Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Social Media Top 5: Brian Solis Gives Me a Headache, Twitter Chat Advice, & Outside the Echo

Getting Out of the Echo Chamber:

My good friend Kyle Flaherty blogged recently about getting out of the social media “echo chamber,” and the resultant decrease in his activity blogging and on Twitter. There has been a lot of talk about taking social media out of the “echo chamber” so everyone uses it, but this is more about just shutting it off for a bit and losing nothing (well, blog traffic– if that’s important, and other social media channel momentum).

fail-meterSo, is it good to disconnect to get perspective? To recharge? To prevent burnout? I probably is. Many colleagues know when to shut it off (some do it for work only, other the other way around. I simply see this post as a reminder that all of us have social networks that exist outside of the online networks, and those need just as much tending.

A Frightening Walk Through Past Failures:
Mack collier did something brave recently: he sifted through his early blog posts and found himself cringing at some of his early posts. The lesson? We all find our voices online– or in any medium, including our “meatspace” groups– after time, after starting out tentatively, after making mistakes, after chaning focus or direction.

I took a look through my early blog posts too, and recommend that you don’t (look at mine, I mean– definitely revisit yours).

Twitter Chat Advice:
Kami Huyse has a nice post on how to participate in Twitter chat. The advice is common sense, but still worth reading. More important to me was that she listed a bunch of existing regular chats that take place on Twitter. Here are the ones Kami listed:

More chats? Certainly, feel free to tell me about them in comments

Brian Solis Gives Me a Headache. Again:

His image of the “Twitterverse,” showing (almost) all the applications and services, is a nice visualization of the universe created by one of the dumbest, simplest online conversation tools out there.

Brian Makes my head spin. Click for larger image

Brian Makes my head spin. Click for larger image

PR Students on Learning About Twitter:

One of my favorite PR professors (ok they;re all my favorite), Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu of Clemson, posted these reactions by her students after they were asked to learn about and use Twitter.

I won;t recap here, just go read it– but I was struck by the number of students who say they “get it.” I was hoping for some more “What the *** is this” reactions, though I guess the students wouldn’t say this to their professor- would they? Some students did admit to “semi-getting it” or simply taking a while to cotton to Twitter as an effective communications tool. I will continue to be fascinated by what and how students are learning about social media as it gets introduced into the curricula more and more.

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PR Dead? Kill Dumb PR



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First, thanks to Shel Holtz for writing more extensively on this: http://bit.ly/shelsys.

The "PR Is Dead" meme ironically lives quite heartily, but this article by Fuat Kircaali, founder of Sys-Con Media and a new service called Ulitzer, goes straight to the self-parody pile.

While Shel’s post fairly outlines the possible benefits of the Ulitzer service, Kircaali’s use of his soapbox to declare the Death of public relations at the hands of his own wonderful new service (http://bit.ly/fuatk) lacks credibility.

If you are going to kill PR, don’t announce your plans in such a blatantly hucksterish way that it would make any decent PR person blush.

Want to kill PR? Kill bad PR. I’ll buy the bullets.

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Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message or go to: http://pmc.org/DH0159 for my fundraising page– and thank you!

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Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #4: John Cass

This is an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

john-cass-2007

I consider John Cass to be part of my “social media” network of friends, but truthfully I met him just before I really dove headlong into social media, at a MITX technology awards event in 2005. Around that time he was also serving as the local chapter president of the American Marketing Association, so between that and his day-job duties i would run into him at several events, and more so once regular meetups like Social Media Club and the Social Media Breakfasts got started.

John is always good for a well-thought-out opinion on public relations, marketing and social media- many of which he pours out in his blog: http://pr.typepad.com.

Some more from John:

- Why did you sponsor me in the Pan-Mass Challenge?

Thought it was a good cause, really like you and the work you do to support your local communities, such as the Newton Blog (note: I occasionally contribute to The Garden City Blog, curated by Kristine Munroe-Mahoney and my old colleague Chuck Tanowitz) , etc.

- Name one interesting fact or story that makes you unique and interesting

At the beginning of August 2002 I drove 12,000 miles to Alaska and back on the AL-CAN and Caucasian Highway. We saw tons of cyclists making the return trip on the way up, the weather was summer on the way up, and we hit snow storms when we came back at the beginning of September (note: have a look at the map here to see how crazy this trip really was).


Thank you, John. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

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Limitations as Assets



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This isn’t about knowing your limitations, but about how they might be your secret weapons. I sincerely believe that limitations are assets in disguise.

- A limited camera (as on a cell phone) takes its own kind of pictures, and accentuates your eye for lighting, distance and how things look from a distance. This photo is from my cell.

- Any musician with a distinctive sound got there as a result of some limitation in his or her playing. Thelonious Monk held his fingers wrong over the piano, creating "off" notes. Ornette Coleman grew up with subpar /d toy instruments, creating a unique perspective on tuning and melodics. Jimi Hendrix was left-handed, but took a right-handed guitar and strung it backwards.

