Proofs You Can Use: Volume 1

proofyoucanuse

Let’s face it – there’s so much good stuff to read out there, who can get through it all.  Here are just a few of my favorite blog posts, articles, videos, etc. that are valuable in demonstrating the critical importance of engagement and appropriate use of social media.

Proofs You Can Use:  Volume 1

Engagement is not a campaign; learn to be a P2P business by Olivier Blanchard at TheBrandBuilderBlog

  • Great post on the importance of authentically engaging with audiences and making it about P2P – People to People.  “[engagement] is a commitment to a being the kind of business that people will want to be a part of and whose products and community people will want to share with friends and family. The kind of business that people  will naturally want to support proactively for years and years.”

Facebook:  All Your Stuff is Ours, Even if You Quit by Stan Schroeder at Mashable!

  • A good summary of Facebook’s change in it’s Terms of Service and the language that means they now own all of your content.  Definitely take a look – especially if you’re encouraging clients to share information using their platform.  Chris Brogan also makes some good points about this on his blog – Wake Up to How You Share on The Web.  If you’d like to see a response to all of this, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, posted a blog addressing the concerns.  Personally, I always operate under the assumption that anything you put online is now permanently part of the public domain and you no longer “own” that, but there are good points raised here about why you might want to think twice before you post that next video.

This Post will Make Your Website Better by Olivier Blanchard at TheBrandBuilderBlog

  • I generally try not to use the same blogger twice, but this post is FANTASTIC for talking with clients about the need for good web design and the strategies behind it.  The list of facts should be a staple for anyone recommending any type of web presence, but his overall argument for the need to really devote time and resources to developing your site is great.  Blanchard says  “More and more, your customers’s first impression of you is made via the web. This isn’t 1997 anymore. Your website isn’t an aside. It isn’t something you can throw at your cousin’s neighbor’s kid because he needs a part-time job and “boy, you should see his MySpace!” Your website is your global storefront. Your global lobby. Your global showroom. You can’t afford to allow it to be boring, ineffective or outdated.” AMEN!!!!!!!!  And, if you don’t know someone to help you – call me at The Buddy Group!  (sorry, couldn’t resist)

30 Business People Tell the One Thing They’ll Do in the Next 30 Days to Grow Business by Christopher at Above the Buzz

  • Looking for somewhere to start sorting your business’ mess given the tough times we’re all going through?  Here’s a great list that Christopher pulled from his Twitter friends on what their plans are.  Maybe it will inspire you or make you think of a cost-cutting or business improvement project that could help you improve your business.   I’m definitely adding some of these ideas to my list!

Twitter Professors:  18 People to Follow for a Real Time Education by Lon Cohen at Mashable!

  • Wondering who are the people getting the most out of Twitter or who you should follow to learn and read amazing things that will stimulate your mind and great conversations?  READ THIS!  Great list which includes lots of my favorites and gives a summary of what you can get from each of them.  You’ll quickly see why thousands follow them.

Five Digital Trends to Watch for in 2009 by Steve Rubel at MicroPersuasion

  • If you’re not reading this blog you’re missing out on perhaps one of the brightest minds in the PR business.  This post is a perfect example of why that is.  A well-researched and written look at how public relations is no longer just about the media but truly about the public.  It goes into great detail as to what the trends to watch this year are – and you need to be paying attention because I believe he’s nailed it

Myths About Online Retail Marketing by Kelly Mooney at AdAge

  • Need to convince clients why digital programs are essential, here’s some great examples to counteract their preconceived notions.  Kelly says, “the web is no longer for extending campaigns when (and if) there’s leftover budget. Consumers start with the web or end with the web — and increasingly do both.”

What a Cocky CEO Can Teach You About World-Class Blogging by Demain Farnworth at Copyblogger

  • Ah, Jack Welsh, now that’s a guy that always gets my attention and Demain writes a great piece about this amazing CEO of GE’s tenure and his RESULTS.  Love him or hate him, this guy was the ultimate in “get ‘er done” mentality.  Today, this couldn’t be more relevant – stop doing what doesn’t work and focus intently on what does and GET RESULTS.  Read this.  It will make you think.

HOW TO:  Take Control of Your Google Search Results by Dan Schwabel at Mashable!

  • If you’ve been wondering at all how you can up your name rank in google or just in general how that happens, this is a really good look into that.

These are just a few of the amazing articles I read last week.  Please feel free to add to the list with your own recommendations

Drink in the Morning, Hug More at Work

Talk about putting the “social” in networking, Penelope Trunk has a great post up about the new hugging phenomenon at work (which she noticed because she was drinking in the morning, but you’ll have to read the story for more on that!).  She writes:

I get to work, and I am glowing. I walk into my office and the guy I’m meeting with is there, and I give him a huge smile and a huge hug. The kind you give someone on the fifth date, when you think you might marry him.

The thing is, before I realized what I am doing, the guy is hugging back.

And that’s why I never drink in the morning. Because only four sips leads to hugging insanity.

But I’ve met with that guy a bunch more times, and he has hugged me each time. Not like, let’s-do-something-inappropriate-later hug. But just sort of a nice, I-like-doing-business-with-you hug.

And I’ve been thinking about what this means at work, and then I read that Obama is hugging. Men. In the White House. Obama has made hugging co-workers cool by using the combination of a handshake and a one-armed embrace, which Time magazine has illustrated nicely for the uninitiated. (The genesis of this hug might be the hip-hop hug, which black men have been doing casually for years. But, according to Wikipedia, white men have been hesitant to embellish beyond a handshake.)

I have to agree with her.  There is a definite uptick in corporate hugging.  The handshake seems to have been demoted to first-meeting-only status.  For me, I love hugging – it’s so much more personal than a handshake.  It’s like social media in a way – warm and inviting, a little vulnerable but open to chance and possibility.

Anyway, if you have any interest in this phenomenon or just adding a good writer to your Google Reader – check out the post.  I heard Penelope speak at the 2008 PRSA National Conference and have since been victim to a massive girl crush – this woman is FANTASTIC in my book.

If Penelope worked with me, I think I would have to hug her just for writing so well.  Hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

UnPlug and Reconnect

Sometimes people write things that just make you stop.  I was catching up on Danny Brown’s Blog and saw a reference to David Mullen’s blog.  Danny’s introduced me to some amazing minds through his writing and I knew it would be another.  Clicking the link took me to David’s blog post – Marketing Doesn’t Matter That Much in the Big Scheme.

Go on – hop over and read it.  It will be worth the five minutes.

In case you didn’t take my advice, what you missed is a very moving reminder of why we all need to take time and unplug once in awhile:

As I sat through the service watching a slide show of images from this wonderful child’s life and seeing her father, mother and sister broken by their loss, I couldn’t help but think about how often I neglect those who mean the most to me in a race to get one more thing accomplished at work.

How many times can our presentations, press releases, emails, strategy POVs, and everything in between wait until tomorrow morning? In my experience, most of the time there is no difference between the majority of whimsically-proposed end-of-the-day deadlines and first-thing-in the morning – except a date on a time stamp.

While my online friends are great and I greatly benefit both personally and professionally from those relationships, I admit that I tend to neglect those I love sometimes because of it.  My poor fiance has lamented about our nights spent watching TV together with my laptop which has become almost like a security blanket.

Thank you David for sharing something so personal.  Tonight, because of you I’ll close my laptop and snuggle with my sweetie.  Sometimes the best move you can make is to actually unplug and reconnect with your offline world.

Theory: Social Media is the Ultimate Authentic Connector

Surprisingly, I wasn’t an early adopter of social media.  It took A LOT of buzz about MySpace before I finally created an account just to see what it was about.  Of course, it only took me about a week to become hopelessly hooked.  Photos went up, friends were added, early attempts at blogging started and my heart even got a little broken.

Today that’s all old news.  It didn’t take me long to start seeing the potential.  I could share my client news with my “friends” and I started thinking that there was way more opportunity to tap into.  I began exploring other social networks.  Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter quickly became my favorites – all for different reasons.

FredCavazza.net

Credit: FredCavazza.net

The most appealing thing to me, beyond the ability to renew long lost connections, was the authenticity of the interaction.  People share of themselves freely and more genuinely on these networks than I’ve experienced in real life.  Perhaps it has something to do with doing it on your own terms and at times when it’s convenient.  Perhaps it is the safety net of being able to unplug and virtually walk away at any time.

What I want to believe is that people out there are ready for more personal connections because they understand the power of relationships today.  With more companies, more options, fierce competition and generally just far more distractions we need a place to keep track of our lives and focus attentions.  Or, possibly just appease our digitally created A.D.D.

Does this prove the theory?  Is social media the ultimate authentic connector?  Personally, I think that it might just be.  Actually, because of the availablity of information online about you, I might even get a better picture of who you are through your social media than when I meet you in person for the first time.

What do you think?  Tell me your opinion on social media as the ultimate authentic connector.

I hated algebra, but what does that have to do with social media?

I will never remember coming home after that first day of algebra class.  My dad asked how my day was and I said, in typical teenage fashion, “algebra sucks.”  A lengthy conversation about theorems and proofs followed.  My eyes glazed over.  Are you kidding me?  I have to prove Pi is 3.14 whatever?  Yeah, right.

Those first weeks were hell.  The irony that I was a 4.0 student and couldn’t understand algebra for the life of me didn’t seem to humor my teacher or parents.  Tutors were hired.  Hours at the kitchen table were spent.  Nothing helped.  It was hopeless.  I was hopeless.

Then it clicked.

Just like that, the connections started clicking and suddenly I understood.  Pi may be defined now but someone at one time had to PROVE that to be true.  It was a process.  Establish the constants and variables.  Test different ideas.  FIND THE ANSWER!

Years later I still laugh at the mental image of that frustrated teenager crying over X and Y.  Now, I apply those skills every day but to engagement theories – how do people connect?  What do they share?  What do they think?  How do company’s participate in conversations?  How do they add value without being self-serving?

Applying social media provides the new theories I must test.  Opportunities abound so I research and look at what paths will take me to my answer.  The “answers” being the objectives I want to achieve.  The largest difference here is that instead of a defined path that takes you to that answer, it’s a bit more choose-your-own-adventure.  That’s the fun part.