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June 2009

David Lee at Wetoku Interviews Me

Author:

Yesterday BlogWorld Exhibitor and Wetoku VP of sales David Lee asked me a few questions using their new video service.  It was pretty lag free and despite both of us having lousy web cams the quality looks pretty good to me. That is except for both of us having a bad hair day. At least David wore his Red Sox Hat =p. Here is the video:

I really hate the way the webcam makes my eyes bug out hehe.

CEO's Are Actually "Social Media Slackers?"

Author:

news1_0 Looks like the biggest big-wigs of the biggest companies in the world might just have some explaining to do.  The world is shifting every day to a much more “socially networked” world, and everyone from your grandparents to your grandchildren are jumping on board and taking part.  That is, everyone except for CEO’s if reports that are coming in are as accurate as they believe they are.

That’s right, some of the CEO’s of the world’s largest and most successful companies are also some of the biggest slackers when it comes to social media and jumping on board the social networking bandwagon.  According to the most recent report done a company called ÜberCEO, who analyze and research the head honchos of the biggest companies:

“by Looking at their use of social media sites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter and LinkedIn, ÜberCEO notably found that none of the Fortune 100 CEOs has a blog and “81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page…Perhaps most shocking of all, in light of Twitter’s popularity, “Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts.”

Is it me, or are those numbers astonishing?  Considering the fact that Fortune 100 companies include names from AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dell, Target, Rite-Aid and many, many others, you’d think that a greater percentage would be involved, especially considering the increasingly social nature that nearly all business on the internet is adopting.

The good news, however, is that for every major company that isn’t using Twitter, Facebook or any of the other major social networking sites and services, there are other companies that are using them, and they are on the rise.  Companies like Zappos, Ford and others are stepping it up, and while some might not be using their actual CEO’s to do the dirty work, at least they are getting their presence out there.

The real question is, when will the other 81% of the top CEO’s in the world get the hint, and start adding a little transparency to their business, and their lives?

CEO’s Are Actually “Social Media Slackers?”

Author:

news1_0 Looks like the biggest big-wigs of the biggest companies in the world might just have some explaining to do.  The world is shifting every day to a much more “socially networked” world, and everyone from your grandparents to your grandchildren are jumping on board and taking part.  That is, everyone except for CEO’s if reports that are coming in are as accurate as they believe they are.

That’s right, some of the CEO’s of the world’s largest and most successful companies are also some of the biggest slackers when it comes to social media and jumping on board the social networking bandwagon.  According to the most recent report done a company called ÜberCEO, who analyze and research the head honchos of the biggest companies:

“by Looking at their use of social media sites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter and LinkedIn, ÜberCEO notably found that none of the Fortune 100 CEOs has a blog and “81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page…Perhaps most shocking of all, in light of Twitter’s popularity, “Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts.”

Is it me, or are those numbers astonishing?  Considering the fact that Fortune 100 companies include names from AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dell, Target, Rite-Aid and many, many others, you’d think that a greater percentage would be involved, especially considering the increasingly social nature that nearly all business on the internet is adopting.

The good news, however, is that for every major company that isn’t using Twitter, Facebook or any of the other major social networking sites and services, there are other companies that are using them, and they are on the rise.  Companies like Zappos, Ford and others are stepping it up, and while some might not be using their actual CEO’s to do the dirty work, at least they are getting their presence out there.

The real question is, when will the other 81% of the top CEO’s in the world get the hint, and start adding a little transparency to their business, and their lives?

Can't Make it to BlogWorld? 5 Ways You Can Still Be There in Spirit

Author:

150px
The BlogWorld and New Media Expo is a wonderful celebration of networking and learning, a place where bloggers can talk about their favorite topic and know others will get it. Not all who are feeling the love can attend conferences, however. For many the airfare, lodgings fees, entry and other expenses are out of reach. That doesn’t mean those who can’t attend won’t be able to live vicariously via those who made it. Below are a few ways one can enjoy BlogWorld in spirit.

1. Twitter – When Blogworld is on, folks are a-tweeting. Keep an eye on the hashtag #BWE09 and your Tweet Deck will ping so many times your roommates will ask you to turn down the sound. Receive quotes from sessions, vendor info, links to TwitPics and general updates from the conference floor and the latest parties. Twitter is the next best thing to being there.

2. Blogs – Set your Google Alerts and bookmark Google Blog Search, because there will be so many bloggers blogging about the BlogWorld experience you won’t be able to keep up. I especially love reading the takeaways and after-session analysis. Many of the bloggers also took pictures of their experiences and share that as well.

3. Podcasts – Many podcasters conduct interviews at BlogWorld. Some online radio networks have booths, while others walk the floor asking for commentary. This is one of the best ways to feel the excitement of BlogWorld and touch on what is going on.

