DesignWise Launches Door County Social Media Boot Camp, starting each Wednesday

“We are smarter than me…” the motto of the new Door County Social Media Club

Stephen Kastner

Stephen Kastner

“If you think that Twitter and Facebook are just for kids or bored househusbands… you need to check out what Pepsi, H & R Block, Airspring and a ton of other major corporate players have come to realize,” says Stephen Kastner of DesignWise Studios in Fish Creek. “In the Information Age, inbound ad marketing using Social Media is simply vital to your survival.”

The Door County Social Media Boot Camp is a full-blown, 5-day, business training course that launches each week and includes 5 daily 1-hour live “lecture” teleconferences at 10 am each day, followed by an open Q & A discussion. The lectures are accompanied by a live screencast in which all of the students are able to see the instructor’s screen online while he explains verbally over the phone. The audio is archived for download or replay afterward.

The course also includes ongoing membership in a private on-line social network, The Door County Social Media Club (DCSMC). This site provides a schedule, a discussion Forum and a blogspot for articles on specific aspects of the content. Members can also see screencast videos of specific lecture highlights and important points. Kastner includes an e-book on Social Media that he is “continuously writing” which is always available as a free download for members.

The first beta class started with a full house of 14 students on Wednesday, April 8. Thursday’s class covered how to use Twitter for business. Additional sessions will take place on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Kastner has been studying social media intensely for the past two years, working with experts like Professor B.J. Fogg at Stanford University who teaches a course in the Psychology of Persuasion and Facebook. Kastner began designing distance learning environments back in 1997, working  as a consultant for Marquette University for 3 years. He launched and developed the first distance learning programs for the Colleges of Nursing and Education and completed a portion of his Masters degree level work in Education while there.

“Once I discovered the multiple learning style theories of Howard Gardner I knew that a multi-media computer could become one of the most effective tools for education, teaching people in the learning style that they prefer,” he explains.

The teleconferences are recorded and available for participants to download or replay afterward for two reasons:

  1. if a student cannot attend a live session for some reason they can still listen and
  2. if they simply get overloaded, they can replay any parts again and again until they get it.

The current version of the Door County Social Media Boot Camp covers:

  • Facebook (Creating Public Profile Pages and bringing them alive)
  • Twitter (Setup, important tips and the application of power tools)
  • Blogging Secrets (using keywords and feed links for greater impact) and the power of WordPress (Themes, Plugins and Widgets) and Social Bookmarking
  • LinkedIn, Myspace, Google SEO and maps
  • Broadcasting Audio, Video, YouTube, Blogtalk Radio and Web TV

Personal, individual-response coaching is included in an online Forum discussion and via telephone or e-mail. Students  actually learn by doing and complete their training with a working knowledge and a genuine presence in the emerging Social Media grid.

After her first two days in DC Social Media Boot Camp, Egg Harbor Lodge’s Sarah Sawyer, publisher of Discover Door County With Sarah Sawyer says, “Wow… since last week I have:

  1. Facebook page
  2. A Linkedin page
  3. Made my Twitter profile page prettier
  4. Joined YouTube and added video to my Facebook
  5. Changed my browser to Mozilla Firefox
  6. Linked this stuff together with FriendFeed, although I don’t see it showing up in Facebook.  I added it manually

“Whew… I am actually impressed with myself…. THANKS!”

Artist Myrna Cohn says, “You did a terrific job today, Stephen.  I learned a lot and I’m sure others did, also. I went right to Friendfeed and set up all my accounts. Your explanations about Twitter were the best!  Now I almost understand it.”

Kastner says, “I am  out to produce authentic results and eliminate all confusion so we continuously graduate an active corps of participants who develop their own collection of functional social media assets, learn to work together and recruit others. I want to start a snowball effect that will roll Door County into the lead regarding this new 2.0 style of social marketing.”

You must have a computer (PC or Mac) with high-speed Internet connections and a telephone in order to participate. Classes are limited to 14 students in each session to insure a comfortable conversational environment.  The course fee is $297 for a week of instruction, but the first Door County sessions are being discounted $100 to encourage and foster local business success for a net cost of $197. Contact Stephen Kastner at DesignWise Studios: 920.839.9639 or e-mail to claim your spot in the next session which starts Wednesday, April 15.

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