Archive - April, 2010

Truth or Possibilities: Face-to-Face Wins

A lot of folks tell me they much prefer face-to-face time than computer time.  When I agree with them, they look shocked.


Face2faceI am rarely in an office or cubicle (though I'm about to go underground, but more on that later). Most of my day is invested in public and face-to-face. It's the jazz of my job!

I also see some of these folks who say they "prefer" face-to-face have no idea what it's like to be "out there" in a constant or consistent basis.  Their F2F thing is a crutch and a sure sign they don't understand that social media is first, foremost and always will be "social."

Most of the social media engagers I know don't need to make cold calls anymmore. They can strike up a conversation anywhere and with anyone. They've become better at building relationships that matter because of who they are – and their use of social media amplifies their relationship-building skill set.

Truth or Consequences: Face-to-Face wins. Always.  And one reason to engage within the conversphere using social media as part of your talknology practices – you will increase your quality face-to-face time.

Which is part of your goal, right?  Or was that just a crutch due to some tire-kicking on your part?

Related Here:

 - Does Twitter Replace Face-to-Face
 - The F.A.C.E. of Social Media: Masks Off!
 - Dang Technology!  I Prefer Face-to-Face

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On This Day in Social Media History: Happy Birthday, Carol Burnett

I believe that Social Media has been around since "chalk on a rock' and has had more tools than we can shake a screwdriver at. It's always been (and should remain) more about the talk-nology than the technology. That in mind, this category "On this day in Social Media history…" celebrates some of the pioneers of social media — even if we didn't call it that back in the day.

In the days of the televised variety hour, filmed in front of a studio audience, Carol Burnett starred as one who engaged with her audience in conversation as if she was with friends. In fact, the show runs in syndication titled Carol Burnett and Friends.

Carolburnett The conversation was transparent and authentic. The lively skits during the show were often talked about around water coolers and kitchen tables for days. Both the actor and audience, the "writer" and "reader" were involved.

The stage and screen of a variety hour was an environment akin to hyperlinks today. Stars would come in (or sometimes be sitting in the audience) and Carol would spotlight them or give them a shout. In fact, Carol Burnett received a big boost in her early days from an A-Lister of the time, Lucille Ball.

Carol's new book, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
, reads like a series of blog posts in how they are short and digestible.

A tip of the cap and tug of the ear to you my fellow red. Happy Birthday! Thanks for showing us how Social Media should be done.

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Whistle Stops: 04/25/10

Whistlestops_39_3 Whistle Stops are conversations, eye-openers, or tools representing the
brain train discovered while traveling along the Conversphere.  From
business to education, life hacks to giving back, these are the posts and
links that have in some way grabbed my attention!


Since 2006, Whistle Stops have been valued reads, cool tools, and blue-chip posts around the bends of blogs and social media. If you have suggestions for inclusions, just let me know at

How I Just Got Smarter By Association: Lunchtime Masterminds

For the past few weeks, I’ve taken part in a new weekly web show, Lunchtime Masterminds (#LTMM), co-founded by the same team that put together the Boesen Case Study I shared recently.

A few weeks ago, I was looking to outsource the build out of my own Social Media curriculum and create a members-only area for the new e-course (More about the curriculum below and in forthcoming posts).

That’s when Doug Mitchell and Andy Brudtkuhl started talking to me about the launch of Lunchtime Masterminds. (Here’s a 2-minute video Doug shares about the LTMM success plan)

Hearing the plans that Doug and Andy have for LTMM and the business model they have — well, I believe it’s a natural progression for anyone who has been publishing a blog and/or has a passion for the message they’re bringing to the converspehre

With that in mind, I’ve agreed to make my Social Media curriculum available exclusively at Lunchtime Mastermind Academy, a membership-based site that will provide members the proven successful tools and techniques to turn readers into customers, searchers into fans, page views into dollars.

The curriculum I’m adding will include several modules, each module containing in-depth and outlined lessons on

  • the how, why, and who of engagement;
  • how to measure success; 
  • success stories and ways to emulate those into your own success
  • interviews with other experts
  • video tutorials;
  • live webinar access;
  • and graphic organizers and worksheets

And my content won’t be the only “stuff” because Doug and Andy are lining up Masterminds from various disciplines including Marketing, Sales, Education, Legal, Retail, Entertainment, Design … well, you get the idea – a true Mastermind Academy.

And it’s not just about “genius” – because they are being “generous” now as well. A charter membership to LTMM is only $1 to begin — but it’s limited to the first 100 members. And if you have interest in putting some of your content into a premium area and becoming part of the Mastermind curriculum (there’s always room for one more good on), apply to be an affiliate of Lunchtime Mastermind yourself.

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Recycle, Repurpose, Reissue: Your Message(s) to Earth (every) Day

A few folks are using the "holiday" of Earth Day as a way to reissue old blog posts or tweets.  I think this is a great idea — for almost any day. And with different modes and media.

In a video I offered a little over a year ago, I gave this thought the silent treatment:

Not only does repurposing and reissuing blog posts work in the various channels in the conversphere, it can help Synchronize Your Time in other forms of communication – such as email. Rather than continually composing a similar email, compose a blog post and link that to folks as part of a FAQ (or even create a page of the like).

Don't be worried about repeating yourself. It's how we learn.

Turning and Tilling the Soil in our Mind

81747354 Many of us are busy these weekends working our garden. There's a lot of grunting going on outside – and it doesn't pay to be lazy. One of the first steps of the growing season is turn the dirt and till the soil – to literally turn the earth upside down to make for better growth.

