Do you hashtag?

Spent a bit today watching the Twitter in sync with television broadcasts. As the TV industry prepares to embrace “companion television”, thought I’d share some insight on where the audience is already talking – twitter hashtags.

I’m a bit of a news hound, so the Sunday morning talk shows, and 60 Minutes were on my radar. Hashtags of course, are the #string phrases used by bloggers and marketers on Twitter, to help coalesce audiences around a subject.

In todays case I monitored #MTP for Meet The Press, and #60Minutes, which CBS runs prompts for on screen.

Client side, I used dual screen PC setup near the teevee, along with Tweetdeck, from the Chrome marketplace, and, a Twitter wall system.

Some bullet points from today’s third screen interactive experience:

  • With an audience of over 10M,  CBS could only muster 18 audience tweets in sync with their show (tonight’s show was a repeat, so probably a big factor there).
  • MTP was much more robust. I didn’t count, but with no broadcast prompts, #MTP was constantly fresh with audience chatter – similar to, but not as much volume as I saw last season around NFL games.
  • The tone on #MTP seemed civil, though the program content was not that controversial.
  • 60 Minutes stepped up with what looked like an auto-tweet to start their show, but after that nothing more from the shows producers.

Companion TV properties to watch: (platform)

Buddy TV (ipad)


Dear Charlotte Observer

The good news is the Charlotte O circ guy is fast, and gun-slinger-ready to run down their marketing contractor. And for the record, the FCC complain site works just as well for out of whack telesales teams, as it does SMS text message spam. Had the privilege today of receiving and reporting both.

And you should too.. the system works less well when we don’t take the time to report-in on such matters.


Dear Charlotte Observer Ann Caulkins et all

Today your telemarketers called my cell phone.

I asked to be removed from your list and was ignored.

I asked to speak to a supervisor and was ignored.

I contacted your telemarketer and they have no way to leave a message or accept do not call input.

Your telemarketing is illegal when you do not respond to customer do not call requests and consumer declarations.

I suggest you look into the practices of your telemarketing company.

I suggest you stop operating as if customer declarations and do not call intent are to be ignored as that behavior on your part constitutes illegal telemarketing.

I am a great advocate of journalism, and have strong empathy for your business situation, but illegal marketing practices are not a forward thinking strategy for the 21st century. I expect better execution of advertising and marketing practices from the anchor player in advertising for the Charlotte North Carolina area. Your reputation in part rests in the minds of those in your community that support you. Driving your sales message home with the zeal of a unstoppable volcano, as was done to me today – ignoring consumer advocacy laws, or even the decency of respecting consumer conversational requests – is not the way to earn the support of your community.

cc: My blog, my Twitter account, my Facebook account, and every person I can tell in the next 30 days.

As if you have not figured this out already – I’m pissed. “Your guy” wasted minutes of my time – but hours of my mental concentration. In the peer-business exchange of life, I just got rogered.

Robert Reddick

Celso video test

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Vulnerabilities market value 2

Wrote this Vulnerabilities have a price article last year about how a smart programmer stopped giving up hacks for free.  Now we see that Big G has joined the model with a rate card for finding security holes in properties (from Google security blog).  Not sure if Charlie Miller will be enticed by $500 to $3,000 though – seems a bit low in my book.  On the flip side, in the Google post comments, not everyone agrees that paying to find bugs is the best model.  Maybe the prize box should include some pitch and dine time at the Googleplex?

On Hackfests and BarCamps

Recently I attended BarCamp Charlotte at Area 51. It happened to be a week-off of this years ConvergeSouth Greensboro, a similar event I’ve attended annually for about five years. As a tech-mixer affectionado I thought I’d post some thoughts on the interwebs about the genre.

BarCamp (4) Charlotte Field Report

  • Free as in beer; fully sponsored one-day’r with free lunch and a tee-shirt.
  • No national speakers, but lots of nice, friendly, and energetic attendees.
  • Never enough bandwidth, but not everything, or person there was tech.
  • Bar-format I suppose is standard, but the whole propose / vote / small groups thing seems to help get side-liners to lead, and head-liners to (temporarily) press mute.

Personally, I would like to see BarCamp and similar events become more routine and to some extent more solutions-driven and topical.  The format lends itself to self-organizing and low costs; but it’s the people there that are the juice. Point being, Challenge + Attendees = Outcomes.   Thus, a themed Bar that focused on a particular community challenge, might help produce a self-assembled group to tackle that challenge.

Additional thoughts on BarCamps

  • There is some potential to use Bar themes to help smooth political discourse in the US. Sure, maybe it’s a reach, but clearly we need to be trying new things in that area.
  • For active communities, an aggressive model of say big events once per quarter with smaller, more targeted events every week to two weeks is possible.
  • BarCamp is ripe for a national sponsor model. The sponsor would have to themselves be self-organizing; be hands-off enough to not be agenda-pushers; social-savvy enough to accept that parts of “the conversation” are out of their control. But especially for someone like a 4G carrier – where they could light the venue and let the live webcasts flow – I think they could produce some impressive, branded, media-shares.


Zoom out and over a bit and we see Hackfests, where (mostly) software developers assemble around programming challenges. Like BarCamps, Hackfests are emerging as simple and productive ways to get people “in the room”.  Similar to BarCamps, Hackfests have education and sharing at their core.

Free-Demo-Tables = Hackfest light.
Here in Charlotte I have been encouraging business event organizers to use the competitive nature of startups to drive PR and attendance.  That basically, if you give startups free space for demos, they will work their butts off to show up and show off their bleeding edge whatchamacallits – which in turn brings the press, the investors, and so on.  But more importantly, that the competitive nature means no slacking off for the startups. TechCrunch Disrupt and others of course are the big-top version of the concept, but locally, regionally, as a concept, free-demo-tables just don’t exist yet.

Final thoughts on these hack-events. BarCamps and Hackfests are probably another world for most of America. But for those involved, they are a type of little-engine-that-could for personal, social, and business development. Like the early days of the www, they feel like a perpetual experiment. And like www v. 0.1, that may not turn out to be a bad thing after all.