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First, I want to say I’m sorry. Really sorry… I’ve taken you for granted. I would ask how you have been, but I know you haven’t been well. I haven’t visited you, posted, or even upgraded your widgets in more than a year. I know it’s not fair. You have done so much for me, and I just tossed you aside like a MySpace page.
I want you to know that what you have done for me is not all for naught. If it wasn’t for you, I would not have accomplished what I have in the past year. Nor would I be where I am today. Let me share with you some of the amazing things that have been going on. I’ll do it in list form, because well….people like lists.
I wrote a book. No, really, I did! Don’t tease me like my high school friends do. It’s called Think Before You Engage. And, yes, it’s a real book. Well, no, that doesn’t mean it’s real. You’re right. But, look here. I even have a real publisher. One that’s been around since 1807!
So this brings me to where I am today. I am exactly where I want to be. I have the most incredible job as the Head of Social Media for PayPal.
(Let me know when the shock and awe has calmed down.)
Yes, it’s that PayPal. The site that’s changing the way people pay and helping anyone, anywhere, anytime send and receive money. It’s the dream job for any social media expert, guru, ninja, master, black belt, buzz term. I’m working with amazing people, doing amazing things, and changing how commerce is done.
So, I hope you can understand that I have been really busy. It’s not an excuse. I get that. And, I want to turn this around. It’s my goal to publish to you more frequently. I can’t promise my posts will always be long and helpful, but I’ll do my best.
I look forward to spending more time with you and hope you do too.
I owe a lot of blog posts. I owe them to myself. I keep telling myself I am going to blog about this..or that.. or whatchamacallit ( i did like that candy bar). I’ll sit down and my desk to start typing and think “What was that great idea I had for a blog?” It is gone like that. Yep, in one ear and out the other…, this comes as no shock to my wife.She can remember the color of a tie I wore to a wedding over 10 years ago. The name of some random street we drove by one time, in some city we have never been back to since. It is amazing.
As many of you know, I just got my first IPhone. This handy device is amazing. It is one of the simple applications on it that has inspired this post. ( Though my experience with the IPhone is for another blog post, yes I wrote that idea down.)
The Voice Memos. I can not live without it now. The ability to record little messages to myself about things, has changed my work flow. I find myself recording everything so I don’t forget ideas. Things like:
-Blog about this
- Pick up That
I have become Mr. Organized now, thanks to it.
So this got me thinking.. what are some of the everyday “Social Media Tools” do I use that may be worth sharing? I am not going to go into great detail about each tool, as that could be a blog post by itself. I think I will share it with you in list form. As people like lists.
-Google Reader: The hands down best blog reader out there. Simply put blog reader brings the blog articles to you. Instead of checking websites all the time for updated content you just subscribe to a RSS feed and it will update the blog reader. For more on this you can read this earlier blog post I did on Google Reader.
-Twitter: By now you know all about it. If you don’t, you can read about it here. The key as a social media tool is not only the networking but the content you wade through. The comments you can see, the interactions. The best tools for that I think is Twitter Search and TweetDeck
-Xmarks: Now you need to use FireFox to run this addon. Everybody uses Firefox right? Right? This is a bookmark aka favorities addon. It lets me access my bookmarks from any computer. Brilliant!
-Stumbleupon: I think I may be alone on this one. Maybe just in the minority. I find stumbleupon to be really successful in driving traffic to my blog vs Digg. The idea behind stumbleupon is that simply put, is that people will look for random links on a subject. It makes recommendations based on the information you give it. Think of it as a changing channels on a radio till you find a song you like.
-Ping.Fm: I cant live without it. Lets me post to several social networking sites at one time. So yes, you will see the same post/status on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and even Plurk.
-GoogleDocs: Who needs Microsoft Office? I can access my documents from any computer and even my phone. You can have several people edit a document at the same time, make notes, whatever. Heck, my wife now does grocery lists for me on it now and makes changes while I am in the store. This is my favorite of all of items on this list, okay maybe not more then Twitter.
