Category Archives: Events

My school profiled on US Dept. of Interior website

When Sec. Sally Jewell visited our school last week, little did we know how it would figure in the grander scheme of things. It was much more than a simple ‘air drop’ of a dignitary.

Turned out it was to kick off something bigger – a Listening Tour, of Native youth.

Yesterday we noticed that apart from the previous media coverage of this visit, the folks managing the communication for Secretary Jewell’s department had featured a lot of great shots of her engaging with our students. Two of the students featured are potential podcasters in my class on audio. Three are in robotics.

Here’s the video:

And below are some of my pictures taken at the event – also covered here on this blog.

This, taken in my class. Student Council president and robotics student explains how they approach a mission, program and document their work.

More pictures from my class blog, here

We often complain that government is tone deaf to much of what goes on in our communities.Speaking to Sec. Jewell, I could tell that this was much more than a token visit so as to report to the boss she’s been on the road.

We spoke of science. A lot! I mentioned that in the midst of so many changes in education, government seems to be not doing enough to promote science and technology.I mentioned that the State of the Union this year barely touched on STEM, despite Obama’s otherwise talking the talk on why we need more investment and more STEM teachers in science in schools. She was a good listener.

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Education, Events, Robotics


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Now that selfies are in, can we start ignoring them?

If I see one more selfie on a national awards show, I may gag. It’s getting rather tiresome, seeing grown-ups climb aboard a bandwagon that usually has reserved seating for self-obsessed teenagers.

Sure the made-up word entered the OED last year — but so did jorts and fauxhawk in 2012. It also trumped the word ‘schmeat“, the new word for fake meat. In case you needed to click on the above link, you are probably like me, shaking your head in despair.

But to get back to selfies, yesterday on the Country Music Awards, there was a selfie moment, and we wondered whatever happened to human ingenuity. Didn’t Ellen make it clear that she owned that brightly lit space that celebs inhabit?

Just to cement the fact that we are in that moment in time when this awful word is rushing to meet us, there’s that annoying song. Obnoxious, albeit a wonderful parody of selfie culture. It’s title: “Let Me Get a Selfie.”

To add to this there’s the pres of the United States fawning over a selfie, as if it was the best thing that happened to image management –with a touch of product placement. I understand the man is desperately going after all the Likes and re-tweets he can get.

It’s time for people over 21 to calmly put away their phones and start real conversations.


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In a job search – again?

What if this is not the last career move you’ll ever make? Job searching in a world of blogs and social networks has been a topic I’ve spoken about –and still wrestle with — considering the fact that resumes are not exactly passe.

So this topic ‘What is this isn’t my last job search?” is very relevant. It’s the theme of a networking event next week in Phoenix, hosted by the Southwest Job Network (SJN).

The Speaker: Jason Alba, author of  “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What???” and the person behind (a software app)

  • When:  Wednesday 9th February
  • Where: Gateway Community College. 108 N. 40 Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034
  • Cost: Free.  SJN exists on donations; the suggested donation is just $5 –which is tax deductible.
  • Registration and more details: At this link
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Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Arizona, Events, LinkedIn, Social Media


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‘Now Revolution’ book tour begins soon!

Why do I feel like the word Revolution is all over the place? Maybe it’s that ‘ear worm’ of the Beatles signature tune from my radio show that’s in my head.

Jason Baer and Amber Naslund’s upcoming book, The Now Revolution, has the word in its title, though it’s the word NOW that jumps out. As they lay it out, they say that this book isn’t about how to “do” social media, but about a broader need to rejigger the organization on the ‘now’ factors. The chapters have those broad goals, such as how to ‘engineer a New Bedrock;’ ‘Organize Your Armies;’ ‘Answer the New Telephone;’ ‘Build a Fire Extinguisher’ etc.

You could find a free chapter if you go here.

On February 1, the book will be on shelves across North America.

Jay and Amber have a post-launch speaking tour for The NOW Revolution. If you, or an organization you know of, likes to have either of them to present the “7 shifts” to make business faster, smarter, and more social, they are open to talking.

Here’s the deal. Just commit to buying 200 books (ideally before release) and we’ll work with you on a date between February and June where we can visit your region and do a presentation, book signing, tweetup, game of Twister, etc.

Email them at

But wait! There’s More! If you’re into the Quick Response Codes, use your phone and take a picture of this image (right) using the Microsoft Tag software, for bonus content.

