Book Review + Giveaway: What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube

In my recent  blog post about visiting Boston, I mentioned hanging out with Socialnomics creator, Erik Qualman. During our time together, he shared his successes/ challenges with me on writing and publishing books. He also gave me valuable advice on writing my own book. He was kind enough to bring me several autographed copies of various books he’s written including his latest book, What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube.

What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube Book

This is a must read! He discusses the role of digital technology on privacy where he states that “privacy is dead.” This book is short but an extremely impactful quick reference guide to living in a digital age. I read the entire book during my 9 hour flight delay from Boston back to San Diego. I absolutely love how clear and concise Erik is on getting important points across.

What Happens in Vegas, Stays on YouTube focuses on NEW rules for business, personal and family reputation. It’s structured in an easy to read list format. Each chapter focuses on a different topic such as protecting your identity, top reputation tools and business & team resources with rules related to the topic listed in the corresponding chapters. There are many examples and case studies that make the rules much easier to grasp. It’s all of your favorite tips found across dozens of places on the web, condensed into one powerful book that can fit in the palm of your hand.

I practice, teach and believe in so many rules in this book already but was still able to learn new things that I’ll be incorporating into my business and personal life. It was also refreshing to read affirmations on so many rules I live by. Here are 3 of my favorite rules/ points in the book.

1. 100% LinkedIn Profile– “LinkedIn profiles show up high in Google search results. This is particularly helpful for those who do not have a substantial digital presence.” I have been stressing the importance of having an optimized LinkedIn profile for this exact reason and many others for years! Your LinkedIn profile is your digital resume and it’s where potential employers and business partners get a glimpse of your career history and success. Since it has such a high search engine ranking, it will most likely be one of the top results when people search for you on the web. Taking ownership of your LinkedIn profile is a great step in building a positive online reputation. I am quoted for saying that I personally won’t consider hiring someone if they don’t have a LinkedIn profile and I know many employers who feel the same way.

2. Use Strong Passwords for all online accounts-Passwords have been around since ancient times. A password is definitely not something new. However, hackers are always coming up with new ways to retrieve your password. I loved reading this rule because I have been teaching people about how to create strong passwords since 2008 when I was hosting Internet Power workshops yet I still know so many people who have passwords that include their name, their pet’s name or an easy number sequence such as 12345. I personally have a different password for every single login. That may sound  like it’s impossible to keep track of but it’s not as difficult as you think. I recommend choosing a pattern to create a password for each login, then adding a standard sequence of characters that stays the same. Here’s an example with different steps that you can repeat for different logins.


  • Step 1: Create a pattern unique to the individual website. For examples, take the last letter and second letter of the website, in this case it’s nm
  • Step 2: Add another letter in between such as “p”. Now your password is npm
  • Step 3: Add your own sequence of characters starting with a capitol letter that’s the first letter of the website. Now your password is npmA
  • Step 4:  Think of a sequence of charters you’ll remember. You can choose the first 3 letters of the city you were born and the date. If you were born in San Diego on October 13, you can use san@1013. Now your password is nmpAsan@1013
  • Step 5: Repeat the same steps for every new login. So if the website is Ebay, your password would be ypbEsan@1013

The intention is to choose a pattern of steps that after you use once, you’ll remember. At the same time this will make your password different for every site and hard to figure out for anyone who might get a hold of one of your passwords. You can read another example on creating strong passwords in Erik’s book.

3. Digital Stamp- Digital Stamps are a new concept for me. As described by Erik, “A Digital Stamp is a permanent collection and culmination of your digital footprints and digital shadows. Your digital stamp matters 5 seconds from now, 5 years from now, 50 years from now and 500 years from now.” He asked companies and individuals to submit digital stamps and he shares some of them in an entire chapter dedicated to digital stamps. Erik’s digital stamp is this: “Be a digital Dale Carnegie by motivating others to their best life, leadership & legacy. Honor my family & God.” Check out the image below for a sample of other digital stamps.

Digital Stamps from What Happens in Vegas

Since I only shared 3 things I enjoyed in this book with you, I’m now giving you a chance to get your very own copy.


1. Create your own digital stamp and share it in the comments section of this blog post. This counts for one entry.

2. Earn an additional entry by Tweeting / Sharing this blog post on Twitter. Make sure to tag me @MyMelodie

3. Last but not least, whether you win the autographed book or not, your very own digital stamp could be featured in the next edition of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. After you have created your digital stamp and shared it with me here, email it to Erik: He’s going to be adding more digital stamps to his upcoming books and you could make your mark by being published!