- How many artists developed their influential styles due to some mental, physical or equipment limitation?

I’ll bet you use your limitations as assets, even if you don’t know it. Do you what they are?

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Pan-Mass Challenge Training Update: First 50-Mile Ride

The weather has gotten better and the bike training has become more- well “intense” is not the word when you are having fun. And if I have not made it clear yet, I am having fun riding my bike, getting ready for the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day ride across Massachusetts to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (please consider sponsoring me at http://pmc.org/DH0159).

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I managed to put in 100 miles in training rides, two of them with five local friends. Monday, we took a ride that I stretched out to 50 miles, my first ride of that length this year (my PMC route will be 165 miles over two days). The video below shows a little bit of that ride- much of it a sunnier version of last week’s ride through the farm country of Dover, Massachusetts.

Pan-Mass Challenge Training: First 50-Miler from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Thanks to the generosity of many friends, we are 37% towards my $4,200 PMC fundraising goal. With your help, we can keep on track and raise the rest. Please sponsor me by donating any amount at http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Thank you!

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Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes #3: Shawn Ashe

This is the third in an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

Wah-Tut-Ca Scout Reservation

Wah-Tut-Ca Scout Reservation

PMC Heroes #3: Shawn Ashe

This year, I have seen far more participation in my Pan-Mass Challenge efforts by people outside my hardcore “social media” community, from all corners of my life. This includes more people I met in my youth, when I was very active in the Boy Scouts, particularly the local Order of the Arrow lodge (Wannalancit #451!) and our camp, Wah-tut-Ca Scout Reservation. As teenage members of out local lodge, we learned the leadership skills that helped us excel in high school, college and into our professional lives, and became a tight-knit group into our forties (and older!).

Shawn Ashe is one of these Scouting friends; one I have become reacquainted with through Facebook (this seems to be coming up a lot this year). Shawn has remained in the Greater Lowell (Massachusetts) era, and to my delight is very involved in his local community to the extent of managing a blog dedicated to municipal issues, Dracut Forum (www.dracutforum.com). He has also dedicated his time to being a foster parent, “working to improve the lives of children in the care of the state.”

Also from Shawn:

I sponsored you because of our mutual history at Camp Wah-Tut-Ca. I’ve always believed that place helped create people with good values, and your effort shows that.


Thank you, Shawn. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

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Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes 2: Ted McEnroe

This is the second in an ongoing series profiling some of the people I believe to be the real heroes of the Pan-Mass Challenge: the sponsors who donate their money to fund cancer research. Please considering joining them by donating any amount to http://pmc.org/DH0159.

ted_and_the_ring#2: Ted McEnroe

Ted McEnroe is the Director of Digital Media at New England Cable News (NESN). He also blogs for himself at Yankee 2.0 (http://yankee20.com). I met Ted at several Boston-area social media events, and to show you how thick I am, I did not know he was married to another new friend, Rachel Happe, until a few events into our acquintance. No matter.

Ted was one of the first sponsors in this year, and shortly thereafter he told me that he signed up to ride the PMC with Team NECN (and of course I reciprocated). Not coincidentally, NECN is the media sponsor of the Pan-Mass Challenge, and they also provide a large team of riders. Ted manages the team’s site, http://www.teamnecn.com, which has a lot of great content. Ted told me: “It is actually watching it all come together that inspired me to ride.”

Also from Ted:

“I sponsored you because I know you and your commitment to the PMC, and I have seen first-hand the good that the work of you and 5000 others like you (and this year, me) can do for cancer research.”

“I hadn’t really heard of the PMC until I started working at NECN 5 years ago on PMC weekend. It blows me away each and every year.”

“I’m giving to you in no one’s particular honor – I am riding in many ways for my father in law, who I never met – but there are so many stories, and so many reasons to give that picking one seems too hard. So I’m giving because I can.”

“One interesting fact about me when it comes to the PMC. I’m just like anyone else out there, whether they’re riding, volunteering or just sitting at home.
Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way – we need to keep trying until we can rewrite that sentence.”

Thank you, Ted. And thank you, everyone who has supported the Pan-Mass Challenge in any way. Here’s the link for you to sponsor my ride and fight cancer: http://pmc.org/DH0159. Please feel free to pass the link to others as well.

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Pan-Mass Challenge Update: Zingin’ in the Rain

We have passed the one-third milestone in fundraising! We still have nearly $2,800 to go, though! Please help fight cancer by sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge: http://bit.ly/pmcdh.

Pan-Mass Challenge bike training continues! Last weekend, I did my first back-to-back rides, important, as the PMC itself is a back-to-back affair, about 80 miles each day for me. Saturday, I did another 30+ mile ride to Walden pond with my friend Keith, while a bigger group, fellow riders Mitch (who dropped out due to constant inner tube failure, a sign of things to come), Stephen and Ed, joined me Sunday for a trip through beautiful Dover, Massachusetts.

