I want my MTV!

Who remembers when music videos brought to life the sounds we heard on the radio?  Is MTV really Music Television anymore?  Well thanks to VEVO, music videos have grabbed my attention once again!  As marketers, we all know (for the most part) content is king and getting your content distributed on the internet is even better.

As we continue to find what content works and what content doesn’t, I wanted to share with you something I saw at the 140 Character Conference in Detroit last week.  Yesterday, Andy Grammer released his interactive video, Keep Your Head Up.  This is great way to engage your audience with your content.

Not only does encourage you to create your own version of the video, but he also partnered with Old Navy.  If you unlock the 4 different endings to the video, you receive coupons from Old Navy.  Pretty ingenious if you ask me!  So check out the video links below!  Create and share!  I’m sure Andy would appreciate it!

Keep Your Head Up Teaser

Keep Your Head Up Interactive Video


It’s OK To Say “no”

Lake Michigan Sunset at PJ Hoffmaster State Park

Life gets in the way.  It gets in the way of what’s truly important and we sometimes forget that it’s OK to say “no” to things just so we can get back on track.  Tonight I was going through Google Reader and Twitter and saw  posts from Becky Johns (Take Control of Your Stream) and Nikki Stephan (22 Important Questions to Ask Yourself).  They were about different topics but for me anyway they had the same message…take a step back.

My work (as I’m sure yours) has been ridiculously out of control as of late.  It wasn’t until this past weekend when I took 2 days off to have a long weekend camping that I was able to relax.  It was a wonderful 4 days at PJ Hoffmaster State Park spending time with the people that matter the most to me…my wife and kids.  And as you can see by the picture above, we even took time to watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Michigan.  When I got back to work this week, I began to take inventory of what I do daily and say no to the things that don’t provide value.

Becky’s post really encouraged me to take a look at my social networks.  As I continue to learn from this beautiful creation of “social media”, I need to remind myself that more is not necessarily better.  It has to be quality over quantity.  When the numbers get too big, the chance of authentic and valuable friendships becomes limited.  It reminds me that one of the objectives for me in this space was to ultimately meet people in person through events like Future Midwest, Social Media Club Detroit, or October’s 140 Conference Detroit.  I’ve tried to become more selective in who I connect with especially on Facebook.

Nikki’s post reminded me that saying no to busyness and spending time with my family is so important.  Tonight I put my blackberry down for just 30 minutes and played with my 1.5 year old son.  It was fun seeing him laugh hysterically as I tickled him.  This past weekend I watched my 5 year old son hit balls in a batting cage and went body surfing with my 2 girls in Lake Michigan.  Those are the memories I want to have of the summer and not get so caught up in work that time flies by.

What do you need to say “no” to?  How are you taking control of your life so you can enjoy what matters most?

Detroit Reverse Kicks Off This Week! (VID)

As I was getting ready mentally to start my work week, I started thinking about Detroit Reverse.  It’s hard to believe that this event starts tomorrow!  You’ve heard Bryan Willmert and I talk about this before and what I really want you to get out of my message below is to get involved.  Change doesn’t happen without action.  Now is the time to act.  There are many opportunities to volunteer to help make this event a success for the students participating this week.  I encourage you to check them out and see first hand what Detroit Reverse will do to change the lives of the people participating in it.

“Cultural Divide”

DetroitReverse on Facebook and Twitter


What Do You Know? Share it!

Something has been on my mind lately.  Well a lot of things have been on my mind but I’ll write about one of those things today.  It’s the idea of sharing, particularly with the social web.

Many of the people I interact with in this space all agree on what we, as users who are passionate about the web, need to be focusing on:  educating,  teaching, sharing information.  For many companies, they are still trying to figure out how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like can help business and engage consumers.

I was having a conversation with Shannon Paul last night at a TweetUp for Jeff Pulver‘s 140 Conference in Detroit.  She was telling me about an idea that she had to bring downtown companies together and really begin educating everyone about how the internet and the social web can help businesses.  This is a blossoming idea…hopefully more to share on that later.

On another occasion, Jason Falls was presenting to some folks at GM and he gave us his strategy for Twitter, “Share good (stuff).”

I’m amazed at the quality of people that I’ve been able to meet because of Twitter.  Each and every one wants to make a difference and educate others.  For those of us that make a living in this space, I encourage all of you to continue with that mindset and share the good stuff.  We all know that the internet isn’t a fad.  It’s going to continue to evolve the way we communicate with each other.  We have an opportunity to continue educate people and companies and build community.

In this spirit, I wanted to remind of you what’s happening in Detroit on October 20.  The 140 Conference will be happening at The Fillmore Theatre.  This conference has the opportunity to make a lasting impact on this community.  What is the story you want to tell?  Do you know someone who has a great story?  This conference has been about how the web has promoted change for good and made a difference.  If you already have experiences on how the social web has helped you or if you’re just remotely curious, register today!  A lot can be learned at this one day event.

What do you know?  How are you going to share it?  Have a great weekend everyone!

UPDATE: I just saw that my friend Dave Murray just posted this on his blog…dare I say great minds think alike?

Build Your Community and Embrace It!

Over the past week, thoughts of “community” have been racing around my head.  This started when I heard a podcast with Dave Murray (@davemurr) and Sarah Worsham (@sazbean) talking about the social web and community.  It’s well worth the time and I highly recommend you listen HERE.  I’m a big fan of takeaways and there were 8 that resonated with me after hearing Dave speak.

  1. Don’t build community around your product
  2. Communities are based off of needs and passions
  3. Communities are wrapped around people and communication…product is secondary
  4. True community is allowed to grow through its own organic process
  5. The Social Web is a long term strategy…word of mouth and action happening off line
  6. Introductions are made online but meaningful connections happen in real life (confirmed by Scott Stratten, @unmarketing, today)
  7. Communities cultivate brand loyalty (see Joseph Jaffe, @jaffejuice)
  8. Putting a face / personality to a company allows for a deeper connection

What does this all mean?  To me, if you can develop and embrace a community, you’ll be able to mobilize a group of people around a common interest and take action.  Tools like Google Alerts (thanks Gini Dietrich), Facebook and Twitter allow this conversation to happen immediately.  Why not leverage them to listen to your audience and provide a value to your growing community?  If companies and organizations saw the social web as a long term investment instead of another platform for one-way communication, I’m confident they would ultimately see the ever popular ROI they long for.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver) last week, founder of the 140 Conference Series.  His visit to Detroit was to kick off the planning for the conference to make its way to the Motor City on October 20th.  I’m honored to be part of the team to help bring it here and put Detroit on the national stage for 2 days.  Since then, Jeff has mentioned on many occasions that he believes this conference will be special because of the people and the spirit he’s encountered in his brief visit.  I think if you asked any of us that got to hang out with him, this is another extension of the energy we felt after the Future Midwest Conference earlier this year.  There is a community of people that live in metro Detroit that want to help turn this region around and make it a national destination.  The opening video from Future Midwest still gives me chills.  Watch it below to see what I mean.

The final thought I’ll leave you with is this.  The social web is about one thing and one thing only…people.  There is not magic tool or “trick” to be successful at it.  As long as you have a personality and value the people you’re CONVERSING  WITH, you’ll have success.

Your turn.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Have a great week!