Tag Archives: Blog

Social Media – Outcomes


Over the past year and a half, I have been developing an understanding of how to engage Social Media to assit clients.  The philosophy behind social media is very simple. ” Word of mouth” advertising is the most effective type.  People trust the opinions of a good friend.  Therefore, if people online come to know you as a “real person,” or a friend, they will trust a product or service or idea, that you offer or endorse.  Social media, since it is the place where people meet, chat, and exchange stories has become the new “village square” – the new market place.  I try to expand on this concept with clients, and suggest that all of them have active Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter accounts, and a blog to accompany their websites.

Social media sources give information to people “where they are”  – that is in the “global village square of social media.”  However, that is not the only advantage of using Social Media.  All these entrance points create more paths to your sales or services information.  Statistically, they greatly increase the probability that people will be able to find you in the extremely congested world of the Internet.

Outcomes

February brought outcomes for our exploration into social media.  Our clients Todd Warren and Dale Cameron owners of the George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast in Dildo, NL, have won the Sixth-annual Tourism Atlantic Technology Award at Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador’s Lookout! Tourism Summit 2010. In addition, we have set up a new blog for Cupids 400 Inc, which we have called Cupids Cove Chatter – www.cupidscovechatter.com.

George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast

George House Heritage Bed & Breakfast

George House Heritage Bed & Breakfast

Todd and Dale approached me last year to set up a new website for George House Heritage Bed and Breakfast. We discussed the role of social media.  In addition to developing their website www.georgehousebnb.com, I set up a WordPress Blog and suggested the name “An Outport Called Dildo.”  We were all amazed that we  the domain name  www.newfoundlandoutport.com had not been taken.  I also suggested that they actively use their Twitter Account FaceBook account and use a Flickr account which they also called “Newfoundland Outport” for photos. They engaged Reservation Nexus (ResNexus) to set up their online reservation, and we incorporated the coding in their existing website. As well, they updated Google.com and Google Maps with their  GPS coordinates and contact information.

An Outport Called Dildo

An Outport Called Dildo

Cupids Cove Chatter


Cupids Cove Chatter

Cupids Cove Chatter

Dray Media had already established the main website for Cupids 400 Inc. – www.cupids400.com and the Cupids 400 staff had set up on FaceBook and  Flickr, when they approached Baccalieu Consulting to establish a blog.   Cupids Cove Chatter, which is the name we chose, is up and running. The blog will introduce and describe events from an “on the ground” perspective.  Henry Crout, one of John Guy’s Colonists. is the avatar.  Although a number of people including John Guy and Sir Percival Willoughby recorded information about the first English colony in Canada, Henry Crout recorded what was happening “on the ground.”  We are using Cupids Cove Chatter to introduce and describe events from an “on the ground”  perspective.

We have also set up a Flickr Group:  Cupids 400 – Birth of English Canada There are already 180 photos in the group and we are inviting people  to become members and add their own photos.

Cupids Cove Chatter has accounts and photos of  the Royal Visit of  the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as well as visits from Premier Danny Williams, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

For the month of February, a Valentine’s Fund Raising Dinner and a visit from acclaimed Newfoundland author of Galore, Michael Crummy are highlights.

We hope this blog will last in the virtual world for as long as the journals, books and other documents of the other colonists have lasted!  In 400 years time, perhaps someone will see them and get a picture of life in the 21st century, just as the documents from Henry Crout and other colonists give us a picture of life as it was in the 17th century.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cupids 400, Northern Avalon, Social Media, Tourism

Understanding Content – Introduction


Text messaging, email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Flickr, and other social media have made high level literacy more important than ever in all our lives. We could choose what, when, and whether to read in a book, magazine or newspaper or look at TV or a video; now we are bombarded with text and images through internet devices.

When a person lives in Newfoundland and Labrador, analysis of content and graphics written about the province becomes a consuming interest because of the amount of misinformation that has been published in various formats about the province. Newfoundland has a small population and is in a relatively remote area; as a result, it is not well known. When reports in various formats are given about the province, its life style, and its people, I immediately check for factual accuracy, weighted words, and visual cues. Over the past few years, the quality of reporting has improved, because people have become more familiar with the province due to advances in communication technology; however, incorrect information and misinformation takes a long time to overcome.

The level of misinformation about this province has offered a tremendous advantage for judging the veracity of information presented on all topics and all places. Because I am so used to examining information written about our province, I have picked up the habit of looking at other material in a similar way. Weighted words, misleading visuals, and sweeping generalizations jump off the screen (or the page.) The extent to which people are willing to believe anything that is published, in print or electronically, never ceases to amaze me.

