Five in the Morning 013009

Hey – where did “Five” go??

amberTo Chicagoland today – courtesy of blogging friend Amber Naslund on her Altitude Branding blog. The link brings you to her post – and if you’re not already a subscriber to Amber’s blog (and Twitter tweets), you’ll want to rectify that right away.

Why are we incorporating Five in the Morning guest hosts? One reason is to bring in a wide variety of voices – each guest writer has particular interests and expertise, reads his/her own set of resources, and has a unique take on things. We want to share the spotlight by shining on many blogs, and exposing you to lots of new voices. We have two more top-notch contributors lined up already for next week!

gavinAnd – much to my chagrin yesterday morning – in my rush to get out to the ski slopes, I forget to put a “pointer” post here on StickyFigure to Thursday’s wonderful Five in the Morning post guest hosted by that Servant of Chaos in Australia, Gavin Heaton. You probably saw the Twitter notifications for his Five, but just in case you missed it, here’s the link!

(the skiing was wonderful, by the way. It had been years since I’ve had a chance to hit the slopes, and while I’ve never been a great skiier, I managed to stay upright and not self-destruct. The biggest thrill was seeing my two youngest boys make tremendous progress in their abilities – the 7-year old went from falling on 50% of his turns on the “Sugar Slope” to making it all the way down multiple times without falling – all in one day!)

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Five in the Morning 012809

10 Ways Social Media will Change in 2009. From ReadWriteWeb. Mostly self-evident stuff, but everyone on Twitter was re-tweeting it, so it must be authoritative and all that…right?

Rohit Bhargava gives us Six Non-salesy Ways to Ask your Customer to Promote You.

Chip and Dan Heath write for Fast Company on Incentives – Irresistible, Effective, and Likely to Backfire. Thought-provoking and a bit amusing.

9 Blog Failures and Remedies. Good, practical stuff from Jay Baer.

While we’re doing 6 this, 9 that, 5 the other – here’s 10 Ways to Increase your Twitter Followers. Actually, this isn’t one of “those” posts (“I got 6 billion Twitter followers in 7 days!!”) – these are pretty helpful practices, from someone who should know, Kevin Rose.

PLUS: From Jon Swanson. Reverberant Silence. Just read it – and think.

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It’s great when we move beyond virtual, into real-life. Enjoyed a great tweetup last night in NYC (thanks, Chris Kieff and Ripple6!) with Jason Falls, CK, David Polinchock, CB Whittemore, Jon Burg, and many others.

ripple6tweetup

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Five in the Morning 012709

twotofiveToday’s feature will be a little different – I’m going to point you to just one blog that has a whole set of interesting, well-designed posts. David Berkowitz has provided a fabulous set of session summaries from the 1-day OMMA social event – really great stuff. Thanks, David (link is to David’s  Inside the Marketer’s Studio blog – scroll down to see the string of posts)!

AND, just for variety – another Twitter-fueled customer service success story, from Cam Beck. We’ll see more and more of this.

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What does a great network look like?

Well, a  lot like this group of wonderful people (on Twitter) – thanks, folks, for being part of the conversation!

Zero in the Morning Monday

Sorry there’s no Five in the Morning post today. I have a good excuse, however:

mystic-resting

“Mystic” is a real sweetie, and has quickly won the hearts of the whole family. Being only 9 weeks old, however, there’s a certain level of…how shall we say?…sleep disruption that comes with her presence. Hopefully, she won’t impact too many productive early mornings!

Five in the Morning 012209

From Mashable - By the Numbers: Inauguration’s Impact on Social Media. Enlightening stats and graphs. Wow! “The social web flexed its muscle yesterday with Twitter reporting five times the normal tweet volume, and Facebook/CNN showing mind blowing engagement.”

David Henderson offers a free e-book: Media Savvy in the Internet Era.

I’m Not your Catcher. My most recent MarketingProfs Daily Fix post. “For a while, I was enslaved, under contract, and you could pitch whatever you wanted at me. I would wear the mask, put on the glove, mutely make signs; but whatever signals I gave you about what I wanted, you simply ignored. You pitched what you wanted…”

Like wallowing in others’ mistakes? The Superlist of What NOT to do in Social Media has been updated! This link is full of amusing stuff.

