Archive - March, 2007

Conversations Found in Translation

A few days ago, I put a Translate This Page tool on each individual article page, just above the comments. Traffic shows it’s getting used a few times each day, so it’s a good addition.

I’m not sure if the translation is always accurate (there’s some English-speaking folks who still don’t understand what I’m trying to say), but as Valeria Maltoni writes – translation is more about heart than head.

In Lorelle Van Fossum’s Problogger guest entry, Lorelle points out that ‘instant web translation isn’t yet ready for prime time.’ But I sure hope it gets here quick. I use the Google toolbar translation tool quite a bit when reading blogs in a language I’m not familiar with.

Big hat tip to Frank Gruber at SomewhatFrank on the use of a translation tool for each post.

Business Blog Workshop: Thursday, Mar 22

Blogwrkshp_11_1_2During this week’s Show Me Your Commitment Blog Workshop, we’ll discuss blog reading habits (yes, there may be such a thing as too many).

Where: Dahl’s, 156th & Hickman, Clive (map)
When: Thursday, March 22, 7:00 – 8:00 AM
(the doors open at 7:00, so we’ll mingle a bit while everyone grabs a cup of coffee or breakfast)

As usual, the first 30 minutes will be a workshop format, then we’ll open the floor for any questions on blogging and social media.

Dahl’s is a locally owned grocer who offers a community room for meetings and workshops just like ours. It’s a big room, so bring guests, colleagues and customers. The Community Room is near the Pharmacy on the left (but grab your coffee on the right on the way in).

These early workshops are held the 2nd & 4th Thursdays each month. Starting in April, we’ll also be holding workshops in downtown area of Des Moines during the afternoon. Location to be announced.

Paris Hilton and ConverStations Buzzin’ Together?

Did you know you can catch a daily roundup of what’s hot in the blogosphere with Technorati’s Aaron Krane and BuzzTV?

In today’s show, Aaron brougt our previous post on Twitter as a virtual business tool together with the buzz on Paris Hilton.

Never thought anything I did would ever be on the same show as something Paris did…or did she?

If you ever want to know what’s burning in the minds of the blogosphere, check out T’rati’s WTF? section – that stands for Where’s The Fire?

Twitter As a Business App? Create a Plugin Panel

One way companies can use Twitter, especially virtual companies, is to create a page or panel with each of their team’s Twitter plug-ins.

If I were on a virtual project with Gavin Heaton, Kate Trgovac, and Becky McCray, maybe we’d create a page like this, or have a sidebar on our wiki with each of these plug-ins.

follow BJMcCray at

With the ability to only allow friends to follow and track, this can be kept to a private conversation.

That’s one way to use Twitter as a business application. Others?

How Do You Capture Your Thoughts?

Moleskinepdaactions Where and how do you capture your thoughts and imagination? With the multitude of incoming data our brains receive, it’s getting tougher for me (no – it’s not a sign of age).

I’ve always carried a notebook, though now I call it a WUP. A recent post at Creating Passionate Users motivated me to upgrade my WUP to a productive Moleskine.

This has been great for me because it still fits in my pocket. I haven’t got it as organized as Kathy yet, but its a work in progress.

Guy_8597This morning, I caught a glimpse of how Guy Kawasaki marks a book, and I’m going to employ his technique immediately. I might even buy the book he reviews in the post.

The use of Post-Its in both cases is similar to how I read feeds with GreatNews. When I see a post I can use later, I ‘label it’ in folders I’ve created (share it; blog it; use it).

Sometimes, incoming data has such a rapid pace, my imagination doesn’t have time to recognize the opportunity to get involved. These simple techniques help.

How do you capture your thoughts?

BlogBQ Party w a Geo-Arbitrageur

There’s still time (and seats) to join in the fun for today’s BlogBQ, hosted by Doug Mitchell. I’m bringing bread.

Doug is a geo-arbitrageur. I’m going to try find out what that means today. It doesn’t sound Irish or Italian (of which I am both)


Happy St. Patricks Day.

Hire a Social Media Tool Today

A lot of discussion around blogging and social media centers around external conversation, but companies would do well to employ these tools internal as well.

