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Blogworld Speaker Interview: Deborah Micek

Author:

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

A: My background began with a quick rise to the top of my field as a social worker with a degree in Psychology. Ok well, it was actually to the #2 spot in my field, but I realized I’d have to wait another 30+ years to get the president’s position as she was fairly young with no plans to go anywhere. That’s when I started exploring other ways to challenge myself. After spending a decade as a behavior analyst, overseeing managers and motivating the unmotivated, I decided it was time for a change. A BIG Change!

As a result, I changed everything about my life. I started a coaching & consulting business in the NY/NJ area, I quit my “secure” job, and I sold my house and all my belongings (except my shoes) and moved 5,000 away from my home state to live and work in the state of Hawaii.

Once I realized how time consuming in-person networking was, and how costly advertising was for a small business owner, I began the quest to find another way to get the word out about my boutique coaching firm. That’s when I discovered the power of blogging.

Deborah Micek, aka CoachDeb

Deborah Micek, aka "CoachDeb"

I started blogging after participating in a coaching club with Stephen Pierce where he talked about blogging as a way to get traffic for all the articles we wrote for Hawaii’s daily newspaper The Star Bulletin and magazines back in 2002. Having my own Coach was just the kind of accountability I needed.

After that, my blogging efforts took a life of its own. My business partner and I started seeing additional benefits for our blogging platforms, and took it to the next level, writing the first book on new media marketing tools and strategies. But instead of calling the book “blogging secrets” we wanted the book to be full of timeless strategies, and instead titled it, “Secrets of Online Persuasion” taking the topic beyond blogs and Podcasts, which were all trend setting topics at the time, and the book was released way before its time in regards to the blogging bandwagon that followed.

The book covers what’s most important when you’re using any communication platform – which is your influence and ability to persuade with your words via your blog. And to me, that’s more important than just the mechanics of blogging.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

I blog often. I guess I could say daily, now that I use Twitter as my micro-blogging platform, but as far as article blogging, it’s several times weekly on a variety of the blogs we run.

I started using WordPress, but found there were so many plug-ins to install, and with the updates they issue to fix bugs, etc. it became incredibly time-consuming.

The platform we use is BLOGi360.com.

Why do I use this platform? Simple = Because we created it.

Ok, well that’s the short answer, but on the serious note, we developed it to take care of an unmet need for busy business owners who didn’t have the time to do all the things necessary for their blog to work for them. We hired a team of programmers to create software that works automatically for the busy business owner (starting with me).

The system took a ton of tech time off my shoulders so I was able to focus on writing & uploading content, videos, etc instead of worrying about the techie stuff. All the installation and plug-ins along with proprietary software that goes far beyond WordPress are all done for me on any blog I create with this software. Now with the BLOGi360 system working for me, I can get busy doing the things I love – like tweeting on Twitter and connecting with other influencers.

We originally created the system to use for ourselves (selfishly) and then shared it with our private coaching clients. Recently we decided it was time to share the technology with the world of small business owners. Thus began another journey.

Q: Point us to a recent postings on your blog that you think are superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

http://tribalseduction.com/blog/womenrule is a recent post that was uber fun to create & share with my subscribers. The topic generated 30 comments almost immediately and continues to get a lot of hits to this day.

People often tweet me mentioning how they laughed when watching the video on this post, and then share whether they agree or disagree with what the gentleman in the video shared.  The blog post posed a question (instead of a statement) “Do women rule on Twitter? (What Men Think)” and shared a few paragraphs about the making of the video that was shared in the post. The video itself was created while at a friend’s place, and editing less than 5 minutes because we kept it “reality style”.

This topic on my personal blog was a continuation of a column written for Entrepreneur magazine where I posed a controversial topic that people couldn’t help but comment and tweet about. 72 comments came in from my Twitter following who were not afraid to get engaged in a controversial dialogue.

My writing process is to not fear controversy. I even posed the thought for my readers, “Does this make me sexist?” and allowed readers to decide for themselves. In a politically correct world, people are tired of only saying what they’re “supposed to say” so anytime you go against the norm and try something different, it’ll have a certain shock value where people will enjoy participating in. And that’s what the blogosphere is all about – isn’t it? To get people engaged, entertained and sharing their two cents about matters important to them.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I comment anytime I come across a topic that interests me. I often find the blog posts from the people I follow on Twitter. I love knowing the moment a blog post goes up and have some bloggers who regularly DM me about 10 minutes before their post goes live to give me a chance to read and comment first, and then tweet my following so they can do the same.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I’ll cover the issues of how to use controversy and creating shock value in my Tribal Seduction presentation at Blog World Expo on the Entrepreneur track.

