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losing a social media guru before social media had a name – goodbye Michael O’Connor Clarke

October 14th, 2012 No comments

I’ve been thinking about you all day, Michael all day.

I even went to mass because I felt, well, if it could add in any tiny way to the comfort being sent to Leona from all parts of the globe, then I should do it.

Michael, I went for you too. You see, you would be one of the few who could get me in the doors. Can you see me? Standing outside, wondering, having never been to this church, hardly to any church in recent memory, would the side doors lead me awkwardly into the midst of communion lines? Then what would I do? Stick out my hand and say “Amen”? Michael sent me?

It took me a minute to make my way in. Would I remember the responses? Did you know some of them have CHANGED? Yes, for real. They don’t say “It is right to give Him thanks and praise” anymore – at least not at this church; they say something else, I think, “It is right and just”?

Today I didn’t feel like it was right or just. I felt like nothing made sense.

But in that not-making-sense-ness, I felt you poking my shoulder, poke poke, as I stood in the back. You  tried to get me to laugh. I couldn’t help it. I did smile.

I didn’t make it to the end, but I did stay through the part where all 200 of us prayed for those family and friends who had died. And so I prayed for you. And I stayed for the “peace be with you” part, and shook some people’s hands for you and Leona.

If only you would have stopped nudging me so I could have stopped giggling.

me and my blog brother:

remembering michael o’connor clarke

some of my favs from michael…

I hope that Michael’s  blogs are preserved – so many great ideas, so much he contributed.




Categories: grieving, PR, The thing about writing Tags:

Those were the days my friends, I kinda thought they’d end.

September 26th, 2009 No comments

salad-days2

Jeaneane Sessum, Chris LockeKat Herding Media – a great parody site by up-and-coming PR consultant Kat Herding and her buff assistant Jeremy.

news and embargoes and techcrunch and scoble OH MY!

September 23rd, 2009 No comments

I think everyone has gotten the memo by now: TechCrunch stopped honoring embargoes from PR people a long while back. And today, TC has still stopped honoring embargoes. Elvis also remains out of the building.

It’s understandable Mike doesn’t want to deal with embargoes because he spends time writing stories that are supposed to be news while another outlet breaks the embargo and Mike doesn’t run the story because the news isn’t new anymore.

As Mike’s argument indicates: no one wants old news. And news is only news for a second. If you’re lucky.

Mike has some advice on how to release news the new-fashioned way — he says to release the news on your own corporate blog and then email everyone asking them to take a look. So he’s basically advising you to break your own embargo (and spam your friends). heh.

Over on facebook (WTF) Robert Scoble has some suggested ways around TC’s no-embargo policy for companies who still care about giving their left nut to appear on TechCrunch. Example:

Donate $1,000 to a charity if Arrington keeps his mouth shut (will cost you maybe $5,000 to keep a few big bloggers in line). Make it public. That way he’ll look like a loser if one of his writers breaks wind first.

Only thing is, Robert hasn’t been copied on the memo stating that companies – yes, even tech companies – don’t care as much about appearing on TC as they once did.

You see, THEY got the memo letting them know that they should care to be where their customers and users are. Those people are not hanging around TechCrunch.

The old technobility has lost its crown. Long live the mommy blogger.

(taking tongue out of cheek)

The larger issue of the end of the embargo is a pain in the ass for PR people and a pain in the ass for the reporters who have always been professional enough to stick to embargoes.

It’s also a pain in the ass for the Press Release itself, which finds its role further weakened, because the entire “pre-seeding” process before a press release hits the wire has to change when the media won’t agree to hold off on publishing until a specified date and time.

So what do outlets like the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch who now shun embargoes really want? They want the exclusive. They want to be the only outlet to get the news, or they don’t want to play.

So how do you make news?

FIRST, you help people do something so special that they are compelled to tell their friends. You help them do that thing better and with less energy and expenditure than your competitor. You incent and reward them for telling their friends – you make them your business partner. You work with a communications pro (I’m thinking of dropping the PR term altogether) who connects what you’re doing — and what PEOPLE are doing WITH what you’re doing — to everyone who should know about it.

And you don’t stop.

Embargo that.

—————–

NOTE: cross-posted to allied. no embargoes were harmed in the making of this post.

10 Blog Mamas Join Forces as bTrendie Advisors

August 4th, 2009 No comments

btrendie-mamas1

In news flying about today, you may see mention of bTrendie. That’d be a GOOD thing. (Why you might not see this news is another post, coming soon to a snarky social media blog near you.)  Several of my esteemed blogosphere cohorts, plus yours truly, are helping bTrendie bring a shopping experience to moms and soon-to-be moms that is welcoming and valuable.

