Growing #OWNers Social @ Oprah Winfrey Network on Twitter

Wall page Kakie OWN

#IAmAnOwner and this weekend, I have been invited by The Oprah Winfrey Network to be a social media moderator for their @OWNers Twitter account during programming. I had a few people ask me what that means and if I would explain it here. So here are the details and how you can participate.

During the shows listed below, viewers use a #Hashtag to have live conversations about what is heard or seen, that resonates, surprises or inspires as a result of the programmingPeople re-tweet comments made by others, or share insights, ask questions and respond to comments.

Who are #OWNers? Viewers who believe in the vision of The Oprah Winfrey Network and it’s movement, which is about inspiring people to celebrate, learn, grow and be empowered to live their best lives by sharing what they are learning with others.

I’ve watched the network’s social media efforts unfold since it first aired and was immediately drawn to how they were engaging viewers.  This effort, their “Twitter Takeover” initiative is a great way to organically grow a network while demonstrating the core of what social media is really about. Conversation. I hope you will join us. Below is the schedule and related hashtags and how to participate.

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Getting Social with The Oprah Winfrey Network and #OWNers

Oprah Winfrey Network and #OWNers#IAmAnOWNER, and have been invited by The Oprah Winfrey Network to tweet THIS WEEKEND, on behalf of @OWNers (#OWNers).

Since the network first launched OWN TV, they have been creating a movement and participating in dialogue that is real, honest and authentic. Watching it evolve has been exciting, being part of it, even better.

Here is how it will work: 

This weekend, my picture, bio and twitter handle will be featured on the @OWNers Twitter page. I will have the privilege of running the account and engaging viewers with laughter, connections, questions and meaningful discussion during fabulous programs that include Super Soul Sunday, LifeClass, The Six Little McGhees and Welcome to Sweetie Pies.

I have been an Oprah advocate for years and was one of the first 500 subscribers to O Magazine. I’m grateful for this opportunity.

As leaders, we know the importance of community. Please join us by participating Saturday Evening and Sunday. What are your thoughts about this social approach? Feel free to comment below and let me know if you have questions. Thanks for visiting my blog, I look forward to connecting!!


# The Hashtag, Innovation and Social Learning

Answer to What is a HashtagThe innovative #Hashtag started on Twitter and is now being used across multiple social media platforms. I have seen people asking about it on Facebook and thought this might be helpful.

#Hashtag defined: A word proceeded with the [ # ] symbol, which is used as a keyword or topic in a Tweet. It helps categorize words or phrases so users can follow a stream. It can also be used to search for others who use the same hashtags.

Information about using #hashtags on Twitter:

  • The symbol [ # ] before a keyword or phrase, with no spaces. These hashtags are then categorized, which makes them easier to find in the search function.
  • Click on a #hashtag word in any message and you will see the most recent tweets using that hashtag.
  • Hashtags can be included within the 140 space limit (Best practice only 2-3 hashtags per tweet.)
  • Hashtag words become popular & can be Trending Topics.
  • Hashtags are also used at conferences, on live video streams or at a large presentation during Q&A.
  • Some groups facilitate moderated conversation at set times, using hashtags to discuss topics of interest or share best practices.
  • If another tweeter searches for a hashtag you have listed, they may follow you!

Live Stream example: Every Sunday the Oprah Winfrey Network ( @OWNTV ) channel has a program called #SuperSoulSunday and viewers can go to then enter the hashtag to see what everyone is talking about in real-time. Below is a response I received from the OWN Network.

If you have any other tips, please share them below!!

Hashtag Response from OWN

Day 13: Excercise Freedom of Expression Today: #Hoodiesup Movement

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for:

Today the NAACP, Move-On.Org and Changeforcolor.Org have teamed up to declare social media #Millionhoodies #Hoodiesup day, an online demonstration to encourage people in to post a million pictures wearing a hoodie to honor  Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Florida teen killed by a neighborhood watch man George Zimmerman, after he was told by a 911 operator, to stop following Trayvon.

The dialogue in the media and online is controversial. Some have mistakenly categorized Trayvon’s death as an issue about black and white, but I assure you it has to do with far more. This tragic event, for many people in this country, is about perception, bias, race, judgement, assumptions, our history as a country, a flawed legal system, the media and more.

In 1983, one of my best friends was brutally murdered and her killer served just 5 years. It left us all asking; “Why?” So  many years later I think of her regularly and the death of Trayvon Martin last month has stirred emotions for me as a result of that loss. But also because I am a parent of a kid just like Trayvon. Yes, I will repeat. I am a parent of a child just like Trayvon.

Think about that for a minute and let it soak in and then put yourself in my shoes for just ten seconds. I must have productive and honest conversations about the ugly realities of race and judgement with my son because of the color of his skin and I want him to embrace all facets of his multiculturalism.  I also think it is important he is aware that there are some people who are not color-blind and there are logical arguments that the best approach is to have dialogue about it. The sad and ugly truth is that in our country social and racial injustice happen every day.