On the other hand…Getting Great Testimonials, from Andy Sernovitz. Some excellent advice here, with a couple of very creative ideas drawn from two sources.

Social Media Marketing an Hour a DayLee Odden interviews Dave Evans, who wrote a book by that title.

–I guess I can’t count. That’s six, not five. Oh well, why not toss in one more…

AND, just for fun – Making friends in Social Media. Amusing cartoon from our friends at Hubspot.

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Five in the Morning 012109

mattjmcdWhere’s Five in the Morning today? Why, guest-hosted over at Matt J McDonald‘s blog, of course! Matt is a marketing strategist and active blogger based in Charleston, SC, and he has graciously volunteered to give us the high Five today. Thanks, Matt!

And while you’re at Matt’s blog, take a peek at this interesting recent post (great graphic), on a Brand Purpose Model.

(oh, and by the way – all that stuff on the whiteboard Matt is pointing to? It’s his Marketing Axiom of Total Terrestrial Job Maximization contra Displacement (MATTJMcD), for which he hopes to win a Nobel [or at least a Scoble] Prize).

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Five in the Morning 012009

5yellowSince it’s Inauguration Day in the U.S. we’ll start off with…

Obama, the new King of Branding (from Laura Ries). Barack Obama is not just our new President but a new type of leader, one like we have never seen before. Not only does he understand politics, but he also understands branding. Plus, she ties in the BlackBerry factor…

Don’t just dream. Do something. An inspiring story on William Arruda’s blog, about Mary McLeod Bethune. Sometimes we have a goal that for some reason or another doesn’t work and is not achieved.  Should we give up?  No!

Targeting the right…or wrong…social media influencers. Dead-on thoughts from Mack Collier at MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog. Can you name a few recent examples of companies using social media to embrace, empower, and excite their customer evangelists?

Where would we be without lots of lists! Small Business Trends gives us two for today: The Ultimate Small Business Twitter List (you may find some new follows here), and a Top Blogs List. Thanks Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends)!

The new Computer Science Corporation logo. I think the logo itself is pretty pedestrian, but the angled “projection” elements used in collateral materials is pretty decent visually. From that Brand New blog.

AND, just for fun – if you really have way too much time on your hands, every Super Bowl commercial ever shown. On Adland, via those Brand Flakes for Breakfast folks.

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Twelve (?) in the Morning 011909

dozeneggsUsually, this little early-morning series provides you with five (or so) posts to chew on in order to jump-start your morning with fresh thought.

Today, it’s 12 posts. And, thanks to Robert Hruzek, the work has already been done.

Robert is running a blog series called Blogapalooza (hint: you can still participate!), in which authors are invited to pull out their top posts or lessons from each month in 2008. I took the time to sort through my vast reservoir of on-line bloviations from last year and that post went up on Robert’s blog yesterday. So, your Twelve in the Morning is all here on one link.

Some of you who visit this blog may not know that I actually maintain three separate blogs (my pharma consulting biz; my branding/marketing/social media fulminations; and personal stuff), plus contribute to MarketingProfs Daily Fix. I tried to pull from all of those resources for the Blogapalooza post. So – it’s kind of a 360-degree vista of all things @swoodruff, ranging from the professional to the philosophical to…well, spoofs!

Sorry to be so me-me-me this morning, but Robert put a lot of work into this series, and you really should go take a peek (not only at my entry, but all the others). And if you follow his links, he’ll tell you how you can participate as well!

And, if we’re going to be all about me today, I may as well introduce the newest member of newpup-smthe family (she’s a black lab mix), due to arrive on Friday to the delight of all the kids and the dismay of both cats. We’re still tossing around names – any suggestions for us?

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Five in the Morning 011609

kenburbaryToday, we’re making a quick visit to Ken Burbary‘s “Web Business” blog for a guest-post, including some links to blogs not previously featured on a Five in the Morning. Thanks, Ken, for volunteering for the early morning delivery (OK, so he posted it late last night…) – go there!

