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What’s the Future of Business? Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences

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Past NMX/BlogWorld speaker Brian Solis recently released his latest book, What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences.

It is easy to point to new media and say, “That is the future of business.” It’s a little harder, though, to stop paining in broad strokes and really define what new media means for businesses and how our understanding and use of these technologies is changing the future.

Want to see what Brian has to say about the topic? Check out this free sample of What’s the Future of Business:

Preview: What’s the Future of Business by Brian Solis by Brian Solis

Here’s where you can pick up the book if you want to read the entire thing:

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 10 Google Plus Users a-Sharing

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

Back in July, I did a huge link round-up on Google+ posts as part of our Brilliant Bloggers series. Since then, the platform has evolved and even more bloggers have weighed in with their opinions and advice about this social network. So today’s topic is Google+ and rest assured that I have some awesome links for you!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore at WendyMoore.net

If you’re brand new to Google+ and want to get started quickly, this is a great post to check out. Wendy covers five topics you need to understand to be successful on this platform. Since Google+ is slightly different from Twitter and Facebook, I really recommend you check out a helpful beginner’s guide before getting started. It’s much easier than wading through it yourself like I did the first few weeks! One of her great tips, for example, is about using keywords on Google+.

From the post:

Take advantage of keywords and phrases when posting content on Google +.

Keep in mind that Google Plus is powered by the king of search engines so what you’re sharing can be indexed. By using keywords, you can have a better chance of being ranked higher on Google searches.

After reading the rest of Wendy’s post, you can find more from her at Savvy Web Women. Wendy is also on Twitter @wendy_moore, and if you sign up for her mailing list, you can download a free copy of Savvy Success Tips: How to Use Social Media in Your Business.


 

2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com

I don’t think it would be a valid list of top Google+ posts without mentioning something written by Chris Brogan! His Google+ presentation at BlogWorld with Guy Kawasaki was packed and for good reason – the guy knows what he’s talking about. He’s written tons of posts about Google+, but I definitely wanted to highlight this one, which talks about the value of this platform from a content marking standpoint. Writes Chris,

One great value of Google+ is that it makes a great platform for cultivating visibility. If your organization is hoping to “save a seat at the table” in between sales calls, one way to do this is to create compelling content that nurtures your business relationships by educating your community and by making them the hero in their own story. Said differently: If you want to nurture leads while they’re still at the wide end of the sales funnel, using Google+ is an effective addition to your content marketing strategies.

Chris is on Twitter @ChrisBrogan and you can also, of course, add him to your Google+ circles. He has a free email newsletter available to readers and is a the co-author of the New York Times bestseller book Trust Agents.


 

3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (Andrea Vahl) at AndreaVahl.com

If you haven’t yet been introduced to the Grandma Mary Show, you’re missing out! Grandma Mary is the alter ego of Andrea Vahl, and whatever her persona at the moment, I think this post is super smart. Google+ rolled out their new pages feature recently to allow businesses on Google+, but the system isn’t perfect – at least, it isn’t perfect yet. In this post, Grandma Mary goes over some of the points you need to understand about this platform if you want to create a page for your business, along with instructions for starting and whether or not you even need a page. From the post:

Why even have a page at all if you aren’t going to post there, aren’t going to circle anyone, and aren’t going to participate as your Brand Page?  If you don’t have time, if your audience isn’t there, then don’t create a Page, people!  This isn’t some land grab to see who can be in the most places at once!  If your customers are still all on Facebook, then stay on Facebook.  Take a poll – find out if they are over there!

Andrea is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and is the community manager for Social Media Examiner. You can also check out her various products to help you grow your business using social media. She’s on Twitter @AndreaVahl and @GrandmaMaryShow.


 

4. Public Posts: Are They Spam? by James Barraford at Media Tapper

This is actually a really interesting question, given that public posts are not only sent out to everyone who has you in a circle, but are also picked up by Google’s search engine. James weighs in with his opinion in this post, and also includes the opinion from some of his connections on Google+ about whether or not your public posts on this platform are spam. I think there are good arguments to be had on both sides of this debate, personally, and I certainly don’t want to see Google+ overrun with spammers and other undesirables. Still, I like to use Google+ for promotional purposes and almost all of my posts are public. So am I a spammer? Eek! Writes James,

The term spam gets tossed around a lot on Google Plus. I see it used frequently in situations where people don’t care for a particular post, thread, or superstar tech blogger. I don’t think I’ve seen a photograph of a beautiful mountain scene — that’s been shared dozens of times on my screen — be labeled as spam once. Have I seen +Robert Scoble resharers called spammers? You bet. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and often people forget they have the power of mute… or uncircle.

