Yearly Archives: 2009

Guest Post – Real Time Web Is Hot

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There is a new way to search the web, and boatloads of users who have experienced the real time web have been impressed with the results.

Traditional search engines rank sites based on relevancy. Because of this, the results don’t change a lot. A search today will reveal most of the same sites and information that were there last month.

However, with companies like Twitter and Facebook having millions of users continue to post content and status updates – there is now real time content on the web which updates each second.

Search engines and startups have leveraged this information to offer internet users instant access to what is happening right now.

So, when breaking news happens a real time search will instantly give you the public’s thoughts, opinions, and experiences in relation to the breaking news.

A search on Google news would give you links to articles written by people in the media. A real time search will allow you to sift through all internet users comments and thoughts.

There have been several startups which have launched search engines and tools to try and offer users a good experience in searching and navigating through the real time web.

Here is a list of three startups… along with a quick overview of what makes each of them stand out:

1.)       Topsy (http://topsy.com)  What makes Topsy’s real time search engine stand out is that it is focused on real time links as opposed to real time content.   So, when you perform a search at Topsy, instead of seeing what people are talking about on the real time web, you are going to see what the most popular and prominent links are being shared on the real time web.  You can ever sort to see the most shared links over the past hour, day, week, or month.

2.)       OneRiot (http://oneriot.com/)  Rumors have been swirling all over the web in regards to a partnership Yahoo is discussing with OneRiot.  OneRiot offers users a real time search engine which can be sorted based on web results and video results.  OneRiot also announced in early October that it will be rolling out a platform for advertisers to pay for listings to featured content on their results pages. While most real time web companies have been focused on technology and traffic, OneRiot seems to be an early leader in the monetization of the real time web.

3.)      Sency*  (http://sency.com)  Sency has built a free feed for websites and blogs  (http://sency.com/feed.php).  The feed brings in real time content which updates automatically on the site or blog it is published on.  The site and blog owners are able to select which keyword they want the feed to scroll for.  So, a blog about sports, can for example, have automatically updating real time content anytime someone uses the word baseball or football shows up on the real time web

*This article was written by Evan Britton, founder of Sency.

Failed Georgia

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This past summer I drove several times from downtown Atlanta south to Luthersville, GA to drop/pickup my kid at a Girl Scout camp just a mile outside of that sleepy little Georgia town.

The drive took about an hour or so, down I-85 south a’ways. Along the entire car ride, I followed an existing rail line. One that ran almost to the very backdoor of the pretty 270-acres of camp in the heart of red clay Georgia – a part of the state  I like to call “Tara World” as it’s the general area, give or take 50 miles or so, where Margaret Mitchell located Scarlett’s famous childhood crib, Tara.

I imagined a gorgeous Twelve Oaks plantation nearby as I drove along. Dumb-ass county bucks haulin’ ass over the pretty, verdant Georgia fields along the way on their magnificent horses.  (“Peggy’s Mind Poison” I also like to say.)

Actually, I kinda lie. I wasn’t imagining any such thing on my last pass through Luthersville, GA. Rather, I was fuming. Filled with angry, ugly thoughts in my mind about Governor Sonny Perdue and the entire dumb-ass Georgia Legislature.

I tossed in GDOT, GRTA, ARC, and any other ridiculous alphabet soup of any Georgia state bureaucratic-ridden entity that had failed the citizens of little Luthersville, Georgia so terribly.

Failed me in my gas-guzzling rides back and forth to Luthersville that could have been so easily traversed by rail in a traffic-less 40-minutes or so. If only there had been a commuter train to take us back and forth from the city to that sweet little place.

The if-onlys sure are piling up when it comes to commuter rail and Georgia.

Poor Luthersville. It looked so sad last summer. Depressed. On its last good leg, with maybe one  convenience store, a bank and a Dollar General still open.

Luthersville was still struggling to put up a good front though, like some aging, penniless aunty and her brave display of near-moldy Chanel Red lipstick at a far-younger family member’s wedding she’d been politely invited to because, after all, she “is still family.”

