Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How about a little fun on New Year's Day?

Yes, that's a photo of me in a skirt, blouse, and wig in the 2005 Hummers Parade.

So, this Saturday will be the 40th annual Hummers Parade in Middletown! -

Even better, the weather is supposed to be great - mostly sunny, highs around 45 - which means the turnout for this parade should be pretty big (they claim there's been up to 10,000 at some past parades).

I cannot tell you how much fun these parades are - this is where people get to be creative and fun - you will not find professional floats in this parade - you will find men in diapers and roller skates, kids in costumes, people having fun with celebrities, politics, you name it.

I'm thinking we could have some real fun representing the Delaware Twitterati/Social Media Scene in the parade - a bunch of us can walk in the parade, take photos, and generally have a good time.

Obviously, I'm open to more creative ideas (we could bring along a screen, laptop, and projector - and show the whole twitter stream along the parade route... just an idea).

The parade is scheduled to start at 1:00 in the afternoon.

If you don't want to be IN the parade, would you want to just get together and all enjoy it from one spot?

What say you all?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Adventures with Alexander

One of the things I'm fascinated by is effective communication - things said, done, or written that cause action, change attitudes, and/or make things happen.

The people at 23rd & 5th (DISCLOSURE: I consider these people to be geniuses and friends - so no, this isn't exactly the most objective post) sent out a bunch of $10 bills to friends and clients with a simple note attached explaining that this $10 bill was to be used as a donation to a worthy cause of your choice - oh, and you can go to their web site to see videos from nine great organizations - seriously, check it out here.

So, this morning, Alexander Hamilton and I went on a trip (yes, I buckled him in, cause that's the kind of nerd I am)...

and went down the road to the Food Bank of Delaware...
...where we met Anna, the Account Manager for the Food Bank of Delaware, who was happy to welcome Alexander to his new home...

I can't wait to see what happened with all the other $10 bills that went out from 23rd&5th

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Wilmington Amtrak Station Event

On Monday, December 6, Amtrak commuters in Wilmington were treated to a newly renovated station, free bagels (Manhattan Bagel is awesome!), free coffee (LOMA Coffee is located just two blocks from the train station at 3rd and Market - full disclosure, I'm a member of the church that helped start LOMA Coffee - click here for the opening day video), and were greeted by:

  • Governor Jack Markell
  • Senator Tom Carper
  • Congressman Mike Castle
  • Mayor James Baker
  • DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks

You can see more about the opening from the News Journal and Channel 3 - CBS, but here's a collection of photos and a video - oh yea, and screen shots from the twitter traffic as everything was happening (Thanks to all who participated!)

A HUGE Thanks to Rodney Jordan - he's responsible for the good photos and video - I'm responsible for the blurry stuff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Delaware supports Detroit!

I have to tell you, I'm pretty excited about this!

Jeff Pulver, international social media leader and creator of the 140 Conferences, visited Delaware in June. D uring that visit, Mr. Pulver talked about how the city of Detroit is trying to do what Delaware is doing with social media, connecting business, government, non-profits, arts, and education in a way that encourages a flow of information, ideas, and support.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, Jeff Pulver hosted the 140 Conference in Detroit.
During the afternoon session, Jeff introduced Delaware's own Maya Paveza (Nationally recognized leader in Social Media and Real Estate), and Maya introduced the people of Detroit to some of the Delaware Social Media Community via video.

The video features messages from:

- Governor Jack Markell
- Kim Kostes of the Food Bank of Delaware
- Steve Roettger and Wes Garnett of the COin Loft
- State Representative Tom Kovach
- Rodney Jordan of Armor Graphics
- Rebecca Faber, President of the World Trade Center Delaware
- Brian Sowards of the Delaware Film Initiative
- Laurie Bick of Community Matters
- Rick Jensen, WDEL talk show host
- Greg Gurev of MySherpa and president of the Technology Forum of Delaware
- Jayla Boire of The Right Idea

I just want to say "Thanks!" to all who made this possible - Delaware is continuing to come together as a stronger community than ever before to make great things happen!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Delaware goes to PodCamp Philly!

