Brings Local University Event to the Twin Cities

March 6, 2010

Sometimes there are local events in search marketing or social media that you just can’t miss. This could be the MIMA Summit, all the great Social Media Breakfasts, The UnSummit, etc. There’s now another can’t-miss and it’s coming to town.

Welcome to some of the best local search minds across the country as brings their Local University to the Twin Cities on May, 13. It has all to do with bringing qualified local Web traffic to your local business.

For registration information, click the link above. For more event information, check out Aaron Weiche’s blog post about the event and their coupon code to get in for $89.00.

To quote Aaron:

You simply won’t find another seminar, with this amount of information here in Minnesota for the price.

I fully agree. Here are a few reasons to go:

  • Again, you just can’t beat the price with the local search talent. Plus, representatives of Google and Bing will be there.
  • The presenters are real! They’re well-known, proven and can provide great information.
  • If you’re new to search marketing and local search you won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll probably come up with great common sense ideas on the spot.
  • If you’re seasoned, think about the big search and social events such as SES and SMX. Registration is worth the over $1,500.00 and there’s always that one thing you take in that justifies the cost. The same can happen here and you’re in at 89 bucks. Plus, there should be networking possibilities.

Local lawyers, this can be a perfect event for you. The same can be said for restaurant owners, chiropractors, or any other businesses who want to bring in local business to your door.

I hope to see you there!

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Pimp Your Studio – Minneapolis Event is Official for October 9th and 10th

August 22, 2009
Pimp Your Studio Event

Pimp Your Studio Event

It’s been official for about a week but we needed to wrap up a couple loose ends. We’re excited!

The first Pimp Your Studio event will be at the Ramada – Mall of America Hotel on Friday and Saturday, October 9th and 10th. In a nutshell, it’s a real-time workshop for photographers and other creative professionals to get local and be social online, and using this knowledge to help bring customers to your actual studio.

First, the good stuff.

Here is where you can register for the event.

We narrowed the locations and decided to clearly go with the Ramada – MOA hotel for a few reasons. One is the location. It couldn’t be more convenient. (map)

Ramada - MOA

The hotel is completely wireless – just turn on the Interwebz. The conference room is big enough at 1900 sq. ft. that you’ll have more than enough room to stretch and move around. We’re going to have half-round tables which allows you to work as a team while being able to watch us guide you at the same time.

Since you’ll need to bring a laptop for this workshop, there will be plug-in strips under every table to avoid any battery issues. This… is awesome.

Also, for the Saturday full-day schedule we’re providing a free soups/sandwiches/salads buffet for lunch.

The Ramada itself is completely renovated, yet unique with hints of the old deco when it was the Thunderbird. They have a huge bar and they’ll even section off part of it after Friday’s afternoon session for a happy hour. This would be a great way for us to get to know you better and give honest advice. 🙂 For more info on the hotel, feel free to visit their site.

The hotel event planner was a big plus. It was obvious she put all of our needs over her commission. Room rates are $89/night for any attendees who choose to stay overnight. This is a tad better than a discounted rate of $250/night a hotel down the street gave us.

We hope to attract many from out of town. If this is you, please consider staying for the weekend. The Twin Cities is more than awesome. The Mall of America is literally under a 10 minute walk from the Ramada which includes a light rail station that will take you to downtown Minneapolis for a whopping 2 buck debit/credit card swipe.

Mall of America from the Ramada

Mall of America from the Ramada

If you’re traveling from somewhere further like Madison, Des Moines, Sioux Falls or Fargo/Moorhead and would rather fly, we’re this far from the airport and the Ramada provides free shuttle service.

Plane flying into MSP

Plane flying into MSP

To say we’re excited about this is an understatement. Instead of presentations to give you ideas, this workshop is to literally let you create and/or improve your local search marketing and social media profiles on the spot. If you know anyone who would benefit from this, definitely let them know! They will leave the workshop with profiles set along with the knowledge and confidence to continue efforts on their own.

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40 Presenters at the SMX Local and Mobile Conference, That’s Quite Impressive

June 14, 2008

Search Engine Land provides the original post.

40 presenters is really impressive for a local search field that is still (arguably) relatively new.

It’s cool to see that the SMX Conference targets ad agencies just as much or even more than search marketers and marketing managers.

It was just a few years ago that there was quite a debate between search marketers and ad agencies. Search marketers offered a cheaper and more of a “pull marketing” alternative to mainstream marketing and advertising, and ad agencies blew search marketing off as a fad or something useless. Now, both large and small agencies hire search marketers on a regular basis to broaden their services.

The SMX conference looks like they’re taking this a step further by offering local search strategies to these agencies. It does make sense. We often hear about the large, national agencies such as Fallon and Campbell Mithun, but there are plenty of small agencies around too that primarily have a local client base.

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Final Thoughts on the NCMR 2008 Event

June 10, 2008

On Sunday, I wrote up a quick rant on how Bill O’Reilly thinks I’m a tree hugger because I attended the 2008 National Conference for Media Reform event. I wound up deleting the post a half hour later because I don’t think the smart readers here deserve a rant. After some thought, I wanted to give more of an objective insight.

I went to the conference not as an elephant or a donkey, but as a Web marketer who wanted to learn more about media reform, and to see how independent media counters corporate media by using social Web opportunities such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

There were some fantastic sessions regarding this, and I’m a smarter person because of it (well, that’s up in the air). Plus, it was great to see presenters talking about this from a non-search engine point of view. This helps me understand other points of view and makes me a better Web marketer.

Here is the Bill O’Reilly YouTube video that actually ticked me off. To those of you who know me personally, you know it’s pretty difficult to make me angry.

According to the YouTube clip, Bill O’Reilly thinks I’m some liberal extremist because I went to the conference.

On Monday, I watched the Bill O’Reilly show and their coverage of the event. They carefully selected and provided footage of a few anti-O’Reilly folks and a liberal preacher who lashed out at Fox News. They did not care to interview me, nor many other people like myself who were just there to learn more about media reform and how this knowledge can help us in what we do in our respective careers.

This might be a perfect example of big media. They have executive bosses who demand that their news be delivered in a certain way. Independent news do not have this. Citizen journalists do not have this criteria, and I’m happy to support these writers.

The Uptake provides a perfect example for those who want to watch a nine minute video, and it’s worth the time.

This video is unedited by and it just makes me more of a fan of citizen journalism. We want to view real news without any corporate spin.

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NCMR – Day 3: Less Words, More Pictures

June 8, 2008

Today was the final day at the 2008 National Conference for Media Reform. I went to the conference mainly to see how independent media uses the social Web. Surprisingly, not as many were as active in places like YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook like I would have thought. A few were, especially Minnesota Public Radio along with The Current. The Free Press Conference site did a great job with it too.

What I didn’t have is a whole lot of knowledge regarding media reform. I learned just a ton of valuable information and met many really cool people. I’m glad I wound up blogging on it so I can go back to read up on things learned at the conference.

Today? Longer post, but with much less words. The closing plenary was great and I took a bunch of pictures.

Rosa Clemente, who formed the first hip hop political convention and the only hip hop journalist on the ground after Hurricane Katrina.

Rosa Clemente


Ben Scott runs the Washington office for

Ben Scott


Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein was very energetic and drew a lot of applause. Strongly said we need to keep the Internet open.

Jonathan Adelstein


Then they showed a cool video with short clips or this event. Can someone comment regarding the bear? I really don’t know what that was about.



Alex Russell, Program Director at the Free Press while introducing Amy Goodman.

Alex Russell


Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. I saw her speak at three different occasions during the weekend. Fantastic speaker and is passionate to her cause.

Amy Goodman


Louise Erdrich, writer and owner of Minneapolis’ own Birchbark Books. Go check it out!

Louise Erdrich


Josh Silver, Executive Director of Free Press.

Josh Silver


Closing speaker was Van Jones from Green For All. This guy energized the crowd so much I literally wanted to jump up, run out, and somehow change the world!

Van Jones


The End. Big thanks to Free Press for the great NCMR conference!

The end

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NCMR – Day 2: This Day is a Bit More Political

June 7, 2008

Hey, you can’t expect to avoid politics when you attend a national media reform conference. If you lean toward the elephant side, you probably don’t want to read this. If you are an elephant and you read this, don’t shoot the freaking indie messenger. Today seems to be a little less about the media and more about politics.

The first session I went to is titled From Broadcast to Broadband: The Next Frontier of Media Reform. Amy Goodman started out as the moderator thanking many people in attendance and wound up getting a huge amount of applause. She also gave a special mention of Birch Barks Books in Minneapolis, owned by Louise Erdrich which received another round of applause. founder Robert W. McChesney was first up to the podium. He gave Amy Goodman big props as she is a tireless champion of Independent media. Another huge round of applause came (huge applauses are definitely a theme today). He claims our current administration has done little to help independent press and mentions that monopolies and big telcos don’t yet realize the full potential of independent media.

We shouldn’t lose site of the big picture, he says. Net neutrality is important in the digital area, but that’s just a start. Even if we win net neutrality, freedom of speech doesn’t translate to freedom of press. People are often frustrated by the policy makers who limit citizen input to the press. He gives the Seattle Times as an example of one paper who has done it right (more applause) partly because of their participation in the community.

Tim Wu from the Columbia University Law School is up next. He spoke yesterday in a session and again talked about his dark side (of the past). He used to sell and market a more controlled and discriminatory Internet. They had a simple message. Make the Internet like the cable network. Do that and big box companies will make more money, actually controlling what people could do on the Internet.

He gave a past analogy of 100 years ago. They had the invention of the radio, phone, and film. Back then there were dozens of competing phone companies. The first radio was actually like blogging. Anyone could do it, and it was actually easier to be a radio broadcaster 90 years ago than it is today.

The bell system then managed with the cooperation of the government. We all know what happened next.

Malkia Cyril from the Center for Media Justice was up next. She drew a lot of laughter when she joked that she had to go on the Internet to learn more about broadband. She is not an academic, but a grass roots organizer and claims that in a free trade economy, journalism will always have trouble. Regarding the media, we need to think about the 1st amendment that’s distributed across race, and taking the amendment away from millions of people when they move into prisons.

She claims that people interact with media based on what they watch, read, and listen to. They care about the Internet because that’s what they read and thus believe in. Also, people care about what’s happening where they live and we need to bring a media movement not from the beltway to the city, but the city to the beltway (more applause).


They had to open up the back panels for the second session titled Media and the War: An Unembedded View. There must have been over a thousand people at this session, and they were energized! This session was actually on Free Speech TV and it was electrifying (elephants, no need to read further). Norman Solomon is the moderator and is giving short descriptions of the panelists such as Phil Donahue, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. Again, the applause is just incredible!

It started out with a clip of Phil Donahue’s Body of War movie with collages and people such as W, Cheney, and many others claiming proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and popular news feeds from places like CNN and MSNBC with anchors stating what has been found, which pretty much justified much of the public that it was in fact necessary to invade Iraq. Man, you could really see the different emotions in peoples eyes.

The point was that W and company were able to manipulate the media to convey their message and that the war was completely justified. Any claims that it was not at the time was just dismissed.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus is up first. Being a former US Air Force officer, his thoughts and prayers went out to the million + Iraqis who have been eliminated, and the Iraqis who are wounded and homeless. He is part of the US Veterans against the war (more applause). He also gave notice to the MPLS bridge collapse while we’re spending so much more in Iraq (that was cool of him). An eruption of applause came out when he said that we need to impeach our president.

He does mention that there’s a new blue-collar group of 18-30 year olds that are not going to college. He calls on to engage this group and organize this future generation of activists and leaders.

Towards the end he just lashed out. Fox News was there filming and he just slammed into them, blaming them for being complicit about the US troops that die every day in Iraq and complicit to the veterans who call him in the middle of the night who are on the verge of suicide from post war disorder. Here’s a picture of the audience during it.

Yearwood Slamming Fox News

Naomi Klein, author of the Shock Doctrine is up next and joked that she has a tough act to follow by speaking after Rev. Yearwood. She says it’s hard to cover the ongoing coverage of Iraq since it’s been so destroyed. They cant cover up as much anymore for the fear of their lives. She argues the war on terror doesn’t make since since a the war was cited by W as a war versus evil. The war on terror has now come home and is now based on immigrants.

Next up, none other than Phil Donahue himself. He might be the most compelling and eloquent speaker I’ve seen in a long time. His presentation was short but to the point.

He claims that media reform is less to do with media itself, but more from a general standpoint that this is not the nation our parents raised us to pledge allegiance for. He noted that he was the first person to be awarded the GLAD award back in 1983 and the movement has really grown since then.

“We can have any country we want! It’s up to us. We are never going to feel safe or be safe until we have leaders who speak out, not lash out.” He states that being against the war was not good for business. We had every paper supporting the war, but we needed more examples of corporate destruction than that.

Amy Goodman took the stage again and mentioned that it’s a good idea for us to demand Phil Donahue’s “Body of War” to be played in our local movie theaters. She talks about the people who have always been against the war. Where were these people when the media was talking about it? Well, they weren’t invited. When the lead up to the invasion, she stated that three of almost 400 anti-war pundits were invited to be on TV while the hundreds of pro-war advocates were in fact on TV.

Last up was Sonali Kolhatkar and was there to talk about Afghanistan. She states that the only changes in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban was on paper. Violence is actually up 50% now and where suicide bombers now thrive, they were non-existent prior to the war. She also states that the media hasn’t talked about that NATO has killed more Afghanistan civilians than the Taliban.


Ok, so that was just the morning. I decided to not blog the 3rd session (man it got tiring) but did blog the great last session titled Owning our Own and Reaching the Masses.

This session was a bit different as moderator Davey D interviewed Greg Watkins of, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, and newly added to the panel, Lizz Winstead, co-creator of Air America Radio and the well-known Daily Show (she is flat out funny!). I jot down notes as fast as I could so here goes:

Greg says they filled a void by eclipsing newspapers by making its own direct place and medium for users to get their information. He also states that they understand their audience and do everything they can to understand them further to what the users want. Know your audience, and by doing that you have to also be that audience.

Davey D then notes that what Barack Obama did with social media has been done in some way for a long time in the hip hop industry.

Greg: This is obviously where everything is going (noting social technology). He loves technology and tries to find something new all the time. He states his cell phone as an example to do absolutely anything.

Davey D: All Hip Hop found a way to deliver news to those who don’t have a computer.

Greg: The TV spectrum will also open up when it goes digital in 2009. Taking this bandwidth will make mobile devices much faster.

Davey D to Arianna: What void did you try to fill when creating the Huffington Post?

Arianna: It started after they (John Kerry) lost the election in 2004. As a result, she brought people together, including younger people to attract an audience who didn’t even necessarily agree with her.

They do three things: Aggregation is one, and blogging is another. This has been huge with them and they strive to make it easy for bloggers to use their platform. They also have a strict policy to only allow quality posts and to never, ever accept posts about conspiracy theories. They believe that the simple facts allow them to succeed.

Community is the third part. In addition to blogging, people need to comment and the Huffington Post has been very successful in making this happen. This often brings people to the Huffington Post who might not even care about politics and they start reading posts.

Davey D: When you were inviting people to your blog, you got to know your audience. Did you have particular readers in mind?

Arianna: Everyone with a computer (more audience laughter)! She drew more laughter when she mentioned of a logo she has used stating something like “surfing for news since 2005”. They just try to get people. Red, blue, it doesn’t matter.

One example on this is that she received a link to the entertainment section from Perez Hilton. It brought a huge amount of traffic, and a small section found something else on their site and has retained readership greatly.

Davey D: People of color have challenges. When looking at the Huffington Post, does one size fit all or do you think we need more younger people or more people of color?

Arianna: It’s definitely important to reach out and states that their youngest blogger is 13. They’re always looking for people whether their younger, older, black, or white.

Now it’s time for some Lizz.

First, she mentions the cool thing about the Huffington Post is progressives can get mad at each other there. It’s a positive step saying “wow, I don’t get where he/she’s coming from”. That’s fine as it brings readers back.

Davey D: How did the Daily Show start off? Was it your goal to produce official news?

Lizz: She stated she actually started out doing political comedy. At the time John had a syndicated show. When it came official and daily, they basically said they wanted to pick on the news. She was sure about it at first, but she started seeing a cool theme.

They eventually were able to make the war more of a reality show. They needed to take on how fear mongering media was feeding us news and putting their own satirical spin on it. She wanted to use humore and to show the hypocrisy in the media.

Davey D: One of the criticism to people on the left is that they are very serious, almost preachy. The right sometimes pretend to be humorous and intelligent at the same time. Should they use humor? How does the celebrity culture play in this as well?

Lizz: States they’re doing something new called Shoot the Messenger. She jokes with audience laughter about morning shows are run 23 hours a day. When you reduce people to their idiocy, she has a problem with that. She made a hilarious analogy stating that people turn on Dancing with the Stars because when they turn on the news they watch achors TALKING about Dancing with the Stars. Again, the audience erupted in laughter.

Arianna then joked about pretty, young blonds who anchor MSNBC reporting on missing pretty, young blonds.

