Page 2 of 2

My Favorite Fitness Apps

Thirty days ago I embarked on my Get Fit mission.  I committed myself to getting in better shape and eating healthy.  Being a Geek Diva, I’ve had a few of my favorite apps helping me along the way.  Here are my two top fitness apps that are helping me get it in!

The first one I can’t do without is Lose it!

Loseit

We all know you will succeed at weight loss if you write down what you eat.  With Lose It!, you set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet them.  The key here for me is also recording your exercise.  To get started I determined how much weight I wanted to lose.  For me it’s two pounds per week.  After plugging in my measurements, Lose It! told me how many calories I can have each day in order to reach my goal.  But, and here’s the kicker, the more I workout, the more calories I can consume.  So, if want those French fries, I can have them… I just know I have to work out an extra hour to stay within my daily meal plan. 

Then there’s the Nike Training Club app.

Nike

 

This app has become my very own personal trainer.  You can use it anytime and take it anywhere.  I pull it up on my iPad or iPhone and I can plan a 15, 30 or 60-minute workout and let me tell you… it is a WORKOUT!  You decide if your goal for the day is to get lean, get toned and get strong.  Not familiar with one of the moves, not to worry, there’s a video from one of the Nike Professional Trainers to show you how to get it done.

Ok now, no excuses… get out there and JUST DO IT!

SXSWi 2011 with Foursquare, Mashable & Women in Tech

Sxsw_me

I recently returned from my second year at the Interactive track of South by Southwest, often affectionately referred to as the “Spring Break for Geeks.”  SXSWi 2011 brought us exciting panels and events by thought leaders, innovators and presentations who represent the brightest minds in emerging technology. It is here where new digital works, mobile apps, video games and innovative ideas get rolled out to those of us who are always looking for the next “big thing”. As we converged on Austin Texas March 11 – 20, my first impression of SXSWi 2011 was how much it has grown from last year. With more venues and attendees than ever, this was a Geek Diva, Gadget Girl dream.  One of the hottest trends, by far, what the incorporation of Group Texting and I’m excited to see where this technology is going. Another highlight for me was getting a chance to interview some of the power brokers and power users that I only see or communicate with online.

I got a chance to talk to Dennis Crowley, CEO and Founder of Foursquare at the Pepsi Max Foursquare Playground.

I also caught up with Pete Cashmore, CEO Mashable, which by the way was named  the most buzzed about brand during SXSWi in a study by Ad Age  and I also got a chance to talk to Romany Malco who hosted Geek Games at the Mashable House.

But the real highlight for me, as always, is geeking out with the Geek Divas.  I got a chance to speak with a couple of of the veteran SXSWi attendees, Lynne d Johnson, Senior Social Media Strategist at R/GA and SXSWi panelist Shireen Mitchell, founder of the no-profit Digital Sisters/Sistas.  I also spoke with first timer Beverly Jackson, Director of Marketing and Social Media for The Recording Academy/The GRAMMY Awards along with returning attendee and marketing professional, Shannon Mouton about the diversity, or lack thereof at SXSWi 2011. 

Here is what they had to say about Blacks in Tech and Women in Tech at SXSWi 2011. 

Ed4Good: Using Social Media 4 Social Good

Teaching1

I recently signed on as an ambassador for the Dell Education for Good (Ed4Good) social media initiative in Washington, DC at Thurgood Marshall Academy in S.E. The initiative is part of Dell’s SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) outreach effort in Austin, TX later this week.  If you don’t already know, SXSWi is a five-day event that brings together the best and brightest minds in technology, social media and innovation.  The goal for Ed4Good is to have those of us attending SXSW “bring a little of our hometown with us, doing something great with social media and a local school, while also supporting our community.”    In preparation for Ed4Good coaches like myself are teaching social media classes to students across the country to not just show them how to use their web interactions to entertain and engage with friends, but to also “connect, collaborate and build support for important causes.” 

I taught my class to an eager group of students taking an elective course on Digital Media Literacy.  It seems fitting to use Thurgood Marshall Academy for this particular Ed4Good program.  The schools mission is to prepare students to succceed in college and to actively engage in our democratic society.  They serve 390 students in grades 9-12K and you may have seen the school featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in a piece that highlighted their 100% acceptance rate for graduates from school. 

<br/>Watch CBS News Videos Online

 

As the DC coach for Ed4Good, it was my job to not only teach a social media class but to also help the students develop a strategy to raise awareness for a cause of their choosing.  After much deliberation, the students decided we would put our social media efforts behind a campaign against animal cruelty called “UnFURgivable” as in “it’s unFURgivable to be cruel to animals”.  Our goal is to have the students and their supporters do enough Tweets, blog posts and Facebook comments to trend across the social web on March 10, 2011.   We’ll be working hard to make a difference over the next 48 hours.  Then, on Thursday, March 10, just one day before the start of SXSW, Dell will use their new Social Media Listening Command Center to aggregate and monitor all of our community Internet efforts across the country.  Dell will use its social media monitoring and measurement tools to identify the best local effort by the nationwide teams and reward the school with the most traction on the web up to $10,000 dollars in prizes.

