Archive for June, 2010

Social Media as the Essence of Communication

June 29th, 2010

I define social media as the essence of communication. It provides a playground for creativity and non-conventional methods of self expression. It motivates individuals to reinvent themselves and move past traditional approaches. It is new media without boundaries.

My educational background at UCSD consists of Sociology and Visual Arts with an emphasis on Studio Art. I love to create things that are abstract and sometimes have no reference to anything but my mind. I am bilingual; I can speak and write both in English and Spanish. I am misunderstood for a lot reasons, but my top 3 favorite are: I have an accent, I speak super fast, and sometimes I just don’t make any sense, but it doesn’t stop me from being creative and producing new things. Just as I speak fast, I am thinking twice as fast, which sometimes hinders me from being able to put my thoughts down on paper. By the time I’ve thought of it, I’m already on my next idea.

This is where social media has helped me capture my thoughts a bit more accurately and allowed me to communicate more effectively. I am not limited by social media. On the contrary, I am challenged to be more inventive in putting my point of view out there. For example, twitter allows us to micro blog 140 characters at a time. What’s the point? The point is that we have been given a social network platform to be artistic with the way we communicate. I was once challenged in one of my art classes to create a table from wire referencing my personality. Yes, the medium was wire. The message here is that I was able to show who I am artistically without having to say a single word. My assignment and twitter are similar; we are given 140 characters to express ourselves whether it is a quote, a comment, a re-tweet, or a link referencing something that we think is news worthy.

Social media facilitates communication at all levels and provides new ways to reach your community. How has social media challenged you to communicate more effectively?

(image by frozenchipmunk via Flickr Creative Commons License)

The Benefits of Social Media in Dance

June 24th, 2010

Guest Blog by Leslea Clark

I wrote a similar post almost two years ago called The Power of the Net , It’s amazing how things change. We had just started our journey incorporating social media within our studio. I am happy to say I have learned a lot in these two years. For example; what works and what doesn’t, what to keep your eyes open for (the good, bad, and the ugly), and social media etiquette. I will speak a bit more about those later, but for now lets talk about the benefits of social media for dance. I will list a few examples, but as most of you already know the opportunities with social media are endless.

A Professional Dancer:
With a few simple tools such as Facebook and Twitter, you can promote yourself as a dancer and connect with several other people in your industry. You can post your performances to get a bigger fan base and connect with those who may have information on the latest auditions in your area.

Dance Teachers:
Similar to the above, teachers can promote themselves and connect with people in their industry. They can share ideas, thoughts, and concerns with teachers from around the world. Teachers can also stay connected with their students, but make sure you check with your studios policy on contact with students online. My suggestion is create a separate Fan page or Twitter account, keep your personal life personal and your contact with your students professional.

Studio Owners:
Can do all of the above plus created networks, blogs and of course websites for their business. Please see my networking list in my previous post for examples. What I have done, and what you will do over time, is narrow down the sites you use for networking. If you have experience with social media you know that it can become a bit overwhelming and time consuming, a great example of less is more and quality not quantity.

Find Out What Works Best For You and What Doesn’t.
For me it’s convenience, that’s why I love and stick to my Facebook Fan page, YouTube and Twitter accounts for networking. What’s great about these three is you can sync your accounts, which saves time. Then of course we have the Blog and Ning Network. What I recommend doing is keeping things clean and simple all on one site. I did this on my personal site and plan on doing it for the studio soon. You will notice that I have a blog and network all in one place on one site, that way it eliminates your customers and fans from having to navigate away from your main site and eliminates you having to post in several places. With my dance studio I would no longer have to have a Ning network or a blogger account, it would be all in one place as I said before.

Narrow Down Your Network
For help and support I’ve narrowed down my list to and Now especially, there are tons of sites and blogs to lend a helping hand and give advice to the dance industry. Again, find what suites you and makes your experience convenient.

What to Keep Your Eyes Open For
It’s ironic because at the same time I was asked to be a guest blogger, my circle of online dance buds did a Social Smarts Live Chat . This very informative event was hosted by Nichelle of Dance Advantage, Suzanne of Dance Studio Owner, and Marc of Tendu TV. By visiting the Social Smarts link you can get the opinions of some great people who have experience with Social Media and Dance. Social media is open for anyone, and we are all here for different reasons. My advice would be to surround yourself with people of similar interest and common goals… not to far off from how you would conduct yourself in “real life.”

Social Media Etiquette
This is something I would like to give my opinion on for those of you just starting out. I know you are excited and see many benefits and opportunities. Just remember that you will build a reputation online just as you do out in the real world. Be polite and courteous of other peoples time and what you ask of them. A few examples…

  1. Do not tweet to often and flood peoples stream with tweets
  2. Do respond to relevant questions or posts
  3. Do not beg for followers or people to participate in what you are doing
  4. Do remain professional at all times

For those of you still hesitant to jump on the social media ban wagon, think of these questions for yourself and ask the opinions of others…

  • What do you hear of more often, a person reading the yellow pages or a person googling the information they need?
  • What do you see more often, a person reading the newspaper or someone with and ipad, personal reader, or iphone?
  • How are the younger generation communicating, through telephone or real life conversations or by Tweeting and Facebooking each other?
  • How has our lines of communication changed, do we talk on the phone at all anymore or do we just text?
  • How has our society evolved as far as communication and advertising?
  • Is Social Media right for you and your business?

I hope this information is useful for those of you just getting started and even those of you who have been here for some time. It never hurts to share ideas, it’s yet one of the other benefits of social media, right? I would also like to say that by creating this post I am by no means categorizing myself as a “social media expert”. I just think it’s nice to hear from others in your field about what works for them.

As I explained before, we will all use Social Media for different reasons. Some are trying to sell a particular product, some simply want to socialize, and some are here just to get themselves out there and known. I happen to like keeping it fun, I’m not pushing my studio or myself in anyway, I just hope people become more aware of my presence and if I happen to get a new student or client this way, then great! Social Media for me is just an addition to the advertising we do already and a fun way to share ideas and meet other great dance industry people.

I shall leave you with two perfect examples of what I’m talking about.

First example, My Ning Network

“Thank you for your support in my effort to create a positive, motivating, non competitive place for us to interact and share our love for dance. My goal is to be well known as a encouraging support system to our Dance community, and best of all, its Free! Help me in my effort and ask others who love dance in NJ to join too. Get yourself a badge or send them and invite. Questions, comments, suggestions are always welcome. I look forward to hearing from you all. Peace, Love, Dance!”

Second example, Why Dance Matters … a virtual event that rallies the dance community online created by my friend Nichelle of Dance Advantange. This was an amazing event to participate in and witness…the love and appreciation for dance was overwhelming! Below are my contributions to the event…

I hope you find this post and information useful. For me this was just another effort to spread my love and passion for dance. I thank you all for reading and as always…
Peace, Love, Dance!

~ Leslea

(image by Blethery via Flickr Creative Commons License)

Is iPad a niche product?

June 15th, 2010

Over 2 millions iPad’s have been sold already. No contract is needed with AT&T and the user experience this time will be consistent worldwide with much reduced dependency on a mobile provider such as AT&T or some other international wireless provider.  So think of the global potential of the iPad.  THINK GLOBAL.

People tell me that the iPad is stupid because it’s just a bigger iPhone.  And I agree!  It’s a bigger iPhone; which means more screen space and a faster processor. That means more potential for apps to do a lot more.  Don’t think of the iPad in terms of technology. Think of it in terms of a platform, think of it in terms of potential market penetration and think of it in terms of an apple product. It is going to sell a lot, it is going to have a ton of apps which are only going to get better with time and it is going to create its own consumer market, people that will train themselves to use it just like they did with the iPhone.

I’ve been using my iPad as my primary computer at home. In fact, I have not even gotten on my laptop in over a week now. I can browse (even though I do prefer apps rather than the browser), read my books, watch movies, create presentations and I can reply to all my emails. I am super excited to see all the apps that are coming down the pipeline.  They are only going to get better. So whether you are an early adopter or a late one, I assure that most of you at some point will get one, because the apps are only going to get better and are going to give you a more customized experience, one that is rarely provided through the browser. The iPad has a lot of potential and it will be up to the consumer and app developers to continue to explore the capabilities of this new platform.

Some of my current favorite apps are:  Evernote, Dragon, iWorks, Tweetings, Barnes & Noble eReader, Analytics HD, Netflix, Scrabble and Wired Magazine.

How are you using your iPad? Do you see iPad as a niche product?

Broadcasting Digitally

June 11th, 2010

In the months to come we will be rolling out new and fun ways to help you take advantage of our ongoing specials including QR Codes that you will be able to scan with your smart phones such as the iPhone and not worry about having a paper coupon, etc.  We embrace technology and we will be broadcasting digitally all of our marketing efforts in addition to the traditional methods.

Keep an eye out as we will be revealing new QR Codes throughout our print ads, trade shows, social networks, sponsorships, etc. that will give you savings digitally!  Welcome to the digital revolution!

Test out the QR Code with your iPhone or any other smart phone using ScanLife App.  This application is free.

ScanLife App is available for Android, Blackberry, Palm OS and Windows operating smart phones.