Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Social Media - Ten Reasons to Consider Participating

The social media world is evolving with an entire new community and set of rules online. Over the past few months when facebook announced an open environment, the race and competition in this area an amount of offerings is increasing tremendously.

Since many of my readers are in a corporate environment where they may be prevented or dissuaded from spending time in these sites, I can personally tell you that they have allowed an acceleration of networking.

1. Expanding your Knowledge - There is an incredible amount of knowledge within social media sites such as facebook and LinkedIn and other international sites such as Zing and Viadeo. One of the most powerful tools is the ability to ask questions and have experts answer within minutes. Also searching for individuals in industries or at companies you are interested is one of the core attributes of on-line social networking.

2. References - If you are applying for a job or submitting a project, you can refer to your online profile on LinkedIn. It allows for others you are connected with to write a reference with is there for a long time.

3. Affinity Groups - Groups on social network can be anything from an alumni group, a local business group, a political group or a group just around some interest such as arts. By joining these groups you automatically become part of a much larger network of people whom you may want to meet. There is a lot of power to share knowledge about the subject matter and even post about upcoming events.

4. Personal News - Social media such as facebook is conducive to connecting with friends. There is a mini-feed which will show who you are connecting with, what you might be thinking (you type this in yourself), what you are reading or whet events you may be attending. It has a way to keep you close without having to pick up the phone.

5. Fun and Games - Social media will have a component in sites such as facebook or Myspace of fun and games. My favorite new game is called Scrabulous which is an online game of scrabble. Playing games is a great way to meet new people from around the globe. There are even foreign language versions of scrabulous so you may challenge yourself to play in a 2nd language. There are many other ways to have fun, such as sending someone a virtual gift or passing a virtual drink.

6. Communications - These social networks are now creating a market for new communications tools which never needed to exist before. Tools such as Jaxtr or Skype allow you to contact someone without giving out your personal or business phone numbers. Jaxtr allows you to call from your own phone or mobile phone direct to a real phone. They supply you with a phone number which the other party sees. This protects your privacy. Skype is useful for communicating over the internet either in a chat or phone call. Personally, I use skype for 3+ way conference calls or online discussions. We might have individuals from 4 different countries in our call or chat at a time.

7. Politics and Causes - Many of these sites are being used by business or politicians. Most major political campaigns have embraced facebook and myspace for developing pages for their candidates. They can post pictures or videos from rallies and speeches and allow their members to connect with one another. If you have a particular cause you are interested in you might find it here as well.

8. Music - Too often we tire of listening to corporate radio programmed to play over an over. Through social media many of the musicians have moved away from working with traditional record companies to promoting themselves on these sites. In social media sites facebook and MySpace you will find profiles of the musicians or fan club groups. The power of social media is that you or your friends may share the music they are listening by sending you a link or allowing you to see what they are doing online. There is now a viral or word of mouth way for musicians to promote their music.

9. Capital and Commerce - If you are working on an idea, you can find people from around the world who may be interested in investing. Many of these individuals may live in another part of the world, but are working on projects of interest to you or someone you may know. There again is the ability to learn about venture capital conferences or to connect with an investor or venture capitalist directly.

10. Changing your life - One of the main reasons people are "addicted" to social networks are that they are curious about one another. In a world where many of us don't know our neighbors, the online world provides a sense of connection which may not be found anywhere else. In a sense, the online world includes not only business sites to find your "partner" or "mentor", that person somewhere in your neighborhood, region country or world with the same interests who may take an interest in you. The more time you spend on these networks the more chance there is to meet someone who might change your life or career.

There are so many stories to share. There are so many other social networks emerging right now. Please feel free to add to or share you stories below in the comments.

(Note: Andrew Kaplan also maintains an active blog called you may find more articles and detailed information on that site as well. Kaplan also manages a local site for Charlotte NC called You may find his profile on LinkedIn at )

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Facebook Enthusiast #1 - Getting Started

This is the first in a series of tips and tricks on how to become proficient at Facebook and building your brand, friendships and reputation on Facebook.

The first step is to find a way to understand the Facebook culture.

Step 1: Set up your profile. Face book will have many fields for you to fill out, so I would suggest you fill out all the fields you can and then look at your profile after saving. If you believe you are showing too much information, then go back in and you can deselect some of this info. For example, there is a field for whether you are interested in men or women and your marital or dating status. If you are using Facebook for business, then you may not want to have these fields appear on your profile.

2. Inviting your friends -I would suggest you spend the first day, setting up your profile in Facebook and inviting "trusted friends" plus a few others whom were in your AOL, gMail, MSN, Yahoo or hotmail address books.

