Monthly Archives: November 2008

Share Social Networks on Thanksgiving!

Ever feel like being part of Twitter, having a blog, and taking part in other social networks, is something you want to share?

Thought for Thanksgiving, I’d give tips on how to get friends, co-workers, etc. to use RSS, Twitter, and Blogs.  We are going to spend time with family and need something to talk about, why not let them in on a how amazing social networks are?

Below are a few ideas on how to get friends, family, and co-workers to start taking part in online conversations.  At some point someone got you started on it, now it’s time to share the favor with someone else.

RSS –
1.Show them your RSS reader and how quickly it transformed how you get information from the web.
2.Show them this video by Common Craft if they still don’t get it.
3.Setup an RSS reader for them with feeds you think they might like
4.If they like to read books, talk to them about how blogs have turned you onto some good books, and how blogs have added to your reading.

Twitter –
1.When you forward articles you found on Twitter, tell them that.
2.Tell them how your Twitter contacts answered a question you had.
3.Have them look over your shoulder when you use Twitter, to see the type of conversations you have.  They’ll be shocked, it’s not all about people posting about brushing their teeth.
4.If you have enough followers, ask your followers to say hello to the friend who is interested in Twitter.

Blog –
1.If they already like to write, encourage them to simply put it online.
2.If they think they can’t write, have them read my blog.  I can’t, but I am hoping by writing more on my blog it will improve.
3.I have friends who write long white paper type emails. These type of emails translate easy into blog post.  Help them convert some of them.

Networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn should be easy to get them on and is a great place to start

Facebook-

1.If they are not on Facebook by now, they probably think it is just for friends.  Show them how you use it to connect for business.
2.Show them lost friends you found on Facebook, and what that led to.
3.Some simply will not get Facebook, so move on to LinkedIn

LinkedIn-
1.Show them your connections, and ask them to name a business.  Then explain how you are connected to it.
2.If they are in sales, so them all the options LinkedIn provides them.
3.Explain how LinkedIn, does not have all the Facebook things they don’t like.  Such as videos, personal pics, etc.
4.If they are looking for a new job, show them how to use it that way.

This list could go on and on, and please add to it in comments if you have any suggestions or stories of success.

I have been working on my friends and co-workers for the last few months, and two of them are starting blogs, three of them have started using RSS readers, and I think one is about to start Twitter.

It is not the easiest thing to convince others to join the online conversation, but the more people we have taking part, the better the conversations will be.

Are You Learning from Others to Imitate or to Innovate?

Downturns in the economy bring great innovations, and is when many successful companies get their start.  Whether it be during the Great Depression when HP was founded, or during 1975 recession when Microsoft started. American’s are resilient and entrepreneurial, and when things get tough, we start innovating! (to read more on this see this link)

What are you doing to prosper during this economic slowdown?  Are you trying to innovate and think outside the box, or are you simply copying ideas from others?

Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn.  I subscribe to around a hundred RSS feeds (ok I need to cut the list down. I have 1,200 feeds to read today),  have too many Twitter friends than I can follow, and love a good book and a lively debate.  Learning from others is not the problem that holds us back from innovating, the problem is if we let others do the thinking for us.

When you are in learning from others, do you find yourself taking what they say and finding ways to apply it to your own life, or do you think about what they have to say and how it will impact the future?

If we do not think about current application and future implications, we are missing out on one of the best parts of learning.  We must apply, but we also must spend time thinking about innovation.  We should always be asking ourselves, of everything I have learned today, and everything I know, what’s next?  What is missing?  What is it that everyone else is talking about, but may have overlooked?

From this week on, I am challenging myself to spend time each day trying to innovate.  During this time I will use what I have learned to think outside the box and innovate.  This could simply be a new way to do some little task, or it could be developing new ideas on where marketing is headed.

Great companies do this.  3M allows time for their employees to think of new ideas, so does Google.  We need to take this time as well.

We spend countless hours reading and learning from others about their innovations.  Now it is our turn to  innovate!

“They’re killing independent George! And they’re, they’re all in on it! World’s are colliding!”

Ever felt like you have too many social networks? One for friends, one for business connections, one for learning from others, etc.? Ever thought about trying to keep these social networks separate?

It reminds me of a George’s Worlds Collide Theory:

“Theory that if ones relationship self and their independent self met it would be the end of the independent self”

The same thing is happening with social media. Do we want our friend networks to collide with our business network? Do we want our learning network (for me this is Twitter) to collide with our friend or business network?

If they do, do we loose our one independent self? Does the work me, the friend me, and the family me all of a sudden become one person? Heck the more important question is do my connections in these different groups even want to know about my other worlds?

Do my Linkedin connections care that I just made a new friend on Facebook? Do my Facebook friends care that I just replied to @jasonfalls and asked him a question? Do they even know what @jasonfalls or RT means?

For now I am going to keep these worlds separate. Anyone can find me on any network (some are linked above and below) if they want to get info on that part of my world, but for now, mostly as a favor to my connections they will be separated.

I am sure someday a tool will come along, where you will be able to tell it what kind’s of info you want from your various connections, but for now let’s avoid the colliding of the worlds. Look what it did to George, his fiancee ended up dieing.

Profiles

Linkedin

Twitter

Facebook

Confused about the Future? Plan Anyway!

Steve Rubel recently blogged saying …

“I want to make a bet with you today. By January 2014 I will wager that in the US almost all forms of tangible media will either be in sharp decline or completely extinct. I am not just talking about print, but all tangible forms of media – newspapers, magazines, books, DVDs, boxed software and video games.”

This caused others such at Mitch Joel to blog in response, saying that making this shift by 2014 is almost impossible. And I agree with Mitch and others. (heck my bathroom is still littered with magazines, and for only $10 a year for most of them they are hard to give up)

This shift is never going to completely happen by 2014, but why don’t we set that as a goal or a deadline?  Why don’t we try to push ourselves to make it happen by this date?  Why don’t we get our companies ready for this shift, and prepare our marketing for a fast and dramatic shift in media over these next eight years?

This way we can be ready if media does shift by 2014, and if it doesn’t we can be ahead of the curve.

Now, I am not proposing shifting our advertising plans out of old media starting tomorrow,  I’m just saying let’s start thinking about what life is going to be like after this digital shift.  How are we going to reach consumers with our message?  How are they going to interact with our products?  What new technology could we invent to communicate more effectively?

We may not know when, or how things are going to change, but we should always be trying to guess what the changes are going to be and when they are going to happen.  That is the only way we can start to prepare for the future.

Even if we never guess the right timeline, or the right changes, going through this exercise of preparing for change, will make us more able to capitalize on these shifts.  So if we are late to the party, and don’t figure out what we need to do until the very last moment, we’ll already be experienced at identifying the changes, and how we can take advantage of them.