What in the Wordle?

I was introduced last week to “Wordle” (I know, I’m SO behind the times). Wordle will take your RSS feed or a paragraph of text and create a tag cloud of the information. It’s great when showing your clients some of the keywords coming up with editors’ posts, great for re-thinking some of your own text when it comes to Twitter and your blog (for me it’s avoiding words like “Me”) and it’s fantastic when you’re trying to create a compelling document and need something visually stimulating.

Here is mine for my blog:

wordle_blog

You can change the layout as well like this:

wordle_blog2

Twitter (note: I don’t think my Twitter one is accurate – it’s really only picking up recent Tweets- but oh well):

wordle_twitter

Give it a go! I’m a fan – http://www.wordle.net/

April 13, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Part 1 of Social Media 101: Twitter

Document 1 of my series of handouts to better acquaint social media to both consumers and business. Enjoy and feedback is welcomed!

(Remember it’s TWO pages – the second page is a great reference guide!)

twitter2

April 3, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Twitter Provides Add-Ons for $ But Remains Free

After rumors surfaced around businesses being “kicked off” Twitter for being too commercial, the question everyone asked was: “How can Twitter benefit from the rise of business and company Twitter profiles on Twitter using it as a vessel to reach customers?”

money-in-tin-can2

Twitter recently confirmed that they will, indeed, offer “add-ons” to accounts as an option although remain free for all to use. Co-founder, Biz Stone (by the way, GREAT name), says:

Commercial entities like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Mission Pie, 52 Teas, JetBlue, even the Korean taco truck guy are all on Twitter—users and businesses alike are finding value.

Our question is, how can we help? What can Twitter offer for a fee that will improve the experience? Will it be account verification? Will it be lightweight analytics? Will there be opportunities for introducing customers to businesses on Twitter.

So many questions. But the key is to understand that Twitter will remain free for all to use—individuals and companies alike. We are thinking about simple business products that enhance and encourage what is already happening.

I know that once Twitter can provide some great analytics (or partner with someone like TwitterGrader maybe?) – they’ll have great success and continue to grow as the dominant vessel they have become (in what feels like the last 3 months especially). In the PR field, specifically, this will be a huge advantage to our clients to measure the success of Twitter outside of how many “followers” you have and the level or quality of conversation occurring.

I think this will be successful although I will play devil’s advocate and remind Twitter that you made your success on being a “free” service for companies and businesses alike to use for PR purposes – and in this economy, you may face some companies who are not willing to shell out a few more bucks here nor there. But, I think you’ve picked good price points and depending on what your next moves are, I will most certainly incorporate the add-ons into my social media proposals.

Good job.

Thanks to Silicon Alley Insider for the quote!

March 26, 2009. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Prediction: LinkedIn the Next Twitter?

Black is the new pink, green is the new black, Facebook is the new email, Twitter is the new Facebook – but is LinkedIn the new Twitter?

@patrickRevans Tweeted asking what would be the next BIG thing in social media – and I think I have the answer. OK, this is just a prediction – maybe something will come out of nowhere (most likely).

LinkedIn has expanded beyond the realm of job hunters and seekers… It’s now a forum for networking and discussion – a place to share ideas and join groups with similar interests. I see it as the beginning of a merge between Facebook and Twitter. I created this chart to compare the features of each tool (without the need to add extra applications or use sources outside the site):

twittervsfbvslinkedin
*This is just an example of some of the main features and is not a complete picture of the offerings

LinkedIn takes the multiple applications and file sharing capabilities of Facebook and combines with Twitter’s strength in networking. It might be too much to take it – but it’s manageable. 

Two sides to the argument:

I will admit that Twitter is popular because there isn’t an overload of additional applications or text overwhelming you when you log-in. Facebook is fun and communication is around much more lighthearted issues from my experience which is a nice break from the more “topic-oriented” conversations happening on Twitter. I see the strengths in each individual option.

It all comes down to WHAT you want when you log-in to your social media engine.

Personally, I like seeing my news feed and networking is important to me. Participating in forums is therapeutic. I would use LinkedIn to quickly create discussion around topics I’m interested in, finding “connections” almost immediately interested in those same topics (much like Twitter) but then choose who participates… and – I’m not limited to characters. Haha.

LinkedIn isn’t there yet… But my prediction is out there – LinkedIn has a lot of potential if they clean up some of the options a bit and market it right. If it’s not going to replace Twitter or Facebook, I think it will grow in this space as a strong competitor over the next year.

WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?

Some neat features I didn’t know LinkedIn possessed until recently:

Status Updates (this can be synched with your Twitter feed):

 statusfeed_linkedin1

Q&A: 140 characters say what? Not here!

 qa_linkedin1

 Auto-Blog Feed Application:

blogfeed_linkedin1

Share Your Presentation:

fileshare_linkedin1

Groups and Associations:

groups_linkedin1

March 19, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Social Media, the Oxymoron?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our/my dependence on technology. The other day, I couldn’t remember a phone number that 8 years ago I would have memorized because I used a landline – AND back then it MEANT something if someone “memorized” your number. It was a sign you were in love with someone, you were best friends or you cared. But besides maybe the 5 most important people in my life, I can’t remember numbers or dates. 

mrforgetful

I think this carries into a lot of different aspects in life. My co-worker noted that she can only remember birthdays because they are on Facebook… pop-ups in Outlook remind me of a meeting in 15 minutes -> 5 minutes -> 1 minute overdue… Engagements and marriages are reflected in status changes… Twitter is a constant feed on what my friends are doing… I’M TOTALLY DEPENDENT.

