Can you help me try something new?

With this request, I’m seriously going to eat my own dog food. Let me explain.

opportunitywebI’ve got two parallel networking endeavors going. One pays the bills – that’s my pharmaceutical consultancy (Impactiviti), through which I help pharmaceutical clients find ideal vendor/partners (mostly for sales training). My business model: I’m the walking eHarmony of pharma outsourcing!

The parallel universe of my marketing/branding/social media involvement is actually a hobby (so to speak), though I have sought to build this network with the idea of potential business at some point down the road, in some form or another. An Opportunity Network.

As it turns out, some of the corporate training vendors that are now part of my Impactiviti Preferred Partner Network have offerings that are quite valuable outside the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve confined my efforts to pharma thus far, but feel that it’s time to start reaching out to my broader community and see if there’s some “matchmaking” that can occur in lots of other industries that need training programs.

Here’s the deal. Do you know of people in corporate training who are responsible for identifying vendor/providers for training solutions? If so, I may be able to help in some specific areas. Here’s a post on my Impactiviti blog about one exciting solution that can be used in all sorts of situations. And here’s a list of other areas where I know of great providers:

  • Diversity/Sexual Harassment training
  • Negotiation skills/Sales Negotiation/Selling Higher
  • Speaker/Communication/Presentation training
  • Business Acumen
  • Compliance/Ethics
  • Coaching/Managing/Interviewing skills
  • Gaming
  • Simulation Development (off-line and on-line)
  • Audience Response Systems
  • Learning Management Systems
  • On-line Assessment Systems
  • Custom eLearning development
  • Webcasting/Video streaming
  • Event Management

If you, your colleagues, or your clients have needs in these areas, would you please send them my way (stevew at impactiviti dot com)? I’ll be glad to make targeted recommendations with some very talented and proven providers. Thanks for being part of my network – maybe we can do good and do business together at the same time!

Seriously Impressed: HootSuite

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to software/services and user design, I’m very hard to please. Chalk it up to years of wrestling with software from all the way back in the early DOS days to the bleeding-edge present – AND from working with technology and software development firms.

hootsuiteSo when I say I’m seriously impressed with HootSuite (formerly known as Brightkit, which was an awful name) that’s no light recommendation.

I’ve struggled with Twitter productivity tools over the past year, trying to streamline, simplify, and maximize my use of Twitter as a resource-sharing platform and communication engine. TweetDeck, for me, solved the problem of managing the Twitterstream through a flexible (desktop) client interface – it’s a great tool, getting better by the month, and I loved it right after Iain Dodsworth put it out for launch.

But I also make use of timed tweets (to share resources across different time sectors – I do most of my information gathering and publishing early in the morning). And, I like the automation of using one-click toolbar tools to rapidly create a tweet on the fly. Plus, I enjoy auto-shrinking or URLs into trackable mini-links.

I have used TweetLater extensively for timed tweets but found its interface cluttered and difficult. BigTweet is a great toolbar app that lets you actually create 240-character tweets (if desired) and splits them into two tweets – nice. TwitPwr, bit.ly, all the other URL shrinkers and trackers – been there, done that (I do like how bit.ly allows you to create a custom-spelled URL instead of nonsense characters if desired).

Good-bye to all of those, for the most part. HootSuite wraps it all together, and even allows you to swap between different Twitter personas if you have more than one. When you’re on a blog post or article that you want to tweet, it even auto-suggests wording from the title, it auto-assigns a shrunken URL (owl.ly), AND – very neat – it gives you a countdown of available words minus the characters of the shrunken URL as you type. Wonderful time-saver.

If you’re a power tweeter, your life can get a whole lot easier with a TweetDeck/HootSuite double play. Mine just did!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021909

Before we begin, may I just take a moment and say how much I enjoy interacting with you, my readers, in these early-morning excursions through the blogosphere? It’s fun to find a few goodies each day (so much to choose from!), but it’s even more fun to dialogue with you about stuff you found helpful or interesting.

OK, on with the show…

The Four Horsemen of the Startup. Brief and to the point. Four attitudes to avoid if you’re an entrepreneur starting a company. From the wise and friendly Doug Karr.

