Posts Tagged ‘smcdc’

BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media

ConAgra Foods, US Navy, UnitedHealth Group, IRS, Delta Air Lines, National Association of REALTORS, Discovery Communications, and USA TODAY will share case studies in corporate social media at BlogWell DC: How Big Brands Use Social Media on May 4 in Washington, DC. You’ll learn how to get started, get past roadblocks, and make your social media program phenomenal – all in one afternoon, for just $250. Get practical, how-to advice on creating great content, earning management buy-in, training employees, engaging fans, and keeping everything ethical and legal. Presented by GasPedal and Apply the code SMCDCSENTME to get 20% off your registration.

To register, please visit:


Event Recap: Get Geeky: Smart Social Networking

Guest post by: Liz Glomb, DC Events Committee Member

Having to compete with multiple other networking events on the same evening, it was great to see that a large group of people decided to attend the Get Geeky: Smart Social Networking SMCDC event at Porter Novelli DC on February 23, 2011. People were greeted with a warm welcome by Porter Novelli, a fantastic and yummy spread of food, and top notch panelists.

The speakers for the event included Frank Gruber (@FrankGruber, CEO & Co-founder of TechCocktail), Shana Glickfield (@dcconcierge, Partner at Beekeeper Group), and Shonali Burke (@shonali, Principal at Shonali Burke Consulting) and was moderated by Alexander Howard (@digiphile, Govt 2.0 Correspondent for O’Reilly Media).

The topic for the event was centered around how to network in the digital age using various social networking platforms and how to turn an online relationship into a business or job opportunity. Other topics that were discussed included how to manage your offline and online activity as well as the pros and cons of having your personality reflected in your online image. 

The panel brought up many interesting points, and after 2-hours intense discussions and tweets, here were some of the highlights:

  • The Line between offline and online is becoming thinner, so you have two choices: wall up completely or be social.
  • Your relationships that form online can affect you offline (and vice versa)
  • Always be curious (Frank Gruber)
  • You don’t always have to be serious (Frank Gruber)
  • You are still a person, so use your personality
  • Don’t have a personality? Learn to behave (Shonali Burke)
  • Don’t ignore opportunities i other social media channels

And that’s the recap for the Get Geeky: Smart Social Networking SMCDC. MANY thanks to Porter Novelli DC for allowing us to use their space for the event and for the delicious food and refreshments. Another thank you goes out to our awesome moderator and panelists for their great content, interactions, and humor. For more information about the Social Media Club DC and other events, please follow the conversation on Twitter (@smcdc) and “like” us on Facebook.

Event Recap: Entertainment and Technology

Despite the iffy weather and a rescheduled session, a bunch of hardy folks made it out to the Entertainment and Technology SMCDC event at the Consumer Electronics Association in Crystal City on February 1, 2011.  They were greeted by a top notch panel and some delicious cookies. The event moderator Joe Gizzi, (@districtjoe) kicked off the evening by introducing the panelists, Megan Pollock (@tech_tarheel), Lyn Slater (@queenofblogs), and Rick Kowalski (@rkowalski7).

CES recap and trends

First off the panel gave a brief recap of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and shared some of their top tips and trends. Favorite picks included:

@queenofblogs: cars and the ‘green’ factor.

@tech_tarheel: new TV tech and appliances

@rkowalski7: tablets

The reality of CES is that a lot of the technology showcased will not make it to the general market.  Pollock pointed out that CES is more a venue where content providers and tech creators are coming together to make sure that there is content for new tech. Another constituent that was well represented at CES was the movie industry.  More celebrities and creative directors are showing up to the event each year. “Hollywood can’t afford not to be involved in both hardware and social media to keep up with what fans want,” said Slater.

The panel discussed what the implications of the trends we are seeing now could be.  A clearly emerging strategy that many companies are taking is having users create their own content for new technology.  Not all the technology developed however will be for everyone. A prime example of this according to Kowalski is 3D. Interim solutions in the form of set-top boxes and third parties like Netflix are filling the content gap.  Pollock says that consumers will be willing to pay for these services and devices as long as the cost is reasonable. @tracytran tweets “I would pay 4 Hulu as they keep doing newer shows. Netflix stuff is all usually older seasons (on demand).”

The future of Tablets

Gizzi asked the panel where they thought tablets, currently a hot topic with the advent of the iPad, would be going. Kowalski mused that the two key issues that would influence whether people would opt to make the move from smartphones to tablets would be portability vs. pocketability.  Right now Apple and Android seem to have the market on tablets cornered. Pollock said that it would be interesting to see what Blackberry was going to do. “Their playbook will be more business focused.” Pollock added that consumers would also be looking at networks and subscription costs as they made the decision as to what tablet they chose to adopt.  Slater however feels that people have certain preferences and will stick with those regardless of other factors; for example, people who like Apple products will remain on whatever network can support this..

Privacy concerns and their impact on the adoption of new technology

Another big topic of discussion was to what extent consumers need to protect their privacy and how that would affect the adoption of apps that shared their activities and preferences with their friends.  Gizzi theorized that with the mass acceptance of Facebook, users might find it easier to adopt services that predict what they want or would like, based on what their friends are doing.  Slater pointed out that Amazon has been doing this successfully for a while now in the way they suggest products based on a user’s browsing history and what similar users have bought. Referring to the Facebook privacy issues in the past year Kowalski said that as long as services are straightforward about how they are using user data, consumers may not be as disturbed about sharing their information.  The whole panel concurred that where privacy settings are concerned, the simpler they are, the better.

The discussion naturally turned to the use of location based apps.  Both the panel and attendees seemed to agree that users have to weigh the benefits of participating in these, versus the potential threat to their personal safety.  Because of sites that track the whereabouts of users @amyytam tweets “ I don’t want in check in on 4 square.” Pollock talked about how privacy, or the lack thereof, now has both personal and financial implications.  For example it is possible that in the very near future you could be denied/ granted benefits by your insurance company based on your level of fitness as determined by what sort of venues and events you check into.  It would be easy to monitor how often you work out.

@DistrictOfAris says that where safeguarding privacy is concerned “Users definitely have a role. As do platform providers. And educators.” Slater believes that ultimately it is the responsibility of the user to educate themselves on how privacy settings work and to learn how to guard themselves on the internet.  Ironically, Gizzi says, privacy on the Internet is schizophrenic; people who will not reveal their names think nothing of posting thousands of pictures of their children.

Social interaction and Apps

While there may not immediately be content that supports new technology, Slater thinks that content providers will most likely take the lead in providing apps that encourage users to interact with one another around certain shows or platforms.  Pollock observed that people seem more interested in having the same content available to them on all their devises.  What people really want, a member of the audience commented, is the ability to share specific clips of shows with friends.  Pollock says that with all the debates around digital rights management, we may not see a way to easily do this soon. Instead, Gizzi says that networks are tapping talent to interact with viewers in real time in an effort to get them engaged in whatever content they have out.

Senior Citizens and social media

It was pointed out that for certain shows targeting an older demographic there might not be as much of a need for widespread app offerings that are social in nature since viewers may not be interested in them.  Gizzi however feels that this may not be strictly be true.  “There is a mass later in life adoption of social media by Senior Citizens.”  Regardless of whether Seniors choose to adopt technology and services that are not social in nature,  Slater believes that there will be more apps that are developed specifically to cater to children and the families of Senior Citizens, allowing them to monitor their older relatives’ welfare virtually, e.g. the status of their medication.


And that’s your recap of the Entertainment and Technology SMCDC event.  A special thanks to the Consumer Electronics Association for hosting the event, and to our moderator and stellar panelists for the great content.  For more information about Social Media Club DC events, follow the conversation on Twitter (@smcdc), “like” us on Facebook (

Interested in more about consumer tech? Want to be the first in the know? CEA is offering a new Tech Enthusiast membership to help influence the future of the consumer electronics industry. Learn more at

November Event Recap: Politics Gets Social

The midterm elections are behind us – victory celebrations are winding down, wounds are beginning to heal, and Christine O’Donnell jokes are no longer en vogue. As the nation’s capitol prepares for a new political season, SMC-DC took some time to reflect on the election and the role of social media in the political process.

This Wednesday Politics Got Social. The evening started off as any political event should – with networking! SMC-DC members from the left, right, and middle came together to mingle and exchange business cards at our venue, Pillsbury Law, and then to ask questions to our expert panelists, who provided three unique perspectives on politics and social media.

Katie Harbath (@KatieHarbath), Chief Digital Strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee shared an insider perspective on social media and the campaign process. Her advice for integrating social media into a political campaign: Start now! Ok, ok, start right after you read this post. She also shared that transparency and authenticity are key and recommended that politicians tweet themselves, rather than leaving it to staffers. Participants also wanted to know – who has been successful in integrating social media into campaigning? Katie offered up Scott Brown as a prime example. He started engaging constituents online early. And even though he initially communicated with a small number of fans, the quality was high, thus increasing loyalty. One way to start growing your online fan base is “after the handshake.” When a politician meets someone in person, they should ask them to become an online follower.

Fundraising also plays an essential role in the political process. Mike Mayernick (@mmayernick) founder of social giving startup, (@givto), shared his perspective on how social media comes into play. Fundraising is a “call to action” and social media may not be the right forum but with a strategic process it can be a good starting point. His recommendation: start by sharing an article that will stir up support, next create a petition for your supporters to sign. As participants sign up for emails, funds tend to follow. Experience shows this method garners much higher giving rates than generic pitches. Michael also emphasized the importance of an integrated campaign when using social media in politics.

And did you know there is a job that actually requires you to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report? Well there is, but sorry, it’s taken. Lauren Feldman of American University is one of the nation’s leading researchers in political communications. Participants were eager to hear her insight and findings from a research study she conducted at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. One interesting nugget is that 25% of those surveyed said that “political divisiveness” is the most important problem facing our country, distinguishing rally attendees from the larger population. She later discussed that comedy can be used to awaken the political junkie in those who wouldn’t normally participate.

As the evening wrapped up, panelists discussed how social media is still a new phenomena in politics. Many politicians last campaigned in 2004 when these digital resources didn’t even exist. Additionally, “political rules were not written for a new media world.” Although the rules pose some obstacles for politicians, the public is fortunately becoming more forgiving of online gaffes, so not being able to spell a word, like say “potato”, in a Tweet won’t necessarily make you the nation’s laughing stock.

All in all, it was a fun and enlightening event. I know we will all look forward to see what our experts have to say when the 2012 elections ramp up.

Thanks again to our host – Pillsbury Law, our panelists, and to all those who attended. Stay tuned for pictures and video from the event!

A special #SMCDC event: Annie Stela concert at Busboys and Poets on 10/28 to support education in Africa

They say social media can be used for social good.
They say music is good for the soul.
Doing good is generally known to be good for the soul.
Get ready to feel ALL sorts of good, everywhere.

Join is for an event of social media, musical, and philanthropic proportions.
MIND BLOW. A true social media story…

SMCDC  —> Annie Stela in concert —> at Busboys and Poets   —> to support Citizen Effect’s education project

Come out for a night of music when Annie Stela comes to DC to perform on Thursday, October 28th! She’ll be doing a one-night performance at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K St. NW at 9:00 PM. You’ll have the opportunity to hear some of Annie’s work and get a chance to win a signed copy of her CDs AND win free Citizen Effect T-shirts!

Register for Join us for a special Social Media Club-DC event in October:  Annie Stela at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC  on Eventbrite

The social media story

Through the power of her website and blog, Annie reached out to fans to ask if they wanted her to come to their city to play at their house for their group of friends. Our very own SMCDC leadership member, @Mike_Kohn — a big Annie Stela fan — wrote Annie and asked her to come to DC. And the rest, as they say, is history. Instead of keeping Annie to himself; however, Mike is sharing her with SMCDC and all of DC for that matter a true social media man.

The Annie Stela story

After a childhood spent writing poems and songs in quiet suburban Michigan, Annie Stela moved to LA at the age of 22. She got a hard core-case of mono and some serious culture shock – but once she recovered, she was signed to Capitol Records. She recorded her debut full-length record, Fool, with producer Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne) and, after fear over her label’s stability, released it independently on iTunes in early 2008. Influenced by artists like Billy Joel, Ben Folds Five, and Tori Amos, Fool chronicles Annie’s journey from Michigan to LA and, as such, from childhood to adulthood. After touring with artists like Joseph Arthur, Ron Sexsmith, and Bright Eyes, she later released Little House and Hard City.

