Looking for Something?
Monthly Archives

July 2011

Marines Head to YouTube for Ball Invitations


My, my, my how times have changed. Would you ever have thought, let’s say 10 years ago, that a Marine could shoot a video inviting a major celebrity to an event and then get a yes?

Fast forward to the present, and one of the biggest trends on YouTube this week are the Marine Ball invitations that have been given out to stars like Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Betty White and Miley Cyrus.

Sgt Scott Moore with 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines in Musa Qala, Afghanistan asked Mila Kunis to the Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, NC on November 18th. His video currently has over 3 million views. Mila said yes.

Marine Sgt. Ray Lewis asked Betty White to the Marine Corps Ball in Fort Worth, Texas Oct. 29. She politely declined, but Linda Hamilton, yes Terminator Linda Hamilton, turned the tables and said she’s no Betty White, but she would go to the ball with Lewis.

The latest invite was extended to Miley Cyrus from PFC Hart. No word yet if she has accepted.

Just for fun..If you could invite any celebrity to an event, who would it be? Hmmm, I wonder if Bradley Cooper has any plans this weekend?

StumbleUpon Testing New Feature Called the “Explore Box”


StumbleUpon is testing out a new feature called the “Explore Box”, which allows you to type in keywords related to your interests and the box displays stumbles related to your keyword.

The feature is currently in testing mode with a few select users, but if it does well among those testing it now, we could see it before too long.

The search box isn’t to be used like a search engine obviously, but rather to help you find interesting things related to the key words you typed in. The use of the Explore Box will expand a users StumbleUpon experience and can really help you narrow down a search for a particular topic that interests you.

If this feature does roll out, using keywords while stumbling articles will be more important than ever.

Do you use StumbleUpon and do you think this added feature could be beneficial for users?

Has Google+ Decreased Your Facebook and Twitter Usage?


ReadWriteWeb author Richard MacManus asked a question on Google+ about whether or not people’s Twitter and Facebook usage has gone down since they started using Gooogle+. He received over 60 responses (more than he received on Facebook or Twitter) and it seems the census is a yes. It has significantly changed how much his followers are using the other social networks.

Some of the comments were:

  • “it’s replaced Twitter totally for me… and will slowly replace Facebook as more friends get over here”
  • “Living here now. I find it interesting because I’ve circled a lot of people who I don’t know and am gaining a wider perspective than on any other social network I’ve used before”
  • “Don’t read twitter any more, Reduced facebook usage, increased use on Quora and Namesake”
  • “Using all three, but am using FB and Twitter less than usual. Still trying to figure out exactly where G+ fits in (and wait for others to join)”

MacManus also gave 2 examples of Google+ power users who were previously avid Twitter users, and showed that  both have decreased their Twitter usage quite a bit.

Although he admits the survey was both unscientific and a little biased, it still makes you ask the question if Twitter and Facebook should be worried.

So, let’s do our own little survey here: Has Google+ decreased your Facebok and Twitter usage?

Overheard on #BWEchat: Kids at Conferences


This week, #BWEchat‘s topic was kids at conferences in a town hall type of setting with no special guest. I personally don’t have kids, but I’ve definitely been to conferences and conventions where kids were welcome  – and have had both good and bad experiences. Some of the questions posed this week included:

  • Does a con’s child policy affect your decision to attend? More or less likely to attend if kids are allowed?
  • Under what circumstances do you think professional conferences should allow kids?
  • Does it affect your business networking having your child with you?
  • As an attendee, are you concerned about kids disrupting conference sessions? What about as a speaker?
  • Does the age range of the children allowed at a conference matter?

