Archive - December, 2011

Resolve Towards Results in 2012

New Year Results 2012Maybe you’re one of those folks not “into making resolutions” as a New Year’s rite.

Maybe you’re also one of those folks that don’t like Barry Manilow, but you know all the words to his songs.

Maybe at the last minute you’ll make a resolution, and in the first minute next year – break it.

Remember this:

  • Rules are for Schools,
  • Rites are for Organized Religion,
  • Results are for Business.

The whole thing is this: Don’t let your resolutions rule you, nor should you make resolutions (or not) because that’s the thing to do at this time of year. Shoot for Results in 2012. 

Things can change quickly. If you miss your target – or your target moves, say around January 17th or May 4th – let that be the first day of the rest of the year. Each day begins as a new beginning.

Here are some of the things I’m shooting for to begin 2012.

  • Zero Inbox: At the end of each day, before going to sleep. No more loose ends or renegotiated deadlines
  • 20 Minute Movements: There are 72 chunks of 20 minutes in a day. At least one of these each day will be focused on exercise.  20-Minutes will be a recurring theme for me in Twenty-Twelve.
  • At least 2,500 Words a Day (and 1 Photo and 1 video): In 2012, I’m going to spill my head and heart (a lot of it towards Dialing 8). The content is becoming premium. This is the doing of the thing.
  • Stories: Movies and Books.  I love movies and books, but it’s been years since I made time for them on a regular basis. 2012 will be different. Stories increase my muscles of Imaginosity, Writing, and Listening. One of each a week.
  • POTSC: Not asking for it. Giving in an abundant, over-the-top, radical manner. Results manifest in ways I’ll probably never see. And I don’t need to wait around to see its reception. If I can make myself obsolete by my example, I’ve done well.
So those are my things for the early part of 2012. What are yours?


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Top Posts on ConverStations in 2011

Waving Goodbye to 2011It’s often fun looking back in reflection. Personally, 2011 was my best ever (good timing after 2010). Professionally, Dialing 8 launched softly and we’re ready for a fantastic 2012.

Here are the “best” posts of 2011:

Interesting to note: Analytics shows of my most viewed pages in 2011, only 6 of the top 25 were pages written in 2011.

A few of the all-timers:

Here’s to a great 2012. Go create valuable and relevant page depth!.

Stay contagious and courageous!

More or Less in 2012: Peering Ahead

crystal ballWhen I’m driving down a stretch of road with a green light 200 yards away and cars sitting at their read waiting to go across the intersection, I anticipate my light turning yellow any minute.  It’s not a prediction. But I don’t know what to call it – a likelihood based on various factors?

Based on what I’ve seen, I anticipate more or less of these things in 2012

Rising in 2012:

Mobile Apps and Sites – Though some businesses will still think of these two things as the same thing, mobile applications and mobile versions of web sites will rise (and crash) and rise some more. If you want to get a head start, learn how to go mobile

Premium Content – Whether premium content delivered in eBook format or behind pay walls, this will start to climb and may be the hottest thing for 2013. Dialing 8 is one example.

Infographics – Yes, these will continue to grow but with better purpose. I think we’ll see the data become also available outside of the graphic (possibly as a footnote). Further, I hope to see sections that can be embedded as a standalone.

Video – Finally, after years and years of everyone predicting video as the next big thing … well, we may wait another year. It’s not the equipment or ease that holds this back anymore. It’s fear.

Snark – Unfortunately, controversy and snarky remarks regained a foothold in 2011. And with such success comes copycats. I fear 2012 will see more finger-pointing, hate-remarking, traffic-driving, high-school-hallways writing. Leave that to the pundits though

Shrinking in 2012:

Google+ – Google Plus will start to be recognized as it should’ve always been seen. As Google. Plus some very cool social aspects. Plus some great new stuff. Plus the other 52-104 things they add to the plate in 2012. It’s Google. Plus a whole lot more.

Soloprenuers – Free Agency will continue to rise, though strategic partnerings will be a key to a fast and steady growth. Notice the plurality of “partnerings”  Putting all your eggs in one basket is dangerous.

Television – The Super Bowl being live streamed this year should be a clear indication. This holiday, I played my own Criminal Minds mini-marathon and can stream The Wonder Years (a blog ahead of its time) any time I want.

Relationships – While engagement is and always be very important, we’ll see businesses qualifying their engagement more than previous years. Intended audience (potential customers, current customer, influencers of either) over Attending audience.

Hoping for Great Things in 2012:

Twitter: Looking forward to the “best tweet at top” and how business pages work.

