Sunday, December 13, 2009


Social Media Motorsports Summit

Media Mensch and LinktoMotorsports announces the Social Media Motorsports Summit to be held on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the Westin Charlotte. This event is for executives, drivers, team owners, media and pr professionals who want to learn and participate in a dialogue about social media as the new frontier of reaching your fans to build stronger relationships and your brand.

Registration and information is available at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Trial (2010) - Andrew Kaplan, Assistant District Attorney

Photo of Andrew Kaplan in his featured role as Assistant District Attorney in the film called "The Trial". The film is based upon the best selling book by Robert Whitlow. The movie stars Matthew Modine, Bob Gunton and Rance Howard. This is the 8th film for Andrew Kaplan since he began Leatherheads with George Clooney in 2007. Andrew Kaplan was also the stand in for Robert Gunton who appears in the television series 24 and had an award winning role as the warden in Shawshank Redemption. Matthew Modine starred early in his career in Full Metal Jacket and recently appeared in the television series "Weeds". Rance Howard is a seasoned actor has appeared in over 100 movies and is the father of film director, Ron Howard. Learning from these world class actors was one of the best parts of the newest MediaMensch journey.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Newest Journey in Film - The Trial

A few years ago, I decided to start this blog about what it was like to arrive on a film set for the first time, when I worked on Leatherheads directed by George Clooney. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that this would turn out to be something that I would be able to do on a regular basis while living in Charlotte. Great actors and directors continue to come to the Carolinas to produce their films.

For most of my films I have been an extra. This film for the first time, I am officially a featured extra, playing a district attorney. The experience of this film has allowed me to be on the set, and watch and learn about film direction, production, lighting and acting from very talented and experienced professionals. The actors in the movie have worked on some of the most successful films and television shows such as Full Metal Jacket, Desperate Housewives, 24 and Crash.

From the production side, I am learning about lighting, camera angles, script supervising and how the directors interact with the actors.

So I am off to finish week one of this film. It has been one of the most interesting times of my mediamensch journey.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Start Up Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media is now the biggest buzz out there. Are you able to understand how to leverage your business and brand. Even if you build a facebook fan page or set up a twitter account, do you have the time and expertise to build the audience.

Here are some of the ways a social media firm can help you.

1) Develop a high level strategic marketing plan to reach your audience and build relationships
2) Guide you and your team to integrate and use complementary tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog to execute your social media strategy.
3) Provide on-going support, advice and education about current best practices and changes within social media

MediaMensch works with clients who are looking to invest in their future. Old media such as advertising is not working well anymore. MediaMensch can provide you with a plan and the expertise to bring your social media plans into focus.

You can contact us at with the Subject heading "Start Me Up"

Monday, October 19, 2009

NASCAR and Jimmie Johnson - The Winning Formula

The NASCAR Banking 500 was a time for change and a time for stability. At a time when Bank of America is under siege, the branding of NASCAR is taking some shifts. Not only was this a race which "political correctness" forced the changing of the race sponsorship, it was the last race for this track to be called "Lowes Motor Speedway".

So in the end the stability of the sport is coming from its drivers and specifically the race team of Hendrick Motorsports. Just as the NY Yankees has built is October dynasty, Jimmie Johnson, taking winning the qualifying, the practice sessions and then the race is a testament to hard work and team work and some deep pockets. Deep pockets don't win races, just as deep pockets don't always win you a world series, but it helps.

On this cold autumn evening, when the fans were bundled in blankets, Jimmie Johnson, blazed to his victory, warming the hearts of his fans and owner Rick Hendrick. This was a time to learn about setting goals when you are #1 and to continue to work hard to improve. Chad Knaus, crew chief, confidante and coach, said "You have to establish goals and push to the next. When you reach that goal move to the next goal." He had set high expectations for himself and for his team.

Battling his teammate, Jeff Gordon toward the end of the race, was one of the interesting parts of the race. Gordon had dominated Lowes Motor Speedway for a few years and to watch Johnson, battle and hold him off at the end was a punctuation mark that this in deed looks like Johnson's legacy and perhaps the year where talk turns to his future in the new NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Racing is about balance. Balancing the short run and the long run. Keeping momentum and stamina. Knowing others are gunning for you. One of the young gunners in the race was 19 year old Joey Logano, who finished 5th, battling Jeff Gordon in the closing laps. Logano said about racing Gordon "That was really cool....It was fun, I had a blast". Logano's top five finish in this race may set the tone for the next wave of young guns.

