I love social media. I find it fun, intriguing, educational, inspiring and engaging. I love connecting with former colleagues and classmates and childhood cousins who’ve moved far, far away. I love discovering new websites and authors and bloggers who I never would have found before on my own. I love seeing what items my friends really like and they find useful – assuming those are true from the heart recommendations.
But the popularity of social networking sites has it’s “other” side, too. It has amped the volume of people speaking their minds which isn’t bad, as long as it’s not misused. Twitter, Facebook and discussion boards provide platforms for people to immediately broadcast what’s on their minds – “I loved it” ”I hated it” ”#FAIL” “Anyone out there listening?”
What do you do when one of your online friends asks you to re-tweet or re-post their anger or frustration with someone or some company? Do you do it just because it’s someone you know? I think it is more common on Twitter than on Facebook to see that plea “Please RT this!” I find these requests interesting but a little unsettling. I now have to know all the facts about their story.
But there are what I call the bandwagoners – people who jump on a rant, most not knowing the full story. Re-tweet it and re-post it multiple times and the next thing you know there’s a full online movement that may or may not be justified. I’ve seen too many times where the noise-maker rattling the cage is not quite so innocent as they portray to be.
The knee-jerk online reactions bother me. I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve been the consumer with problems and I’ve been the PR side trying to fix things. Neither side is comfortable.
I love reading consumer-centric columns and blogs that work at solving people’s problems. Greg Dawson and Christoper Elliott are my steady reads.
So why is this today’s topic? No particular reason. It’s just something that’s been on my mind and finally put it down in writing.
I found this slide show through some deep links on Twitter. Thought it was pretty interesting to see how the social media buzz on Tiger Woods changed over the first few days the story broke. My former work-out buddy is in some deep doo-doo. (Before anyone jumps to conclusions, you will see in my previous posts from this summer that Tiger worked out at my gym. I saw him there several times and had one conversation with him that lasted about 1 minute. And – that gym is now shut down so don’t ask me if I’ve seen him lately.)
I attended what’s billed as the ultimate blogging conference of the year in Las Vegas last weekend – BlogWorld Expo 2009. I was there to speak on a travel panel about how companies like and choose to work with bloggers. This was the first ever track of travel sessions held at this conference.
I was very fortunate to have fellow panelists at our session who really knew their stuff. Mike Taylor from Fairmont Hotels and Tom Martin, blogger with Helpmybrand.com were not only super nice guys but great with their information and knowledge that the audience appreciated. Another great connection was Doug Anweiler from Authentic Seacoast who moderated our session.
This was probably my quickest ever trip to Vegas. I arrived on Friday around noon and left Saturday night on the red-eye. I took an hour Friday afternoon to walk down “the strip”. No offense to anyone out there and again, this is just my opinion, but I’m fairly sure that Vegas ain’t my kinda town. I don’t gamble, don’t smoke, not into sequinned clothes and can’t afford the shows. But the town was certainly hopping!
While I was in Vegas I had the pleasure of running into two of the more prominent social media gurus, Steve Rubel and Guy Kawasaki. Not only did I run into them, but I was extremely fortunate enough to sit down to breakfast with them for nearly 2 hours. What a morning that was! Their knowledge and insights were fascinating. They talked Twitter, LifeStream, and a lot of conversation around the best iPhone apps.
If I had been smart I would have grabbed my notebook and written down everything they said. The funniest moment was when Steve dragged out his tool box for all his electronic gear he travels with – which he’s downsized to pretty much just the iPhone lately. The coolest item was a battery charger he picked up at Walmart for about $30 that will charge your phone when you’re not near an outlet. That’s pretty cool.
It was a great morning to be able to spend such quality time with them. If you want to learn more about them just click on their names above and I”ve linked to their websites. You should also follow them on Twitter.
Unless you swim in social media circles, you probably aren’t too familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk. But that is soon going to change. Gary is a rising star. In fact, in early September he was featured prominently in the New York Times. He is closing in on a million followers on Twitter - @garyvee. And he’s got 32-thousand fans on his Facebook page. What is he famous for? Wine.
Gary Vaynerchuk makes his living as a wine reviewer. He bucks the traditional wine lingo and puts his tastings in very common everyday language. But he’s also known for his social media marketing skills. It his dedication to social media that turned his life around and made him what he is today. He just signed a book deal (said to be 7-figures) to write 10-books! His first one comes out in mid-October entitled “Crush It”. And in true social media style, he uses Facebook to promote it.
Gary was at Walt Disney World Resort for the opening of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I was fortunate to be able to hear Gary speak on social media. I felt so inspired by his enthusiasm, his humor, his passion for social media. He gets it and sincerely wants to see the rest of the world “get it”. And to put icing on the cake – he’s a super nice guy in person. What you see is what you get with him. He’s awesome.
An enlightening moment was when Gary made the observation that the internet is only 14-years old – “it hasn’t even had sex yet.” Now that’s funny!
Gary also believes that one day Facebook will be your identity, if not already. Facebook has nearly 400 million users and the day is soon coming when everyone will have a Facebook page. He thinks FB will become your new digital wallet.
Social media is all about engaging in conversation with those that are talking about you or with those people whom you have similar interests. The media world is changing rapidly and we’re probably seeing right now the biggest evolution in the media world than ever before. With technology constantly changing and getting better and better, we’re going to soon be a very digital society with applications that can think better for us and think ahead of us.
I learned so much from hearing Gary Vaynerchuk speak. He’s inspiring – he’s contagious. And – he’s funny.
I’ve spent the past 48 hours with an amazing group of mom bloggers at Walt Disney World Resort. We started Friday evening and experienced a whirlwind tour of some of the magic Disney has to offer families.
I’m always a slightly nervous heading into these weekends. It goes back to the feelings we all felt in high-school, wondering if we’ll be liked, will we be accepted, and will we get along. We all come from different backgrounds, different areas of the country, different living conditions, different family make-ups, different economic status. But the one thing I think we all had or felt, was an appreciation and adoration of the Disney brand.
I was honored to meet these very amazing women. There were 3 moms here who each have 6 children! Two moms with very 7-month old boys. Yet they were all so cool and calm and so much fun to be around. I’ve never been blessed with children, sadly, although I treat my two dogs as my kids. I had so much fun with everyone this weekend. AND I even had a golden opportunity to babysit a 7-month old for about an hour – and the precious baby never cried once! I did good.
A darn fine group of women got together Friday night at the Olive Garden for a fun Orlando Tweet-up. Janice Croze of www.5minutesformom.com arranged the tweet-up along with Angie of @alotofnothing. Theresa who works with Olive Garden allowed us the opportunity to experience many of the wonderful new dishes on the menu. (My review below) I absolutely enjoyed meeting people that I’ve been following for some time on Twitter with short one-off conversations . There is something to be said about the relationship building from Twitter. (I’ll save that for a future post.)
Now back to dinner. I have to admit I had not been to Olive Garden in several years… not because it’s not good, quite just the opposite. I’ve avoided going there because I know I can’t stop myself from gorging on the mouth-watering breadsticks along with everything else they prepare. The food at Olive Garden is so good. This night I sampled one of their new creations, Tuscan Garlic Chicken. It was lightly breaded chicken served atop fettucine with a very light cream sauce and tons of garlic. It was garnished with spinach and red peppers. OMG! Sinfully delicious. @modernmami sitting next to me had the chicken/shrimp Carbona which looked incredible as well. We were treated to an assortment of appetizers including flatbreads, soups, and calamari. The chicken flatbread was delicious and was much better than the basic tomatoe flatbread. The pasta fagioli soup was just as I remembered it - yummmmmy. The ladies on both sides of me tried the newest soup, the chicken gnocchi, which they raved about. Check out the Olive Garden menu. While it is not a calorie-friendly place (well actually, there are a gazillion calories there) it is worth the splurge to taste these decadent dishes.
Final note – the service was fabulous- – great waiters/waitresses with personality plus! Customer service makes all the difference in the world. I wish every company realized that.
Thank you to Olive Garden and www.5minutesformom.com for a wonderful evening. Also thanks to Theresa who helped arrange our fabulous meal.
I look forward to my new friendships.
(P.S. I know I missed some twitter names here but I unfortunately didn’t write them all down)
Common question I get asked “How do I get started on Twitter?” Here are a few ways I got started. Remember, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes some time to really get into the swing of things.
I was interviewed yesterday by Beth Kassab of the Orlando Sentinel about Twitter. It was fun to talk with her about not only Twitter, but social media in general. The article appears in today’s (Friday, Mar. 6) Business section. She followed the print article up with more online thoughts.
Then this morning, a consultant I work with showed me a website, My Sweet 16, that shows the 1st 16-tweets by any given twitter user. Now that was a little scary to see. It just goes to remind you that everything you do on the web is out there permanently! It’s often hard to remember that, but keep it in mind.
Hello and welcome to Leanne's Life! Before anything else - please know that this is my own personal blog and is in no way affiliated with my employer or any other company.
Now a little bit about me: I'm a native of Central Florida and work at Walt Disney World Resort. (And yes, it's a dream job!) Prior to my magical days at Disney I spent nearly 10 years at WFTV Ch-9 in Orlando. I'm a graduate of Rollins College. I love animals so you'll probably see quite a few stories here about my babies, Mikita and Jefferson.
I hope you'll enjoy my posts. Topics will be wide ranging from amusing stories about daily life to the excitement about something that happened at work, or maybe just my random (and sometimes silly) thoughts on something. Who knows!?
Thanks for visiting and please comment so I know what you're thinking.