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Church Encourages Twitter Use During Service

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Welcome to the 21st century.  I guess when the institution that has been considered the most traditional and least technologically advanced starts to embrace modern technology like Twitter, it’s time to say it’s officially arrived.  I just caught wind of a church in North Carolina that not only doesn’t care if you text message and Tweet during the church service and sermon, they Encourage it.  Huh?

That’s right, at the Next Level Church in Charlotte, NC, they are actually encouraging members of its congregation to get those cell phones out and send Tweets all throughout the service and most importantly the sermon.  Apparently their pastor believes that it’s his responsibility to ensure that the church is using every technological advance possible to help spread their message.

According to reports:

“The congregation was urged to post minute-by-minute updates to their Twitter accounts to allow members across the room to broadcast in real time how the message was touching them…“People who didn’t get to make the service get the opportunity to see what notes I’m taking and what’s going on here in the service,” church member Robbie McLaughlin said.”

Once again this brings up an entire new question that I’m sure will be popping up more than ever before:  Where else can new social media and social networking services like Twitter be used?  It’s interesting to see it being used in previously ultra-traditional places like churches, but it makes me wonder where else Twitter might be extremely beneficial?  What about Government?  What about more real-time updating of sporting events?  What about NASA in space?  I know there have been Tweets from the rovers on Mars, but what about directly from the astronauts on the moon?

Apparently the sky, is no longer the limit.  Hold on tight, who knows what else is on the way.

Social Networking Finds Higher Calling

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Social Networking Right when you thought you knew exactly what Social Media and Social Networking was capable of, right when you thought you knew exactly what it’s future would be and that it was officially shifting towards business, something pops up that gives you a renewed hope for just what all this new technology could be capable of.  Today is one of those days.

I just caught wind of a project taking place in Cleveland, Ohio where health officials are actually using social networking sites like Facebook and other mediums that are similar to address a growing problem in the public health scene:  HIV and STD’s.  Check out the official news from Cleveland:

“The city’s health department will set up profiles on two popular gay meeting sites next week and plans to log on to Facebook later….The profiles will allow the department to communicate with other users on the sites whose real names may not be known by their sexual partners….Cleveland HIV/AIDS services director David Merriman says it’s not unusual for those who test positive for HIV or another sexually transmitted disease to say some sexual encounters were with people they knew only by a Web site screen name…Columbus Public Health began using social networking sites in a similar manner last year.”

Personally, I love seeing new technology being used in even newer ways.  It would be closed-minded to think that all of the buzz and excitement surrounding new social media, social networking and microblogging sites is limited to business and profit.  The bottom line is, a lot of good Can be done when you’ve the ability to reach so many people in one fell swoop.

With Facebook officially hitting 200 million members, the time is now to really embrace the technology and start reaching broader audiences with broader problems.  Taking advantage of this is officially job number 1.

Google Wants Twitter…Is Twitter King?

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141010-googlelogo_180 Unless you’re hiding under some sort of stone in the past few days and weeks, you’ve most likely heard the rumors circulating and floating around that Google has officially expressed some interest in acquiring the wildly popular microblogging site, Twitter.  Wow.

Given the fact that newer rumors are now circulating that Twitter wouldn’t sell to Google, not even for $1 Billion, it’s so far looking highly unlikely that Twitter would ever take the bait, take the check and relinquish control, but nevertheless, the simple fact that Google is expressing the interest they are says a great deal more than whether or not they sell or not.  Let’s face it, right now, Twitter just might be king.

The question that remains is, WHY does Google want Twitter?  Are they in the habit and pattern of just buying what is hot and what is popular while they are still on top, as they did with YouTube, or do they see something of a threat in Twitter?  It’s clear that Twitter’s “real-time search” is a big deal and something that Google as of now doesn’t have, but is it enough to threaten Google?  No.  So why?  That question remains to be answered and given the fact that in today’s economic climate, many companies are actually trying to shave costs, the acquisition of a company that so far has shown it’s a bit difficulty generating revenue, it doesn’t make much sense.

According to an article in PCWorld recently, many are speculating as to why and what Twitter represents to Google.  In an interview in the article:

“Twitter is clearly hot. The phenomenon of real time search and the ability to capture this stream of ‘tweet’ discussions is an important development in social media and search because people are trying to mine data for information that might otherwise be sought in a search engine…This whole phenomenon Twitter represents is here to stay and needs to be addressed by search engines.”

