a biz or venue) will be posting LIVE from and during the event, what time it will begin and of course, the #hashtag.
  3. Encourage others attending the event to also LIVE tweet from the event and promote the #hashtag to them.  Getting their attention early, setting the desired expectation and asking for participation well ahead of the event has worked well for me.
  4. If possible, get the Twitter account name of key people you will be tweeting about ahead of time. (bands, members of the band, athletes, speakers, etc..)   
  5. When you tweet about this upcoming event in the weeks/days before it, be sure to include the guest of honor Twitter accounts in your promotional posts.  The chances of them seeing, interacting and RTing your posts will increase dramatically and you'll build a relationship with them by the time the big event arrives.  This will help for tip # 6.
  6. On the day of, introduce yourself and be sure to let the guest(s) of honor know you will be LIVE tweeting (for yourself or a client) and check to see if they have any concerns.  Overcome any objections and put their mind at ease by letting them know you are wanting this to be a positive experience for them, the venue and viewers alike.   You're root'n for them and that nothing compromising, or that could be misconstrued, will be posted. You're probably at the mercy of how they feel that day and at that moment, but your enthusiasm for what's about to happen, can help set the tone.  Historically, most have been grateful for the extra publicity.  Agree to any restrictions they may put in place and be sure to honor your word 100%.
  7. Tweet frequently and consistently.  Remember, you want to virtually put the viewer there with you.  Personally, I prefer photos with the majority of my tweets.  It's a great way to gauge how many people viewing took the time to open a photo. You can see the number of views each photo received.  If the event is not too loud (near the speakers at a  concert and NASCAR are poor choices, trust me) then using TwitVid is a great option too. Short n sweet... tops, :30 second videos.  That's all anyone seems to want to commit to viewing these days for they don't want to miss a large chunk of the LIVE tweeting.
  8. Encourage and actively RT! Retweeting quality posts or Twitpics (or whichever photo site you use for posting on Twitter) will draw more people in (people are by nature curious and visual) and make the audience interacting feel valued for their efforts too.
  9. If possible, just before the event, take the viewers places they wouldn't normally be able to go, in order to maximize the uniqueness of what you're doing.  With permission, I show the green room at a concert venue where the bands are preparing to take the stage.  Sometimes they ham it up and some times they just go about their business... but it's special.  The people at the venue and behind their phone/laptop/monitor screens, rarely get to see it.  If you are to remain only in the audience, keep on tweeting.  That perspective is just as important.  Consider moving about the room/venue/facility during the event to get different angles for a variety of photos. 
  10. Invite a Guest Tweeter to join you.  If someone has expressed a, dare I say, "fanatical" interest in the event you'll be tweeting from and better yet, they are an influencer with many followers in your client's demographics, by all means have them join you!  The more the merrier. They too will promote the #hashtag and your tweets to about the show.  See if the event you are tweeting for will provide a pass for that person too, in exchange for your guest's genuinely enthusiastic tweets.  (I would set some simple guidelines of no cursing, keeping the tweets positive
  11. After the event and as soon as you can, search Twitter for the other tweets you may have originally missed (easy to do when there's lots to tweet).  Retweet the interesting one's and by all means, thank everyone who got involved and posted along with you.  Appreciation is... well... appreciated.
  12. I like to capture all of the tweets on a document and post it a day or two later for everyone to enjoy.  They will.  I've even captured an entire season's worth of hilarious and thought provoking tweets for a team, and posted for all to see... It was a big hit and sparked even more conversation! 
  13. In the end, you now have a nice archive of the event.  You can comment on any photos of particular interest to blast it out on Twitter again and retweet any posts you think viewers will find funny or informative.  It'll keep people talking long past the event.

LIVE tweeting works beautifully for a few simple reasons:  One being that if a consumer/fan cannot be there, they can still feel included.  On the flip side, if a consumer/fan CAN be there, it can create a sense of urgency and will enticed them to get to the event.  It's a great teaser.  A "you shoulda been here... better make the next one" taste of what they are missing.  Not to mention the high frequency of so many pairs of eyeballs seeing your/your client's name.  Can you say #BrandAwareness

Let me know if you're going to be LIVE tweeting this year.   It would be my pleasure to follow your tweets at the event.

Social Media Mamapreneur

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Soon A S D F and ; L K J Will Be M.I.A.

When email was in it's hay day (not that long ago) middle schoolers who started typing class, came in at 70 words per minute.  Why wouldn't they?  That was their main form of communication and typing teachers worldwide were happy.  Now however, with cell phones in 1 out of 6 grade schooler's hands and texting can be done blindfolded, typing appears to be evolving right before our eyes... er... our screens.

The hunt n peck typing technique reminds me of my dad clacking away with a steady speed on his heavy cast iron Royal typewriter.  Great for multiple layers of carbon invoices.  He was fast but not nearly as fast as my mom on her electric Smith Corona.  Her fingers looked robotic with their speed and accuracy. Shock and awe!

I've been closely observing my two elementary age children on the computer these last few months, with curiosity.  I've tried to teach them to use the traditional finger placement of A S D F and ; L K J on the keyboard.  Works for me and it's what I was taught in Jr. high and I'm fast as hell on the keyboard.   My 6th grade son types his own book reports and tries to use the finger placement, however, when I've observed him hunt n peck, he's much faster and has fewer errors.  Hmmmmm.  My daughter, who is in 3rd, is typing with great accuracy and speed using the old hunt n peck method as she chats away on Club Penguin or any of her other kid based social networks.  My children are certainly in front of a keyboard more frequently and younger than I was.  Another hmmmm.

With all of the varying keyboards for phones... it's no wonder A S D F and ; L K J are harder than ever to get the hang of.  Especially with the phone keys being so small, using our thumbs seems to be the best solution.  Discussions with peers about using their phones to leave status updates/tweets/texts are certainly more prevalent than email.  This leaves me wondering... what will become of typing classes for children as we move forward? 

Will there be texting classes as opposed to typing?  I can hear it now... "Welcome 2 Txting 101 Plz Take Out UR Phones"

Will there be classes to learn texting language as opposed to regular writing classes?  (Every parent should sign up now so we can break the code and communicate with tweens and teens)

Will this shortened style of language ever be mainstream?  More like "when will it be?"  Check out this article regarding teacher concerns.  On the flip side, check out this blog stating completely the opposite.

Not only have we become extremely accessible, but we're far more efficient than ever before.  Whether you like it or not... our communication style is changing and it's kicked in to high gear with the generation who will be leading companies, solving world problems and becoming doctors in the next 10 years. 

Don't think too hard or too long about whether you should evolve too.  I think you should.  Mainly so you don't get left in its wake, but so you can continue to communicate with ALL generations.  Finally... we'll all be bilingual.    

What do you think?