This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Sunday, June 28, 2009
My Columbus Dispatch interview on social media
The front page of the Business section in the Columbus Dispatch this morning features an interview I did for their story titled "Clicking with consumers."

"Screenshot" of the Dispatch article this morning.

The article shares how a handful of local businesses like Nationwide, Jeni's Ice Cream, Katzinger's Deli and Deer Creek Resort, are using social media.

I did the interview several weeks ago and had almost forgotten about it. Of course, I found out about the article from friends on Facebook and Twitter before I noticed it in the Sunday paper.

Here is my portion, but I recommend you read the entire article to see what other local businesses are doing with social media:

"Many of these bigger businesses are creating positions to manage social media efforts, hiring employees who are in charge of wading through all the new forms of technology and deciding what's best for the company.

Shawn Morton's position as senior consultant for social media at Nationwide Insurance was created for him last July, when the company decided to put a lot of energy into the concept.

Nationwide has a large presence on Facebook and Twitter (about 1,400 fans and 800 followers, respectively) and also released an application for the iPhone in April, along with a popular TV commercial, that allows users to take pictures of accident scenes and send them to Nationwide, stores insurance information and finds repair shops.

And the result is a strange fusion of old and new media. When people see the TV commercial, they "tweet" about it. Where before someone might have told a friend about the commercial, word of mouth is now fingers on a keyboard, instantly reaching an audience of millions.

"The iPhone has a lot of passionate users," Morton said. "Downloads have been good."

The insurance company also uses Facebook and Twitter to post photos and coverage from its NASCAR events, which has been a real boost for social media traffic, Morton said.

Read the full "Clicking with consumers" story on
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Ohio Growth Summit tweetup recap
Compared to what I was used to in Louisville, Columbus has a ton of social media events going on on a weekly basis. That means a lot of stuff falls off my radar as each new meetup announcement comes through my inbox. The Ohio Growth Summit Tweetup was something that I put on my calendar immediately upon hearing about it. Why? First, it had been a couple of weeks since I had been to a tweetup (sad, right?). Second, it was going to feature Chris Brogan. Third, it was featuring a presentation by Mike Figilulo whom I had not met yet (and somehow still haven't).

The event was held at the Columbus State Center for Workforce Development and kicked off with a networking reception. After grabbing my name tag, I immediately ran into Nate Riggs, Tom Williams of InnoGage and Christian Adams of Sigma Creative. We were soon joined by Billy Fischer from Oxiem and the recently-engaged Cheryl Harrison of Sync Creative. In our little circle, we talked about everything from social media in the insurance industry (I tend to blab about that a lot) to engagement rings to Facebook brand pages. I also met David Watts from Columbus State who is a former Nationwider (for 12 years).

Eventually, we were herded into a larger conference room so that Mike Figliuolo could do his presentation. I wasn't sure what to expect since I hadn't heard Mike speak before (and I didn't read the agenda to know what the topic would be :).

The presentation was on leadership and how to develop your personal leadership maxims. Mike made the topic revelant to the tweetup crowd by sharing stories (that combined humor, real-world advice and Mike's engaging, in-your-face style) from his experiences in the military and in companies like Chase, McKinsey and Scotts-Miracle Gro. It definitely made you stop and think about your approach to leading and challenged you to evaluate some of the things you stand for as a leader.

As with any presentation, you could judge it's success by the number of comments and questions at the end. Mike fielded a dozen or more questions before adjourning. And this was after everyone knew that Chris Brogan had arrived. Everyone wanted to meet Brogan, but were still engaged enough with Mike's topic to keep asking questions.

As the networking portion of the event kicked in, Billy Fischer and I got to chat with Wassan Humadi who had been sitting at our table. She shared what she's doing with her consulting company that matches up foreign students with American colleges and universities. Listening to her explain what she did, it was clear she is very passionate and knowledgeable about the higher ed space.

I eventually worked my way over the catch up with Brogan who I spent some time with in Louisville a few weeks ago. He shared some of his travel woes that got him to Columbus later than planned. In fact, he did a nice blog recap of the experience on his blog early thing morning.

I also connected with LinkedIn expert Lewis Howes again. Lewis, who lives in Columbus, and I first connected in Austin during SXSW 2009 when my old pal Jason Falls introduced us in the blogger lounge. Lewis introduced me to Brian Schneider and we chatted about social media and my role at Nationwide.

Before calling it a night, I was able to finally meet Alvin Borromeo who I have known through Twitter for a while. We talked about the Columbus social media "scene" compared to the Louisville one. I also met Rick Coplin who does Business Development at TechColumbus.

Overall, I got everything I expect from a good event: great people, content and conversation. Oh, I did miss one thing. I really wanted to take the air out of Ryan Bauer's tires for this little comment on Twitter earlier in the day about Nationwide's social media efforts (that has since been deleted):

"@sMoRTy71 Speaking of a dated "Insurance Social Media Strategy" have you seen what they're doing at @nationwide. Oh wait. I guess you have."
Monday, June 1, 2009
Speaking at "Getting Results with Social Media" on 6/18
I have been invited to speak at the Columbus Chamber's upcoming "Getting Results with Social Media" event on June 18th. I am excited about the topic (since so few events really talk about results) and the other speakers.

The lineup is:
Gary Moneysmith, Conrad, Phillips & Vutech
Matt Yuskewich, Ologie
Lara Kretler, Fahlgren Mortine
Bill Baldarez, Webbed Marketing
Stephanie Busack, Bob Evans Farms
Shawn Morton, Nationwide Insurance
Matt Dickman, Fleishman Hillard
Kevin Pfefferle, COSI
Brian Link, Toobla, BE Consulting & thoughtLEADERS
Bobby Whitman, dynamIt

I am going to share some of the success we've had using Twitter to engage with fans of our NASCAR Nationwide Series.

You can register for the event here.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.