Eight random things about me (yup, I got tagged)

Doug Meacham tagged me the other day, so it’s my turn to weigh in on the “Eight Random Things About Me” meme. First, the rules:

  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of your post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here goes:

  1. I am an Eagle Scout, and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, a fraternal group within the BSA. My vigil name is “Gischeleman,” which I liked so much I named this blog for it. It means “To Create with the Mind,” or as I originally understood it, “Vision Maker.”I value my time in the Scouts, though I am not fond of the national organization’s discriminatory anti-gay policies.
  2. Before getting into public relations, I worked for a decade in public radio, mostly at WBUR-FM, Boston– yes, the Car Talk guys really are like that in real life, thanks for asking. My last job there was as producer for “Only a Game.” Great job, still a great bunch of people.
  3. I have an engineering credit on a rock record, the EP by Ed’s Redeeming Qualities called “Ed’s Day.” I can’t find my copy and I am pissed. ERQ hosted the Sunday Evening “Ed’s Basement at The Rat in Kenmore Square circa 1988-1989, where I got to meet River Phoenix, who played there with his mediocre band Aleka’s attic, and Kim Deal of the Pixies, who seemed quite nice. Yup, I’m name dropping.
  4. I played trombone and tuba through high school. I was actually pretty good, but dropped them in favor of spinning vinyl in college. I actually marched in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade as part of the New England Scholastic Honors Band.
  5. I was a jazz DJ at WERS-FM, Emerson College, and after that, for a little while at WBUR. Boston remains a good city to meet some pretty good jazz musicians. I recall meeting Mark Murphy, Harold Mabern, John Medeski, Cercie Miller, and a bunch of really talented musicians, many coming from the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music. Hey, more name dropping!
  6. I got to see Hank Aaron play ball. Yes, I am just old enough. It was Hammerin’ Hank’s last season, he hit a double in Fenway Park. Another Fenway moment I witnessed: John Valentin’s unassisted triple play game, which also happened to be the major league debut of Alex Rodriguez.
  7. My 9-year-old son is ten times the athlete I was.
  8. I may or may not be related to Francis Bacon. Pretty sure I am related to Nathaniel Bacon of Bacon’s Rebellion. I like to think I am a distant cousin of singer Annie Haslam— she, like my grandfather, is from Bolton, England.

To keep the chain going, and hoping I don’t get someone who has been tagged already, I hereby tag:

Chuck, Chip, Cathryn, Critt, Duncan, Ed, Brian, Priyah

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PRobecast 25: Social Media PR, Grammar Vandal, and more

I have posted PRobecast, Episode 25 of Topaz Partners‘ weekly PR-related podcast.

Rob Capra, Sandy Kalik and I discuss:

  1. The “Public Relations” entry on Wikipedia: Is it ok if PR people contribute to it–pretty please, Mr. Wales?
  2. We discuss a new white paper, “Relating to the Public; the Evolving Role of Public Relations in the Age of Social Media,” by Paul Rand and Giovanni Rodriguez. We talk particularly about integrating social and traditional media, recruiting, and teach new media in PR classes.
  3. “Social Media Influence” index: Do we need one? Is it useful? Should we create one that shows Tech PR Gems to be the most influential blog?
  4. Cheering on the Grammar Vandal: striking a blow for proper English. Plus, yet another appeal to get rid of “Post Mortem” in business usage.
  5. On the Blog: Facebook vs. LinkedIn, Facebook vs. MySpace, and focusing social media usage
  6. On the Blog: Read alison Raymond’s post on Technorati!
  7. What to do next week: social media-driven film screening for “No Reservations” at Fenway Theater in Boston, July 24.
  8. Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
    Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

    [splashcast VBMB8367UC CONJ1736AG]

    Download MP3 File

    You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
    or iTunes.

    Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PRobecast Episode #24: Emailing for Comments, Whole Foods, and PR by Facebook

I have posted PRobecast, Episode 24 of Topaz Partners‘ weekly PR-related podcast.

Rob Capra, Alison Raymond and I discuss:

  1. Pitching by Facebook: What do three PR flaks think of Robert Scoble‘s preference for being pitched on his Facebook wall?
  2. The ethical implications of using email to fish for comments for a client’s blog
  3. The real consequences of astroturfing: Whole Foods’ CEO posting anonymously on Yahoo! stock forums
  4. Our thoughts on Nielsen/Net Ratings dumping the page view measurement standard
  5. Anne Murray needs to work on her messaging instead of her golf game (via CanuckFlack)
  6. What to do this weekend: celebrating Bastille Day with an obscure movie

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

[splashcast VBMB8367UC CONJ1736AG]

Download MP3 File

You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast! PRobecast #23: Sicko, Second Life Lawsuit, and Life is (Good?)

Back to cross-posting the podcast I produce with my PR agency, Topaz Partners.

PRobecast, Episode 23, with Adam Zand, Tim Allik and me:

  1. Sicko: Michael Moore’s new film comes with a rash of PR topics: a Blue Cross executive’s memo, a Google blogger trying to drum up advertising business to combat the movie’s effects, and the did leaking of the movie on the Internet prior to release have any impact on the bottom line? Also, Tim’s review of the movie.
  2. Second Life Lawsuit: the issues behind a real-life copyright infringement lawsuit filed by one Second Life user against another
  3. Shameless self-promotion. The Social Media Board Game, and an invitation to make your own version.
  4. Shameless promotion of other people’s stuff: Chip Griffin’s e-book, “The New Media Cocktail
  5. Scooter Commuted: If you have bad news you want to slip by relatively unnoticed, July 3 is not a bad choice. Plus, tim brings up the Bright Side, in which he points out that Paris Hilton is a hardened ex-convict by comparison.
  6. What to do this weekend: “Life is Good” event at Fenway Park. Please let us know a better word than “good” so he can impress his 5th grade English teacher (Life is reasonably pleasant? Life is relatively unsorrowful?).

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam
[splashcast VBMB8367UC CONJ1736AG]

Download MP3 File

You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
or iTunes.

Or simply use the RSS link here: View RSS XML

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Open sourcing the “Social Media Board Game”

Last night, in a fit of half-baked creativity, I created a “Social Media Board Game,” taking some of the qualities of recent social networking launches like Twitter, Joost and Pownce, along with a few things I saw happen, particularly on twitter, and put a sarcastic but fun spin on the whole thing.

I got a nice response– thanks everyone– but one response in particular, from Jim Long on Twitter, got my gears turning:

Make it interactive an multi-player and I’ll bet it would be a hit!

Since the game wouldn’t really work if you tried to play it, I turned that idea on its head– why not make the creation of the game itself interactive, and “open source” it?

So I used a client’s technology, Tubes, and set up a channel where people can play with the idea and share it. Make my board game better, or use richer media to show creativity in your own way, with video, audio, photos, animation– whatever!

If you would like to join me in this, I think it would be fun.

Just email me at dhaslam (at) topazpartners.com, and I will invite you into the Tube (it does require a small download– but If you can dive headlong blindly into Pownce, you can do this). Just drag and drop what yuou create into the tube– it’s pretty easy to set up and get going.

I look forward to seeing what people contribute!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Social media board game

Had a little time on my hands while watching the Red Sox this evening, and created a board game based on recent social networking application launches. Feel free to add your own text for game spaces. In fact, i would love to hear your contributions.

(If you have trouble viewing the whole game board, just click on it to go the Flickr page)

board game sm

* Template:

created by Mariva H. Aviram / MarivasGuide.com, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License


Technorati Tags: , , , , ,


Blogging/podcasting contests. good ways to draw in the community?

RSSI came across a couple of social media contests recently that intrigued me. The first is from a blog called “Create Business Growth” that has a drawing for $335 worth of podcasting equipment. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to the RSS feed– and notify the blogger. I did that, so let’s see if I win. Oh– and did I mention if you blog about the contest you get 10 additional entries? Well, now I have done that too.

My question– will this only attract people who are into podcasting and audio and thus would want that prize? If that’s the desired audience, then it’s a win. what would you do to attract people to your blog?

Hat tip to Russell Holliman of Podcast Ready for that one.

pSpeaking of Russell and Podcast Ready, a company I helped do the PR launch for with Topaz Partners, Russell is running a contest himself. Here, he is urging podcasters to get listeners to use PodcastReady.com and myPodder, by giving away a spot on approximately 100,000 new media players pre-loaded with myPodder software. He is giving out promotional coded to identify the podcasters who are entering, and the one who drives the most new registrations wins. To be fair to smaller podcasters, he has added a drawing for 3 spots on 10,000 players.

This sounds like an interesting concept (and I am not involved with this particular campaign, by the way). I wish both of these contests luck, and most of all I am curious how they turn out.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast! PRobecast #21: PR Nightmares, Tech :Publishers and iPhone

Welcome to the PRobecast, Episode 21 of Topaz Partners’ weekly PR-related podcast.
This week, we record from the lovely Blue Shutters Inn facing good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA, with a bigger than usual gang of suspects.

Tony Sapienza, Todd Van Hoosear, Susan Koutalakis, Tim Allik, Doug Haslam and Adam Zand discuss:

  1. Don’t Be This Company.” Spell check your pitches, because you never know when, say, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch might be grumpy enough to call you out in public.
  2. Tech publishers in trouble? What will be the impact of the consolidation of CMP properties, and the sell off of Ziff Davis‘ enterprise magazines?
  3. Topaz making the rounds: Tony Sapienza talks about his recent speaking engagements at BullDog Reporter Media Relations 2007 and the PRSA T3 PR conference, and Todd Van Hoosear recaps the latest Social Media Club Boston event on Social Media ROI.
  4. Juvenile behavior report: Google holds a party during eBay Live, eBay retaliates by pulling advertising.
  5. Hillary Clinton chooses her campaign theme song, and the blog debate spills over into PRobecast.
  6. Things to do: Internet Radio Day of Silence in protest of impending RIAA fees, and getting in line for the iPhone (plus Doug tells the worst PR joke ever).
  7. Coda: Christina Carlson feels bad for the AT&T employees who have to cancel vacations due to the iPhone launch.

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

[splashcast VBMB8367UC CONJ1736AG]

MP3 File

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Responsibility of the audience

Chris Brogan, Mochant, Kosso at Boston TweetUp

Last night I attended one of the several Boston “Tweetups” that have been gathering lately. These are meetings of people who converse regularly on Twitter, but value face-to-face meetings as well. This TweetUp included several prolific Twitterers, including PodCamp founder Chris Brogan, blogger/storyteller/ZDNet columnist Marc Orchant, and John “Kosso” Kossman of Podcast.com and Kosso’s Braingarden, all pictured. Also attending were Sooz of the new BostonNow paper, Schuyler Erle of MetaCarta and WhereCamp, and Kristen “KrooshCrusius.

Ok, on to the title of this post. We talked about a number of subjects, and one of my favorites came up: the responsibility of the audience. Ever since my days as a Mass communications major at Emerson College, I have been turned on the idea of perspective in the media. What that means is that the audience has the responsibility to consider the perspective of the content creator when reading, viewing or listening.

this came up in the concept of the Nikon D80 blogger outreach campaign. My point there is that I know the blogger will feel warmly towards Nikon, so I take any positive review as a certain % of BS, but– give me specifics of how the camera works, how it is different, why you like– or hate– it. Give me enough information to agree or disagree with you and make my own decision. I also brought up the example of any public demonstration, typical of which was the Million Man March of 1995. Organizers, according to Wikipedia (talk about considering your sources) said there were as many as 2 million people at the March, while U.S. Park police said there about 400,000. Well, somebody’s wrong. This is why newspapers should report both numbers. Each side has its own reason to exaggerate or downplay certain facts.

The concept of the critical audience has become more obvious in this age of bloggers. “Surely, these bloggers aren’t journalists, they must have biases. We can’t trust them.” All true but the last part. The thing is, we needed to be a critical audience before the days of blogs. For the CBS evening News, for the New York Times, for Time Magazine.

This has not changed for blogs, but I do think this attitude towards blogs is a good thing– it will make us a more critical audience to the mainstream media as well. Don’t assume political reporting is even-keeled, look at the body of the reporter’s work, and take any potential agendas into consideration. Do the same for your sports reporters your movie reviewer, and of course bloggers and podcasters, and be able to pick out the facts from the point of view. Nothing is purely objective, no matter how hard any journalist might try.

Content producers have the responsibility to disclose, to represent their views as they are to the best of their ability- and heck, to keep the audience interested in coming back. Prying some form of the truth from a host of human perspectives; that is the responsibility of the audience.

What are your thoughts?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast! Probecast #20: YouTube Debate, Liveblogging Sports, and more

Just posted the 20th episode of Probecast, Topaz Partners’ weekly PR-related podcast.
This week, Rob Capra, Adam Zand and I discuss:

  1. Liveblogging and sports: should the NCAA have expelled a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter/blogger from an NCAA baseball tournament? Plus, the NCAA blog has an interesting response.
  2. The New York Islanders embrace hockey bloggers.
  3. PR Measurement comes up again, courtesy of PR News. And a preview of Katie Paine‘s appearance at the next Social Media Club event in Boston June 21.
  4. Presidential Social Media (Again!): an upcoming Democratic debate will use questions submitted via YouTube.
  5. Listener-submitted question: comparing Catchpole, PRSourceCode, and Marketing with Honors, along with Harrington Communications (Thanks to Todd Defren)
  6. Having your client deliver the pitch: good strategy or ceding control?
  7. We recap recent visits to Topaz from David Berlind of ZDNet and Karen Testa of the Associated Press Boston bureau.
  8. What to do this weekend: celebrate FIR‘s 250th episode, boo Barry Bonds at Fenway, check out the Playboy sim in Second Life and please tell Doug what they heck they are doing there (CC Chapman does have some clues).

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

[splashcast VBMB8367UC CONJ1736AG]

MP3 File

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,