23 January 2010

Pope Jumps on Blogging Bandwagon

This just in: The Pope is encouraging priests to leverage digital media to spread the Gospel. The rest of the story is available on Yahoo! News via Associated Press.

I think this is a really cool move, particularly given the conservative nature of the papacy. Given how successful President Obama's campaign has been in creating a movement via social media, it is not that surprising that the Pope would encourage Catholic practitioners to connect with their followers online, too.

Josh Sternberg says: "Religion has always been at the forefront of new communication technologies; think Martin Luther and his 95 Theses that were printed with the newfangled printing press; think Jerry Falwell and his use of the newly-launched cable satellite system."

For more on religion and social media, check out:
Social Media & Religion: Even The Pope's Online! (by Josh Sternberg)

13 January 2010

Paying It Forward - How Do You Build Community?

I was surprised by my co-workers yesterday with an office celebration for my birthday (which was technically Monday, but I worked from home that day to edit some videos and therefore wasn't in the office to receive cake, flowers and singing on my actual birthday).

Though I promise not to prolong my birthday too much longer by blogging about it repeatedly, when yesterday's offline surprise turned into tweets, Twitpics and Facebook posts, it made me want to blog about community and how companies go about building them.

This weekend, I blogged about how Anthropologie builds community by bringing customers into the Anthro lifestyle. Along similar lines, Catch Up Lady recently blogged about how Patagonia builds community for the eco-conscious outdoor enthusiast. I was also privileged enough to hear Kristian Bush from Sugarland talk about building community in a declining music industry through homegrown YouTube videos and authentic fan interactions. I think it's also safe to say that Apple has not only built a community, but a whole culture around its brand.

12 January 2010

2010 Ford Fusion Launches with American Idol Houseparty

Ford Motor Company* has been receiving some really good press about about My Ford Touch (video demo here), which was shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. Ford has been leading the automobile industry in building intelligence into automotive systems, but it's also pretty progressive when it comes to social marketing.

For example, I attended an interesting presentation by HouseParty during the WOMMA Summit last November that covered how Ford leveraged an existing sponsorship with American Idol to drive customer conversations and brand immersion across the social Web. The HouseParty case study made me think of a tupperware party on steroids, but the results were quite intriguing.

11 January 2010

My Birthday Tag Cloud Card

If you're like me, you've got an email folder labeled "NICE!" in your inbox where you store personal and professional notes of praise and appreciation that can be easily accessed in the event of a rainy-day-major-disaster-freak-out.

Photo by @photo and posted on

As a birthday present, I received something even better from my friend and former colleague, Bret Clement.

He sent me a tag cloud e-card that incorporates nice comments about me from old emails that is pasted over one of my favorite recent party photos (me pictured with Christine Ngo and a cardboard cutout of an Intel bunnyman*.)

What a nice DIY treat to brighten my day! Bret's birthday tag cloud reminded me how effective this medium can be for highlighting major topical trends in any given piece of content. I often use the tag cloud feature of Radian6 to help decipher what words are most commonly associated with a specific topic, brand or service.

09 January 2010

Living the Anthropologie Life

This is the second year I've received my Happy Birthday coupon in the mail from Anthropologie, except it's way more than a coupon. It's a necklace with a birthday candle charm (see left) PLUS a coupon.

The moment I opened the padded envelope from Anthropologie, I was both excited and touched - how sweet of them to think of me on my special day!

The back of the card has the following message:

This little gift is for you and only you and cannot be turned into chocolate, flowers or cash. It's a one time treat, gladly accepted in our retail stores (not online), so bring this note, along with your Anthro card, and enjoy!

Heck, yeah, I'm going to use this! Why? Because Anthropologie sells me more than clothing and accessories. It sells me an experience and I want to live the Anthropologie life.

05 January 2010

Weddings and WoM: 5 Wedding Planning Tips From a Soon to Be Bride

Ooh, this cake looks yummy! I'm thinking of getting a similar one myself (though it will be square).

Oh, right... I'm getting married for those who weren't already aware!

Though the wedding industry has seen a decline in the past year or so, word of mouth (WoM) marketing must be peaking. I can tell you this first hand - who else would you trust to help you plan one of the biggest events in your life other than your most trusted family and friends?

Well, perhaps a wedding planner, but not all of us have the funds to hire a professional! Plus, I like handling the details myself.

So, for those ladies and gents steeped in wedding blogs, DIY books and online wedding communities, here are my WoM recommendations for planning your special day. Please feel free to comment with additional tips and tricks as I'm still in the planning process, myself!