We’re So Jealous! Follow These Arkansans at #SXSWI

Emily Reeves and Charles Crowson

Emily Reeves (@reeves501) talks via Skype from Austin to Today's THV This Morning's Charles Crowson.

So this is happening.

The opening day of the South by Southwest Festival’s Interactive conference — coupled with pre-order day of the Apple iPad — make today, Friday March 12th, perhaps the geekiest day of the year! And you certainly don’t want to miss out on that, do you? Of course you don’t!

Fortunately, we’ve got Arkansas Tweeple on the ground in Austin, Texas, home of #SXSW. Among them, Emily Reeves of Stone Ward of Little Rock, who’s tweeting and Skyping from the event. This morning, live from Austin, she checked in with Today’s THV This Morning’s Charles Crowson to give us an overview of what’s happening at this year’s event.

We expect more updates via her @Reeves501 Twitter account and her personal blog, Ms. Adverthinker, where she’s already posted her insane schedule, which we kinda hope is really only for keeping up appearances. There’s not near enough time in there for boozing and partying and geeking it up with fellow geeks, which is really what SXSW is all about, right? Right.

Also in town, another friend of the blog, Bryan Jones and Wade Austin, both of CJRW of Little Rock. Both are tweeting from there as well, and Jones will be providing daily wrap-ups on his blog, Flairification.com.

Any other Arkansas Twitterers in Austin at the festival? Let me know, and I’ll list them here.

So what’s on tap for Friday? You can the full schedule here, which includes seminars on pay TV vs. the Internet, developing apps for iPhone, Internet analytics, Web typography, Gen Y entrepreneurs, social media marketing for business and much more.

You can also expect the usual complaining about AT&T’s inadequate data network as thousands of iPhone-equipped geeks jockey for bandwidth during the entire event. You’ll also hear lots about Foursquare this year, as everyone checks in at every conceivable site in Austin. And, as Emily notes in the video above, folks will be waiting to hear what Twitter co-founded Ev Williams has to say about his coming revenue model for the microblogging service.

Of course, the elephant in the room, the phantom hanging over the entire proceedings, is the Apple iPad, which won’t even hit the streets for another month. Nevertheless, it will likely dominate most chatter at the event.

Related

Ah, Austin. How we love you!

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The Apple iPad: The Morning After

Talking iPad with Charles Crowson on Today's THV This MorningSo, the iPad’s out. What do we think?

Looking at our wholly unscientific surveys from yesterday, the majority of respondents think that 1) Wednesday’s keynote, when compared to other Apple keynotes in the past, simply did not live up to the months and months of hype, 2) while the iPad might indeed prove to be a significant device, it’s certainly not game-changer on an iPod or iPhone level and 3) the iPad is not a device many of us think we need to buy immediately, as soon as it’s available.

In the above video, accessible via the screenshot, I share my first impressions of the device on “Today’s THV This Morning” with Charles Crowson. Basically, while I think iPad is another beautiful, cool, amazingly well designed piece of technology, I can’t imagine who the device is for. What is the market for the iPad?

Instant Appeal

The iPod and iPhone had instant appeal to an array of users for several reasons. Among them, they each fundamentally changed the way we consume certain media and conduct everyday tasks. (The iPod changed how we listen and buy music; the iPhone brought the full Web to our handsets and created a new software ecosystem with apps.)

The iPad, while well-designed and beautiful, does neither. All it does is build on existing technologies to deliver media in a not-entirely-new form factor. If you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you’ve seen these tricks before. And if you have a laptop, you can do all the things the iPad does — and more — on a more robust machine.

Apple iPad

Flat-out cool. But who's it for?

Why?

So why the iPad? Apple is trying to create a device optimized solely for consuming all types of media in a quieter, less distracting operating environment. This is part of the reason why there’s no camera on the iPad, nor can it run more than on application on the device’s souped-up iPhone OS. With the laptop, you work, you create media. With the iPhone,  you answer calls and e-mails, stay in touch and work on the go. The iPad is what you pick up when you get home and want to unwind.

The delineation is fine one. Many people simply won’t see it. And if they do, why plunk down at least $500 (or add to your money data bill if you invest in a 3G version) for what amounts to a mobile media device? I’m not sure Apple has made a compelling case for that.

But — is it Apple’s responsibility to make that case? I’m not entirely sure. Part of what could make the iPad a hit is what’s already made the iPhone and iPod Touch indispensible: the App Store.

*Some Innovation Required

In my mind, it’s going to be up to content providers, including newspapers and magazines, to create fully optimized, multimedia content that exploits every advantage the iPad brings to bear to make the platform work. As it stands, iPad already looks more attractive e-reader than the Kindle or the Nook. If publishers fully embrace the multimedia capabilities now at their fingerprints to create valuable interactive publications, the iPad could very become the media consumption device of choice of readers, college students, young video-gamers and more.

And while we see signs that the video game industry is excited by the new form factor their App Store games can know inhabit, newspapers and magazines’ reactions have so far seemed, well, boring. The New York Times app demoed at yesterday’s keynote was underwhelming at best, particularly compared with what NYTimes.com offers on the Web. Guess what publishers? You still need to innovate. Even on Steve Job’s magical device.

Without innovation from all content providers, the iPad — however beautiful, unique, cool, whatever — will become merely another niche device that only a few of us ever use, a far cry from the revolution it’s billed as.

More

Blake Rutherford on the iPad, technology and politics

Gizmodo – Why the iPad is the device you never you needed

David Carr – The game changed today

NY Times – Device blurs the lines

GalleyCat – Publishing experts weigh in on iPad

NY Times – Another data hog for AT&T?

LA Times – No revolution, but ‘great promise’

Wired – Where’s Verizon?

AdAge – The hard questions for publishers drooling over the iPad

The Wrap – What Apple got right and wrong with the iPad

BusinessWeek – Apple’s effects on content partners, the good and bad

LA Weekly – Should Hollywood be afraid of iPad?

TechCrunch – How iPad will put Kindle out of business

Video: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Using Twitter in the Workplace

Click to watch the segment

Click to watch the segment

Today on “Today’s THV This Morning,” I sat down with Charles Crowson (who tweets @CCrowson016) to talk about what can happen when your Twitter life affects your work life. Or, rather, when you say something stupid on Twitter and your boss finds out.

Just as users are having to learn to watch what they post on Facebook, MySpace and blogs, so too are they having to be more careful about what they say on the fast-growing microblogging service. Twitter’s very nature — a quick, easy-to-use service that allows you to post stream-of-conscience thoughts almost as a reflex via desktop and mobile platforms — lends itself to accidental misuse. And once you say something on the Internet, it’s hard to take it back.

Careerbuilder.com has numerous examples of workplace horror stories stemming from Twitter misuse. In that vein, I offered some simple do’s and don’t for professionals who use Twitter to help them avoid such workplace gaffes.

Don’t

1) Bad-mouth co-workers or your company – Lots of people mistake the Web as a place to vent. But it’s simply not professional to go online and rip your boss, your co-workers and your employer. Even though these people might not be your Twitter followers, they can see your updates by going to your Twitter.com account. And even if you’ve protected your updates to followers only, there’s always the risk that what you say in the heat of the moment could be retweeted.

2) Complain about your the specifics of your job – We all have boring aspects of our jobs, and everyone has a bad day every once in a while. But again, your tweets can reflect poorly on your employer. If you want to stay employed, you’ll want to keep those feelings in check.

3) Talk about your salary, good or bad
– Just as you wouldn’t talk about your raise in front of a co-worker, you shouldn’t brag about that bump in pay you just got. At the same, hard as it might be, refrain from gripes about salary or benefits cuts.

4) Conduct a job search out in the open – As great as social networks and Twitter can be in the job hunt, be careful about openly inquiring about new jobs at other companies, unless you want to be outed early and possibly dismissed before you’re ready to make a switch.

5) Overshare personal tidbits that could reflect poorly on your company
– It’s probably not a good idea to talk about how drunk you got last night. And watch those late-night postings to Twitpic that might not seem so funny the morning after.

After the jump, some suggestions about what to do to keep your personal and professional lives in harmony on Twitter.

Continue reading

The Long Goodbye: BJ Sams Says Farewell on Friday

BJ Sams and Tom Brannon say goodbye ahead of Sams' final morning broadcast on Friday. Click for video.

BJ Sams and Tom Brannon say goodbye ahead of Sams' final morning broadcast on Friday. Click for video.

After more than 50 years in broadcasting (“Fifty-six,” he’ll remind you), BJ Sams is signing off tomorrow. His final broadcast of “Today’s THV This Morning” happens Friday.

This morning, before tomorrow’s busy farewell, he spent some final moments with his long-time “This Morning” co-host and sparring partner Tom Brannon, who commissioned a special “long-distance dedication” for his pal. Click here to see video of the segment, and be sure to check out tomorrow’s show for BJ’s final moments on air in Arkansas.

More Video

It’s been a month of tributes. Click for video of BJ with:

Alyson Courtney | Former co-host Robyn Richardson and her surprise | Chris Olsen | The Peabody Hotel | Leslie Heizman | Former co-host Beth Ward | Derrick Rose | Liz Massey | Dawn Scott | His Top 11 Quotes | Arkansas Children’s Hospital | Mark Pryor | KARK | Capital Hotel | Alyson, BJ & Tom at 6:30 p.m

See more on the Official Retirement Page

Previously

BJ Sams to retire

BJ Sams honored at Media Fellowship luncheon

Charles Crowson to co-host

Charles Crowson to Anchor ‘Today’s THV This Morning’

The announcement, this morning. Charles gets the big boy chair.

The announcement, this morning. Charles gets the big boy chair.

Congratulations to Charles Crowson, who’ll take over BJ Sams‘ spot on the couch after Sams retires on July 31. The “Today’s THV This Morning” crew made the announcement Thursday morning.

Crowson, a former Stone Ward public relations account executive, has been with THV since January 2007 and, most recently, has been working as a reporter for the morning show. In fact, he was conducting live reports on the manhunt for Todd Bostian early this morning before rushing back to the studio for today’s announcement.

Charles begins anchor duties on Aug. 3 alongside co-anchors Alyson Courtney and Tom Brannon. And congrats to Melissa Dunbar-Gates, who’s also joining the show as its reporter.

THVideo: Alyson Courtney and I Talk Twitter

Click here to watch the segment

Click here to watch the segment

Whew! Two and a half minutes does go by fast. Especially on TV. It’s almost like trying to keep your tweets at a 140 characters!

That’s right, I said “140.” Although sharp-eared Twitterati will hear me in the video to the left saying “240” for some reason. “240”?! How do I mess that up? That’s basic Twitter 101! All I can say is, it was 6:40 in the a.m. and I’d yet to break into the coffee. It happens.

But thanks to “Today’s THV” for having me on and being such enthusiastic New Media experimenters. And check out Charles Crowson — he’s discovered Twitpic — much to Alyson’s dismay.

Like I said in the video, it’s easy to get “social media fatigue” trying to keep up with all that’s out there. The key for anyone thinking about using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, whatever, is to think about your goals, the way you work, and your possible audience, then experiment to see what service best fits you based on that criteria.

You don’t have to do it all. But you should be aware of what’s out there.

Also noted in the segment: How the government is using Twitter to keep citizens abreast of the swine flu, how Tyson Foods is using Twitter as part of its charitable work, and Delta Trust & Bank‘s plans to Twitter this weekend from the Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders meeting.

Find THV Twitterers here. See more Arkansas Twitterers via the Arkansas Twitter Guide. And follow me on Twitter @LT.

More: Jessica Duff on “Today’s THV at 9” has more on Twitter. (Includes video.)

Talking Twitter Tuesday on ‘Today’s THV This Morning’

All a Twitter

All a-Twitter

Tired of Twitter yet? Possibly! But the little microblogging service that could is still generating plenty of buzz — some of it not from bored news editors but people legitimately curious about the service and how it might help their business.

At about 6:20 6:40 a.m.-ish on Tuesday, I’ll give a quick primer on Twitter on “Today’s THV This Morning” and, time permitting, how some Arkansas businesses and other organizations are using the service (which we’ve touched on before on this blog and on the radio). Are you suffering from social media fatique and wondering whether Twitter is for you? Hopefully, we can help you answer that question, as well.

Meanwhile, remember you can follow me @LT and Arkansas Business @ArkBusiness. And be sure to sign up with the THV Morning Crew:

@MatthewGCarroll, producer

@BeccaBuerkle, producer

@AlysonCourtney, anchor

@CCrowson016, reporter/anchor

@todaysthv, news

Also

Corporate Blogs and Tweets Must Keep SEC in Mind – WSJ

Oprah and Ashton Will Destroy Twitter – PC Magazine

Numbers Can’t Begin to Describe Twitter’s Impact – Wired

Twitter me this: Wake up and get the Tweets, alderman says – Northwest Arkansas Times

Twitter marketing tips – DoshDosh

Social media: $3.1 billion industry in five years? – eBiz