Thursday, August 2, 2012

Google+ Hangout with the Mashable staff

I read Mashable on a daily basis to catch up on all the social media and digital news from around the world.

This afternoon, I saw Mashable's Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff post on Twitter, "Hanging out on Google+, talking about NBC's handling of the Olympics" and I was interested to hear what they had to say and clicked the link. Next thing I know I am on screen chatting with the Mashable editors and writers I met in May at the Mashable Connect Conference (a couple of whom I ate breakfast with at the conference).

I write this blog not as a "look-at-me" on the Google+ Hangout but more as a "look-at-Mashable" as they have continued to push the bounds of digital media and now they have open invites for their readers to jump on and chat. Can you imagine jumping on and speaking live on video chats with the New York Times editors and reporters? What about CNN?

Thank you to Mashable for the opportunity to at least listen in, and when they called me out directly by name to respond - I apologize I couldn't speak. :( my physical setting didn't allow for it. I'll make sure next time I click a similar link, I'll be ready to interact with a publication that continues to engage with its readers/listeners/friends.

(BTW, that's me in the bottom right portion of the screen wishing I would have chimed in.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Google Play - New Addition to Google Repertoire

Google has added a new tool to their menu, ” Google Play.”
Google has constantly updated its empire with new features, many of which stick around and change the way people using online technology and also many features that have completely flopped. One thing I have noticed, however, is Google’s latest trend of connecting all of its offerings - making it easier to see all the benefits Google has to offer.
When Google+ launched last summer it was easy to see that Google was making a concentrated effort to reach across their large array of tools and connect them, mainly with the “+1” button but also with their Google+ profiles which now make it easier to access your YouTube and Picasafeatures…and with the advent of Google Music and popularity ever-growing with Google Android mobile devices, wow, Google is pretty awesome.
As usual, Google rolled out this new feature without the fuss and press needed for Apple (but, then again, Apple has $100 billion in cash right now so…there’s that). Two huge companies fighting for the creative technology online demographic, a demographic that seems to have shifted from about 15-30yr old males to 8-60yr old male and females.
This new Google Play feature does exactly what you would think: it groups all the things Google has that you can “play.” 
Straight from Google’s mouth, “With over 450,000 apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies, Google Play has something for everyone. Before you decide what you want, sample a song or book for free, view app ratings, reviews, and screenshots, or watch a movie trailer. Google Play is a more connected, powerful experience.
- Google Play is your one-stop shop for all your favorite entertainment. -
Sit back and enjoy.

@CaseyCornett, Director of Social Media - VI Marketing and Branding

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My experience with OKC Home Realty Services, LLC

Update to this post:

I am very happy to report that within a week of me posting this blog, the fence was fixed and all is good. While no communication was ever attempted by the company to reach me, the fence did get fixed. They may have always planned on fixing it that week rendering my blog irrelevant - but they didn't reach out to me, and I still wrote it. Here is an updated photo:


Back in December, I noticed that my neighbor's tree had fallen over into my backyard and broke the fence that separated our houses (it's not the biggest/heaviest tree, but is still about 25'-30' tall). It happens. In the short-term, I had to tie one of my belts to the fence gate as I have a dog AND my neighbor has a dog.

I went over to talk with my neighbor (whom I had never met) about it to see what it would take to resolve the issue. I found out that he was new to the house and that he rented it from a company and he graciously went and got the contact info for me and wrote down the company's name, number and contact name: OKC Home Realty Services LLC, Scott 405-232-5800.

This was a Saturday and when I called the number I obviously got an answering machine. I left a message and asked for someone to call me back. Needless to say, nobody did and I put it out of my mind for a couple weeks.

My next phone call came a couple weeks later (on a Friday) and Scott picked up. I told him who I was and that I had already left him a message. After I told him which house it was and he found on his list of properties, he told me that he would send a guy out on Monday and get back to me about what their next move would be. Ok, sounds good.

A month later, I call him again (on a Friday) and left a message. I let him know that this was now my third time to reach out in trying to resolve the issue and still have no update. I told him that he needs to get back to me by Tuesday or I'll just have to find some other way of trying to resolve the issue. Scott called me the next day.