Once you understand how people are tribal by nature, you’ll be able to gather a tribe yourself of raving fans.
Most people are afraid of “rocking the boat” yet that’s the precise way of generating a flood of traffic, fans and clients.

New Media has introduced a more authentic, transparent world, and when people try to disguise their views or true identity, it backfires, or worse, gets them no results as though they don’t exist.
We’ll talk about how to brand their voice and develop their story in order to be known in the marketplace of ideas.

I’ll also reveal an amazingly effective process that’s a 180° turn from all you’ve been told about marketing in the 20th Century. Most people do it backwards. That’s why I’ll discuss how business owners can solve the problems that most entrepreneurs encounter when developing their marketing strategy.

Q: How do you recommend new folks best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

I’d recommend new attendees going to Blog World Expo for the first time begin their experience by tracking the hashtag #BWE08 on their mobile phones and the internet using Search.Twitter.com in order to follow the conversations happening in all of the different rooms.

This is another great way to find and connect with people who are at the conference that you might not otherwise have the chance to meet in person due to the overwhelming number of people attending this conference.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

I go both ways. I use a PC for all my business needs with corporate clients so all documents transfer easily. And I use a Mac for my iPhone connection and think of it as my portable Mac computer, since I use it mostly for internet connection, checking email, etc. all the things people buy a Macbook AIR for.

Then I carry around my Blackberry in order to use the phone reliably and not hang up on people when my cheek hits the touch pad on the iPhone. I also have it as my backup for when my iPhone battery dies. I can never go a full day without recharging. So – I find going both ways works best.

As for iPod, I use the Creative Zen to download from my Napster account and listen to tunes and Podcasts on my long flight from Honolulu to Vegas.

Thanks for sharing all of this, Deb!  If you don’t, you should consider following @CoachDeb on Twitter too, though be warned, she’s as prolific a Twitterer as I am. But then again, perhaps you can just follow both of us (I’m @DaveTaylor) and add Rick Calvert, host of Blogworld (@blogworld) and fill your dance card quickly. 🙂


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, of Ask Dave Taylor.com and Intuitive.com.  He’ll see ya in Vegas in just a few days!

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Shama Hyder

Author:

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I run a small online marketing firm based out of Dallas called After The Launch. We specialize in helping professional service firms market themselves online. I started blogging a year ago because I wanted a platform to share my expertise. What better way to do that than blog?

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

About 3 times a week. I’d like to blog more, just need to find the time! We use WordPress. LOVE It! Wouldn’t use anything else. It’s constantly evolving, and you have so much flexibility to customize it how you want. Plus, it’s great for the search engines. Some of our posts get picked up within hours! We build ALL our client sites on Word Press.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Hmm. Good question! Okay, here is some shameless self promotion.

Top 7 Resources You Had No Idea Existed: I like finding cool hidden web secrets and sharing them with my readers. There are some amazing things out there!

Our most popular post has been: Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business For Free . I chose the topic (Facebook) because it’s something I am VERY comfortable with. I have been using it for over 3 years. Both posts took me about 30 minutes to write. Writing comes fairly easily to me.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I have blogs I frequent, and will comment anytime I feel really moved by a post-which is often when it comes to my favorite blogs. I find entries and new blogs through 1) Twitter and 2) Google Alerts. I follow the coolest people on Twitter-and they are always sharing great links! Then I have Google alerts set out for terms I think are key. Example: Social Media Marketing. So, I’ll follow such terms and the blogs they inevitably lead to.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

It’s going to be awesome. : ) Well- I am planning for it to go that way anyways. My talk will be on Facebook. How to strategically use Facebook to leverage your business, brand, and blog. I am going to be covering a few key case studies and hopefully leave the audience with an action plan for how they can make the most of Facebook for themselves.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Sneak into the speaker’s lounge! Okay, kidding-but they have good food there. : ) I’d say spend time in sessions and the lounge. Don’t be shy-go up and say hi to people. Last year was the first time I went and I had JUST started the blog. I remember coming up to you Dave and being “star-struck!”-but I did manage to say hi. : )

Having something that’s a conversation starter also doesn’t hurt. Whether it’s a funny shirt or a cool piece of technology (NOT the Iphone). My laptop has a sticker with our company name (After The Launch) on it, and it ALWAYS gets people talking. I love that!

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Hehe. I am going to get into so much trouble for this I know. PC (gulp). Ipod or Zune- neither. I listen to stuff on my laptop which I take EVERYWHERE. Iphone or Blackberry? Yea… an old T-Mobile Samsung. My new(ish) Tmobile dash was chewed up by Snoopy the Puppy (err…office mascot). So, I am not big into gadgets. I am much more on the business applications and marketing side of technology.

