Never Underestimate

I posted on Facbook this morning that you never know where a connection can lead.  My dear friend, referral partner and all around incredible soul, Suni Heflin, re-posted and added to my comments.  As you can see from the comment flow below, many people believe in connecting, building relationships with integrity and the power of networking; especially in a smaller community.This got me to thinking; how many times do we underestimate the potential power of a connection.

  • Do we overlook someone due to the way they dress or look?
  • Do we miss a potential connection because we are too wrapped up in our own world?  Or our smart phone?
  • Do we avoid connecting with someone because we didn’t agree with a Tweet or a Post or a Blog Article?
  • Do we realize the potential power of others network?

Every person we meet could be a potential connection, an opportunity to assist or help or a business opportunity.If I hadn’t connected with Suni, I would have missed an incredible friendship and the opportunity to watch her write the next chapter of her life and career!  Stay tuned for more on that!Put yourself out there; in person, and online.  Make a connection; never underestimate where it can lead.Those are my thoughts.  What about you?  How have you seen the power of connections enrich your life?

                       

Building Your Online Network

Guest Blogger – Julia Rosien, Social Media Strategist & Chief Idea Officer

Friends, please welcome Julia Rosien, social media strategist, to JohnLusher.com. I have been fortunate enough to know Julia for the past couple of years through social media, and my life is richer because of it. Her energy, enthusiasm and lust for life is inspiring.Maybe you are new to social media and social networking, or possibly you consider yourself a veteran; either way, Julia has great advice in Building Your Online Network.

The Screen is yours Julia!!

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come

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I’m a self-proclaimed social media evangelist – I spend too much time there and have more fun before 6 am than some people do all day. But even though I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, doesn’t mean I believe it’s for everyone. Twitter is like visiting Saudi Arabia if you’ve never stepped foot out of North Carolina – the culture shock can be a bit of a hurdle.Social networking is no longer an option for most of us today. It’s where we need to be to grow our businesses, continue learning and connect with people who can help us do both.If you’re considering using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (or one of the 27 other networks cropping up) understand that everyone uses social media differently. My mom is on Facebook because she wants to share in her kids’ and grandkids’ lives. My former boss used LinkedIn for a different reason…I’m on Twitter to learn from others and share my work as well.Before you sign up for Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, ask yourself some serious questions – because starting in social media and abandoning it is more damaging than not starting at all.

  • What do you want get out of social media – sales, brand awareness or maybe community building? (And yes, even if you’re not a business you can build your personal brand on social media.)
  • How much time you have to devote to it? Can you spare ½ hour a day? Do you have more time on weekends but nothing to spare Monday to Friday?
  • Where are your peeps hanging out? If your industry thinks Twitter is a tween thing, LinkedIn might be a better bet.

Now start looking at which network best suits your needs, time availability and social skills.

Twitter ~ Social media soirée

From the moment Twitter launched in 2006, it was a cocktail party. It’s evolved into many things since those early days but it’s still a social space where sharing is top priority. Regardless of how big your network is, the average tweet has a shelf life of 1 hour. But it can be a powerful way to connect with a wide variety of people across many networks. If you’re a connector and like sharing, Twitter might be for you.And remember, it’s not just for geeks. One of my favorite people to follow is a local farmer who tweets from the tractor, the chicken coup, whenever he can grab 5 minutes. He’s got a wicked sense of humor and knows that relationships with his local community start with making friends.

Facebook ~ The full meal deal

For many folks, Facebook is the easiest network to understand and contribute to. It allows you to post pictures, chat with friends and co-workers (at a slower pace than Twitter) and share information about your industry or concerns. Facebook can be a great place to test the waters of social media because of its speed.Couple things to remember:

  • Take time to get to know people – networking is about sharing, not self-promotion
  • Share yourself – people want to get to know the real you. If you’re using Facebook for business and personal, think of it as the company picnic. Have fun but behave.
  • Remember John’s pay-it-forward philosophy and talk to your friends about what matters to them. It will come back to you.

