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Twitter post 9,320,001

I had someone pass me a link to 15 Innovative ideas on whatever as it relates to Twitter in the stream yesterday.  After reviewing it I stopped to think about all the “Twitter tips” or “how to’s” I’ve read over time which is non-trivial.  I’ve definitely read a bunch and after a while it is fairly hard to get anything new from those posts.  So I set off to figure out if there were some new things out there.  As part of the effort I reviewed like 80 Twitter idea posts and most were the same concepts more or less.  So at this point I’m thinking innovative uses for Twitter with over 9,320,001 pages are going to be hard to find.  It was.

The search for the new Twitter use case wasn’t a waste, I did learn some stuff along the way and find a couple of folks who are now in my RSS reader which is upside.  The one thing I did notice is how the tips and ideas posts are targeted at various levels of user participation and Twitter awareness.

To that end,  I took some time to create a hype cycle view of using Twitter based on the tips and tricks I found during my clicking around.

Twitter User Hype Cycle

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: media social)

Marketing IS in the Middle: Chris Brogan

Marketers are EVERYWHERE and not all are formally trained, I for one am an accidental marketer so I thought it was important to reach out to other folks who aren’t formally trained.  So as I continue to look at marketing and my network, I thought it was important to engage not just traditional markets, but also folks that help drive the overall ecosystem.  Chris Brogan is just one of those folks.  I actually didn’t follow Chris at all until he responded to a corporate blog I participate on and piqued my interest.   I’ve had the opportunity to meet, read and appreciate Chris’ take on social media and the larger marketing opportunity with social media.    Make no bones about it – Chris is a marketer and his new venture as president of New Marketing Labs is proof.  Chris was cool enough to participation in the marketing is in the middle conversation and below is his view:

What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?

None. I was a technologist for the last 18 years, but got into marketing by way of joining an events marketing company (Pulvermedia), and just haven’t left the circus since. Over the last 10 years, I’ve been blogging and using social media for improved business communications. Turns out that *became* marketing when I wasn’t looking.

When you look at your career in marketing, what discipline/component have you found most interesting/challenging?

Interesting: listening. I think that listening and customer service are the new marketing. Screw your stupid tag lines and contests. If I listen to prospective customers’ needs, and I can improve the way a customer works with my company, then I’m doing what marketing really wants to do: acquire new customers and keep the existing ones happy. Have fun with your contests.

What do you feel the most important component of a successful marketing gig?  (Product, Brand, Positioning)

Moving a behavioral needle. Did I get something to change and stay changed from when I started until when I left.

Since you selected something I NEVER would have thought of how has that contributed to revenue?

Building loyal passionate communities is a great way to contribute to revenue. It’s lovely to ask people who are passionate about how you make them feel for money. They like giving. Revenue is a return on influence.

What experiences brought you to this conclusion?

I’ve run some very successful conferences, and I’ve also run some online marketing experiences for people. In both cases, my best proof is revenue. I hate the ROI question, because there’s no easy calculator that shows you what I’m going to deliver. So instead, I show revenue bumps as fast as I can. Seems like a fair trade.

If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?

Small, nimble, and focused on action, not beauty.

How far is this from reality?

Not far in my world. I’m working with some great companies, big ones, who love the idea that it’s as simple as listening, building relationships, and serving those relationships. I love developing quality content marketing for them, like group blogs or email marketing that delivers, instead of the same tired old marketing messages. I’m loving my ride, and looking forward to what comes next!

2008: 100 Things I am thankful for

photo.jpg by you.

So after a year since the last Thanksgiving post I have anxiously awaited the 2008 version of my things I am thankful for post. This post is perhaps the most grueling, enjoyable and fun to write.  The list clearly will include similar and exact things from the last one, but that makes sense since gratitude and appreciation should be fairly consistent.  So while it’s been a very busy year, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a bunch of new folks, to try and work on who I am and to try better understand what is actually important.  I hope you have a bunch of things to be thankful for and another full year of opportunity to find new things to appreciate.

