I want my H(ashtag)TV


Have you been noticing something new invading the screen on your favorite television programs?

Now, along with the cast members from upcoming programs walking across the screen and important news bulletins across the bottom, hashtags are beginning to gain screen time. Shows are using hashtags to encourage participation and audience engagement and to keep the conversation going long past the credits role. Reality television has made the hashtag the newest part of the genre.

The Lifetime show Dance Moms ran a Twitter contest for the “Top Mom”.  Each of the moms was assigned a hashtag (like #DanceMomMelissa) where a person could avoid logging into the website for voting purposes by just sending out a Tweet with their favorite mom listed.

Season 9 of Project Runway hosted a hashtag contest to choose a favorite designer  and award the winning designed $10,000 cash. They also hosted a live Twitter chat with designers and guests following a designated hashtag #projectrunway.

It’s not just reality TV that excels in use of hashtags. Late Night host Jimmy Fallon hosts a game called #LateNight Hashtags  where he  will give his viewers a hashtag and read the best Tweets on air.

The USA Network show, Psych had an interactive murder mystery that fans could help investigate by following the #HashtagKiller  stream.

The most fun I have had recently following a television program’s hashtag was for the SyFy Channel’s B-movie masterpiece Piranhaconda.  In this case the conversations and 140 character hilarity  (including Tweets from the Piranhaconda itself) was more entertaining than watching the actual movie!

As a self-professed “Twitter Girl” I love having this interactive method of getting involved with my favorite programs and the other people who enjoy them as well.

What is your favorite example of a TV show using a hashtag?

Milwaukee #IndyFest 2012 and the #26ers


If you follow me on Twitter at all you have probably seen the hashtags #IndyFest or #26ers popping up a lot over the last three weeks. I was lucky enough to be named one of the “Social 26, or #26ers   for this year’s running of Milwaukee IndyFest  at the Milwaukee Mile.

And it all started with a Tweet. Having “met” Kyle Lacy through a Twitter list for a conference  we got to talking and he asked if I wanted to be a part of something his company (Exact Target) and Andretti Sports Marketing   were doing in Milwaukee.  They wanted to make this year’s Indy Fest a fully social experience . We would not only be spreading the word before race weekend, we would be “Live Tweeting” the event itself.

Of course, I immediately said “yes!”. This is the kind of thing I love to be a part of, using social media to promote an event. With it being in Milwaukee, I knew that a lot of the people involved would be people I know and how can you pass that up? The next thing I did was hit “The Google” to learn about Indy Car. I freely admit that I don’t know a lot about the sport. I had been to the Milwaukee Mile before but that was just going for walks, so this was going to be all new to me.  I had been to a NASCAR event  (Daytona 400 ) when I worked for  Pierce Mfg  , but I knew this was an entirely different ball game.

Leading up to the event I learned more and more about the sport and about the track itself. The folks at Andretti were awesome in giving us facts and history lessons to share. They also hosted events  leading to race weekend. There was a block party, a meeting with the Social Media Club of Milwaukee  and more. Unfortunately, being in Appleton, I missed the lead in events but still was able to participate in spirit over Twitter. I also created a public playlist on Spotify where I crowdsourced song requests to get people in the mood.

On Friday of race weekend I headed south to join in the fun! I lucked out that I have very good friends who live a 5 minute walk from the Milwaukee Mile who let me stay with them for the weekend. There is nothing better to pump a girl up for Indy Fest than hearing the “vroom” of the cars while getting ready to leave for the event!

Friday night, I met up with some of the other 26ers who I have known for a while now and met a few new awesome folks that night as well. We enjoyed a battle of the bands show as well as some fairway games. (Random fact – that night was my first ever ride on a ferris wheel) I was also able to “meet” my driver Will Power. Or at least… a reasonable cardboard substitute.

Saturday was race day! We got to the grounds a little late and missed the Tweet up but were able to meet up with the 26ers in attendance. Unfortunately, not all 26 of us made it to the track on Saturday – but the ones that did had a blast! The morning was hot and sunny, until the sky opened up and the rain came pouring down. Thankfully for us, the folks at Marcus Hotels  let us take shelter in the hospitality tent.

After the hour or so rain delay, the race was on! It was fast and it was furious. After the race, there was a SmashMouth concert for us to enjoy. While my driver didn’t win , it was still an awesome event to be a part of. I look forward to doing it again when Indy Fest comes back in 2013!