LinkedIn – Your best foot forward

I’m always a little amazed when people tell me that LinkedIn is only for job seekers. That would be like saying you only nurture relationships when you need something. A relationship, like communication, is a two-way process that takes care and nurturing.Recently on LinkedIn, a job opportunity came my way that wasn’t right for me. I passed it along to my contacts and connected the employer with someone looking for that particular specialty. Although the players were in different countries, they found a way to make it work. Further proof that John’s pay-it-forward philosophy is the best way to navigate through social networks.If you’re testing the waters of social media, it’s time to jump in with gusto. Pick a network and start building your profile. What are you afraid of? Success?Got social media questions?  Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn – I’m always on.

Social Media Misconceptions

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If you are a business owner, I strongly suggest you stop resisting social media as a platform to build relationships,  your brand and to connect with clients!  Just as businesses resisted building and promoting a website, a portion of them are now resisting social media.Why?  Is it because you don’t understand it or you think it’s a fad?  It isn’t a fad. Is it fear of the unknown?  You have more resources available at your fingertips to learn about social media and how it can help your business starting today!  Guess what?  Your competition is already involved with social media and if you can’t be found online today, you are not found period.Before you jump into social media, let’s clear up some misconceptions.Social media is inexpensive, or even FREE! We need to put this misconception to rest once and for all.  Yes, many of the tools and the sites that are involved with social media are free to sign up and use.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendfeed and others do not charge you to sign up and create an account, but you will discover, that is where the free part ends.It takes time to properly create these profiles and to maintain them.  It takes time to develop and produce content; to refine what is working and what is not. Social media is and should be part of your marketing campaign.  As a business owner you need to make this plan part of your overall business plan.  Some companies spend as little as a few thousand dollars on a social media campaign. Others spend upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 or more.  This is a form of advertising and marketing your company; tools for building your brand.  Treat it as such, budget for it and plan for it.  You didn’t go into business without a business plan (did you) so do not start a social media campaign without a plan.Anyone can build your campaign for you. Well, if you spend any time on Twitter, you will realize that thousands of “experts” on social media are promoting themselves.  You will discover social media “experts” that barely have two-thousand followers; so remember this, there are no experts.  We are all students of social media and it changes so quickly that no one can become an expert.I recall a conversation with a retail store owner about his website.  In an effort to save money, the store owner was having a local high school kid design and launch his site.  I visited his store six months later and the site had just launched;  three months behind schedule.  Approximately one year later, a Google search, with specific parameters included that relate to his business and that should have been keywords for his business, resulted in his site being found….on page three. Was the cost savings worth the amount of lost business to his shop because consumers couldn’t find his site or his store?  Do you go past page one on a Google search?  Hint: consumers typically do not.I use the previous story to highlight the importance of hiring a true professional to build and launch your successful social media campaign. A campaign that is integrated with your marketing efforts as well as your website. You should also interview the person or firm that you decide to choose as a partner! Have they created successful campaigns in the past? Do they integrate video into their campaigns? What does their portfolio look like? Ask for references and specifics of those clients they have worked with successfully.You can make a big splash in short amount of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and typically your social media campaign will not make a big splash or build a strong or loyal following in a short amount of time.  It can, but those are exceptions to the rule, not the norm. If you are already a star or have a big name in business, then you can make a big splash; if not, it takes slow and steady work. Twitter is great for building a following and driving traffic to your site, your blog, your website.  Use video to acquaint your followers with your company, products, services and staff; but remember it takes time!You can handle a social media campaign internally. Maybe. Most companies rarely employ personnel that are well versed and experienced in social media campaigns.  Even if they have the experience, do they have the time?  What do you pay them to do and how much?  Run the numbers and then hire an experienced person or firm.  Another advantage to using an outside person or firm?  Their contacts and their network. Chances are, it’s larger than yours.  Do you do your own business taxes?  Do you represent your own company in legal matters?  Why would you try to run a social media campaign internally without the right people, with the right experience?People will automatically find you. That misconception reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, Doing a good job around here is like peeing in a dark suit, It makes you feel warm but nobody notices” Jason Bolt. People will not automatically find you, but word of mouth, or spread by the click (mouse) can help!  Using tools like Twitter, StumbleUpon or Digg helps, but your network, combined with traffic driven by the professional you partner with for your campaign, will help the world find you!You can’t measure social media results. Sure you can. Just as you can measure traffic to your website and responses to advertisements in traditional media, you can measure social media results.  Using Google Trends along with other analytics can provide you specific statistics on who is finding you, who is clicking on your links and sites and how well your campaign is working. With the recent changes, you can find out the number of views, clicks, demographic breakdowns and more on your Facebook Fan Pages.Approach a social media campaign just as you would any other aspect of your business; carefully, with planning and the right professionals involved.Those are my thoughts. What say you?

