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First let me say, this is baseball. “You win some you lose some.” That phrase is usually reserved to the game play itself. Today I want to use it to talk about the loss of a player.

 Second let me say that what I am saying here is simply my perspective as an Otters fan and as a proud mother.

 This year we became members of the Otters Booster Club. As part of that membership, we attended the pre-game picnic where we were introduced to the team and staff of the Evansville Otters. At that picnic the host families sat with their new players. Some of the players did not have families yet, and a few had families that could not attend due to work. We were fortunate enough to have several players sit at our table. They laughed and played with my children like they had been best buddies forever.

Over his short season, my children developed a respect for one of those players: #25 Carlos Romero. In the exhibition game he made an astonishing catch. The kids beamed, proud to know such a player. After the game, they held to tradition and ran the bases. They skipped the rest of the team and ran straight for him.

We could not be a host family this year due to space issues, but we “adopted him.” We took him to eat dinner one day before a road trip. He graciously listened to my children yammer on and on. He answered all the questions. He was kind a courteous and respectful to everyone we encountered.

More than that he was a team advocate. He encouraged the wait staff to come watch the team, talked up the history of the ball park and was proud to be an Otter.  

My boys looked up to him, more as a person than a player, but as both. They insisted that we go to Sam’s to get him snacks for the road. They packed a few goodie bags with enough supplies to last him the trip, if rationed well. When we gave them to him, he looked in the bags and said “Oh good there is enough for me to share.”

During that away game two major things happened. #1 Carlos broke a bat. #2 Carlos almost broke his hand. He came home on the injured list.

That first game back we came to the field, hand drawn get well bag in hand. He said to Eric (my  6 year old) “I brought you something too!” He went into the dugout and came out with a bat all taped up.  It was the bat that he broke. He had taped it up and brought it home for Eric. He signed it for him and he went into the stands beaming.

The day after Carlos came off the injured list, he was released from the team. We all cried. This is by far not the first player we have watched go. Some we knew were the right decision, some we wondered about and figured that the trade must have been worth it. This is the first time I have really asked “why?”

I am a social media strategist. I help companies build brand advocates. I help with customer service and PR, I help with that and much more under the guise of social media.  I usually encourage people start building brand advocates from within.

So here is my take on Carlos. 

From what we saw of him during his time with the Evansville Otters, he appeared to be a good player. Due to circumstances he was not really given the opportunity to showcase his ability.

But that aside, he is a heck of a brand advocate. He loves what he does, and it shows. He loved working for the Otters, and he told the world through his facebook, and through his interactions with the community, on and off the field.

When we went to the bank, my son would see the Otters schedule and would tell anyone within earshot how great the Otters were and all about the “best player, my friend, #25 Carlos Romero.”

In talking to him about what was next for the outfielder, he was determined to continue playing ball.

Because he was a brand advocate for the Otters, he created other brand advocates. That is a priceless value to any team. He loves baseball; he loves kids; he loves community.  Add to that my opinion that he is a good player, and you have a good package deal.

I can’t do much for him right now. I offered money. He was not as concerned with money (Even though I knew he was struggling to buy his ticket home.) He was concerned about some kids he had coached, and promised more play time / lessons. He is truly a gentleman with character.

So here is what I can do: If you believe in “America’s Game” please repost, retweet, share, digg, or whatever. Help me share the news that there is a player for hire that will be more than an asset to any team.

 

  Carlos Bats/Throws: L/L HT:5’10” WT: 190
A full information sheet can be found here if you are interested in his stats.

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Ok so if you use Hootsuite you will notice that it looks a lot different! The first thing I noticed is the retweet feature was now just like the retweet feature on Twitter.

 #SoNotHappy

 

But you can change it to go back to the old Hootsuite style of RT by going to your settings (Click in the owl –whose eyeball move now) / preferences. There you will see a box that contains your preferences for language and URLs shortners.  Near the bottom of that pop up, you will see two checkboxes. The top one is automatically checked, uncheck this box and you will now be able to retreat just as you always did. Adding your #2cents

 

This year, the farmers market, downtown received quite a bit of social media chatter early on in the year for having a larger variety of vendors.

Last month, one of those vendors was asked to leave based on the product that they sold.  The reasons that they were asked to leave in many people’s eyes were not valid reasons based out of perhaps ignorance for the products.

The owner, who had established a local e-mail database, sent out a notice regarding their situation, ending it with a call to action asking GAGE to do something about it. 

That chatter quickly changed and suddenly the downtown farmers market exploded all over social media. I saw several blogs regarding the situation. One in particular was written by a newcomer to Evansville who utilizes her blog, twitter and Facebook very effectively. Through the power of social media, the particulars surrounding the circumstance of this farm being removed from the farmers market became known to a large number of people. Those people started talking, and spread that news very rapidly.  (See her blog here – With updates)

This news struck a chord of emotion with those people who frequent the farm, with those people who appreciated the product, and with people who’d never even been there; based on principle.

My point is this: a well-written blog, circulated amongst the followers of that blog, that is also 

promoted across multiple platforms (a link to it was place on twitter and Facebook) can have an extraordinary impact on a community.

Community can mean:

  • a small micro area such as your downtown area
  • a certaingroup of people like environmentalists
  • people who are traditionally stereotyped
  • the planet we live on and ourselves as a whole race

 

No matter the size or scope of your community

 you have the ability to change it.

 

I remember thinking when I was growing up:

“How can I change the world?”

Thanks to the power of blogs, cross-platform social media, and our tendency as humans to truly want to help one another, a single person with a small physical voice can translate that voice to words   and change the world. YOU have the power, you can change it.

So tell me, how are you going to change the world?

In a recent blog by David HuffmanIt’s Showtime and It’s Not ALL about Musicianship ,  he described candidly his musical abilities in such a way that made you believe his musical talents will not be winning him a Grammy- this year. Instead, he focused on his ability to handle a crowd. He was quick to point out that you do need to work on your instruments and songwriting, but begged his readers: “do not discount your ability to rock a party.  It really is a skill that some of the best musicians will never master. “

Let’s apply this to social media. I don’t care if you’re selling beans or real estate. If you’re in B2B or B2C, this applies to everyone using social media for business or personal branding.

He went on to question that even if you can play your notes perfectly can you:

  • choose a song that matches the crowds current flow.
  • handle that heckler standing up front flipping you off.
  • recognize when the crowd is ready for more.  Or when they’re done.
  • understand the value of a very well placed cover song.

 

I would ask, can you:

  • engage in conversations
  • take criticism and or complaints and deal with them publicly, rather than shoving them under the rug and deleting comments
  • add value to the local community 
  • understand the value of giving credit to other people

 

I always encourage people to learn about the social media platforms, and to watch and learn from other people. But I also encourage them to jump in there and try, especially where Twitter is concerned. Dave comments about musicians who are held back because of their perceived or real lack of skills on their instrument.

I see this in social media too. People don’t think they quite get it; they don’t feel like they totally understand every aspect. So they either ignore it, or they only watch. It is almost like they are intimidated.

Just as Dave has seen people with lackluster talents turn the show “into  a rockin’ good time,“ I have seen people jump right in who don’t quite get all the aspects, ins and outs  of social media. I have watched them build relationships, have conversations, and build their business and brands with immense success.

“So please don’t underestimate yourself based off your musical prowess, “ …or your ability to re-tweet, at mention or share.  

“Just continue to work on your weaknesses and play to your strengths – duck your head down and buckle up for the long haul.

Do that and you’ll be alright.  I promise ya.”

Dave will be one of three people on a panel discussion at this month’s social media club. Be sure to check him out!

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