Sunday, March 25, 2012

Veryifying the Will Smith tweet on Trayvon


Let me preface this by saying that I don't mean to be a debbie downer. That being said, I saw this image shared on one of my friend's Facebook walls.

So, being one who uses twitter, I went to Will Smith's "handle" as shown in the image to the right with the intent of Retweeting it, but here's who's there, as shown below.

Did I spell something wrong? I checked, and I double checked, and caps don't matter, so that couldn't be it.

Next I went to Will Smith's website, the only content of which is a field to sign-up for an email list, and a link to his Facebook.

Surely if Will Smith had a Twitter account, it would be on one or the other, but I find mention of one on neither.

I even searched on Twitter, and found nothing but fake and parody accounts.

At this point I actually googled "does will smith have a twitter", which you can too if you click on the link. While there were a number of sites that provided an answer (WikiAnswers giving one), the site that probably satisfied my piqued curiosity at this point was kgb answers answering the question (despite misspelling account).

This answer was good for me particularly because of the time stamp for its most recent update being about a month ago.

Which brings me to the original image.... Where did it come from?

And here's the thing, the real questions are does it matter and does it affect the message? I would argue it depends on who's reading it. Some (if not most) people probably won't care to the point where the message loses its meaning, this issue and incident in particular. You can check out those exact sentiments at Lipstick Alley, in comments about a post on this image.

However, in an age where it's so easy to share content, I would say we are being called on as users to a higher degree of accountability than before, not just in representing ourselves and those we know, but making sure that any content we share representing anyone and their voice, friend, stranger, celebrity, etc., unless it's parody or obviously a joke, is truthful.

Would love to hear your thoughts,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My 10 Twitter Tips

Hey there,

If you follow me on Twitter, this might explain some of my habits...or it might not.

Before doing anything else, check out Twitter's FAQ. The tips I will be sharing are not meant to be basic tips, which isn't to say they're necessarily advanced. They just are what they are, and they're what I do, so they're definitely not tips for everyone.
  1. Do NOT sync your Facebook account (if you have one) - Now I should clarify, don't sync your tweets to push to your status updates. I actually blogged about this a little over a week ago, so you can read more on why, there.
  2. Follow Tweetsmarter, as their blog provides some great insights as to best practices.
  3. Pay attention to Pew Research Center articles on Twitter. Now this is probably just the wonk in me, but it provides for some great perspectives.
  4. Create lists - lists that make sense to you. Check out my lists, for examples that might help. Lists are also a great way to "follow" someone without following them, and saving your following cap for those whose content might engage you more. For example, there are a number of DC institutions and organizations I don't necessarily want showing up on my home stream, but that I would like to check in on, so I added them to my DMV list. I will say, I tend to list accounts without following them, when they aren't following me back.
  5. Don't be afraid to block or report for spam - It's not about quantity of followers, and it would be awful to let a bunch of spammy accounts follow you just to boost the count. Or accounts that probably have no interest in you.  I know that most of the real estate tweeps that follow me are NOT interested in anything I have to say or share.
  6. Understand your Klout Style - you don't necessarily have to care about your actual Klout score, but your style may give you greater insight into how you use Twitter, and if you decide to do so intentionally, whether you're happy w/ your style, or want to aim for a different one. Check out my klout style, if you want.
  7. Look before you hash. Hashtags are a great way to label tweets as well as become part of a conversation, whether it's an ongoing one or event/time specific. You can either search on Twitter through it's "discover" tab, or even go to to look some up. You want hashtags that are concise but also unique. The last thing you'd want someone to do is search for a hashtag and then still have to filter irrelevant tweets. Also, don't hash too much; generally three hashtags in a tweet should be the maximum.
  8. #FF - Mashable has a great entry on Follow Friday. I will say, it's possibly a great tool to pop on the radar of people who don't follow you back yet. You can also have a theme for each Friday. Most recently, I selected a bunch of local arts organizations to list.
  9. Tweet & Retweet - I try to keep my feed at roughly half and half, sometimes going through a period of RT's, and other times tweeting a lot, especially if at a live, public event. That's just for me, though. This might have to do with your klout style. Also consider when and how you want to RT. More on this later.
  10. Lastly - Be yourself. Pretty self-explanatory. This goes for not just what you say and who you follow, but who follows you.
That's it for now,


revised - 3.20.12

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Techsoup on Facebook Timeline, and visual power


So there's a really GREAT blog by Susan Chavez on Techsoup which was posted in the past week, "Coming March 30: Facebook Timeline".
On March 30, big changes are coming to all Facebook brand pages – the new Timeline format. 
Timeline has already begun appearing on personal pages so it will not be entirely unfamiliar to many Facebook users. However, even users who are familiar with this format will find a number of new features only available for brand pages.

Check out the rest of the blog here.

I think it's very telling that the first highlighted change has to do with the cover photo.  I say this because increasingly pictures are telling a thousand words more and more in social media. I actually just got out of a seminar this morning on Digital Communications 2.0 for Nonprofits, but a wonderful woman named Jamie, with  Momenta. A number of times, the moral of the story came back to being thoughtful and intentional with the images used, from brands to logos.

Even last week, on a webinar about 10 mistakes nonprofits make, hosted by Guidestar, and led by someone with Diosa Communications, one that was mentioned was as simple as making sure an organization had a square version of their logo/brand to be used in Social Media profiles.

But I digress. That's just the first of a number of changes highlighted in Techsoup's blog, which is a must-read for anyone dealing with their company's Facebook page.

Looks like we're going down the rabbit hole, so don't hesitate to take the red social media pill, if you haven't yet. Because the organizations that do so willingly and resourcefully will certainly have an advantage over those that don't.

