Halloween … Meet Social Media

I love Halloween. Dressing up in costumes is always fun, especially when you have someone to share your costume with. This year, one of my coworkers said to me, “Hey you and B should go as the Twitter bird and the Fail Whale for Halloween!” I couldn’t help but laugh. No, I’m not going as the Twitter bird (And B- would never go as the Fail Whale), but it made me wonder – what are some good social media costume ideas?

Luckily, I didn’t have to look far. Social media people have been talking about costumes for Halloween a ton this past week. There are a bunch of sites with ideas, and here are my 5 favorites:

FailWhale CostumeSocial Media Expert: Talk nonstop about your numerous friends and connections and how you know everything about how to get friends and want to share this information with everyone else. Repeat what you have said multiple times, especially about how you can offer tips on how YOU TOO can be an expert (via David Griner).

The Fail Whale and the Twitter Bird: Various websites (including David Griner and InventorSpot) have suggested going as the Fail Whale for Halloween, but why not take my colleague’s suggestion and make the costume perfect for couples? Fail Whale chases Twitter bird all night and may shout “Fail!” See picture (left) from InventorSpot for a sample costume.

facebook-halloween-costumeFacebook: If you’re down to the last minute and still don’t have any costume ideas, don’t take the easy way out and show up without a costume. Why not go as your Facebook page? All it takes is a big piece of poster board with your profile filled out, and perhaps a place for you to stick your head in (where your Facebook photo would go). Bonus points for poking people all night.

iphonedogiPhone: Why should you have all the fun on Halloween? Don’t leave out your pet – instead, create a fun social media costume for Fido. I love the iPhone costume for your dog (or yourself!) – so cute! (image from The River Current)

facebookfairyThe Facebook Fairy: This is a more obscure, slightly nerdier costume (Because only true social media people will get it), but remember the bank intern who said he couldn’t work because of a “family emergency,” and then his boss found his Halloween party pictures (a fairy costume, nonetheless) on Facebook that same day? Why not dress in a similar fairy costume, wear a “Bank Intern” name tag and see if anyone knows who you are? Hey, when else do you get an excuse to wear wings?

For more ideas or to see some of the places that helped me make my list, visit:

Feel free to share some of your costume ideas. What’s the best (social media or not related) costume you’ve seen so far?

A (Half) Marathon of a Weekend

For those of you that know me – you know that I like to run. Those of you that know me even better know that this has not always been the case. I’ve always been into working out and trying out new things in terms of fitness, but it was only about two years ago that I started running – and actually enjoying it.

running shirt1A few months ago, I bit the bullet and signed up for the longest race I’d ever participated in – a half marathon. And this weekend, I ran it. And it was awesome. I had a great time, am not too sore today (a day later) and am thinking of maybe doing one again in the future! What made it so awesome? Here are some of my tips – from a newbie runner.

  • Start with small goals. I didn’t start running with the hopes of running a half marathon. Quite the opposite actually. My first race was a fun 5k, followed by a larger 5k (Race for the Cure), then a fun 5 mile race (Turkey Trot) and then a close-to-home 10 miler. This is over the span of just about two years.
  • Track your progress. I started out with a Nike + system, but have moved over to just tracking my runs at Dailymile.com. It’s one of my favorite websites and I’m due to write a blog post about it soon! As for tracking my progress during the half marathon, I used a new service called Tweet My Time (from a Columbus, Ohio based startup company) which automatically tweeted my pace and results, live from the race. Pretty cool stuff huh?
  • Have fun! You’ll notice that most of the races I mention above are described as “fun.” How is this possible? The first 5k I ran was part of a Pub Series- meaning tons of people just out to enjoy the run and then the free beer afterwords. The Race for the Cure was filled with hundreds of people, live music and entertainment. The Columbus Half Marathon is no different – there were bands at nearly every mile and hundreds of people cheering you on.
  • Make a vacation out of it! While running a race close to home is sometimes the most convenient, running a race in a new place means new sights and sounds (read: less boring run) and a mini-vacation. On our trip down, we stopped at Heaven on Earth (aka Grandpa’s Cheese Barn). While in Columbus, I checked out the Nationwide Better Health Expo (where we picked up our packets and where the shirts in this post are from), saw Where the Wild Things Are and had a great pasta dinner with other running friends courtesy of B’s aunt. It made the whole weekend a less stressful event.

If you’re looking to start running, check out the Couch To 5K plan – it will get you from walking to being able to run a 5k in no time… and a half marathon before you know it!

Fridays@7: The Cleveland Orchestra’s New Concert Format

One of the things I love about living in Cleveland is the great access to culture and arts. When I visit B at Case (he’s in the law school), I’m within walking distance from the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Orchestra. I don’t take advantage of these opportunities nearly enough. This weekend, however, I was able to get dress-circle tickets (from B’s sister-in-law who works for the orchestra) to the Cleveland Orchestra’s first performance as part of its new Fridays@7 concert series.

What’s so cool about Fridays@7?

  • Earlier start time, shorter program: Concert starts at 7 p.m. (just as the title suggests) and is only about 1.25 hrs long – meaning your whole night isn’t taken up by the concert if you don’t want it to be.
  • No intermission: The 75 minute program does not include an intermission – meaning the music is played straight through and again, it ends earlier.
  • Less formal: The musicians trade their formal wear in favor of more casual “urban black.” Attendees are told to feel free to leave their ties at home!
  • Post-concert concert: If you want to stay at Severance Hall even after the program, there’s post-concert music to enjoy in the grand foyer.
  • Food and drinks: During the post-concert entertainment, food and drinks are available. Though I, myself, didn’t get anything, I saw people eating some sandwiches and noticed a cash bar.

beatthedonkeyI think this format is a great concept – and could appeal to a much younger, Gen X and Gen Y audience who want to enjoy the orchestra but still have a free Friday night. Our sold out show was a night of Beethoven (the Piano Concerto No. 4 and Symphony No. 5) and was AWESOME. The pianist for the concerto, Mitsuko Uchida, was amazing and received a long standing ovation. After the concert, we stuck around to hear a few songs from the post-concert entertainment, Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey – which was quite a contrast to the Beethoven we’d been hearing moments earlier. Beat the Donkey can only be described as new world music with crazy innovative percussionists. If you’ve seen Rachel Getting Married – think of the rehearsal dinner scene – that’s Cyro Baptista himself.

I definitely recommend you check out Fridays@7 – the next concerts include:

  • November 20: Cello and Space with Alisa Weilerstein and guest conductor Jonathan Nott
  • January 8, 2010: Tragedy to Triumph, with guest conductor Jaap van Zweden leading Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4
  • February 19, 2010: Musical Obsession, with Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting orchestral excerpts of music by Richard Wagner
  • April 30, 2010: Royal Drums & Trumpets, with baroque specialist Bernard Labadie guest-conducting Handel’s Water Music

For more info or to purchase tickets, check out www.clevelandorchestra.com.