Remembering the First Word in ‘Social Media’

Jason Dominy, social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Atlanta, 2Do3D, social media, communications, friends, how to make friends, how to meet people, meeting people in real life, IRL

Jason Dominy, right, posts pictures to Facebook after meeting people like Mark Tioxon.

I was at a party recently. I knew about half the folks there and was having a nice time going from chat to chat. At one point, I paused to look around for the next conversation and saw another man across the snack table doing the same thing. I decided to introduce myself, but before I could, he called my name.

“Hi,” I said, walking over. “How do you know who I am?”

He said his name, and I recognized it.

“That’s right! We follow each other on Twitter and Instagram,” I said, thus beginning the next nice round of cocktail party conversation. Turns out he’s dating an old friend of mine, who was also at the party, and I introduced them to friends I had brought.

It reminded me of Jason Dominy, a new friend who’s making it his mission to keep the “social” in “social media.”

Project 2Dto3D

Two years ago, Jason started reaching out to Twitter connections – people he’d never met IRL (In Real Life) — and asking them to meet for coffee or lunch.

Jason Dominy, 2Dto3D, meeting people in real life, IRL, social media, Twitter, Facebook, friends, dating, Instagram

Jason with yours truly. He wrote that he liked my blog and asked to meet for coffee.

“I thought I was kind of silly that we live in the same city, we have a lot in common, I like what they have to say – and we’d never even sat down and talked.”

He says his goal is to connect with people in “real and relevant ways.” He’s met about 75 so far, and some have led to lasting friendships or business connections. He calls his effort 2Dto3D and has posted a photo album from the meetings on his Facebook page.

“People are tired of the façade that social media can give,” says Jason, a social media manager at an Atlanta agency. “Anything that gives you a chance to break that down, well, people are interested in that.”

What about you? Have you had similar instances of expanding your real-life contacts via Twitter, Facebook or other social media?

Or do you think this is still a way to avoid contact with actual people? That online “relationships” are just a way of self-isolating?

I like Jason’s efforts. I was glad he reached out to me and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him. And at that party a few weeks ago, Twitter and Instagram helped paved the way for some fun introductions.

Would they have happened anyway? Maybe, but an icebreaker is as an icebreaker does, right?

‘We’re both stunned’

Now here’s an example of a different kind.

UnknownI have a buddy in Miami who noticed over time that he had developed a Twitter friendship with someone he’d never met – someone who didn’t have a name or face on her bio. After naturally tweeting to each other about common interests for several months, my friend asked her to get together for a drink.

That was last fall.

They’ve been dating ever since.

“We were meeting up just for a beer, just because we both seemed interesting to the other,” my pal said. “I’d never seen her until the day I walked into that bar. It was definitely not a date, and neither of us had any ideas about this becoming romantic. We’re both stunned that it did.”

He said not everybody wants to have a wide-open public persona on the Internet, but meeting some of the people you interact with online can have positive outcomes.

“If it wasn’t for Twitter, I never would have fallen for ‘that total stranger I met on the Internet.’”

Ain’t nothing wrong with that.


 

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‘Selma,’ Pride and History in the Flesh: ‘He’s My Congressman’

Selma, John Lewis, Oscar, Oscars, snub, controversy, LBJ, MLK, Martin Luther King, Lyndon Johnson, Edmund Pettis Bridge, Bloody Sunday, movie, Atlanta, Civil Rights

John Lewis was the youngest of the Big Six leaders, just 25 when the events of ‘Selma’ took place. He is portrayed in the film by Stephan James, right.

Oscar snubs and LBJ controversy aside, the movie “Selma” brims with examples of undeniable greatness. We Atlantans have special interest and pride, perhaps, with our singular connection to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Era.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis is portrayed in the film as the brave and smart young man he was. He led that infamous Bloody Sunday march depicted in the film and almost paid with his life. Lewis has long been a hero for me and countless others here in Atlanta, known in the ’60s as The City Too Busy to Hate.

My friend Will Alford shared the following account on Facebook this week.

