BODIES Cleveland and House of Blues Tweetup – Tomorrow!

Looking forward to this event tomorrow … you MUST RSVP and be a Twitter user to attend.

Language from event site:

Twitter users* can get a private look at the real three-dimensional human bodies that have been preserved for BODIES . . . The Exhibition as Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (NASDAQ:PRXI) on the tweetup on July 27.

This is the exhibition’s first visit to Cleveland. Currently receiving worldwide acclaim and attracting more than 15 million visitors in cities including New York, DC, Las Vegas, London, and Madrid, the Exhibition will remain in Cleveland through October 2010 and offers an amazing look into the human body unlike any science book or anatomy model.

Attendees will also receive a 20% off BODIES discount code to share with their followers. After the tweetup, attendees can join their fellow tweeters next door at the House of Blues. By showing their BODIES Tweetup Badge, (received upon checking into the Exhibit), you’ll get the following food and drink specials: $1 domestics, $2 imports, $3 house wine/cocktails and 1/2 price appetizers. In addition to the specials, House of Blues will also be providing some light appetizers for attendees.

This is a limited registration event — you MUST RSVP in advance to attend.

* You must have a valid Twitter account to attend. We cannot allow non Twitter users into the Exhibit during this time.

Parking in the Area

  • 515 Euclid Garage: located at the corner of E. 6th St and Euclid Ave. Entrance is on E. 6th St. north of Euclid Ave.
  • 200 Public Square (BP Building) Garage: Entrances located on Euclid Ave or Superior Ave. between Public Square and E. 6th St.
  • Surface lots located at E. 4th St. and Prospect Ave

NOTE: BODIES Cleveland is a client of mine. I helped to organize this event.

Social Media For New Year’s Resolutions – Part Three: Using Social Media to Help Others

*Note* This entry is part three of my blog posts in the 2010 series, Social Media For New Year’s Resolutions, as explained in this post.

So you’ve made a resolution this year to help others – good for you! You’re not alone, either. E-Philanthropy is on the rise (it grew 4% in 2008 and is growing each year) and it’s no surprise why – social media provides nonprofits, charities and other organizations or causes the ability to tap into a large, focused and connected network. Whether it’s donating your money or your time, social media can help you connect with the charities and causes you’re looking for.


Some tools you may find useful:

Good search: If you’re anything like me, you use Google (or Bing if that’s your fancy) on a daily, nearly hourly, basis. Wouldn’t it be great if searching online actually helped someone out? It can – check out A do-gooder friend of mine showed me this site in college, and I’m glad to see it’s still up and running. It’s easy too – you choose a charity you support, search the web as usual, and they donate to your cause each time you search. You can add a Good Search toolbar to your browser to make searching (and donating) even easier.

Facebook Causes: Facebook describes its Causes Application as such: “Causes provides the tools so that any Facebook user can leverage their network of real friends to effect positive change.” Causes is a Facebook app that allows nonprofits (any U.S. registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit or Canadian registered charity) to raise money and alert Facebook users about the issues facing their organization today. If you’re looking to use social media to directly learn about a cause, hear what your networks or saying and/or donate directly, I suggest you browse the causes available.

If you’re sick of Facebook, there are other social networking sites that you can use to show your support and talk with others about a cause. Check out Care2 and to learn about issues and raise money for the charity of your choice.

YouTube: YouTube is so much more than laughing babies and drugged children coming home from the dentist. [Check out my post entitled YouTube…Why You Should Take It Seriously for some proof] If you’re a visual learner, why not use YouTube to get involved with a charity?  If there’s a charity you’re particularly interested in, you can search YouTube to see what they say about themselves. You may learn something you didn’t know about them or find out about a new campaign. Or, check out the full listing of Nonprofits on YouTube and see which ones interest you. Some YouTube channels even let you donate to them right on their YouTube page via Google Checkout (see the pages of Autism Speaks and the ONE Campaign for examples).

Get Involved! There are some great sites that can let you know where help is needed and how you can help. Check out and VolunteerMatch for an ever-growing list of local volunteer opportunities. also has a listing of volunteer openings, in addition to its record of paying jobs at non-profits.


Because of the lowered transparency level that comes with social media, you’ve got to be careful about donating your money – you don’t want to be scammed. Never ever give your credit card information (or any other private info) to an organization or a cause you’ve never heard of – and always be wary of providing personal information you wouldn’t need to give out in real life (e.g. social security number, etc.). [Sidebar: Check out this post I wrote about a common Money Order scam on Craigslist] If something feels wrong, it probably is – trust your gut. The San Francisco Chronicle just did a nice piece on what to look out for when donating to Haiti relief funds, but the tips apply to all charities.

