FB toying w/ my emotions

PICK ME! PICK ME! I WANNA BE IN UR GROUP!

 

The Group

Image via Wikipedia

 

I had butterflies in my stomach all morning yesterday… trying to figure out what Facebook was going to announce. I even tuned in to the streaming livecast which was pretty cool! In case you’re not a geek like me and you missed the big announcement I will summarize for you.

Facebook is changing groups. They are adding group chat, email lists and just reinventing the way that groups are set up on. According to them, they are “optimizing it” It will be an ideal work space for small groups of say 5-150 people. Ok – I’m intrigued. I have an open mind and I can already see the potential uses for this in my own personal and professional life. They said it would probably take a few days to be rolled out to the whole community. I’m on day 2 now…and I’m still waiting….I keep checking every few hours to see if I have access.

One of the cool things about this is that it is being unveiled “virally” so this means that if you have access to it and invite me then I’ll catch the virus too! Ummm…I mean, I’ll have access too! Oh…I hate waiting…

Have you tried it yet? Thoughts?

Lost-Train-of-Thought

Oh bugger…I  never did get to my point from yesterday’s post

So my point was that my new role isn’t just a walk in the park!…It comes with a whole bunch of risks (something that I’m not notorious for taking). After just 1 year of being married and buying a house I decided to relocate to Ottawa…by myself! We found a 1 bedroom apartment downtown and that’s where I now call my home away from home.

No – my husband and I aren’t separating…we’re just physically separated for now because sometimes when you’re a grown up you have to make these tough choices. It didn’t make sense for him to just quit his job and move to Ottawa because he enjoys what he does and has the most handsomest, generous bosses in the world. It’s hard to find a great group of people that you work with and when you do you need to stop and appreciate it. (Btw, shout out to my peeps at Ipsos. They were a great group of people and it was hard to leave them)

My “probationary period” at the new gig is 1 whole year!! So, according to my calculations I have to make it another 360 days without “breaking the CBC”. I think that I should start a countdown…Please feel free to email or write a letter to my boss telling him what a great job I’m doing! Also, feel free to send me in any social media, media in general or public broadcasting questions or comments. Keep in mind that these are MY thoughts and opinions!…

416 to 613

Carrie Bradshaw of Social Media…?

The cat is out of the bag – I have moved over to the land of 613 (Ottawa, ON, Canada) just last week so that I could pursue an exciting opportunity. We always have to refer to new opportunities as “exciting” because it means that we’re still optimistic. See – if I referred it as a “risky” or “impulsive” opportunity it wouldn’t have the same ring to it…not that the opportunity is at all impulsive…it is however a little risky.

Quick background – a few months ago I launched my baby: MediaBzz. I did it for two reasons – 1) to satisfy a niche market, and  2) to satisfy my own personal passions: media and people. As life would have it, I was thrown a curve ball – I was offered the chance of a lifetime.  A chance that although it comes with its fair share of risks, I could not pass up. Canada’s Public Broadcasting company (CBC/Radio-Canada) asked me to help guide them through the world of Social Media. Oh – but one small thing this would include moving to Ottawa

See what I’m doing here…I’m getting off topic and I’m making it sound like I’m a big cheese…like the CBC was banging down my door. Truth of the matter is, I applied for the job and even dragged my husband down to Ottawa for the interview. We drove up that morning together and I ended up changing and getting ready for my interview in the public washroom at the Exchange Center… I know, I’m a classy dame…

But no matter how you spin it, the result is the same: they picked me.  I thought that this would mean that MediaBzz  would have to be put on the back burner, but after a few days of pondering this I have decided that NO – the show must go on!  If anything this gives me an opportunity to let my inner geek run wild and post all of the freaking time!!…Stay tuned because its going to be a wild ride! Should I be so bold as to dub myself the Carrie Bradshaw of Social Media? I wonder…perhaps I should hold off on that title…I don’t smoke, or look like a horse for that matter…but I do like my shoes!!…

Sarah Jessica Parker 1722

Sarah "Horse" Parker

Twitter Direct Messages

Etiquette for Twitts…part 1

Follow MediaBzz

With the cold weather coming, I’ve been spending more and more time getting in touch with my inner geek and spending even more time on the computer. Aside from my fascination with perusing wedding dresses online (which I already confessed about a few weeks ago) I also spend a lot of time on Twitter.

