Archives for December 2011

5 Social Media Favorites from 2011

The sun is about to set on 2011. The Social Media Rocket is moving at warp speed. Let’s take a look back at some Social Media Favorites. Well at least they were some of my favorites. These networks didn’t necessarily originate this year, but they made their presence felt and/or were cutting edge.

Empire Avenue – The social media game where individuals and businesses buy and sell virtual shares of each other. Your share price is based on share trading activity coupled with your influence on the major Social Networks. The trading is done with virtual dollars called eaves. There are dividends, shares outstanding, and share price graphs to name just a few. Empire really has so many variables within the game. If you want to start making connections Empire is a great environment. Now, if you want to jump in and do it right, expect to spend at least 10-20 hours per week playing the game. I’d say for a good 4-6 months. Well you didn’t think you were going to build relationships being in there 10 minutes a day did you? My Facebook, Twitter, and G+ accounts are saturated with EA friends. EA has been worth every minute. It’s all real life and the people you meet on EA are real. If your ego can handle be sold I would highly suggest Empire Avenue.

Klout – I can feel the cringing by many as this is being read. I know, they had privacy issues and their scoring wasn’t transparent. Tito pass me a tissue. The real problem was too many weren’t happy with their scores. It also made for non-stop complaining and bashing on thousands of blogs that brought some nice traffic. Let me take a step back. So Klout is the standard of influence online. They came up with that tag themselves. As we know influence is subjective, so there is no right answer. Evidently many didn’t like the answer they received in form of a score. Klout made a change in their “algorithm” in late October. The result, most users suffered a 5-20 point decline overnight. That pushed many over the edge. It definitely wasn’t the best PR move I agree. Today, just two months later, Klout scores are definitely more stable. Klout remains a great way to build rapport with other users. You can build Lists within Klout and give something called +K’s, which are a nice token of appreciation to someone that influenced you in a certain topic. You get 10 +K’s daily to give out to other users. Klout also has something called Perks. Based on your Klout score and influential topics, you are rewarded with perks. These perks include discounts, gift cards, and even a Windows phone. Klout is always trying to get better and never sits still. You can’t make everyone happy. I think Klout will only continue to improve in 2012.

Triberr – This is an incredible site where bloggers help bloggers. Triberr is the brainchild of Dino Dogan and went live earlier this year. Each tribe has a chief. The Chief invites tribe members and manages the group. Excuse me, he or she manages the tribe. Each tribe has a name that follows a theme (i.e. Social Media, Health, or Parenting). Everyone in the tribe will connect their Twitter account and Blog RSS feed. Once your blog post is published it automatically comes into Triberr through the RSS feed. Up until about a month ago you could set it to automatically tweet out your tribemates posts. It was discovered that this was not copacetic with the Twitter TOS (terms of service). So currently it is a manual process, but still worthwhile. A semi-automated process is being worked on for the first quarter. Anyway, I think you can envision the power of users tweeting your blog post out consistently. Imagine 50+ users tweeting out your message. A dream come true.

Athlinks – Athlinks is primarily a site for Runner’s and Triathlete’s. While you can connect with friends, add videos, and photos, Athlinks race results database is its strength. Let’s say you ran 5 races in 2011 and joined Athlinks today. Well chances are your times for those races are in the database. You just need to confirm that you’re the owner of that time. Your history just needs to be uncovered. Athlinks has a robust schedule of upcoming races which you can search by State and/or Month. If you don’t see a race that you’re running, you can add it in just a few minutes. If you’re running in a future race, add it to your profile and about a week after the race your time will show up in your race history. If you run races or are thinking about it, go register today. Athlinks has a lot to offer.

Spotify – Spotify is a digital music service that really exploded onto the scene when Klout gave as a perk earlier this year. Listen, Spotify doesn’t have every song ever published in its library, but it has a vast selection. You pick the songs, albums, or artists that you want and save to your account. This service is free. If you want to upload to your iPhone or Android there is a $9.99/mo charge, but no charge per song like iTunes. A few months ago they teamed with Facebook, and now you can link your FB account to Spotify. This allows you to share on your wall what you are listening to at the moment. You can also subscribe (no charge) to other FB friends music. If you like what they’ve compiled, simply subscribe and you can listen to their music. Of course, you can keep this all private if you wish. Unlike some other services out there, you can listen to what you want, when you want.

Exchanging and Building Relationships is a new Network that just went live last week out of San Francisco. I joined for free yesterday, and have found myself on it for the better part of the last 24 hours. provides a platform where users simply exchange favors with each other. What a novel and valuable concept. is broken up into 5 areas: General, Promotion, Feedback, Advice, and Introduction.
The majority of the fall under General and Promotion. The asked are very simple to complete. They generally consist of likes, comments, and tweets of a Page or Blog Post. I did see a survey from someone at that I did complete. I also saw a few questions through Advice, one being on WordPress. There is definitely some flexibility on what you can request.

Creating your profile is fairly painless, and takes about 5 minutes. You have the option of linking your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. After connecting you’ll see your contacts that are registered with, allowing you to easily follow. You can invite other connections not yet registered to without difficulty. Sending your to Facebook and Twitter can be accomplished within the site.

The one thing that really jumped out at me about is that most users are granting rather than asking In the short time that I’ve been on the activity has been high. I’m seeing many users participating and just not sitting there dormant. has a point system where you collect points for just about all actions on the site. These points are used to give badges (bronze, silver, and gold) to fellow members as thanks for completing a favor.

In most environments where there is give and take, relationships are built. This is the foundation of and I only see the network growing steadily. Enjoy the exchange.

Leveraging Social Media to Maximize your Fundraiser

Earlier this year I decided to run my first marathon and create a Fundraiser around the race. I had always donated when friends and co-workers were participating in an event for a cause. Regretfully, I had never done anything proactive myself. My very good friend Tony whom I’ve known since High School has a son Drew who was diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease know as Batten Disease in 2007. So it was a no-brainer for me that I would be running for Drew’s Hope Research Foundation.

The research began to find a platform where I could get the word out and would securely and easily accept donations. After many hours on the net I found Crowdrise. It was the best solution for my needs would allow me to get this fundraiser off the ground.

Crowdrise – Turns out Crowdrise has had plenty of publicity and actor Ed Norton is one of the founders. Many of the other online fundraising sites require you to actually be from the nonprofit. Crowdrise caters to fundraisers, projects, and charities. It really has a social media flavor to it, allowing you to upload pictures and videos to your page. Here is the page I created: Run for Drew Crowdrise Page Crowdrise also allows you to easily tweet, post to Facebook, and e-mail all directly from your page. Another pro on crowdrise was how the charity gets paid. Instead of waiting until the event is completed, a check is sent each month in the amount that was collected in the previous thirty days. My only complaint with Crowdrise was the optional tip they asked for at checkout, on top of the 6-9% taken out for fees (on the higher end). Overall though Crowdrise delivered and the experience was positive.

Using the Big Four – I also used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google + to get the word out. My network also did an excellent job of spreading the word through retweet’s and sharing. I was conscious of the frequency with which I communicated the message. The first week and last week I sent it out twice on all four networks. In between, it was once every four weeks. This was a good balance. Probably not surprising to most, Facebook turned out to be the most beneficial network.

E-Mail – It was paramount that I send a message to all my Facebook friends that knew Tony from East Brunswick High School (NJ). Simple enough right? Well yes fairly simple. I exported all the addresses from Facebook (How to Export E-mail addresses from Facebook) to a .CSV file, did some filtering, and now had my list. I sent my message through G-Mail, and kept my recipients to fewer than 100. I did this once to kickoff, and again closer to the event (to people that hadn’t made a donation). Facebook was a huge help to the entire project.

Set a Goal, but Temper Expectations – The goal was to raise $10K. I figured 200 people at $50 was realistic. I remember as the months progressed being disappointed in many that didn’t donate. I spoke to a good friend that brought me back to earth. My friend pointed out that you don’t know everyone’s financial situation and/or they had it on their list but forgot. Or perhaps donating a small amount would be embarrassing. My thought is no amount is embarrassing, but I understand. The economic climate isn’t the best for raising money, so keep your goal conservative and expectations in check. Say Thank You directly to all that donate. It was a great experience that I would highly suggest. A total of $4040 was raised for Drew’s Hope.