How often do you unplug?

Chromebook in my kitchen

This morning I was sitting at the kitchen counter and enjoying a cup of coffee. For the first time in almost two weeks I was catching up on social media notifications and some of the people that I enjoy following on the web.

During the time that I was in Hamilton, Massachusetts, Brittani and I didn’t have much access to the Internet. Cellphone service was fine, but we were so busy and engaged with my family and each other that we didn’t have the time (or urge) to whip out our smartphones and keep up with the other going-ons of the world.

In a sense, it was kind of liberating. We live in a world right now where we are addicted to the satisfaction of “Likes” retweets and comments. Our brains are hooked on the positive emotion of seeing interaction on the content that we share, as trivial as some of it might be. For one long weekend, Brittani and I put all of that to the wayside and just enjoyed our time with the family.

After coming back home I was so tied up with work that I didn’t really do much social media. In fact, it’s been a couple of weeks since I have sat down at a computer outside of work to do anything other than pay bills.

What I have found in my abstinence of social media is that it really doesn’t help me enjoy life. Sure, it’s an easy way to see who is up to what, who is having a baby and who won the big game, but some of that news is delivered so impersonally.

As technology improves and we start to better appreciate focused and curated information I think we will see mainstream social media playing a much different part in our lives. Posting “status updates” and photos of culinary adventures will still have its place in the world, but I think in a much different context.

Yesterday while I was enjoying a Labor Day celebration with friends and family I was speaking to a local web developer that limits his “online” activity to his workplace. He’s deleted his Facebook account after spending years as a social media marketing manager. He said it was one of the most liberating feelings in his life. To top it off, he doesn’t even carry a smartphone.

Listening to him tell me that he was a web developer that was totally unplugged from the grid outside of his 9-5 was totally foreign to me. I didn’t even think it made sense, but then it struck me. Our vocations have been so centered around computers that “personal computing” is a lost idea. We spend so much time in our jobs focusing on a 20″ screen that we are losing the urge to do anything (even creative) once we leave the office.

The last two weeks have been great for me. I feel refreshed, accomplished, relaxed and ready for my next adventure. Maybe I should unplug more often?

What is the longest you have ever been unplugged? Have you stopped using social media recently? Do you think the way we use social media is starting to change?

How Google+ Is Different From Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Once You Get It. You Get It.

+Google+ is quickly gaining adoption and finding itself integrated in all corners of the web from +Sarah Hill‘s work on +KOMU 8 News‘ interactive live format featuring Hangouts, to +HuffPost Live‘s adoption of hangouts and audience participation.

Unlike the three other major social networks, Google+ works a little differently. Of course you can use Google+ to connect with your friends, colleagues and family, but there is so much more you can gain from it. Continue reading How Google+ Is Different From Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

How to Create Consistency Across Your Brand

So, here you are. You’ve arrived. You’re on Google+ and probably at least a half dozen or so other social networks. So what’s next?

If you’re here for a particular reason, maybe you’re a content creator, a brand ambassador or a marketer looking to gain exposure to your content, or you’re just here building your personal brand, it’s important to keep things consistent.

Think about the air pressure in your tires, if you have one under-inflated, two over-inflated and one at the right pressure, your car probably isn’t going to get the best gas mileage or keep you going in the right direction without a little help from you. Marketing yourself online is actually very similar. Continue reading How to Create Consistency Across Your Brand

Your Social Media Strategy

I’m not a Social Media Expert. 

But, I have learned a few things that could help you, your business and your brand in creating a successful online engagement experience for your customers.

One of the things I keep on my business card is “Experiencial Design” because I think something that customers of this age look for is not only a good product or service, but a great customer experience.

Take a look at what you’re doing with your current strategy and ask yourself if you are really engaging your customers or just pushing things out there without paying attention to what they’re saying. To find out more, watch my latest episode.

How to Make It Work is also available on Tivo, Roku and Blip.tv

How to Use Google Plus for Your Brand

Google Plus for your Business
What is Google+?

Last night I was asked to speak at Ross Jones‘ IMD405 Internet Marketing class at The Art Institute of Nashville. Ross and I met at the SpeakerUp meeting for the 2012 Podcamp Nashville as we are both interested in speaking this year about our perspective niches.

Ross is a SEO expert and has been doing it for longer than most people knew what Search Engine Optimization was. Ross owns a business called 2 the Top Design where he helps businesses get their website optimized for search engines and in turn, getting them more leads.

Continue reading How to Use Google Plus for Your Brand

How to Backup Your WordPress.com Blog

Keeping a backup of all of your important files is important. You probably make regular backups of the important files on your computer at home, but do you worry about backing up your online data like all of the information on your blog?

If you have an account on WordPress.com and you’d like to move it over to a self-hosted site (something that many people decide to do as they continue to grow their audience), you will eventually need to export your data. But, don’t wait until you’re ready to move. Make regular backups of your blog,  just in case.

I was talking to A.V. Flox from BlogHer about an aquaintance that had their WordPress.com blog disappear. There’s no telling why the blog disappeared, whether it was a server error, a violation of Terms & Service, or just an anomily, but the truth is, it could happen to anyone, especially if your password isn’t secure.

To protect yourself from losing all of the valuable information you have created, your words, your posts, your comments, your images–all of the content that you have worked so hard to create–you should perform regular backups. Don’t worry though, they’re easy to do. Just follow these steps.

Step 1

Log into your WordPress.com Account and select the blog you want to backup:

Step 2

Click ‘My Blog’ in the upper left hand corner and select ‘Dashboard’

Step 3

On the left hand tool bar, go down to ‘Tools’ (it’s towards the bottom) and select ‘Export’

Step 4

If you want to backup all of your pages, posts and comments, select ‘All content’ and click the ‘Download Export File’ button.

Step 5

Depending on what browser you are using, a notification should appear asking you if you would like to download the file. Since it is an XML file, your computer might warn you that it could be dangerous. In situations where the source is trusted, such as WordPress.com, you don’t need to worry about this warning. Click ‘Keep’ and then, presto, you have a backup of all of your blog content on your home computer!

When you get more proficient and as your audience continues to grow, you might want to start your own website on an independent server using the WordPress.org framework. The interface is virtually the same, and when you go to set it up (using their famous five minute installation) you’ll be able to instantly Import your content, pages and comments from your previous location!

By backing up your data regularly you won’t have to worry about your blog “disappearing” because you’ll always have a copy of your content right at your fingertips.

If you liked this tutorial, be sure to share it with your friends using the social media buttons below! Also, be sure to enter your e-mail address and Subscribe in the right-hand navigation bar of my website to get weekly updates of all of my content at absolutely no cost!

How Many Social Networks Should My Business Use?

Image Credit nk&f (http://www.naterkane.com/blog/2008/01/)
Image Credit nk&f (http://www.naterkane.com/blog/2008/01/)

In a world where people connect effortlessly with their computers, mobile devices and tablets, social networks are popping up everywhere. Some of them are geared towards finding and sharing websites (digg, stumbleupon), others are more geared towards sharing what you’re doing in text and photo (Instagram, Twitter), some focus on where you are (Foursquare, Path) while others try to tackle everyone at once (Facebook, Google+). Every day more and more of these networks are popping up like Pinterest and Issuu.

Of course, having a presence in all of these places would expose your business or brand to more eyeballs, but is it really necessary?

Continue reading How Many Social Networks Should My Business Use?

Effective Social Media Demands Two-Way Conversation

photo by Grant MacDonald on Flickr

Thousands of people, businesses, brands, products and services create a social media presence every day. Whether its a Twitter account, Facebook page or Google+ page, they want to make sure that you can find their product in all corners of the web.

Creating a social media campaign requires commitment, communication and most importantly, listening.

Have you ever tried having a conversation with a brick wall? Not so much fun, huh? In fact, if you tried talking to a brick wall in front of your friends, people might think you’re crazy.

Continue reading Effective Social Media Demands Two-Way Conversation

Roku 2 XD 1080p Unboxing, Review, Tutorial & Demo

Peter G McDermott unboxes, reviews, demonstrates and teaches you how to use the Roku 2 XD 1080p high definition (hi-def) set top box for your television. All you need is a TV, power source and Internet connection to get started.

To order a Roku 2 XD for a great price, visit Amazon: http://goo.gl/ojsUD

Also, be sure to add me to your circles on Google+ (Google Plus):http://gplus.to/pmcd

If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to my channel on YouTube, share it and sign up for my free weekly update by using the form on the right hand column!

How to Use Google+ Hangouts (A Beginners' Guide)

Yesterday I showed you how to access Google+, create an account, log in and navigate the interface. Today I have taken the time, as suggested by plenty of Google+ users like KOMU News Anchorwoman +Sarah Hill, to create a video showing users how to access and utilize the Google+ Hangout feature. Continue reading How to Use Google+ Hangouts (A Beginners' Guide)