Archive for the ‘Awesome’ Category


Your Pedometer Gets a Facelift and Goes Social with Fitbit

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

I was recently given a Fitbit as a gift. If you’re not familiar, Fitbit is a small device that is designed to track your daily activity levels including amount of floors climbed, steps taken and even sleep patterns (on some versions).

Here’s what one version looks like in a hand model’s dainty fingers:

Though the gift was nice, I have to admit that my first thought was “that’s very kind of you, but I already have a pedometer on my iPhone. But it’s a cool looking gift.”

To be a good sport, I followed the instructions on syncing it to my laptop:

1. Download Fitbit software.

2. Install software and follow directions on screen.

3. Put the FitBit.

I was up and running in a few minutes. I popped the Fitbit in the little pocket that no one uses in their jeans–the one so small that nothing a cellophane-wrapped mint would fit–and was on my way.


Some Fitbit Tidbits

At first, I doubted it’s accuracy. Would it really know when I was climbing stairs? Would it register movement in the car as me actually taking steps? Will it be worth the hassle to wear this around?

Accuracy. I found it to be quite accurate. It didn’t register false movements in the car. Occasionally  you could shake it enough to make it register a handful of steps, but that onus is on you, not the device. While staying at a hotel, I took the elevator up eight floors and it didn’t register that I’d climbed the floors. I then tested walking down the eight floors via the stairwell and, sure enough, it only registers climbing steps, not descending. Wow.

Size. It’s small. Just look at that picture above. I love the size. There are devices that are smaller and that are larger. I’d not want one smaller as I’ve already forgotten about the Fitbit in several pants pockets. Any larger and people may notice it and think you’re on house arrest.

Power. I’ve gone three our four days without charging it and it still has about 25% juice left.

Tracking Tools. The tracking tools floored me. The Fitbit syncs wirelessly when within a few feet of the internet connected base station. You hardly even know it’s happening. Here’s a screenshot of my Saturday tracking this past weekend.

Social. And then a friend on Fitbit found me. I don’t know if it was through Facebook or Twitter but a friend who had a Fitbit requested we share tracking information. I accepted. The race was on. Now I can see who is more active and it’s a very light social peer pressure to keep moving.

Since wearing the Fitbit, I park further away to steal a few more steps and am more conscious of the choices I’m making because I’ve setup my Fitbit so that others may see how active (or inactive) I am.

Nothing like a cool gadget and a little accountability to ward off the consequences of laziness.

Question: Have you tried Fitbit? What do you think?


Social Media Tips Learned from Running

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The discipline of running changes lives… and love handles… and even our approach to social media.

A few of us at Wild Hair Media have taken to running–not that we love it, we don’t. But we love what it does for us.

We’ve adopted the tagline of  Tripp Crosby and Tyler Stanton’s site Reluctant Runners: “we love running, just not while we’re doing it.”

Well said gentlemen.

I personally started running because I knew I needed it, not because I had an objective or a strategy of how I was going to reach a running goal. I was just building a base because I knew I needed that rhythm of my life to include exercise.

You might be at the same place with your social media participation. You’ve jumped in with no real objective or strategy, but now it’s time for you to step back and establish those goals now that you’ve built up a basic base of knowledge.

Running has given me time to refresh and rethink. I’ve realized that our appraoch to social media and training for a marathon aren’t all that dissimilar.

(cue Chariots of Fire soundtrack and read the rest of this post while listening to those epic swells and falls)

Practical Social Media Tips Learned from Running

1. You don’t see instant results.

The first time I ran after years of not running was brutal. I felt like giving up, walking, and never doing it again.

+I felt like a failure.

+I didn’t know what I was doing.

+I didn’t have instant results.

It’s the same for your social media strategy. You need to be in it for the long haul. To build your platform you need to enter a marathon, not a sprint. Expecting immediate results from a few blog posts and tweets is like expecting to run a 5K before you’ve even run your first mile.

2. You need to have a strategy.

Successful runners set daily, weekly, monthly, and sometimes even yearly goals.

+Runners know what they want to accomplish.

+They write down their goals down and ensure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals (read more on S.M.A.R.T. goals here).

+They seek out help from those that have gone the course before.

In the social media space, a clearly defined plan which tackles the who, what, where, why, when, and how goal-related questions will give an edge over those that are simply tweeting, posting and updating their social platforms haphazardly.

3. You need to change up the routine.

After pushing through those first few runs, I began to see a difference. The runs got easier. I was making progress. It seemed so easy, until… I hit a plateau. Running hte same routes, at the same times, and feeling underwhelmed.

So it is with social media strategy. Just as a body gets accustomed to the same running trails, at times the approach we take to our social media strategy must change to reflect variety and creativity.

Run the marathon race of building your social media platform with a strategy and a flexible, creative mindset. And then go outside for a jog. You’ll be glad you did.