Social Media 101: Want to Attend?

June 18, 2008 – 2:13 pm

Next Tuesday, June 24th, I will be participating in a half day session called “Social Media 101: Getting Started” which is being put on by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council. The event will be held at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center. This is the same building where SocialDevCamp was, just two blocks from the Amtrak at Baltimore Penn Station. Here is a quick overview of the session:

Overview & Objectives:

The purpose of this seminar is to provide a high-level overview on social media and networking. From this seminar participants will learn:

1. The whys of social media and its basic principles: building trusted relationships, participation, user generated content, direct connection to customers, and persuasion via networks.

2. That social networking can be tangible and easy to use.

3. Potential ways to build your reputation and value with customers through social media to drive sales.

I will be presenting on a panel along with some of the incredible people listed below:

Dave Troy, Roundhouse Technologies
Jared Goralnick, SET Consulting
Shashi Bellamkonda, Network Solutions
Geoff Livingston, Livingston Communications
Yair Flicker, Smart Logic Solutions
Sean Oakley, Congruent Media
Matt Goddard, R2i.ntegrated
David Beaudouin, DB+C

As a participant in the event, I was given 5 free tickets to give away by the Tech Council. The tickets are $190 value for non-members of the GBTC. I am offering up the tickets to the first 5 people that contact me. Leave a comment here on my blog or shoot me an email at gcangialosi at blueskyfactory dot com. Hope to see you at next weeks event!

Tags: gbtc, baltimore, socialmedia, socialnetworking, marketing, technology, education

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Blue Sky Factory Welcomes nTarget!

June 10, 2008 – 8:56 pm

Today, I am excited to officially announce our acquisition of North Carolina based nTarget, an email marketing firm specializing in electronic communications, with a focus in the hospitality, travel/tourism, retail and e-commerce sectors.

I am very pleased to announce this partnership, and could not be happier with the fit with our organization. The nTarget staff shares the same values around providing stellar customer service, and working towards the best interest of their clients. We are excited to have them all on board at Blue Sky Factory. As a result of the deal, we will now operate and maintain an office right outside of Charlotte, NC, where the nTarget team will remain.

nTarget has proven to be a market leader in the travel / tourism and hospitality space, a vertical which we also have great traction and a solid client roster within. As a result, our combined clients will benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience gained over the years working in these key industries.

All of the current nTarget clients, as well as all of our current clients, will soon be migrating to the upcoming release of Publicaster, our leading web based email marketing platform, due for release this August. We are all excited about bringing the latest and greatest from the email marketing world to our clients. Lots of great things to come in our next version, and I will be blogging about it over the coming weeks.

You can read more about this exciting news on the official press release on our website.

Tags: blueskyfactory, ntarget, emailmarketing, email, acquisitions, northcarolina, marketing

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links for 2008-05-20

May 20, 2008 – 2:32 pm
  • Great blog post about Frank Eliason of Comcast’s use of Twitter for customer service. Having personally utilized this support option, I have to say Frank is the man!
    (tags: twitter comcast socialmedia support customerservice)

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links for 2008-05-19

May 19, 2008 – 2:30 pm
  • Great talk by Mark Bittman about the sustainability of our diet and future.
    (tags: carbon diet food health nutrition vegetarian ted)

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links for 2008-05-14

May 14, 2008 – 2:30 pm
  • MySpace has informed us that on Monday it was awarded $234 million in statutory damages, the largest anti-spam sum ever made under CAN-SPAM
    (tags: spam email emailmarketing myspace government canspam)

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SocialDevCamp and the Baltimore Scene

May 11, 2008 – 11:46 am

I have been thinking about all of the reasons why I have been feeling so good about yesterday’s SocialDevCamp. Its a little hard for me to pin down exactly, but all I can say is that it was an absolutely great event. No, it was a special event. Baltimore has been craving for something like this for years (at least in my opinion).

The event reminded me in many ways of the very first Podcamp in Boston two years ago. There was a clear energy present, and everyone who was there knew it. Yesterday was like that for me in many ways. From the moment I got there until the moment I rolled out of the Brewers Art at the afterparty, it was energetic, passionate, educational and inspiring among many other things. It was great to connect with so many other folks from the area and along the corridor (Boston, NYC, Philly, Baltimore, DC), the Amtrak corridor that is :-)

For the first time in a long time it felt like the Baltimore scene was truly vibing. I know we have all been “vibing” in our own ways, but SocialDevCamp brought a lot of like minded individuals together for the first time ever in our city. Sure there have been small gatherings, happy hours, and definitely lots of great programming by the GBTC to bring the business community together, but this was the first time, that I can think of, where everyone came together. The entrepreneurs, the hackers, the developers, the media, (insert what you are here), etc, it was a collective, and it was a good one.

Thanks once again to Dave Troy, Ann and Keith for organizing this. A big thanks to all of the volunteers, and to all of the other sponsors for financially supporting the needs of the event, and finally thank you to all of the participants for showing up and making it happen. What a turnout!