An Insider’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

Thank you Chris Brogan for this post and for graciously letting me share it with my readers.

I receive a lot of questions about various points of etiquette with regards to social media. I also observe instances where I wish people knew some of the more common etiquette, because they seem like wonderful people, who maybe have made a mistake because they didn’t know better. To that end, I thought I’d give a brief set of ideas around social media etiquette. You’re very welcome to add to these in the comments. There will be a mix of do’s and don’ts, and remember this above all else: you’re doing it wrong.

Social Media Etiquette: Your Appearance

  • Your avatar picture shouldn’t be a logo. We don’t meet logos at parties, do we? You can include a logo, but make it you.
  • Unless you’re a fictional character, more often than not, your avatar should be you. Amazing Simpson-like renditions of you are interesting for about four hours.
  • Your Facebook profile pic can be not you, but it often means that others might not accept your friend request. It feels creepy friending a four year old kid (avatar).
  • Your picture can be you from 10 or 15 years ago, but that first face to face meeting is going to be jarring.
  • It doesn’t take a lot of work to take a decent pic. Why use those “me cut out from posing with someone while I have red eyes” photos?

Social Media Etiquette: Friending

  • You’re not obligated to follow/friend anyone. No matter what. Not even your mother. (I follow my mother, btw).
  • If you decide to unfollow someone, don’t make a big stink and announce why. Just leave.
  • It’s okay to let the competition follow you. It’s okay to follow the competition.
  • Famous people don’t always want to follow back. I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber!
  • You can set your own rules on Facebook. I’m in the process of moving everyone to a fan page and just keeping VERY close family and friends.

Social Media Etiquette: Conversation

  • Commenting about other people’s stuff and promoting other people’s stuff is very nice.
  • Retweeting people’s praise of you comes off as jerky. Just thank them.
  • If you retweet something interesting, always give credit for who found it first.
  • Facebook wall comment streams can get long. Don’t grumble. If you’re along for the ride, it’ll end some day.
  • Promote others more often than you promote yourself. My long-standing measure is 12:1. (If it doesn’t work at first, it’s because maybe you’re not sincere in your promoting of others).
  • Listening is important and commenting is important. Be the #1 commenter on your blog. (See next one)
  • It’s okay to NOT comment back for every single comment you receive. It’s nice when you can respond, but don’t litter the comments with a bunch of “Thanks, Judy.” People know you care, if you’re doing it right.
  • If you are talking about someone in a blog post, link to them. Steve Garfield is a pro at this.
  • If you’re really nice, you’ll think about link text and help them even more by linking to Internet video expert Steve Garfield. Make sense?
  • Links do matter to Google and to the people you care about. When you can, give them a link.

    Social Media Etiquette: Disclosure

    (Note: I’ve written about disclosure before).

    • If you’re writing about a client, add (client) to the tweet/post/update.
    • If you’re selling me something with an affiliate link, disclose that in the tweet/post/update.
    • If there’s a material reason (or perception of such) that you want me to take an action or click a link, tell me.
    • Tell me once in the post, and once again on a disclosure page. I use part of my about page for disclosures. See also: one of my other favorite disclosure pages (for cheekiness).
    • Make sure your audience comfortably knows your motives, and everything goes better.

    Social Media Etiquette: Promoting

    • Promote as if you’re at a cocktail party. It’s not the same as your email blast list.
    • Promote others, and it’s much more likely people will help promote you when it’s your turn.
    • Leave room for retweets. Writing 139 characters won’t get you anywhere.
    • Promoting on Facebook is MUCH nicer on my wall than in my private messages. (Do you agree?)
    • It’s probably okay to promote something 4x a day on a social network, so that you hit all the time zones appropriately. In the last hour, you can always give it a couple more pushes, but that’s about it.
    • Direct messaging people for promotion help is often annoying. It happens much more than you know.
    • Your cause isn’t always our cause. If we don’t want to help, don’t badger.
    • Things where you have to get 1,000 tweets to raise money are litter on Twitter. Things to get 1,000 “likes” on Facebook are fine. (Remember, however, that a “like” gives your demographic data to the thing that you’ve liked, plus permission for that page to message you privately.)