In October of 2009, I believe there were four of us from Delaware who attended PodCamp Philly - this year, we had many more!

And we had an incredible time!

Felicia Pullam (@FPullam) and I (@kengrantde) had the privilege of leading a session on the Delaware Social Media Initiative - and Maya Paveza (@MayaREguru) led two sessions over the weekend!

Oh, and Steve Lubetkin (@podcaststeve) did an awesome interview with Felicia and me, check it out by clicking here.

So, this event was absolutely incredible - all of us walked away with new insights, great information, new friends, and ready for more!

Huge Thanks to Whitney Hoffman, Gloria Bell, Lynette Young, and everyone who make PodCamp Philly so great! Oh, and be sure to check out great photos by clicking here!

So, here's some video from the session Felicia and I did as well as a collection of some other photos taken by our Delaware people:

Monday, September 27, 2010

More impressive confirmations

Recently, the good people at Netprospex issued a Social Media Report, offering a comprehensive look at the business usage of social media in the U.S. and in a wide variety of fields.

The report ranks cities in the U.S. where businesses are most active on Twitter - here's a look at their methodology:

We first grouped business people into geographic areas based on the locations of their companies. We then calculated a Twitter Score based on the average number of Twitter accounts, tweets, number of followers, and number of users following.
A high twitter score means there is a large percentage of business people within that city using Twitter.
I am very proud to report that Wilmington, Delaware is #10 on that list!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Things I've learned over 10,000 tweets

As I write this, I have posted 9,967 "tweets" or messages on twitter.

I've been on Twitter since January of 2009 (thanks to Whitney Hoffman!) - and some of you are reading this thinking, "yea, I hit 10,000 tweets ages ago" (I'm looking at you, Maya) and others are thinking, "Wow, don't you have a life?" (you know who you are).

As I cross this little milestone, I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the lessons I've learned so far in the twitterverse.

  • Most people really do want to help others
  • Most people are kind, generous, and care about their community
  • You Can't Fake The Funk!
  • Transparency can be a truly beautiful and good thing
  • Most politicians, corporate drones, and bureaucrats have an intense fear of social media
  • The exceptions to the point above are the kinds of people I really want running things
  • I can learn more about breaking news from 5 minutes on twitter than 30 minutes of TV News
  • Almost every experience is better when sharing it with friends
  • I am unbelievably fortunate to have gotten to know SO MANY wonderful people and I am so very grateful to have all of you in my life!

These are just some thoughts off the top of my head - care to share anything you've learned?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

General Information about why the social part is important

Science continues to show us how inter-connected we are naturally, and how important it can be for us to approach this with some intentionality.

Know this, I am incredibly proud of the patch we're creating here in Delaware in this social media quilt.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just interesting statistics (a fairly narcissistic post)

One of the amazing things about this whole interwebs thing is how measurable everything is - I have a theory that these measurement tools are causing some sleepless nights for "traditional" marketing types. It used to be easy, tell someone that the billboard will mean 10 gazillion "impressions" - mix that with the television ad, the radio ad, and the full page newspaper ad and you'll have 230 mega-gajillion impressions!

NOTE: I am a firm believer in the above mentioned forms of advertising, and I have several friends in the advertising field - these communication tools are effective and useful - I just think some have taken advantage of the fact that you can't *really* measure how many people are "impressed" with these "impressions."

So, here's the thing - you can actually track how effective your message is here - you know how many people are watching your Youtube videos - or visiting your blog - and even how many people are clicking on the links you post on twitter.

While I do an occasional check to see how many people are clicking on the links I include on twitter, I'm normally just looking at a week's worth of traffic and, until now, haven't really stepped back to get a larger perspective, like this:

OK, so this counts the number of links I provided that were clicked on by others.

