Twitter, a Morning Show in Hawaii, and Me

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , on March 22, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

So this is my 3rd Twitter related post on my blog and for a while it will have to be my last! Otherwise I am going to need Twitter to start sending me checks for being an extension of their marketing department! From here on in it will be surfing and hiking posts from Hawaii! With all the rising interest in Twitter, it wasn’t a surprise that the KITV4 Morning Show was interested in doing a piece on it. Coincidentally, with our “State of the Web 2009” panels of discussion coming up, it was a perfect time to discuss both. 

The interview was held at 6am the day after St. Patrick’s Day, so with little sleep and some butterflies in my stomach, I headed out to the interview in the middle of the night. It was a little nerve wrecking to be on live television for the first time but the folks at McNeil Wilson Communications made it a super smooth process! The warm welcome from the entire KITV4 crew was much appreciated, and Mahealani Richardson made it feel like I was just talking shop with a friend. So here it is, why Twitter is a fantastic self branding and company marketing tool:

If you are interested in catching the “State of the Web 2009” panel discussion, you can catch the live stream here, live on March 24th, 2009 at 9am Hawaii time.

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10 Reasons Why Twitter is Better, in 140 Characters or Less.

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

I am inexplicably coming onto my 1,000th Twitter update and decided to celebrate with a blog post. Mind you that 1,000 posts in the Twitter community is about the equivalent of me celebrating my 1st birthday but nevertheless for me thats a lot of internet for sure. Some folks may laugh at that statement considering my career revolves around the research, analysis, and strategic planning of digital, social, and interactive media. As you might have guessed the internet plays a small role in my daily routine (I promised you sarcasm in my first post, What’s a Stoke?).

For that very reason I have always been timid about my time on the internet post the work day. Adding to that I moved to Hawaii sixteen months ago and have become obsessed with being in the water as much as possible to surf. I own a Facebook account to be contacted as needed and I was a large advocate of participating in LinkedIn to stay connected with my professional contacts. After that it was only the uploading and sharing of pictures on Flickr with family and friends that took up my personal time on the computer. 

But then, after being so far away from friends and family and five hours behind, I began looking for new ways to connect. Video Skype was great for those connections but not as easy and as fast as I would like. And then, like a savior from the heavens (can you hear the harps?) Twitter came along. Here are 10 Reasons Why Twitter is Better, in 140 Characters or Less (go ahead, check em’) and why it should come along for you. 

1. It gives me access to the brightest minds in a variety of industries & professions. Not just as a receptor but a opportunity for discussion.

2. It allows me to post my thoughts, opinions, videos, pictures, & links to share with a unique & interested audience. Rants, raves, & randoms.

3. It increases my network of professional contacts, vendors, partners, & clients through the sharing of articles, opinions, & discussion.

4. It allows for powerful social media movements like the worldwide Twestival success or a new kidney for a girl in need. Unite the masses!

5. On multiple occasions my Twitter network has provided me with a vendor/partner that has allowed for a marketing campaign to launch in time.

6. Im able to attend conferences & events virtually w/ the ability to ask questions to the presenters as well as discuss topics w/fellow guests

7. I hear about news events almost as soon as they happen! Links to video, photos, interviews, live action, everything! I choose my news source

8. Twitter is like a personal Google assistant. Ask a question & receive multiple responses, opinions, examples, and some articles to boot!

9. This might be cheating but here’s 16 more reasons why Twitter is better, with @Mashable ‘s 16 Great Twitter Moments!

10. Last & most critical: It allows me to connect w/family & friends in an efficient & simple manner. Less process, more connecting, stoked.

Please feel free to follow me @danzelikman, or leave a question about Twitter, social or digital media on this post and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Cheers!

A Twestivas For the Rest of Us – Honolulu Twestival 2009

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

OK pop quiz hot shot! A Twestival is A) some geek type event where people bring their Macs to bars, B) a festival with a ‘Tw’ instead of an “F” C) a worldwide event that included over two hundred cities partying in order to raise money to supply clean drinking water to people in need or D) all of the above. Like most cliche’ multiple choice questions the answer is ‘D’ which incorporates all of the above. A+ kid!

Honolulu Twestival Logo

Logo by Valdezign

On February 12th, 2009 over two hundred cities hosted a Twestival in order to raise money and awareness for Charity Water, an organization that provides clean drinking water to people across the globe. Wether it was in a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or backyard, Twestival parties were organized across the globe. Similar to the event Live Earth, the event showed the amazing capacity to unite people across the World for a good cause. At the time of this post, over $250,000 in total was raised in a single night. To put that in a more comprehensive statement, the money raised (so far) can bring clean drinking water to almost 20,000 people! I will update this post with the final tally as soon as it is published.
Hawaii Twestival @ Ocean's 808Of course in the beginning there were skeptics, “I’m not going to some Twitter party!” For some it was difficult to get passed the notion that this event was being planned by people using Twitter. What folks didn’t realize is that the Twestival exemplified the future of global movements and change. The speed and efficiency of technology was now being paired up with the compassion of people and a cause. It was planned and executed on a similar premise that Barack Obama’s successful campaign for Presidency was founded on. A powerful idea was established and then shared with the social media evangelists and their mega-phones. This immense mob of Tweeple (Twitter People) then spread this message around the world in a record time (the whole process was put together in less than a month). City after city began jumping on the cause and the Twestival became an epic buzzworthy event. Honolulu claimed bragging rights of over 250 attendees, and over $7,000 raised! Not bad for a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific.
Honolulu Twestival Crew