Thanks so much for your contribution here, Shama!  I’m sure that your talk will be great and look forward to it in just a week!


This interview was done by Dave Taylor, who has been blogging and involved with the Internet since Heck was a Pup. You can find his early cave paintings on tech support and business blogging and you can, of course, follow his adventures on Twitter at @DaveTaylor.

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Roxanne Darling

Author:

Another in our series of Blogworld Expo speaker interviews: this is with Roxanne Darling, who blogs from the beautiful state of Hawai’i.

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I have had several careers ranging from marine biologist to motivational speaker to health coach and working the past 12 years as an internet developer and consultant.  Our company, Bare Feet Studios, thrives on the possibilities inherent in the internet, and we live out in the forward edge looking for and testing new trends. My first blog? Something on eWorld or that very early Apple community platform back
in 1995, long since gone.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

Roxanne Darling

Roxanne Darling

Daily across numerous platforms. I share a video blog, Beach Walks with Rox, with my Secret Cameraman, business partner, and boyfriend, Shane Robinson; I talk and he walks backwards capturing the beautiful scenery of Hawaii and our dog Lexi chasing her ball into the water. This is truly where my voice resides. I cover all sorts of topics, it is unscripted, and I love the freedom it affords me I love the power and impact that video conveys, and having the backdrop of this beauty is breathtaking even for me who sees it daily! I never knew what an impact we could have on people’s lives. The loyalty and appreciation of our viewers is
astounding, and the opportunities this show has created for us also amazing. We do our very best work here, technically, and allow our heart energy to be the director. It is a winning combination.

You can see some of our favorite episodes here: beachwalks.tv/favorite-episodes. This is a WordPress blog.

I also text/audio/video blog on our company site, www.barefeetstudios.com, about once a week.  I have way more ideas than time on this one! We do cross post our Beach Walks episodes here, as I often talk business and technology on that show. Our blog is not so much for the choir but for companies and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use these social web tools smartly. We are big on testing and training, and we love sharing our experiences to help others be more efficient. It is also a WordPress blog.

If you consider Twitter a microblog, yes I am there, and post frequently since mid 2007. I’m @RoxanneDarling. I love Twitter for being able to have a real-time, energetic connection with people around the world. We are so geographically isolated here in Hawaii. And having said that? Twitter has enabled me to meet people in my own back yard who I love dearly and am doing deals with. (Try twitterlocal.net or Twinkle on the iPhone.)
Ditto for FriendFeed. When I am doing low intensity work, I like to keep a small window open on my desktop and drop into conversations there. I’m roxanne on friendfeed.

I have a personal blog, www.inthetransition.com, where I put things I want to get out but that don’t fit elsewhere. I do exploratory writing over there and it is very erratic.  It too is a WordPress blog. I have a Tumbler microblog account, roxannedarling, also for posting snippets of ideas, pics, links, etc.   I also have accounts at dozens of other services that cross-post for me.

Can you tell we love WordPress? Plug-ins we use religiously are  Akismet and Textile 2.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

On Bare Feet Studios: Using Social Media to Promote Your Event: Step 2

We try to leverage as much as we can in terms of being aware of our process and work flow so we can share it with others. We continually discover that the things we do “automatically” do not come naturally to others. By taking the time to reflect in that way, we get to both fine tune and archive things for ourselves while sharing really useful information with others.  We are currently planning Podcamp Hawaii. Part of the agreement with the Podcamp Foundation is that no one gets paid = we are all volunteers. So I am using whatever I can to build value for ourselves and others out of our (extensive!) labors.

This is a series I am creating documenting how we are building the event, and then showing how others can use these tricks to build *any* event, not just a podcamp or unconference. Fortunately, I pretty much can’t help but think in step-by-step fashion, having been a formal trainer for much of my life. That skill comes in handy for this type of posting. This post took about 1.5 hours to write, grabbing the graphic and all the links (essential to a good post IMO).

On Beach Walks with Rox: Beach Walk 669 – Bikini Madness!

This is not one of our special episodes but one of our every day, typical episodes. I get an idea on the way to the beach (7-minute drive), we shoot it in one take, then edit, encode, and post it on the site. It’s an example of how I take an idea out there in the “group mind” and attempt to shoot some holes in it with the goal of creating less stress, more freedom and light-heartedness for us all. We rely on good equipment and skills, our beautiful scenery and adorable dog, and one of my quirky ideas with a little science thrown in, to deliver a short, 4-5 minute tonic to the stress of daily life.

Each episode takes us about 15 minutes to film; setting up the gear, shooting, and putting the gear away, so we can then go swimming! It takes about 45-60 minutes to import, edit, add effects, and encode. Then about 30 minutes to upload and create the post. The more complex the show, the longer all of this takes. An episode like Island Adventure was filmed over an hour and a half experience, and took nearly 6 hours to edit, as we had thre cameras on that shoot and lots of cuts.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I leave comments for others at least once or twice a week, in bulk. Meaning, I like to do my reading on spurts, and leave many comments at the same time. I subscribe to blogs, and if I am on the page, I will almost always leave a comment. I believe in supporting the work of others, and I understand that letting someone know you were there and appreciating their work is meaningful. I am not a huge fan of the piling on style of comments, so I do my best to add something relevant or meaningful, if not always agreeing.

The main obstacle I find is using my feed reader on my phone. I am often lazy about doing the typing on my phone…

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

My title is “Finding Your New Media Voice.”  I will cover both the right brain and left brain aspects of answering this question.  I have found that there are actually relevant connections between your personality type and your preferred style of communication – writing, talking, or being on camera. There are also many options technically for using each of these methods, so we will look at out how to actually figure out which modality suits you best, and then what tools will make it easiest for you.  I love these type of talks because we can discus things that are usually isolated from each other in one place.

There are the gear heads right? and then there are the “communicators.”  I will attempt to merge wisdom from both sectors so people can leave here knowing what to do next – even if they have already been doing a form of communicating but not really loving it. They may just want to switch the tool they use, from keyboard to microphone to camera, to better suit their web DNA.

Of course I will address the pros and cons of each type of communication too, as that certainly weighs in to the discussion for a business considering how to use new media/social web communication

While at Blog World, I will also be announcing a new business  community site we are building, Know How Cafe. It will be the place where we take all of this stuff we have learned as web leaders, business consultants, and experimenters and share it with others. Most of the effective and engaging social media tools are free, but knowing how to use them is confusing for many.  It will be a fee-based membership site. Your readers can sign up for the early release and get a 30% discount by using coupon code “dave.” We are so excited about this! The site will let us walk our talk, and provide how to  information in many different forms – text, screen casts, videos, tele-seminars, discussion forums, etc. We will have multiple tracks based on topics. And unlike a lot of training/coaching sites, we will be home there, engaging with our members frequently while also enabling them to “self-service” at their own pace.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Have a plan and then go with the flow.

One of my Twitter friends, Tawny Press,  just compiled a great post on
this topic: Getting Ready for Blogworld Expo in Vegas

I am often amazed at the number of people in a given industry who do not attend conferences…though they can be overwhelming and are virtually always done before I am even half started (!) they are one of the most efficient ways to ramp your personal brand to the next level and to make valuable personal and business connections. I video’d my odd take on my first SXSW conference last spring – in the end the best way to do a conference IMO is to start with a plan and then follow your instincts. The little monkey mind will always be pushing for more or different, but sometimes, it really is just one person who is going to make the big difference in your life. No need to get distracted trying to be everywhere.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac. iPod. iPhone.

Awesome, thanks, Rox!  Hopefully you’ll bring some of that glorious Hawaiian weather to Vegas with you, so we don’t melt in the desert heat!


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is connected to Rox on just about every network online. He can also be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and if you’re into film and the movie industry, you should also check out @FilmBuzz, an experimental news feed he’s building.

Live Blogging At The Blog World & New Media Expo 07

Author:

If you plan to attend the Blog World & New Media Expo, are you planning to live blog your experience?  I ask this because I learned something new in the convention and trade show business today.  While discussing a completely non-related convention with its planners and directors, I was trying to find out if I could live blog the event for a client.  “You want to do what?”, was the response as I made my way through the maze of red tape before I was finally told I would probably not be able to cover the event in this way.  It seems that they consider live blogging or posting the experience live through a blog, “siutcasing.” 

Suitcasing refers to businesses or sales people working the show floor selling their services or products without actually purchasing a show booth.  I tried to explain that I wasn’t there as a sales person or there to sell anything on behalf of my client, I was there to report on my client’s blog the experience of attending the show and who was there, what was the buzz, and what were the hot presentations and what was the breaking industry news.  I was a citizen journalist.  Somehow I don’t think they understood the idea behind a blog, or what posting was or how that played into their “No Suitcasing” policy.  I think it is safe to say that the Blog World & New Media Expo welcomes as many bloggers as possible to create a buzz about the show experience.  If you intend to live blog the event let us know and we can do a page of all of those that are posting their experience.  I would love to hear about those that will be podcasting from the show, livecasting the event and reporting on their experience!  I’ll let you know how it turns out with the other conference and whether I actually have to gain press credentials.  Bloggers get no respect!