NOTE: This DOES NOT track links I've retweeted from others - ONLY those tweets that I originated with links shortened through Hootsuite.

So, since the beginning of this year, 4,869 people have clicked on a link I've offered up into the twittersphere - to be honest, I have no idea how that compares with others, all I know is that it indicates that others are engaging with me at some level, and for that I am both appreciative and humbled.

Now, a couple of quick observations about the most popular messages:

  • The most popular topic was the social media wedding (thank you, Chris and Elizabeth, for making this so much fun!) - those were messages #3, #6, and #10 on the list for a grand total of 197 clicks
  • It looks like people like fun - the most popular message was about a bunch of characters walking around the University of Delaware
  • People like Community - #2 on the list was a link to the Community Shoe Drive at BellaVista in Pike Creek, #4 was about the Greater Newark Network meeting, and #5 and #7 are all about getting the word out about how great Delaware is.

Another observation - until I looked at this chart, I honestly had no idea how many people had been clicking on these links to get information. Chances are, you don't know the kind of impact you're having - if you're active in the Delaware Social Media Community, please keep it up - if you are not yet engaging, please do, you'll never know how many people you will inform, encourage, entertain, and engage with!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Huge Success Story!

This is exciting!

The Food Bank of Delaware has been awarded $10,000 to fund their backpack program:
The Backpack Program reduces hunger and improves the quality of life by providing nutritious foods and nutritional education while school is not in session. The Food Bank of Delaware works to identify children at risk of malnutrition to provide them with backpacks filled with nutritious meals and snacks that they take home on weekends. This grant will provide 51 children with meals for an entire program year. The food bank currently serves 46 school sites, however, there are an additional 35 school sites we have yet to reach with nutritious meals on the weekends and holidays. This grant will help us expand our Backpack Program to help feed children at risk of hunger in the state of Delaware.

How did this happen?

I'm glad you asked!

Kim Kostes at the Food Bank of Delaware entered the Good Idea Contest sponsored by Shoprite and Pepsi - Food Bank of DE and 14 other organizations posted ideas and gathered votes - the top five organizations to receive votes between July 8 and August 16 are awarded $10,000 each to fund their ideas.

Think about this for a minute - the other 14 organizations are from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, and other states in the mid-Atlantic and New England areas - based on population, it's safe to say Delaware is the underdog.

It seems like every week I have the same conversation with businesses, non-profits, and others who want to know why they should get involved with Social Media - hopefully this will demonstrate just some of the value.

Congratulations to Kim and everyone at the Food Bank of Delaware - and Huge Thanks to Everyone who voted, posted on facebook, retweeted on twitter and helped make this possible!

How to join the Delaware Twitter Community - super easy edition

OK, I'm working with a lot of people who are starting to see the benefits of getting on Twitter and joining in the Delaware Twitter community. Once people get in, they realize how helpful, useful, encouraging, informative, and great this community is - it's just the joining part that seems to be a small hurdle.

SO, Here's a couple of videos that do a great job of walking you through the basics of explaining what Twitter is and how to get started:

So, go to and set up your account.

Now that your account is set up, start following Delaware people - here's a couple of lists to check out:

- Delaware Twibe
- WeFollow list for Delaware
- TwitterGrader list for Delaware

By now, you should be following at least 100 people.

OK, now start using #netde with any posts that have to do with Delaware - and please retweet messages from others who are using #netde (you can click here to see the kinds of conversations going on with the #netde hashtag right now).

Here's some more resources to check out (I HIGHLY recommend subscribing to these feeds):

- Phil Woods' Digital Marketing
- Chris Brogan's best Twitter Advice

DO NOT become overwhelmed - this really is easy and the results will blow you away! - oh, and be sure to follow me on twitter - @kengrantde

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Videos from Ignite Dover

There are MUCH Better videos posted at the IgniteDover site - click here to see them!

July 14, 2010 - the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts in Dover - John McKown and his crew held Ignite Dover #1 - and is was incredible!