Selma, MLK, Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Bloody Sunday, Oscar, LBJ, controversy

Will Alford

Saw Selma last night…. In my trips from Atlanta to DC, I often see John Lewis and other congressmen in the airport and/or on flights. (I always take note of which ones accept the inevitable/eventual upgrade to first class that frequent fliers get). The best encounter was one time en route back to Atlanta — just a random week. After most of the plane had boarded, Rep. Lewis was making his way down the aisle to his seat in the back, and every single row stood as he passed in respect for him. Nobody else gets that kind of reaction. He was humble, sweet, patient… and spoke to every single person who reached out to him (like all politicians do). He seemed like some kind of holy man that day where everyone just wanted a touch. History in the flesh. I couldn’t stop myself from obnoxiously turning to my seatmate and bragging, “He’s my congressman.”

I’ve had the pleasure a few times myself, and it is a powerfully humbling experience just to meet Lewis. Thanks, Will, for letting me share your story.


MORE ON JOHN LEWIS: 7 Times He Conquered Social Media

ATLANTA PHOTOS: Tour the new Center for Civil and Human Rights 

RELATED: 7 Terrrific Social Media Accounts about Life in Atlanta

5 Fast Facts: Atlanta BeltLine by the Numbers Infographic

I love the Atlanta BeltLine and I’ve been writing about it a lot lately, here and for Coca-Cola. I thought I’d share in a different way a few of the fun facts given by the project’s communications staff, so I put together this little infographic.

I included many more numbers in the two articles I wrote about the BeltLine for Coca-Cola’s Journey website. The second part is up now, examining the challenges ahead and highlighting the enthusiasm Atlantans have for the “emerald necklace.” I hope you’ll go there to read it, share it and comment on it.

Atlanta-BeltLine

EARLIER: Part One of Coca-Cola’s Look at the BeltLine

EARLIER: Building the ‘BeltLine Culture’ VIDEO

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

Gattis Loss the Latest in a ‘Really Difficult’ Time for the Braves

Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, trade, traded, trades, losing popular players, Jason Hayward, Upton, MLB, Major League Baseball

Say goodbye to Evan Gattis, Braves fans.

The day after the Braves traded popular slugger Evan Gattis to Houston, the team’s director of public relations acknowledged the challenges of the last few months.

“It’s been a really difficult off-season,” said Beth Marshall, in response to a question today at the Public Relations Society of America’s Georgia chapter luncheon in Buckhead.

The Gattis trade followed earlier swaps of other “fan favorites,” as she called them — including outfielder Jason Heyward and Justin Upton. Plus, plenty of fans (including this one) are still miffed about the move to Cobb County.

(The Gattis trade might be the last straw for me. Big hitter, nice guy, remarkable story… Come on, y’all. This is what we’re losing?)

Marshall, on a panel with three other sports PR pros, called the trades “a necessary process for a lot of different reasons.” She said they bring not only P.R. challenges, but marketing issues, as well, since fans can’t come to see some of their favorites anymore.

With so many new names on the roster, everyone within the Braves organization will have a lot to learn at Spring Training — so they can help educate the fans, in turn.

Other morsels from the panel, shared on the PRSA Twitter feed:

  • A British couple touring the College Football Hall of Fame were flummoxed. “Do people actually GO to these games?” they asked a tour guide. – from Traci Messier of the Jackson Spalding agency, which works with the Hall.
  • The Hall activated Kia sponsorship with tailgate exhibit featuring their vehicles. That’s a good example of how corporate sponsorships have to be directly relevant for the sponsor and the event.
  • Comparing launch successes, speakers pointed out that the Hall’s events and grand opening were spread out; the Braves held everything about their move secret until One Big Announcement.
  • Athletes’ social media posts can help build brand — or destroy it. Marshall tells players to not tweet anything they wouldn’t say on TV.

