Feature entry

Scott Allen and David Teten
Recently, a relatively new member of Ecademy, one of the online communities I participate in regularly, posted an article from my About.com site in his blog without a link and proper attribution. I don’t believe that he was trying to claim authorship or doing anything malicious, [...]

Using Copyrighted Material in Blogs and Forums

So, how do you “poke” someone on Twitter? You goose them.

Those of you familiar with Facebook already know what a ‘poke’ is in that context. For the uninitiated, a ‘poke’ is the equivalent of a wave across the office, a hello, a “yoo-hoo! I see you!” or a “hey, you know what, thinking about you.”

It’s used either when you don’t actually have a full idea to share/thought to articulate or to be cheeky; akin to someone looking at you, sticking out their tongue and both of you giggling.  A pull of the pigtails, a tap on the shoulder, then walking away – with a smile, mind you, and a hint of a “hey, engage me on some level.”

Those of us who use Facebook as part of our social media “strategy” (or probably more apropos: our “Procrastination Strategy”) have become accustomed to this even more fly-by way of connecting with people. Now that we have included Twitter in the buffet of staccato communicating choices, what’s a poor tweep to do when all we want to do is poke?

Earlier this morning, I got a friendly ‘poke’ from @GDGeek to which @VicTriviaQueen replied “Twitter totally needs a poke equivalent. Maybe a Flap or Flyby to tie it in with the bird theme?” @GDGeek had some ideas: “Maybe a “buzz” (low-flying bird) or a “squawk”"

I thought about this… twoke wouldn’t work. Twickle? Twouch? Twab? Twush?

My reply?

“I kinda fancy the term “goose” ;)”

After some social proof of approval for the term, I hereby announce that we can all start goosing our twitter friends.

How and why social media works

This article is a transcript from a talk I gave (with Katharine Holmes) to the Applied Communications Program students at Camosun College.

Enter stage left

Jodie chatted with class for 5-10 minutes asking questions:

  • Anyone come to go to school here from out of town? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • How do you find Victoria? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • For everyone, even those from here: Will you be staying in Victoria after? If not, where are you going to go? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • What career are you working towards? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • Noticed everyone in the class has their own websites through the college’s site – what did you guys use to build it? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • What is your dream job? If ANYTHING could happen once you complete this program, would be the most excellent? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)
  • How many people here have a Twitter account? How have you found it so far? Same with Facebook, LinkedIn? (Threw a chocolate to who answered.)

Thank you so much everyone! We are going to start the session – by the way, while Katharine speaks, I will need to go plug the meter – anyone have a loonie can use to make sure I don’t get ticketed?

(A good quarter to half the class starts digging for change – someone in the front row offers up a loonie to Jodie.)

Held up loonie

This is the power of social media right here. Not necessarily money or people buying products from you; sometimes it’s an ear to listen; sometimes it’s help to move your couch; and sometimes it’s about getting a job. Whether you know it nor not, what we just did there was social media, it just happened to be without a computer.

Class clapped.

How less likely would it have been for you have given me the loonie if I had asked the room before I started; before I started giving “rewards” and engaging? How much more likely would it be at the end of this lecture? If I gave a second lecture? If I were your teacher who had been instructing you for a  year? You’re more likely to give things (trust, time, money) to people you know and trust – people who have more social currency with you.

Remember that old story of the Little Red Hen? The one where the little red hen finds some grains of wheat, asks if anyone will help her plant, reap, grind, and bake the bread, only to be met with a chorus of “Not I” from the rest of the barnyard crowd? Then she dangles the fresh baked bread in front of the hungry animals “PSYCHE!” and says “No, you can’t have any, you didn’t help me when I asked”. We’re supposed to side with the little red hen because she did all the work. Well… what a sanctimonious, self-righteous so-and-so. I say SHE was the one who was wrong. To come out of the blue, trying to rope all the other animals into working for HER purposes with no tangible reward given or mentioned at any stage? Then she wonders why no one wants to help? If she had played cards with the other animals… had tea… was in the band… whatever, she might have had hope of asking for the other animal’s help.

And, I can hear some of you thinking “Ya, but… people should help, it’s what mom and dad taught us to do”. Really? If someone you didn’t really know came up to you and said “Here, go finish writing this paper”… then said nothing else. No reason why, no talk of a reward after finishing…

You hear me talking about rewards a lot here. People are reward-based; you need to give them rewards. (think of “Good dog, here’s a biscuit”) You remember at the beginning when I was throwing out chocolate to everyone who responded? That was my representation for “reward.” To get what you want out of social media, you need to give people rewards – you need to actually PRE-reward them.

How do you do that – I’m glad you asked.

In social media, attention and acknowledgment are the sought-after rewards. You can’t go around giving out a piece of chocolate to everyone online but you can give @ replies, retweets, comments, responses and likes. Show people you are listening to what they say (notice I didn’t say “reading what they write” here – we are talking to each other, not simply writing). It can’t be all elementary school “but he didn’t do it, so I’m not going to.” – you need to engage freely WITHOUT expectation of reward. Paradox, eh? Your engagement of people needs to be almost altruistic; people can smell inauthentic behaviour from a mile away.

Remember all the animals in the barnyard, the ones the Little Red Hen asked for help? While you shouldn’t be taken advantage of, as much as possible be the animal that actually says “I will” when asked to plant the seeds (otherwise known as “Listen to me! talk to me!) so that when the Hen has baked that bread, she knows who she wants to share with.

Thunderous applause… standing ovation… they picked Jodie up on their shoulders shouting in pure JOY and JUBILATION! Fireworks blasted, bands played and… ya… no. But they did clap ;)

Working at the speed of the Internet

So this morning I “entered” a contest that started with Urge Tattoos. At almost 40 years old a tattoo has been on my informal bucket list for a while, and I figure at my age, I can now get away with it ;).

There are several of us there that have been spamming imploring friends to help with ‘entering’ which consists of them “liking” Urge’s Facebook page and writing “I nominate Jodie Anne Gastel for a free tattoo, piercing or removal at Urge!”. That is great – friends have gone that extra mile to help me with my ever-quieting subversive behaviour. There is a bit of a feeding frenzy and energy is high – we are excited!!!

Then I saw this: All entries must be in by midnight August 31st.


That’s an eternity in Internets. IMHO, if you wait that long, you will have lost the buzz. The buzz is now – conceivably, they could have already held the contest, picked a winner, done the tattoo and posted the pictures by the end of today.  A sense of urgency in a short period of time will get you more ‘likes’ with less energy spent. To keep a buzz like that steady over 4 weeks isn’t impossible, but they’d have to have someone working at it every day until then. Not a lot of SMEs have that type of time to give in-house.

So what’s the takeaway from this?(Other than everyone in the world should talk to me before doing anything ;) ) We need to take a close look at why internet-based contests are run, what the desired outcome is and weigh the work needed to maintain a buzz over the long term vs. a bright burst – you might find that you get the same results with either.

Dustin LaFortune: New site

Thank you to so many people who have shown an interest in how Dustin is doing as well as the progress that is being made. I have been working with the family to organize a few things including this new website;


There you can sign up to be sent updates, subscribe to the RSS feed, learn how to help and find the Twitter account.

Thanks everyone!

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