 

Here’s where you come in:

Please help our cause by following @unFURgvble on Twitter.  Then, on Thursday, March 10, 2011 please RT @unFURgvble as often as possible using the hashtags #WDC and #ed4good to identify our Washington, DC Education for Good efforts.

 

Spread the word:

Please tell as many people as you can about the unFurgivable efforts within your social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.).

 

Participation is about:

  • Students using social media to do good in their community.
  • A fun social experiment allowing social media folks to play, teach, learn, do good and give back to our community.
  • Supporting social efforts that interested you.
  • Knowing you helped students gain bragging rights that they create a trend across the social web.

The students have already started their Twitter social media initiative… here’s an example of what’s being Tweeted…

Ed4goodchipstory

Kids1aKidsrepeat
Kidsrepeat
132456
5
2
3
6
8
9

 

SXSWi: A Geekie, Gadget Girl’s DREAM!

The South by Southwest Festival officially ended yesterday in Austin, Texas.  I was in Austin for  SXSW® Interactive which featured five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology and tons of exciting networking events.  This year’s festival brought out record crowds for the interactive, film and music tracks drawing in web developers and designers, bloggers, mobile innovators, content producers, programmers, widget inventors, new media entrepreneurs and social media consultants from around the world. The five-day interactive festival showcased the latest ideas, the brightest minds and the coolest innovations of the future.  Yet, I couldn’t help be a little jealous when the energy changed as SXSW kicked off with the music track, bringing in thousands of artists that totally changed the energy to something that was just magical to watch.

My old music days aside, SXSW Interactive met all my expectations and in some cases surpassed them.  I was able to meet many of the geeky, techie folks I’ve been communicating with online over the past year.  Clearly one of the highlights for me was meeting Dave Grossman, one of the founding members of Amplify, which has become an addiction of mine.  Mostly I was able to learn, engage and connect with so many people on a variety of subjects from app development and monetizing your blog to privacy issues and protecting copyrighted material on the Internet.  But if I had to sum up my SXSWi experience in just five takeaways it would be this:

  1. Some of the hottest apps and tools are made at SXSWi.  Last year Twitter was the buzz during SXSWi and now they are getting over 17 million hits per day.  This year Foursquare was the favored app and they received 300,000 hits the first day of SXSWi alone.  If you have a product, SXSWi is the place to roll it out and if you have an iPhone you will be able to get the coolest apps around.  By the way, The Foursquare guys were the coolest, nicest fellas.
  2. SXSWi puts the “social” in “social networking”.  You have to get from behind your keyboard, unplug from your computer and move away from your laptop long enough to actually engage face-to-face with people to get the real SXSWi experience.
  3. Privacy remains a hot topic for the technology community.  One thing I will walk away with, however, is fact that how much information you do or do not share online is up to each individual and under the users control.
  4. There is still a place for good story telling online and it is the foundation for communication.  However, online, good stories are a three-way street; they include the storyteller, the audience and in third place, a shared experience together.
  5. Don’t be afraid of negative responses.  People are going to talk about you anyway so you might as well know what they are saying.  Then ask yourself, are you willing to change when you get feedback, be it negative or positive?

Good story telling, seeking feedback, talking to people face-to-face and taking control of your privacy… not something you would expect to hear from a group of people who live, work and play online, as I do.  How refreshing to know that the human element is not dead in Social Media.  In fact, we need humanity in order survive in the digital space.  I would have never drawn this conclusion before SXSWi but I’m glad to know the humans are still in running the show and are still in control.  Let’s see what next year brings!

Teaching VISTAs how to use Social Media tools

Virtual workshops… real social change.

Working for Campaign Consultation, Inc. as a TA (Technical Assistant) Provider for AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) I produce a monthly online “webshop” to teach VISTAs how to use various Social Media tools in their service or for their organization.  Social Media Monday (SMM) webshops are offered each month to provide members, sponsors, community leaders, alumni, and others with hands-on access to social media applications and an opportunity to learn how to strategically use these tools to create social change.

In addition to lending my technology expertise, I book a variety of guest with on-the-ground experience. Each month, we aim to give VISTAs a specific set of skills to assist them in their role and in their social change efforts.  Want to learn more about our Social Media Monday webshops?  Visit the VISTA Campus and login as a guest to see archives of past webshops and to see what is coming up in the months ahead.