4. Flickr – Lots of Flickr steams will be updated during and after BlogWorld. I enjoy looking at Flickr streams from BlogWorld especially for the candid shots. Seeing bloggers away from their laptops and interacting in person is a real treat. It also shows the power of using social media to leverage face to face coversations.

5. YouTube – There were so many people carrying Flip video cameras at BlogWorld last year, someone I spoke with thought they were being given away as swag. No one was so generous, but every time I turned around someone else was being interviewed on video.  Just about all of these videos are still available via YouTube – and are still a wealth of information today.

Can’t Make it to BlogWorld? 5 Ways You Can Still Be There in Spirit

Author:

150px
The BlogWorld and New Media Expo is a wonderful celebration of networking and learning, a place where bloggers can talk about their favorite topic and know others will get it. Not all who are feeling the love can attend conferences, however. For many the airfare, lodgings fees, entry and other expenses are out of reach. That doesn’t mean those who can’t attend won’t be able to live vicariously via those who made it. Below are a few ways one can enjoy BlogWorld in spirit.

1. Twitter – When Blogworld is on, folks are a-tweeting. Keep an eye on the hashtag #BWE09 and your Tweet Deck will ping so many times your roommates will ask you to turn down the sound. Receive quotes from sessions, vendor info, links to TwitPics and general updates from the conference floor and the latest parties. Twitter is the next best thing to being there.

2. Blogs – Set your Google Alerts and bookmark Google Blog Search, because there will be so many bloggers blogging about the BlogWorld experience you won’t be able to keep up. I especially love reading the takeaways and after-session analysis. Many of the bloggers also took pictures of their experiences and share that as well.

3. Podcasts – Many podcasters conduct interviews at BlogWorld. Some online radio networks have booths, while others walk the floor asking for commentary. This is one of the best ways to feel the excitement of BlogWorld and touch on what is going on.

4. Flickr – Lots of Flickr steams will be updated during and after BlogWorld. I enjoy looking at Flickr streams from BlogWorld especially for the candid shots. Seeing bloggers away from their laptops and interacting in person is a real treat. It also shows the power of using social media to leverage face to face coversations.

5. YouTube – There were so many people carrying Flip video cameras at BlogWorld last year, someone I spoke with thought they were being given away as swag. No one was so generous, but every time I turned around someone else was being interviewed on video.  Just about all of these videos are still available via YouTube – and are still a wealth of information today.

MySpace Cutting Jobs & Downsizing International Work

Author:

myspace_logo Uh oh for MySpace.  Looks like the former King of Social Networking just got knocked back to Prince.  As Facebook has officially passed MySpace by when it comes to popularity and traffic, MySpace looks like it’s being forced to act accordingly and has reportedly made moves to reposition themselves.

According to recent reports, MySpace has actually had to cut quite a few jobs, starting with their international work.  The reports said:

“MySpace announced plans to restructure its international operations, focusing the social network on a smaller number of countries. The plan would see the international workforce drop to 150 people from the current 450 and the company closing four offices outside its home country the US. Upon completion of the proposed plan, London, Berlin and Sydney would become the primary regional hubs for MySpace’s international operations. Existing offices in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and Spain will be put under review for possible restructure. MySpace China, a locally owned, operated and managed company, and MySpace’s joint venture in Japan would not be affected by the proposed plan.”

Considering the fact that about half of MySpace’s user base comes from outside of the USA, and that percentage will most likely continue to climb as Facebook and Twitter gain popularity, this is not exactly a good thing.  Could we be witnessing the slow decline of MySpace?  Is this the death rattle?  Time will tell.

That actually makes me curious…how many of you out there still maintain a MySpace?  By maintain, I mean, not just have one but actually log into it, and use it?  We’d love to know…

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?

Author:

brands

Yesterday at dinner with “the girls”, the discussion turned to social networks. Some didn’t quite get the appeal of Facebook and Twitter and an interesting discussion ensued. It took an even more interesting turn when one of my friends, who works for a major national brand, felt businesses really don’t want to monitor the social networks because they don’t want to know what is being said about them. While this may be true, I believe that even though the talk might not always be rosy, it’s important for brands to hear what their consumers say about their products.

Everything is an Opportunity

The way I see it, all comments are opportunities. The truth might hurt, but how is a brand to learn about what is hurting the business if they’re not monitoring the comments? This is a wonderful chance to find which areas need improvement and which areas rock. Why wouldn’t businesses want to take advantage of social media?

Good Customer Service Means Good Word of Mouth Promotion

There have been times when I complained on a social network about poor service or an item I didn’t like. Community managers from some of these brands reached out to me via the same social networks and offered to discuss. In most cases, we were able to resolve the issue in an amicable manner. After receiving such good customer service, I sung their praises to others and they received more business as a result. How can this be a bad thing?

People Trust in Brands that “Get it”

I love it when brands embrace social media or technology. When they “get it” it means they get their customers. It means they want to work with us and use the same tools we do. It means they’re not out of touch and really do wish to find the solutions that work.