The topic at hand definitely sparked some great conversation from parents and non-parents alike. Here were some of my personal favorite tweets from the night:

  • @karonwarren: I don’t think it matters who the conference is for; it’s a professional environment & should be conducted as such.
  • @LindsayDianne: Any conference that I go to, I’m trying to learn. For me, it’s more likely to be effective without having to parent.
  • @nlowell: I’m more concerned abt ‘entitled adults’ highjacking the panel than kids
  • @theresesquared: Kids can keep the audience and speaker on their toes. That’s for sure. If they’re bored you’ll know it.
  • @2xKnight: Clear guidelines for what to do with disruptive children would help. No matter the kid’s age.
  • @BlackCanseco: Kids can disrupt a conference but so can really annoying adults.
  • @AngEngland: I think that part of the responsibility of being a mother going to conferences is to have back-up plans in place.
  • @SherylLoch: The tip is start teaching your kids to sit & be quiet LONG before the conference. Start at like…birth.
  • @OneBrownGirl: I think that the rules for blogging are still being invented. What works at one conference might not work at another..vice versa

Thanks to everyone who came out for a great discussion on this topic! Next week, we’ll be talking about how to ad humor to your blog with special guest Jordan Cooper (@notaproblog), so I hope to see you all there. Remember, #BWEchat takes place every Wednesday at 9 PM EST, hosted from @blogworldexpo, so mark us on your calendar!

The Flowering Structure of a Podcast


So you’re got a microphone ready, there might be a camera in the background with a blinking LED, and it’s time for you to record your latest podcast. But where to start?

One of the questions I get asked a lot is "what should I talk about" in a podcast. To be honest as long as you are talking about something you are passionate about, which has elements of entertainment, education and information, you’re probably on the right track. What’s just as important is how you say it. There’s a structure that’s worked well for me for presentations, seminars, training courses, and podcasts, and I want to throw it out there as a rule of thumb just now.

It’s a pretty simple formula for framing your chunk of information you want in the podcast. The thing you want to tell people sits nicely in the middle. Right before you tell people, you tell them what you’re going to tell them. Once you’ve told them, tell them what you just told them.

Okay you’ll be using some production tricks between the three parts, but a strong "welcome to the show, today I’m going to tell you how to fly to Paris" followed by a jingle, then how to fly to the French capital, followed by another jingle or musical sting, and then "that was how to get to Paris, for more, listen to the next Wonderful World of Travelling episode."

Too broad strokes for you? Then break down the fly to Paris in to two or three sections – for example landing at the Airport, and then travelling to the centre of town. Tell them first you’ll talk about the airport experience, then tell them, then remind them as you move towards the city centre.

With this "flowering" technique you can not only break down a big presentation in a podcast, but you’ll have a natural flow of information, alternating new facts and reinforcement through repetition, as well as a structure that can be used again and again. It’s a great framework when you start out, but also a good safety net if you loose focus and have no idea what to do – it wouldn’t be the first time that this has saved me in a live show!

Tell ’em what you’ll tell them – tell them – tell them what you told em.


Image Source: Yukiroad, Creative Commons.

Study Shows Journalists’ Stories Go Deeper & Broader Than Bloggers


As blogging has gained popularity and the people behind the blogs are getting more and more well-known, it seems that the line between professional journalists and bloggers has been blurred a little. Would you agree?

While some bloggers consider themselves a journalist, that idea definitely makes some journalists cringe a little.

That’s why this new study conducted by Penn State researchers about bloggers and journalists caught my attention.

The study compared the way journalists and popular bloggers covered Rush Limbaugh’s involvement in a partnership where they attempted to buy a professional football team. They found that the journalists’ coverage went deeper and broader than the bloggers and that they were more likely to include race and business issues in the article. The journalists included Limbaugh’s past comments on race and also discussed the economics of professional football and the politics of team owners.

Marie Hardin, associate director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, said “We look at this as something that is encouraging. In the past, sports journalists tended to shy away from the cultural aspects of a story, but now, compared to bloggers, professional journalists seem much more willing to show that there’s more to the story than what’s on the field.”

What were their findings for the reason behind this difference? They say it reflects the advantages professional journalists have over bloggers, which includes better training and more resources. They also said the study shows the importance of getting your information from more than one source.