Animated advertising icons – the power of strong branding in advertising. Watch this quick clip. From BrandFreak blog.

In Business Week, a profile of social media pioneer Beth Kanter. Nice.

Which businesses are on Twitter? Check out this uber-list on Twibs. Wow. (hat tip: Brand Flakes for Breakfast).

From the Church of the Customer blog, 5 Questions with Emanuel Rosen (on buzz, word of mouth, and marketing). Good stuff.

PLUS – just for fun: 25 “Hidden” Things in Facebook’s Terms of Use (spoof).

Finally – are you going to Blogger Social ’09? Last year’s event was a slam dunk – 80 bloggers from around the world getting together in NYC to get social. This year, the upper limit is 100, and it’s in Boston. Details here – I’ll be there!

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

25 “Hidden” Things in Facebook TOS

borg

It’s been all the rage this week. Facebook changed their Terms of Service/Terms of Use (TOS for short) to imply that they own, perpetually, anything and everything that you post on their site.

After much uproar, Facebook has relented and gone back to the “old” TOS. Or have they? Hidden in the new/old TOS, in white text on white background (so you wouldn’t see it – but you never read the black-on-white TOS beforehand anyway, did you??), are the 25 of Your Things that You Didn’t Know Facebook Now Owns.

    1. By logging into Facebook (or having logged in in the past and now even THINKing about logging in again), you relinquish possession of all of your belongings, including property, house, auto, HDTV, and suet birdfeeders. They now belong to Mark Zuckerberg. Thanks.

    2. Facebook now owns your first-born, if you have one, and if said first-born is well-behaved. Brats remain in your possession. If you have no first-born children, rodent pets or 4-wheeled ATVs will be accepted.

    3. You are now auto-enrolled in Facebook Live!, which gives us the right to install cameras in every room of your house and randomly upload photos of every daily activity. Our alpha-version auto-tagging feature will make a best guess at identifying you. Heh.

    4. All your blogs are belong to us. Except Scoble‘s. He’s too noisy.

    5. Your privacy settings on Facebook will auto-reset each day to random settings chosen by our MaxEmbarrass Algorithm Method. You may change them back if you wish, but by clicking “Apply” to your settings, you grant us unlimited rights to ignore whatever you chose.

    6. At our sole discretion, you may be downgraded to our “Facebook Lite” application (herein referred to as “Compuserve”) so as to keep you from taking for granted the privilege of being on Facebook Classic.

    7. You are now opted in to receive SPAM.

    8. All applications and widgets that you choose to use on Facebook are hereby entitled to publish your personal data and preferences on our new “SPAM-ME-NOW.com” sister site, soon to be launched.

    9. Spontaneous Human Combustion may occur while using Facebook. If this happens to you, we own your ashes.

    10. You may opt out of using Facebook at any time. But it won’t make any difference.

    11. If you have ever thought about uploading any pictures, links, words, thoughts, or other assets onto the Facebook platform, those items are all, in perpetuity, the exclusive property of Facebook. Thanks.

    12. If you have ever filled out or read a “25 Things” meme on Facebook, you are now an indentured servant of Facebook, and we reserve the right to sell you on eBay to the highest bidder, or, at our discretion, at a “Buy it Now!” price of our choosing.

    13. By using Facebook, you agree never to use Google again. All future searches will have to be through a 1998 version of AltaVista.

    14. If your profile on LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, eHarmony, or Pownce mentions your name, we may take possession of said profiles, and the services on which you have described yourself.

    15. You may not whine at any time, for any reason.

    16. Cheap boxed wines may not be imbibed by any Facebook users. Screwtop bottles are acceptable if imported from New Zealand or Iceland. Use of wine coolers will be grounds for immediate termination. You don’t want to know what that means.

    17. Your college loans, mortgages, credit card debts, Madoff investments, and auto companies are exempted from Facebook ownership. See “Bailout and TARP” provision.

    18. By using Facebook, you agree to lower your “carbon footprint” by 15% per year by skipping every sixth exhale.

    19. If you use Twitter, you agree to follow @swoodruff, except if you are a spammer, in which case you agree to self-immolate (see #9 above).

