Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Honestly, I’m not counting on anyone ever buying a print out of my gallery, but hey, you never know who might desire pictures of Hawaii, delicious food, average gardening, and fat cats adorning their walls. I must say though that I love the idea of being able to turn Instagram photos into pieces of art with the click of a button. And there are some incredible galleries out there with killer images by Zak Noyle, Tino Valdez, and many others. BTW, if you happen to come across a great Metallica gallery, please do let me know. \m/


My name is Nathan Kam and I’m addicted to group buying sites like Groupon, Play Hawaii, Tippr and Living Social. There I said it. I have a hard time passing up a great deal and if a restaurant is willing to let me spend $10 to get $20 in buying power, I’m there! Hence all of the new links on the right side of this blog to try and get you to the “dark side” with me. Muaaaaahhhhhh!

But before you pass judgment on me and freak out that “social media is lame,” you might want to take a look at these sites yourself. Seriously. And here’s why:

1) The Deals – Like the example I mention above, these group buying sites offer some great deals. And not at weird, obscure shops and restaurants, but at quality establishments you probably frequent often and services that you actually want to use. It’s commonplace to buy a deal worth twice the value…$20 for $10…$10 for $5…you get the picture. In the end, you can save a lot of money if you eat out or shop frequently.

2) The Perks – These sites offer referral benefits or perks for helping spread the word. For example, last night I purchased Living Social’s $20 Gift Card for just $10. I then shared my unique referral URL on Twitter and Facebook. If I got three people to buy using my link, I get my deal for FREE! Well, today I got emails confirming 11 people used my link to buy the deal. I’m a happy camper!

3) The Gift – One of the cool things about these group buying sites is the fact you can gift deals to family and friends. Who care’s if they know you paid half price to send them a $20 restaurant gift certificate? It’s the thought that counts, right?!

4) The Other Cities/Countries – If you travel a lot, you can use these sites to follow deals in other cities and countries. When I know I’m heading out of town on a business trip or leisure, I track deals in that city I’m heading to. You never know if something awesome will be offered that you can take advantage of…tickets to see a show…admission to a museum or amusement park. Another great way to save some cash while on the road.

5) The Ease – As if buying these deal through the company website isn’t easy enough, you can also download apps (except Play Hawaii) for your iPhone to follow the deals. But the ease of following the deals also means it’s ridiculously easy to buy a deal via your iPhone app too. In two click of a button…BAM…”Thank you for purchasing this deal.” It’s a message I see all to frequently.

So there you have it. I guess secretly I really do like to shop…but only socially and when there’s a good deal involved. It seems like these social websites are here to stay and only getting more popular each day. I’m not complaining.

What group buying site do you like? What do you think about all of this madness?

Happy shopping!


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One of the many highlights during my overnight embark on the USS Nimitz this past Sunday was the opportunity to meet Rear Admiral John W. Miller, commander of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group 11. I must confess I had no idea what an admiral’s responsibilities were before talking with him, but I soon learned he has one of the most important jobs at sea…commanding the fleet of ships that make up the strike group.

Admiral Miller is a very engaging man and spent an hour talking with our group about the Navy’s maritime strategies, the future of aircraft carrier, and of course, social media! In the video above, he shares some thoughts about the Navy’s use of social media and the challenges the military in general faces as it moves into the blogosphere without compromising national security. My shipmate Burt Lum asked the admiral about his personal use of social media tools and got quite a humorous response. While the admiral may not Twitter, I bet he’s got more than three friends on Facebook which he claims.

Here I am in full gear on the COD as we head to the USS Nimitz. Priceless!

Here I am in my flight gear on the COD as we head to the USS Nimitz. Priceless!

As the Marines ban the use of social media on its network, the Navy is opening up its doors and sharing its story with everyone who’s interested in listening. As a distinguished guest invited aboard the USS Nimitz (who is also on Twitter) to blog about my experiences, it’s clear the Navy is engaging in and executing one of the most unique social media campaigns today. It’s not everyday you get to land on, spend the night on, and takeoff from an aircraft carrier. And they want to you to tell the whole world about it.

