Monthly Archives: July 2011


The time is now for colleges and social media to meet

I love my alma mater, The College of Saint Rose. More than anything, the college allowed me to grow and learn from my mistakes. Man were there a lot of mistakes.

I follow St. Rose’s online presence quietly, but it’s time for them to join the game and start using social media to truly benefit their current and future students, along with their alumni.

Dear St. Rose, Here are the top 5 things you should be doing online right now. There is no reason that you can’t be a leader: Continue reading


Interactive Story Telling

I have a great friend Brendan O’Brien. He’s also a great storyteller. When ever he mentions writing scripts or filming videos, my mind goes numb with different ways we could create an interactive story.

There are two parts to this post:

How the different platforms can be used.
What a timeline might look like. Continue reading


G+ Open Office Hours

Goal To create a space where individuals can share and receive feedback on projects they are working on in the moment. Execution I’ll post to G+ a project that I’m working on at that very moment. I’m calling it G+ … Continue reading

I support local farmers, but no one is helping me share it

I’m proud to support two farmers’ markets.

Ash and I have gotten to know some of the farmers by name, and enjoy having fresh vegetables on the table each night. It’s definitely a community focused event.

But why isn’t Dover or Wentworth helping me share my love for the local farmers? Here is one simple idea that each market should be doing. NOTE: I’ve seen some general stickers around town, but nothing specific.

Stickers, yes stickers
Why? Because they are easy, get put any and everywhere and they are barrier free. Everyone knows what a sticker is, and what to do with it.

Partner with a local designer and tell them you want something that looks like this:

Once printed, give them away like crazy.

Exposure. The whole local, natural, food movement is big. Visiting a market is something most people can do. It’s easy, they can brag about it to their neighbors, and like the sticker says, it’s supporting local growers.

The people visiting the market love it. Help them share their story.

AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE Dover. Why the heck does Wentworth have a sign in the middle of town and you don’t? You’re ignoring the busiest intersection in town, no wonder why your market is so small.

Make your sign 2x as big as Wentworth's.

Coffee Shops – Share while you sip

Looking around the coffee shops I frequent, I see three things:

  1. People enjoying themselves
  2. Lots of computers and phones
  3. Most importantly lots of sitting, no rushing.

This got me thinking… How can coffee shops encourage their patrons to share their experience? Turn this simple visit into a sharing and communication opportunity.  

While sitting at a local shop, I sketched this:

Call to action
It tells people what we want them to do. “As you sip, share about us.” Depending on your taste it could be more direct. 

We know patrons have a great experience at our shop (this is not true for all shops), so let’s get them sharing those feelings with their friends online.

Tells them where to share
Putting actual icons tells people where to share. If you’ve got a great espresso artist and have a big flickr following, put the flickr logo. Only put the logos of sites where you are actively communicating.

Show love to your biggest fans
The 3rd part is the 2d code. The sky is the limit on the 2d code’s use, but a simple idea would be:

  • Have it share a message such as, “Tag your comment today with #2dcoffee for your chance to win a free ________. We pick a winner each week!” Hell, one winner? Coffee isn’t that expense, pick 10 winners!
  • Ask them to sign up for a newsletter. “Sign up for our monthly newsletter about everything coffee. Newsletters also include coupons for FREE coffee or new menu items. 

HOLD UP. Why the heck would you give away free stuff? Remember these are your biggest fans. These are the people spending time at your shop, willing to scan a code, and share their email. These few people want to have a closer connection with you. Who better than to try your new menu item out on, or just reward them?

You’re at your local coffee shop, you love it, would you share something with your friends? As a frequent customer, would you appreciate being rewarded?

Stop being so damn agreeable.

I am an addict to Twitter chats. One I really enjoy is #likeablechat. It flows nicely, has some pretty good questions and is at a time when people can actually join in, Sunday 10PM EST.

As I take part in more chats, I’m realizing how agreeable people are. A quick glance of the transcript shows a lot of agreeing and sharing others’ ideas. Hey that’s great, but if we came here to agree with everyone, what’s the point? We don’t learn from agreeing all the time, and it’s boring.

The more frustrating thing I find is most ideas are so utopian it makes me gag. Maybe I’m wrong, but is the purpose of a chat to create the most beautifully crafted quotable post, and see how many times it can be RTed? Sometimes it seems that way.