So the sport and sponsors are looking for the next great thing. You have smart articulate drivers leading the sport. Jimmie Johnson is a winner and Lowe's investment in his car shows its commitment to NASCAR, even as it had a crowning achievement of the Lowes car winning at the last night at Lowes Motor Speedway. Being witness to the Jimmie Johnson win is part of the legacy being built for the sport, Hendrick and the speedway. NASCAR and its drivers have the winning formula for the future.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walter Cronkite - An Original Media Mensch

Walter Cronkite was the north star. He pointed the way with his humble, passionate intelligent reporting. He was my first real reporter and anchorman who I watched and listened to each night.

A true reporter from the Tiffany network. Something out of the world. He brought emotion and level-headedness to each broadcast.

Whether he was in the war zone in Vietnam or covering the launch of a spacecraft, he was the person of true authenticity and truth. We believed what he said, no spin zones allowed with Walter providing the news.

We gathered around the television for the good and the bad. The assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK all required a time for reflection and Walter Cronkite was able to hold up the mirror to allow the country to reflect. He was a leader who put his ego aside for the focus on the story. He knew a good story and he told it straight.

He is a true American Treasure and a Universal treasure as well. We take a moment to close our eyes and breathe in that truth and allegiance that he brought to his audience. Walter you and your style will be missed.

"And that's the way it is"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Social Media for Realtors

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present social media concepts at a technology open house for the Charlotte, NC realtors. Over 200 realtors attended this full day program taught by a team of instructors on topics such as twitter, facebook, and tools such as use of video and digital photography.

My morning sessions included a panel on social media and a class on LinkedIn for Realtors. Both sessions had standing room only. The morning panel was of interest as three of our panelists discussed the main social media tools and how we use them. Part of the discuss came down to "style" and "personal preference" on areas such as privacy and how much time in the day should one devote to social media. Other questions centered around the creative ways we use social media to engage in "conversation" My panelists included realtors Lori Bee and it moderated by Lexie Longstreet.

My individual morning session was held in the technology room with standing room only for a LinkedIn class. We discuss the history of LinkedIn including how the early days when I was part of a group of early adopters who would converse regularly with the founders. Some of the discussion included how to set up your profile for key word searches, the power of your "friend's friends. We also discussed the basics such as setting up your "elevator pitch". Showing how LinkedIn is the new resume and how clients may come to you because you worked together or went to school together in the past.

The afternoon session was about branding yourself on Facebook and LinkedIn. We started with the class writing down 3 concepts of how they are personally branded. The discussion moved to integrating of twitter and our blogs. The class explored the differences between LinkedIn and Facebook and how to use them together to make a powerful marketing and referal system. Our discussion also showed how systems like facebook learn about you and your interests, so how you are engaging is how the system will figure out how to attract others to you.

The day wrapped up and we received such positive feedback from the attendees that this was one of the best educations days that the Charlotte Area Realtors had ever offerred.

I want to thank Karyn Lindsey and her team at the Board of Charlotte Realtors for putting on such a successful program. With 9,000 realtors in Charlotte, looks like we have a few thousand more who can benefit from this topic..

For follow up for other realtors, here are some classes and training available:
1) One of One Coaching (single session or quarterly)
2) On site discussion, breakfast or lunch and learn
3) Public speaking at a realtor event
4) Brainstorming sessions for real estate firms - We lead a discussion on how to utilize social media for your firm.
5) Branding yourself with LinkedIn and Facebook. This can be held as an in-house session or you can sponsor this event for your clients.

For more information you can contact: Andrew Kaplan, or at 704-293-2151.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

LinktoMotorsports - Lori Banks, Founding Member

Lori Banks is one of the founding members on LinktoMotorsports. Lori is a devoted NASCAR and Indy fan. She grew up in a family that raced. Today she travels to many of the races with the Woods Brothers team. Lori can be found in the center of many of the events for NASCAR and was our first LinktoMotorsports ambassador at the Daytona 500 race.

LinktoMotorsports is approaching its one year birthday and now has over 1,000 members who are professionals in motorsports from around the world. MediaMensch is building this network and plans to have events at races around the world hosted by our members.

Currently you can find our members collaborating and sharing business ideas on the social network, LinkedIn.