Pittsburgh Pirates: They were in 1st place on my birthday (July26) for the first time since … I don’t remember, 1989?

POTSC: Too many grudges, and life is too short. We all have “reasons” to hold a grudge, none of us are perfect. Here’s to “radical grace” in 2012. Overthrow Judgment, Liberate Love #POTSC



Why Should I Share Their Content? They Don’t Follow Me

Pouting About Social Media Sharing?There are sectors of Social Media and Social Networking that may have reason to place importance on such matters as:

  • Do they Follow Me?
  • Did they Unfriend Me?
  • Am I in their Circles?
  • But people in my Tribe don’t like her …

Stop it.

We’re in business now, so let’s graduate from that thought process, hmm?

There are plenty of people who write some brilliant content. Maybe their content helps my intended audience get smarter and grow stronger. And so I curate it and share the content in various places – even if they don’t follow me.

And why not. I recommend books, movies, and restaurants all the time even though those folks probably don’t know me either. How ‘about you?

As I noted in Why and How I Use Twitter:

I share items with three peoples in mind (in this order):

  1. Customers I Serve (and to a certain degree, the followers et al who are part of my “audience”)
  2. Those I link to – a distant second place. I don’t practice “linkbait”.  I may share on occasion as a way of saying “thanks” to the content creator.
  3. Me – Sure, findability and keywords and all that is in my thought process, but if there’s no value for my customer – there will be no value for me.

Keep in mind the 5 Things About Your Intended Audience and you’ll be equipped to quickly determine whether to share something or not.

Photo on Flickr by ale © colour

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Access and Action: Premium Content and Business Blogging

Earlier this week, I read this post on Premium Content and thought about cost and value.

Stephen P. Smith is heading towards a more systematic approach to publishing his work. I have an eye and ear towards Stephen’s work on Twitter and via RSS, but some of his content on Google+ has caught my attention. It’s those longer, deeper thoughts that he speaks about in his post about Premium Content

In his post uses two key words: Access and Action.

And I believe these two words are the keys to creating premium content that will add an additional revenue stream to many small and independent business owners.

We use a blog (or other streams and content) to give a taste-on-a-toothpick, not wanting to give away the farm. But many small business owners wonder when the farm gets shown.

Premium Content with Access and Action for you might look like a workshop in a Google Plus Hangout; an in-depth video training on YouTube (but with a limited access URL); or a membership site like The Dialing 8 Project. In each of these scenarios, the intended audience has special access (to the content and creator) and actionable responses – the take-aways are tangible.

Back to Stephen – His premium content has two choices. The first, a weekly delivery, is less expensive than just about everything and slightly more than a freely published blog post. Another, a monthly subscription, is offered at $25 month.

Hmm, I thought. Less expensive than a full consult and if I glean one thing that adds $25 of revenue to my practice – it’s worth it. Ah, but I love this line: The thinking is free, I get paid to answer the email. Subscribers get to engage privately with Smith on things that they find a challenge – and Smith responds with an in-depth reply.

For less than small cup of coffee a day. But with more and longer-lasting benefits.

How might you create a greater, in-depth form of content that includes Access and Action for your audience?


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Would Walt Disney Support Internet Prohibition? No on SOPA

We see it in the blogosphere too often.  Great headline, yawn of a blog post. Yet, because of its killer title, it gets shared across the Twitterverse without being read.

SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act] may be a great headline. But the bill itself is a disappointment and dangerous to the Internet we know now and the creative, communicative power of tomorrow.

Looking over The Domino Project’s listing of who supports SOPA (mostly entertainment and publishing corporate execs – not the artists and authors per se). After following the link to this article about Everything is a Remix and watching the video, I noticed this bit:

An example of this would be Walt Disney making beautiful art of such stories as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Alice In Wonderland. Disney played absolutely no part in the creation of these stories, but he did adapt them, giving the public classic films that have stood the test of time. With that in mind, let’s see what happens if one of us — members of the general public — try to make use of characters from the The Lion King.

Wait a minute. Disney was one of the corporations list in supporting SOPA. And if SOPA existed in Walt’s day, would that mean no Snow White, no Alice, no rabbit hole?

If SOPA goes through, the world stops being freely flat and we won’t have to be concerned about having a global reach. Who knows, maybe the Prohibition Act will make a comeback.

SOPA will make it harder to do the good and creative things. Putting bars up will raise the rate of the crime they are trying to stop.

A video on SOPA found via Fred Wilson’s site:

And for an example of Everything is a Remix:

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Are You Asking the “Why Should I” and Missing the “Why Are They”?

Is Your Business Ready for Mobile?Wow, things change fast, hmm?

New things, changed things, different ways to use things. And have you seen the way those people are using those things?

And so we are faced with a question (or two). Many of us start with this one:

Why (on earth) would I want to do that?!

Unfortunately, as you may have determined by the tone (the exclamation after the question mark) this really isn’t a question – though it should be, just without the sarcasm.

And if it is a question to find understanding of what it might mean to you, follow up with this question:

Why are they doing  that?

By trying to find out what are they getting out of using that thing, or how it’s improving their lifestyle –  you’re priming your brain and your business to be prepared to serve your customer  - and the next wave – better.

I recently read a piece of data that shows 1 of 5 parents use a mobile device to communicate with their kids while they’re both at home (time for dinner or don’t forget the dishes). Whether you and I agree with that practice is secondary in the context of business.

It’s what’s being done now, and it’s what is coming around the bend. Adults and soon-to-be adults are using mobile. Have you see the people you drive next to and in front of. Everyone is on it (including you).

So next time you see something new or changed, maybe give a little focus to value they have found to help us find our own value.

Is your business ready for mobile?

  • Mobile Apps
  • Mobile Sites
  • Location-Based pages (Google Places, Foursquare, Merchant’s Circle, etc)
  • Other quick-to-implement and necessary to woo your customer ideas.

These are some of the things we’re discussing in our Dialing 8 CoLaboratory Hangout today (members only). If you want to join us tomorrow, let me know in a way convenient to you and I’ll make it happen (9am, 11:30am, or 7pm CST).

Is your business ready for mobile?

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Is it Okay for Social Media to be Automated or Scheduled?

I’m not a fan of “this or that” as a blanket statement. Too many variables and I believe there’s only one immutable law in social media.

I do see some valid arguments made for and against automated items in social media, and again – it depends on what kind of task is being automated.

Some confusion has crept in some of the conversation, though. I’d like us to make a distinction between two types of actions:

Automated Items and Scheduled Items

Automated is something that is often repeatable and put into a “set it and forget it” mode. Some of these (and my thumb-action) might include:

  • Follow-back on Twitter (thumbs-down)
  • Blog Posts directly to another platform (it depends)
  • Triberr Retweets (thumbs-up if settings are on manual, otherwise . . .)
  • Almost every ifttt recipe (it depends)

Scheduled is something that almost always -or at least always should – have context or content added:

  • Bufferapp your tweets (big thumbs up)
  • Blog posts (big thumbs up)
  • Event reminders (in most cases, thumbs up)
  • Newsletter mailings (and in some cases even automated – thumbs up)

So, while we may have missed some items or tasks, we can see a difference between Automated and Scheduled in our publishing or sharing content. As you can probably see, I’d lean toward Scheduling as a practice and be shy towards Automating.

What’s your take on the topic?

Photo on Flickr by bigbirdz

Become Comfortable with Crap

This is for the crap writers . . .

The ones who believe they can’t
But do it anyway
Who recognize the only way to get better
Is to get going and get doing

Those who forge ahead knowing
that by sharing what we know
we know better and create capacity for more
more to share, and more people to share with

For the ones who care without concern
whether they have a face for radio
or a voice best whispered
and start drawing with an Ish frame of mind

Thank you for what you’re about to do
and for leading those who are about to read
for standing up to The Flinch in your brain
and getting through the crap that holds you back

Because the reality just may be
Once you get through today’s crap
different crap will greet you tomorrow
Different – but better. Because now . . .

You’re Comfortable with Crap 

My Life is About to Change in a Flinch

You ever get that feeling? As you travel through a . . . transparent thing . . .

Last night, just before bed, I watched a video conversation with Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. They talked candidly (and colorfully) about Julien’s new book, The Flinch:

These guys literally wrote the book on Trust Agents, so when Brogan starts warning Smith that this book is one that might get read, but people won’t do anything about it – and Smith agrees (“There’s only so far you can <flinch-causing expletive>hold people’s hands”).

As I was watching, I went to Amazon and pre-ordered the free book (thanks Godin). This morning, it was in my Kindle and I started reading it. Last thing last night, then first thing first thing?  Interesting intersection.

As I read this morning, I’m fighting a lot of internal urges and personal feelings that won’t see the light of this blog. And I flinch. And grow.

Thanks for the read, Julien (and thanks for the video, Chris). I’ve got some flinches to face.


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