It was a Saturday and I was out looking at wedding registry stuff with Marek when Scott called and we recapped the entire situation. He said (almost complete verbatim) that he'll send a guy out on Monday and get it checked out and get back to me. I then told him that I had this exact same conversation with him a month or so back and that I needed to hear back by Tuesday or I was going to "complain" somewhere else and he said he understood and I hung up the phone hoping that would be the end of it....

It is now two weeks later, no call back from OKC Home Realty Services. No call back from Scott. I have never seen anyone back there "checking it out."

So, the first place I will turn is this blog. I wanted to write my non-resolved issued here where others can read it and email me/comment on their thoughts.

It's not that complicated of an issue. A tree has fallen. That's it. As a landlord/property manager, Scott, is this really the best way to handle the situation? REGARDLESS of me connecting with you four different times, REGARDLESS of you telling me you send someone and get back to me (and never did), you were told that you have a tenant that has a fallen tree that has broken your tenant's fence you don't seem to care.

OKC Home Realty Services, LLC

To the public:
Have you ever dealt with this company?

Would you have handled this differently if you were me?

What should I do from here?

Friday, March 16, 2012 - Wedding site

I hear the word "engaged" a lot in communications. The need to engage with people comes up quite a bit in social media but the kind of engaged I recently became, will end on Oct. 6 when I marry the love of my life - Marek Ferguson.

A date and venue has been set and if you haven't yet, check out our wedding blog for any and all updates you might be interested in.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Facebook’s new platform OVERHAUL: 7 changes you need to know

If you are one of the 850 million users on Facebook, your experience on the social site is about to drastically change - beginning today.
If you have a personal page, you’ve had the chance to tryout Facebook’s “Timeline” for a few months now (with research showing that most of you hate the Timeline) and not until today did Facebook make that option available for its Pages.
There are many reasons that Facebook decided to roll this out. One reason is that Facebook had left businesses in the dark for an upgrade for over a year, allowing personal pages to shine on much more interactive and visual. It made businesses want to start a personal page and just call it a business page but do to restrictions and guidelines, Facebook could without warning, shut down your page completely.
So, with the new changes, I feel that now businesses are “on top” as far as having more visual and “cool” functions. This doesn’t surprise me considering Facebook is filing to be publicly traded this year…time to raise the revenue stream…thus, making advertisers want to be more involved.
1. First thing you’ll notice when visiting your favorite Brands ( is the 850px x 315px space available for JPEG upload (see above photo). This space will open up the page to a much more visual appearance than the 180 x 540 space allowed on the old site.
There are a few rules to this new photo space. These photos may not feature Price or Purchase information (45% off!), Contact info, the photo may not have text that instructs the viewer to take action on Facebook (comment, share, like, etc.). The brand also may not instruct the viewer to use the brands Timeline photo on the users Timeline.
2. Another big change a viewer will notice on a brand’s page is the absence of tabs that were previously all listed down the right side of the page in “list” form. On the updated platform, these tabs (apps) are now in “icon” form only showing 4 apps with a clickable button to show other apps. This way of displaying the apps/tabs must be changed in some way. Viewers are not going to click a button to see what other apps on the brand’s page. It’s just not going to happen. Facebook needs to find a way to display all apps at one glance.
The only upside to the new icon feature is that it adds a more visual appeal with larger customized logos/photos to insert as the icon instead of plain text and very tiny icon.
3. A feature that businesses took advantage of was the “default landing page” that was offered on the previous platform design. No more of that. Everyone lands on your timeline now.
Old look:
New look:
4. There is also a new “admin” feature at the top of the page that displays the page’s insights in much easier to view way. No more clicking a bunch of tabs and scrolling down to see a certain thing, it’s mostly laid out in front of you.
5. There was a big disconnect between the private messaging of consumers and brands, primarily because there was no private communication allowed between consumers and brands. Now, Facebook displays a “message” button on the brand’s page for consumers to contact the brand via a private message where the brand can respond privately. This will help out considerably for those customers who are upset and need to get in touch with someone (keep in mind, brands can not start a private message, it must be instigated by the “fan” of the page. Smart on Facebook as opening up brands to directly contact consumers would lead to loads of spam).
6. Apps are now allowed to take up more space horizontally. This will com in handy when placing a website/webpage into an iframe or developing an app that doesn’t have to fit into a small 520px wide space. The new space will be a centered 810px wide. Plenty of room to work with.
Downside to the wider space? All the apps that were formatted to the smaller space now have to back and change their settings, in most cases meaning an entirely new app development.
7. Instead of one “easy to decipher” column for your news feed, all timelines have a confusing two-column set, which seem to randomly configure the right column with updates that aren’t necessarily recent. the column on the left will always host the most recent update but beyond that…who knows for sure.
A couple upsides to the two-column feature: there is an option to make a post a “Highlighted” item which will enlarge the post to cover both columns and making it stand-out over other posts. Perfect for a new commercial launch that you don’t want to get lost in your feed or a post announcing the biggest sale of the year. It will be interesting to see if brands over use this feature and make nearly every post highlighted to enlarge its presence on the page.
Another positive addition to the Timeline is that you can “pin” an update. When a post is “pinned” it will place an orage tag in the corner of the update and place the update at the top of your feed permanently, until you remove its “pin” status. This would be good in days where the brand will have an event, and want to use the “pin” as a makeshift “headline” for the day/week.
What else is new on the page? Let me know in the comments.
One thing not mentioned in this blog is the enormous takeover that you will see in ads. That blog will come later (Premium Facebook Ads).