Hi, I’m Tris and I’ll be your blogger next week…

Author:

These first posts on blogs are always goofy. Don’t care if you’re Scoble or, well, me it’s always a little strange to start these things off.

Regardless, I’ll be covering next week’s Web 2.0 Expo for BlogWorld Expo live … yes live. Live blogging at its best. Okay I hope it’s at it’s best. I am going to miss Sunday … so I will try to cover it remotely while in transit.

Few basics about me. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years now and currently am the Chief Technical Partner at One By One Media. You know the best way to figure me out is to visit my blog and the OBO blog. That’ll give you a taste of my style and such.

So until Sunday, or if I find something cool about the Web 2 Expo to write about, later!

Technorati tags: ,

Hi, I'm Tris and I'll be your blogger next week…

Author:

These first posts on blogs are always goofy. Don’t care if you’re Scoble or, well, me it’s always a little strange to start these things off.

Regardless, I’ll be covering next week’s Web 2.0 Expo for BlogWorld Expo live … yes live. Live blogging at its best. Okay I hope it’s at it’s best. I am going to miss Sunday … so I will try to cover it remotely while in transit.

Few basics about me. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years now and currently am the Chief Technical Partner at One By One Media. You know the best way to figure me out is to visit my blog and the OBO blog. That’ll give you a taste of my style and such.

So until Sunday, or if I find something cool about the Web 2 Expo to write about, later!

Technorati tags: ,

Getting Press at your next tradeshow

Author:

Rachel Meranus of PR Newswire has a good column at Entrepreneur magazine with some pretty sound advice on how to get noticed by the press at your next tradeshow.

There are a few basic and cheap to free tips she left out.

1. Ask the show manager if they have a “new product” or “first time exhibitor” show case. More and more shows are doing this for one simple fact. The number one reason buyers attend tradeshows is to find new products and services. The same is true for the press. Get your product in these cases and get noticed. Oh and some showcases are judged. Want to get press at a tradeshow?

Win an award and it doesn’t matter how big or small your company is; you will get press. Not to mention you can talk about that award to every potential client and in all of your future advertising.

2. Publicize your participation in any advertising you do. Most trade magazines and show producers cooperate on this stuff. So it is really easy to add a stock “see us at BlogWorld & New Media Expo booth #123” widget to your ads. Any trade journalist worth his salt reads his own magazine as well as his competitors and will see these ads.

3. Prepare press kits and leave them in the press room. If you do you will be part of about 10% of all exhibitors who take advantage of this very common program. Any major tradeshow will have a press room. Again any good reporter will be perusing these kits for real news. An innovative new product or service is good copy.

4. If you have been thinking about running ads in any trade magazine or journal contact them and inquire about this several months before the show. Editors and Publishers will always tell you the editorial side is completely separate from the ad side of the business. Baloney!

Worst case it sure can’t hurt to let a magazine know you are considering spending money with them.

5. Many tradeshows particularly large ones will have special programs to attract international buyers and press to the show. For select major shows this is supported by the US Department of Commerce. Key international buyers and press have part or all of their travel expenses paid by the show organizer or sponsoring association. Find out if the shows you attend have a program like this. They will usually include a guided tour of exhibitors who have signed up for the program, and some sort of reception. Get on that tour, and attend that reception. These are usually free or very low cost and can land you some nice international press coverage. These programs also sometimes include an “export directory” again usually cheap or free. Most exhibitors fail to take advantage of these and the ones that do stand out.

One more related note, some show managers and/or associations will ask exhibitors to “nominate” the international buyers and press that they are going to invite to the show. Want to make a lifelong friend of a foreign journalist?

Nominate him to be a part of this program and make sure he knows you put his name in the hat. If he gets a free or discounted trip due to your efforts, you are going to get some kind of coverage from that magazine.

6. Rachel suggests contacting your show manager and finding out what their PR plans are and trying to tag along. That is a great idea but I will take it one step further. Send your show manager and/or the sponsoring association your press releases particularly releases related to the show, celebrities or industry experts appearing in your booth, education programs being held at the show, or your industry’s hot button issues. Find out if your show has a PR company and send the releases directly to them as well.

Many show producers have to beg exhibitors to get stories out of them, or find out on site some celebrity is appearing in their booth. Show managers are looking for stories to tell the press and they have lots of press who will run every release a show manager gives them. The same old “we have sold more booths than ever, we expect more buyers than ever” release is just plain boring.

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