The winner will be chosen Friday August 22nd, 2014 at 5pm, pacific time. The winner will be asked for a mailing address to receive your prize of one autographed copy of What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube. Good luck and I can’t wait to read your digital stamps.

My Mandatory PR Post on the 20 Hottest Geek Girls of the Internet

It’s customary for me to write blog posts about publicity myself or my company receives because it’s important to thank the source and it’s also important to optimize your public relations effort for social media.  In my most recent PR post about being featured doing Karaoke Yoga, I gave even more tips on how to make the most of any PR appearance. Other examples of my PR featured posts include my hat tip to NBC San Diego and I’ve blogged about my brief cameo on one of the most popular social media news sites, Mashable.

Friday morning, I was working away at my computer and my friend Jenn Hoffman posted a link on my Facebook: “20 Hottest Geek Girls of the Internet” from (Hence the “Mandatory” in this blog title). I click on the article and it immediately looked NSFW. Nevertheless I begin reading.

Mandatory Geek Girl Jenna

“Is it possible to find a woman who is sexy”, smart and a total interwebs geek? Of course. Mandatory scoured the web to find the 20 most unique, interesting, and unabashedly cool online personalities – with boobs! Beautiful bloggers, sexy social media mavens and our favorite twitter crushes who all have brains that are just as hot as their bodies. You may argue that some of these women don’t look like nerds, and you would be correct. That’s the point”.

To my absolute astonishment, I found myself on the list among many super smart, sexy and successful women like Jenna Marbles, my friend Jenn Hoffman (she was on the Apprentice!) and one of my favorite YouTubers, Natalie Tran. While I was extremely grateful for this feature, I was actually a little embarrassed and I quickly hid the link on my Facebook Timeline. Perhaps it’s because I was being recognized for something that had nothing to do with my career accomplishments. But then I realized, HEY, I really need to embrace this because it actually has everything to do with my career accomplishments. It even states in my blurb “from organizing networking events in her current hometown of San Diego to creating international seminars, Melodie has earned her nickname ‘Marketing Melodie‘ from her peers”. So I decided to tweet the link and now here turning this into a post thanking for giving me some great exposure and re-emphasizing social media PR tips for my readers.

Here’s my feature on the site:

Mandatory Geek Girl

And yes of course I was wondering, who even chooses these rankings and decides on the hottest, best, smartest, etc? For this piece, I was told it was chosen by the editors of the site. Ah, the beauty of having your own website or blog. You get to make up your own rules and post about whatever you’d like. Even if no one is reading!  Find out who the 19 other hot geek girls are HERE.

One of my main points of sharing this post is to remind everyone to give thanks and a little recognition to sources who feature your work (unless of course it’s negative press and in that case you should have a strategy to address it). By being grateful for what life gives you, you’ll begin to notice that the world will conspire for you rather than against you to give you more of what you need. Remember for more insight on optimizing your PR effort for social media, check out my first post about it here and then my second post with Karaoke Yoga in the mix here. If you have any other tips for optimizing PR through social media, please let me know as I’m certainly no PR Pro. Until then, this geek is signing off!

Marketing Melodie Geek photo


Social Media Amusings: Did you know I’m a Sanrio Character?

Social Media Amusings is new series of posts I’m starting. It’s going to be  full of fun things about me and things I come across in the social space that I feel like sharing with all of you. Today we’re talking Sanrio! When you hear Sanrio, you probably immediately think Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty is well branded as the face of Sanrio.

Hello Kitty

Yes, I mentioned branding. It’s how my marketing mind works. I’ll tie everything back to building your brand and marketing! I’ve emphasized the importance of branding yourself on Social Media through various outlets including my Digital Media Dinners Event: Social Media Branding. In addition I’m hosting an upcoming Digital Media Now seminar on Wed. Nov. 2nd, 2011: Personal Branding on Social Media. You can sign up here!

Alright back to Sanrio!  Hello Kitty isn’t the only lovely Sanrio character, she has a good friend by the name of MyMelody! Yep, it’s my name by with a “Y” instead of “IE”. I’ve done a great job at branding myself on Twitter as MyMelodie. My online persona, business brand and even personal brand is: Marketing Melodie. However, @MarketingMelodie was 1 letter too long for Twitter so I chose @MyMelodie instead. This name still has the M and M alliteration I love, it’s short so people have a lot of room to reply to me and it’s catchy!

