I was honored, humbled and overwhelmed this week when my nomination for a Texas Social Media Award met with so many sweet and thoughtful comments. I know that one of my students nominated me, and for that I am very grateful. The fact that I could post a tweet and a Facebook status and send a couple emails and get that kind of huge and sincere response really demonstrates the immediate power of social media. And, I am lucky to have so many amazing students, colleagues, friends and consumers of the media I create. Blessed and touched, truly.
The Texas Social Media Award site was opened for nominations late last year. Anyone could make a nomination, and you could even nominate yourself. Then, the Statesman posted the list of nominees and requested comments from the community. This is really a great project that the Statesman is sponsoring, and Rob Quigley who launched the competition, is a perfect example of someone who uses social media to great effect. He’ll be judging the competition, so he can’t compete in it, along with Addie Broyles, Statesman food writer and blogger, and Michelle Greer, last year’s winner.
I spent a few hours today browsing around the TX Social Media site. I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about some of the cool things that others are doing with social media around Texas. I was blown away by the talent we have here in our fair state. First of all, I was delighted to see Texas State University represented so well. Dara Quackenbush, also on the faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Josh Shepherd, a current graduate student and blogger at www.thebacklineshow.com and Scott Thomas and Maira Garcia (Scott’s a student, Maira just graduated and is working for NOWCastSA), who started the citizen journalism Web talk show www.thepeoplesmedia.tv, all received nominations. And, Yvonne Taylor was nominated for starting the Texas State Facebook fan page. Please check out their work.
The next thing I noticed was that some people came out of the gate very quickly in terms of quality and quantity of comments, some of which I had not been previously familiar. I think this shows a nominee’s ability to quickly engage their social network and also indicates how avid or loyal their followers are. Ashley Cass, who also just happens to be a TX State grad, was nominated for her work with Birds Barbershop, a really hip new salon, and you can see from the comments about her that she has taken the social media presence for that organization to a new level, mixing personal, fun, important and professional in her communications with constituents.
Brian Cuban, who spoke at our Mass Comm Week, hosts a blog called The Cuban Revolution. Sure, he’s the brother of Mark, but he covers lots of interesting issues across a wide range of topics.
And, someone who I had not been familiar with before, but now follow, is Indiana Adams. She hosts the AdoredAustin blog. She blogs about fashion, decor and life in Austin, which I think is great, because there are so many cool things to say about our great city. Other Austin blogger nominees include Lyssa Myska Allen, hosting ThisisLifeinAustin.com and Ryan Loyd for his AustinCitySphere.com news/blog/podcast site.
There are, of course, multiple business/PR nominees. One that stands out is Jenna Oltersdorf of Snackbox PR. And, it was also great to see so many companies focused on non-profits in the mix. Social media is a fantastic way to engage those who share passions for causes. Check out David Neff, who works tirelessly, engaging a variety of social media tools to support non-profits. I have several former students who work for Convio, a company does Web consulting for non-profits, and they have demonstrated to me how important these techniques are to the success of the organizations they support.
Some other great personal blogs are Lydia Fielder‘s Understand Blue and Korey Coleman‘s film community at Spill.com. There are more than 150 nominees, and I’m sure I have missed some amazing ones, but these are just a few that I think are special.
If you care to comment about any of my social media activities, of course, I’d love it and you can find my nomination page here. I try to mix practice and teaching by doing my onthatnote.com music blog and interview show, as well as this tech blog and my Twitter and Facebook updates, and any of my other projects.
Here’s part of my interview with the delightful Rhett Miller of Old 97′s, as a sample of what I do at onthatnote.com. Click the Sessions tab there to watch more.
But, whether you comment on me or not, you should really use this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the broad range of social media activities going on in our state. It’s a great mix of personal, professional, fun, serious and interesting! Maybe it will inspire you.