Thursday, January 28, 2010

Looking at Regular Things in Different Ways Through Social Media

Big chunks of sea glass... in an ornamental bowl.  Beautiful.  Two rather ordinary things, but putting the glass in the bowl makes it somehow... better.  Much better.  I've been getting subtle hints like this for the last few weeks all around me.  

Like these baseballs in the cage.  I don't know what kind of cage it is... but I like it. I like the small squares mixed with the spheres in the rectangle box.  There's something in the psyche that tells my brain, it's a WIN.

A Christmas tinsel tree as a Valentine tree.  Since my Christmas tree is still up (yes... it really is) I'm thinking this might be more possible this year than ever before.  LOL!

A grey bowl with tarnished silver.  It works... it's beautiful. The combination is pleasing and the colors are calming.  Seperate though, I'm not sure I would have noticed either.

The photos above came from a recent antique show I attended with my crafting maven friend, Amy Barickman.  I enjoyed the show immensly because the vendors are extremely savvy in how they merchandise their products.  Using them in different ways and in different combinations and forcing you to take a second look and recognize the beauty.  Social media kind of does the same thing with regular businesses using branding and marketing in new and different ways.

So... I had one of my clients use social media to play ordinary games on a social network.  A guessing game and a trivia question. Two types of games that have been around since dirt.  @johnnystavernpv asked on Twitter, "For a $25 gift card to us, what year was Johnny's Tavern in Lawrence, established?"    Winner... @Chrissa21 with 1953. Second question... "For a $10 gift card, how many fingers am I holding up?"   Yes... I really asked that. LOL! My children were with me as credible witnesses and @mvanbaale won with his guess of "2". The responses and participation was much better than expected.  37 Players, total of 54 tweets by followers and non followers using @johnnystavernpv name, 12 new followers gained, $35 spent... all within 14 minutes of playing time.   Simply because we took something average and by using it via social media, made it shiny and new again. 

Try it in your business... or in your decor'.  Tell me how that works for you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How Social Media Can Get You On the News

  I smiled really big when I got the call from Sky Tracker News videographer, Tom Babb, (he's dreamy... you'll have to view my Facebook page to know why I mention that.) saying he'd read my blog and was asking if one of KSHB TV's reporters could interview me... about the leak in my ceiling.  Apparently Tom read my blog about the huge icicles, then saw my posts on Facebook and read the numerous comments from others who were commiserating about the same challenge in their homes.

He knew there was a story there.  Isn't social media great?  (insert bigger SMILE)

Here is the short story KSHB Channel 41 News ran during the 10pm news, last night. Hopefully with more information, they will follow up later on with  what ice dams are, how to prevent the ice dams from starting and what insurance agents are saying about covering this unusual form of damage throughout our region.  I'm sure there's more to come.

Here is Brandon, KSHB 41's reporter who came out to film the damage and interview me.  He was cute and made me forget to put lipstick on.  I'll be ready with a tube for the papparrazzi in the future though.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Will Books Become a Blickensderfer #5?

This is my Blickensderfer #5 typewriter. It was made in 1891.  Cool eh?  I got it off eBay about 15 years ago because I knew typewriters weren't going to be made anymore. Computers were readily available by then. I worked at Gateway Computers through the 90's and knew everything was thrown into warp speed technologically the minute I stepped into training.  I've looked at typewriters with a little bit of longing since then.  I liked the click click clack sound of them and I enjoyed seeing my father type up invoices in his rapid hunt n peck style.  And who didn't enjoy a whiff of white out every now and then?

Now however, it was recently announced that for the first time in history, digital books have outsold paperbooks.  Wow and aaawww.   Kim, a dear artist friend of mine, has been listening to books on tape for over two decades now. Even then I thought... "what if we all listented to books on tape?" There'd be no need for paper bound books.   So now, as the new flexible e-reader is on deck, the new Tablet is about to roll out and Kindle is already in the marketplace for e-book everwhere.   So really, besides nostalgia and books being sexy, why have a hardbound paper book?  Are they going to be bought to sit on shelves as decoration... like my Blickensderfer #5? 

Here's a great article from PC World about the Consumer Elecontronic Show called  5 BIG TECH TRENDS.    If you're not into technology and how it affects us each day... it might be a hard subject to wrap your head around.  However, the article is an easy read and maybe it will spark a little interest you didn't realize you had.  If you're there already... ENJOY!

What's next, do you think?  I saw a new game called MINDFLEX by Mattel that allows the user to move a ping pong ball through a hoop... in the air... using your mind.   OMG!   Again, this is by Mattel, the kids toy manufacturer!  I know!  However, it looks strangley like a Harry Potter game also produced by Mattel 5 years earlier.  5 Years earlier???   Where have I been?   I have an 11 and 7 year old.  We love Harry Potter. How did we miss this product?  Granted, I played with firecrackers as a kid and I turned out alright, but this might have set my course in life in a different direction. 

