SHRM Kickball and No Kid Hungry


Everyone benefits when you “do good” for someone.  First of all, the person you are “doing good” for benefits.  Next, you generally feel good about it.  Finally, by telling the story of what just happened, you inspire others.

And sometimes, your actions can help change someone’s life.
et me tell you a story…

A few years ago, I attended Summer Brand Camp for the very first time.  This “conference” changed my life in so many ways, but the biggest impact it has had on me is my passion for helping an initiative called No Kid Hungry (and telling people about it).  You see, this conference started with a service event.  I had never really done much service work, especially with a big group of strangers. I met some great people while doing good for others.  That group of people all had a common cause they were passionate about which was ending childhood hunger in America.

Fast forward a bit.  I meet this great guy Dwane Lay.  I participate in a field hockey fund raiser last year for SHRM.  This year?  Dwane has cooked up something AWESOME.  On Sunday, June 16th, Dovetail Software (where Dwane works) and Dice will be sponsoring SHRM Kickball 2013 to benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign.  We will be playing in Grant Park in Chicago, and have an all-star list of social media personalities making up the rosters.

We have a target of $5,000.  I’ve helped many people in reaching their fund raising goals, so I have no problem asking for your help (because who wouldn’t want to end childhood hunger in America, right?)  Could you help with a few bucks at my fundraising page?

No Kid Hungry connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending childhood hunger a national priority.  This year, more than 16 million children in America will face hunger. That’s one in five. NKH is working to connect hungry kids with the food they need to grow and thrive.

Every dollar you donate will make a huge impact for kids. In fact, just $1 can help connect a child with 10 meals.  Our goal of $5,000, while lofty, is reachable, and will have a tremendous impact!

There are other ways you can get involved as well.  Here are two great resources from No Kid Hungry you can check out:

No Kid Hungry Action CenterIn conjunction with the release of the documentary,  A Place At The Table, NKH has developed a national Action Center where you can find ways to make an immediate impact in your communities. Their founder and Executive Director, Billy Shore, and National Spokesman Jeff Bridges are both featured in A Place At The Table, and the Action Center is a how they help supporters who are ready to act. If you’re passionate about ending hunger like we are, I hope you’ll see the film with some friends, and find actions to take in your area.

Crowdsourced School Breakfast Map: NKH recently released a study showing that kids who eat school breakfast miss less school, do better on standardized tests and are more likely to graduate from high school. They have created a Breakfast Changes Lives infographic that shows the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. But far too few schools are offering breakfast programs that effectively reach kids who need them. So they have created a map of 115,000 public, private and charter schools across the U.S. and are looking for our supporters to call their local school and help map an unprecedented look at school breakfast in America. They reached their goal of mapping 10,000 schools by March 31, and we have 20,000 schools in our sights. Please consider calling your local school and writing about your findings and experience.

Thank YOU.  You are Awesome for helping AND passing this on.


P.S. – Here are some other people inspired to write about their stories.

Purple Glasses – New Twitter now muted


Thanks to Becky McCray, I’ve learned all about filters and the ability to mute twitter application sources.  I’m now experiencing “social media twitter” without the noise of automation.  Only tweets from people that are online – how it use to be. (see here why I’m writing this)

I’ll start from the beginning.

When I first entered Twitter I read EVERYTHING that EVERYONE wrote.  This meant when I woke up, I’d be scrolling through a  few hundred and sometimes a few thousand tweets to “catch up”.  For me, it was a 24 hour conversation tool.  But after I followed a few hundred people – this became almost impossible.  That’s when a fellow Twitter friend told me to envision Twitter like a river of conversation -“you can’t possibly see it all, and if you try you’ll burn yourself out.  Just worry about talking and reading when you’re logged in.  Imagine that like showing up to the party.  If you need to get caught up on a conversation, someone will catch you up.”  This worked great! I could log in early in the morning, and have my virtual cup of coffee with my friends and have great conversations.  Later in the day and in the evening I could do the same.  As time went on, I met more and more people.

As of writing this post, I follow just over 4,750 people.  A majority of the people I follow I would categories as “social media enthusiasts”.  These are people who use the major social platforms for their jobs, for their clients, and for their personal art (as bloggers, speakers, authors, etc).  These are my friends.  These are people I’ve followed because at some point, we’ve had conversations, I’ve felt they were like-minded, and in some cases, we became “offline” friends.  That’s too many people to talk to all at once, but luckily they are stretched across timezones  and different work schedules, so it’s not so loud all the time.  Except for the automated noise.  I hate the automated noise.  It’s just not for me.

You see, I understand why people use third party tools to push content into the Twitter stream.  I get it.  I get your intentions.  But I don’t like it, and it just adds to the noise that already is overwhelming to me on a daily basis.  I don’t want to unfollow you.  I like you when you’re being you and just “tweeting as yourself”.  I don’t want to add you to a list because your “marketing messages” will just cloud that view too.  What I really want is a twitter where the tweets are categorized between “live”, “pictures of my food”, “4 square checkins you don’t care about”, etc.  I think I’ve seen developers talk about that over on

So let’s get on to the muting part.  Here’s what I’ve done with the help of Becky McCray.

  • Downloaded Tweetbot. (Don’t worry PC and android folks, you can do this with tweetdeck filters, but my experience has been with my IPAD which is my major “tool” for tweeting)
  • Watched my timeline and did a “swipe left” on the first tweet that annoyed me because it wasn’t what I wanted to see.
  • Held down on the “source” text for that tweet (such as MapMyRun for Android, The Huffington Post, Triberr, etc)
  • Chose “MUTE”.
  • Go back to timeline
  • Repeat

I’m not muting people, I’m just muting Twitter sources.  I’ve decided against muting Tweetdeck and Hootsuite simply because too much of my stream of real conversations would be wiped out.  I might have made some mistakes and muted “too much”.  It might never be perfect, but I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve gone to getting a few thousand tweets every hour to less than a hundred.  I made that number up – but you get the point.  Oh, and I still get PLENTY of news from my twitter stream.  Anything that’s awesome eventually gets retweeted or commented on by a human.

My full list of muted sources of today: (any tweet that has #quote, Any tweets from the following third parties: Alternion, AWeber Email Marketing, Azumio, bitly, Buffer, Bullhorn Reach, Cortex,, Facebook, FeedBlitz, Flipboard, foursquare, Friends+Me,, Google, GrabInbox, Gremln, hopflow, IFTTT, Instagram, JustCoz, JustUnfollow, LinkedIn, LockerGnome, MailChimp, MapMyRun for Android, MarketMeSuite, NetworkedBlogs, Pandora,, Pinterest, Plancast, Project Tweet, Pulse News, ReqCloud, Runmeter, SharedBy,, Simplify360, smqueue, Social Proxy by Mailchimp, SocialFlow, SocialOomph, Spread The Next Web, Sprout Social, Stream Publisher, TeamWahooly, The Huffington Post, Triberr, Tumblr, Tweet Button, Tweet Old Post, tweet4me tools, Twittascope, twitterfeed, Visibli, Weeder,, WPTweetily, Yelp, Zite Personalized Magazine)

So, what do you think?  Angry?  Intrigued?  Give it a whirl and let me know what YOU’VE muted or filtered! :)

UPDATE: Read the 8pm warrior’s take on this here.

The Be The Change for YOU Challenge. #BTC4You

The Be The Change for YOU Challenge. #BTC4You

We all could use change in our lives.  Change is difficult, even when it’s for the best.  Habits are easy, but unfortunately most of us don’t have enough good habits.  And, when our busy lives get too busy, we take on even more bad habits, because there are other things that need to get done.  We don’t have enough time for ourselves, for our families, and for our significant others.

We tell ourselves “I’ll start exercising as soon as this big project is over.”  Then the next big project hits.  We say “I just don’t have time to eat healthy.  My body can take it.  It’s no big deal.”  We kid ourselves about the amount of sleep we actually need to stay ultra productive.  We skip the planning processes so there’s more time to work.  We just keep pushing,  until something dramatic happens to us or someone we care about.

But why wait?  Why not change now?  Why not take care of ourselves and our families first, and then give our attention over to the grind?

I’m going to start now.  I invite you to join me.

The Be The Change for YOU Challenge. #BTC4You

STEP 1: Make a bucket list of the things that you commit to doing in 30 days for YOU. Things you know that you need to do for yourself, your health, your well being and overall happiness. (You can do anything for 30 days and it takes that long to form a habit)

STEP 2: Post the bucket list on a blog titled: The Be The Change For YOU 30 Day Challenge #BTC4You (Posting it publicly holds you accountable and can inspire others to join the challenge)

STEP 3: Share the blog on Twitter using #BTC4You and on your Facebook wall tagging (Be The Change Revolutions). Invite others to join in the challenge.

STEP 4: Everyday, follow the hashtag #BTC4You twitter stream. Share what you are doing that day to “Be The Change for YOU” and then encourage others that are taking the challenge. On Facebook You can tag and engage on the Be The Change Revolutions Facebook Page. (The support of a community makes us a zillion times stronger)

My #BTC4You 30 Day Bucket List

Start every day with a green veggies and fruit smoothie

Start every day with 30 minutes of Yoga

Start every day with a “weigh-in” – drop 10 pounds in 30 days

Give up alcohol for 30 days (Sorry St. Patty)

Schedule one hour every day during daylight for my children

Concentrate on eating light and eating healthy

Take the furthest parking spot

Spend 30 minutes a day with my membership


I’m being the change for me, for my family, and for you. I’m hoping you’ll be inspired to do the same.

Hat tip to @sexythinker for starting this movement.
Here is a list of other’s who are taking this challenge:
(Please let me know if you are too in the comments and I will add you)

Put on someone else's glasses

willglassesbig When I was a kid,

one of my favorite books had a poem in it about a grandpa that dropped his glasses in a pot of purple dye.  Can you guess what happened when he put them back on?  He saw a purple sky.  In fact, the entire poem was about how everything he saw was purple.  To him, this was his new world.

For the past few months, after my departure from Meet-Meme and First Edge Solutions, I’ve been trying on different colored glasses to see what the digital world is like for those who aren’t me.  I’ve shared my thoughts, findings, and ideas with those closest around me, but for some reason I stopped sharing things with the world via this blog.  A few Sundays ago, someone I admire told me in an email that I should really get back to writing (I encourage you to get his weekly updates here). And so I tried.

I have stub posts for all of the life experiments I did, but couldn’t write them out fully, and certainly wasn’t ready to share.  Today, I’m going to bullet point out what I’ve been doing, and then write a few posts about each topic over the next month or so.  Here are my life experiments:

* I’ve gone almost 3 months without a cell phone.  I’ll be writing about what I’ve noticed about other mobile users out in the wild (the Zombie Apocalypse has already started), how voice has become just another layer of the internet for me,  and also what withdrawal symptoms I had and why I think I’ve had them.

* I’ve created fake profiles on twitter to study different tribes of people that are not social media experts or technology enthusiasts.  Just real people who’ve adopted the platform from a friend, and not because they attended a breakout session at a conference.

* Thanks to Becky McCray, I’ve learned all about filters and the ability to mute twitter application sources.  I’m now experiencing “social media twitter” without the noise of automation.  Only tweets from people that are online – you know, how it use to be.

* I’ve been trying out platforms that teenagers gravitate towards.  Not because I’m a creeper, but because I want to learn what makes these platforms different from the others.  These are the children born into digital and not merely adopted into it.  There is alot to learn here.

So there you go, hopefully some of this will be interesting to you.  Thank YOU for even taking the time to read this.  Hit me up in the comments below if there’s some specific things you’d like to know about the experiments, and I”ll try to cover it as I’m writing :)

It's time to put a stop to children being hungry

NKH-Giving-Tuesday-blogger-imageWe read and hear about it ALL the time: Be a giver.  Give till it hurts.

In the past, I thought that donating a tweet was good enough.  I thought writing a blog post would cut it.  Then I realized that even giving $5 helped an organization get closer to a finish line.

Today, I am asking you to give. I’m asking you to make a difference in a child’s life by participating in the No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon.

Today, Tuesday, December 3, is #GivingTuesday. In a single day we will feed 500,000 meals to hungry children. How is this possible? Easy. Raise $25,000 and have Tyson Food match that donation.

What is the Team No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon?

It’s a one-day social media blitz designed to raise $25,000. That’s enough to connect kids with up to 250,000 meals. This year, we’re aligning our holiday Give-A-Thon with Giving Tuesday, a movement and day dedicated to giving.

Also, for every dollar raised up to the $25,000 goal, Tyson Foods will match it — dollar for dollar. So, we have the potential to raise over $50,000 in a single day, equating to 500,000 meals.

Join us – we made it easy! Use our tweets, Facebook posts and images to join in our day! Let’s work together to help make No Kid Hungry a reality this day and every day!

How can I help

Give to the cause: 

Spread the word: 

Use some of these images in your tweets/Facebook/Tumblr (and link to ):











One mistake can ruin a QR Code experience

A QR Code for a burger campaignWhen a campaign is not fully tested, it can completely destroy the experience for some or all of the people who experience the campaign.  Today, I decided to scan a QR Code located on the front of the to-go bag from a burger franchise.  I was impressed – there was a decent call to action, an alternate URL to visit, and they even warned me that data rates may apply ;)

I’m on a phone when I scan a QR Code,
yet the redirect took me to an embed link for the youtube video.  It tried to play “full screen” in my mobile browser and here is what the experience was like:

1) My Phone looks like my desktop when I full-screen a youtube video.  There’s a play button in the middle of a cheesburger picture.
2) I click the play button.  Nothing happens.  I click again.
3) That little spinning thing starts to spin in the middle of the cheesburger picture.
4) After 20 seconds, I heard 1.5 seconds of audio and the picture changed on my screen.
5) Another 20 seconds, and now I see and hear about 2 seconds of video.
6) I see a warning message: “This video is not optimized for mobile”.
7) Another 20 seconds goes by, I see and hear another 2 seconds of video.  I now give up and close my browser.

The QR Code itself was not a failure,
nor was the message on why I should scan the code.  The failure was in the execution of the mobile experience.  My guess is that this was tested on a desktop, ipad, or a phone that was connected to wifi.  Luckily, the QR Code goes to a redirect, so the company could try and fix this experience before they disappoint too many more people.

Test!  Have someone test!  This was not a failure of the QR Code, but rather a failure of the team executing the campaign.  Let’s learn from this failure so we don’t make it ourselves, OK?


QR Code Experiences on Facebook

QR Code Inventor Denso ADCYesterday, Denso ADC created a Constant Contact Social Campaign where they announced their “new” Facebook page.  Denso ADC is the Americas sales arm of DENSO Wave Incorporated, inventor of the QR Code® and created their Facebook account November 29, 2011.  Although they have been posting examples of QR Codes here and there, activity on posts picked up in March and April of this year.

The announcement is meant to invite a community of QR Code enthusiasts to share QR Code ideas, success stories and marketing strategies.  With sites like WTF QR Codes and a Google search for “bad QR Codes” generating over 16,000,000 results, it’s about time someone tries to stay positive about QR Codes.

It will be interesting to see how Denso ADC handles their “community” page.  I’d love to be a fly on their Facebook wall in order to count the number of negative shares and comments vs. positive ones.  20 hours after their campaign, I don’t see much new activity at all.  No user generated content, and not many new likes and comments.

Does this signal that no one cares anymore about QR Codes, or is it that Denso is the one asking for community involvement?  What do you guys think? My QR Code Rules can be found here.

QR Code® is a registered trademark of DENSO Wave Incorporated.

What can you finish today?

Finish your todo list

If you’re anything like me, your days are full of starting stuff.  You might use an old fashion pad of paper to keep track of your tasks, or maybe you use something digital like Ta-da Lists or Remember the Milk.  Some days, I find myself starting more items than I finish.  This can be an overwhelming feeling, as you see your task list grow.  Whether it’s stuff to do around the house, around the office, or for other stuff, it’s just a simple fact.  Starting things is a hell of alot easier than finishing them.

What should I get done today?
I’m in deep debt when it comes to my todo list.  In fact, my todo list is out-of-date.  I have piles of unfinished or half started things in my inbox, my WordPress, on pieces of paper, and in Word documents.  Sound familiar?  Do you have so much on your todo list that you don’t even know where to start?

Stop consuming and stop starting.
This what I’m going to try today.  I’m going to close my social streams.  I’m not going to read anything I don’t absolutely have to.  I’m allowing myself only one break today (to watch Kitchen Table Talks Live) .  I’m going to create today instead of consume.  I’m not going to start anything.  I’m just going to finish things today.  If I owe you something, there’s a great chance you’ll be seeing it today.

So how about you?  What are you going to finish today?

photo credit

A few (or 6) ways to capture creative ideas

I was chatting with a group of community managers last week in the Community Manager Hangout hosted by Tim McDonald and the topic of creativity came up.  We discussed whether or not you had to be creative as a community manager and also where the best content ideas come from.  Everyone had some great tips and tricks about getting creative, but we all agreed that capturing them when they come unannounced is key.  Here are just a few of the ways to make sure you’re ready to capture a creative idea when it surfaces:

1) is all about lists – creating them and consuming them.  They also have an awesome way to embed the list into your site/blog.  Lists are a great way to capture ideas as well as get ideas by reading other people’s list creations.

2)  Voice recorder
You have one of these on your phone.  Add a shortcut to it on your home screen.  Capture your ideas when you’re driving, cooking, or having a conversation with someone else.  Capture the passion when you just need to rant about something.  It’s also a crazy fast way to start the capturing.  Some people sleep with the phone next to them – so if you sleep alone, feel free to talk to yourself and record it.

3) WordPress Drafts
What better place for blog ideas than your blog drafts!  Bang out a quick title and a few sentences if you have an idea for a post.  Don’t worry about finishing it right away or editing it.  Capture the raw thoughts flowing from your brain into your fingertips.

4) Evernote
Install this on everything you own.  Your phone, your tablet, and your desktops will all be synced – so you can capture a thought on the ipad and edit it later on your phone and finish it on your desktop.  Never throw away ideas.

5) A notepad (non virtual)
Every once in a while, you’ll be without battery.  Carry an actual notebook and attached pen (with string and tape) in your backpack or briefcase or purse.  It can be any size.  Get in the habit of writing in it each morning when you wake up – about whatever it is that’s currently on your mind.

6) Video
Record a debate or discussion on some topics with friends.  Go back and watch it and take notes – there’s bound to be a blog post or two that you can formulate.

See that comment area below?  Share what you use, so we can all learn. Thanks!

A Camp Experience You Won't Forget

I like conferences.
They give me an opportunity to meet new people, give hugs and handshakes to those I’ve already met previously online, and they also expand my thoughts as I listen to the range of content topics.  Every once in while, I experience a conference that I can’t shut up about.  If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me tweeting using the #PRSCamp hashtag.  I may have missed SXSW this year, but I wouldn’t let anything stop me from attending Summer Brand Camp.

Let me tell you about Summer Brand Camp.
To start off, this “conference” is focused on breaking the silos between HR, Operations, and Marketing when discussing the topics of employees and brands intersecting in this new digital age.  This is a “conference” where you don’t have to worry about wearing your Sunday best in Dallas in June.  This camp is tons of fun, but you’re also going to walk away with new knowledge, new connections, new friends, and new a outlook on business.  This will be my second year attending, and I’ve been longing for Summer Brand Camp the moment I checked out of the hotel last year.  The conference includes community involvement (we’ll be going to Bryan’s House and helping kids), a talent show fundraiser (for ProStart), Campfires, Smores, and plenty of sing-a-long fun.

I could write pages upon pages on why I would call this the must-attend-event of your career, but I’ve tried to summarize it in a top 10 list.

Top 10 reason to attend Summer Brand Camp

  • #10 – You never went to camp as a kid, and wouldn’t mind experiencing something like it as an adult
  • #9 - You want to connect with HR, Marketing, or C-Suite people from the chain foodservice industry, retail, grocery or healthcare industries
  • #8 – You’ve checked out the attendee list or the speaker list
  • #7 – You’ve always wondered what people meant when they said “..this one time, at brand camp”
  • #6 – You’re ready to consume content that will shift the way you think about business
  • #5 - John Gilbert, CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear headlines #PRSCamp
  • #4 – You’ve heard rumors about someone wearing a pink dress
  • #3 – You have a talent – like spinning plates, and want to share it with everyone
  • #2 – You’ve always wanted to hang out with industry leaders and speakers
  • #1 – You’ll build friendships that last a lifetime

If that’s not enough, follow the conversation on Twitter.  Oh, and there’s a Buy one get one free offer that’s about to expire.

Questions?  Comments? Past Experiences to Share?  Comment Away!