Archives For star tribune

Apple Watch

Star Tribune: What would it take for you to buy a smartwatch?

Local tech enthusiasts discussed that at a Mobile Twin Cities group gathering the evening before Apple’s big announcement. In a room with 20 tech savvy people, only a couple had purchased one of the existing smartwatches on the market. (Here’s a nice side-by-side comparison of Apple Watch and some of its competitors.)

What made them hesitate? Price. Concerns about battery life and the hassle of charging. Durability. Doubts that a smartwatch can do that much more than a smartphone already does.

Nevermind that a large chunk of the population ditched their watches in favor of using smartphones to keep track of time. There’s this idea (in the tech community, anyway) that the watch is where it’s at.

Greg Swan, senior vice president for digital strategy at Weber Shandwick, pointed out that the smartwatch has been a cultural touchstone for decades. Dick Tracy, James Bond, the Jetsons, Penny from the Inspector Gadget cartoons. They all had smartwatches.

“We have this amazing dream and this cultural vision of what we expect watches to do,” said Swan, who started the discussion with a presentation, “Smartwatches: Past, Present and Future.

After watching the Apple announcement, Swan put it this way: “The ability for consumers to pay for goods and services via phone or watch isn’t new, but with today’s Apple Pay announcement, it’s no longer niche.

Read the whole piece here.
See my Apple-Watch-Eve presentation on smart watches for Mobile Twin Cities here.


greg swan selfie

Star Tribune: As popular as ever, selfies are changing the way we communicate

“Our phones have front-facing cameras for a reason. It’s to take pictures of ourselves,” said Greg Swan, an avid selfie snapper and vice president at public relations firm Weber Shandwick. “People want to share pictures of themselves and what they’re doing.”

Selfie aficionados say the snapshots are a quicker, often more effective way of sharing information.

“Can you imagine me writing, ‘I’m standing in front of the “Spoonbridge and Cherry.” It’s gorgeous. The water’s coming over the cherry and the sun is out,’ ” Swan said. “No. Instead, it’s a selfie shot of me in front of the ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’ with the skyline in the background.”

Weber Shandwick named a Star Tribune Top Workplace

greg swan star tribune

I was quoted about memes — “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” — in the Star Tribune this week: Funky photo fads flourish thanks to social media:

Today’s memes are a manifestation of the remix culture that’s permeating art, advertising and media right now,” said Weber Shandwick’s Greg Swan. “Many discount the impact on pop culture that [they] have, but I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know the chorus of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.’ ”

Read the whole entire here. And in case you’re not familiar with Friday, sing along here!

Today was a Sunday, and I got 36 pitch e-mails. Last Friday I got 134 pitch e-mails. My average is 70-80/day.

That’s why if you’re not following me on Twitter (listen up bands, labels and PR people), then you will never have my full attention.

I first discovered Twitter’s true impact during SXSW 2007, when it was the absolute buzzword and an essential tool for connecting with other conference-goers. Julio Ojeda-Zapata at the Pioneer Press included on of my tweets in his innovative Twitter summary that April. (NOTE: I can’t the article using the Pioneer Press archives nor Google [LAME!], but luckily I archived it here).

Twitter is a great tool for you to get to know me better. I update it maybe 5-15 times a day, whereas Perfect Porridge is updated maybe twice a day. Plus, I love sharing cool new bands I’ve discovered, reporting what song a band just played at a live show and especially bitching about clueless PR people who make unethical requests. If you’re not listening, you have no idea if I’m talking about you.

You can also find out what tunes I’m really, truly interested in, and it’s no secret the handful of people/bands who do pitch me using Twitter always get a near-immediate response. I’m telling you, that e-mail box is a black hole.

Today I was quoted in the Star Tribune, Keeping it short and tweet, talking about my beloved mobile social network.

Each tweet by Greg Swan, 27, of Eden Prairie goes out to more than 800 other Twitterers who follow his posts.”Anytime I tweet I’m letting down three-quarters of my followers,” Swan said, explaining his diverse audience of friends, industry peers, and fans of his Perfect Porridge entertainment site. “When I’m talking about my son, most of those people don’t care.”

Swan maintains some privacy by not posting his photograph and by never discussing work clients. Otherwise, he’s in the Twitter mix and claims the site has made him more real friends (the kind where you meet face to face) than all other online networking sites combined.

That’s a true fact I cite often for clients of my day job.

I’ve been in the Twin Cities-area for five years and the best friends I have truly resulted from connections enabled by Twitter. The social network allows you to “sample” friendship… to try someone out; see if they’re worth investing in. If they indeed are, then you can take it a step further. Or say you just met someone at a concert or networking event. Follow their tweets and you may just find yourself standing in front of First Avenue between sets with a new best friend.

In the words of the great LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. Follow me, and see what happens.