Archive - December, 2010

Do you have a way for me to contact you?

Would you ever make a business card without a phone number and email address? No.  Then why leave out ways to contact you, the most critical information on your website or blog?  It is a common mistake.  I just tried to contact twenty or more people who had won an ebook on my site. All I had twitter account names. Only a few had a way for me to contact them directly.  One thing was common as I navigated each of their sites, (some did not even list a site on their twitter profile) no contact information.  At first this might seem unnecessary, but lets just take a scenario. Someone finds your site, likes how you write, shoot video, record, or connect. They like it so much they want to work with you.  To do that they usually want to contact you directly. Yes, they could leave a comment on your blog, announce it on Twitter publicly, request a friendship on Facebook, but really these are too many steps. Make it simple. If you don’t know how to make your information available in a safe way, just leave a comment.  If I can’t help you I have lots of friends that will chime in.

And the winner is: Kindle giveaway

So we have a winner, number 26, Rocco Capra! Actually you all won. I spoke with New Leaf Publishing about offering the Kindle version to all the entrants, and I am pleased to announce you will be receiving a copy (expect an email from me with details from New Leaf in the next few days) . If you don’t have a Kindle you can get a free app from Amazon for your PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad,BlackBerry or Windows 7 Phone here. I really enjoyed the stories people told and I hope to comment back to most of them this week. Here is a short screencast showing how I picked the winner. Again thanks to Scott Williams for showing me the method. Thanks again for participating and have a great New Year!

Ten minutes ten years from now: The angel Clarence & measuring your influence success

I have a personal tradition every Christmas Eve. After the kids are in bed, and everything is set for the Christmas morning, I settle down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. My wife, Kristine, begins it with me but falls asleep by the time Clarence the angel comes on the scene. This is part of the plan though, because I have come to see the whole thing as my time to reflect and consider my life over the past…

Win a free Kindle with Eric Alexander’s The Summit included

There is really so much I want to say about Eric Alexander’s Book “The Summit”. It is one of those books that you want to read slowly over a few weeks and a short blog post seems out of place. For me it was more of a devotional, and actually a book I will probably keep by my bed and process slowly again. Eric’s writing is unpolished and authentic. I felt as if he was sitting there telling each story in person. Eric has led many expeditions, over his career as a climber and outdoor guide, including several with people of various physical disabilities. However, after reading his accounts about these people, the word hero seems more appropriate than the word disabled.

Informal is in and Formal is OUT

have a running conversation with Paul McNeal about the changing role email is playing in communications. With his expereince as both entrepreneur and mentor, he has some good insights on the subject over a range of ages. I asked him to share his thoughts here.

Email and voice is on its way out as a mode of social communications and digital is all in. Why? Because it’s too formal. I will admit that the business scene is still a primary user of this archaic form of communication but I see that also changing very quickly.

There is a new breed of information users on the horizon and they process information much differently than we do today. Generation Y and Z — the youngest techies, born after 1995 — consider e-mail passé. They process information in quick snippets while on the go; you have …….

Why not engage? Everything else can wait

The front-line of success today is engagement, and you do have time for it.  You can find many services that will do your bookkeeping, scheduling, purchasing, even research and a multitude of other tasks for you, but you are the only one your customers or readers want to engage with.

During my early twenties I was a stock manager for a clothing company. My stockroom staff were both trained in shipping/receiving as well as excellent sales people. Often when a new hire started, it was hard for them to understand that their highest priority was on the salesroom floor.  If customers were around they needed to be engaged in conversation and making sure their needs were being met.  The stock room could wait.

The salesroom floor where we greeted every customer with a welcoming smile and helpful attitude was called the front line. I enjoyed working with the best of these stockroom employees because while they were helping customers they were also constantly checking to see if tables needed to be restocked or stacks straightened. They were also the first ones to know if sizes could be found at the request of a customer.

They had time to both do the work behind the scenes and still engage with customers. So do you.  There is no shortage of tools to keep us connected with  customers and plenty of resources available to teach you how to use them efficiently.  Besides if you are passionate about what you do you will never tire from talking about it and in the process you will be building a tribe of sneezers, those they can help but tell all their friends about your gadget, book, window cleaning or cupcakes.

Tool Wednesday: Enhancing your connection power using Personal Brain

This weeks tool highlight comes from Productivity Maven, Tara Rodden Robinson.

As a connector, you’ve got a lot to keep up with. To make the connection magic happen, you need the right tools so you can capture what you want to know (like contact info, interests, and so on) as well as the information that comes to you. In this post, you’ll learn about a powerful software tool that allows you to capture information easily and cross-reference that information quickly so that you can connect people….

Stepping out from behind the curtain: an ad campaign revisited

Two years ago I wrote about JCPenney’s viral ad campaign known as the Dog House Video. As the video began to spread around the internet again this Christmas season I took some time to revisit the campaign. Once a company has gained the customers attention engagement should follow.

Now that the video has millions of views and that the company has established itself as a brand that can make a viral video, customer…

Bedridden in Beaverton

This past week I noticed my sister using Facebook a lot more than usual to connect with people. Then I noticed that she was guiding her husband as he created his account (I can’t even get my spouse there). Then I realized that it was one of the only ways she was able to connect since she has been confined to bed all week with pneumonia. I asked her to write a few of her thoughts here. We often don’t see the usefulness of a tool as a connection aid until it becomes a necessity:

I supposed there is an upside to all things that seem rotten. For instance being bedridden with pneumonia would seem like the quintessential waste of time. However, I have found it to be a welcomed break to catch up on emails, paperwork time and write abstracts. I have even worked with a web designer to build a new website…all from bed. The real fun…..

Picking a great image: how I blog

This is one of my favorite blogging tasks, picking an image to use. I don’t always post an image. When I do, it on purpose and with the intent to leave the reader with a lasting emotion.

As a visual thinker, I have an image in mind when I begin a post subject. As I begin to search for that image I will often end up with a completely different one. Here is an example. Yesterday I posted ‘Strange behaviors of crowds: a cautionary tale’. The post image I wanted to find contained a person using a mobile device while listening to a speaker. I then started searching my favorite stock image site. What I ended up with was an image that was even better. Rather than focusing on the subject of the post, I used an image of a microphone against a red curtain. I wanted the reader to understand that they have the following: a voice, power…..