I took the liberty of recording everything on the Flip - here's the videos:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Um, we need to have a little chat

OK, I've already addressed this issue once with @stevenfoley here, but maybe I need to cover this a little more explicitly for the rest of you, especially:

@CofSussexAngel (see comments section)

Here's the thing, when you're on twitter, you are limited to 140 characters - that's not a lot of space to communicate a reasonable message - you have to get to the point quickly. This normally means your message comes down to one of three categories:

  1. I'm passing along useful information
  2. I'm expressing something good/encouraging
  3. I'm upset and I'm throwing a tantrum

Now, stop and think about this for a moment - if you had three friends, one fitting in each category, and you could only hang out with two of those friends, which two would you choose?

If you look at the previous post, you'll see a really cool video showing the "Twitter Moods" around the country over a period of time, I've taken the liberty of grabbing a couple of screen shots:

Do you notice something there? Doesn't Delaware seem to kind of stick out in a good way?
I would argue that's because the vast majority of people in Delaware who choose to engage on Twitter are doing so in a positive way, using this tool to communicate useful information and/or expressions of gratitude and encouragement.

I'm asking you to really think about what you are trying to accomplish - because if you're trying to get people to support your candidate by yelling and screaming at those who support another candidate, well, that hasn't proven to be a very effective strategy.

If I were to employ your methods, the local twitter stream would be packed with links to posts like this and this and this and this and, well, you get the picture.

Seth Godin recently posted this piece about the kind of tactics you are using, here's a key excerpt:
If a candidate wants to gain attention and possibly votes, then, it makes short-term sense to stir up fear of strangers and turn it into anger. It might even work (once). But it makes it virtually impossible to govern. It's a short-term strategy that eats itself, because sooner or later, everyone is a stranger, and fear is no foundation for work that matters.

Here's the thing, six months from now I'm still going to be on Twitter trying to build this community, encourage good things, inviting friends into the conversation, and trying to do something constructive - and I believe, based on the commitment I've seen from so many great people here in Delaware, that many others will still be here doing the same. The elections will be over and life will go on - I would love it if you were working with us, but if your idea of contributing to this community is to simply attack anyone with whom you disagree, well, I guess I'll have to live with that.

I hope I've done a reasonable job of communicating with you, I hope you will take your energy and intellect and use it in a positive way on Twitter, we'd really appreciate it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Science Demonstrates that we're happier in Delaware on twitter!

WOW! I cannot believe this - take a look at this - know that green represents happy twitter messages:

Can you believe this?! We are doing this in Delaware - this demonstrates just how much of an impact we're having here - keep up the awesome work everyone - YOU ROCK!

Oh, here's a link to the New Scientist post that explains the methodology behind this whole thing.

DelTweet 4.0 - now with celebrity party crashers!

DelTweet 4.0 at the Blue Rocks game was amazing!

Nearly a hundred people came together in the luxurious sky box at Frawley Stadium to enjoy a great game, food, drink, and a chance to meet so many online friends in person.

Little did we know that we would get surprise visits from both Chris Brogan and Jane Castle!

Huge Thanks to the organizers (Major, Maya, The_Borg), the sponsor (Horizon Services), and Mike Miller, Ticket Manager for the Blue Rocks for making this such an awesome event.

By the way, there's some good stuff over at about Mike Miller's work with the Blue Rocks and a piece about how Chris Brogan sees our work here in Delaware.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DelTweet 4.0 + Blue Rocks = THE place to be July 29

OK, take the fun and excitement that is a DelTweet event

And put it in the Frawley Stadium Sky Box for a Blue Rocks Game:

And only charge $5 to attend -

Yet another reason why the Delaware Social Media scene is so incredible!