3. Sharing applications - Facebook has a unique area where there are custom applications which can be integrated within your profile page. These add-on applications range from very useful to extremely fun or humorous. Some will help you show photos and video's, other's may be for showing your mood or even having a foodfight. Since Facebook has been developed since its infancy for the college student, many of the applications appeal to this audience.

4. Joining Groups - You will find one you are linked up with "friends" on Facebook that you can see or be invited to various groups they belong to. This could be a group about a book, movie or politician, or about a subject such as technology or best vacation spots. In a nutshell, groups are about finding people you have a lot in common with and a way to somewhat randomly find some new "friends"

5. Navigate - Spend the first day navigating Facebook. Click on a friend's profile and see how their screens are set up and what applications are on their screen. Try doing some searches for people in the database. Try to understand the various ways of using search to find your friends.

6. College, High School, or City - Facebook makes it easy to find others within your own geographic area. Again, explore this.

And for lucky 7. Find me in Facebook and feel free to add me as a "friend" and let me now how we met.
Facebook me!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Directory assistance, Please - 1 800-Goog- 411

Dial from any phone

This blog is hosted by google, my gmail account is google, my analytics for watching this blog is now google, my new chat I set up this week is Googletalk, My pictures are stored in Picasa (a google product) and today as I was looking at their new tools area, I found a new tlephone director service called Google Voice Local Search.

I was skeptical at first. I picked up my phone and dialed the number and the recorded voice on the other end said as predicted "city and state please". I said Charlotte, NC. It then said what do you want a phone number for and I thought quickly as it was about lunch hour and said "Pizzeria". within seconds, I heard #1, Amalfi, #2 Brixx, etc. I could just hit the number 1 or say "one" and the service would dial the phone number (I assume for free).

I tried it again with Chinese Restaurants, again it came up with a good list. Then I started to play around. I said "new search" to reaet the searcn and said "Los Angeles, CA" and "Comedy Clubs" and again within seconds was rattling off the names of the top comedy clubs in LA.

I even tried to ask for a "service" instead of a type of product and said "ACT! training" which was the software I spent years training sales people on. Again, went out and started to find companies snd schools offering this.

It also has an option to send the phone # to you as text (SMS) vs. dialing the phone number.

So for a product that is still in the Google Labe, I was extremely impressed. Not only is Google going to collect your searches online, but they are going to track you telephone habits as well and I would guess, start charging companies, if they haven't already to be first in the list in their category.

Friday, June 29, 2007

AOL IM Widget called "Wimzi" Released

Today, I was reading Time Warner press releases via my google reader. As I looked at each headline, this one jumped out at me. AOL announces a new widget for your blog called Wimzi. Instead of paper press releases of old, the hyperlink for the Wimzi was in the on-line press release.

I had an eWarrior moment. At least for today, My AOL Wimzi is on my blog. If I start to get to be a "blog star" one day, I may have to have my team answer my IM's.

If you are a blogger you will find the hyperlink at the bottom of the Wimzi widget.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Into the Blogosphere - Looking to have a traffic jam

Time to build the traffic for my site. It's exciting to experiment and really see how far I can go with this blog. One of my ultimate goals is be a paid speaker for conferences and to sales and marketing professionals.

This weekend I worked a lot behind the scenes on my blogs to build a larger audience through syndication and allowing people to subscribe to my blogs through Feedblitz. I have added a widget box to 2 of my websites and will learn this week about this.

I also continue to look for ways to get the "chicklets" on my site to make it easy for people to subscribe to my blogs where it says, add to yahoo reader, add to google reader, etc.

Also by coincidence, I was browsing the website of a local television station to look at how they handle content. I noticed at the bottom corner of their website an area where they were showing "syndicated blogs". The strangest thing about the article I clicked on was that it was written by the founder of Blogher who is one of the leading professional and educational groups for bloggers. So I got a double bonus. I now subscribe to her blog called "Pause" and applied to have my Media Mensch blog syndicated. I attempted to submit the eWarrior blog, but it told me it already had a blog they had to approve, so I will have to sort this out later.

In addition, I am now using Google Analytics and watching my traffic build. Most of this I will attribute to a similar growth in and the support of my fellow bloggers from LinkedIn.

I have also started a new blog for my LinktoCharlotte venture and am using that to experiment with many of these new tools as well. It is only in its first month and I can see this too we be a great way to attract local traffic and those thinking of relocating to Charlotte.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

LinkedIn and the Blogosphere

The journey on LinkedIn has been an interesting one. I first strategically used LinkedIn to build my networks of contacts in Silicon Valley in the entrepreneurial startup area.

One of the unexpected surprises of my networking on LinkedIn and also in associated Yahoo Groups such as LinkedinBloggers, is that a group of bloggers have connected from around the world.

The collaboration is exciting as we share new tools and strategies and help each other to build audiences for our blogs.