Today, while much of the information received through social media is from acquaintances, business associates, and friends that we have chosen to follow, advertisers and propagandists are surging [the term is used deliberately] into Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Are we prepared for this onslaught?

In the past, product advertising was much less targeted. It was assigned to certain print publications or TV programming based on less clearly defined data such as age group or perceived socio-economic group. In social media, advertising can be much more targeted based on very specific demographics and interests.

Propaganda is much more dangerous. Lurking in your Facebook, in your email attachments, and/or your Tweets can be people who are deliberately spreading propaganda, usually filled with misinformation, weighted words, and selected visuals which convey hatred and/or contempt for selected races, groups of people, or ideas.

Over the next few weeks, I will be presenting a series on this topic. Meanwhile, see my Twitter list “News and Commentary”twitter.com/eracose/news-commentary. The list [which is of necessity slanted towards Newfoundland and Canada] contains members with different and often opposing points of view. Though examining all, hopefully “truth” will become evident. If you would like to have your Tweets added to the list, please Tweet or email.

5 Comments

Filed under Literacy, Newfoundland and Labrador, Photography, Social Media, Twitter

The Rock… from Many Perspectives: Newfoundland Photography.


Living in Newfoundland and Labrador inspires photography.  The spectacular setting of the capital of St. John’s, as well as the unique local housing, such as Jellybean Row, and Quidi Vidi Village, are frequently photographed.

In “Outports,”  located on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean,  the ever changing moods of wind, light, and water are a photographer’s delight.  Because the province is very sparsely populated, nature is on the doorstep… many varieties of birds and other wildlife are frequently seen;  wildflowers, trees, and other plant life is always on display.  And of course, rocks and rocky seascapes are everywhere.

Our own photos of Bay Roberts and nearby communities on the Northern Avalon can be found on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/baccalieu/

Because of the quality and variety of  Newfoundland Amateur Photographers who display their works on Flickr and blogs, we have been using these for time as a source for regional photos for both print and websites.  After finding a suitable photo, we contact the person who has posted it and ask for permission to use the photo, assuring him or her that we will credit the work in any publication.    Almost without exception, they have given permission.

Below is a listing of some sites we check very frequently for the quality of their photos:

Karen Chappell  Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Karren Chappell - Family views Iceberg

Karren Chappell - Family views Iceberg

http://bitstop-nfld.blogspot.com/

Lloyd C. Rees: Location: Chamberlains, CBS (On the other side of Conception Bay from Bay Roberts) – photos of seascapes, birds, wildflowers, historic photos.

Lloyd Rees - Sailing near Bell Island

Lloyd Rees - Sailing near Bell Island

http://lloydsnfldpics.blogspot.com/

Clyde Barrett: Location: Bishop’s Cove, Conception Bay North (On the other side of Spaniards’ Bay Harbour.) photos of birds, seascapes, icebergs, wildflowers, boats.

Clyde Barrett - Young Bald Eagle

Clyde Barrett - Young Bald Eagle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clbarret2003/

Geoff Whiteway : Location: St. John’s.  He teaches at the Marine Institute, which is affiliated with Memorial University, in St. John’s.  His photos have a unique look and feel.

Iceberg Off Shore by Geoff Whiteway

Iceberg Off Shore by Geoff Whiteway

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21096258@N05/

Jean Knowles : Location:  St. John’s.  She is a Tour Guide in Newfoundland and Labrador. Her photos are of scenery, wildlife and flowers.

Jean Knowles - Iceberg from Signal Hill

Jean Knowles - Iceberg from Signal Hill

http://www.flickr.com/photos/song_of_the_sea/

Mark Robertson Tsang: Location: West Coast Newfoundland. He is a ski instructor/coach in the winter months and is also a tour guide.  His photos of wildlife and plants are amazing – he even uses the correct biological terms.

Mark Robertson Tsang - Great Northern Peninsula

Mark Robertson Tsang - Great Northern Peninsula

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_r_tsang/

I will be presenting another list in the near future.  There are just too many to include in one posting.

1 Comment

Filed under Admiral's Coast, Baccalieu Trail, Bay Roberts, Brigus, Carbonear, Killick Coast, Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Avalon, Photography, Tourism, Western Newfoundland

Social Media.


Over the past few months, we have been exploring “social media” including Blogging, Flickr, YouTube, FaceBook, and most recently Twitter.

Twitter www.twitter.com/eracose

We have just started with Twitter recently.  Twitter has a number of obvious values.

