Bill Weye

Tag: social media

Look who’s coming to PodCamp — a newcomer interview

Some of the most important purposes of PodCamp events are introducing and educating newcomers to the world of social media. I’m fairly experienced in the world, but I think understanding how people get to PodCamp and what they get from it is interesting. Insights that newbies give us are how PodCamps and education about social media can improve.

After PodCamp Western Mass I put a call out for a newbie to interview about their PodCamp experience. Jennifer Gilbert (@TheatreChick10 on Twitter) agreed to be interviewed about her PodCamp and social media experience. Thanks, Jennifer.

First, can you give us a little sense of your experience using social media before going to PodCamp Western Mass? And how about since PodCamp?

I have been using Facebook since 2004 and I have been a member of LinkedIn for about a year. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a bit of a Facebook junkie. I use it to keep in contact with friends, family and co-workers and have also dabbled in a few of its applications, Farmville being my favorite but recently I have gotten bored with it. As for LinkedIn, I had only joined and then did not do much else with it. It wasn’t until just before attending PodCamp that I joined Twitter. Kelly Galanis recommended I make an account prior to attending.

Since PodCamp I have only occasionally used Twitter/TweetDeck. Coincidentally, since PodCamp I have been contacted by one of my long lost college classmates through a LinkedIn message. He is completing his Masters in May and is looking for work. I sent him a message through LinkedIn with recommendations for where to look and who to contact. I also followed up with an old co-worker from an internship I did by old fashion email (the only contact info. I had for her) to see if they were hiring. I ended up sending along this information to my classmate through email (got his email through LinkedIn but it was easier to forward him my co-workers info. through email than having to log back into LinkedIn).

You’re new to Twitter. What brought you to using Twitter and how do you plan on using it?

Kelly Galanis recommended I get an account prior to attending PodCamp. At PodCamp I went to several sessions about Twitter, including about the use of TweetDeck. I haven’t yet found a purpose for its use in my life but I haven’t given up on figuring out how to integrate it into my social networking portfolio, for a lack of a better term.

Can you give us a little breakdown of your experience at PodCamp Western Mass? What did you find most useful? What sessions did you attend? And do you think you’d attend another PodCamp? Were there any people you found particularly compelling?

I attended the Social Networking 101 session, how to efficiently use social media session, a TweetDeck session and the panel discussion session. I found all of the sessions useful. All the presenters were very knowledgeable, and willing to explain everything, no matter how naive the question was (and I had plenty). I will most definitely attend the next PodCamp and I’m looking forward to attending more advanced sessions next time as well. I found Lesley the most compelling. She presented the TweetDeck session as well as being on the panel discussion. It was very interesting to see how social networking can be used so effectively for business purposes. However, I am a civil engineer at a private engineer firm that doesn’t yet utilize any social networking tools but maybe by learning more about social networking an application may arise.

One last question, Jennifer. Social media can be a weird thing, at least to me: it can be a deeply social experience, even though some people never meet each other. PodCamps can break down that barrier, making it easier to meet people you might not otherwise have. How do you think you’ll use social media with people that you know or already see “in real life”?

Right now I use Facebook to keep up with family, friends and co-workers in my social sense and I don’t want it infringe upon my professional life. For professional connections I believe I will end up utilizing LinkedIn. As for Twitter, right the only people I follow or that follow me are from PodCamp. I haven’t inquired with any of my friends, family or co-workers to see if they have Twitter. I’m still not sure how I want to use Twitter in my life.

I’d like say thank you to Kelly and Tom Galanis for telling me about PodCamp!

Great, another social media fire hose — Google Buzz

Hard to believe that there’s a niche to be filled, but Google’s cutting the tiniest sliver with Google Buzz, its social media tool.

What makes small PodCamps unique?

Since going to PodCamp Western Mass 2 this past weekend, I’ve been thinking about what made this un-conference different from the others I’ve been to, the first and third in Boston. It was different; maybe because of the size changed the dynamic? Note that I said the small PodCamp was unique, not more or less useful.