    Social Media Etiquette: Content Production

    • You can post as often as you want on your blog. It’s your blog. Monthly will probably fade from our memory. Weekly could work. Daily is my favorite. Some people post many times a day. It’s up to you.
    • You can tweet as often as you want, but people unfollow “noisy” tweeters (I get unfollowed often).
    • You can update Facebook often, and if you’re running pages, you might want to update 3-4 times a day, I’m starting to observe.
    • Depending on your blog’s purpose, be wary of over-selling. (I ran into this personally.) Make sure you’re still providing great community value.
    • If you find great content from other places, use it only after you understand whether you have permission to do so, and under the terms that the people have set.
    • If you’re linking and sharing someone else’s blog post (which is good to do), it’s also wonderful when you add something to it. Add some commentary. Add a thought or two as to why it matters to your community.
    • If someone’s work inspires your own post, it’s a nice thing to “hat tip” them with a link to the post that inspired you, somewhere in the post (usually down at the bottom).
    • If you go a long time between blog updates, don’t write a “sorry I haven’t written lately” post. No one cares. Just publish something good.

    Social Media Etiquette: Sharing is Caring

  • Every blog I know has a share/like/tweet/stumble button at the bottom or somewhere. They’re there for a reason. If you like the article, pushing those buttons is a “tip jar” for the artist. Push it. It doesn’t take long.
  • If you’re reading in Google Reader, sharing is as simple as “[SHIFT] S” and that goes to everyone who reads your shared items.
  • Tell the blogger when you love something they’ve done. People’s #1 complaint to me when they’re starting out blogging is that they lack any feedback. It’d take you 30 seconds to do, and would change a person’s perspective for a whole day.
  • Comments in Twitter are temporary moments in a stream. Comments on the blog post itself are forever, in the best (and worst) of ways.
  • The web thrives on links and social sharing. The more YOU do to participate, the more people will create material for free for you to enjoy.

    Your Mileage Will Vary

    For every idea above, there’s an exception. For every idea above, there’s a great reason to do the opposite. If you’re doing it differently than above, you’re not wrong. You’re doing it your way. Okay, I lied: you’re doing it wrong.I look forward to your thoughts, disagreements, counter-posts, additional thoughts, sharing, and more.

  • John’s Thoughts

    Chris nails the topic of Social Media Etiquette; and if you think about it, most of what we are talking about here is common sense.  I believe one of the powers of social media is the fact that we can support and promote each other.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take effort!What are your thoughts?

    An Insider???s Guide to Social Media Etiquette

    Thank you Chris Brogan for this post and for graciously letting me share it with my readers.

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    I receive a lot of questions about various points of etiquette with regards to social media. I also observe instances where I wish people knew some of the more common etiquette, because they seem like wonderful people, who maybe have made a mistake because they didn’t know better. To that end, I thought I’d give a brief set of ideas around social media etiquette. You’re very welcome to add to these in the comments. There will be a mix of do’s and don’ts, and remember this above all else: you’re doing it wrong.

    Social Media Etiquette: Your Appearance

    • Your avatar picture shouldn’t be a logo. We don’t meet logos at parties, do we? You can include a logo, but make it you.
    • Unless you’re a fictional character, more often than not, your avatar should be you. Amazing Simpson-like renditions of you are interesting for about four hours.
    • Your Facebook profile pic can be not you, but it often means that others might not accept your friend request. It feels creepy friending a four year old kid (avatar).
    • Your picture can be you from 10 or 15 years ago, but that first face to face meeting is going to be jarring.
    • It doesn’t take a lot of work to take a decent pic. Why use those “me cut out from posing with someone while I have red eyes” photos?

    Social Media Etiquette: Friending

    • You’re not obligated to follow/friend anyone. No matter what. Not even your mother. (I follow my mother, btw).
    • If you decide to unfollow someone, don’t make a big stink and announce why. Just leave.
    • It’s okay to let the competition follow you. It’s okay to follow the competition.
    • Famous people don’t always want to follow back. I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber!
    • You can set your own rules on Facebook. I’m in the process of moving everyone to a fan page and just keeping VERY close family and friends.

    Social Media Etiquette: Conversation

  • Commenting about other people’s stuff and promoting other people’s stuff is very nice.
  • Retweeting people’s praise of you comes off as jerky. Just thank them.
  • If you retweet something interesting, always give credit for who found it first.
  • Facebook wall comment streams can get long. Don’t grumble. If you’re along for the ride, it’ll end some day.
  • Promote others more often than you promote yourself. My long-standing measure is 12:1. (If it doesn’t work at first, it’s because maybe you’re not sincere in your promoting of others).
  • Listening is important and commenting is important. Be the #1 commenter on your blog. (See next one)
  • It’s okay to NOT comment back for every single comment you receive. It’s nice when you can respond, but don’t litter the comments with a bunch of “Thanks, Judy.” People know you care, if you’re doing it right.
  • If you are talking about someone in a blog post, link to them. Steve Garfield is a pro at this.
  • If you’re really nice, you’ll think about link text and help them even more by linking to Internet video expert Steve Garfield. Make sense?
  • Links do matter to Google and to the people you care about. When you can, give them a link.

    Social Media Etiquette: Disclosure

    (Note: I’ve written about disclosure before).

    • If you’re writing about a client, add (client) to the tweet/post/update.
    • If you’re selling me something with an affiliate link, disclose that in the tweet/post/update.
    • If there’s a material reason (or perception of such) that you want me to take an action or click a link, tell me.
    • Tell me once in the post, and once again on a disclosure page. I use part of my about page for disclosures. See also: one of my other favorite disclosure pages (for cheekiness).
    • Make sure your audience comfortably knows your motives, and everything goes better.

    Social Media Etiquette: Promoting

    • Promote as if you’re at a cocktail party. It’s not the same as your email blast list.
    • Promote others, and it’s much more likely people will help promote you when it’s your turn.
    • Leave room for retweets. Writing 139 characters won’t get you anywhere.
    • Promoting on Facebook is MUCH nicer on my wall than in my private messages. (Do you agree?)
    • It’s probably okay to promote something 4x a day on a social network, so that you hit all the time zones appropriately. In the last hour, you can always give it a couple more pushes, but that’s about it.
    • Direct messaging people for promotion help is often annoying. It happens much more than you know.
    • Your cause isn’t always our cause. If we don’t want to help, don’t badger.
    • Things where you have to get 1,000 tweets to raise money are litter on Twitter. Things to get 1,000 “likes” on Facebook are fine. (Remember, however, that a “like” gives your demographic data to the thing that you’ve liked, plus permission for that page to message you privately.)

    Social Media Etiquette: Content Production

    • You can post as often as you want on your blog. It’s your blog. Monthly will probably fade from our memory. Weekly could work. Daily is my favorite. Some people post many times a day. It’s up to you.
    • You can tweet as often as you want, but people unfollow “noisy” tweeters (I get unfollowed often).
    • You can update Facebook often, and if you’re running pages, you might want to update 3-4 times a day, I’m starting to observe.
    • Depending on your blog’s purpose, be wary of over-selling. (I ran into this personally.) Make sure you’re still providing great community value.
    • If you find great content from other places, use it only after you understand whether you have permission to do so, and under the terms that the people have set.
    • If you’re linking and sharing someone else’s blog post (which is good to do), it’s also wonderful when you add something to it. Add some commentary. Add a thought or two as to why it matters to your community.
    • If someone’s work inspires your own post, it’s a nice thing to “hat tip” them with a link to the post that inspired you, somewhere in the post (usually down at the bottom).
    • If you go a long time between blog updates, don’t write a “sorry I haven’t written lately” post. No one cares. Just publish something good.

    Social Media Etiquette: Sharing is Caring

  • Every blog I know has a share/like/tweet/stumble button at the bottom or somewhere. They’re there for a reason. If you like the article, pushing those buttons is a “tip jar” for the artist. Push it. It doesn’t take long.
  • If you’re reading in Google Reader, sharing is as simple as “[SHIFT] S” and that goes to everyone who reads your shared items.
  • Tell the blogger when you love something they’ve done. People’s #1 complaint to me when they’re starting out blogging is that they lack any feedback. It’d take you 30 seconds to do, and would change a person’s perspective for a whole day.
  • Comments in Twitter are temporary moments in a stream. Comments on the blog post itself are forever, in the best (and worst) of ways.
  • The web thrives on links and social sharing. The more YOU do to participate, the more people will create material for free for you to enjoy.