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Social Media and the 2009 Atlanta Mayoral Race

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Atlanta, GA. 10-22-2009 — Reading the cover story in today’s AJC about social media and the Atlanta  mayoral race is like dealing with an ADD person – it’s wildly unfocused and all over the place. And not the least bit interested in hearing what you have to say. Except when it does. From the AJC:

And, while the 2009 race will be the city’s first in which social media play a major role, even campaign officials admit being uncertain whether they can turn Facebook friends and Twitter followers into voters. Facebook and Twitter accounts for the major candidates include everything from diehard supporters to spies from other campaigns to folks from far away locales with no connection to the campaign.

Grayson Daughters, a social media consultant in Atlanta, said the move to electronic communications in campaigns is so new no one knows what value it brings. Everybody knows they’ve got to do it, though.

“These are very, very powerful tools,” Daughters said. “These are databases they have compiled. Once these people are in your database, you have access to them 24/7.”

Article in full here.

Will social media drive boots to the polls, so to speak, this year? We’ll know more on November 4th…  if we have some, any, exit polling data to give us an idea of what did motivate people to get up off their arses and go vote for a particular candidate in the Atlanta mayoral race of 2009.

Hint, hint pollsters! Help us. We’re dying out here without good, localized data to cite. Hello KSU’s Center for Sustainable Journalism!  Emory? InsiderAdvantage/PollPosition? CNN? AJC? Anyone?

It really would be genuinely super-fantastic to have some genuine data in regards to social media and politics. Some kinda science behind the wildly speculative and hypothetical ya-ya that surround social media use in southern politics right now.

Otherwise we’ll just have to slog through more rambling stories that leave us only scratching our heads in media bewilderment.

Finally. A Political Ad Made In The 21st Century.

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more about “Finally. A Political Ad Made In The 2…“, posted with vodpod

The Value of An Established Social Network In Times of Crisis

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Brother can you spare a boat?

It took four hour for the Atlanta Fire Department (AFD) to get their rescue personnel into a rescue boat during recent flooding in the city – as AFD  floundered smack dab in the middle of one of the wealthiest zip codes in the city, if not the entire country.

Four hours to acquire a boat in a portion of a city where people have likely dozens of boats, of a vast variety, idling in backyard garages. Dozens. Just minutes away from a flooded creek from which people needed immediate rescuing.

According to The Sunday Paper, when AFD went broke during this recession they were forced to sell the only rescue boat they owned before the big flood of September 2009.

So be it. If you need a boat in 30327 and you can’t put out a plea to any number of neighbors and citizens nearby, in a time of crisis, who would gladly and urgently have offered a boat to assist in the rescue of neighbors and fellow citizens in the Internet Age, then that’s a sorry state of communication – a state of communication that illuminates just how critical it is that our social networks include, and overlap with, government entities and the people they serve and seek to assist. And vice versa.

During the flooding the week of September 20, 2009 in Atlanta there was almost no interruption to communication infrastructure such as cellular networks and Internet services.

Had anyone on the fire department rescue team asked any 30327 resident, bystander, onlooker or neighbor to help locate a boat, chances are someone could have stood right by the rising creek, whipped out a phone (smart kind or othewise) and called someone to assist with the immediate loan of an appropriate boat.

A 30327 resident might have sent out an urgent request on a neighborhood message board for a boat. Someone could have used their Twitter (and the #atlflood hashtag) or Facebook network to locate a boat.

If the Atlanta Fire Department had built their own Twitter and/or Facebook social network of citizens of the areas of Atlanta they serve, AFD could have used that network, immediately, to locate and acquire a boat — within the hour of need I’d guess.

But first you must, of course, HAVE a social network to ask things of and to utilize in times  of crisis! It’s not that the fire department did not have a boat to call their own; rather they could not get their hands on ANY boat for four hours… while they were surrounded in a sea of possible boats.

I recently witnessed a local Atlanta social network jump into action to assist an elderly neighbor who was discovered living without water service for over a year. Once people in the neighborhood became aware of the neighbor’s plight, and what was needed to help the situation, an entire community and social network kicked in to serve and assist. Virtually instantly. All because one email was sent to an established social network. In that particular case, a network created via a simple, free Yahoo! Message Board/group.

