Five in the Morning 121508

5-lit-upSocial Media Predictions 2009 – a bunch of them from top bloggers, all consolidated in one free download! Cool. Thanks for the link, Joe Jaffe!

Writer’s Toolbox – 35 best tools for writing online. You’ll be familiar with a bunch in the top half of the list, but the second half has some less familiar resources.

Brands don’t belong on Twitter! Brands absolutely do belong on Twitter! Point – counterpoint, from the Mashable blog. What do you think?

ROI and Social Media. Here’s an interesting take, from the training world – a 4-point framework for measurement, based on Kirkpatrick (I’ve been involved in the training industry for years, so this is an interesting spin). From Mel Aclaro. Plus, is it easier to measure ROI from social media as opposed to traditional media? Thought-provoking post from Jacob Morgan.

Chris Brogan addresses the whole blow-up over sponsored advertising on a blog post. Really, folks, take a deep breath. The guy practices full disclosure, he experiments with new methods for advancing on-line business – what’s the problem here? Are we chasing some mythical ideal of the pure Oracle (sorry, Larry Ellison – not your Oracle) that will speak to us from on high with no taint of personal bias, no worldly interests, no brushes with the horrible and impure practice of commerce? If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re after some Kool-Aid that you’re not going to find anywhere in the blogosphere – or on planet Earth, for that matter. Social media (or any type of media outlet) is not populated with angelic beings practicing “pure” journalism, “pure” conversation, or “pure” anything else. I have enough to keep busy striving toward some level of personal purity of heart, let alone imposing unrealistic expectations of “purity” on other bloggers. Sheesh…!

PLUS – an example of clear communications (under 140 characters!) from a 7-year old.

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Five in the Morning 121208

Story vs. Slogan. Some thoughts on the relative effectiveness of stories vs taglines, from Spike Jones (riffing off a recent Chip and Dan Heath article). Now I’m a both-and kinda guy. Both are potentially powerful ways to transmit and embed a message. A good story and (as Jay Ehret would say) a good tagline together.

OK, so keeping on that theme, David Reich asks if Rudeness is Good Marketing. Including story. Plus, here’s a nightmare customer “service” story for you – from Anne Simons at Brandeo. AT&T really doesn’t want you to leave, without more scars in more places! My tagline to sum it up: I’m in no mood for your rude. OK, so maybe the stories are more effective…

Most E-mailed News. All on one page. Pretty nifty. Hat tip: The Swiss Miss.

I know, I know…it’s so 3 weeks ago. But I figured I had one final word to put in on Personal Branding. Actually, two words. Can Personal Branding be summarized with only 2 words? Tell me what you think.

Using social media to put out the fire (with Scott Monty at Ford as an example). From Noah Mallin.

PLUS – some brief, straightforward common sense from John JantschSocial Media is a Tool, It’s not a Religion. Refreshing.

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You – Projected.

Over the past few weeks, there has been some blabbing going on over the social media networks about Personal Branding. I won’t attempt to re-hash it all here – a prior post on MarketingProfs Daily Fix gave a bit of a summary, with some of my thoughts on the subject.

I don’t question the concept of personal branding. I think the idea is valid and valuable. But semantics and varying definitions can confound the discussion.

projectorMy feeling is that if a concept is valid, we should be able to distill it down to a very few words that capture it well. So, with personal branding, here is my take. Two words. You – Projected.

Having narrowed it down, now let’s blow out each word a bit:

You – the real you. Not some faux image you want to project. Not some imitation. If it ain’t authentic, it’s worthless as a “personal brand.”

You – all of you. Not merely your words or pictures, but your personality, your tastes, your values, your thoughts, and your experiences. The most powerful personal brands create attachment because people gravitate toward whole people they can relate to.

You – unfolding over time. All brands take time to establish themselves, and there is an evolving process of growth and expression. The more that others see you over a long stretch of time, the more strongly your brand will make its imprint.

Projected – pro-actively. Personal brands can “just happen” I guess, but anyone involved in any kind of branding knows that you need to actively put forward your identity. I won’t go into the myriad of ways in which this is accomplished; just note that building a personal brand, like building anything, is not a passive endeavor.

Projected – accurately. If you’re a down-to-earth person, then writing blog posts with flowery Victorian language (even if well-crafted) will not be an accurate projection. The person you “see” in a picture, an avatar, a profile, a series of tweets, and on a blog must be the very person you meet in a restaurant.

Projected – by others. Here’s your reputation. Ultimately, the power of a personal brand multiplies when you have a great reputation among others. And when others actually do have an accurate knowledge of you, and word-of-mouth you to others, your brand is on its way to being well-established.

As simply as I can explain it, that’s a personal brand (at least from my perspective). What do you think?