  • The 140 word limit  is its greatest asset.  Sort of like “the elevator pitch”  The writer has to think about each word to ensure that the meaning is clear and interesting.
  • Its length ensures only one topic per posting.  By experience, we have learned that people only focus on one topic per email – there is no point in including more than one.  Perhaps because many people use handhelds to receive and send email.  Twitter intuitively leads to just one topic.
  • Its currency is another value.  News stories are ofter posted to Twitter before they a posted to news services.  In addition, people attending ongoing events can send moment by moment postings with photos and/or video.
  • Because you can follow people you choose, you are getting the information that you want – as opposed to having to filter through useless information to find what you are seeking.
  • Links to blogs, news articles, videos, and photos allows the reader to explore these options if he or she is interested in further information, if not it is easy to move on to the next topic.
  • The ability to block is extremely important.  We have found that certain posters seem to offer a gateway to others.   They are fairly easy to recognize because they usually have 10,000+ followers and have made only 10 posts.  You can remove a great deal of “noise” by blocking these people as soon as possible.
  • Twitter brings many voices from everywhere.  It is the best source of easily found, recent information in  graphic design, website design trends and methodology, and search engine optimization.  In just a few minutes, we bookmark a number of relevant links.  However, it is less productive for other types of information such as tourism marketing and funding charities.    Perhaps this because it is relatively new and because people involved in technology tend to use it more.
  • From the point of view of marketing, it has to be done subtly and intrinsically, as opposed to overtly.  Being bombarded with a sales message is extremely annoying on Twitter, just as it is in everyday life.  Social media are just that.
  • For clients, we sometimes upload links to websites, giving them greater exposure in search engines.

As a bottom line, we think Twitter is the best thing since Google.

Flickr – Baccalieu Consulting’s Flicker Site –www.flickr.com/photos/baccalieu/

Because of the quality and variety of  Newfoundland Amateur Photographers who display their works on Flickr, we have been using Flickr for some time as a source for regional photos for both print and websites.  After finding a suitable photo, we contact the person who has posted it and ask for permission to use the photo, assuring him or her that we will credit the work in any publication.    Almost without exception, they have given permission.   Two photographers whose work we have used extensively are:

Clyde Barrett – who lives in Bishop’s Cove – www.flickr.com/photos/clbarret2003/

Clyde, who lives across the Harbour on the Bishop’s Cove Shore, receives numerous awards for this photography through Flickr.  His photos of birds, including resident Spaniard’s Bay bald eagles, are outstanding.

Dean Ducas – who lives in Quebec – http://www.flickr.com/photos/deanspic/

Dean and his wife, neither of whom we have met in person, are outdoors people whose interests include ecotourism and birding.  We have used a number of his photos of the Bay Roberts Shoreline Heritage Trail.  Last year we used one of his photos as the cover of our BAY ROBERTS TOURISM AND LEISURE GUIDE – 2008

Use of Flickr for Marketing We have started uploading more of our own  photos and photos taken for client’s websites to Flickr.  In descriptions of photos, we link back to clients’ websites.  These links give clients another Search Engine entry, in addition to bringing people who look at the photos to the client website.

YouTube – Baccalieu Consulting’s YouTube Channel  – www.youtube.com/user/eracose

Having seen how well YouTube videos index in Goole, we decided to add some of our own.  We converted a number of MS PowerPoint, Flash Presentations, and other types of presentations to YouTube and uploaded them.   For our clients, this offered another point of entry for persons seeking information.

FaceBook www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Ayad/527537926

Unlike Flickr and YouTube,  FaceBook’s value to business is not immediately evident.

For the FaceBook that is mainly to use with Baccalieu Consulting,  it has been possible to align network of contacts, most of whom are familiar anyway.  We place links to work created for our clients, which again is helpful in promoting clients.  However,  we are not sure if the amount of time spent on FaceBook will translate into enough business leads to justify the expenditure of time.

FaceBook – Pigeon Inlet – Town of Bay Roberts – http://www.facebook.com/people/Mose-Mitchell/1155290376

The Uncle Mose FaceBook is a little different.  The town of Bay Roberts, our most active client,  has initiated the Bay Roberts Cultural Foundation.  One of the activities will be host to a series of dramatic productions each summer called “A Time in Pigeon Inlet.”  The production is based on the work of a well-known Newfoundland author, Ted Russell, whose main character was Unile Mose Mitchell.  With the Uncle Mose FaceBook we have attempted to make contact with three main groups of people – those with an interest in Newfoundland cultural heritage, the artistic community (including musicians and actors), and journalists.  We have added a Pigeon Inlet Group and have begun posting Pigoen Inlet events.

As the town is building towards this summer’s performances, we will have a good list of potential patrons and local media to inform.   At the end of the summer, we will be able to determine the success of this approach.

3 Comments

Filed under Social Media