Category Archives: Random Schmoozing

2013 Presidential Candidates Lying? Here’s A Solution To Keep Them Accountable!

Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog highlighted the lies associated with Paul Ryan’s GOP Convention speech last night. So the question begs to be answered, who is keeping politicians and presidential candidates accountable? It is supposed to be the press and the bloggers, but lets be honest here….it isnt working and the lies continue. It is making a mockery of the American Press and it is making American’s look like they will believe anything anyone says as long as they shave, shower and brush their teeth.

So here is my solution. How many of you are familiar with the ESPN Show – Around The Horn? The show is unique as it “scores the argument” – points are awarded to or taken from panelists (made up of sports reporters) at the discretion of the host- depending on the strength or weakness of their arguments or the factual representation. The rewarding – and deduction – of points has changed throughout the series. Originally, being muted cost a panelist five points. Later, the scoring was at its most strict: “good” answers were awarded two points, “great” answers were given three, and a mute subtracted three points from a panelist’s score. The end of every episode they do a fact check round up. During the fact check they tell the reporters where they were false on their statements and give the correct information to the viewers and to the reporters. Having that line of checks and balance keeps the reporters honest and keeps the show factually based.

Check out this Around The Horn commercial break, it makes the point about point additions and subtractions in a fun way. In the end though you will see where I am going with this.

Imagine having that kind of point structure and accountability for speeches and debates? It would keep both sides of the political fence factual. But the key is to make it an intermediary host  that is applying/subtracting the points and also giving the factual break down at the end of the debate or speech. There! problem solved! What say you?


How Colleges Are Using Social Media To Recruit

Another great infographic. This one does a great job of being a case study of Social Media success for Universities.

Surviving the College Dining Hall
Via: Online Universities Blog


Great Infographic – Family Trip Inflation

This is a great example of how Infographics can be used to explain something in layman’s terms. Here, inflation is explained by comparing the cost of a family vacation in 1960 compared to today. Check it out!

Click to Enlarge Image

On The Road Again – Graphic & Marketing by Yellow Robin

If you aren’t utilizing infographics and are in business, you are missing out. You can make many friends by creating valuable Infographics for your fans/customers, partners and even your staff.


Infographic on Mobile Usage in 4 Years

I came across this graphic. If your organization is not using mobile, or considering using mobile, look at this Infographic on projected data usage via mobile in the coming years. Wouldn’t your company want a cut of those stacks? Can your company afford to not try? I feel like this document is game, set, match for those organizations on the fence about mobile. It is a no brainer!

mobile usage forecast


Cliffnotes from Cloudforce Boston 2011


Last week I had the opportunity to attend Cloudforce 2011 in Boston. Below you will find some of the main notes I took from the event, and some keynote video. I hope you find it valuable.

Cloudforce 2011 Cliffnotes

  1. Create standards for protecting your customer within the cloud.
  2. Ask if it is a private cloud – “cloud is not cloud if it is not public”. Beware of the false cloud- private clouds are not real
  3. Today there are more people using social networking then email. 760 million email users. 1 billion social users.
  4. Facebook is shrinking the Internet- 22% of the Internet usage is Facebook according to Nielsen/McKinnsey
  5. 3 steps to being a social enterprise:
    1. Connect and engage to social networks

    2. Create a  private social network
    3. Make all your apps and solutions mobile
  6. GNC is creating products to the voice of the customer. Assigning dollar value to every brand innovation to qualify the investment.

Marc Benioff’s Keynote – 3 Steps To Become A ‘Social Enterprise”

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Scoville vs Foursquare. What Are The Differences?

  vs

I have been peppered with requests to join Scoville over the last week. So I did. I was met with the following process:

1) Scoville Messaging

Welcome to Scoville #beta,

Our mission is to help our users discover at least one great new place every week. We’ll make it extremely simple for you to share the places you really love, the places you believe the community should know about.

We’re now opening our private beta to Foursquare users, so if you’re passionate about your city and want to share awesomeness around you, join the beta now!

2) Scoville – Adding some buds!

After reading about who they are, I signed in with Foursquare, added my friends already on Scoville from Foursquare. Then invited the others who had not signed up yet. Then I did the same with Facebook and Twitter. Nothing earth shatter and new yet!

3) #TopTuesday

#TopTuesday is the main way Scoville  engages its members and pulls in new ones. Each week members pick a favorite location to be their #toptuesday pick, and the each Tuesday Scoville (once you have granted Twitter access) sends out a tweet about your #toptuesday pick, and invites other folks to join Scoville. Any tips you’ve left are included so your friends can see what you recommended to them. Essentially you are making recommendations to followers (no different then Foursquare) while driving a Trending Topic (#toptuesday) on Twitter (which only really helps Scoville).

4) Twitter Post Prompting

You are prompted to tweet borderline offensive things to get noticed about joining Scoville.  Would you tweet this? “Had some dodgy Indian food, now stuck in the bathroom. Next time I go Scoville” You are asked to tweet this so Scoville can degrade your personal brand while pushing their own cause?

