I'm the Director os Social Media for Barkley, an integrated marketing agency based in Kansas City and the Chairmen of Social Media Club of Kansas City.

My passion has always revolved around the way people communicate & the technology they use to spread culture & ideas.  The last 10 years has only scratched the surface of what the social web has to offer to both people & business and as this infrastructure connects to wearable computing, big data & the internet of things, you can bet I'll be right in the eye of the storm.

Here you'll find my take on everything marketing, emerging & social media & agile marketing.  Please connect with me through whatever channel is your poison. 

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Sunday
Jul312011

What Will Google Fiber Mean for Kansas City? Part 1

I've been asked this question with more frequency lately as Google Fiber begins to become more of a reality for folks here in Kansas City, KS and KCMO.  Of course the answers are way more far reaching and deep than I can speak on, but that's never stopped me before.

I'll break this blog post up into 4 parts.

Part 1: Big Picture of Google Fiber

Part 2: KC Agencies and Google Fiber

Part 3: SMCKC and Google Fiber

Part 4: Just the nerd in me

My goal is to get some conversation started.  "With great power, comes great responsibility."  Yes it's a quote from Spiderman and yes that makes me a giant nerd, but it's fundamental truth that KC better get the hang of quickly because we we're being given keys to dad's porsche and we gotta make the most of it.

Google stated from the very beginning that, "they were building the sandbox and filling it with sand, but it was up to us to bring in the Tonka trucks and build the sand castles."  I love that quote by the way, but it simply states that they aren't providing us the answers or the opportunities that Google Fiber will create.  Tha'ts up to us, and so far I haven't been impressed with the amount of people stepping up to the plate.

Big Picture:

This is where I attempt to jump 10,000 feet up in the air for a minute and take a snapshot of the big picture.

national gigabit interent speed infrastructure will be crucial for the US to hold onto it's stake as the world's technology leader. Data is king and there is a whole lot of it.  In order to take advantage of it, we need to build bigger pipes for it to flow through and that MUST go all the way to the home.  It's all about the access.

It's a BIG win for small cities everywhere, not just Kansas City.  Just like small companies are able to act more nimble and adapt more quickly to change, it seems the same can be said for cities.  The implementation of gigabit speeds will come from small cities the size of KC first as larger cities have WAY more red tape to deal with as well as larger relationships with the telecommunication companies that may have interest in slowing Google's process.

Education:

I'm excited in opportunities that will be brought to our school systems and the next generation of Kansas City.  Gigiabit speeds will completely transform the way children and adults will be educated.  With schools already beginning to take cursive writing from the curricullum, we need to come to grips and grab hold of these changes and techologies and stop wasting time trying to hold onto the past.  Education systems that can adapt will reap the rewards and those that cannot won't survive.

The ability for a single mom to get a creditited MBA in her home is possible now,but with gigabit access to the home that degree may just come from Harvard School of Business.

Communication:

I think companies like SKC that deal in video teleconferencing are going to be really happy for the next few years.  Gigabit speeds mean a major jump in the experiences that will be possible with communicating across the country and the world.  So as more data is able to get through, say goodbye to crappy conference calls and choppy video that doesn't sync up to the action.  The closer this communication gets to the real thing, the more companies will let proximity decide partnerships and that is great for the midwest.

Medical:

Companies like Cerner that deal in medical data or school's like KU Med have had to be jumping up and down right after Google made their announcement.

Think about the ability to push a video or high res x-rays instantly across the world to a specialist in India or even test results across the city to your general practioner.  Though these things are possible now, the speed and infrastructure needed isn't. 

Hospitals have changed VERY slowly to new technoligies when it comes to communication and data organization.  it's a hefty task, and there is still a long way to go, but wider pipes of data will help.  With the processing power taking place elsewhere, there will also be a decrease in cost of the technology needed to run on this grid.  

Google Fiber is a BIG topic and I've just skimmed the surface, but in my next entry I'll talk about how I feel Google Fiber will effect the marketing agencies here in KC.

As I said before, this is meant to spark conversation, so please use the comments section to make this happen.  Link back to your own blog entry and put some content out there.