Everyday, I follow more and more people. Everyday, I also unfollow those that have gotten under my skin or annoyed me for some reason within the last 24 hours. One of the easiest ways to annoy me is to send me a generic auto-response direct message as soon as I start following you.

In case you’re not very familiar with Twitter, there are applications that you can add that allow you to schedule and/or automatically send direct messages to people. Many people think that its good etiquette to send a “thank you” to someone who has just started following them. I don’t disagree with this in theory – my beef is when the message is plagued with generic-ness. If social media is all about having conversations then why not actually have a conversation with this person?! Within the span of 24 hours, I received 14 messages that said the exact same thing:

“Thanks for following me. Look forward to your tweets!”

To me – that was a waste of a message. It’s also not very accurate. Unless they decide to follow me back, they won’t even see my tweets. If you’re set on sending an auto-response message, here are some suggestions on how to make it count:

1) Keep it simple. An easy “Thanks for following ”

2) Add value or a teaser to your message. Let them know what they have to look forward to from your tweets. “Thanks for following! Hope you find our indie music tweets helpful and inspiring.”

3) Start a dialogue -ask a question that is aligned with what you tweet about. “Thanks for following! What is your favorite thing about independent music?”

4) Be different. If you’re a graphic designer and tweet about the industry try sending out a tip of the day. “Thanks for following! Did you know that you can customize your twitter profile background? Some colors hurt the eyes so choose one that is easy to look at so visitors stay on your site.”

Remember – always tweet responsibly and proofread like your life depended on it!

Funkify your 404’s

Spice up your Error Msgs

I’ve been working in the online biz for a while now and during my time I’ve seen my fair share of 404 error pages. A 404 error is a standard error code that means that the page you want to view can’t be found.

Just because it’s a standard error message – doesn’t mean that it has to be boring and lame. I’ve come across several funktastic 404 designs. Mashable recently posted a selection of great examples of customized 404 error pages.

Customized error pages are a great way to reinforce the look and feel of your website and online presence.  They are quite simple to design (partially because of the lack of content) and its a great opportunity to be creative and appeal to your audience base. Here are some of my faves…

Is your social media getting stale?

Are you having a Social Media Mid-Life Crisis?

If you look up the typical signs that your spouse is having a mid-life crisis you’ll find articles with similar symptoms as the ones listed below. Try replacing the “he” with your consumer/reader and see if any of this sounds familiar.

  1. He says life is a bore = your content is boring
  2. He is thinking about (or already) having an affair  =visiting other blogs/sites/ profiles…maybe even your competition’s!!
  3. He is suddenly making spontaneous decisions about big decisions =like deciding not to be your “fan” or “follow” you anymore…the nerve!!!! Not even one of those “it’s not you – it’s me” emails.
  4. He has little interest in spending time (or having sex) with you = he doesn’t want your social media to engage him anymore…ouch…the rejection….
  5. He is drinking too much or abusing other substances = hmmm…this one is debatable but if your social media sucks that bad that it would drive people to drink (if that’s not what you were going for) then stinkers for you
  6. He is displaying the classic signs of depression = not retweeting you or sending those sweet little “great insight” or “U rock” posts
  7. He is overly nostalgic and constantly reminiscing about his youth or his first love = remembering the better days when you and your content used to be cool

What you need to do is assess where your social media is and what your downfalls are. Then fix them. Here are some tips to get you on your way. Think about who you want to be “talking” to and what is the core message that you want to communicate? Have you lost your focus?

I relate this to women and their hormones…sometimes the message we want to communicate comes across differently when we actually vocalize it. In my head I may be thinking “This place needs to be cleaned. I need your help” but it may come out more like “you freaking slob – clean up or you will pay!”

Next- re-examine the tactics you’re using (ie. the way that you are accomplishing your goals). A lot of people use vehicles (like blogs, microblogs, community platforms, etc. ) as a way to communicate written messages – but what about using non-written forms of communication? Try drawing a picture. Writing a poem. Make a video. Music. Flash. Poster. Ask a poll question. Whatever – just don’t limit yourself to the typical written articles.

Once you’re tactics are all aligned, look to see if you’re promoting yourself properly. Are your social media profiles connected to each other? When you update your blog, are updates being sent to your facebook, twitter, etc. pages? Try linking to other people’s blogs or writing guest articles for them. This can be a great way to increase your exposure. Good luck and stay tuned for more tips!

