Tag Archives: Social Networking

Social Fresh Cruise 2010, 2 months away

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/10/07/social-fresh-cruise/”%5DWe are now 2 months away from the 2nd Annual Social Fresh Cruise. I’ve been passionate about new media and it’s ability to introduce new people to cruising for a few years now. So for a Cruise Geek, the Social Fresh Cruise is my dream voyage. On December 2nd, 2010, I’ll be unplugging, relaxing, and reconnecting with some of my favorite online personalities.

@DougMeacham & @CMajor #SoCruise

@DougMeacham & @CMajor Karaoke

Social Media is all about the relationships and Social Fresh Cruise takes those relationships to the next level.

Joining us for Social Fresh Cruise 2010 will be successful bloggers like @SteveHall of AdRants.com, @JennFowler of FrugalUpstate.com, Jordan Cooper, the funny guy behind NotaProBlog.com and @MommaDJane of MommaDJane.com. We have entrepreneurs like George and Jeff from GroupStory.com and CEOs/industry thought leaders like Ted Murphy of IZEA and Adam Holden-Bache of MassTransmit. We have Social Media Marketing professionals from large corporations like @AshevilleAllie from Playboy and I will be representing Travel Leaders Leisure Group. We have Social Media rockstars like @LucretiaPruitt & @KatebuckJr who have built strong audiences across multiple channels. As you can see the Social Fresh Cruise attracts a diverse group including Social Media Managers of large corporations, Bloggers, Consultants, Higher Ed., Government, non-profits, Start-ups, Social Brands, etc. The common thread is that we are all passionate about the future of the Social Web and we all enjoy building deeper relationships with our online friends.

@ChrisBrogan on #SoCruise

Chris Brogan speaking at Social Fresh Cruise 2009

Are you a social media leader?
Social Fresh Cruise includes interactive social media conference sessions, meals, 4 day cruise, entertainment, cocktail parties, and a beach party in Cozumel. All of this for about the same price as just the admission to many conferences. You have the opportunity to share a lifetime experience with 80 other social media leaders. You will go home with a much stronger network for 2011. Want more information about the premier social media conference at sea? Click here for all the details.

#SoCruise Beach Party

Carlos & Charlies #SoCruise Beach Party

Social Fresh Cruise is invitation only, but if you are truly passionate about Social Media, I’m confident that you’ll manage to find an invite code. If you book by 10.20.10, you will be entered to win a $125 Spa Package while on the cruise!

Contact me with any questions: rtucker [at] cruisedeals [dot] com. No one paid to be in this post and unfortunately I left out all of the other smart, cool people who will be joining us on December 2nd, 2010. See the whole list at http://socialfresh.com/cruise


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Top 10 things I learned about Twitter from #Cruise24

[tweetmeme source=”cruisesource” only_single=false “http://cruisesource.us/2010/08/09/top-10-things-i-learned-about-twitter-from-cruise24/”%5D Last week, I conducted a Social Media Experiment that I hashtagged #Cruise24.   As far as I know, I was the first person to tweet for 24 straight hours.   I tweeted for 24 hours from @CruiseSource, without sleeping or communicating any other way.   I wanted to focus on Twitter for an extended amount of time to get a better grasp of the state of conversation on Twitter.  Luckily, I work for CruiseDeals.com and they have been supportive of all my crazy social media ideas.  I’ve included all the stats from the experiment at the bottom of the blog post:

Why? Due to my personal busyness, others busyness, and the increase in bot/spam accounts I’d been feeling like the conversation had drastically decreased from where it was a couple of years ago. I have Twitter up all day at work, but I only passively monitor the conversation outside of a few times each week where I may fully commit to the conversation.   Due to this passive monitoring, I’ve been anxious that I am missing out some potential opportunities to book cruises via Twitter.

I also used the experiment to raise money & awareness for the Cruise4Haiti by getting donations of $24 from as many people as possible.  I learned a lot from continuously searching Twitter,  attempting to have cruise related conversations, and trying to raise money over a 24 hour period.  Here are my 10 top observations about the current state of conversation on Twitter:

#1.  The conversation is still on Twitter.  There are lots of people having conversations on twitter @replying each other. I think the fact that you can’t see all of your friends @replies make it appear that there is a lot less conversation on Twitter. But there is still very little conversation about cruising outside of between travel agents and other travel industry professionals.

#2.  Commit to the Conversation. If you truly want to be part of the conversation, then you need to be focused solely on Twitter for a set amount of time.  You are not able to have meaningful conversations by casually monitoring Twitter throughout the day. Conversations are a two-way street and both members need to be committed the conversation

  • I think it’s gotten too easy for us to monitor Twitter throughout the day, looking for search terms and responding to @replies.  Thanks to Hootsuite and TweetDeck apps for Iphone and Droid it is easy to monitor Twitter all day long with multiple accounts.  This is a very passive approach and I think this is why I was feeling that the conversation had slacked on Twitter.
  • To more effectively and efficiently use Twitter, I’ll be making major changes to how use Twitter thanks to the experiment. I will share details in the next blog post!

#3 The sense of community on Twitter is still strong.  We raised about $1400 for Cruise4Haiti’s non-profit partner Airline Ambassadors.   Most of the $24 donations came from friends who I have met on Twitter and have spent time with face to face playing basketball, cruising the Caribbean on Social Fresh Cruise, at Tweetups, etc.    By utilizing twitter as a catalyst to meet as many people as possible in person, it enabled me to raise money for a great cause.  Without putting in the time to build real relationships, I wouldn’t have raised more than a couple of hundred dollars.

#4 Twitter is a social bank account.  You have to make deposits by supporting your friend’s projects and businesses.   By actively supporting and being involved with #TAMxc, #SilentClark, #SoFresh, #TPTpoker, #SCLThoops, #REBCCLT, and many other twitter hashtags in the past, I received support back from those friends for #Cruise24.

#5 It’s all about relationships. By primarily only getting donations from Twitter friends who I have met in person or share common passion, I learned that Twitter is still all about relationships.  People are not regularly clicking on links from Twitter and making purchases, but they are making purchases from their Twitter friends.   Building these relationships take time and effort.   Luckily for those of us who are serious about growing our business via Twitter, most people are not willing to put in the work to build those relationships.

#6 There’s ton of junk on Twitter.   When searching for people discussing cruise, I found so much spam and junk accounts.   It’s tough to weed through all the junk to find real people to tweet with.  I can see why some new people to Twitter get turned off.   Hopefully Twitter will do a better job of weeding out spam/feed accounts that lower the value of the Twitter stream.

#7 Too many messages coming from outside apps.  Facebook, Ping.fm, Posterous, and many other apps are feeding tweets.  These are just more messages to weed through if you are looking to have a real 140 character conversation, because the people who sent them are not actually on Twitter and will not see the @reply.   So you respond to one of these tweets, and do not get a response because the person is actually on Facebook, Posterous, FourSquare etc.   Sometimes this leads to non-real time conversations which seem to be a growing percentage of the conversation on Twitter.

#8 Don’t Butt in. 2 Friends having a conversation about the potential of booking a cruise do not respond well with a cruise account like @CruiseSource butting into their conversation.   So even when you find someone discussing  the potential of booking a cruise, it is tough to get a reply when you butt into their conversation.

#9 If you want the word to get out, get on the radar of a key influencer1 Tweet from @ChrisBrogan equals about 200 tweets from @CruiseSource for generating traffic, retweets, excitement, and awareness.   Social Media leaders with strong legit followings like @ChrisBrogan & others are so busy and overwhelmed it’s tough to get on their radars, but if you can, it will make a huge a difference.

#10. GO BIG.  View social media and Twitter as a playground.  We’re all experimenting.  Use this to your advantage and don’t be scared to push the envelope of what is possible.   Being different and trying things that have never been done will set you apart from the noise, even if it is only for 24 hours.

Rich Tucker aka CruiseSource

Tired after 24 hours of Tweeting

How do you feel about the current state of conversation on Twitter?

Thank you to all my friends who supported #Cruise24 and to all the new friends I made during the experiment.   Stats from #Cruise24:  24hrs. of Tweeting, 658 Tweets, 37 Donors, 50 net new followers, 19 non-responses from @replies (@Redbull did not respond to 5 @replies), 55 Cruise Related Conversations with mostly non-industry Twitter accounts.


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#SilentClark Making Waves on the Internets

I met Clark Harris, aka @SilentClark, for the first time in person this evening. Clark has challenged himself to be silent for the entire month of May using only Social Media to communicate. His goal is leverage social media to raise $100,000 to fight Leukemia in the memory of his mother who passed last year after a battle with the Cancer.

@MatthewSimpson @SilentClark @CruiseSource

Thanks to Matthew Simpson, Social Fresh Cruise attendee, I’ve been involved with the #SilentClark Social Media Experiment since May 3rd. It’s been exciting to watch the experiment grow from @SilentClark from groundzero to Clark being interviewed on Atlanta 11 Alive news and Mashable.com with 2 week remaining in the experiment. Clark and Matthew were driving from Atlanta to Raleigh and we took the opportunity to tweetup and grab a beer in Charlotte, NC. I’m so glad I got to meet Clark in person, although he remained silent. Taking offline relationships offline is the key to making the most out of the Social Media…I’m sure I will see Clark again when he can speak. Online friends are great, but when you share a once in life-time experience in person you take relationships to completely different level.

Getting to experience the experiment offline this evening gave me a much better understanding of how extreme the challenge to be silent for whole month is. It is more of a Social Experiment than a Social Media Experiment. It tests many of the social norms that we take for granted and its impact is felt more offline than online. Following along online is entertaining. Clark gives business cards to everyone he interacts with explaining why he must use Twitter or some other Social Media tool to communicate with them. Our waitress was enthralled by the whole concept and asked atleast 20 questions. Clark has 11 more days of silence. Follow the Twitter hashtag #SilentClark to keep up with the whole conversation. Share the Social Media Experiment Blog with your friends on FaceBook, Twitter, and Email (people still use email?).

As the momentum continues to build through Social Media and traditional media for #SilentClark, reaching the goal of $100,000 is not out of the realm of possibilities. He will need your support. Become a friend on of SilentClark Harris on FaceBook, become a fan of Silence Cancer on Facebook, and Share the Social Media Experiment Blog with your friends!

Good Luck Clark!!


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Week Recap: WSJ, Twitterview, My Brother Walks

My Best Week Evar? Probably not… the week my daughter was born was pretty special. The Cruise to Italy on the Inaugural sailing of the Costa Deliziosa rocked… and I am pretty sure there are some others that rank up there. Life isn’t always roses! As a former Quizno’s Franchise owner/operator, I’ve had my share of miserable weeks too… especially the ones where our store was broken into (the one where they knew the code to the safe was the worst). Luckily those days are way behind me!

As a Cruise Geek who loves Social Media, this week was pretty awesome. I was Twitterviewed by @nclandy, Andy Stuart EVP of Global Sales for Norwegian Cruise Line. A twitterview is a public, open interview live on Twitter in which the audience can participate. I was quoted this week in the mecca of business print, the Wall Street Journal about cruise pricing trends this summer. @93octane (Lyell Petersen) and I hosted a South by Southwest Q&A at our local Business Tweetup, #btynbiz. @ericfraz, writer for the Charlotte Observer, wrote a quick article about the Q&A session. The best part of the Tweetup was meeting several local business people joining us to learn more to start their journey into using Social Media to strengthen current relationships and to generate new business. To cap off the week, last night I came in second in the Twitter Poker Tour weekly game out 30+ entrants.

THE BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK: Mike, my younger brother, walked for the first time since his car wreck on December 17th, 2009. He first used crutches and has now walked a few steps without the crutches… he was lucky to have lived through the accident, and even luckier that his feet were not amputated due to compound fracture and . After 3 months of being in a hospital bed and wheelchair, it made my week to hear that he’s able to begin the process of strengthening his legs to be able to walk again. ~ Happy Sailing, Rich Tucker

Mike at New Year's - 2 Weeks after the Accident

Lets stay connected, be my friend on Twitter!