Monday
Jul252011

iThoughts Mind Mapping on My iPad

 

I'm constantly looking to get more from meetings, speakers, or any information that comes my way.  Organizing and breaking down large ideas is the only way I can wrap my head around complex concepts.  To many times I've looked back at notes that I've taken during a meeting and it's impossible for me to decipher my thoughts even a few hours after the meeting.

That's a lousy place to be, because there isn't anyway to get that meeting back or the information covered. 

I've recently found the conecpt of mind mapping.  It's a quick and visual way to break down ideas and thoughts into different buckets and connect everything fluidly.  You use a lot less descriptive text and it's amazing how much I retain even days after I have been exposed to the content.

It's visual and I love that.  Of course you can draw out your mind maps on paper, but unfortunately I am allergic to paper and have the hand writing of a trained chimp so it's just not an option for me.

Luckily I ran into iThoughts HD.  An iPad version of iThoughts that was originally launched on iPhone.  This app lets you make really quick and slick mind maps on the fly during meetings.  Of course that means you can bring in images, export them out and play with the data pretty fluidly.  It's a simple and impressive app.

I know there are a lot fo mind mapping apps out there, but this is my first and I'm impressed with how quickly I got the hang of things.  

Would love to hear from anyone else out there that is utilizing mind maps into their daily life and if there are any other apps out there that are worth the download.

Below is my first mind map that I put together to put my current life into some perspective.  Im proud of the simple visual and invite you to try your own!

 

Sunday
Jul242011

SMCKC July HH: Kickstarter

You can find the original post at the Social Media Club of Kansas City Ning site

 

 

We had our July happy hour at Innovation Cafe.  A new low cost collaborative workspace in the Crossroads District of KC.  An awesome space and we thank them for letting us use it.

The theme this month was all around the Kickstarter platform.  What is Kickstarter?  Well this explanation comes straight from thew website:

 

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of musicfilmarttechnologydesignfoodpublishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree... Welcome to Kickstarter!

 

 

Basically it allows people with a creative goal to reach out and crowdsource the cash needed to turn it into a reality.

Pretty cool huh?

 

We've had a lot of successes in the KC area with the platform but we wanted to highlight our favorites.

 

We heard from 4 Kickstarters:

 

Heidi Van (@theheidivan) Fishtank Performance Studio

Heidi really brings the performance arts piece to the table and she knows what she's talking about when it comes to Kickstarter because she's raised almost $15k for multiple projects and has had success in each.  The awesome thing about Heidi is that her community isn't the traditional online social media kind, but people that visit the Fishtank for a show or artists that support the community.  She gets the word out to them using email and through touchpoints at the shows.  Very cool to have her out and good luck to her on all of the KCFringe Fest performances taking place at the Fishtank this weekend.


Mike Reinhardt (@heavenlybrew) and Nate Watson, Wilderness Brewing Co.

Mike and Nate made friends with everyone quickly as they were sampling some of the beers they've made so far.  These guys were really great and you could tell how passionate they are about quality beer making and giving people a beer experience they've never had before.  Mike & Nate not only have the largest money goals out of the group tonight with $40k to start their own Nano-brewery, but they also where the only ones that's goal was still active!  They are almost 45% their with only about week left-  Go give them some support!  For $1k you can get a beer named after you, so that is all kinds of awesome.

 

 

 


Renee Kloeblen (@ms_nene) Takes the Cake Bakery, CoffeeCakeKC.com

Our favorite cupcake master and social media diva Ms Nene raised over $8k to get her cupcake truck business up and running.  It is still going strong and she even has a new storefront space by the Boomerang in midtown.  Renee got to her goal leveraging her relationships that she made through twitter and she's a true example of how being true and honest to yourself, having a real passion and sharing it over social media can make a business work.  Reach out to her on twitter and get the truck out in your neck of the woods.


Jeremy Fuksa (@3rdmartini) Cocktail Napkin Podcast

Jeremy used Kickstarter to take his podcast, the 3rd Martini to the next level.  Jeremy brings a lot of energy to the discussion and it was great to see how he is tapping into his viewership to create a better product for them.  The best way to see what Jeremy does is subscribe to his podcast and check out one of his videos below.

 

Pecha Kucha from Jeremy Fuksa on Vimeo.

