A Social Media Experiment


Welcome to a Social Media Experiment my first ever blog, which I have created as part of the Social Media Marketing Course (SCM501), I have undertaken through Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.
A Social Media Experiment will have posts about my involvement in Harness Racing a big passion of mine! As well as posts relating to Social Media and how we are using it to further develop our online skills and presence, both personally and professionally.
My latest writings will appear below and all posts will be archived in the menus above which I hope are self explanatory.

I am thrilled that you have found my blog and hope that you continue on this ride with me



Moving ..

Our worlds can get so darn busy and I am feeling guilty about my lack of blogging for my social media marketing experiment.  One of the things that has kept me away from my blogging is the preparation of sale of my beautiful house. I have cleaned and staged it ready for sale and have decided I would like to market it privately rather than listing with an agent.  I think that SCM501 has given me the confidence to prepare a campaign using Facebook linked to a Trade Me listing of the property.  Photographs and information are ready for listing … what do you think?


Lovingly Restored Immaculately Presented
“Villa Whitby”

From the moment you step inside the gates you will be wowed with this circa 1900’s majestic home set in 1012 sq m of lawn and garden.

Villa Whitby is 160 sq m and is wrapped in large verandas ensuring all day sun and allowing for wonderful outdoor living and entertaining.

Inside you will find a lovely modernised kitchen complete with a working ‘Orion’ woodburner.  There are four spacious double bedrooms with wonderful high ceilings and sash windows.

The lounge room features a log burner and a massive bay window with seat, the perfect spot for sunny afternoons reading a book!

Central heating and a log burner ensure you are kept cosy throughout the winter months.

Polished Rimu floors and Matai ceilings throughout are a feature that will truly impress.

To the back of the house is the family bathroom with office and a laundry and excellent storage.

Nestled in the trees at the back of the garden is a house for the wee people in your life as well as a sandpit and barked area for their swing set. The property is fully fenced keeping little people and pets nice and secure.

And the man of the house is well catered for with three car garaging, a shed for boy toys and a garden shed for the tools of the trade.

Situated in the pretty village of Wakefield on the Great Taste Bike Trail and home to the famous “FourSquare Supermarket” from the television commercials.  Villa Whitby is only a 25 minute commute to Nelson City.  Five minute walk to pre and primary schools and is on the bus route for the major high schools in the region.

Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity view now!

Copy, Copy, Copy

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand gives the following definition of Intellectual property (IP)

– it is an umbrella term used for human innovations and creativity that are capable of being protected under national law and international treaties. IP includes a diverse range of commercial assets from patents for new inventions through to copyright protected artworks.

Common types of intellectual property rights include copyright, trademarks, patents and industrial design rights.

Copyright unlike patents and trademarks which all have to be registered is the automatic (unregistered) rights given to the owner or creator of an original piece of work such as a music, films and drawings. There can be no copyright on an idea it must be a tangible thing so copyright only comes into effect once a piece of music is written or performed, a book is published or a film is created for example. Continue reading

Keeping It Secure

A few weeks ago in SCM 501 we were given the task of finding out as much information as we could online about our chosen partner.  My partner for this task was Amy Hofman and this activity highlighted how much information is out there about us on the big world wide web.  I knew Amy would find information on me on racing sites as that is public domain and is quite rightly out there for all to see. I didn’t think she would find too much more that I would find worrying to be out there.  But how much more do I actually want out there for the world to see?  How secure do I actually keep myself online.  I think it is important to think about what we put out there, what we post online and who can see it.  Remeber once it is out there it is very hard to take back!

So this blog post answers two questions put to us in Assignment Two
How do I keep myself safe online and to what level of privacy have I chosen to enforce?

I have spoken briefly about the sites I visit on a regular basis (that is at least weekly) and how I try to keep myself protected online. Continue reading

Community Access

In my Community Watch Post I mentioned how I was having a difficulty finding a community that I felt comfortable with or which would work for what I wanted to discuss, i.e. some communities hasd set themselves up as facebook pages so posts by  contributors were getting lost down the page.  I was watching one particular community and had reservations about the “half glass empty” type comments.  This lead me to give a great deal of thought to starting a twitter group discussion myself and I gave this even further consideration (even messaging people to ascertain interest levels) about half way through my time with this community as things seemed to be heading toward the negative.
I feel that with the position I used to hold in the industry that I needed to be addressing the issues I found troubling and search for solutions as well as highlighting and promoting the positives tha tare happening in the industry

The Community I choose to join was the Harness Racing Owners Association (HROA). I have chosen to join their Facebook community where I feel more interaction is taking place.

The HROA are infact an associated body of the regulatory body of harness racing in New Zealand – Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ). They have an elected/appointed member to the board of HRNZ.

HROA has struggled for many years to keep memberships and a voice within the industry and really only one person has kept it going, that being Richard Brosnam a former HRNZ board member and a current harness racing breeder, owner and trainer.  Richard has campaigned tirelessly for the owner over the years as he watched memberships and interest in Owner Associations around the country dwindle.  I actually believe now that social media may just be the lifeline that this community has been waiting for.

This facebook community was established to gather the views of owners and share them with the representative on the HRNZ Board, Ken Spicer.   It provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns or topics that are curently affecting harness racing owners, the HROA website actually has its own forums but these do not seem to generate the same discussion as the Facebook group.  (maybe because yet another login and password is required).  Also I have noted (which is faantastic with an aging harness racing owners population) a number of younger generation harness enthusiasts posting or commenting on the Facebook site, I wonder if they would have made comments in the forums of the HROA website had this group not been available?

The HROA website which is about one year old gives a great deal of information to new and existing owners tha thas always been available but perhaps not so readily.

There do not seem to be a great deal of rules around posting on the HROA Facebook Group.  Other groups or pages I have been involved with/member of have had rules about posting and commenting posted at the top of their page for members to view i.e. what is permitted and what is not.

The HROA  is an open group and any member is able to invite people via email to join the group.
Members will have to follow the guidelines/rules established by facebook for posting and commenting. So there can be:
No bullying
No haters, intimidation or harassment of any other users
You cannot post content that is hateful, threatening, inciting of violence, too graphic or violent
No discriminatory posts

I think posting and commenting is about finding the balance between the being honest as well as sensitive. There are rules and regulations that we should follow but these can limit our creativity and spontaneousness of our interactions. On the other hand, we ought to be aware of the publicness of Facebook and repect other users.

With this in mind I set some rules for myself that I would love to see other members of the group try to adopt when posting and commenting.

Keep it positive – I like to find some good things that are happening in the Harness Racing community and post about them
Be sensitive – Having been involved in a management position with the regulatory body I know these people have only the best interests of the industry at heart and are doing their best within the rules and regulations.
Solutions – the industry is facing hard times and people are feeling rather despondent which is understandable – I hope to give some solutions with any problems that I wish to share with the group.
Repective Opinions – Everyone has a right to express their opinions and views and this should be respected by all users whether they agree or not.
Factual – I would like to think that I am posting and commenting on subjects which I have knowledge of and the information I am posting is factual.






Identify Me

Managing my Online Identity was not really something that I had given a lot of thought to until we started a discussion about this in SCM501. .  Just how easy is it people to be able to access information about us via our online presence. I do now give a great deal more thought now to what I post as so many people can access our information online.

Things I have taken into consideration and implemented to establish an online identity.

Our online persona is actually an extension of ourselves – how to we want to be seen online?

If I ask myself what are my values and beliefs what do I care about what are my passions, what do I stand for – in fact who am I? Is what I want to be seen as is what people see from me on my online presence? Continue reading

Who’s Your Daddy?

Ruby n Diamonds & her 2013 colt foal Milliondollarmonkey

Ruby n Diamonds & her 2013 colt foal Milliondollarmonkey

So it is that time of year, when suitable sires need to be selected for my broodmares Carmenchita (Dottie) and Ruby n Diamonds (Ruby).  I am lucky both my mares are pacing bred and will be sent to trotting stallions as they both leave trotting progeny so I can pretty much send them to any trotting stallion I like.

There is quite the selection of Trotting Stallions to choose from this season 36 in fact, which is an increase from last season of 5. However of these 26 are available only via frozen semen.  That is the stallion is either American or European and its semen is frozen and sent down under.  There has been quite the discussion for a number of years regarding the use of frozen semen and a number of theories have come about such as: “mares bred via frozen semen are more likely to produce a filly”, “it is  a lot harder to get a mare in foal via frozen semen thus increasing your vet fees” whether these theories are proven correct remains to be seen. Continue reading

Community Watch

Gosh finding a community has been a challenge!
I have been watching a number of sites where I think I could make a positive contribution but find that there seems to be some voices who can perhaps only see the negative in some situations (hmm is that what I am doing right now?). ! do know everyone is allowed opinions but I would love to see the negatives/problems presented with possible solutions

Harness Racing is a rather tight knit community and like other organisations/industries in many areas is fighting for survival.  As there are so many more options available for people to spend their disposable dollar than there was say twenty years ago, less is spent at race meetings around the country.  Naturally participants are concerned about the future of their industry and need to voice these concerns.

My thoughts around community involvement was to discuss Standardbred Breeding.  It is Spring and its time to consider suitable suitors for my two mares.  Carmenchita whose stable name is Dottie (the name is to do with size not disposition).  She is a very special broodmare, I won my first ever race with her.  Dottie is now the mother of six – four of whom have been to the races and won!! Her first foal is Ruby ‘n’ Diamonds stable name Ruby who won three races and is now herself is a broodmare so I need to find just the right stallions to produce future champions.

This year, there are so many more opportunities to breed to Trotting (gait) stallions from Sweden, Canada, USA and France via frozen semen and some at quite the cost! Both Ruby and Dottie are pacing bred but leave trotting progeny (offspring) so considerations such as linage are not necessarily what I would look at in suitors, I would be looking at their height, whether they were clean gaited, and of course their performance on the track and as a sire.  But most importantly for me what their stud fee is!

These are all things that I would love to talk to other harness racing breeders but found the Standardbred Breeders forum was a Facebook page not a group so my postings got minimized and lost in the feed.

I gave consideration to starting a new group on Facebook or even a Twitter conversation (scheduled meetings to discuss all things breeding with invitees) but have taken note of Clare’s caution about doing this and have shied away from this for the time being as I would like to be involved in an established ongoing community.

I have now gone back to one of my earlier considerations and will put my thoughts and ideas forward to Harness Racing Owners NZ, a community that has a website and has established a Facebook group which is where I have, and will continue to post ideas and comments.  It does have people who may feel the “glass is half empty” but I guess to some it is …

It is an open group invitations to join have been sent and I have made my first contribution. Lets see if I fit!


Racing About Town..

My Early Morning Office

My Early Morning Office

All my life I have been involved in Harness Racing. Its a family thing, my Grandfather trained horses, my father trains horses, my uncle trains horses and so it goes…

I find it amusing that as I write this post the lead story of the Nelson Mail is about the local Harness Racing Club and its access to trust funds.  A frustrating article that I would love to respond to and will do via this blog but not right now..

However, before I do move on I would like to say that the Racing Industry is not all about gambling (yes it provides one funding avenue) but as my blog progresses I hope you can see why people like myself have such an affinity for an industry that is mainly portrayed through the media in a negative light. There is so much more to the racing industry and its people, I hope you continue this journey and find out for yourself.

Take a look ..

Continue reading


It is week three for SCM501 and the task has been set
Find a new social media tool that you have not used before and investigate it.

I have chosen Instagram and I must confess,  I have in fact used it before, just the once, I took two pictures of my beautiful daughter and sent them to my friends.  I literally put my phone down and forgot about sending anymore pictures through Instagram. I am a bit of a Snapchat kind of girl, it is instantaneous and a little bit fun (I can draw on my pictures).  It seems now, however most of the photo posts on my Facebook feed and Twitter tweets are via Instagram so perhaps I should investigate what all the fuss is about!

Here is what I found out

Instagram was founded in October 2010 by two Stanford University graduates and was then purchased by Facebook in April 2012, it now has over 200 million users worldwide.

What sets Instagram apart from other social media platforms is that it is nearly an entirely mobile platform.  It is a photo/video platform so you need your mobile device to take pictures or videos. To create an Instagram account you must download the Android or iPhone App to your device and register. Since being acquired by Facebook,  Instagram has improved its presence on the web and you can now edit your profile, comment and like photos, find and follow other users the only things you cannot do is upload and edit your photos and videos. Continue reading