But Admiral Miller raises a good question. “How much is too much?” when it comes to sharing information. He admits the challenge becomes educating your people to use communications responsibly, whether it’s email or social media tools. That’s not just a challenge in the military, but within public and private organizations as well. What I’m most impressed with is the Navy’s efforts to open up the conversation and share a side of its organization many will never see.

I will say one thing and that it is the goal of the U.S. Navy’s distinguished visitor program is to educate civilians like me about what they do for our country and share it with others. If you haven’t noticed yet, they have clearly succeeded with me!

Lot’s more to come about my time on the USS Nimitz. Stay tuned.


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The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is the lead ship of America’s largest class of aircraft carriers with a crew of nearly 3,000 men and women and when deployed the air wing brings an additional 2,000 personnel. Photo Credit: Joe Brunner, RMCM, USN, Ret., via Joseph M. Radigan, MACM, USN, Ret.

The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is the lead ship of America’s largest class of aircraft carriers with a crew of nearly 3,000 men and women and when deployed the air wing brings an additional 2,000 personnel. Photo Credit: Joe Brunner, RMCM, USN, Ret., via Joseph M. Radigan, MACM, USN, Ret.

Later today, I’ll be boarding a C-2A Greyhound with about a dozen others (including Digital Ronin Burt Lum) and flying to the nuclear-powered USS Nimitz as a “Distinguished Visitor” of the U.S. Navy’s overnight embark program. Crazy! Words can’t begin to describe how excited and honored I am to have this opportunity to meet the men and women serving our country and protecting our freedom. I’m also looking forward to meeting Navy Public Affairs Officer Jason Salata who manages the USS Nimitz Twitter account (@USS_Nimitz), which I’ve enjoyed following the past couple weeks.

“So what the heck is this all about?” is probably what you’re saying to yourself right now as you’re reading this. I asked myself the same question when I received the invitation e-mail on July 27 from Bill Doughty, chief of internal information for the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. I also asked myself this honest question: “how in the world did I get selected for this endeavor?”

The Navy has immersed itself in emerging media and has been actively reaching out to bloggers and social media users to participate in these embarks. I suspect this blog and my dabbling in social media has much to do with receiving this special invitation. In fact, a high-profile group of 14 bloggers, including Guy Kawasaki, spent 24 hours at sea aboard the USS Nimitz this past June. More recently, well-known Hawaii bloggers Ryan Ozawa and L.P. “Neenz” Faleafine did a similar embark aboard the USS Ronald Regan. I also have inside knowledge that Ryan and Neenz recommended me (and Burt) to the Navy for the embark. Needless to say, I’m extremely thankful to the both of them, thrilled to be going, and looking forward to sharing my experience here when I get back.


A few important items coming with me. Twitter shirt...check! Laptop...check! FlipMino...check! Canon camera...check! Mini tripod...check! Hawaiian Host macadamia nut chocolates...check, check! iPhone...check...even though it's not in the photo. How else could I have taken this photo? 😉

But enough typing for now. I’ve still got some packing to do and more importantly, need to ensure all electronic devices traveling with me are fully charged. The carrier won’t have Internet service, so I’ll be out of touch until Monday afternoon. Check back for photos, videos, and more then.



This opportunity is also very special for me as my father, Gary Kam, was in the Navy in the early 70s as an aviation electronics technician with the Strike Fighter Squadron VF-213 (the Black Lions) and spent time on the USS Kitty Hawk. It’s a part of my his life I don’t know much about, so I’m also using this trip to learn more about his days in the service. I’m starting with a short Q&A that I did with my pops yesterday to get myself up to speed before arriving on the aircraft carrier.

Nathan: What years were you in the Navy and what did you do?
Gary: I served from 1971-1975 as an Aviation Electronics Technician with the Strike Fighter Squadron VF-213 (Black Lions). We had F-4 Phantom jets which were the top planes at that time. The Vietnam War was still going on. By 1974 the war was winding down.

N: What was it like living on an air craft carrier?
G: Sailors adapt well.  We fixed the navigation and electronics countermeasure equipment, as needed, after each flight.  There are a lot of stuff to do on the carrier. You can exercise, go to the library, go to the flight deck when no planes were launching or landing.

N: What was the most memorable moment(s) of your Navy career?
G: Serving with fellow Navy men.  Seeing the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Kenya, and England.  You develop a strong friendship during your tour.

N: Did you serve during any major wars? Were you ever in battle?
G: The Vietnam War was going. We launched a bunch of sorties against North Vietnam. I was never in direct combat except for keeping the aviation electronics equipment up an running. The Navy pilots are a bunch of fearless and dedicated men. Give them a wing and a prayer and they will complete the mission.

N: What did you do for fun on the ship?
G: Anything to keep you busy.  Read, talk to shipmates, exercise, look at the ocean and all the fish and sea snakes, etc. you can see.

N: Any words of advice for me before I take off?
G: Enjoy the moment.  Not many, even Navy guys, are given the chance to land and take-off from an aircraft carrier.  I never did. ENJOY AND HAVE FUN YOU LUCKY GUY!!!!! Love you…..Dad!


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I will be keeping this list updated, so if I’ve missed anyone, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter. I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

Updated June 29, 2012, (319 listed)
Note: Hawaii visitors bureaus on Twitter (@GoHawaii, @KauaiDiscovery, @OahuVB, @VisitLanai, @SeeMolokai@MauiVisit, @HawaiiBig Island@HawaiiHTA) highlighted in red below.

8GreatTowns (Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
AC_CVA (Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Association)
AlabamaBeaches (Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau)
AlpharettaCVB (Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau)
AmNorthCoast (Lutsen, Tofte and Schroeder, Minnesota )
Anaheim_OC (Anaheim/OC Visitors & Convention Bureau)
annarborareacvb (Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ArizonaTourism (Arizona Office of Tourism)
artourism (Arkansas Deptartment of Parks and Tourism)
AshevilleCVB (Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ashevilletravel (Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
AZTourismPR (Arizona Office of Tourism)
BaltimoreMD (Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association)
BarbinIL (Tuscola, IL)
BattleCreekCVB (Battle Creek/Calhoun County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
BeaumontCVB (Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau)
BenzieCounty (Benzie County Visitors Bureau)
boomtowndays (City of Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau)
BuffaloNiagara (Buffalo Niagra Convention & Visitors Bureau)
butlercountypa (Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau)
CalistogaVisit (Calistoga Visitor’s Center)
CATourism (California Travel & Tourism Commission)
CantonStarkCVB (Canton Stark County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
CarsonCity_NV (Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau)
CedarFalls (Cedar Falls (Iowa) Tourism & Visitors Bureau )
CedarRapidsCVB (Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
CharlestonArea (Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
chattanoogafun (Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau)
cheyennewy (Cheyenne Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
CHGIFlorida (Charlotte Harbor Convention & Visitors Bureau)
chicagonorthsub (Chicago North Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ChicagoNShore (Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau)
chicagonw (Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau)
choosechicago (Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau)
CityofSantaFe (Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau)
clarecountycvb (Clare Counte Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ClarksvilleCVB (Clarksville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ctccct (Canadian Tourism Commission)
ColumbiaMOCVB (Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau)
columbiacntyga (Columbia County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
columbiasc (Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau)
columbuscvb (Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau)
CorvallisScene (Visit Corvallis & Benton County)
CSCVB (Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau)
cvbhiltonhead (Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau)
cvbqueen (Statesville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
DavidHTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority)
Derita (Derita Visitors Information Bureau)
destinationdc (Destination DC)
DestWorcester (Destination Worcester, MA)
DiscoverDuPage (DuPage County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
discover_la (Los Angeles Tourism Bureau)
DiscoverMonroe (Monre County Tennessee Chamber of Commerce)
DownersGrove1st (Downers Grove Visitors Bureau)
dreamofitaly (Dream of Italy, Inc.)
dutchesstourism (Dutchess County Tourism)
eacvb (Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ecacvb (Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
enjoyknoxville (Knoxville Tourism)
ERCVB (El Reno Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ExpCols (Greater Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ExperienceWA (Washington State Tourism)
explorechicago (Chicago Office of Tourism)
FargoMoorhead (Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau)
fife_washington (City of Fife)
fjordnorway (Official Tourism Board of Western Norway)
flaspacecoast (Florida’s Space Coast)
Foodtopia (Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
FortSmithCVB (Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GalvestonIsland (Galveston Island)
GenevaIL (City of Geneva)
GeorgiaTourism (Official State of Georgia Tourism)
GettysburgNews (Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GoHawaii (Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau)

GoLakeHavasu (Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau)
gorockford (Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GoToBakersfield (Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GoToLouisville (Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GoWichita (Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GrandRapidsCVB (Grand Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau)
GrapevineGurl (Grapevine Convention & Visitors Burea)
GreaterLansing (Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Greenville_SC (Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
HarborCountry (Harbor Country Convention & Visitors Bureau)
HardinCountyTN (Hardin County, TN)
HawaiiBigIsland (Big Island Visitors Bureau)
HawaiiHTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority)
HeritageCVB (Heritage Corridor Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Hillsborough (The Alliance for Historial Hillsborough)
hiltonheadsc (Hilton Head Island Visitors & Convention Bureau)
HotSpringsCVB (Hot Springs Visitors & Convention Bureau)
enjoyillinois (Illinois Bureau of Tourism)
ILMICanal (Heritage Corridor Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ILoveSGFMo (Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau)
imtourism (Tourism Association of Dickinson County Area)
indianadunes (Porter County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
insidealaska (Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau)
insidesonoma (Sonoma County Tourism Bureau)
(Janesville Area Convetion & Visitors Bureau)
(Bourbon Country, Kentucky)
KauaiDiscovery (Kauai Visitors Bureau)
(Kentucky Department of Travel)
koreatourism (Korea Tourism Organization)
KSinTucson (Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau)
LakeDistrictPR (Cumbria Tourism)
Lammertal (Destination Lammertal)
Lauderdale411 (Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)
LauderdaleChic (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
lehighvalleypa (Lehigh Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Lenawee_Fun (Lenawee County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
LESIWC (Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands)
Lislecvb (Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau)
louisianatravel (Louisiana Office of Tourism)
Ludington_Area (Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Madeira (Madeira Islands)
mainetourism (Maine Tourism Association)
MarshallMN (Maryland Office of Tourism)
MarylandTrip (Maryland Office of Tourism)
MauiVisit (Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
McPhersonCVB (McPherson Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MecostaCounty (Mecosta County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MeetInSaltLake (Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MeetMinneapolis (Meet Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association)
MemphisCVB (Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MerriamCVB (Merriam Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MiamiandBeaches (Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MinNEcations (Explore Minnesota)
MitchellCVB (Corn Palace Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ModestoCVB (Modesto Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Missouri Division of Tourism)
MoTravelMama (Missouri Division of Tourism)
MuskegonCVB (Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
MyMyrtleBeach (Myrtle Beach Area Conventions & Visitors Bureau)
(Tourism Vancouver)
NebraskaTourism (Nebraska Division of Travel & Tourism)
NewOrleansCVB (New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau)
NewportBeach (Newport Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau)
NewportRICVB (Newport County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau)
Norris_Lake (Norris Lake Marina Association)
nycgo (NYC & Company)
OahuVB (Oahu Visitors Bureau)
(Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau)
oshkoshcvb (Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Ottawa Tourism)
Ottawa_Tourism (Ottawa Tourism)
PadreDude (South Padre Island Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau)
PalmSpringsCA (Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism)
ParadiseCoast (Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Pennsylvania Tourism Office)
(Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau)
PhiladelphiaCVB (Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Tourisme Montreal)
(Pittsboro-Siler City Convention & Visitors Bureau)
PlanoCVB (Plano Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Plumas County Visitors Bureau)
PositivelyCleve (Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland)
(The Greater Louisville Community Branding Project)
ProvidenceRI (The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Pulaski County Visitor Center)
PureNewZealand (New Zealand Tourism Board)
(Tourism Queensland)
(Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
readingberkspa (The Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau)
renotahoe (The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority)
(Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau)
SantaClaraCA (Santa Clara Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(City of Santa Clarita)
santarosacvb (Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau)
scottsdaleaz (Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)
SedonaAZ (Sedona Chamber of Commerce)
See_Albuquerque (Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau)
SeeMolokai (Molokai Visitors Association)
(Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
SeeRockCity (Rock City, GA)
SevierFun (Sevierville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
ShastaCascade (Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association)
southhaven_CVB (South Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau)
southeasttouris (Southeast Tourism Society)
(Southern Oregon Visitors Association)
(Tourist Board for South West of England)
(Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)
SportsCapital (Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau)
SpringfieldCVB (Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Staunton Convention & Visitors Bureau)
stjomo (St. Joseph Visitors Bureau)
Stockton_CVB (Stockton Conference & Visitors Bureau)
(Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau)
(Swiss Tourism)
(Tourism New South Wales)
(Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau)
TahoeNorth (North Lake Tahoe)
(Johnstown Chamber & Visitors Bureau)
