Category Archives: Social Media

Adrian Peterson Orange Peanut Awesomeness

I love it when real life and entertainment collide for humorous effect, and social media is especially great for that.

My favorite example of this lately is Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson’s now-famous post-game confession of his passion for orange peanuts.

This comes courtesy of Bad Lip Reading. If you haven’t seen their full set of YouTube videos, your life is not as rich as it could be.

Culture Jamming? Orange Peanut!

The best part of this is when Peterson was presented with a real-life orange peanut at an autograph session. And he was a great sport about it. Look at that smile.

Adrian Peterson Orange Peanut

Image via tchrox

Importantly, as USA Today notes, “The craftsmanship on the peanut is spot-on.” Excellent.

What do you think? What’s your favorite example of real/online/entertainment world convergence? Have you ever participated in culture jamming? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Blogchat: Sundays on Twitter

There’s one thing I’ve really gotten into the social media realm lately: Blogchat. This is a chat on Twitter where folks talk, er… tweet, about blogging-related topics.

Blogchat - Sundays at 9:00 p.m. EST on Twitter.

Graphic by me via iPhone, using Hipstamatic & Phonto

I’ve made so many connections there, garnered blogging tips, and become more adept at Twitter by taking part. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting more from blogging (as a blog reader, I assume you may have an interest). Once, I even helped suggest a topic for an upcoming chat:

To participate, follow the hashtag #blogchat on Twitter, stay on topic, and keep hitting “refresh” on whatever means you use to keep up with the conversations. It’s fast-moving, so using a tool like TweetChat or HootSuite with multiple columns or tabs can be very helpful, although I’ve navigated it successfully just by using Twitter from the browser, or even by iPhone. It’s led by Mack Collier and happens every Sunday at 9:00 p.m., U.S. Eastern standard time. Recently covered topics include time management for bloggers, copyright issues, and using images.

There’s also a monthly open mic for non-specific blogging-related topics. Even if you don’t specifically participate 0r prefer just to listen in, that’s totally fine. You’ll probably still pick up a tip or two, and it’s a good way to see how the conversations flow.

Participating has encouraged me to explore other Twitter chats, and I’ve found them consistently beneficial, especially given the breadth of perspectives from some experienced and friendly folks. Try it sometime – and have fun chatting.

What do you think? Have you ever participated in a Twitter chat? What are some other resources you recommend for blogging advice and ideas? Let us hear from you in the comments.

How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress Pages

The WordPress platform makes many things about a website or blog easy, and customizing your visitors’ experience by choosing to turn comments off or to allow comments for any given page on your site is no exception. Here’s a quick tutorial:

How to Disable Comments In WordPress

  1. Go to the main list of pages in your dashboard
  2. Hover over a title and click “Quick Edit”
  3. Uncheck the “Allow Comments” button
How To Disable Comments In WordPress

How To Disable Comments In WordPress:
Go to Quick Edit, click Allow Comments. Boom, done.

That’s all there is to it!

If you like this post, you might like the rest of my blog — try the social media section for more on blogging & related subjects.

How to Talk About Social Media In Business: 5 Points, Video Interview

Social Media Business Talking Points

Image created on iPhone with Decim8 & Photoforge2 apps

So I’m reading “9 Tips That Will Change How You Use Social Media” by Jay Baer, and I go to his Google+ page (that’s one of the tips, btw). There, I see this video interview from Blogworld with Bryan Elliott of Behind the Brand and Amber Naslund of Brass Tack Thinking.

 

Social Media Jobs

If you see social media as part of your career, consider the points Naslund makes. As a new media enthusiast, I relate to what Ms. Naslund shares here: direct talk about making the business case for social media, along with general advice on getting buy-in. If you’re in the social/new media world – or if you’re looking for a career there, or if your career now involves understanding social media, check out this video to hear it described in plain English by one who knows of where she speaks. Ms. Naslund is formerly the VP of social strategy for Radian6. Her book with Baer, The Now Revolution has structural guidance (rather than tactical, as many other books do) for businesses considering social media.

What is Social Media?

According to Naslund: “If I had to encapsulate it in something, it is…

Reducing the friction in individual communication. 

“That has long reaching implications. Think: Arab Spring, Occupy Wall St. We’ve removed barriers to communication and information in a way that is completely unprecedented. So now geography and circumstance aren’t part of that equation anymore. People can communicate and connect with each other halfway around the world in an instant, and it has profound impact on the decisions, choices and actions we take.”

5 Social Media Business Talking Points

Credit: Amber Naslund of Brass Tack Thinking

  1. Advice to many businesses getting into social media: Slow down. It’s important that you do this, but put together a strategy first.
  2. On ROI: If you’re doing something new, you have to look at success differently. We take hugs to the bank all the time in business. Because we don’t demand necessarily that every effort turn a profit from day one – not that it shouldn’t eventually. When you’re talking about innovation, disruptive technologies, or rethinking a new business model, you have to think of success in different terms.
  3. Incremental change makes up the big change. You have to be willing to settle for – sometimes – small, tiny shifts toward the right direction. Everyone wants to change the world, but not everybody wants to take the first step.
  4. We as new media enthusiasts see a future no one else sees quite yet.
  5. Collaboration is a word we’re good at giving lip service to, but aren’t as good at putting into practice. It’s about making people feel invested in the outcome, and that they’ve got a collective reward from the result.

BONUS POINT (from me): Item #5 also applies to customers interacting with brands, as well as employees feeling a part of something bigger and seeing the rewards. How rewarding is it for a superfan to interact with a favorite brand? Ever met a celebrity or one of your heroes? Exactly. There’s value in all interactions.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable way of talking about social media? Or are we just in the “Summer of Love” at this point? (credit to Brian Solis for that). What is YOUR definition of social media? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Postcards From the Social Media Edge: Postagram

Considering our ever-more-digital world, with the U.S. Post Office teetering on bankruptcy, the decline of print media, and increasing social-connectedness, it’s with pleasure that I’m writing about a recent discovery: Postagram.

Send postcards from you iPhone and Android devices with Postagram.

Send postcards from your iPhone and Android devices with Postagram.

Remember Getting Mail When You Were A Kid?

That was a big deal! Birthday card, handwritten letter, or even a postcard – that was something to get excited about. But since it’s so easy to email or post a photo online, why bother sending anything even resembling a postcard these days? That’s where Postagram comes in for iPhone and Android users.

Getting Mail is Fun

Made by Sincerely, Inc. Postagram brings back the old fun of getting mail to the new fun of being digitally connected – AND mobile photography (you can imagine the geek-thrill this brings me). Using photos already on your mobile device, you upload a picture via the Postagram app, type out a quick message, and Postagram sends a physical postcard in the mail to your recipient with your image. Your recipient is stored in your address book on the site, along with your billing information for easy sending in the future. It’s a whopping $.99 to send a card.

I may never buy another physical postcard again

I did this a couple of weeks ago for Valentine’s day, sending my awesome wife a card in remembrance our prior Valentine’s experience at this restaurant where, for dessert, they have a special all-gelato spaghetti & meatballs. It’s awesome:

Trevi Italian Restaurant – Gelato Master Hank Sbraccia’s Spaghetti Ice serves up plenty of double takes—it’s a brimming pasta bowl of fresh homemade vanilla gelato strands acting as the spaghetti, chocolate gelato scoops as the meatballs, strawberry sauce as the mariana and shaved white chocolate as the Parmesan. “When I make gelato, you’re going to remember it,” Sbraccia says.

Of course, I took a picture of this after our romantic dinner 12 months ago and kept it in my phone.

Trevi Gelato Spaghetti Caesars Palace

It’s all gelato except for the freshly ground white chocolate on top. This photo does not do it justice. Trevi, Caesars Palace.

Now this year, having discovered Postagram, I had a cool pic ready to try out the product with. I sent this to her office address for a twist on having flowers sent to work (in addition to handling the flowers on my own, duh).

Unfortunately, here’s where things take a turn, because although I did this a week ahead of time, my Postagram got lost in the mail. No biggie; we had a fine day nevertheless. I did contact customer service the next day, who within minutes apologized, explaining that they’d been having issues over the holiday, and immediately righted the situation with a replacement. Even though the moment had passed, I appreciate a good customer service experience, and this was one.

Keep The Fun Going: Social Media

The real bonus of all this is one thing I discovered in my research: your Postagram remains online, with social media sharing built-in. I had no idea about this, since I handled the entire process weeks earlier quickly on my phone, then archived the receipt email. But in looking up the order number, I noticed the link. So while I was waiting for the replacement card to be sent, I was able to send my wife a link to the original card with the photo and my text online. I emailed this to her and also posted it on Twitter. We’re both social media geeks that way.

Postagram by rsmithing

My awesome Postagram card, created on my phone, sent through the mail. You can also select an image for the “from” portion, and the main image pops out of the card as a standalone keepsake.

Returning the Favor with PR

Since my customer service experience was so positive, and since they mentioned they’d been having issues I thought I’d return the favor for Postagram by offering some sample tweets in our final email exchange they could send that might head off issues similar to the one I’d had:

  • Sorry about missing orders – but you can still send some Twitter love. Check your order email for the link!
  • Did you know you can Tweet a Postagram? See your confirmation email & click “Tweet”
  • Digital and traditional messages meet via tweet: Postagram postcards are Tweeetable!
  • Postagram not arrive? Do it digitally right now – here’s how [link to full blog post on how-to]
  • Relive the magic – follow up your Postagram with a Tweet [blog link]
They didn’t take me up on my tweet consulting, but they did express their appreciation, and did in fact send the replacement card as promised, which my awesome wife loved, even a few days after Valentine’s. So we’re keeping the fun going here even a week later.
From table to phone to postcard: Postagram.

From table to phone to postcard to my wife’s desk: Postagram.

I’ll very likely use Postagram in the future, not only because of the good customer service, but also as a unique and easy way to keep in touch with my non-socially connected friends and relatives (and my social-networking-connected friends, just to freak them out with actual mail). They even recently integrated with one of my favorite photo-editing apps, PhotoForge2, with the functionality of sending cards right from within the app.

What do you think? Have you ever sent or received a card via Postagram or a similar service? When was the last time you sent a physical postcard? Will you be inclined to try something like Postagram next time you want to send a postcard? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Occupying Art

“It’s wrong,” the sign said, “to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn’t aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon.”

The point of this post is not to debate the merits of the Occupy Wall St. (and other places) protests, but rather to note some connections spurred by communication around the topic. Politics aside, I noticed something last week that I found kind of amazing.

As I commented at the original story by Marketplace, I heard this example of shared communication on the radio (streaming, via my phone), read it online, linked to it on Facebook and Twitter, and am now blogging about it.

I think it’s extraordinary — that this one guy has a thought, it gets adopted by someone in this protest, it’s a highly relevant thought, and now it’s broadcast and rebroadcast via many different channels. Will anything come of it? Who knows; my point is that we are part of communication magic, and it’s worth reflecting upon.

True, there are maddening issues spurring on the protests, and many of them are complex… adding to the maddening. And along those lines, I think this sign captures the thought that originally inspired its content, while also making a statement on the complexity and associated frustration around the issues — while also illustrating the evolution of mass media communication, given the new breadth an individual’s thoughts can achieve through technology… right to this very moment on this blog you’re reading now.

There’s something artful in the expression.

It makes me wonder if we’re indeed in a revolution, at least in terms of communication, what with having the ability to reach and influence in so many ubiquitous, yet simple ways. We walk around with computers in our pockets and can connect with someone on the other side of the globe with ease. Or, maybe I’m just noticing the traceable pathways of the communication. Still, it’s interesting to observe and document. I’m no protester, but I’m intrigued. As Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal noted, it’s all very… “woah.” And so, I was inspired to do photograph & edit this sign made by a protestor in my city over the weekend:

Occupy Winston-Salem, 10.22.11

Turns out I was subliminally giving props to Rage Against the Machine.
Which, oddly, is kinda appropriate:

Rage Against The Machine, 11.02.99

And in fact, I support long-haired freaky people,
and I actually thought I was paying tribute to Tesla

So hey, there’s some art — or at least the convergence of national and local events, mass media, music, and visual design. I think that’s remarkable, and I hope something can come of it, even if only reflection or informed entertainment.

Update, 10/26: not so sure I meant this kind of entertainment, from the people who brought you Puck and Snooki. Oh, well. For the story on how all this started in the first place, see the original author’s follow-up.

Have you had any transcendental communication moments lately? Do you think we’re in a revolution? Do you remember Tesla? Tell us in the comments.