Here are a few random thoughts from my perspective:

Facility & Location

University of Baltimore’s facility was a GREAT location for this event. The physical space simply worked. There was a main common area where the meals were and tables, the auditorium and the session rooms were all right there. This kept the attendees connected and engaged. It was refreshing to see that there were no sessions on multiple floors, lack of a common gathering area, and basically people all over the place, which is often the case when using university / academic facilities for these types of events. Finally, the actual location couldn’t have been better for out of town folks who hopped on the Amtrak and came from other cities. The UB facility is literally 2 blocks (at the most) from the train station. That fact alone definitely helped with the great turnout.

Sessions & Participation

Although I didn’t participate in the session selection and voting (I showed up a little late), I think the sessions were great. I particularly enjoyed the “Business of Social Media.” What was really great to see was the level of participation from attendees. I know thats the point of these events, and it was definitely present and accounted for. It was great to hear so many perspectives and to learn what was on peoples minds. I sat in the Business / ROI of Social Media, learned about the semantic web, attended Shashi’s session on selling social media to the boss, and the mashed up “who needs VC’s and Amtrak Tech” session. All good stuff.

Corridor concept (DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston)

I liked the discussion that was started around linking up the “Amtrak” cities and building off of the momentum of every location. There was a lot of discussion and comparison around startups in Silicon Valley vs. startups out here on the east coast. Discussion around the available resources we have to us, from money to talent and more. The thinking is that we need to start to look at ourselves, out here on the east, as our own corridor or ecosystem, and shouldn’t look at it from a single city point of view. The connecting link between five major markets, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC & Boston, is the Amtrak. You can get to any of these cities VERY conveniently via the train, and be in the center of them within a few hours. I look forward to more discussion around this, as we truly are our own technology corridor. Lets tighten this concept up.

In many ways, its great to finally see Baltimore on the map as a micro-hub. I look forward to many more events like this in the future. The next SocialDevCamp is already being planned for this September, details will follow as they are announced. Blue Sky Factory will continue to support these events and any other event that helps bring everyone in our region together.

Here are some links to SocialDevCamp Media: (feel free to add more links in the comments to other media)

Flickr photos

Animoto Slide Show from East Coast Blogging

Video of Sessions by Kenneth

Twitter hashtags

Great to see everyone, catch you all at the next one!

Tags: socialdevcamp, baltimore, technology, barcamp, unconference, socialmedia, eastcoast, amtrak, corridor, eastcoast

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Social Dev Camp East - Tomorrow

May 9, 2008 – 10:11 am

Just a quick shout out to anyone in the Baltimore / DC metro area, to let you know or remind you that tomorrow is SocialDevCamp East. Blue Sky Factory is a sponsor of both the event and of the afterparty at the Brewers Art. If you are in the area and want to participate please feel free to join us, the event is free and open to everyone.

What is SocialDevCamp?

SocialDevCamp East is the Unconference for Thought Leaders of the Future Social Web

Where is the social web going? It’s going mobile, to geocentric services, and to open platforms. Join a community of like minded developers, social media gurus and thought leaders for an unconference to discuss the future of the social web.

We’re looking for thought leaders from DC to Boston to meet, forge relationships, and envision the future.

For all event details check out the wiki. Hope to see you there!

Tags: socialdevcamp, baltimore, technology, barcamp, unconference, socialmedia

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links for 2008-05-08

May 8, 2008 – 2:31 pm
  • Yeah, thats right. Twitter has a blacklist now :-) wild
    (tags: twitter community spam abuse networks)

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links for 2008-05-03

May 3, 2008 – 2:31 pm
  • Does being your venture’s “idea person” affect your initial role within the venture and the size of your equity stake?
    (tags: startups equity companies)
  • Here’s a threat worth following and continuing. It deals with things every company should be monitoring (and resulting implications)
    (tags: blogging brand branding Business marketing measurement media socialmedia twitter tips reputation research Monitoring)
  • It’s that time of month again, and April was a light month in terms of technical development, or de facto product releases, but there were many little iterations on the social web that will likely make a big difference, as the year goes on.
    (tags: marketing socialmedia socialweb technology twitter facebook monitoring)

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Sponsoring Marketing Over Coffee

May 3, 2008 – 12:47 pm

Anyone out there looking for a great podcast on marketing? If you haven’t tuned in yet, Christopher Penn and John Wall produce a great weekly podcast dubbed “Marketing Over Coffee”. They cover both classic and new marketing in detail, and dig into both strategy and tactics. Its a great listen for anyone involved in marketing or communications.

Marketing Over Coffee is recorded every business Wednesday at 5:30am Eastern at a coffee shop in Natick, MA, just outside of Boston. The program is runs about 20 minutes and comes out on Thursday mornings.

You can subscribe to their RSS feed here, or check it out in iTunes here.

Blue Sky Factory is proud to be an official Marketing Over Coffee sponsor. Keep up the good work Chris and John!

Tags: marketing, technology, socialmedia, socialweb, tactics, strategy, onlinemarketing, blogging, searchmarketing, chrispenn, johnwall, marketingovercoffee

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