After checking out his post on Media Tapper, you can add James to your Google+ circles or follow him on Twitter @barraford.


 

5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland at Local SEO Guide

Holy resource list, Batman! Pretty much everything you every wondered how to do with Google+ is on this list, with tips about everything from Chrome Extensions to Searching to Hangouts. I can’t accurate describe to y’all how gosh darn useful this list is, and although hasn’t been updated super recently, it looks like Andrew does occasionally come back to add more information. This is one to bookmark, folks! Seriously. Even if you’re not using Google+ right now, bookmark this post so that when you’re ready to jump on board, you can make the process SO MUCH EASIER. Here are just a few examples of the tips and trick he includes in this post:

– If you make a post aimed at your “Friends” circle, people in that circle who aren’t yet inGoogle+ get mailed.

– After you add a circle in the ‘share’ dialog, hover over it and an option will appear to ‘notify about this post’. That helps you control whether people get mailed.

– You can share your G+ posts to Twitter and Facebook with this Google Chrome Extension.

You can add Andrew on Google+ here, as well find him on Twitter @localseoguide.


 

6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis at BrianSolis.com

I love Brian’s blog because his posts are so in-depth and packed with information and analysis, and this post is no different. Brian polled nearly 2,000 people to see if they would leave Facebook to commit to Google+ instead. Many people are calling Google+ a game-changer, but there are still so many people still getting used to Facebook; I’m not sure the general public is ready to jump ship just yet. Still, those of us in the new media industry set the trends for everyone else in terms of social media, so I think Brian’s study is an important one.  From the post:

As I noted in my initial analysis, Google+ is not a Facebook or Twitter killer and I don’t think that’s the right lens for which to survey the social landscape. In the U.S., we have a few top traditional TV networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC. In social networking, we now have three top social networks to compete for global online attention and interaction. In this example, none of the traditional networks successfully captured the attention of every viewer possible nor did one network kill the other. Instead, the programming of each network attracts people through content, creativity, and timing, defining, segmenting and sharing the audience around shared interests. The same can be true in social networking.

Brian on Twitter @briansolis and you can also add him to your Google+ circles. He’s the author of Engage and The End of Business as Usual, both of which you can pick up on Amazon.


 

7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling at Wired

While I’m not sure I necessarily agree (or at least, I’m not ready to make a call either way at this point), I think Caleb makes a really compelling argument in this post, which pits Google+’s new pages feature against Facebook and Twitter. In the past few months, Google+ and Facebook have grown more and more alike as the companies try to one-up one another, but Caleb makes a good point that Google has the advantage of, well, being Google. Will Google’s advantage not be in the platform itself, but rather in their ability to draw on their other departments to promote and integrate Google+ profiles? Caleb writes,

This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people — and these can be tied to Google+. As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network — and the branded Pages within it — in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot.

Check out the rest of Caleb’s post on Wired and then head to Google+ to add him to your circles or find him on Twitter @calebgarling.


 

8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman at Social Media Examiner

Marc Pitman is pretty much the coolest guy in a bow tie ever (okay…the second coolest), and this post makes me like him even more – it’s everything you need to know about using Google+ for hangouts. I’ve personally never done it before, so I found his advice (and easy-to-follow instructions with pictures) super helpful. Actually, his post makes me want to check out this whole hangout thing, which is a real feat in itself, because I don’t really like being on camera (turning on my webcam makes me nervous!). From the post:

We all know that people only purchase from us when they know, like and trust us. That used to mean we needed to go to a lot of conferences to meet people. But a tool like Google+ Hangouts can help you do the interacting right from your desk. And as Google rolls out the ability to broadcast Hangouts, you’ll be able to extend your reach beyond the 10 people in the Hangout.

And as you do more Hangouts, and capture more images from those Hangouts, your company will stand out. People will know you’re approachable.

