Personal Brands and Feeling Very Amish: Media Thoughts For The Week Of September 3rd.

(Even The Shop Dawgs embraced their personal brand when competing on Vintage Hat Friday... Sheesh.)

It's one of *those* weeks where I feel like I only have time to talk in bullet points... so I will, and share some articles I found compelling:
  • We've suffered the rise of Personal Brands for some time, and many now understand the struggle between personal brands vs. The Message, why it's important to not allow yourself to be consumed by your personal ego and remember your content, and message, you would like to get out.

    With the rise of The People as Op/Ed and News Source (vs. traditional news outlets), the realization that "Heeyyy, I've got lotsa followers!" can overshadow the value of The People's Voice: undiscovered, immediate, valuable content.

  • That's not to discount the Citizen Voice and its value- as even MC Hammer recognized this week,

    "Citizen journalism is more a reality today then ever before"
    - @MCHammer

  • But remember:
    "“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I *do* that defines me.” – Batman (2005)"

    In the deluge of messy, pompous, valueless personal brands, we call on a true hero: BATMAN.

    Awaken your inner superhero and learn how Batman will help you beat social media narcissism.

  • What's especially interesting to me is watching traditional news voices drink the Personal Brand Kool-Aid.

    Who Avoids The Kool-Aid? Here are some industries I've seen avoid the hype:
  • In my view, most TV newspeople (not just newscasters, the whole crew- in fact, the cameramen tend to be my favorite! Check out @newmediajim and our local @nbc12photog!) have handled the incorporation of social media especially well because they already had their personal brand moment when they first got on tv: "Look ma, I'm on tv!" then quickly realized, "Ugh, my job consists of schlepping around constantly, all over the country, I'm over this, let's focus on the actual story in front of us."

  • Green building lawyers, and actually, legal voices in general: Although their reputation was enhanced geographically through tools such as twitter, they maintain good content. The ones I listen to (@StephenDP, @Shari Shapiro, @Chris Hill, @Chris Cheatham to name a few in green building, and @valaborlaw for employment issues) stay on target and never forget their real draw is their knowledge and discussion of green building.

  • What about you? What industries or people have you noticed avoid the hype and found valuable?
  • The Amish and the internet. I was feeling very Amish one day this week regarding social media. That is not to mean I avoided it, but that, like the Amish, one evaluates the voices and information thrown about and determines, "Is this good for me? My community?" If it's not, get rid of it: Unfollow.

    I searched for a great article I read awhile ago that explained these choices Amish make regarding technology well, but can't find it...

  • Before you think I'm-A-Gonna Shun, here is a great post that mirrors much of my thinking:
    In Defense of Social Media: http://veryofficialblog.com/2009/08/30/in-defense-of-social-media

  • And my unending enthusiasm for the power of social media for social good:
    Because one person CAN make a difference!

P.s. I'm SURE you didn't notice, but did you hear Gmail had some problems this week?
; )
...Another reminder that no matter what social media or email tool you favor, to remember to not put all your (ahem) EGGS in one basket.

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

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Richmond media roundup for week of August 27th: "We may all be in a conversation, but be aware you may be just as culpable."

Watched a sad local story blow up nationally today...

I volunteered for the Richmond SPCA when starting my business ten years ago. They were right down the street from our home at the time in Richmond's North Side, and, as I had no water cooler or company break room, I would go often at lunchtime to take a break and spend my lunch running the dogs there.

Many hours per week were spent in my "kennel clothes" (I kept them separate from the rest of my laundry - if you spend a lot of time in shelters you know what that smells like...) lifting big dogs I didn't know (yet) by myself down from the second tier of kennels, both of us struggling down from the combined weight to the concrete floor where they then stood impatiently ready to run (and did they run) with abandon outdoors in the field. (Or as much racing as you can do on a leash with a human attached...)

Back then, it was a decrepit-but-well-run shelter on Chamberlayne Avenue, before the SPCA moved later to it's new, nationally recognized facilities and became an admired model of achievement for shelters everywhere.

Today I watched the news that "SPCA EXEC KILLS DOG" blow up across the nation with a biased eye.
I wholeheartedly support the organization (they've saved over 20,000 animal lives since 2002, you?), I was a volunteer there, and knowing the staff and success of the organization, I support the Starr family; I knew the dog, Louie, that died.

I can not help but wonder...
Why was there such little mention of the SPCA's explanation in local new media?
One organization "just retweeted people's reactions" on twitter, turned around to defend its actions, yet never included the link in their twitter feed, just (as of last time I checked) spewed reactions from people who pretty much only knew, "SPCA CEO KILLS DOG IN HOT CAR."

(Later, much later, they said they included the SPCA statement on their website. But that's another channel, as outdated as the term is; It's another feed, and one which I did not visit that day. I WATCHED TWITTER. I want to know where their journalism was on TWITTER.)

Glancing at that voice today reminded me why I don't listen to that feed, as much as I like the product.
(Lesson for organizations: Encourage multiple staff to have voices, it's a good thing.)
So this week locally in Richmond media, we revisit journalism vs. "conversation", especially when the supposed journalists are "just re-tweeting" without including links they know present the voice of the organization debated.

It will be interesting to watch the pr, media, journalism, and legal debate that will certainly follow over the next week.

Just remember: She did not know a dog was in her car when she drove to work that morning. It was put there, elderly, docile, used to riding in cars, by a family member. How many times have you been doing yard work in your back yard, taken the wheelbarrow full of brush to the curb, only to have your spouse ask you something from the front door? Do you go inside, forgetting the unlatched gate? Did the pets get out? Did they get hit? Were you prosecuted? Did your spouse, not knowing you left the gate open, lose their job?

And to the "journalists" that happily fanned the flames?:
What is your new media responsibility as journalists?
We may all be in a conversation, you may have the "right" to throw out misleading information, but be aware you may be culpable.

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Twestival Covered In Richmond Grid Magazine!

I was thrilled when Richmond Grid asked me a few questions about the upcoming Richmond Twestival on September 11th, a wonderful entity (learn Twestival's history here), this time benefiting our local Tricycle Gardens!

Read the Richmond Twestival article here...
Check out Twestival's
See you soon at Richmond's TWESTIVAL!

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Richmond Media Roundup: Week of Aug. 20th

It's been a very busy week here, so we'll be fast... On the world tech front:
Locally tonight, August 20th, for twitter enthusiasts, #hashbrownnetworking meets at Waffle House, and @rvagreendrinks (Richmond's Green Drinks, which is not just for twitter, but focused on Green Building and Green Living/Lifestyle) gathers at The Camel.

Richmond new media projects include #smcrva (Richmond's social media club) busily gearing for their next event; Refresh : Richmond had a great event on typography on the web; and Your Beloved NBC 12 Photographer, @nbc12photog created a great twitter overview of Twitter In The Media, featuring many local twitter enthusiasts you may recognize...

See NBC 12 Photog's Twitter In The Media here!

We here at Copeland Casati Media chuckled when we saw Time explore "Online Life When You're Dead" - (you may recall Amy's "Digital Ghosts" post from April...)

But with all this online this-and-that, after awhile you just want to put your hands over your ears and scream, "Sheesh!
Can't we just all get together for a drink? I can't take it anymore!!!"

Why yes, in fact,
you can.
On Friday, September 11th at The Camel right after work there will be a very special event for you twitter enthusiasts: TWESTIVAL.
Now you non-twitter peeps are now laughing and saying this name aloud, real fast.
(Nods, nods, rolling eyes...)
It's ok, say it laughingly, let your tongue taste the silliness of what I'm saying seriously:
(I pause... look right at you, raise eyebrow, then say, deliberately:)

Well, as much as many of you are pointing at me now and laughing, let me tell you what Twestival did last year:
A bunch o' we crazy twitter people came together in cities world-wide to raise money to build wells for people that do not have access to clean drinking water. And we raised money, oh yes, we did:
"About the Twestival.
On 12 February 2009, 200+ international cities hosted a Twestival (Twitter + festival) to bring Twitter communities together to raise money for charity: water. The Twestival raised $250,000+ and brought worldwide public awareness to the global water crisis. "
Come see what we did!!!!! Watch the first wells being dug!!!!

Now Richmond is pulling together again for Twestival, this time to benefit a local non-profit, Tricycle Gardens, who builds community gardens in urban areas to connect children and the neighborhood with nature and food production again.
Please pass this link on for the Richmond Twestival and let people know we are still looking for sponsors- 100% of the sponsor and ticket money goes to Tricycle Gardens!!!!

We envision that the money raised from Richmond’s Twestival will allow Tricycle Gardens to not only build more community gardens, but to also help other non-profits. With the theory of Plant A Row, children can not only connect to gardens and nature, benefit from the bounty, but also learn about giving to others, such as designating that one row in their plot grow food for our local Food Bank and other similar organizations.

Currently, we are seeking 1. SPONSORS and 2. AUCTION ITEMS.
Might that be you?
Everyone knows I love to goof off for a good cause...
Here is MY auction item up for grabs!

Captain Copeland:
Ahoy, Mateys, CLIMB ABOARD!!!!

Drat, yer gonna have to turn it WAY up to hear what I said (WHERE is my camera crew with sound dudes when I need them, o' @nappingdragon?) but basically, I will be your Cruise Director for whatever you envision for a fab boat ride on the James.

Alllllllllllllll Aboard!

Welcome to Copeland's Cruise Lines.
I am your Cruise Director and Captain for this trip on the James River.

Want an early morning fishing excursion with a rustic breakfast and coffee?
Sightseeing and picnic with the kids?
An evening adult's cruise with cocktails served by Yours Truly?
All you have to do is win our Funky Vintage Boat Cruise to benefit TricycleGardens.org at Richmond TWESTIVAL.

Ahoy there, Matey! Climb aboard, and I hope to see you at Richmond TWESTIVAL!!!

and more...

Check out all the fabulous auction items we're accruing, I have more coming in from Lewis Ginter and Coldstone Creamery I'll add to the site soon!!!

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Roundup of Richmond Media Week of August 13th

Sooooooooooooo.... Hmmmmmmm. If I were on tv right now... what would I be sayin'?
I'd be talking about the hermit crab industry.

It's the perfect time before the back to school frenzy, the perfect lull of contemplation to consider:
  • Where the heck do those hermit crabs in those ubiquitous beach stores selling bathing suits and sunblock come from?
  • And where do those stores get those shells?
  • Are the shells in those bins just pulled off the backs of some creature? Or farmed? Where the heck ARE shell or hermit crab farms? Are these the crustacean puppy mills?
  • What happens to those creatures in the shells *someone* now is now going to brightly, garishly paint for some other hermit crab to acquire?
  • And who (and for how much) paints those shells?
But lucky for you... I'm not on tv, and this is jest a teeny, tiny little blog o' musings that no one reads... SO:
Here are my thoughts on the week in Richmond media:
  • What did YOU do #WhenTwitterWasDown? Did you care? Did you cry? I... was on the beach and only heard about it later. Oh yes, I was.
  • Monday's breaking news horse-out-of-the-gate was the newsflash that Facebook bought FriendFeed. You may not know FriendFeed (yet), but this is important because it will be another tool for Facebook to compete against twitter.
  • But wait! People may have left the building for the day, but Facebook wasn't done with Monday yet:
    Oh yes, your Facebook updates telling people you went to the beach / skipped work / are you planning a coup? Guess what? Those updates are now searchable.
    This is jest a friendly reminder that data... is... data, and public.
  • And then, there's Google Voice, to which I will give a massive thumbs-down solely because I spent WAY too much time on Step One: Choose a Phone Number. Oh, the possibilities! Unfortunately all the cool words I plugged in had no Google Voice equivalent, so in my frustration of having to work until midnight last night I typed in... WORK... and voila!~ I've got a number. Drat. Can't I have 555- DISCO? I'm feeling mightily like a workhorse now... : (
  • In Charlottesville, police locked up a blogger for... posting about them. Now she may be obnoxious, she may know how to research public data (did anyone just say, DATA IS PUBLIC?!?), but... did she commit a crime?

    Elisha Strom has been in jail for... three weeks. So far.

    But wait: dig deeper and you will uncover ALL kinds o' ethical and legal issues the Washington Post didn't really get into... but (ahem) I'm not a reporter or legal expert...

  • Oh, hai, Tuesday: twitter went down again... This just all makes you want to take the internet and toss it over for a good book, no? Now where IS my copy of Great Expectations I was re-reading at the beach?
  • And Facebook, not to be outdone in sneaky-ness, again hit us with more proposed nuances in its Statement of Rights & Responsibilities:
    From Andy Beal: "Facebook To Ban All Commercial Activity On Personal Profiles"

    Waaaaaaaait. Does that mean because I talk about media or green building in my updates that Facebook would see my businesses as profiting from that, therefore banning me from talking about what I do?

    Don't we ALL talk about our work? Hmmmm...
  • AND OUR BIG NEWS?????????????????
    Yes, Richmond, THERE WILL BE TWESTIVAL!!!!
    I am still finalizing some details but home to make an announcement this afternoon.

    **If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact me at 804-515-7886!***

Here's some pictures from the beginning of the first Twestival. As an organizer (with Bonnie Larner of Barber Martin), I was in charge of meeting & greeting, so didn't get to take a lot of pictures once the event got underway!

...And a video by visiting West Coast blogger, Jeff Turner:

Come see us at Twestival in September!
In the meantime...

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