There are rarely any messages that go against what the masses are RTing and +1ing. When there are, they usually are quickly overtaken by other more positive messages. I used to be one of those 100% positive messages. Here’s a post from last night that you’d rarely see on my stream, but I believe it to be true:

Yes there’s a typo in my tweet. “Isn’t”
Yes it’s unpolished. Some would say I’m a bad writer, especially at 140 characters. 

The Response
The response I got was fabulous. Lots of people disagreed! It was great. I’d like to share two comments that caught my eye and I appreciated. Unfortunately most of the other disagreements came in the form of RTs. Come on people there’s nothing original in a RT. How are we to learn, if we just repeat ourselves?

@MayzYap Profits may me the ends for companies but it’s not sustainable as means. Providing value+innovation+quality!

@DaveKerpen: No way @dougridley many co. not just driven towards profits. @likeabemedia driven to change the world. #LikeableChat

So what did a honest, but different answer do?
For me it made the conversation more honest and interesting. In this conversation we couldn’t talk about a company’s drive and building relationships without mentioning that money is a huge factor. Someone can build as many meaningful relationships as they want, but without profits a company wouldn’t exist. Of course relationships can lead to profits, but again, it comes back to profits.

Unanticipated reaction
I had more people follow me during tonight’s chat than any other chat before. I know, quality over quantity. That’s bullshit. I bet Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and anyone else with a +1 million following aren’t saying that. In the end, it’s an audience; one that needs to be respected and nurtured. BUT, more followers, means more chances your thoughts are shared, means more conversation, means greater influence, leading to more relationships.

My suggestion?
Speak honestly and let the community respond. Don’t let your virtual ego be shy. What’s the worst that will happen? Someone’s going to say, “I disagree and here’s why.” That’s a perfect response, now we’re going somewhere.

Foursquare Day Scavenger Hunt (ok, better name needed)

Starting conversations with +Walter Elly +Brian Sullivan and @myfrienddan about using Foursquare as a foundation for a game really got my camp brain working. I used to love to create games as a program director. Here are some ideas that I’ve been thinking for a Foursquare scavenger hunt:

Goal: Players must visit local businesses in a set amount of time and complete specific challenges for each business. Checking in is a must.

1. A game needs a winner and some sort of prize. 
This prize could be something ridiculous such as an actual foursquare ball, flattening, framed, and mounted for hanging. OR it could be something useful like a gift certificate from a local business. The better the prizes, the better the game.

2. A game needs a set about of time. 
How long does it take to run around Portsmouth? Don’t know, but too little time frustrates players, too much time bores them to death. I prefer having little time as needed so that players must make choices and can’t do everything. Makes the replay value higher.

3. It MUST benefit the local businesses participating
Business need to see some sort of return for letting us use their name, and potentially having people run in and out of their store. For example a Stonewall kitchen challenge may include testing their jams and Tweeting or leaving a tip or even taking a photo of your favorite jam and why. The Music Hall challenge might be to Tweet or leave a tip on your favorite upcoming show.

4. Players need a map
I see this map as a map of Portsmouth with just dots, no company name. Players will then need to go to that area and look for a window sticker that signals a participating business. Maybe challenges that are clustered close together are less points (i.e. challenges in the square), but challenges that are farther away are more points (i.e. visiting StreetFood360).

5. Scoring needs to be clear
Completing a challenge gives you a specific amount of points, maybe there are guest judges that will give bonus points for creativity when it comes to taking pictures. MAYBE it’s not virtual points, but players get actual tokens for completing challenges, which can then be turned in for prizes, or dropped into raffle boxes for a chance to win prizes. Maybe completed challenges will need to be shared on Twitter with a specific tag.

6. A game needs to be friendly so anyone with a smartphone and Foursquare can play. 
It should be accessible even to someone who wants to join off the street.

7. A game needs a referee and a central location to ask questions
Why not setup a booth in the square with a few people to answer questions, track points, etc… This way everyone playing knows where to go or who to call if they have a problem.

8. Players need to be recognizable. 
I think this is as simple as making pins for players.

9. There needs to be new elements thrown in throughout the game
This idea comes from @myfrienddan. We could have people in costume that are “released” during the game. We then tweet that this character is out in a specific area and if caught will give bonus points to the player.

I know that Foursquare day is next spring, but I love making up games. I also see this as a great way to engage locals and visitors with our local businesses. Love to share your thoughts and make this a reality. Maybe we could even do one sooner?