Happy Friday series: 5 totally useless but fun things I learned on YouTube

What’s a great way to relax and turn off the brain after a long work week? I’ve been known to find some fun things posted online that teach me something, but not work-related.

#1. Watch and listen to this video, and, if you’re old enough, take a trip back in time. (If you aren’t old enough, imagine your parents or grandparents). We’re walking into Montgomery Ward, Wolf and Dessaur, Hills, Gimbles or any number of department stores around the country. You’re making your way through clothes, shoes and cameras on the way to the snack bar or soda fountain, and this music is playing in the background.

You’re familiar with services like Muzak (just purchased by Mood) which now offer a variety of formats to businesses via satellite. From the 30s through the 80s, many stores played music from Seeburg jukeboxes. Seeburg jukeboxes rotated through records that ran at 16 r.p.m. There were versions for both in-store and industrial uses, to keep customers and factory workers awake and on the job. Many people still collect and restore these devices. We may think some of the versions of pop songs are horrible, or, we might decide we actually like them!

#2. You’ve no doubt heard songs in languages other than English and maybe even tried to sing along without really knowing the words, let alone what they mean. Here’s how it sounded when a South American band sang the 1960s Kinks hit “A Well Respected Man” on an Argentine version of “American Bandstand”. Making the lyrics sound as close as possible to the English ones without actually knowing them, the teens in the audience loved it!

#3 I lived briefly in Quincy, a few blocks from the Mississippi River in Western Illinois. I commuted to work at a radio station in Hannibal, MO. One day in March the Illinois state offices and schools were closed for a holiday I had never heard of called Casimir Pulaski Day. What I didn’t know is that there’s a pop song commemorating the occasion. Who’d have thunk?

#4. You know the familiar beginning to “I Love Lucy” the classic TV show that has been running in syndication for decades. What I learned on YouTube was that the original audiences saw a different open, with Lucy and Desi as cartoon characters, and you’d see Lucy and Desi promoting Phillip Morris cigarettes in the open and even in the body of the show as part of the script. Of course, there was the famous Phillip Morris bellboy. I’m not one to try to reach almost 60 years back in time to try to apply 2013 standards about smoking to a 1950s TV show, but I did find this information interesting. If you’ve researched 1950s and 1960s television, you know that even The Flintstones smoked. Incidentally, Desi and Lucy made sure their production company owned the filmed versions of the show, and invented the rerun. Embed is disabled with this video but you can watch it here: http://youtu.be/WrvHYUXo–o?t=11s

#5. What if you had a band in West Palm Beach, Florida, during the height of Beatlemania? Why you’d reinvent yourselves as The American Beetles and tour South America! That’s exactly what this band did, scoring hit records and TV appearances all over Latin America. Some very rare recordings are on YouTube, some as The Razor’s Edge. .


New to mobile? Just start!

I attended the Atlanta Internet Marketing Conference on behalf of my employer, Internet Marketing Expert Group on May 10, 2012 in Atlanta. Several subjects were covered, including segments devoted to the somewhat confusing subject of Mobile Marketing. Two of the keynote speakers, HubSpot VP of Marketing Jeanne Hopkins, and Jamie Turner of The 60 Second Marketer, collaborated on a book  called  Go Mobile The authors believe that although many businesses find the concept of social media to be understandable because of their own personal use, the idea of starting a mobile marketing program seems daunting because they are unfamiliar with the tools.

Jamie Turner suggests some actions will help you break the ice. That’s right….just start! I’ll add a couple of my own


1. Read everything you can find about mobile marketing

2. Claim your business on location-based services. If you don’t, you won’t be found.

3. Learn how to run a mobile ad campaign.

4. Accept a few of the push notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or your local news stations

5. Get a QR code scanner and scan a QR code.

Once you use the tools, you’ll have a greater appreciation for how they can work in your business.

How are you using mobile?

Digital taking over your life?

When was the last time you unplugged? Could you if you tried?  We once flipped on the radio for the news in the morning, but now we turn on our smartphone.

