Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Calling it in DeRusha's Favor

Barring some unforeseen act of a deity, it appears Jason DeRusha will take first place in the November Social Media Sweeps. I'll still check in at the end of this week, but as of now, it's...

DeRusha: 137 points
Kim Insley: 38 points
(A handful of others scored in the single digits)

Great effort by @KAREmorninggal, but as expected, it appears DeRusha's ironclad grasp on Twin Cities social media is too strong. I've been told that KARE's meteorologist Sven Sundgaard has a huge following on Facebook, however his profile is private and he has yet to accept my friend request, making it a little tough to monitor how well he's interacting.

Which leads me to wonder more about Facebook and how news orgs are using the social platform. At the University of Minnesota (my employer and alma mater) we've been able to develop a strong Facebook presence with the U's official fan page. For that page, we (the U's News Service) make an effort to update as frequently as possible (usually daily updates Monday-Friday) with videos, pictures and links about the University and its students, faculty and staff. And we have more than 20,000 people watching those updates as fans. One would think a well-run page for KARE or 'CCO could be just as, if not more popular (the stations already have tons of video content to upload and discuss). So, news orgs, what have ya got on Facebook?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Social Media Sweeps Update and Puppy Cam

It appears we have a two-newsperson race developing for the November Social Media Sweeps...

@Derushaj: 64 points
@KAREmorninggal: 17 points

It looks like it's going to be tough to take down @Derushaj, but @KAREmorninggal is giving it her best shot ...maybe she needs a Kim Cam?

Speaking of cams, but in otherwise completely unrelated news, this is my new favorite YouTube video ...a killer combo of funny, clever and cute...

The "Shiba Inu Live Puppy Cam" music video won the 2009 Webby Award for Viral Video ...not sure if it's the most appropriate category, but either way, that video deserved to win something! Well done.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Game on!

KARE 11's Kim Insley has jumped in the game and looks like she could provide some real competition to Mr. Derusha. Game on!

@Derushaj: 37 points
@KAREmorninggal: 8 points
@jojeda: 6 points
@Jasonmatheson: 1 point

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November Social Media Sweeps Update

The November social media sweeps contest is off to a slow start (0 submissions). But, as many of the tweeted quotes often suggest, patience is the key and failure is just part of the process or something along those lines...

Anyway, I've decided to take a look at some of the reporters who follow me and tally up a score after day 1 of the social media sweeps. The results are as follows:

@Derushaj: 37 points
@Jasonmatheson: 1 point
@jojeda: 1 point
No other reporters following @warehousemedia scored any social media points in the last 24 hours to my knowledge.*

C'mon Minnesota newsies ...you don't want to see DeRusha walk away with a win that easily do you? If you've done something that should be recognized or if you're a news consumer who thinks a journalist is using social media and using it well, please, let me know!

*The Warehouse's methods for scoring this contest are the farthest thing in the world from scientific, let alone accurate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November Social Media Sweeps

Forget about the November sweeps rating period, let's use social media to measure the success of local TV journalists! To find out more about this new media contest between TV reporters, watch the video below ...or, if you'd rather keep reading, I'll explain the contest below the video...

Sweeps can be a frustrating thing for TV reporters. It's that time of the year when Nielsen collects ratings on newscasts, which determines how much money a newscast can demand for advertising ...which pretty much determines how valuable that newscast and its reporters are to a station. It's a system that can make individuals in newsrooms feel helpless since they have little control over the outcome of sweeps. I mean, we're talking about the public's perception of an entire station and a reporter has influence over maybe two minutes of that station's time out of 24 hours a day? That's a tough spot to be in...

Of course, with social media, the ability to interact with the viewers now gives reporters and anchors a new method of swaying public opinion in their favor. So how many reporters are using this medium to their advantage? Below is a simple point system to monitor TV journalists' usage of social media.

Tweeting about a story: 1 point
Replying to followers who ask about a story: 5 points
Interacting with audience via live Web cam: 10 points
Linking to outside person/organization via blog: 10 points
Story generated by a tip found on social media (tweet, Facebook update) outside the news organization: 5 points

Do you see any of those things taking place on TV news? Are you a reporter who's doing those things? If so, drop me a line and let me know. In a couple weeks, I'll tally up the score and see who comes out on top. AND, we'll see if Jason DeRusha really is as social media savvy as we all think he is... :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend lengthened to help America, Justin Ware

News Release

Minneapolis/St. Paul: Justin Ware is going to now consider Sunday afternoons and early evening as “part of the weekend” in an attempt to get more out of weekends, easily the best part of the week.

“We took a hard look at how we’re dividing up our time and decided there’s more we can do with the hours we have on the clock,” said Ware.

Early evening Friday will continue to be considered the beginning of the weekend and Ware says he’ll continue to observe the weekend at an earlier day, should vacation allow. The moves are something Ware believes will provide himself with more enjoyment and is pretty sure can also help other people.

“I just think a longer weekend is something America could use at this point.”

To contact Ware visit: twitter.com/warehousemedia

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Social Media Lets Athletes Talk to Fans on Their Own Terms

Looking for some real, scientific research on the impact of social media? The University of Minnesota (my employer) might soon have some answers to questions about just how effective (or, gasp, ineffective) social media is when you're trying to bring about societal change.

The University of Minnesota's Tucker Center - a research center that examines how sport and physical activity affect the lives of girls and women, their families, and communities - is using their Fall Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) to tackle some of the big questions about social media and what it means to women's sports. Read more about that event here. Meanwhile, many of the researchers working at the Center are busy putting social media to the scientific test and asking "Will this technological paradigm shift challenge or reproduce the ways in which female athletes are traditionally portrayed in mainstream sport media?"

One great point of view comes from Ann Gaffigan, Co-Founder of the Women Talk Sports Network. She argues that social media enables athletes to go directly to the fans: "Social media puts the power in the athletes' hands so that they can better control the message they want to send and the image they want to project. It also allows them to connect personally with fans and be available as a role model, which is what the fans miss out on when mainstream media fails to cover women's sports." In sum, as WTS Co-Founder Jane Schonberger points out: "Social networks allow female athletes to play the 'media game' on their own terms."

What do you think? Angela Ruggiero, Olympic hockey star, U of M grad student and DLS panelist, wants to know (and asks you in the video below) ...what impact on female athletes can/will social media have?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Super-duper-falling-over-spasm-inducing excited for this Saturday...

...because, after three long years of waiting, TCF BANK STADIUM OPENS FOR BUSINESS AT 6 PM! As a fair disclaimer, I do work for the U of M, but I'd be all slobbery-excited over this thing whether I was an employee or not (perhaps even more so if I wasn't:)

Just in case you haven't heard, it's been 27 years since the Gophers played a football game on the University of Minnesota's campus. 27 years since 50,000 fans, alums, students, passers-by -- Minnesotans -- got together on a beautiful fall day and walked through Northrop Mall, down University Avenue, to a massive, outdoor event. That, my friends, is community. The Star Tribune did a nice job of capturing what was lost (and will soon be regained) with their spectacular coverage leading up to this Saturday.

Words, as eloquent as they are, only do this facility so much justice. If you'd like to see (and hear) what the Stadium is like, here are a few videos we've thrown together at the U of M. The first, a tremendously passionate Tim Brewster-driven pep rally:

...and the second, President Bruininks' and A.D. Maturi's welcoming Minnesota back to campus:

As for me, I'll be floating around some parking lot near the Law School on Saturday, grinning ear to ear and soaking up the sun (or rain), celebrating our return to football the way it's supposed to be played ...outside.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Social Media Pros Wanted-- Just one thing ...what makes a SM Pro?

I’m starting to notice a shift in the world of social media employment. While many organizations are still trying to get by with an intern running their social media efforts, others are coming to the realization that this Twitter/Facebook/YouTube thing is more than a fad. For example, check out this recent post from Agency Babylon. As you can see, a lot of the jobs listed on the Babylon post are not targeting fresh-faced college kids – these are posts from big shots like Target and Cargill, looking for experienced communicators who know how to leverage social media.

So now that it appears organizations are looking for experience in their social media hires, it would be interesting to learn what flavor of experience they’re looking for when selecting candidates. There are some clear success stories with social media (I love this recent example from Sears), but still a lot of disagreement about what makes a good social media strategy, even though most would agree having such a strategy is important.