RELATED: Say goodbye to Jason Heyward

RELATED: John Rocker on ‘Survivor’

RELATED: Pics inside the College Football Hall of Fame

Coca-Cola Spreads the Inside Story of Atlanta’s BeltLine

Atlanta, BeltLine, Coca-Cola, Coke, Journey, brand journalism, content marketing, Ryan Gravel, Cathy Woolard, Lisa Borders, transportation solutions in big cities around the world, making the most of existing infrastructure

One of Jeff Roffman’s photos on Coca-Cola’s Journey site shows a family enjoying Atlanta’s BeltLine.

Coca-Cola‘s online magazine Journey just posted the first part of a two-part feature I wrote on the Atlanta BeltLine, and I hope you’ll click over and read it.

The good folks at Journey gave me plenty of space and the talents of free-lance photographer Jeff Roffman. I wrote it for readers all over the world who might not know about the BeltLine but will be interested to see how it is progressing and what they can learn from it.

The story also is a good opportunity to check out Journey, which is full of great copy, photos and information about all kinds of things all over the world. It’s a leader in brand journalism/content marketing. And you’ll notice that it’s not all about marketing Coca-Cola. It really is a bright, engaging general-interest magazine — which also includes resources traditionally found on corporate websites.

Here’s the article. Please share and let us know what you think.


EARLIER: Building the ‘BeltLine Culture’ VIDEO

EARLIER:  Journalists offer advice for the BeltLine

RELATED: The College Football Hall of Fame lights up downtown

A Former Civil Rights Reporter Shares His Thoughts on ‘Selma’

Jay Croft:

My former newspaper colleague Walter Cumming shared his interview with his father, a former Newsweek reporter who covered the Civil Rights Movement. Walter spoke with his father about that era and then they went to see “Selma.” This is great stuff and I want to share it. Enjoy.

Originally posted on LIVE ART, Oeuvres nouveau, NEUE KUNST:

Joe Cumming leaving theatre
Last Friday, I interviewed my Father about his experience in 1965 as a Newsweek reporter in Selma Alabama.
The next day, at my urging, we watched the Ava Duvarnay’s film “Selma”. Here is my follow up interview with him immediately after the viewing:
Me- “So Daddy, as a work of art, how was the movie to you?”
Joe- “Well see, I’m of a different generation. In truth, having been there, as you say, it was very dramatic. But this over did the drama from my point of view. But that doesn’t speak for a generation that would get a lot out of it.
There was no falsehood but that LBJ thing did give him a bad rap.”
Me- “You interviewed George Wallace right?”
Joe – “Oh yeah, I knew him real well…”
Me- “What did you think of his portrayal in the movie (by UK actor Tim Roth)?”
Joe-“I didn’t…

View original 381 more words

PHOTO TOUR: Neglected Theater Gets a Loving — and Fabulous — Rebirth

Before: Faded. Today: Happy.

Before: Faded. Today: Happy. Photo gallery below.

For movie lovers, there’s nothing sadder than an old, abandoned theater – and nothing as glorious as a fabulously restored one.

For a perfect example, look to Lebanon, Tenn., a small town about 30 miles east of Nashville and its Capitol Theatre.

I’ve been visiting Lebanon my whole life, since first my aunt and uncle and now my mother and step-father live there. And even as a kid, I was struck by The Capitol’s faded, forgotten beauty. It reminded me of “The Last Picture Show,” and I longed for someone to see its potential and resurrect it, despite the changes brought by multiplexes and home video.

Now Pam and Bob Black have done just that.

They gave me a tour on Friday, and what a great day-after-Christmas present.

Old Hollywood and On

The Capitol opened with fanfare and a Betty Grable picture in 1949, steps from the Town Square. Like everything else in the South, the theater was segregated, so black people had to sit upstairs. After The Capitol closed in 1981, it came to symbolize the fading core of the town as Wal-Mart and chain restaurants took most of the business closer to I-40 a couple of miles away.

Lebanon, Tennessee, Capitol Theatre, Theater, small town, movies, plays, concerts, venue, wedding receptions, Betty Grable, old movies

Pam and Bob Black in the lobby of their labor of love.