Today, I have read a post about "pay per post" blogging from an Australian Blogger, I was interested in this topic as I just started to investigate this as a way to earn money. Meg who writes a blog called Dipping Into the Blogpond about Australian blogging and signed up for a 10-days to a better blog e-course from Wendy Piersall who writes eMomsathome. Good stuff from "trusted" authors.

Some of us are sharing our "Blogs of the Week" and commenting or "Stumbling" them on

The blogging is a fun journey with unexpected destinations.

Monday, June 18, 2007

LinktoCharlotte VIP Kickoff

Last Thursday, a social network I founded called launched with our VIP Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium. The Carolina Panthers we the sponsors and we met in the executive meeting room (the same place where the owner of Panthers watches the draft).

We had a very diverse group from educators, to sports marketers, to PR to technologists and media. We discussed social media and how this can become a great tool for the Charlotte business commnity to connect.

Some of the things we explored were the visual space area where the system helps to match you up by interest with those most like yourself. The system also worked well in helping to promote the event throught the use of group postings, event posting, and newsletters.

This was an exciting new journey, as we expect this system to grow exponentially over the next few months.

Thanks again to the Carolina Panthers for the nice gifts.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Into the Blogosphere - Stumble Upon

A long time ago (maybe 20 years or so) I was reading how in the future we would all have personalized newspapers and content coming into our lives each day. My thought was that this would come from traditional media such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, etc.

For the last few years, we have googled our way to content we want to read.
Some who are more sophisticated are now using RSS (really simple syndication) to bring content into our own "readers".

A few weeks ago, a few fellow bloggers introduced me to the new age of "Stumbling" at

"Using search engines to locate relevant content typically means hunting through pages of results. Rather than searching for quality web sites, StumbleUpon members are taken directly to web sites matching their personal interests and preferences."

Stumbleupon is collaborative and personal. Stumbleupon seems to learn about your interests via your preferences and the friends and sites you rank . My mediamensch website is a perfect example. I am not showing up very high on search engines for my stories about working on the George Clooney "Leatherheads" film or a conversation with a film producer who has an autobiographical film about being Elvis' bodyguard. My "friends" on stumbleupon are now able to read these and then their "friends of friends" are finding out about this as well.

I use the Stumbleupon toolbar. If I see a website or content that I like, I press the thumbs up icon. If I did not like it I would press the thumbs down.

Since I also list favorite movies, books, television shows, interests, etc. I can find others in the world with similar interests All the stumblers who like the TV show Seinfeld or the film "Godfather". According the their website, Stumble upon offers nearly 500 topics which users may choose to indicate their interests and preferences. The content I have encountered in my first weeks of using stumbleupon has been unique, humorous, informative and enjoyable.

What I enjoy about this site, is that it really starts to find the "essence" of the individual and matches you up with like minded people. Definitely an interesting way to further "flatten the world".

To see me on Stumbleupon just go to If you like what you read or see, you can click to become a "friend".

Happy Stumbling!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Online Testing for Leadership and Personality

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
Take Free Jung Personality Test
personality tests by

I found this website and spent about an hour taking different personality tests. Above is the result of one of my tests.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

My Blog Journey - and Leatherheads

May 17, 2007 In the beginning of the year I made a determination that I wanted to set upon a journey to become a world class blogger. As in all my journeys, I work hard to find the top people in this area to advise and mentor me. I found blogging to be someone tedious when just having to write about technology. Although it was my interest. My passion was about the creative side also where I had worked in radio, television and movie distribution.

I was tracking the movies being produced in North Carolina (where I live) for my daughter who has a strong interest in singing and acting. I noticed late last year that a film called Leatherheads, written and directed by George Clooney would be coming to the Carolinas and my home town Charlotte.

I ended up at an casting call at a large regional mall and submitted a profile and headshot. A few weeks later, I received a call to be an extra for 7 days on the film.
I decided that this would be a great opportunity to blog my experiences as a "first timer" on the film set of a major motion picture. At the same time, I also had decided that it was time to learn how to upgrade the technology within my blog to work toward making it as professional as possible.

Through this journey, I connected with a very talented blogger community from around the world mostly from the social network called Many of these bloggers all started the same way, working to build an audience and produce interesting content on a consistent basis.

A few of the areas or sites they told me about were Feedburner, MyBlogLogs, Google Analytics, Picasa, and a few others.

Over the past month, I have worked hard to keep up with my goal to blog daily (reality is probably more like 3 to 4 times a week). Most of the work was on the mediamensch side on my experiences on the film, plus other projects. As I begain to write an interesting thing began to occur. As much as I wrote, (just like this posting), 3 or 4 related story ideas would pop into my head.