Since a big part of my world is higher education, I’d point anyone asking “how should we use social media?” to this list from othersidenotes.com. It’s university-focused, but the general themes could be used by anyone in any organization – get personal with the people who matter to what you do.

What do you think? If you were hiring a social media pro (with a few years of communications experience under their belt) what criteria would you use to differentiate what I’m sure would be a big stack of applicants?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wolf Shirt Motherload

Much thanks to @Drewcswain for submitting the first (and likely the last) wolf shirt photo to Minnesocia. As promised, it will be posted. So feast your eyes on one of the most epic displays of wolfshirtdom in all the Midwest (Wisconsin, in this case).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Three Wolf Moon over Minnesocia

Three Wolf Moon is the number one apparel item on Amazon.com ...and social media (mostly YouTube and comment sections) is a big reason why. Maybe you haven't heard of the Three Wolf Moon sensation yet? No worries, we got you covered in episode 6 of Minnesocia.

For that Three Wolf Moon musical I mentioned in the video, click here

The wolf-shirt sensation all started with a comment on Amazon about how the Three Wolf Moon shirt made its owner a "babe magnet". Since then, more than a thousand others have posted tongue-in-cheek comments, Facebook groups have started in support of the shirt, YouTube videos have been posted ...I haven't seen a twitter handle for Three Wolf Moon yet, but would love to follow if you know of one.

So, great ...if you're the folks at The Mountain (the Maine-based company that produces 3WM and many other ferocious nature shirts), you're all over social media, but what's it worth to you? I know the answer is obvious, but just in case, The Mountain's employees are now working over time, churning out shirts for thousands of orders a day. Click here for a link to the complete story.

I mean, c'mon ...the number one apparel item on Amazon? ...and it's a shirt that most people associate with low-grade amusement parks? 3WM is just another in a long line of examples of how a smart social media campaign (even though this one was accidental) is marketing at its best.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Beer with your Buddy

If you like dogs and beer, then you'll love this episode of Minnesocia!

Thanks to the folks at K9-Connection, every other Thursday there's a Twin Cities-area happy hour event where dog owners can bring their pooches with them and enjoy a beer with other dog owners. My wife and I brought our new best friend Tupper to the last event and had a blast. Sound like fun to you? Click here for upcoming "Beer with your Buddy" events.

In this episode, there are pictures from the June 25th BWYB at The Nomad, plus a new doggie Facebook page trend that is guaranteed to make you go "awwwwwwww".

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Title Game! @OMMinneapolis v. @CampusPizza

(13) @CampusPizza shocked the world! After solid, but tight wins over the (4) and (5) seeds, Campus passed the toughest test of the tournament by knocking off powerhouse (1) @PunchPizza.

Meanwhile, (2) @OMMinneapolis came out ahead of their seesaw battle with (3) @greenmill001. So now the championship is set ...it's the overachieving underdog versus the consistent powerhouse in the first ever, Best-tweeting MSP Bars/Restaurants/Coffee Shops tournament ...cast your vote below! Voting ends Thursday, June 25 at 7 pm.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Final Four! ...best-tweeting MSP Bars/Restaurants

What a second round! The @greenmill001 v. @KipsPub battle was epic with @greenmill001 narrowly edging out a victory at the last minute. The biggest surprise of the tournament? That would be (13)@CampusPizza with impressive wins over four and five seeds. But now they're facing the biggest test of the tournament as they lock horns with (1)@PunchPizza. Of course, the champion is up to you ...so cast your votes now! Polls close Sunday, June 21 at 6 pm.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Best MSP Bars/Restaurants/Coffee Shops on Twitter, Round 2

Upsets galore! (13)@CampusPizza pulled off a shocking victory over powerhouse (4)@RockBottomMpls. (11)@KipsPub not only knocked off (6)@TCTHURHAPPYHOUR, they gained the most votes of all 16 participants, including (1)@PunchPizza. Does that mean @KipsPub is the bar to beat? It's up to you! Voting for the second round ends at 11 pm, Wednesday, June 17.