New Project! #S2DTS


This is my mini bucket list for summer of 2012! As I complete each item, instead of crossing them off, I will be posting them to Pinterest and Tweeting them with the hashtag #S2DTS (Sh*t to do this summer)
Have any suggestions?
  • fly somewhere… anywhere Well, I took a train. Close enough
  • so something “sporty”
  • sing “I’m on a Boat” while indeed being on a boat
  • to watch either sunrise or sunset on a lake (or sea, or ocean) shore
  • ROAD TRIP
  • Get my picture taken with the Bronze Fonz

image via

Social Media Lessons From My Irish Roots


The Irish have a long tradition with words. Writers and poets like Joyce, Wilde & Yeats all come from the Emerald Isle. Long said to hold“The Gift of the Gab” , the people of Ireland are known to have a biting wit and an often satirical nature.  The lyrical language goes back for generations and has sprouted many quotes & sayings still used today. Did you realize how some of those sayings carry over into the modern world in both social media and blogging? Here are 3 quotes and my favorite word in the Gaelic language to explain:

“Everyone is wise until he speaks.” – Irish Drinking Toast

Just about everyone has posted something that they have regretted. It only takes a moment to run spell check or have a second pair of eyes look at your blog before posting. Manage multiple accounts? Double check you are posting in the correct feed before you hit send. You have created a reputation for yourself, maintain it well.

“Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.” – Oliver Goldsmith

The internet is a big place filled with every variety of person and opinion you can imagine. Unfortunately, a part of this mix includes trolls. Some trolls will make it their business to slander and defame a person or business online. Your best defense is to not “feed” them by engaging in a war of words. Just continue to produce the best content you can, most people will be able to tell the difference from the absurd and the true. “The best defense is a good offence”

“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” – Sean O’Casey

Social media and the Blogosphere are not like putting pen to paper.  Once something is released to the internet, it is there forever. You can block, mark private, disable right click copy etc. but there are always ways for things to sneak out. You have to remember that the content you produce can leave a permanent mark. When representing yourself as a personal brand, or someone else’s business brand, you have to keep reputation in mind.

Craic – (pronounced: krak) is a term variously meaning news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation

Social Media is supposed to be fun. Keep that in mind when using is for business purposes.  No one has fun being barraged with your ads and self promotion. Engage. Be a part of the conversation. Get to know the people of your community and share. Learn about what they are interested in and participate in educating and learning along with them. Never take the fun out of your corporate accounts, let the communities get to know you and show a real personality.

I’ll leave you with an Irish toast:

“Wherever you go and whatever you do,

May the luck of the Irish be there with you”

‘Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!’

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

originally published on the Thill Blog

Do the Sh!t That Scares You


I have two fears in life.

Heights.
Public speaking. *

I did one of those things this week. Hint: it did not involve heights.

A couple weeks ago, I was asked by a friend to be a part of the panel speaking about social media for the New North Social Media Breakfast, (#nnsmb on Twitter) a local social media group that meets once a month here in the area. The other three members of the panel are good friends of mine and I was happy and honored to be a part of the group. And then. Then, I realized this would involve public speaking. Whoops!

Part of my New Years resolutions plan was to “do the shit that scares me” and this is an A1 primo opportunity to test this baby out!

I was assigned managing multiple social media accounts, link shortening tools and Hashtags (of which I am a known fan). These are all areas I am comfortable with and know, enough about to create a very insightful and organized presentation (in my head) and a cute little Prezi, I had it all planned out.
But then they handed me the mic.

Ok, let me back up a little bit.
I had had some nerves, but I was well rehearsed. I know that I do better when I don’t plan things out too terribly much, but I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I even know what wacky improved jokes I was going to whip out of the blue. I had my laptop ready to hide behind at the table, my cheat sheet of notes in case I blanked…. I was set!

Yeah, um… No.

This was a stand up in front of a crowded room, holding a microphone while being broadcast live on the Internet.

Crap.
I bucked it up, I mustered… I only swore, like twice! I survived.

Once we were all four finished with our presentations and seated, it was time for Q&A. For this part, I was fine. I answered my question about Pinterest with confidence, and maybe some charm.

So all in all, one down and stronger for it! I loved being a part of it, and (maybe with the help of a shot of whiskey beforehand) I’d be happy to do it again!

Bring. It. On.
*and birds, clowns, creepy crawleys and inanimate objects staring at me.

In other “things that scare me” news….
Now that unGeeked has been canceled, I have been looking at other events to go to. Because my boss rocks! I spent the day looking at some other conferences and at this point it is down to two. The #140conf in Montreal and Blogworld Expo in New York. The way things are looking right now, all things are pointing Blogworld. Then I realized… the idea of spending a week in NYC scares the wits out of me!

Stay tuned!

***UPDATE***

Where do I begin with the updates? I’ve done so much since I originally posted this.

*While  I didn’t get to NYC – I did roam the streets of Chicago on my own while  I was there for a conference

*I rode a ferris wheel 

*I spoke at a conference

*I was interviewed live on the Pulse Network

Romancing the Me!


