Blogging 101 & Everything I need to know About Social Media I Learned from Blogging

I gave this presentation yesterday, (January 19th, 2011) at the Linking Greensboro Luncheon.
I talked about how blogging has helped me grow personally and professionally.
This presentation is a high-level overview aimed at helping people get started blogging, but there is also some useful information and reminders for those who are already blogging.
The presentation itself was built using the free online tool, Prezi. I recomend playing it in full-screen mode. Prezi is flash-based so you won’t be able to view it on your iPhone, however they recently released a great free app that lets you view their presentations on the iPad, you can download it here: Prezi for iPad.
I also have an audio recording of this presentation, leave me a comment or contact me if you are interested in downloading it.

The Value of The Network

This the presentation portion of a talk I gave on at the Greensboro Toastmasters Club on Tuesday, December 7. This also represents my first attempt to develop a presentation with Prezi.com. I’m excited to learn more about Prezi and leveraging it’s dynamic potential to make presentations more engaging.

Marketing Your Small Business Presentation

The following slide s are from a presentation I did at the Triad SmugMug group on October 27th,  in Greensboro, NC. The group is made up of independent photographers who use SmugMug.com to organize and send proofs for their digital photos. The groups organizer Evie Curley, from Evie Curley Photography invited me to talk to the group about Marketing 101. When I started thinking about how photographers market them selves I realized that it’s not very differently than most other small businesses. I put the following presentation together with all small businesses in mind with a particular emphasis on free tools and the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) mindset.


iPad, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7 Apps

Presentation that Brian Hitney and I created for our presentation at ConvergeSouth, technology conference in Greensboro, NC. The Mobile app market is constantly changing and evolving. It is also growing at the same pace. There are lots of different routes to development and tons of opportunity for developers and marketers.

iPad, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7 Apps

ConvergeSouth Tech Conference

I’m really excited to be a presenter at the upcoming ConvergeSouth Tech conference in Greensboro, NC. ConvergeSouth’s call to arms is Creativity Online For Everyone.  When you talk about bringing technology and creativity together you have my attention.

The conference will take place on October 1st and 2nd, 2010, on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University and will feature three tracks: Personal Branding, Internet Strategy for Small Business, and Developing Outside the Box. My session will be in the development track. I will be co-presenting with Brian Hitney from Microsoft about mobile application development and marketing.
We live in a time where the functionality of mobile devices has made them incredibly useful and interactive. And now these smart phones are being adopted by the masses. All of this is creating tremendous opportunity for marketers and developers to create smart phone apps that harness the innovative functions of these devices. We will take a look at the development and marketing paths of three different mobile platforms, including:  Google Android, Windows Mobile and Apple iPhone, (and iPad).

Specifically, my part of the presentation will focus on application development for the iPhone and the iPad.  My company Connect Marketing & Design is currently finishing an original iPad application for a new restaurant opening in downtown Greensboro, called Bin 33. The app is an interactive wine list, and we took a unique approach in developing it by going outside of Apple’s Standard Development Kit (SDK).  I’ll write more about that app in another post.

So if you are in the Southeastern U.S. and interested in technology, online marketing, social media or web development you must to join us for this exciting conference!
Learn more about ConvergeSouth at their website ConvergeSouth.com

What is the Significance of the iPad?

We all know that the iPad is “Cool“. And by selling over 700,000 units in the first few days is also “Hot“. The iPad is fun to play with, show-off and even do work on. But what is the real significance of this mobile tablet device?

If you ask different people you are bound to get different answers, but to me I can see that the beginning of the end is here for print as we know it. I’m not saying that there will cease to be newspapers, magazines and books altogether. The vision of a “paperless” world of a few years ago is still a far off dream.  Many people will never change reading the written word on paper. But I am saying that the mass-adoption of hand-held “reader” devices like the iPad, HP’s Slate, Amazon’s Kindle and many other similar devices will be a game changer when it comes to the way we receive and digest written information.

Why do you think partnerships are forming between companies like Barnes and Nobles and Best Buy? Smart companies are thinking about how to take advantage of the way they deliver content to people. Google reader is a platform that will inevitability grow as more people adopt their reading habits. Companies like http://www.mygazines.com/ are positioned to help publishers make the jump to mobile.

I see a day in the not so distant future where local newspapers and magazines can be downloaded based on location. So let’s say you are visiting Atlanta, you can pull out your iPad, do a quick search, and easily download the complete “Creative Loafing” to find out about local events, restaurants and more. Or you can easily download the entire Atlanta Constitution for a small fee, and read on your device of choice.

Besides publishing, there are numerous other applications for these devices. How about a restaurant menu? Do you know how much an average restaurant pays for printing menu?  Believe me, over the course of a year it’s enough to pay for several iPads.

When it comes to developing applications for the iPad, the possibilities are endless. Do you have any thoughts as to how these types of devices will fit into our not so distant future?

Google Buzz vs. FriendFeed

As I’m getting used to logging on to, and posting on Google Buzz on a regular basis, a thought occurred to me: “This is just like “Friendfeed!”
Friendfeed is a aggregation of (almost) all of my social media accounts. So if I post to any of my 3 twitter accounts, or a few other places my post shows up in my FriendFeed.
Now Google Buzz does pretty much the same thing. As a matter of fact, all of my Friendfeed posts show up in my Google Buzz!

When Google Buzz was first launched Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail and a founder of FreindFeed, was among them and his initial reaction was: “This seems vaguely familiar . . .” Or, as he put it elsewhere, “There’s a FriendFeed in my Gmail. Sweet! :) “ Read more of Paul’s reaction at Tech Crunch.

