Richmond Reflective Roundup on Media, week of August 6th.

I may be at the beach this week, but I'm still watching you....
Thinking about the week in #RVA media...
  • Last Wednesday will now hereforth be proclaimed, "Didja-Hear-About-Microsoft-And-Yahoo Day." And, as usual, breaking news moved much more quickly on twitter, whether it be Microsoft/Yahoo or Clinton in North Korea...
  • AddATweet. I bemoaned, "Why, WHY I didn't know about you yesterday when I was going off on my rants over the $50,000 twitter lawsuit by Horizon Realty Group and didn't have time to log in and leave comments everywhere I wanted..???? Ergh."
  • Speaking of Horizon Realty Group's $50,000 twitter lawsuit... Everyone in business should read this post: http://www.copyblogger.com/horizon-realty-group/
  • Well, well, that's all depressing so why... Why don't we change the subject now. (ahem.)

    Hey, it's wedding season! Anyone out there have a friend in the process of getting married? Have they stressed over the guest list? Are they griping about which side does what? Do you fear they are turning into Bridezilla?

    Well, last week this couple reminded us all that getting married doesn't have to be all pomp and circumstance-y. Lissen up, RVA (and yes, ESPECIALLY RVA):

    By the way, I know it's tacky to ask for gifts, but I would feel remiss if I didn't mention the following from the couple's website:
    "Our wedding entrance dance to Forever...yeah, forever. For more information or to make a donation towards violence prevention please visit our website: http://www.jkweddingdance.com/"

    I think domestic violence prevention and education is a great cause and worthy of mentioning here for possible donations. Visit the site- there are great stories and pictures and this couple gave their special day to focus ON A GREAT CAUSE.
  • Important Richmond interactive events this week?
    Welllllllllllllllll... there was #rvapower, Style Weekly's conversation on "power"...

    I liked what @MightyCasey had to say:


    • Is influence a better determinant of "power" than what your socio-economic position? Claire Gastagna used "capacitor" to describe power
    • Great points being made about power being tied to a "job" - maybe better measure/descriptor would be.voice instead of power? #rvapower
    • At #rvapower event listening to trailblazers - only 1 grrl, Claire Guthrie Gastagna, but she's a power center all on her own.
  • Here's an interesting site that is Richmond-centric: RVAtweets.com. They aggregate twitter hashtags that are specific to Richmond. So, for example, you can use #RVApower as an example: http://rvatweets.com/tag/rvapower

    And here's just what's goin' on around #rva (note this site also pulls in Flickr photos tagged with a particular hashtag as well...)
  • And more on twitter...
    • There was an inundation of spam, (but hey, where is there not? Overall twitter has done a great job as spam/mal watchdogs.) AND
    • a patent infringement suit. That should be taken Very. Seriously. As an entrepreneur: Oh twitter, this is when other business owners need to stand behind you.
    • And, speaking of twitter, here's the latest in-depth look: (from Sysomos) http://sysomos.com/insidetwitter

  • NEWSFLASH: This just in: That cute sweet couple that got married last week has divorced!

  • P.s. I was genuinely sad when I saw that video until I realized that YES they were kidding. I genuinely, sincerely hope they life happily ever after. They seem to have such great hearts, friends, family... and a TWISTED SENSE OF HUMOR!!!! ; )

    This is a great example how people can come together to highlight a great cause / non-profit more than they ever could just telling their family and friends about it. Think about how many people now know about the Sheila Wellstone Institute.

    Here's more about this special couple, and the non-profit:
    "Violence prevention and intervention is an important issue to both Jill and Kevin. Jill's current PhD work focuses on breaking cycles of violence in society. She has also worked in restorative justice and community mediation. Kevin is headed to law school due to his passion for social justice.

    Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities."

Thanks for listening...
...If you note any trends or local media items of note, feel free to send 'em on!

I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media, the original C3 in RVA media since 1999.

You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

In the meantime... I'm heading back to the beach!

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Social Media Roundup for July 30th

The week in social media. Let's start with twitter... Actually, let's end with twitter this week, it seems to be where all the news buzz originated... in fact, I'm calling Tuesday "The Week!" Because I can do that on my blog... so there.
: )
  • Last Thursday, Richmond's Social Media Club was held at the Virginia Museum and focused on the Summer of Social Good. About 200 people gathered to hear Gradon Tripp, the founder of Social Media 4 Social Change discuss his experience, (www.sm4sc.com) focusing on how to use social media for change, especially in regards to non-profits.
  • Following on the heels of #smcrva, the University of Richmond hosted #sm4sg, or, social media for social good, and spent the day on how our local non-profits can use social media to engage and help their community and reach enthusiasts. Similar efforts, many of the same people involved, but in a longer, deeper exploration.

  • Also on twitter, we discovered a GREAT project, The Uniform Project. http://www.theuniformproject.com

    The Uniform Project was started by Sheena Matheiken to explore sustainability and reuse while benefiting children in India.
    Follow the project on twitter (@uniformproject), Facebook, and Flickr.

    From the site:

    "Starting May 2009, I have pledged to wear one dress for one year as an exercise in sustainable fashion. Here’s how it works: There are 7 identical dresses, one for each day of the week. Every day I will reinvent the dress with layers, accessories and all kinds of accouterments, the majority of which will be vintage, hand-made, or hand-me-down goodies. Think of it as wearing a daily uniform with enough creative license to make it look like I just crawled out of the Marquis de Sade's boudoir.

    The Uniform Project is also a year-long fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement that is revolutionizing education in India. At the end of the year, all contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project to fund uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums."

    Wow, our own office has Vintage Hat Friday where we celebrate reuse and sustainability in the workplace and that was HARD to put together each Friday- so I am super impressed with this girl's commitment to her creative outfits from 7 dresses ALL YEAR LONG- what a worthy cause, we applaud her! (She has raised over $6,500 so far!!!)
  • You are all probably familiar with uploading videos to the internet via YouTube or a similar site. This week we have been playing with sites that take it a step further: Remember when the Presidential inauguration was covered live on Facebook & CNN and you could see people's Facebook comments as the action was happening, live?

    Well, there are sites springing up that can do just that for free- taking your video from static "this is what I was doing and documented it" to engaging your viewers in live time.

    Justin.tv is one such site, and they have just opened up their CamTweet to the public, where you can stream from your webcam and interact via twitter with viewers.

    Another popular site is TwitCam - I played with this last week, and brought my viewers a #chickunz cam, and later, a #prefab house cam. Because, well, heck, it was Friday...

    Great platforms, but they present a challenge: Do you really have an issue, platform of note to draw the voices to interact on your live video??? Hmmmm...
  • Ah, the dark side of social media: (insert Count Dracula laughter here)
    On Monday a lawsuit was brought against a Chicago woman for a negative tweet about a realty company. The price for that woman's 140? The realty company is suing her for FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    But here's the thing about social media. Local lawyers weighed in, saying yes, it was a valid suit. But I assure you, by the end of Tuesday, when the story broke, Horizon Group Management will have suffered much more than $50,000 in brand damage, for which they can not sue, as the community is talking about their public lawsuit against a woman who had TWENTY FOLLOWERS on twitter.

    Here's my immediate take: Twitter does not like bullies. *I* do not like bullies.
    And this is what I think:

  • Heeeeeey, here's a little Search Engine Optimization tip: If you name a graphic with relevant keywords separated with hypens, it often comes up in image results for those words.

    So, for example, IF you named the graphic on the left "horizon-group-management.gif"...

    ...but I think they have enough repercussion and reputation on their hands right now to manage on their own...
  • I headed over to TwitPic.com, to post my free speech opinion on what I think of the lawsuit. Interestingly, the same graphic, above, was deleted off their server minutes after posting. And Not. By. Me. (Note to self to check that out. TwitPic did have accessibility issues today...)
  • By the end of the day, Horizon Group Management's suit had been written about by some of the internet and technology's biggest bloggers and newspapers. The link I mentioned, above? That ONE LINK (and think of all the other links posted linking to the story) had been clicked over 8,700 times hours after it had been posted. Hope Horizon Group Management's PR team was ready for the firestorm.
  • Initially, Horizon Group Management didn't seem too concerned. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jeffrey Michael of Horizon Group Management stated,
    "We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization." http://bit.ly/10U6Pg

    Is this the kind of business model with whom people want to do business?

    It's instances like this where I applaud online communities who help spread the word on items that, although technically they might have a legal case, the *community* won't stand for / agree with / support it.
  • I wonder what Chip Temple, who specializes in Labor and Employment Law and Civil Litigation at McSweeney, Crump, Childress & Temple thinks.

    (He is
    valaborlaw on twitter if you would like to follow him. If Horizon Group Management comes after me, I will be hiding behind his desk with Bret C.)

    7 p.m. Update: I am hiding behind his desk. If I go missing... tell my family: I am behind his desk, with Bret C. and we are eating his secret stash of chocolate covered pretzels. Sorry, Chip.
  • Tuesday 7:15 p.m. Update: (This has jumped via twitter & Google, big media, to Facebook, et al by now.)
    From http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com/chicagos-horizon-realty-group-sues-former-tenant-over-a-twitter-post/2653:

    "Update: One hour after posting this, the count on a Google blog search for “Amanda Bonnen” has gone from 74 to 112 results. A Google search on “We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization” has gone from 56 to 146 results. Posts, including this one, are already on page 1 of Google for search terms related to Horizon Realty Group, Horizon Group Management, etc.

    Update 2: And now the mainstream media heavyweights are weighing in… Wall St Journal here and here, USA Today.

    Here is the actual Tweet that started this whole thing:
    Horizon Realty tweet - libel law suit

    Here is the actual law suit filing (via Chicago Now).

    Update 3: Horizon Realty has issued a press release in response to the, uhm, let’s say “overwhelming” response to their lawsuit. From Jeff Michael, of the now infamous “We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization” quote.

    Others opine:

    The Consumerist
    Chicago Tribune Blog
    The Inquisitr
    Chicago Now

    I want everyone to take a nice, deep breath and now read their press release, issued after today's events. Obviously what they intended as silly, off the cuff, innocent remarks were completely misinterpreted by the press: View the Horizon Realty press release. (Interesting how they are suddenly sitting up and taking notice, no?)

    We're looking forward to seeing Amanda Bonnen's response...

  • Bad Guys: (This obviously has nothing to do with Horizon Realty but a running commentary about Bad Guys on the 'Net.)
    Public Service Announcement and Reminder: Please think carefully before giving away your login information / passwords.

    Even the professionals let their guard down... heck, @juliaroy, whose entire life and profession IS the internet, got hacked this week. No matter how shiny and new the gadget, on Facebook, twitter, or anywhere, remember to change your passwords frequently and don't give your login/pass to unknown sites like TwitView! Always research the reputation of the sites you visit.
  • And speaking of reputations...
    I'm guessing PR agencies everywhere are feeling a resurgence of value after this short week. : )
I mused on this all as I sat, in late afternoon, by the pool today. What the average person needs to understand is that this is not just internet, it's community. Community can start on the internet and jump to "real life", or real life acquaintences can deepen via the internet.

One thing that touched me "in real life" today was, after leaving the pool, we ordered dinner at the Grill... A strange woman walked up and smiled: "We were neighbors of your parents..."
I admire that SO MUCH: if I recognize someone that is not a direct friend, I always assume they have no recollection of me so never say hello. (I know it's hard to believe, but I get embarrassed easily.)

This is something I have always admired about my friend Sherrena, who will *always* stick her hand out, walk up to a full table and in front of them all, say to one person, "We met five years ago at XYZ, it is good to see you." And she means it.

Any-hoo, this person, now referenced as Person A, extended herself, when it would have been SO easy to walk by us... (heck, at that point we were trapping honeybees to release and collecting, spilling, and recycling the cups...)

Right then, another person walked by. Turns out Person A had had their child go to camp for the first time, was worrying over it, and left a message with Person B asking for advice.

Person B looked at Person A with an old guard, pale, pinched look. "Of all the people in Richond, why would you think to call me?" I admired Person A, who stammered, maintaining her smile: "Well, of the three families listed going to the camp, y'all were the only ones we've met."

I want Person A to know: Honeychilez, we've got your back. : )
Looking forward to being your friend.

(And people like Person B? Zero. Interest. In. You.)