You can find Marc at The Fundraising Coach and add him to your Google+ circles, as well as follow him on Twitter @marcapitman. He’s also the author of Ask Without Fear, which you can check out if you’re interested in fundraising


 

9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry at SEOmoz

This post outlines a really smart way to use Google+ and one that I don’t see many other people talking about. I think one of the benefits of Google+, especially over Twitter (my first love), is that it is less noisy, so there’s a better chance of getting through to the top people in your niche. Since I don’t use Google+ a ton (yet!), I haven’t really looked into Ripples and why it might be helpful, but wow – I think Casey hits the nail on the head when it comes to why you should definitely check it out. In this industry, networking is everything. Writes Casey,

Sometimes getting an influencer to share your content can be very difficult, if not impossible. Ripples provides an easy way for you to investigate who are the influencers of the influencers. Let me give you an example of how this might work in a real world situation. Let’s say I write a blog post on Google Analytics and am hoping to get Avinash Kaushik to share it, since he is a leader in the Analytics area. However, I don’t have a direct relationship with Avinash, so I need to find someone approachable who does.

After checking out how Casey goes on to use Ripples to connect with Avinash, you can check him out on Twitter @caseyhen. His personal site is GR Web Designs.


 

10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao at The Skool of Life (guest post for Social Mouths)

Y’all know that my mouth waters when I see lists that feature advice from a bunch of different people, so this is definitely a post I wanted to share! In this guest post for Social Mouths, Srini talks to people like Kelby Carr, Karl Staib, and Angela England about how they use Google+ as a way to connect with readers, drive traffic, find interesting content, build their communities, and more. From the post:

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Google Plus and I’m finding that the quality of conversation with content creators is significantly higher there.

So I decided to put that theory to the test and ask some bloggers to share their best tips to on using Google Plus.

You can find Srini at The Skool of Life and BlogcastFM. He’s on Twitter @skooloflife, and you can add him to your Google+ circles here.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore (@wendy_moore)
  2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)
  3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (@AndreaVahl/@GrandmaMaryShow)
  4. Public Posts: Are They Spam by James Barraford (@barraford)
  5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide)
  6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis (@briansolis)
  7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling (@calebgarling)
  8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman (@marcapitman)
  9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry (@caseyhen)
  10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao (@skooloflife)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing (this post)
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

Mark Burnett and Brian Solis Chat about New Media and Taking Chances

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Image Source: Ken Yeung

You likely know Mark Burnett as the Emmy-winning mastermind behind Survivor, but his list of credits is about a mile long. During BlogWorld 2010, Mark sat down with new media guru Brian Solis to talk about the convergence of media and the future of unscripted drama on the web.

“The need to be certain causes paralysis.” – Mark Burnett

Mark is known for taking risks. Now, reality television and elimination game shows are everywhere, but Survivor was really the first. Although taking risks is scary, during the keynote, Mark emphsized how important it is to your business, and really, to your life. It is a lesson that applies to bloggers just as it applies to television products. You cant never truly be certain that an idea will work. You have to just believe in it and do it.

In fact, Mark went as far as to call the need to be certain a form of procrastination. If you are always worried about getting something perfect, it will never be ready to launch. Perfection is something that will never happen on a blog. Do not procrastinate using the excuse that your site/post/product/whatever isn’t perfect yet. Make it good, and then launch!

Mark’s entire keynote wasn’t about risks, of course. I hope you got to see it live in person or streaming on Ustream at home. If not, check out Rob’s cartoon recap of the event or get your virtual ticket to BlogWorld to have access to all of the keynotes and sessions that happened/will happen this week.

Oh, an something super special that Mark brought along? Never-before-seen footage of his new project, Sarah Palin’s Alaska which will be on TLC! He actually demonstrated the power of social media by posting this video on a random person’s YouTube page and asking everyone to give it a tweet. Check out the video yourself right now:

Mark Burnett with Brian Solis: Convergence

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Burnett tells Solis, I pitched 'Joe Lieberman's Connecticut, but nobody bit.

The full title of this session was “Convergence of media and the future of unscripted drama on the web.” Brian Solis (author of Engage and creator of the Conversation Prism infographic you’ve used in at least three slide decks so far this year) interviewed Survivor creator Mark Burnett on how networked communication is challenging, supporting and transforming shows like his.