By the way, the reason it's only $5 (instead of $50) - is thanks to the great people at Horizon Services - check them out for plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Open Post To Steven Foley

First, the background:

On Saturday, July 17, 2010 - I retweeted a simple message on twitter that led to a couple of responses from someone I had never heard of before, Steven Foley of The Minority Report - you can check out his Twitter Feed here and his Web Site here - here's our entire twitter conversation:

OK, now everyone is up to speed on what got us to this point.

Let me start off with a couple of apologies - first, Mr. Foley, the remark I made about the high school debate class was meant to be a light attempt at humor, it may have come across more snarky than intended. Second, I said I would have this ready Monday, I failed - sincere apologies.

And, in the interest of full disclosure (as it has some bearing on the discussion) - I am the former Communications Director for the Republican Party of Delaware (2001-2006), currently employed in private industry.

Now, I would like to take this opportunity to explore the relationship we've started.

Mr. Foley,

In your first message to me, you accuse me of either being a paid hack or a born fool - my response was intended to be an invitation for you to take a moment to maybe get to know who you're attacking and possibly try a different approach to engage in conversation. Instead, you respond with "truth hurts" and "bring it" - *sigh*

Steven - can I call you Steven - from what I can tell, you live in Las Vegas, Nevada - well over 2,000 miles from Delaware. I can only assume that you will not be voting in either a primary election nor general election here in Delaware. Based on our brief exchange and a quick look at your posts on twitter and your web site, I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that you don't actually know Congressman Castle (I'm assuming that you have volumes of files on the voting record of Congressman Castle and every other incumbent you have deemed unworthy of re-election in the country, but we both know that's not the same as knowing someone). You see, Steven, most of us here in Delaware do know our Congressman (and Senator Carper and Senator Kaufman and Vice-President Biden and Governor Markell and... well, you get the idea). Steven, we don't always agree with every position our elected officials make, but I can tell you that we can and do have those conversations with them - we engage in open discussions and debates, and rarely does it turn into personal attacks and insults just to score points.

But here's the thing, Steven, we're working hard here in Delaware to create an atmosphere where people feel free to express their support for their candidates and ideas without fear of needless insults (please note, we're not talking about avoiding debate - we're talking about elevating that debate in the hopes of making things better).

Steven, I want to point you to a truly incredible piece written by my good friend Dave Burris - he does a much better job of expressing all of this than I can.

Steven, I've read through several of your recent posts on twitter - and you seem like someone who is angry and frustrated at how certain things are in the world. Steven, I share your frustration, I think we, as a society can do better. And yes, there was a time when I would have been right there with you, blasting candidates I deemed unworthy and insulting those candidate's supporters. I have to tell you from experience Steven, tearing other people down does not lift you up - and no matter how much you prove someone else is wrong, it doesn't make you right by default.

Steven, let me share with you some of the things we're doing here in Delaware to make things better.

Some of us are frustrated with unemployment, so we got together and started Community Matters Networking Group - a place for the unemployed to meet, help each other out, share job leads, and encourage each other.

Families facing homelessness is a major issue, so we started a Family Promise chapter here in Delaware.

Recently, some of us got really frustrated about companies that are actually stating in their "Help Wanted" ads that those who are currently unemployed need not apply. We could have written angry letters, called for boycotts, pushed for legislation, but instead we decided to provide a platform where those companies that are doing it right can be showcased - take a look at Hire The Qualified.

Steven, these are just a few examples - and I'd really like for you to take a look at the kind of community we're trying to encourage in social media - click here for the #netde twitter feed - do you see what's there, Steven? News, information, people supporting each other's causes and businesses - this is the kind of place I feel comfortable with my family sharing and being a part of, where I feel comfortable that my teenage children can post their support for any candidate, philosophy, or idea and not be subjected to personal attacks from someone who doesn't even know them.

Please note, Steven, I'm not trying to censor you, I don't want to stop anyone from voicing their opinions - I'm just asking that you take a moment to think about how you can be more effective and engaging with your opinions.