Do you think bloggers should try going more in depth in their stories and cover different angles, or is that for the world of professional journalism?

Twitter CEO Talks Commerce Possibility for the Company


Dick Costolo

How many times has Twitter been asked exactly how they make money? It’s been a hot topic, especially as they rolled out advertising features like promoted trends and promoted accounts.

When asked the question about revenue plans for the company, the usual answer has been “advertising”. That might change as Twitter looks into the possibility of commerce.

During a keynote interview at Fortune BrainstormTech in Aspen, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo mentioned the commerce possibility. He gave an example of how the San Diego Chargers were able to sell around 1,000 tickets to a game that would have been blacked out on local television. Both conference organizers and sports teams have used Twitter to help with sales. Did Twitter make any money from these ticket sales? No, but they might be looking at doing that in the future.

Costolo said, “There’s a commerce opportunity there for us to take advantage of if we want. How can we remove friction from the process?”

Although advertising, such as sponsored tweets and sponsored trending topics, will be the main source of revenue for the company, commerce may start adding to their bottom line as well.

Here’s the interview with Costolo for your viewing pleasure.

Is Google+ Losing Steam?


According to Ancestry.com co-founder Paul Allen, Google+ should have reached around 18 million users yesterday. It’s still the fastest growing social network and is setting records like crazy, but do these numbers show Google+ is losing steam?

18 million sounds incredible for the amount of time the network has been alive, but that means its growth rate is down by about 50%.

In a Google+ post Allen said, “Last week we saw two days where more than 2 million signed up in a single day. If that rate had continued, Google+ would have reached 20 million users by last Sunday night. But the last four days have averaged only 948,000 new users and yesterday the site added only 763,000. Yesterday’s growth of 4.47% was the slowest viral growth since Google opened up invites back on July 6th.”

Why the slow down in growth? Mashable points out that according to Google Trends, the Google+ buzz has slowed a bit.

The growth may have slowed for the time being, but as Allen points out in his post, Google hasn’t brought out all the big guns quite yet.

He said, “Google hasn’t started marketing Google+ through any of its other channels yet. More than a billion people worldwide use Google products, including its top rated search engine, YouTube, and Blogger. Chairman Eric Schmidt says the vision is to integrate Circles and sharing with all the other Google properties. When that happens, you will likely see millions of people joining Google+ every day for some period of time.”

I definitely don’t think the Google gods are worried about the slow down at the moment, do you?

Amber Naslund Confirmed as Keynote for BlogWorld L.A.


I’m so pleased to announce our next keynote, and I hope I don’t sound like a giddy fan girl as I bring you this news.  Amber Naslund, someone I truly respect in the world of social media, community, blogging, and life is confirmed for BlogWorld L.A.

Not only did Amber agree to keynote, but she also graciously agreed to do a brief interview with us to discuss her participation at BlogWorld West.

At BlogWorld 10, you and Jay Baer gave your “Now Revolution” talk in anticipation of your book’s release. Tell us about your year since then, because it’s been pretty eventful.

Eventful is an understatement! I’m so delighted that the support of the book has been beyond what we could have imagined. My awesome colleagues at Radian6 were incredibly encouraging and supportive, and the community at large has just rallied around it like I never anticipated. The travel schedule was brutal, but it was an amazing way to connect with a lot of people and most importantly be helpful to groups trying to get their arms around what social is doing to their businesses on the inside. I loved every crazy minute, and am very proud of what Jay and I put out there into the business world.

You’re keynoting at BlogWorld LA, Amber. Why a keynote and why BlogWorld?

BlogWorld was one of the first conferences I attended as the new media scene started to emerge in a concrete way. It’s one of my favorite events of the year both for the content, which has just gotten better each year, and for the opportunity to connect with so many of my colleagues and peers in one place. There’s great camaraderie at BlogWorld, and I can’t think of a more exhilarating place to take on the big stage and hope to share a little bit of my enthusiasm and perspective with a really energized group.