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 ADDY Awards - Recap

The awards kicked-off with the premiere of Jabee’s “So Cool” music video of a fresh and “gritty” Oklahoma City, which was a great way to kick-off the event followed by MCs Liz Dueweke and Johnathan Kayne getting the ball rolling.
VI Marketing and Branding showed up to the awards (Coca-Cola Event Center) requiring 3 tables to accomodate our eager staff. Eager for many reasons…let’s just say that if you were playing along the “VI Marketing and Branding Drinking Game” you would have called a taxi to get you home.
VI Marketing and Branding became the proud parents of 33 new shiny ADDY Awards on Saturday night, a feat that can easily be attributed to a complete team effort.
While the 33 ADDYs were great in complementing our group’s dedication to solid marketing efforts, a member of VI’s incredibly talented family took the stage single-handedly to accept the coveted “Young Advertising Professional Award” - Greta Puckett, Senior Marketing Strategist.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Preparing for social media presentations

I have been asked (and participated) in numerous social media speaking opportunities. This is not to say I am headlining major conventions or anything, but speaking to groups and participating on panels on the workings of social media. I will be making three speeches in the coming weeks and having thoughts that it might grow to be more and more in the next year or so. This past week, I have taken some time out to really plan out an extensive presentation, mainly to get all my ideas out and onto paper (and consequently the computer).

I’m trying to condense all that social media can handle into a 90-minute presentation. I know 90 minutes is a long time and I don’t really plan to ever speak for that long but I believe that I could rearrange a 90-minute presentation down to 60, 45 or 30 minutes if I had, to depending on the audience and time restraints.

90 minutes. Looking back on my high school classes (Putnam City North), each class we had was 93 minutes. We had four classes a day at 93 minutes each. We had each class for one semester (90 days) meaning we learned one subject for 8,370 minutes…wow. It took 8,370 minutes to teach me one Home Economics class. I spent 8,370 minutes learning Weight Lifting…now I have to put the entire industry of social media into a 90-minute presentation. When I put it that way, planning for 90 minutes shouldn’t be difficult at all.

The more I thought about it, the more it made me realize that a 90-minute presentation would be difficult to prepare for because it wouldn’t be long enough.

So, if you were to come to a social media presentation, what are some topics you would want to make sure were discussed? I have my thoughts and ideas…what are yours?

Would you want to see a breakdown on one platform? The differences between platforms? Strategies in a plan? The history of social media? Future thoughts on the industry? Case studies on proper/improper procedures? Customization options on platforms? Engaging strategies? Research and statistics? Recommendations who to follow? How to find ROI? Campaign ideas? Social Media policies? Management of multiple accounts?