Doing a little research, I found that PCWM might be the smallest such event taking place. With roughly 100 attendees to the Western Mass PodCamp 2 (twice as many as the first), it offered an opportunity to meet a lot of people, especially when the sessions began with a round of introductions; those intros gave me a chance to meet people who interested me.

I’d like to make two arguments, though I could be persuaded otherwise, and I’ll leave this open for discussion.

Small PodCamps should strive to be more unique, and not try to be like the big boys. We need more small PodCamps being more unique than their big brothers. Being small is an opportunity, not a liability; there’s a chance to be experimental. For example, at the risk of being labeled a heritic, how about less social media being practiced at a social media conference? Kind of crazy, I know, but that follows into my second argument.

At a 7 hour conference of 100 people, with a chance to sit in on 4 different sessions, how many different people could you connect with: 35? 50? More? And at a small event like PCWM, many of those connections could be sustained easier than in a large metro area like Boston, Berlin, New York, or Toronto. In fact, many of the PCWM people go to regular Western Mass Tweet-Ups, so they’re staying connected, in real life, throughout the year.

What would happen if people concentrated on talking instead of tapping? During lunch at PCWM the fellows from the NomX3 video podcast were creating content in front of the room. Honestly, it was kind of a drag. I was trying to have a conversation with the people at my table, only to be interrupted a few times by these guys talking to the whole room. Less social media, more real life connection at a conference, please (I think the kids call it IRL).

We should all give a shout out to the organizers of PodCamp Western Mass, in the above photo, who can be found at their Twitter accounts:

Photo courtesy of @PatBrough

Picking up pieces from PodCamp Western Mass

After attending PodCamp Western Mass 2, I found a lot of questions and notes scribbled on my notepad; here were some of things rattling around my head:

  • I wonder what it would be like if nobody was writing on their laptops and phones during sessions. That means no Twittering. Personally, I can’t pay attention to a presentation or discussion while at the same time writing Tweets. I can jot notes down on my little yellow pad, though, and still follow a conversation.
  • Maybe it’s a personal phobia, but I need a schedule of sessions ahead of time. I like planning my day to optimize the learning I can do in one day.
  • PodCamps at educational institutions are the way to go. They have all the facilitates needed to learn.
  • Maybe having two colors of name badges would be a good idea; self-identified “nubies” would have their own color. It’s a good conversation starter and everybody can make sure the nubies are getting the info they want or need. How about corresponding the nubie color with useful sessions on the schedule?
  • Was there a Facebook session? Wouldn’t make any difference to me because I gave up using it two years ago over privacy concerns. “Social as I want to be” is something I think about when using social media.
  • Surprised there was only one podcasting session.
  • I really like Steve Garfield. I’m kind of a shy person, so his positive vibe, confidence and outgoingness inspires me. I remember him at PodCamp Boston 1 and thinking, “who’s this geek running around with a video camera?”
  • Getting one of my clients (a nubie) to PodCamp turned out to be a good idea. He was able to dip his toes into the social media community, learn a bit, and gain the confidence that he could learn these skills. Plus, we had a great wrap-up meeting at The Tavern in Westfield.
  • PodCamp is not the place to find clients. Concentrate on learning and networking, and that may payoff in a referral. Maybe. Otherwise, don’t worry about doing business.
  • It’s interesting how people interact with the unemployed. It’s like we have a communicable disease with a social stigma that shouldn’t be mentioned in polite company. This observation isn’t unique to the PodCamp community at all, but I did a little experiment during PodCamp Western Mass. On one of the conversation starter stickers I wrote “unemployed,” and to make sure it was seen, I put those stickers on my back. Conversations were started based on the other stickers, but nobody talked to me about being unemployed.
  • I liked the wide variety of skill levels that came to PodCamp. When I heard this dude ask how to register a URL (I think he called it “getting my name”), it blew me away. I take for granted how much learning I’ve done.

