Brandt Krueger


Consultant, Meeting and Event Technology
Owner, Event Technology Consulting
Instructor, Event Leadership Institute
Cohost, #EventIcons - Where the icons of the event industry meet

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Is Social Media Becoming Less Social?

by Anne Thornley-Brown, MBA, President, Executive Oasis International

Twitter hashtags like #eventprofs that once had active and vibrant chats twice a week.  On April 6, 2014, #eventprofs chats were quietly retired with the following announcement by Brandt Krueger:

The #EventProfs weekly chats are currently living on a beach, sipping boat drinks, in retirement. More info here.

beachdrinksThis came after a period of disengagement when even chats with celebrity guests like the head of Wolfgang Puck Catering were not well attended. I participated in that chat and it was embarrassing that hardly anyone turned up for a guest of that caliber. Now #eventprofs consist of individuals sharing their own products, services and content. Little interaction is taking place.

The demise of the #eventprofs chats is one of a number of signs of the decline in social media engagement. One of the basic features of social media is that it is inherently social. It is a medium of interaction and of giving as well as taking.

Another symptom is that there seems to be a sharp decline in the number of tweets that are re­tweeted. Individuals are more likely to favorite content so that they can access it later and less likely to re­tweet and share it with their followers. I have never conducted a study but this conclusion is based on my own observations.

Barrons has observed a decline in activity and engagement across all channels:

There is less of a tendency to "like" Facebook pages and share the content of others on Facebook. This even happens on platforms like Triberr in which some individuals rarely take the time to share the content of other tribe members.

In LinkedIn Groups, many members place more of an emphasis on posting content their own content than participating in discussions and helping other group members by answering the questions they have posted.

The final trend is a slower rate of following people back, even people who take the time to share one's content.

Fellow blogger Jenise Fryatt once identified the steps that are needed to use social media effectively:

  • E­ Engage
  • ­Inform
  • R­ Re­tweet.

This earned her the title of Queen of #EIR.

Lately there seems to be an emphasis only on Inform.

No one would ever think of going to a networking event and spending the whole evening approaching people, handing out business cards, giving elevator pitches and then moving on before anyone has a chance to respond. Yet , this is precisely how many are approaching social media.

Are we undermining the effectiveness of social media? It's something to think about.

 Social Media Today seems to agree. The Wall Street Journal reported a Twopcharts finding that:

As of May 21, 2014 no one had shared Brandt Krueger's blog post announcing the end of chats or commented on the post. No one had retweeted or responded to the announcement on the official #eventprofs account that chats had been retired. There were only 2 comments on Brandt's blog post.

One thing is certain, disengagement is reducing the value of social media and that's unfortunate.

Photo Credit: Fraser Mummery

Anne Thornley-­Brown is the President of Executive Oasis International, a Toronto Team Building firm. Anne manages the 185,000+ Event Planning and Event Management Group on LinkedIn. She is active on Twitter @executiveoasis and she blogs for Cvent Blog and Huffington Post.

Is your level of social media engagement increasing or decreasing?  Why?

What is contributing to the decline in social media engagement?

Enable On-Screen Android Navigation Buttons on the Galaxy S3 (Requires Root)

On Screen Navigation on S3

***UPDATE*** If you're using the latest builds of CyanogenMod, you don't need to do this! Just go to Settings, Buttons, and check the "Enable on-screen nav bar" box. Et voila!

OK, this is one that's fun to try.  You'll either:

  1. Love it -or-
  2. Hate it

I know it might seem redundant with the hardware softkeys on the the Galaxy S3, but I really like this mod and it's one of the first things I do after flashing a new rom.  The S3 has plenty of screen real estate to handle it, and I find it a much faster way of navigating around the phone, with faster access to app switching and Google Now.  Also, frequently while trying to reach down to the "Back" hardware button with my left hand, the phone feels like it's going to shoot out of my hand like a bar of soap.

To enable the on-screen navigation buttons:

Use a file explorer (like Root Explorer) to navigate to


and open the file with a text editor.  Add the line


at the end of the file.  Save and close.  Reboot.  Done

That's it!

Be advised, there a are a few apps that don't behave well with the keys, such as the camera.  For some reason (probably because it's a stock app) instead of resizing, it partially covers up some of the controls.  Still completely usable though.

For extra credit, you might try one of these other mods...

Disable the softkeys: Navigate to


and open the file with a text editor. You will a giant list of key numbers and what they do.  Try to find these...

key 172    HOME key 158    BACK key 139    MENU

Add a # before any key you don't wan't to use anymore.  Save and reboot.

Thanks to jastonas over on XDA for the post!

Prevent the "HOME" key from waking your phone up: Personally, I like to keep the softkeys engaged.  I do still use them from time to time, such as when you can't find the freaking "MENU" key on a poorly designed app.  But, in a completely made up statistic, I have found that accidental pocket-engagement of the "HOME" key is responsible for 80% of battery loss.

Navigate to


and open the file with a text editor. You will see this...

key 115    VOLUME_UP           WAKE key 114    VOLUME_DOWN     WAKE key 172    HOME                     WAKE key 116    POWER                   WAKE

Just delete the word "WAKE" from the "HOME" key (or more if you like, but be careful you still need a way to wake your phone!!!).  Save and reboot.

Thanks to Eric over on Galaxy S3 Forums for the post!

That's all there is to it!  So now that the S4 is coming out, is anyone getting antsy to trade in their S3?  Personally over a year in I'm still happy as a clam...

Dear Spotify

Thanks for the condom commercial while my kids were listening to their Disney playlist.  Brought A Whole New World of meaning to The Bear NecessitiesKiss the GirlDig a Little DeeperAlmost There, and Happy Ending.  You might want to have some different ad copy for It's a Small World, as well.

Thanks, Brandt

On Sponsorship- Initial reflections from ECTC11

As once famously written by mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal to a friend, "I have made this a long letter because I haven't the time to make it shorter."  Sorry about that.  You might want to get a snack…

The Maelstrom

I intended to push this post off until after Event Camp Europe, and then to compare and contrast how that event and Event Camp Twin Cities 2011 each chose to deal with the complexities of hybrid meetings.  What worked, what didn't work.  I intended to be working on my presentation that I'm giving at ECEU last night, but instead found myself immersed in a whirlwind of comments, criticisms, reflections, and suggestions for the future of Event Camp.  Some kind, some a bit harsh.  "Did you see this?" asked one sponsor in an email to me.  "Here's a podcast," in another email from someone else.  Suddenly I have my laptop, iPad, and phone, all actively engaged and I'm listening to Mike McAllen at 250% speed so I can get through the podcast faster.

I still want to do the tech comparison, and will try to this week.  First, though, I want to take a moment to talk about sponsorship.

The Reality

I feel a very strong need to defend the sponsors.  Sonic Foundry, Martin Bastian, BeEvents, BizBash, eventMobi, Active Network, Heroic Productions, and others.  None of these companies had anything to do with the content or organization of the event, yet already I’m seeing some of their names associated with the negatives of the event.  A pit forms in my stomach when I think that by sponsoring this event, my, my company's, or my fellow sponsor's names might be tarnished in any way.  It makes me feel physically ill.

Sonic Foundry’s feed was rock-fracking-solid as usual.  I recommend and use Medisite on our own events for our own clients.  BeEvents brought beauty and functionality to the in room experience, and I say that knowing full well that we are at least peripheral competitors.  Martin Bastian, another competitor in some arenas, produced two very nice, very high quality videos for the game.   As for metroConnections, my employer, we provided the name badges and staff, the white lounge furniture and chairs, and lended production support in the forms of myself and one other guy, who wound up running audio in the Johnson Room due to cost concerns.  In that production role, I brought in Heroic Productions, my most trusted AV provider and the one of the best damn crews in town.  They sponsored what we thought was going to be overkill in the equipment department, and we still pushed both the gear and the crew well past the red line on this one.

I'm pretty sure Pink's fabric structures didn't have anything to do with the "problem with the pods".  All of these sponsors that I worked directly with executed their portions with near perfection in all the areas that they controlled.