Keep an eye out on my twitter for little nuggets from this morning's seminar I mentioned. In the meantime, read, read, READ the blog :-)

- JR

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thinking about going back to college

Hey there,

So just a quick blog, as I sit in my car waiting to do a site-visit at one of the schools my work has an after-school programin, courtesy of the Trawick Foundation, and their Team-Up grant program.

Maybe I just can't stay away from higher education. After all, I was only finished with my undergrad in Dance at UMD for two years before going back to grad school at American University for Arts Management.

Maybe it's my current work representing artists in and seeing them work in a large number of schools all around the metropolitan area.

Maybe, as much theatre as I've done, I haven't really taken a theatre class since high school.

Maybe it's the tremendous number of youth groups I've seen over the past three weeks, as part of this year's Intersections festival's youth summit, as well as a burning desire to work with any and all of them, as well as GMCW's own GenOUT program.

I know...most likely, it's some combination of all, but whatever the reason, I've come across Catholic University's M.A. in Theatre Education. And the more I think about it as possibility, the more it becomes a certainty, in terms of something I want to pursue.

Unfortunately an Arts Management M.A. is the terminal degree in the field, although maybe not for much longer. But this program, as well as my own circumstances living not even 5 blocks from the campus, make it an option I cannot ignore, and more and more, cannot stop thinking about. Because the more I think about it, the more it feels right.

I know, I'm basing my higher education pursuit on feeling. Might seem counterintuitive for some, but it's what actually got me back to school. After a year and a half of going to college after high school not knowing what I wanted to do, I took a break and went back because of how I felt about dance.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just as rational as I am passionate. And because of that, I believe, should I get accepted, you might start seeing me blog about life back in school for Theatre Education come summer of 2013.

Would be curious to hear others' thoughts, as I continue to investigate and consider the practicality of taking this path.

- JR

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Laura Edwards, I'm in love :-)


One thing about the subject, it is definitely a virtuous and platonic love from one dancer/choreographer to another, although Laura's work is of a caliber I am currently aspiring to.

But now you might be wondering why the declaration of love? So one of my favorite dancers to keep track of (who's actually from the DC/MD/VA area), Jojo Diggs, tweeted a video this morning:
Of course I had to watch.

And there's not anything I could say that isn't more or less summed up by another viewer's comments. Michelle Provacia said:
Things I like about this video:
1. The leading guy has charisma - not attitude
2. The leading girl isn't your 'typical' skinny bombshell dancer
3. The leading guy and girl actually have a connection when dancing
4. That Laura Edwards made a CRAZY good choreography, superbly executed, and well put-together... without putting herself in front and center in the video....
A bunch of great dancers, doing a great feel-good video together, no attitudes... Love it!
 You can catch Michelle's YouTube channel here.

And back to Laura. Thank you for making what was threatening to be a morning struggling to adjust to the time change, a delightful one that I can't wait to get started.

I know, you and the rest of us have little control over when things are shared and viewed, but timing aside, I'm grateful that you created such a beautiful piece. Looking forward to keeping up with your work.

And thank you to Jojo for sharing it this morning.

With Peace, Love, Understanding, and Respect from DC,


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Don't sync Twitter and Facebook, please


So I saw a friend's status update on Facebook. Then I saw underneath that it was posted by their handle on Twitter...

I'm going to publish my personal top 10 twitter tips in the next week or so, but in the meantime want to share a blog from Lisa Catto, "To sync or not to sync, it's not really a question". Here's an excerpt:
There has been a trend, and I notice is among authors especially (but that’s one of the few niche groups I follow), toward syncing Twitter and Facebook accounts so that when someone posts on Twitter it also shows up in the Facebook posts. Hey, I get why people do it. It’s convenient, post once, it hits two places. It’s easy. It’s automatic. You want to be using social media because everyone else is and you’re told
To read the rest of her blog, click here.

I would just like to say that I completely concur with her points, and I would just add, to reemphasize, with regard to syncing Facebook & Twitter: "Just say no".

This point actually came up in a webinar I took on the top 10 mistakes nonprofits make with Social Media, and one of them addressed automation. I won't rehash points made there and in Lisa's blog.

And most people are just using social media for personal use, not for a company or organization. But I would say that generally best practices for one are best practices for the other, and even though its on the interwebs, we use social media to connect to other people...more or less. And when an automatic status update via twitter is visible, it reminds us and removes us from that connection.

Sure, it seems like a small difference, but I believe it's enough. Anyway, would be curious what others think about this, and have to say on the topic.

- JR (Facebook | Twitter | Google +)

Friday, March 09, 2012

"Success: It's not always what you see"

Hey there,

So I was on Facebook (surprise), and my friend Zehra Fazal, who is now out in LA (here's her Facebook page), shared this photo:

Which I iMMEdiately liked and reshared. Well, I found the pic on Funstoo's blog, as I wanted to blog about it (as you can't link/embed pics to Facebook's secure site), as well as a comment I made:
And I believe this is especially true with regard to the arts. Might not be the easiest thing to evaluate, much less quantify (whether its economic impact or some other metric), but intrinsically is probably one of the most effective agents of change & growth that we share with each other, as humans :-)
So now my lunch break is over, but just wanted to put that out there :-)

- JR

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Google+ tips for Business. Tips for Nonprofits too?


So this might be more of a rhetorical question, but wanted to put it out there regardless. Came across this infographic on pinterest (which I'm still waiting to get a log-in for), which was originally tweeted by Philanthropy and RT'ed by GuideStarUSA (and how I came across it).

Check it out:

Would be curious what others think, especially if you've already been dipping your toes in the pool :-)

- JR, AWayofLife0