Like me, you've probably noticed the "youthiness" of those leading the social media revolution. Relax. I'm here to speak your language. So, put on your slippers, grab a cup of whatever floats your boat and let's do it. Together!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Unique Scoop: Rare Photos of Famous People

These are truly rare and fascinating. Check out Sean Connery...so many other great ones and way too many good ones to pick a favorite. Elizabeth Taylor with the kitten in her pocket...really amazing shots. Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and so many when they were very young. Johnny Depp with his neice, Meg Ryan so very young. Some of the Beatles' shots I had seen before but none of the others. I'll shut up now. Enjoy!! http://amplify.com/u/1mdt

Posted via web from patgermelman's posterous

Apple iphone OS 3.1 Officially Released

Apple Tablet iPad Features and Specification

So what do you think? Seems a little silly to have an iPad AND an iPhone. http://amplify.com/u/1mcr

Posted via web from patgermelman's posterous

Tag cloud of the State of the Union Address #sotu - Holy Kaw!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Social Media Fairy Tales


In the past few days, we've seen firsthand the power of social media. The first reports describing the horror immediately following the devastating earthquake in Haiti were from Tweets and instant messages. Now, millions of dollars are being raised from text message donations that are charged right to donors' phone bills. Social media is making a dramatic difference because of its sheer volume and speed. For more information about Red Cross text messaging donation options and participating wireless carriers please go to the following link ~ www.redcross.org/en/t2h

On a much happier note, we also learned this week that after a 23-year run of running ads during the Super Bowl, Pepsi is opting instead to spend the $20 million for an online marketing campaign. Good for you, Pepsi. Could it be you want to get feedback in real time? Could it be that you like the idea of interacting with customers and hearing what's new and fresh in their minds while it's, well, new and fresh in their minds? Could it be that you get it? Pretty sure you do. The $20 million was a great clue.

So, why do social media myths and fairy tales still swirl about? What is so hard for some people to understand? What is it that people still don't get?

Here are just a few myths that continue to rear their ugly imaginary heads:

1.  The words "social media" are overused.

Are the words sky, water, or air overused? How about computer, internet, advertising or marketing? Social media is social media. It's not a buzzword or trend that will go away in a year or two. Without a doubt, it will advance in leaps and bounds. Getting on board now just makes sense. Remember when computers were as big as a large room? It was impossible to envision that one day we'd be able to hold a computer in one hand. Check out this link to read about some of the latest really, really, small options. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/worlds-smallest-computer.html

2.  There is a secret social media formula that will catapult you/your business/your non-profit into the money.   

There are social media formulas that you can pick and choose from and adapt to fit your schedule, staff, and resources. There's a virtual candy store of platforms and options. Here's the secret...they all take work. There are no silver bullets. If someone claims to have all the answers they most assuredly don't. If you get help from an expert and something doesn't sound right, then it isn't. You know your organization better than social media experts and any plan can be tweaked and adjusted to fit your organizational needs.

3. You have to have tangible ROI goals before you start a social media campaign. It's not good business if you don't.

Your goal is to build good relationships. Your ROI is customer loyalty. Of course, you do need to set goals and objectives. Of course, you need a way to measure progress. Like all advertising, the results you realize depend on the relationships you build with your followers, customers or donors. If you're lousy at building relationships your ROI is pretty much going to stink. In any ad campaign, success comes after you build your base of followers. Right? You have to put relationship building in the equation or there is no ROI. Something tells me that Pepsi gets it.

4.  Social media is a bunch of hooey.   

This myth is one that non-social media evangelists are banking on.  I heard it recently from a former colleague in marketing and I still haven't lifted my jaw that squarely dropped to the floor. If you are in business, any kind of business, you owe it to yourself and your customers to take a look at your social media options. There are lots of them from which to choose.

Try to shoo social media off your shoulder like a housefly. You can bet that it will most assuredly come back and bite you in the derriere... like a horsefly.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Unraveling Social Media..Doh!

Don't be overwhelmed by the threads. There are millions of them and if you tug on one it can take you rambling through searches and "sign up here" pages for an eternity. Start with the three-legged stool: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Some experts refer to these three platforms as the "golden" trilogy.
Facebook begins for many as a way to connect with friends and family. I still use it that way but it also has become an incredible business resource. These two purposes are not mutually exclusive and you can juggle two personae on Facebook. There is, however, a caveat. If you get too business-y, your friends might roll there eyes and grouse. Use your own judgment based on your personal and professional goals and objectives. If you are a new blogger, Facebook is the bomb-digity (technical term) for sharing information with other new bloggers. Don't be afraid to poke around (oops, bad choice of words) on Facebook. You won't believe the opportunities!

LinkedIn was an enigma when I first signed on. I had a dozen or so business contacts. For a couple of years, I didn't explore the vast number of options. No more. When I got serious about branding I decided to revisit LinkedIn in earnest and, holy guacamole (another technical term), the resources for business applications are nothing short of astounding! Follow some LinkedIn groups, sit in on a couple of webinars, and you'll be maximizing your LinkedIn presence in no time flat. This is an unbelievable resource. Experts are right at your fingertips. When I invite former colleagues to join me and they write "...I don't really check LinkedIn...don't have time...don't do social media.." I try hard not to be smug. Smugness is not attractive and typically unappreciated.

Twitter is a passion but it was a slow-burn. Like LinkedIn, I signed up but didn't fully engage for months. Just didn't get it. Then, after one serendipitous conversation with someone head-over-heels in love with it, I gave it another try. Now, it is my social media war room more so than Facebook. Every day, I check in for world news, national news, music, quotes, book reviews and a never-ending flow of social media tips.  And, the friendships I have developed with people all over the world are phenomenal. I can hear your eyes rolling, but it's true. The subject of social media friendships will be covered another day. My Twitter friends deserve a post all their own.

So, go ahead. Pick a thread and tug. You'll enjoy where it leads!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Just a kid in a candy store...

Today's blog post is important for a couple of reasons. First, I love this photo of stripped chocolate candy balls. I started my annual new year's diet today and this picture is starting to look exceptionally good. Secondly, and vastly more important to you, dear reader, is that I want you to know how much fun you can have embracing social media.

In my last blog about "youthiness" I mentioned the great folks that inspire me day after day with their sheer smartness. Not a day goes by that I don't get really excited about one of their posts or comments or tweets. 

The other thing that is an absolute blast is that you get to play with all sorts of gizmos.  The thought of building a blog page, candidly, scared the daylights out of me. Had I not collaborated with and witnessed a former colleague going through the pangs of building a new website, I may not have mustered the intestinal fortitude for the blog site that supports the post you are reading at the moment. He would spend hours, no, entire weekends, tinkering with the layout, colors, bells and whistles.  I saw the look of excitement behind his bleary, blood-shot eyes. He was having fun! I wanted to have fun, too.

There are endless resources for widgets, buttons and gadgets that can be added for free to your blog site or web page. Just do a Google search on widgets or buttons and prepare to be amazed at the endless possibilities. Remember the thrill of looking into that treasure chest after the dentist released you from the dreaded chair? So many wonderful trinkets from which to chose!

Actually, leaving you with a childhood memory of going to the dentist is not smart. A much better connotation to plant in your head is a trip to a candy store. Or, even better, a trip to one of those chocolate candy stores. You know the ones. The stores in the mall that have little morsels behind the glass with names like truffle this and fondant that. They are sitting there, mocking you, beckoning you to take a bite of dark, rich...

Got to go get a snack now.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Word About "Youthiness"

It's true. The idea for my new word "youthiness" is a direct spin-off of Stephen Colbert's "truthiness" ("The Colbert Report," October 2005) but it just works so well in describing the leadership of the social media revolution that I'm going to roll with it. In my last post I mentioned @jack (Jack Dorsey) and the fact that he conceived Twitter (then Twttr) on March 31, 2006 and gave birth to it five short months later. To recap, Twitter's been around for about three and a half years. Kind of puts "youthiness" in perspective, doesn't it? In SOcial Media Years (SOMY is another word I hereby coin), it's bordering on at least a decade. Read this if you read nothing else. A "somy" happens at warp speed and is the equivalent of ten regular years.

One of the first books I purchased as I embarked on this new journey was The Social Media Bible  by Lon Safko and David K. Brake.  (They don't call it the bible for nothing. This book is a fantastic resource that I keep right by my laptop for easy access.) Right away, I noticed Chapter 5, "It's Not Your Father's E-Mail." Really? My father's e-mail? My father wrote with a stick in the dirt on a small farm in Odum, Georgia. Yep, that chapter title and the fact that a goodly portion of the experts throughout the book have titles like founder and senior vice president and CEO and appear to be under the age thirty.  I think Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress, www.WordPress.org) may be too young to have dated either of my children.

But, friends, I'm here to tell you these people are dear and very approachable. And, they're so incredibly smart. If you are serious about joining the revolution, throw off that nappy bathrobe and jump in the stream. Start following their blogs. Start following their lists on Twitter. Start following them on Twitter. Engage. Interact. You will learn so much so fast from these wonderful folks. You will find yourself embracing their "youthiness" and loving them for it. I do.