Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fizzle-Pop Blogspot is extinct is no more.

Please redirect your browser to

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seattle sure does have a lot of techies

Those who have never “camped out” all night in order to get a good spot in line are seriously missing out.

Last night, 14-year-old Hadley Hillel and his dad pitched a tent (waterproof, I hope) outside the University Village Apple Store in Seattle, so they would be first in line when the store opened at 6:45am today.

On Monday, several of us are headed to the 2009 DEMO Seattle meet-up mixer. Chris Shipley and Matt Marshall (of DEMO) will be there with Todd Bishop and John Cook (of TechFlash) to meet and mingle with local tech entrepreneurs.

There’ll be start-up founders pitching investors, investors mentally cataloging interesting new companies and plenty of PR people salivating over the possibilities of promoting a slick new technology.

The hosts have promised free drink tickets to the first 40 people to arrive at the event…anybody want to camp out?!?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Summer Reading aka "EW Kristin- that's gross!"

So for those of you who don't know me, I'm a bit of a science geek. In my spare time, I go to Science on Tap lectures, read Carl Zimmer's blog, The Loom, and occasionally answer questions like, "What's phenylalanine? " (Note: I had to look this up and my answer was- "Something that's not good for you.")

Even my "for fun" reading list has a science/tech bent- one of my favorite books is Parasite Rex and I read it at night when I can't sleep. So imagine my delight when I came across Fragment by Warren Fahy.

The premise is cheesy but interesting. An American research ship lands on a remote, unexplored island and finds crazy creatures that evolution did some twisted things to. They study the creatures. Creatures kill. People scream. People die. Good fun is had for all involved.

(Please note: My colleagues around me checked it out and said it looked "gross.")

I'm in the middle of reading it now with the Kindle app on my iPhone and so far, it's everything I want my fiction reads to be: Mindless entertainment and some science tidbits thrown in for good measure.

What's interesting about this book are the supplementals offered alongside the text itself. The Amazon page has:

I know some authors are on Twitter (I'm looking at you, James Rollins @jamesrollins and Neil Gaiman @neilhimself) and are pretty transparent about their writing process, things they're working on, etc- which is pretty cool for fans.

I think it's great that authors are using these tools (supplementals, Twitter, etc) to promote and create excitement about their books and to give us insight into their lives and creative process (but, uh, not in a creepy way- I'm not a stalker, I swear!). I'm sure they've been doing this since the dinosaurs began but I'm just now waking up to all the different things I could be exploring with my favorite books/authors.

I'm interested in finding more though- are any authors pushing more viral campaigns with new book launches? I'm thinking like a literary version of the Cloverfield campaign. Let me know!

Also- what's on your summer reading list?

Happy reading, Kristin (@KFontanilla)

PS- Here's a list of authors on Twitter- thank you, Squidoo.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You are learning fast Grasshopper

I love reading about companies that truly get it when it comes to creating social media campaigns and I knew Grasshopper, a phone number service provider for small businesses and entrepreneurs, got it when I started seeing a lot of people I follow online talking about chocolate covered grasshoppers they were sent in the mail.

Along with the grasshoppers, which you know would lead to all sorts of dares and pranks only to be captured on video/camera/TV and posted to blogs, twitter, youtube, etc., there was also a link to a video. The video, Entrepreneurs Can Change the World, elicits thoughts of rainbows and sunshine and feelings of happiness and innovation. There isn't a hint of self-serving advertisement or subliminal messaging telling you to buy something, well not until the end anyway where they post their link. But at that point you are so buzzed with happiness that you kind of want to click on that link to see where you can sign up to save the world.

I think Grasshopper did a brilliant job at re-launching their brand by sending these grasshoppers and video links out to 5,000 influentials both online and off. To break through the news, no matter the medium, I'm a big believer in anything that's quirky, fun and a little stunty.

According to here are a few stats from the campaign that the company has recorded to date:

- 4,911% traffic increase from April to May
- 144,843 video views with 162 comments
- 1,500 tweets
- 120 blog posts in one month
- Tweets from Guy Kawasaki, Kevin Rose, and Jason Calacanis
- 7 national TV mentions

You really can find anything on eBay

The internet is big. You can announce your break-up, find a mac-and-cheese recipe pretty dang close to your grandma's, challenge other people at jewel-matching games and make sand art.