So why not do the same thing with our minds? Our business practice? Instead of unearthing the soil, could or should we unearth (and therefore unlearn) some the crud in our head to make for better growth?

Don't lean to heavily on that crutch and don't be so superstitious in your past success that you miss what's happening right now – and what's ahead.  And I'm not even talking about the tools (those we'll always change, sometimes for the better).

What are the possibilities? Ready to get your fingers dirty? What seeds are you planting this spring? And what do you hope to harvest come that season?

Stop planning, just start planting.

Sometimes Nothing Can be a Real Cool Hand

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get so busy I have no time to post.

Sometimes my brain is so all over the place, I feel a post would just be all over the place (which this one may be after all is said and done).

Old-time preacher Charles Spurgeon once stepped up to his pulpit and sighed. After about a moment – he said, "God has given me nothing to say today. Go home. Amen"

Sometimes, nothing can be a real cool hand.

Plus, such was discussed at #blogchat (a Twitter thread cultivated by Mack Collier)

Whistle Stops: Let’s Get This Train Rolling Again

Remember Whistle Stops? Maybe not. I barely do. Well, we’re gonna put some steam behind them and get the train rolling again every Sunday morning:

Whistlestops_39_3 Whistle Stops are conversations, eye-openers, or tools representing the
brain train discovered while traveling along the Conversphere.  From
business to education, life hacks to giving back, these are the posts and
links that have in some way grabbed my attention!

  • From Social Media to Social Strategy at Harvard Business Review: Old mantra – “The medium is the message.” New mantra – “The meaning is the message.” And if you like alliterations, a whole bunch of Vitamin Cs in this article. Very good read!
  • 55 + Most Wanted WordPress Tips and Tricks at WP Beginner: I’ve been recommeding and using WordPress more and more, mostly because it’s become more user-friendly, but also because of the enormous amount of plugins. While this link gets a bit code heavy, there are some tips worth a try (or at least get your code person to do it for you.
  • How to Use Delicious to Organize Your Student Life at MakeUseOf: Hold it right there seasoned veteran! Just because the title says “student” doesn’t mean old folks can’t glean stuff (which would make you a student too!) Excellent tool-torial.
  • 20 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed at Mashable: Mashable puts out so much great stuff, I’m surprised they don’t do this daily, but just in case you missed this “in case you missed it” post, don’t miss it.
  • Remember Who You Are at Gaping Void: If Sundays are for reflection (and shouldn’t all days be so?), this is a wonderful way to invest your afternoon. A marvelous series to reawaken, realign, and reinspire.

Whistle Stops began in the spring of 2006 as a daily link post (what was I thinking?), then a weekly list, to an occasional post, to out of steam. My hope is that we can rekindle the fire in the horse and make these a regular Sunday read. If you have suggestions for inclusions, just let me know at

Getting Your Ducks in a Bunch…

…is a lot better than “shooting” for your ducks in a row.

If you’re going for “ducks in a row”, well, Annie – you better get your gun (but take note — you’ll end up with dead ducks). Don’t be so 2KAOL – launch it, post it, forget perfectionism.
As Zig Ziglar once said, “If you wait for all the go-lights to be green, you’ll never leave the house.”

What the Heck is a “Conversation Conductor?”

The job title on my business card and website is 'Conversation Conductor.'  The title itself is a conversation starter in most cases. It's also — in my thinking — quite descriptive of what I do daily.

2497059820_5975ea072d One type of conductor guides, leads or directs. Another definition might be a conduit for people or messages to flow and connect. Or we can imagine one who conveys passengers from one destination to another.

I'm a little bit of each of these, at times simultaneously.

The title of Conversation Conductor is also motivated by three things I've loved in my life

  1. Trains: I've always loved trains and the history. Of how they connect people (and products). Whether it's in the movies, music, or books — I love a good train story.
  2. Connections: I started working at the age of 14 (dishwasher). Everyone wanted me to connect them so they could get jobs too. I was like a headhunter/recruiter. Restaurants I didnt work for would ask me if I knew someone who wanted to bus tables or whatever. I'm a human hyperlinker. Always connecting people.
  3. Conversations: When I was young, I used to watch my family (Sicilian) gather around the dinner tables during holidays and go-to-town with outrageous conversation. And it wasn't just the talkers, it was the listeners. Eyeballs rolling, heads shaking violently. grapes being thrown across the table — and lots and lots of belly laughter.  It's where I first learned behavior is as much a part of conversation as talking and listening.

2629934668_8d7f3bf850All this in mind, here's what I do:

  • Teach: I teach those that have a message to share (and a desire to share it) how to use multiple "conversation stations" and either the technology or talk-nology tools necessary – to help their message be heard or read, shared and spread across multiple mediums and borders
  • Reach:  Together, we find out which are the most appropriate "conversation stations" – be it a blog, a classroom, a talk show, a lectern, or even a coffee table – to allow them to grow their audience, their influence, and their bottom line (not always in that order)
  • Measure: I'm a numbers nut. Can we do what we're doing more efficiently? Effectively? Are we connecting with the right folks at the right time? How long after the "conversation" stops, does the spreading continue?

There you have it – Mike Sansone, Conversation Conductor.  All Aboard!

There's probably a bit of Cluetrain Manifesto as a motivator for the title. I first read that in 1999, and it's been a big part of what I've done since then.

Photos on Flickr by Gordon_Landon and Paul L Nettles

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