Speaking of Haiti relief funds, the use of social media for the recent Haitian hurricane relief is a great case in point. Stay tuned for a post about that!

Social Media For New Year’s Resolutions – Part Two: Using Social Media to Get More Sleep

*Note* This entry is part two of my blog posts in the 2010 series, Social Media For New Year’s Resolutions, as explained in this post.

Another popular New Year’s Resolution is to get more sleep.* It may seem counter-intuitive that social media can help you get more sleep; after all, doesn’t staying up and playing on the Internet actually prevent you from going to bed and getting that sleep you need? (Especially you – estivator – who commented on my resolution introductory blog post past midnight!) In reality, it may not. A recent study, as highlighted in this University of New Hampshire news release shows that social media use does not affect students’ sleeping habits — so why should it affect yours?

Not only does social media NOT hurt your sleeping habits, but it can actually HELP you get more sleep. Here’s how:

1.  Social media can provide the education you need to get more sleep: If you look carefully, there are plenty of sources of information about what exactly a good night’s sleep is, how to get it, etc. A good resource that I like is The Insomnia Blog, by Dr. Michael Breus, who also has a Twitter Account. Another informative sleep account to check out on Twitter is the Sleep Foundation.

2.  Social media holds you accountable! If you make it a goal for yourself to get more sleep and share this goal with others – wouldn’t you feel like you’re letting them (and not just yourself) down when you reported a failure? Take, for example, what Arianna Huffington from the Huffington Post and Cindi Leive from Glamour are doing – they’re taking their New Year’s Resolution to get more sleep to the next level by blogging about it and calling it the Sleep Challenge 2010.

Arianna introduces her challenge on her latest blog post (an excerpt of which I’ve included below):

As women, we make a lot of New Year’s resolutions — “lose 10 pounds” and “finally write that novel” and “lose 10 pounds — seriously.” But this year, the two of us (that’s HuffPost‘s Arianna Huffington and Glamour‘s Cindi Leive) are suggesting you make a New Year’s resolution that could improve the status of all women in this country, starting with you … If you ask us, the next feminist issue is sleep. And in order for women to get ahead in this country, we’re all going to have to lie down and take a nap …

We’re saying no to the zombie side of things and, as of January 4, resolving to get a full night’s sleep every night for a month … Inspired? Then join our one-month sleep challenge. We’ll be blogging on and the Huffington Post every Monday and Thursday about how our quest for more sleep is going. You’ll get tips from health experts like Dr. Michael Breus and answers to some of your own personal questions about how to work more sleep into your life.

3.  Social media provides the tools you need to make sure you’re getting a better night’s sleep. I haven’t been able to look too deeply into any of these, but would love to check out:

  • Yawnlog: This site tracks the number of hours you sleep each night and charts your progress for you so you can look at patterns over time (and relate it to how you feel each day/week/etc.). It also lets you log and tag dreams. If you want, you can also use the site to see how many hours your friends are sleeping and what they’re dreaming about too.
  • iPhone Apps: There are so many cool apps for your iPhone (and hopefully soon, Droid!) to help you sleep better. The Sleep Cycle App (via LifeHacker) supposedly can tell how deep of a sleep you’re in so that you’re only awoken from a light slumber, therefore feeling more rested. A Good Night’s Sleep iPhone App (via iPhone Application List) provides a series of sounds and music for you to fall asleep to and also has a feature to “gently awaken users,” to ensure a “gradual, peaceful start to each day.”
  • Another new add-on for your iPhone: Check out the iHome+Sleep: This “social music alarm clock” was just announced at the recent CES. It’s an iPhone app that works with a whole new line of home music players. It has some really cool features, including “Sleep Cards,” which let you set different alarm templates with their own settings, such as certain settings for weekends, etc. Another cool feature for us social media geeks – you can wake up to your favorite RSS feed, or a list of what your Facebook and Twitter friends were doing during the night (thus allowing you to sleep soundly knowing you’re not missing anything!). Another way the iHome+Sleep helps you sleep better? According to, think of the product as “the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, except, you know, for sleeping.” Its unique feature, Sleep Stats, lets the user “view a running record of the times you sleep, naps you record, and average hours of bedtime and per-night sleeping. If you’re find yourself dragging and exhausted every now and then, this might be a great way to help track down a possible reason.”

