Why I’m glad I’m not at SXSW

Watching some of the tweet stream, I’m sure I would have really enjoyed being in Texas for South by Southwest. But I’ve had a lot of fun this week watching basketball, including Wednesday night when my son Joe, a high school freshman, got his first game action with the varsity team in the first round of the Section 1AAA Minnesota High School Basketball Tournament. Here’s a snippet of his play:

Joe isn’t the guy who nailed the three in that sequence; that was Connor Gunderson, a senior who scored his 1,000th career point in the last regular season game.

Joe only has 998 to go.

Tonight the Austin Packers, seeded third, travel to second-seeded New Prague for the semifinal. I would definitely feel badly if I were missing it. I’ll have to rely on @EdBennett and others for the #SXSW and #SXSWi scoop.

Update: The Packers made a valiant run at it, but came up just short after falling behind by about 20. They cut it to 5 but couldn’t quite make it.

University Communications in the Third Millennium

I have the delightful opportunity this morning to present on social media for the Marketing and Communications Conference for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. I’m even going to get to meet a real-life Chancellor, James McCormick. I’m thinking I might ask what it would take for me to get SMUG accredited, but a more realistic goal would be to avoid have Chancellor McCormick (or one of his colleagues) tell me it’s OK to still use the title Chancellor for my office in this tongue-in-cheek university.

I think we’ll have a lot of fun with this, and hope to post some video later from the event.

Here are the slides:

Meanwhile, I think it’s pretty exciting that they have a Twitter hashtag established for the conference: #madmn. Please feel free to follow a long and chime in. I’ll be getting started about 9:15 a.m. CST, just after the real chancellor gets done with his greeting.

Putting Social Media to Good Use

Today I’m honored to be presenting to a group of folks working (mainly) in local government communications, and I’m doing it in St. Paul, Minnesota, for the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators‘ fall conference. It’s a bit of a “back to the future” day for me, because I worked in government in St. Paul for about six years: partly at the Minnesota capitol, and partly as an assistant to a Ramsey County Commissioner. This gives me a lot in common with these folks, because I’ve been in their shoes (although it was in the pre-Web days.) So I’m looking forward to a great discussion.

If you want to join the discussion, we will be using the #magc hashtag.

5 Theses on Social Media in Healthcare

I’m honored to be kicking off Healthcamp Minnesota this morning with a keynote at 8:10 a.m. CDT. Here are my slides, and while you’ll see some familiar information if you’ve been a SMUGgle for some time, there are also some significant new elements, including the section that gives this post its title. I expect to be amplifying on that in future posts, but for now, here’s the deck for reference:

I hope to see lots of Twin Cities Tweeps at the event, but for those who can’t make it, please follow the live video stream (available from the HealthcampMN site) and the #hcmn hashtag, and join the discussion.

Minnesota Social Media Innovators List


In the last 10 days or so, Arik Hanson took nominations for a list he called “Top 20 Minnesota Social Media Innovators.” It was a neat project, and looking through the nominees introduced me to a lot of interesting people I haven’t yet had a chance to meet, since I live about 100 south of the Twin Cities. And I’m glad he opened the list beyond the Twin Cities area, so that we who live in what used to be called “Greater Minnesota” could be considered.

Yesterday he announced the list, and I think the best thing about it is he sorted it alphabetically. 😉

As Arik says, one strong message from this project is how vibrant the Twin Cities/Minnesota social media community is. I haven’t been able to attend the MSP Social Media Breakfast yet, but I understand the attendance has been in the hundreds, and look forward to getting there sometime soon. And earlier this month we had about 120 people attend a social media seminar sponsored by the Rochester (Minn.) Chamber of Commerce.

This is also something of the power of social media; you don’t have to live in a huge media market like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or San Francisco to use social media tools creatively and effectively.

Thanks to Arik for undertaking this project and introducing me to some people doing really interesting work, and I’m honored to be included.