Summertime Stargazing

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the July 5, 1990 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259I love the summer. Longer daylight hours means we can do a lot more. It also means, after a good day’s work, we can still spend some relaxing time with our family and neighbors.

Sitting on the porch gently taking in the sights and sounds of nature and our community, we savor the twilight of the day. The last lick of sunlight long since set, we slowly mellow with the sky. Our light conversation goes as smoothly as the transition from dusk to dark.

It is this time of day I enjoy the best. Surrounded by close comrades and all the chores done, I can now look heavenward. For some reason, I still get a kick out of finding the Continue Reading “Summertime Stargazing”

The Best Social Media Manual… Ever! A Book Review of David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR

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The_New_Rules_of_Marketing_and_PR_250“What’s the best book I should read to get started with this whole ‘social media’ thing?” When I asked my good friend @mikefixs this question last year, he strongly suggested I read David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR, originally published in 2007 with an updated paperback published in 2009. This may represent one of the best pieces of advice on the subject I’ve ever received.

Why?

To begin, just take a look at the author’s subtitle: “How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly.” What else can I say except, “It works.”

Here’s how.

Continue Reading “The Best Social Media Manual… Ever! A Book Review of David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Final Tally – Midnight, December 13, 2009 – Did It Really Work?

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 172 Followers: 194 Listed: 9

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 30 – December 13, 2009 (Sun): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Above you see the final tally as of Midnight, Day 30. In fairness, if I used the same criteria as in all other previous days, the number would have been reported as of the following morning: 202 followers. Who estimated the closest? @mikegastin, who guessed 207. If you’re interest Mike, I hit 207 late on the 31st day. Now, before anyone says anything, Mike was also the first person to guess – on Day 13 – so he really did do the best job.

@mikegastin wants a free trip to Aruba as a result of his grand prognostication. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything the budget for prizes, so the notoriety of the mention represents all I have to offer. Hopefully, it’s good enough. On the other hand, Mike might be pleased to know Continue Reading “Final Tally – Midnight, December 13, 2009 – Did It Really Work?”

Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 148 Followers: 122 Listed: 7

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 24 – December 7, 2009 (Mon): Drive Followers to a Blog

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Subscribe to what? That is the question. Heck, I just checked and I don’t even have an RSS feed up on my blog yet. Here’s what I’m discovering during my 30-days jaunt with Joel Comm and his plan to dominate Twitter. There’s nothing to dominate if you don’t have a purpose. Said another way, domination means nothing if you have no product? What’s my product? Now that’s a very deep question. Here’s a very deep answer:

Continue Reading “Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe”

Day 24 – December 7, 2009 (Mon): Drive Followers to a Blog

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 148 Followers: 118 Listed: 7

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 23 – December 6, 2009 (Sun): Drive Followers to Purchase a Special Offer

twitter_power_joel_comm_150That was fun while it lasted. So last night’s plan looks like it fizzled. Maybe not. Remember, the above statistics reflect only those few hours from late last night to early this morning. No doubt folks are just now receiving their new follower lists.

In other news, CoachJudy still hasn’t followed. That disappoints me. She usually keeps her word. She’s also usually on the ball in terms of her social media presence.

Here’s the reality for today: After spending much of the end of last week preparing for culmination of my year-long the IYA2009 outreach project the beginning of the year – the final top ten countdown of AstronomyTop100.com presentation at the Strasenburgh Planetarium last Friday evening; and then after immediately going to work with the GearFreeze kids over the weekend for Sunday’s  Finger Lakes First Lego League Regional Championships at the University of Rochester; I concluded I needed to spend some quality time with my laptop at the office. In truth, work’s been a relaxing relief through all the buzz of last week. I really like my work. I can’t tell you about it (government regulations prevent me from doing so), but it does offer loads of fun.

Here’s the result: I’m switching today’s step with Thursday’s. So, today I’m having fun. I’ll drive followers to a blog (my blog) on Thursday. I hope Joel Comm doesn’t mind.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 25 – December 8, 2009 (Tue): Drive Followers to Subscribe

Day 21 – December 4, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Off-Twitter Marketing

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 128 Followers: 106 Listed: 6

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 20 – December 3, 2009 (Thu): Have Fun!

