Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Creating new media magic


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Meg Hodson, far right, and fellow bloggers got a preview of the season opener for 'American Idol.'Any doubt about social media’s increasing influence on entertainment and promotion simply won’t do.

Just ask Canby’s Meg Hodson. The wife of Mayor Brian Hodson, Meg Hodson has a passion for new social media. She started her own blog more than a year ago, Happy Kids Inc., and can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And it’s that enjoyment of social media that plopped a unique opportunity in her lap last week – and demonstrated the growing power of social media.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Meg Hodson“I’m active on social media and one day on Twitter I got a direct message from American Idol saying they wanted me to come down for an exclusive Idol event,” Hodson said. “So, I responded back. We went back and forth a bit and it seemed legit and it had a valid email.”

The request was unique. American Idol would fly Hodson and about 15 other women, mostly bloggers, down to Los Angeles for a behind the scenes look at American Idol and an early screening of its first episode.

To make it happen, Hodson was on a plane Tuesday morning and back home Wednesday night.

“It was really the first time something like this has been done,” Hodson said. “I was definitely tweeting and using Facebook and Instagram while down there. We were limited in a few things we could photograph, but had a lot of access.”

Why bring bloggers to American Idol?

Hodson has a few ideas on that.

“I think they wanted to create a buzz about the show through social media,” she said. “I think they made a well thought-out decision to bring Harry Conninck Jr. onto the show and bring back Jennifer Lopez. After watching the premier, they wanted feedback from all of us. They are definitely working on a rebranding effort and have begun to understand the importance of social media and things going viral, maybe getting a jump on what might be the future of promotion.”

Hodson did her part while in Los Angeles, tweeting and using Instagram, as well as a few blog posts. She’s now in the process of processing all that she heard and saw during her whirlwind trip, then coming up with a gameplan for blog posts in the near future.

She’ll also reflect on one of her favorite parts of the trip — meeting Harry Conninck Jr.

“He talked with us for about a half hour,” she said. “He was gracious and kind and really everything you kind of expect him to be.”

Meg’s thoughts on the trip

Happy Kids, Inc. blog: http://www.happykidsincblog.com

Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook: @happykidsinc