(Tennessee Department of Tourist Development)
tourhendersonky (The Henderson County Tourist Commission )
tourfrederickmd (Tourism Council of Frederick County)
TourismBCmedia (Tourism British Columbia)
(Tourism Newquay)
(Travel Alberta)
TravelLaneCo (Eugene, Lane County, & Oregon Coast Visitor Information)
(Oregon’s Adventure Coast)
TravelinSGFMO (Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau)
TravelKS (Kansas Travel & Tourism Division)
travelnevada (Nevada Commission on Tourism)
(Travel Oregon)
(Travel Portland)
(Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau)
TravelSalem (Salem Convention & Visitors Association)
(Wonders of Wisconsin)
TuscarawasCoCVB (Tuscarawas City Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Iowa Tourism Office)
(Michigan’s Upper Peninsula)
UtahStateParks (Utah State Parks)
uwishunu (Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation)
VaBeachCVB (Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing)
victoriavisitor (Tourism Victoria)
VisitAberdeenSD (Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitAlton (Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitAnnapolis (Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau)
(Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitbaker (Baker County Chamber of Commerce)
VisitBatesville (Batesville, Arkansas Area Chamber of Commerce)
visitbatonrouge (Baton Rouge Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitbemidji (Bemidji Visitors & Convention Bureau)
(Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitBritain (official website for travel and tourism in the UK)
(Bloomington/Monroe County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitbville (Bartlesville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitcapefearnc (Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitChicago (Chicagoland Regional Tourism Office)
(Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitDetroit (Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visiteldoradoks (El Dorado Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitFairfax (Fairfax County Virginia Tourism)
(Finger Lakes Visitors Connection)
VisitFlagler (Flagler County Chamber of Commerce)
VisitFlagstaff (Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation)
(Grayling Visitors Bureau)
visitholland (The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions)
VisitHoustonTX (Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitidaho (Idaho Division of Tourism Development)
VisitIndiana (Indiana Office of Tourism Development)
VisitJacksonMI (Jackson County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Visit_Jax (Jacksonville & the Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitJordan (Jordan Tourism Board)
VisitKC (Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association)
VisitKissimmee (Kissimmee Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitLanai (Lanai Visitors Bureau)
visitlaguna (Laguna Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitLauderdale (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
(Lodi Conference & Visitors Bureau)
(Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Longview Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Visit_Madison (Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitMaine (Maine Office of Tourism)
VisitMesa (Mesa Arizona Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitMilwaukee (Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitMissouri (Missouri Division of Tourism)
(Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism)
VisitNatchez (Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitnewhaven (Greater New Haven Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitNewOrleans (New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation)
(New Hampshire Travel &  Tourism)
VisitNorthernIL (Northern Illinois Tourism Development Office)
VisitOakPark (Oak Park Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitOmaha (Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitPA (Official Tourism Website of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
(Oceanside Tourism Association)
VisitPensacola (Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitPeoria (Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Peru Tourism Board)
visitphilly (Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation)
visitphoenix (Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau)
VisitPontiacIL (City of Pontiac)
VisitRichmond (Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitSanAntonio (San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitsandiego (San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visit_sanjose (San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitSarasota (Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitSiouxFalls (Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(San Mateo County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitSouthDel (Southern Delaware Tourism)
(Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitStuartFL (Martin County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Sun Valley Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau)
visitsurrync (Surry County Economic Development & Tourism Department)
VisitTampaBay (Tampa Bay & Company)
VisitTuscaloosa (Tuscaloosa Convention & Visitors Bureau)
VisitVallejo (Vallejo Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitvf (Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Virginia Tourism Corporation)
Visit_Vermont (Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce)
Visit_Wausau (Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau)
visitwv (Southern West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(London’s Convention Bureau & Event Solutions)
(St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)
vstpgh (Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau)
WarrenCountyOH (Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau)
WCVA (Washington County Visitors Association)
WestAustralia (Tourism Western Australia)
(West Hollywood Marketing & Visitors Bureau)
WeVisitMexico (Mexico Tourism Board)
whatcomcounty (Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism)
(Wilkesboro Tourism Development Authority)
WilliamsportPA (City of Williamsport)
WillmarLakes (WillmarLakesArea Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau)
WoodwardTCB (Woodward Tourism & Convention Bureau)
(Wyoming Travel & Tourism)
(Yakima Valley Convention & Vistors Bureau)
Ypsilanti (Ypsilanti Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)