And now you can also be a "journalist". As PR people, we constantly find ourselves discussing the "new face of journalism" and how citizen journalists and traditional journalists can peacefully co-exist. We've shifted the methods we use to reach our clients' targets, including bloggers in our outreach efforts and debating regularly who our markets' influencers are.

As our view of credible sources shifts, here's something to keep in mind:
A traditional journalist who reviews a restaurant is going to disclose the fact that the chef comped his meal to get the story.
A blogger may not.

At the recent IFBC in Seattle, panelists brought up this very point, suggesting that for a blog to earn street cred, transparency is key.

Given that:
A traditional journalist will return the product you sent him to review, so that no one can claim that his review was positive because he benefited financially from the opportunity.
A blogger may not. Or as I witnessed today, a blogger may even keep the review product you sent him (which you suggested he giveaway to his readers) and attempt to sell it on eBay.

We're becoming more and more internet savvy. There are Boomers on Facebook and the emails from the Prince of Africa, offering millions of dollars are luring fewer people. Hopefully, the bloggers with higher standards will earn credibility and those without will get ignored.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The State of PR, Marketing, and Communications: You are the Future

PR 2.0 is a blog written by Brian Solis, a Principal of FutureWorks.

This blog is great for perspective on how other PR practitioners are adapting new tools and trends to remain competitive within the revolution in communication the industry is experiencing.

The recent post on "The State of PR, Marketing, and Communications: You are the Future" I found to be particularly inspiring and wanted to share. The post is incedibly lengthy, but worthwhile!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Useful Twitter Tools

Ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being posted on Twitter? Ever wonder how you could measure the number of times someone reposts an exclusive link? Want to get to know your beat reporters better? Below is a list of tools and sites that Sam Whitmore suggests PR professionals become accustomed with in order to take advantage of the massive amount of information being posted on twitter.

MuckRack is a resource for finding journalists on Twitter and read journalists tweets in real time. Muck Rack considers themselves a means for determining the news of tomorrow today. The main page features tweets from journalists that can be filtered by category, publication, beat, and links. “Muck Rack makes it easy to follow one line, real time reporting.”

Twibes are groups of interest for twitter. Similar to facebook groups, Twibes allow twitter members to join a group of their interest and view tweets posted to the dedicated twibe handles. Twibes can be used to cultivate data and conduct market research of the twitter members who have joined the group. The site is set up to also be used for market research.

dailyRT is a tweet aggregator that gathers the most popular tweets on twitter and displays them using our own scoring algorithm and numerous filters. Some great uses that we've found so far are: discovering tomorrow's newspaper headlines today, tracking stories as they happen, exploring trends from specific dates in history, and finding out what the cool kids are talking about. dailyRT gives you the ability to search tweets based on keyword(s). You have the ability to search for tweets containing links, videos, and/or images. You can view tweets from people with a certain maximum and/or minimum number of followers. You can specify a timespan you would like to see tweets from. Once you are logged in, you have the option of only seeing tweets from the people you are following as well as being able to save your searches.

Tweetstats allows viewers to graph Twitter Stats including such as tweets per hour, tweets per month, tweet timeline, and reply statistics for anything that you search.

ExecTweets is a resource to help you find and follow the top business executives on Twitter. Created by Federated Media, in partnership with Microsoft, ExecTweets is a platform that aggregates the tweets of top business execs and empowers the community to surface the most insightful, business-related tweets.

twendz is a Twitter mining Web application that utilizes the power of Twitter Search, highlighting conversation themes and sentiment of the tweets that talk about topics you are interested in. Mining Twitter conversations alerts you to brewing trends, conversation topics and points of view. twendz uses a keyword-based approach to score tweets. Meaningful words in each tweet are compared against a “dictionary” of thousands of words that are associated with positive or negative sentiment; each word receives a score that, when combined with the other scored words, allows twendz to make an educated guess at the overall tone of a tweet.