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.

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!