Lighting Basics for Social Media

Lighting Tricks for Social Media

Social media includes so many different formats, forms and platforms so at times it can be challenging to distinguish between them. This post will briefly touch on how you can make your videos and photos look 20x better by learning how to harness the power of good lighting!

Headshots/Profile Pics: Friends, clients, associates, potential bosses and complete strangers can see them so make sure that you’re representing yourself appropriately (or atleast modify your security settings to become invisible). For the average headshot, most people will want to avoid the passport (head on) styled photo. 

Try using an office or desk lamp and move it so its on about a 45 degree angle from your face (look at the image below). You don’t want it to be right in front of you because then you’re going to have that “deer in headlights” look…not very pretty, right!?

Interviews: Whether your just snapping pics or filming video, interviews are a great way to generate media buzz and get your message/name out there. Try jazzing things by using the same setup as for profile pics (above) but add in a light that is shining onto your background. This will create some depth to the shot and will add some drama…it basically makes the person seem even THAT much more important!

Outdoor Shots

Image via Wikipedia

Outdoor Shots: When taking group photos or video, avoid having the sun right behind the subjects.  If the camera is directly facing the sun then you’ll get a glare. The sun is a great tool – it’s a  powerful beam of light that when used properly can almost erase wrinkles, pimples, etc. 

So there you go – 3 easy ways to improve your social media content! These are simple and easy. You don’t have to have fancy, expensive lighting kits to do this. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!…

Güd (Good) Websites

It was a little over a month ago that  I decided to bite the bullet and start my own company. I’m in the process of designing my websites…yes – I did say websites! Aside from the “parent”  website, I’m also launching 2 divisions of my company which both need websites as well.

Being the nerd that I am, I want to make sure that my websites are as effective as possible in making people think the following:

  1. My services/products are useful and needed
  2. My services/products would add significant value to their business
  3. My company  is credible and has a solid reputation
  4. They decide to hire my company

So – what makes an effective website? To answer this, you need to think about what catches your attention? It’s easy to know what you like or dislike when it’s staring you in the face, but it can sometimes be challenging when you’re trying to verbalize it. That’s often where the disconnect is for companies and businesses.. They know what they want to do, but then they over complicate things.

So how can you make sure that you’re website is different? How can you make your website stand out from the crowd?

Here are some tips :

  • Fresh & Relevant Content: Keep it current and keep it relevant. Make sure people have all the info necessary to send you buckets of cash : ) Also, make it interesting…
  • Design : Make it pretty and pleasing to the eye. People should not get headaches or seizures when they’re browsing through your website. Don’t make me squint! And don’t bold or use uppercase necessarily or like your life depended on it. Think it through…
  • Layout: Think about what menu options you should have. How many buttons. Where are they placed. Don’t overload your peeps with too many options.  Make sure that your headings and menu names make sense too – or else I will come and haunt you!
  • Maintenance: Update it regularly. Make sure that any old promotions are removed or at least archived. I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve seen that still have promotion banners for deals that ended more than a year ago.
  • Optimization: Make sure it runs fast and smooth. Sometimes when things aren’t coded properly, you can encounter issues with viewing properly in different browsers. Aside from making sure that your coding is optimized, also test on a variety of different systems and browsers.

NAKED

What would it take for you to bare it all and pose nude?

Right now, I’m almost certain that my husband is sitting on the crapper and reading this (since he is my only follower!!) and thinking OMG – what is this woman up to now?? Relax!… There will be no nudey pics on this blog!

Only a simple question  – what would it take to get you (whoever you are) to pose nude?

I’m not talking about x-rated or any of that freaky stuff from Bleu Nuit (my fellow Quebecers know what I’m talking about!). I’m talking about just capturing a moment of your life, in the nude, and the beauty that is your body.

9.5 out of 10 people have thought about what the experience would be like!… Ok – that stat is totally made up, but I think that it is a pretty high number. If you’re considering it, I urge you to check out Marlen James’ Top 3 Tips on how to prepare for a boudoir shoot. I was invited in to be a fly on the wall and check out what goes on during one of her boudoir shoots! Stay tuned for more from Marlen’s shoot!

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