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Oh, I’m sorry. You probably thought this was real a real merit badge. Well, it’s not real in the sense that the Boy Scouts of America is offering a social media award, but we’re giving away our own version of the Social Media Merit Badge, checkout the box below for more details.

The Loud Few
Social Media Merit Badge Contest


This contest is now closed.

Congratulations to our 5 daily winners, and our overall winner (voted on by you, view the poll) Dan Coulter (@danco).

All daily winners will recieve a merit badge from nerdmeritbadges.com and our overall winner will receive a t-shirt from RizzoTees.com

Winners will be contacted by email or through Twitter.

If you are not up for the contest, below you will find a list of some general criteria for what what we think it takes to consider yourself a social media expert.

If you can answer yes to all 17 qualifications, congrats…you are all over it! If you can answer yes to at least 12 of these, consider yourself merit badge worthy.

Twitter Challenges


1. You run more than one Twitter account
If you are truly active on Twitter you probably have told our boss or your friend “with the band” that they need to be on Twitter, and you probably have found yourself managing that Twitter feed for them to some degree of effectiveness. If you’re sporting multiple identities on Twitter, give yourself a point for this one.

2. You use a third party tool to manage Twitter activity
Twitter.com (the website itself, not the service) just isn’t going to cut it after you are following more than 20 people – there are literally thousands of tools out there, most of them a lot of the same, but as a concept they are invaluable. If you aren’t currently using a 3rd party tool to manage Twitter, just consider yourself disqualified for the merit badge at this point – or take a step towards joining the ranks by checking out TweetDeck and HootSuite, or find a gaggle of tools at oneforty.com. Otherwise give yourself a point.

3. You use Twitter lists
Once again, if you following more than 20 people, it’s time to start getting organized. If you are like me, they didn’t add this feature until your following list was already a mess, but it doesn’t take a great deal of work to get this organized. If you are using Twitter lists, give yourself a point.

Foursquare
You know you want one of these, checkout the contest rules above to find out how to earn one of these. Come by our office and we’ll even sew it on for you.

4. You have attempted and failed at convincing 10 friends the greatness of Twitter
Who isn’t a Twitter evangelist? Lots of people aren’t, and if you are not one of them shame on you, no point. If you are screaming praises about Twitter while sitting at the stop light and every other chance you get, give yourself a point.

5. You’ve met someone face-to-face that you met through Twitter
Tweet-ups, interviews, blind-dates – if you’ve met someone on Twitter outside of a mutual connection, you are either breaking the law or building your network, give yourself a point, you social butterfly you.

6. You’ve been mentioned in a follow friday
Follow Friday’s – love them or hate them – you can’t earn this Merit Badge without being blasted on one of these. #followfriday = 1 point.

7. You’ve actually seen the fail whale
Ah, the elusive fail whale. Known to the entire world but only actually seen by 13% of all Twitter users (source: fabricated). If you have seen this white beauty in real life, give yourself a point.

Facebook Challenges


8. You have built or been part of building a Facebook application
Just because you’re not a developer doesn’t mean you haven’t had a chance to be a part of building a Facebook application. If you work, and you live and breathe social media, you should have some Facebook app experience under your belt, give yourself a point if you qualify.

9. You have friends on Facebook you have never met
New Facebook uses seem to think they can control their friends list, and even funnier is that these users think there is some kind of sanctity to keep this so. If you are merit badge worthy, your online travels have brought you many Facebook friends from around the globe whom you have never met….and probably never will. Get over it and give yourself a point.

Blog Challenges


Foursquare
I am afraid we are not quite nerdy enough to get this one, maybe you do?

10. You follow RSS Feeds
“Dude, RSS is like so 2001. I get all the news I need from the 5,000 people I follow on Twitter.” Yeah, and you don’t know anything because you try to know everything. Get a good RSS reader and keep your feeds #’s to a manageable, organized and digestible amount. Using an RSS reader and actually keeping the count down to 0 a few times a week? Give yourself a point.

11. You’ve published a few blog posts in your day
You take and you take and you take, have you given anything back? I understand if you just didn’t have time to keep up with it, but if you haven’t ever given blogging a shot you just can’t consider yourself merit badge worthy. If you are pro, semi-pro, or retired blogger, give yourself a point.

12. You’ve done your fair share of commenting on blogs
These guys work hard to entertain you, show them some love. And if you make their lives hell by making a every post about a cell phone a fanboy-rant-fest about how great the iPhone is, then consider yourself merit badge “not-worthy”. Show bloggers love on a consistent basis? give yourself a point.

