The Power of Social Media – A true story.

The Power of Social Media – A true story.Y108 (Pittsburgh's Country) Fish Fry banner

Yesterday, I got a very vivid illustration of just how powerful Social Media can be.

I grew up in a very small town in Western PA.  Very small.  Like, 200 houses maximum, small.  The town was settled in the early 1800s by about 25 families, who lingered and intermarried until today when pretty much everyone is related to everyone else somehow… and folks are still known as “that new family” if they’ve only lived in town since the 1970s or so.

Now, this li’l speck on the map doesn’t have its own government – it is, in fact, an unincorporated area that straddles two townships – but it does have a church and a fire department.  The fire department is an all-volunteer service, founded by the town fathers (including my grandfather) in 1942.  And, like many volunteer fire departments in Western PA, Paintertown Volunteer Fire Department holds an annual Fish Fry supper every Friday during Lent.  This town social event serves as a fundraiser for the upkeep of the fire trucks. The volunteer fire fighters, the junior fire fighters and the members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary all work together to cook and serve a variety of delicious dinner options, and everyone who buys a meal also gets a complimentary dessert – homemade cake or pie made and donated by the town mothers (including my mother).  It’s one of those great small town traditions that makes us all long for Grover’s Corners, Bedford Falls and Mayberry.

So what on earth does this have to do with Social Media? 

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Corporate Stockholm Syndrome

I recently started a new job, after more than a year of freelance jobsStockholm Syndrome Comic from My Medicated Life and short-term contracts in and out of the AV industry. I’ve now “tasted” a variety of companies in different segments of our industry and now that I’ve returned to my roots as a systems integrator, I’m discovering that I’ve suffered from Corporate Stockholm Syndrome.

If you Google “corporate Stockholm Syndrome,” many bloggers and authors have tried to redefine the psychological phenomenon of hostages identifying with their captors for the corporate and business world. One of the best attempts comes from a programming company, C2, which describes the term as “the phenomenon wherein employees of a business start to identify with, and are exceedingly loyal to, an employer who is manifestly hostile to their own self-interest.”  For my purposes, however, this definition can be expanded.

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C’mon Over Baby… A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On

The East Coast Earthquake and Social Media’s Omnipresence

So, I’m sitting here in my living room this afternoon, working on an upcoming rAVe article on Safety Standards when suddenly the entire house starts shaking. The windows rattle, as do the plates in the china cupboard and the frames and decorations on the walls. Having experienced a 3.6 magnitude earthquake here in Maryland last summer, I recognized the rumbling and rattling, so I put down the laptop, grabbed my phone and headed to the nearest doorway. I was joined moments later by one freaked-out West Highland White Terrier who’d been digging around the backyard when the backyard apparently took umbrage!

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10 Years Later – OH C’MON! Did You Not Get the Memo??

As an AV pro and a social media enthusiast, I tend to keep an eye on the Twitterverse throughout my day. We’ve developed quite the community of AV professionals on that platform, and you never know when something profound, beneficial or earth-shattering will come across the Twitterfeed that can impact our businesses – a link to an article, research, video or even just a statement that resonates. A couple of weeks ago, one such statement came across my Twitterfeed and it utterly stunned me. With permission from the author, here goes:

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Twitter’s Top 5 Badass AV Women

The other day, I read a blog by Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) called “Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women.” This wonderful article – which can be read at http://tinyurl.com/Top75Women – detailed 75 great ladies on Twitter who have a passion for their jobs and share it well. As Ms. Adams wrote:

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Convergence, Nothing – That’s Commoditization!

IT takes square-aim at the AV Integration market. Enough’s enough!

So, the other evening, I’m sitting at home relaxing with my husband-slash-business partner when he looks up from his laptop with an outraged mien and exclaims, “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” (or slightly more profane words to that effect). Of course, I ask, “What’s up?” and he directs me to the Dell website, where, amongst an ever-increasing list of AV products and services being sold by this computer giant, we spied the magic word: Crestron. This morning, a tweet from RAVE news pointed out that CDW, another IT monster, is also selling Crestron… direct to end users… at a single-digit markup. To quote Slim Pickins, “What in the wide wide world of sports is a-goin’ on here??”

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The $3 Billion Elephant in the Room

Is this the end of the VTC world as we know it? *shrug* I feel fine…

Do you feel hear that massive rumbling? It’s the sound of a sudden, major paradigm shift in the A/V world that will have major ramifications for our industry in the months and years to come. Last night, September 30th, 2009, Cisco made an offer of $2.97 billion to purchase Tandberg. The biggest name in IT is now in the process of acquiring one of the biggest names in videoconferencing and, if approved by the Tandberg shareholders, stands to be a game-changing event for our industry. The gradual AV/IT Convergence of the past 5-10 years just exploded forward in a single explosive move. There is a lot to discuss and ponder if this deal goes through.

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An Edifying Blast from the Past

An 8-Year-Old Article For Your Amusement and Amazement

October, 2001: A more innocent time. Our country had just been rocked by the 9/11 attacks, yet we still had a sense of naive optimism, hope and positivity. The dot-com bubble had not yet fully burst, new net technologies were just being introduced and markets were still flying high. The A/V industry was “on the grow” and many of today’s big names were just little sprogs. Gary Kayye, noted consultant, speaker and mind behind the rAVe family of industry newsletters was, at the time, writing a little email precursor to rAVe called KNews.

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At Long Last! The Digital Signage Review!

Samsung MagicNet™ Digital Signage Systems

Several weeks ago, our company installed a digital signage system for a local government agency. We went with the Samsung MagicNet system and could not be more thrilled with the result. Most digital signage systems to date have been comprised of an LCD monitor, a PC connected to that monitor (either directly or via network) and the signage hardware and software. This ‘traditional’ digital signage setup can be complex, costly and complicated to troubleshoot with several different potential failure points.

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