DogPound Debonairing with Cleveland.com and the Browns

CLEVELAND – Last night it really hit me: this city’s going places. 

Never mind that guys like Joe Pulizzi, the Godfather of the phrase “content marketing” and Paul Roetzer, founder of the original hybrid/inbound marketing agency — continue to redefine and champion the spirit of the community.

Joe Pulizzi content marketing world cleveland

Courtesy of Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute

Putting Believeland on the map as hometown underdogs, testament to a community that deeply values its roots and shows heart, hunger and humility.

Damn. That was a lot of alliteration.

As opposed to a sniveling, inflated superego who says Akron is his real home. Coming from someone who wasn’t born and bred here (CalifNYorker), even outliers like me know how tactless that is.

For shame, doc.

But back to Cleveland and 2011. Tonight’s tweetup at Cadillac Ranch with Cleveland.com and the Browns marked the beginning of fall, birthdays, and culmination of summer weddings, blogging/media conferences (our very own Content Marketing World) and Boston Inbound Marketing Summit, vacations — and refreshingly little buzz over the F-word.

Over today’s #F8 conference hailing the “new age” of social networking via timelines, open graph and a new class of applications. The constant squawking for power in the social realm’s starting to riff even the savviest of users.

PR 20/20 Todd Sheppard social media Cleveland tweetup chomps mascot

Courtesy of Alana Munro, Cleveland.com

Promising myself I’d resist the urge to be that guy, myself and another member from last month’s Cleveland.com Twitter20 devised a social experiment prior to the event: where the words Facebook and timeline were officially taboo.

It was actually easier than I thought it’d be. Maybe because the novelty of newest, biggest, fastest and better’s older than the Ed Sullivan Show.

But still not as annoying as all the whining and complacency surrounding what people should be used to by now: life goes on.

Tech will always be moving forward. So in the time that it takes to jump on the haterade bandwagon, maybe do us a favor, can it and do something. Take control of your social experience.

Facebook social network users social media

Mildy apparently the new “Mildly”

Who knows, Google+ could announce it bought everyone out tomorrow and that’ll be the end of it. 

At the heart of it, though, dogpound debonairs are not unusual: We just genuinely like people. Get a rush out of making new connections, meeting and commiserating over some pretty badass people, like Gini Dietrich and Chris Brogan.

Still stand on the shoulders of giants.

Because at the end of the day, all the tools, apps and open-graph sharing cannot replace the power of genuine, human experience. In-person. In real-time. Always looking upward and outward.

About working on your business, not in it as Gini says.

Other than scoring a free pair of tickets to the Browns/Titans October 2nd (props to all the winners, you get a star next to your name below) —

That’s something to really get pumped about.

Browns Tweetup Cleveland social media Cleveland.com Byron Fernandez

Courtesy of Cleveland.com

Chomps Cleveland Browns mascot tweetup Cadillac Ranch

Chomps riding the Bull

Dawgs in Attendance:

Alana Munro @dawgpndgirl

*Me @byron_fernandez

Jennifer Spiker @SportStoleMyMan

Jessica Donlon @jessicadonlon

Julie Provins @julieprovins

*Kasey Crabtree @kaseycrabtree

*Laurel Miltner @laurelmackenzie

Lukas Treu @ltreu

*Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer

Stephen Garvin @CleveNole

Todd Sheppard @taawd

Tracy DiMarino @tracydimarino

RELATED LINKS

Julien Smith >> Information is Not the Problem

Gini Dietrich >> Four Ways to Unplug and Focus

How to Lose Credibility in Less than 10 Seconds: Netiquette 101 

Contact Byron

Burnout, Balance and Bad Grades: Why the Latter Don’t Matter

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Joe Fernandez, this Fernandez don’t care.

Heeding the advice of concerned family and friends, I finally took up Paul Roetzer’s aforementioned challenge, the Unplugged Experiment.

For a little over a week, I took a hiatus from the internet. Went home out West, traveled a bit. Reflected on the clear distinction between career obsession and motivation, and the recent burnout because I had lost perspective on maintaining work/life balance.

Admittedly, I cheated here and there. (Checked in once in a while via mobile…)

But I learned some valuable lessons, thanks to said vacation and continued webinars/courses with HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University:

  • Oversharing: No one expects nor wants to hear from you 20x a day. Even with the best of intentions, blowing up people’s feeds eventually grinds their gears enough to solicit a swift, quiet unfollow, unfriend (and now uncircle). Make it count.
  • Impatience: Sense of urgency is one thing, desperation another. As my 26th year approaches, I’m beginning to realize life in the fast lane starts to catch up with you (pun intended?). Sometimes a screeching halt to pause and really think about the who, what, when, why, where and how of things imparts new insights, but you have to be looking for it.   
  • Listening: PR folk are notorious for the gift of gab. We’re just that fun and cute, right?! But sometimes it’s not cute anymore, and as I’ve read time and time again: No one likes the guy at the cocktail party that simply can’t resist babbling on about how awesome he is

Similar to liking and +1ing your own posts (because apparently we weren’t aware you think highly of what you’re sharing), or begging for RTs (great thread David Meerman Scott recently began on G+).

From an inbound perspective, how do these practices compel people to act on your content, brand? I’ve actually noticed those that Like or +1 their own stuff garner little to no engagement. Sandbox not big (albeit, unassuming) enough…

As Joe Pulizzi puts it, creating and sharing awesome stuff should speak for itself. I might actually have an aneurysm if I start seeing incessant RTing of people’s own tweets next.

Moving on.

The greatest lesson I learned over the past few weeks? How fun it is to disappear for a while. The value and perspective gained from observing and listening, offline and online.

Of course, with every gain there’s a loss, which, though frustrating, I mostly found liberating (and now amusing):

My Klout score plummeted from 57 to 49, blog score from a 92 to 91 (reminders that I should probably post now have been noted and sent to HR somewhere between Vegas and San Fran reprieve).

Whoop-de-do. Freedom, getting out and actually living (feeling the salt and breeze of the Bay on my face for the first time in years) for once was worth every single, solitary punitive demerit.

Speaking of, all the fuss over Klout scores has gotten cumbersome and in extreme cases, pretty alarming. Dabney Porte recently told me women were coming to her, distraught over whether or not to link their Foursquare accounts to KLOUT — but were doing so anyway out of fear their scores would suffer. I was appalled…and kind of disgusted.

Seriously? I’m not active on nor a proponent of location-based apps, but at some point reason needs to take precedent over popularity and ego-mongering.

Final lesson from the last few weeks:

I didn’t pass my first attempt at the final exam for IMU, which requires a 75% passing grade. (Close, but no cigar). I also have never been one to just get by on the minimum. Learning you can earn certification with honors only invigorated the challenge for me.

After all, in this realm close is not enough.

 

RELATED LINKS

Nellie Akalp via Dan Holowack >> Work Life Balance: How to be an Entrepreneur and Stay Sane

HubSpot >> 5 Marketing Metrics Not to Obsess Over

Joe Pulizzi >> Content Marketing World: Why Cleveland?

Inaugural HubSpot User Group (HUG) comes to Cleveland

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CLEVELAND – A highlight of the summer and excellent segue for Junta 42’s upcoming inaugural Content Marketing World in September, good food, fun and company was shared by all at the first HubSpot User Group (HUG) meetup hosted by PR 20/20 in Cleveland’s historic Caxton Building.

Making the rounds through the 7th-floor loft inspired by Paul Roetzer’s vision and his wife Cheryl, a gifted local artist, the usual inbound buzz could be heard over the lounge music, sights and smells of veggie/fruit trays, shrimp cocktail, buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and other refreshments: value, content, agencies, outsourcing, in-house, lead generation, blogging, PR, marketing, ecosystems … hacking and hackers?!? (Never a dull moment when Susie Sharp’s in town!).

Aside from customary shenanigans with Lake Erie Moose and Ohio Blogging Association friends, HubSpot inbound partners from Lorain Websites and some fresh faces also shared their success stories with inbound marketing campaigns, as well as brief histories of their PR and business backgrounds.

In addition to celebrating Content Marketing World with friends from Junta42 Joe Pulizzi, Pam Kozelka and Joe Kalinowski, Paul also shared with us further details about his debut book through WILEY, The Marketing Agency BluePrint due in early December. Techies get ready: expect some Matt Cutts and Steve Jobs influence.

Roetzer will also be the opening speaker for HUG Boston in September, as an early adopter of the Value-Added Reseller (VAR) program and testimonial for how a PR firm can transform into an inbound phenomenon: In the last four years, PR 20/20 has grown from 4 employees to 10 with 467% revenue. 

Special thanks to all who attended, and congratulations once again to everyone on their PR, content and inbound achievements. As Paul said in Rise of the Inbound Marketing Agency, it truly is an amazing time to be a marketer. 

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*Photos courtesy of Susie Sharp, Lake Erie Moose Society and Morand Architects, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

HubSpot: Internet Marketing Vision

Paul Roetzer: An Idea, A Book and An Opportunity for Change

Joe Pulizzi: Content Marketing World 2011

Lorain Websites: Inbound Marketing, HubSpot partners