Answering the age-old question, “Where are all the women bloggers?” bTrendie can answer, “We have TEN of ’em right here.”  It’ not often that you see a company ask for guidance from its customer base in a way that respects and honors their individual ideas and lifestyles. That really IS news.

My bTrendie partners in crime include:

• Kristen Chase is the author of the popular weblog Motherhood Uncensored, and writes Mominatrix, a featured column at The Imperfect Parent. Her first book, “The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex” will be released in December 2009. Kristen is also Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of Cool Mom Picks, a cheeky product and service review blog, and Principal at Parent Bloggers Network.

• Lisa Estall is a busy mom blogger with two children under the age of 4. She maintains two blogs, Mogul Baby and Mrs. Mogul. Lisa’s career background includes working in television and film in NYC. She currently writes about pop culture and the latest baby and parenting products at Babycenter and Babble.

• Leslie Flinger has been blogging personally for six years at what she now calls The Little Black Dress Edition. She owns and is the lead developer at Catapult Web Development and holds a Masters Degree in Information Technology. Mrs. Flinger is a self-professed nerd, over-shares at Room 704 and Seattle Mom Blogs, and can be found tweeting as @MrsFlinger. She is a wife, mom of two, drinker of wine, and lover of sexy code.

• Armed with a blackbelt in sarcasm, Tracey Gaughran-Perez writes about her life at Sweetney and about famous people’s lives at MamaPop. Tracey is a PhD dropout and ex-college professor turned parental unit and internerd blogger. She adores Jon Stewart, Indie Rock, science geekery, and underdogs in all their various incarnations.

• Amanda Hill is a freelance writer and blogger from Kentucky who writes for her own blog, Shamelessly Sassy, as well as contributing to several others, including Babble’s Droolicious and AOL’s Lemondrop. The mother of a sassy four-year-old redhead, Amanda is a lapsed vegetarian and an avid shopper.

• Denise Howell is a technology lawyer, blogger, columnist, and hosts this WEEK in LAW on TWiT.tv. Denise created one of the first law-oriented weblogs, Bag and Baggage. and writes for The American Lawyer and CBS Interactive. Her expertise on emerging technology and law has been recognized by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired News, The ABA Journal, The American Lawyer, and others.

• Haley Overland is queen of the slash factor – a mom/writer/blogger/consultant/art dealer/freelance writer and yoga teacher. In addition to her love of chai lattes, Haley blogs at Cheaty Monkey contributes to Canada Moms Blog, and promotes art for kids at Kids Deserve Art. In her spare time, she shares her observations on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cheaty

• Liza Sabater is founder of two of the most influential political blogs in the United States, Culture Kitchen and The Daily Gotham. Liza was rated in the top 10 of last year’s Now Public MostPublic Index, a list of the 50 most influential individuals in New York’s new media market. She has been a guest on CNN.com TV, PBS’ NewsHour Online, and others. When she is not blogging or evangelizing, Liza returns to her secret life as her boys’ gym and basketball mom in New York.

• Halley Suitt is the CEO of Wellness Mobile, a start-up with offices in Boston, MA and Mountain View, CA. She was CEO of Top Ten Sources where she acquired the social media fashion site, Stylefeeder. She is a NASM Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and a long-time blogger, having launched Halley’s Comment in 2002. Halley has been an adviser to TotSpot, Club Mom (now Café Mom), and a keynote speaker at BlogHer. She wrote the first Harvard Business Review case study on blogging and has appeared on Oprah.

If you want to check out the site, you can use invite code JENEANE, or ask one of the other advisors for their double-secret-decoder codes. 😉

OH YES and we tweet too: @bTrendie’s advisors are: @mublogger, @mrsmogul, @MrsFlinger, @shameleslysassy, @dhowell, @cheaty, @blogdiva, @jeneane, @halley, @sweetney.

For more details, see the official press release .

Categories: PR Tags: , , ,

The Jazz of Social Media

June 7th, 2009 1 comment
Coltrane Blows

Coltrane Speaks

I came across a good article in AdWeek about how and why social media differs from the broadcast mindset. In the article, Paul Gunning explains that while companies are rushing ahead into social media as the next-best-shiny-new-way-to-build-their-brand strategy, they haven’t yet crossed the reality chasm. Gunning describes this headlong blind rush into social media as “techno-ecstasy” — which I define as the love of being in love with social media.

The phenomenon is musical, really.

The problem is that while traditional marketers and MBAs and HR folk understand what it feels like to “broadcast their message,” they don’t know what it feels like to “jam,” to play with micromarkets in an already-in-progress composition, an evolving melody, on the market’s own stage, in the customer’s own house.

You see, Marketing 1.0 had charts.

Social Media is improvisational.

It really comes down to that.

It’s a struggle for classical marketers to feel comfortable playing social media jazz, because engaging with your market can feel REALLY uncomfortable. You can get dirty. It doesn’t always sound right. You have to Let Go. You can be misinterpreted. You don’t always look good. You can’t control the flow.

On the social web, clams are a given. How you respond, what you make of those mistakes and conflicts, and how you RECOVER determines how you build loyalty, a following, and long-term trust.

You can hear things you don’t want to hear when you decide to join this unending song of conversation.

You can be asked to change things you can’t change. You can be upstaged by the competition, who is allowed to walk right in with their snazzy new thingamajig and tell the same people you’ve been talking to why their thingamajig is better. And they may be wrong, or they may be right, but you may be having a conversation that you CERTAINLY wouldn’t have paid $4,000 to see spread across a full page ad for all the world to see. You might in fact pay double that, if you could, for them NOT to see it.

But you’re having that conversation because you showed up.

According to Gunning, there are some surefire questions you can ask to find out if you’ve been afflicted with techno-ecstasy:

1. Am I focused on using the social realm to listen to and learn more about my consumers, or am I more focused on executing a fan page?

2. How much participation is required to make a difference on my brand? Does adding 4,600 “friends” have any impact on this goal? Is this scalable to the level I need?

3. Has my company trained CSR, legal, HR and sales on our social-media strategy, or has only the marcom department received a social-media 101 session?

I’d add a thing or two here, related to whether a company is ready to play in the social media arena, or whether they should stick to classical marketing in rehearsal rooms a little while longer. Ask yourself:

1. Have I been shedding long enough to understand my sound, my self, my capabilities, what I bring to the scene — or am I trying to pose so that I don’t miss out?

2. Have I really studied the early and fundamental material of this era of change – Have I read Cluetrain, looked back at blog archives from the turn of the century, so that I understand the foundation of this art form before I step up to the mic myself?

3. Am I committed to finishing what I start, to staying in this relationship – group – collaboration – with my customers and colleagues and competitors over the long haul? Can I agree from the start not to pack up and go home early?

Like the business of music, Social Media is not glamorous, except for the fortunate few.

Sure, you have your viral video successes.  You have your “OH i WISH that would have been MY company” campaigns. And you have “OH i’m GLAD that wasn’t MY company” disasters.

But if and when you decide it’s time to add to the collective knowledge and shared fun, to the stunning composition of what’s possible, there is one thing for certain: you will be changed.

More Flawed Research: “Turn To” vs “The Because Effect”

June 1st, 2009 1 comment

The problem with the research discussed here, which posits that social media doesn’t drive sales, even though companies using social sites (i.e. participating on the Internet’s many social intranets) say that activity DOES drive revenue, is that they’re asking the wrong question: “What proportion of social media users TURN TO social media when making purchasing decisions?”

A lil book called Gonzo Marketing explained how the internets sort of work way back some years ago. People don’t ‘turn to’ social media. People participate and aggregate within social spaces. We don’t use social media like the new yellow pages. We don’t look up gas grills on facebook or twitter like we’re looking at the walmart flyer or even auctions on ebay.

The point is: There’s no turning.

There’s only you’re here or you’re absent. There’s only you’re talking or your silent. You’re listening or you’re tuned out.

There’s no turning. There’s only I believe her because I know her. There’s only look at what she and Dave took to the park last week for the kids to play with and ROTFL – I gotta have that.

There’s no turning. There’s only I have cried with you, laughed with you, gone down in flames with you because I believe in you.

There’s no turning. There’s only we share the same obsessions about the same places and I have the jpegs to prove it meet me on flickr.

There’s no turning. There’s I can’t believe we started blogging when your kid was 11 and she’s out of college now and has your car.

Tweeting is not turning.

Blogging is not turning.

Facebook is not turning.

They are relationships.

Doc Searls said it best first in the days of yore about blogging: “You don’t make money from blogging, you make money because of blogging.” Relationships develop, a web of connections, a foundation of trust — all of those things become seamless, inherent, endemic.

It is, as JP Rangaswami calls it, “The Because Effect.”

When something that was originally scarce starts becoming abundant, something strange happens. You find that you start making money because of that thing rather than with that thing. That’s the Because Effect.

So you see, there is no turning.

But there is being here.

Or not.

zomgz guess who made the atlanta women in social media lizt!?

May 26th, 2009 No comments

Thanks to Toby at Diva Marketing for including me in the who’s who of Atlanta-based social media consultants. Toby got to wondering where the women were and decided to answer the question herself. Of course, if I had made the list, she’d be at the top!

It’s been 2,033,911 Internet years since I made a list, so I’m stoked. Guess blogging isn’t dead after all! (cough)

Categories: PR, So-So Media Tags: