Archive - December, 2009

Take a Tip From the Movies – You Don’t Have to Start at the Start

I love hearing the backstory of how movies are made: how the team of actors come together, the special effects and challenges or dangers of pulling them off; putting the score together during edits, etc. All that stuff that comes on the back of the DVD.

One of the most fascinating things to me is the timing of some of the shoots. So out of sequence (though not random).

Did you know in the first Harry Potter movie, the first scene shot for the first film — was the "goodbye" shot of the movie? Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) meet at the train and embrace. Interesting, don't ya think?  Of course, after editing, that scene was put in it's proper place so the flow fit.

Whether writing a blog, or a book, or a blog-to-book, it's quite alright to begin somewhere else besides the beginning. 

…and hey, Why Not?

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A Reader’s Dozen: Books I Recommended Most in 2009

A lot of folks ask me for suggestions on books to kick-start or re-ignite their passions and participation in social media. Every individual and situation is different, but here are the books I recommended most in 2009:

  1. Greater Than Yourself
    by Steve Farber
  2. Tribes
    by Seth Godin
  3. Exploiting Chaos
    by Jeremy Gutsche
  4. The Think Big Manifesto
    by Michael Port
  5. The Digital Handshake
    by Paul Chaney
  6. Crush It!
    by Gary Vaynerchuck
  7. Socialnomics
    by Eric Qualman
  8. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  9. The 4-Hour Workweek
    by Timothy Ferris
  10. Me 2.0 by Dan Schawbel
  11. Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields
  12. The Element
    by Sir Ken Robinson
  13. What Would Google Do?
    by Jeff Jarvis

A couple of interesting things to note here: 

  1. These recommendations are in response to folks asking about how to improve or ignite their social media engagement, yet really … only three or four can be considered "social media" books.  The others are about big ideas, amplifying relationships, passionate positioning.
  2. Each of the authors are actively engaged with their audience via social media platforms (click on their name above to engage). Hmm.

Considering I didn't pick up my own copy of Exploiting Chaos until October, I've really made some noise about it for it to be so high on the list. Though I didn't track it this year, I believe The Think Big Manifesto was the book I gifted most often. Radical Careering (published in 2005) probably has a permanent spot on this list.

Books I look forward to most in 2010? Drive
by Daniel Pink (just out now), Fascinate by Sally Hogshead (due out February), and Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun (just picked up the Kindle version).

What were the books you talked most about in 2009. (I'm taking notes if I missed one you loved!)

FYI: The links to the books take you to an Amazon book page that is an affiliate link (price doesn't go up, I just get a small cut if you buy from the link). I linked to Amazon so you can see what's behind the cover. Barnes & Noble and 800-CEO-Read are also great places to buy these books from.

links for 2009-12-29

Write a Book in 2010 – Using Your Blog

39172907 Is 2010 the year you finally write that book?

I hope so. And I'd suggest you write your book on your blog (or start a new one and make it public).

A few reasons you'll want to write it on the blog:

  1. Don't get stuck at the start: I know lots of folks who get stuck on page one. They have 17 fantastic introductions or Chapter 1s. You won't get stuck. Make your outline or content headings categories on your blog.  Try to write a 200-300 word post daily (just spill), filling each category 4-6 times each month. At the end of the year, even if you miss a day or 50, you'll have a 200-page book by the end of the year.
  2. Your audience is building up as you go: You'll be able to get feedback as you go. And by watching your stats, you'll see which areas you need to address.
  3. Yes – Give it away: Nobody's going to click through 200 blog posts in a sitting (and if they do, they earned to see it free). If it's good, they'll want to buy the book.
  4. A page is but a pebble: I can almost hear ya now, "What – me write a book?" Let's not cross the mountain in one giant step, but rather a pebble at a time. But we'll call them posts (which later become pages). 
  5. Be Findable: And even if you don't end up with the book, you'll be more findable based on your page-depth and consistent writing. Oh – and you'll probably become a much better writer.

One day – one post – one page at a time. Possible?

I dunno. Let's find out. And hey…Why not?

P.S. This post is 297 words, including this postscript.

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Celebrate the New Year with #CIB – TWICE

3973800599_d1cf60ac3c  If you’re in or around Central Iowa, you may have heard the buzz around Central Iowa Bloggers (#CIB). It’s an informal gathering of folks who hold an interest in blogging or other social media activities and workings. It brings people together to share, introduce, compliment and commiserate their efforts

Informal speaks towards the agenda. Inspired speaks towards the energy.

Here’s the update:

Due to the holiday (New Year’s Day) falling on the First Friday of the month (when we hold #CIB events), many have asked if there will be a gathering on the 1st. Yes, though probably much lighter attendance than usual. At the same time, for those who normally can’t attend, I’m showing up in case they (and you) do want to give it a go this month. Panera on University opens at 7am. I’ll be there.

Also due to the holiday (same one) some have asked if the #CIB will be held on 1.8.10. Yes again. And I anticipate this one will be very well attended.

Among the beauties of our #CIB dates are:

- Come as you are and share what you want: (Kinda like Twitter, hmm?)
- Join in the conversation, you’ll find signal. Stay on the outside, you’ll hear noise (Kinda like Blogging, eh?)
- If I see you don’t have someone to talk to, I’ll approach, find out what makes you tick, then introduce you around (lotsa handshakes and hyperlinks at that point)
- It’s a fun, brainstorming, networking eye-opening, energy-inducing, lasts-way-too-long-but-that’s-okay-with-me meeting.

It’s just one of the many ways to connect with the Iowa business and tech (talk?) community.

Photo on Flickr by Joe Hobot

links for 2009-12-28

(Social Media) Trends to Watch in 2010

I've not done a predictions or trends post before, but I figure… "Why Not?"

  1. Personal or Individual iPhone apps: It's already started and is going to get easier. This is the new blog or twitter, a self-publishing platform that can be quick to click-and-create. With RSS (not yet dead) pulling your content from elsewhere you already publish, your app is sure to stay fresh without much extra than you're already doing.
  2. Location Based Services (LBS): Though originally designed as part gaming application, this is already being recognized as a ego-boost toy for social networking and as a marketing tool for B2C companies (large and small). My money was on Foursqare heading into the winter, but there may be a player yet launched who wins this space (or maybe SCVNGR?)
  3. Everyone's on Video: Between Flips and iPhones (and other palm-sized video capturing devices) as a most popular Christmas gift, folks are a couple of clicks away from starting their own video channels. Don't tell me this has already happened – maybe so in your inner-tech-circle, but 2010 will see folks like your mom producing mini-videos.
  4. The Lecture Goes Home: It's been talked about, tried, and even successfully become part of some of the most revered Higher Education programs. The classroom will begin to be more learning lab than ever before in 2010 as homework moves into the classroom and the lecture gets sent home via audio or video.
  5. Books, eBooks, Magazines and White Papers Galore: With the ease-of-use and low-cost, DIY publishing will have a larger role in some of the "expert" bloggers — and I'm not talking about Social Media gurus – but more and more teachers, sales, lawyers, marketers, consultants, etc. will publish as a way to augment their income within (and outside of) the conversation space.
  6. Augemented Reality (AR): We've seen a bit of buzz around this topic, but I think AR will really start to get bigger because of the still explosive growth and changes we see in mobile devices. As of yet, lots of fun and cool experiments – but I can see big changes in how we view and interact with service-based industries like real estate and restaurants using AR.
  7. Is 'Social Media' Dead?: Not now, probably not ever. Many I talk with say they are tired of the term (the early adopters). Some cry out: "Social Media IS Media!" Look – It's Social first and foremost (people) and it's become multi-media. It's not that everyone now has a voice, but that the reach of their voice is extended and amplified. And it's not going away.  We'll hear the cry "Social Media is Dead" more in 2010 (the trend), maybe even a few attempts at a new label (I always liked Conversational Media) — but it's still Social Media to me (a parody of a Joel song?)

I Dunno. Let's Find Out. Why Not?

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links for 2009-12-27

I Dunno, Let’s Find Out, Why Not?

I'll be using this {combo of} phrases a lot (more) in the coming year:

I Dunno

Let's Find Out

(and hey) Why Not?

The first is sure to keep me in a state of Learning; the second in a state of Action, the third invites Conversation.

Maybe it will work, maybe not.  I Dunno. Let's Find Out.  And after all, Why Not?

links for 2009-12-26

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