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?

Heck yeah, brands should monitor the social networks. To not do so means they’re missing out on an important opportunity to touch base with their users. Frankly, I don’t think I would want to deal with a brand that isn’t interested in learning what I think.

How about you?

Want More Twitter Followers? Pay For Them!

Author:

usocial We’re living in a world where the more people you’re connected to on the internet, the more successful you are most likely going to be when it comes to your business enterprises.  The problem for a lot of people, however, is that they just aren’t connected to that many people, and getting more of those connections can be a real pain.

Take Twitter, for example, the way it works is that you follow people’s Tweets that you are interested in, and in return, other people can follow you if they are also interested in you.  The more followers you have, the more people instantly hear exactly what you’re doing, exactly when you’re doing it.  For businesses, or someone who’s trying to market themselves or a product, the ability to reach a ton of people can be priceless…or is there a price?

Looks like there just might be, and we just caught wind of a new service called uSocial that actually offers up packages to help you boost your followers.  Yes, you heard me right, they have a service that helps you suck in and capture huge increases in Twitter followers so that more people are hearing from you, about you, and what you’re trying to market.  To this, I have just one word in response:  Wow.

I am not saying it’s not a great idea, because it really, really is, but I’m just saying Wow.  It seems amazing to me that we’re reaching points where we have to pay for followers.  What’s next, paying for Facebook friends?  The whole idea of a social network, to me, is that you’re socially building your network with people you know and interact with on some level.  Granted on Twitter we’re not always following people we know, and sometimes we even follow celebrities that interest us but still, paying for a package to include more followers just seems, well, odd.  The day we pay for Facebook friends, is the day I drop out of social networking altogether!

Do Your Blogs Bring You Business….Or is it Your Business to Blog?

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blog

I read a thought-provoking post yesterday at Men with Pens regarding converting blog readers to clients. The author, James Chartrand, left some interesting food for thought behind. Many bloggers give away all their wisdom for free. Their readers come by to learn, perhaps add a comment or two, and then leave. If we’re lucky they’ll click on an ad or buy a product, but most bloggers don’t earn much of a wage from blog income. James’ blog post had me thinking about my own blog and its purpose, which was to help folks find freelance writing and blogging work and not to get scammed. With that said, my blog also brings in a semi-decent income. I can pay the mortgage with my blog earnings and maybe have something left over for a few meals. The icing on the proverbial cake is when I land a client through my blog. It’s not a common occurrence but it does happen . So now I’m wondering…how many bloggers land work as a direct result of their blogs?

Are Your Blogs Bringing You Business?

In the freelance writing world, almost every writer feels he has to have a blog because it showcases his writing, gives up his contact information, and helps him to make a name for himself. I wonder though, are they really bringing in clients?

I took an informal poll yesterday and asked several writing friends if potential clients contact them through their blogs. Most informed me that they land very few clients this way. In fact, more bloggers find work via Twitter than from someone who read their blogs and decided to hire them on the spot. The writing bloggers don’t earn much money from their blogs, and only use the blogs as a sort of a writing resume. In fact, most earn money via blogs, but not their own blogs. They earn their money by blogging for others.

Do You Land Clients Through Your Blog?

Since my informal poll only spoke to a few niche bloggers, I thought I’d throw the same question out to the mainstream. Do you land clients through your blogs? How do you earn money as a blogger? If your purpose is to make money through your own blog, how are you doing it?

Discuss…

Social Media: There's No Such Thing as A News Black Out

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As I was preparing dinner last night I had one ear tuned to the television in the family room and one ear tuned to the child playing in the back yard. My attention fully focused on the news as I heard the words “Twitter” and “Facebook.” If you’re like me, mention of the social networks makes you take notice.

The anchor was discussing the recent events in Iran. Though the Iranian government is hoping for a news blackout, it’s not happening as many folks are receiving their updates via Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. In fact, Twitter ended up postponing necessary scheduled maintenance because it’s such an important tool in learning what’s happening in Iran. Comments from folks on the scene, warnings about fake government Twitter accounts,  and even disturbing images of violence directed at protesters continue to flood cyberspace. The world no longer has to rely on government propaganda. Social Media has changed the way we learn the news.

Lately I’m learning what’s going on in the world before it’s reported on CNN and other outlets. Many news items (both web and print) are beginning with the words, “It was reported on Twitter this morning…” There is no such thing as a news blackout any more. It’s becoming harder to hide the truth. While this is a very good thing, it’s also important to note that folks have to be careful and not spread unsubstantiate rumors, because there are a lot of them going around as well.

As I was reading Tweets and watching events unfold, I’m remembering Tienanmen Square and how some of the Chinese protesters were arrested for using fax machines to get their stories to relatives and news outlets around the world. Technology will continue to advance, and with it the ways we receive our news…and it’s only going to get better.

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