Davey D to Greg: We talk about a target audience. Should you be looking for others like people who do not have the Internet?

Greg: Everything we do is a distribution game. How do we get our information to our readers include the Internet, cell phones, RSS feeds, print newspapers, and whichever other means that they can. He also notes that 70% of their users are in the US and they’re out to go more global.

Davey D: Is it important for All Hip Hoop to be black run?

Greg: He made a funny statement something like – it’s important that I run it along with my partner. I’m half black and my partner is black. So I guess it’s important if you count it like that.

Davey D to Arianna: Did a sound business plan happen with the Huffington Post?

Arianna: We started asking family and friends for support and just went from there. They don’t pay their bloggers although they do pay their editors.

Davey D to Arianna and Lizz: What do you think about Al Franken and his chances? And can a comedian be a Senator?

Arianna: Well, about an hour ago he just got endorsed by his party (audience again erupted in support).

Lizz: With comedy, the flat truth is that not everyone is going to think it’s funny. If you’re funny, you’re going to make people think, and not everyone is going to like that.

So, that’s day 2. There’s one more session tomorrow morning plus a closing keynote. More to come.

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NCMR – Day One: Net Neutrality and Minnesota Model of Countering Corporate Media

June 6, 2008

Today was the first day of the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I had prior engagements in the morning and had to miss the opening keynote by Mayor Rybak and Senator Klobuchar titled “Welcome to Minneapolis”. This was all fine since I live here anyway.

The first session I attended today was Future of the Internet: Open, Neutral, Mobile and Ubiquitous and it focused mainly on Net Neutrality. Toward the beginning, I saw a couple friends and fellow twitterers Ed Kohler and Ward Tongen. Just then I noticed a reply on a blog post I made yesterday from Twitterer John Breyault that he was in the same session as I. How cool is that? Hopefully I’ll meet up with him in the next couple days.

Regarding the session, Moderator Timothy Karr gave a US Web update. The US is falling behind on broadband as other countries are surpassing us. It turns out that Japan Internet users pay half the price and have faster access. Of course, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon would love to get involved so we could pay even more (that last sentence is my spiel).

Tim Wu was the first panelist to speak. He actually turned from the dark side as he used to sell services to where the government chooses what Internet access users have, which is basically a discriminatory Internet. He also sold to corporations who wanted to control which sites their employees go to. He claimed we don’t have the broadband infrastructure that we should. A suggestion that he made was to have alternative means of bandwidth that is not controlled by big telco or cable, or even to provide wireless bandwidth to a length that we’ve never seen before.

Next up was Eloise-Rose S. Lee from Media Alliance and wound up receiving audience applause as being the panelist that is or was not a lawyer. 🙂 Due to restarting the laptop I missed most of what she said although her presentation was very short, too. She thinks a solution can be found on the local level. Start communication from the ground up, and not from the top down.

Next to speak was Jef Pearlman of Public Knowledge and was there to talk about wireless and initiatives moving forward. The premise was that the Internet is going global. People text, use wifi, and the phone will even eventually go through the Internet. He also pointed out a text messaging statement snafu made by Verizon.

He then went through three initiatives, although it went by quickly and I wasn’t able to take the best notes. One was on Verizon buying C Block, and part of the rules is that anyone who uses it has to allow any access to get through, which does sound like a good thing although my personal knowledge on that is limited. He also mentioned a grass roots activist group that would use bandwidth from unused television sets in 2009 when analog goes digital.

Last up was an energetic Susan Crawford. As a member of ICANN, she is very concerned about the future of the Internet. Telco says that the Internet is being ruined because they’re not making enough money from it (shocker). She also mentioned that there are 40 countries that censor their Internet to limit what their people can see, and our government wants to do the same thing. There’s certainly a connection with big telco and our government (at least with our current administration). One way would be to charge video one way, cell phone another, etc.

She was happy to present to us, which is essentially an Earth Day for the Internet. This year it will be on September 22. The idea is to focus attention on online audience participation, local Internet concerns, and to create a global constituency that cares about defending the Internet.

That was quite a lot of note taking but hopefully worth it. The next session has plenty of notes as well.

The second and last session of the day was titled Minnesota Model: Countering Corporate Media. This premise was about the big dailies declination and how smaller and niche newspapers have countered. Their was problems with the videos so unfortunately accompanying Powerpoints were not available.