Aye, there’s the rub…

“The areas that we controlled.”  And so my friends, I get to lesson #1 learned from ECTC11, and one you might not have been expecting from me: Do Not Lend Your Name to That Which You Do Not Control.

The Risk

Problem is, that's an unrealistic lesson.  There is, and always will be, an inherent risk in sponsoring an event.  If you could control everything, it would be your event, not someone else's. What happens when the NASCAR car you're sponsoring breaks down?  You can only hope that in the long run there's enough room for error and enough positive to outweigh the negative.  What happens when the plan for how to handle a 7 way Skype call fails in spectacular fashion?  You write a blog post doing your best to explain it so that others can learn from the mistakes, and hopefully keep the good names of your fellow sponsors out of the mud in the process.

Event Camp is about innovation and experimentation.  The guys tried a lot of things, and an unfortunate amount of them failed.  They took on too much, tried to do too many things at once, and it came off as a jumbled mess in parts.  They could have just as easily gone off without a hitch, and we could all be standing around now going, "By Jove, they've got it!"  Maybe Mike McAllen is right- maybe it needs to go back to more of an unconference style.  By making it seem more like a traditional event, has the tolerance for failure gone down?

Perhaps then, the lesson should be:  Do Not Lend Your Name to That Which You Do Not Control, Unless You Are Prepared to Deal with the Consequences, Positive or Negative.

You want to be on the bleeding edge?  Be prepared to fall off sometimes.  And to bleed.  I can only hope that when we do get that "By Jove" moment all the companies and sponsors involved get the credit they deserve.

To That End

I cannot speak for metroConnections or any of the other sponsors, and I don’t.  I speak for me, Brandt Krueger.  And I will say here and now that I will be volunteering my time next year should it be decided to have another Event Camp Twin Cities.

I welcome your criticisms, I welcome your thoughts, I welcome your ideas on how to make it better, and I'll do whatever I can to try and implement them if it's within my power to do so.  I wouldn’t be hurt or surprised if metro or Heroic have nothing to do with it or another Event Camp ever again, and I wouldn’t blame them one bit.  But I’m in.  Why?  Because lately I’m obsessed with trying to figure this hybrid event thing out.  Sam and Ray tried something new on the Pods.  It failed on many levels and for a variety of “perfect storm” reasons which I will go into soon.  I learned at least three things I didn’t know last week about how to do it and five on how not to do it.  The Event Camp Europe crew is going to try something different.  I’m going to learn from that too.

I believe in a cheap, scalable method for bringing in remote audiences for a near in room experience.  I believe we’re very close to that.  But how do you know if you can’t test it full scale?  And if you’re going to test it full scale, you better be ready to fail and fail spectacularly.  As for me, I’m going to keep attaching myself to these things.  I’m going to keep striving for perfection within the confines of experimentation.  Either I’m going to figure this thing out, or I’m going to be close to the person that does.  And I want my company to be on the inside track of how it should be done when we figure it out.  Do you?

As I said, I was supposed to be working on my presentation for Event Camp Europe last night.  In a weird sort of way, I think I have been…

Botch Your (Mountain) Lion Install? This Might Help...

[Edited 08/01/12- Confirmed this works with Mountain Lion as well!]

Couldn't wait for the $69 USB key and tried to do a clean install of Mac OSX Lion yourself?

Did you wait with bated breath for your new Liony Goodness to reboot, only to be hit with:

"There was a problem installing Mac OS X. Try reinstalling".

AIGH! Even reformatting and repartioning does nothing to stop it, and an infinite loop of pain begins.

Have no fear, "austingaijin" on the Apple Support Forums was kind enough answer his own question!

Correct Answer by austingaijin on Jul 24, 2011 7:13 PM
Here's the crucial bit. I got myself into this boat. After wiping my entire drive,
I wondered "HOW can it possibly be finding any remnants of Lion?" The answer is PRAM.
You need to reset your PRAM.
Follow this article:
After doing this, and restarting, I got a different error and a window displaying
a log containing details of the failed installation.
It doesn't matter. Just select a new startup disk, or do the "hold the Option key during boot"
trick to select your USB install image, and when you restart, you'll get the normal "clean installer" options.