My best guess, Google wants Twitter so no one ELSE can have it.  The age old story, I want you, so no one else can.  What do you think…why is Google even entering the rumor mill about wanting Twitter?  Sound off…

Mark Cuban Fined for Twitter Comments

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Cuban I guess if you’re as rich as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, $25,000 really isn’t that much money to lose.  If you’re like me or the rest of America it is, and it begins to make me wonder just how responsible we’re all going to be for the comments we make on Twitter, in our status updates on Facebook, or any of the other micro-blogging services out there.

If you didn’t hear, Mark Cuban was indeed fined after criticizing the referees and some of the calls, and lack of calls that were or were not made during last Friday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.  Cuban made the comments to his fans and followers on Twitter, and it looks like the NBA is officially tweeting back, to the tune of a giant fine.  Oops.

Apparently, Cuban is “fine with it” but it does bring up bigger questions as to just how responsible people should be for the tweets they post, or the statuses they update on other social networking sites.  This could open the door to an entire new world of libel suits that could potentially take place all over Twitter.  We’ve heard reports of other cases that are popping up that combine Twitter and libel, but the question of just how responsible people are, and the weight of that responsibility have yet to be completely answered.

Look for a great deal more of these types of suits, fines, and irritations to pop up as the popularity of all of these services continue to boom.  Where will it stop?  That’s the burning question.

Twitter To Offer Commercial Accounts…For A Fee

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The fact that Twitter has had, well, issues, coming up with a way to actually make some money off their service has never been a secret.  The fact that they’ve been desperately needing a way, also, has never been a secret.  Looks like steps have been taken for Twitter to do exactly that as it appears they are going to be offering commercial accounts sometime in the upcoming future.

Could this be the way to a profitable future?  Perhaps.  As Microsoft just recently rolled out ExecTweets using Twitter technology, Twitter is hoping to bring in some much needed revenue by offering accounts that are aimed directly at commercial users and give them some expanded features beyond the standard free accounts we all enjoy.

No price points or even what features that will be added to spruce up the deal have been even hinted at, but I’m thinking that in order to get companies to actually spend money on accounts, they must be pretty substantial.  The question remains, as long as the free service is offered, why would businesses pay money to open up accounts?  What features could lure them into that?

The fact is, micro-blogging and Twitter style updates are becoming much bigger and more prevelant in the world of business as a way for companies to interact much more directly with their customers and the public at large.  The time is now to get on board, as new research is showing that “By 2011…some 80 percent of social software platforms will include enterprise microblogging as a standard feature.”

So, what do you think?  Will people pay?  Will they stay for the free account?  All of these questions are big ones and all need answers.  The financial future of a lot of these companies could be at stake.

Social Networks & Blogs Jump to 4th Most Popular Online Activity

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Remember the days when all you ever used your computer and internet connection for was to check your email?  Yeah, me too, and those days are officially over.  Move over email, make way for social networking and blogs because they’ve 100% entered the limelight.

New reports are showing that social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online activity, and that is ahead of email.  According to a new report by the Nielsen Company, titled “Global Faces and Networked Places:”

“Now visited by over two-thirds (67 percent) of the global* online population, “Member Communities,” which includes both social networks and blogs, has become the fourth most popular online category – ahead of personal email. It is growing twice as fast as any of the other four largest sectors (search, portals, PC software and email)…”

The report was actually filled with some interesting little tidbits, many of which were quite surprising.  You probably knew that Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking site, visited by 3 out of every 10 people across the 9 markets Nielsen studied, but as far as largest domestic use, it’s not the winner.  For the highest percentage of “domestic online reach” Orkut, out of Brazil, takes home the top prize with an impressive 70% reach.  Wow.

Check out some of the other findings:

–     ” One in every 11 minutes online globally is accounted for by social network and blogging sites.
–      The social network and blogging audience is becoming more diverse in terms of age: the biggest increase in visitors during 2008 to “Member Community” Web sites globally came from the 35-49 year old age group (+11.3 million).
–      Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in social networking. Nielsen found UK mobile Web users have the greatest propensity to visit a social network through their handset, with 23 percent (2 million people) doing so, compared to 19 percent in the US (10.6 million people). These numbers are a big increase over last year – up 249 percent in the UK and 156 percent in the US.”

Still have doubts that social networking and blogs have hit the big time?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  You’re probably not surprised though, as Jane mentioned Friday, bloggers just Know.

Why Do Celebrities Twitter?

