Define Social Media

As I described in Learning Blogging and Social Media in Hawaii, I learned a lot about the future of the web at the Social Media Club Workshop in Honolulu this past week as part of Hawaii Geek Week.

One of the biggest problems facing those who consult and train others in social media, as well as business that need to know about social media, is defining social media. What is it?

Many simplify the concept and say that it is Twitter and blogs, especially blog conversations and comments. Others offer complicated answers that have to do with building your online identity and brand.

The last few workshops and conferences I’ve been to, including Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii, battled with the definition of social media and the role it plays in today’s business and economy.

What does social media mean to you? How do you use it? What is it doing for you? How do you define social media?

Exploring Social Media Series

Blogging Behind Bars

Sending letters to convicted felons is nothing new; I’d have you ask Jeffrey MacDonald, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy but they’re all burning in hell. So just take my word for it.

Psychopaths are not usually camera shy, and often have plenty to get off their chests. So wouldn’t a blog be the perfect venue for killers and creeps to torment their victims’ families?

I never really thought about it, but it’s come to my attention that some prisons actually permit prisoners to send e-mails (in turn making it possible to blog). The only catch is that they are not allowed to profit financially. But the publishers can laugh all the way to the bank.

You might have read about federal inmate No. 18330-424, Conrad Black, the former Canadian press baron convicted of defrauding his company’s newspapers. Found guilty of diverting funds for personal benefit and obstructing justice, the fallen financial maven was just published in Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast.

I understand this clown is rotting in a white-collar facility, but if we give our liars, crooks and thieves this right from behind bars, the murderers and rapists can’t be far behind.

What are your thoughts? Are you siding with freedom of speech or common sense? Should felons be permitted to blog from behind bars?

Presidential Elections Fuels Twitter Growth, Paves Way for Microblogging

TwitterThe presidential election is a good deal for Twitter, according to the latest numbers from Nielsen Online, reported by CNET’s Webware blog. Twitter is currently the fastest growing social-networking site, according to the numbers, with a massive growth of 343% when looking back to September last year. Several other social-networking sites show similar growth, especially with 330% (at #2), and Ning at 251% (#3) in particular. [Read more…]

Learning Blogging and Social Media in Hawaii

Web Weavers Workshop for bloggers by Lorelle VanFossen

Hawaii Geek Week continues in Honolulu, Hawaii. Yesterday’s Web Weavers Workshop with Lorelle in Hawaii was a tremendous success. A couple dozen people learned how to blog beginning with what a blog is and ending with how blogging is already changing their lives by giving people a platform upon which to speak and share and learn.

Web Weavers Workshop for bloggers by Lorelle VanFossen

Web Weavers Workshop for bloggers by Lorelle VanFossen

The participants ranged from total newbies trying to understand what this “blogging thing” is all about, to business owners and professionals familiar with website technology and development and eager to take it a few steps further into blogging and social media.

Each participant made a plan for their blog, signed up for a free blog, and started filling in the blanks and choosing a WordPress Theme.

Many arrived with the preconceived notion that blogging is hard and complicated, and left realizing that blogging is easy. It’s finding your passion to share with the world that is really the hardest part of the puzzle. A few had set ideas on what they wanted to blog about when they arrived, but through the step-by-step process of drilling down their idea into an actionable plan for their blogs, they realized that they didn’t have the content, nor the commitment, to blog their idea over the long term. A few changed paths midstream and left the day-long workshop inspired and ready to embrace their blog in a new direction.

The next in the natural evolution of a blog came today at the Social Media Club Workshop. [Read more…]

More Aweber Love and Reasons to Use Them

John Chow joins Darren Rowse in the I Love Aweber club, and highlights the new Twitter feature we’ve mentioned previously. It appears as if Aweber’s got dedicated users, always a good sign.

Speaking of which, Darren Rowse published his 8 reasons why to add a newsletter to your blog:

  1. Newsletters create Loyalty
  2. Newsletters Develop Relationships and Trust
  3. Newsletters Drive Page Views/Traffic
  4. Newsletters are Familiar
  5. Newsletters Build a Core Community and Enhance Reader Engagement
  6. Newsletters can Track and Target Groups of Readers
  7. Newsletters help build Momentum
  8. Newsletters Open Up Possibilities for Monetization

All good reasons, and more in-depth in the post of course. My personal opinion is that adding a newsletter is a good idea overall, and you can most certainly get spinoffs from it. You’ll need a plan of course, but there are most certainly possibilities here.

WordPress 2.6.3 Security Release

A new version of WordPress is available, version 2.6.3. It is a security release to fix a vulnerability reported in the Snoopy library, which WordPress uses to fetch the feeds you see in the Dashboard. It doesn’t seem to be very serious flaw, and you don’t have to download the full release if you’re running 2.6.4, you can just get the two files needed. Links in the dev blog post, and the full 2.6.3 release is available on the download page now.

Blogger’s Delight: Magic Touch (Photoshop For Your iPhone)


My first encounter with Magic Touch was “less than pleasant.”

After encountering numerous bugs on version 1.0 (most which crashed the app), I contacted the developers at iMapl to see if I could demo test of their updated version (Magic Touch 1.1), which will be available on the app store (pending Apple’s approval).

While I did expect the iMapl to (at the minimum) fix the numerous bugs plaguing the app, I did not expect it to surpass most of the photo apps on Apple’s app store (especially against their main rivals, one which will be highlighted in this review). [Read more…] Releases Embeded Comments To Public, Flirts With iGoogle



After briefly testing embeded comments over on the draft version of Blogger (their eternal beta), Google has finally decided to push the beta feature to the public realm, as well as making embeded comments the default setting for blog*spot blogs everywhere.

(Blogger Buzz) Today we’re bringing the embedded comment form out of Blogger in draft and making it easily available to everyone. This feature puts the comment form at the bottom of each post page, below the comments, instead of on the separate, Blogger-styled page.

The embedded comment form is more convenient for your readers because they can use it to post a comment immediately, without clicking over to a different page. It also looks better, since it matches your blog’s style and colors.

What’s really interesting about the new comment form (at least for those who have never implemented it before) is the fact that Google is allowing users from competeing platforms (such as WordPress, LiveJournal, and TypePad) to comment using their own login systems, as well as the option of posting with OpenID. [Read more…]

Hey You. Yes You! Let’s Network…

As many of you know, I own and operate Jobacle, a career blog and podcast that is dedicated to making work better. With all of the media hype – and now evidence – surrounding an economic downfall, it appears we are entering a new job-search chapter: too many workers, not enough jobs.

It’s times like this that a resume becomes even less valuable. After all, a resumes’ primary purpose is to act as an exclusionary tool to ELIMINATE you from the race.

It sounds boring and cliché, but that means networking is more important than ever.

Many bloggers – this one included – simply throw links to social networks on their sites and wait for the people to flock. This is a pretty passive approach.

With so much uncertainty out there, my blogging friends, let this post serve as a reminder – or better yet a catalyst – to reach out and make a new contact or rekindle an old one.

Set a goal and hold yourself accountable. Maybe it’ll be to make five new contacts this week. Perhaps 50. It’s hard work, but perhaps the most important work you can do right now.

There’s a good chance your next job will come through networking, irrespective of what you do for a living. Start now before it’s too late.

One of my favorite things about blogging is meeting new and interesting people across the world. You can find me on LinkedIn and all of the rest, but why not send me an e-mail and make me your contact for the day!

Even if I’m not your guy, go network! You’ll thank me later.