Thinking that the technology that once served us has become our master, a local radio host challenged himself and his listeners to go on a digital diet…a digital cleanse…. for a week.  You’d need to alert your online communities about a change in your communication habits.

Here are the elements:

1. No use of cell/smartphone in your car. All commutes are phone free

2. A tech curfew is in effect from 7pm to 7am. Phones and computers are down for the day after 7pm. (Did I mention this is just one week?)

3. Have a total time limit for all e-mailing, updating and sharing of 2 hours per day. Remember, this has to be after 7am and before 7pm.

4. No having a digital device out during an in-person conversation.  For one week you will look people in the eye, not look down at your phone. Imagine being fully present in a conversation! It may be a lost art.

5. End the week with a new habit—-a Digital Sabbath.  For 24 hours on the weekend all devices are off.

Could you do the Digital Cleanse? Would you? What if we didn’t count the time we have to spend online for work?

Turns out our host wasn’t completely successful.

Would I do this? I plead the fifth and any other amendment that’s handy.

How about you?



Shop Local? City Governments Should Practice What they Preach

(UPDATE: City of Dayton responds: In a comment on a newly developed Facebook page about the controversy, the City of Dayton Office of Economic  Development responds in a comment )

In September 2010,  the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana hired a PR firm from Chicago, paying them $72000 to teach city employees about Social Media. The local, and very active Social Media community there was outraged. With all of the local talent, why spend taxpayer money out of town? The city said they needed the specialized talents of Carolyn Grisko & Associates, who had worked with other city governments. Fair enough. Still, was there really no individual or company who was up to the task (and might have taken a shade less than $72000?).  I would at least, think so.

Apparently this is widespread. The Dayton Daily News reported on Friday,  April 20, that the  City of Dayton Office of Economic Development had contracted Atlas Advertising, LLC from Denver to create an economic development website that promotes the city to businesses.  Atlas beat 15 other bids, including 5 local companies.

What’s wrong with this picture? Dayton has been hit especially hard by the recession, the closure of auto and auto-related plants, moves of companies that were once local institutions like NCR, which moved to Atlanta; and a talent exodus as people move to find other opportunities.  Dayton is undergoing a rebirth as more technical companies move in, and the city would like to attract more companies and talent.  That’s what the Office of Economic Development is all about.

What does it say about a city when businesses who are thinking about locating there don’t have enough confidence in their local companies to spend taxpayer money with them? Are the needs so specialized that only this Denver company can provide them? Yes, there is a difference between a one-person shop operating in a basement and a large company that can provide sophisticated back-end and database services, but there are several companies in Dayton that can do that.  Did the Economic Development commission even bother asking the members of New Media Dayton for recommendations?

The Cities of Fort Wayne, Dayton, Indianapolis, Knoxville or even Denver have every right to do business with whoever they want. Likewise, firms, including in Dayton,  can and do solicit business from around the country and world.  Still, if you’re the taxpayer entity that wants to tell the world how great your city is as a place to locate your business, why give your local providers a black eye?

When a city preaches about shopping local, but doesn’t do that when it buys city services, it rings a little hollow.

Your thoughts are welcome!

Tweeting to Titanic Proportions: Twitter brings back history

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  The sinking of the “unsinkable” passenger ship, was immortalized in the movie of the same name, which has just been re-released to theaters in 3-D.   Memorial cruises to the place in the ocean where the Titanic sunk occurred, and rose petals were dropped to remember the passengers and crew who lost their lives.  In my area, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee  held ceremonies. If you’re on Twitter, you may have found an account reenacting the tweets that may have happened as the ship went down…assuming that the internet and Twitter existed 100 years ago (and of course, there would have been internet access on the ship even if it had existed).

An account called @TitanicRealTime appeared, tweeting about the disaster as if it were occurring now. Sponsored by @TheHistoryPress, @TitanicRealTime took readers through the disaster. Here are some samples of the tweets.