Think about the sound of anxiety in your child’s voice when an issue about race suddenly becomes real for them. And then at another time, how would you respond when your child shares fear of getting shot because of their skin color and what they have seen in the media?

I reach out to communities who understand my reality. They provide insight about having these conversations regarding perception and judgement in teachable, healthy and productive ways. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t get angry, sad or frustrated sometimes. What we live, we teach, so I focus on what I can control, which are my responses and faith that integrity wins out every time. I try to keep the following speech front of mind, because it’s how I want to interact with every person I meet.

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

                                                                      -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are people who don’t know how to have complicated conversations like the one I am discussing. As you can see from an interview I gave a while back with my friend Amy Bowllan, a blogger at The School Library Journal in a series called; “Writers Against Racism,” there is a dysfunctional old school of thought that implies “If we don’t name it, it can’t exist.”  It is unjust, but it happens and every day the social undertones that go unspoken and are often misunderstood. As a parent and a compassionate human being, I am sad and shaken to the core about what happened to Trayvon.

We have had ongoing, complicated conversations in our family about the ugly realities of prejudice and racism. Through those discussions and having a strong support network, I emphasize that there is power in choices. We work towards being living examples of what is right and what is possible. The only way to plant seeds of hope and peace is to open conversation.

I believe that silence condones approval, which is what drove me to write this post. As part of this movement, they are asking we change our profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook using description  hashtags #hoodiesup and #millionhoodies (instructions below) so it can be tracked via social media monitoring tools. Here is how you can make a difference. 

  • Talk to kids about it to give them assurance and guidance. Use the Huffington Post article How To Talk To Your Child About Trayvon Martin’s Death to have productive dialogue
  • Join the conversation and tell me your thoughts and comments below.
  • Tweet, blog, comment on various social media forums using hashtags #hoodiesup and #millionhoodies
  • “Like” the Facebook Group A Million Hoodies For Trayvon Martin
  • Change your profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook using description  hashtags #hoodiesup and #millionhoodies so it can be tracked via social media monitoring tools.

Four things I am grateful for:

  1. In this country we have freedom of expression. I recently spent time in South East Asia where this is often not an option.
  2. Adversity pulls us together as communities and individuals. It takes one person to make a difference. Will you make yours today?
  3. We have access to tools and resources to facilitate conversation about challenging situations like this
  4.  Being a parent of a terrific kid

Best Buy Leverages Twitter Opportunity

Electronic retailer giant Best Buy is creating a customer service team, @Twelpforce, that will listen to the chatter on Twitter and respond to questions people may have about electronics. It appears as though they are using the hashtag #twelpforce.

Why is that so cool? Because they are creating personal service and expertise that is authentic and transparent which is what social media is all about. The report came out on Bloomberg on July 2nd in an article called Best Buy Uses Twitter to Create Sales, Service Team (Update1)

CMO Barry Judge (@bestbuycmo) alluded to this on his blog in a post titled Bringing Dream Support To Life In The Customer Experience. where he is quoted as saying “I think what you will notice, in the next several months, is a renewed commitment to making our customers’ happy; unparalleled support to make technology work the way it should; and advertising that gets at the heart of our brand. Let me know. I am always listening and I want to know how we are tracking.”

I worked at Best Buy in the late ’80s and even back then, I remember Dick Schultz (the company founder and former CEO) talking about HTDV transitions in 2009. (Yes, they were talking about it back then). I say kudos to Mr. Judge and the rest of his team for continuing with the legacy of a forward-thinking Mr. Schultz. Let’s hope more companies are quick to follow suit and embrace social media as a marketing tool.

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17 HYSTERICAL Twitter profiles

I wish I could take credit for pulling these together. I got most of  them from Kathy over at “The Big Wave Blog.”  So much for the twitter verification system. Here are 16 hysterical profiles on Twitter, clearly fake, but creatively done:

God on Twitter: Location: heaven   |   Bio: Hells yeah, it’s me!

  • Sample Tweet: Sorry for the crazy weather this spring, someone was messing with the seasons

Satan on Twitter  Location: Hell    |   Bio: fallen

  • Sample Tweet: what can I do for an economic crisis today? Dropping another bank? insurance?

Jesus Christ on Twitter    Location: Jeruselem, Israel     

  • Bio: I was begat by the goat Mary and so begat my way into this world through begattenarious portals (goat = acronym for Greatest Of All Time)
  • Sample Tweet:  Why hath I only 377 followers? Your father would be ashamed.

David Hasselhoff on Twitter    Location: Hollywood, California |

  • Bio: Star of the stage, screen, and song. You love me.
  • Sample Tweet: Plotting to kill Wayne Newton

Paris Hilton on Twitter Bio: I’m Hot. TTYN      Sample Tweet: Being Hot.

George W. Bush on Twitter  Location: White House

  • Bio: You can have my White House when you pry from my cold dead hands.
  • Sample Tweet: Askin’ Obama to waive my baggage fees when ridin’ Air Force One.

Dick Cheney on Twitter Location: Washington, DC

  • Bio Vice President of the United States of America. Hobbies include listening to Toby Keith, shooting stuff, and maintaining a heart-healthy diet.
  • Sample Tweet: Working on my BYU commencement address. Thinking about trying out some new Iraq/Al Qaeda material. It’s so gonna kill with the kids.

Benjamin Franklin on Twtter  Location: Undisclosed

  • Bio: Frozen in a sub-basement of the Smithsonian for 200+ years. Now, thawed and ready to master this new lightning-powered inkless press you call the internet.
  • Sample Tweet: @animaisregra I am flattered but so many people think that I was a US president.

Osama Bin Laden on Twitter  Location: Wouldn’t you like to know?

  • Bio: Terrorist, scoundrel, playboy
  • Sample Tweet: People often ask me: What’s the best part of your job? And I have to tell you, it’s this: working from home.

Darth Vader on Twitter Location: Empire, CO

  • Bio: Evil Orphan Annie™
  • Sample Tweet: Mad Sith props to Dick Cheney for his recent whirl-wind media tour. I gain 100+ followers every time he opens his evil maw.

Yoda on Twitter Location: The place where the force is.

  • Bio: Tweet I will, yesss.
  • Sample Tweet: Hungry I am. Sonic there is none. Lame that is.

r2d2 on Twitter Location: Tatooine  |

  • Bio: *doot deet doot deet deet
  • Sample Tweet: *deet doot wooooooo bleep boop boop beep deet doop deet deet*

Chewbacca on Twitter Location: Rome, Italy

  • Bio: hnnnhrrhhh
  • Sample Tweet: mmmwaahhhrrrrwwaaaaaa :: going to mall to buy a very very big can of shampoo

Bo Obama on Twitter Location: Washington D.C.  Bio: Woof

Sample Tweet: would never run away! Besides, I’d miss having my very own Secret Service agent!

Stcookie (Cookie Monster) on Twitter           Location: Sesame Street

  • Bio: Me the Cookie Monster! Awwwwn Nom nom nom
  • Sample tweet: Me Travel to Egypt to find cookies!

Peanuts Snoopy on Twitter   Location USA    Web

  • Bio I am an extroverted beagle who lives with Charlie Brown.I have many personalities and like to fly,dance,sleep,write and hang out with Woodstock
  • Sample Tweet: (on me not chasing sticks) .. Nope! I want people to have more to say about me after I’m gone than “He was a nice guy. He chased sticks!”

Chuck Norris on Twitter  Location: Chuck Norris Bio: Watch your teeth.

  • Sample Tweet: Retweeting Chuck Norris can prevent you from being roundhouse kicked

Supercharged Personal Branding and Twitter

Next week I will attend the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul. I learned about the event thanks to  Rick Mahn,  Social Media Strategist. Rick writes & consults on social media and it impacts on the enterprise, exploring how it can be used to build relationships with customers or employees. The meeting will be at Allianz in Golden Valley, MN and the following items will be on the agenda:

1. Supercharged Personal Branding – by Mykl Roventine

What do you need to think about to build “Brand You?” It doesn’t matter what industry you belong or aspires to, everyone has a brand. Being able to define and convey your unique brand will become necessary skills as the explosive growth of the social web continues. The alternative is to be lost in the digital shuffle. Far from being complicated, there are simple lessons that can be applied immediately to get started. Tools, tips and common sense techniques will be explored to help harness your brand now and well into the future.

Holly Iverson, of Holly Marie Photography, will be taking free avatar photos of attendees. Holly has a BFA from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN.

Mykl is a Senior Interactive Designer at Allianz Life and self-proclaimed social media junkie. Mykl web sites and social media strategies and runs the Minneapolis chapter of TechKaraoke and blogs at

2. What Matters with Twitter, an in-depth look at 2 Million Tweets by Scott Pete

These days it seems that the Twitter metric given the most attention is Follower Count. But is that what really matters? In this presentation, we will explore how Twitter is being used by a group of 300 “Tweeters” over the past 5 months, to build their personal brand and/or support their business. This hand-selected group includes 100 high volume users, 50 thought leading businesses, as well as 250 authors/speakers, business coaches, and marketers.

Scott Pete is part of the sales team at August Ash, Inc. – a Minneapolis Internet Marketing and Web Development firm. He has over 20 years of experience working within marketing agencies, end-user environments, and as a freelance consultant in the Internet Marketing space. He specializes in the innovative application of technology to drive business results. His Web site is

3. The Scoop on Skimmer by representatives of Fallon, TBA

Skimmer is an Adobe® AIR™ desktop application designed to streamline, beautify, and enhance the experience of participating in your most frequently used social networking activities. It improves upon your day-to-day interaction with multiple social networks, removing distractions and providing a rich experience that is particularly suited to multimedia content.


I will be sure to give a recap and share what I take away from the meeting in a future post. Feel free to leave any questions, thoughts or comments you would like me to ask or share at this meeting. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at

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