    Your Mileage Will Vary

    For every idea above, there’s an exception. For every idea above, there’s a great reason to do the opposite. If you’re doing it differently than above, you’re not wrong. You’re doing it your way. Okay, I lied: you’re doing it wrong.I look forward to your thoughts, disagreements, counter-posts, additional thoughts, sharing, and more.

  • John’s Thoughts

    Chris nails the topic of Social Media Etiquette; and if you think about it, most of what we are talking about here is common sense.  I believe one of the powers of social media is the fact that we can support and promote each other.  It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does take effort!What are your thoughts?

    Promoting Others More Than Yourself

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    How often do you promote yourself?  How often do you promote others?

    Lately, especially on Twitter, but on Facebook as well; self-promotion has not only reached a fever pitch, but I think it’s reached a point that  people are being turned off.

    I see “social media consultants” doing it; and as I shake my head, I also wonder why.  Does this person and others not have a strong enough network to promote  their posts, their tweets and important activities?  Or do they think “this is how social media” is done?  Maybe they don’t believe their network is strong enough. My next question is, wouldn’t their time be better spent building a network and then activating it to promote on their behalf?

    In their book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust, Julien Smith and Chris Brogan presented what I believe is a powerful idea: promote others 12 times more than you promote yourself. What a concept…promoting others!

    We all know that promoting others ultimately contributes to our own material getting promoted; but personally that is not why I do it!  Promoting others builds trust in what you have to say, but only if you build your network; and you do this by genuinely working to help others!

    So, if you are seriously interested in helping others, here are some ideas on how to do it properly.  And remember the most important rule: You promote without expecting anything in return.

    1. Spotlight Someone You Believe In: Shine the spotlight on a colleague or business partner through a Facebook post, a genuine Tweet,  your blog or newsletter. If you have many followers or subscribers, it’s as good for the person or brand you’re featuring as landing a cover story. Even if you do not have many followers, it provides them with exposure to your network! The value is that someone in your network could be beneficial to that person!

    2. Face-to-face Conversations: Make a connection or like what someone is doing?  Sit down and talk with them.  Interview them for your blog, or just talk with them about how you can help their business or how they became successful!

    3. Ask the Expert: If you want to tackle a topic you’re not familiar with or have been asked a question you don’t know how to answer, bring in a friend who can answer that question for you on your blog or e-mail newsletter and invite them to promote their services.

    4. Lend a Local (Foursquare) Hand: Become the biggest cheerleader in your community by checking in and writing positive reviews of local restaurants, shops and other businesses you frequent.  Use services such as Foursquare to check in and promote these businesses!

    5. Advance and Retweet: If you can’t think of anything nice to say, spread what someone else is saying by retweeting . Do it the old-fashioned “RT” way so that you can add a few words of praise. Just don’t get carried away, retweeting everything you see. That’s annoying.

    6. Like It: As with retweeting, the “Like” button on Facebook allows you to approve of others’ messages without a second thought.  Spread the love around!

    7. Show Up: Simply stated, there is NO substitute for actually attending someone’s event. Be there for the people you care about. And once you’re there, start tweeting and Facebooking to encourage others to come out. Oh, and bring a friend or two!

    How do you promote others? Share it with us all in the comments.

    Coloring Outside the Lines

    You never know where a Facebook status update will lead!   Last week, I posted “Warning! Today I am coloring OUTSIDE the lines ;)The likes and the posts started flowing which tells me I struck a nerve, in a positive manner!  The screen shot below is  only a portion of what people had to say on the post, and a week later, I am still getting likes and comments.After laughing about it for a while, I got excited about what this said to me about life!  We do not like to be told we must color inside the lines!!  Remember as children, when we were taught how to color, we were told to color inside the lines; to heck with that!  Why not do what we feel like we should or could do?  Why not make our own lines and color where WE want to color?  No one wants to be told how to act, whether in coloring, or in life!We were all created as unique human beings with no two people alike!  No fingerprints are the same, no DNA is the same, we are all different!  So why “Color Inside the Lines” like everyone else?I say be yourself! Be different, be unique….take your crayons and Color OUTSIDE the Lines!!

    Why Not Leave A Comment?