Big cheers, mahalo’s, and thank you’s to all of the Honolulu Twestival (hitwestival) sponsors and organizers that you can find here. It took the contributions of local people, companies, hotels, restaurants, and Hawaii media to pull off the big night. Their collaboration created a chain reaction that lead to a strong return of two hectic weeks of work. Their amazing generosity and effort can also be reflected in the statistical presentation seen below. Cheers to Olaf Witkowski for putting it together. 

The success of the first Twestival was only the beginning. Be sure to follow @twestival on Twitter, or check out the website to hear about future events and promotions. Remember if you don’t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, there will always be a Twestivas for the rest of us! I’m stoked.

 

 

East Coast Snow Surf – Manasquan,NJ

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

Last catch up post I promise, the rest will be from Hawaii. Surfing as much as I do in Hawaii I had to mention how my crazy friends Tyler and Neil dragged me out to the beach in New Jersey to go surfing while the snow flurries were still falling. It put in perspective how fortunate I am to be able to wake up, walk ten minutes, and surf in seventy-five degree water everyday. Whereas these guys have to pack up the car, drive an hour down the Garden State Parkway, put on about fifteen pounds of rubber, and jump into thirty-nine degree water. All this in twenty-nine degree weather (are you getting cold yet?). The suits felt and looked absurd but they kept me warm, no matter how ridiculous I looked. It was definitely different because in Hawaii the only reason I wear a rash guard is to prevent my back from getting burned from four hours in the sun and my chest from getting, well, a rash. Hence the name.

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So as you can see we looked more like ninjas than surfers, and the giant ten foot classic longboards only added to the hilarity of the moment. The one thing that wasn’t funny however, were the waves. No, they were pretty much perfect. Perfect, empty, and completely glass.
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I hadn’t surfed in just under a month, so even though my heart was racing from the fear of how cold that water was going to be, I jumped right in and started paddling. The funny thing is that unlike in Hawaii, this was a beach break, didn’t have any reef that would cut up my feet, plus it was shallow enough to walk in. Tyler decided to point all these things out as I was fifteen feet ahead of him paddling, fighting for a breath, and looking ridiculous in my Ninja Gaiden outfit. “Umm… dude, you know you can walk it right?” I didn’t care, I was stoked to be out there.

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The strange thing is that it’s not as cold as you would think. I mean, it’s cold, but I think I could bear it if I knew it meant empty clean sets whenever I wanted. I wasn’t used to it so I was kind of paddling around and watching Tyler rip set after set, but regardless it was good fun. I was stoked to be surfing in a beach in my home state, in a different ocean, halfway across the world, in pretty crazy weather conditions. As fun as it was, I think I’ll stick with my Hawaii breaks for now. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with the fact that the water and air temperature is forty degrees warmer.
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Neil was able to grab some great shots from the shore, be sure to check out more here.

80’s New Years & a JWU Bash

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

Sorry for the blast into the past blog posts but I was too lazy to keep up with them during my vacation so there you go. During my travels back to the mainland two parties really stood out. One incorporated my somewhat obsessions with the 80’s while the other incorporated my somewhat obsession with my friends from school.

Not sure what it is about the 80’s but the music, the clothes, the TV shows, all winners. I definitely would have fit in with that crowd rocking out to Guns N’ Roses, Scorpions, Foreigner, and Poison. All the while wearing bright neon colors that keep joggers safe from being hit by cars when they’re out running at night. It’s true, that’s why neon was invented. I’m not sure if that’s true.
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The party was at a bar in NYC when at the time the temperature was in the low 20’s and the winds were in the high 40’s (or so it felt like). For the Hawaii folks who don’t know its an incredible feeling and I highly recommend it to all of you *evil grin*. The bar was hooked up 80’s style with music, decorations, and constant 80’s movies playing all over the walls (that last part may have been a figment of my imagination, I can’t be completely sure). 

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In the interest of remaining ridiculous, I asked the 80’s group to pose in one of my favorite poses, the “Lion Face.” If you have no clue what I’m talking about please check out the quick clip below where Matt Damon and Ben Affleck prepare for a movie scene by practicing both extremes, “Lemon Face,” and my favorite, “Lion Face.”

The move is a way to clear your face of all expressions so that the actor is ready for the scene. For those of you doubting my “industry knowledge” you can recive your confirmation from my 0:02 shot from my scene as an extra in last week’s episode of Lost.

OK 80’s party, everyone at once now, LION FACE!

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About my college buddies… well it’s complicated. I don’t really like them but they have too much dirt on me for me to tell them that in person. Just kidding! There is nothing like getting back together with the people you laughed, cried, and lets face it… drank with for those four amazing years. It was a great turnout with over a dozen folks coming in from Boston, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

JWU Clan

It really is funny how the years go by and the details change a bit but the people always stay the same. We all let loose, forgot about life for a while, and pretended we were back in college with some classic games of cards, baseball, and of course the feared “drink card.” Some people danced when they probably shouldn’t have, some wished they weren’t smokers because they had to go outside and freeze for 3-5 minutes, and others just focused on breathing from there absurd allergies to Kip’s cat. Yes, that included me.

Both times were super fun and it was hard knowing I wouldn’t be able to repeat them for a while. What was reassuring was knowing that all those amazing people are always there when we come home. Cheers everyone!

Mele Kalikimaka Hawaii & Merry Christmas East Coast

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by Dan Zelikman

Christmas break was absolutely amazing! The last few months have been extremely busy so it was nice to take a long break and relax. But before I left to go visit home on the East Coast, Kimmy and I decided to check out what Hawaii had to offer in terms of Christmas attractions. Although it was warm, and snow flurries weren’t falling, there’s nothing that says Merry Christmas like a Santa throwing a Shaka.

Mele Kalikimaka - Christmas in Hawaii 2008             Mele Kalikimaka - Christmas in Hawaii 2008

There were a bunch of families enjoying the festivities which included some giant Christmas figurines, an assortment of Christmas tree designs, some loud buses filled with singing tourists, a bag pipes concert, and some great Christmas lights. They had a few dozen Christmas trees that were decorated by different schools and city organizations, a favorite of mine had some Batman ornaments. Even in the warm Hawaii weather surrounded by palm trees, Hawaii has a great way of spreading the Aloha through some Christmas cheer.

  Mele Kalikimaka - Christmas in Hawaii 2008

Our Christmas festivities continued in Times Square in New York. I took my Mom and Kimmy into the city for a day of eating, shopping, and a Broadway show. Living in Waikiki for the past year I grew accustom to the tourists walking about but somehow I completely forgot about the intense crowds in New York during the Holidays, nuts! I honestly felt like cattle walking about, so much so that I cranked a few “Mooooo’s” while passing an unsuspecting passerby. It was fun being back in the city, especially now as a visitor and not a resident. It was one of the first times I pulled out my camera and took some shots. I don’t know, I guess sometimes we have to embrace the stereotype tourist in all of us.
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We didn’t get any snow that day like I hoped, but almost everything else went perfectly. I got to eat breakfast at a typical New York diner where you get served and billed in about sixty seconds, yum! We window shopped at all the Christmas window displays and imitated the ridiculous poses that the mannequins were performing. I don’t mean to pat my own back, but I think I have a career in mannequin modeling if I lose my interactive marketing touch. 

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Considering it was the holidays, we had to stop by Rockefeller Center and see the largest Christmas tree on the planet. It was a lot of fun seeing all my usual holiday spots again, especially since I wasn’t able to in the Christmas of 2007. We watched some folks skate and watched a whole lot more folks that were waiting in a long line to skate. Then like other typical Rockefeller on-goers, we took one too many photos of us and the tree!

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After that we tried standing in line at a TKTS (a booth where you can buy Broadway tickets for almost half the price) but decided to ditch that idea when we realized the line wrapped around a few buildings and ended somewhere in Wyoming. Instead, we called Ticketmaster and got last minute tickets to Avenue Q, a play made up of puppets living life and tackling issues like making money, dating, racism, and homosexuality. Basically it was a hilarious grown up version of Sesame Street that had some major inappropriate scenes. I definitely recommend it if you are in New York and itching for a show. It was a great day in the city, Kimmy and Mom were both stoked so mission accomplished. 

Otherwise, in terms of Christmas on the East, everything was great. Hopped around a lot between Jersey, New York, and Maryland. For whatever reason I don’t have too many pics from Maryland from when we visited Kimmy’s family, we’ll have to remedy that for next year. In MD we ate a lot (big surprise) played and watched some football, and finally gave Rock Band a try which Kimmy became borderline addicted too. In Jersey we ate a lot too, and somehow got addicted to a fun little board game called Apples to Apples. 

All in all great times! Its amazing how a little family and friends can defrost you after stepping out in the miserable winter chill! 
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Windward Storm Surf Session – Dark and Stormy and Super Glassy

Posted in Raves with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by Dan Zelikman

My first attempt at a mini-surf video… After a stormy weekend in November the five of us decided to paddle out to a surf break in Hawaii Kai on the island of Oahu. Cheers to Jack for having an access key, we were able to take advantage of fun glassy waves and empty sets. Besides having the waves to ourselves, we also enjoyed dark and stormy conditions that gave us some amazing photos and video. Due to the grey and dark blues in the shots, I thought that U2’s “Electrical Storm” would be most fitting. This was the result: