Tag Archives: text

Are you a carder? The utility of business cards.

I was recently handed a business card.

I didn’t ask for it.

It was handed to me by someone I knew.

Only casually, I’ll admit.

But I had corresponded with this individual a number of times before we met that day.

I had communicated with this person over the phone, texted and shared emails.

We had interacted so often and over so many different medium that it made it hard for me to understand the utility she felt, in that moment, offering her card.

I clearly already had her office number, cell phone number, email and address (I was in her office at the time).

But she still felt compelled to offer it to me.

Not to be rude, yet still feeling perplexed, I obliged.

Took her card.

Gave it the perfunctory once-over.

Before promptly stuffing it in the right front pocket of my waistcoat.

That’s a vest for the haberdashery-challenged.

But why did she offer the card in the first place?

Force of habit?

The card held no more information on it, than she knew I already knew.

And it made me reflect how impulsively we all often give out cards.

I’m a card giver.

“Do you have a card?”

Sure…fumble fumble…here you go.

“Can I have your card?”

No problem…sift sift…I’ve got one right here.

I’m so over sifting through my wallet, fumbling around in my briefcase or digging in my pockets to hand or deposit a business card.

And then what happens?

You’ve got a stack of people’s cards cluttering your office/home/desk.

Or you’ve got unused boxes of your own business cards from every job you ever had.

I’d prefer to just exchange information via our phones and keep it moving.

If asked, I oblige.

But cards get on my last nerve.

So much so, that years ago I began looking for alternatives.

I played with Bump, to tone down the whole card game.

Unfortunately (for me) it took more steps to Bump than open my phone, enter ten digits and press send.

So I tried other strategies to extricate myself from cards.

When I worked for MX Telecom (now OpenMarket) I had a short code you could text “Stephen” to and get all my contact info via SMS.

It was very novel a trade shows, but people weren’t generally up on texting for such utilitarian purposes then (I’m talking 2008).

I even gave folks the old “trying to save trees” line to avoid giving or receiving cards.

And it was all so PC and Eco friendly, that it worked – for a time.

But folks still extended their hands, with those wretched slivers of card stock and ink.

Nowadays, and as much as possible, I try to stay ahead of the game by always affirmatively getting contact details and by-passing the card-exchange ritual altogether.

With my iPhone, I cut to the chase and simply shoot my vCard to anyone requesting my info.

And I try not to cringe whenever I hear those dreaded words or see an outstretched hand – with a card in it.

Is it just me?

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Filed under iPhone, opinion, rant, Smack talking

The Digital Divide

A snapshot of the Moodle we developed to teach out digital curriculum.

When you think of the digital divide, the first thing that comes to mind is the standard issue of the gap in access and exposure to technology, between children of different economic circumstances.

This lack of access and exposure, leaves lower income and minority youth at a marked disadvantage, by depriving them of skills which are becoming increasingly valuable in the workplace and essential in various industries.

But there is a deeper issue.

Lack of adequate instruction.

Unlike us, children today are exposed to technology and digital content, regardless of economic background, to a far greater extent than any other period in history.

Internet capable mobile devices, social media, interactive gaming systems, and a torrent of digital content, are the norm, not the exception.

Youth today immerse themselves in completely virtual worlds, and engage in social interactions and activity, across a variety of devices and platforms.

iPhones, Blackberries, Androids, PS2s, Nintendo DS3s ( and the list goes on) enable youth to play games, surf the Internet, update their status, listen to music, watch videos, text, chat and share content with each other wirelessly.

We need to examine how this exposure is impacting our youth, and what implications the “mobilizing” of technology has on them.

I believe we should be creating curriculum, which addresses the responsible use and utilization of technology, and programming that harnesses the inherent familiarity with handheld technology that youth have, regardless of economic circumstances.

Ever since I began teaching at the PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City, I have been able to see what youth of today are doing with technology.

Most youth know how to surf the net.

Any kid knows how to get to YouTube, or send an email.

They know how to use Google, Bing, Ask.com and Yahoo to conduct searches, and find pretty much anything they’re looking for.

Their mobile phones are extensions of their hands, and their fingers were built for texting (I’ve even seen a few texting without even looking at the phone).

As such, their behavior, adoption and use of technology is distinctly different from ours, and requires a distinctly different approach for educating them on using technology responsibly and appropriately.

Most classroom instruction on technology teach kids the basics.

But kids today need real lessons which go beyond the basics.

They need instruction that helps them see technology as an extension of their inherent creative capabilities.

In our course, we’ve married the theoretical with the practical.

First off, our course lives online. We developed a Moodle, which each student can access, where each lesson, document, evaluation, reference, and assessment can be accessed.

When we teach about Canon EOS 60Ds cameras, the kids are shooting on those cameras.

If we talk about data transfer and tagging, the kids are transferring content from the cameras and putting descriptive tags and meta content within the files.

Our classroom instruction recognizes that these kids need a level of engagement that challenges them, and expands their horizons.

More importantly, academic institutions need to accept that technology is changing at an ever increasing pace, and we have to be prepared to meet the youth where they are (which is far more technologically savvy then we were at their age).

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Super Bowl XLVI: Social Media FAIL!!

The Super Bowl commercials integration of social media=FAIL.

This weekend, I, like most, watched the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots to become the Super Bowl XLVI Champions.

But unlike most, who were likely concerned with the outcome of the game, I was watching to see how the advertisers, who had forked over a pretty penny, integrated social media in their ads.

With ads going for up to $3 million dollars for a 30 second spot, I figured that advertisers would go the extra mile to make sure that their ads got all the traction they could.

At a minimum, I figured most (if not all) the advertisers would add websites, Facebook URLs or Twitter handles into their ads.

But I fully expected that at least one or two advertisers would realize the tremendous potential in social media, and do something more exciting.

To me, that meant leveraging social media, and integrating text messaging, QR codes, SnapTags, etc., in interesting and innovative ways.

So it was with rapt attention, that I waited for each time out, 2 minute warning, quarter and tv time out.

I sat through over 75 different commercials (excluding pre-show, post-show and half-time), and I was saddened…saddened by what I saw.

Not only were the commercials…ho hum, but they completely missed their mark from a social media perspective.

The most “innovative” use of social media (and I use innovative so loosely as to have absolutely no meaning in this context) was by the NFL itself.

Their NFL Fantasy promotion gave viewers the chance to win a million dollars.

Viewers could either text NFL to 69635 or visit the NLF Fantasy website to register for the contest.

Beyond that, advertisers brought nothing exciting (from a social media perspective) at all.

There were a collection of advertisers that used hashtags.

Hashtags are the # symbol, used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet.

It was created by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages and used widely to track a particular topic in Twitter.

  • Audi’s #solongvampires played on the brightness of the Audi’s headlights.
  • Bud Light’s #makeitplatinum highlighted the new platinum Budweiser beer.
  • Best Buy’s #betterway hashtag alluded to the depth of their mobile phone offering.
  • H&M used #beckhamfromh.m in it’s ad with David Bekham, sporting their new trunks.

Spectacular! NOT!

Some of the more “progressive” (again, I use the term loosely) advertisers, added their Facebook pages to their ads.

  • Disney’s The Lorax
  • Marvel Comic’s The Avengers
  • Cars.com
  • Bud Light’s spots (LMFAO and Here We Go)
  • Pepsi Max
  • MetLife
  • NBC
  • Samsung Galaxy

Amazing! NOT!

A few advertisers also listed their websites, including:

  • Godaddy (.co and .com)
  • Taxact.com
  • Chevy (letsdothis.com)
  • Teleflora.com, Cars.com
  • Prudential (dayonestories.com)
  • Honda (leaplist.honda.com and cr-v.honda.com)
  • BMW (tristatebmw.com)
  • GE Works (ge.win.com)
  • Hyundai (hyundai.com)
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • Cadillac ATS
  • NBC’s new show Awake (isheawake.com)

Inspired! NOT!

GoDaddy was the one advertiser who used a QR Code in their commercial.

But for a 30 second ad, I didn’t think it was the best execution.

When the commercial came on, and I saw the QR Code, I immediately tried to open my iPhone, launch the QR code scanner, move to the tv and scan the image.

But by the time I had completed all those steps, the code was gone and they were on to the next commercial.

One interesting thing I noted, was that a few advertisers with music in their commercials, had the Shazam logo in the corner.

Shazam is the app that helps you find out the title of a song you’re listening to.

Shazam...sucks!

By letting the Shazam app ‘listen’ to several seconds of a song, it searches it’s database and (if the song exists in it’s database) tells you the title and artist.

Ads from both Cars.com and Toyota had the Shazam logo.

My previous experiences with Shazam have been so underwhelming, that I no longer have the app on my iPhone.

So I didn’t determine whether the Shazam integration worked for either of these brands.

And since it would have (presumably) led the viewer to the underlying song in the commercials, I’m not sure what value the advertisers would have derived from it’s integration.

Anyway, nothing from my wish list came to be.

My disappointment is palpable.

I guess we’ll have to wait another year before we see whether advertisers ‘get it’ and utilize their 30 seconds a little more effectively.

If you want to see all the commercials that aired yesterday, AdAge has a great compilation of them here.

But don’t blame me if you’re bored.

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, opinion, rant, social media

Social Media: Mobilization, Commentary, Discourse

This weekend was quite an active one in social media: President Obama officially launched his recruitment effort for the 2012 race. Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls created a stir all over the internet. Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos pulled out a thrilling overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

How do I know all of this stuff? Am I clairvoyant? Do I own a crystal ball? Did I have CNN on smash all wekend?

No. No. And no.

I learned all of the above through Facebook, Twitter and text.

I’m sure that most would scoff at this statement.

So what? Don’t we all get our stuff that way?

Perhaps. But the reason I’ve decided to talk about this today, is to offer a snapshot of the real impact that social media has in our lives.

Social Mobilization: Obama 2012

Late Sunday evening, I got a Facebook alert on my iPhone that a friend of mine posted a job opportunity from President Obama.

Go Team Obama!

Intrigued, I followed the link, and there it was http://www.barackobama.com/jobs

There were jobs for State Directors, Communications, Press Secretaries, State Digital Directors, Deputy Field Directors, and the like.

Each job listing identified the state (or multiple states) for which the posted position was applicable.

Clicking on the link opened a detailed job description, which led with an overview of the job, the responsibilities, the requirements, salary statement, and a link to either apply for the job or send the listing to a friend.

Of course, I threw my hat in the ring.

The great thing about the applying for the job was that the interface allowed you to either (i) upload your resume or (ii) use your LinkedIn profile (I opted for the second).

A few multiple choice selections later, my application was complete.

Bam. Give me a call, let’s talk strategy.

I was (and am) completely impressed with the way the Obama campaign is (once again) leveraging social media to grow their staff and volunteer base.

Of course, there are only so many of these positions which will actually be filled via this process.

But the database they’re going to create will undoubtedly be the envy of the 2012 campaign cycle.

Social Commentary: Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls

Last Thursday, one of my friends posted the video Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls on their Facebook profile.

At the time, there were 305 views of the video.

By Friday, it was over 1 million

As of this posting, there have been over 4,277,387 views of that video.

In four days, this video was viewed over 4 million times!

Mind you, this is a parody of a parody.

The original video, Shit Girls Say has garnered over 9 million views since December 12, 2011, when it was originally posted.

Despite the fact that it owes it’s inception to another video, it has clearly taken a life of it’s own, spawning spirited discussion all over the internet.

The commentary around this video has been significant, considering it’s only five days old.

But it speaks to the power of social media to get people to address issues that they might not have otherwise.

Social Discourse: Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls

I know. I know.

It’s tres gauche to use the same example for two different topics, but bear with me on this one.

On Sunday afternoon, a friend of mine sent me a text asking my wife to check out her Facebook profile on the whole “Shit White Girls Say” thing.

Apparently, she had posted the video to her profile and invited her network to weigh in on what they thought.

As my wife is not on Facebook and generally doesn’t pick up her phone, her girl knew that the most efficient way to reach her was through me.

But I digress…

Anyway, several of her friends had opined that the video was a realistic reflection of what they, as Black women, had experienced.

But one (brave/misguided) White woman decided that she was going to take up the charge for White women, and ‘educate’ the other posters on the ignorance of their perspective.

Her opinions were, needless to say, not ‘appreciated’ and folks let her know.

The heat finally became too much, and with this final statement (and I quote) “And I will un-follow this post now. It is ending like too many,” Miss Thing was done.

What I found particularly interesting about the whole episode was how people took ownership of the discussion around the video and had an active discourse on the subject.

While everyone was not in agreement, people took an active role in voicing their opinions in a forum, where the opinions of others were important to them.

Wait a minute…what was I saying…

Oh yeah!

Social media is a powerful force for mobilization, commentary and discourse.

All of this information I’ve shared with you, I initially learned of, interacted with, and ultimately shared via social media.

I even gave my two cents in the debate via Facebook on my iPhone, while I waited in the car for the wife.

Where TV used to be the dominant medium for sharing information, it’s now taking it’s cues from the internet generally, and social media specifically.

Think about how many stories last year broke on Twitter before mainstream media even knew what was happening.

So children, what’s the moral of today’s lesson?

DON’T SLEEP ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!

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Filed under social media, technology