To see the full bracket, click here

Friday, June 5, 2009

Best MSP Bars/Restaurants/Coffee Shops (on Twitter)

It's tourney time in Minnesocia! We're putting Twitter-savvy bars, restaurants, coffee shops ...just-about any food-related account we could think of, head-to-head in a bracket-style tournament. Check out the most recent Minnesocia then go to the links below to cast your votes! It could be you like the food, the atmosphere of the place ...or maybe you're a big fan of their Twitter accounts or Facebook pages. Either way, let us know who your favorite is!

For the full bracket, click here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Boss on Chasing Your Passion

Like him or not (but let's be honest, how couldn't you?), it's tough to argue that Bruce Springsteen doesn't have a way with words. But you don't have to take my word for it, check out this version of Thunder Road.

Still not convinced? Have a look at what the Boss had to say about his passion, Rock 'n Roll, before that performance on vh1 Storytellers:
"What I got out of Rock 'n Roll music was a sense of a larger life, greater experiences ... a sense of fun, more fun, a sense of personal exploration and your possibilities. It was all lying there inside of you, just there on the edge of town."

So what the hell does that have to do with social media? Well, nothing if it's not your passion. For me, however, it happens to be a passion. I love the way social media seems to be opening up the world of marketing and public relations; worlds that, up until not too long ago were considered by some to be, at best, less than open ...at worst, outright deceitful. Social media is inherently the opposite of those things. It's an open forum that engages with communities and, if any tricks are tried, usually those communities will retaliate and quickly right the ship ...much to the damage of the organization.

And that notion excites me. When I think about a campaign that's going to benefit the organization as much as it does that org's members and/or customers, it fuels my fire. I get the sense of a larger life, greater experiences, more fun and better personal experiences ...all those things the Boss mentioned when talking about his love of Rock 'n Roll.

Unfortunately, since social media isn't nearly as cool as Rock 'n Roll (and since I'm no Springsteen when it comes to anything) the magnitude of all those things probably won't be as great for me. But, never the less, finding a passion and doing that for a living is pretty cool. Whether it's teaching, carpentry, medicine, social media ...or, for the lucky few, Rock 'n Roll.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's alive!

Minnesocia has real people in it! PEOPLE! But don't worry, there's no Soylent Green in this or any other episode of Minnesocia...

In case you haven't seen it before, Minnesocia is a somewhat-weekly roundup of what people are looking at and talking about when it comes to social media in and around Minnesota. So please, have a look and let me know what you think!

Special thanks to @kareemy, @cydneyw, @arikhanson, @rickmahn and @lulugrimm for their help in producing this episode of Minnesocia.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Take 2

It's time for the next episode of Minnesocia ...and I need your help! I'd like this piece to turn into a quick video update of everything you need to know about what's happening with social media in and around Minnesota. To do that, I'll need to get some tips from you. So, if you come across any great Tweeters in the TC's, know of a St. Cloud business that is rockin' on Facebook, have a YouTube video from the Duluth Harbor Area in mind ...send them to me at justin@warehousemediaservice.com or @warehousemedia!

And now, here's Minnesocia, Episode 2:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Minnesocia ...or perhaps another name

Time for fun with video cameras! Just for the heck of it, I decided to put a little video together about some of the more popular topics (Twitter users know them as "hashtags") floating around the Twitterverse in the past week. Keep in mind, this is the FIRST ATTEMPT at something. But I would like to see it grow with your help. So, please, have a look, then let me know what you'd like to see in the next episode of Minnesocia. And it doesn't have to be on Twitter ...Facebook, Digg, random Web sites, whatever you've been looking at on line, please let me know! Also, if you can think of a better name than Minnesocia, I'm open to suggestions on that, too!560 340

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News! (If you're willing to earn your advertising)

The idea that expensive ad buys could become a thing of the past is welcome relief to some and no doubt horrifying to others, depending on what it is you do for a living. Before reading further, you have to check out this insightful post from Advertising Age.

As with most things involving multi- and social media, this should be viewed as an opportunity. Any organization with the time and willingness to interact with their audience ...in an authentic and meaningful way ...can then use those relationships to promote their products and messages to that audience.

But it does take time. If you haven't already, now is when you should open your Twitter account, begin an effective presence on Facebook, get some good videos up on YouTube ...start letting your customers and/or members know you care about them, by talking with them on a regular basis.