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Twitter is huge.  You know it, I know it, heck even our grandparents probably know it.  With the recent news that even the Queen of England was Twittering, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the technology has officially come into its own.  The bottom line is, Twittering is huge and it’s getting even more huge as more and more celebrities are adopting the technology and Tweeting like crazy.  The question is, why?

In only 140 characters we are all being offered a much more intimate, much more in-depth and much more real look into the lives of these people that before only existed on screen or over the radio.  Now we know when they get massages, how they feel after losing a big game, what they think about politics, fast food, religion, and their love lives.

Why are celebrities doing this?  Simple, it’s fast, it’s easy, it’s social, it’s new media, and it lets their fans get closer than ever, without requiring a great deal of PR work, search engine optimization or even effort.  Anyone can send out a Tweet and if you’re MC Hammer, Shaq, Jimmy Fallon or Lance Armstrong each one of those tweets will be recieved by and followed by anywhere from a few thousand, to a few Hundred thousand people.  Instantly.

More insight?  The simple fact that Forbes is picking up on it and reporting on it should say quite a bit.  Head over and check out the article they did about why celebrities are turning away from old static websites and directly onto new social media and Twitter.  It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s intimate, what more can they ask for?

Do you Twitter?  Do you Follow celebrities on Twitter?  If so, who, and why?  We’d love to hear just who You find interesting, and whose Tweets you can’t live without.

How is Old Media Using New Media?

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Many of you are familiar with the Chicago Tribune, a well respected newspaper.  Unfortunately, like many traditional news outlets, the Chicago Tribute is forced to compete with new media, and new media is winning.  So what does an old media like the Chicago Tribune do?  Well, they join the new media revolution.  In March of this year, the Chicago Tribune decided to engage the world through many of the popular social media channels that are out there such as facebook and twitter.

According to an article by The Star :

“The team – consisting of two coordinators, one managing editor and one social media strategist – identified five Web 2.0-type services to target: Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and Digg.”

The Chicago Tribune decided to create an online persona and they named him Colonel Tribune.  This new online marketing campaign has been running for around 6 months and has reportedly already generated an 8% increase in page views to the Chicago Tribune Site.  Colonel Tribune has been so successful that he is even hosting his own tweetups in Chicago!

As social media becomes more pervasive it’s going to become imperative for traditional news sources to evolve and jump on the social media bandwagon.  It’s great to see how a traditional news media outlet such as the Chicago Tribune is able to use new media so effectively.

How have you seen other traditional news outlets utilize social media?

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Why did we create BlogWorld & New Media Expo?

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Lots of people have asked me that question and I read a post today at the Demystifying Digital Blog titled Blogging Comes of Age for Capitalists – Blog Trade Show. I don’t think this self proclaimed digitial grandmother meant any insult in her last two paragraphs but I felt compelled to address them.

I was almost thrown back to my hippy incarnation of the the ’70s (ok, the 60s), rallying and stomping and hooting in favor of something cool. Something hip. But, as with everything that makes money, and the blogosphere has made gazillions for a fortunate few, the big guys get their foot in the door, their fingers in the pie. If people have found ways to profit from 9/11, they can profit from anything. But that’s how it is with the people. We are capitalists. Entrepreneurs at heart. We like money.Therefore, as it was meant to happen, organizers and vendors exploit the blogosphere. In fact, in Las Vegas (!) this fall, there’s to be a Blogworld and New Media Expo. A tradeshow. The folks in who-knows-what outlandish leisure garb, dashing off blog entries from dining room tables across the American outback, are invited to gather in Vegas and learn what’s what in the ‘sphere. If you hurry you still have time to start up your own blog and make it out to Vegas.

I found blogs just after September 11th 2001. Milblogs like Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, and Michael Yon were and still are regular reads for me. In fact after years of leaving lengthy comments and having great debates on many political blogs left right and center I finally got motivated enough to create my own blog therealuglyamerican.com and started posting.
One day I emailed one of those milbloggers and asked him for an interview via email. His name was Tim Boggs. Tim agreed to the interview. I have interviewed other soldiers and Iraqi journalists and bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad. Later I put two of my friends 24 steps and Tim together to ask each other questions.