Steven, if you're travels bring you to the mid-Atlantic area, I invite you to come here to Delaware, I would be happy to introduce you to some of the great people we have here from all across the political and social spectrum, we might even have the opportunity to meet with Congressman Castle, you might find him to be an intelligent and engaging public servant.

Seriously Steven, I hope you'll consider this, think about ways you can take your energy and intelligence and use it to forward creative and innovative ideas we can all support instead of looking for ways to attack those with whom you disagree. Thanks for reading this, I hope we have a chance to work together towards some common goals.

Your new friend in Delaware,


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Day In The Life of a Co-Working Space

I recently received an interesting invitation - to come to the COin Loft in Wilmington to work for a day and share the experience with others.

I've been talking for months about what an exciting concept co-working is, but had not had the experience - so I gladly accepted the invitation.

Friday, July 9, I showed up at the COinLoft shortly before 8:00 am to find Steve Roettger and Wes Garnett  already busy at work, their skateboards parked at the front entrance. After a tour of the facility - two floors of work space, a larger conference room, smaller idea room, and lounge area - I plugged in my laptop and started getting some work done.

First realization - these guys did not skimp on the connectivity - I don't think my laptop has ever had faster access to the interwebs - seriously, awesome wireless.

Second realization - there's a very simple code to let people know that you're not available for conversation - earbuds. I guess earbuds might be the new "Do Not Disturb" sign.

Third realization - this is quite simply the ideal working environment. I mean, just by the nature of what it is, it seems to attract people who are creative, motivated, friendly, and professional.

While the space, the equipment, and the furniture are all great - and certainly set the right tone for work, it's the people that bring the energy, ideas, and excitement that make this such a revolutionary concept.

Here's a couple of videos to give you a better feel for what it's like:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The State of Delaware "Gets" Social Media - big time!

Have you seen what the State of Delaware has been doing?

First, check out the new home page - OK, I haven't gone to every other state web site yet, but I doubt you'll find others that prominently feature their Twitter Feed, Facebook Updates, Youtube Videos, Blog Posts, AND Flickr Photos ALL on the home page - seriously, how cool is that?

I took the liberty of asking some of the local Social Media Rock Stars what they think about the new site, here's some of their responses:

"By offering site visitors a mosaic of images, video, links, text snippets and compelling narrative, the Web team has done a superb job of mashing up 'a sense of place' with 'a sense of virtual space' [and time]. Whereas some see the social media as a poor substitute for face-to-face interaction, this updated content hub enables users to better appreciate Delaware opportunities and challenges, guided by their own objectives, pace and preferences.  User-driven access to key private and public sector initiatives and resources in one place is not easy to find, and I cannot think of another state that has accomplished it as well."
- Laurie Gelb
Trellist Marketing|Technology

"I’m really noticing that Delaware’s Gov 'gets it' – using social media to dialogue with us makes me have faith that FINALLY our government will know what to do for its people because they’re listening to what we want, and creating and following dialogue. It’s not a one way conversation with government any more. It’s relevant, timely and conscious dialogue. Go Gov. Markell!"
- Jayla Boire

"My company builds government websites for a living, and  I have yet to see another city, let alone a state, that has this much integration with social media.  It makes me proud to be from Delaware. "

- John McKown

"The State's use of social media displays an unexpected level of openness and transparency. I look forward to watching social media become a primary communication channel with government and state agencies. Success will be judged by improved responsiveness - which we can all benefit from!"
Marketing Consultant

"The development of this site definitely shows that Delaware Government is not afraid of transparency, and is looking to open up a channel for dialogue and feedback from the people. It is also very encouraging to see that grassroot/public initiatives can really make an impact, and are truly being acknowledged."
- Stephen J. Roettger
Partner @ Verge
Co-Founder of coIN Loft

"As a life-long Delawarean I know how monumental the new website is! In my opinion, social media isn't just a way to communicate; it's a catalyst for authentic community building. The State's choice to embrace social media not only shows strong leadership but also a willingness to create a future of Delaware based upon the real needs and concerns of 'we the people'. This is a bold and unprecedented step every state should take."

