Few PIO takeaways from yesterday’s #CLEStPats Parade Spoxing

Few Public Information Officer (PIO) takeaways after yesterday’s #CLEStPats Parade.

#Spectacles are great for “hands-free” wearable technology…because its difficult to ride a bike and social media.

Duh! Hands free is great.

However, many people asked about my Spectacles which made it difficult to focus in on duty stuff.

The video activation on Spectacles was tough because I had/could only use my left hand only to start the video.

I wonder if those that have been following along on the SnapChat story, are disappointed when they see it’s only a “regular snap” vs “from Spectacles” in the top left identifier. I guess it’s the same viewer mindset as picture vs video because video appeals to more audiences with movement. Spectacles video is circular in nature, easy to expand view of scene. Here’s a quick example.

Here’s the view from a portrait style snap.

And here’s the same view bust just one of the possible views of a snap with viewer control of scene and framing.

Obv, lots more to see.

Additionally,  I can see many of the viewers expecting video as they are getting the “behind the scenes” details with consistent narration. Which means – WE HAVE TO KEEP TALKING ALL THE TIME! Yikes.

As for Spectacles, you might want to consider your breathing as part of the “production” because my Spectacles picked up my breathing standing still and on the bike.

Wind blocking isn’t so great on them – so your “action” movement might be tough to record proper audio. There are no visible ports on SnapChat’s Spectales to attach an external mic.

Again, fun times yesterday with Cleveland Police and so many all-hazards partners in public safety.

If we consistently support each other, we will all succeed in our respective missions.

Be safe out there peeps!


I tried Facebook Live and learned this #SMEM #LESM #HCSM #PIO Safety-PIO-SM-16-002

Did some Facebook Live today w/ Denver International Airport’s Exercise Program Coordinator Ashlee Herring.

Fun stuff esp since we recorded it in Terminal A. (Totally in the airport wild!)

Found out a few things about Facebook Live:

1. First off, the viewing screen is square. That does make it difficult since most TV stations and broadcast media are doing things in landscape mode and want to fill the entire screen. Also, I doubt your TV at home is square right?

2. Turn off cell service. An inbound phone call (like I got one at 6:23). The phone call will stop the broadcast and force you to restart the broadcast. Basically, looks like a hiccup in the video.

3. No matter the environment, an external mic is necessity. Ambient noise would have overtaken the native iPhone mic being used.
4. Questions that were asked in real time would be hard to see from on-camera subjects. If we had a stand, it would have been easier to read questions and respond to them.

5. Also brings me to the next point about “liking” comments that people have added. I barely could do that w/ my fat fingers on the iPhone screen (far right). So perhaps another person behind the camera to Marshall the comments and engage w/ participants.

6. If there were any, I couldn’t see the real-time floating emoticons.

7. Because of the size issue, maybe consider using an iPad for Facebook Live broadcast. Tiny screen on iPhone 6 does not allow for much room for tap error. #FatFingers

8. Without the ability to add hyperlinks in the video, I was relegated to using paper flags created from chopsticks to identify audience questions. This could prove challenging because we often want to drive our audiences to a website, blog, or other reference info.

9. A solid platform or tripod is a necessity for a camera. Despite your cool guy Otterbox case being heavier, it will not stand up to the lightest breeze (reference my previous periscope fail due to high winds).

10. Front facing lighting on subjects is a necessity. Even though the airport has SO much light, we obviously we’re too dark. Think of othe complexities in a nighttime broadcast or challenging weather. Those kinds of environments will force you to be a solid tech guy carrying around a lighting package.

11. Remote actuation doesn’t work so my Bluetooth remote starter will not actuate (or turn off) Facebook Live. Perhaps this is a feature that Facebook is working on in the next update, but at this time, you have to awkwardly push push button to stop live broadcast.

12. In the beginning of the broadcast, you need to allow for some time for people to join in and get acclimated to the newer platform. Similar to a cconference call, people need to get situated. I know it’s Facebook, but it’s still different for those who are watching/participating.

13. Sadly, it had a similar feeling to conference call.

14. Unsure if any hashtags would have helped as I was not looking for more audience members. But I assume Facebook’s lack of # use will not be a driving force of users who search Facebook for hashtags to watch live videos.

15. I did not turn on Facebook’s location – but I doubt people at Denver International Airport would have watched it since we were only talking not “breaking news” or “emergency updates” right?

16. Similar to live on-scene broadcasts, you are going to have to do a mic/sound check. We found our mic to be a bit hot and maybe dual lapel mics would have worked better for sound.

17. For those PIOs who are thinking about going this route, you definitely need an opener and a closer to help acclimate those who join late.

18. I am not sure how Facebook is going to make their live broadcast 508 compliant.

19. Facebook Live ATE UP MY BATTERY!!!! I had to plug my iPhone into an external battery pack so that I could keep broadcasting. Plug in before you start broadcasting.

20. WiFi. I was specifically testing it on Airport WiFi to see if public WAPs would hold signal enough for a broadcast. According to some of your feedback, it seeems to be intermittent cutouts and audio drops. That’s not good for a formal speech. Perhaps a consistent WiFi connection or at least a solid 4G LTE.

21. Facebook’s adds that followed the video posting were completely off. Facebook apparently gleaned orbs, DIY, recipe, cheesy, and buffalo chicken lasagna. Clearly NOT what we were talking about in the video. Maybe their voice recognition isn’t working quite yet.

Oh well, just a few of my thoughts on one of the initial runs on Facebook Live.

Do you have Facebook Live?


Safety-PIO-SM 15-002: Tornado or ICBM launch? #Instagram

15-002: Tornado or ICBM launch?
Agency: ReadyOC Topic(s):         Picture and hashtag use
Date: 02-13-15 Platform:        Instagram

Pictures are such an important part of every social media post. Instagram is mainly based on pictures and hashtags to engage all users. This was evident when Orange County’s Emergency Preparedness team posted this on their Instagram feed.


To the untrained eye, it does seem like a severe microstorm/cloud/tornado. However, the picture shows a launch of a rocket pulled from google images or desktop computer wallpaper. Furthermore, this post could also be misconstrewed as a missile/ICBM launch or an attack on US soil.

Finding original content is tough, but professionals take the time to discern the little details in the pictures to showcase the safety theme and share actionable information. It is our duty to correctly inform the public on dangers that we encounter. We also must strive to provide actionable information with our engagement digital strategies.

If ReadyOC used the correct picture of a tornado, adding safety tips to the post (like those featured below) could have enhanced their theme.

“Monitor weather reports provided by your local media. #NWS #NOAA #Tornado #Prepared2015”


“If there is a power outage, have extra batteries for a battery-operated radio and your cell phone including your cell phone charger #Tornado #Prepared2015”


“Consider buying a NOAA Weather Radio/All Hazards receiver, which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service #NWS #Tornado #Prepared2015”

Right now, the hashtag #photography is unnecessary because it doesn’t relate to the post. Remember social media, especially Instagram, is a visual medium. Your reader’s Instagram feed space is at a premium.

By laying it out this way:

  1. The correct picture will draw readers into the picture and (possibly) click the link in the profile.
  2. You don’t cause panic by showcasing a missile launch and calling it an #emergency.
  3. You incorporate a preparedness action phrase to your audience for #tornado safety on Instagram
  4. You use Instagram’s prime digital real estate to share good hashtags to find great information.

Time is valuable, so gram good stuff.


To download the one-pager, click on the link here: Safety-PIO-SM-15-002-TornadoOrICBMLaunch


Twitter is now tracking all other apps too! Freaked out?

So…this just happened to me.


Twitter will now track the activities from all your OTHER apps on your smart phone/tablet.

That’s right, Twitter will use:

  • your FourSquare/Swarm geolocation data to target you for ads.
  • your pictures to see what you take pictures of to target you for ads.
  • your songs to see what music you listen to so they can target you for ads
  • your Instagram photos to see who likes them so they can target ads to them.
  • your airlines apps so they can serve you targeted ads on your flights
  • your phone calls to see who/where you call so they can target ads to you/them.

You get the idea.

Yeowza Twitter.

From Twitter’s EULA: “…collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in.”

Creeped out? You know you can disable this feature through the Twitter app’s settings menu. Depending on the iOS:

  • For iOS device users: disable this through setting —> account -> privacy -> Tailor Twitter based on my apps.
  • For Android users: settings -> account -> other ->Tailor Twitter based on my apps.

I get that Twitter would like to collect data with what I do using in the Twitter app. In fact, I expect it. However, I am a bit uncomfortable with Twitter collecting info from various other apps.

Not cool Twitter. Way to be that creepy Uncle.



My first week with ello #SocialMedia #SMEM

As promised, here’s my quick initial review of ello.

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It’s only been a few days…so I figured since everyone isn’t on it, this might help show some of the difference between this new emerging social media platform compared to others.

Here’s a quick news package story from the founders of ello.co from Vermont.

Hot Social Network Ello Starts in Vermont

(Love the small town local news)

For those that think this is like Facebook? Nope. The company’s mantra of a simple ad-free platform is as plain jane as can be. Not much there. In fact,

Few initial notes I have on ello:

  • Comments are a bit weird as they are currently in a separate box which is unattached to the picture you upload.
  • The gigantic fat Noise button – I’m still unclear on what that is. I feel like it’s kinda like the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google.
  • No search feature.
  • No geolocation feature
  • I think more people are talking about ello on FB, Twitter, Insta, Vine, Snapchat, etc….than people actually ON ello.
  • No hashtag or category use
  • Stop trying to force me to Say Ello…But I WILL say ello with a horrible British accent
  • No trending topics.
  • After I post an update (or Say Ello…) Why do I have to move my cursor over to the “Post–>” button?
  • No popular happenings.
  • Finding friends is hard. Not cool. They are my friends.
  • No app.
  • Feels awfully like Tumblr.
  • It’s difficult to find friends because I have to first find them individually on their own page and then follow them. I can not pick them up from a list.
  • Kinda google plus-ie eh?
  • ello email notifications are simply notifications. It does not include the comment or response. Cannot be used for “documentation”. No point in Email notifications if you don’t notify me of what the message is.
  • Description is about the same, but not as prominent as Twitter.
  • Website link is there. Hope that ello will add a “preview” of website there.
  • Location? Hometown? Where U AT?
  • Trending based topics is not searchable (at this time).
  • Not having some sort of “rules” for picture posting, the pictures that are posted are either really wide or vertical. Not much semblance in fitting into screen.
  • Links to sites do NOT preview. FB does that.
  • No info provided on the analytics of views aka shown by the eyeball. Maybe that will come after beta.
  • Archiving for security.
  • When is ello projected to be out of beta?
  • List of people or things that I could follow too? When I find others similar to me, I want to see what they follow. I am assuming that we have similar interests. Hoping a future column to be added later in ello.
  • Posted times are approximate. Public safety demands exacts so I hope they put a more accurate time of post rather than “~11h”
  • Filters are absent.
  • Multiple picture uploads are not happening. Maybe that’s too cluttered for their “clean” layout.
  • x5 invites only to a closed social media platform? C’mon-what is this?!? 2003?!?!!?
  • @WTF….I mean policies/information tab. Hilarious, but very techy.
  • Formatting of posts using ** or * is kinda programmerish. Tron aficionados will love it, but not everyone programs…so this type of lingo isn’t going to fly for very long.
  • In the “Say Ello…” box  (aka status box) I find it weird that they tell you to Say Ello….when you really are going to write a comment about something else.
  • Reposting isn’t as inviting as FB’s “Share” button – and not easy to find.
  • On ello, you do not have to use your real name. but in the WTF rules, ello has their rose colored glasses on and “The Don’t impersonate others. Be yourself, or a version of yourself. Please don’t pretend to be someone else.”
  • Mobile ello is way better than desktop ello.
  • DYK: ello.com is different than ello.co
  • Advise your SM followers to turn off autofill or muscle memory of “co” vs “com”
  • Funny fact: Someone created a Mark Zuckerberg profile on ello.com – and it wasn’t Zuck.
  • Circle profiler picture is neeto, but I think I like square.
  • The ello logo is kinda creepy w/ no eyes right?

Forgot your password? I tested their forgot password send. The emailed reminder is hilarious, but NSFW. This kind of email would (obv) not pass work computer filters.

photo 1

Testing browsers, I found a few interesting non-compliant issues.

  • Desktop CPU / Windows-7 / Internet Explorer: Picture upload and layout/formatting issues
  • Desktop CPU / Windows-7 / Chrome: Friends take up too much screen real-estate in widescreen format.
  • Desktop CPU / Windows-7 / Safari: Too wide – again with the wide screen look (Maybe I’m too used to the vertical FB?)
  • Desktop CPU / Windows-XP / IE: Picture uploading issues
  • Desktop / Apple / Safari: Spread out (widescreen awkward formatting)
  • iPhone-5 / Safari: MUCH better layouts
  • iPad-Air / Safari: Better screen formatting and (my guess) it looks like it was designed for tablet.
  • Blackberry browser….who am I kidding. I haven’t seen one in the wild for 2 years now.

Ello’s HQ sent an email last night touting their recent successes. Cool.

photo 2b

I do enjoy the quick simple emails with picture.

But let’s be honest, most of the ello participants that are already on ello, were drawn to the line in the email last night…”

photo 1

The use of “thingy” has me worried…and of course excited. Thanks Matt.

Well, since this is in beta, I’m sure there will be more good things to come. But at this time, I am doubtful will hold (DWH).

Not even close to ready for use during disasters or emergencies.

Because of the low participation and beta, this platform is not useful for preparedness or response or recovery or intelligence.

Special thanks to @schnick for the invite.

Maybe more good stuff from ello.co on the horizon.



Great start to today’s OEMA social media class

Another great morning here at the State of Ohio Emergency Operations Center.

Various agencies from all over the state in attendance at today’s social media class.

Special thanks to Ohio EMA Assistant Director Sima Merick for the welcome message.



Now to break down more info and tools on how effective PIOs (Public Information Officers) or PAOs (Public Affair Officers) engage on social media.


Excited to be instructing a bunch of PIOs today.