Cartoon: Jeff Probst tells a contestant 'You've been voted off the island. But on the brighter side, you're trending on Twitter.' It was a fascinating conversation, starting with the essential importance of story to both blogging (something Solis speaks about so eloquently that I wonder if he might have the same kind of spec screenplays buried on his hard drive that I do) and shows like Survivor, where Burnett invoked Joseph Campbell and walked us through the show’s imagery of life, death and  rebirth.

From there, the two looked at the way the online backchannel has transformed water-cooler conversations. Those conversations now start during the show itself, and take place everywhere, Burnett said. “The water cooler is now omni-present.”

Cartoon: two people at a water cooler. One asks: 'So, didja see the liveblogging for Survivor last night?'

The conversation ranged over football legend Jimmy Johnson’s appearance on a rescheduled Survivor to the MTV Movie Awards, before they launched into Burnett’s latest project, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. He described Alaska as “epic”, and we became the first audience to see promotional footage from the upcoming show.

Burnett tells Solis, I pitched 'Joe Lieberman's Connecticut, but nobody bit. Then, at the end, Solis announced a surprise: the footage was being released to the world not through the usual channels, but via Steve Garfield’s YouTube channel. (Burnett acknowledged the plan may have initially caused some agita in the executive suites at TLC.)

TLC exec's head exploding. But tastefully. And educationally. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is that very video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7xnvXMHxGE[/youtube]

BlogWorld Keynotes Announced: It’s Looking Good!

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Penn Jillette will be participating in the closing talk show at Blogworld.

Who are the BlogWorld keynoters this year? When are they happening and what will everyone be talking about? How will we ever top the rousing success of last year’s closing keynote talk show?

Relax. The answers to these questions and more are about to be revealed.

  • As previously announced, our opening keynote is the unMarketer himself, Scott Stratten.  Scott’s opening the ‘Expo with his talk “Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Together” where he’ll discusses blogging with passion and emotion, while not necessarily sticking to the rules regarding posting content. Scott’s keynote will take place on Thursday, October 14 at 8:30 a.m. I know it’s early and you’re in Vegas and all, but you’ll want to get out of bed for this one.
  • On Thursday afternoon at 2:45, drop by and spend time with “Engage” author, Brian Solis.
  • Our closing keynote for Thursday will feature founding member of the pioneering 360 Digital Influence team at Ogilvy and the bestselling author of “Personality Not Included,” Rohit Bhargava interviewiing LIVEstrong CEO, Doug Ulman. Stop by the keynote room on Thursday at 5:15 to sit in.
  • On 5:30 Friday, our keynote features a discussion of the future of web videos. In what promises to be a killer panel, CEO of Revision 3,  Jim Louderback and Funny or Die‘s Dick Glover, will chat with Moderator Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media.
  • You’re in for a treat Saturday as members of the Third Tribe open the day with “7 Harsh Realities of Blogging.” ProBlogger Darren Rowse, and CopBlogger‘s Brian Clark and Sonia Simone discuss the pitfalls of making money with your blog and  how to do it right. Join us Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. for your reality check.
  • We set the bar high last year with our closing keynote talk show, and this year we’re raising that bar. Our host for the event is Rob Barnett, Founder and CEO of MyDamnChannel. It will be a packed house as Rob interviews Adam Carolla, host of the Adam Carolla Show (among others!), the talkative half of the comedy/magic team of Penn & Teller, Penn Jillette, “The Mirror Test” author and former Kodak CMO, Jeff Hayzlett, and web TV host, Cali Lewis. The show begins at 5:00, but get here early, you’ll want to land a seat for this one. I can’t promise that we’ll be passing around a bottle of wine this year, but I can guarantee a good time will be had by all.

Tickets are still available for BlogWorld ’10. If our published schedule hasn’t already convinced you to attend, hopefully our keynotes will seal the deal!

We Have Bloggers and Blog World Heads to Texas!

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In case you haven’t noticed, I wanted to introduce you to a couple of new bloggers here on our site that will be providing some content.  I want to introduce you to Jane Goodwin and Tyler Knott Gregson.  Jane and Tyler are prolific bloggers and will be talking about all things blogging and new media.  They will be discussing industry news and what is happening in the world of blogging.  They will talk about the upcoming show a little and also be talking about what is going on in the world of technology.   Feel free to talk to them and tell them what you think and to also let them know what you want them to post about and other information. Welcome to Blog World Jane and Tyler!

