Entries from April 2010 ↓

Go on a trip!

My newsroom finally launched its first Gowalla trip – the top 8 locations on the University of Missouri campus:

We’ll see how it goes, but this is just the first one. I’m hoping to add more branding with the support of the Gowalla team. After that, I hope to add a walking tour of the local towns in our viewing areas.

I’ve also blogged about how I hope to launch a Newbie Tour – a trip that focuses on all of the locations in Columbia, MO that you should visit to help you feel like a local in town.

Media Giraffe presentations

My students are presenting this morning about people they think “stick their necks out for media” as part of the Media Giraffe project. I plan to have a couple of students live blog the event on Cover It Live for the fun of it. Feel free to enjoy and join in if you’d like:

Are we ready?

I am constantly trying to find ways to bring the knowledge I have to my community. Any time I talk to someone who I don’t work or teach with on a regular basis, I end up talking about a little tool or tip that I find is a easy way to use technology in a more efficient way. Twitter lists, little tools like Seesmic or coTweet.

That’s why I tried to launch a Foursquare Day in Columbia last week. It was worth the try to create a “swarm” and get 50 people to gather in one place. It didn’t work – but it was fun to have an excuse to visit spots in my town where I don’t normally hang out. Plus, I had an excuse to bring a bouncy ball and chalk downtown and start a game of foursquare. Silly? Yes. Fun? Certainly. And I hope it shows I really do want to find fun ways to bring the social media community together.

But I’m not sure if my town is comfortable with instant gatherings. We live such a scheduled and busy life juggling work and life (and our kids’ lives). But I’d love to find ways to create social meetings that are fun and I could offer skills and knowledge that I teach daily with my students and employees in my newsroom. The knowledge we have translates on so many professional and personal levels and I want my community to know more. The end result is a bit self-centered. A more savvy community will participate in sharing with the journalists in our community. It would help our changing newsrooms transition into using a more socially-minded and sharing news process. Is that greedy? Or am I just trying to move our town a little closer into a vision of community I expect will happen naturally just in a longer time frame? These are the thoughts that ramble through my head at times.

(Photo courtesy of @justex07)

I have an idea… Foursquare Day

Yeah. I love this stuff and as I’ve said before, I want to find more ways to bring the social media users in my community to meet face-t0-face more often. So I stumbled into Foursquare Day. It’s a celebration of the location-based tool and since the square of 4 is 16, why not hold Foursquare Day on 4/16? So I’m poking around on Twitter to see if the Foursquare users in my community want to play.

They might! Our last minute goal is to try and earn a swarm badge. That’s what happens when 50 or more people check into the same location on Foursquare.

So… We’re going to give Foursquare Day a try here in Columbia, Missouri and see if we can get enough people out to try a swarm. If we don’t have enough Foursquare users, we’ll teach enough people to attempt the swarm. If we don’t get it Friday, we’ll try it another time!

UPDATE: We set it up. A local wine store is hosting an attempt at a 50-person Foursquare swarm. At the same time, a local bar is offering discounts on some food. Pretty cool in my opinion. I even set up an event Twitter account:

What’s next?

I’ve had some wonderful conversations about my community before and after our local Twestival event… And it makes a number of us think that we have something growing in town. There’s a level of understanding that social media is a key to improving our town and our relationships inside and outside of our town. The success of Twestival is just proof that we have a diverse group of people who care about doing good and care about taking our conversations online and putting them offline and in person.

So that had me talking to my Twestival partner Scott Wendling about what we can do next. During my time in Austin for SXSW, a number of people were encouraging me to bring Ignite to my town. The idea is to let people pitch their favorite topics five minutes at a time. The premise is sharing the thing that gets you motivated and out of bed each day… What lights your spark? What ignites you? You have 20 slides and five minutes to run through it. The more I read about it, the more I really want to do this in Columbia. I met a bunch of folks from Arizona who take part in Ignite Phoenix. They had an event last week. Check out their site to see the fun topics presented. Their events are HUGE. I’m thinking a little less produced for my town… But if it grows, and I think it could grow, it could get as big as Phoenix.

I’d love to hear from folks who put together Ignite in their towns… And what people in mid-Missouri think. This could be fun!

Speaking of fun. I forgot to share a fun conversation I had during the last night I was in town for SXSW. It’s on the RenMen Show about the “Cool Kids” of SXSW. I had a blast chatting with everyone that night and I recommend checking out the RenMen – Very cool ideas on cutting down your work load so you can spend more time with your family.

Enjoy the conversation: