Tag Archives: Dallas J Short

Zero Dark Thirty: Step Away From Your Cell Phone

By: Dallas J. Short

The NBA Playoffs are back and I’m sure you are just as shocked as I am that my Philadelphia 76’ers somehow did not make the cut. While many are convinced this year’s champion will be from the Western Conference, that has not stopped one of the league’s best from continuing a tradition that has helped him #StriveForGreatness.

LeBron James is once again on his “Zero Dark Thirty” social shutdown. No phone, no Facebook (21.5 million), no Twitter (20.7 million), no Instagram (9.6 million), it’s radio silence from the 4-time MVP. He started this in 2012 postseason, one year after he and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. He says he only needs to talk to his family and his teammates. He’s locked in and focused on bringing the trophy home to Ohio.

Forbes.com has an article “30 Reasons to do a Digital Detox” and #19 “because it’s a challenge” is also one of the reasons LeBron gave. I’m sure King James’ bigger reason is to avoid distractions, trolls and negative comments, but who doesn’t love a good challenge every now and then.

Though I probably have as much chance of getting an NBA Championship ring as my Sixers do, I think a digital detox can be beneficial for anyone. That break free moment of ceremoniously throwing your phone into the ocean, taking a deep breath and inhaling the beauty of the world around you. At least, that’s how I picture it in my head. In reality, I make deals with myself. “I’ll only use my phone as an alarm clock.” “I’ll only reply to texts.” “I’ll just check it for e-mails.” “I’ll do it next weekend.” There always seems to be something that stops the disconnect. We focus on captioning the moment instead of capturing it. LeBron’s won back to back championships and continues to make the finals, so it’s definitely working for him. The super busy, super productive and super successful Arianna Huffington is also big on digital detoxes.

Here are a few other reasons Forbes listed on why to do a digital detox.

  • To give your brain a break from digital processing. Information overload is a serious issue. Recharging is healthy.
  • To see things clearly, make better decisions, and find a more productive way to do things when you return.
  • Once you switch off, time seems plentiful (compared to the version we tend to race against most days).
  • To have in-depth conversations that meander and make you think and bring up questions that aren’t answered by the Internet.
  • You’ll carve out space to think deeply, connect to yourself, and connect to the people around you.

So let’s do it this weekend. I’m in and up for the challenge.

Are you addicted to your smartphone and social media? Have you ever tried a digital detox?

As always, I welcome or comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

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Hey, I’m Here! 10 Tips for Live-Tweeting

By: Dallas J. Short

YourDictionary.com defines live-tweeting as “posting on Twitter during an event in an ongoing way,” while that seems basic enough, there is much more to it than that. Live-tweeting gives your live event a life in the digital world. It expands the reach of your event and allows attendees and non-attendees to both be involved and engage with you. I’m a fan of live-tweeting, both at our own events and also following along with sporting events and television shows. Here are ten tips I came up with that could help you with live-tweeting from your next event.

1) Pound it! The #Hashtag is key, it will be the way people follow along and helps stream the information. Pick a short and applicable hashtag and make sure you let people know what it is. When you promote the event beforehand, include the hashtag, so people who cannot make it know they can still follow along. You need to promote the hashtag heavily the day of the event and you should have the hashtag on promo materials around the event as well. You want others engaging, adding to and using it as well. Every live-tweet you send about the event should include this hashtag.

2) Solo mission! It will be most effective if you have only one person tweeting from the event. It helps define the voice of the live-tweets and gives it a personality. You do not want a lot of people from your organization tweeting from the account, it will seem disorganized, all over the place and hard to follow. One person handling it right gives it more life.

3) Sharing is caring! Tweet out pictures and videos during the event. You want people to see what they are missing, without making them feel left out. Yes, you want photos of the layout, what’s going on, speakers and celebrities in attendance. You also want to include people attending, be sure to tag @ them as well. They will more likely be faster to tweet, favorite, retweet and will include the hashtag, helping your event’s live-tweeting presence grow.

4) Insider info! Including behind the scenes looks and tweets not only makes non-attendees feel like they’re “in the know” and receiving exclusive information. It also gives attendees a reason to follow along with the live-tweeting, because they are already aware of what is going on in front of their eyes and you are basically taking them backstage and behind the velvet rope.