First up was Jeremy Iggers from the Twin Cities Media Alliance and of the Daily Planet. He actually credits to their success. He points out that they have one or two articles by citizen journalists every day, and they also provide many sources of education. He drew laughter from the crowd when he mentioned one of these was called “Facebook for geezers”.

Regarding the citizen journalists, the Daily Planet uses that term because they want to be known as more than bloggers. They don’t just put anything up there and they do have editors that strictly goes through every article to ensure they are up to par.

Next up is Vickie Evans-Nash from the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder. This publication is definitely what many search marketers will call “hyper-local”. It’s been around for 75 years and offers stories “for the people”. They use people in mostly African American neighborhoods who know and have lived in these neighborhoods for a long time. She credits this motto to their continued success.

They also do special things for the community. Every year they do a black senior month. They ask these seniors that have lived there for awhile how the city and neighborhood has changed and what advice they would give to younger people. They also showcase local talent such as African American students that have graduated from different schools in the state and special notices when minorities own sports teams, etc.

Janis Lane-Ewart from KFAI is up next. Countering the corporate media is probably the subset for KFAI’s mission. Years ago, they didn’t have a program that talked about controversial issues such as GLBT or people who spoke other languages and wanted to build an avenue to absolutely include everyone. They’ve recently directed programs for the younger folks as well as they have lacked that audience. It wound up that KFAI was one of the first radio stations to have 12 different languages in their programming so everyone can have a chance to voice their radio opinions.

Next Up? Kathy Magnuson from the Minnesota Women’s Press. She started out by stating they wanted to cover two types of stories. One is to cover stories that others are not. The other way is by covering stories that others carry as well, but to put a woman’s spin on it.

An example is a pretty sad story that happened last winter. A toddler was found outside barefoot in the snow and cold. Police found him, brought him home and the mother was not there. As soon as she came home, the policemen immediately arrested her and threw her in jail. This is the mainstream story from a man’s point of view.

It turns out that she definitely did make a huge mistake. She decided to not wake her child when she received a desperate phone call from a friend with a gravely sick child. She obviously made the wrong decision, but was not a wrong person. This was written from the Women’s press from a woman’s point of view.

Subprime mortgages is also something they wrote about that mainstream did not. She described that women are more apt to get roped into subprime mortgages. Women are 30% of all borrowers but 39% of all subprime victims.

Last up was Sarah Lutman, VP of American Public Media, parent of Minnesota Public Radio. One of the first things she mentioned was that public inside journalism is a big part of what they are currently doing. At any given time, someone was providing their staff with information about a story that they weren’t able to get. Over the last four years, they have been able to receive over 50,000 public journalists to help them out.

I had a big grin on my face when she said that Twitter has been a great example of public journalism. During last week’s Barack Obama event at the X, hundreds of people sent MPR tweets of what was currently going on, both inside and outside of the arena. What a great example of how to use Twitter!

They also do a lot of live music for their “The Current” FM radio station. Whether it’s in a studio or playing a show, a lot of that music is on YouTube. She even mentioned podcasting as another way of using social media. Big kudos to MPR as this is some of the info I was looking for in the first place – great uses of social media from non-search marketers.

Tomorrow will be day two and I plan to write up notes again, but probably not quite as much. I really enjoy it, but I spent a lot of energy typing away and think I could have done a better job doing more listening to what they have to say where it soaks in quite a bit more.

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Heading to the National Conference for Media Reform – 2008

June 5, 2008

NCMR 2008

Staring this Friday, I will be attending the three-day National Conference for Media Reform at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

A very general premise of this conference is to gather thousands of journalists, activists, lawmakers, and just about anyone who wants to listen and talk about making media better, how the Internet media has come into play, and where the media is today and where it can be going. It’s pretty exciting actually as there will be 300 presenters and 3,000 attendees.

This is a far cry from Internet and Search Marketing conferences that many of us have probably attended. No presenter here is going to be talking about anchor text, rankings (I hate that word), cost per conversion (I like that phrase), Quality Score, Technorati, MyBlogLog, Sphinn, Pay-Per-Call, or the three letter acronyms that many of us drool over; SEO, PPC, and ROI.

Matt Cutts won’t be at this conference. Neither will Danny Sullivan. However, Dan Rather, Arianna Huffington, and Bill Moyers will all be there presenting either sessions or keynotes.

There will be many topics ranging from media policy and activism to alternative journalism (blogging) and the future of interactive media.

What will be talked about in certain sessions and is the biggest reason why I’m attending is blogging, user-generated media, social media on the Web, Net Neutrality (that’s huge in my book), Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media opportunities.

What I really like is that these presenters won’t be talking about how to incorporate social media with search marketing. They will be talking about their own respective media industries and how they use social media. I can guarantee I’ll be walking out of these sessions thinking “why didn’t I think of that?!”. Learning more about services you offer from different perspectives is a fantastic way to understand them from the client’s point of view.

A few must-see sessions:

Newspapers: Not Dead Yet? – It’s no big surprise that print newspapers have been in decline. Who’s to blame? The Internet, corporate greed, or mismanagement? I’m pretty low key but something tells me I’ll have some audience input during the Q & A’s.

Online and Offline: Connecting the Grassroots and the Netroots – This will probably be a political session and I would bet that there will be an Obama success story in there. I can absolutely see taking some of these concepts and applying it to local search. After all, local search is about getting people away from their computer (netroots) and to a physical, business door (grassroots).

Future of the Internet: Open, Neutral, Mobile and Ubiquitous – A few readers of this blog know how much of a proponent of Net Neutrality I am and don’t believe big telco and cable giants should be able to screw small businesses who have success online by “offering” multi-tiered Internet access solutions, especially when this thought is backed by an out of touch Senator from Alaska who thinks that the Internet is a series of tubes.

Organizing for Change on the Social Web – This one will most likely be political too, but they will be specifically talking about the effects of social media opportunities such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. I’m really looking forward to get a non-search marketing view on how these opportunities have worked. That’s when the light bulbs really start shining over my noggin.

Regarding the social Web, the conference itself and organizers, Freepress, aren’t slouches. If you look at the conference home page, you’ll notice that they encourage users to tag the site on social sites such as Flickr or YouTube with the tag “NCMR2008”, which I have tagged on this entry. They also have a horizontal Flickr stream on the top of the site. If you’re on Facebook, you can also see their own Facebook NCMR page.

A few side notes:

It normally wouldn’t make since to go to a conference like this, but the Minneapolis Convention Center is a whopping 10 blocks from me and the cost for the whole three days is under 200 bucks! That’s a no-brainer in my book. Search marketing conferences are close to 2k.

There will be plenty of bed-wetting elephants and donkeys at the conference. I’m pretty sure I won’t be schmoozing with them. I’m there to learn, not to bitch. 😉

I won’t be doing any liveblogging, but will hopefully give nightly updates of the events each day. Monday will come around too soon so I better get the posts in while I have time.

Are any of you attending? If so, let’s hook up and chat. Or, if you have any questions you’d like answered, let me know and I will certainly do my best to accommodate.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll think of the readers here while I’m geeking out for the entire time. 🙂

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Favorite Posts of the Week – MIMA Event, Social Media, and TV Personality of the Year

May 18, 2008

This past Wednesday, MIMA held a social media event at the Solera. They brought some top-notch panelists from Target, Best Buy, General Mills, and Fingerhut.

Lee Odden and Co. from TopRank were at Solera for it. Before the event, Lee provides a dual interview with Douglas Pollei (IKANO Communications) and Jim Cuene (General Mills). It’s nice to see that large companies are embracing social media, even if the uphill climb is steeper for them.

Marty Weintraub from the Aim Clear blog was also there and provided a great recap of the event. Marty! Another MIMA event we both attended and we haven’t met yet? I’ll have to make sure to look for you at the next one.

Focusing away from social media, do you have a favorite Minnesota news personality? Feel free to check out WCCO Jason DeRusha’s post regarding his nomination for TV personality of the year, other nominees, and shirts and stuff.

The awards themselves aren’t just limited to TV personalities, but do you have a favorite? Unfortunately, P-Diddy is not on the list.

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Blogging Meetup Next Monday

February 26, 2008

The folks at Small Business Mavericks have created a Minnesota meetup group for area bloggers and those who want to know more about blogging, and have officially announced the first blast-off get-together in Plymouth on Monday, March 3.

I always enjoy these get-togethers, mainly because it gets you away from your computer where you can have fun talking to people w/ similar interests. Hopefully that huge group (ok, 3 of us) who attends “blogger hour” will be in attendance. 🙂

I might actually be in Rochester that day. If so, it looks like I’ll miss this first one but will definitely make future meetups.

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