In times of crisis, people want to serve. People will serve and assist in whatever way, small or large, that they are capable of. Any disaster scenario has proved that over and over again.

But it takes communication to let people know what exactly is needed to kick-start our inherent sense of service. And it takes leadership. And it takes foresight.

Now, especially in a deep recession, it very well may take an established social network. Because a social network is comprised of all kinds of people – people who are willing and able and eager to serve…  in most cases.

In the case of severe flooding, your social network may very well have just the boat you need… if you ask that of your network.

Six Hours of Classical Programming A Day At WABE Is Six Too Many

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It’s pledge drive time at WABE. One of my fave times of the year to taunt Lois Reitzes. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of Atlanta’s FM 90.1 WABE six hours of classical-only programming a day, not even including weekends, then do something about it!

Join the Facebook Group 6 Hours = 6 Too Many. And call up WABE during pledge drive, pledge the minimum acceptable amount and tell ‘em you’d love to give more if you got more. Remember kiddies, it’s YOUR public radio station too. Not just APS’s.

Here’s my last year’s video promo for 6 Hours A Day = 6 Too Many. I really need to get a new pair of glasses…

more about “Six Hours of Classical Programming A …“, posted with vodpod

Tour of a Flooded Home in NW Atlanta, Georgia. 9-23-09

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UPDATE. May 5, 2010. This particular home was a total loss and torn down. Seems a new one is under way though, when I drove by in the heavy rains today along Peachtree Creek. Boy are people resilient or what?!

Post-flood. A tour of a flooded home, randomly chosen from many others just like it, along Hanover West Dr. in NW Atlanta, GA near Peachtree Creek.

Thanks to the homeowner, Bill Powell and his amazing attitude: “We’re gonna dry it out, clean it up, then we’re gonna jack it up.”

Thanks also to Jarred Opstad of Metro Furniture Restorations in Tucker, GA who took a moment to talk about the process of working on a seriously flooded home. A WaySouth Media, Inc. production. 9-23-09.

more about “Tour of a Flooded Home in NW Atlanta,…“, posted with vodpod

Twitter Hashtags In Crisis Communication/Atlanta Flood 2009

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Grayson Daughters and Tessa Horehled talk using Twitter hashtags in crisis communication and disaster relief during the Atlanta, Georgia flood of September 2009. #atlflood

more about “Talking Twitter Hashtags In Crisis Co…“, posted with vodpod

Georgia and Atlanta Disaster Relief Orgs To Follow On Twitter

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Please help add to this list of Georgia/Atlanta organizations that are Twittering flood/disaster relief  information out to the community in the Comments section. I’ll update accordingly!

Flooding in Atlanta: One Search To Bind Them All

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Charlotte, NC communications blogger, Andria Krewson, took time out to notice the way we Atlantans used Twitter as a crisis communications tool in the flooding situation yesterday. And how a trending topic on Twitter is quickly spammed by jerks too, making Twitter a dubious crisis communications tool – at the trending phase at least.

Just as the TV news stations will have “EVEN MORE” coverage throughout the day,  online communications gurus will continue to use Twitter throughout this ongoing natural disaster in Georgia.

Here’s Krewson’s (@underaok on Twitter) post in full:

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Flooding in Atlanta: One Search To Bind Them All

About 6 a.m. Monday, Steve Burns, a freelance journalist near Atlanta, sent out a note on Twitter:

“WSB: Boil water advisory in Douglas County. #atlfloods”

An hour later, Atlanta blogger Grayson Hurst Daughters tweeted from her @spaceyg account:

“Atlanta commuters: use the hashtag #atlflood for Atlanta flood condition notices.”

She followed up quickly with a note to a local TV outlet:

“@11AliveNews, please consider using the hashtag #atlflood in your Tweets! That way all the notices can be indexed/RSS’d. Tx!”

The tag set the tone for an organized, findable stream of aggregated content that helped Atlantans and their friends stay informed as the rain kept falling, killing at least 6 people, swamping interstates and causing major delays at the airport. The Georgia governor declared a state of emergency in 17 counties.

We’ve all read posts about how Twitter provides immediate coverage of earthquakes or bloody election fallout. But this moment showed how a social media tool enabled aggregation of all local news coverage through one search, quickly, in a large city, for breaking news.

