Giving Thanks to SOBcon Chicago 2012

SOBcon Chicago 2012 happened this past May, and I haven’t been online much since, working my butt off on building my studio and ideas that transformed and developed since the event…  The people and the event helped me more then words can could ever describe…

Bit of history…

This morning I got to thinking to my Mom who passed away from Cancer that morning a year ago today, the 7th of September landed on a Wednesday…  I smile thinking to how much she supported and helped me in becoming an Artist, and smile deeper thinking of how happy she was when I first shared with her ideas of doing a Charity Art Auction to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute and to help the homeless…

She had donated much of her life in helping people in our town and county…  My Mom had helped in starting the Tioga County Arts Council, helping with writing it’s non-for-profit status and being one of their first Presidents…  She donated thousands of hours during almost 20 years with our town’s volunteer ambulance, and even helping in writing the by-laws of our town’s Chamber of Commerce- she was so proud when later I would become the Vice President of the Chamber…  I was taught to give back to the community through her giving…

Last summer I ran this idea of doing a Charity Art Auction by a few of my friends online, and when Liz Strauss (one of the founders of SOBcon) felt this was a great idea, I knew I was on to something…  Sadly the idea I knew needed to be shelved last summer when I found the cancer had spread to my Mom’s brain, then her passing away- I knew then I would need a better frame of mind and my studio completely up and running… So slowly I handled the many challenges in front of me then…

Since my Mom’s passing a year ago, I’ve worked to get my studio equipment and needed materials and supplies to be able to offer the best possible color for fine art prints possible, I also worked on growing this idea…  The color management system is going to be added this week that will help with the Giclee Fine Art Imager to print the best possible color possible… Smiling with pride as I slowly work on the studio, building the furniture by hand and slowly earning the money needed for new equipment and materials to open the studio’s new Fine Art Reproduction service…

I’m getting close to finishing everything needed to reopen the studio soon…   Then turn my efforts to earning the money needed to pay for Artists and purchase more materials and get the needed permissions all in order for the first Charity Art Auction…

Inspired by SOBcon- Giving

With realizing in the beginning of this year my portrait abilities had become a bit rusty, I started to think to some Artists I would like to hire to do two portraits each of some inspiring people in Social Media…  As I started to look into this some, I suddenly had an opportunity to attend SOBcon Chicago 2012

Even before the trip to Chicago, this idea started growing, and I would like to share how…  A few weeks before the event, people were sharing online why they attend SOBcon…  Molly Cantrell-Kraig (founder of Women with Drive Foundation) did an AudioBoo audio recording that I felt was very insightful and so very inspirational-

Molly made my heart grow larger and larger- she Grinched me…  To you Molly, I whisper softly a special “Thank You”…  Wish I could have spent more time with you to share this idea more in depth, events like this have so many people, am glad we could share that glass of wine together, and now you know why I mentioned that you “Grinched” me…  As I was listening one late evening of sleeplessness to Molly’s soft voice, I came up with the domain name and bought it- ArtistsHelping.com (which I am thinking now to a nice logo for and will soon be starting to create the website)…

Knowing my studio wasn’t yet ready to start this idea, that I still needed a bunch of time to build studio furniture and buy the needed equipment to produce the idea of quality fine art prints…  Since December I’ve been needing to reinvest in a new computer, all new software and there was hundreds of pounds of materials and some more tech equipment I would need to purchase…  But also felt there was nothing wrong with starting to share the idea some with a few people to get their feedback…

Landing in Chicago, this artist from a small town without a stoplight was a bit overwhelmed with the BIG CITY…  It being about 8 years since I had been in New York and looking up at buildings that disappear in the clouds…  And even longer since attending a large Tech conference…

I shared the Charity Art Auction idea to a few people at SOBcon and got even more support for the concept that truly astounded me and also helped in growing more confidence in this idea…  Chris Brogan said he really liked the idea and would do all he could, as he would be one of the six Inspiring People…  Then after Tim Sanders spoke, he stopped at our table and asked me what I was doing, so I told him quickly and he looked to me and said; “I want to help make this happen!”, giving me his business card…  And then there was Jay Jay French who spoke a little bit about how he too had suffered the loss of his mother to Cancer, of how he came through that hard period of his life, such strength to share such pain and how he made it through it, which giving me a bit more confidence in my own pains of the heart…

Over the next couple of weeks I got to thinking as I listened to this recording Molly made…  I suddenly thought to myself- “Why do just one event, when I could possibly create something that could help other Organizations and Artists too”…  I did poured myself into research about Copyrights, Taxes and Art Donations…

Did you know if an Artist donates a piece of artwork to a charity to be auctioned off, the Artist can only write off on their taxes the material cost to create artwork?  So a piece of art that might be sold for a large amount of money, if it were a watercolor, only write off the cost of the paper, frame and a few more cents to cover the amount of pigment used, an Artist can’t even write off the time taken to create the art piece…  This too came into the idea- how could I maybe be able to benefit Charities and also help the Artists that donate their artwork?  Took a bit of time, but I figured that part out too, how this could also help Artists since attending SOBcon

The ideas I gained with some of the people I had the opportunity to meet during SOBcon in Chicago, and those ideas of “Giving” helped to grow this concept further…

The first Charity Art Auction I will do with ArtistHelping.com will be for three Artists to do 2 portraits each of Inspiring People in Social Media, produce 200 limited edition prints of each of the 6 portraits, then to do an online and live via smart phone Charity Art Auction during a major Social Media Conference…  To be able to donate the profits after covering the costs, to be able to print out one of those HUGE Checks to donate the net profits to be split between the Cancer Research Institute and InvisiblePeople.tv

Giving Thanks to those at SOBcon Chicago 2012

Now the time is drawing near and I wanted to share and also thank some people who were so very inspiring to me…

It’s the amazing people who attend SOBcon- the people that make it such an amazing event, not just the learning or mastermind sessions but the feeling as if all who attend are like family…  The speeches and learning is just a small part to the whole- it’s really the people and the giving that makes this such an amazing event!!!  Too many good people to list that I had the opportunity to meet, but there are a special few I do wish to thank-

Cate Equality Colgan (@CateTV), Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss), Terry St. Marie (@Starbucker), Tim Sanders (@sanderssays), Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), Diane Brogan (@DianeBrogan), Steven Brogan (@SteveBrogan), Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal), Molly Cantrell-Kraig (@mckr1g), Ric Dragon (@RicDragon), Marc Pitman (@marcapitman) and Jay Jay French (@jayjayfrench)…

Thank you all for listening to my idea and for giving me the extra confidence to start making this happen…   Thank you all for being so very inspiring!!!

Artists, would you like an invite into the Google+ Project?

I’ve had the chance to be trying out Google+ Project now for 18 days, with receiving an invite from my friend Jason Sadler of www.iWearYourShirt.com…  Which I might add, was very nice of his to offer it to me…  I had been very interested in all the buzz of the previous couple weeks from friends that had gotten in while I was in VA on family matters and I was very interested in this new Social Media Service I was hearing about…

Google+ Project is in BETA form now, only Personal Accounts, and are gearing up to add later Business Pages…  The test market using it now has some of the top internet innovators, designers, IT, artists, photographers, writers, web designers, writers and news people are among the 18-20 millions subscribers of the new Google+ Project many of you have been hearing about…  Basically some of the highest and most frequent up to date Social Media users seem to be on there, and they have invited their friends…  Looks like a great service to add with the other online services Google offers…

I myself have managed to see, chat and get to know many Artists, Photographers and Writers from all over the country and world here through using the Personal Pages that Google is offering in this BETA social Media Service…  Amazing at the raw, exciting talent and inspirations that I have met already and looking forward to meeting and seeing more!!!

Google+ made an announcement yesterday, that they are rolling out a new service and will be allowing 150 more friends of current users already enjoying the Google+ Project to be invited…

My question to you, would you like to receive an invite to get to start using Google+? 

All you need is a Gmail account, and remember to use your Real Name in your Profile & there is no major selling at the moment, Business pages are coming out soon…

So Feel free to drop me your name, your Art Website URL and I’ll send YOU an invite with the 1st 150 requests: charles@ArtistPrints.Biz

I’ll try to send the Google+ Invites out this evening and in the morning…

You can locate me on Google+ here if you have any questions…

http://gplus.to/CharlesTaggart

Where Do You Rank in Google+ New Statistics Service?

If your interested in where you rank as an influencer or your use of Social Media on Twitter or Facebook, there are sites that provide algorithms on your use, engagement and rankings like Klout or Tweet Grader…  Now there are statistics for those using Google+

Google+ Statistics tracks the top 100 users and the most popular posts on Google+http://socialstatistics.com…  Not only does it show the top users, but you have the opportunity to see your own stats, how many follow/followers you have and search for the most popular posts…  All I feel valuable tools for understanding your social media engagement and yes, where you rank…

From what I have read there are 18-20 million subscribers to Google+ and a lot of positive things being written about it…  I think it’s a good service so far in it’s first month of BETA testing…  Will see as they add a few more services and refine the rough edges and make improvements for when they go fully public with Google+

I checked my rank out on Social Statistics and found that of the 37,885 people that are trying this new Google+ Stat service, that I ranked in the top 7.8%, with a rank of 4,855th

Not too bad for a single artist owning a small studio in a town without a stoplight living in the rural countryside of Central New York State…

Where do you Rank in Google+?

Social Media Means Being Social with “Like”…

It’s nice to be noticed and also to know someone “Likes” your statement or viewpoint…  There is something also nice and personal even, when someone that is in larger spotlights reads and “likes” your Post or Comment…

Now, I chat with lots of people, from all over the world, which is one of the best features of the internet since the internet first started growing out of the universities and colleges, when it was called eWorld…  People I would never have the opportunity of meeting in my hometown without a stoplight from all sorts of professions and livelihoods…  But every so often it’s nice to know your views are seen and appreciated… That is one thing that is nice about Facebook’s “Like” feature…  You get a chance to see who “Likes” your Post and it’s an easy way to compliment or agree with a post you view and enjoy…

This morning I was doing my normal morning stuff,  some Social Media while drinking a mug full of java, as I was getting my woodstove going better from the bed of coals left from the night…  I was bouncing between Facebook and Twitter, reposting somethings of interest, commenting on others, when I noticed something about the Whitehouse having a live open  forum on Facebook about Bullying…  http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse#!/WhiteHouse/posts/195747797115135

Now this subject I thought was a good thing and started looking at the comments…  I felt it odd some people seemed to forget last year and the number of kids that had problems with Bullying and the number of deaths and suicides because of it, so made a comment… 

A few minutes later, as I was reading some other FaceBook links, I noticed the little blue window in the corner of the screen saying someone “Liked” my comment…  I glanced over, then did a double take, recognizing the name, so clicked back to the article…  The person who “Liked” my comment was Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook…

Now was this really Mark Zuckerberg or was it a fan, I’ll probably never know, but it is nice to think it was and it did give me a nice feeling…  I would think if my site was hosting the Whitehouse, I too would want to be part of it this way and leave “Likes” to the views of people who where thinking to it helping  the kids…

This is the main point of Social Media, the “Being Social“…  A “Like” is like a Compliment or agreement… When someone “Likes” your comments, images, videos and links, it makes you feel good and to know someone as busy as Mark Zuckerberg spent some time and reads comments, then “Likes” that comment, it makes you feel noticed, when you think to the over 500 million subscribers using Facebook…

Being “Social” in Social Media is a point that many of the most respected people in Social Media talk and write about such as Liz Strauss, Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk and Scott Stratten to name a few…  They all talk about “Being Social and Communicating using Social Media…

So next time your reading your Facebook listings, or an image, video and such and you see something you enjoy, Be Social- “Like” and Leave a Comment… You never know who might be reading your comments…

Also Very Important- Bullying!!!

The White house during the event, announced a new website for parents, students and teachers and those involved with children to help put a Stop to Bulling: http://stopbullying.gov/

Social Media Professionals I mentioned above and their Twitter Names & Sites:

Liz Strauss (Twitter: @lizstrauss)- http://www.successful-blog.com
Chris Brogan (Twitter: @chrisbrogan)- http://www.chrisbrogan.com
Gary Vaynerchuk (Twitter: @garyvee)- http://garyvaynerchuk.com
Scott Stratten (Twitter: @unmarketing)- http://www.un-marketing.com

Season of Giving- a Social Media Campaign is a great way to give to someone who keeps giving of himself- Mark Horvath…

 

If you don’t know who Mark Horvath is, here’s a link to his story…  http://player.vimeo.com/video/2077647

The reason I am highlighting Mark Horvath is that he is was once homeless and now spends his life helping bring awareness to people in the United States that are now homeless on his online show InvisiblePeople.tv…  He does interviews with homeless people through out the country and then uses Social Media and his website to share their stories, the stories of Invisible People…  In my view a true American Hero caring for other people who are in need!!!  I don’t know how much money he has raised, but he is making a mark and helping many people who truly need help…

So many people think that the homeless just didn’t try hard enough, but in this day and time of so few jobs, there are many now who are filling tent cities and for what ever reason, find themselves homeless now… I can relate some, I have taken into my home a friend who also found himself homeless, as he fights for his last home that is rented out and trying to save money for lawyers and property taxes…

In June 2010, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (www.endhomelessness.org) did the numbers; “The Alliance research brief Economic Bytes: Doubled up in the United States estimates that there are 4.85 million people (individuals and persons in families) living in housing units with extended family, friends, and other non-relatives due to economic hardship, earning no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level. This map shows how many of the 4.85 million reside in each of the 50 states. This ranges from a low of 4,330 in Vermont to a high of 725,899 in California.”  Go to the interactive link to see just how many homeless people are estimated in your state: http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/3153

My Idea:

There are times I am at my girlfriend’s house and as she relaxes from her day of IT security, she uses her TIVO, to watch one show named “The Talk” with  Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur…

I have been watching it with her in my ever attempting of learning to understand Women’s Views and the way they think for marketing and understanding Women’s buying power…  So I sit on the sofa with my girlfriend as I tweet or work on my Powerbook, this last Friday I started looking at their website…

On “The Talk‘s” website, I came across an area for future show themes, one of which was “Hometown Heroes”, and instantly I thought to Mark Horvath- who I believe is a True Hero more people should hear about and he should be on that show for that theme…

Then thought maybe this would make for great for Mark to be on the show and maybe his being able to not only meet the hosts, but since Mark Horvath use to play in rock bands… Maybe somehow a request for him to meet Sharon’s husband Ozzy Osborn or some other Rock Stars (I’m going to see if a friend of mine would know of some who would meet him) as such shows sometimes do for people in a way to give back to good people…

I got to thinking about Social Media as I looked at The Talk’s website and their Facebook Fan page…  I’ve written about Mark in my blog- “Making a difference- Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv is a Hero for all!: http://bit.ly/9D52L8. So again I write to see if maybe there are other good people out in Social Media that would help to give back to someone who has given so much for such a good cause…

I am going to be getting in contact with as many of my Social Media friends I can, and see if maybe they will Tweet and Post this article to see if maybe we can get Mark Horvath on “The Talk” for their upcoming show “Hometown Heroes”!!!

So Post his name in The Talk’s FaceBook Fan Page for “Hometown Heroes”…  Link Mark’s Video Interviews, write something about him, lets see if maybe we can get as many people as possibly to help get Mark on the show and to highlight his cause of Homeless People in America- InvisiblePeople.tv!!!

The Talk- Website: http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/

Future Show Topic: Hometown Heroes http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_talk/be_on_the_show/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=120384641362266&id=562217237#!/TheTalkCBS

Twitter: @TheTalk_CBS

Mark Horvath of InvisiblePeople.tv

Website: www.InvisiblePeople.tv

His Blog: http://hardlynormal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/invisiblepeopletv

Twitter: @hardleynormal

Gander Mountain seems to be Twitter Challenged…

Those who know me, know that besides my being an Artist and am very good at Marketing/Advertising and my use of what is now called Social Media, that I am an avid Outdoorsmen, enjoying hunting, fishing, hiking and camping… I also often shop at Gander Mountain in Johnson City, NY for my outdoors needs since they opened their store there…  I have bought camping equipment, tent, sleeping bag, cooking supplies, fishing gear and hunting equipment there, many hiking boots, hunting cloths and hunting equipment & supplies such as my .50 caliber inline muzzle loader…  I even called them recently as I had need of supplies for this coming hunting season and they where very helpful!!!

Hunting photo of me while hunting whitetail deer in Central New York State with my CVA .50 Caliber Muzzleloader CVA Magna that I bought at Gander Mountain…

That being said, after I called Gander Mountain the other day, I looked them up on Twitter, then on Facebook…  I found it very interesting; I have more Twitter followers then one of my favorite outdoors shops- @GanderMtn… So I started to look into it from a Marketer & Advertising viewpoint, since that is part of my studio services…

As an artist who has designed many websites in the past locally in my small town without a stoplight with business sites increasing their sales of up to 1200+% and a hunting lodge that received two calls before I had the opportunity to drive the 5 miles to show him the hunting lodge area updates to his site, and also the marketing behind a Major University Cartoon logo that was originally just a game logo- I do know my way around the internet & marketing…

So I used some basic tools online to look a bit deeper into their online presents…  Their Website: www.gandermountain.com received 1,088,251 Unique Visitors out of 1,656,435 Total Visits during the month of September 2010…  These stats I gained through using Compete.com website…

Using WhenDidYouJoinTwitter.com I was able to find out when they joined Twitter…  They joined Twitter on January 22, 2009 and now have 1,869 people they follow and 3,724 who follow them on Twitter and with only 254 tweets since their starting the account…

I joined twitter on December 8, 2008, and now (as I am writing this) have 5,388 people I follow, 4,900+ people who follow me and have tweeted 24,383 times…  Not bad for an artist in a town without a stoplight that will soon be re-opening my studio & services next month…

Of the 165 million users of Twitter, there should be more followers that go to Gander Mountain and use Twitter then are following them… With so many visitors to their website each month, visit their stores and even their Facebook Fan page, I believe they should have far more people following them on Twitter and should be posting far more often then they do…  Though I am not going to give here all of my recommendations on how to use Social Media in Marketing…

They do have a great Facebook Fan page with 77,812 people who “like” their Fan page…  Though I haven’t looked much into their Facebook use as I think this is not too bad with their following or “Like” of their fan page, but could use some improvement seeing how Facebook has over 500 million users… I also haven’t noticed any sidebar advertising in Facebook from Gander Mountain…  Which I should have with knowing they set up reverse searches based on the subjects and fan pages people follow…

Whom ever is handling Gander Mountain’s Twitter account and Social seem to me to be a bit “Social Media Challenged”… Seems to me their missing a HUGE opportunity in their using Social Media in marketing for Gander Mountain…  Though I will not say here how to improve their Twitter or Social Media followers…

I’m posting this, with hopes others in Twitter and FaceBook will also Re-tweet it and ask the Gander Mountain Advertising Department if they might be interested in hiring me to help with their Twitter account and with their Social Media online presence…

So with this in mind, I offer to Gander Mountain Advertising Department my personal Cell Number to give me a call- (607) 229-5600…

Please be advised this next two months I might be working on re-opening my studio or will be out in the Great Outdoors!!! It is Small Game & Turkey Hunting Season here in Central NY State and Deer Season right around the corner… So I might have my cell phone on vibrate only and might be whispering so as not to scare the game away…

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