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Archive for the ‘12Seconds.tv’ Category

mrhospitality

Every commercial for travel, wine, restaurants, tourism, etc. all end up being about lifestyle, hospitality and the extraordinary lengths to which the hosts will go to take care of you during your stay with them.  Once you have the essentials met, a comfortable bed, room essentials (iron, mini fridge, mini bar, toiletries, wifi, i-home …) it becomes a matter of not just making your stay comfortable, but extraordinary.  To me, this includes anticipating your needs, going the extra mile, and a kind of unassuming kindness that’s subtle and authentic.  If you’re heading to New York that place exists in mid-town Manhattan.  That place is the Roger Smith Hotel.

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The bar & restaurant, Lily’s, looks like an avant garde art gallery and feels like that artist’s family room.  The bartender Paul (see smiling bartender, Paul, pictured below) makes you feel like most great bartenders and hair dressers…you can tell him anything and he’ll not only have humor, compassion and words of wisdom, he’ll know exactly what cocktail to make for you.  I couldn’t get enough of the house plum infused gin and tonics he made for me.  Brunch on both days were delightful twists on traditional fare:  I had granola crusted french toast one day, vegetable frittata with fingerling potatoes the next …I’m not admitting to any morning cocktails.

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The weekend I was there also happened to be the start of Social Media week in New York:  A set of meet ups, openings, releases and social media focused gatherings that includes Twestival NYC and the regular Social Media Breakfasts at…you guessed, The Roger Smith Hotel.  So on Sunday, Mr. Hospitality (see Brian Simpson pictured at top) hosted a Tweet Up (#tweetuprsh)…and since @ChrisBrogan was also staying at the RSH for the week, we amassed an impressive gathering that went for over 12 hours including a raucous, impromptu Grammy watching party to close out the evening.  Some attendees include: @coffeewithian (going for 100 hugs by Feb 14 and documenting them all on twitter via i-phone), @sukifuller (completing her MBA), @emilyspearl, @rachelreuben, @nexeus (NYC DJ, U-Streamer), @robbin_g (East Coast wine goddess), @hvwinegiddess (managing the Hudson Valley Wine Competition this spring), @chazfrench (winner best T-Shirt at the meet up…ask him),  @davekerpen (ZBuzz Marketing), @sandraschubert, @robblatt, @nadiapayan, @daveyarmon, @chrisbrogan, @bsimi, and me…@winedivergirl.  Though there were 20+ tweeters there, if I missed you, please let me know and I’ll add you right into this list!

cbroganrshAn additional set of concierge services from RSH pointing me to fabulous shopping, restaurants, great bars and transportation back to the airport  made my weekend overflow with something beyond satisfaction.  New Yorkers are the friendliest f*cking city people ever (RSH and beyond).  While I was in NYC for an Art Opening at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, my time there was jam packed from end to end with the best of what New York could offer me in a 3 day weekend with only 10 hours sleep total.  I made the most of it.  Now it’s your turn.

Photos from my Blackberry Storm

P.S.  I didn’t even get to Henry, the RSH mascot (see below left…)  That will be it’s own post altogether!

Yamile, Chief Restaurant man at Lily’s…demonstrating hospitality pictured below right.

For the best photographic pictorial : visit @BSimi ‘s Flicker page.

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Depends on your purpose.  Though I am hooked, what can hyper-connectivity do to add value to my life and, indeed, to the lives of mainstream America (and beyond) without making us a bunch of glow-y faced screen junkies?  There’s no formula…at least I couldn’t work by one, but I find myself missing twitter, the web and my 12Seconds if I’m gone from it for more that 2 days. (ok, 2 hours!)  And one basic rule I try to have is to be with the person in front of me…first.  So I try not to answer my cell phone, tweet relentlessly, and browse online or through my Storm while having lunch with someone.  Am I always successful…no.  I am a notorious time-stacker/multi-tasker.  But being with the person in front of me is important.  In fact, that moment may be WHY social media is so valuable…to create MORE of those moments together, in person!

nyeveThat’s me pictured twittering with my tweeples on New Year’s Eve.  I may have sent a dozen tweets or less focusing on my San Francisco bar & grill crawl, and my amazing, sassy friend Cortney.  But I was also missing sharing the New Year moment with all the tweeters I’ve developed a connection with over the past months.  The people in the twitterverse have become my friends, business associates, information gatherers, readers, and general resource for all things tech, wine, life.

The enthusiasm, freshness and candor with which they communicate is, well, refreshing!  So while we struggle with ROI, metrics, and the new world of online connectivity, what are we trading off?  Are the interpersonal moments sacrificed?  Is our culture heading further into short-attention-span-affliction?  And will all depth in connection be lost?

It is another point to balance as we continue to seek the work-life balance, let’s add to that the online-offline balance.

Do you have rules about your connectivity?  If you live by your phone/PDA as I do, have you noticed a decrease in quality when you hang out with your friends and family as they split their focus between you and their device?  I always think it rude that another restaurant patron will let their cell ring on end in the restaurant…I don’t really want to hear whatever their ringtone of the month happens to be!  I especially don’t want to hear 1/2 (or any) of their conversation.  Does anyone else worry about tech ettiquette?

Photo courtesy of Cortney’s i-phone, Jan 31, 2008.

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Proof of ROI in Social Media:

That’s for the boss’ bottom line.  But I think the real ROI isn’t measured by the bottom line.  The most valuable investment we all make in social networking is our time and ourselves.  Without those two things invested…and invested authentically, there is no real return.  How do you measure and put a dollar value on connecting, shared information, generating ideas, developing conversations?  I’m sure there are social scientists that will study and follow these activities and endeavor to measure the trail and where it leads.  And as soon as the numbers are in black and white, I think the measure will have already missed the essence of the most valuable return from social networking.

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In this particular case, however, I have been VERY lucky to have a short, direct trail with a couple people in the chain to point to a measurable outcome.  Brian Simpson, (F & B at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City) and Shannon Marshall,  (Northeast Divisional Manager for Hahn Family Wines ).  Through the power of social media, twitter and 12seconds.tv, Brian & I have connected & have been posting 12 second videos of the RSH daily lunch special paired with wine.  We started in early November.  By request, I connected Brian with Shannon & by early December we have the menu above :  5 wines from Hahn Family Wines by the glass with 3 more by the bottle.

For me the return is in the relationships and connections I am allowed to cultivate world-wide through social networking.  The bottom line ROI is a secondary result I am grateful for…but not my primary pursuit.  The connections are.  Which brings me back to wine.  I feel the same way about sharing a bottle with someone.  Happy New Year everyone.  Cheers.

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  • Taste more wine
  • Share more wine
  • Learn more about wine
  • Buy more wine
  • Sell more wine
  • Gift more wine
  • Enjoy more wine
  • Discover more wine
  • Diversify my taste in wine

Welcome to my short list of goals for 2009.

With enough time off to unplug and enjoy friends, family as well as rest and recharge, I continue to come back to the precious value in meaningful connections.  Those connections happen every day in person but also they happen online.  This blog’s connection to you is high on my list of meaningful connections.  Twitter and 12Seconds also grant me invaluable connections to friends, information and more people expanding my horizons.

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Wine is a kind of glue or lubricant or artistic moment shared between people that toasts the height of connection and sharing.  Ok, yes, perhaps I’m overly sentimental;  it is the holidays and the meaning in my days and in my relationships is something I value above anything else.  Sentimentality is bound to creep in.

So in 2009 I am committed to hosting more Bloggers Tasting Forums (watch for them among many wineries and also from Hahn, coming in March) as well as another kind of Tasting Forum:  A Comparative Tasting among F&B types.  The original idea comes from Shannon Marshall (@perthgirl) in New York City.  It is meant to be something like the Bloggers Tasting Forum but co-hosted by the winery and the restaurant, bar or other venue with groups of wine buyers, wine directors, sommeliers, Food & Beverage Directors, etc. for the purpose of connecting, tasting, learning… It is in development, so I’ll fill in more details soon.  Thea Dwelle (@WineBratSF) has continued to do a lovely job talking about blogging and the wine industry as well as Mutineer Magazine, spreading the word and appreciation for the Bloggers Tasting Forum.  It is an idea catching on my many places in various incarnations.

Its impact is about word of mouth: “Wine Bloggers are the new way of providing word of mouth marketing.” said Ms. Dwelle.  And many of us have read Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: “…it is safe to say that word of mouth is – even in this age of mass communication and multimillion dollar advertising campaigns – still the most important form of human communication.

I invite you to join me in at least one of the goals listed above.  I look forward to raising a glass and connecting with you as well.

Happy New Year…and cheers!

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It’s getting pretty weird out there. Well, it probably has been for awhile. So what are you going to do about it? You have some options: My least favorite and perhaps one of the most popular positions is the fetal position. Either mentally or physically, people may consider adopting a curl-up-until-it’s-over attitude. And maybe that works for some people. However, while I don’t look forward to crisis, I do recognize the opportunity for, leadership, new deals, new connections and being the carrier of light across the darkness.

Marketing, PR and all new e-marketing opportunities are bursting with possibility right now. Twitter has posted their Top 50 Tweeples (are you connected to them?), AND is partnering with Current TV (watch their amazing “Hack-the-Debate” programming of the Presidential debates posting real-time tweets). YouTube is experimenting with click-to-buy placement with Amazon.com. Blogging, Video blogging and many other forms of Social Media are exploding with popularity while corporations race to figure out how to maximize advertising in web’s social-sphere. The video version of Twitter, 12Seconds.TV is about to go public, currently in their alpha testing phase. The Wine Blogger’s Conference is completely sold out in Sonoma County with special guest, Gary Vaynerchuk this month. The list goes on as Facebook upgrades their applications and races to keep up with their users. Google is working on a browser (Chrome) that, when completed, will change the way the average Mom, Senior and student not just uses the web, but interacts with and seamlessly integrates online experiences within their lives. If you think that is dramatic, I haven’t emphasized enough how life changing all of these tools will be.

So what does all this mean to you?

You still have a minute to figure out where you will fit in. But only a minute. When New Media goes super-nova, you could be left unconnected. And thereafter, you’ll be running to catch up. Whatever your business, you must find out how you will thrive online. Meanwhile, the bottom line is still your communication and connection to your customer base. Nurture and nourish that relationship; especially during tough economic times. They will remember that and thus be even more loyal customers. A sense of connection, security and belonging is important anytime within our community; it is invaluable during these times and will go a long way in defining the quality and commitment of your online community. You’ll extend your reach and achieve greater bang for your marketing buck this way, while offering something of value to your client base. And they won’t forget that. You can’t beat being human. It’s way better than being a corporation…even if you are a corporation. (for more details on this perspective, check out this post on the Silicon Alley Insider) Then you become that light in the darkness…and that light is contagious.

I have two thoughts from Bill gates to leave you with.

“There will be two types of businesses by 2010- those that are online and those that are out of business.”

“The Internet will help achieve “friction free capitalism” by putting buyer and seller in direct contact and providing more information to both about each other.”

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