Location Service Challenges


Foursquare
This ones called “Foursquare Badge: Crunked”, lol, get it at nerdmeritbadges.com

13. You have given Foursquare or Gowalla a chance
Ah, the latest trend. Geo -Checkout-Where-am-I-Now-Bragfest. Ok, I do it too (otherwise how would I earn my merit badge…). These tools aren’t for everyone, but you’ve got to at least try it out, right? If you’ve experimented give yourself a point, even if you aren’t hooked yet.

14. You are the mayor of something on a location service
Bonus point opportunity here…even I am not a mayor of anything. If you are a mayor give yourself a point. If you don’t know what this is, you’ve got some studying to do cub.

Technology Challenges


15. You use social media on a smartphone
Before we move on to the fun stuff, I am going to get a bit serious on you. If you want to tell people you are active and understand social media, you must have a smart phone that allows you to interact with social media on a regular basis. Social media is as much about mobility as it is about sharing. (some stats here) If you are driving your significant other crazy with your late night bed-side socializing, give yourself a point.

Fun Challenges


16. You’ve bad-mouthed MySpace
This trend is slowly dying, but its so much damn fun. If you haven’t bad-mouthed MySpace in some way, they you just can’t rightfully say you deserve a merit badge. Give yourself a point if you’ve slammed MySpace, and hang your head high if you saw the writing on the wall and deleted your account before 2008.

17. You’ve been Rick Rolled
This one will be featured in the main hallway of the Social Media Hall of Fame one day, I personally would love to meet the guy who started this one. If you’ve been Rick Rolled give yourself a point.

===

The merit badge image used at the top of this post is courtesy of Laughing Squid and you can buy these badges over at Nerd Merit Badge. To win one of these badges in our Merit Badge Challenge checkout the box at the top of this post.

Daily Winners


Day 1 Winner – Monday, March 22nd - Dan Coulter (@danco)
“I was able to say “yes” to 15 of those (everything except the location stuff). Probably the strangest thing I’ve done on social media was post every word of Moby Dick to Twitter.”Day 2 Winner – Tuesday, March 23nd - Michael Nowak (@mmnowakjr85)
“The best thing I ever did was after having a really rude encounter with a United Airlines rep, and their less-than-stellar customer service, I created a United Airlines fail account, where I retweeted every bad tweet about United and included @unitedair in that tweet. This kept on until I got a credit and a partial refund :)”

Day 3 Winner – Wednesday, March 24th - Jonathan McDonald (@jmacdonald)
“I did use a range of social media tools to bring to rights a train guard who was abusing a customer”

Day 4 Winner – Thursday, March 25th - Zak Morris (@zakmorris)
“Only stamp of nifty I have with social media, to be filed under ‘funny’, are the 2-10 ‘Saved by the Bell’ tweets/dms I get daily. I actually respond to 20-30% of these if they are actually clever as I’ve learned to embrace this ‘other guy’ I’ve been associated for the last…oh…..ever, of my life. A fun favorite Q I get rather constantly is the random ‘So, do you get a bunch of crap about your name?’ to which I systematically respond, ‘ We’re having this conversation aren’t we?’ “

Day 5 Winner – Friday, March 26th - Jenn Cloud (@jenncloud)
“My husband and I were tweeting about major cravings for a good Cuban sandwich one day when @LocosStCharles, WITHIN THE HOUR was like “oh, hey, we have pretty good Cubans?” They also just happen to be in St. Charles where we live and work, so we went over there for lunch IMMEDIATELY and got us some Pretty Good Cubans! I love how social media brings local connections together that were otherwise totally unlikely to happen! “


Voting closes on Thursday April 1st at 12PM CST.

 


 

Comments »

26 comments on The Social Media Merit Badge is here!

Dan Coulter says:

I was able to say “yes” to 15 of those (everything except the location stuff).

Probably the strangest thing I’ve done on social media was post every word of Moby Dick to Twitter.

http://sea-fever.org/2009/05/18/moby-monday-absolutely-hilarious-the-twittering-of-moby-dick/

March 22, 2010 @ 9:00 am


Michael Buffa says:

I think I scored a 16. I think I missed the boat on the Rick Rolled stuff. As for craziest thing on social media, I don’t think anyone beats Dan Coulter’s Moby Dick activity.

March 22, 2010 @ 9:39 am


Erin Eschen says:

Great list! I qualify for everything on this list except having built a Facebook application, but I’d say that having built and managed a Facebook fan page to over qualified as having become a social media trooper on Facebook in some way.

I’d also suggest a few challenges include driving business results – such as: You’ve driven a lead or sale that you can directly attribute to conversational and social activity via Twitter, Facebook, etc…either via analytics or you simply know it because you saw the customer’s name and you know you first connected with them via social platform, etc.

Similarly, something like: Your blog is ranking for targeted keyword phrases…

Any social activity that’s driving results would warrant a special individual badge in my book, and I’d want to hear about it from others.

March 22, 2010 @ 9:47 am


Erin Steinbruegge says:

Great feedback Erin, I agree that you should be measuring your success in more than one way in order to call yourself an expert. However, I know you’ve done something crazy with social media (or many things), so confess or forgo your chance to win your nerd badge…

March 22, 2010 @ 10:01 am


Rob Bennet says:

Love the list! I have done them all. How about, “have you ever used a social media API” or you do all your commenting using a social media login (i.e. Facebook, Twitter..)

I love how you are engaging your readers.

March 22, 2010 @ 10:06 am


Rob Bennet says:

Oh yeah, also, I tweeted Kevin Smith (the filmmaker) while I was in line for one of his comedy shows and he tweeted me back and asked me to take a picture of the line and send it to him and I did and he talked about it (the incident and twitter in general) during his stand-up routine. It was pretty neat.

March 22, 2010 @ 10:08 am


Steven Haddox says:

16 out of 17. Not too shabby. I tried 4sq but they didn’t have my city support at the time so I switched to GoWalla a little later. Hence, I was never the mayor of anything ;) I’m a little disappointed not to see Brightkite. They did start the location based app trend after all.

March 22, 2010 @ 10:17 am


DrZibbs says:

In addition to by blog THAT BLUE YAK and my @DrZibbs Twitter account, my @FatherKelly account (a fake priest) has over 5300 followers including at least 20 celebs.

March 22, 2010 @ 11:02 am


Julia says:

Hmm, only twelve because I don’t have a smartphone & don’t use the location based apps. Then again, for those of us over a Certain Age perhaps the badge-worthy cutoff should be a bit lower ;-) ??

March 22, 2010 @ 1:28 pm


ArcoJedi says:

I got 11. I don’t want a smartphone, never created a Facebook app (does a PAGE and a GROUP count?) and eschew the location-based stuff. I’ve been blogging since 2003, and I’m not sure this really counts as the bleeding edge of social media anymore.

Though this will probably get me banned from the contest, I built my own automatically generated spam-blog using nothing but Blogger and some emails. It’s self-sustaining and still going, 25,000 posts later. (I don’t make any $$$ on it, just a proof of concept. Please don’t hate.)

March 22, 2010 @ 11:42 pm


Robin Rath says:

Day 1 Winners have been announced – all new entries count towards day 2!

March 23, 2010 @ 8:34 am


Erin Eschen says:

Who’s the winner?

March 23, 2010 @ 12:13 pm


Crystal says:

I think I fail at social networking. I scored a 9. But if we could add this qualification: “Conversed with others through twitter, facebook, or any other form of social media while they were in the same room. Bonus if they were sitting next to you.” I would be a bit higher… Significantly.

March 23, 2010 @ 12:29 pm


Robin Rath says:

Hey Erin, winner for Monday is updated at the bottom of the post – you can follow us on twitter @theloudfew for updates too.

Crystal – that is a good one, puts you in the running for today’s contest!

March 23, 2010 @ 12:49 pm


Michael Nowak says:

The best thing I ever did was after having a really rude encounter with a United Airlines rep, and their less-than-stellar customer service, I created a United Airlines fail account, where I retweeted every bad tweet about United and included @unitedair in that tweet. This kept on until I got a credit and a partial refund :)

March 23, 2010 @ 2:36 pm


Michael Nowak says:

Oh yeah, and I got a 16/17 on that list!

March 23, 2010 @ 2:42 pm


Gregorio Feliciano says:

Let me start off by saying I have 1,815 followers on Twitter & 1,857 friends on Facebook & I have done sixteen of the things on this list!

March 23, 2010 @ 6:43 pm


Robin Rath says:

Day 2 winner announced – Congrats to Michael Nowak – just don’t ever do that to us!

March 24, 2010 @ 8:07 am


Jonathan MacDonald says:

I have a 16 score as not a mayor yet….damn! …..BUT, I did use a range of social media tools to bring to rights a train guard who was abusing a customer.. the full case study can be found here: http://www.jonathanmacdonald.com/?p=4330 and I absolutely LOVE nerd merit badges and hope I win!!!

March 24, 2010 @ 8:41 am


Michael Nowak says:

Don’t worry Robin I won’t! I finally found the address; it was twitter.com/UALfail (i haven’t used it in awhile because silly things like graduate school and work got in the way).

March 24, 2010 @ 3:11 pm


Ben Rollman says:

1. You run more than one Twitter account

Three. Mine, John Quincy Adams and Miracle Max.

2. You use a third party tool to manage Twitter activity

Tweet Deck

3. You use Twitter lists

I do, but it’s so I can just want the people who I sort of know.

4. You have attempted and failed at convincing 10 friends the greatness of Twitter

No, I’m usually the last to know about things.

5. You’ve met someone face-to-face that you met through Twitter

Nope.

6. You’ve been mentioned in a follow friday

Follow Friday AND a High Five Friday

7. You’ve actually seen the fail whale

Yes, but usually after my Tweet Deck fails to update.

Facebook Challenges

8. You have built or been part of building a Facebook application

I actually kind of hate FB Apps.

9. You have friends on Facebook you have never met

Tons

Blog Challenges

10. You follow RSS Feeds

Google Reader

11. You’ve published a few blog posts in your day

At least a couple. Still do.

12. You’ve done your fair share of commenting on blogs

I try, but “You must register to comment” defeats the purpose.

Location Service Challenges

13. You have given Foursquare or Gowalla a chance

Yes, a chance. I have a Blackberry and I want to support Gowalla because I’m in Austin, but it just doesn’t work. And frankly, “I’m at work” is going to get boring.

14. You are the mayor of something on a location service

Nope.

Technology Challenges

15. You use social media on a smartphone

Twitter updates, facebook checks, flickr uploads.

Fun Challenges

16. You’ve bad-mouthed MySpace

At this point, if you’re not a band, who hasn’t?

17. You’ve been Rick Rolled

At least once a week. I’m not bright.

March 25, 2010 @ 9:41 am


Erin says:

Ben, you might possibly win an award for the longest blog comment ever. ;)

March 25, 2010 @ 10:50 am


Michael Costello says:

Well, I may have only just squeaked by with 12/17 of your “challenges,” but I do have a feather in my cap. Last night, I attended foursquare’s birthday party at Lincoln Station and unlocked the coveted Swarm badge. The truly sad part of this accomplishment is that I hardly even make it out to my friends’ birthday celebrations at local bars and whatnot, yet I run out to celebrate the anniversary of the creation of another social networking phenomenon. I truly am an anti-social social networking user.

March 25, 2010 @ 12:36 pm


Zak Morris says:

Hmmmm. Am I the first 17 / 17 ?? Is this a GOOD thing ? :) Total social media / web / graphics / art / tech nerd so I guess it’s not a surprise.

Only stamp of nifty I have with social media, to be filed under ‘funny’, are the 2-10+ ‘Saved by the Bell’ tweets/dms I get daily. I actually respond to 20-30% of these if they are actually clever as I’ve learned to embrace this ‘other guy’ I’ve been associated for the last…oh…..ever, of my life. A fun favorite Q I get rather constantly is the random ‘So, do you get a bunch of crap about your name?’ to which I systematically respond, ‘ We’re having this conversation aren’t we?’ :P

It’s a blessing and a curse, really, but I’ll take breaking even any day.

March 25, 2010 @ 1:46 pm


Jenn Cloud says:

Great idea for a contest, guys, I loved this!! I’m currently a 15.5, but that’s about to become a full 17 in about a week, hmmm..

Not as huge as Moby Dick Tweets or Kevin Smith (that is awesome, Rob!!) but my husband and I were tweeting about major cravings for a good Cuban sandwich one day when @LocosStCharles, WITHIN THE HOUR was like “oh, hey, we have pretty good Cubans?” They also just happen to be in St. Charles where we live and work, so we went over there for lunch IMMEDIATELYand got us some Pretty Good Cubans! I love how social media brings local connections together that were otherwise totally unlikely to happen!

March 26, 2010 @ 11:09 am


Libby says:

Oh wow, I only wish I had seen this post when it was originally put up… I definitely can answer yes to all of those questions. You have me nailed to a T!!

February 28, 2012 @ 6:23 pm


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