Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SoSo 2009 not the name of a conference featuring all things mediocre.

According to them,
SoSo stands for Social South - the Deep South’s Social Media Conference. It’s your chance to hear nationally recognized social media professionals at an affordable and easy-to-get-to location.
Their tagline is "Deep Fried Social Media", which cracks me up. The conference is next Friday and Saturday, so I'll be roadtripping to Birmingham for the weekend.

Other good things about the conference?
  • It's close - Birmingham. And I get to reunite with (and crash with) my good friend, fellow blogger AND Auburn classmate, Katie!
  • A whole slew of my Twitter friends (I WILL NOT use the term Tweeples) including @burhop, @lorimillerwhnt and @southernplate will be in attendance!
  • My Style & Design in Public Relations messages teacher and social media mentor, Robert French will be presenting. This will be the first time I've seen him since college as well!
Tracks include:
  • Social Media Tools – You’ve probably heard that you have to be on Facebook or Twitter, but has anyone told you why? This track explores not only the why, but the rest of the tools out there.
  • Social Media Communications – Talking to your clients though social media using traditional media language won’t work. Track 2 explores why and how to change your message.
  • Social Media Strategy – Learning the tools of the trade and the new language is just the first step, without a strategy neither have much of an effect. Track 3 explores how to tie the two together into something effective.
  • Social Media Case Studies – Are you a business in the Southeast that is seeing results from social media? We want to hear your story – apply here to present it at Social South.
Looking forward to learning how to wrangle all of the social media outlets we use at work into one cohesive message that will drive traffic to our Web site. Also looking forward to seeing old friends. Social media is a funny thing for me because I've been neck deep in these applications since I was a sophomore in college, but that doesn't necessarily make me the best manager for outreach and business uses. I think that a meeting or two on the topic will help me reign all of these outreach efforts in to form something more functional.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

SYTYCD recap: eight years late.

I was just skimming back through my "recent" posts and realized how compulsive about So You Think You Can Dance I was in the beginning and then how I totally cut it out.

I guess I was too busy Twittering about it.

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the results. Jeanine came out of the clear blue after being paired with that awkward hip hop guy that everyone loved to take the win. I'm glad she did, even though I was a bit partial to Kayla. That girl could dance... not the brightest crayon in the box, maybe, but a killer dancer. Those lines!

I was so excited about the season at first and then there were a few episodes in a row where I was underwhelmed by most of the performances so I kind of lost my momentum. That said, I do have some definite favorite dances of the season. I'll try for a top five:
  • Kayla and Brandon's final four Broadway number to Bye Bye Love. Stellar dance, and I love that song.
  • Kayla and Jason's zombie dance. Bad ass. The make up smearing, the crazy partnering and that neck lift...
  • Jeanine and Jason's sex dance. Rawr. I downloaded the Jason Mraz album on iTunes after watching this number on repeat (thanks DVR, thanks Kristen) during the finale episode.
  • Kayla and Kupono's Addiction Dance. This one made me tear up. It was so unflinchingly intense and to me was way more powerful than the breast cancer one. (Sorry. It just was.)
  • Karla and Jonathan's contemporary. I just finished saying that basic contemporary numbers are boring. But this one was so familiar and beautiful to me... and Falling Slowly from Once is one of my all time favorite songs.
Not much longer to wait for another season of SYTYCD. I'm unsure how I feel about that. It's exciting in a way, but part of the fun for me was the anticipation for an entire year for the following summer. And I despise the first six episodes or so of freaking auditions. Arghhhh. But it's okay. Glee comes on in September too, YIPPEE!


Hi. I haven't posted since June 25. Holy crap. I need to pick up the pace. So here begins a spate of new posts.

I recently got engaged to a fabulous guy. One of my favorite things about him is his willingness to check out uncharted territories. He's a great traveler too - good sense of direction, go with the flow attitude about experiences - which makes life awesome. What bugs both of us is that we have never been on a large scale adventure together. I've spent the summer in London, visited Norway and Paris, all while in college studying abroad. He's been to China, seen pandas and walked the Great Wall, all with other friends while I worked in DC.

Naturally, we want to have our first major adventure together for our honeymoon. I'm thinking a tour of the Spanish paradores.

Paradores de Turismo de España are a chain of Spanish luxury hotels. They were founded by Alfonso XIII of Spain as a means to promote tourism in Spain, with the first opening in Gredos, Ávila in 1928.

A profitable state-run enterprise, the hotels are often in castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other historic buildings. They stretch from Galicia in the North West through Catalonia to Andalusia in the south of Spain, the Canary Islands and to the Spanish cities in North Africa. (Thanks, Wikipedia)
My parents met in the south of Spain. My mom was traveling with girlfriends, fresh off of a stint in Australia and my dad was stationed in Rota, Spain with the U.S. Navy post-Vietnam. They knew each other for approximately three months before my mom went off to Norway on a road trip with my dad's cousin. When she returned (by plane) he greeted her at the airport, and there it was decided that they'd get married.

So, Spain has definite appeal to me. What better place to start a marriage, than the Mediterranean coast? And on top of that, in the country where my parents met, and kicked off a happy 30-year marriage? There must be something in the water there.

My parents always used to talk about driving up the coast and having fancy dinners at the paradores - paella and fresh fish. Yum. And it looks like they're still at it with the food (uh, YUM!?)

The other day I began my online parador research and discovered the amazing, comprehensive and completely tantalizing Web site. Seriously considering going to the courthouse to push this marriage thing through so we can honeymoon next week. Ha. There will be some saving of the money before any of that happens, though. But if we do decide to go this route, I will have a goal to push me through the bitter Alabama winter: sunny May skies in Spain. :)

Here's what I'm thinking for the vacay: the site offers rates for routes, scheduled for either three or seven days. (Hello, did I not say that their site is amazingly comprehensive? It's an internet planning addict's dream). All of the
routes are themed - culture, nature, WINE, legacy trails through other cultures... Anyway, one of the seven-nighters is a coastal trail. All the way from the northeast corner of Spain, down the Mediterranean coast to the southern tip.

They say on the site that this route takes visitors to some of the best beaches along the Mediterranean coast in Alicante, Murcia, Almería and Malaga. This area is well-known for its tourist attractions but still harbors many pleasant surprises.

I like it. Beach vacation plus culture in Spain. Beach honeymoon meets global trek. And they drive on the right side of the road, don't they?

Don't they??

By the way, I promise this isn't going to be a wedding planning blog from now until May. I have lots of other exciting stuff going on that I'll be posting about, including a Social South new media conference in Birmingham next Friday and Saturday and a trip to San Fran for the Dreamforce (Salesforce users) conference in November to learn how to integrate my work's Facebook, Twitter and other social media efforts with our Web site as well as with our non-profit Salesforce software. Interesting stuff. AND I just signed up for Santa's Village PR again. Whoooeeeee, here comes fall and winter. May will be here before I know it...