Archive - January, 2011

Helping others build networks: are you connecting them?

When you gather with people are you focused on building your network or are you connecting others. I am not saying that networking is bad. It is an essential part of doing good work. But I have found that the best way to make connections is to focus on others. I have had many opportunities to see this done well but a recent visit really stands out. Over the last few years I have enjoyed getting to know Chris Brogan. Last year we shared some great time together with friends in Portland after he spoke at The Portland Communicators Conference. We did not get a chance to see each other again until CES this year. Like before in Portland, instead of networking or catching up, Chris spent the time introducing me to people he felt I needed to know.

How and why I use location-based tools

People ask me two questions regarding location-based tools like Gowalla, Foursquare, Whrrl or Yelp. The first question is: why use them? The second is: how do you choose which one to use?

The answer to the first question has three parts…

My first two days on Quora: scolded and collapsed

Quora calls them policies, but they feel more like rules to me. My first two days on Quora were initially refreshing, different and then a bit frustrating. I enjoyed searching subjects I am interested in, like company culture, core values, connecting, influence, and technology. I jumped right in where I felt I had value to add, just as I do anywhere else. The difference though is that on the second day it became apparent that the administrators had a very distinct view of what those policies entailed. I was scolded right away by posting a reference to a very relevant blog post I had written. A user had asked what the community thought about using your own influence on social media to drive attention to a clients brand. That was not good etiquette I guess and I was accused of self-promoting. Then I added a note and a link to Michael Hyatt’s post…

Who talks you back from the ledge?

We all have bad days. When the really bad ones come (and they do for all of us) who talks you off the ledge. A bad encounter with a co-worker, a surprise medical bill or just a lousy nights sleep can send us into a spiral. Stress levels are so high today. I know at least a dozen friends searching for work after having suffered layoffs. All of us know someone who is near the edge of desperation. We don’t need to look far to find someone who needs some perspective, encouragement or just someone to listen.

It really comes down to noticing others. Connecting with people is simple. A smile can change a day. If you see someone struggling and you already know their story, it does not take much to change their whole outlook. It does take risk, but I know personally that the risk pays off. Rarely will someone tell you to mind your own business. Here is a book review of the The Noticer by Andy Andrews I wrote nearly two years ago, that cover this……

Dailies, Flipboard, Alltop…: consumption vs engagement

I have written a couple times about the usefulness of tools like Paper.li, Flipboard and Alltop. They help me stay engaged and informed. (You can read about this process here. I update the blog post as the way I get my news changes.) When Flipboad came out for the iPad, I added my favorite public lists to it and used it for a while. I used Alltop to get my news. I don’t anymore. Now I only use my Facebook friends updates and four lists on Twitter. As you can see, this is a process. And like any process, there will be bumps and misfires along the way to finding something that works well.

I believe we need two things to be successful today. We……

Are we too connected?

I had several conversation about hyper-connectivity versus reclusiveness while visiting my friend and co-author Donavon Roberson. I asked Donavon to repost his thoughts here.

Have you ever stopped to ask the question – are we too connected today? We have cell phones, ipads, netbooks, laptops, smart phones, webcams, etc…the world is growing smaller every day. We have so many options and ways to connect but are we too connected?

Think of all the ways that we interact with others:

* Twitter

* Facebook

* Blogs

Would you hire someone to talk to your spouse?

While at a content marketing conference today I heard several people encouraging others to hire outsourcing for your content. Now understand, I am all for outsourcing, just not the things that are essential to your voice and building trust. So I asked my friend Terri Nopp that question: would you hire someone to talk to your children or your spouse? Your customers, your tribe, your community are important to you, right? Hopefully they are. She replied “a counselor”. We had a good laugh. So yes, good point, but that is if you have a problem with someone you are trying to reach.

Hire guides, consultants and mentors. Ask them……..

CES wrap-up 2011

Last week I was at CES (The international Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas for the second year in a row. Overall I am still thrilled that this gadget laden event is really about the people and not the tech. Yes, you get to peer into the future of what is coming in 2011-2015 but as my friend Tim Sanchez in his guest post last week said, tech enables, people serve. So what I wrote last year still stands not only for the geekiest conference on earth but any conference. That said I wanted….

Tech Enables, People Serve

My friend Tim Sanchez was not able to attend CES this year and will be living it out through my updates. He did have some great things to share regarding tech and how it will never replace the human connection. You can keep up with me while I am at CES at @somagames and I will be posting for The Huffington Post Tech.

This week marks the start of CES 2011, the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show. More than 125,000 people will flock to Las Vegas in hopes of seeing the next big thing in consumer tech……

Editorial Calendar: from sporadic to consistent blogging

I first found this great WordPress plugin tool via Chris Brogan’s post. But the cool part is, Editorial Calendar changed my blogging habits completely. I went from posting sporadically, which is too common for most bloggers, to posting consistently three times a week. Today I asked my friend Justin Lukasavige to do a quick video showing how he uses it. Thanks Justin!

One last note: I use the tool on the fly every-time I get a post idea. I get them in the middle of conversations, while travelling, watching a movie, you name it. Instead of making a note on my iPad, sending myself an email writing it on my hand, I now open up the Editorial Calendar, …..