Posts tagged ‘Knoxville’

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?




Talking bad on Twitter, Twitter talks bad about 3rd party applications.

A couple of  Twitter stories came to our attention recently, one which reminded me of my on-air radio days. That was when someone from the ad agency for Chrysler inadvertently let a personal tweet with some very bad language be sent, thinking he/she was in her personal account when saying not-nice things about Detroit drivers. This fiasco caused the entire agency to be fired. Ooops!

Many of my colleagues in radio broadcasting said some things on the air when they thought the microphone wasn’t on.  A friend of mine took a job at a small market station in North Dakota as an all-night DJ (when they used to have all night DJs). He played back a newscast recorded earlier, went to the restroom and found that a series of obscenities went on the air. Two weeks of unpaid leave followed. For that matter, even a President of the United States got caught “outlawing Russia forever” as he tested the mic for his radio address.

Brad’s Twitter tip: In radio, treat an opened microphone like an unloaded gun. When doing social media on a professional basis, follow the same advice.

It’s easy to send the wrong tweet to the wrong social media account with tools like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or Hootsuite. I’ve done it, and yes somebody who was paying attention to an oldies radio tweetstream in Dayton, Ohio may have wondered why the radio station suddenly tweeted about pet adoptions in Knoxville, TN.  You have to be careful, because those check marks can come back after you uncheck them.

Over the weekend, Twitter announced they are getting tough on 3rd party clients, like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Seesmic. So far, Seesmic and Hootsuite are on the approved list, though Tweetdeck is missing.  Twitter says they want a “unified experience” and do not want 3rd party companies to re-create the Twitter interface.

I will say the only thing that made Twitter makes sense for me was discovering Tweetdeck. I use the web version of Seesmic when I’m on another computer. I would not want to see these service go away, unless Twitter is going to build one with the best features of all of the third party clients.

Thoughts on either topic?

Writing a blog post

I was struggling just a bit while thinking that I needed to write a new blog post.  One of my Twitter friends, Kimba Green, suggested I write a blog post on writing a blog post. So that’s what I’m doing.

One of the things in social media I was reluctant to do was start and keep up a blog. When I thought blog, I thought of a self-absorbed guy or girl sitting in the basement and pontificating, or telling me more than I needed to know about his or personal life or latest conspiracy theory. There are blogs on every subject in the universe, including, but not limited to: Religion, Politics, UFOs, cars and auto racing, cartoons, Classic TV shows, music, space travel, time travel, and of course the occasional serious or not so serious subject.

What if I was going to blog about real estate? There are any number of topics I could write about. That could include how to select a home, how to have it inspected, how to find financing, and how to improve your credit. What about an auto mechanic? Any mechanic would be money ahead to write about simple maintenance, how often to have the belts changed, tell-tale signs of a failing transmission, and much more. Day care center? Blog posts about child development.

No time to blog? I’ll refer you to this post by Marketing Professor Mark Schaefer.

How could you use blogging in your business?

What does Klout mean to you?

Stand back everyone…a man with Klout is coming through!  All creatures, see my QWERTY keyboard and tremble!

In kindergarten, everyone got stars, In grade school through college, grades were the way people were measured.  Athletes are measured by statistics, and coaches are measured by won-loss records. In our individual careers, we are measured by sales figures and performance reviews. Now, not to be left behind, is Social Media Klout.

Klout is a tool that uses an algorithm that’s more secret that Col. Sanders recipe to assign you a score that tells the world how influential you are.  I took a quick look at mine. At least for today, my score is 55, which makes me a Specialist.  According to Klout;

“You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.” This could double as my horoscope.

I guess that’s not too bad, taking in my Facebook and Twitter scores, although I was going for Rock Star.  There’s a handy-dandy dashboard that tells me I’ve had 50 retweets by 50 unique retweeters, but doesn’t say in what time frame.  100 likes and comments on Facebook..either that’s an achievement or I’m spending too much time there.

I’ve read a couple of good blog posts on this phenomenon. Chris Theisen, who is the Director of Digital Communications for Hare Chevrolet in Indianapolis, takes a skeptical view of social scoring. Quoting from his post,  Klout…why do you Kare, Chris writes;

I have never made a conscious decision about my actions online that was influenced by a measurement. I have never used an auto-follow program to bloat my follower count on Twitter. I don’t add every last person I walked down the hall with (but never talked to) in high school on Facebook to make me seem cooler than I am. I’m surely not going to start altering what I do online because some company in California has self-proclaimed themselves as the standard for influence online”. Read the rest of the post here.

Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions writes in his {grow} blog  that although this new social scoring creeps him out, that there is an upside; 

While it may be a sad and disturbing reality that we’re about to create a new social media caste system, the business benefits are obvious and powerful. This system can provide highly-targeted marketing and PR opportunities.”  He goes on to outline companies who have done successful promotions based on Klout those in his post.

This all brings to mind Studio 54, the New York disco where the doorman decided who was in and who was out depending on how one was dressed.  Maybe  there will soon be a bar that will scan you and only admit you if you have a high Klout score.


A Royal Honeymoon in the Smoky Mountains?

It’s official. Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2010. It will be a huge media and television event, perhaps even rivaling the royal wedding of Prince William’s parents.

The couple could skip all the pomp and circumstance and marry in one of the Smoky Mountain region’s fine wedding chapels instead. A worldwide TV audience might not want them to have a simple ceremony stateside, however. Why not our very own Smoky Mountains as a honeymoon destination, however?

Think just a minute of the possibilities. The weather will be nice and warm, but shouldn’t be hot yet. The dogwoods will be in bloom. The attractions will be open. What royal couple wouldn’t want to spend time in East Tennessee?

Prince William and Princess Kate have led more “normal” lives than most royals. William is a helicopter pilot, and Kate has worked as a flight attendant, retail buyer and photographer while her parents own a successful business.

As those of us who live here or visit often know, there is a lot to do. They couple can stay in one of the resorts, a secluded cabin or chalet, or even the Inn at Christmas Place (if it was good enough for Regis Philbin, why not for the Royal Couple?) There’s ziplining,, nice restaurants, Dollywood, The Titanic Museum Attraction, and Wonderworks. The couple can hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, go rafting on the quiet side of the mountain, or take a day trip to Knoxville and attend the Tennessee Theatre or the Bijou. How much money would a royal honeymoon in the Smokies bring into the area? All that papparrazzi would have to stay somewhere. Sevierville based Cinemarr Entertainment could film it all in 3D.

Whether or not the Royal Couple actually honeymoon here, the promotional tie-ins for all types of business are endless, particularly for any type of business that heavily targets females. A royal weekend travel package? Bridal shops offering duplicates of Ms. Middleton’s dress? Bars and restaurants offering big-screen viewings of the wedding (even if it is at 4:30am Eastern Time)

How could you make the royal wedding tie into your Spring 2011 promotional plan?

The Biz After Hours Lounge: New Internet TV Show

I’m pleased to announce a project I’ve been planning and working on with the folks at KnoxIVI. I’m calling it the Biz After Hours Lounge. I adopted @BizAfterHours as my Twitter name some time ago. I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee from Dayton, Ohio earlier this year, and found this unique company.

Knoxville IVI logo

KnoxIVI (the IVI part stands for Internet Video), is a hyper-local internet video broadcasting company, providing on-demand content for and about the Knoxville area. The company’s slogan is “New Answers for New Media”. KnoxIVI has studio space in downtown Knoxville‘s Market Square, and full facilities including HD. The public is invited to see shows being produced, and have a sandwich or a cup of coffee from a menu of items from The Lunchbox. Signature shows include “The 11’O’Clock Rock” (live musical performances broadcast live at 11am weekdays), The Bowl of OH! (a look at pop culture and local happenings), The Scruffy Citizen, and Mary’s Kitchen and Garden. I invite you to check out KnoxIVI‘s new website and shows.

I approached KnoxIVI shortly after arriving in Knoxville, and batted around a few ideas. I was informed that some additions to their Business channel could be a good idea. So, the Biz After Hours lounge is at least a reality on paper. The Biz After Hours Lounge will feature the stories of East Tennessee entrepreneurship. Far from being a talking heads business show that you might find on CNBC, we will be meeting entrepreneurs where they are, and inviting a studio audience when we produce the show. (That will be an excellent opportunity to network). We might even challenge celebrity guests or students to perform tasks reminiscent of “The Apprentice” (but no firings, no board rooms, and no bad combovers!). More people than ever are exploring entrepreneurship, and we will have helpful information on everything from home-based businesses, to buying and selling existing businesses.

We will be looking for interesting guests from East Tennessee, and thanks to Skype, from around the country and even the world. There are excellent sponsorship opportunities that will be available.

A certain amount of advertising will have to be sold to begin production. A rough target date is January 2011, and the Biz After Hours Lounge will be a weekly presentation.

I’ll keep you posted and welcome your comments and suggestions for topics or guests.

Setting myself free from the job search

Statue of Liberty

Whenever our government releases new unemployment statistics, they will talk about those who have given up looking for work. I often wonder how they know how many people are in that category. Surveys? Focus Groups? Is there a form to fill out? Maybe Form 8696 Schedule 16 is the official “I’ve tossed in the towel” form. I’m not sure what people are doing once they’ve “given up”. Fishing is only fun for awhile.

I’m going to find out, because I’ve given up job hunting! No more Applicant Tracking Systems for me, thank you. Who needs to guess the right keywords? Not me! Don’t like what’s on my Facebook page? Tough it out. My tie not straightened just right? Oh well. You want to know my credit score? I’m not telling. You think I’m too old because I like the Beatles and don’t like Lady Gaga? Tough! I’m setting myself free at last…to work even harder that I ever would at a J.O.B. Also to help more people and eventually find much better rewards for myself and my slowly-spreading-across-the- country family.

It’s no secret from those who know me that it’s been awhile since a regular paycheck has landed in my bank account like clockwork. I’ve spent a lot of time at The University of Brad (which could also be called the School of Hard Knox…ville), learning new media to combine with my old media and marketing skills. I’ve had a chance to study and learn from the best, and others who are doing trial and error.

Many, if not ,most of us, bought the idea years ago that we should only have one source of income, and we should be someone’s employee. In return, the company would “give” us health insurance and a pension, a couple of weeks a year off the job, and their loyalty. While some grew up in entrepreneurial families, entrepreneurship was all but non-existent for many of us. The company would take care of us, and if they didn’t, we’d find another one who would. Then, someone moved the cheese.

I’ve come to believe that just maybe, I have the skills to market my services directly to businesses that can benefit from them, much more than I can go through a tedious process of applying for jobs, going through interviews, and coming in second, or not even being able to get past the HR screen. Sometimes posted jobs don’t even exist, or they have a candidate in mind but have to go through the formality of a search process for legal reasons.
Don’t get me wrong. If the perfect, dynamite job opportunity comes along, I’ll be all over it. Those opportunities seem to come from networking, not HR offices and job boards.

I’ll be announcing my plans and projects in the next day or so. Wish me luck, tell me I nuts, or tell me your own story in the comments section.

Statue of Liberty

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