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Are you ready for some #ChiefsCamp?

July 19, 2016 - Posted by

Have you signed up to go to one of our VIP #ChiefsCamp dates during Kansas City Chiefs training camp? You might be wondering what this event is going to be like. It's something we've never tried before, and we're already very excited about it. We've been working with James Royer and his Chiefs social media team, and from what they have planned - this is something you're not going to want to miss.

Here are a few updates on what you can expect:Official #ChiefsCamp Shirt

  • Breakfast! The Chiefs team is providing an amazing spread.
  • When you buy a ticket to this event, ALL of the proceeds will go to a Chiefs' player charity. This time the beneficiary for the event will be Noyes Home For Children in St. Joseph, Mo., an organization that provides and care for children by caring for them and giving parents the time and support they need to solve life’s challenges.
  • There will be a special SnapChat filter for camp as well as SnapChat Face Swap stations built around the area. Fans will be able to swap faces with some of the Kansas City Chiefs players.
  • There will be an official LIMITED EDITION social t-shirt available to attendees.
  • Have you ever tried a Gif’n Station? This is a device that takes three pictures in succession to create an animated gif, and then allows you to share that gif on your social media pages. (This will be on the Sunday date only.)
  • Do you like Chiefs merchandise? The fantastic Chiefs social media team will also be giving away a signed Chiefs jersey to one lucky attendee, and have some additional items to give to the entire crowd throughout the day(s).
  • We aren't sure who yet, but there WILL be a player visit to the tent after practice available for autographs and pictures.
  • There is also one final surprise that includes a special exclusive SMCKC group merchandise discount. We don't have all the details, but we will unveil this at the event.

Have we piqued your interest? This city loves the Chiefs and they definitely know how to go big. We are excited for these two dates and hope to see you there. If you haven't gotten tickets for one of the dates yet, it's not too late (although tickets are going fast). Head to our eventbrite page to sign up today.

How to kill a Jigglypuff

July 18, 2016 - Posted by

Bet that got your attention, didn't it?jigglypuff

Last week our team lead came in and asked, “How would you like to do something I’m almost positive you’ve never, ever done before?” I’ve found that anytime someone asks me that question I’m going to answer “I’m in” 90 percent of the time. Then, he unveiled this:

“You know the atrium area? We’ve got a Pokémon GO character in the center of it. People are coming through the chained area after hours and it’s setting off alarms. I need you to get rid of it.”

With the recent release of Pokemon GO, Nintendo has literally hit pay dirt with something that appeals to a wide range of individuals. “On July 8, only 2 days after the app’s release, it was already installed on 5.16 percent of all Android devices in the US,” writes Joseph Swartz in Digital Vision. “Over 60 percent of those who have downloaded the app in the US are using it daily, meaning around 3 percent of the entire US Android population are users of the app.”

But what do you do if one of these popular characters finds its way into a place it shouldn’t?

He explained that there is a webpage you can go to essentially let Pokémon GO know and have it removed. Turns out, we’re not alone. “Pokestops” as they’re called, are showing up in inappropriate spots all around the United States.

Rolling Stone reports, “As people roam the landscape on the prowl for Pikachu and other Pokémon, there’s been quite a few stories about odd Pokestop locations, including graveyards, hospital delivery rooms and Holocaust memorials.”

On the page, you can submit a request to have the Pokémon removed and then Nintendo’ Pokémon team goes to work to make it happen. Are you in a similar situation? Here’s how to go about giving the ax to an unwanted character:

  1. Go to the Pokémon support page.
  2. Select “Report an issue with a Gym or Pokestop” the “Submit a Request”How to get rid of a Pokemon
  3. On this page it will ask you for information about the location of Pokémon including the latitude and longitude. You can find this by using Google's map help
  4. In addition, it could be helpful to include a screenshot from Google maps or Pokémon GO (with the Pokémon in question) to help them see the actual place.
  5. Click “Submit”

Afterward you’ll get a web confirmation that says the team has received the request and is working on it. You’ll also get an automated email that says they’re no longer accepting suggestions for Pokemon Gyms or Pokestops. That part threw me, but I’m hopeful that Nintendo has things under control.

I’ll keep you posted on how things progress, but in the meantime I would love to know if you’ve experienced anything like this either personally or professionally.

