Legoland Celebrates the Inauguration: Win Free Tickets!

I don’t have concrete statistics to prove this statement but I’m pretty confident when I say that theme park attendance is down! With the economic crisis in full effect families are coming up with more cost effective leisure activities. Paying $50-$70 per admission ticket to any theme park is no longer an option. Theme parks are fully aware of the recession and most are doing their to best offer annual membership specials, birthday promotions and adding new attractions to draw in visitors. This is the time for their Marketing Department to step it up and utilize the power of the internet to increase exposure, gain publicity and showcase their attractions. If you work at a Theme Park and are reading this then please feel free to contact me for ideas!

I commend Legoland for doing a great job launching their Presidential Inauguration exhibit just in time to correspond with the Inauguration in Washington DC. In honor of the new President I’m giving away a pair of Legoland tickets so you can go see the inauguration exhibit for yourself!

Barack Obama Inaguration

Winner Receives:
2 Tickets to Legoland California. Each ticket is worth $63 for a total prize value of $126. Tickets are good for Adult or Child admission. Tickets must be used on or before March 31st, 2009.

Contest Rules:
1. You must be following me on Twitter (This also means you must have a Twitter account)
2. You must retweet this post by clicking on the “Tweet This Post” button on this blog. *Please note this is important. If you do not Retweet this from my post then there is no way for me to keep track of who has Retweeted it.
3. You must leave a comment with your email address and one of the following comments:

  • Marketers: 1 Marketing/Promotional idea you’d recommend to a Theme park
  • Share your favorite theme park and let me know why it’s your favorite

Remember you must do all three things on the list to be eligible. A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday February 9th, 2009. (I decided to choose Monday because Monday’s aren’t known for fun and exciting things happening but how cool would it be to win on a Monday?) Good luck!

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Melodie’s 2009 Goals

Between personal and job related stress I’ll be completely honest and admit that 2008 was a rough year. To restore my sanity I decided to dedicate the month of January to refocus my energy, refresh my spirit and mentally prepare to positively  embrace opportunities that come my way. This leads me to share one of my favorite quotes:

“Luck is when preparation Meets Opportunity” -Seneca (Roman Philosopher)

The quote by Seneca is a line I truly believe in for all areas of my life. I take action and am assertive toward things I want to achieve.  I won’t just sit back and let things happen because I know they won’t. I’m prepared to embrace opportunities in order to maximize the success of my potential outcome. People often set goals and lose track of how to achieve them due to lack of clear milestones to track progress and lack of goal success indicators. I started off 2009 with an ambiguously big picture. I soon realized  I had no road map to achieve an undefined goal so  I decided to create this post  as  a personal reference for staying on task but also to help my readers gain a better understanding of the premise behind my blogs, social networks, client pitches, partnerships etc.

I must preface this list by saying that I’m not a numbers person but I know that numbers are a tangible way to measure a goal.  I’m using them for the sake of this list but am also using active words and  keeping in mind that my priorities may change so I might completely overachieve one goal but not completely reach another.

1. Write 120 Blog Posts
I have so much information that runs through my mind all time. If only I could be more consistent about documenting and sharing it. In 2009, I will be. I want feedback on ideas, provide resourceful information, share exciting events and news and leverage the power of the blogosphere to get my content out there. 120 seems like a lot but if you break it down, it’s 10 blog posts a month, 2-3 per week which I feel is very reasonable as long as I schedule time every day to blog.

2. Host 3 San Diego Speed Networking Events.
My previous post explains the event. After the last event I hosted I received great feed back and lots of emails from people asking “When’s the next event?” Before I can host any more events I have a long list of goals I need to accomplish. I need to redesign my website to make it more user friendly, seo friendly and interactive, the list goes on. I want it to be a resource for San Diego Networking. My ultimate goal to host 3 events will motivate me stay on top of all the prep work that I’ll need to do before I can even start planning the events.

3. Earn the business of 10 New Internet Marketing Clients
The more businesses I’m able to work with the more opportunity I have to execute and demonstrate the power of online marketing.  I’ll be able to share my passion through educating and helping others grow their business.

4. Leverage my own Social Media Campaign
I want to update and be active in all  my Social networks but I know it’s not an effective strategy if I just sign up for every social network on this list. It also won’t make sense to put minimal effort in each community.  I’m choosing  primary networks and secondary networks to invest my time and will remain remotely active in all the rest. I made a brief list of some things I’d like to achieve within each social network. This list is subject to change.

Primary Social networks

  • Twitter- Build a strong following of people who know me as a resourceful digital marketer, connect people, provide useful information, entertain people as a socialite
  • Facebook- Bridge the gap between social and work life, post photos
  • LinkedIn- Become an authority by answering questions, connect people for career and consulting opportunities
  • Tumblr- Anything goes! There seems to be a lot of opportunity for fun on here. Share recipes, green tips

Secondary Social networks

  • Digg- Share interesting articles, videos,
  • Yelp- Demonstrate and share my civic pride my letting people know about my experiences with local businesses, restaurants, events, etc.
  • Myspace- I may eliminate this as a main social network  but I’ve had this the longest and want to see if I can reestablish a strong brand on here as a marketer
  • You Tube- Create my own video resume, share cool videos

5. Present 5 Presentations In order to give presentations they require prep work, research, collaboration with other experts etc. The work that goes into putting together presentations is a great learning experience in itself. I like the idea of vocally and visually sharing my knowledge.  I get instantaneous feedback from the audience, have the opportunity to address questions, overcome objections and speak face to face with leaders who are eager to learn. In 2008 I gave the following presentations. I look forward to expanding upon this list in 2009. I know that I’ll need to update my speaker page with past presentations, photos, video, etc.

      1. Women’s Global Network: Communicating with the Media

 

      2. Art Institute of San Diego: Meet the Industry

 

      3. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce: Clear Channel Marketing

 

    4. BarCampSD: Origami with Melodie

I have a plethora of other goals,  but I feel that listing five will allow me to stay more focused. Many of my other goals are actually milestones that will help acheive the ultimate goals on this list. And of course I have non-career related goals that aren’t listed but are just as/if not more important, one of them trumps the importanace of every other goal on this list so I’ve definitely got my work cut out of me in 2009.

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San Diego Dugg Diggnation in LA

On Wednesday I attended Revison3′s taping of Diggnation and the Digg LA Meetup at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. Diggnation is a weekly tech/web culture show based on the top digg.com social bookmarking news stories.

Among the attendees were a diverse crowd of Diggnation Fanatics, Tech/Web industry leaders and people from all facets of the online world. The event really emphasized the growth of web series and the prominence of this media becoming a primary form of entertainment. The enthused audience kept the room energized as the show’s hosts Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht entertained and interacted with the crowd.

My favorite part of the event was meeting some of the LA Tech/Web Industry leaders. If you follow me on Twitter you know I appreciate establishing real live connections with people I follow/ follow me. It makes the experience so much more personal so it was great finally meeting some people I’ve been interacting with in cyberspace. After the event many of us including the Digg crew headed across the street to the Roosevelt Hotel for some more mingling and we somehow snuck in Kogi BBQ (Korean BBQ in Burrito?!). I’ll definitely look forward to attending more events and growing my network in my neighboring city! Thanks to everyone who made me feel welcome at the event.

Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

Crowd 3

Crowd 3

Diggnation Group

Diggnation Group

Kevin Rose

Diggnation Promo

Alex Albrecht

Kevin Rose & Drustar

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Hi My Name is Melodie & I’m a “Social Media Expert”

Lately, I’ve been hearing more and more “Social Media Experts” complain that too many people are calling themselves “Social Media Experts”. So how does one garner the elite, self proclaimed title?  It’s not like there’s a Social Media test we take and as soon as we pass we’re certified Social Media Experts. This is not law school or med school and we all know there isn’t really a job called “Social Media Expert”.

