It’s Time to Get Busy! (AOC 3)

It’s just about here!

The third Age of Conversation (a group-authored book on social media) is due to be released in a few weeks – the subtitle is, It’s Time to Get Busy. I’ve been privileged to add a chapter to each of the three AOC volumes, along with a cast of stellar thinkers and writers (not sure how I got in there, but hey…!)

Once again, the project was spearheaded by community-minded bloggers Drew McLellan (Iowa) and Gavin Heaton (Australia), with contributors from all over the globe. Except Greenland. Still looking for an author/blogger there…

Here’s the listing of authors for AOC 3:

Adam Joseph

Priyanka Sachar

Mark Earls

Cory Coley-Christakos

Stefan Erschwendner

Paul Hebert

Jeff De Cagna

Thomas Clifford

Phil Gerbyshak

Jon Burg

Toby Bloomberg

Shambhu Neil Vineberg

Joseph Jaffe

Uwe Hook

Steve Roesler

Michael E. Rubin

anibal casso

Steve Woodruff

Steve Sponder

Becky Carroll

Tim Tyler

Chris Wilson

Beth Harte

Tinu Abayomi-Paul

Dan Schawbel

Carol Bodensteiner

Trey Pennington

David Weinfeld

Dan Sitter

Vanessa DiMauro

Ed Brenegar

David Zinger

Brett T. T. Macfarlane

Efrain Mendicuti

Deb Brown

Brian Reich

Gaurav Mishra

Dennis Deery

C.B. Whittemore

Gordon Whitehead

Heather Rast

Cam Beck

Hajj E. Flemings

Joan Endicott

Cathryn Hrudicka

Jeroen Verkroost

Karen D. Swim

Christopher Morris

Joe Pulizzi

Leah Otto

Corentin Monot

Karalee Evans

Leigh Durst

David Berkowitz

Kevin Jessop

Lesley Lambert

Duane Brown

Peter Korchnak

Mark Price

Dustin Jacobsen

Piet Wulleman

Mike Maddaloni

Ernie Mosteller

Scott Townsend

Nick Burcher

Frank Stiefler

Steve Olenski

Rich Nadworny

John Rosen

Tim Jackson

Suzanne Hull

Len Kendall

Amber Naslund

Wayne Buckhanan

Mark McGuinness

Caroline Melberg

Andy Drish

Oleksandr Skorokhod

Claire Grinton

Angela Maiers

Paul Williams

Gary Cohen

Armando Alves

Sam Ismail

Gautam Ramdurai

B.J. Smith

Tamera Kremer

Eaon Pritchard

Brendan Tripp

Adelino de Almeida

Jacob Morgan

Casey Hibbard

Andy Hunter

Julian Cole

Debra Helwig

Anjali Ramachandran

Jye Smith

Drew McLellan

Craig Wilson

Karin Hermans

Emily Reed

David Petherick

Katie Harris

Gavin Heaton

Dennis Price

Mark Levy

George Jenkins

Doug Mitchell

Mark W. Schaefer

Helge Tenno

Douglas Hanna

Marshall Sponder

James Stevens

Ian Lurie

Ryan Hanser

Jenny Meade

Jeff Larche

Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher

David Svet

Jessica Hagy

Simon Payn

Joanne Austin-Olsen

Mark Avnet

Stanley Johnson

Marilyn Pratt

Mark Hancock

Steve Kellogg

Michelle Beckham-Corbin

Michelle Chmielewski

Amy Mengel

Veronique Rabuteau

Peter Komendowski

Andrea Vascellari

Timothy L Johnson

Phil Osborne

Beth Wampler

Amy Jussel

Rick Liebling

Eric Brody

Arun Rajagopal

Dr Letitia Wright

Hugh de Winton

David Koopmans

Aki Spicer

Jeff Wallace

Don Frederiksen

Charles Sipe

Katie McIntyre

James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw

David Reich

Lynae Johnson

Jasmin Tragas

Deborah Chaddock Brown

Mike O’Toole

Jeanne Dininni

Iqbal Mohammed

Morriss M. Partee

Katie Chatfield

Jeff Cutler

Pete Jones

Riku Vassinen

Jeff Garrison

Kevin Dugan

Tiphereth Gloria

Mike Sansone

Lori Magno

Valerie Simon

Nettie Hartsock

Mark Goren

 

Peter Salvitti

Stay tuned for final word on availability – should be within a month!

