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Author Archives: Erika Pryor

About Erika Pryor

Digital Marketing Pro | Internet Radio Personality | Geek Hiding in Plain Sight

3 (Three) Small Ways to Make Big Change

After announcing my return following a blogging hiatus, I received an invitation from The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio to write a blog article. The invitation was right on time and is just the push I needed to write about another topic passionate about — community support and social change.

In advance of Friday’s annual Keyholder fundraiser, the editor asked me to respond to this question: What can you do today, this month, or year to spark change in your community? Great question! There are so many ways — big and small — that people can do to make change happen today!

Of course we could talk about the big things like raising money, serving on a community board or hosting an event, but instead I want to focus on “small” or less obvious ways people can make change happen. Because small or large, contributions to change are just that. No matter how small your contribution — it matters.

Go In Your Community

Museums, churches, local governments, meetup groups, Internet communities and many others host all types of events to make their community a better place. Unfortunately, many events are not supported or embraced. But a small way to spark change in your community is to support your community by attending these events. If you want to spark change such as seeing more community events or more people attend — do your part and go! Support what happens in your community.

Get Opinionated

Frequently, people are neither interested in receiving feedback and too busy to give it. Whether you have a great experience or one that lacks luster — giving your opinion is one small way to spark change. In most instances organizers of community gardens, public art shows, welfare programs, fairs and festivals all want feedback. They really want to know what you enjoyed, if it met your expectations, what you would like to see in the future and  more. That’s how improvement happens. And although it can be time consuming to complete surveys and questionnaires consider how the simple act of giving your opinion can improve your community.

Go Local

If the change you want to spark is more local business then the best “small” thing you can do is to shop, eat, and buy local. That’s not to say there aren’t some great national or regional chain businesses, but change at the local economic level happens locally. And the commitment to make your daily, weekly, or occasional purchases at a local business sparks tremendous change for that business, its employees, your local economy and the national economy.

The idea of sparking change is awesome — and the options are limitless. Whether you have plans to spark big changes or you want to start with small ones, you have options.

What would you add to the list?

The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio is excited to welcome special guest Whoopi Goldberg to Nationwide Arena on Friday, June 29th for Keyholder 2012. The Women’s Fund’s annual Keyholder event is a preeminent gathering in the central Ohio area, attracting thousands of people to honor the women and girls who have made a significant impact in their lives. Tickets are on sale now for $50 each and all proceeds are used to provide grants that promise social change for women and girls. Call 614-225-9926to purchase tickets or stop by http://womensfundcentralohio.org for more information. Connect with The Women’s Fund on Facebook and Twitter (@WomensFundCO).

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Digital 411: Celebrating Social Media Month

May is a big month for Digital 411 and Erika Pryor at Large. Since May is International Social Media Month, I want to focus on what’s happening in social media. On the most recent episode of Digital 411 I sat down with my favorite Irishman, Barry Chandler to talk about his latest initiative — Social Media Month Columbus.

Also known as TheBarBlogger, Barry Chandler is well known for innovative integrated marketing campaigns, first within the hospitality and tourism industries and later with nonprofits, small business and beyond. So, I was super excited when he agreed to sit down with us and talk about how he want to help any body or business that wants to wrap their mind around social media and grow their business using the best suited platforms.

There’s so much great information available on this episode of Digital 411 — I invite you to take a listen. Even if you can’t listen to the whole episode, I promise you’ll get some great take away points in the first 15 minutes. Also, check out the Social Media Month Columbus website. What you may not know about the site is there are new videos released every single day during the month on May! There’s more, but I’ll let you find that out for yourself from the site and this episode of Digital 411!

Digital 411 broadcast live Thursdays, 5pmET on TalktainmentRadio.com. New episodes record live twice monthly. You can follow what’s happening on Digital 411 here, on the Facebook page and Twitter @Digital411. Feel free to submit your topic suggestions and interview recommendations here, Facebook or Twitter.

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Coming Back From Hiatus!

Hey there readers and those passing through! I’m excited to announce I’m back from my blogging hiatus. As you can likely imagine — or have experienced yourself — I was feel pretty burnt out on blogging and not finding the motivation to write about much. But that’s all changed! I’m feeling great about getting back to blogging and looking forward to posting articles once or twice weekly.

I still plan to write about technology, social media, the Internet, and networking. Since New Year‘s I’ve been working out like a crazy person, so I might even post some fitness video and equipment reviews too! If you have topic ideas, I would love to hear them — either for the blog or Digital 411 — so definitely let me know!

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, you can check out some of my most recent episodes of Digital 411 on TalktainmentRadio.com. I’ve done some pretty sweet episodes lately that I think you might really like.

Recent topics include: International Social Media Month, e-waste and electronics recycling, gamification, and mobile app development from an insider’s perspective.

So, I’m back from hiatus! I’m super excited and I’m so glad you’re still with me!

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in communication

 

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Better Than a Pile Up: A Review of 3 Business Card Reader Apps

So, you’re gearing up for your next big networking event and when you return to your home or office, you are guaranteed to have more business cards than you know what to do with.

If you’re like most, the cards usually end up accumulating in a pile on your desk. And there they sit. I probably don’t have to tell you what happens next – the cards just sit there until you get tired of looking at them, then you toss ‘em.

There’s a better way to manage all the information you collect during networking events: Business Card Reader Mobile Apps – and there are plenty to choose from.

I’ve taken a closer look at a few to give you the inside scoop on how they work and some key features. Keep in mind: most business card readers have the same bassic function – you open the app, take a horizontal picture and software like OCR technology extracts the data. The data is then returned to you or automatically entered into the contacts menu of your mobile device.

Now, a closer look at some of the additional features some business card readers offer.

WorldCard Mobile

World Card Mobile is not free ($4.99), and I am partial to free or low cost apps, but for the price, users get a number of useful features, making the app worth the cost for iPhone 4/3GS users.

A key feature is it’s companion, WorldCard Contacts app which allows you to save the actual business card image in addition to having the data entered into your contact list.

When using the WorldCard Mobile and WorldCard Contacts apps together, users enjoy advanced functionality such as merging existing and new contacts together, capturing contact information from email signatures and social media integration.

CardMunch

If you’re not new to business card scanners, you’ve probably heard of CardMunch which made headlines in January 2011 when they were purchased by LinkedIn. This made CardMunch more powerful for two reasons: First, following the LinkedIn purchase, CardMunch became a free application eliminating the $2.99 purchase price and $.25 additional cost to scan cards beyond the initial limit of 10. Second, CardMunch allows users to send connection requests with your new contact through the app on LinkedIn with ease.
An additional feature that makes CardMunch stand out from other readers is their 100% guarantee of accuracy. According to CardMunch, after you take a picture of your business card, or anything with contact information, the data is transcribed by actual people and returned directly to your phone contact list within minutes. The guarantee of accuracy is definitely an added bonus for a free app.

CardMunch also has what it calls a CardFlow feature which means the actual image of each individual card is saved, and users can browse those images, and access additional information assigned those images making your rolodex even more digital.

ShoeBoxed

A standard in the world of business card scanners is ShoeBoxed’s business card reader. When users take a picture of their business cards using the ShoeBoxed app, the digital data is extracted and “verified” by humans. I don’t think it’s the same as transcription by humans like CardMunch, but I imagine it gets pretty close on accuracy. Also, contact information can be quickly intergrated into Constant Contact, SalesForce, Outlook and Batch Book, which is great.
What distinguishes ShoeBoxed from the others is their online account and premium version. The app, online account and premium service together gives users the ability to scan receipts and other types of documents which are then accessible either online or available for download as PDF and Excel documents. Additionally, data can be exported to Google Contacts and QuickBooks – proving very useful for managing expenses and accessing documents on the road.

So, clearly there are a lot of options. Decide whether you’re willing to spend money or are interested in an app with multiple or single functionality, and if you want an online experience to find a business card scanner that suits your needs. But by all means, don’t let those cards pile up on your desk!

This story was originally posted on ITMartini.com July 19, 2011. 

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Networking

 

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Looking for genuine awkwardness? Check this out!

I recently discovered the best web series I have ever come across. “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” is not just a smartly written web series that features a diverse cast of characters, but the situations that come out in this web comedy seem much more honest and authentic than anything represented in today’s main stream media.

There are about eight episodes depicting J — the lead character — played by creator, director, producer and all around creative Stanford graduate, Issa Rae. The program has really resonated with a lot of audiences, African American and otherwise — and when you check it out you’ll see why. My guestimation about that is either being awkward, or experiencing awkward moments is so human and you can’t help but identify with the awkwardness you see Jay encounter.

I’ve included here one of my favorite episodes, (#5) and really “In my mind, I’m the best dancer ever,” however that little fact has been hotly contested.

Be sure to check out all eight episodes of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” and let me know what you think? What are some awkward moments you’ve experienced for which there is no life map on how to handle? Share them below in the comments section, I can’t wait to read what people come up with.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in communication, media

 

You’re Invited: Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event

You’re Invited: Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event

About a month ago, some Twitter friends picked up on the current national discussion about whether there’s a higher education bubble and if we are on the verge of seeing it burst. Peter Thiel has written about this topic, “We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education,” as well as Glenn Reynolds, “Higher Education’s Bubble is About to Burst.”

With the Twitter conversation heating up, we decided it might be interesting to take the conversation offline and include entrepreneurship to hear more about what people think. As a previous college professor and constant advocate of higher education, — of course — I got excited about the prospect. All of this has manifested into the first Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) Event, and you’re invited to be part of the fun.

The Digital 411 IRL Event will be a live, interactive debate with a panel and live audience discussing the potential (or pending) higher education bubble bursting. We will address the question: Do you need a college education to be successful? And given the number of technology companies that are started by college drop outs, we ask: How might the higher education bubble affect technology companies and start ups?

I’m excited to moderate the panel which includes the following participants:

For those in central Ohio, you can attend the event live on location at the Ohio State University’s new, College Commons space located in Ramseyer Hall. And given the topic and location, we will be collecting school supplies to donate to St. Vincent Family Center to ensure every child is prepared to start the 2011-2012 school year!

For others, you can participate in the live broadcast by tuning into TalktainmentRadio.com Thursday, August 4 at 5pm. We will be taking questions and comments by Twitter, so send them along with the hashtag #Digital411IRL. Register for the Digital 411 IRL (In Real Life) 

I’m obviously as excited as can be and I hope you will join us IRL or virtually. It’s sure to be an interesting and engaging discussion! I’m looking forward to seeing you at this live event!

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Digital 411, education

 

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Faster Than a Taco Bell Pitt Stop: My Day As A Juror

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may recall me wining about being called up for jury duty. Before the anti-American hate email and Twitter messages begin flooding in, let me just say: I support America and the criminal justice process.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, I can tell you about My Day As A Juror. Given all the hype surrounding the Casey Anthony trial, you may be expecting to hear about the courtroom stunts puled by attonreys on both sides of the aisle, or the gridlock that the jury found itself in during deliberations. Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but if you’ve ever served on jury duty — you know 12 Angry Men it is not.

In fact, My Day As a Juror only lasted about 15 minutes, before I was excused. So, this article could be more properly titled, My Day Getting Out of Jury Duty. As you can imagine, prior to my report day, I searched what I believe to be the entire website for the “Excused from Jury Duty” form. And turned up nothing. So, I reported at 10:15am for the opening remarks and screening process. Although the forms I searched for I couldn’t locate on the site, I did find a lot of information about inexpensive parking and the jury duty process– which was helpful.

When I arrived, there were about 45 other people waiting to do their civic duty as well. After receiving my juror pass, I was instructed to complete a few forms. No biggie — I am of course completing forms and searching for that one coveted document, “Excused from Jury Duty.” Again nothing.

Around 10:45am, what I can only identify as a “jury duty morale booster specialist” came out and got to work warming up the crowd. To the credit of Franklin County, jurors do have access to wireless internet, computer terminals, a fridge for packed lunches, as well as hot and cold beverages. All of that of course is designed as additional compensation for the meager $20/day (of which $5 goes towards parking) jurors are provided for a minimum 2 weeks of jury duty.

What!?! You’re kidding I thought. You’re really only compensating people $20/day, 3 weeks following your service, and parking is part of that — I gotta figure out how to get out of here for real, I thought.

As Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster is working the crowd, he’s fielding questions from people about lunch, how far into the afternoon people can expect to be there, trials, and wireless internet access. I thought to myself, “Am I the only jury duty dodger in the bunch? I guess I know what question I have to ask?” And then it comes out: “How do I get excused from jury duty?”

His pace of usual question answering is interrupted. Mr. Jury Duty Moral Booster — noticiably annoyed, takes a deep breath and stammers a reply, “well…why? What’s your issue?” What’s “my issue?” Is this a trick question, I wonder — I have plenty of issues, but in this moment — I recognize my chance.

So I give ’em everything I’ve got, while keeping in mind, the childcare excuse didn’t go very far so child as strategic pawn is out. I say, “I’m self-employed and a member of the press.” Although member of the press falls flat — which I anticipated would be a better get out of jail free card, self-employed turns out to be a winner!

Approximately 15 or 20 minutes after my arrival for jury duty, I was excused. Obviously, I’m not advocating that you dodge jury duty like I did, but with the threat of only making $20/day for 2 full weeks as a juror was enough to send me running. But in the event you find yourself starring down the barrel of jury duty — if you’re self employed, that’s a legitimate excuse to use — and it works.

What jury duty stories do you have to tell? Leave them in the comments section below and come back next week to read about My Day As A Market Research Subject!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in blog, communication

 

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