  1. My family (all 3 generations)
  2. The Community coffee mug I got this year,  It’s got a great heft.
  3. Spring Time Panic – didn’t get the chance to see Panic at all during the spring of 2008.
  4. Seeing “Greatest” Hits Live Music Shows (I got AC/DC in about 2 weeks!)
  5. Being home
  6. When the batteries die in noisy toys and they mysteriously disappear
  7. On time departures
  8. Sunny Days
  9. A brisk morning walk (the 3 or 4 i get to do a year)
  10. The fact that I almost know how to get around Phoenix now.
  11. Catching up with Ron Kevren at least 1 time a year
  12. Dijouri’s ability to experience pure joy from anything in life
  13. Prescott’s ability to watch something other than “Thoas da trein” on tivo, like “srak”
  14. I still like kids with afros, but have come to not like dreadlocks, I’m so glad that love is hair independant.
  15. That sometimes your wife does just deserves a day at the spa.
  16. My dogs still are cool
  17. Cool maps, like my 1932 relief map of Europe which I can’t seem to get back after 8 years.
  18. A show at the Tabernacle
  19. Sancho’s broken arrow in Denver IS the best bar on the planet with a great ambiance, if you can call it that.
  20. Waiting for the train at Hartsfield to take me to baggage claim
  21. Naps
  22. Watching my kids grow up, learn and change.
  23. A good bowl of soup
  24. My mentors (Ron, Ken, John and Jim)
  25. Golfing when I can
  26. Farmer’s Market Saturdays
  27. The pre-school Prescott goes to, it’s kinda cool being sorta a Methodist, since it is a GREAT school, I guess we should go to a mass.
  28. Mountain weekends thanks to Joan
  29. Being able to have actually gone on a sales call in the US with my friends from the UK – they brought their usual cheer and weather – see below.
  30. That I had the opportunity to speak in Calgary this year and now some kid is getting a scholarship in my name.
  31. The fact I actually made platinum last year, so this was a little premature.  I like being platinum, if you have to fly, upgrades on nearly every flight are cool.
  32. Playing Guitar hero and Wii Fit with my kids
  33. That my facebook network has really become about friends, not just randoms
  34. The connectedness that social media provides with my extended network of friends
  35. Looking at my setlists on my iPhone
  36. That I have friends that do good things
  37. That I don’t mind a juice box every now and again
  38. That Emily is usually right and I now just accept it
  39. When Kevren explains to me just right he is, but typically is just trying to get me to say yes to something, but ultimately understands when I don’t go along
  40. Emily’s cooking, specifically her pork paprikash – this hasn’t changed year over year
  41. When Hadrian pukes and mainly misses me
  42. The day I realized that I have no idea what I did before Google desktop
  43. The Chicago Institute of Art
  44. The whole SOB group, those that that are still among us and those that aren’t.
  45. That Jen is a great mother of Kevren and Dijouri
  46. Days I don’t have to shave
  47. That I’m able on most days to wake up excited and go to bed fulfilled.
  48. Everyday I have the opportunity to learn something new
  49. That I was able to sit in a couple of songs and play Conga’s last week for bunch of folks and didn’t suck @ Fat Catz in NOLA on Bourbon St.
  50. That a headline in a newspaper can change your day.
  51. Random phone calls from folks I haven’t talked to for a long while
  52. Understanding that today can be just as good as any day and it is MY choice.
  53. iTunes Genius functionality
  54. Eating with friends on Lake Austin is about as good as it gets.
  55. That a visually appealing dessert actually tastes better, not sure why.
  56. When I don’t forget my mom’s birthday, 2008 was a non-miss – I was the first of the kids to call.  Bonus points for me.
  57. Not having to travel for Thanksgiving this year – two years in a ROW!
  58. That I still have my atlas from my 18th birthday, it has a few less pages now thanks to my kids
  59. That I finally said yes to Burning Man this year.
  60. The moment I realized I should never drive in the UK.
  61. Tailgating at a show with my friends
  62. When Emily calls bullshit on me – I guess that’s why I married her.  It becoming less frequent, I guess l’m full o’ shit.  NAH.
  63. My first Bulldog game and it was a slaughter of Central Michigan University, which was cool.
  64. A Sunday afternoon drive with the family
  65. Watching Dijouri think
  66. Watching Kevren with his little brothers
  67. Watching Prescott dance
  68. Watching Hadrian walk
  69. That most people are thoughtful, kind and mean well.
  70. Jack’s Five-Cheese Macaroni & Achiote Chicken from Z tejas –  Made with bleu, Jack, cheddar, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, finished with toasted bacon gratin.  The Diablo chicken is good too.
  71. That I’m lucky to still have a bunch of friends with the dreamers disease
  72. That I realized that math is an important thing.
  73. My readers and influencers.
  74. The day I realized that creativity and logic are actually peer concepts.
  75. That I can read not only on a plane now.
  76. Real life conversations
  77. The day I complained about SMC and got to develop a relationship with Chris and Kristie
  78. The new professional traveler line at Hartsfield, I should still get a clear pass, but I’m too cheap.
  79. Moments when I have the clarity of thought to acknowledge that I can’t control what happens – only how I react
  80. That I’m clearly not a handy person and should hire most things out.
  81. Watching folks who worked for me in the past doing well.
  82. That going to Lake Tahoe was good idea and the luck to be able to have KISS playing there.
  83. That a day on the Hooch is as good as anything, just bring sunblock.
  84. That I have time to read to my kids
  85. Direct flights
  86. Ideas that work
  87. Ideas that don’t work and learning from them
  88. Sleeping in past 5am
  89. That I am currently buying into the market at a discount (it’s the only way I can deal with it)
  90. That it all works out in the end
  91. The perfectly mixed Sicilian Kiss (1/2 Jim Beam, 1/2 Amaretto, SPLASH of OJ – Shaken over ice, served in a shot glass)
  92. The day you find a really good $35 bottles of wine which is a repeatable purchase
  93. The day you first try a wegyu steak and the second, third, fourth….
  94. The bacon at the Camelback is just as good, well almost as good, as the bacon at the Four Seasons in Maui
  95. When I get to hear all summer long by Kid Rock and thing to myself – since it is pretty much an accurate portrayal of being young in Michigan with a good beat.
  96. That Chris, Sheryl and other folks were kind enough to help with the eBook on social brand management, The Social Marketing Construct.  Never would have gotten done without them.
  97. When I am actually able to see a movie in the theatre.
  98. A funny text message or Tweet which pops up when I’m in a meeting.
  99. When I happen to actually pack the right clothes for the right climate
  100. Any opportunity to share, listen and be with people I care about

