Categotry Archives: Events


Pokemon GO Gets Social, by NOT Getting Social


imageYesterday, we succumbed. While on a long weekend, visiting Milwaukee for Summerfest, we both downloaded the Pokemon Go app.

Just a little background about me and Pokemon, I’ve never once played. Not the card game, not the computer game, the cartoon, zip. I worked at Barnes and Noble when the cards were in their hay day & In my mind, I was always “too old”, “too cool” or just too indifferent to bother learning to play.

That has all changed.

I am much older, much cooler and found myself very intrigued by all of the chatter amongst my friends about the game.

First thing yesterday morning, we lay in bed, dreading getting up and facing the world after staying out past our bedtimes two nights in a row, and we both started to play.

One of the first things we noticed and found odd was, there was no need to connect with one another on the game. We tried to form a team, we stood next to each other trying to see one another on the map, we tried to beat each other to the Pokemon in the room.

That night, as we played all the way in from the parking lot and into the fest grounds. When we stopped for dinner, the first conversation happened.

We both say at the table with our apps open discussing our games (I had just gotten to level 5, thank you very much!) when we heard someone behind us ask the couple a table over.. “Oh! What level are you on?”. I turned around and held up my phone. “So, we’re not the only ones who came to Summerfest for Pokemoning?” The five of us chatted for a little bit about our levels and what teams we should join and then we all moved on.

We discovered pretty quickly, you can form Pokedar pretty quickly, especially in a big crowd. It’s similar to seeing the faces people make when using Snapchat face filters.You would see someone being led around by the phone then suddenly stopping, aiming and flinging those balls. Once you see that, you hurry to open your app and go over to stand by them and catch your prey. You nod and smile and maybe talk about what you just got and your teams.

When we settled into the massive crowd to watch Death Cab For Cutie, we overhead some people chatting behind us and guess what the topic was? Yep. Pokemon GO.

As the night for on and we got closer to the show starting, we resituated where folks were standing and I proceeded to chat Pokemon with one of my new festival besties (neither of us being super excited for the show).

We talked about the lack of a social layer and whether or not it was intentional. Did Nintendo set out to create a mobile game that not only, got us nerds out of the house, but interacting with other people?! He talked about a similar game called Ingress, that had the social later so we know the technology is out there.

It can’t have been an oversight on Nintendo’s behalf, social on a mobile app is not something you forget about. So, it’s down to us to desire for ourselves what the reasons behind the decision was for. I like to think that it was with intention to draw people out and interact with one another while getting out and exploring the world.

My memories of this year’s Summerfest will be two things: The Whiskey of the Damned CD launch party, and all the fun PokePeople I’ve gotten to meet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a Bellsprout over in the corner. I’ve got to go.


Geeks, Rosewater & Finding Your Passion


11821176_1057843920895149_500233631_nLast week, I attended my first ever, GenCon in Indianapolis. I had no idea what to expect, except for a lot of people, a lot of gaming and a lot of heat. What I was hoping to get out of my week was some inspiration. I have maybe only written one or two blog posts in the last year, when I used to write 2 or 3 a month and I have been trying to get ‘unstuck’. I went and signed up for a long list of writing seminars in hopes of triggering something to get me back at the keyboard. Wait…. There are words on a screen right here… you are reading them, so obviously, those worked. Right? Wrong.

My inspiration did not come from the writing seminars, don’t get me wrong, they were all useful for people wanting to write a novel, or a story, or a screen play… but not for me. For me, they were a bit disheartening when I didn’t get that spark that I had my hopes set up for. What did inspire me to get back to my writing was discovering the passion the people at GenCon have. Seeing how much time and effort that people put into intricate cosplay outfits, to recreate favorite charachters (not to mention suffering through 90 degree heat in them). Or people that sat playing their favorite games for so long, they have to pack breakfast, lunch and dinner, to eat at the tables. Now, while I consider myself a proud geek and I love what I love, I did not understand the intense passion that some people have for a game, a world or a particular character… or in the case of my main inspiration, a very specific topic in a very specific time frame.

My boyfriend, Jon, and I as well as the friends we went to the con with, spent most of our time going in four different directions. Jon and I decided we wanted to attend at least one event together. We read through the website and found one seminar that we both said. “Hey, that’s weird. Let’s go to that one!” So we both signed up for Creating Medieval and Fantasy Cuisines… because, why wouldn’t you?! Not knowing even a glimmer of what to expect, we took our seats… and were immediately called out for sitting in back, I knew then, this was going to be good! The room filled up quickly and the speaker, Daniel Myers, started in. He covered all sorts of things you would need to know when creating a universe and the foods and methodology of how that food would be prepared down to the last detail (Knowing the available heat sources are a must when considering how people in your world eat and live.)

The now practically full room, was buzzing. Comments, questions, side conversations.., the place was full of energy. At one point, Daniel stopped following his outline and the second hour just became an open discussion. This is when pulled out my phone and put the title of this blog into Evernote. Then, he started to talk about Rosewater. I don’t think I can even put into words how Daniel talked about rosewater, but I made me want some. Listening to him describe his complete joy in making a dish that was similar to meringue but featured rosewater… you could see multiple people pulling out phones to Google it for making it at home.

Thanks to Daniel, and all the other 61K people at GenCon (and my yearly participating in GISHWHES), I’ve been able to reignite my passion, not only for writing but embracing all the weird and wonderful things I love.



Social Summer


Today was the first day that really felt like summer to me. In the midst of putting away sweaters and shopping for the garden, I looked at my calendar for June. Not going to lie, I’m tired already. My month of June is going to be so jam packed with awesome, I’m going to need to take off the entire month of July off. (Well, except for the Paul Mc -Freaking-Cartney concert *squee*)

What do all these events have in common?

Social Media

Or, as my coworker Drew would say my “extracurriculars.” All of these up and coming events have either happened because of and all will be involving social media.

social media teamMay 31 – June 2 – Oshkosh Irish Fest

This is the Fifth year of the Fest  and the third of me as the social media chair. I manage social properties for the Fest all year long, but for those three days, I am all Fest all the time. My co-chair and I roam the Fest with as many mobile devices as we can carry on our persons.

We live tweet the entire weekend and have a known reputation as paparazzi. For the 2012 Fest, we introduced the Back Stage Mobile Photo Booth for the bands on both the Main Stage and in the Pub Tent. This year, we are expanding the booth to be a part of our free roaming photos as well.

I am also excited to be bringing in more video to the Fest’s social media experience. I feel like Vine app was launched just for me to use at our First St. Baldrick’s event. I also have a couple of the performers excited to attempt some live streaming of their shows via Google Hangout format as well as doing a Q&A in the same way.

Oshkosh Irish Fest Social


June 11 – Mundy at Shank Hall in Milwaukee

I first heard of Irish singer Mundy when I covered weekends in the store my friend’s parent’s own. When I worked at Mystic Ireland,  I would always live stream Live Ireland radio  and there is where I heard his songs July and Galway Girl, I was hooked. Me being me, I needed to know every song he every made and quickly had a Spotify playlist of his stuff. I happened to tweet about one track and shockingly – he replied!

I didn’t expect a response and the fact I got one was pretty darn cool. We exchanged a few tweets here and there since then and I was determined I wanted to see him play! Through that series of tweets, an email exchange was born and from the emails, I got connected with his agent  and now, not only is he playing in Milwaukee, but I have been helping with some social media for the show and will be doing some video and photography the day of for social as well! (See kids – once in a blue moon, it’s OK to drunk tweet)

Mundy Social


403417_377187765678537_1649023925_nJune 13-15 – Milwaukee IndyFest

OK – this one is cheating. I published this post earlier today on the Social Media Club’s website.

In April, the Social Media Club of Milwaukee was tasked with a mission. The Andretti Sports Marketing team asked for our help.

In 2012, Andretti Sports Marketing brought Indy style racing back to Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Mile, in an event called IndyFest on Father’s Day weekend. Andretti hand selected 26 individuals to attend the race and connect social media to the Milwaukee community. The event was a success, so Andretti Sports Marketing agreed to keep IndyFest alive in Milwaukee. This year, the goal is to take it a step further and make Milwaukee IndyFest  the most socially connected motor sports event ever. This is where we, the Social Media Club of Milwaukee steps in.

For full post – click here 

Milwaukee IndyFest Social


June 22 – cmgrUn

cmgrUN  is an UNconference for community managers and social media professionals. This conference is put on by the My Community Manager team (the same team who bring the #cmgrhangout every Friday. Compared to the rest of the events this month, this one I am a participant and not a planner. What does that mean? I get head to Chicago, sit back, hang out with some awesome people off line, participate in discussion and learn from some great speakers! Oh, I might tweet or write about it or something too.

Stay tuned to Steamfeed Radio on June 19th, as I will be bringing Tim McDonald in to talk community management and cmgrUn.

cmgrUn Social


social media day-social solutions collective-sollectivess-carriejkeenanJune 30 – Social Media Day

The Social Solutions Collective  group members are planning quite the bash for Social Media Day! We’re planning a full day of online events and digital learning sessions as we celebrate the day. There will be Twitter chats, Facebook conversations, Vine, Pins, and even a Hangout on air. This event will be taking place from 9am EST to 9pm PST to cover everyone in all US timezones.

Social Solutions Social


Hold on to your hats folks!

It’s going to be a VERY social summer.


HootKit Unboxing for the #SMCMKE #HootMKE


May 14th is going to be an awesome day to be in Milwaukee! The Social Media Club is having it’s first HootUp, and I get to be the deliverer of the swag!

With my recent participation in VEDA, I’ve been doing a lot more video. Watch below at my first attempt at stop motion for the great unboxing!

Read  Spring Into a Hootup! over on Social Solutions by Laurie Thompson (and myself) for more about HootUps!


Social Media Week In A Day – Chicago #SMWChicago


“Google is the rear view mirror. Facebook is a high powered sniper rifle” @Tullman

September 24 – 28 was Social Media Week around the world. Chicago and 12 other cities around the globe hosted events, sessions and parties to celebrate. I was lucky enough to make the last minute decision to head down for the last day of sessions on 28th.

It’s rather a hike from where I live in Wisconsin, and it was a very early wake up call to make my train in Milwaukee. There is something about commuting by train (and I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I do not have to do it every day) that I find fun. I snabbed myself a window seat and hogged myself all the outlets to charge my phone an iPad to be ready for my day.

Sitting on the train, I started to make my connections at #SMWChicago. Normally, this is something I would do far in advance of a larger event, but as I was last minute, I winged it on the way. I tweeted the speaker of the first session to say I was going to miss it because of the train, told the volunteers at the second session to let them know I was going to just make it on time and started to follow the stream. One thing I quite liked about SMW stream, is each session had its own hashtag, however some were a bit long. I was able to follow individual sessions while in transit. I also jumped in trying to find sessions that I could join at the last minute where people may have dropped out. I also had a Twitter friend who was ready to follow my travels from the day. I do get a kick out of the MN girl following the WI girl on her way to IL – good thing we were not Tweeting about footbal! (Go Pack Go!)

The train pulled into Union Station and grabbed the first cab I could find and made it just on time! This is the point when I realized how big of a pond this small fish jumped into. It was such a different experience from social events locally and in Milwaukee where I know so many people both in attendance and also hosting and speaking. My nerves got to me when I read a tweet from someone saying she got “Chicago attitude” at the registration for the seminar I was in. I am happy to say, I got none of that attitude. True, people were not exactly chatty with anyone they did not already know, but I was not made unwelcome.

The first speaker I was able to attend actually ended up being the highlight of the whole day for me. Howard Tullman (@tullman) spoke about Social Media Future Trends.  and it got me inspired for some projects I’d like to work on in the going forward. When I left the building I took a wrong turn and I found myself wandering the streets of Chicago. I meandered into a mall for some lunch and caught up with my regular day’s work. After spending two hours in the Macy’s food court, I figured it was time to move on. I Google mapped my next class and started walking… Two police officers and a security officer later, I found my way to the Chicago Tribune building, early. Trying to get to all the seminars at social media week is like trying to get to all the go sees on America’s Next Top Model. I grabbed myself a Starbucks from across the street and was able to score a free sample of coffee with new Bailey’s Creamer (yum!) How I managed to miss the Nick Lachey meet & greet I do not know, but 1997 me was very disappointed. I sat down and sent out a tweet asking about what session I could hop in on and @SMWChicago got back quickly and let me know I could hop in on right where I was.

The two keynotes #SMWbeatport  and#SMWpitchfork  went by quickly and the speakers were very interesting, but then it was time to head back home on the train. Social Media Week is something I would 100% recommend and do again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it for more than just one day!