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!

Do the Sh!t That Scares You

I have two fears in life.

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.

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!


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

“Out of Office” Are You Really Ever Anymore?

It’s 5 a.m. and the alarm clock starts blaring, I drag my hand to the nightstand and lift the screaming black bit of plastic. I drag the bar down to stop the sound and look at the phone screen staring back at me. A green light blinks at me from the upper left hand corner and a line of icons beckon me to read them. One by one, before I even put on my glasses, I check each account. Before I know it, the second alarm goes off. I stop the bell, put my glasses on and get out of bed to start my day.

Sound familiar?

E-mail, smartphones, texting, Skype, webinars, Slideshare, Twitter, Facebook, airplane wi-fi, the way technology is going, “9-5” will only be a memory of a Dolly Parton song (and movie, I happen to be a big fan). The question I have is: when are you “at work”? I (and I am positive most of you who are reading this right now) always have my phone with me and on. I check my Twitter feed while I am walking the dog, post status updates on Facebook as they occur IRL, I have even checked my email while I was in line for a ride at Disney World, I am writing this on a Saturday while I have a little downtime at a music festival.


This is a reality that people who are salaried employees have been used to for quite some time now, but technology is making it the norm for everyone now. The constant connectivity is something that took a while to get used to, but now, well – that is something you will hear about from me soon enough….


But tell me – is there a line you don’t cross? When do you log off, tune out and shut down? I’d love to hear from you, please comment below.


things a new PR Professional learns after week #1

What have I learned in my first week being a Social Media Developer?

The first and most obviously notable thing that I learned is – nobody knows what in the hell I do for a living!  When I tell people that I got a job as a social media developer, they look at me with a big smile – showing that they are happy and supportive  – then they say, as nicely as possible “Oh, social media… what is that?”  I’ve found the quickest and most direct answer is to tell people I Twitter for a living.  That’s the moment when the OOOHH of clarity comes out, and they are truly happy for me.

The next thing that I have come to learn is, when doing the social media for others, that first week, is all about doing your homework. I was assigned my first product .

Lastly, I learned that my job ABSOLUTELY. KICKS. ASS!

I mean seriously, who else can spend her workday connecting to the world in such a fun manner.  Did anyone here just notice the fact that I just used the words “Work” and “fun” together???  I get  to learn and teach and connect all at the same time. I still feel weird that I go into work in the morning and the first 2 thing I do are check my email and log into my Hootsuite dashboard! Anyplace else I’d be looking over my shoulder waiting to get yelled at for being on Facebook – but now… I’m writing Facebook strategy, and contemplating my very first vlog post.

So what did I learn in my first week? I learned when you find a career path you love and enjoy what you do – a little hard work just makes it better!

Thanks Tommy for suggesting my headline, I need to get lots of blogging in, so please everybody, send me a headline title and let’s work on my blog skills!