Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inagural TGC Sports Talk with Kyle Edington and Herb Hufford

Check out our first TGC Sports Talk podcast. Topics include the latest with the Ada Bulldogs and comments on the inagural induction class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Please feel free to post any comments. Herb and I look forward to producing more TGC Sports Talk podcasts. We're open to new ideas for discussion or how to improve.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter! Myself, Kyle Edington - @KyleEdington - or Herb Hufford - @CoachHerb.

Johnny Jobsearch here - ready to stand out

I found this latest chapter of then New Rules of Marketing and PR very interesting. It is interesting how there will likely be a growing debate among companies and corporations between following the old rules and blazing a trail into the new rules.

One positive example I recently commented on, was how GM is getting their custoemrs excited in developing new accessories for the Camaro. At this year's SEMA show, GM will debut the next strip/decal pages that will be chosen by the fans of the Camaro. By logging on to their Facebook page, there is a poll being conducted of a number of strip packages to be considered. The winner will be revealed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. In an attempt to target the younger crowd, we could assume that GM has a buyer persona profile developed, and they are aware that we (me, specifically) is active on Facebook.

I know that since I've started in the social media course this quarter, my online presence has greatly increased.  While I'm still in the process of growing an audience, this chapter helped me realize that I need to take some time to consider what exactly my audience will be looking for, or how I should approach them. I know that after this class concludes, sadly, in a few weeks that I'll be looking to further tailor my blog to my interests and   create more job search oriented posts.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Online Reviews

This has been stated in class many times before, but the online collaboration, when it comes to customer reviews is proving to be more and more important. I know with the latest editions of Microsoft and Apple operating systems, performance reviews from experts and comments from users on different forums will be key to winning over consumers and declaring a winner of this latest battle. Microsoft has clearly emerged from the Vista debacle with a solid offering, while Apple continues to refine an already robust Leopard system with the new Snow Leopard.

While I am not in the market for a new computer at this very moment, I will assume that I'll look to purchase a new one sometime in the next year after I graduate. I know there are a lot of great features offered by both systems. I've also had experience using both operating systems. When it will come time to make my decision on which type to purchase, in addition to price, I'll be reading up on forums and plenty of other user reviews to help me make a decision what I'll purchase.

After I make my decision, I'll do my best to return the favor and publish some of my opinions on how I make my decision, on a blog or article on the internet.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Big School/Little School

Today, I had another experince that showed me a little bit of what going to a bigger school would have been like. I traveled north to Bowling Green State University where I got to watch a high school friend play football for Central Michigan University. 

There is something about that Division I environment, no matter how small the BGSU crowd was, that helps to get your adrenaline rushing. I think it could have been initiated by the fact that we had a fly over from the local military base! I seriously thought that the flyovers only happened during bowl games and NASCAR races! Maybe I need to pay a little more attention. Either way, what a way to start the game off!

Even though I would not change my decision about coming to ONU for anything, there are certain compromises that you have to make. Division I sports and the big city enviornment, are most likely the most significant. I will hopefully make up for the that latter by getting a job in a cool city in the next few months!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Going Viral

After reading the chapter, Going Viral, in The New Influencers, it brought up the Numa Numa video I had posted back from the first week. Just as it was stated in the book, this happened to be one of the first viral videos that I had come across. I think the authors stated it perfectly, that almost everyone wants to be Gary Brolsman, and become some kind of sensation and claim their fifteen minutes of fame.

The best part about viral marketing is that it can happen very quickly, and a minimum cost to the firm. However they are not always effective. I came across this recent attempt by DisneyPixar (as noted by their ID) promoting the Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D. View the link here. I really liked the idea, but I don't think it has caught on. It's a remix of "You've Got a Friend in Me." I saw when it was first released in early October. To date, it only has 45,000 views. I've only seen the link come up on YouTube, however the video does direct you to their Facebook page.

Often times companies violate so many of the rules outlined in the Going Viral chapter that they deny their potential sensation any chance at becoming successful. However, I don't think the folks at DisneyPixar violated any of the Success Factors as outlined.

The product had better be good - Toy Story! I don't know anyone my age or even remotely close that didn't enjoy Toy Story.
The campaign must be innovative/intriguing/fun - The remix was definitely fun and intreiguing, however, I do not think it was innovative. Everyone has seen or heard a remix at some point. I think it was a good idea though.
Don't push it - They folks responsible for creating this did just that. It is sitting on YouTube, and a link is on the Facebook page. Accessible to all.
Reward - I think the reward is the enjoyment of watching and listening.
Let go - at this point, I don't think, overall anything good or negative have come from this, except that 45,000 people have viewed it. Today their are 97 comments. Most of them positive and encouraging.
Use the medium - Seeing the Facebook and YouTube page, DisneyPixar is doing a fairly good job at using Social Media. Not everything can be a success.

I at least hope you got a little enjoyment out of the video. I did!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The lastest e-reading device

While I do not personally own a e-reading device, I certainly have a lot of experience with the Amazon Kindle after some of my work this past summer. The e-reading devices are growing tremendously, with reports that Barns and Noble recently saying that they will be producing their own model. This is in addition to the Kindle with a new lower price, that rumored Apple tablet, and the revamped Sony Reader. Of the latest device rumors, Plastic Logic finally released the name and a few profile images of their device, called the Que.

The Que will be primarily targeting to the business crowd. This device is being promoted as one that will be superior to those who read magazines, newspapers and read many PDF documents. It will also be compatible with Microsoft Office to read Word documents, Excel files and PowerPoint presentations. 

However, we will not now the final specifications for the Que until sometime in January. 

After my brief experience with the Kindle this summer, I find having an e-reading device to be very useful. Because the device was purchased for work purposes, I don't think at this point in my life, I would otherwise purchase a device. I do not do enough leisure reading to justify spending $300 dollars on a specific new device. If there were more textbooks available in an electronic format (which I would imagine, in the next 4 years there will be) I would seek out a device to lighten my backpack. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To my high school seniors out there...

Since Fall is upon us, that only means one thing around the ONU Campus. Well, it could mean several things, but the one thing I'm thinking of, high school visitors. So I thought I would offer a few pieces of advice for when you're out there visiting prospective campuses.

I've been told that some high school students interested in ONU may be reading my blog. I have a brother who is a senior in high school, so I at least better have one person read this post!

1. Visit all the schools you're interested in. Just because you've driven through a campus on a family trip, or really enjoy their athletic programs doesn't mean you will automatically enjoy the school.
2. Take the official tours. These tours always show the highlights of the campus and they help familiarize yourself with what you may get used to seeing everyday.
3. If you get a chance, talk to a professor or visit a class. If you happen to get some wierd glances from other students, disregard them. Most of them are really nice, and remember, they were in your shoes not so long ago.
4. After the tour, walk around on your own with you family or by yourself (as long as you feel safe).
5. Ask questions of the people you talk to from the school. How they answer is very important. Are they engaging? Do they seem interested in you?
6. Try and determine how you feel about school size. Do you want to be in a large and busy environment? Would you rather have some sort of relationship with professors? Tours can help make those complicated questions become more clear.

However, when it comes down to it, everyone makes thier decisions for their own personal reasons. If there is one piece of advice that I could give anyone performing a college search, it would be this: Find the school that feels most like home to you, the place where you could see yourself, enjoying, succeeding, and be happy for the next four years.

Best of luck out there! Anyone have any other suggestions?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pictures of the Week

Touchdown run and Marching Band at halftime

What is old is new again

In this weeks reading of The New Influencers, I enjoyed the comparison of how blogging today is viewed in the same light that journalism was in the day of Thomas Jefferson.

The Wikipedia definition of a pamphleteer ia historical term for someone who creates or distributes pamphlets. Pamphlets were used to broadcast the writer's opinions on an issue, for example, in order to get people to vote for their favorite politician or to articulate a particular political ideology.

While most writing done during Jefferson's time, the news was driven by politics, our current 24 hour news cycle lends itself to people blogging on anything and everything. The blogging process allows the commenting and interaction to happen at an instantaneous rate, allowing those with influence to be spread new ideas at an infectious rate. 