Thanks a million, Brett.  It worked for me, and I didn't even get the second errors you mentioned. It just fired right up with the install options again!

**Edit**  Just in case the link dies or you don't feel like clicking through, here's the short: you need to reset what's called PRAM, and it's done by restarting your Mac and holding Command-Option-P-R, yes that's a four key combination!  I have had to do this a couple times now, and I let it cycle through a couple of times.  Works like a champ.  Please read the linked KB article for full details!

Totally Awesome Event Planner Page Template of Fun!

I'll spare you the advertising-filled search bait and just give you the text of this Awesome Event Planner Web Page! (found via Google Sparks)

    "Planning for an event that would pass out without any difficulty is really a confused task. An event planner has to consider from every possible side and make deal to make that event outstanding with respect to the best arrangements. Planning for an event is a time pass activity but still it has chances to skip things that will make you cry shit through that event. To avoid these circumstances, you must think to utilize event planning template. Make assure that the event planning template you are using will be just right for the every event you are going to planning for. This template has been developed in MS Word 2007.
Click below to download this totally free Event Planning Template."
That's some quality writing, kids!
You don't even want to know what the template looked like :)

5 Ways to Make Your PowerPoint Not Suck

This is bar none one of the most consise, well thought out, well designed presentations about presentations I've ever watched. [slideshare id=5652173&doc=you-suck-at-power-point-jesse-dee-101103032057-phpapp02]

A huge thank you to designer Jesse Desjardins (@jessedee) for creating it. I can speak from experience, there's just no substitute for good preparation. My best presentations have always come from rehearsal, brutal editing, and more rehearsal. Slapdash just don't do it...

What do you think? Is it the presentation or the presenter? Is it lack of prep that makes so many presentations awful and boring?

New Tool Makes "Open" WiFi Even More Dangerous

While serious hackers have been able to take advantage of people using open wifi networks for almost as long as they've existed, a new tool was released this week that makes it so almost anyone with a modicum of computer savy can not only snoop, but actually gain full access and PRETEND TO BE YOU if you log in to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and HUNDREDS of other sites not using the most serious encryption. This is not just getting your username or email address.  As far as the site's concerned, they are literally you, and have full access.

"Open" wifi networks are any networks that do not require you to enter a password to gain access to the network. (Like most Starbucks)

I urge you to be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS when connecting to an unsecured wifi network, and not log in to any username/password type sites until people start to figure this out and fix their sites.

If you have not secured your home network, I strongly recommend you do so.

If you have a local coffee shop you frequent, I also urge you to tell them to secure their network.  Even making the password "JoesCoffeeShop" and putting a large sign up that tells everyone the password prevents this tool from working.

I do not know how hotels' sites handle this issue, as it's just come to my attention.  Their networks are technically open, but then have the paid firewall you need to get through.  I don't know enough about the tool to be able to answer that question yet.

This tool does not, to my knowledge, work on "hard line", wired connections.

Feel free to forward this on to whomever you wish.

Here's a nice writeup on the tool, and some (mostly impractical) suggestions on how to protect yourself from it:


UPDATE: As of 2:16pm Thursday, the tool has been downloaded 392,850 times and is being downloaded at about once every three seconds.

Formatting PowerPoint for 16x9 (Widescreen) Presentations

I've had some requests for some of the slides from my Pecha Kucha presentation at EventCamp Twin Cities (#ectc10 / @eventcamptc) on formatting presentations.  I'm working on putting up a version of the whole presentation, but in the meantime, here's the top-most requested slide in a convenient, flattened, non-animated form:

Thanks again for all your kind words on the presentation.  I hope it helps some folks out!  If you have any other questions regarding presentation formatting, PowerPoint, Keynote, or Giant Tinkertoys, don't hesitate to comment here, on Twitter (@brandtkrueger), or on Formspring.

Test Post for Embed Video

Hi... Just testing how WordPress handles a YouTube embed code.  Trying to find an alternative to paying $60 year for the "video upgrade". So here's one of my favorite Eddie Izzard clips about Darth Vadar in the Death Star Canteen:


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