Archive for August, 2009

Expectations 2009 Out and About

August 22, 2009

So an interesting day today, and with a few minutes of downtime, I thought I would take a minute to chronicle it, because its an interesting view on how 2009 has played out-between the economy, technology and in reality service.

By way of background to understand how I got to a Quizznos in Mastic, NY to kill 90 minutes or so, we have to go back to the beginning of the summer.  I pushed my kids (especially my older one) to make friends at camp, get their phone numbers and then encourage them to call their friends and remain social with them after camp.  So yesterday was the last day of camp.

Today, the younger one decided to call a camp friend and set up a play date.  So, she called me on it. Mastic is 30-35 minutes from my house.  So rather than spend 2+ hours today shuttling back and forth, I decided to bring the lap top, do some work and figured there is a Starbucks in pretty much every other shopping center so I’ll have a place to hang and plentiful WiFi to use.

So, I pull into a new (and very large) shopping center in Mastic-and to my surprise, no Starbucks.  How is that even possible? There are four Starbucks within 3 miles of my house-literally every other strip mall.  So, I looked around and there is a pizza place, a bagel place and Quizznos.  I figured a Tuna Torpedo at Quizznos and all of the fountain soda I can handle would kill the time.

So, I order-second encounter with what we now face in modern times: The service was awful. No tuna, two guys on the counter who barely speak above a mumble, no diet Pepsi.  In fact in a moment that made me feel better about my own inability to wait on line, a mother with two kids walked out because there were two people on line in front of her, and it took more than 15 minutes for her to even place her order.  Go ahead sit in a Quizznos for a bit and you too shall understand what it means to observe.

But, there is plentiful WiFi-thanks to one of my of my former employers.  Cablevisions Optimum WiFi is cranking here.  Now the interesting thing, when I sit at the pool near my house, or up at Cedar Beach in Sound Beach-Optimum WiFi is not so plentiful.

So, in the economic downturn, this is clearly the land that Starbucks overlooked.  Service sucks, the tip jar next to the register has to be a joke.  And somehow Cablevision is less than equal with its distribution of WiFi.

Not sure what conclusion to draw fro all of this–other than the economy, the service industry and broad WiFi all remain a work in progress.


Looking Ahead-Its that Time

August 18, 2009

So I have to admit, being in the media and journalism business-the election cycle is actually kind of a fun time.  There is so much happening, and it all matters.  I have worked in the most local of local radio stations, to stations that are “as local as local news gets” to networks (three times)–and all of the elections are important.

So, with that thought process-and some interesting thoughts from a buddy of mine Heather Kovar- checck out her blog here or follow @hrkovar on Twitter here-2010 will be an interesting year for applied social media.  And for those who like to watch-see what works and how it works now, because 2012 will be downright fascinating.

Now, Heather has a pretty good beat on beat on the local scene-especially in Connecticut where she works-and you can see the sheer volume of Twitter and Facebook users who are either in or running for office.

Add to that some of the early favorites for 2012 already staking out ground on social media-Sarah Palin is not shy about sharing on Twitter. Barack Obama is active as well.  Don’t discount Mike Bloomberg (the NYC Mayor) as a player in 2012.

Right now, its “experimental” for the politicians.  But wait as the stakes go up–and the attention grows.  Admit it, you dabble in the space if not go full frontal.  After all-Jet Blue announced the single fare for September travel on Twitter.  American Airlines ran a whole contest on Facebook where tens of thousands (including me) offered names for their Facebook app. (just a mention to the AA folks, it would be nice if they set up a better URL for their fan page. Its two clicks on Facebook).

Think this all goes unoticed? Nope. Not even a little.

Its a simple formula.  I have 600+ plus friends on Facebook (you can always friend me up) and just shy of 1100 on Twitter (follow me there) plus more on Plurk, Bright  Kite and MySpace.

In social media 1.5, this is where the people are.

Social media 2.0 is bringing your content to the people–see what Huffington Post did today-with the huge Facebook integration.  This is just the start.  Its not about what you read and where you read it–its about where you get to what you read.  That’s the eyeballs that we all seek, and the decisions we make are geared toward making that a straight up user experience.

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