There are also a few characteristics that remain similar between a blogger and a pamphleteer. Just like a pamphleteer, bloggers are passionate. Their passion is evident through their arguments because they may have a sort of one-sided viewpoint. Also, both bloggers and pamphleteers use the fastest and widest form of communication available. Today the newspaper, what was the standard for pamphleteers, is becoming more obselete, while the blogging on the internet has allowed shifted power and influence to more ordinary individuals. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

FCC Regulation on Endorsements

It's no lie that NASCAR is one of the most highly commercialized sports around. Sponsors have the ultimate say in who does what for whom in the sport. Their dollars are spent trying to promote their product or service. Drivers endlessly plug their sponsors, because it is a necessary 'evil'. Sponsors allow drivers and teams do what they love; race.

Soon, no matter how genuine a drivers' feeling toward a sponsor during a plug will have to be regulated.

Burger King's latest campaign with Tony Stewart touts that he endorses the Whopper purely because he loves it.   Today he could be on the television stating, "I just went to Burger King, to get my favorite burger, the Whopper." Under the new regulation, he would have to insert the phrase, "I just went to Burger King to get my favorite burger, the Whopper, because the sponsor me." Or something to that effect.

I write about this, because many drivers are on Twitter. From Juan Pablo Montoya to Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin to Elliott Sadler, are all sharing tweets with the world. I personally follow Elliott Sadler, who is sponsored by Stanley Tools and Best Buy. I've seen tweets from him that could be in violation of potential regulation and also safe from regulation.

Bad Example 1Gonna have to go to best buy and buy some more games cause kevin thinks this one is rigged. Best buy here we come!!!!!!

Good Example 2: I have the coolest sponsors! Follow these guys! RT @BestBuyRacing19 Giving away an Insignia 8" photo frame trivia starts @ 2 ET.

Most race fans know that drivers endorese their sponsors because they are paid to do so. I just find it interesting and also very confusing (especially all athletes and celebrities who endorse products) as to where the line will be drawn.  I hope that the legislation (should it eventually pass) be clear and define that line.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Heard on the Tundra: Tropical Tundra

Tropical Tundra? Really?

When I think of homecoming, I don't jump to the conclusion of breaking out my 6th grade-fad Hawaiian shirt, putting on a lei, and doing a hula dance. Don't get me wrong, homecoming is one of my favorite events on campus, but the theme this year? I think it might be a little weak. Who doesn't love a good use of a little alliteration? I'm just not a fan of the exaggeration.

Sounding negative on this year's theme, may be a result of the non-cooperative wheather we're having at the moment. Givin the fact that we live with frigid temperatures and snow for four to five months, I don't like having tricks played on me. Especially when it involves getting me in the mood for putting "my butt in a lawn chair, toes in the sand, not a worry in the world, a favorite beverage on the way" (a little edited Zac Brown, anyone?). Also, did I mention that my youngest brother is going on a visit this weekend to Flagler College? Yes, it would be the one in St. Augustine, Florida, where he will get to go to the beach between trips to the cafeteria and residence halls. (How ONU is even in competition with Flagler, on my brother's top schools, I don't know?!?)

For all the negativity and sarcasm I've provided in this post, I think I need to put a positive spin on this. Maybe the choice of a Tropical Tundra theme for homecoming, will give us all one last chance to dream about warm, sunny days until Week 8 of Spring Quarter. Yeah, that's it.

Needless to say, homecoming is always a blast. Seeing campus light up with activity from dawn, dusk, and most likely dawn again, is very exciting. Be safe, be well, and get leid!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Reading the latest segment in The New Rules of Marketing and PR, taught me about the significance of podcasting. As an iPod owner for the last six or seven-ish years, I obviously familiar with what a podcast is. However, I do not regularly listen to any. Provisionally, I have downloaded a few of specific interest, but none where I actually subscribed to a feed.

Last year during a weekend retreat for Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) I had the idea of starting some type of SIFE Success Tips to play on the Ohio Northern Radio Station, WONB. I however, did not think about the opporunity a podcast could present. SIFE could produce a once-a-week/month podcast discussing current issues, job search strategies, or any other topic relating to the six main goals of SIFE. This can pose an excellent opportunity to grow the awareness of ONU SIFE around the campus and community.