6) Scoville – Unlock Your City?

You can’t unlock your city until 1000 Scoville users are  signed up for Scoville at that location. Why may I ask?

Is there an opportunity for business here? Yes, so there it is. It was smart of Scoville to use Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook’s API to login.  However, other then doing something on every Tuesday in Scoville for your business, what is the value? Brands should be jumping into relevant #hashtags everyday anyway. In the end, does Scoville do anything that Foursquare really doesn’t? I am concerned it doesn’t have enough differentiation from what already exists to go gaga over. I want to like Scoville, cause some serious thought was put into the user experience. But sadly, it just doesn’t differ enough for me to invest more time in it. I will stick to foursquare! Sorry big S. But kudos for the hook….

Please feel free to disagree with me and show me the light. I am happy to be proved wrong.


Music Industry Uses Viral Marketing & SEO To Extend Brand Awareness

So lets be honest, Charlie Sheen is creating quite a fuss. His name is everywhere, so what did one mid-level band do? They went viral and recorded “Wild Thing” while in the studio recording their next record. All the while they have pimped out the “Charlie Sheen ” name so they can come up in Google searches and Google alerts for……..who else…..”Charlie Sheen”. Very viral of Chimaira dont you think? Check it out….

You know whats cool? In Chimaira’s first DVD, my website was proudly worn by the drummer during the show. How cool am I? lol


Do You Feel Like A Commerce Cow?

My friend Dave Wieneke reminded me of something I have thought a great deal about, but never put into print. It is about how each and every one of us is a “commerce cow”. From the time you can say your name till the time you can no longer say your name , every single one of us is considered an object that spends money. We (that means you too) keep American commerce churning, and without us, none of us would live in the America we know today. Processing information and acting upon that processing is what makes the world go round!

Chick-Fil-A Commerce cow

Chick-Fil-A Commerce Cow

Not many of us realize just how over the top the onslaught is for our dollar. Do you ever think about the repetetive commercials during your favorite TV show? Do you ever think about the repetetive commercials about that other show wanting to be your new favorite show? How about going to a bar? Every mirror in the place is wrapped in branding to buy Budweiser or Coors. It is amazing we have the capacity to order a real mans beer like “Chimay“.

Remember GI Joe and Transformers? They made cartoons of toys and then had commercials for the toys of the characters you were watching on TV! As a drooling 10 year old boy – I transformed into a full fledged Commerce Cow at a very young age! YO JOE! Sorry Mom and Dad- I really didn’t mean to torture you every time we went to Kmart!

I am curious if people feel the same way I do. Everywhere I go I feel like I am being sold. I just do! Billboards, trucks, video, TV, radio, clothing, mobile apps, newspaper, magazines, boxes of food..all propaganda! I find it amazing that people complain about graffiti, when arguably the world is really a giants playground for brainwashing you. Pushing your inner commerce cow to rear its fugly head! I don’t know about you, but I feel like a big fat commerce cow everyday…what about you? And if you do, would you really want it any other way? Be honest!

Please discuss in the comments….


4 Innovative Businesses You Should Know About In 2011

I had every intention of finishing this post prior to the Holidays. BUT- like most good intentions sometimes they go awry! With that said, I am finally fulfilling my commitment to speak up about four businesses I am quite fond of and the reasons why. So without further adieu –

Performant is a  traditional agency that offers traditional agency services. But there is a catch!  You hire them and  pay for performance marketing. They align their interest with their clients, creating a long lasting and fruitful relationship. When an agency is paid based on the results of the client, the synergy becomes undeniable. Companies dealing with agencies has historically been a gamble…….not so anymore!

Contact Anders Ekman to learn more: info@performantww.com

@JanetAronica very eloquently wrote this about One Forty. Oneforty is an online community for people who want to review, discover and share social media tools. It’s the internets most complete and categorized listing of Twitter applications, featuring real user reviews for the tools. oneforty has an online forum, Answers where users can participate in any social media-related discussions. One of the most compelling and popular features is Toolkits, which are Twitter app lists made by community members showing collections of Twitter tools that they use.  Toolkits are not only a clever way to bookmark your own apps, but it’s a helpful way to “see how others are doing it.”

Founded by Twitter for Dummies co-author Laura Fitton – @Pistachio – oneforty’s Twitter account is a huge focus of their community-building efforts and a well-known resource for answers to incoming Twitter app questions. If you use social media for your job in any aspect, both the directory and community aspects of what oneforty offers make this exceedingly valuable. Bookmark it.

As of this past October, studies indicate that Video usage on the web had doubled in 5 months. With that knowledge in hand, think about video in relation to your business. Now know about VisibleGains, the company that allows you to embed questions and qualify leads via video. Simply put, it is the perfect unification of video with your marketing efforts to drive leads, sales and pull business intelligence.