    20. You agree to pick up the mess after walking the dog.

    21. You agree that outmoded discussions of “privacy” will not be indulged, either on Facebook or in any lesser sphere of life, since we now own you. Just shut up and keep spilling your guts. Wait a minute, that’s self-contradictory. Ah, whatever, this is white-on-white and no-one’s going to ever see it anyway! Toy boat! Toy boat! You’re all dolts! Ha ha ha ha…

    22. Facebook, its representatives or agents, may, at any time, and for any reason, choose to extract one of your kidneys.

    23. If you are currently single and choose to marry, a 10% dowry to Facebook is expected. If you met your spouse via Facebook, that becomes 25% plus a $200 gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris made out to Mark Zuckerberg.

    24. (we’re going to fill this in later. But you’re agreeing to it.)

    25. Resistance is futile.

Thank us for allowing you to be used by Facebook.

————-

Prior StickyFigure spoofs

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021809

directortom-headshot“And now for something completely different…” – a Connecticut filmmaker guest-hosts Five in the Morning. Blogging buddy Thomas Clifford (Director Tom, he of the ubiquitous beret) kindly offered to take us on a tour of five blog posts that interest him, including – and this is COMPLETELY different – quantum activism. Hmmm.

Check it out! And, if you’re not subscribing to Tom’s blog, be sure to do so, and follow him on Twitter (@thomasclifford) post-haste!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021709

Lon Cohen shares his “Twitter professors” on the Mashable blog – 18 key people he follows who provide ongoing education on a variety of topics. Some known, and not-so-well-known, names listed here.

Who doesn’t like a nice list? Here’s 60 of the best SEO tools. And, some Inspiring Design Links for Creatives (thanks to @brandonacox for these links, via Twitter). And, from Robin Broitman, a Superlist of How to Find, Network with, and Influence People via Social Media.

Good for what Ales you? Costco about to make a bold move – launching its own line of beers. Great strategy, especially if the taste is high-quality. The Difference is Affordability?

Good advice from Branding Strategy Insider on picking/creating a brand name effectively. Drawn from Guy Kawasaki‘s book, The Art of the Start.

Facebook blah blah blah. Terms of Service blah blah privacy blah blah – yes, it was the latest bandwagon issue for the last couple of days. Consumerist blog has some helpful updates on its initial post about this kerfuffle, including some clarifications from the Facebookers.

Can you learn anything about social media marketing from a puppy?

————-

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Five in the Morning 021609

fivesm

I hope you enjoyed the Five in the Morning guest posts last week! It’s my intent to pass around the Five spotlight (and link love) to two guest-hosts per week, so that we get the benefit of everyone’s interests and reading lists. Thanks to Arun Rajagopal, Lisa Hoffmann, Connie Reece, and Chris Wilson for helping out while I was busy “conferencing” last week!

Alan Wolk kicks us off this morning with a provocative post: Does Creativity Still Matter? Give it a read and add your comments, esp. if you’re an advertising wonk. Good stuff.

Mining the Thought Stream. Some thoughts on TechCrunch about Twitter’s unique capacity to reveal what people are thinking. Interesting.

Mashable‘s Social Media posts, all gathered together. Great idea. Warning: potential time sink!

How to Communicate Everything You Do. Can you condense your personal message into an effective introduction? Some valuable ideas from Dan Schawbel at the Personal Branding Blog.

The Brand New blog has been on a roll this month, with some great commentary on re-branding efforts, good, bad, and awful. Scroll down and enjoy!

PLUS – The Personal ROI of Social Media. A Sunday Muse.

————-

Connect with Steve Woodruff

(Image credit – created via Spell with Flickr)

PLEASE NOTE: There is reason to believe that the Google/Feedburner changeover has created “issues” with RSS feeds for my blogs (and others). Here are the feeds for my three blogs; if you’re a reader, would you please re-subscribe just to make sure? Thanks!

:: Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog (that’s this one!)

:: Subscribe to the Steve’s Leaves blog (that’s my personal blog)

:: Subscribe to the Impactiviti blog (that’s a pharma-specific blog, for my consulting business)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 154 other followers