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today was the big day, the day I’ve been preparing for since nearly the beginning of the year – the final top ten countdown of AstronomyTop100.com, the IYA2009 outreach project I started in January. For some off-twitter marketing, I spoke to the entire world – about astronomy. Now, to be honest, they’re more likely to end up at my AstronomyTop100 Twitter account instead of my ChrisCarosa Twitter account. No matter, though. Inquiring minds will find me if they want to. And if they don’t, then that’s probably just as well.

BTW, the presentation, a podcast before an audience of probably more than 100 interested and interesting individuals went off with nary a hitch. The “nary” part occurred when I moved my computer during the live production and promptly disconnected the cable providing the live feed to the planetarium guests. Oops! Well, at least the slides moved when I hit the return button (which was difficult to see beneath the darkened dome; hence, the reason why I decided to reposition the computer in the first place).

You can catch my full report on AstronomyTop100.com on that blog once we update and reconfigure the web-site (don’t worry, I’ll announce it). In addition, I will add a few blogs here about speaking, scripting and the curse of technology during presentations.

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 22 – December 5, 2009 (Sat): Combine Your Social Media Tools

Day 20 – December 3, 2009 (Thu): Have Fun!

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 128 Followers: 102 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Have fun! Have fun? Well for fun, I pretty much took the day off from Twitter. @erichnwise congratulated me for hitting 100 followers. Of course, eclipsing this mark no doubt had help from my following a slew of new folks (mostly Buffalo-oriented).

I started to really worry if I would have the script for the AstronomyTop100.com presentation at the Strasenburgh Planetarium Friday evening ready for this afternoon’s rehearsal. I didn’t. Fortunately, the kindly tech guys for the Planetarium and RIT assured me we could run everything through my computer. What a relief. I also learned how to do a podcast today. This was all fun, believe it or not!

How many followers do you think I’ll have after 30 days? Click here to enter your guess on my Survey Monkey survey “Chris Carosa’s 30-Day Plan to Dominate Twitter Experiment.” There’s no prize, but the fan who guesses the closest correct number the earliest will “win” and I’ll mention you if you want me to.

Find out today’s results on Day 21 – December 4, 2009 (Fri): Do Some Off-Twitter Marketing

Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 112 Followers: 97 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Remember @BPOrchestra? A couple of days ago they followed me, I followed back and then they unfollowed me. On Monday I sent them an @ message. As I assumed based on their tweet updates, it took them a day to get back to me. When they did they were very apologetic. They followed again (and I followed back). They even offered me two free tickets. I respectably declined (wouldn’t want the FCC on my case!). But seriously, they are a non-profit, after all, and I am sympathetic to cyber-mistakes, having committed my fair share. But, let’s not dwell on mistakes. Let’s reveal a little gossip.

Continue Reading “Day 19 – December 2, 2009 (Wed): Try a Different Sequence”

Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 108 Followers: 94 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150This Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis seems to have some legs. It makes me think a lot of folks waste a lot of time on Twitter. Why else would they follow and unfollow in less than 24 hours? I can almost understand the marketers doing this with all their fancy machines. But regular folks? And, especially, non-profits? @BPOrchestra, out of the blue, followed me. Since I feel I belong in their target market, I followed back. Then they unfollowed me. Go figure. So I asked them why with an “@” question. They haven’t updated their tweets in a while so I might not hear from them until tomorrow. But, instead of worrying about my followers – or unfollowers as the case may be – on this day I learn I should worry about my own motives.

Continue Reading “Day 18 – December 1, 2009 (Tue): Start Putting Your Tweets Together”

Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet

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Start of Day Twitter Stats: Follow: 107 Followers: 88 Listed: 5

Missed yesterday? Go here to read what happened on Day 16 – November 29, 2009 (Sun): Post a Discussion Tweet

twitter_power_joel_comm_150Today’s the first day I’ve been really disappointed with this experiment. Although I admit I’ve been busy this weekend, I didn’t totally ignore Twitter. I followed a number of folks back. I did continue to do as Joel Comm suggested and I even got a big bounce in activity on my blog – at least as judged by Google Analytics.

But, given all that, I wake up this morning to find only two more followers. I’m beginning to formulate a hypothesis. I’ll call it the “Twitter Churn and Burn Hypothesis.” Here’s how it works:

Continue Reading “Day 17 – November 30, 2009 (Mon): Post an Action Tweet”