-Facebook: Ready for this. Every morning I wish people a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Yep, its social networking at its basic. It starts great conversations with people and lets me check in. Werid? Yes. Does it help me network? Yes.
-Meetups AkA Tweetups Nope, its not an application. Not a widget. Its real life. Nothing beats face time. I put together meetups and just network. Its the most powerful tool of them all…. and may even get you local coverage
Plugs..Links..Shout Outs..OH MY!! There is no avoiding it, let me just be upfront and honest. This are straight out shameless plugs and such. So let me skip the witty banter and get right into it. I will do it in list form as people like lists!!
(Note: This post is pretty much off my usual subject of Social Media)
First, I know I am not cool. So, let us take those jokes off the table right away. I know I am a geek. I get it. I can live with it. It works for me.
A little background information on my family and let me answer the common questions I get, when I tell people I have 5 kids:
-Yes, I said 5
-Yes, with the same woman
-Nope, we did not plan it that way
-… no medicine or help was involved
-3 boys, 2 girls.. last set is boy/girl twins
- Let me see, they are 10, 8, 7, 3, 3 going on 16
-Yep, it is a lot of work, my wife is a rockstar
Okay, now moving forward.
The oldest kids are now easily embarrassed by the things I say and do. Especially when they are with their friends. On different occasions, I have threatened to stand up in their class and dance or sing. They do not like that idea at all. It works great to get them to make their bed.
So, the other day I was in the car with them and one of them asked: “How was work today Dad?”
After the shock of hearing people actually wanted their father to stand up and speak on a subject, I was asked: “What did you talk about?”
After the shock of the kids being interested in something other than, what was for dinner, when we are going to see then Wolverine movie, or if their friends can sleep over, I replied stunned: ” How to Socialize Your Video”.
I then quickly continued before they could lose interest or notice the billboard ad for Cold Stone Creamery, ” I was on a panel with Hooman from the local radio. As well as a person from YouTube.”
“Youtube!!! No way! Can we go to YouTube? Can we make a video to put on YouTube? That is so…COOL!” (okay so they did not say I was cool, but its the best I can get, Ill take it) Then one of them said ” I cant wait to tell Susie you know someone at YouTube. ”
Trying to keep this open line of communication going on, I tried to think of what they would consider “cool companies” I added “Yep, I also know people at Club Penguin and Google too!” They were still in awe. They looked at me with, well… Pride! Not like an ATM like they normally do.
This is the point where I should of quit, while I was ahead. I stupidly said,” Lets see, I know people who work at Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter…” the look of pride quickly changed to a look of “What is the fat old guy talking about? Why is he not giving us McDonald’s?”
The oldest quickly said, “That is great Dad. My birthday is coming up in July, I want to discuss what plans you are putting together… ”
So, thank you social media for allowing me this moment of feeling..cool. Now back to being the geek I am.
Just an observation to add to this. I am shocked somewhat that companies are becoming “cool”. I recently went to SXSW and brought the kids back a ton of swag. They weren’t interested in the shirts, the Frisbee, the squeeze balls or even the candy. They all wanted the items with the logo.. Google.
(This is the crazy story on how I got involved in Social Media. It is too long to tell in great detail, but here are the key points to the history. If you are totally confused, check out the video below.)
It is true. Are you done laughing? Yes, I a 38 year old married father of 5, used to pretend to be a 26 year old bombshell on the ‘net. Want to know the best part? It worked really well for networking and building my brand. Yep. I would do my social networking under the name: Britney Mason. Here meet Britney-
Yep, she.. I mean I was a female avatar.
So at this point your totally confused, I know. Let me just tell you the story from the beginning, as I can best recall it.
In August 2005, I was up with my new born twins around 1:00 a.m. Doing my part so my beautiful wife could catch a few winks. I was reading TIME magazine learning about this new virtual world called, Second Life. (I’m not going to get into all the details of SL in this post, you can read more about it here.)