photo by you.

Just like the last time, I probably have another 100 things I should be thankful for…. What are you thankful for?  Have a great holiday and be safe!  Cheers!


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Stuck in the Middle: The Committer

I haven’t done a piece around leadership personas for a while.  The main reason is things haven’t been that slow to think about leadership styles of late and I have just been getting things done, rather than thinking about things.   What a quandary, so I’m writing another piece on leadership, perhaps just to feel a little better about myself or to help a friend out.

This series is basically a pragmatic look at leadership, management and execution as it relates to dealing with specific leadership personas and how to get things done effectively inside a given management mode. Some of the other one’s I’ve addressed are The Collaborator, The Geologist, The Amoeba, The Visualist, The Fence Mender, The Vassalizer, The MBIFM, and a couple of other ones.

It is always an interesting set of problems to solve when thinking on how organizations can communicate better, develop their people, how to look at executing as an organization more effectively and how contributors can create excitement in a given role, even if they have been there a long time.  It might be important to note, that everyone needs to contribute – leadership is as much about a team and doing what needs to be done, as it is about “managing”.  It’s the last concept which got me back to thinking on this series based on a conversation I had with a friend the other day. Karen is consistently having items thrown into her queue without regard of any other items in progress and it is done via a series of ad hoc commitments which are cascaded down via email with no other interaction.

The challenge/situation is how can you keep up and be successful when someone continuously delegates new tasks without acknowledging capacity/understanding the effort to produce or providing additional context/assistance to ensure success.   I can certainly understand the troubles associated with this type of situation, which brings me to writing on this leadership persona.  Over commit and under deliver – not sure how this helps anyone – the investors, the customers or the associates.  At the end of the day, you have to manage expectations and deliverables – even if they are outside of your control.

As a product manager, I quickly came to grips with the reality that you have none of the authority, but all of the accountability, so working effectively through others is a keen skill to have no matter what role you have.   That being said you need to have an environment which allows for achievement and the opportunity for meeting the needs of the key stakeholder and constant agreement and confirmation that you will get it done while positive can lead to issues down the road.

So how do you deal with this? Communicate, communicate, communicate.  It also helps to make sure everyone understand what is being work on, who owns it and when it can be done.  Transparency is the key to success in this leadership model.  If everyone knows what needs to be done, is aware of the current prioritization and is aware of value for the folks who benefit from what is currently in the queue you have the opportunity to drive to closure the right items for the business, the customers and your employees.