Five in the Morning 102808

Chris Brogan with some tips on Reaching outside your Fishbowl to Build Community.

A series of video snippets (of Seth Godin and Tom Peters) commenting on social media. Courtesy of Doug Karr.

Beth Harte gets even more passionate. Good for her (and for you)! Similar thoughts from Amber Naslund.

Start buying! The Age of Conversation (2) is here. David Reich gives a plug.

The problem: Defining the problem. So says Tom Clifford – and this principle applies for many areas beyond creating a video!

PLUS – Do some people still have a heart, even for a stranger? Wow.

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Five in the Morning 102708

Gary Vaynerchuk, high-energy social media evanglist. From MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

It’s improved. Bigger. Better. Before there was Alltop, there was…The Marketing Bloggers portal. Now with more feeds. Check it out – and let me know if there are other worthies that should be included!

So…have you been to the Bathroom Blogfest? No, not a typo. This is real. I don’t get it…but C.B. Whittemore and gang can help you out here.

This is Katie Konrath‘s blog. Why am I linking to it? Because I love the tagline. Go see!

C. C. Chapman, a presentation on Making Media as Marketing. With Slideshare. From the recent MarketingProfs Digital Mixer.

PLUS: Eyes. I’ll say no more. You have to see it (with your own eyes) to believe it!

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The Little Things: Elevating the Customer Experience

This week, my wife told me about two remarkable (hey – she remarked on them!) “little things” that made her customer experience more positive. Thought I’d share them, because I think we can all relate:

1. We recently bought a new Toyota Sienna minivan, and it was due for its 5K miles service. She had an appointment, and when walking in, her name was up on a video display with the scheduled time. Then, she was told that she could sit in the waiting room (free wi-fi, coffee, donuts), but they also had a “quiet room” without the blaring TV! She was able to read and wait in peace, comfortably…no small thing when you’ve been in far less pleasant waiting rooms for automobile service!

2. The Shop-Rite where she shops for groceries recently put in some new technology for the deli counter. Instead of giving your order to a harried person, maybe taking a number, and than waiting there to be called, she was able to punch in her name and order into a terminal, then go on shopping. When she came back, here order was just sitting there waiting for her. No wait, no aggravation.

Little things. They matter. It’s what gets people talking!

(Image credit: Brian Solis shot of Becky Carroll, Customers Rock! guru)

Five in the Morning 102408

Find and expand your niche, says Lewis Green. Warning: Do NOT read this post when you’re hungry. Seriously! Don’t do it! OK, I warned you… (*see picture below of what I had for lunch after reading it).

Jill Konrath on what a Joe the Plumber approach to marketing means for us.

How to use your web influence wisely, a great list from Joanna Young.

Cheryl Smith on Zappo’s “culturefit” interview process. Very interesting.

Why produce an e-newsletter as well as a blog? Problogger shares 8 reasons. #4 is particularly important. For my pharma consulting work/blogging/self-promotion, the e-newsletter is absolutely central…

PLUS: Ever wondered about the names for those various facial hair arrangements? Be  in the dark no more! The Swiss Miss links us to The Expanded Beard Type Chart!

BONUS Photo: The best “Missing” sign you’ll see this week!

*Sausage and Pepper grinder, thanks to Lewis Green:

Five in the Morning 102308

Great tips from David Meerman Scott on the one biggest mistake people make with Twitter.

Nike Just Does it Wrong, then tries to do it right. Brian Solis gives us the scoop on a marathon gone bad.

Want to know where ALL the social media stuff is? Guy Kawasaki links to the mother and father of all social media lists.

From Steve Rubelhow blogging has impacted the way journalists gather news. Fascinating.

Greg Verdino admits that he’s a loser. And a member of the equine family. Plus, this is the only time you’ll see him in a suit and tie…

PLUS – By a wide margin, my most popular StickyFigure post ever! TwACORN Busted for Massive on-line Fraud. Sheesh – maybe I should have just gone into comedy…

BONUS – Find Flickr pics by choosing color. VERY cool tool. Hat tip: Mario Sundar.