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Five in the Morning 121108

John Moore (Brand Autopsy) begins a series sharing thoughts from Inside Drucker’s Brain (IDB Project). Intro here, first post here.

27 Practical Ideas that will Transform Every Organization. Distilled wisdom from Tom Peters.

The Catchup Lady breaks up with UmbrellaToday.com. Why? Well, you just gotta deliver the goods…

Kirsten Wright shares the ABCs of creativity. Well, 25 of them. Can anyone help her with “x”?

Blogger’s Choice winners for Open Web Awards. Actually, that post isn’t terribly interesting, now that I look at it. So why not visit Olivier Blanchard‘s rant on business cards?

PLUS – Are these folks just amazingly creative, or do they simply have too much time on their hands? Either way, it’s cute, and worth 1 minute and 20 seconds of your time! And while we’re at strange on-line holiday celebrations, have some fun Destroying a Fruitcake.

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Illinois: Blags-to-Riches FAIL

(Chicago, IL) The ongoing investigation of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich took a startling turn today, when it was revealed that his original intention was to “sell” Senator Barack Obama’s Senate seat to a prominent blogger, thereby creating the first “virtual senator” in American history.

Blagojevich Corruption Probe“I was jealous, OK?” snapped the Governor, when confronted about the Blags-to-Riches scheme. “Obama had so much success with social media, that I figured I’d one-up him by sending – well, sort of sending – the first virtual legislator to Washington.

“Who cares about Illinois? This is about legacy, man!”

Rumors circulated that Blago had narrowed his choices down to well-known liberal blogger Arianna Huffington, and Instapundit’s conservative Glenn Reynolds. Bidding was fierce for the seat, including Arianna’s Lear Jet, a llama farm, and the entire University of Tennessee system (excluding the football them, as that might be a conflict of interest with the Fighting Illini).

The scheme unravelled when spurned blogger Andrew Sullivan leaked word of the bidding after his PayPal account was maxed out and his candidacy fell by the wayside.

Informed by the Chicago Tribune (whose bid was also thwarted by a chapter 11 filing) that nominating a candidate from another state that would only cast votes via Twitter might actually be against the rules, the Governor looked back blankly and said, “Rules? You mean there are rules?”

(Previous StickyFigure spoofs)

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Five in the Morning 121008

Lists, lists, lists. It’s that time of year – lots of Top 10s. Louis Gray has a nice summary of Top 2008 web services (and their prognosis for 2009). Meanwhile, Rick Turoczy at ReadWriteWeb sums up the Top 10 Consumer web apps of 2008 (quite diff list from Louis’). And then, of course, there’s Time.com‘s Top 10 Everything of 2008. Plan on spending some time here…

Should bloggers/social media types self-promote? Mack Collier started up this discussion. I also chimed in, as did Lisa Hoffmann. Read the posts and the comments – what do you think?

Matt Dickman with some thoughts on HR in the age of Social Media.

Not Everyone likes Coffee. Consider your audience and their tastes as you serve “your stuff” up. Good thoughts from Jon Swanson over at Levite Chronicles. (Jon – strong! Cream and a little sugar…).

The Only Important Thing is….what??? You’ll have to let Doug Meacham tell you!

PLUS – Sarah sold me on Opera – sorta. How one voice can bring you into a new genre. AND – this Spouse 2.0 concept is just bizarre. Really. Don’t do it!

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Sarah Sold Me on Opera – Sorta

It was a business trip many years ago, at a conference in Denver. Having some downtime one evening, I wandered into a record store, and killed time scanning through various CDs that I had no intention of buying.

Then I heard it. Or rather, her. A voice that could stop a rampaging bull, and that absolutely stopped me in my tracks.

One of those young twenty-something clerks with odd hair and piercings fortuitously came up and asked if he could help. “Who is that??” I asked, pointing up toward unseen speakers.

sarah-brightman“Oh, that’s Sarah Brightman. She’s awesome – just saw her in concert recently.”

The album was Eden. The song was “Deliver Me.” And I did something I almost never do – just bought something spontaneously based on a very small “sample” of the goods.

Now the odd thing about Sarah Brightman is that she does stuff ranging from pop to semi-classical to opera – all jumbled together on the same disc. And I hate opera. Yet after one stroll through Eden, I was hooked – and I have quite a collection of Sarah’s music now. It was a pop song that got me started; then, having become a fan of Sarah, my mind slowly opened to a new form of music.

I’m still not that much into opera, but I enjoy it more than I used to. I needed to develop an attachment to an individual in order to start to appreciate a genre.

And that, I think, is how people will come to appreciate and use community networking approaches like social media tools. They will start with one person who impresses them, with one approach that appeals. Then the thing will open up over time. Your “voice” may well open up new worlds for others, one note at a time. Sing.

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