So who is doing this and doing this well? If you're on Twitter (and you should be!), check out the following tweeters for good examples of effective two-way communication: @comcastcares @zappos @HRBlock

Yes, those companies are still spreading their messages, but more importantly, they're catering to the questions and topics submitted by their customers and thereby building trust with those customers. Once that trust is there, you can then use the tools like Twitter and Facebook to mount inexpensive (Facebook and Twitter are free) and highly effective ad campaigns.

In a sense, it's nothing more than good ol' fashion customer service with a 21st-century technological twist ...that opens the door to nearly-free advertising.

Monday, April 6, 2009

New position: Social Media Manager

So how about a random-thought blog post to get things rolling late on a Monday morning...

Let's start with a question: How many people are thinking of hiring/have already hired a Social Media Manager? We're talking about a person who's job is part cowboy driving the cattle ...with the cattle being every member of the public who's interested in and/or commenting on your organization or product on the Internet ...and part facilitator, making sure those talking about your org have the correct information and are getting their questions answered.

A goal of any good social media strategy is forming an on-going, two-way relationship with your audience. For any organization with more than 1,000 members (customers, employees, students, etc.), I'd think managing those relationships would at least be a part-time job. Sooooo ...do you have such a duty in your office?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Everything's Amazing, Nobody's Happy

It's hard to argue with comedian Louis CK's view that we are all extremely spoiled when it comes to the wonders of modern technology. And who can blame us? We've been trained to expect the amazing as routine.

Human beings adapt, for better or for worse, to their surroundings. There are plenty of studies that suggest everyone maintains a similar level of relative happiness and that buying more stuff or owning the newest gadget only gives a temporary rush and then we very quickly settle back to our original state of happiness. Same things goes for technology ...we take things like iPod technology for granted. Never mind the fact that iPod technology allows us to carry a library of data on a piece of metal and plastic the size of a piece of gum ...we've come to expect iPods to work and when they don't, we're flabbergasted.

But never mind the happiness aspect of it all ...having the newest iPhone app, being part of the most recent social media community, constantly sitting on the cutting edge of communication technology ...those things are not just cool, but can help a business or organization get a leg up in an ever-changing world of communication. Which is why some of us do need those things to work ...and why it's important to keep a proper perspective when they don't.

Last night, while battling GoDaddy and Dreamweaver simultaneously to set up warehousemediaservice.com I flew into a rage similar to those encountered by the users of this new, and fictitious, product from Sony. (WARNING! ...that last link has explicit content ...and is extremely funny) Just after my obscenity-laden outburst, my wife and I watched that video from The Onion and had a good laugh. Then, got back to work, went through one more obscenity-laden outburst, and eventually completed the task.

Long story short, the job got done and would have been done with or without the outbursts. Which is why I'm going to try and remember that everything is amazing and I should be happy to have all this technology to help me do my job.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Minneapolis' New Town Center

Thousands of fans pouring off of trains from Big Lake and Bloomington, families riding bikes in from Southwest Minneapolis, pedestrians making their way from bars and restaurants in the Warehouse district ...that will be the scene (at least) 81 times a year at Target Field starting in April, 2010.

Click here for an update on the exterior of Target Field

It's becoming more apparent that there actually was quite a bit of thought that went into building this ballpark on the north side of downtown Minneapolis. Yes, the small lot makes for a tight fit and yes, there is a garbage incinerator right next door, but when it's complete, Target Field will be the meeting place for tens of thousands of Minnesotans. A hub of activity that will be especially easy to get to, with or without a car.

In a recent Star Tribune article (see above link) the writer describes "the escalators and elevators used to connect commuters to the two levels of trains at the ballpark's transit station." Imagine if every major gathering point in the Twin Cities was designed with this transit strategy in mind. Imagine how much less congestion we'd have at the Xcel if (or when) rail lines brought in 1/3 of the spectators. Or how much easier the commute from the southwest suburbs would (will) be when the southwest light rail line pulls thousands of vehicles off the roads every day.

The multiple means of getting to Target Field will make the game-day experience more enjoyable and less congested for everyone involved. And that ease of use will help draw people to the stadium long after, God forbid, the Twins current string of success runs out. Which means the new Target Field will continue to be a center of economic activity for decades to come.