Both services not only support text, and images, but comments and “likes” as well. Right now I’m only checking my Friendfeed because of some of the great people and sites I’m connected to there. If I could find a way to subscribe to all of these people through Google Buzz I would. After all, a guy can only check so many social media accounts. I’m currently active in like 12, so cutting one lose definitely won’t hurt. Especially if it’s not offering anything unique!

How We Connect

I'm no sociologist, but I know that humans are social animals. It's a fact that in thousands of years of human history most people tended to live in small villages, towns or some other type of community. I can imagine that growing up and living in these communities people got to know each other pretty well. They talked on a regular basis,  worked together, laughed together, disagreed together and in general, were a part of each others everyday lives. 

Then the 20th century came and things started to change. With the industrial revolution came mass-produced items, then came the dawn of the automobile. The car made it much easier to commute farther distances and to live farther away from the community or town centers. And that’s just what they did. Mass-produced food and products distributed to local stores allowed us to be further away from food sources. In the 1950’s  Mass produced communities were developed and people were firmly divided into their neat little boxes.The developments in technology and industry brought us to this place.

Next Mass media- Radio, and then television allowed us to be connected to people and events throughout the nation and eventually across the globe. So now you could watch things happening and feel like you were actually there. However this new “connector” was lacking  one important way, there is no interaction. All messages sent via Radio or Television are implicitly one-way. You can talk, yell, or curse at your TV, (like I sometimes do when watching a good ball game) but our cries all falls on deaf ears. The one thing these devices did do was to get us off of our front porches, away from our town centers, and communities  and plant us firmly on our living room sofa!

Ah, but there is one break-though device, that came out of this era of technology, the telephone, was and perhaps still is the single most powerful and immediate way to connect with those who are far away. But here the connection was with individuals–  friends and family.

There are group and conference calls, but they are rare, and often just for business.  The telephone helped individual connections to be strengthened, but what about the "community"?

Next, comes the PC, the personal computer. Did this help to strengthen our sense of community? Well certainly not at first.

like the TV, it planted us firmly on our butt's, but now we're not hanging out on the sofa with the family anymore. No, we’re off on the other room by ourselves. Not a great way to foster a social life, or a sense of community.

But wait, a glimmer of hope! email and the internet comes along and opens our computers up to the world.  We can email individuals and even groups of people.

A quote by a twentieth century scientist states: "The Internet is the single most important development in the history of human communication since the invention of the human language" The human language allowed us to communicate with others near us, the internet enables to communicate with those around the globe.

Next AOL introduces us to the idea of chat. Not only can we chat one on one, but we can join a chartroom, or even an online forum to discuss ideas.Ok, so what if it's just a bunch of guys who want discuss Star Trek, This is the kind of thing that I'm talking about. Forums were a break through because they represent the coming together of people to discuss common ideas and interests.

Chat is a break though because it has immediacy, meaning it happens (more or less) in real time.  But it's Still missing one important factor, Mass Adoption.

So now we are in the era of “Web 2.0” along with it comes new ideas and new ways to interact. Web 2.0 is defined as “The second generation of the World Wide Web, especially the movement away from static webpages to dynamic and shareable content and social networking” (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Web_2.0)

I believe that humans are drawn together by common interests, conversations and the exchange of ideas. We were together in communities for so many thousands of years that social interactions are engrained in out psyches. Technology has worked to separate us for over a hundred years, and now, like water seeking it level,  we are beginning to find more significant ways to use it to bring us together.

Facebook now has over 400 million users, 60% of these people logon every day! That's Mass adoption. If I want to see what my cousin in New York is up to I visit Facebook, If I want to look up my best friend from Kindergarden I go to facebook. If I want to send a message to my 70 year old uncle… you get the idea.

Many people haven’t haven't use twitter, but it brought about one important change in online communication: immediacy, conversations, and the exchange of ideas take place among large groups of people, all in real time.  Think about one big chat room for the whole world.
If you want to keep in tune with what's happening right now across the world, you can find out on Twitter.

Another type of technology that has great applications are location based networks, including the rapidly growing foursquare. Foursquare knows where we are at any given moment, using GPS tracking all through mobile phones. Ok, so maybe it's scary that people can know where you are at any given moment, but this is the type of technology, once fully developed, will help bring us together.

As more and more people join social networks it's like the walls around them are dropping away. We can not only connect to people in our town or city. But we can connect with people globally over issues that connect us.New innovations are announced daily and right behind them, new applications and ways to use these technologies.

So how do we connect?

Nothing beats face to face contact, but if we must be in our own separate spaces, connecting through technology isn’t a bad substitute, and it getting better all of the time.

what is all of the Buzz about Google Buzz?

Right now it kind of feels like a social network has hi-jacked my email client.
But in just a matter of days I'm connected to dozens of people through the newest social network, Google Buzz.
Even though I'm a big Google user, I'm a little leary here, mostly because of my disappointment I have after the tremendous hype surrounding the Google Wave.
Google Buzz launched in relative obscurity, and perheps this time Google will deliver the kind of product that we are used to seeing from their labs.
Everyone is still trying to figure out the relevance of Google Buzz- but from where I'm sitting it looks like it going to be big!

The following article by Jeremiah Owyang has an awesome comparison matrix between Buzz and Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/02/11/matrix-buzz-vs-facebook-vs-myspace-vs-twitter-feb-2009/

Contact Jeff

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