It’s a pretty cool way to promote a book using the very principles it talks about.


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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in Book Reviews, Events


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Are you more social today than you were two years ago?

Questions like this come to my mind as I walk into any office, and see people slouched over their iPhones, BBs and laptops. I get a passing nod and try to not butt into what’s apparently some very exciting Twitter chat.

Or when you watch teenagers in a room chatting while multi-tasking, infatuated by each other’s screens.

I advice people on how best to balance digital and analog, so I come across these complaints and concerns a lot. Which is why I am anxious to see how Social Media Day, today pans out.

We are meeting  up -um, tweeting up — in Tempe this evening, at Madcap Theater.

I highly recommend this contrarian idea about today, if only to help you think about what the social part of social media is really about.


Social Media Meetup in Tempe!

Once again, Fred Von Graf is pulling together a great event with his outfit Social Media Arizona (SMAZ).

It’s the Tempe Social Media Day Meetup at MADCAP Theater from 5-7 p.m.

Here is what it’s all about:

You get to take the MADCAP stage and deliver “a verbal, in-person Tweet about why you love your favorite social media tool and talk about something great that happened because you used it.”

There’s live music, food and prizes.

Details here:

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Posted by on June 26, 2010 in Arizona, Events, Social Media


Plenty of “non-experts” – tons of social media expertise

A funny thing happened in the lobby of MADCAP Theater, Monday.

SMAZ_2010_VPRBIt had nothing to do with these two familiar faces. Most of the 400 + attendees at the Social Media for Business event –a..k.a SMAZ –about all things digital, indulged in one of the oldest communication tools, business cards.

I loved how, despite seeing a Twitter handle on the last statutory slide of every preso, this tiny cardboard rectangle still works. It probably illustrates how social practices like this will not go away despite the attention we give to trackbacks, Tweetdeck or Posterous.

PanelIn between working the floors wearing that funny hat, I sat in on some great sessions. The panel on Building Brand Evangelists with Social Media, moderated by Kevin Gawthrope (@gawthrok), was very enlightening.

Then there was our very own Linda Vandrede moderating Social Media 101 a panel that included Amanda Vega, Chris Hewitt, Scott Andrew and Sheila Kloefkorn. Talk about heavyweights! If you’d been to last year’s SMAZ, you would have notices how the audience had changed, even at a 101 level. One of the sticky topics that came up was about outsourcing content. There were two schools of thought here, but both maintained that content creators have to be transparent and committed. Blogola and astroturfing won’t cut it.

As I mentioned earlier, the tone was set by Sitewire president, Greg (“I am not a social media expert”) Chapman but having said that, there was plenty to glean from. Especially in the hallways!

My takeaways (updated):

  • Be the message, don’t just post the message!
  • Don’t treat Facebook like the Yellow Pages.
  • Listen first, tweet, post later. Use Social Media as a listening post.
  • Be cognizant of the ‘channel agnostic customer.’
  • Google handles hyphens better than underscores, so be watchful when you write headlines, tags.
  • “Social media is free” is a huge misconception. There’s a human resource cost attached to it.
  • Social media is not a strategy – it is what you embed into your Comms strategy, marketing strategy, PR strategy.
  • Google’s new search engine, Caffeine, will knock your socks off.
  • Think less about the platform, more about the content.
  • Content isn’t king. Optimized content is king!
  • Start with small things. If your boss or client wants to start tweeting, facebooking, start with small goals before the big-hairy-audacious ones
  • There’s a difference between a News Feed and a Live Feed on Facebook.
  • Train others freely. Give away secrets. The rising tide lifts all boats.
  • Differentiate between Goals and Tactics. People mix these up.
  • Just like the way they confuse Strategies and Tactics, I suppose.

If you read other takes on SMAZ , you’ll see that there’s a lot of tech stuff to wrap your head around. But for all the talk about ‘matchbacks’ and Seesmic, Tweetie and Flowtown, I came away with three things:

  • “Social Media is an ingredient, not an entre.” – Jason Baer
  • “Hang out where your customers hang out” – Sheila Kloefkorn

And …

  • Bring a lot of business cards, next time, dammit

Cross-posted from ValleyPRBlog

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Posted by on January 29, 2010 in Arizona, Events, Marketing, Social Media


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