- Wes Garnett
Partner @ Verge
Co-Founder of coIN Loft

"As a non-native Delawarean, I see this state's willingness to embrace social media through the development of this content-rich site. It supports and raises the strong sense of community I've found since moving to this state. I'm most impressed with the dept and breadth of the site content; it's a virtual metaphor for all that Delaware has to offer to everyone who visits or lives here. I commend Governor Markell and everyone who contributes to the Web site for their willingness to be unique in the Union with such support of new media. It shows his administration recognizes that embracing social media opens the door to more effective communication between state government and the people of Delaware."
- Laurie E. Bick
Marketing and Business Communications Consultant

"I'm so excited to see the new State home page!  It is one of the best governmental web pages I've seen- easy to use, navigate and see what's going on.  I've been so impressed by how dedicated Governor Markell and his staff are to making government 'user friendly' and responsive to the needs of citizens in Delaware- and the new web page is a great indicator that they mean what they say and put their words into actions.  Making government user friendly isn't an easy task, but the new web site is a huge step forward in making this a reality."
- Whitney Hoffman

In addition to the new web site, check out this Blog Post from Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, here's the opening to the post:

Earlier this month, DEDO hosted the second annual Governor’s Entrepreneurial Business Conference. Nearly 400 people attended to hear experts share their experiences as successful economic developers, entrepreneurs and leaders in business.
The energy at the conference was exciting! For the first time, we used our new Twitter account to engage with attendees: by the end of the week, conference participants had created more than 25 pages of content and they kept sharing, even after the conference was over.
The post goes on to highlight such great ideas as co-working here in the first state (quick plug - check out the COin Loft in Wilmington, cowork.element in Lewes, and CoWo in Newark).

I continue to be amazed at the momentum that is building here in Delaware - we really are connecting our government, business, non-profit, media, and local communities through social media - I believe we are all benefitting from being more informed and more connected.

Let's keep this momentum going!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Immediate posts from the people making the news!

This is just too cool - on Wednesday, June 16, Governor Jack Markell signed the "BFF" bill, providing real incentives for all of us to invite more businesses to Delaware - check out the details here.

If you clicked on the link above, you should have seen some great photos from the bill signing ceremony, but you did not see THIS photo:

Take a look at what Representative Tom Kovach is doing here (second from the right) - YES - he is letting all of us know about the bill signing via Twitter and Facebook!

And yes, Governor Markell posted about the bill signing, too

How Cool Is THAT!? WE are given real access to what's happening in Legislative Hall (seriously, Rep. Kovach regularly posts which committee meetings he's in, what's happening on the House Floor, and the kinds of discussions going on) - welcome to a whole new world!

If you're not already following @TomKovach and @GovernorMarkell - you should, now! Both are setting an example of what it means to be public servants, communicating with us - not just speaking at us.

As more elected officials, government leaders, business leaders, community activists, parents, teachers, students, friends, and family members engage in communicating together, I am confident we will see not only innovative solutions to issues, but also more cooperation and huge advances in our communities, our state, and our society.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jeff Pulver on the Delaware Social Media Initiative

Jeff Pulver
Jeff Pulver is a globally renowned thought leader, author and entrepreneur. His blog is well read within the social media industry and in high-tech communities around the world. Jeff is the originator, proprietor and organizer of the 140 character conferences (#140conf) around the world. Jeff is also the founder of FWD, the VON Coalition, PrimeTimeRewind.TV, Vivox, the co-founder of VoIP provider, Vonage and an early investor in Twitter.

Jeff spent several hours with the Delaware Social Media crowd on June 15 - which happened to be the one year anniversary of the first #140 Conference in New York.

I asked Jeff if, in his travels around the world, he's seeing other states or regions trying to do use social media to connect people locally and highlight positive things from that region for the world to see.

"Oh yes, everyone is trying to do this," Jeff said.