The first thing I was asked to do was pick a last name from a list and create my own first name. As I looked down the list, the only semi-normal last name I could find was, Mason. As for a a first name, I had US magazine next to me with Britney Spears on the cover. At that moment it all came together for me, Im going to pretend to be a girl in SL.
(Weird? Yep! Odd? For sure! Do you want to make all kinds of jokes at my expense right now? Yes, you do. Done? Great)
Now I spent about 3 months in SL trying to figure out what the point was, what I needed to do to have fun, etc, etc. In the end, I got bored. I found really nothing interesting to do there.
Fast Forward to early 2006, I had been listening to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code podcast since 2005. On one show Adam had mentioned his discovery of Second Life and how he was so excited about this new way to meet and interact with people. He went so far as to invite people to meet him in world, giving out his Avatar name of “Adam Neumann”.
I thought to myself, why not log in and meet Adam Curry. Well that is exactly what I did. Adam quickly responded to me, going so far as to invite me to his home. Over the next few days I would meet Adam “In World” and help him build out his avatar, Curry Castle and share tips and tricks. Now, Adam asked me point blank if I was really a woman. I immediately replied “Yes, of course!”
At the time Adam’s podcast was truly daily, so everyday he would mention something about SL, what we were up doing, who else was in SL. As, we spent more time in SL and he updated listeners on his podcast, something interesting started to happen. A community started to form around us. I would get Instant Messages from people looking for Adam, or just wanting to chat. It was really exciting.
Then Adam approached me about a Second Life deal. What if we partnered up for a “Virtual Business”? A 50-50 deal. He would fund it and I would run it. SL was just starting to grow by leaps and bounds, Real Life companies were starting to come in like Home Depot, Sears, IBM, and others. I was all in!
Now, a few other things were happening at this time. All sorts of Podcasters and also joined SL. They all would hang out at Curry Castle or maybe at a piece of virtual land they purchased nearby. There was Cali Lewis, Anji Bee,The Rumor Girls, among many, many others. They in turn would go and talk about their experiences on their respective podcasts. The number of people joining the community just grew and grew because of this.
Seeing that we needed something more organized, I spoke to Adam, who agreed, it was time to purchase our own virtual island, PodShow Island. Podshow was Adam’s company which would later be called Mevio.
PodShow Island, in my opinion was a success when it launched. The sim was nothing but hustle and bustle. Eventually many of us lost interest and moved on to Twitter. The island closed in March 2008
Yes, I have missed a lot of the details. Think of this as the cliff notes version if you will. So, please do not nit pick. I wanted to give you this history so I can refrence it in future blog posts, when I discuss communities, networking and online branding. Oh, its also fun to go reminisce of where it all started for me!
Oh, so for those of you who are totally confused and wondering what is the point, check out the video below.
I think this video I did for CNBC somes it up really well. Questions? Feel free to ask!
The first time is always the hardest. I have been going back and forth about what this post should be about. Should I just dive right into talking about New Media or Social Media? Heck isn’t it all under the same umbrella? Maybe I should start with who I am and what my background is? Nah, that’s all on the About Dave page. Oh I know I can roll out a huge big post about something cutting edge and exciting in the space! No, its a slow week everyone is heading to Blogworld 2008 anyway. I could list what this blog is about, what I want to accomplish. Hey that’s not bad. Maybe I should do it in list form. People do like lists.
So in no particular order, I give you the goals, hopes, and dreams I want for New Media Chatter:
-For all of us to learn more about this space called New Media. ( I plan on learning from you too!)
-To pass on the tools needed for people to learn how to brand themselves in this new age of social media
-I want to start discussions and conversations about New Media, make us all think.
- To point you to people, websites and events where you can learn more and network with.
-A place where you can come to get the latest trends in the industry.
I hope this is not to deep or mushy for the first post. Heck, I hope I didn’t scare you off, I want you to subscribe to this blog!
So look at that, the first post is over. Great.. now we can get down to business and starting talking about New Media.
Dave Peck works in Social Media, Social Networking, Online Community Management and any other buzz term you can come up with for New Media. He's been active in this space since about 2004 and doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon.
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