As you see from this video (and others), I tend to keep us riders out of it and let you enjoy the scenery through our eyes.

Other highlights:

  • Training in the pouring rain; it rained hard and steady for most of the ride, but “You only get wet once.”
  • Falling and breaking my front derailleur; didn’t get that on tape, but it was as fun as it sounds. I finally forgot that I was wearing cleats and just toppled over when I came to a stop. High comedy.
  • Having a “wardrobe malfunction.” Again, not on camera (you’re welcome), though it is mentioned.
  • Taking a little wrong turn. That wasn’t so bad, but it’s not a ride with me if we don’t miss something.
  • Running out of batteries in my Flip cam. Hey, it happens. Don’t you like sudden endings though?

All in all, a great ride (seriously).

PMC Training; May 17, 2009- Rainy 30-Miler from Doug Haslam on Vimeo.

Again, thanks to all the great sponsors who have taken us this far. Please consider joining them by clicking here to donate any amount to help fight cancer through the Pan-Mass Challenge. Thanks!

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My Pan-Mass Challenge Heroes 1: Chip Griffin

Preparing for my first Pan-Mass Challenge last year, I liked to say that I’m “just a guy riding a bike.” I considered the people who reached into their wallets and went to the PMC site to pledge money to fight cancer- nearly 80 of them last year- to be the real heroes of my “team.” One of my regrets was that I didn’t get to publicly thank many of my sponsors, as I didn’t ask for explicit permission.

This year, I decided to bend the other way– not just thank people publicly, but profile them as full members of the team. So, I asked this year’s sponsors — almost 30 so far– if they wouldn’t mind being profiled.

So these are the “heroes” of my Pan-Mass Challenge team- classmates, childhood friends, colleagues, friends, family– and social media friends. Many of these people who cross multiple categories. I thank them all, and get to thank some of them publicly here.

First up:
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#1: Chip Griffin

I have known Chip for a few years, mostly in his role as CEO of media monitoring company CustomScoop and his stewardship of Media Bullseye, for which I write a monthly article. A serial entrepreneur, Chip started his latest venture, New England Web Entrepreneurs, to provide resources to the rich but neglected pool of New England entrepreneurs.

When I first decided to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge last year, Chip was one of the first people in with a very generous check to get me started. He’s back for Year Two. Most recently, he interviewed me for his podcast series; I spoke with him about my use of social media for fundraising for the Pan-Mass Challenge, including this feature here. For all those reasons, I thought it fitting to start with Chip. Here are some of the things he said about his sponsorship:

I am a longtime supporter of the Jimmy Fund and try to help out when friends are willing to put in extra effort to fundraise on behalf of organizations I support. The fact that you are willing to train and ride, something that is far from easy, is admirable and it seems the least I can do is “write a check!”

I have…always found the Jimmy Fund to be a good cause. This has been reinforced by my attending events as a donor where I have had a chance to meet patients, parents, and doctors. It is impossible to meet these people without being impressed and feeling like you need to do more.

(I asked him to tell one interesting or unique fact or story)

It seems that I got old while I wasn’t looking. I’m a member of the American University Alumni Board and attended a commencement event a couple of weeks ago as part of those responsibilities. As I was greeting the graduates, one of them took a look at my name badge, noticed by year of graduation, and said — quite seriously — “Wow, that was a long time ago.” I don’t happen to think 1994 was that long ago, until I thought about it and realized that when I graduated from college that would be like seeing someone with a name badge from the 1970s.

Well Chip, as a member of Emerson College’s Class of 1990, I don’t feel all that bad for you.

But I do thank you for your continued sponsorship of my Pan-Mass Challenge ride.

Those of you who would like to join this stellar group of generous people, please consider pledging any amount to fight cancer, by going to http://bit.ly/pmcdh.

Thank you!

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Facing ‘Public Relations is Dead’



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Maybe it’s not really the elephant in the room, but the "PR is Dead" theme came up at last night’s Boston Media Makers gathering. Being the PR person present, I responded that PR is changing, not dead. My riff about the end of mass press release emails and PR not being only media relations, is one we hear a lot. Here is what was really interesting:

- Most social media events I go to are infested with PR people. We know our profession is changing with all media, and that "PR is Dead" rants abound, but we feel safe in our mutual affirmation bubble.

It is good practice to have to explain how PR is relevant on my own without backup. I think I did OK but more practice wouldn’t hurt.

We all could use it.

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Blog readers: I am riding the Pan-Mass Challenge this summer, a 2-day bicycle trek across Massachusetts to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in support of cancer research. Will you join the generous folks who have sponsored my ride? Click any part of this message to go to my fundraising page– and thank you!