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One of the fun things about blogging and social networking is meeting new people with similar interests across the globe. I was recently “tagged” by Scot Duke (@MrBusinessGolf) who I’ve gotten to know on Twitter since we both like golf, social media, and SPAM. Okay, so Scot doesn’t like Spam, but for one reason or another he felt that I’d be a good person for the “7 Things You Wish You Didn’t (Or Did) Know About Me” project and I’m humbled.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged

I feel honored to be singled out and obligated to keep the momentum going. So here it goes…

No. 1
I love heavy metal and Metallica is my favorite band of all time. But everyone knows that. What most don’t know is I  played in a couple rock bands in intermediate and high school growing up on the Big Island. That’s right, I was a full-fledged headbanger who used to walk the halls sporting long hair and Metallica shirts. The first band I was in was named “Stillborn.” Don’t ask why. The last band I played in was called “Insomnia” and was made up of two guys and two girls. We were a pretty good cover band if you ask me. I played bass guitar, by buddy Dylan played lead and rhythm guitar, Leila played the drums, and Dayna sang. We’d play at school, at friends parties, and anywhere else they’d let us make some noise. It was fun while it lasted, but the band eventually gave me an ultimatum…commit more time to music or leave and go play baseball. See number two below for the rest of this story.

No. 2
While playing in the band was fun, music was not going to be my future. So I decided to stick with something I was better at and that was baseball. It was a good choice and something that I worked hard at, eventually making the Big Island Interscholastic Federation (B.I.I.F) all-star team a couple times at Konawaena High School. I kind of played everywhere…pitcher, shortstop, second base, outfield…you name it, I played it. In my senior year (1995), our team made the state tournament for the first time in 25 years. We beat Big Island powerhouse Waiakea High School and went to the tournament with Hilo High School that year. I still remember the moment like it was yesterday. Just beating Waiakea was like winning the World Series since nobody ever gave us a serious thought about ever making it to states. Proving them wrong was unreal and something I’ll never forget.

No. 3
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. I share the same birthday of August 12 with my late grandma, mom, and cousin…all on my mom’s side of the family. How cool is that?

No. 4
I’ve never traveled outside the United States. This surprises a lot of people especially since I work in travel public relations for one of Hawaii’s largest agencies, McNeil Wilson Communications. I’ve been to many places on the mainland for work and pleasure, but am yet to get out of the country. I’d love to visit Japan, Korea, or China first and will get there eventually.