Then, Pam and Bob bought The Capitol and, in 2011, began their meticulous, loving restoration and improvement.

“We felt there was a need to keep it alive,” Bob said. “We heard that someone was going to tear it down, and we couldn’t possibly think of that happening.”

Open since summer 2013, it’s beautiful inside, with original and new Art Deco features; state-of-the-art projection for classic movies; first-class acoustics for live music; and flexibility to host receptions and community events.

The auditorium in another before-and-after

The auditorium in another before-and-after

It’s no insult to the rest of Lebanon to say there’s nothing like The Capitol in town – or probably anywhere in the area until you get to Music City.

Like a Mini-Fox in Atlanta

Now it reminds me of a smaller version of The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. And I hope Pam and Bob find success with concerts like the Variety Playhouse and others in Atlanta – or the Franklin Theatre just south of Nashville. There’s a magic to places like The Capitol that new projects can’t match.

“We try to use it as an avenue for local events,” Bob said. “There’s really no place around where we can do weddings, corporate events, live music, musical theater, dinner theater… we can try and do about everything that there is. We’re very excited about the acceptance that we’ve had in town.”

In recent years, trendy boutiques have popped up on The Square next to ancient shops selling antiques. And The Square itself is currently getting a facelift.

It’s not too much to hope The Capitol will encourage future redevelopment and vitality in Lebanon. Some high-profile concerts, a smart series of movies, a packed calendar of weddings, class reunions and the like?

Just take a look. (Click on a picture to enlarge it. Mouse over to see caption.)

 

Fleetwood Mac Live: It’s Almost Too Much

Fleetwood Mac, Atlanta, Philips Arena

Sweetness… Stevie Nicks tweeted this from an earlier show, welcoming Christine McVie back to Fleetwood Mac.

Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were concluding a stripped-down opening of “Tusk” last night when John McVie and Mick Fleetwood segued in with that wicked bass and drum part.

And I fell back into my chair at Philips Arena, feeling drunk  from another of the countless moments of musical bliss during Fleetwood Mac’s concert.

“It’s almost too much,” I said out loud but to no one.

They were that good. They played only old stuff, a lot of the hits and a few chestnuts for us diehards. And yet this wasn’t just about nostalgia, a cruise-ship oldies show. The four of them, along with returning songbird Christine McVie, are all around 70 – but they rocked it out. Buckingham remains a fierce lead guitarist. The harmonies were tighter than in their ‘70s heyday. And they all were clearly enjoying each other and their ongoing popularity.

Fans like me grew up with this band and know their personal stories as intimately as their music. Combine that sweetness with the blazing musicality of the show, and we had a spectacular evening that only a handful of other acts can deliver. You can’t separate their soap opera from the songs. It’s one of the great sagas in pop music history.

Here are some pictures from last night (yes, Stevie and Lindsey are still gorgeous – and truly, sincerely weird).

A few more thoughts:

  • Welcome back, Christine McVie. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
  • Lindsey’s a bigger drama queen than Stevie.
  • John McVie carries an orchestra in his bass.
  • Stevie and Mick need to spike that post-“Songbird” speechifying. But restraint from excess has never been Fleetwood Mac’s forte, of course.
  • Mick Fleetwood in particular is an inspiration, still deliriously in love with playing the drums.
  • And if all the goodwill on stage didn’t warm your heart for more than 2 hours, hearing them all sing “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow” still can.

19 Examples of the Worst Jargon of 2014

jargonHere’s a lesson from the first day of the first writing class anyone ever took: Write to express, not to impress.

That should be simple enough to remember. But too often, we churn our way through clichés, jargon and other stale expressions that indicate we’re not interested in expressing ourselves – we’re just moving our lips or striking the keys.

Relying on jargon, acronyms and the like isn’t just annoying and lazy. It’s bad for business because it says: I do not care if you understand.

Jargon, Buzz words, Atlanta, Business, Corporate communications, language, clarity, stop saying these stupid thingsIt’s always good, easy fun to list ridiculous and overused words, non-words, phrases and gibberish that find their way into everyday discourse. Seems like most of it’s in business, doesn’t it? Corporate-speak can really kill English the most.

I’ve put together a list here of some of the Worst Jargon of 2014. I’m including a few examples that aren’t jargon exactly but remain crimes against the language. Thanks to friends and colleagues who contributed.

1. Learnings. An example: “John is back from his conference and will share some of his top learnings with us.”

2. Stakeholdering. I’m not sure, but I think it’s supposed to mean “relationship building,” or something like that.

3. Conceptualize. Have you used the Business Buzzword Generator? Try it now. It’s a hoot.

4. Skilling. This takes the “learning” example to the next depth. “The team will need some skilling on how to use the new processes.”

Mrs. Jones is the lady on Hudson Street... because a noun is a person, place or thing.

Mrs. Jones is the lady on Hudson Street… because a noun is a person, place or thing.

5. Ask. Here’s perhaps the worst, and perhaps most common, example of using a verb as a noun for no reason at all, except that you heard your boss doing it. Example: “When you go to the budget meeting, what will your main ask be?”

6. Choiceful. “When we’re making those decisions, we have to be really choiceful.”… I have no idea why anyone would ever say that, but people do it every day in Corporate America. See also: impactful.

7. Solution – as a verb. I’m not kidding. “We have a real challenge here, but we also know how we’re going to solution that.” Also: “update.”

8. Eventize. From a friend in Hollywood. An example: “We’re eventizing our entertainment slate.” Translation: We are airing this new show and it’s so incredibly hot that it’s going to be a big event, not just a regular TV show.

9. Utilize. Because “use” was out of town?

10. At the end of the day. Unless you’re in “Les Miz,” never.

11. Iconic. We used to call old movie stars “legendary.” Now, somehow, anyone of any note must be referred to as “iconic.” Stop, please.

Uhm... like, totally!

Uhm… like, totally!

12. Uh… and Uhm… Have these replaced “like” and “ya know” in conversation or business meetings and presentations?

13. Obviously – when it’s not obvious at all. If it is obvious, you probably don’t need to say so.

14. Ideate. “We should spend a little more time with the ideation on this…”  (Translation:  We still need to work on this, and some of that work will require creative thought.)

15. Swirl: “Our intent is to minimize the swirl on this one…”  (Translation: How do we keep the fewest number of people involved in this decision?)

16. Swimlanes: “We need to make sure everyone is clear on their swimlane and stays within it.”  (Translation:  Everyone needs to do what they are supposed to do and not spend time doing other people’s stuff.)

17. Hashtag. Use a hashtag, but stop saying it. With air quotes.

18. Mindshare. An editor friend sent that one. I have no idea.

19. Maximizer. Sounds naughty.

And here’s a fun piece with more examples on CNN.com. Oy!

Share your own examples. I wish I could incentivize you…

Santa Speedo Run is Playful Fun for a Good Cause

Atlanta, Santa Speedo Run, Midtown, Peachtree, Baton Bob, Everybody Wins, Children's literacy, literacy, charity event, gay, gay men,

Go, Santa.

Apologies to friends in Boston and other cold cities that have similar annual events, but today was beautiful and balmy for the Atlanta Santa Speedo Run.

The event is a fund-raiser for a different organization each year. This time, the money will go to Everybody Wins, a children’s literacy group. The goal was $70,000. I’m guessing the runners raised more, given the rockin’ turnout and the gorgeous weather. (Donate and check for updates here.)

It followed Sunday’s Toy Party, another charity event for kids supported primarily by Atlanta’s gay community.

I was expecting hunks in trunks, and there were plenty. But women and straight guys joined the group of mostly gay men. And there were non-running supporters, a brass band in goofy hats, and Atlanta police helping with traffic on the fun run’s 1.5 mile route on sunny Peachtree Street in Midtown.

When I checked the temp on my iPhone, it was 61.

Sorry, Boston.

(Click on a pic to make it bigger. Rollover to see the caption.)