So I asked how he thought Delaware was doing in comparison with everyone else.

"Well, you're actually doing it here in Delaware," was his response.

Jeff went on to tell us about how the people of Detroit are trying to use social media tools to revitalize their city. Wednesday morning, he invited Governor Jack Markell to come to Detroit and share with them what we're doing in Delaware - seriously - how cool is that!

Friends, this Delaware Social Media Initiative is happening because of you! Everyone who engages in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn - connects with others in the area - attends the various events (Ignite Wilmington, Ignite Sussex, Ignite Dover, Tweet Ups, NetDE Happy Hours, etc.) - uses the #netde hashtag on Twitter - helps to promote and support each other - YOU are the ones who are making this dream a reality!

Delaware is connecting - bonds are strengthening - we are creating an exciting new future together!

Here's a video of Jeff Pulver and Rick Jensen talking about what's happening here in Delaware and what the future may hold for all of us!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Videos from Ignite Wilmington #3

On May 13, 2010, Ignite Wilmington #3 rocked the city!

Here's my completely unofficial videos from that evening - enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Governor Markell's Address at the Entrepreneurial Business Conference

Once again, many thanks to Rodney Jordan of Armor Graphics for providing excellent video coverage!

Here's the keynote address at the Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference from Delaware Governor Jack Markell:

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference - Social Media Recap

I've heard nothing but great feedback from the Governor's Entrepreneurial Business Conference! We heard from

  • Wilmington Mayor James Baker
  • Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin
  • Warren Brown, Founder and Owner of Cake Love
  • University of Delaware President Patrick Harker
  • Brian McGowan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development with the U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Thomas O'Malley, Chairman of Petroplus
  • Delaware Governor Jack Markell

Here's a few things we heard:

  1. Delaware is on track to be the first state out of the recession
  2. Delaware had three potential blows to our economy recently (closing of Chrysler Plant, closing of GM Plant, closing of oil refinery in Delaware City) - and all three have been turned around - UD purchasing Chrysler land to develop awesome stuff, Fisker purchasing GM plant, O'Malley purchasing the refinery
  3. Follow Your Dreams and Passions!
  4. The economy coming out of this recession will be vastly different from the economy we are used to
  5. Economic Development needs to take a long-term, regional approach - not a short-term "only-in-my-back-yard" approach
  6. Delaware's elected officials (esp. Governor Markell) "get it" when it comes to business
  7. Delaware is working on some exciting new ideas to attract more business to the area

Then came the afternoon sessions.

Darnyelle Jervey, Director of the YWCA Center for Women's Entrepreneurship led a panel discussion on the Entrepreneurs' Tool Box with:

  • Chris Burkhard, President, CBI Group, Inc.
  • Ernie Dianastasis, Managing Director, CAI
  • Barbara Hines, President, SSD Technology Partners, Inc.
  • Margie Johnson, President, Shoptalk
  • Mark Stellini, President/CEO, Virtual Resources, Inc.
  • Dr. Devona Williams, President/CEO, Goeins-Williams Associates, Inc.

Oh, check out the Twitter Feed from the day by clicking here (more than 25 pages of content!)

Then, there's the Social Media experts!

Many, many thanks to Rodney Jordan for shooting and posting these videos! Here's the list of awesome speakers:

  • Whitney Hoffman - Social Media 101 - let's get this party started!
  • John McKown - Getting Started Action Plan - complete with cheat sheets
  • Lee Mikles - how to join the social media party and not be “that guy”
  • Maya Paveza - Why and how you should be there - discussing business strategy
  • Jayla Boire - Content is still King - providing great content for your strategy
  • Phil Woods - Measuring your social media campaign effectiveness
  • Brenda Cheeseman - social media as the new chamber of commerce
  • Laurie Bick - the job connection in social media 
  • Major Highfield - Mobile Tactics
  • Laurie Gelb - Be DelAWARE for Fun & Profit
  • Rodney Jordan - We're building a community here