No. 5
It’s no secret that I love to play and watch golf, but what I’m most proud about is the fact that I once shot a 75 (3 over par) at Kapolei Golf Course a couple years ago. Considering I picked up the game after high school and have never had a formal lesson, its a personal achievement I wish I could mimic more often. Golf is a fickle game, and now that I hardly get out to play, I’m content being a 12 handicapper shooting in the 80s. Maybe the next time I do this I’ll be able to say I got a hole-in-one. Still waiting for that…

No. 6
I love watches and wish I had more money to buy them. I’m not sure where this trend started but I’m blaming Tiger Woods and his endorsement of Tag Heuer for some of my fanaticism. I have two of them in my collection. When Kelly and I got married, I actually joked with her that I wanted a “wedding watch” instead of a “wedding band.” Lucky for me I got both. Everytime we go to the mall, I have to look at the watch stores at least to dream. I remember going to New York on our honeymoon and visiting Tourneau for the first time. We have one here now in Waikiki now at Royal Hawaiian Center and I need to check it out soon.

No. 7
I proposed to my wife at the Hawaii State Farm Fair while watching the piggies race. No joke! I remember being nervous as the little piggy rounded the bend and I reached in my pocket for the ring. I believe the specific words from my mouth were “would you s–t a brick if I asked you to marry me?” And the rest is history. We’ve now been happily married for almost five years now.

So now that I’ve share a little more about me, time to tag seven more people and keep this party rocking. Here’s who I’m calling out (in no particular order):

Tino Valdez – amazing designer and funny as hell
Blog Twitter

Arleen Anderson – super networker and fun to Tweetup with
Blog Twitter

Ken Yeung – an expat living in San Francisco with interesting things to say
Blog Twitter

Christine Lu – bridging the business gap between China and the U.S.
Blog Twitter

Sheila Beal – Hawaii’s unofficial ambassador of Aloha in North Carolina
Blog Twitter

The Traveling Mamas – killer travel blog rocks and they travel to cool places
Twitter – Beth Blair/Shannon Hurst Lane/Jennifer Miner/Kara Williams

Tawny Press – great resource on Twitter and has connected me to some great people
Blog Twitter

I wish I could list a ton more people, but I gotta play by the rules. Looking forward to reading your posts.


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I’ve been a PRSA Hawaii member ever since I started my career in PR 10 years ago. We’ve had some great monthly professional development luncheon programs along the way, but I’ve got to say I’ve never seen demand for the one we have coming up next week Wednesday, August 27.

The program topic of social media itself is a hot one, but look at the lineup of speakers we’ve secured to present next week. It’s no wonder we already have 74 people registered for the luncheon. Are you in the know of Web 2.0 and will you be there for a great program?

Here’s some information I’ve taken from the PRSA Hawaii website:

Nadine Kam (@fashiontribe on Twitter and no relation to me though I do get a lot of her e-mails) is the style and travel editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. She also writes the Fashion Tribe blog and is social media enthusiast like many of us.

Roxanne Darling (@roxannedarling on Twitter) is co-owner of Bare Feet Studios and has been working on the web since 1995. She is one of the original video podcasters and the star of the award-winning Internet TV show, Beach Walks with Rox (, which has over 650 episodes. She is also one of the lead organizers of PodCamp Hawaii which takes place in October.

Mary Fastenau is president and a co- founder of StarrTech Interactive, one of Hawaii’s largest interactive development companies. She frequently speaks at universities and professional organizations, making her one of Hawaii’s foremost experts on Internet marketing.

As senior online media planner, Dan Zelikman is the lead strategist for StarrTech Interactive on Web 2.0 ideas, online media purchasing, implementation, analysis, and optimization. Dan has worked on a wide range of accounts, including AIG Hawaii, Hawaiian Telcom, Marriott Hawaii and Bank of Hawaii. He’s also an avid surfer and all around good guy.

I look forward to seeing everyone at this event and we’re guaranteed to have some fun. Before I end, I need to give a shout out to my colleague Kristen Bonilla (@kwis10b on Twitter) for leading the effort to pull together this awesome program. I think it’s safe to say we’re “back in black” with this one.