About a year ago, (well – a year ago on St. Patrick’s Day) I won a gift certificate for the “Romance Package” from the Kress Inn in DePere. It has spent the goodly party of this year magnet-ed to my refrigerator waiting to be used. I had been debating on using it, waiting for the perfect romantic weekend opportunity. Well, I think we all know how my love life has been this past year (if not – catch up here) I had been worried I would let it go to waste. Not being the kind of girl who would waste a good freebie – inspiration struck! On 2/28, I would be part of the panel at the nnsmb (New North Social Media Breakfast) that was being held at the Marq in DePere. Eureka! Perfect. I packed my bags (yes. bags. I am a chronic over packer) arranged for a sitter for the puppy and headed up to DePere.

I checked into my amazing room (the executive suite thank you very much) and was greeted by the lifestyle I would like to become accustomed to.  King sized bed, fireplace, whirlpool, champagne & Seroogy’s chocolates!

Walking into this setting wiped away the dorkiness I felt booking the “Romance Package” for me and a night of working. After a couple of hours of work, and some bragging about my situation) I decided it was officially time to de-stress and I did something I rarely allow myself to do – I unplugged. I turned off the computer, closed the iPad and put my phone on silent.

It was time to bubble my stress away.  While I love what I do, and enjoy the extra curricular projects I have been involved in, the stress has been getting to me. To the point of my neck seizing up on me, so this night could not have come at a better time. So  I filled the tub, turned on the bubbles, poured a glass of champagne, opened the candy and did the most “spoil myself” thing I could do: I turned on Bravo & threw away the remote!

Normally, the only time I get to watch it is on the treadmill at the gym, and then I only get 1/2 an episode! Now that I am way more chilled out, I can plug back in and get back to work, breathing much easier.  And by working, I mean sitting fireside in my jammies with my Bed Buddy working out the last bit of bad neck and finishing another glass of champagne. All in all – good night!

So thank you, fine folks at Kress Inn & Bravolebrities!  You rock my socks! Tune in to the nnsmb UStream channel to watch our presentation here.

UPDATE:  I get up on my soap box often about customer service. I am a believer that the experience can be make or break for any place. This morning, I had to get my room re-keyd three times, but the front desk rep, Ben, was awesome about it. The first thing he did was apologize (I understand the situation and was laughing the whole time). He was friendly and helpful the entire time and got me into my room without letting me feel like a fool or treat me like it was my fault. I worked at hotels, you do kind of always assume it’s operator error, you just don’t show it.  Ben made a bad situation a positive and funny one.

Kudos Ben!

Reasons I Sucked at My First Attempt at Yoga but WILL Do it Again Tomorrow


So, I have been writing for Supple about joint pain for over a year now and suffering from my own issues for longer than that. One of the biggest things I have learned in this time, is the importance of moving and exercise. The practice of yoga has been spoken of as one of the better exercises for people with arthritis and other forms of joint pain.

For me, 2012 is the year of “practice what I preach” and it is getting off to a fine start. I have already started working on the Kitchen Challenge with my Twitterfriend Peachy.

My satellite package includes a few preview channels every month and this month, it included Veria a health and fitness channel featuring a show called“Yoga for Life”. Today, I gave it a try.

Now down to the list of why my first try was such a comedy of errors:

  • I have wood floors & no yoga mat – I blame up to 30% of my falling down to this
  • My dog thinks that if I am on the floor, its time to play. – Because Ralphie coming at me with a slobberd up decapitated stuffed lobster is TOTALLY zen
  • I am a 100% complete & utter klutz – um… duh
  • I can’t breathe, concentrate and balance all at the same time – My mind would also wander off to places unknown. I also tended to talk back to the host when I got frusterated
  • I kept getting my lefts & rights mixed up – no comment
  • I have NO sense of balance what so ever. -um, yeah

And the three reasons why I’ll be back at it again tomorrow:

  • I am impossibly stubborn
  • Despite the confusion, the falling down, the swearing when I messed up…. I feel great!
  • I have a killer downward dog – yeah! Suck it stand on one foot with the other foot behind your ear pose

While the lists are still not balanced, I’m not giving up! I feel a strange confidence knowing that I’m just going to get back up on the horse and do it again tomorrow. But I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking any public yoga classes anytime soon. ;)

So stay tuned I’ll keep posting on my progress!

Photo Source

(Most of) this post originally posted on asthesuppleturns

Kitchen Challenge – 1/9/12 Homemade Hummus


Well so far this year, it’s Carrie – 1 – Resolutions – 0!

That’s right folks, I made my first recipe for the Kitchen Challenge. I decided to start easy with something I didn’t actually have to cook.  My skills in the kitchen are not what you would call “enviable”. I have in fact, set my self* on fire twice in one month just trying to use my gas stove! If you follow this blog for no reason other then the fact I may do something tremendously silly, embarrassing or otherwise train wrecky, that’s totally cool with me.

