What’s New? What’s Next?


Things are changing rapidly these days. It seems like new technologies and social networks a popping up all the time. How do we keep up with them? How do we know what’s coming next? How will these changes affect our culture and our lives?

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SCVNGR Trek Update: I need help testing it!


The SCVNGR trek I’ve been working on is coming along! It is currently live on SCVNGR, but this isn’t quite the official announcement of it yet. I’ve tested it a bit myself and had my friend Walter at the Urban Ecology Center help test it with his Android. The few bugs I discovered have been fixed (I think) and I’m almost ready to call it done. But, I think it could use a bit more testing, especially by non-Urban Ecology Center folks.

Do you have an iPhone or Android and about half an hour to try the “Explore Riverside Park” trek and let me know how it goes?

  • If so, please go to the Urban Ecology Center’s Riverside Park location and try out the trek. Or, if you want more info first, leave a comment below or get in touch with me on twitter.
  • If not, but you still want to help, there is a text message version of the trek as well! To try it out, go to the UEC and text ‘explorerp’ to 728674 (scvngr) and you’ll receive the challenges as texts.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the trek! Here are some things I’m wondering about:

  • Is it fun?
  • Did you learn anything about the UEC or nature?
  • Was it too hard/too easy?
  • Do the point values seem appropriate for the difficulty of the challenges?
  • Does the QR code scanning challenge work? (It didn’t in earlier testing but I’m pretty sure it’s fixed now)
  • Is there anything important missing from the trek?

Massive thanks to anyone who is willing to help me out with this!



I just saw Gamer Revolution, a documentary that highlights the disturbing fact that lots of people spend more time in fantasy gaming wolds than they do in the real world.

That’s why I’m so excited about mobile, location-based games like SCVNGR! It’s still a game, there are points and everything, but you have to get out of your house and explore your city to play it. With SCVNGR, you earn points by doing things in real life and engaging with the real world.

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Tweets in posts!


I’m pretty pumped that Word Press can now pull tweets into posts! Here’s a sample of how it looks:

As you can see, it pulls in a retweet button, profile information, and a dynamic time stamp. I saw something like this in a digital story telling service called Storify, which can also pull in facebook posts. While Storify more robust as a story telling service, it is still in Beta mode and it’s tough to get access to it.

So, I’ll be thinking differently about word press as a story telling medium.

YNPN Social Media Panel


This week I was honored to be a part of a social media panel for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Greater Milwaukee! I shared my experiences of setting up and running the social media accounts for the Urban Ecology Center and some of the unique opportunities that has created. I’m proud to report that our Facebook fan page has 3,309 fans and our Twitter account has 1,529 followers at the time of this post! Overall, running those accounts has been a fantastic experience, which I was happy to have the opportunity to talk about. Here is some of what I shared:

Start a Facebook fan page with a contest.

Right around the time we were going to launch the Urban Ecology Center Facebook fan page, I happened to have been lucky enough to hear a guest speaker in one of my marketing classes recommend launching with a contest. That proved to be great advice! We launched the fan page by letting our email subscribers know that we would be choosing three new fans to receive thank you gifts. We had over 1,000 fans in the first week!

Twitter is great for conversations.

All of the panelists agreed that Twitter is the easiest media to have a conversation with followers. While we get a lot of great engagement with our fans on Facebook, what we really like about Twitter is the real-time communication. Most of our messaging on those two media are similar, but we update Twitter more frequently and can respond to people directly a little more easily.

Foursquare encourages people to come to your location and share it with friends.

At the Urban Ecology Center, part of the goal is to get people outside having fun. With foursquare, we can encourage check-ins not only at our branch locations, but we can also encourage people to check-in to County Parks and other green spaces. Foursquare users can also send out tweets and facebook messages about the locations they’ve been to, increasing the likelihood of their peers to check out those spots as well. Actually, a new service that I just discovered, takes that idea even further. It’s called SCVNGR, and I’ll write a separate post about that fantastic location based social media game!

Three other nonprofits were represented on the panel by their young professional social media pros as well. Caroline Anderson (@Caro_Anderson) represented Meta House (@metahouse) Carol Voss represented Independence First (@Independence1st) and Meghan Arnold (MeghanCArnold) represented the Milwaukee County Transit System (@RideMCTS). Kim Jahnke (@KimberlyJahnke) did a great job planning and moderating the event. I won’t try to sum up all of the wisdom that they shared, but I will recommend following all of them on twitter!

Personal Branding


A sample of the old branding that needs to be updated. Eew..

As a graphic designer, I’ve studied branding and even created lots of branding material. Logos, business cards, letterhead, brochures and other collateral materials to match a brand. As a visual communication student, I even created all of those materials for my own personal brand. But, extending that style to digital media is tougher than expected (especially because it is in dire need of an upgrade!).

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