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    Our social media group, Meetup 2.0 had a discussion recently on blog posts; more specifically  how it seems to be getting harder to obtain comments on posts. This discussion was started by Patsy Stewart with The Social BUZZ Lab. Patsy pointed out that even popular blogs posts will enjoy several Re-tweets and even posts on various social communities, the amount of comments left on these posts are minimal compared to their popularity.Why is that?  Why do we, as consumers of this information, as practitioners, promoters and users of social media not comment as much or as often as we should? Is it because we are too busy?  Do we think that sharing a blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn or Re-tweeting it on Twitter takes the place of commenting on the actual blog post?Trust me, it’s not!Comments on blog posts serve several purposes:

    • It lets the blog or post author know how the post is received. In other words, it let’s the author know whether they are doing a good job or not.
    • If the post is on a controversial topic, which is a good way to encourage comments, you can take the pulse of your readers.
    • Feedback on a topic that may be misunderstood or that may need further clarification.
    • Encouragement for the author to keep blogging or to expand on a topic.

    So, why do we not comment as often as we should?  You tell me!If you want to increase the amount of comments on your own blog, here are some useful tips:

    • Comment on other blogs; it get’s your name and your blogs name out there.
    • Write a controversial post.
    • Write well thought out blog posts.
    • Have a colleague or a professional review your blog posts to ensure they are grammatically correct.
    • Strive to continue to write until you are well known or until you have a network to support you by adding comments.  The more comments that are on your blog, the more comments that will be left on your blog.
    • Build a small network of colleagues or professionals that will help you by commenting on your posts. Do the same for their blogs by supporting each other with comments, re-posts and re-tweets.

    Those are some of my thoughts; what are your thoughts on this topic?

    Today

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    Today is Wednesday, January 12, 2011.  This is the only Wednesday 1/12/11 we are going to get, so why not make it the best possible?Take the opportunity of today to make a new connection, phone a friend yo haven’t spoken to in a while or do something you have been putting off? In other words, make the most of it!  Some days our good mornings, good nights, Tweets and Update Posts run together in the rush of the day; take a moment to slow down, be in the moment and enjoy the day.24 hours, 1.440 minutes, 86,400 seconds.  Make the most of today and every day!

    Social Networking – Thanks Kim Randall

    This is a guest blog post that I was honored to post on Kim Randall’s (_kimrandall) site; Kim Randall.  This post is under the blog section of her site, located here.  I had the opportunity to meet Kim this summer; you should get to know her and engage with her; she walks the talk in social media and can be a valuable resource.  Thanks Kim for the guest blogging opportunity!Since Adam and Eve, we have been networking. Networking may not be the word that was used then, but we have always taken an interest in others, learned about what they do, how we can connect with them and help them.Consider this definition of networking: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.Think about it; haven’t we have always networked with others?A generation ago, during our parents or grandparent’s lives: they knew whom to call on for whatever the requirement. In smaller communities and towns, they knew he people needed for their day-to-day existence; in larger areas, people listened to the advice of others to recommend professionals they knew and trusted.It’s no different today than it was then; we are still networking. So, what has changed? Social networking. Social networking has introduced a new way to meet people. Social networking, in this post, refers to the use of social media platforms to start networking with others.We still network face-to-face, or in real life (IRL); but what has changed most dramatically is how a considerable number of our relationships begin online! The ever-growing virtual environment we live in means relationships, both personal and professional are started as well as nourished online before they

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    move to the IRL environment.A multitude of tool exist to help you build your network online, among the most popular are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. With each of these tools, it’s good to remember that although these relationships begin through a computer, the same rules should apply as if you were sitting with that person across a table:1. Don’t sell to the people you are meeting online. This is an instant turn-off and will damage you and your network instead of building it.2. The best way to be a better networker is to give something to others. Look to help others; this will be returned to you ten fold. Believe it, it happens!3. Be memorable, but not for the wrong reasons. Be helpful by making introductions for others and by promoting others.4. Be patient. Social networking or face-to-face networking takes time. Take the time to build your network slowly.5. Remember these are real people behind the photos on the screen. Treat them the same you would if you were meeting face-to-face.Social networking has changed how we network, at least to a certain extent, but it doesn’t change how we should act when we network. We are dealing with human beings; we should always look to give before we expect to receive.Those are my thoughts; what say you?