Brian Shaler

Occasionally Interesting

Gravity is for chumps

Archive for January, 2008

Social Networking Strategy: The AcmeAdd

Let’s say there is someone you want to communicate with online. In some situations, an email might not work because it might slip through the cracks or come off as too much of a sales pitch. Maybe you do not have anything in particular to say, but need a way to catch their attention.

You might consider connecting with them on a social network. You are interested in what they are up to, so you should probably ‘follow’ them on Twitter anyway. Unfortunately, following someone on a social network does not mean that they are following you. They might receive a notification email after you connect with them, but if the person you want to connect with is similarly targeted by others, that notification email is likely to go ignored.

There is, however, a way to stand out without being too intrusive. By doing a small amount of research, you should be able to find other instances of the individual’s web presence (other social network profiles, blogs, etc).

By adding an individual as a friend on multiple networks at the same time, or AcmeAdding, the potential contact will receive a few notification emails saying “John Smith is your newest contact on __.” Generally, the reaction begins with confusion and results in intrigue, leading to investigation. They will ask “Who is this?” and try to find out who you are and why you’re adding them. If who you are or what you do is relevant to them, then they are likely to connect and/or open the door for conversation.

The term “AcmeAdd” was coined after an observation of social networking expert and Phoenix photographer Adam Nollmeyer of Acme Photography. He usually uses the name “AcmePhoto” on social web sites.

Personally, I am not extremely “popular” but I do receive 15-20 notification emails per day regarding new contacts on various social networks. They do not get opened and I have them filtered so they do not distract from more important email. However, I do see them. Whether or not I take notice of who connected with me, skimming over the names makes them more familiar the next time I see them (in another notification email, in a comment on my blog, or anywhere else).

It’s a Small World, Especially for a Networker

This week at Phoenix Social Media Club, one of the people I talked to was Erin Atherton, the owner of a local business, “Durtbagz” (They sell satchels and messenger bags with street signs on them, including “Slow School Zone: Watch For Slow Children” and “DON’T DRIVE DURNK“). I had never met her, but I had known of her thanks to a lunch I had in Santa Monica in November.

Travel back, back, back in time to November of 2007…

I was in the Los Angeles area for a few days to see family. While in town, I sent out an open invitation to my social network friends (people I know and people I don’t know YET) to have lunch by the beach in Santa Monica and some bowling afterward. Six people I had never met in person showed up, despite relatively short notice.

One of the individuals I met at lunch, Serena, is an employee of BusinessWire, resulting in some good conversation about public relations and the press release, misconceptions of PR vs. marketing, and the future of the press release on the internet. Serena recommended that I get in touch with Malcolm from BusinessWire’s Phoenix office.

Within a week or two, I sat down for lunch with Malcolm Atherton and we discussed the future of PR on the internet, social media, and even some search engine optimization. During our discussion about social media and marketing, he brought up his wife’s company, Durtbagz.

Several weeks after that, I attended Social Media Club and bumped into Malcolm’s wife, Erin.

None of these introductions or conversations would have been possible if it weren’t for my relatively open social network friend-adding philosophy.

ReadPhoenix: Top Blog Posts of the Week #4-5

Busy, busy, busy. I was unable to find the time last Friday AND last weekend to review and write-up the best Phoenix blog posts of the week. The good news is that I included last week’s best in this post, under “Week #4.”

I have received very good feedback regarding what I am doing here. Thanks to everyone who has let me know they read and value these posts. Positive feedback is one of the best motivators.

Week #5

Blog: Valley PR Blog
Author: Angelo Fernando
Company: ASU
Post Title: Never too late to learn: lessons from a pizza driver

This is a story about a real estate agent who moved from Washington to Arizona and got a job as a pizza delivery driver to familiarize himself with the Phoenix metro area quickly.

Read on for more of the story.

Blog: Wurkit Books
Author: Dan Ritz
Company: Forty Media
Post Title: Quick to the Point

Some of the people I have met recently are involved in the Press Release business. After conversations with them, I have put thought into the future of the Press Release. The excerpt Dan highlighted is true for memos, web sites, and even press releases. From the book, Maverick: “The longer the message, the greater the chance of misinterpretation.”

Read on to see the full excerpt and Dan’s commentary.

Author: Jim Jeffers
Company: Sitewire
Post Title: CSS Commenting With Textmate

Jim posted a link to a great article on Think Vitamin. He reflected on the article’s overview of best practice CSS commenting. I read the entire article and thought there were quite a few other excellent points.

Read on to see Jim’s commentary and a link to the original article.

Week #4

Blog: Scrollin’ On Dubs
Author: Sean Tierney
Company: JumpBox
Post Title: Place-shift your Rhapsody service

Real Networks recently shut down a 3rd party web service called Yottamusic, which provided an enhanced interface and social networking features on top of the Rhapsody music service.

Read on to see Sean’s reaction, and click here for additional details provide by TechCrunch.

Blog: theonetogoto = aaron post
Author: Aaron Post
Company: Forty Media
Post Title: If Candidates where Web 2.0 Applications?

Aaron took the time to examine key traits in our current Presidential candidates and compare them to social web sites.

Read on to see what Web 2.0 application your favorite candidate resembles.

Author: Jim Jeffers
Company: Sitewire
Post Title: A Refreshed Design for 2008

This is not just a redesign. In this blog post, he outlines some of the specific features embedded into the site.

He put in a considerable amount of work to utilize many features that have not even been adopted yet by all major browsers. What’s great about it is that he made sure that it degrades gracefully, rewarding users with modern browsers without having negative effects on those that don’t.

Read on to see the changes Jim made to his blog.

Downtown LA ShalerJump

While in LA during November for the Los Angeles Auto Show, Adam Nollmeyer and I risked life and limb to capture a new and exciting ShalerJump photo. We climbed onto the roof of our 15 story hotel! (Video coming soon eventually..)

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