Individuals shared links to stories from the established local news outlets quickly throughout the day. And a picture on Twitpic of flooding on Atlanta’s downtown connector received more than 60,000 views in about 10 hours.

Considering it a victory for untrained “citizen journalism” might be a bit misleading. Burns has newspaper experience from California, Georgia and Florida, and Daughters is a writer and corporate communication professional who worked for ABC News for six years. Also heavily involved was Tessa Horehled, a strategic marketer who advises companies about social media plans. Tweeting at @driveafastercar, she braved the rain with a video camera numerous times throughout the day from her neighborhood, and posted pictures late into the evening as a creek approached her front door.

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Dreams Orgs Have For The Future

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Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding (CATR Farms) has a dream. This amazing organization dreams of having a covered riding ring for the kids they serve.

A covered riding ring is crucial in the volatile weather conditions of the South Carolina Lowcountry. And when disabled school children travel all the way to John’s Island to CATR Farms, from surrounding areas, for their lessons, lessons they are so excited and anticipatory about, and then it starts pouring rain and there’s no sheltered arena, their lessons must be canceled.

And the kids are sent home for the day… very disappointed needless to say.

Of course, covering for a riding ring is not some inexpensive item you can run off and buy from Home Depot. I wouldn’t venture a guess at how much they cost, but let’s just say it’s a lot more than CATR Farms currently has in their coffers.

Wednesday September 16, 2009, was a special fund raising day for the good folk at CATR Farms, which was founded in 1991 by (retired) professional riders/jockeys Meta Carter (my aunt) and Eileen McGuffie of Charleston, SC. A cousin, veterinarian Dr. Grayson Carter Hudgins, serves on the current CATR board too.

On Sept. 16, CATR Farms held a fund raising luncheon at the famous Mills House Hotel in Charleston. I couldn’t be there for that in person, but I made a little presentational video about one of the many unique programs at CATR Farms, interactive vaulting, they showed during the luncheon.

You can see that video here too:
http://vimeo.com/6593557

Please think about making any kind of donation to CATR Farms in your financial planning for this year or next! Or sharing this on your Facebook Wall.

You’re going to love the way those kids will smile… all day long… under that covered riding arena!

CATR Farms is on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1018796403&ref=ts

Add Kyle Keyser To WSB-TV Sept. 13 Debate Lineup!

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Ooops! I know they mean well at WSB-TV/Channel 2, but sometimes they’re just not able to keep up with all the latest developments happening in their own political backyard via social media. Neither can old-school kinda orgs like the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF).

Bless their hearts! It’s tough out here for the way-it-was-ers, isn’t it?

Seems APF and Channel 2 forgot to invite Atlanta mayoral candidate Kyle Keyser to the Atlanta Police Foundation’s mayoral candidate debate on September 13 at 6:30pm on Channel 2. Silly media!

You can find all the other debate details here though:
http://atlanta.daybooknetwork.com/story/2009/09/09/242682009-wsbtv-mayoral-debate913.shtml

This is very funny because Kyle Keyser (@keyserformayor on Twitter) almost singlehandedly forced the issue of rampant crime in the City of Atlanta to the top of the media heap through his 10K + member org, Atlantans Together Against Crime, or ATAC:
http://atlantanstogether.org/

And the Atlanta Police Foundation/Channel 2 Sept. 13 debate is… a debate focused solely on public safety issues.

Contact Atlanta Police Foundation and ask that Kyle Keyser be included in the Sept. 13th mayoral reindeer games at:

(404) 586-0404

aashe@atlantapolicefoundation.org

Thanks!
Grayson Daughters
SpaceyG on Twitter
http://twitter.com/SpaceyG

Kyle Keyser For Mayor:
http://www.kylekeyserformayor.org/

Atlanta Tech-Media Notes of the Day. August 11, 2009

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Atlanta tech-media items of the day. Click here to listen.

Sites where goodies mentioned in audio note can be found are:

VM provided by ShoutNow.

Media Connection #7 – A Conversation With Field Trip With Sue’s Sue Rodman, Pt. 1

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Please visit MediaConnection for even more conversations with key players in the social media milieu.