The next phase of my blogging will be to build an audience. The best advice was to find a way to post on popular blog sites related to your own content wth a link back. It also occurred to me to seek out other media such as radio and magazines to promote the blog.

This journey is only about 6 week old to become a top blogger. I will detail as much as I can some of the tips and tricks and people and companies I meet along the way.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Social Networking - LinktoCharlotte

This area of social networking is now accelerating. As of this week we are in a test and beta phase of a new social network called "LinktoCharlotte"

This site is really to complement the work we do on LinkedIn and on the LinkedinCharlotte Yahoo Group.

This is day 10 of the setup of that site and there are some really outstanding features including the ability to list your own events and charge for them, moderate your own special groups and to use RSS (really simple syndication) to link news to and from this website.

We are starting out with a few different levels of users. General Member, Contributor, Sponsor and Group.

We are growing by invitation only in this private beta test. Social networking on a local level seems to have powerful implications not only for those that live here, but for those who are planning to relocate. About 20% of our members are not living in Charlotte currently. About 10% of these plan to relocate here.

We expect to accelerate the growth of this site as we make a plan for a major announcment in June.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

LinkedIn Group for Dickinson College Alumni

Over the past three years, I have been actively involved with my college's alumni area both as chair of the Dickinson Club of Charlotte and also with helping or suggesting some eWarrior technologies that the college might be interested in to help organize alumni who are spread out around the world.

In May 2007, we are officially launching a group on LinkedIn for Dickinson College alumni. The purpose of the group is to allow better connections for getting back in touch, for jobs/career, and for finding alums you can collaborate on projects with.

For this project, I will be the adminstrator. The Link to join will be the following.

To Join:

Monday, April 30, 2007

LinkedIn - Two Years later

it was about two years ago, I read about LinkedIn and decided to sign up for the service which is known as a "social network". Most people refer to this network as "7 degrees of separation" - meaning we all live in the small world and are interconnected.

I am now connected to about five hundred people directly which gives me access to about 250,000 to my contacts' "direct contacts" and over 3 million of contacts to levels away from me or on linkedin what is shown as third level contacts.

I have always approached my time on LinkedIn strategically from the start. One of my goals was to build contacts and relationships with senior executives and company founders in silicon valley involved with "eWarrior" products and services such as blogging, social networks, crm, and podcasting. I also wanted to re-establish my contacts in both traditional media at companies such as HBO, MTV and others where I had worked in the past and with new areas of digital media in this case happening in New York City.

In addition, I set out to find people with specific skill sets in branding and marketing who could help me. In addition, I have a goal to connect with some of the top bloggers to share ideas and learn their "secrets" for attaining high visibility.

This journey has allowed me to meet and connect with people at Sirius Radio,, Facebook, LinkedIn, MyBlogLog, and with award winning business plan gurus and founders of and

Throughout the rest of this year, I intend to blog more frequently on subjects around the usage of LinkedIn and also to profile some of the interesting people who I met along the way and those that have transformed themselves by joining.

LinkedIn is now becoming competitive for job seekers who want to find recruiters and companies to work for. It is a much stronger model I find than posting blind resumes at or Careerbuilder. You can actually see the background of people working at the companies you want to pursue and can invite them to make contact.

I will also be discussing a new powerful feature called LinkedIn Answers which has allowed attraction of some very smart people to provide me with answers and resources for my business and career plans.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Leatherheads - George Clooney - Director, Renee Zellweger, Lead Actress & Andy Kaplan - Extra

George Clooney and his production team are filming his new film "Leatherheads" about a 1920's football team. This film is slated to be released for the holiday season 2007.

I will be a paid extra in the stands for the next 6 days working up to 12 hour days. I am looking forward to this experience and blogging about the first time I have ever been involved with a multiple day shoot of a movie.

I also will be following how this movie is marketed and promoted over the internet and onplaces like YouTube.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Into the Blogosphere

Over the past year, I have been updating a few blogs whenever the spark hit me to write something. I have made it a goal as an eWarrior to find some of the top bloggers in the world and connect with them. Although I am an eWarrior, there are only so many hours in the day, so collaboration and sharing of ideas is one of the best ways to learn.

Through my network on LinkedIn, I began to find some of the bloggers. One of the nice things about blogging is that most of us, use many of the same services to write and maintain our blogs such as blogger and WordPress.

The most asked question bloggers have who want to be noticed is "How do you build an audience". Sometimes it may be a best selling author, public speaker and industry expert. In other cases the blog is focussed of a specific industry or company.

Some of the other techniques are to find well known blogs in your category and comment on them and link back to your own blog. Search engines such as can help with this. Also many bloggers are now featured in many major newspapers and magazines.

As of mid February this journey has begun. I will be interested to see where this journey ends.