Based on the way the title is used I compare it to someone who plays an instrument but may be a beginner yet still calls themselves a musician or someone who takes photos as a hobby and calls themselves a photographer. It seems that people who calls them selves a Social Media Expert have many things in common:

  • They are really passionate about Social Media.
  • They are very active on Social Media
  • They constantly engage and interacts with others on Social Media
  • They demonstrate knowledge to their Social Media Network
  • They truly believes they have good content to contribute.Social Media Collage

Is  there anything wrong with anything on my list? Not really. In fact everything seems positive to me.  So why do we roll our eyes every time we hear the term “Social Media Expert?” The more “experts” out there, the more knowledge is available.

Instead of rolling your eyes next time you come across someone who calls them self a social media expert here are some mutually beneficial alternatives:

  1. Follow the Social Media Expert on Twitter: This is a quick and easy way learn something from their tweets and see if they’re producing useful content. Remember you can always unfollow.
  2. Read the Social Media Expert’s Blog: Again you may learn something. Comment on their blog with a question that requires a thoughtful answer. See how they respond. If you like their response move on to #3
  3. Invite the Social Media Export to guest blog on your website: What a great way to get a perspective on Social Media from someone other than yourself!
  4. Review the Social Media Expert’s LinkedIn contact list: What other industry leaders are they connected to? Have the provided any answers that you may find useful? They may have a connection you’ve been trying to reach.
  5. Review the Social Media Expert’s Bio and pay close attention to their overall career journey. What corporate jobs have they had? What types of clients they work? Perhaps you’ll find they’ve had experienced in a field you’ve always wanted to learn about.

I’m confident you’ll learn at least one piece of new information by doing something on this list. After all if you’re a Social Media Expert you should be doing this stuff anyway! If you really don’t find value in any of their content then at least you’re justified to roll your eyes.

Basically this post is my attempt to turn a negative clique of the Social Media Expert into something positive that actually adds value to Social Media.  Social media is an infinite space. Your network grows exponentially with every connection you make. Why waste your time swiping someone’s credibility when your time can be better spent collaborating, learning, adding value and understanding other Social Media Experts?

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Coworking Your Way to Success

I’ve been Coworking more in 2009 but when I tell people I’m “coworking” I often get a blank stare following the question “What the heck is coworking?” “Are you making up words again?”–if you’re active on Twitter then you definitely understand the whole trend of making up words . Coworking is an emerging phenomena so I’m here to give my insight on why it’s a great strategy and how it’s really helped me with my goal of being a professional marketer and educator.

Coworking gives opportunity to like minded professionals to collaborate, share ideas, energy and feel connected instead of isolated from working alone. Coworking.com describes it perfectly “Working together as equals profiting from each others success”. Traditionally home based professionals, independent contractors, or people who just can’t stand being cramped up in a cubicle all day work in a very isolated way. Coworking creates a social gathering of independents who create synergy with like minded and talented people in the same space.

Coworking

    Top 3 Reasons Why I Cowork:

1. Motivation- While my career is definitely a significant part of life, it’s not the only thing that defines me. I live a very active lifestyle so when I have a million things running through my mind at once, many of which may not be work related it can get difficult to concentrate. Being around others who are working on common goals is an inspiration to stay focused and on task. We learn from example and tend to mirror those we connect with and respect. Coworking automatically creates motivation from the nature of its setup.

2. Collaboration- I truly believe that collaboration is the ultimate way to strengthen, maximize and create mutual success far beyond what a single person would achieve. Placing many great minds in one space is a recipe for success. Examples? I’m a marketer who may have a technical question about hosting or design. All I have to do is ask and will receive a credible answer about a complicated hosting issue or user interface strategy. I could have very come up with an answer myself but working with people in the room who specialize in a specific area really enhances and reinforces my own knowledge. If I’m drafting a complicated email explaining something to a challenging client, reading it out loud and getting feedback will help me understand if my intentions are being conveyed in a way that’s valuable to the client.

3. Friendship- The office-friendship dynamic is interesting. I know people who keep their personal lives completely separate from their co-workers and have no desire to ever mix the two. I also know people who are best friends with the people they work with. In a coworking setting there are far less friendship barriers than in a corporate setting. The people I’ve coworked with are like minded friends who really understand the intentions behind the work I do. It’s great to have friends that get it! I really appreciate and am thankful for the friendships I’ve developed through coworking. The San Diego web community has provided me with incredible support, inspiration and of course fun times!

The photo above showcases coworking amongst San Diego web professionals. You get extra points if you can name all the people in the photo :) .

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My Myspace Fail- So Here’s My Salute to You!

Dear Myspace,
All I want to do is change my log in email address! I’m a loyal user who signed up almost five years ago when you were just getting started. I’ve experienced many usability changes throughout the years. Some more efficient, others a bit annoying but I want to know why you haven’t created a simple option for changing my email address!

The email address I used to sign up for myspace an old hotmail address that was deleted due to inactivity so I have NO WAY of logging on to that account.

Attempt 1: I go into “Contact Info” of course the option to manually change the contact address is disabled!
Myspace Account

Attempt 2: I go to “Account” and change my “Requested Contact Address” and then pops up “You have requested to change your contact email address. A confirmation email was sent to your previous email address. Please confirm this change by clicking the link in the email or entering the confirmation code below.”
Email Confirmation
Do you understand that my old email account was deleted? There is NO WAY for me to log in to “click the link”.

Attempt 3: Ok Myspace it looks like you’re catching on and you DO understand that I can’t log in to my old account to “click the link”…so what should I do now? Let’s “Contact Myspace”. Subject: My Account, Sub Topic: Change Email Address. This immediately leads me to the FAQ without even giving me a chance to submit my own question because of course someone else has already inquired about this so you don’t want me to email you about again. What? Tom from Myspace won’t really get my message?! Looks like I can’t really contact you about this issue.

FAQ

Attempt 4: FAQ. I guess I should read it now.

If for some reason you can’t access your old email account, you’ll have to email help@support.myspace.com Send them a salute along with the new email address you want to use. WHAT THE HECK IS A SALUTE?! Ahhh, you knew I’d ask so you expain…

To create and send a salute here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Create a handwritten sign with the word MySpace.com and Include your MySpace Friend/Profile ID number. (Your friend ID is the number after “&friendID=” in your profile’s web address/URL. If you can’t login, you can get this info by clicking on your profile)
  2. Get a picture taken of you holding the handwritten sign. Be sure the photo is clear and the handwriting is easy to read. If we can’t read the information and see your face clearly, then we will ask for another salute. (If you do not have access to a digital camera, please consider the accessibility of disposable cameras and digital film processing available at most drug stores)
  3. After you take the pic, send us an email to help@support.myspace.com with the salute attached. You can also provide us with the web address/URL where the image has been uploaded.
  4. Include what you want your new email log in address and password to be. Again, if the email is being used by another MySpace profile we can’t use it, so make sure it’s not associated with any other profiles. Once we receive this information, we will update your account for you.
  5. We use a salute as a means to identify and confirm ownership. If there are no photos on your profile we can use to confirm you own it, we won’t be able to provide you with the information you’re requesting. If that’s the case, you’ll need to create a new profile. Sorry, but we take user privacy very seriously.

When I read the first line about creating a Handwritten Myspace sign. I seriously thought someone hacked into the Myspace FAQ and wrote it as a prank! Then I read the last line about Myspace taking their user privacy very seriously. So of course it’s not a prank! But c’mon I seriously have to hold up a sign? You’re a high tech company so you know that consumers want things instantaneously. We don’t want to look for it, we don’t want to go through lots of steps to find what we want and we certainly don’t want to take a picture of us holding a handwritten sign!

So if anyone from Myspace is reading this, can this blog post please suffice as my “SALUTE”?! Please? Change it from “mymelodie13@hotmail.com” which no longer exists to “melodietao@gmail.com”. I’d give you props for actually finding this post because you’re tracking things that are said about you. I’d also give you props for great customer service. Thanks Myspace!

Sincerely,

Melodie Tao

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