Super Bowl or Social Bowl?

To coin a phrase, “the Super Bowl ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.” (Taken from the Fall Out Boy lyrics.) The Super Bowl, or SBXLV, is going social, or more accurately advertisers are turning to social media with ad previews and contests and races (oh my).

Mercedes-Benz, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, is launching a “Tweet Race” in which four teams use Mercedes vehicles to race to Dallas. The teams are “fueled” by how many times fans tweet using a hashtag from their favorite team. Source: TODAY Show website | It’s the Super Bowl – let’s get social!.

I’m involved, sorta, with one of the teams in this race. Team S (hastag #MBteamS) consists of two Green Bay Packers superfans from Wisconsin, Todd Sanders (@tsand) and John Pederson (@ijohnpederson). Their coach is Pete Wentz (@petewentz), the singer that wrote the Fall Out Boy lyric. I’m twitter friends with Todd because of Higher Ed Web Conference as are a lot of his tech-savvy followers. I also copied one of Team S web pages about Participation on to this blog.


January 30 Texas Weather

So there you have it, 2011, the year we socialize, and we’re kicking things off with Super Bowl XLV, held February 6, the biggest party (i.e. social event) in the world. It promises to be a good game (Packers vs. Steelers) both on the field and on social media; may we all win.

Calendar Daily Bible Mashup

Three weeks ago I wrote about using a little technology to help me keep on track with reading the Bible in a year. Well, I went one step further and made a mashup of a PHP calendar with a daily verse list (it was XML), linked each verse to its mobile version of the NIV Bible, and voilà – a calendar with links to Bible verses.

Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race To Super Bowl XLV With #MBteamS

Guide to #MBteamS Victory
Full text available at http://mbteams.com/participate/

#MBtweetrace Prototype Test 2: Parking next to SLS AMG

#MBtweetrace Prototype Test 2 “That’s Close”

Official Site: http://www.mbtweetrace.com/mercedes/prototype/

This effort needs to be coordinated for us to move this vehicle.  That said, there are a few details that our supporters, both Twitter ninjas and Twitter newbies, need to know.  This is still a draft.  Please use the comments below to ask for questions, clarification, etc.

1.  What You Need

You need a Twitter account.  http://twitter.com.

You need to follow @tsand on Twitter.  http://twitter.com/tsand.

If you don’t, can’t, won’t do the Twitter thing, skip down to “Following #MBteamS Online” below.  We understand.  There are other ways to play.

2.  Tweet Fuel

We receive 1 unit of Tweet Fuel each time #MBteamS shows up on Twitter during race hours.

Example:  I am cheering for #MBteamS.

We receive 3 units of Tweet Fuel if you re-tweet something that @tsand puts on Twitter during race hours.

Example:  RT @tsand I may hire my Co-Driver to be my life coach after this trip.  #MBteamS

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

Many Twitter applications, including the Twitter website itself, have a handy “Retweet” button.  This “Retweet” button is poison.  Unless you know what you are doing, it’s always better to manually retweet by typing in…

RT @tsand I may hire my Co-Driver to by my life coach after this trip.  #MBteamS

*UNDERSTANDING HOW TO RETWEET PROPERLY IS A HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE*

3.  Challenges

A.  Our primary challenge is to keep the car filled with Tweet Fuel.  This requires you, the Pit Crew, to be typing #MBteamS into Twitter (1 point) and re-tweeting @tsand (3 points).  It’s our job to do fun things along the way in order to keep things interesting.

B.  Mercedes-Benz will be issuing challenges to both Todd and I in the car as well as challenges for our Pit Crew to participate in.  We won’t know what these are until we hit the road.  Follow @tsand at http://twitter.com/tsand for the latest on the challenges and how you can help.

4.  Timing

Understanding timing is key.  We only accumulate Tweet Fuel during race hours.  There is a 30 minute “Fuel Up” period each morning that will be critical as we start each day with no fuel.  Note:  We also “burn” Tweet Fuel on our travel, meaning that we’ll need a nice stream of tweets throughout the day to keep us moving.  We will be stopped if we run out of Tweet Fuel.

Wednesday, February 2

 

Fuel Up:  7:30am – 8:00am PST.  (8:30 MST, 9:30 CST, 10:30 EST)

Race:  8:00am PST. (9:00 MST, 10:00 CST, 11:00 EST)

Thursday, February 3

Fuel Up:  7:30 – 8:00am MST.  (6:30 PST, 8:30 CST, 9:30 EST)

Race:  8:00am MST.  (7:00 PST, 9:00 CST, 10:00 EST)

Friday, February 4

Fuel Up:  6:30am – 7:00am MST.  (5:30 PST, 7:30 CST, 8:30 EST)

Race: 7:00am MST.  (6:00 PST, 8:00 CST, 9:00 EST)

5.  Following #MBteamS Online

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/tsand

 

Follow Todd Sanders on Twitter. Twitter #MBteamS:  http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23MBteamS

See everything that everybody is saying about #MBteamS on Twitter.

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/mbteams

 

We are pushing fun pre-race stuff here for people to play with.

Website:  http://mbteams.com

 

This is a place to tie together many different pieces and parts associated with this adventure.

St. Jude:  http://fundraising.stjude.org

 

We have a site with St. Jude where we are trying to raise an additional $5,000 for our charity.  St. Jude received $25,000 for our participation and another $20,000 if we win this thing.

Spread it. Include #MBteamS in your Tweets

The Hammer Falls on Texas Budget

So, we knew it was going to be bad before we elected this legislature, and here it is, the hammer driving the first nail in the coffin that is the Texas budget.

Public schools, college students, Medicaid hammered in Texas House budget plan

AUSTIN – Texas would slash support for public schools, cut at least 60,000 college students from financial aid and decrease Medicaid fees by 10 percent to doctors, nursing homes and hospitals under a budget plan that House leaders unveiled late Tuesday. Source: Dallas Morning News

Mark these words…

No taxes would be increased, as GOP leaders have pledged. Nor would the state tap any of $9.4 billion in the state’s rainy-day fund.

I’ll hold on to that quote so I can pull it out when cigarette taxes or gas taxes go up.

This article goes on to articulate cut after cut. Legislators have until May to finalize the bi-annual budget, and I think it’s going to be a very lean 2012-13. Don’t forget we have to pay forward the debt of 2010-11. Those cuts are still being felt. Also, remember we are in a supermajority so there is a 99% chance of passing whatever lands in the budget.

Daily Bible

We are officially past the first week of 2011. Are you reading the Bible this year? With the help of a little technology I can stay on schedule to read the New International Version (NIV) Bible in a year.

Reposted at http://teamsiems.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/daily-bible/

Worst Lunch Ever

Did you ever have one of those days when nothing went right? Maybe the stars were misaligned or something, but I just had the worst lunch ever.

I planned this mini lunch adventure: White Castle burgers. We don’t have a restaurant but they sell them in grocery stores. So, I went to the store, got frozen White Castle burgers, a small bottle of mustard, a small bottle of ketchup, and a Dr. Pepper.

On the way back from the store though I had to wait for a train. That was probably a sign that things were not going to turn out well.

Anyway, I brought all the stuff back to the office break room, microwaved the burgers, and sat down to enjoy lunch.

Well, the plastic ketchup bottle was cracked at the bottom and it smelled funny; whole bottle of ketchup in the trash. Carrying on, I tried the burgers with only mustard. Yuck! They tasted like burnt plastic smells. I washed down 4 of them because I was hungry. At least the Dr. Pepper didn’t explode on me.

Total price $7.50 – all in the trash bin. I’ll never eat White Castle again, and I may never buy lunch food from that grocery store again.