Tell us about your keynote. What will you be talking about?

I don’t want to give it all away. But as individuals in the new media world today, there’s this incredible collision and convergence happening around our personal selves and our professional selves. I’m going to talk a bit about what that third persona is – the one that’s a blend of both with a few unique characteristics- what they look like, and why they’re best poised to take business to a whole new level.

What takeaways do you hope attendees will walk away with? What actions are you hoping to inspire?

I’m hoping to show the BlogWorld audience that they’re not imagining the shift, and that they can find a balance between personal and professional, show their character and their human dimension, and be the indispensable and sought-after future human catalysts for more social businesses.

Here’s your chance to tell the BlogWorld community anything you like. It can be a pitch, a comment or question. Go!

Well that’s open-ended! But I’ll rein in the temptation to misbehave and simply say that I cannot *wait* to be part of BWE’s new adventures in L.A. The BlogWorld community is one of the most dynamic ones in the industry, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of you in November.


We’re looking forward to Amber’s keynote and hope you are too!

7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraisers


… by Rob Wu

You’re an influencer. You’ve built up a strong following on Twitter and your blog readership is increasing every day. People listen to you and want to hear from you. What you say changes opinions and spurs people to action.

You’re also passionate about a non-profit and the work that they do. Many of you want to raise funds for your non-profit or cause, but don’t know how to approach it. How can you leverage your influence for good? We’ve seen lots of people spin their wheels to figure out how to get more donations to their cause.

We’re with you and want to help you become the best fundraiser possible. The 7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraisers is a free ebook we wrote to help you become the best possible fundraiser for your non-profit.

To do that, we combed through the thousands of individuals that used our platform and selected some of the most successful to study. We examined what and how much they raised, and identified seven habits that they all had in common; a few non-profit experts weighed in also.

As an influencer, you’re in the perfect position to leverage an audience for your cause. We can’t guarantee that you will raise a ton in donations easily, but if you follow these habits, you’ll be on the right track.

Here’s a quick overview of the seven habits.

1. Personalize your fundraising
The most effective fundraisers use their personalities to promote their campaign as well as personal stories. Your relationships are compelling enough reasons for your network to give to your cause.

2. Use multiple ways to raise awareness
Reach out to your network, especially friends, family, and co-workers. A personalized email is the best way to get donations. Social media is helpful to augment your message.

3. Keep up the human connections
Help other people connect with the cause and need by focusing on being human. Meet people face-to-face to help them understand your passion for and commitment to the cause.

4. Emphasize how everyone can make a difference
Show that even small contributions will amount to big, tangible results. Let donors know exactly where their money is going and how much of a difference it makes.

5. Your cause is worth the effort
Getting donations for a cause isn’t easy. You’ll have to persevere through some dry spells and be assured that your efforts matter (because they really do!).

6. Remind others to contribute
Update and share progress. This is an opportunity to remind others of your fundraising progress and how they can help.

7. Be appreciative
Always thank your donors and supporters! They want to be recognized and your appreciation goes a long way.

Check out our video with Rob prior to the BWENY event, where he talks about why he attends conferences, and the question he gets asked most:

View more videos from BlogWorld on the BlogWorld YouTube channel.

For more details and to hear directly from experts and the most successful fundraisers, download the free 7 Habits of Effective Personal Fundraisers ebook.

Rob Wu is a Founder at CauseVox, an innovative online fundraising platform that empowers non-profits to easily design and personalize their own fundraising tools and site. Most recently, Rob co-created SXSWCares, a campaign that raised over $120,000 in 10 days. His work has been recognized by the Mayor of Austin and featured in the NYTimes, CNN, Forbes, and NPR. Previously, Rob consulted for the Department of Defense and the US Federal government. Rob spends his free time helping NGOs abroad solve social problems more effectively. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Photo Source

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments