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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