 

About the author:
Marc Vasquez is the Communications Co-Chair for the Social Media Club of Kansas City. He possesses more than 16 years of both agency and corporate public relations and social media experience. Marc is also a past president of the Greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America chapter. He holds the Accreditation in Public Relations credential which has been established as a way to recognize public relations practitioners who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop and deliver strategic communications. By night is the sidekick Robin to his superhero 8-year-old son who believes himself to be Batman. You can generally find Marc via @vasquez007.

Why the world should care about Pokémon GO

July 14, 2016 - Posted by

If you’ve been any on social media sites, you’ve seen it. Pokémon is everywhere.

Actually, you’ve probably seen it even if you’ve stayed offline. People pausing in the middle of sidewalks, phones out, interacting with well, and apparently empty space.

Welcome to Pokémon Go.

What it is
Pokémon Go is a free game for for Android and iOs. It’s part of the Nintendo franchise of trading card and video game fame. Pokemon GO Hits the InternetOnly instead of playing in an entirely virtual world, Pokémon Go uses the phone’s camera, clock and location data to make it look like Pokémon are part of the world around you.

Players, who call themselves trainers, travel to different Poke stops, where they catch Pokémon, and gyms, where trainers battle their Pokémon and connect with one another. It’s a pretty appealing combo: The Kansas City Star called it “part bird-watching, part geocaching, part trophy hunting, with a heavy dose of mid-’90s nostalgia.”

Why it matters
The game itself may sound a little silly if you never succumbed to the allure of Pokémon in your childhood, but you’re actually looking at the future. Even the venerable Wall Street Journal agrees on that point.

Pokémon Go is the first game to create mass appeal using augmented reality, which overlays the offline world with interactive virtual elements. It’s similar to virtual reality, which creates an immersive experience. Between computers getting more powerful and the increasing adoption of wearable devices, we’re likely to see more and more augmented and virtual games. (Extra Nerdy Extra Credit: The Scientific American reports that, technically, this isn’t quite augmented reality, but it’s close enough for most of us.)

The game also shows how online and offline worlds can work together. Trainers have been gathering to play, and lots of the coverage talks about the social interactions they’re having. People are even planning Pokémon Go Crawls. Small businesses are taking advantage of the foot traffic to attract new customers. The game maker says sponsored locations are coming soon.

Warnings, Warnings, Warnings
There have been plenty of dire warnings about Pokémon Go making the headlines, too. They fall into two categories: data privacy and physical safety.Pokemon Rules by the KCPD

The data privacy concerns have been addressed, mostly, but original versions of the game gave the developer full access to ALL of a player’s Google account-- search history, private documents, location data, contacts, you name it. Niantic Labs quickly released a fix and said it was unintentional.   (And if you haven’t installed the update, go get it now.  We’ll wait.)

As for the physical safety? Well…the problem with combining the real world and a virtual one is that things can get messy. There have been car crashes, robberies, and an assortment of sore legs and sprained anklesKCPD has you covered on how to stay safe. 

Where we’re playing
Businesses and organizations all around Kansas City are getting in on the fun. Pokemon have been seen at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Public Library and various local businesses. Johnson County Community College is organizing campus tours, and the Roastarie was inspired to make a new drink by a Pokestop nearby.

Now go have fun and catch ‘em all. And tweet us your pictures when you do!

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.

Now you see it, now you don’t

July 12, 2016 - Posted by

Delete may still be the default, but Snapchat made it much easier to hang on to snaps with the launch of its new Memories feature. Memories is basically an in-app photo roll, backed up on Snapchat’s servers. Users can later access things saved in their memories and remix them into new snaps and stories.SnapChat Memories

The change is a big deal for Snapchat, since the vanishing images was part of the appeal of the app, at least in the eyes of many users. Technically, that wasn’t always the case. In 2014, the company settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that pictures could be recovered in some cases. Plus, it was always easy to download or screen capture a snap and save it to your phone. The app is becoming the main way to share big moments for many of its 150 million users, and Memories will make it easier to search and retrieve pictures from those events.

The new feature was announced just a month after a major overhaul of Stories into the new Discover section. Snapchat has also been dealing with an influx of the olds (you know, anyone over 23.)

Facebook Live Charts New Territory
Facebook is still figuring out the role it plays in reporting news. Although it recently seemed to be backing away from news coverage after the scrutiny on trending topics, the role it plays in spreading news is hard ignore when the week’s most-watched video shows the aftermath of a police shooting. It’s a far cry from an Ice Bucket Challenge.

