Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

PodCamp Boston 5 tomorrow!

September 24, 2010


PodCamp Boston 5 starts tomorrow, and I’m excited to be going there with my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert. Both she and I will be facilitating sessions on Sunday. Lesley’s topic is Advanced Twitter, and I’ll be facilitating a discussion on Geolocation. I’ve facilitated sessions on Geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando and RE BarCamp Rye, and my slidedeck for it has been viewed 1,178 times on I’ll be modifying the presentation for the PodCamp environment versus the real estate camp.

This will be my third PodCamp Boston, and lucky 13th camp of any variety.

I love the things that happen at camps, the people, the sessions, the networking, the brainstorming, the learning, the teaching, the sharing, the connections that people make. Being somewhat of a Camp veteran, I especially enjoy helping newcomers have a good experience as much as I enjoy reconnecting with old friends. I also love “seeing” the camp through others’ eyes, especially Camp virgins, but I love veteran’s thoughts, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and whatever other media is produced.

Here are some links looking back at my previous Camp experiences, including PodCamp Boston 2, where I knew no one going into it, but made some great friends:

Looking forward to what this weekend brings at PodCamp Boston 5!

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Bridge the gap

September 10, 2008

For those of us who have been involved in the online world for more than a few years, the latest incarnation of the web is pretty exciting stuff. The connections and interactions via blogs, podcasts, twitter, Facebook, Flickr, friendfeed, YouTube, etc, brings us closer together with other people on the other side of the country, the other side of the world, or even in our own neighborhood in ways that have never been possible before.

There is some awareness of the echo-chamber nature of the social media world, but I’m not at all worried about that, mainly because the rate of adoption of these tools is picking up speed. I wonder how many people in the television industry were worrying about the rate of television adoption in the early 60s?

But when creating a social media marketing campaign, one has to remember that not everyone is connected using these tools, and even if they are, they’re not necessarily aware of you, or the fact that you’ve got some cool things happening online.

So another best practice: bridge the gap between social media and face-to-face interactions. I recently went to a restaurant in Boston with a sticker in the window that read “People love us on Yelp”. I had actually found the restaurant because I used the Yelp iPhone application to give me a restaurant recommendation near my current location.

Having the Yelp sticker in the window accomplishes two things: It welcomes Yelpers who arrive to the restaurant for the first time, making them feel special and at home. It also may create curiosity in non-Yelpers to check out that web site. And creates awareness for Yelp at the same time. This is a great example of bridging the gap, even when your virtual company has little or no physical presence.

Example number two of bridging the gap: One of the hottest social media campaigns, inside the credit union world or out, is Young and Free. The first incarnation launched in Alberta, Canada. Now there’s a sister campaign that has launched in Houston. One of the neatest aspects of getting this off the ground is the amazing Go Mobile/Guitar Hero/Info truck that Trey is driving around from event to musical event. Many young folks in the target demographic are using social media and networking tools, but they wouldn’t necessarily come across the campaign unless there is some bridge from their world to finding the CU’s social media site. This fun, tricked-out truck, which is camping out at events that young folks are at fits the bill perfectly.

What marketing efforts do you see that nicely bridge the gap between the online and physical worlds?

Your members are talking. Are you listening?

July 1, 2008

I’ve had the pleasure of delivering World 2.0 workshops to both the New York State Credit Union League, and the Georgia Marketing Council. In both of these workshops, one of the things we covered is the new communication service called Twitter. I’m sure that attendees never dreamed when coming to the workshop that they would sign up and learn about something called “Twitter”. Right now, there are between 350,000 and 700,000 people using it (accurate figures are difficult to get). Many of these people are artists, solopreneurs, bloggers, social media gurus, and Gen Yers, but more and more people are discovering this service every day. If you’re not yet familiar with twitter, it’s like an open instant messaging service. It’s a quick and convenient way to connect with old and new friends online. It’s easy to make new friends, and now, using Twellow, to find other people all over the world who share a common interest with you.

What does this have to do with credit unions and marketing, you may ask? Twitter is akin to an always-on, free focus group. If you follow your members on Twitter, you can get an open look at the issues that are relevant to them. This morning, I read my twitter stream as someone I followed, “Pistachio,” expressed her extreme dissatisfaction with Bank of America. Here are her tweets:

Pistachio 6/30 11:18 pm Bank of America’s check-clearing policies are predatory and should be investigated by congress. They get your money right away and sit on it

A friend replied 7/1 8:32 am: How long do they hold the check?

Pistachio 7/1 10:25 am BOA routinely holds checks 5-10 days w/very shaky “reasons,” often not telling you @deposit. they collect hundreds in “overdraft”

a different friend replied 7/1 10:49 am: i think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank that doesn’t. try calling your mgr to get the hold removed; they usually will.

Pistachio 7/1 11:22 am Citizens’ holds are a fraction of BOAs. Thanks for tip, will call. Think I’m SOL once hold is on, from past exp. I should’ve asked

Pistachio 7/1 11:39 am You know, I’m actually not kidding that Bank of America should be investigated. They’ve crossed a line from crap customer service to abusive

Pistachio 7/1 11:39 And YES, I’m well on my way to moving all my accounts away from them.

These “tweets” elicited at least a couple of responses from her friends. More importantly, Pistachio is highly connected, and has 4,375 followers. Yes, you read that correctly, she has four thousand, three hundred seventy-five people who are reading what she types.

Now I’m guessing that there are currently no credit union marketing professionals “following” Pistachio. Fortunately I am, and am also friends with several credit union marketing professionals in the Greater Boston area. I tweeted a response to her, with the name of a credit union where a friend of mine works, and I also tweeted that that credit union offers’s Online Switch Kit, a product which makes it easy for new members to switch their account from their previous financial institution to the credit union.

Impact: If this frustrated Bank of America customer has a good experience joining a credit union, and “twitters” her relief from the outrageous fees and outlandish check hold policies, the marketing/new business impact is LARGE. Four thousand of her friends and colleagues will know about it. This is more valuable than sending postcards to 4000 people for three main reasons: She is a trusted friend to her followers, and anything she tweets on the subject is not coming from someone who is trying to sell something. Also, the pass-along value is much greater since it’s easier to “re-tweet” a message to others than it is to share a postcard with your neighbor. Also, the cost to tweet with your members is only your time, whereas the cost to supervise, design, print and mail 4000 postcards would be around $5000 or more.

Take Action: Monitor your credit union’s name using Google Alerts, and search in Summize, but also monitor your competition’s name (and the word ‘bank’), watching for those disgruntled bank customers who are just begging for the fresh alternative that your credit union provides.

Great sessions at PodCampBoston

October 31, 2007

One of the wonderful things about a PodCamp is that it gets recorded, blogged, and twittered about. While I was there, I heard about some great sessions that I missed (with 6 or 7 tracks going on, it was often hard to choose among excellent ones.)

Sessions I attended: Dan York did one on best practices for conducting interviews for your podcast using VoIP. While he explained how using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), yields a much higher audio quality, I wished he would have covered how to get the best quality out of a simple set-up. The rig he talked about involved a mixer, headset, and two computers running simulataneously. Now don’t get me wrong, I am an audiophile and have a background in music engineering. But I’m not going to rig up a mixer, and two computers (one running Skype, the other recording) to conduct an interview for podcast. That stuff is all well and good, but I also want to know how I can do it with a PowerBook, Skype, and say, GarageBand. Or perhaps all I need is to conference in someone using Utterz.

David Maister is a fascinating British chap. He is a B2B consultant, and made some great points about how to achieve success in business. He gave fresh interpretations on “it’s not about you, it’s about them”. David on how to win business: Don’t tell the other person how great you are, instead start helping them right away. He gave away copies of his latest book at the end, but he gave away his last copy when I was next in line. 😦 Here is a link to a great blog post that he mentioned: Do you really want relationships? Another great quote: The route to business success may be fairly obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Jeff Pulver did a session that talked about his pioneering efforts in VoIP. Essentially, he is one of the people who changed the face of how telecoms work, and talked about some interesting moments being grilled for info in an unmarked building in DC with interviewers who wouldn’t identify themselves. Jeff talked about the importance of following your dreams and passions as an entrepreneur. Jeff was one of the major sponsors of the event, and sponsored part of the space in the convention center as well as the Saturday night party. Right now, he’s still in Boston, being a part of the VON conference, also in the BCEC. Best quote from Jeff during PodCampBoston: “We do most of our best thinking in the shower. Then why are there no showers in offices?”

Two other sessions that I missed, that there was positive buzz about: Laura Fitton’s Killer Presentations session, and Neil Gorman’s session that was originally titled Your Podcast is not a f***ing toaster. The link is to a video of this session given at a conference earlier this summer. This presentation is long, and starts with an excellent overview of the state of media/broadcasting/podcasting today. It then goes into some humor that only seasoned podcasters will find funny. Interestingly, I think podcaster burnout is probably caused by the one-way nature of podcasting. It is hard to always be speaking into a “vacuum”, i.e. speaking without an audience in front of you. Thus the popularity of interviews in the podcasting realm.

Another cool aspect of today’s networking technology, such as Facebook, and the wiki of this event, is that before the event, I saw that a Baltimorean, Greg Cangalosi, was coming north to be there. So I met him at the camp, along with another Baltimorean, David Beaudouin, who also created some good Utterz about the PodCamp.

photo courtesy Jeff O’Hara (blog)

PodCampBoston Wrap Up

October 30, 2007

The best takeaways from PodCampBoston:

0:00 – Utterz – Podcasting via cell phone
0:48 – Pod Group Twitter
1:48 – Lolsaurs
2:46 – StalkerStalker
4:01 – Moo Cards
4:27 – Live Video over Net
5:55 – BarCampBankNewEngland
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