This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Happy 9th birthday, Miles!
Today, our son Miles (AKA Big Miles 2000) turns 9. Happy birthday, Miles!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Where I am speaking this fall [updated 9/21/09]
Was just looking at my calendar and realized that I have quite a few (for me, anyway) speaking gigs coming up over the next couple of months. Of course, let's not forget about those SXSWi sessions that still need your thumbs up vote (was that too subtle of a hint?).

Guest lecture for MBA Internet Marketing course (The Ohio State University, October 5th)

Social media panel at State Insurance Trade Association conference (Cincinnati, October 7th)

Social media in business panel (Columbus, TBD)
I will be moderating a panel for Nationwide associates that will bring in local businesses, both large and small, to share how they're using social media and what best practices are emerging for them as their social media strategies evolve.

American Advertising Federation session on social media monitoring (Cleveland, October 20)
I will be co-presenting with David Alston, Radian6's VP of Marketing, at a luncheon for the Cleveland chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

This event will be the second in a series of social media events AAF-Cleveland is doing. The first, on Facebook, will be hosted by Facebook's Sean Sullivan who we've worked with at Nationwide (and who worked at CNET at the same time I did). Highly recommend his "The Branding of Facebook" session on September 16th.

Ohio Diversity and Leadership Conference (Columbus, November 5-6)

Credibility Conversation series (Cleveland, November 11)
Ed Skimin of Emerge Inc. is putting together the Credibility Conversation series and asked me to be involved. Not exactly sure of my topic yet, but it will surely be better than Lewis Howes who is presently there on October 14th (Kidding! You should check out Lewis' session, too).

As I subtly mentioned earlier, I am also on three proposed panels for SXSWi 2010. Would love a thumbs up vote on those to help us get those panels approved. You can learn more about my SXSWi 2010 panels here.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Happy 12th birthday, Mahlon!
Today, our oldest son turns 12 (although he thinks he's already 17 or 18). Happy birthday, Mahlon!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Please give my 2010 SXSWi panels a thumbs up
SXSWi 2010If you've been reading my blog for a while (thanks again, mom!), you know that I rarely ask for favors. Today, however, I am going to cash in that blog karma and ask for you to vote for the 3 panels I am on for SXSWi 2010.

See, SXSWi takes panel ideas from the community. Of course, they get way more ideas than they can handle, so they also turn to the community to vote for their favorites.

I have been fortunate enough to be invited to 3 panels which I think are all going to be worthwhile. Please take a minute and check them out below. If they sound like something you'd like to see at SXSWi 2010, I would appreciate a "thumbs up" vote. If they sound like something you wouldn't like to see..., I would still appreciate a "thumbs up" vote.

1. Social Media at Fortune 100 Companies
I pitched this panel idea to my pals Jim Storer, who runs The Community Roundtable, and Scott Monty, who runs social media at a tiny Detroit company called Ford. They were able to get more folks from IBM, Dell, SAP and Microsoft. Basically, we're going to look at how large companies are using social media.

"Companies of all sizes are adopting social media and community, but large organizations have some unique challenges and opportunities. This panel will uncover best practices through stories told by social media leaders from Ford, Nationwide, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Dell."

Vote for this panel here

2. Social ROI is Not a Four Letter Word
Aaron Strout from Powered asked me to join his colleague Kathy Warren and reps from Kodak and Coca-Cola to talk about the return on investment for social media. I think this is the big question/challenge in the industry right now, so this should be a great discussion.

"If you've ever tried tracking down a return on investment (ROI) on "social" you’ve found that it's nearly impossible to find. During this interactive discussion, listen as brand practitioners from Coke, Nationwide and Kodak talk about ways that their companies are deriving real ROI from social while providing best practices, case studies and examples of how companies can achieve this elusive ROI Holy Grail."

Vote for this panel here

3. This Isn't on the Map, Where the Hell Are We?
The third panel I was invited to features some of my favorite social media people. It is being organized by my former CNET colleague Bill Johnston and will feature Jake McKee, Sean O'Driscoll and Aaron Strout. I am really looking forward to this one.

"Social media practice and implementation is a dynamic and volatile subject that effects all functions in a company from the obvious (product, support, marketing) to the not so obvious (hr, operations). Hear from 5 seasoned social media practitioners (plus YOU!) about where we are on "the map" of social media adoption and practice, and where we are headed. The mood will be lively, the panel bright eyed and prepared, and the audience smart (and involved)."

Vote for this panel here
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Chicago & Lollapalooza 2009 recap
Amy and I just returned from a great, kid-free weekend in Chicago. In fact, it was the first kid-free weekend we have had in over 10 years. The last time was a road trip from Memphis to St. Louis in 1998 to see the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest at the Kiel Center on August 8th. So when I saw that the Beastie Boys were going to be headlining the second night of Lollapalooza on... August 8th, I had to get tickets.

Of course, after getting tickets, arranging for my mom to come over and watch the kids and getting a *sweet* hotel room, the Beastie Boys were forced to cancel their show.

Me at the Google office in Chicago
Amy is a whiz with a digital camera. I'm the shadowy figure on the right. Trust me.

The weekend started with a cold, rainy Friday in Chicago. We stopped by the Google office to have lunch, get a tour and play a little Rock Band. Amy and I joined Shannon and Lindsey from Google on "Eye of the Tiger" and "Livin' on a Prayer."

After leaving Google, we checked into our room at theWit before heading out to shop for the rest of the afternoon.

Our room at theWit #1604

The most surreal stop was at the American Girl store on Michigan Avenue. Thanks to our neighbor, Mira is convinced that she needs one (or more) American Girl dolls. We're still not so sure, so we grabbed a catalog and got out while we could.

For dinner, we headed to Joe's on the corner of Grand and Rush. Highly recommended if you like steak (and a lot of it). The grilled tomatoes are also outta sight.

Old Fashioned and steak at Joe's
I topped off the steak with an Old Fashioned

Saturday, we decided to search for an old-school diner to have breakfast. We ended up at the Pittsfield Cafe which is tucked away in the lobby of the Pittsfield building (duh!) at the corner of Wabash and Washington. The food (I got the Jumping Bean omelet with hashbrowns) and service were excellent.

Pittsfield Cafe makes a mean breakfast

After lunch, we decided that more shopping was in order before heading over to Grant Park for Lollapalooza. The weather had gone from 60s and rain on Friday to 95 and sunny on Saturday, so we didn't want to get there too early (since we would be there until 10pm).

Lollapalooza 2009: Buckingham Fountain
The Chicago skyline provides an awesome backdrop for Lollapalooza

Thanks to a scheduling mishap on my part, we ended up arriving at Lollapalooza around 1pm for what I thought was a 2:30pm Arctic Monkeys set. Minutes after heading in, I realized the mistake. Because we bought one-day tickets, we weren't able to leave and come back in. So, we did what we do best, we decided to shop at the various booths set up in the middle of the park.

After shopping, we discovered two things that would prove very handy as we waited for the Arctic Monkeys set: homemade ice cream and shaded hammocks. Local radio station Q101 had set up dozens of hammocks under the trees, so Amy and I stretched out, ate some ice cream and did some people watching.

Lollapalooza 2009: In the hammock haven
In the hammock

Lollapalooza 2009: In the hammock haven
The hammock was great for people watching

We were still able to enjoy some of the music from the nearby stages. We heard much of Ida Maria's set and some of Gomez's as well.

Eventually, we forced ourselves out of the hammock to check out Perry Farrell's DJ set on the Perry's stage. We got there a few minutes early and were able to see Prophit finishing up their set with a cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade."

At 4:30, we finally got to see the Arctic Monkeys who were awesome. They sounded great and played a lot of my favorite songs including "505" which ended the set.

A clip from "A View from the Afternoon"

We were able to hear some of the Santigold set while waiting for TV on the Radio who came on at 6:30. I wasn't a huge TVOTR fan (I have "Return to Cookie Mountain," but really only listen to one track), but they put on a really good show.

A little clip from "Wolf Like Me"

We closed out the evening with the headlining set from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I had seen them at the much smaller Lifestyle Communities Pavilion when they came to Columbus a couple of months ago and was eager to see them again in front of the much larger Lollapalooza crowd. As usual, Karen O. put on a great show.

A clip from "Zero"

Lollapalooza 2009: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

After a long, hot day at Lollapalooza, we headed back to the room and crashed. We wanted to check out the club Roof on the top floor of our hotel, but we were just too wiped out.

While it was great to get away, we're not used to being away from the kids. So we packed up before noon and headed home. Depending on the bands, I would like to do it again next year. Not sure Amy feels the same way, though :)

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.