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#iahsfb, tweets and the “news”

Twitter

Twitter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My previous job to Clickstop was in “the media”.  At Source Media group in the web department team – to be exact.  Back in those days I used to have what may be referred to as “spirited discussions” with colleagues about social media and twitter and the like.

Its funny how some people still have an aversion to Twitter.  I really see more and more uses for it everyday and how it has become an integrated part of my everyday life.  There is so much good information, which of course also brings unwanted crap.  But – in reality, if someone is using a medium for SPAM…doesn’t that kind of validate the idea it is popular?

Tonight is no exception, the town I live in – Solon, Iowa is in the Iowa High School Football Playoffs.  It was raining when I got home and it just didn’t feel like fun to go to the game and sit in the rain.

But I really wanted to know the score and updates…we’re a small town – did I mention that.  We don’t have a radio station (although – I am pondering the concept of a internet based concept)  and there is no TV coverage.  So – how do we figure it out?  That’s right…the Twitter.

Athletic Director Keith McSweeney is at the game and he is kind enough to tweet updates.

tweet

He had 2 more updates, most times at a score and then gave an update at halftime.

tweet

Again, a couple more updates and we’re all over folks.

tweet

Earth shattering news…no – but its the news I wanted, when I wanted it.  Oh – and also, because I am usually at the game or on twitter 3 others txt’d during the game for the update.

So what – what does it prove.  Well, it proves there is a ton of great information out there.  It also proves, there is almost always someone somewhere watching or wanting to watch the thing I want to see or am seeing…so – Twittter fills a need for people who want and seek.

Now fast forward a few years when the smartphone becomes a diction device and automatically documents the entire game…and broadcasts that on twitter.  Maybe with video, or pictures and/or audio.  Its not a stretch – its possible and makes sense.  Its may be a little creepy…but interesting, none the less.

But what does it mean?  It means news and information is happening – and the speed at which it travels is increasing.  How soon can I get that game in real time…who knows – but I think its petty cool.

And thanks for the tweets Keith.

Profanity filter for WordPress

swearing in cartoon
Image via Wikipedia

We’re working on a new version of our website at work.  We currently use Intense Debate for comments – but we want to leverage Buddy Press more – so we chose to go with the built in stuff.  That being said – we need a profanity filter – I think we’ll give this one a try.

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5 tips for better craigslist response

My dad passed away about a year ago and he was a collector.  You’ve seem the show “Pickers”?  How about “Hoarders”?  We’re somewhere in between – unfortunately, closer to the latter.  Though this process I’ve started to become really familiar with craigslist and seen things I’ve done work and not work and thought I would share those.

Here are 5 tips I have found work very well:

  1. Medium length description
    I didn’t know what to call this – but it’s kind of saying “just say enough”.  Sometimes you see descriptions which are too short, too long – but we want just enough.  Remember to include manufacture, model and other pertinent info – especially things which cannot be captured with the picture and take the time to research the item you are selling – try to use proper terminology when describing it.

    Also – don’t forget some people will be viewing this via a mobile device – so use white space as your friend – a couple of extra break tags makes the text more readable.

  2. Category Research
    This is something I’ve done as a mistake and had to correct the problem.  We have 2 ways to help with this problem.

    #1 – search for similar items and see where they are categorized.  This is a great way to find the right spot.
    #2 – try, try try again.  Yea – put the ad in the best spot you can, then if it doesn’t work – move it.  One of the cool things about craigslist is it allows you to change categories after you submit – so if you need to, move it.

  3. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
    Hopefully this goes without saying…but please, nothing should get posted without a picture.  Take some for different angles and if the item has a badge/serial number plate – take a non blurry photo of it.

    If you are having issues getting a clear picture of the serial number – then try shining a flashlight on the area you are taking the picture of – it just may be too dark.  The other issue is usually cameras don’t take close pictures well…see if your camera has a “macro” mode – which is made for very close pictures.  The icon for macro ususally looks like the tiny flower.

  4. Price
    Unless you are really not interested in selling – put a fair price on the item.  Let’s face it – unless the item is NIB (new in box) it is not new…so don’t ask 95% of new price.  If you’re not sure – do some research and price it similarly.

    I personally don’t call on itmes which are not priced unless I REALLY want it.  It just seems like the person wants to squeeze me for whatever price I’m willing to pay.

  5. Cell, email whatever way they want to go…
    I sometimes forget this one because I love using txt and email – but put many different methods of contact down.  You want people to be able to get a hold of you no matter what.  hey – if they have money burning a hole in their pocket for your item – lets let them use it.

I know some of these seem like a no-brainer, but I have violated almost everyone in my history with craigslist.  Good luck in your sales – I hope these tips help.

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Give a Presentation or have a Discussion?

As I prepare for a couple of internal presentations I’m giving at work I stumbled across this post from Fred Wilson called “Presentations vs Discussions

A presentation is like a TV show. It’s a lean back experience. A discussion is like an online chat room. It is a lean forward experience. They are not the same thing and in many cases they work against each other.

Although I LOVE TV shows – I’m not wanted to be one.  I love discussions – the more heated and debate ridden the better.  I need to take a look at my preparation and see how I can turn what I was thinking into a discussion.

If you have any tips…please let me know.  I’ll post a reply to this post when I find some.

“Changing the paradigm away from a presentation” is the point of this post. Presentations are important. I do a lot of them and post all of them on this blog in advance. I am not saying they don’t have a role. But if you want to foster real engagement and real discussion, they are not helpful and in fact I think they are hurtful.

NOTE: Fred Wilson is a very cool guy who is a venture capitalist/president at Union Square Ventures and lives in New York.   Fred is a true spokesman for the entrepreneur, and a cool guy – do yourself a favor and check him out.

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AT&T – big, bad and high tech

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

After reading my CEO’s blog today – it made me think about my “call” with AT&T on Saturday.  I’ve recently signed up for an iPhone from AT&T.

Onto the story – I took a motorcycle ride on Saturday to meet a friend’s son for lunch.  When we arrived at the restaurant, I checked the and had two voice messages.  One was a friend and the other was AT&T.  I had not set-up my payments on my online billpay yet, so I had not made a payment.  I was basically behind.  Not intentionally – but I really just not gotten around to it.

So I called the 800 number and 2:31 (two minutes – thirty second later, I checked) I was done.  I had made a bank transfer of funds.  Now some will get a bit freaked out – but I’m saying thank you.

Firstly – you can take the iPhone when you pry it out of my cold dead hands.  The iPhone is awesome.  Seriously – 10x better than any other phone I’ve used.  Secondly – 2:31 seconds for me to pay my bill – COME ON!

Now – what does that have to do with newspapers and media?  Well – it goes back to what Chuck said in the blog post.

I do not believe that human nature is changing. However, we are learning new behaviors, using new tools.

Exactly.  I felt too busy to pay the phone bill.  I could have, but just chose not to.  But AT&T was cool with that and changed their behavior to adapt to my crappy ways.

So – what have we (as media companies) done to change what we do for people?  Do we even know who the people are?  What they do? What they want?  We have no clue what our people want or desire.

Just think what we could do if we knew the audience.  We have tens of sites, if we had all that data – plus the TV station, plus the newspaper and it was all available.  We could really know who they are and what they do and why they do what they do and that they may want you to let them pay the bill over a text message.

That would be good…but we don’t.  And we need to figure that out too.

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