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Being Purpose-full

I was reading in the Old Testament book of Proverbs this morning: “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you” (Proverbs chapter 4 verse 25).

This is the picture of someone who is purpose-full.

A clear goal. Eyes fixed on it. Ability to recognize distractions on the left hand and on the right, and (by and large) put them aside.

I want to be purpose-full. I want my boys to be purpose-full. Even allowing for the serendipity of life, and its unpredictable evolution. The details of our purpose might change, but being purpose-full has to do with choice, and character, and courage.

When we meet, once we’ve gone through the comfortable social norms of small talk, what I really want to discover is this: What’s your purpose? And how can I help you get from here to there?

In 1 minute or less, can you tell me what you’re purpose-full about? Even more important – can you tell that person in the mirror?

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“Monetizing” Social Networking

Of late, there has been some noise in the socialsphere about how some have created real, paying businesses out of their involvement in social media.

Shocking.

Unless you live in a basement on a permanent inheritance stipend, you have to think about paying the bills. Making money. Using your abilities to build something that adds value and creates income. I suspect that would include…most of us.

I don’t see social networking, for all of its (wonderful) leveling of the playing field and ability to give free voice to anyone, as something fundamentally different from the rest of life. If you’re going to use your abilities to create value, at some point, that becomes a value worth paying for. And if people choose to pay for that value because it fills a need, well, that’s what life and business have always been about.

A browser and WordPress and widgets and 140-characters don’t change that basic dynamic.

My current business is to build and use networks to add obvious value – there’s a layer of it that is specific and paid, and there’s a layer that is “promiscuous” and free. All of it is geared toward creating win-win situations and long-term value for all involved. Chris Brogan and others do fundamentally the same thing, with different areas of application and approach.

Is that any different from many other businesses? In one respect, it is: most other traditional businesses monetize based on specific transactions only, and don’t offer a bunch of value for free. There should be even less whining in this space when people succeed by being generous to so many others.

If you’re uptight about people making money in this arena by honestly working hard and adding value, then get over it. It’s life. At least, it’s life outside the basement…!

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Entire Internet Lost

What began as a curious blackout during the annual South by Southwest geekfest in Austin has exploded into a major on-line crisis today.

The Internet has disappeared. Shockingly, the backup copy of everything on the interwebs has gone missing.

“It was just here last night!” exclaimed Shannon Whitley, applications programmer and Chief Global Internet
Curator. “I had the whole web continuously backed up on this 8-track tape. Someone must have thought it still had Waylon Jennings music on it, and removed it for a 70′s party or something!”

The loss was detected when SxSW presenter Biz Stone tried to access an old copy of Twitter using the Wayback Machine. A strange 404 page appeared displaying only the song lyric, “Stop the world and let me off, I’m tired of going round and round.” Except for a few locally-cached copies of Amazon.com and the SxSW session chooser, all other Internet sites vanished.

A frantic search of all local DJs with 8-track tape equipment did not turn up the archive, and a mimeographed copy of the Internet was also lost the same day due to a warehouse fire covering most of the state of Nevada, fueling speculation by conspiracy theorists around the globe. However, the geek class had to share their concerns by FAX and registered mail.

New social geolocation services due to be launched during SxSW have now been replaced by nametags and business cards. AT&T wireless executives were spotted yelling “It’s not our fault! Not us this year!!!!”

Outside the Austin conference center, a chuckling Jason Falls took it all in stride while munching a funnel cake, saying only, “They should have used Backupify. Heh.”

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Prior StickyFigure spoofs

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Each and Recently

The old marketing model emphasized “reach and frequency.”

Try to expose your message to as many as possible, as often as possible. A certain percentage will respond.

It’s a numbers game. And, it de-personalizes your audience. They’re a target. A demographic. Occupiers of a business funnel.

Been there. Done that.

Instead, let’s think in terms of “each and recently.” There is a growing pool of people who rely on you for information, connections, and services. They become customers, friends, collaborators, and, in a wonderful way, the most effective sales force you could possibly have.

Touch each of them. Make sure, as their names come to mind, that you’ve somehow touched them recently. And don’t worry a whole lot about the reach and frequency numbers game.

They’ll do that for you.

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Is This the Future of Knowledge-Sharing?

I love books.

I also enjoy magazines and newspapers. But we’ve all known for quite some time that the publishing world is changing rapidly, and a lot of our knowledge-sharing would be digital.

Despite that, I have not invested in a Kindle or iPad, nor am I reading books on my iPhone, because the idea of a simple porting of text to (smallish) screens isn’t compelling enough for me (yet).

Maybe that will change. For a long time, I’ve had the notion that the whole way we go about publishing “books” (static bodies of content that are obsolete the moment they’re published in a rapidly-changing world) needs to undergo a revolution.

We need to have multimedia, mobile, update-able knowledge-sharing. Perhaps even subscribe to people and knowledge-sharing projects over time (“progressive publishing“), not just buy a “book.”

Seth Godin wrote this post today. I promptly downloaded the Ideavirus iPhone app (worth the 99 cents just to evaluate!) because perhaps this is starting to approach the new way of knowledge-sharing. Video tied to abbreviated text. Potentially update-able. Looking ahead, all sorts of on-line community-building bolt-ons could be integrated.

I think we’re getting there. I’d urge you to invest the 99 cents and think about the possibilities. Because this looks to me like just a first-inning single, with plenty of power hitters in the on-deck circle….

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Needed: Virtual Tweetup Platform

I’ve been experimenting with a group of folks in my “inner circle” with the idea of doing virtual tweetups on-line.

Do you know of a platform that works well for this?

We tried TinyChat – great concept, but significant issues with audio quality and access.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

- Ability to host 6-12 people at once, with webcam video and VOIP audio (or maybe dial-in audio). Note: not one-way video, but everyone able to see each other simultaneously.

- Ability to support both Mac and PC without problems (maybe even Linux?)

- Easy ability to setup private discussion room(s) with simple login procedures

- Simple invitation management would be a plus

- Web-based: no download/installation preferable

- Free (or, perhaps a company with a paid solution would like to gain exposure by sponsoring a growing group of influencers?)

I figure the best way to find a solution is to crowd-source – so, what solutions do you know of? Any ideas? -please add your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!

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The World’s First Management Consultant

Moses had a problem.

He had just led hundreds of thousands of the descendants of Israel out of Egypt, and was on a journey to a new land, a homeland promised generations ago to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

And they were pecking him to death.

Moses was the leader. And everyone came to him with their problems, their disputes, their needs. Everyone. That sounds like a prescription for maximum-strength Prozac.

Fortunately, a man named Jethro came along (would you listen to a consultant named Jethro?). Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law, but more than that, he was a wise and sensible fellow. A giver of good advice. A leadership and management consultant.

You can read about the entire encounter here in Exodus 18, and I’d urge you to do so for background (it’s fascinating). But in short, Jethro noticed that Moses was absolutely wearing himself down to shreds by sitting in judgment over the entire nation, dispensing instruction and settling difficulties. Morning, noon, and night – “Moses, what about Aaron’s son’s hair length?” “Moses, he took one of my sheep!” “Moses, what should be the dowry for a one-eyed wife?” And perhaps, “How do I change the settings on my Facebook page, to block those pesky Egyptians?”

No wonder Jethro said, as he watched this exhausting parade, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you, you cannot handle it alone.”

So, you’ll see as you read the passage, that Jethro gave Moses very wise advice about creating an inner circle of trusted people, delegating responsibility, and focusing on the big stuff. He saved Moses’ bac…well, lamb chops, and had a significant impact on the life of the nation for many years to come.

Jethro also provided, for us, three tremendous lessons in management.

    1. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you can do it all alone (v. 18). You may be competent, but you’re not omnipresent, all-wise, and all-powerful. God alone has those attributes – and in human communities, since no one person can do it all, you are dependent on collaboration, outsourcing, and great talent selection.
    2. If you’re meant to lead, don’t get lost in the weeds (v. 19). Stick with the highest tasks and responsibilities. That’s where you’re a lot more indispensable.
    3. Choose the best. Look for people of character (v. 21). Trustworthy folks who can be counted on in the “inner circle.”

Many things can only be accomplished via larger communal efforts, in business and in every other endeavor. But only by structuring things so that the right people are on the bus, and in the right seats on the bus, can it all work well.

Jethro’s advice was free to Moses, and is free to you. It’s also just as timely as it was thousands of years ago. What can you learn from the world’s first management consultant?

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