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The Amy Schumer Moment (Or Era)

The world has been watching a lot of Amy Schumer lately.

I watched a video someone on Facebook shared, of her on the couch at Ellen and Ellen laughing so hard she was practically crying. It was when I read her speech at the Gloria Awards that I was hooked. Here is that speech.

I then proceeded to watch two seasons of Inside Amy Schumer practically back to back.

Yes, we’ve had shocking reality shows for awhile.

Yes, we’ve had female comedians pushing boundaries before.



I actually struggled to find a video clip for this blog. (The best ones are not so appropriate, but the one I have above gives you an idea of the style of the show.)

So why are we blogging about Amy Schumer besides the fact that she’s pretty, funny, smart, and someone who you’d clearly want to hang out with?

Inside Amy Schumer
Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows

Amy Schumer has a clear brand. 
Her comedy, if I could summarize it, is intelligent and slightly shocking feminism. From women’s role on late night comedy shows to actresses celebrating someone’s last #$%^able day, Amy has given herself enough room to be creative but enough of a clear message that it can come through in all her material.

Amy Schumer is honest.
In 2015, we are of the era that people should be real. We love untouched Instagram pictures, knowing someone’s tweets are actually coming from them. Amy Schumer feels authentic. You can tell that, while she probably has some savvy PR people helping out, she is true to what she wants to say and her fans love her for it.

Amy Schumer is talking about topics that are important to people.
Plenty of comedians, male and female, are funny, smart, and seem pretty honest but their messages don’t necessarily get as far because they aren’t trying to effect change. Amy Schumer’s messages are not only funny but a cultural commentary that has gotten people talking more about feminist topics like body image and discrimination in our culture.

Amy Schumer is leveraging video.
Video is increasingly popular as more people view the internet on their mobile devices. (Let’s face it, you may not watch a 10 minute comedy video at work but you will watch it lying on your couch with your phone.) Amy Schumer isn’t blogging but instead thoughtfully producing videos and using sites like Facebook and Twitter to get them to her followers. Pretty big change in peoples’ video watching habits in the last couple years, huh:

Anyway, whether you love or just like Amy Schumer, watch her online. She is owning in the internet in a way I think we all could learn a little something from, whether we would talk about our sex lives on stage or not.



Chef: The Best Movie About Social Networking I’ve Seen

I’m one of those people who enjoys learning more about my topic when I am off the job. I read social media books and magazines… and have even tried to watch “Helvetica” (a movie about the font).

I just couldn’t do “Helvetica”… it was too cerebral for me. There are enough things in my life that make me feel dumb that I didn’t make myself watch this movie.

When I agreed to watch “Chef” on Saturday night with my friend Megan and her daughter, I thought I was watching a movie about a five star chef who ends up with a food truck. I wasn’t expecting so much of it to be about social networking. Here’s what I liked about it.

Chef Takeaway 1: It didn’t treat Twitter like Facebook’s ugly stepsister.

In this movie, Twitter plays a main role, some critics say it’s a ridiculously large role but I appreciated that this movie showed how Twitter works and why it’s powerful/cool. Bonus points for seeing the tweets being typed in and then having them turn into a bird an ‘tweet’ off into the world as they were sent.

tweetsinchef

Chef Takeaway 2: It touched on a bunch of social networks. 

Sometimes movies about blogging (I’m looking at you ‘Julie and Julia’) make the main character blogger sit at their computer for hours on end, tortured by the writing process.

Here’s the thing. Some of us are writers (I say us because I am literally typing this with a big smile on my face) and some are not. In this movie, we’re not only introduced to short form writing (tweets) but also other media like Youtube and Vine.

The range of what could be possible is enough to give the movie watcher a sense of what is possible but doesn’t go into the ‘how’ enough to overwhelm people.

Chef Takeaway 3: Your kid can do your social networking…kind of.

There’s always some extremely rude person who tells me after a presentation that their kid can do what I do. (Kind of insulting since I don’t walk up to THEM and tell them a kid could do their job but that’s besides the point.)

Here’s the thing about this movie: the kid is PASSIONATE about the business. That’s why he does a good job marketing it. It’s not that he’s young and up with technology (though that helps). I’m of the mindset that if you are open to learning and passionate about what you do, your business will do well on social media with you at the helm… though if you either a) don’t want to take care of it or b) need a little technical or other assistance, that’s what people like us are for.

So if you want to watch a movie that will make you want to tweet or eat a grilled cheese (I am still thinking about the grilled cheese in that movie), I recommend ‘Chef’. You won’t think hard necessarily or feel like you are in a social media marketing workshop but it’ll get you thinking… which, let’s face it, is pretty powerful.

Buy your copy of “Chef” on Amazon (this is an affiliate link)

Online Video and SEO

Way back when, search engines relied heavily on text. But in the age of Youtube empires and search results including videos, it is time to realize that video and doing well in online searches actually go hand in hand.

videoinsearchresults

Think about it:

Youtube = Search Engine

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world after Google and attracts 157 million unique visitors per  month. So people are going directly onto Youtube to find information they need.

Worried about your performance in Google? Videos are 53 times more likely to be on the first page of search results.

So if you want to do good in search engines, make videos, upload them with good titles and descriptions to sites like Youtube or Vimeo, and make sure in the description and on your profile, you link back to your own website.

Video Websites = Social Networks

Youtube has 1 billion monthly active users (as of March 2013). Vomeo has 25 million members with a 70%+ international audience. In other words, people go on video sharing websites (not just large networks like Youtube and Vimeo but video sharing sites/curating sites like Upworthy or Godvine) and not only watch your initial video but all the videos on your channel (this obsessive watching has a term now: binge watching).

So not only do people connect with your video, they might see what else you have to say, what else you are liking and commenting on, and otherwise want to interact with you.

Video = Sticky website content

There are entire websites built on curating specific groups of videos (Upworthy and Godvine above but also even very specific websites like Twitch, where you can watch people play online video games in real time).

People are four times as likely to stay on a website that has video on it. In other words add video to your site and not only are people more likely to come but they’ll also be more likely to stay.

Video = Less competition (for now)

I do this exercise when I talk to groups.

1) How many of you have watched a website video this week? (99% of people raise their hands.)
2) How many of you have watched a website video today? (Depending on the time of day it’s at least 50% but sometimes close to 99%.)
3) How many of you have made an online video in the last month? (0 hands go up)

In other words, here is this thing that people want but not many people are making. A low supply/high demand scenario at its best. If you are the ones making the videos that other people are watching, you win!

So this is why we have resolved to do more with video this year: because not only is it a cool thing to do but also because it is worthwhile in terms of online visibility. And it’s never been easier folks so step in front of that camera and let’s see what you’ve got!

Click here to binge watch Tech Thursday… 

If I Want To Speak More, Time To Practice…

Me talking about the Facebook with a phantom Diet Coke that seemed to appear on my podium despite the fact I don't drink it.

Me talking about the Facebook with a phantom Diet Coke that seemed to appear on my podium despite the fact I don’t drink it.

Part of this year which is making it really different from previous ones is that, now that I have a functional, profitable business, I now have the luxury… and responsibility… to steer this ship even more intentionally than I have been. And this means taking the time to ask some basic questions:

What do I WANT to be doing more? Where do I see myself in the next five years?
(These become much easier questions to ask after you have passed through the ‘desperate’ years of asking for work and taking for whatever you could get so you can pay the rent.) 

I have decided that, in 2014 and beyond, I want to do more speaking gigs. I enjoy them, people seem to enjoy coming to them, and it is something that can actually make money.

What I realized in looking at my site is this desire doesn’t seem very strong. Other than the ‘speaking’ slide in the slideshow, who would really know that I am a dynamic person who can make a three hour workshop seem like a few minutes? (An attendee’s words, not mine- felt like three hours to me. Three good hours but still three hours!) Who would know I was a ‘valuable professional development opportunity’?

No one. Because of this recent truth bomb I’ve figured out: no one is going to book me to speak for their group if they haven’t seen me speak.

The fact it took me this long to figure this out is sad.

Part of my ‘Year of Doing More Speaking’ is to put myself out there more, in the way of a weekly video.

I’ll post this short weekly video on my Youtube channel (feel free to enjoy my ‘dinner party’ and other music mixes there too), and also on social media channels. I haven’t decided where all the videos will go on the site yet and I am also toying around with an email list just for people who want to get the new videos.

I have some other goals too (personally and professionally) but this one I thought was an important one to mention that might interest you if you read and like this blog!

And if you have a question you want me to address in this video series, please send it in to me or leave a comment on this post.

While the idea of editing a seemingly rounder version of myself weekly for the next year doesn’t excite me, I hope me putting myself out there brings more speaking gigs into my life. Because until people can virtually meet me, they are not going to let me meet 100 of their conference attendants in real life. If I sound like I’m doing this mainly because it’s good for me, I am. But I am hoping it turns out that I’m going to enjoy this more than I thought.

Here I go…

Youtube’s and My Dad’s Birthday

Business Insider let me know this morning that it was Youtube’s 8th birthday. It also happens to be my dad’s birthday. No one had to tell me that, in part because it’s three days before mine and only a few days after my sister’s. (Yes, my mom made three separate birthday cakes and had three separate parties. She’s a trooper!)

My dad passed away five years ago in November. So he didn’t get to see Youtube in all it’s glory.. but he did get to see some of it.

My dad hated computers. He was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century by my mom and brother-in-law and implemented a computer inventory system finally at the hardware store my family owns. My mom did all his email for him at their shared email address. I can almost hear him say ‘Tell Nicole…’ as I read through some of my mom’s old emails.

What he did enjoy about computers was a specific part of the internet (I heard from my brother-in-law so if I’m wrong, Justin, let me know!) was his my MSNBC homepage.



Now these pages no longer exist but the idea was you logged in and in a dashboard format, it showed you articles you might like, videos, links to partner websites etc.

Lots of websites do this now. Really these were the precursor to the personalized news we have come to expect on social networks.

My dad liked checking it before and after lunch… because it changed during the day.

I smile when I think of this. I have 600 new unread articles in my RSS feed reader just from since 9 am this morning. My Facebook and Twitter feeds update every second.

My dad knew the internet at a simpler time. I did too when Breaking Even was first getting started.

So today, I appreciate that all this access to information is still novel, videos can still be funny, and wonder at how it all can refresh if I just wait a bit.



This Week From The Interwebs: Texts From Hilary, Corgis, and Things To Buy For One Billion Dollars

I think I’m going to start a semi regular feature called ‘This Week From The Interwebs’. I see so much fun stuff online (‘interwebs’ being a funny, old-timey way of saying the internet) that I can’t share it all so here’s a repository for things I find interesting, in hopes maybe you think they are interesting too.

Here’s the song and video I can’t get out of my head, first and foremost:

You’re welcome for that. And in other news:

Texts From Hilary
This Tumblr blog was all the rage the last week or so. Inspired by an image of Hilary Clinton texting, it’s fake correspondence via text between Hilary and other famous people, some political (Barack Obama, Joe Biden) and some not so political (Ryan Gosling, Mark Zuckerberg). Whether you like Hilary or not, it’s pretty funny. This week, they’ve shut the blog down since they actually got a text message from Secretary Clinton herself. If you want to know how to say goodbye on a blog, the last post is a pretty fun and classy exit.
http://textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/

Apps From Social Media Breakfast Bangor
So I recently gave an ‘Appy Hour’ talk at the Jesup Library is Bar Harbor and the day after, I got this great link with more apps that I’d never even heard of. If you want to do more with your smartphone or tablet, here are some cool things you can do:
http://www.smbbangor.org/smbbgr11-app-show-and-tell

Youtube Is Now Letting Everyone Monetize Videos
It used to be Youtube only partnered with channels that got a lot of traffic but now, you too can have ads with your video that could potentially generate revenue for you.
http://mashable.com/2012/04/13/youtube-opens-partner-program/

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion
A twelve person company dividing up $1 billion. Not bad math any way you do it. I just can’t quite believe the size of this deal (though the baseball deal this week was bigger, wasn’t it?)
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion/

33 Animals That Are Extremely Disappointed In You
This may be the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. Scroll to the end of the post (worth it) and you will understand my not-so-secret dream to have a pack of corgis follow me around all day.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/animals-who-are-extremely-disappointed-in-you 

Have a good weekend, on and off the interwebs!

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