I had the privilege of discussing this with Anna Farmery on The Engaging Brand Podcast recently. The most delicious idea from that show came from Anna, an internal linked-in tool.

Internal use of social media doesn’t get the ‘press’ that external efforts get – nor should they, after all – because they aren’t meant for public consumption. Still, they can be a great asset to an organization in several ways:

Internal Blogging

  • It’s the same song: Making sure everyone’s singing the same song. A great internal blogging strategy would share stories across the company landscape as to how ‘the mission’ is being accomplished. These conversations can keep the enthusiasm fires burning bright.
  • Eliminate gossip: In a large company (or virtual companies, for that matter), many members of a team can only imagine what goes on in the board room. Imagination of this sort can be a dangerous thing.
  • Knock the cubicles down: Many corporations battle enmity between departments. Much of that comes from not knowing anything about the people on "the other side". Internal blogging can help knock down cubicles and develop a sense of team across departments.

RSS Feeds

  • Synchronized Communication: I know a few companies that don’t allow employees to read RSS feeds at work. (HUH?) This includes marketing, research, sales, PR, HR…look – if you don’t trust your team to do productive work at work, you’ve got a problem on your hands that has nothing to do with social media.  By allowing your teams to get RSS feeds – they’ll know more in less time. Plus, you won’t have to wait for your team to visit your intranet. Deliver it via RSS.

Other Social Media:

  • Wiki: A meeting eliminator. Share and modify documents without the meeting load and email trail.
  • Podcasts/Videocasts: These can be a great training tool, especially for virtual teams.

Other ideas worth examining…

  • Internal Blog Network: Every employee gets a blog as a ‘workspace’ where they can share ideas.
  • Twitter-like app: A ‘what I’m doing now’ type of tool. Someone might jot a message down, "Working on XYZ project – at whiteboard in Conf. Rm 12, bring your ideas"

If your company employs internal social media – make sure you employ it. Don’t treat it like a tool.

Each time a new employee joins your team, your company culture gets modified. Same thing with an internal social media strategy. When you employ one of these tools, you can design the cultural effect it has in your company.

Let’s get to work.

Putting Twitter Where My Mouth Is

Time for me to put Twitter where my mouth is…right here on my blog.

During last night’s BlogTalkRadio show with Wayne Hurlbert, I was asked to "briefly explain Twitter" – and based on my usage thus far…all I could be was brief. This after 40 minutes talking about how smart businesses will find business ways to use social media tools to connect with their customers.

As an independent business person, my use of Twitter will be an extension of my Calendar, which is available for public viewing. We’ll see how it goes. As always, we’re looking for more signal than noise.

My thanks to Connie, Chris and Drew for seeking me out at mikesansone. I should probably read this Newbie Guide to Twitter first (nod to Jeremiah for the link)

On BlogTalkRadio Tonight

Tonight, I’ll be the guest on Wayne Hurlbert’s BlogTalkRadio show, Blog Business Success, discussing Social Media and how smart companies are using the tools available.

Join us live at 7:00pm Central, or you can grab the podcast after the show.

blog radio

Are You Scared of Bloggers?

Does you hear (or say) these lines in your boardroom:

  • Those bloggers need to get a life.
  • Who reads this drivel anyway?
  • Their readership can’t be too high, let’s just ignore it.
  • They misspelled ‘their’, when it should be ‘they’re’ – so they can’t be too smart.
  • I’ve yet to see any value of reading a blog

If these are lines you hear in your meetings, you’ve got a problem. It may not be noticeable yet, but you’ll be playing catch-up soon.

Bloggers are people. They are closer to being just like you than you’re willing to admit. In fact, they may be well advanced in their thinking.

In many cases, they are consumers and potential customers.

If they’re talking about your company – it may be because you ignored them in their previous efforts to communicate with you.

Take out your earplugs and listen for awhile. Subscribe to RSS Feeds. The future of your business depends on it.

Blogging Has Two Roles
Perceptions of Bloggers
Business Blogging Without a Blog?
Putting an Ear to The Blogosphere
Is Your Blog Radar Up?

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