Documentarian brings tweets to life

If you're a Twitter addict or just learning about this whole "social media thing", you've got to check out Twittamentary! This great new documentary by Tan Siok Siok gives an often touching and frequently humorous look at tweeting and the people who have turned Twitter into a real community.

Taking two years to complete, Siok Siok follows the stories of people across the web. From well-known commodities such as travel expert Stefanie Michaels to the brave AnnMarie Walsh, a woman who was living on the streets in Chicago, the director shows the depth and range of the social platform. Although Twitter is frequently dismissed as being frivolous, and is still misunderstood by a great percentage of the population, tweeting has brought strangers together in all kinds of special ways.

Here's a trailer (although I don't think it really does the film justice): 

Siok Siok will be hosting beta screenings (check the schedule HERE) until she ultimately starts showing the documentary at festivals and other venues. If you love Twitter as much as I do, you'll get a kick out of this flick. If you don't understand all this Twitter stuff yet, Twittamentary is a wonderful introduction to the diverse ways in which the site can be used. News aggregating, customer service, branding, advocacy, citizen journalism, networking, and the joy of meeting wonderful people across the globe while in the comfort of your living room. That's Twitter. And it's amazing.

For more video clips, check out the Twittamentary YouTube channel! And, a special thanks to Social Media Club Los Angeles and Nimble for hosting the LA screening! 

* For those of you who subscribe via a reader, click on the blog post title to see the video that accompanies this piece. 

36-26-36: Why numbers in social media are misleading

If you're a female, you know what the numbers in the title of this post mean. They're supposed to be a woman's "ideal" measurements. If you're a guy, I bet some of you might tweak those numbers a bit. Measurements that are attractive to some, might be unappealing to others. Numbers are frequently open to interpretation.

In the world of social media, it's all about numbers. Twitter followers, Facebook fan and/or friend counts, blog subscribers, Klout score, Empire Avenue stock quotes, LinkedIn connections, and the list goes on. People judge your success in social media by the numbers associated with the popular platforms. Is this wrong? Well, not entirely. But, it can certainly be misleading. The thing that numbers can't measure is character.

Let's take a look at the images below:

These are all people whose follower number used to closely match their following number. For the Twitter novices out there, that means they followed just as many people who followed them. Now, as you can plainly see, each one only follows a handful of people and, alas, they are so freakin' popular that each one has tens of thousands of people waiting with baited breath for their next tweet! Ha. Not likely.

These people have manipulated the system; following people to acquire their follow back. Then, ultimately, dumping everyone to make themselves look important. They used the people who they connected with and then discarded them when they got the good numbers they wanted. Do these people have impressive follower counts? Absolutely! Are they scumbags? Yep. Grade A pond scum.

So, yes, numbers are one of many ways to gauge someone's success in social media. However, do not let the numbers cloud your vision. It's what's behind those numbers that matter. As is the case with the pretty girl with the 36-26-36 figure, there's a person in there that adds context to those numbers. Maybe she's an angelic, do-gooder like Mother Theresa inside and maybe she's a shallow, sex tape making, debutant like Paris Hilton. Same goes with social media. Numbers can change. Character is forever.

* TIP: To find out if you've been used by someone like the people in the images above, I recommend following @unfollowr on Twitter or using Both are free tools to find out who has unfollowed you.

Hey Mr. Humdrum! You're boring me to DEATH!

Do you think independently and take actions to set yourself apart from the crowd? Or, are you a lesser version of yourself shaped by apathy?  Worse yet, are you just like everyone else? Gasp!

A great example of someone really coloring outside the lines is Alec Brownstein. Alec, a 28-year-old designer, wanted to work at a different ad agency. To make that happen, he infused his job search with some guerrilla-style marketing techniques and got noticed. What did Alec do?

Well, Alec figured his targeted employers do the same thing lots of us do regularly; Google ourselves. He then used Google AdWords to purchase the names of some top creative directors. Here's what happened:

Is Alec smarter than you or me? Definitely not! But did Alec pursue a path less traveled? You betcha! And, most importantly, it garnered results.

What can you do differently today to shake up things? Are some of your processes worth revisiting? Can a tweak here and an alteration there get you more customers, greater exposure, or help you get closer to your goals? Can you try new tools, collaborate with new people, or look at things with a different mindset?

The most successful people are in a constant state of flux. Growing, improving, evolving. Are you doing the same? Or, have you become fat and happy. And, perhaps, just a little obsolete along the way...

* For those of you who subscribe via a reader, click on the blog post title to see the video that accompanies this piece. 