If you find any other cool ways to use social media to help you get a better night’s sleep, let me know.

*Disclaimer: I work for a client in the sleep industry. While they’re not related to any of the services mentioned above, they still lead me to know of and want to stress the importance of a good night’s sleep!

The New Retweet? I Could Live Without It

Just less than a month ago, Twitter rolled out a new feature for a select group — the retweet function. I was lucky enough (somehow) to be one of the chosen few to see how it worked and test it out.  My first thoughts were, Cool- now I don’t have to copy and paste tweets over again that I’d like to retweet and What took them so long? I’ve been using twhirl’s retweet function forever!

The new retweet tool is almost unnoticeable at first. If you scroll over a tweet, a retweet icon appears. When you click on it, a pop up appears asking if you’d like to “Retweet to Your Followers.” Once you click okay, you’re done. The tweet is retweeted and posted from your account. Great, right? Ehh, not so much. While easy, this new function leaves no room for you to edit/modify/add your two cents to the tweet.  At first attempt, I thought to myself, how often do I reallllllly modify a tweet when I retweet? I told myself that the new function was great and that after a few days of getting used to it I’d fall in love.

Well, it’s about 20 or so days later (I think I first noted the new function around Nov. 10), and I just don’t like this function. I really really really wanted to – don’t get me wrong – but it just doesn’t work for me. The main reason? I can’t get over not being able to edit the tweet. One thing I like about Twitter is the fact that even if you see the same news story posted 10 times by 10 different sources, you almost undoubtedly get a different take each time (different headline, new hashtag, etc.) which showcase the user’s personality. I don’t like seeing a sea of sameness on my Twitter feed (which can happen now with the new Retweet function when Mashable tweets something cool and 10 people I’m following retweet it).

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I wonder when Twitter will take notice and make changes?

Mystery Solved! The People Behind @FakeAPStylebook

While I love all things Twitter and most people on there (except for spammers and people who follow/unfollow repeatedly), every so often I come across a Twitter account that I can’t wait to share with others. @FakeAPStylebook is one such account.

fakeapstylebooktweetsAre you a PR person or journalist? Do you have the AP Stylebook sitting next to you on your desk at all times? Did you suffer through quizzes in college about the correct placement of commas? If so you HAVE to follow @FakeAPStylebook on Twitter (if you’re not one of the nearly 48,000 people who already are). The account provides “style guide tips” similar to the real AP Stylebook (@APStylebook on Twitter), but … well … with a twist. Besides throwing out random writing tips, the account also appropriately responds to users’ questions.

fakeapstylebookAfter coming across this account a few months ago, my coworker and I kept wondering WHO was at the keyboard creating these snarky tips? Was it an AP Stylebook writer who was fired? What it a PR person fed up with all the writing rules? Was it some guy in his parents’ basement (because we all know that when it comes to social media, it’s usually a guy living in his parents’ basement)? Well, the secret’s out: The main people behind @FakeAPStylebook are Ken Lowery, a Dallas copy editor, and Mark Hale, a friend of Lowery’s, based in Kentucky. But the account is more than just the two of them – it is maintained by a slew of contributors called “The Bureau Chiefs.” There are sixteen people, besides Hale and Lowery, based all throughout the United States (from NY to California), all who contribute to the account.

The account has been tremendously successful, growing exponentially in number of followers. The first day, they ended with 1,000 followers. The second day, Newsweek tweeted about the account which brought them hoards of new followers. By the end of the first week, they were at 9,000 and today have nearly 48,000 people reading their feed daily. As Hale brags, “We’ve officially passed the population of my small hometown, New Albany, Ind., according to the 2000 census figures.”

MediaShift has the whole story in its interview with the account’s creators, found here. The creators are also working on publishing a book, modeled after the real AP Stylebook. Again, another one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.

Weekend Recap: Northeast Ohio Wine Country

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m relatively new to the Cleveland area and always on the lookout for cool things to do. So, when I saw this article in last week’s SCENE magazine and heard food editor Doug Trattner on Majic 105.7 talk about his trips to local wineries, I knew just what my weekend would have in store – lots of wine!

My boyfriend recently built a “buffet” (as he calls it) for our dining area, (see below) which is really a glorified wine rack/alcohol holder/etc. and is always looking for wine to fill it with.


