Where’s Gloria? Philly Tech Week 2016!

I’m getting a lot of “let’s meet up during Philly Tech Week” requests so I am taking a tip from my good friend Tracey Welson-Rossman and writing a post with where I plan on being during #PTW16.  Hint – here’s where you will find Tracey during #PTW16.

Every year it gets harder to choose between all of the amazing events happening during Philly Tech Week, but here is where you will find me from April 28th to May 7th.  I hope to see you at one or more of these events or grabbing a quick bite in between some of them.

Thursday April 28th, I am kicking off #PTW16 with Through a Prism: Why Diversity Matters in Design and Tech 

Friday April 29th will find me at Techniculture in the morning and the Philly Tech Week Kick-off Festival in the evening.  I’m sending sacrifices to the weather gods for no rain for the gang at Technical.ly.

Saturday, April 30th I was hoping to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Tech Tour, but it is sold out. *Insert sad face & lesson learned to sign up early here*  So it looks like it will be my day to rest up before the craziness of the upcoming week.

Sunday, May 1st – Happy May Day! This day will be dedicated to family and getting ahead on work.

Monday, May 2nd brings an abbreviated version of  Let’s Talk About Tech with my good friends at Slice Communications  and then off to How Can Philly be the Capital of Gender Equality in Tech.

Tuesday, May 3rd is a full day starting off with Data Management for Non-Profits: Turning Information into Shareable Knowledge.  I’m be a little late but the next stop will be Technical.ly’s Media Conference.  I’m hoping I can make a quick stop at the Lesbians Who Tech Do Philly Tech Week Happy Hour before I head to the Rad Awards.  (Yikes! Did I leave any time in that schedule to eat?)

Wednesday, May 4th – does anyone have a cloning machine I can borrow? If not, then it means I will be attending a few different events but probably not for the full time – The Future of Technology in Business, The Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo and the 2nd Annual Women in Tech Soiree.

Thursday, May 5th is another need a cloning machine evening that will start with the merriment at the #PTW16 Cinco de Mayo Block Party.  Then it is off to figure out how to be at From Philly to DC: Building Powerful Inclusive Tech Communities, FailFest, and an invitation-only networking event all at the same time. Most likely it will be a little while at each.

Friday, May 6th, after a week of insight and education, I’m looking forward to relaxing with some fun and friends at the PTW Signature Event.

Saturday, May 7th, #PTW16 wraps up with Techies Who Brunch (if room opens up on the waitlist) and The Hacktory’s Robot Universe Showdown.

There are also some TechGirlz  and TechShopz in a Box events happening during the week so be sure to check them out for your middle school age girls! (Hint – YOU can run your own TechShopz in a Box)

Saturday May 30th – Intro to Video Production  and MATLAB Motion Tracking

Saturday May 7th – Intro to Linux

It is going to be an AMAZING week!!  What are you going to?

Looking forward to seeing everyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Social Happy Hour with Jeff Gibbard

I was honored to be the first guest on Jeff Gibbard and True Voice Media‘s newest web series – The Social Happy Hour.

An hour on Periscope of Jeff having cocktails and talking social media with some really smart, funny, insightful people. Join them live on Periscope or catch up later at http://thesocialhappyhour.com/ 

Every Woman Should

Reprinting an oldie but a goodie from my archives mainly because I need to be reminded of these things right about now.  I do not remember where I heard this the first time, so if anyone knows who wrote it, please speak up.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

A set of screwdrivers

A cordless drill and

A black lace bra

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE    DSC_03511

One friend who always make her laugh

And one who lets her cry

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

Eight matching plates,

Wine glasses with stems

And a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

A feeling of control over her destiny

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

How to fall in love … without losing herself

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

When to try harder … And When to Walk Away

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

How to quit a job

Break up with a lover

And confront a friend without ruining the friendship

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

That she can’t change…

The length of her calves

The width of her hips or

The nature of her parents…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

That her childhood may not have been perfect but it is over

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

What she Would and Wouldn’t Do for love or more

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

How to live alone, even if she Doesn’t like it

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

Whom she can trust

Whom she can’t and

Why she shouldn’t take it personally

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

Where to go…

Be it her best friend’s kitchen table

Or a charming inn in the woods

When her soul needs soothing

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW

What she can and can’t accomplish

In a day

In a month

And in a year…

Important things I have been reminded of lately

Some of these are old and some are kind of cliche, but all of them are important things to remember, especially in the midst of our much too busy lives. Which one do you like or relate to the most? Any that you would add?

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

Love the people who treat you right and walk away from the ones who don’t.

Believe everything  happens or does not happen for a reason.

If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised that it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you probably will not get them back. You will miss them, but smile because there will always be more balloons.

What you do today is important because you are paying a day of your life for it. What you accomplish must be worthwhile because the price is high.

Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Do Not make anyone a priority who only makes you an option.

I hold to the rather old-fashioned belief that each of us is blessed with particular gifts given to us by God and it is our sacred obligation to identify, to cherish and to exercise those gifts for the betterment of ourselves and those in our lives.

The only time is now and the choice is yours.

If it is important to you, then it is important; period.

If not me, then who? If not now, then when?

To have someone say to you – “No matter what life brings your love is always there” – is one of the greatest compliments you can ever receive.

Life should be like the planet, ever slowly moving, ever slowly evolving and always with the promise of a bright new day ahead.

Work like you don’t need the money, love like you have never been hurt, dance like no one is watching, sing as if no one is listening and live every day as if it were your last.

If you had to evacuate right now, what would you take?

The recent severe weather here in Texas, Oklahoma and the rest of the midwest has resulted in so many people taking trips to emergency evacuation shelters, interior, windowless rooms of their homes or, in truly tragic cases, a ride down the rapids of a rain swollen river.  I was blessed to only have to spend one night hunkered down in the pantry while the tornado sirens went off and a tornado touched down about 15 miles away. There are so many others who have not been so lucky. Having grown up a military brat and a Girl Scout raised by an Eagle Scout father and a mother who grew up in Oklahoma’s tornado alley, the idea of being prepared for an emergency is just ingrained in me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know where the flashlights, candles and matches and all the other necessary emergency gear was located, what to do and where to go. Our multiple moves have meant I have lived in areas prone to, and I have experienced, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards, nor’easters, droughts and more. Pick a type of extreme weather, I’ve probably been through it.

Recent conversations with friends, family and online acquaintances made me realize how few people really know what to do in an emergency and how many more are not prepared if they had to immediately evacuate. There are lots of great resources of what to do in an emergency – Please go read them!

For now, let’s just talk about what you need to know if you have to immediately evacuate your home, work or wherever you might be at that moment.  Disclaimer – I am not an expert on this subject.  Just someone who has lived through a lot of these types of things, with a few suggestions.  This is also not an all inclusive list.  Please check with your local government and/or disaster relief agency to find out what other resources are available. This is also really important to think about if you travel a lot. You never know when you are going to be stuck somewhere besides home or work and severe weather strikes.

Do you know how to receive local severe weather emergency and/or evacuation notices?

Every municipality is different. Don’t assume because something was available or normal where you lived before (even if it was as little as a few miles away!) that it is the same where you live or are traveling now.  Some areas have sirens, some don’t. Many rely on Emergency Broadcast System notices on radio or TV – but seriously how many of us actually watch local network TV or listen to the radio any more? My recommendation if you have a smartphone is to download a weather emergency alert app. It will scare the beejeezus out of you every time it goes off but at least you will be aware of what is going on and whether you need to take precautions.

Do you know where to evacuate to or where the best place to take shelter is?

Find out! Again, every area is different and it varies depending on the type of weather. Your state or local governments will this information available or they can point you to the correct government agency that can give you the information. You can also check with the Red Cross or FEMA.

Do your kids know what to do in an emergency?

If your kids are old enough to be away from you – at grandma’s or a friend’s or school or on a playdate – they are old enough to be taught basic emergency preparedness. Make sure they know what to do, where to go and how to contact you. Do not assume that the adult they are with will know what to do. Make sure they know what to do.  Don’t count on cell phones working or that you will have power to keep them charged. How many of you or your children have phone numbers or addresses memorized? I know I don’t, but I need to. Or I at least need to have them written down and with me. Do your kids even know your first and last name or are you just Mom and Dad? If they don’t know your name and address, it will take much longer for them to be reunited with you if you get separated. Have an emergency plan in place that your kids can implement anywhere, make sure your kids know the information they need and have an agreed upon meeting place, even if it is for after the emergency has passed.

You have 2 minutes or less to leave – what do you take with you?

While it is nice to think that we would all instinctively grab the really important stuff and the really sentimental stuff, have you thought about what that stuff is and where it is? Our lives are so cluttered, do we really know what we need and where it is. Could you, in less than 2 minutes, put your hands on and pack (not in order of importance)

  • Important paperwork – birth certificates, passports, drivers’ licenses, marriage license, your health, car and homeowners insurance information, a list of important numbers and contact information, account numbers for all of your various accounts – banks, utilities, anything you need an account number for and a list of all your login information and passwords for online accounts
  • Currency – cash, credit cards, debit cards, bank account numbers
  • Devices and chargers – laptops, ipads, phones and chargers (for everyone in your family)
  • Pets – leashes, medical and shot records and small supply of food and crates too, if you can carry them
  • Medications / medical devices / medical instructions – for everyone in your family, including your pets, as well as, spare prescriptions
  • Vision or hearing aids – glasses, contacts and solution, hearing aids, etc…
  • A change of clothes – for everyone in your family
  • Things little kids may need to be comforted – a blanket, stuffed animal, etc…
  • Baby items – diapers, wipes, blankets, bottles, etc…
  • Keys – house, cars, storage units, parents house, etc…

If you are not at home when the evacuation order is issued, does someone else in your family know how and where to collect and pack these things?  Everyone who lives in your house should know what to pack and where these things are.

Test yourself.

Time yourself collecting all of these things and getting out the door.  Can you do it? Can you do it if you have to carry it and can not take your car – think boat or air rescue from a flood for example?  If not, you need to put a system in place and start storing things where you could.

I posed the question to my Twitter and Facebook networks about what they would grab if they had to evacuate in an emergency.  All of the answers included one or more of the things on this list, as well as some fun sentimental items.

So what would be on your list?


Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.32.24 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 10.31.25 AM

 

Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off

Periscope vs Meerkat Bake Off

It is not often that you get to do a truly side-by-side comparison of two new tools, but Tracey Welson-Rossman (@twelsonrossman) and I (@gloriabell) got the perfect opportunity to do just that with Meerkat and Periscope at the Philly Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (#PhillyETE).

periscopevmeerkat

We used both apps at various times throughout the conference, but at the Day 2 Keynote, we did an actual side-by-side comparison.

The reason we wanted to try live streaming at the conference is a no brainer, this has the potential to be a great marketing tool . The ability to reach more people with good content, is really exciting when you run a lot of events like we do.  

Here are the pros and cons of each with our “Bake-off” winner (and the reasons why) below.

Meerkat

Pros:      Easy to set up an account

Easy to give the stream a name / title

Ability to tweet comments in the stream

Can schedule a stream

Ability to save broadcast

Can target smaller, more direct audience because no auto link to Twitter

Cons:      Cannot zoom in or increase volume

Need a built-in audience to gain viewers

Lack of direct connection to tweet the stream makes it harder to gain audience

Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone

Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work

Hard to understand the metrics for viewership during the broadcast and post

Lack of documentation on how to use it

Really need a tripod for a good recording

No post-viewing metrics

 

Periscope

 

Pros:      Setting up the account was easy

Ability to save the broadcast

Connecting to and broadcasting via Twitter was easy

Ability to tweet comments and likes in the stream, but can’t easily add other Twitter names in the tweet

Easy to “title” – just like a tweet

Direct link to Twitter makes for a larger audience but also more possibility for spam comments

Cons:        Can’t switch between Twitter accounts

Can only have one account associated with the app

Need a good cellular or Wi-fi connection to make it work

Hard to manage the chat and hold the phone

Lack of documentation on how to use it

Few metrics – post view metrics much easier to see on an iPad

Really need a tripod for a good recording


There are a lot of limitations with both apps and we are hopeful there are more features coming that will address the issues we outlined above. Both seem to be good, fairly easy-to-use tools for live-streaming, especially at events. For right now we give Periscope the edge due to its seamless integration with Twitter.  This feature alone will make it an easier-to-use social marketing tool.

It is a slight edge, though.  Even with the limitations, we see these apps as a great tool for events and smaller conferences with small budgets. The video and audio quality will not be great, but these apps will allow for broader distribution of events.

Check out our next experiment at the Chariot Solutions’ talk on Angular JS on April 22nd.

Getting What You Want

There are a lot of self-help books that tell you the best way to get what you want is to put the request out to the universe/whatever deity you believe in/your inner child…whatever you choose to believe in at that time. In researching this line of thinking, several years ago I came across four “simple” steps to getting what you want.

1) Ask

2) Believe

3) Receive

4) Be Grateful

Good simple advice for approaching most things in the life.

Interestingly, a direct correlation can be drawn between these steps for getting what we want from life and effectively using social media for marketing.  Sadly some social media campaigns, as also happens  in life, forget one or more of these steps or take them out of order.  Add all four of these, in this order, to creative content that educates, informs or entertains your audience and you have taken the first big steps to a successful social media campaign.  Note, I said FIRST big steps, no solid campaign will succeed on these alone, but it is very likely to fail without them.

1) Ask – What is it you want your audience / customer / potential customer to do?  You have to ask them.  They are not mind-readers.  Your calls to action (your “asks”) have to be clear and compelling.

  • Do you want them to become aware of you and your product or service?
  • Do you want them to sign up for something like an email list, a coupon or a contest?
  • Do you want them to buy something?

2) Believe

  • In yourself and what you have to provide or sell and it has to show in how you talk about or display your product or service.
  • That they are interested in what you are offering

This is where really knowing your customer or potential customer comes in.  You have to know enough about who they are and what they really need. You have to not just believe, but you have to know that you are offering them a solution to a problem.

3) Receive – Do you have a clear, easy to navigate process in place for someone who is interested in your product or service to actually contact you, get more information or buy from you?  We have all been in a situation, especially in the digital world, where we were interested in something but the process to get to it was too vague or overwhelming and we just abandon our efforts.

When was the last time you looked at your analytics and bounce rates? They can give you a good insight into whether or not you are making your instructions and process clear and easy enough.  Be ready to receive from your customers by making sure it is easy for them.

4) Be Grateful – Yes this is Grateful with a capital “G” because it is that important.  Something as simple as a Thank You goes a long way.  If you do not show your customers you are grateful for their interest and their business, they will find someone who appreciates them.

What are some other steps you use to get what you want?