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Five in the Morning 011509

Will Twitter change blog designs in 2009? It’s already happening. Some interesting predictions from Rachel Cunliffe at Mashable (but she didn’t include her Twitter handle in the blog post!)

Charmin kicks butt in NYC advertising campaign. Such an obvious idea, yet so smart. From Jonathan Salem Baskin at DimBulb blog.

The Bull lives! Some brand identities are too powerful to let go. Bank of America preserving the Merrill Lynch name and logo. From William Lozito at the NameWire blog.

Speaking of logos, those Brand Flakes for Breakfast guys point us to a graphical depiction of all the United States (state) logos. Wow – what a variety. Some of these are pretty meh, and someone sold a lot of script font to a few western states. To me, the most visually memorable is Mississippi.

Facts Tell but Stories SellJeff Paro gives us a compact list of 20 typical “plots” around which stories can be built. Found on the Small Business Branding site.

And finally, the question on my StickyFigure blog yesterday – Are you Being Pecked to Death?

————- Swing by Friday morning to find out who our next guest-host will be!

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Five in the Morning 011409

bethharteWhere’s Five in the Morning today? Why, hosted by the lovely and talented Beth Harte, over at the Harte of Marketing blog. Go there!

Are You Being Pecked to Death?

suetcage-smOutside of my home office window there is generally quite an assortment of small winged creatures, enjoying the bounty of bird food that my compassionate wife puts out regularly in feeders suspended over the deck.

A favorite of some of these fluttering neighbors – especially the woodpeckers – is a cage with suet. They grasp the wires with their claws and peck-peck-peck away, reducing what was once a good-sized cake of suet to a ragged shell of its former self, and eventually making it disappear altogether.

I wonder how many of us have felt that way in our work. Trapped in a cage, and slowly pecked to death. Wanting to do what we love, but spending much of our time bemoaning the incessant beak-intrusions of managers, co-workers, and clients who are not only not on the same page, they’ve never even picked up the book.

I rejoice at a story like Kirsten Wright‘s, who left a position she didn’t enjoy to do something she loved. I’m glad to see Amber Naslund taking on a job with Radian6 that fits her to a “T”. And I read this morning on Twitter of the excitement of Leah Jones, who is leaving a current role (though I have no reason to believe it was a suet-in-the-cage job!) to start her own thing.

I think this will be future for many of us. While others continue to be pecked into smaller pieces, we have the tools and the networks and the creativity to “roll our own” businesses. It’s a scary trip at first, but having a supportive network of professionals eases the transition greatly. I’m certainly glad I went out on that limb – do you have a success story (or aspiration) to share in the comments?

Five in the Morning 011309

Jason Falls brings us an interesting list of the Top 50 Educational blogs, with links aplenty. Nice.

Busy, busy. Jeremiah Owyang has been cranking out great content on his blog. First, reflections on his 20-day holiday from Twitter. Then, for lovers of statistics, a collection of Social Media Stats for 2009. Then, a summary of Forresters Wave Report on Social Media Platforms.

In recent days, Fast Company has highlighted some cool technology trends and products. Such as tiny pico-projectors that can fit in your hand. Or electricity without wires. And how does Sony’s new mini video cam match up against the Flip?

Is there room for anyone else besides Twitter in the micro-blogging space? Louis Gray has an interesting analysis.

Doug Karr talks coffee, and the lies of packaging. It’s what’s in the cup that matters!

————- Come on by tomorrow to find out who is guest-hosting Five in the Morning!

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Five in the Morning 011209

high-fiveReputation matters. A succinct and important reminder from Peter Kim. “After all, in a world of weak ties, what else do we have?”

The Worst Pitch in the World. From the Bad Pitch Blog. Not sure that there aren’t worse examples, but this one really is pretty pathetic!

Brands that Tweet. Yes, Paul Dunay published this a month ago. But maybe, like me, you didn’t see it. Good list with additional links. And, speaking of Twitter, Hubspot has improved their Twitter Grader algorithm, so we can all rest better at night know who the REAL elite of Twitter are!

Five Microbusiness Trends for 2009. From Dawn Rivers Baker on Small Business Trends blog.”…the nation’s microbusinesses are better structured to endure these difficult times, thanks to a lean operating style and creative business models.

BK’s Sacrifice 10 Friends for a Whopper promotion. Viral, creative genius. Who thinks up this stuff?? Hat tip: Brandeo.

And, just for the fun of it, a bunch of pictures from MacWorld courtesy of Guy Kawasaki. My favorite one is the “shoes off” pic (and the reason for it).

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Five in the Morning 010909

Hey – where’s my Five in the Morning?? Well, right here – graciously assembled today by that Maven of Words in Detroit, Karen Swim. Enjoy!

karendswimheadshot

Five in the Morning 010809

Real-time. Chris Brogan today talks about real-time coverage of events, using as an example his live-tweeting of a press conference last night. What do you think – how much of a game-changer is this? Frankly, I think that the convergence of the tools (cameras, smartphones, etc.) and the platforms (blogging, Twitter, etc.) has already fundamentally changed the game. Immediacy is now here, and we’re just realizing it. Latency is….well, a thing of the past.

2009 – The Year of Going Social. From the blog of Laura Fitton (Pistachio). “The bad news for business? You’re late. The good news? You’re not too late…”

Is Social Media the same as Marketing? Beth Harte‘s asking – what do you think? I’m guessing most of us have had this discussion, at least in our own heads. “…a good communicator does not always make a good marketer nor does a good marketer always make a good communicator. They are two different disciplines.”

Want a nice daily summary of some Social Networking headlines? Here’s one of my secrets. Business Week‘s Business Exchange. Worth a daily visit.

Jeremiah Owyang provides a nice summary blog post of Social Networking news each week. Well worth subscribing to. Here’s the latest.

PLUS – What’s Cramberry? A cool spin on an old technique. Too neat-o to pass up a link. From ReadWriteWeb. And, just because the headline is so imaginative: The Art of One Butt Cheek Blogging (from Copyblogger).

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Five in the Morning 010709

Customers. Where would we be without customers? Talk is cheap, so let’s invest a little time thinking about the people that really count…

That West Coast Diva of Customer Stuff, Becky Carroll, unveils her Top 3 picks for Customer Rock Stars of 2008. Check out these, plus the runners-up, listed on Becky’s Customers Rock! blog.

Meanwhile, back East, Doug Meacham on his NextUp blog (focusing on customer experience) does a riff on Guitar (Hero) Marketing. On that post, you will find my new favorite term. If you’re not following Doug on Twitter (@dougmeacham), you should, and if you miss the opportunity to have him chauffeur you all over Richmond with a belly full of BBQ ribs on your next trip to that fair city – well, you ain’t lived. Bring napkins.

Introducing Casey Hibbard’s book on customer case studies. Stories that Sell.

David Polinchock gets a “Five” mention 2 days in a row. I think that’s a first. But he deserves it, for this thoughtful post on how customer experience interacts with declines in retail stores.  “As we wrote in a piece for the Retail Advertising Conference last year, our walk through the luxury domain of the upper East Side showed that many of the stores up there were just ‘soulless, glorified, two-dimensional web sites; products are presented passively to consumers with no retail-as-theater.’ Who wants to spend time — and money — in a retail environment like that?”

Frank Martin over at Marketing Magic has Three Things you can do Right Now to Jump-start your Marketing. Well, there’s more than three, actually – Frank cheats by using sub-points! But he gets a pass, since this is a good reminder of the basics of taking care of ALL your customers.

Hey, a late entry. David “The Hat” Armano just posted this little blurb about a well-designed blog effort by a bank, making it easy for user interaction. I’m kinda real picky about on-line user design, and it’s nice to see a well-executed setup like this. And while we’re going late entries, we may as well add Drew McLellan‘s just-published post on MarketingProfs Daily Fix, about Dancing with the One who Brought You (talk to your customers!)

And, just for fun, a quick video laugh from Dave Taylor over at Brandgym. This is the top-rated YouTube video in the UK (and in the Top 5 globally) – who’da thunk it??

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Stretegic Serendipity

You probably have a strategy for your use of social media. But don’t forget the “pinball factor.” My latest MarketingProfs Daily Fix post, on Strategic Serendipity, is right here.

(Interestingly enough, Seth Godin published something on a similar theme today – Willing to be Lucky)

Five in the Morning 010609

Let’s talk creativity and branding today (mostly). One of the benefits of having an overly-full RSS Reader is that there is a constant tidal wave of great stuff to look at, and be inspired by. Such as…

Hijacking other people’s billboards with thought balloons. Reminds me of the birds that put their eggs in other birds nest. This is quite brilliant actually – pointed out to us by those Plaid folks.

A picture is worth 90% of the words. Or all of them. Great “iceberg” example from Brand Curve, and en even more stunning execution from the Ad Goodness blog.

This Montreal logo, brought to our attention by the fine folks at the Brand New blog, raises a constant nagging question in my mind. Really – does anybody but the in-the-bubble creative ad agency types ever really make all these connections about what the logo means?? I say that the vast majority of normal people can in no way discern the “intent” of most of these logos.What do you think? And, you also need to consider (says uber-designer David Airey) the cost of rebranding, with a tangible UK example. (oh – and you might also like this Brand New “Best and Worst of 2008” post about logos).

David Polinchock brings us a link to 50 strangely wonderful buildings, if creative architecture is where you itch. Pretty awesome stuff.

Who doesn’t like creative photography? See how this couple teamed up with a photographer to make some pretty cool engagement photos. From A Cup of Jo blog.

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Five in the Morning 010509

elevator5Five in the Morning returns for 2009! I hope all of you had a restful holiday season – now it’s time to tackle new goals, embrace new opportunities, let the creative sap flow, and learn new things from our peers and mentors (and customers!). To that end…

Drew McLellan starts us off with a challenge to Grow or Die. I like the notion of seeking to grow better, not just bigger. He links to a helpful post by Jay Ehret (who, btw, also has a nice summary blog post here of his greatest hits from 2008). And, if you want still more Drew, plus 99 others, here’s a link to a free eBook on 100 Best Marketing Secrets.

One of these days I’ll actually have the happy privilege of meeting Kevin Dugan face-to-face, seeing how I’ve corresponded with him on-line since right about the time I started blogging here at StickyFigure. Anyway, he offers up some juicy summary insights from a Pete Blackshaw book on customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). “This book is designed to help marketers get what they’ve wanted all these years — a better relationship with their customers…”

Is Innovation dead? Paul McEnany points us to a thoughtful article on the subject with a provocative paragraph on his blog. Mini-quote: “To them, “design” is something their wives do with curtains, not a methodology or philosophy to deal with life in constant beta—life in 2009.”

Josh Peters on the long-haul commitment of social media. Amen to that. Once people understand that “social media” (I’m starting to prefer the moniker “Community Networking”) is not a mere matter of technology and messaging, but is centered on relationship-building, the mindset can be changed).

Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter) has a thoughtful piece from way back in 2008 (OK, it was only a few days ago) about how Twitter popularity does not equal business acumen. Good discussion here, including some interaction with thoughts from Mack Collier (who, by the way, put up a post on Jan 1 about “Know Thy Traffic” which was quite interesting).

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Five in the New Year

ny-eve-nyIt’s 2009 (and a beautiful morning here in Boonton, NJ)! And, I’m convinced, it’s a year when many are going to seize the future, thumb their noses at all the bad economic news, and create new careers for themselves.

With that in mind, I thought I’d pull together the year’s first Five in the Morning post with a handful of my posts from 2008 encouraging the networking and entrepreneurial spirit. So….

Do you have an Opportunity Network? (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog) – The old corporate safety net is gone. But the new safety network, and the new opportunity network, is here for all of us to weave ourselves into. My faith has grown the longer I’ve participated, that “If we build it, (opportunity) will come”…

Personal Branding – What’s your value-add? (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog) – You don’t have a brand worth a nickel unless you are clear in what value you have to offer. That’s true of personal branding, corporate branding, political branding, and whatever other type of branding du jour we’d like to dream up…

You – Projected (from my StickyFigure blog) – My 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

I’m Pursuing (Niche) Domination (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog)  - What is niche domination? It’s creating, or moving into, a market cavity narrow enough that you can become the big fish, and expansive (or expand-able) enough that you can make a living dominating it…

Be Prepared – Like, Right Now (from my Impactiviti pharma blog) – Your future is in your hands, and you need to be prepared to take the reins at any time. In fact, even if you are gainfully employed, you need to take the reins right now. Let me suggest one simple word for each of us…

But what were my most popular posts of 2008? The StickyFigure Spoofs, of course! And, to launch 2009, here is the latest (or earliest): Social Media Maven named new Head Coach of Detroit Lions.

BONUS – If you haven’t tuned into Rick Liebling‘s Smart People / Smart Ideas series, it’s a good one. Here’s the recap from 2008. You can follow Rick on Twitter @eyecube

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Shannon Paul, Social Media Maven, Named new Head Coach of Detroit Lions

shannon-paulIn a startling move that has taken the blogsphere by storm, Shannon Paul, Chief Social Media Goddess of the Detroit Red Wings, has just been named head coach of the floundering Detroit Lions football franchise.

William Clay Ford, owner of the team and descendant of iconic Henry Ford, decided on Ms. Paul after witnessing the spectacular success of Scott Monty, recently-appointed social media guru of Ford Motor Company.

“Scott single-handedly kept us from from bankruptcy, from taking the poison pill of federal bailout money; and he also crowd-designed all of our new hybird vehicles right from his blog-thingie. He Twitterized us out of a death spiral by creative use of these new-fangled socialized media gadgets. I figured if one social medium expert could turn around Ford, surely another could take on the greater challenge of making the Lions competitive.”

It was also revealed that Ms. Paul was found after being “friended” on Facebook by unnamed Lions front-office staff, who also vetted her qualifications using Google and StumbleUpon.

Ms. Paul wasted no time assembling a top-notch support staff, including hiring Geoff Livingston, renowned for offensive prowess, and luring away “Big” Jim Connolly as head of trackbacks. Gary Vaynerchuk will be leaving the Wine Library to be Chief Sideline Libation Engineer, as part of his training for eventually taking over the NY Jets. Connie Reece has agreed to come on board as chief archivist for the Lions Championship Museum, currently housed in a corner of Ken Burbary‘s closet. She also began immediate negotiations with fans and the UAW, both groups of which had threatened a permanent boycott of the Lions.

Local Detroit blogger Karen Swim was initially non-commital about the news, having been bypassed in favor of her cross-town rival Ms. Paul, until being unexpectedly named head coach of the Detroit Pistons. “My goodness!” said Ms. Swim, “I figured I might have a shot at the Tigers, but the Pistons have actually won a few things! That’s a slam dunk FTW on you, Paul Shannon!”

“What I’m really looking forward to is the upcoming blogger draft,” exclaimed Ms. Paul. “We’re going for 140 top characters! I’ve had my eye on some serious talent, like “PR” Sarah Evans for Eighthback,  Jason Falls for Tight End or Wide Receiver (depends on Twit2fit progress off-season), and Barefoot Exec for Punter. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re losing Steve Olenski to the Colts, who traded Peyton Manning and two FriendFeed accounts to be named later to get him.”

Reaction around the NFL was mixed. Apparently, Chris Brogan has been approached by the startup Boston Pirates franchise to serve as their new head of operations, but he replied with 15 Reasons Never to Hire a Freshly-Shorn Blogger. The New York Jets are in secret discussions with 5-year veteran blogger Paul Chaney, who is robo-twittering negotiation progress from Brett Favre’s living room.

Meanwhile, Guy Kawasaki, who first broke the news on Truemors, capitalized on the trend by launching SocMedCoaches.Alltop.com, a news item promptly re-tweeted by 21,544 of his devoted disciples.

The ROI of hiring social media mavens for positions of leadership with sports teams is yet unproven, as is the ROI for just about anything social media related. Your mileage may vary. However, we have it on good authority that those with the most followers are the most important and authoritative, and so should provide the best bang-for-the-blog when making hiring decisions.

Oh, and I have to mention Ann Handley, of course. Just because…

Happy 2009 to all!

(Previous StickyFigure spoofs)

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