Seeding the Social Mesh with Sprout Social

I’ve been testing several social media managers to continue the brand consolidation of everything Bolesian — and to help make updating the Social Mesh a much easier, and more centralized task.  I used to spend all day writing new updates for each, individual, social network.

Yes, handcrafting unique updates is always best, but sometimes time and tide work against that noble effort because you’re propagating old work instead of creating something new.  The rise of Google+ Pages Vanity URLs broke the handcrafted dam.

My first shot into managing all the social profiles — LinkedIn, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Pages — was HootSuite.  I ultimately found the Hoot experience overwhelming and brittle and I hated using their image network and link-shortener.

Next, I tried Buffer — a good choice, but the vanity URL shrinker did not reliably work across all profiles, and images posted to my Twitter stream would not natively expand in view.  You had to click on the images to get them to show even though they were in the Twitter image bin.

Enter Sprout Social.  Yes, Sprout Social is expensive — a free 30-day trial does not equate with a free account like HootSuite and Buffer offer — but I knew NYU and other big organizations were using Sprout Social and, I thought, even though I now have over 20 social profiles to manage, and Sprout Social limits me to 10 accounts on their $39.00USD per month first-tier plan, I should still give them a try.

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I Just Wanted to Be Sure of You

My grandparents are long gone, my mother died in 1963, daddy died in 1986, and my stepmother died in 2010. I guess that, technically, I am a 66 year old orphan — but I am lucky enough to have a big network of friends who have become my family.

I often take time to reflect on what a fortunate person I am. But no more than when I spend time with my friends. As Elbert Hubbard (who?) said, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

And I have gathered them from so many different parts of my life. Six of them gathered for a birthday dinner for me recently and we commented on that very thing. All six of us are linked by theater: five by Board membership at the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and another friend who is a supporter of Remy Bumppo.

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A Memory of Thanks to Ebert and Siskel

With the passing of movie critic Roger Ebert this week, I have been trying to find a centerstone from which I can write about his death.  Here’s what I wrote about the man on February 19, 2010 in my article — What Roger Ebert Speaks to Our Students:

Now that Roger fights on to live to write and to watch and to read and to love over and over again — any sense of our self-pity or our internal mourning is forever put to rest in the example of his unbelievable fight for an imperiled life that continues to thrive against the belly of the beast best efforts of every malignant cell and troubled tissue to take him from us.  Every day we die a little, and each night, we dream a lot of the days yet to live.

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You Are Listening to New York

I love mashups that give you a different perspective on living.  We love Urban Cave Art and now there’s a new treat for your ears called — — where you sit and listen to the police sounds of the city set to a random soundtrack.

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Crossroads 2010 Movie Review

For the past five years, Eric Clapton has hosted a Crossroads Guitar Festival to raise money for his charity:  The Crossroads Center of Antigua.  This year’s festival — supposedly the last one ever — was held in Chicago on June 26th under a perilous sky and punishing heat.  The movie version of the festival is now available for purchase on iTunes for $20.00USD — or your can rent it for $4.00USD.  I plucked the purchase route, and I’ve been glorifying in Crossroads 2010 since late last night.

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The Madding End of Mad Mike Bloomfield

One of the greatest Blues guitarists to ever live — and die much too young — was Mike Bloomfield.  He was born into a wealthy, North Side Chicago family and grew up a “Good Jewish Boy” — until he hit the age of 14 and discovered the guitar and Southside Chicago Blues.

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The Chicago Eye is Watching You

Chicago has an eye on you.  Literally.  Take a gander at the gigantic Chi-Town orb sitting outside the John Marshall Law School.  Do we really want to touch the bloody bits and share lunch under the shadow of a massive, disembodied, peeper?

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