One of my "internet" friends today, whom, like many, has jumped into "real life", complained about the 'net, social media, and questioned the depth of it's value. I reminded him of where we met... twitter. : )

It's not how you meet, it's what you do with it.
I am reminded of that when I am around the Sherrena's and the Person A's- to leave myself open but even more, extend myself when feeling alone, choosing kindness when there is a choice between kindness or not, and even more, when choosing, being kinder. In 'real life' or 'the net'. Which, we know, intertwine.

Thanks for listening...
...If you note any trends or local social items of note, feel free to send 'em on!

I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media, the original C3 in RVA media since 1999.

You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

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Some Fools Wanna Put Me On TV.

Telecommuting to you, from the prefab house kit, on a tractor battery and blackberry hook-up, I confirm:
Thaz right, you heard it true: Some Fools Wanna Put Me On TV.

What do they want me to do? Muse on stuff.
So here are my social media musings for the week:

  • Richmond city council, and future area zoning meetings.
    That’s ok, I don’t want to go to them either.

    But thanks to a few passionate people that do, I can now follow what they’re thinking and add my own two cents to their discussion while the meetings are going on!

    On twitter, the use of hashtags (# before a word) helps people to mark and follow posts about an event or issue.

    Last week a few brave souls covered the Richmond city council meeting. If this interests you, you can read what they said by going to the search box in twitter and typing in the hash tag, #citycouncil.
  • Tuesday offered two media events from which to choose, #steakchat and refresh richmond.

    #steakchat focused on the Artists and Arts in Richmond, while refresh richmond had an informal mixer for people that are in new media, information and technology fields.

    From their site:
    "refresh richmond is a community of designers, developers and other web professionals working to improve the creative, technical and professional aspects of new media endeavors in the Greater Richmond area."
  • #smcrva or #hashbrownnetworking?
    The Richmond Social Media Club, @smcrva, is an event where twitter social media enthusiasts and professionals pay money to meet in a large, raucous crowd, drink heavily and talk about their personal brand. ; ) *

    *KIDDING, kinda. : ) There are very nice cool people there, especially those that organize it. I'm making gentle fun of the mood of past attendees, not the group's fantastic programming.
    And the next topic is super:
    Summer of Social Good:
    from their website:
    "Summer of Social Good is the first large scale online charitable campaign to raise funds strictly online through the power of Social Media and the Internet. The goal is to use the power of "Social Influence" via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Blogs and other online media to raise an unprecedented amount for a fund benefiting The Humane Society, LIVESTRONG, Oxfam America and WWF from June 1st until August 28th, 2009. All proceeds from this month's event (after expenses) will be donated to Summer of Social Good!"
    But tickets are hard to come by... so... you could head out to #hashbrownnetworking!

    What's #hashbrownnetworking (or hasbrownnetworking, depending on your humor)? Well, instead of eating yummy steak sandwiches in hallowed museum halls, this crowd meets at the local Waffle House.
    But who can resist hash browns? Or that it's free? Bring on the TweetUp! : )

    What's a TweetUp, you say?
    It's where people who enjoy twitter actually meet in (drum roll) REAL LIFE.

    You can learn about Hashbrown Networking here: http://www.richmondwiki.org/wiki/Hashbrownnetworking
  • The site on which you just learned about Hashbrown Networking is Richmond Wiki.org, where you can add and edit information about Richmond. You can find information on interesting things to do, and discover vibrant businesses and people that make Richmond such a great town. Visit them at Richmond Wiki.org.
  • And if you're on twitter and are looking for some neat things to do in Virginia, follow @VAStateParks. They highlight cool events happening RIGHT HERE in our state parks. Do you guys realize all the neat, interesting things we can do there?!?

    Find out here: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks

    I am looking forward to telecommuting to you from a Virginia state park soon in my 1960s Scotty camper...
  • Now for the seedy side of local RVA twits. There is a blog, and hashtag, created by some RVAers that enjoy documenting their debauchery online. Check out this month's drama of their split into fighting factions: http://omgwtfrva.com, and the splintered-off http://omgwtfrva.net. On twitter their hashtag is #omgwtfrva. This group is not for those mindful of courteous demeanor. But if you enjoy staggering through bars eating tater tots and braying karaoke, this may be the "Oh My Gosh What The Frickin', RVA" site for you!!!
    (That's what the f stands for, right?)
  • I always wonder about groups / people that air their dirty laundry so-- do you think they don't think their employer (or future employer) won't read it? (Do we really care?) If so, you'd better be very careful when you call in sick if you've been documenting belting karaoke and munching tater tots until the wee hours of the next day- data is public, and your employers might be listening.