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TwACORN Busted for Massive on-line Fraud

A-list Bloggers and Twitterers caught up in Widespread Scam

During what was expected to be a routine call to check on the report of an honest poll worker in the Richard Daley Memorial Electioneering Institute, Chicago police uncovered a massive on-line fraud operation that has shaken the blogging world to its core.

“We had gotten this anonymous call from a community organizer that there was an inside operative actually counting real votes and screening out fraudulent registrations,” said Sgt. Frank Mulcahey of the Chicago PD. “We can’t have that around here, as everyone knows…so after cracking down on that guy, we took a look in the basement and found this amazing underground operation hiding there, calling itself TwACORN.”

TwACORN turns out to be a secret organization whose sole purpose is to inflate the rankings of bloggers and Twitterers by generating fake subscriber numbers. Their technology infrastucture consists of slick programs they call RoboRSS, RoboComment, and RoboSub. With these tools, they have managed to play “kingmaker” to scores of unwitting digiterati, who were led to believe that they actually had an audience.

Chicagoland technology guru (and TwACORN victim) Todd Andrlik examined the programs and reported, with mixed admiration and dismay, that they were first-rate. “Here I thought I had all these engaged readers, who subscribed to my blog, read my tweets, and made interesting comments. Turns out that 90% of them were Robos from TwACORN. Now I see that a former high school friend, one second cousin, and some plumber in Nebraska are the only ones reading my stuff. Plus, my entire Top 3,000 blog ranking system with AdAge just got flushed!”

TwACORN Chief Obfuscating Officer Guy Yamaha explained from his jail cell; “We got our inspiration from MarketingProfs Daily Fix, actually. We thought – what could be more fun than to “fix” the numbers for all these self-absorbed bloggers? Just wait until Scoble finds out that only 14 people actually follow him – and three of those are in Iceland. Ha!”

Twitterers were scrambling to identify which of their subscribers were actually homeless folks, deceased, or Disney cartoon characters. The flood of confirmatory DMs was about to bring the system to its knees and launch a huge Fail Whale display, until it became clear that there were only 300 actual, breathing users of Twitter. Worldwide.

TwACORN was formed by pulling from the ranks of local community organizers, political activists, Robo-call tech folks, and Swiftboat veterans. “Look, all this blogging stuff is political anyway – we all know that. It’s a popularity contest, just like our national elections. So why not bring together the best minds from that field to help create a little chaos here?” declared Yamaha.

Meanwhile, a pall was cast over the glittering MarketingProfs Digital Mixer event in Scottsdale, when it was discovered that keynote speaker Arianna Huffington’s blogging property actually has only 33 readers. She was immediately pulled from the stage by Q-list blogger Ann Handley, and replaced by Tina Fey, who did a dead-on impersonation of Sarah Palin unsubscribing from the Huffington Post.

—-

Prior spoofs:

New TwIndependent party springs up overnight

Well-known Blogger Demoted to “Q-List”

Meaning of Life Unveiled!

Twitter Rockstar Half-Year Calendar…Tweeet!

(photo credit: David Alston)

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Five in the Morning 102208

Jason Falls presents a very interesting case study about a holistic customer relationship approach (including social media tools) by a home builder. We need more like this!

What is LinkedIn good for? A LOT! Look at this list (with great links) assembled by Stephen Smith, from the SOBCON website!

From Aaron StroutTop Ten Lessons Learned using social media. Quick, simple, straightforward stuff here.

Showing Up – some good starting-up lessons about using social media from the personal branding guru, William Arruda.

High-Priced Hand-me-Downs. Some unknown long-tail blogger posted this one about luxury items that justify themselves as legacy inheritances.

PLUS – Whhhaattt? You’ve never visited Despair.com?? Surely you jest. Go there right now and laugh your head off!

BONUS Video – Beware the “Me Monster“! This 4.5 minute video by Brian Regan will Crack. You. Up.

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