The company is still defining community standards for streams showing violent events. For now, it doesn’t plan to take down newsworthy video, even when it deals with sensitive or violent topics. This particular video was briefly unavailable, which Facebook says was a glitch and not the result of moderation.Instagram Cleans Up

Instagram Automates
In a more traditional development, Instagram will be launching automated comment moderation tools for business pages. The new tool will automatically filter out words and phrases that are reported as offensive. Based on the screenshots, it looks like an all-or-nothing filter, but it still looks easier than the manual moderation happening now.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.

Elections Are Live!

July 11, 2016 - Posted by

If you're an email-receiving member of SMCKC, you should have received an email to vote for new members of the SMCKC board for the positions of President, VP, Advocacy & Technology.

These elected members will take over in August. The nominees are listed below:

President: Michael Levine - Michael's Twitter and LinkedIn

VP: Carolyn Anderson - Carolyn's Twitter and LinkedIn

Advocacy:
Brenda Hill - Brenda's Twitter and LinkedIn
Kristen Waggener - Kristen's Twitter and LinkedIn
Adrianne DeWeese - Adrianne's Twitter and LinkedIn
Lauren Vaughn - Lauren's Twitter and LinkedIn

Technology: Hal Gottfried - Hal's Twitter and LinkedIn

Voting ends Wednesday, July 20 at midnight CST.

It has begun! Facebook announces changes to your newsfeed.

June 30, 2016 - Posted by

Remember a few months ago, when Facebook announced that it was going all in on messenger bots and video? Well, do you remember how we predicted that would mean plenty of changes to publishers and pages who count on Facebook?

IT HAS BEGUN!It has begun!

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it would be tweaking the algorithm to give more weight to things shared by “friends and family” than what publishers share. This means organic reach and referral traffic are likely to decline, no matter how many fans a page has.

Contently has helpfully published a list of the seven ways that this is going to be The Worst Thing Ever. (Since they’re a company that helps brands publish good content, you can see how they might be adversely affected. They’re similarly unthrilled by the new branded content tag.)

Other publishers are, well, not thrilled, but not surprised. After all, it has happened before. Fast Company could easily pull this article from April 2015 off the shelf and rerun it with just a few updates. Ditto this Facebook Business post from last November. And as re/code reminds us, Facebook has always been happy to take advertiser money to boost reach.

So what should you do about these new changes? Well, in spite of the hot takes likely to be springing up on social media over the next few days, no one really knows what this will mean just yet.

And if someone doesn’t want to let the topic go? Distract them by bringing up Twitter’s new dashboard and stickers.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.

Microsoft Buys LinkedIn: A $26.2 Billion Dollar Investment in Social Collaboration

June 14, 2016 - Posted by

There have been rumors swirling about big things about to happen on LinkedIn. With the recently launched Profinder feature for freelancers, an increased focus on content, and improved analytics.

Clippy on LinkedInThis week, big things happened indeed, and frankly, none of us saw that one coming. Microsoft announced that they would be buying LinkedIn for a cool $26.2 billion (yes, that’s billion-with-a-b.) Time is calling it the second-largest major tech acquisition in recent history, and almost $5 billion more than Facebook paid for WhatsApp.

Overnight, Microsoft has gone from focusing on enterprise social collaboration with things like Yammer and Office 365 and turned itself into a pretty big player in social media.

And the reason?  A few big themes are coming out in the coverage:

Buzzfeed describes it as “two unavoidable institutions of corporate life merging.” We’re all just hoping that neither of them brings back Clippy.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.

Board Nominations are Open!

May 31, 2016 - Posted by

Each year, the SMCKC board is infused with new members of the Kansas City social media community. This summer, we'll be welcoming new officers to the roles of President, Vice-President, Advocacy Chair and Technology Chair. That's where YOU come in. Whether you are looking to increase your involvement with the Social Media Club of Kansas City or you know someone who would be great for a role, we need your help to find the best candidates out there to carry on the mission of SMCKC: If you Get It, Share It!

Below is a quick summary of the responsibilities of each open role, look for new officers coming in August!

President Responsibilities - president@smckc.com

  • Lead development of annual strategic plan and key performance indicators.
  • Report on strategic plan progress.
  • Support committee chairpersons as needed.
  • Serve as primary point of contact to the National chapter.
  • Represent SMCKC to media outlets as needed.
  • Attend SMCKC events and serve as facilitator as needed.
  • Actively participate on various social networking sites.
  • Reach out to complimentary local organizations to build awareness and relationships.
  • Lead executive board meetings.
  • Guide, counsel and coach executive board members as needed

Vice President responsibilities - vp@smckc.com

  • Fulfills the responsibilities in the President’s absence
  • Guides, counsels, and coaches the executive board members
  • Helps recruit committee leads as needed, and manages the committee framework/process
  • Coordinates the election process; including nominations, confirmations, setting up the voting format, tallying, and announcing results
  • Serves as a community representative for SMCKC

Advocacy Chair Responsibilities - advocacy@smckc.com

  • Act as liaison for Kansas City Sourcelink, ECJC and other opportunities for SMCKC members to engage with other groups or learning opportunities.
  • Reach out to Local/National communities for the following:
    • Leverage the resources of SMCKC
    • Post volunteer opportunities
    • Identify speaking, panel, workshop opportunities for membership at conferences, seminars, businesses
  • Coordinate quarterly non-profit/charity community opportunities for the organization throughout the year.
  • Plan AMPS awards event and bi-annual Ignition Event, including management of  Special Events committee.
  • Post at least one Advocacy Update blog/month.
  • Manage Advocacy committee leads and team members.

Technology Chair Responsibilities - technology@smckc.com

  • Maintain all SMCKC digital presences, including but not limited to: website, email, websites, Facebook,  Twitter & LinkedIn.
  • Assist in keeping social media networks updated.
  • Work with Events Chair to staff and provide equipment needed for events (projectors, screens, streaming, etc)
  • Serve as the subject matter expert on new technology and how it impacts social media
  • Propose new technology adaptations for SMCKC when necessary.

Nominations are closed.

Facebook IS the Trending Topic

May 31, 2016 - Posted by

It started out an expose’ on algorithms. Michael Nunez, himself a “reporter, editor and tv personality,” wrote a scathing blog post about Facebook’s “grueling work conditions [and] humiliating treatment” of a group of news curators behind Facebook’s trending news.Facebook trending

The original article was a combination of Silicon-Valley-sweatshop horror and  machines-are-coming-for-your-job dystopia. But what really caught people’s attention were allegations that news with a conservative viewpoint was being suppressed.

To be clear, Facebook insists that wasn’t the case, and they have always admitted that humans are part of the trending topics process. Technically, they’re not even calling it news, just acknowledging that the topic is trending.

None of that stopped the GOP from launching an inquiry and demanding that Facebook explain itself. Which Facebook did, along a promise to revise the process to ensure no bias could creep in.

Why does all of this matter? Two reasons. First, it shows exactly how much influence Facebook has over what people consume online, and second, it shows how little transparency there is around the process.

Pew Internet Research found that 40 percent of American adults are getting news from Facebook, a number than has been steadily rising over the past two years. Plus, Facebook Live and Instant articles are designed to bring more and more content into the site.

With all this content, Facebook is using an algorithm to decide what gets shown to its users. It’s generally based on a user’s history and preferences, but companies have long been able to boost their visibility with paid reach. These accusations make it hard not to wonder what other factors could be at play.

It’s not that users are surprised to know that someone is filtering their news—after all, we’ve been relying on reporters, editors, anchors and other journalists to help us do that for centuries. News organizations have been looking after the bottom line for just as long. With human filters, it’s fairly easy to understand the process and their unavoidable biases.

With an algorithm, even one taught by humans, it gets a lot murkier. Obviously, that doesn’t mean we should abandon Facebook or other social networks. It’s just a good reminder that are powerful forces behind the scenes of what we see online.

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.

Hate the rainbow?

May 13, 2016 - Posted by

This week, Instagram rolled out changes:

  • There’s the “the simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.”Sometimes change is hard...
  • There’s the desire to reflect the “global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day.”

But mostly, there’s the new logo – and the inevitable internet outrage.

Adweek calls it a travesty. The New York Times reporters deemed it “passable, if a little generic.” The Guardian described it “As if the camera was murdered, and chalk was drawn around its body. Murdered at sundown.” Users demanded that they change it back (and get rid of the algorithm too!)

Overall, the new design reflects the overall trend toward flat design.  It also ties Instagram to the other apps in the family, Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the design process in this Medium post from Ian Spalter, the head of design.

So tell us – what do you think about Instagram’s forage into the new frontier? Is the backlash warranted?

 

About the author:
Tara Saylor Litzenberger is a communications manager by day, grad student by night and curious all the time. She is also a web nerd and recovering copywriter. Tara focuses on the channels that enable communication and using metrics to improve communication effectiveness. She tweets about communication and combines as @AnokheeTara.