September 26, 2010

File under: Only in Orlando

Fresh off his 'risque' encounter with Katy Perry on Sesame Street, Elmo was brutally attacked while in a Winter Park, FL Guitar Store. Word on the scene is that Elmo defended himself brilliantly with moves he picked up having to fend for himself as the littlest kid in Pre-school, "I have a black-belt in Karate. I had to do something to stop the other kids from tickling me all the time."

Here Elmo recreates his defense with help from Tyra Banks and the Kung Fu Cookie Monster.

According to reports from the scene, Elmo was on a break and checking out some guitars when another customer in the store perceived Elmo as a threat. Police reported that it was a very violent fight with Elmo breaking two fingers on the assailant. 

The full, not as fun, story is on the Orlando Sentinel.

September 24, 2010

The Future of Social Media? Chris Heuer free talk on Tuesday

Chris Heuer's talks at the first two BlogOrlando events played a large role in my present understanding of Social Media and its processes. Since then Heuer has continued to be at the forefront of thought and analysis in and around Social Media. That's a great reason to make sure you see him speak, but I think you should go because Chris is one of the nicest and most genuine people I've ever met. I hope you'll spend a few minutes to read about the talk and take this as a personal invitation to attend.

On Tuesday September 28th, the founder of Social Media Club, Chris Heuer, will be coming into Orlando to do a special presentation about the future of Social Media, the rise of the social media professional and the future of Social Media Club. Social Media Club currently has over 200 chapters around the world, reaching over 150,000 people and is in the process of transitioning from its grass roots beginnings into a formal non-pr...ofit industry trade association. On November 10-12, right here in Orlando, Social Media Club will be hosting its first ever conference and membership meeting, setting the course for the association and the industry in the year ahead.

Chris will give a 30 minute presentation on what he believes are the keys to social media success and discuss his vision for Social Media Club as the leading organization of professionals from around the world. He will then make his case in support of the need for professional standards, debuting a new initiative of SMC and previewing Social Media University. He will then be answering your questions on a range of topics from asynchronous communications to Zazzle and everything in between. Chris is regarded as one of the most engaging speakers on the business of Social Media and the cultural transformation happening within organizations of every size - he is also known for his straightforward and honest answers to even the most difficult questions. He learned the business of social media and digital marketing by building in 1995 which covered South Beach online as part of Virtual Community Network. He also built the first web sites for the City of Miami Beach and many tourism related businesses across Miami, giving him a unique understanding of the special place Florida has in the world and the needs of our market.

Join us, join him and let's have a great conversation about Social Media and the future that is Social Media Club.

When: Sept. 28th @ 6:00PM

The venue: The Auditorium at the UCF Executive Center - wifi, AV, stadium seating and room for 140 people

The cost: FREE

Bonus: Chris Heuer will be providing food and beverages!

RSVP: You can RSVP for this event here

September 23, 2010

Digital Marketing Bistro - a Gem of the Orlando Social Media Scene

On Tuesday night I attended the Digital Marketing Bistro, which, isn't held at a bistro, but rather at the Sonesta Hotel in downtown Orlando. The restaurant menu is available and everyone availed themselves to a few drinks and a light dinner. It was a cordial atmosphere where everyone's opinion was valued and solicited. Nice stuff when it comes to small group behavior.

Digital Marketing Bistro is hosted by Shawn Vincent who has written a noteworthy digital marketing revolution manifesto. DMBistro is a small group of people, from all backgrounds and levels of experience, who meet regularly to discuss digital marketing strategies, trends, and tactics. It's 100% open to the public, just RSVP on Facebook.

This meeting was titled "Unfortunately, Email Still Works" and discussion centered around email marketing, a subject dear to my wallet as it's currently about one-third of my work. One of the major points was how a particuarly email message can become a social object, just like a blog post, facebook status, or tweet. The more an email speaks directly to the recipient the more likely they are to share it in social media space. Shawn has some pretty good thoughts on Email as a Social Object over on his blog.

Someone also pointed out, I believe it was me, that anyone under 21 rarely even thinks about email as a communication tool. It's no where near as immediate as IM, Texting, Twitter, or Facebook (and even Twitter and Facebook can be too slow sometimes). It becomes even more important to develop an e-flow that lets your customer decide, either through direct subscription or just by following one of your social media channels, where, when, and how they want to interact with you. I'm currently investigating a few of the tools on the market that allow a marketing process like this to work while still tracking customers and results.

That's enough about email marketing, there are many expert bloggers on the matter if you want to explore a little more.

I really enjoyed my first encounter with Digital Marketing Bistro and will be sure to attend their events in the future. It's exciting to see Orlando developing its talent base in a groundswell manner via groups like DMBistro and Social Media Club Orlando. The next scheduled meeting is Oct 7th and the subject is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing. Which is a great tool, but you have to watch your conversion and ROI. I'm sure they'll also be discussing Re-Targeting, which is the latest fad in the PPC arena, and one that shows real potential to increase conversions.

I recommend signing up for a FREE MailChimp Account for all of your email marketing needs. They are one of the few service providers that have begun to integrate the social graph into email marketing. I use them. Plus, I'll get a small reward if you convert to a paying MailChimp customer down the line. So thanks in advance.

September 18, 2010

Social Media Club Orlando

For the last few months I've been attending monthly meetings of Social Media Club's Orlando chapter. Although I've been doing the 'social media' thing for a long time, I can truthfully say I have learned something from every meeting. Usually something I can take back to my blogs or office and put into practice right away.

We typically meet every second Tuesday of the month (changes to that schedule are announced on the Facebook page). The next official meeting is Oct 12th and the topic will be Mommy Bloggers. We have three panelists, each with a different take on what it means to be a Mommy Blogger and how they can become partners in your company's success.

All the meetings are FREE (as in beer) and open to the public. Lately meetings have been taking place at the UCF extension in Downtown Orlando. We're always looking for sponsors to help defray the costs of renting the room.

Don't wait for the next meeting, however. Dive in and follow the #SMCOrl and #SMCOrlando hashtags on twitter.

TEDxOrlando November 13th

I've been a fan of the TED conference for a long time. They're close to the modern equivalent of a liberal arts education. I've often thought that Orlando could support its own version of TED and now it will. You can now purchase tickets for TEDxOrlando taking place on November 13th.

The 'x' indicates that this is an independently organized TED event, but it follows the rules set up by the TED conference organizers to make it a very similar style event. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $62.50 and they're expecting about 250 attendees. There are a limited number of scholarships available.

Right now they have 9 presenters signed up. Everything from a nuclear physicist to an artist, historian, and musician. I most definitely plan to attend, just have to scrape up the fee. I'm digging in the couch folds right now. How about you?