Ashley E. Kingsley

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Perch Yourself

In App Technology, Facebook, Fail Whale, Perch, Social Media, Twitter, Women in Tech on August 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

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I have been in social media marketing since the dawn of, well, social media. Countless hours spent moderating Yahoo! Groups, posting to Craig’s List in the early days, using Twitter before the storm, and connecting via Facebook before it was a centralized tool for marketing. Seems like a lifetime, and yet, it’s only been since about 1998.

Engaging early on, both personally and professionally, has taught me a great deal about shifting landscapes, pivoting quickly and consuming information at high speeds, but only if it’s written in 140 characters or less. I think it is referred to as “nimble”. In the world of social media, you must be nimble, or you will not survive.

It has been an extraordinary evolution and one that I am so glad to be part of. Early on, many told me I was wasting my time and that social networking was just a “fad that will fade.”  I didn’t listen, because I saw something early on (or a few things) that struck me.

It was campaign season 2008.  Obama and McCain were on the ticket. I had all but stopped watching any news coverage on the television. I couldn’t stand the endless analyzing, the talking heads. News, just for news sake. I was bored. I spent most of my time on Twitter and some on Facebook.  I was there with other people that wanted to share information and who were connecting in a meaningful way. The news was being reported by people who were seeing it unfold and living through experiences themselves; what a concept.

When I saw the election called on Twitter via someone on the East Coast well before mid-night and far before any major news outlet reported his victory, I was in awe.  A Presidential Election was called out on Twitter by a non-news source, and it was accurate. CNN reported 1.5 hours later.  It was then that I knew Twitter was going to change the way people communicated, consumed and shared information. It was no longer just one of the many start-up tech companies in Silicone Valley.  Twitter was changing our intake and output of information. Long before the Hashtag, Trending, Verified Users, Followers, Klout, Streams, Decks, Influencers, Thought Leaders, Re-tweets, Ninjas and Scheduling, many used this tool in a meaningful way. When we tweeted, we actually shared. We weren’t selling and we weren’t buying. We were listening, even playing and making real connections. We were storytelling, posting what was happening, in between our blogging, our phone calls and our IM’s. Originally, what Twitter was designed for. “The stuff that happens in between.“

Twitter grew quickly. There were a lot of us that often went bonkers when the “Fail Whale” showed up on our screen. “What do you mean I can’t Tweet this thought, RIGHT NOW!” The “Fail Whale” became more and more visible as Twitter’s hosting was overrun and failing. People were taking to Twitter like crazy and by 2010, well, it was a totally different platform.  As a Consultant, I urged my small business clients to let me build their brand and presence, on Twitter and Facebook. Many begrudged the idea, yet the forward thinking ones let me run loose. Now, almost five years later, those small businesses are considered early adopters and have a presence and a following. More importantly, they recognize the value of diversifying their marketing channels and not relying on only print advertising, word-of-mouth marketing and radio. Unlike print and radio, utilizing Facebook and Twitter were extremely cost effective, and I could show my client’s actual insights and ROI and shift campaigns and directions within minutes.

The landscape keeps shifting constantly. Information online has changed so drastically and with the changing eco-sphere of social media, our intentions must follow suit. I think it is important to ask; “What are we here for? What are we hoping to accomplish?”

In answering these questions, I know that my heart has always belonged with Small Business. When I learned how MapQuest Founder Perry Evans flipped the switch and brought the Perch App to life, I had to re-organize the way I viewed social and the dissemination of real-time information.

Perch is a robust app that pulls several leading social streams (think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, G+, Yelp) together in one app, and even adds in tracking for local promotions from Foursquare and Daily Deals, and gives the Small Business Owner the ability to observe, listen, watch, and learn. It is a totally different and new approach to social. Perry actually calls it marketplace listening which I like! I think over the last few years, many claim they are listening to their consumers – the title of Community Manager emerged to confirm, that yes, you are bring heard. But with the Perch App, the SMB can listen to the competition and their customers. Genius.  It has taken me some time to wrap my head around the listening part. It seems we have been busy foaming at the mouth for a while now; I call it “Machine Tweeting”. Hellllo…is anybody out there? Is anyone listening, or are we all just scheduling information and crowding the space with sales pitches, e-Books, contests, and Hashtags?

I highly recommend Perch, as a former Small Business Owner, Marketing Consultant, and as a long time lover of Small Business. It, in Perry Evan’s words  “is the next generation of listening. We are giving you a more real-world pulse of your local marketplace.”

Perch App won Best New Business App at the Appy Awards at SXSW 2013.

Don’t stop Tweeting and Posting. Perhaps, download Perch, and give a listen, observe. Stay Perched for a while, see what you can hear. See what kind of business intelligence you can harness with this power tool.  Hey, be an early adopter, this is Web 3.0 emerging. Adopt it before you are a latecomer.

Download here for Droid or iPhone

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#TwitStroll

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

As with most of my ideas, @TwitStroll hit me upside the head in the middle of the night and jolted me out of bed. For some reason my ideas don’t sleep.  I am somewhat of an impulsive person (zip it Mom) and I act fast on my ideas. So, when I thought of  TwitStroll, I went full force ahead.

I have been using Twitter for a few years now and I have watched it grow and change. It has, in my opinion, become one of the most fascinating tools ever used in the marketing sphere.

If you don’t know about Twitter, please, please dig yourself out of the hole and read THIS.

I have been attending  and throwing TweetUps since early 2007.  Which, in the digital age seems like a lifetime.

Please refer HERE if you don’t know what a TweetUp is and get your head out of your you-know-what! I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the smartest, most progressive, hilarious people at TweetUps. When there is a TweetUp it usually takes place at a bar or restaurant and often at night.  With two kids under my wing it has been hard for me to get away because that is my quality time with my kids and my husband.

Often during the daytime I do find myself wishing I could connect with more people while I am a stay-at-home Mom.  And, after a good bout’ of postpartum depression I realized I could create something that would encourage me to connect with others a little more spontaneously… and WALA! It’s a Twitstroll.

TwitStroll is similar to a TweetUp but more spontaneous and versatile.  Perhaps last minute!

HOW IT WORKS:

I Tweet that I am taking the baby and going for a walk. Since I know there are people all over Denver, I choose a place I haven’t been in a while. I include a MAP in my Tweet and a #hashtag as well as the exact time the TwitStroll will begin.  I am then committed to myself to show up and maybe someone else will too.  It helps me get out of the house, I get to meet other awesome and intelligible people from Twitter and the In Real Life community grows by leaps and bounds. Face it – we are ALL BUSY! But a quick walk, cup of joe, a beer … we can all do that.

A TwitStroll can be anywhere at anytime and ANYONE can have one!  Throw it out in your stream and do one thing: COMMIT to being where you say you are going to be.  Make sure to always use the # hashtag and make sure to help promote other Twits Strolls.

It is a great opportunity for people to get involved on many levels!

Here are some ideas for a TwitStroll:

  • Dog Park
  • Park with Kids
  • Lunch
  • Happy Hour
  • Random Dodge Ball Game
  • A Run
  • A Swim
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee
  • A Party
  • A Walk
  • A Book Signing
  • A Cause/Campaign
  • Camping
  • Mall Stroll
  • Bar Stroll
  • Parent’s Night Out
  • Specific Communities
  • Garage Sales
  • Baseball Game
  • Skeet Shooting
  • Carnival
  • Rodeo

And I am sure there are a lot more…

The beauty of a TwitStroll is they can happen everyday, anywhere in the world.

Woody Allen once said “98% of life is about showing up” so this is me, kicking postpartum ass, shouting out to people I want to know, getting out and getting active, silly, groovy, caffeinated, supported; you name it… Its YOUR TwitStroll.