5) Live in the moment! You and your event have a purpose, a mission and a message you want to get out there. This message should be pushed before the event, at the event and after the event. However, this message should only be sprinkled throughout your live-tweeting. You do not want to appear robotic, people follow live-tweeting like they are there hanging out with a friend. If your friend just kept repeating themselves all day, you would look for a way to ditch them. Don’t get ditched. I would suggest you have those “mission/message” tweets scheduled already (Hootsuite, etc.,) so the person live-tweeting can focus on the live event conversation and not get distracted by making sure they hit the certain number of “required” purpose messaging.

6) Don’t drop the ball! If the conversation and engagement are flowing, there is not a limit on live-tweeting. Keep it going and keep it growing, the more the merrier. If it is not flowing, you do need to make sure you are not pushing the issue. Having some slow moments or downtime is not the end of the world. You should never just stop live-tweeting though. Finish out the event. Do not make people wonder why it stopped? What went wrong? If someone was not there and searches the hashtag after the event and it just goes silent, it will raise red flags and could prevent people from attending in the future, if they perceived the quietness as an unsuccessful event. Give it your all, start to end.

7) Tune in, tune out! If you end up with a heckler or someone who is going out of their way to bash your event for no reason, ignore them. Do not waste your tweets sending out dislike or negative feelings. If someone has a concern or an issue it is alright to address that to clear up a problem or confusion. The majority of people are following your tweets and using your hashtag like they are tuning into their favorite television program and they want to be involved. They care about what is going on and what you are sharing with them. They do not want to follow a hashtag thread that looks like a bad, bickering reality show and miss out on the fun and happenings of the actual event.

8) Respond, react! You might not be able to follow the entire hashtag thread of what others at the event are saying, some of it might not even need you to respond, and it will just be people using your hashtag. Do look for questions that you can answer, positive interactions to favorite and retweet. Tweet at and acknowledge them. Making people feel involved and valued is key to the live-tweeting success. I would also suggest asking some type of questions (that relate to the event) to increase engagement and conversation. If something happens at the event, react to it, but there is a great chance that others will be reacting (and with the hashtag) as well.

9) The show’s not over! After the event, go back and follow up on any important questions and comments you might have missed from people during the live-tweeting. People understand that things get busy and chaotic, but making sure people feel appreciated and their comments did not slip through the cracks (after the event) will show them you do care. Go back through your own posts and see what received the most comments, the most favorites, the most retweets and also look at which ones didn’t. Keep that in mind when live-tweeting at your next event to be even more effective and engaging.

10) Try Again! You could have a great event, full of great people, great fun, everything’s great, except your live-tweeting never caught on. It is ok, sometimes an approach just will not catch on. Do not give up, try live-tweeting again at your next event and figure out new attempts that might work for your crowd. There is not a cookie-cutter way for everyone, you will need to know your audience and tailor your tweeting to have them interested. If you have an event where live-tweeting took off, it is not automatic that your next one will too. Stay focused and keep trying. More times than not though, live-tweeting leads to higher engagement and followers.
There is always the chance live-tweeting is not appropriate or will not benefit your event. There is a chance that you would have better results if you tweeted more from a news reporter/journalist point, as opposed to being a fun, event-goer. Know your audience, trial and error, live and learn. I hope these tips can help you out with your future live-tweeting and always remember to charge your phone and have an extra battery.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Let the Madness Begin!

By: Dallas J. Short

March Madness is upon us. If you have not filled out a bracket, time is running out, but be warned: the person who does not watch college sports will probably win. It just happens. If you do not have an interest in the NCAA Tournament, sorry, but it almost becomes unavoidable. There is still a good chance it is the big buzz around your office or by a lot of people you know, it is especially a huge deal on social media. Expect the hashtag #MarchMadness to be trending for the next 3 weeks.

While Facebook will definitely include predictions, outbursts, and reactions – people will be on Twitter and keeping with up the action in real time. According to the research Twitter has done with DB5, “75% of sports fans on Twitter use the platform to follow their favorite teams and athletes, and 61% follow their Twitter feed and/or Tweet while watching sports on TV. Nearly half (49%) say they feel as close to the action following games on Twitter as they do watching them on TV.”

Last year, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings found that in the US, TV broadcasts of the tournament generated 14.1M Tweets and 1.6B Tweet impressions.