#officer Californian ATS has just informed us she has had to stop due to a field of pack ice – I’ve informed the lookouts.”

#firstclass The lights in the lounges have been extinguished and have been moved from the reading & writing room on A Deck. Time to turn in.

#officer 3 gongs coming from the lookout and a report on the telephone – Iceberg Right Ahead. Hard-a-starboard

#engineering Water pouring in 2ft above stokehold plates in boiler room 6 and in the empty starboard side forward bunker of boiler room 5!

#bandmaster No questions, I have received an order to play, and play we will.

You can see all of the tweets on the timeline. In the spirit of all things Twitter, a parody account, @TitanicIceberg was created, and people tweeted their own humorous comments back to the account.

In 100 years,  real time tweets will be able to be unearthed, as all tweets are being archived by the Library of Congress.  We didn’t have Twitter and our present-day social media for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but we have to chronicle revolutions and  tornado damage among others, and the next big disaster will be able to be seen in real time by future generations.

Your thoughts?

Pinning your hopes on Pinterest may lead to copyright headaches.

Pinterest is one of the newest social networks; and it’s taking off fast. If you didn’t know, Pinterest allows a user to create virtual “pinboards” to highlight interests. From planning a wedding to highlighting vacation spots, there’s a potential pinboard for everyone. All you do is find images anywhere on the web and “pin it”  What could be easier? Even a child can do it!

That’s just the problem. It’s so easy to violate someone’s copyright, or to have your copyright violated by someone else.  One attorney, after reading the Terms and Conditions of Pinterest, deleted all of her boards. The terms and conditions put the responsibility of avoiding copyright infringement directly on you! Pinterest gets sued over something you post, you agree to hold Pinterest harmless and defend Pinterest. Here is a quote from the Terms of Use.



“You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.”

Is pinning images blatant copyright infringement, or is there a gray area? Napster took money away from artists and record companies. Is pinning images in a way that they track back to the original URL a benefit as opposed to something that takes away from the creator? Whatever courts may say, Pinterest is putting all the responsibility on you, the person who just wants a virtual flower garden.

Will individual Pinterest users be sued, as Napster users were? I am familiar with one photographer who has had her images and words stolen.  Intellectual property is very hard to protect.

What do you think?

Tide cleans up the Daytona track, but no one is home in the Social Media office

The 2012 Daytona 500 was a race that will go into the history books for many reasons.  The first one to be rained out;  the first one run at night, the first one to finish early on a Tuesday morning (giving new meaning to the term 24 Hours of Daytona…yes I know it’s called the Rolex 24).  Just when race fans and onlookers thought they had seen it all, Juan Pablo Montoya hits a jet dryer trying to dry the track. A huge fire threatens to damage the track. Driver Brad Keselowski sent the first tweet ever from the track at a NASCAR race while a race was in progress.  Kesolowski took this picture .

Then came the Tide. Boxes and boxes of Tide laundry detergent. They must have had to buy out Wal-Mart’s entire supply from the entire southeastern United States!

Tide is one of Proctor and Gamble‘s many brands. You may recall reading that Cincinnati-based P&G laid off 1600  advertising employees and cut traditional advertising because…as the headline read…Social Media was “free”. I never thought that any executive at P&G really thought that Social Media was “free”. However, while boxes and boxes of Tide detergent were being poured on the raging fire, the reaction from Tide was…..silence. (You’ve reached Tide’s Twitter account after business hours. Please check back at 8am Eastern Time. No they didn’t really say that.) The way Twitter and Facebook lit up talking about the Tide brand could have done wonders for free publicity, but Tide’s Social Media team didn’t “have it’s ears on”.

Opportunities, consumer complaints, requests for help with a product all reasons for your brand to be monitored 24/7/365. What tie-ins could have been made for Tide right then and there that passed them by?

Our shared experiences are now shared on social media. No matter what your brand, if you aren’t participating in the conversation, someone else is having the conversation without you.


%d bloggers like this: