Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This Day in History

August 19, 1958: My mother was born

Happy birthday Mom.

August 19, 1989: Pan-European Picnic

I had always heard about this when I lived in Sopron. The legend still lives on and the story is openly shared by proud Hungarians, but I never understood how important the event was to the fall of Communism in the Eastern Bloc.

Hundreds of Hungarians and East Germans gathered at the Hungarian-Austrian border to take advantage of the short time the border gate would be open. Somewhat taking the border guard by surprise (but not really, read more here) the people escaped from Communist to political sanctuary in Austria. What made the escape peaceful was the border guard's decision to not deter the citizens from leaving.

The Pan-European Picnic was one of the many events that marked the fall of Communist power in Eastern Europe. By September 11th of that same year, the border in Hungary was permanently opened.

Since living in Sopron, I've learned that there are many reasons the town's citizens are a proud people. This is just one more feather in their cap.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm a Social Media Rockstar

Today I attended "Be a Social Media Rockstar" in Green Bay, WI. The conference was hosted by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and covered topics like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, and YouTube for local professionals and organizations.

Each session included How To tips for the novice, while best practices and effective uses were shared for the pros.

For example, I learned that blogs must be updated at least once per week as a best practice and in order not to alienate your readers (sorry, readers).

Effectively chastised and motivated, I am rededicating myself to this little piece of Internet. I promise to update more often.

Dinosaurs are Extinct

My favorite breakout session, however, was the "How to Sell Social Media to Your CEO." This is a topic many of us come across in our daily professional lives. In the session we talked about how some CEOs are alpha-male dinosaurs, and don't understand the importance of harnessing the power of social media. Therefore we must present social media marketing using traditional marketing pitch formats. This can be troublesome at times; ROI can be difficult to calculate based on number of followers, for example.

But we learned that there are resources out there for professionals on the cutting edge who want to bring their CEOs over to the dark side. published an article titled Web 2.0 the ROI Case that highlights convincing examples of companies who've harnessed the power of social media to lofty results. For example, "P&G now boasts that over 50% of the company's new product development is now crowdsourced from outside the company." published the results of a survey called Online in Troubled Times that talks about how brands are looking to digital media in the tight economy. published an article, How successful brands live their difference that states that "a brand that generates little to no conversation will be killed by one that does," in a testament to the importance of a company's social media presence.

The conference was a great resource for those interested in exploring what social media can do for their business. It was also a great place to network - both through social media and in person. I made several connections I look forward to building, utilizing, and sustaining in the future.

All in all, a productive day I think.