Even if your team was ripped off and wasn’t selected for the tourney (Miami Hurricanes, Temple Owls), this is an exciting time in sports. The college players play with not only skill, but so much passion and heart – that it is not as easily predictable as the major professional sports. Anything can happen and there will be “madness” indeed. Duke (3) was upset last year by Mercer (14) and Twitter exploded and it actually became more tweeted about than even the Championship final. Duke is a #1 seed this year, people love to hate Duke, so let’s see how they do this year. Another story to follow is Kentucky, also a #1 seed – they went the entire season undefeated, how long will the ride last?

There are so many experts and self-presumed experts on Twitter right now, it is easy to learn more about the players, the coaches, the matchups, predictions and more. It becomes fun and addictive to stay in the know and follow along as it goes. No matter if you are using Twitter for personal or professional use during #MarchMadness, you will want to be in the know.

In 2014, Twitter users were as engaged on game days as they were on non-game days, so this a great chance for brands to be involved and jump into the conversation as well. Be prepared to be locked in until at least April 7 (Championship game is April 6), fans are watching and responding, they want a brand they feel like they are watching the tournament with, not being sold to while trying to enjoy it. Brands need to respect the intensity of the game and the fans. People tend to have deep ties to college sports and it is not just a random or forced association.

As I said in my blog for Get in the Game: Tips for Tweeting on Super Sunday, this is an opportunity for you and your brands to connect and engage on a more natural level and develop meaningful interactions and relationships. With games starting March 17 and ending on April 6, this gives you a lot more time to build and strengthen those bonds with fans, followers, and possible/future fans and followers. Do not waste any more time, jump in now.

As far as who my predictions are to win? Well, we are doing an office pool and I believe in the jinx. So, let’s talk more in a few weeks. When I’m not at work, you can be sure I’ll be tweeting along. @Meddafore If you feel like throwing your predictions out there, feel free to do so. If you think there is a better platform for #MarchMadness engagement, please let me know that too.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Free Agency & NFL Trades

By: Dallas J. Short

In case you forgot, the NFL proved this week (more so than usual), that it is indeed a business first. Veterans, starting QBs, Super Bowl Champions, no one was safe and job security was thrown out the window.

Here are a few of the dealings that caught my attention this week:

The New England Patriots decided not to pick up the $20 million second year option on cornerback Darrelle Revis, he then went and cashed in by reuniting with the New York Jets for 5 years, $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. Revis said he was following his heart, not the money. He obviously has a heart of gold. After a bad few years, Gang Green has a reason to smile again, while Patriots Nation stick to believing in Brady and Belichick.

The Patriots’ running back Shane Vereen is out of Foxboro as well and now with the New York Giants. Vereen said joining the Giants is a “step up”, not sure how going from winning the Super Bowl to a team that did not make the playoffs is a good thing. I’m sure his new fans loved hearing it, but it just sounds ridiculous.

New Orleans Saints let Pro Bowler, tight end Jimmy Graham go and he ended up with the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints had just given him a $40 million contract a year ago. The Seahawks were already a solid team and with him now, they have got to be the favorite to head back to the Super Bowl. While some players during free agency are going to downgraded teams, this is a big win win for Jimmy and Seattle.

Two stars who have shined time and time again, but I guess once you get to that 30 club, that shines diminishes in how your team judges your worth. The San Francisco 49’ers running back Frank Gore and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson were also released from the teams they have taken to the playoffs. This worked out well, with both former Miami Hurricanes ended up together on the Indianapolis Colts, where they are online trying to recruit other Miami Hurricanes players to come to Indy. (Currently defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who the Patriots also let go after 11 seasons, but the Pats might pick him back up.

The St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles swapped cities, sort of how Michael Vick and Mark Sanchez did before (Philadelphia and New York), but this seemed more intentional. It could possibly be the most pointless trade, as I predict they will both end up as third stringers, behind a draft pick QB from this year.

There were a lot of things that happened (Suh to Miami, the other Eagles moves, etc.), and they will be a lot more going on before the season starts. It has been fun watching Twitter explode (announcements and reactions from players and fans), Facebook meltdown with related memes, and Adam Schefter is putting in a crazy amount of overtime to break as many stories as possible.
I stopped buying players jerseys and almost think it could be a jinx. If you like a player too much, he’ll be gone. Loyalty lies with the fans and it is a job for the players and owners, sometimes it would be nice though if NFL teams could act like it cared a little bit more and not just know no matter who they give you or take away, you’re stuck with supporting them and spending money anyway.

Were there any deals made you that liked? How did your team make out? Is your favorite player still allowed to be your favorite player?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.