    Otherwise, you might end up like Scotty, who got an office job, where his penchant for documenting his antics did Not. End. Up. So. Well. For. His. Career.
    (I hope I'm sending chills of realization down someone's spine... SPOOOOOOOOOOOOKY. ... eh. )
  • Speaking of employers being aware of what their employees are doing, how about our local schools? Chesterfield county schools are now on twitter and Facebook, and the superintendent is even going to blog: http://bit.ly/iFX9g This will be a great opportunity for faster and more communication for school employees and parents... however, if I were a student... ; )
  • And if you're doing anything you don't want your employer or school to discover, then you should also know... Richmond POLICE are on twitter: @richmondpolice

    ...and not only are they on twitter, they are also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RichmondPolice
    Oh yes, they are.
  • Any-hoo, on FaceBook, last week they streamlined the process for users whom have been hacked (CAREFUL what apps / what links you visit!) to more easily regain control of and restore their account. Learn more at InsideFacebook's article, http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/07/17/facebook-launches-updated-process-for-recovering-compromised-accounts/
  • And what IS up with all of those crazy FaceBook apps? Do you really want to give your profile information to random people you don't know? Just to take a quiz on "Which Movie Star Are YOU..." ? Really?

    Right now, all of my relatives are sending me FaceBook requests for an application entitled...
    "We're Related."
    Moi: "I already know that, because we're related." Why.
    WHY? ; )
  • In twitter developments, as of this week, when you roll over a user profile , link, or photo, that information is revealed thanks to integration with bit.ly and more.

    Rolling over a profile to have a popup of who that is, is very helpful for reminding you whom you follow. Except, I know who I follow because I carefully select the voices in my head, not to just strive to add as many followers as possible... ? That must be for people who have no idea whom is in their community... ?

    What I *DO* find valuable is the ability to track how many people from twitter are clicking links, and the new, automated Re-Tweet feature.

    A re-tweet (RT) is when you forward on someone's post on twitter, crediting them, to your followers. Previously in twitter you just typed "RT" then copied the post and author. Automating it has been a nice improvement.

    Just as nice is how, when you see a post that is a reply to someone, you can roll over "in reply to..." and see the post to which your person-of-interest responded! (Stalking was never so easy!)
  • Heeeeeeeeey... Remember when people would google "miserable failure" and it would result in a picture of George Bush?
    Well... it had to happen... thaz right, y'all:
    go to google and type in "worst failure ever."

    Yep, Obama got Google bombed: http://tinyurl.com/mbkzzx
  • Twitter hashtags of note:
    I know, hashtags can have backlash, plus trending topics are often not of value to me, but I found these interesting, maybe you will too:
  • Coming soon: to discuss: Google Wave.
  • And congratulations all around, Amazon and Zappos! Awwww, y'all so cute: Make sure to send out pictures from the honeymoon!
  • Social media. Social media involves the timeless building of your own community, not just the latest shiny new toy.

    Who ARE these people in this new town hall?
    Here's some data for you via
    socialmedia2day : http://socialmediatoday.com/SMC/110196
  • Lookin' for something to do this weekend? Check out The 48 Hour Film Project. If local film events and opportunities interests you, you can follow the Virginia Film Office on twitter: @VFO
If you note any trends or local social items of note, feel free to send 'em on!
I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media, the original C3 in RVA media since 1999.

You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

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Copeland Casati Media C3 in Inform Architectre + Design Magazine

We were recently asked to participate in Inform Architecture + Design's "Design Dialogue" column, and enjoyed the questions they posed to us. Here's the article, above. Click on the thumbnail to see the larger version and our thoughts on design, information architecture, and more.

About Inform:
"Inform was launched in 1990 to serve as an active voice for enlightened design practices. The magazine speaks to its readers -- design professionals, government officials, corporate decision-makers, and everyday consumers of design -- in a way that engages the mind and cultivates a heightened sensitivity to issues concerning architecture, preservation, community planning, and the environment. Good design matters to everyone, and Inform takes that mission to heart."