Monthly Archives: February 2009

What Twitter means to me

I joined Twitter on my first trip to the US, in 2007 at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. And I remember thinking it sucked. I had no connections other than the conference channel – which was tweeting  basically nothing. That sucked.

Segway (does it have a ue?): I’m a tertiary level teacher of marketing and journalism in Oz, and every Christmas break (5 weeks long) I commit myself to a private research project. That year I committed myself to social media – particularly, Twitter. And I got back on board.

With a vengeance.

I joined @STUB and met other Sydney based Twitterers in real life. I extended those relationships online and people all over the world are now part of a network I’m happily claiming to be my friends. Not even in air quotes.

So my summer research has now, 2 yrs later, become a network of over 1650 people. Many of whom I know care about me just as they do other friends in their life. And if you are, at this point, thinking “is she going to talk about me”, then you’re one of the people I feel most close to.

Far from making me a desperate online loser, I sincerely believe online communities are the families and friends of the future. Durkheim – I love looking at your crap, but you’re a bit wrong. We are distanced, but we are strong.

To all my friends who started with Twitter, I am so grateful to have you. You have changed my life for the better. What a great summer project you were. What an amazing present and future you offer.

Thanks.

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Win family tickets to Disney on Ice in Denver!

disneyland-adventures1Taking the family out can be tough when the economy is having a downturn and there’s more month than money.

That’s why I’m really excited to give you the chance to win a great prize in my blog’s very first competition! And if you don’t win, I have a code which will give you the opportunity to buy your family of four or more tickets for just $11 each!

If you live in Colorado, the lucky winner will receive a family pack of four tickets to Disney on Ice, being held at the Denver Coliseum from March 12. The family four-pack prize is good for either the first or second night’s show.

There are a few ways to win. You can do as few or as many as you like:

1. Comment on this post with your email/twitter ID (1 entry).

2. Tweet a link to this competition and let me know about it by putting @mediamum AT THE END of the tweet (1 entry).

3. Post a picture of glorious Colorado ice/winter/snow (tweet the link, or add link to your comment, or BrightKite or TwitPic it). Again, if you tweet the link you need to let me know abou tit by putting @mediamum AT THE END of the tweet (1 entry).

So, there are ultimately 3 entries you can choose to have! Go for it! I’ll be announcing the winner on the evening of Sunday 1st March here on my blog and on Twitter too. Good luck!

If you miss out, here’s the code – and you can share this with everyone, including your school so everyone can benefit! Go to www.Ticketmaster.com, go to the Mom Central box and insert the code: MOM to get four tickets to any of the Denver shows for just $44! That’s less than you’d pay for a movie!

Show Dates
Thursday March 12 at 7:30pm
Friday March 13 at 11:00am, 7:30pm
Saturday March 14 at 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
Sunday March 15 at 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm* *Spanish Performance
Get 4 tickets for just $44 offer is good on all performances, minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Not valid on Front Row or VIP seats or combinable with other offers.

Research on Twitter and friendships

I’m a grad research student focusing on social media for my final thesis. So it’s time for me to move on from boobs to my next adventure. (I know, I know… we loved the boobs.)

Anyway, my next project will be on relationship/friendship/connection strength on Twitter. My impression is that the strength of the ‘relationships’ (for want of a better word) forged on Twitter is as strong (if not more so) as those which are begun in real life.

twitter-cartoon

These Twitter relationships, built over time in 140 characters or less, lead people to expressing genuine concern for other members of the community, both on Twitter as well as leading to IRL. This genuine concern leads to things such as offers of employment; support during times of grief, stress and celebration; connections for people who find it more difficult to connect in real life due to shyness or geography; and probably heaps more.

I’d love to gain a pile of Twitterers who would be willing to help me with this research paper. I would imagine it would just involve an in-depth survey where I ask you some questions. This could definitely be done online and before you answered it I’d like you to think about the connections you have made on Twitter, how important to you they are, and what sort of level of concern you have for the others. Consider things like do you think of yourself as part of a community? A family? How many strong connections you have? etc. Your responses would be completely anonymous.

If you’re willing to be involved, just comment below with your Twitter name and I’ll let you know when it’s ready to go – probably in about 2 or 3 weeks time. Alternatively, DM me on Twitter (@mediamum)!

Get free stuff with coupons FTW!

I’m a grad student. With a family. Married to a man running a start-up.

Add that together and you realise why I’m loving living in a country where coupons rule.february-2009-0031

In Australia we don’t do coupons beyond the basics. One coupon per transaction only. No manufacturer coupons are redeemable in store (they seem to always be mail-in rebates instead). And there are regularly stacks of hoops to jump through. Loyalty cards exist, but you need to spend about a billion dollars before you can get a pack of Post-it notes as your ‘gift’.

In the US, the experience is entirely different. I even have a coupon folder with all the coupons sorted into categories that I take everywhere with me. Just like lots of other mums do.

There are two great things with coupons here:

a. You can combine coupons from the manufacturer with specials in store to get things at next to nothing (sometimes even cheaper than nothing – and then the retailer takes the deficit and credits it against the rest of your shopping!)

b. Printable coupons are beginning to take over from newspaper inserts (due to the death of print) which means you can print out as many as you like.

Some sites which offer printable coupons are: Eversave, Red Plum, Coupon Cabin, and Cool Savings.

My biggest bargain at the moment is toilet paper. Yep. Toilet paper.cottonelle-loo-paper

My local grocery store, King Soopers, at Table Mesa in Boulder has Cottonelle 4-packs of toilet paper for 99c. It’s been that way for about 3 weeks, so I think they’re going to keep it at that price. Lucky for me, there’s a coupon here which gives $1 off. You have to fill in a few fields on it, but you get free loo paper!

If that’s all too hard, then Eversave regularly features a coupon on this too. It gives you a 50c discount on exactly this product anywhere you go. 49c loo paper would have still been a good deal. But it gets better! King Soopers’ policy (similar to other grocery stores) is to double coupons up to $1. That means I get $1 off the toilet paper anyway even with this coupon. Free!

I  have printed off four of these coupons at a time and bought four packs of toilet paper, and gotten the discount off every one. No single transaction… no one coupon on a product. It’s awesome.

And yes, while I do get that it makes me a little bit sad to be excited over free loo paper, I’m glad I can spend the money I’ve saved on other, more important stuff… my kids. What other free stuff have readers scored with coupons?

Ignite Boulder fun with breastfeeding and media

What a great night we all had at Ignite Boulder! The presenters were all wonderful, well prepared and community vibe was enormous. The ATLAS theatre was packed – you can definitely see why these were some of the hottest tickets in town leading up to the event. This community is incredible. I’m so grateful to have been welcomed into it.

It’s so kind of Glenn Letham to have filmed it all from the audience, and posted presentations on YouTube for everyone to see. (The official ones are going to be available on http://www.igniteboulder.com in the near future.) Here’s mine, courtesy of Glenn. By the way a sincere thanks to everyone who make it happen, and to the massive support and great feedback I’ve gotten. It was spectacular.

Ignite Boulder 3!

igniteboulder3

I’m really excited to be presenting this coming Wednesday evening at the third Ignite Boulder, being held at the ATLAS building at CU. Tickets to the event sold out in just 7 hours. (When I say ‘sold out’ I mean they were taken… the tickets are actually free.) That’s scary fast.

Ignite is a fantastic event in which speakers have just 5 minutes and 20 slides to present their topic. There’s no restrictions on topic and in fact this time around much of the topic selection was crowd-voted prior to selection. There are no sales pitches allowed and the presenters’ slides are on auto pilot, so you have to keep up because once the ignition is pressed, there are no delays or going back!

In a town like Boulder which is so focused on tech and business, it’s great to have an event which allows the community to present on stuff just for fun. Ignite lets you meet lots of other people, possibly learn something and laugh a heap.

If you’re not in Boulder or missed out on a ticket, you can see the videos of all the presentations a day or so after the event. It’s also going to be live through KBFR Pirate Radio here in Boulder.

List of presentations:

The History of the Mustache – Tim Poindexter
How to properly prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. -Ace Harmon
10 Design Predictions for 1909… or so I reckon. – Brandon White
How to Sing Your Way out of Danger -Ef Rodriguez
In the face of a bad economy, we techie folk are resourceful – Ingrid Alongi
Breasts and media’s obsession with them. – Joanne White
Everything I Learned About Marine Mammals I Learned While Cutting Them Up. – Bruce Wyman
The world is burning but I still have my yogurt – Jen Mayer
New Music Biz Model: What Would a Crack Dealer Do? – Grant Blakeman and Reid Phillips
How to use Twitter for marketing and PR – Brian Shaler
How to Make A Rap Song -Brandon Whalen
How to piss off people and lose friends in Boulder – Tara Anderson
Awkward Rules – rules for awkward situations – Vikas Reddy
A needle in a stack of needles or getting people to notice you – Matt Galligan