MyMelody and Friends

The story of MyMelody: The Sanrio Character- ♥ My Melody is a cheerful, kind, and gentle rabbit. She was born on January 18th 1975 in the forest of Maryland, where she still lives with her parents, grandparents and little brother Rhythm. While good-natured, her curiosity makes her hasty at times. Her favorite hobby is to bake cookies with her mother. Her favorite food is almond pound cake. Her most prized possession is her hood, which her grandmother made for her. Her best friends are Flat: A mouse that is a little shy around other people & Piano: A kind, little sheep, that her favorite thing to do is to cuddle 

What a cute little bunny! And it’s clear I’ve done a good job at branding myself as “MyMelodie” because my community is amazing at letting me know they’re thinking of me! Take a look below!

In February 2009 I was at Tweetup and @rockstarjen strolled in wearing a MyMelody pendant as a necklace! I immediately stopped her and asked where she got it. She explained that she came across it somewhere at home, didn’t know exactly where and didn’t know it was MyMelody. After explaining that the bunny on her pendant inspired my twitter handle, she took it off and gave it to me! I’ve been using it as a key chain ever since. The best thing about it, is that it *glows in the dark* which comes in handy when I’m trying to find my keys in my purse. Thanks for your generosity @rockstarjen!

MyMelody Pendant

Yogurtland recently had a Sanrio promotion! The lovely @thepegisin, sent me a fun photo during the Yogurtland Sanrio promotion when she was getting some delicious froyo!

MyMelody from @thepegisin

I met @cschone44 at my very first TweetUp in 2008! She was recently at a Sanrio store and sent me a sweet message when she saw this MyMelody item. How cute is that?!

MyMelody from @cschone44

I also went to Yogurtland during their Sanrio promotion. I posted this photo on Facebook and definitely received some LIKES! I also jokingly asked the cashier if I could receive a discount because I’m featured at their shop. He gave me 10% off! Shout out to Yogurtland Mission Valley!

MyMelody at Yogurland

My lovely friend Kariou who I completed my Yoga Teacher Training with came to class one day with this surprise for me! MyMelody key cap!

MyMelody from Kairou

Earlier this year my friend Tom also sent me a cute photo on Facebook. Yep someone IS using my name!

MyMelody Sanrio from Tom

I’m just so happy to know that people think of me whenever they see anything MyMelody related! I’ve worked really hard to establish my brand on Social Media so having my community connect with me really makes my day!  Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post in some way shape or form by reaching out to me when you saw me as a Sanrio Character or gifting me something MyMelody! Stay tuned for more Social Media Amusings!

Klout Perks you won me over, now what else are you good for?

I admit I was very hesitant when I first heard about Klout. I thought “Why is the internet judging me and giving me a score that no one else cares about?” Nevertheless I registered myself and didn’t really pay attention to Klout for quite some time. Then all of a sudden I started hearing about people getting “perks” which came in the form of packages in the mail! Real snail mail! With electronic technology being so prevalent, getting something in the mail is such a nice treat.

Klout Score 9-15-2011

I started to pay a little more attention to my Klout Score. My perspective was still that since I’ve never had anyone want to work with me because of my Klout score, in fact I’ve never even had a random person ask me what my score was; therefore I can’t justify my score having a strong influence over anything!

Recently, however I started to realize how Klout may be slowly but surely becoming a major player in the “Social Media Game”. They added more networks to their enigmatic algorithm (to this day I still can’t figure it out).  In fact just over a week ago my fellow San Diegan, web/tech friend, aka one of the most innovative, in-the-know ladies in tech, Jenn Van Grove aka @jbruin of Mashable wrote about how Klout Calculates Its 100 Millionth Score. Before I continue with my own insight on the benefits of Klout, I want to take a moment to say THANKS KLOUT for all the perks!

I’m not a big Subway fan, but I also can’t turn away a free sandwich with my $10 Subway card. In fact, it served me well for 2 sandwiches and prompted me to promote for Subway when I normally wouldn’t be talking about them!

Subway Klout Perk

Subway Veggie Delight

I received a variety of Metromint water to try. I admit I still haven’t had a chance to enjoy them yet but they look so pretty in the package and it’s just fun to get stuff in the mail!

Metromint Klout Perk

Is Klout trying to tell me that I stink? They’re sure not keeping it much of a Secret! Either way I’m stocked up on deodorant for the rest of the year, something I would buy anyway!

Secret Klout Perk

For the few times a year it sprinkles in San Diego, Klout and the Weather Channel have me covered! This is my favorite Klout Perk so far. As a San Diegan, buying an umbrella isn’t even on my list of things to ever buy so having an awesome umbrella like this is pretty cool!

Weather Channel Klout Perk

Once again, thanks Klout for all the fun perks! I’m ever so grateful! I’ll now share a few of my own observations on how Klout is a useful tool.

1. Find Influencers– If you’re looking for new people to follow or want an glimpse of who has a strong voice on topics you’re interested in, simply click on the “Influencers” tab on the left side of your Klout profile. Click on different topics and a list of the top influencers for each topics will populate.

Klout Topics

2. Share Influencers– Give back to your community and those who you’re learning from with +K’s! You’re allowed to give 5 +K’s each day. Along with the +K’s you can tweet out to your network “I gave (insert Twitter name) +K about Social Media on @klout….” this is still room here, I highly encourage you to include WHY you’re awarding this +K. Just like I want you to tell me Why should I follow you on #FollowFriday?, I want to know why I should care about the +K you just gave.  This makes your share much more valuable to your followers.

Klout +K


3. Marketing Opportunities for Brands– As evidenced by my Klout Perks, this is an extraordinary opportunity for brands to get their product in the hands of influencers. Not only will brands reach influencers, they’re also tapping into a population they know is extremely active on Social Media. Therefore, people who receive Klout Perks are more likely to share your brand with their network. This creates a great authentic and viral opportunity for your brand.

4. Measurement Opportunities for Marketers– Although measuring Social Media is still something Marketers are challenged with, Klout is one way we can demonstrate a set metric. For example, if I have a client interested in reaching out to people who have a strong voice in the Yoga community, I can search for top influencers on this topic with a Klout score higher than 50 and craft messages directed toward this group.

5. Klout Perks!- Of course I can’t leave this off since the perks inspired me to take a closer look at Klout in the first place. Make sure to periodically check the top right “Perks” tab on your profile to see what Klout Perks are available and which ones you qualify for!

Before I conclude by first blog post on Klout, I do want to say that I wish Klout had a vacation mode! My score drops significantly each weekend. I’m not as active on Social Media then since I’m out enjoying time with people I care about. It also drops when I’m on vacation since I’m not constantly updating! Anyone else want to see this feature? Aside from that, please share with me your own thoughts on Klout. Are there other benefits you’ve seen?

Bookmark and Share

Social Media On The Big Screens: Catfish and The Social Network

I posed a simple question to my Facebook and Twitter friends: “What movies are out there that feature Journalists as main characters? I’ve seen tons but can’t think of them all. Need this for a blog post!”

Thanks to the infinite power of Social Media within 10 minutes I had a list of over 30 movies featuring a Journalist as a main character. Movies on the list include: All The Presidents Men, True Crime, Almost Famous, the mysterious Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Insider, Shattered Glass, Good Night and Good Luck, State of Play, the fashionable Devil Wears Prada, the indestructible Super Man and the list goes on.

The high response rate to my question made it crystal clear that “traditional” media jobs are extremely popular and even sexy on the big screens.  But as technology continues to evolve and the occupation “Journalist” (in the traditional sense of writing for a newspaper ) continues to diminish as a position companies are seeking, having a “Journalist” in a new age movie doesn’t match up with current trends. This became evident to me in the past week as I’ve had the privilege of watching two sneak previews, both featuring Social Media: Catfish and The Social Network.

The rest of this post isn’t a spoiler. I’ll be sharing some of my insight and observations after watching two movies that feature Social Media as the main component.

Catfish–  This documentary is about a photographer, Nev who lives in New York. An eight-year-old girl, Abby from rural Michigan contacts him and asks permission to draw one of his photographs that appeared in a newspaper. He receives her remarkable painting and starts a friendship and online correspondence with Abby’s family. This is just the beginning of an online mystery. The main topics brought to my attention were online persona’s versus real life and online security. We often don’t think twice about who we’re corresponding with online and take everyone for face value. But the internet can be a dangerous tool that allows us to create different personas, use different photos to identify ourselves and hide from our real identity through a computer screen. For many people, our online persona is a true reflection of our personality, but not for everyone. Nev’s correspondence turns into a mystery that brings up the questions of online security. He doesn’t think twice about disclosing secrets, personal information and even developing a romantic connection with someone he’s never met met until things start getting fishy one clue at a time.

The Social Network– The deep rooted desire for humans to have connections with others is fed through online social networks. The Social Network is a story about Facebook, formerly called The Facebook’s creation and evolution into today’s powerful tool that most of us can’t live without. This movie brought back memories to me for the early days of Facebook in 2004. The “mini-feed” that used to annoy everyone showed up on the big screen, now we can’t live without the feed of current information about 500 of our closest friends. The movie portrays the crucial moment when “Relationship Status” was invented which now allows us to find out if there may be a chance with the hot guy or girl we just met. “Can I have your number?” is so 1990’s, we all know the real pick up line is “Can I add you on Facebook?”  The Social Network is a true story and drama that perfectly depicts the rapid growth of technology, how our lives are so quickly transformed by the digital age and the viral power of the internet.

Seeing Social Media on the big screen continues to validate it’s importance in our every day lives.  While traditional media jobs were so prominent in a significant number of movies, my prediction for the future of movies is that occupations of featured characters will center more around technology jobs, the internet and more specifically Social Media.

Have you seen other movies that feature Social Media?

Bookmark and Share

How To Maximize the Power of Your Avatar

As a marketer I’m always thinking of ways people can enhance their image to be more impressionable and memorable. This is especially true in cyberspace where images definitely trump text. Your avatar is your face in cyberspace and a unique reflection of your online persona. It’s a way for people remember you in an infinite galaxy.

I’ve been known to express my views on avatar choices so I decided to share a few tips on how to maximize the power of your avatar:

Personality: Your avatar is your first impression to many in the online world. Add a little personality to it! If you’re fun and outgoing lets have fun looking at your avatar. If you’re athletic or active, inspire us to work out. If you’re intellectual, how about an insightful image? If you’re a hard worker and proud of your career, let us know!

Consistent: Being consistent helps people recognize you across various social networks, blogs and forums. This builds brand recognition for your online persona. Your avatar will immediately evoke an impression and provide a better understanding of your online purpose and goals. If you use a completely different avatar for every single profile then it becomes difficult for people to piece together your thoughts from different areas of the web. This makes it difficult to build a strong reputation and following.

MyMelodie Avatar

Memorable: A memorable avatar can be created in many different ways. Use bright and bold colors, a distinct smile or even a strategically incorporated item or logo. Memorable avatars stand out. They’re usually not composed of dull colors and if they are then the image is bold. A great way people remember my avatar is the flower I wear in my avatar that shows up on many of my social networking profiles. If you have a memorable avatar people will see your image and immediately know it’s you without thinking twice.

Recognizable: My test of a recognizable avatar is meeting someone in person. If I meet you for the first time offline and I immediately feel like I already know you from our online interactions then you’ve done a great job at creating a recognizable avatar. I’ve been to many networking events where someone will come up to me and start talking to me as though they know me but I have to ask to make sure if we’re met before because I don’t recognize the person from their avatar. Of course after a few words are exchanged my memory is triggered but the initial recognition was not there. Examples of avatars that aren’t recognizable include a blurry image, a photo where something is covering your face, a photo that’s too light or too dark or even a corporate logo.

I personally always recommend avatars that are a photo of your true self. Unless I already know you, an avatar that’s a logo or image other than your face does not feel as personal. I don’t feel as connected or engaged when interacting with you.

We all remember the night before senior picture day in school. Trying on countless outfits, making sure the colors were right, making sure our outfit doesn’t clash with the background and doing our hair up to perfection. This photo goes into our senior yearbook, something our classmates will hold on to for years. This photo gets sent to our friends and family with graduations invitations. This photo is the reputation we’ve built throughout our primary years of school and this photo is a glimpse into the next chapter of our lives. If you apply these same principals of importance to your avatar choice you’ll enhance your opportunities for building a strong internet presence.

RichAndCreamy Avatar Nrek Avatar Garyware_619 Avatar BJ Avatar

    Here are some San Diego Avatars that incorporate many elements of my recommendations. They all definitely have personality and are recognizable. I wanted to include some female avatars but for some reason only guys responded when I asked permission to use avatars!

Bookmark and Share

Marketing Melodie