Life lessons with a side of sunscreen

"Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself." - Mary Schmich

June means graduation for millions of high schoolers and college kids. A time when these young adults close one chapter and open the next. As adults, we have very few milestones that make us reflect on our lives. Mostly just birthdays ending in zero: 30, 40, 50. Ugh.

As I think about the 18 and the 22-year-old me, I can't help but to remember that famous song, "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrmann. The words were originally written by Mary Schmich as a column for the Chicago Tribune in 1997, but erroneously attributed to Kurt Vonnegut as part of a commencement speech to MIT grads. Although my graduation day is long behind me and I've come to accept, albeit reluctantly, the chore of being an adult, I still find Schmich's advice to be incredibly solid. No matter how much we accomplish in the workplace, there are just certain things in life that will always truly matter more than others.

It's been a long time since I've listened to Luhrmann's song, so I enjoyed hearing it again. I hope you do, too, and that it adds some perspective to your otherwise busy day. Because when your work day has ended, after the computer is shut off, and once you've finished shining your awards or dusting off your plaques, isn't it just blissfully invigorating to dance, sing and give your loved ones a hug?

Be happy, my friends...

* For those of you who subscribe via a reader, click on the blog post title to see the video that accompanies this piece.

Reputation management is a 24-hour a day job

What you do and how you do it tells people a lot about you. The way you conduct yourself professionally--and personally--tells clients, potential customers, peers, and acquaintances all they need to know about your priorities, values, and overall attitude. With every day and every moment comes the opportunity to brand yourself and build your reputation. Are you squandering that chance or seizing it?

This month, I've been helping a friend show an apartment he has for rent. He's in the hospital so I offered to post the ads, take the calls, set the appointments, and show the unit. At the time, I had no idea that would mean fielding a minimum of 20 calls a day and showing the unit 75 times over the course of two weeks. The process has taken over my life, but it's very interesting to have contact with so many different people. Even more interesting to see how many of those folks are incredibly challenged when it comes to basic social skills.

People who are interested in the apartment call me outside of the times I said I would accept calls (phoning me at 11:45pm isn't gonna win you any brownie points). I've had several people get short with me because I was unable to show the apartment at the time they initially suggested. Yet, others, just leave vague messages; not identifying themselves or leaving contact info. And, don't even get me started on all the people who are no shows and don't have the courtesy to call me so I don't waste my time waiting.

So, what does this have to do with business? Well, it got me to wondering what kind of employees or proprietors these people are. Are some of these problem children as self-involved and unaware in their workplaces? Do they act entitled and demanding in meetings? Are they disrespectful of their supervisor's time and uncaring as to whether they inconvenience their peers or customers?

I've met many talented people during this process. Some of the folks work in professional capacities where I might be able to send some potential work their way. Others are people who would probably benefit from some good word of mouth about their businesses. One guy I was excited about meeting because I had heard of his restaurant and was eager to try it (his assistant set up the appointment with me). However, when the man showed up, he was rude and dismissive to me. Rest assured I won't be patronizing his establishment after that encounter.

Remember, in its most basic form, personal branding is about reputation. Who we are is reflected in our daily actions and interactions, whether we think about it or not. How we spend our time, the company we keep, the way we treat others. It all conveys something to those around us. Do you want that impression to be good? Or do you not care?

What are you doing to ensure that your personal and professional reputation is the best that it can be? Remember, everything you do is yet another opportunity to outshine the competition! Will you seize that chance or let it slip away?

Have jingles gone the way of the polyester leisure suit?

When I was growing up, every product had a jingle. A catchy, little ditty that stuck in your head long after you wanted it to. But, nowadays, hardly any products use jingles. Companies just buy the rights to a popular song and use that. Charlie Sheen's character on Two and a Half Men was a jingle writer, but he had to move to children's music when the jingle game tried up. What ever happened to jingle writing? Am I the only one who liked jingles?

The thing is, regardless if you like jingles or not--they work! I know the toll-free number to the United States Postal Service by heart thanks to a jingle. I always remember where to exit the Long Beach Freeway to find Pete Ellis Dodge, due to a jingle. I know the world would be a better place if I'd buy the world a Coke, because a jingle told me so. I'm empowered by the fact that nothing will ever get to me as long as I have a Mentos to save the day! And, I know Tab is for beautiful people:

It's a basic fact that people remember things more easily when they're set to music. So what if the newest sports car commercial has a great Rolling Stones song in it. Will I be able to sing about the features of the new car and its gas mileage? If not, why in the world would a company use it?

Does anyone else miss jingles or have a favorite one that brings back memories? Or, am I starting to sound like somebody's great-grandma reminiscing about the olden days? Could it be, sadly, that am I the only one who remembers my bologna has a first name?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...