Cleveland.com Turns 15, TweetUp Celebrates Shandy, Indians and Harry Potter

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CLEVELAND –

Google+ wasn’t “invited” last night.

Instead, the back patio of Lincoln Park Pub in Tremont was abuzz with topics of Denny’s, er — Hafner’s walk off grand slam, favorite local spots and the premiere (or early/advanced screenings for the geeks of the group) of JK Rowling’s purported final installment of the iconoclastic Harry Potter series.

Notice my intentional curtail of the word epic, which author of I am Better than Your Kids Maddox refers to as one of the most abused filler words in the English language (Not Everything is Epic, Sh*theads).

Okay, Google+ was briefly discussed — but some of us clearly just haven’t had the time to jump into yet another platform and begin the peculiar task of clumping our personal and professional lives into circles (Larry Page, take note: perhaps it would be more fun to have an X option, for those that fit that category?…).

Cleveland Tremont Lincoln Park Pub Byron Fernandez Ray ban Wayfarer Rare Print Special Series #2 NYC Metro subway

Photo courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Upon perching near the fire pit with a few Leinenkugel’s summer shandys, appetizers and tweets, friends from Junta42 Pam, Joe and I discussed vacation spots and the value/need for “unplugging” from work and tech.

Pam dished about her love for Cancun (having friends/family throughout Mexico helps, but that’s one spot I have yet to visit), while Joe and I waxed poetic over the outdoors, Canada and just getting lost in nature.

No cell phones. No computers. For a week or more. Ah, the Bill Bryson set.

Good stuff.

Tremont Lincoln Park Pub Cleveland tweetup

Photo Courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Reminiscing about unplugging brought to mind Paul Roetzer’s challenge to us a few months ago: The UnPlugged Experiment (and recent Matrix convos I’ve had with tweeps in Jordan) all over again.

Needless to say, it was good to reflect (and jibe) with Pam and Joe about the importance of finding balance in our personal and professional lives.

Locals in attendance other than Cleveland.com, WEWS5 and Tribetalk included folks from Junta42, PR 20/20, CLE Social Media Club and the Ohio Blogging Association:

Alana Munro @dawgpndgirl

Byron Fernandez @byron_fernandez (You are here…)

Frank Zupan @FrankZupan

Jen Gardner @whyCLE

Jessica Donlon @jessicadonlon

Joe Kalinowski @ringo66

Keith Moehring @keithmoehring

Laurel Miltner @laurelmackenzie

Pam Kozelka @pamkozelka

Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

Tammy Colson @TLColson

Lincoln Park Pub Tremont Cleveland Indians tweetup

Photo courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

RELATED LINKS

Twitter Users Gather for Cleveland TweetUp Event 

Cleveland.com photos

Gunther Sonnenfeld on Gladwell, GaGa and Organic Communities

As I continue down the rabbit hole that is Google+, it’s been exhilarating to connect with some of the thinkers, writers, bloggers and storytellers in my social networks, mainly Twitter and Facebook, but also from Quora, LinkedIn and Klout.

One of my favorite bloggers is Gunther Sonnenfeld (@goonth), the author of ThinkState and (any surprise here?) also a native of Southern California.

Though I’ve yet to break through the soundwaves of his 4k strong Twitter following, he added me back on Google+ circles. Geeked :)

We’re all like this. Who inspires you (other than yourself)? Who invigorates, challenges and amps you up for the day, week, month? The lovebuzz and insights we get from this is nothing short of a ripple that flows outward. At quantum levels, as Zian Silverwolf likes to put it.

So cool.   

Among many things, Gunther mentions observations on the direction of community and social interactions, in life and online. Storytelling, Gladwell, passion, organic references…and of course, GaGa.

Obviously this was my favorite part:

The Lady Gaga Misnomer (the truth about “superfandom”).

” Speaking of meaningful action… At breakfast this morning, a friend and colleague of mine shared a great story about the phenomenon that is Lady Gaga. He had been talking with her manager at a dinner party, who said that amid the 32 million plus fans she has acquired in her young career, only 60 – that’s right, SIX-ZERO – are her real fans, her “superfans”, who make or break her career and its respective paths. They essentially do all the talking, all the doing and all the marketing for her. This might not be entirely surprising when we think about how careers, especially in music, are so easily made and destroyed. But perhaps there is something far more kinetic in this equation, which is the idea that influence is borne from an intention so strong, a passion so alive, that what springs from it cannot be stopped. It can’t be confined to words. More importantly, it defines the path of the ordained. Lady Gaga is just a woman who had an imagination and a heart bigger than her own self — she played the role of a superstar, an inspirational icon, even when she was only performing for audiences of 30. Imagine what would happen if we were all influenced in the same way… If we all conveyed the emotion she does through her work (whether you like it or not…) and through those she so profoundly influences. “

Basically, it’s pretty simple for the Gags and those who “get it” »

” Being provocative is not just about getting peoples’ attention.

It’s about saying something that affects people in a real way — and a positive way… “

RELATED LINKS

Gunther Sonnenfeld >> The Future Now of Influence

Necessary GaGa Masterclass Comes to American Idol

The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google goes GaGa 

5 Reasons Why to Avoid being NonPlussed by Google+

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First, I’d like to thank PR dame Gini Dietrich for ending a slew of misfortune (misfires?). I’m wondering if it was because I never used Gmail…my primary email account since 2004 has been Hotmail, which I love.

But invites to play on what is being lauded the new and next social network (most of us unconvinced but still having fun) were in vain, mainly because the project is still in test-drive.

So I updated my Gmail account information, and presto! Was ready to roll.

One of the first viral vids that streamed in could not have been more appropriate, and I couldn’t help but head-bang to the beat of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (TGIF) — think Rebecca Black’s been replaced — with the help of familiar cats Keenan Cahill and Darren Criss:

I’ve noticed there’s a bit of perplexity mired in all the buzz surrounding the project, so I’ve compiled a few ideas and pointers as we continue along the field trial (love how John Falchetto put it >> “We’re just the crash-test dummies…” (What the Heck is Google+?).

1. Have fun – As early adopters of Facebook, remember how cool it was just jumping in and discovering long-lost relatives, friends and colleagues? Nothing different here. Format, visual, etc. changes, but creativity and inspiration does not. Bring back that impish, puckish play and you’ll start to see how much of a hoot it is.

As Mark Twain put it: “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”

2. Check out Circles  – Similar to compiling lists on Twitter, Klout and Facebook, you can start to organize your social circles accordingly. Being the narcissistic, career-obsessed maven that I am, I only added one circle for the colleagues/contacts I engage with most frequently across social media channels.

3. Take the virtual tour. I strongly recommend this whether you’ve climbed aboard or not. The demo’s simple, really graphic/visual and gives you an idea of how to start clicking-away and organizing thoughts on how you will interface with the program. Tutorial here >> Google+ Project

4. Be vigilant – The notion of spammers, bots and viruses is all pretty familiar to us by now. One of the reasons we’re here is because quality, transparency and trust is increasingly difficult to replicate, automate or buy. If you don’t know the person, contact or business personally (in real-time), it’s unnecessary, uncouth and unsafe to reflect otherwise online. Use tact and be more persnickety about who you connect with than you might have been in the past.

Seth Godin nails it on the head: Influence ≠ Popularity (What’s the Point of Popular?)

5. Be genuine – Organic, earned credibility and expertise seems to be pretty valuable to Google, and they’re rewarding those who respect and honor the rules of its social and search algorithms. If this doesn’t appeal to you then get out of the game — the great Oz of Google and Facebook wields far greater intelligence and consciousness than any of us could ever dream of, so don’t be a tool.

Plain and simple?

Respect.