The tips and advice provided in both chapters six and eighteen made it sound simple enough that is an opportunity worth exploring. Stay tuned, and hopefully SIFE can get something rolling before the end of the school year!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Heard on the Tundra: Bachelor Life

I like saving money where I can. Who doesn't? At some point, it will come at some cost. With the sudden weather change this week, our house was pretty cold. However, we have refrained from turning on the heat. I'd like to think I could go until Mid-October or November before we start paying the gas company ample amounts of cash during the harsh Ada Winter. The coldest I saw our thermometer in the living room was 59 degrees one morning. I think I stepped outside to go to class and warmed up.

Despite the fact that I may be complaining about not turning the heat up, living off campus is great! I had two and a half amazing years in the ONU dorms. My whole wing from freshmen year, we were all very close. My current roommates and best friends are all people I lived with in the Founders first floor. Having meals prepared (despite all complaints about MAC attacks) was very convenient. But as an RA last year (the reason I say two and a half), after my brithday in February, I knew I had to get out of the dorms and on my own.

Trying not to be unbiased, I feel as though my house is one of the nicest off-campus houses I've been in. I enjoy the challenge of cooking for myself. I also got my first credit card in order to start building a solid credit history, so I can get my Camaro! In conclusion, I just want to say that for any underclassmen, thinking about going off campus for the final year, DO IT!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Is NASCAR Opening Up?

Often considered the sport most heavily dictated by executives, NASCAR may be opening up a bit. If so, it is only a small estimate. NASCAR is at least providing an easy avenue for which to interact and communicate with fans.

Starting last week, NASCAR is going 2.0! One of my favorite blogs to read, The Daily Planet, released an article last week, discussing how NASCAR officials have expanded their offerings on the web to MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook (You will find each of the NASCAR pages linked). In addition to the article, I also obviously noted the signage on the NASCAR.com homepage (which is operated by Turner-Sports) touting the new and enhanced community features.

The development that seemed of the greatest importance, noted by The Daily Planet, was the MySpace page. Last time I used MySpace was in high school, and I deactivated my account. Instead, I am on Twitter following the official NASCAR account, in addition to the tweets posted from NASCAR_com.
Since I started studying the social media phenomena, the main idea is that everything revolves around relationships. Considered a fan friendly sport, NASCAR seems to be providing an easier, more direct line of communication for fans. After all, we the fans are what make the sport go round, or at least what I'm supposed to believe.

The first topic of conversation I noticed on the Facebook, Twitter, and NASCAR.com home page was the topic of a shift to more two-day events. For you non-NASCAR followers, the average race weekend consists of arriving at the track Thursday night, qualifying on Friday, and practice Saturday, before the race on Sunday. The thought is to condense the weekend by practicing and qualifying on Saturday and go racing on Sunday. Logistically, a two-day weekend would work wonders for a team's financial burden of travel and hotel accommodations.

My opinion aside (although I’m not opposed), the various sites lead fans to places like the Community on NASCAR.com or direct Twitter followers to comment on the Facebook page, to leave opinions and thoughts. On Tuesday, the Facebook page had 145 comments. As of Friday evening, I saw more than 560! What a great way to easily, and relatively effortlessly gain voluntary opinions.

Knowing that the stakeholders besides fans, like track-holding companies, team owners, etc, will have a greater influence over any major decisions, NASCAR has proved that they are willing to make changes to please fans and generate better competition (i.e. Double-File Restarts). Plus, any way that owners can save more money to help the cars go faster, should have support in the garage area.

Of all these advances with the social media and the sport I love, I have a couple concerns/thoughts:
1.      People take the opportunity to speak with some authority and intelligence (yes I’m aware of the NASCAR stereotypes)
2.      NASCAR continues to learn and grow with the social media trend, and establish stronger relationships
3.      Hire me! I’ll help do it!
That’s my time for the evening. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, or take any other ideas to blog about in the future.