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SportsAgentBlog.com Teams up with CruiseDeals.com

CruiseDeals.com has teamed up with Dynasty Athlete Representation, LLC to host a group cruise for the agents and their growing client list of Professional Baseball players. They will set sail on October 4th on the Monarch of the seas to the sunny Bahamas. This is an awesome opportunity for the players to get away, relax, connect with other players, and of course have FUN! Dynasty Athlete Representation shares my passion of interactive media. They are a leader in Sports Blogging; you can find all of their original content on SportsAgentBlog.com.

While on their cruise you will be able to follow them on Twitter at @DynastyReps, @Darren_Heitner, and @BryanSwalley…. (if you enjoy Baseball and Sports start following them Now!)

CruiseSource.us and Cruisedeals.com are teaming up with the best content producers on the internets to create one-of-a-kind group cruise experiences. We are excited to now include Dynasty Athlete Representation to that list of partners!

If you are an awesome content producer, have an audience, and have thought about using a group cruise to share your passion and to strenghten your connection with your audience and friends, call me 704.965.0228 – that is what I do!
Happy Sailing ~ Rich Tucker

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CruiseSource.us representing at #SXSW

I’m flying out tomorrow, Friday March 12th to go to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest to attend sessions & panels about Interactive Media. South by Southwest is the yearly Film, Music, and Interactive Media Festival. The 1st week of the festival is focused on Interactive Media and is considered by many to be Geek Spring Break. Lyell Petersen, @93Octane on Twitter and the dot com in CruiseDeals.com, and I (@CruiseSource on Twitter) will possibly be the only 2 people representing the Cruise Industry at South by Southwest.

We’ve been leaders in trying to get ‘Cruising’ into the Social Media Conversation. Lucky for me, I love to talk about Social Media as much as Cruising! In the last couple of years, I’ve helped lead the way by being one of the first cruise industry bloggers, the first one to tweet from a cruise ship, the winner of the Shorty Award in Travel for my use of Twitter, the first to giveaway a cruise on Twitter and Facebook, and hosting the Social Fresh Cruise, the premier social media conference at sea. Now, I am excited to go learn the answer to the question: What’s Next?

@93Octane aka Lyell Petersen

@93Octane aka Lyell Petersen

Social Media is just a catalyst for face to face meetings and by attending South by Southwest, I will finally get to meet many of my long-time online friends in person . I also get to see many of my friends from Social Media Week, Shorty Awards, SoCruise, and other social media conferences in person again. I’m stoked (which is a good sign I am probably a geek)… feel free to follow along with my personal twitter account @RichTucker.

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Next Cruise: Celebrity Solstice

I’m getting excited as our next cruise is just around the corner. Last December, I experienced the Celebrity Treatment for the first time. On the Celebrity Century, I seriously felt the Celebrity difference in the high quality of their food & service. The Celebrity Century is an older, medium sized ship in the Celebrity fleet. Celebrity Century had recently undergone a refurbishment and I was very pleased with all aspects of the onboard experience.

Celebrity Century in Jamaica, 12.14.09

Celebrity Century in Jamaica, 12.14.09

We’re taking the Celebrity Experience to the next level. The first week in April, Jess and I are taking our 8 year old son on his first cruise. We will be Cruising 7-nights to St. Kitts, San Juan, and St. Maarten on the Brand New Celebrity Solstice. The Solstice Class of ship is much larger than the other ships in the Celebrity Fleet. The Solstice has many innovative design features including the first grass lawn at sea. The Solstice has been describe to me as a floating W Hotel. Although the Celebrity Solstice is a Premium Cruise Ship, thanks to the recession the Solstice is not fetching a premium price tag. In April and May you can sail 7-nights from Ft. Lauderdale on the Celebrity Solstice starting at only $599! The best value is actually on the Balcony Cabins thanks to freebies.

Balcony Cabins start at $799 with a $50 Onboard Credit and CruiseDeals.com is paying for your Gratuities ($150 value) must book by February 28th, 2010.

Let me know in the comments if you will be joining us on the April 4th, Celebrity Solstice. I’ll buy your first Fruity Adult Beverage! ~ Happy Sailing Rich Tucker

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