But, here’s my argument: Is social media really social at all? I thought we called those nerds in parent’s basements playing World of Warcraft “anti-social” because they wouldn’t go play outside with their friends. Well, now I’m playing my own version of WoW called “Twitter” and “Facebook” and “Blogging”. What makes me more social than the guy in mom’s basement? Quite honestly, not a whole lot… He may play in a make-believe world but so do I in a way. I’m not interacting face-to-face and there are health benefits to that! Brad Hunter, Stanford student writes about the benefits in this short article (I liked it since it references a Sociologist – my other major and passion).

nerdalert

Adding another New Year’s resolution to the pile… 10 minutes a day I’m exercising my memory part of my brain through memory tests just to make sure I keep a healthy hippocampus.

hippocampus

**I know that there are social benefits specifically to social media like feeling more connected to those that you wouldn’t normally talk to face-to-face and social media encourages communication and communication paths that aren’t always an option in-person… But… I’m just pointing out something that I’ve noticed and I’m recommending everyone who can’t remember your ex-BF’s/GF’s number that you had ingrained in your brain in high school – may need to exercise their hippocampus as well. Hah.

March 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Advice to Office RE: Skittles Goes Viral

Here is an email I sent to my office regarding the recent Skittles website launch and re-launch – enjoy!

GH:

I wanted to bring to your attention a recent viral campaign that had all the right elements but was missing one thing: Good PR Advice.

 

The Situation:

Skittles was looking to take their social media prowess to the next level so they took a huge step and launched their website as a Twitter search page – using the field set to “#skittles”. The site automatically was refreshed as more and more people “Tweeted” using that “#skittles” language in their tweets.

 

The Pros:

Skittles took a bold move and received what I understand to have been millions of hits on the site that day (from a previously noted 15,000 a month). I know that myself and Leala both Tweeted for Skittles and saw our face on the website – I’m assuming more of us participated as well. Twitter conversations were BOOMING with people loving and people hating the change but good or bad, Skittles was the talk of the Twitter town. They wanted to claim that they listened to their audience and understood where they were communicating… One person stated: “What consumers say about the brand {Skittles} is more important than what the brand has to say to consumers.”

 

The Cons:

Just like how live TV can be unpredictable, the page had the same reaction. Although the tweets of praise were plenty, there were also people who used the face time on the Skittles website to promote themselves and speak very poorly about the Skittles brand. There were inappropriate comments left as well that Skittles was not prepared to face.

 

The End Result:

Skittles chose to take down the Twitter page and re-launch the page as the Skittles Facebook fan page. I think that they made a bold move in the first place and were probably in the right to take it down after a 24-hour stint but it begs the question: “Did no one prepare Skittles for the downsides of Twitter?”

 

Which brings me to my point: When you’re discussing social media avenues with your client, be sure to communicate clearly Twitter/Facebook/etc. is not about being involved just because everyone else is… it has to make sense for your client… and you have to be fully on-board for the commitment it takes and the positive AND negative effects it may have on your brand.

 

My two cents for what it’s worth: I think the Facebook page is smart since their target audience is younger kids… I think Twitter for a homepage was a gamble.

 

See below for some interesting links about the site and screen grabs:

Skittles Website: http://skittles.com/?mm=09&dd=09&yy=1984&terms=on&x=42&y=6

Skittles Twitter Page Article on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/03/02/skittles-social/

Skittles Post-Change to Facebook Article on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/03/03/skittles-switchesto-facebook/

MediaPost Article on WHY the website was killed: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=101402

 

 

Twitter Page Screen grab:

 

 skittles-on-twitter

Facebook Page Screen grab:

 

 skittles-on-facebook

March 3, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What’s Your Google Profile?

I was watching the Academy Awards this weekend and during the Best Actor presentation, one of the presenters said, “If you were to Google X’s name, you’d see…” – Made me think… What is MY Google profile?

You have your LinkedIn profile, your Facebook profile, your Twitter profile, your blog profile, etc… But what happens when someone meets you and decides the first thing to look up is your Google profile?

meghan-beattie-google-profile

I decided to check out my Google profile and here’s what I came up with:
The Good:
– My Facebook profile and some other Meghan Beattie’s profile link (mine was above hers so I must be more important than her).
– My Qik profile which I just signed up for two weeks ago and haven’t visited lately because they don’t support my BBM yet.
– My Amazon profile from when I was in college and thought commenting on reviews of classroom sociology books was cool… Was that ever cool?
– Many other crazy social media site profiles I’ve created… Including my “late” blog entries – I’m still bitter Blogger. Still bitter.

meghan-on-blogger

The Not as Good:
– “Meghan Beattie” from Canada – can be very confusing since I am also Canadian but left when I was 5… Therefore, no, I’m not  living in Ontario and no, I don’t have multiple children… At least none I know of…
– An article  from my college paper from when I studied abroad. My friends and I were threatened the night before the London bombings on a bus by a guy who screamed “You’re going to die on this bus tomorrow” – very eery.
– This other crazy college article about how I convinced our favorite local bar to “up” their security at the door because I didn’t want the youngsters hanging out there – I wasn’t popular after that one hit the wire. Haha.

