Four

Thanks for being such a delightful community!

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Five in the Morning 022509

mike_sansoneFive in the Morning decamped from NJ today to take a quick visit to none other than IOWA. Mike Sansone, that partriarch of Mid-America bloggers, that mentor of many, Chief Conductor at the Conversation Station and Founder of PaneraU, volunteered to find us five gems this morning. Go and see.

Mike is one of nicest guys I’ve pre-met (still haven’t met face-to-face!) via social networking, and if you’re not connected to him yet, be sure to subscribe to his blog when you’re there, and follow him on Twitter at @mikesansone.

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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.

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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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Get today’s fresh-brewed Five in the Morning posts from @swoodruff right here: http://TwitPWR.com/27y/

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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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StickyFigure TWOday

Today, October 10th, marks the second anniversary of my first StickyFigure post (and although the writing is a bit jagged, perhaps, “How to Waste 100,00 Billboards” is still one of my favorites!)

I’d actually started blogging the previous July, for my solo pharma consulting business (Impactiviti), and that blog is alive and well and absolutely central to my paying job. Impactiviti is an example of using the power of networking to create an entrepreneurial business.

These ramblings on branding, marketing, social media, and whatever else strikes my fancy as an Idea Communicator end up at StickyFigure. This blog is actually an extra-curricular activity for me (as is a personal blog at SteveWoodruff.com which contains ruminations about family, politics, philosophy, life in general, and feeble efforts to get better at writing and telling stories).

I’ve met so many wonderful and supportive people through this blogging and twittering marketing community that I can’t imagine being on this journey without your virtual (and sometimes face-to-face) accompaniment. If I often feel like a rank amateur among you professionals, you’re not at fault in the least for that – you who have become readers/commenters/friends have always treated me with nothing but kindness and respect.

So, though we can’t blow out candles and lift up a good ale together today, know that I’d like to, and thanks for coming alongside over these 2 years. I love you guys.

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TweetDeck – a Chirp in the Right Direction

I was excited this morning to test-drive TweetDeck, a new Adobe-Air based interface layer tying into Twitter.

It’s early days for this beta, but I like the general design concept. The key thing so far with TweetDeck is the ability to split up and customize the Twitter stream so that you can view it in “streams” of your own design. Also, it has an off-line component, so that you can write and queue up tweets when you are disconnected (or when Twitter is having a whale of a time being stressed out).

Plus, they have a nice little on-line forum for giving input/suggestions. I’ve already added several.

This app is one step closer to the ideal social media interface, an idea which I started exploring here. It also provides an impetus to start this week’s publication of a series of posts here on StickyFigure, where I’ll start to map out my ideas for the ideal EVERYTHING interface to the web!

Louis Gray has a nice review of TweetDeck here, with some more details, and ReadWriteWeb also gives a good overview. Doug Meacham also is liking the test-drive. Give them a read, then, if you can take having one more social media app, give it a download. I’m hoping that something like TweetDeck will provide the ideal, customizable interface to pull together all the various platform streams (Twitter, Plurk, identi.ca, FriendFeed, etc.) into one coherent location, so we can stop comparing services, and just converse more easily!

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Thanks

It’s now been one year – exactly – since launching the StickyFigure blog. One year, 212 posts.

one-candle.jpgI did not know what to expect when starting out. I knew that I had an insatiable desire to write about branding and marketing, and even if it wasn’t my main line of consulting work, I figured that I had to start somewhere.

I thought I’d just hang some posts out there, slog away, and maybe slowly establish some form of a reputation as the world’s next great marketing genius, well-concealed behind a veil of…well, lack of ability. Or something.

What I did not anticipate was finding friends, and being part of a community.

A supportive community of marketing bloggers who really didn’t care about my street creds, but who simply took me in as one of their own. Mike. CK. Drew. Matt. David. Kevin. Becky. Gavin. Lew. Patrick. Chris. Valeria. Luc. Derrick. Cam. Toby. Greg. Chip and Dan. Ann. Olivier. CB. Doug. Arun. Mack. William. Martin. Mario. The Small Business Branding crew. The BrandingWire posse. Curious George. I’m sure there are others I’m not remembering at the moment. Without the encouragement and company of such fine fellow travellers, I would never have endured. A big thanks to all of you.

Another thing that I’m thankful for – 15 months after launching my own pharmaceutical consulting business (Impactiviti – the blog which is central to my main business has 297 posts…no wonder I feel tired!), I can now report that it is officially “wheels up” and flying! It was a long roll down the runway getting it off the ground, but now I have a steady flow of client work and even had the privilege of turning down a potential project a couple weeks back! There has been a great community of supporters in that marketplace also that have helped me through when things looked stagnant and bleak.

Pharma is a great place to be, and I hope to diversify into more of a branding/marketing thrust, but even it does not become a full-time profession, it’s wonderful to just take part in the creative sword-sharpening and ideation. Thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, contributing, and “being there.”

Sincerely,

Steve “StickyFigure” Woodruff

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