Tickets are only $5 (that’s less than a lot of phone apps!), which will go to support education for HIV-affected youth in Rwanda as part of a Citizen Effect project.

Register for Join us for a special Social Media Club-DC event in October:  Annie Stela at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC  on Eventbrite

The Citizen Effect: Education in Rwanda Story

The majority of youth in the Kirehe and Kayonza districts of Eastern Province, Rwanda, live in extreme poverty and are not able to enjoy their right to an education. The most vulnerable youth are those that are HIV-affected, a large portion of whom are orphans. They have the greatest chance of not receiving secondary schooling or proper HIV treatment.

The FACE AIDS 2010 Back to School Campaign aims to raise funds to send HIV-affected Rwandan youth to secondary school. The Back to School Campaign has the potential to help up to 656 students. By joining the campaign, you are standing in solidarity with HIV-affected students in Rwanda, ensuring that they can enjoy the same right to an education as you do.

Register for Join us for a special Social Media Club-DC event in October:  Annie Stela at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC  on Eventbrite

A special thanks to Busboys and Poets!

Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bookstore, fair trade market and gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace. Each Busboys and Poets location should enhance the community — allowing us to bring together a diverse clientele reflective of the surrounding neighborhoods. Busboys and Poets creates an environment where shared conversations over food and drink allow the progressive, artistic and literary communities to dialogue, educate and interact. Follow them on Twitter and declare your love on Facebook.

October 2010 Social Media Breakfast: Meet Ford’s Dan Pierce

This WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 beginning at 8am (for test drives!), Join Social Media Club-DC at Busboys and Poets for an exclusive opportunity to hear about Ford’s upcoming next move — electric vehicles — and to learn more about the social media efforts that Ford will unfold as an integral part of the company’s marketing strategy.

Social Media Breakfast guests will participate in a brainstorm session with Ford’s Dan Pierce and will get to be the first to take a spin in one of Ford’s prototype electric vehicles!

See you at Busboys and Poets (14th and V — U Street Metro) this WEDNESDAY, October 20, 2010.

Register for October 2010 Social Media Breakfast-DC: The role of electric vehicles in Ford's future in Washington, DC  on Eventbrite

Details of what we have in store

  • 8am: Electric vehicles test drive opportunities before the doors open
  • 8:30am:
    • Ford discusses the importance of social media in its marketing
    • Brainstorm and feedback session with SMCC members and Dan Pierce
    • Ford digs deeper into its social media outlook
  • 9:30am: More test drive opportunities following the event

Meet our speaker: Dan Pierce

Dan Pierce manages environmental communications at Ford Motor Company.  In this role, he raises awareness for Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability; the company’s plan to build great products, a strong business and a better world.  A major part of the company’s sustainability plan is the development of electric vehicles.

Since joining Ford, Pierce has been working with the product development teams on educating consumers on the five electrified vehicles Ford will launch over the next three years.  These vehicles include the Ford Transit Connect Electric (2010), Ford Focus Electric (2011), two next generation hybrid vehicles (2012) and a Plug-In Hybrid vehicle (2012).

Outside of electric vehicles, Pierce works closely with Ford researchers on the company’s efforts to use recycled or biomaterials materials within its vehicles.  Ford’s vehicles are more than 85 percent recyclable due to the use of soy foam in seat cushions as well as recycled threads and cloth inside the car.

A special thanks to Busboys and Poets, the OFFICIAL venue of Social Media Breakfast DC!

Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, bookstore, fair trade market and gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace. Each Busboys and Poets location should enhance the community — allowing us to bring together a diverse clientele reflective of the surrounding neighborhoods. Busboys and Poets creates an environment where shared conversations over food and drink allow the progressive, artistic and literary communities to dialogue, educate and interact. Follow them on Twitter and declare your love on Facebook.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Register for October 2010 Social Media Breakfast-DC: The role of electric vehicles in Ford's future in Washington, DC  on Eventbrite

Want to get more involved?

If you or your company is interested in sponsoring any one of our monthly breakfast events, please let us know. Email us at socialmediaclubDC [at] gmail [dot] com or send a tweet to @smcdc. Thank you in advance!

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