Pecha Kucha from Jeremy Fuksa on Vimeo.

 

 

We really had a blast and thanks for eveyone that was able to make it out.  

 

 

Wednesday
Jul202011

What Stuck from Peter Shankman at #SocialIRL

Was lucky enough to be in Lawrence, KS for another great Social:IRL Bootcamp event.  This one with Peter Shankman, who is the creator of many awesome things including HARO.

Peter kept the conversation centered on social media, but specifically how it is changing PR & Customer Service and how we can adapt to leverage it to our overwhelming benefit.  If you've never experienced 8 hours of Peter before, a quick visual may be the love child of Woody Allen & the Tasmanian Devil.  Free flowing, but smart, it almost resembles a social media Vaudeville act.

 

Ben reached out to those that attended the conference and asked me to share the 1 sticky thing that Peter said that really stuck.  Truth is that there is a lot of stuff, but I'll pick one and share with you in this blog post.

I'll now put on my customer service hat (which should be stapled to my head from now on) and try to summon the spirit of Shankman.

"99% of customer problems can be dealt with in 30 seconds if dealt with fast enough," Shankman exclaimed at around 11:15.  I remember, because the statement was enough to jolt me out of my pre lunch haze.  The main idea behind this is that problems online grow with time.  There is a 1-3 hour sweet spot after someone has posted something that you can squash quickly.  

Once outside of that window of time, the problem begins to grow, demanding more resources to deal with it (time & effort).  Just imagine what happens after 2 days without a response.  The lesson here is to deal with it.  Deal with it NOW! 

Let's say that means you have someone checking your streams once every 2 hours during a work day and make sure that someone gets pinged off work hours and weekends when questions or comments come in. Someone needs to pick up the phone when it rings.

While I'm on a roll, how about a bonus idea?  

Take the 5 most common problems that customers have and design a quick execution to answer these lightning fast.  Don't care if it's a template email, copy & paste or an application, just have it setup to push common instructions or answers to the 5 things that are most commonly asked.  We do this with a current client, and you wouldn't believe the amount of time and effort it frees up for us to put resources into being proactive.  Stop being reactive and get out in front of it.

So that's what stuck.  If you were there yesterday, please leave what stuck with you in form of a comment under this post.  (Make sure you take that comment content and use it for your own blog post too.)

Saturday
Jun252011

Ford Joins me for the Summer

My first Ford and first car, a 68 Ford Mustang

Thanks to my friends over at Ford, I'm getting a really cool opportunity this summer to test drive a different Ford cr for a week each for the entire month.  I'll be starting with a Fiesta, moving onto a Lincoln MKX and then getting a chance to take a 2011 Ford Explorer on a roadtrip/weekend vacation to Estes Park, CO.

My first car was a 68 Ford Mustang.  Beaten up almost beyond recognition, forest green and the interior smelled a bit like a locker room, but I loved that car. My second Mustang was a 1998 that I picked up on the cheap right around the end of College. Now 10 years later I'm getting another opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a Ford this time as a blogger.

I lost contact with Ford through the 90s Not because any dislike for Ford, but because I just didn't turn out to be much of a car guy. I was way more interested in the new model of Mac Book Pro than what upgrades the new Mustang had. 

Then a few years ago Ford came back onto my radar in a big way.  American car companies were at an all time low, along with the Amercan economy.   Ford ended up being the only one not to take a bail out and began a huge overhaul in their car designs and tech,but also with the way that they were going to market with a large focus on social media strategies.

When they brought on Scott Monty as a Social Media Strategist, I began catching Scott on a lot of the podcasts that I listen to daily such as TWIT & The Beancast. I followed as the brand gave us some really fun and successful activations within social media, such as the Fiesta launch and the Explorer announcement through Facebook.

Of course consumer and influencer engagment is important and with tools like Klout and mPact hitting the market, I realized it wouldn't be long before this data was used, but it was a BIG surprise when I got a call from Ford to drive some cars around and tell you guys what I thought.

So that's it.  No payment and no insturctions from Ford, just the keys to some very new and very cool cars.  So I invite you to follow my blog and see what I think of the cars and their technology and I weave them into my daily life.