Follow us on Twitter @TwitStroll and @ashleykingsley

Why Social Media Drives Me

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2009 at 1:18 am

Multi taskI was enjoying a day at the Rockies game  doing my usual; multi-tasking. I was watching my TWITTER stream, peering onto the game over my Blackberry, talking to my friend and husband and playing with the kids. Oh, yeah, I was drinking a beer too.  Amused as always with my Twitter stream, I realized it was time to put the phone down and get the kids packed up. They were done, it was the 7th inning.

I had my phone in my hand, baby strapped to the front of me, toddler walking next to me and hubby leading the way.  One quick stop into the loo was all I needed.  And, of course, I left my phone in the bathroom stall.  And the moral of this story – don’t leave your phone in the bathroom stall or someone will take it.  Well, that isn’t really the moral of the story, but a side note.

Within seconds my lifeline was gone. Sound dramatic?  My Twitter stream, POOF!  My Facebook access lost. My phone book, buh-bye. My PHONE, gawn. GAWN!  I panicked and then I became interested in my own physiological meltdown. Well, it wasn’t really a meltdown, but I was having side-effects, seriously.  I felt, lost and dazed.  No, I am not kidding.

I decided, after I talked to the insurance company (yes, I always insure my phones) that since I wouldn’t see a replacement for 48 hours give or take, due to the Holiday weekend that I would experiment with my “need” to always be connected.

FIRST HOURS:

I couldn’t believe how ridiculous it was how disconnected I was feeling.  A phone, a blackberry…  some call it an extra appendage… it just didn’t make sense to me why I was feeling so out of sorts?  What is so important ‘out there’ that I was actually missing?  I guessed, probably not much.  I couldn’t check my streams or my friends’ status updates, click through the news or see the latest baseball score.  Big deal, right?

Wrong….

I realized within the first few hours of loss that  my Blackberry had become a ‘tick.’ That’s right, a nervous, boredom, fill-the-time-or-empty-space-moments with noise – other people’s noise, ‘tick.’  It was shocking to me how much I missed clicking between Twitter and Facebook  to see updates, learn, engage and be part of the conversation. The need to be part of all of this, I discovered, drives me.

The need and DRIVE is:  Connectivity. Belonging. A way for me to experience others without having direct person-to-person contact.   This new discovery of mine was not surprising. What was surprising, however,  was how I felt when I didn’t have the option to just ‘connect’ instantaneously.  Isn’t everything, instant? Don’t we function on ‘instant’ now? I do and now I know how important it is to have access, anytime, anywhere.

MORE HOURS:

I missed the feeds and status updates… and then… I kind of chilled.  Don’t get me wrong,  I did “wonder” what was going on when I wasn’t looking or connected.   I realized that time and appropriate USE of my Blackberry was what I might need to pay attention to. If I want to be connected, I could be connected – but I had to make some adjustments.  I hadn’t fully realized how much I was missing outside the stream. I started actually, um, driving my car, listening to NPR again and just being with myself, sans hyper-connectivity.  It was oddly, refreshing.  I took an OATH to stop texting, Tweeting, Facebooking and emailing while driving.  It seems soooo obvious…. I know.   YOU CAN TOO- HERE.  I HOPE YOU DO!

THE FINAL HOURS:

Being disconnected was interesting. I was thankful for the time I got to reflect which is something I am really thankful for. Re-connecting with self is so very important – equally as important as connecting outside of myself. -BALANCE-

CHARGED!

I have learned that connectedness isn’t a bad thing. Somehow, I was feeling guilty for being *that girl* that is always Twittering or Facebooking. You know what?  Being part of the stream is important to me. Participating in the conversation is valuable to me.  Listening to others and learning from others is vital to me.  So the appendage stays.

I think using my appendage at more appropriate times is what matters. Maybe cool down on the triple-tasking, perhaps?