Overall, I’m pleased with my Google profile because a) It’s mostly ME and not other “Meghan Beattie”s – and b) I feel like my Google profile holds up pretty accurately to who I am and the things I broadcast as MY passions.

thumbs-up

Here’s another fun game that is being passed around Facebook right now: Google search –  “(your name) needs”

Meghan needs:
Meghan needs a savage beating
Meghan needs a cup of vodka
Meghan needs a boyfriend
Meghan needs to rag on granny some more
Meghan needs help as she has been caught in the middle of a conspiracy.

False, True, True, False, True

February 25, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

My Mom is Stealing My Facebook Friends!

My mom and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. From my early days growing up in Canada where I snuck a quarter out of her purse for a gumball to high school where it seemed like we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING – butting heads was common. Then, as I grew up and “matured” (ok, I admit, I wasn’t an EASY child!), we started to notice that there is a good chance we butt heads because we’re too similar. You can’t put two very opinionated, creative (did I mention gorgeous?) talkers in one room and not expect the roof to fly off! 🙂

Because of our similarities and my enthusiasm with social media in the past 2+ years, Barb has also developed a similar enthusiasm. Starting with her own blog for her book club and moving to a Facebook page – she picked up quickly on the how-to’s of social media. She even held her own “Facebook for Mom’s” during her book club meeting (so proud)! And… I appreciate our conversations on generational differences between communicating and a great topic: privacy on Facebook. It has been educational for both of us to share our experiences in this space.

But… recently, Barb has been “friending” my co-workers and practically anyone I talk about — not that there is anything wrong with that… BUT, I did hear that she’s also “poking” and writing direct messages to my friends about me! Tisk, tisk Barb.

What did I tell you about social media?? TRANSPARENCY… and I see all….

Here’s a funny website about parents who are on Facebook… It’s a good one – I might be submitting Barb for it. http://myparentsjoinedfacebook.com/

WATCH OUT MOM! Love you. And Happy Birthday – btw – a good indication of your saturation on Facebook is how many birthday wishes you get on your wall! Haha. Just kidding. Sorta.

my-awesome-parents1

 

Other articles re: Parents on Facebook:
Stanford’s Facebook for Parents Class
Washington Post: Parents on Facebook

 

 

 

February 24, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Friday Follower: twetiquette

I wanted to highlight a new follower on Twitter and today’s is @twetiquettetwetiquette

 

With 1,529 followers, following 2,121 and only 181 updates, it seems Twitter etiquette is a valuable resource. I enjoy ready the updates because it’s advice not only I personally can appreciate (and take), but it’s also advice we can pass onto our clients… They also use the “character” model on Twitter creatively with “Tweety”…

Most recently they’ve tweeted:

Following someone, then unfollowing them immediately after they start following you is an unsavoury way to build followers.
Twitter Golden Rule: Tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you.

That said, I think twetiquette deserves a round of applause. Twetiquette uses Twitter not for a return or gain and not for attention, it’s purely to share information and advice on the do’s and dont’s of using this service and how to make the most of your online presence. I appreciate “Twetiquette” because we are all trying to advise our own clients on how to use and not abuse this online network. Twetiquette, thanks for being… you…

Mind Your Twitter Manners with Twetiquette

January 23, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Part 2: Relationship Statuses on Facebook: The Cons

 

Yesterday I blogged about the bliss of declaring your relationship on Facebook. But, for those of you who know how hard it is to break up – you get that the CONS are much more important. What happens when the honeymoon phase is gone and you decide it’s time to go separate ways? What happens when you lift the veil of bliss and you realize it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…?

Well, pass me the salt because we’re about to make the wound of breaking up hurt a lot more… YOU HAVE TO DECLARE IT AGAIN TO THE 800+ PEOPLE! The button actually says “Cancel Relationship” – ouch. Life isn’t as easy as a button. And, adding to the stress, you’ve got to pick the right time to secretly just “hide” your status so that it isn’t announced in the news feed. Or, of course, if it was a messy break-up, you use your relationship status as a tool of vengeance – Facebook, again the megaphone of communication allows you to shout: “HEY WORLD! I’M SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE!”

neener-neener

I’ve had friends who have been dumped… via.. FACEBOOK. They knew that they were in a rough patch, but ladies and gentlemen, PLEASE let your significant other know if you’re canceling the relationship on Facebook! It’s just a little shocking when you see your own profile has changed without consent.

Facebook is one of the most powerful tools for communication. Whether you’re declaring a relationship, ending a relationship, announcing an engagement or coming out of the closet, it’s the platform for taking that next step!

Have funny relationship status stories? Share them in the comment section.

January 23, 2009. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

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