Lori Banks captured on our Flip HD camera at the Coca Cola 600 in May 2009.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Filmmakers and Social Media

Most film watchers are focused on the top grossing films of the year from major studios such as Disney, Paramount, Universal etc. However each year hundreds of films are produced which are of high quality and need to find their niche audience. These include feature films, short films and documentaries.

The filmmakers are finding new ways to use tools such as facebook, twitter, youtube, internet television, and mobile content distribution to create awareness of their films.

Over the next few months, MediaMensch will be exploring this subject both on its blog and on its mediamensch radio show, eventually with a goal of turning this into a how-to use social media book for filmmakers.

If you have an interesting story about social media and film, please contact us at and put the subject title as "Blog - filmmakers"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Flip

At the Coca Cola 600 race ,we had a chance to work with handheld portable HD video camera called The Flip Ultra HD. This camera takes two hours of video and then connects directly to your USB port of your computer to upload video. It is one of the simplest video camera to use.

Video of Jimmy Johnson and Crew Chief Chad Knaus:

We used the camera to capture footage of the race and the press conferences. We also used it as we started a spontaneous marketing campaign for MediaMensch LinktoCharlotte and LinktoMotorsports brands in which people would say "I like LinktoMotorsports" or "I like LinktoCharlotte". We were able to capture Rick Hendrick and NASCAR legend Bobby Allison, plus a few of our LinktoMotorsports members who were in the infield area of the racetrack including one of my founding members.

We also captured video from around the track area and will be editing this for future media. For more information on this camera, you can visit

If you are looking for a great addition to your social media arsenal. This pocket sized camera is a great addition for around $200 retail.

Monday, May 25, 2009

David Reutimann - Coca Cola 600 Winner

Photo: David Reutimann, Winner of the 2009 Coca Cola 500
(photo by: MediaMensch Networks/Andrew Kaplan, all rights reserved)

During a two day, rain soaked, rain delayed race, David Reutimann was the winner of the Coca Cola 600. He stayed out in the rain for hours. Here he is sitting on the ground against his car during the last rain delay.
The Coca Cola 600 was stopped due to rain at the 227 lap and he became the winner. This was his first win in the Sprint Cup.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bobby Allison - I Like LinktoMotorsports

We caught up with NASCAR legend, Bobby Allison at the Coca Cola 600. He is the Grand Marshall for the race.

We are experimenting with ways in which MediaMensch Networks - LinktoMotorsports brand can use technology to capture the race week.

We are using a camera sent to us from which is a HD portable video camera. It fits in your pocket and can store up to two hours of video.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Coca Cola 600 - Red, White and Brands

NASCAR is all about its fans and it is also about about its brands. The sport runs on brands from Office Depot to Coca Cola to M & M's. If you are around Lowes Motor Speedway for the Coca Cola 600, scan around and count the number of brands you see.

The brands are an integral part of the sport. The week between the Sprint All-Star race and the Coca Cola 600 is Food Lion Speed Street. It is estimated that 400,000 fans will descend on Charlotte this weekend to visit the festival featuring a way to meet drivers, sample new products, and interact with the brands.

Even in the media center, the other day, I walked out with a box of Hamburger Helper and Cheerios. As you watch the race, you will see Toyota is now a major part of the sport. Their logo and brand is on the inside walls of the racetrack. Even some of the pace cars are Toyota Hybrids and the trucks that clean the track are Toyota Tundras.

Showing the success of branding this weekend up front is Coca Cola. This is their race weekend. At the track on Friday was a one quarter mile grill serving hot dogs and hamburgers to thousands of fans. They had a large stage with interviews of Coca Cola drivers (they sponsor 14 drivers). Even hall of fame driver, Bobby Allison made an appearance.

Coca Cola in the past would bring in the American Idols to perform this week at Speed Street or at the race. This year they decided to bring in the winner of Dancing with the Stars. Well, sometimes brands hit home runs or in this case they won "Gold". Olympic Gymnast, Shawn Johnson. will be swept up into the world of racing and NASCAR as the Honorary Marshall of the Coca Cola 600. This is about as All-American as you can be.

The 50th running of the Coca Cola 600 will be all about the Red White and Blue on Memorial day weekend, plus the Red and White Brands of Coca Cola, Office Depot and Toyota. Tune in at 5 pm EDT on Fox TV on Sunday, May 24th.. Before they say "Racers start your engines", let's say, "Viewers Watch Your Brands".