Did you have anything rattling around your head after PodCamp Western Mass?

Photo (CC) from stevegarfield

5 Questions for Domino’s about their new pizza marketing

We’re in the midst of a media blitz by the Domino’s Pizza shop. Apparently they recently heard their pizza sucked, so they decided to do something radical: make the pizza better. What’s left unsaid about this media campaign, why it’s so revolutionary, is that in the past they might have simply hired a new ad agency and more publicists to squelch customer complaints.

Domino’s new campaign is heavy on honesty, reality, and communication through social media. Their reputation was so tarnished that it would’ve been nearly impossible not to mention in the new campaign. There’s a reason Twitter communication is featured so prominently in these new ads: because it was through social media they were pressured to change. Domino’s couldn’t control the messages customers were creating and broadcasting with social media.

And now Domino’s is trying to reset their brand. Hopefully for them, that means resetting peoples opinions of Domino’s pizza. It’s a tricky thing to do, and I’m not entirely sure Domino’s is successful so far. In fact, after watching their extended ads posted on YouTube (below), you might have some of the same questions I did:

  1. “There comes a time when you know you’ve got to make a change” What time would that be, the invention of Twitter? This ad implies that most of your customer feedback is coming through Twitter, but I know that your pizza was horrible in the 1980s (the last time I tried a Domino’s pizza). Is Domino’s saying they’ve been ignoring their customers for 30 years?
  2. Why do you have public relations hacks speaking for your brand? These hacks have been smoothing over the fact that your pizza has been a mass produced food-like substance for 30 years. You want people that have been part of the problem in the past to now speak for your brand?
  3. “Some people didn’t give us credit for the taste of our product. That’s what we’re fixing.” You weren’t getting credit because you didn’t deserve credit. It’s not clear what Domino’s is trying to fix here: the “product” (customers usually call them pizzas; they don’t order “one large product”), or the fact that they weren’t getting credit for the taste? If Domino’s wants credit they don’t need to change the pizza, just throw more money at the advertising and PR budget.
  4. In the Domino’s confrontation video, when men in white coats start knocking on doors, I was left to wonder why are only people in the suburbs are eating Domino’s pizza? It seemed kind of strange. In fact, it looked like all the people were from the same neighborhood.
  5. Is it fair to get criticism from people in a focus group, then confront them at the front door with one of your pizzas, asking for immediate feedback with the camera rolling? If you came to my door, I would’ve taken the pie and told you to come back the next day for my evaluation. Look closely at the video: only one person took more than a single bite before giving their (positive) opinion. Is it reasonable to expect a honest food review after one bite?

Never mind the pizza, what do you think about Domino’s communication? And if you’re from Domino’s can you answer those 5 questions?

Photo (CC) from Nemo’s great uncle

Pope wants priests using social media, but probably not THAT way

Did you know the Catholic church had something called “World Communications Day“? Me neither. Seriously, who would have thought the church was such a proponent of communication when they’ve been pretty much mum about their priests raping boys and girls around the world. Go figure.

[An aside: if you go to the link above you’ll find the official message from the Pope about World Communications Day. The message begins thus: “Dear Brothers and Sisters!”. Seriously, the Pope is using an exclamation point, which reminds me of the quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald: “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”]

Anyhow, Pope Benedict XVI has asked priests to be prolific bloggers and make “make astute use of the unique possibilities offered by modern communications.” I’m guessing that doesn’t include using Craigslist to lure young girls into sex, as recently happened. Somewhat amusingly, the priest was caught up in a FBI sting operation called “Operation Guardian Angel.”

For more information about the Pope’s social media blitz, check out this article on Mashable, and Pope2You, the official Papal social media site that includes links to his YouTube page, iPhone app, and Facebook app.

Copyright © 2019 Bill Weye

Up ↑