So, after reading the article and talking with an awesome coworker who has done many a trip to the wine area, I decided to tweet to discover where other people recommended. Reason #5204 why I love twitter: people give honest, open, and quick feedback! And, as usual, the responses were amazing! twitterwine

So, taking all that into account, my trip was planned and it was decided we would visit Debonne, South River, Markko and Harpersfield. Are you making a trip to Ohio wine country anytime soon? Here are my reviews… I’ve rated the scene and the wine:


Scene: FUN! It happened to be pet day at Debonne – meaning TONS of interesting people with their pets, mostly dogs. People watching was a must here, because not only were the dogs a fun sight, but the people at Debonne were definitely the most entertaining of all the wineries I visited. Live music was just starting as I was leaving. PLUS, Debonne had tons of food options (breads, cheeses, meats, a full grill), which is nice when you’re drinking wine!debonne wine sampler

Wine: SO-SO I only tried one of their wine tasting trays ($6), but nothing impressed me too much. Not bad, but not my favorite. Also tried a beer sampler (the winery also is home to a Cellar Rats Brewery), which the boyfriend liked.

South River

Scene: BEAUTIFUL This was definitely the most beautiful place we visited. Set in a beautiful old church, the place itself is beautiful inside, furnished all in wood. You can sit indoors, on their back porch that overlooks the grape fields, or in a covered area on the lawn (complete with wooden lawn chairs!) right next to the fields.

The only downside – no food! And by this time I was hungry (and we had a good drive to the next winery), so this was a negative.southriver

Wine: YUM! I tried three wines (it was three tastings for a small fee, unless you buy something), their Karma (blend of Merlot and Cabernet) and their two ice wines (Concord and Blush), which were delicious. I ended up buying a glass of their Concord ice wine, but couldn’t stomach more than that (too sweet!). We left with a bottle of the Karma wine.


Scene: WOW Our next stop was a little different than the first two. A hike away from the other wineries, in Conneaut, Markko is set into the woods and apart from the paved road. Literally. You have to go on a dirt road to get there. When we got there, there were no cars (no parking lot either!) and a big dog sitting out in front of what looked like a big wooden shack. But don’t let looks fool you – the woman who did our tasting was phenomenal and the wine was great as well. Again, we had no food, but I’m not sure what the offerings MAY have been if we got there earlier than 5:45 (they close early, at 6 p.m. on Saturdays).

IMG_3666Wine: THE BEST The best wine by far was at Markko. The tasting was great – it was no charge to taste any reds and whites we wanted, and we were given in depth explanations of why certain wines tasted certain ways, how different wines were made, etc. We left with a bottle of the Cabernet Reserve.


Scene: VERY NICE Harpersfield offers indoor and outdoor seating and there was live music when we arrived. There were tons of people outdoors and indoors, so finding a seat was near impossible. Picnic tables, outdoor tables and tables in a covered area were scares. The indoors offered some comfy couches and more traditional wooden table seating as well.

IMG_3668The food was great – we ordered their artichoke and parmesan pizza and a starter of a cheese platter which came with sliced apple, three types of cheese and a slice of warm pepperoni bread.

Wine: GOOD The place was mobbed so we didn’t get great explanation of what we were tasting or what we should taste, but I ordered a glass of their Cabernet. It was pretty good and went well with our pizza and cheese platter – but left me no desire to buy a bottle.

All in all, a great trip. Have you been to any wineries in NE Ohio before? How do they compare to others you’ve been to in other parts of the country (or world)? Which ones would you recommend?

A disclaimer: I am not a food or wine critic. Just a young professional who likes wine and enjoys food even more. So I’m sorry if you’re offended or disagree with my opinions — they’re mine and mine alone! Feel free to let me know your own impressions of any of the places I mention.

Twitter Timeline Visual

Okay, I know I blog about Twitter and its gloriousness all the time, but I can’t help it – I’m a twittadict!

I’ve only been on Twitter for a year and a half (you can find out when you joined here), so it’s hard to believe it’s been around for THREE years! Unless you’ve been tweeting for that long also, you probably don’t know everything that’s happened in that time. So for your enjoyment, I’m posting a cool graphic of the story of Twitter. I stole it from Manolith, who stole it from Infoshot. Start at the bottom, and scroll up for the cool visual of the history.


Graphic by Infoshot, please feel free to use this image on your blog, just be sure to link back here to the original source.

San Francisco Uses Twitter to Support 311 Services

I read on Mashable today that effective immediately, the city of San Francisco will be using Twitter to support all of the city’s 311 services.

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newscom announced this new use of Twitter via a press conference, viewable on YouTube. All SF residents need to do is follow and tweet at the new sf311 account. Using Twitter, residents can submit their 311 requests/questions (i.e. non-emergency SF incidents such as flooded streets, potholes, etc.) and in return, those monitoring the account will provide the required answers and support. The account will be monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, guaranteeing access to all 311 services, all the time.

According to, the idea to enable 311 support through Twitter came from a meeting with Mayor Newscom and Twitter’s Evan Williams and Biz Stone. The mayor supposedly received a tweet about a pothole during the meeting, leading him to talk with his Department of Technology to see how else Twitter could be used to communicate with the SF residents. Interesting note – this isn’t the Mayor’s first look at Twitter – I read in TechCrunch that he also announced his bid for governor of California via Twitter.

Twitter is based on one-on-one, instantaneous communication, and to me, this seems like a perfect use for this social media application. It will be interesting to see how it works and how else Newscom decides to use Twitter to communicate with his constituency. Also, will other cities follow suit? I’d love if Cleveland did something similar, and with all of our technological expertise and brilliant minds, I don’t see why we can’t!

Social Media Monitoring

As a PR professional, I’m constantly looking at ways to monitor social media for my clients. I haven’t been able to justify paying for a social media monitoring service (just as Newswatch, BurrellesLuce and Cision do traditional media monitoring) when there are so many ways I know how to do this myself. There are many different ways I monitor social media, for free, including:

  • Google Alerts : You can set up News Alerts and also Comprehensive Alerts that include Blog postings.
  • Technorati: This is currently the largest blog search engine. You can use Technorati to search for your brand’s mention. You can also register your blog with Technorati to track blogs that link to yours.
  • Icerocket: When technorati and google blog search just isn’t doing it for me, I’ve found Icerocket a great search engine for blog content.
  • Twitter Search: (formally Summize) allows you to search all of the twitterverse for your brand or other key words. I was also using TweetBeep for emailed Twitter alerts (similar to Google Alerts) but have had problems with these coming on a regular basis, and I think the site is down for now.
  • Friendfeed: Friendfeed is an aggregator of users’ social media tools. For example, my friendfeed compiles my g-mail status, delicious account, twitter account, YouTube account, flickr and more. In addition to using Friendfeed as a social tool, you can use its search function to monitor what others are saying.
  • Social Mention: This is a search engine that searches multiple social media tools, from microblogging to blogs, to comments. It’s a type of “one stop shopping” for quick social media monitoring.
  • Netvibes or iGoogle: I organize all of my searches in Netvibes by setiting up RSS feeds for all key words that I’m monitoring. I create a new tab for each client and have an RSS feed of the Google alerts, relevant blogs, Twitter searches, social mention searches etc.

For me, right now, these free services work. Most of the time, I only have a few clients that require constant media monitoring, and the conversations are generally few and benevolent. If I wanted to monitor all the social media mentions for a particular client, you can see this would be an exhausting process, with many different steps to take. Multiply that times 10 or so clients, and the process becomes too time consuming.

Even if you’re only working with one brand, if you’re working with a big name brand or a client that has recently been all over the news, a pay-for-monitoring service may be more reasonable.

I don’t personally have a paid for service at this time, but found this old Mashable post that provides a great summary and review of what they consider the 10 best tools for social media monitoring.

As the post starts out:

“Reputation management is essential to both individuals and companies. The more popular your brand is, the more critical it will be to keep tabs on it and the more time it will consume out of your day. If you work at a startup and no one has heard of your brand, or if you’re an individual who has just started blogging, these tools are still useful to you.”

I’m not personally endorsing any of these, but I generally trust Mashable and will definitely keep this post in mind the next time I’m in the market for a social media monitoring service.

The Twitties!

Just how interesting can you be in 140 characters? Now introducing the twitties, awards that will be announced late September for all you fellow twitterers out there. Some of my favorite categories (as noted on the web site) include: Most Informative Tweet, Best Use of Twitter to Break News, Best Putdown and Best Use of Twitter for Business.

I am interested in seeing who the “winners” will be, especially best use of twitter to break news. There have been so many occasions where I have found out news a few minutes (or even a day) before from twitter. Most recently, the news of the GOP VP pick Sarah Palin was announced the night before by some twitterers. I also found the news of Tim Russert’s death on twitter before it was posted on NY Times or any other websites that I frequent.

Which categories do you find interesting? Are there any new categories you would suggest? And are you planning to vote?

Don't you wanna dance