Rick Calvert, Dave Cynkin and I will be in Austin, Texas next week attending Spring Break For Geeks or more commonly known to many as a SXSW Interactive.  We will be setting up shop at the Techset Blogger Lounge Sponsored by Windows Mobile and organized by Stephanie Agresta and Brian Solis. We did our radio show yesterday on the trip we are taking and talked about all things SXSW with Tammy Lynn Gilmore and Brian and Stephanie and I invite you to listen in on that show but listening to the widget on the right under Blog Talk Radio.  We will be doing the show live from SXSW and giving you the on scene experience of attending the Blogger Lounge and about all the people that are there participating.  It will be the next best thing to paying for a pass and attending the event yourself.  Join us as we head to Texas for some Yee Haw!

Should Bloggers Blacklist PR Firms?

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I agree with much of Stowe Boyd says in his post about PR Spam but I am going to be the devils advocate here and I am hoping we can agree on what I am about to say.

If you are a professional journalist, or editor covering a particular industry or topic then part of your job is fielding PR pitches for products in that industry.

Think of it like a buyer working for a major department store. Let’s say they buy mens clothing. That person’s job is to buy things from people they know, and people they don’t know. In fact a good buyer is actively searching for, and appreciatively receiving unsolicited emails and cold calls from people they have never met who are trying to sell them some new line of clothing they have never heard of. Why?

That new line of clothing just might be the next big thing.

It is that buyer’s job to diligently review that line and listen to that sales pitch to decide if buying that line would give his company a competitive advantage.

A buyer who only buys from his friends and buys lines he already knows about is lazy and should be fired for not doing his job.

In Journalism and PR it is the same thing. Journalists and editors should be actively seeking new stories, from new companies about new products and learning about them with enthusiasm to give their publication an advantage by breaking stories before their competitors.

Will you occasionally get pitched something that is irrelevant to you or that is personally uninteresting to you? Of course. Too bad. Get over it or get a new job. Now if the same PR firm keeps sending you irrelevant information it is entirely appropriate to contact them and politely ask them to knock it off. If they keep “spamming” you then you should complain about them publicly until they get a clue.

Now here is the difference and the fine line between bloggers and “real” journalists. If blogging is a hobby for you and you don’t really consider yourself a journalist, or you don’t really know what journalism is or means then it is understandable that you might be offended when you receive an email from a stranger pitching some product you have never heard of.

Stowe offers some great advice in his post:

I also suggest to bloggers and journalists to do as I have done, and post a persistent link on your blog called ‘How To Pitch Me’ or the like, and state how others ought to — and ought not to — pitch you.

By the way small companies are the ones who are most hurt by being ignored. Big companies will always find ways to get their message out. They have the money and resources to change tactics and to kiss and make up to whoever they have offended. And don’t try to tell me that publishers don’t forgive when they are adequately sucked up to after being offended.

Small companies do not have access, do not have the resources or the cash to pursue every single media outlet in the world that might cover their product individually. It is impossible. So if you get what you consider to be “spam” from a small company take a moment to send them a polite email and explain that you don’t like the way they pitched you and offer them some free advice. Most likely they will appreciate the advice and you might just get the inside scoop when that company makes it big.

If the polite approach doesn’t work you can always blacklist them. It’s your blog you can do whatever you like 8).

**update**

Todd Defren defends his ably defends his firm and his profession.
Infopinions points out the difference between Lifehacker’s reaction and Chris Anderson’s.

Jeremy Pepper prefers OG PR.

PR Interactive says They aren’t teaching this kind of stuff in school:

While I can’t speak from the professional side, I can agree with him from the academic side. As a recent grad, I can tell you that I have had minimal exposure to pitching the media. This is, obviously, very difficult to do in the classroom setting, and most of my internships would let me pitch only when everyone else was swamped with bigger clients. For many of my peers, ,

Brian Solis says:

>Nowadays, any mistake made in PR is really an occupational hazard where one wrong move can cause a domino effect that has the potential to eradicate months or even years of hard work.

What Brian says is true but it is also wrong and shame on bloggers who hold PR professionals to an unreasonable standard. Show me a blogger who hasn’t posted inaccurate information one time or another or flamed someone and later had to apologize for it and I will eat my hat. We all make mistakes.

Btw Brian nails it in defining SPAM. It is not any email you deem to be unwanted.

Broadstuff disagree’s with Brian’s definition…..He’s wrong.

more to come I am sure.

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