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Burnouts, Speed and Ingenuity

Speed Channel's PASSTIME show taped 10 episodes over two days at the Zmax Dragway in Concord, NC. It is a show in which vehicles from Motorcyles, SUV's to Volkswagens are entered. There were 2 celebrity contestants go against the "house" Ken Herring. They have to guess the times of the vehicles based upon the descriptions of work done to these cars. Then the cars power down a 1/4 mile dragstrip.

Celebrity NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs, made up most of the contestants. Some of the most interesting cars included a corn-fed ethanol vehicle to two super motorcycle racers who were fearless going down the track accelerating to over 100+ mph. What you take away from the show is how much different each vehicle was from each other and the appreciation of the amount of time the owners took to develop these as the morphed into racing vehicles.

I had a chance to meet the host of the show Brett Wagner and speak to the producer, Ray Eddings. These episodes are expected to air starting on Speed channel in July.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coach Kaplan Tip - Using Twitter Search to Build Your Contacts

As a social media advisor, I am asked all the time about twitter, its value and its return on the investment in time. Where Twitter may excel is to connect you with a knowledge economy or engage you in conversation.

Many of you have set out to twitter and have collected followers. As your list grows some of the twitter conversation may be of interest (could be about today's news, weather, traffic, sports, philosophy, etc). The question occurs on how to expand the conversation and or how to find experts or media sources that are you there.

One way to do this simply with or without a twitter account set up is to go to

At the screen you can type in key words to search for. You can also use what is called a hashtag or a # sign. If you want to see who is discussing gardening, you can type in #gardening. Want to find others in your home town, type in the name of your city. Try it with or without the hashtag. What this will do is help you find those of similar interest to you. Once you have a twitter account set up (it takes less than 5 minutes). You can then follow and engage in conversation with these people who may be experts to media outlets to others around the world.
To connect with MediaMensch on Twitter: (journey through media) (social media tips and tricks) (Charlotte Community Events)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tony Stewart Wins Sprint All Star Race

Winner Tony Stewart and his teammates in victory lane at the 2009 Sprint All Star Race Tony Stewart took the lead with only 2 laps to go in the race. He held on against Ryan Newman. This was the first and special win for his new team at Stewart-Haas racing. Tony Stewart brought home a $1 million dollar check. Tony Stewart said "No check that you can write can take the place of winning for my teammates. For many this is the first time they had ever experienced winning." There were lots of tears of joy and pats on the back. Stewart placed a lot of the success tonight on his crew chief Darian Grubb who he said made some very complex adjustments to the car just before the final 10 laps. He also credited Grubb with building a great team at Stewart-Haas racing.

(photo property of Andrew Kaplan/MediaMensch Networks)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sprint All-Star Driver pictures from Garage Area

Dale Earnhardt, Jr (top), Carl Edwards (middle), Tony Stewart (bottom) talking to the media on Friday before the Sprint Millon Dollar All-Star Challenge at Lowes Motor Speedway.

(Photos property of Media Mensch Networks/Andrew Kaplan, LinktoMotorsports, LinktoCharlotte) All Rights Reserved.

Sprint All Star Race and Media Celebrities

NASCAR is building up to the Coca Cola 600 on memorial day weekend, with its Sprint All-Star Race for a million dollars. The top drivers will compete in a final segment which will have only 10 laps for this million dollar prize. Driver Kasey Kahne compared it to driving the way they did when he first started racing as a youth.

The All-Star race is special this year as it is in its 25th running. Celebrities such as Kevin Costner and America's Most Wanted John Walsh are here to participate. Country Duo Montgomery Gentry will be the featured artists at the race.

This is one of the most fun days for NASCAR drivers. Many of the drivers live and work near Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, NC and have a chance to drive in front of family and friends.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Billboard Indie Artist Nicola Recommends Media Mensch

"Andrew Kaplan, founder of MediaMensch Networks, is an absolute whiz at online marketing, promoting and networking in virtually all areas, subjects and realms. He regularly features a host of emerging as well as well-known talents and personalities on his show "Media Mensch". As an independent artist, I was lucky enough to have him randomly stumble across my music online whereupon he subsequently invited me to do an extensive interview and feature on his show. The networking it provided me were invaluable and it yielded many more new fans and hits to my sites and ultimately my music. His spirit of cross-promotion and internet business savvy is like no other." - Nicola - NYC-Billboard Indie Artist -

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Kasey Kahne - 50th Anniversary of the Coca Cola 600

Kasey Kahne, and Bruton Smith, Lowes Motor Speedway unveiled the new trophy for the Coca Cola 600.

The Coca Cola 600 is going to be one of the top events of the year in motorsports.

Coca Cola, Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR - Fan Friendly

In these economic times, companies such as Coca Cola, Speedway Motorsports and NASCAR are teaming up more than ever to focus on their core customer, the dedicated race fan. (Top photo of Driver Jeff Burton and Coca Cola Executive)

Over the past few months, Lowes Motor Speedway, the site of the 50th Anniversary of the Coca Cola 600 and the annual million dollar Sprint All Star Race have continued to make fan friendly announcements

Here are some of the things that are being offered to the fans. Some lucky fans are invited to watch the press conferences with the media. For fans attending the race this year Coca Cola unveiled a BBQ event where they are building a 1/4 mile grill in the shape of an oval and inviting any fans with tickets to come to a free BBQ on the friday before the race weekend. Celebrity Chef, Tyler Florence, will be there leading 100 chefs. Imagine inviting 100,000+ people to a BBQ..hats off to Coca Cola and LMS. (Bottom Photo of NASCAR champion driver Jeff Burton serving up hot dog to MediaMensch executive, Andrew Kaplan)

Another change around the economy was Lowes Motor Speedway's creation of a 99 cent value menu. The idea is to make it affordable for the race fans who travel from long distances to still be able to afford the race. This is a critical time for NASCAR and racing. The message is clear and coming down from the leadership of the sport.

So in these economic times, remember who is your customer, who is loyal to you. Loyalty will be the one thing you can count on. It works both ways and the fans can see and feel it. So, Race fans "Start your engines" and head to Charlotte and Lowes MotorSpeedway for the Coca Cola 600 BBQ.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Social Networking Strategies - Your Authentic Self

Today, I was coaching a new client who was looking at ways to use social media for a job search and also to be able to more clearly understand how a public relations professional and writer might be able to harness these tools for themselves and their clients. As we went through our initial session on thing started to become very clear, the more you are true to your authentic self (not your job description, parenting role, etc) but to those things you are most passionate about, the more that social media will help you attract the people who ultimately will be the network to help you find a job in an area you are most passionate about.

My client had built a personal network in another state and had moved here with her husband's career move. We discussed how she could use social networking to not only reconnect with her former "in-person" network but also to attract people who had strong interests for her area of expertise --- in this case, public relations for politicians. As we moved through the coaching session, we also discovered her love for books and writing. I asked, if she has been asked to "recommend books" to her friend and she told me she actually formed and leads a book club. My response was that you could use Twitter and Facebook to influence and attract others who may be interested in the books and subjects you like.

One other thing she mentioned was she wanted to write a book about her mother. We discussed posting from time to time the life lessons her mother taught her. Again this is a way to attract those who may align with you emotionally or spiritually.

Last on the sports front, she was enamored with college football and especially one of the top teams in the nation. (Her son graduated from there) recently. I told her to post and tweet about the team and she would attract other fans and again extend her network with others passionate about the subject.

So at the end of the day if you post, tweet and provide others with information you are passionate and knowledgeable about it will open doors to a new network. In this new network of friends it may lead you to a new opportunity which in many cases was previously hidden from view.

Being authentic to yourself and your passions in social networking can lead to great success in connecting and in your life goals and visions.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Journey in NASCAR

This is a story of exploration and re-invention...for those of you who are seeking a new path in your life journey..this is an example of how small steps and a long term vision can mean success. This story is about enjoying the journey.

A couple of years ago, a client and friend, Sean Owens, moved from the Charlotte Knights AAA baseball team over to head up a new area of group sales at Lowes Motor Speedway. He came into the position with with a small team and limited budget. His group decided to have a booth down at the big party that happens the week of the All Star Race and the Coca Cola 600 called "Speed Street". The main issue for him at the time, was that he needed to be at the track at night for the races and needed someone who could manage the booth at Speed Street at night. I told him it would be a great opportunity for me to learn from a "grassroots" level about marketing and NASCAR., so for a few late afternoons into the evening I ran their booth where they were giving away free tickets to the Fall race. I met hundreds of race fans from around the country and saw first hand how loyal they were to the sport. Many made this as their annual Memorial day trek.
With my marketing "eyes" I also had a chance to meet and hang out with some of the workers from sports marketing companies and large NASCAR "brands".

When the fall races came along, there was no Speed Street so Sean recommended that I be a concierge at the Suite level. This again gave me a view of the sport working as the person who was in charge of making sure about 8 to 10 corporate suites were set up properly and people were taken care of . I had the opportunity to work with suites from 3M, Bank of America, Carquest, Rusty Wallace Family, and a few others. I worked on Pole Night, the Busch Races, the All Star Race and the Coca Cola. They were long days, but invaluable in terms of seeing a different type of fan and business experience. I also had the opportunity to talk to the branding and marketing executives at many of these companies. One of other experience was meeting the Australian contingent and tv crew who came last year to cheer on their fellow countryman and NASCAR driver, Marcus Ambrose.

The next year for the races, Sean was put in charge of the corporate dining club at Lowes Motors Speedway, called "The Speedway Club". The Speedway Club members were people who came to Lowes on a regular basis. There was also a group of fans who purchased ticket packages which included dinner at the club plus "Pit Tours". There was an RV just outside the track for the Speedway club members to put their coolers, coats, etc. and part of my job was to just check them in and out "a glorified coatchecker". Again a different fan experience was seen. I had a chance to go out on the Pit Tours and walk around to see how the cars were inspected and to see how the Pit Crews were preparing for the race.

Last fall, I had been blogging on MediaMensch for over a year and asked if I could be put on the media list. I got accepted and soon started to go to some of the preliminary press conferences and local events leading up to the race. The new $80-zMax Dragway was also being build and opened at that time, so I had a chance to learn not only about NASCAR, but about NHRA drag racing. When the fall, Bank of America races came around, I was accepted for media credentials and had a chance to be part of the media which included national media such as ESPN, Fox Sports, XM radio and Sports Illustrated. It was a large learning curve to see how all the film crews went out to shoot segments, how the ESPN group updated their website content during the race including video clips.

Now that it is really the 3rd year around NASCAR, this year I see opportunities as a blogger and social media advisor to really participate more fully. The sport has really grown on me with the combination of marketing, technology, automotive, and entertainment. One thing I have seen at Lowes Motor Speedway is that the management team is dedicated to make this the most "fan-friendly" major league sport. The Speedway Motorsports team really puts on a first class event for the 200,000 fans who come from all over the world to watch the race.

I will have an eye open this year to see which teams and drivers and sponsors use Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools to promote their brands.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SPEED and Pinks Bring Innovation to zMax Dragway

Over the past weekend over 500 people drove their cars to zMax Raceway in Concord, NC to participate and compete in SPEED tv "Pinks All Out". One of the contestants was a 70 year old man who drove his vehicle all the way from Colorado to race.

Pinks started as a tv show in which drivers pair off and drag race 1 on 1 against each other. The loser actually loses his car to the winner. The executive producer, Bob Ecker, told me the show evolved because it was difficult to cast a show in which someone loses something they care deeply about. In this new version of Pinks called "Pinks All Out", the winning driver wins $10,000 in prize money and gets to keep his car.

zMax Dragway, called the Bellagio of drag racing venues drew 35,000 fans on Saturday to watch the taping of the show to be seen later this year. The Pinks team pulled out a few surprises in this production including the first time there would be 4 lanes with 4 drivers competing at the same time In order to fully capture this, a camera which could travel at over 100 miles per hour was installed so it could capture all the action, again a first for the show.

Other events that night included a rocket car which had a jet engine. I was on the top of the 4 story building and could feel the heat and the power of the jet engine, people on the ground had to cover their ears due to the deafening noise and down the 1/2 mile track the jet vehicle went in under 4 seconds.

Other vehicles which raced include NHRA driver Doug Herbert who flew down the track in his BRAKES (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe)dragster.

One of the highlights of the day was a visit to the war room of Pinks, where they keep track of all the drivers. In the war room is a 20 foot board with the entries of all the racers and where they stand. There is also technology to actually rerun the race on computer animation to show how each car is doing at each moment of the race. There is also the camera at the finish line to be able to determine photo finishes. The announcers are in the war room and decisions who make the final rounds are also shot in this room.

The combination of the newest dragway and the production crew and producers at PINKS and Speed TV made this a true event. Keep your eyes open for this later this year.

Monday, April 27, 2009

LinktoCharlotte Turns Two Years Old

LinktoCharlotte turns two this month. It has been an interesting journey building a community online. We first started out with a small group that grew to about 70 people in our first month and had our first meeting at the Carolina Panthers executive meeting room with 15 people. We have expanded from there to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and NING platforms. Each platform allows us to add or attract a diverse group of members interested in social media and networking.

About 20% of our members are people who are thinking or planning to move to Charlotte or are interested in networking here using virtual tools.

Today, our community is flourishing growing by 50+ members a week on LinkedIn and now on our new NING Site we have reached the 200 member mark. I have found the 200 person mark is a catalyst for larger growth, so we are now ready to begin to reach out to members with live events, online events, a newsletter and other activities.

We are beginning to talk to organizations who believe in this concept and are willing to sponsor or support this endeavor. We can reach 2000+ professionals on LinkedIn, the creative community on Facebook and all the Twitterverse.

In addition, we are working with other cities such as Phoenix, San Diego, and Las Vegas to begin to build those as well in 2009. In addition we have a significant group for LinktoMotorsports on LinkedIn which overlaps with its membership with LinktoCharlotte, so we have great momentum.

If you are interested in helping with publicity, community management, creation and support of our blog, speaking/sponsoring events or helping us find sponsorships. Please contact me at or 704-293-2151.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

MediaMensch Buzz - 10 Things about Twitter

Twitter is the latest new social media service or "fad" to reach the world. In may ways this simple idea os seeing what your "friends" are up to as morphed into something, I don't even think the creators believed. This is the first of a series of articles and stories with MediaMensch's journey into Twitter.

Here is a list of 10 things that twitter does. (and this is just the beginning of the list).

1. Provides on the spot live reporting faster than CNN

2. Allows people with similar ideas to find each other

3. Brings communities together around a common cause

4. Shines a spotlight on some of the top conferences and trade shows

5. Allows you to promote yourself or company as a "brand"

6. Flattens hierarchy and class systems by letting you reach top leaders

7. Provides you with a new platform for market research on a product

8. Magnifies your blogs, photos plus books, and articles that your are reading

9. Changes traditional television with live status updates from viewers

10. Feeds status updates into Facebook and LinkedIn,

To follow: (Andrew Kaplsn's take on life and media) (social media tips and tricks) (a work in progress to magnify our social network)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Branding and Connecting Using LinkedIn and Facebook (Twitter too!) Teleclass

Social Media Teleclass and Coaching

The Road to eWarrior Success – Branding Yourself and Connecting in Facebook and LinkedIn! (Twitter too!).
1. What is Social Media?

2. Facebook vs. LinkedIn

3. How to Set Up Your Profiles

4. Building Your Connections

5. Public vs. Private

6. Using Social Media to Connect with Clients

7. Using Social Media to look for a Job

8. Search Engines and why they matter

9. How to use Newsfeeds, Videos, Links

10. On your way to success!

A dozen things about the Instructor, Andrew R. Kaplan
1. Over 30 years with sales and marketing technologies and media
2. Worked with the founders of MTV, ACT!, HBO, The Movie Channel,
3. Trained 5,000 Executives and IT Professionals as ACT!/CRM
4. Provided feedback to founder of LinkedIn during early stages
5. #1 voted article in’s Great Minds Series - Facebook Branding
6. Toastmasters International "President of the Year"
7. Dickinson College "Alumni Volunteer of the Year"
8. Created a leading local social network
9. Created, a leading social network by industry
10. "Ideas" and "Execution" for the Creative Community
11. Media Advisor to “2008 Green Idea of the Year” company for Charlotte
12. In 1997, created the term “eWarrior” for the transition of the Road Warrior

For references and background:

Details for Payment and Registration.

99 Minute Training Class:
$99.00 for 99 Minute TeleClass
$299.95 includes private coaching session plus teleclass
$499.95 includes 2 private coaching Sessions plus teleclass
$799.95 includes 5 private coaching sessions plus teleclass.

Classes will be recorded.
If you are not satisfied or miss a class, you can call into a future teleconference at no charge.

Social Media Teleclass and Coaching

Monday, January 19, 2009