September 2010 Social Media Breakfast Recap

Thanks to all who resisted hitting the snooze button this morning and came out to our September Social Media Breakfast featuring bloggers form the @TBD community network! I didn’t tweet at all during breakfast (WHAT? Wait for it… ) because I was typing notes like crazy so I could share them with you all in blog post form. If you enjoy it and would like this recap to become a regular thing, leave a comment to let us know!

Another round of thanks to our amazing hosts, @BusboysandPoets, our heads of table, and our guests! See you at the next one! But if you can’t wait to spend some more quality time with fellow social media professionals and enthusiasts…  come to SMCDC’s September 22nd event: Using Social Media for Customer Service!

Sign up on Eventbrite:

September 2010 Social Media Breakfast Recap

Speakers: Cindy Cotte Griffiths (@cindycg) and

Brad Rourke (@bradrourke)

Blog: Rockville Central (@Rockville)

Brad and Cindy were blogging before blogging was invented. They posted articles to USENET way back in the day. On Memorial Day 2007, Brad read an article in Washington Post that profiled local bloggers from blogs like “Just Stop the Pike,” which covers Silver Spring. Brad thought there would surely be a blog about where he lived – Rockville – but when he discovered there wasn’t one, he decided to start one – because it was the weekend and he didn’t have anything to do, and what else do you do over the weekend, right? Brad would regularly meet parents and other folks in the neighborhood park and talk about issues of the day, and he eventually created a space like that online for the residents of Rockville.

While Brad’s original thought was that he’d create a little online newsletter for the neighborhood, Cindy encouraged him to think more broadly and do all of Rockville.

Cindy talked to about commenting policies and the role they have played in encouraging people to participate on the blog because they know it’s a safe place where everyone is appreciated and where there is no tolerance for people who want to be nasty.

Brad and Cindy have used Twitter for three years, but they didn’t until they could feed the blog through their Twitter account and help readers find posts in that way. They explained that as more Rockville residents have become comfortable with the blog, and as they get to meet more of their readers in person… more comments are published every time and the blog is more of an extension of their local community, online.

Speakers: Jaime Fearer (@bogrosemary)

and Geoffrey Hatchard (@IMGoph)

Blogs: District Curmudgeon (@distcurm)

and Greater Greater Washington (@ggwash)

The District Curmudgeon started din March 2010 but both Geoffrey and Jamie had history that led to writing this particular blog. Like Brad and Cindy, it was civic engagement that led Jamie and Geoffrey to start their blog. As members of their neighborhood, they needed to find news about what was going on in the community. Jamie started “Stop, Blog, and Roll” in 2005, however, when she moved to Shaw she became involved with “Greater Great Washington” and joined the site as a contributor there.

Geoffrey started blogging in 2006 when he moved to the Bloomingdale Neighborhood. The name of his blog was meant to be temporary because he’d be there temporarily, so after he moved, the blog was shut down and he spent a bit of time trying to figure out what to do next. Soon, he started contributing to “Greater Greater Washington. “

For both Jamie and Geoffrey, the idea, was not to just spit out information, but to start a dialogue and to be able to respond to comments and tweets. The blog was an outlet to let things out and point out things that weren’t happening and try to affect change.

Speaker: Scott Brodbeck

Blog: (@ARLnowDOTcom)

Scott started blogging in January 2010 after five years in television news in DC. He started the blog because Arlington needed a full-time online news source and despite it being such a large community, it was missing that. He saw the need and wanted to prove to himself that he could take on the challenge of producing a blog. While in TV, he produced a segment called “Meet the Blogger” and thought that what the bloggers were doing was pretty cool – so he went for it.

On, Scott tries to strike a balance between community news and breaking news. He tries to curate content and not do throw-away posts. He’s at the stage where he’s trying to sell ads and make it a financially sustainable business because, for something of that scale to exist, he needs to pay his rent (story of our lives, eh?). Scott uses Twitter and Facebook – and he shared that Facebook drives THREE TIMES more traffic than Twitter to his blog. While he uses both those tools, the way he measures his success the most is by comments on the blog.

Speaker: Mandy Jenkins (@mjenkins)

Blog: (@TBD)

Mandy share a little more about – a local news startup launched at the beginning of August, but of course, you already knew that J TBD has a very small staff but they try to cover news all the way from Virginia, to Maryland, to DC – something they couldn’t achieve without their contributors and the community bloggers who, and I quote, “bust their butts everyday to get news to them.”  — (Personal note: Thank you to all the members of the TBD staff!)

TBD tries to gather and curate the news. The staff reads RSS feeds everyday and try to make it so that they can bring as much of everything as they can into the site, but also bring discussion around the news and content they publish. They try to make sure they are on top of what’s going on out there, everywhere, so TBD takes to social networks of all kind – Twitter, Foursquare checkins. Because there is a few of them and tons of us, they use social media to tap into the public to learn what’s going on. (Personal note: Thank you DC-area bloggers!)

Mandy closed saying, “I feel like we come to work every day not knowing what’s going to happen, but somehow they’re going to cover it. “ Respect.

Image courtesy of @mjenkins


5 responses to this post.

  1. Andi, a million THANKS for the SMC-DC recap on the social media breakfast event on blogging and these blogging insights… and YES, I would love to read your re-caps of future social media breakfasts. I think the topics have been fascinating and the speakers top-notch, but for scheduling reasons, I can’t come to any of the breakfasts (although I will try to make all the Wednesday night events). So, I’m really grateful to you for summarizing them for people who like me who can’t attend at that time.


  2. Thanks, Andi, for having TBD and some of our excellent Community Partners on the panel. We got a lot of good questions. I, at least, will be back for more SMCDC events. It’s always an interesting time.


  3. Mary, I’m glad you found it useful! Thanks for your continuous support!!


  4. And thank YOU as well Mandy!! Can’t believe you are not napping after such hectic election coverage action! Will always look forward to seeing you, and the rest of the TBD family at the breakfast each month. And please let me know if there is ever anything TBD and SMCDC can collaborate on in the future.

    – Andi


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