Go read a book... in whatever manner your heart or pocketbook desires!  I'm currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw (new $27.99 or on Kindle $7.49 see a trend?) and I am always open for suggestions.  Bring 'em on!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Worst Case Scenario Happening ALL around Kansas City!

*gulp*    I thought they were so pretty.  Glistening in the sun, when the sun was actually out this last week.  They got so long like the stalactites at Cave of the Winds, not so far away.   The thought of uplighting them with blue, green or red lights was going to be my next step. Sadly not.  They are heralders of BAD NEWS!

I asked on Facebook, how in this sub zero weather, do we have icicles?  My friend, Brownyn Maguire McNeese, commented on this photo via my facebook page, with some very disturbing news.  "Okay....I know the answer!!Icicles are caused by "ice dams" on your roof which are caused by warm and cold spots on your roof due to poor ventilation or insulation.The ice or snow melts on a warm spot, runs down and freezes when it hits a cold spot --usually gutters or valleys. It is bad because the ice expands pushing up under shingles and or ... See Moreflashing, thawing, and then causing leaks inside your house! Yuck! So be sure to look for water coming in where you see this!I know this because we have them too!! Was researching online and also talked to several people who are now battling water in their houses :( Contractors are saying it is happening all over town! Damn!"     C R A P!

Now, it's like my blue feather (reference to Richard Bach's book Illusions). I see houses all around town as I perform my daily tasks, with long icicles on the front, the corners, the sides... everywhere. Meh!   My 7 yr old daughter and I headed out to photograph the longest one's we could find.  That is before my batteries ran out.  We got a few.

This is the absolute worst case scenario!
Apparently they had melting water coming out of the vents in the soffett, from behind the shingles and from the inside of the window frame.  OMG!   I wonder if they know!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

4 Businesses Using at Least One New Social Media Strategy in 2010

I want you to pick one... one thing about social media that will help you promote your business, yourself,  the not for profit you volunteer for, your child's school, your... whatever during 2010!   Just pick one new social media startegy that you can get excited about, sink your teeth into and implement.  Here are some movers and shakers and what they are planning on or all ready doing now that it's 2010.

Tom Babb's  Video Home Tours of Kansas City, is creating home video tours for realtors to get an edge on the sluggish and hopefully changing real estate market.  Brilliant! So much better than the single shots per room that give you little to no depth perception or the 360 cam that was confusing and completely distorting depth.  Tom's video tours will put you there... in the home... on the property.  It'll be ideal for those of us who are busy working all week and little time to physically visit several homes.  Perfect for those out of towners, pre-choosing homes to tour while their time in town is limited.  Furthermore, it's yet another tool for realtors to recognize buying signals from prospective clients.  If a client has taken the time to view a home and has gone another step to actually contact the realtor... well game on because they are ready!  I love this video option!

Anne Williams of  Professional Resume' out of San Francisco, will be creating online resume pages for clients along with an option for a personal video message to future employers,  in the near future. The video is "an absolute MUST" according to Anne. Anne also says she's currently utilizing social media for brand awareness and plans to blog and post relevant job descriptions from around the country, as well as information on interviewing skills and targeting the right position.  Amazing how a simple piece of paper we once brought in to an interview with us, has changed.  I really like the option of a personal branding video message.  Financially savvy employers are also interviewing via Skype, to avoid large travel expenses.  To me these steps really hammer home our "universal identity" and how we brand ourselves.  It's getting so interesting... isn't it?

Amy Barickman of The Vintage Workshop and Indygo Junction is preparing to create simple 1 to 2 minute "How To" videos for the crafting world.  Amy has a lot of experience in front of the camera (The Martha Stewart Show, Sewing With Nancy and many many expos and conferences throughout the U.S.) so this seems like a natural progression for her companies.  She will be able to personalize herself even more by letting viewers in on projects currently in progress. She can show the viewer how to create a simple craft or a portion of a craft project as an educational tool.  I even smell a live podcast, once a week with the same bat time and same bat place in her future.  She can bring in special guests or SKYPE with them via webcam and let the viewers ask questions too.  Her industry is all visual and these changes will She's also looking into making her many books, e-books.  For the first time ever, 2009 saw more books bought digitally than in paper. 

Roger Smith Hotel in NYC, has started the year by playing games with their followers via Twitter.  Today they announced their 1st winner of the #RogerRooms suite give-a-way.  All anyone had to do was tweet their guess as to which card, from a regular playing deck, was in the promoter's hand.  The winner is @alieter who celebrated by Re-Tweeting (called RT) the winner tweet announcement...  "Woo Hoo! RT @RSHotel Winner of #RogersRooms, with the 8 of Clubs is @aleiter free suite in Jan!!"    What a fun way to create buzz and excitement amongst your followers.  Better yet they tell their friends to play too and Roger Smith Hotels didn't even have to encourage them to do so!  Truly a word of mouth campaign success. At the time of this blog, I wasn't sure how often, if at all, they would be doing this particular game.  I can't wait to see what they come up with next! 

What social media tool are you thinking of using?

(Amy Barickman's Indygo Junction purses photo courtesy of Country Living Magazine)