To make a long story short, I was dedicated to my blog and proud of what I had accomplished. I didn’t launch BlogWorld to get rich. I wanted to attend an event like this to meet with my blogger friends, peers and industry icons. I wanted to learn how to blog better, build my readership and yes maybe make some money from this hobby I was spending several hours a day on.  Yes we hope to make money on BlogWorld someday but we certainly wont this year.
Yes there are companies who make money from blogging, lots of them like Google (I started on blogspot), Yahoo (I use MyblogLog everyday), Six Apart (many of my favorite bloggers use Moveable Type), Podango (ever heard of Twit TV?) and Technorati (who hasn’t checked their ranking or used their search?) . Thank goodness for all of them and thousands of other like them. Without them we wouldn’t have the wonderful publishing and broadcasting tools we do today. There would be no blogging or podcasting without them.
I am proud to say Military.com is a sponsor of our event and they will host a track on milblogging at BlogWorld. Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive will be there. I am proud to say Tim Boggs and I have remained friends since he as returned home and he will be an honored guest at BlogWorld. I am proud to say Michael Yon will (technology and God willing) address BlogWorld attendees via live video feed from Iraq. I am proud to say the amazing ladies from Soldiers Angels will be there. I hope you all take the time to thank them for their service and what they do.

There will be lots of other communities represented, attractions and reasons to attend but this one is particularly special for me.  I hope the Digital Grandparent and her readers will join me and thousands of other bloggers to celebrate what we have created and achieved. I hope she realizes this is about far more important things than money.

Blog on!
Rick Calvert
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

Why did we create BlogWorld & New Media Expo?

Author:

Lots of people have asked me that question and I read a post today at the Demystifying Digital Blog titled Blogging Comes of Age for Capitalists – Blog Trade Show. I don’t think this self proclaimed digitial grandmother meant any insult in her last two paragraphs but I felt compelled to address them.

I was almost thrown back to my hippy incarnation of the the ’70s (ok, the 60s), rallying and stomping and hooting in favor of something cool. Something hip. But, as with everything that makes money, and the blogosphere has made gazillions for a fortunate few, the big guys get their foot in the door, their fingers in the pie. If people have found ways to profit from 9/11, they can profit from anything. But that’s how it is with the people. We are capitalists. Entrepreneurs at heart. We like money.Therefore, as it was meant to happen, organizers and vendors exploit the blogosphere. In fact, in Las Vegas (!) this fall, there’s to be a Blogworld and New Media Expo. A tradeshow. The folks in who-knows-what outlandish leisure garb, dashing off blog entries from dining room tables across the American outback, are invited to gather in Vegas and learn what’s what in the ‘sphere. If you hurry you still have time to start up your own blog and make it out to Vegas.

I found blogs just after September 11th 2001. Milblogs like Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, and Michael Yon were and still are regular reads for me. In fact after years of leaving lengthy comments and having great debates on many political blogs left right and center I finally got motivated enough to create my own blog therealuglyamerican.com and started posting.
One day I emailed one of those milbloggers and asked him for an interview via email. His name was Tim Boggs. Tim agreed to the interview. I have interviewed other soldiers and Iraqi journalists and bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad. Later I put two of my friends 24 steps and Tim together to ask each other questions.

To make a long story short, I was dedicated to my blog and proud of what I had accomplished. I didn’t launch BlogWorld to get rich. I wanted to attend an event like this to meet with my blogger friends, peers and industry icons. I wanted to learn how to blog better, build my readership and yes maybe make some money from this hobby I was spending several hours a day on.  Yes we hope to make money on BlogWorld someday but we certainly wont this year.
Yes there are companies who make money from blogging, lots of them like Google (I started on blogspot), Yahoo (I use MyblogLog everyday), Six Apart (many of my favorite bloggers use Moveable Type), Podango (ever heard of Twit TV?) and Technorati (who hasn’t checked their ranking or used their search?) . Thank goodness for all of them and thousands of other like them. Without them we wouldn’t have the wonderful publishing and broadcasting tools we do today. There would be no blogging or podcasting without them.
I am proud to say Military.com is a sponsor of our event and they will host a track on milblogging at BlogWorld. Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive will be there. I am proud to say Tim Boggs and I have remained friends since he as returned home and he will be an honored guest at BlogWorld. I am proud to say Michael Yon will (technology and God willing) address BlogWorld attendees via live video feed from Iraq. I am proud to say the amazing ladies from Soldiers Angels will be there. I hope you all take the time to thank them for their service and what they do.

There will be lots of other communities represented, attractions and reasons to attend but this one is particularly special for me.  I hope the Digital Grandparent and her readers will join me and thousands of other bloggers to celebrate what we have created and achieved. I hope she realizes this is about far more important things than money.

Blog on!
Rick Calvert
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

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