Category Archives: Social Media

Soul Pancake

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Wait…is that?…no, can’t be…

Yep, that’s Rainn Wilson.  Otherwise known as Dwight Schrute, from The Office.

Rainn has started this amazing new site called, Soul Pancake – A place for you to explore the human experience.  Rainn, who was raised in the Baha’i Faith, has created this new social network for people to dig into the questions of life – Why are we here?  How does your passion lead to purpose? 

Rainn wanted to create a space that welcomes all ideas around spirituality and life.  There is no doctrine.  Just a lot of love and creativity.  Even the background to the site, whether bug-eyed radishes or blinged-out gnomes, gets you immediately curious about what you can find here.

You can post questions of your own to have answered by the community, or you can read some insightful perspectives from other great minds.  Soul Pancake also has creative activities, like “Thanked in 60 Seconds” (which I love), that help you examine your own life a little closer.

It’s made me realize that I’m not alone in my quest for answers.  We all want to be the change agent in the world.  We all want to live up to our fullest self – find our passion, our purpose.  Rather than reading Haikus about Buddah or listening to some drone voice reading philosophy, get your creative juices flowing at Soul Pancake.

Attack Watch

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Ahh, it’s campaign season.  And, the Obama for America re-election campaign is once again using social media to rally the masses, however this time it’s taken a much different tone.

Obama for America has launched a new campaign, called Attack Watch (Attackwatch.com and @Attackwatch).  This website and Twitter feed, sponsored by the re-election campaign, is dedicated to dispelling campaign “lies” touted by Obama’s opposition.

“Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird said the site offers “new resources to fight back,” including policy issue pages that fact check statements by Obama’s Republican opponents with links to “evidence” to back them up.” – ABC News

The Attack Watch campaign’s slogan “Get the facts. Fight the smears.” is shown at the top of the website where users can “report an attack” on the President, the administration or its policy.  The campaign is also encouraging followers to do the same via hashtag #attackwatch on Twitter.

While I have no problem with Obama rallying supporters for his re-election efforts, Attack Watch reeks of 1984’s “Big Brother.”  And, dare I say, when the administration launches a website called “Attack Watch” mere days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it may be misconstrued by many and strike fear in some.  This does not seem to be the type of dialogue that makes social media successful.

“This is a public relations disaster of the highest order. The acumen with which Obama’s team used the Internet in 2008 has become a joke today; someone should have known that an invitation to report dissent online would become an invitation to increase that dissent.” – Ology website

#AttackWatch is trending on Twitter with over 100 tweets a second, however response is not what the Obama campaign expected:

@meredithdake: “By going on offense w/ #AttackWatch Obama inadvertently gave the public a campaign-approved outlet 2 mock him in 140 characters or less.”

@JasonMKates: @AttackWatch #attackwatch is one of the funniest PR disasters in recent politics. Like telling on my brother and then getting beat for it.

@stephenkruiser: Gosh, color scheme for #AttackWatch doesn’t scream “creepy totalitarian WE’RE WATCHING U regime” at all.

@shiftzz: Hey #AttackWatch.. One of our programmers is using GOTO statements. Please make him stop!!!!!

@JMZygiel: My neighbor has a perry sticker on his car. sent FBI now. he might be a hobbit.  #attackwatch

@caldodge: #attackwatch – This woman is damaging Obama’s rep by spending millions of govt dollars on vacations. Please arrest her at 1600 PA Ave, DC

@BradThor: Is #attackwatch just another incarnation of flag@whitehouse.gov?  Wow, not only are #Obama & Co. incredibly thin-skinned, they’re paranoid.

@RyanC_Gorham: @AttackWatch I was told that if you were elected we would receive candy and unicorns, received neither #attackwatch

We can only imagine what is being sent to the website.

Here is the Attack Watch parody commercial from YouTube:

Texas Fire Information Consolidated #txfire

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Twitter Updates: hashtags #txfire, #centraltxfires, #txwildfire

Facebook:

Important Websites:

Bastrop Fires #txfires

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***Update: Please see the updated consolidated #txfire list here.***

There are a dozen fires burning across Texas today, with the fire in Bastrop being one of the largest and least contained.  So far, the fire has consumed 30,000 acres and approximately 600 homes.  Smoke can be seen and smelled from Corsicana to Corpus Christi.  Dozens of fire stations across the state have dispatched fire fighters to Bastrop and other counties in trouble.

On Twitter, you can follow updates through hashtags #txfire and #centraltxfires.  Important Twitter feeds: @centexredcross, @KXAN_News, @keyetv, @txstormchasers, @statesman, @PreparingWilCo, @texas_wildfires.

On Facebook, there are a few places where people are putting information regarding evacuations and relocation of large animals and livestock.  Bastrop Co Fire Large Animal Info on Facebook has offers for open land where you can take large animals.  People are also posting to Texas Storm Chasers Facebook page.  Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook has information for residents and those nearby.  American Red Cross of Central Texas on Facebook has additional information for evacuees.

More information on shelters and available assistance can be found here.  Evacuees are being asked to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well site so a count can be taken and family members can search.

UPDATE: According to @keyetv (KEYE TV Austin): Bastrop ISD is closed today and tomorrow.  This includes extracurricular activities.

UPDATE: Texas Fire Support on Facebook if you want to help fire victims.  We Are OK in Bastrop for people to post that they are safe – however, I recommend you please use the Red Cross Safe and Well site listed above.

UPDATE: Steiner Ranch is now being reopened to residents ONLY.  Must show ID at checkpoint.

UPDATE: @firetxnews is following fire incidents for Houston and surrounding areas.

UPDATE: To help – Donations are being taken at Texas Wildfire Relief.  Information about becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

UPDATE: KXAN News – Austin is asking anyone in need of volunteers to post to their FB page.  People are also posting there if they see any other fire threats.

UPDATE: Magnolia TX Fire and Evacuation on Facebook for those closer to the Houston area.  Austin American Statesman has a great page on area fire updates, school closures, volunteer information and evacuation/shelter information.

Central Texas Fires on Facebook, although I would urge you to use one of the pages already established.  This one seems to be too general.

Texas Interagency Coordination Center has a great map of active fires in the area.

UPDATE: Austin Statesman has set up Central Texas Wildfire Recovery on Facebook.  Leon County Emergency Management on Facebook.  Tomball Fire Marshal’s Office on Facebook.

Texas Forest Service website reporting Texas Forest Service responded to 22 new fires for 7,544 acres, including 10 new large fires.  In the past seven days Texas Forest Service has responded to 181 fires for 118,413 acres.  It appears that in the past 48 hours, more than 700 homes have been destroyed.

UPDATE: Williamson County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

UPDATE: KVUE Austin-area wildfire donations – ways to help fire victims.

UPDATE: Greater Austin / Bastrop Fire Relief – Austin Disaster Relief Network

Just Ask Your Kids…

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I think this is brilliant.  As a tech marketer, I think the most important aspect of marketing communications is to keep the explanation of technology as simple as possible.  Sometimes, we get too caught up in the bits and bytes, speeds and feeds, and forget the true value of what we are delivering.  Technology wouldn’t mean anything unless it helped people produce, create, communicate, develop – cheaper, faster and smarter. 

I hear people all the time say, “My kid knows more about [fill in the blank – social media, web design, networking] than I do.”  So, why not have children explain cloud computing?  One of the most complex – yet easy – themes in technology today.  That’s exactly what Accenture did in the YouTube video below – have the digital natives explain it to us old folks. 

I Had Cancer

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The purpose of social media is to connect people – make the world smaller and help facilitate conversations.  Therefore, I am loving this new site called I Had Cancer.  I Had Cancer is a social support network with the mission of helping people deal more effectively with life before, during and after cancer.  It was created by Mailet Lopez, a cancer survivor, who wanted to help connect people currently in treatment, survivors and supporters in order to help overcome the “feeling of isolation and confusion that accompanies the disease and treatment.”

These days it seems like everyone has a story.  Completely by chance, I became a volunteer for the Cancer Support Community (formerly Gilda’s Club) in North Texas.  Then, in May, my 32-year old sister was diagnosed with breast cancer – the first cancer diagnosis in my family. 

Mailet has created a platform for people to share their story, and connect with others in their area and around the world.  I Had Cancer is still in beta, but I am hoping the site takes off.