Additionally, the solution has its own analytics that can be data scrapped and inserted into your existing analytics dashboard. Not to mention, it functions seamlessly with 95% of marketing systems of today. If it doesn’t, you may want to consider a new system. Contact them today.

social media marketing

I was allowed to get the inside scoop on Yellow RobinWhite hat SEO marketing. SEO has really evolved over the past 3 years; unfortunately most companies are still practicing outdated techniques that won’t be very effective in 2011. Yellow Robin was created to focus exclusively on white hat SEO & leveraging social media content into back links. The goal? To make SEO more affordable, accessible & scalable for small to medium sized businesses. Businesses not leveraging content into back links in 2011 is simply missing out. Keep an eye on these guys and contact them at aj@yellowrobin.com

My next post will involve a case study of Social Media success within the music industry. As a hint, have a gander at this bands website built on Ning.com: http://apalehorsenameddeath.com/ Happy belated New Year everyone!


5 Ways Social Media Has Changed American Culture

america and social mediaI have to admit, this is the longest I’ve gone without blogging. For that I am sorry. But, I have made a commitment to blog more often, call it my early New Year’s resolution. Hold me to it!

For awhile now I have promised 5 Ways Social Media Has Changed American Culture. So with that, here we go:

1.       Cheap Birthdays

I would love to see how much money Hallmark has lost to the Facebook Birthday wishes, that are universally accepted as adequate. In all  honesty, every morning I look at the “Home” section of Facebook to wish people a Happy Birthday and accompany it with a ridiculous youtube video. The best part, people like it and accept it as a reasonable substitute to sending a card and taking the time to pick one out. In fact, I get more well wishes on facebook for my BDay then I ever did cards in the mail. I am not sure if that says anything about how much people really like me, but it sure made me feel good to be on the receiving end of all those kind words. No $2 to $5 dollar cards needed. I would call that a good ROI for social media. Money saved is money earned.

2.       Stalking Is Ok

Since when is it ok to “stalk people”? Apparently in modern American society nobody bats an eye when they come right out and say “I have been stalking you on Facebook!”  Really?! Ten years ago people would be uncomfortable and wondering how to go about getting a restraining order. Just the other day, I was in Starbucks and a guy got chatting in the female attendant behind the counter. They had a quick conversation about Kings Of Leon, who was being sold at the cashier counter in Starbucks. The conversation ended with the guy saying, and I quote; “hey what is your last name, I would love to stalk you on Facebook and Twitter!” Without batting an eye the girl gave out her name and seemed excited to be “stalked” by this stranger! This girl apparently did not see Silence Of The Lambs?

3.       Lousy Tableside Manners

Rebecca and I went out to dinner last night. While I was waiting for her to arrive, I looked around the resto and saw people texting, no doubt checking into Foursquare and taking pictures of their food. Am I guilty of all of these things? You bet! Think about our Grandparents generation! I remember how many times my Grandmother would yell at me for bring toys to the table. Dinner was sacred time. Today, it is about giving tips while you eat your 3 courses at a restaurant you really may or may not care about.

4.       Minimal effort to be a friend, ex-colleague, sibling, son or daughter

I spoke with my friend Rob yesterday. It had been months since either of us made any effort with each other That is ok, I was completely up to date with what he was doing and how is his birthday was. Likewise for him! See bullets 1 & 2 above.

5.       News Is Political & Politics Is Religious

Remember when you tuned into Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw (can someone find a better picture of Tom for his Wikipedia page? He looks more like a serial killer than a trusted news source) for your unbiased news? I call it vanilla news. News for what it was, nothing more! Simple!  Today everyone is part of the news, and because of that there are many times news items are delivered with a political or religious spin. The end result is a melted separation of church and state. In my opinion that is not a good thing. But with that said, the reality is American culture has a far more religious political landscape then it ever has in its history, and it started with Social Media making each and everyone one of us a news source.

The undertone of this post is a bit negative. But I wasn’t intending it to be. I in fact like being cheap, I don’t care if I am stalked and my table manners have always been suspect. Not to mention, Facebook makes keeping in touch just so darn easy. Lastly, I am personally not very religious, nor political. I don’t trust any politicians, there is always a gain for them. “Public service” is a silly term to use, there is always an underlying reason for everything they do. So I don’t have a strong opinion about bullet 5.

You could say that Social Media has made American culture a bit more lazy and maybe less moral? But think about this, Social Media has raised the value of a birthday card. Heightened the value of someone who respects a person’s privacy  online. Makes you more desirable when you are on a date if you leave your phone in your pocket. Take the time to call and visit those who are important to you. And finally, maybe worth more votes to the politician that is transparent about their reason for running public office, while leaving their religious views at the door. Is this a negative post, or a positive one? Do you agree or disagree? You decide, that is the beauty of Social Media. Like it or not, it is here to stay and is changing our lives and American culture.


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