The first dish I decided to make was “Rummy Hummus” by John Schlimm, author of The Tipsy Vegan,  from the Organic View blog. For the original recipie click here. (The picture alone is worth the click) I chose to take out the chipotle peppers & served it as a dip, but other then that, I stuck to script.

Ingredients:
1 (14-ounce) can of organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained thoroughly
2 canned organic chipotle peppers, stemmed if necessary, with a teaspoon of the adobo sauce they were canned with (add more peppers, if desired)
1 large organic garlic clove, coarsely chopped
* 3 tablespoons organic tahini (mixed well before measuring)

3 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice

This was the first time I’ve used my citrus juicer thingey -LOVE it!

2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white rum (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 large English (seedless) cucumber
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet just until golden brown

Directions:
In a medium bowl, place the chickpeas, chipotles, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, white rum, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree with an immersion blender, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Or use a standing blender (see note below).

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber skin lengthwise at 1/4-inch intervals to create a striped pattern around the circumference of the cucumber and slice it crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. If the cucumber skin is tough, peel the entire cucumber. Arrange the cucumber discs on a platter.

To assemble, just before serving, lightly salt the cucumber rounds. Top each round with a generous teaspoon of hummus. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Yield: ABOUT 35 HORS D’OEUVRES

Note: Don’t be tempted to use a food processor to make this spread because you won’t get that perfectly smooth texture.

* I could only find tahini in my local grocery store in a 12oz jar. If anyone has any good recipes to use the rest of it up, please let me know!

To go with my “Rummy Hummus” I made homemade pita chips as well:

Cheers to all the rest of you healthy chefs both experienced & the noobs like me!

Originally Posted on asthesuppleturns

Well, Just Swash My Buckle


While reading about the weekend passing of Bob Anderson I realized he is quite possibly single-handedly responsible for my fascination with the world of fencing.

Swashbuckling
Sword Fighting
Light Saber (ing)

Just extreme awesomeness!

I have always wanted to learn how to wield a sword (pronounced Sa-Ward since childhood, because I’m cool like that)

I just love it! The grace and agility of two people gliding back and forth in an elegant dance of danger… My earliest Hollywood heels came from Star Wars and The Pirates of Penzance. The ‘clink’ of metal on metal (or the hum of light on light) excites me. It will always be my fight scene of choice.

Every foot step placed, every move of the head, flick of the wrist, every thrust of the sword, has a flow to it that I just can’t take my eyes off. The scene in Princes Bride is my favorite. The way Inigo Montoya & “the Man in Black” move across the ground and the rocks makes an ungraceful girl like me green with envy.

As I child, I would always “play swords” if I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on an empty cardboard roll from paper toweling or gift wrap. I would run about attacking the walls or stuffed animals or the cat. To this very day, if I’m given the right shaped object, I bust out my “Star Wars Pose”. I have also been known to have a go if I happen to find a toy sword in my hand.

Because of the elegance of the sport, I grew up with the thought (and please don’t women’s lib me on this one, I was a kid) I thought it was ‘ok’ to do as a girl, guns were boy toys, but there were women pirates wielding swords for centuries.

When I was in my teens, this belief was further proven to be correct when MTV featured a female cast member on its series The Real World who was a champion fencer. Catherine Zeta Jones in Zorro is another great example of a female Swashbuckler. If I ever decided to take on the double life of a superhero, I would be one of the Zorro variety

Learning how to fence is on my bucket list, if any of you are interested in doing it with me, let me know!

*My extreme lack of grace has also had me eternally longing to be a ballerina. But that’s a blog for another day

Photo 1 Via

Photo 2 Via

My Lust For Lists


image

My 3 Words

Goals
Lists
Accountability

It’s the very first day of a whole new year, and everyone is talking about resolutions. Every December I plot in my head all these grand schemes for self betterment that inevitably fail by Superbowl Sunday.

This year, I am trying something different. Doing something that (hopefully) will work.

If have a strangely split personality when it comes down to organization and achievement. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I’m a control freak. I yearn for structure, habit and control. On the outside, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a flake who is easily distracted by shiny objects.

That is why I love lists: shopping lists, to do lists, packing lists, there is a satisfaction in the crossing off of items. There is an accountability looking at you in the eye when you see the items that are not crossed off.

So this year, my resolution is a small one. To make lists. One list specifically. In my kitchen, next to the door where I will see it every single day, is my board. I have my goals for the week staring at me and waiting to be crossed off.

Time to cross writing this post off the list. Day 1 and my resolution is already a success!

Yay me!

Happy New Year everyone, 2012 is going to be awesome!