Private Life and Social Media

In App Technology, Facebook, Fail Whale, Leadership, New Media, Nimble, Social Media, Twitter, Women in Tech on August 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm

KeyholeSocial media, (#SM) since I started using it back in 1998 has evolved exponentially.  This is not news.  People have gravitated to multiple  SM vehicles over the years. Sites such as MY SPACE, FACEBOOK, LINKED IN, TWITTER, and DIGG to name a few.  It seems just in the last few years the term SM has exploded and everyone is either a guru or a maven, or wants to be.

Everyone is using it. TWITTER is no longer for the birds. BLOGGING is a mainstream term and everyone has one.  SM as its own department is a growing trend in large and small corporations across the globe.

This is a shift. People finally understand the value of communications, mass listening, monitoring, and connection via SM. It’s powerful. Ahh, how refreshing;  we are getting to the same page.

Now, how do SM and private life intersect.  That is the question. This is my opinion.

Many choose to keep their online lives separate from their professional lives. This is common. After all, do you really want your boss to see your private goings on via your FACEBOOK page?  Most of you will say, “hell no!” I disagree.

I choose not to ‘hide’ my online presence from anyone. I am not afraid to show the dimensions that are ME.  I am human. Many would argue that people will not want to hire me because I have blogs under my name about MISCARRIAGES, health concerns, life in general, and oh, yeah, I use profanity.  I think this is small mindedness.

We are all multi-dimensional creatures with  access to amazing tools and devices that allow us to connect in real time with people all over the world. We all have private lives as well as professional lives; but dividing them would be a shame.  I choose to be ME online and off.  This is who I am and this is who you are going to get.  What a loss for so many if you have to hide half of who you are in the work place?  Sad, really.  I must admit, this has been a struggle for me as I would imagine it would be for many.

WHY I CHOOSE TO BE OPEN WITH PRIVATE LIFE AND SOCIAL MEDIA

What if you could connect via common themes with people that have NOTHING to do with business, or vice versa. Connect with people through business that you wouldn’t have ever met if it were just left to personal fodder? 

SCENARIO

You come across someone on TWITTER or FACEBOOK or what have you. After several TWEETS and POKES you decide to meet for coffee.  Over coffee you realize you could be colleagues, partners, client/service providers or even friends!  How much are we losing out if we keep our private and social lives baracaded? What if we don’t take the risk or being ourselves and putting our best foot forward?

Employers should (SHOULD) recognize that most people have an online presence of some sort and their professional lives are only part of who they are as people.  If you can be who you are all the way through then there are no surprises, right? A wider stream in which to swim and connect with as many fish as possible would behoove us and our relationships; potentially creating life long business partnerships, contacts, customers and need I say it, friends.

Last year I was consulting for a company during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.  It was one of the most important weeks of my life.  I attended a panel on Global Poverty during my lunch hour and I TWEETED about it. Within a few hours my boss called me on the phone and asked where I was that afternoon? *He had a SOUR tone in his voice* and I knew where he was going with it. I replied “I was at a panel about Global Poverty during my lunch hour, why?”  He replied “I saw your TWITTER post and just wanted to ask.”   Well good for him for acting like big brother.  And good for me for being exactly who I am, doing my job and taking my lunch hour to learn about something that is important to me.

HOW

Be honest about your work and operate with integrity and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.  I managed eleven people during a consulting job and every single one of them is my friend on my FACEBOOK. Does this make me a good boss? Well, I will leave that to you. BUT,  I don’t have my head where the sun doesn’t shine… and I am aware, that yes, in fact, people do have lives outside of work!  I would rather connect on the human level rather than expect my employees or my employers to think I am just a robot.

I am proud of my experiences, my ability to chronicle my life through business, private or both.  Of course Private Life and Social Media intersect. If yours don’t- try it.  If you’re scared of opening yourself up then there is always an option to play it safe and create separate profiles; one private and one public.    Just don’t get confused… someone is always watching, or listening!

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