Good Reads


Curated life

One of my favorite curated posts is published on Friday afternoons: Nieman Journalism Lab’s Week in Review. Last week it covered online and offline verification in Boston’s wake, an underdog’s Pulitzer win, Medium and Matter, journalism education and more.

Digital life

A GigaOm conference about digital media, paidContent Live (#pclive), took place last week in New York. Here’s the cool thing, they’ve put the session transcripts and videos on their website. Ernie Smith from Associations Now believes the association and news industries could learn a lot from each other. I agree. He attended the conference and says it “shone an important light on personalization, risk, innovation, and diversity—things your association should know a thing or two about.”

“The most interesting discussion of the day took place between two of the leading minds behind the personalized news movement.” Ernie’s talking about the founders of Prismatic and Zite. The video and summary of that session, The Impact of Personalization and Algorithms on the Attention Economy, is on the paidContent site. Another session that caught my eye was a panel of five startup founders who are “changing the way the news business delivers content.”

After seeing online comments about who should or shouldn’t be tweeting during a breaking news story, Geoff Livingston writes about the devolving online civility situation, social media vigilantes and respect. Geoff says, “The general state of online conversation continues to devolve into a snarky, nasty tar pit, in turn impacting the outside world by destroying real relationships.” And there’s data to prove it. I admit I’ve slipped into vigilante mode in the past when I saw people using the #assnchat hashtag for tweets that had no value to the association community. It’s a strange territorial, I-know-better-than-you kneejerk reaction, I’m guessing.

Financial life

Between 1990 and 2010, builders met the Boomer demand for big, large-lot single-family homes. Later this decade, the “great senior sell-off” will begin as Boomers downsize. But will there be enough market demand for these over-sized homes? Nope, says Arthur C. Nelson, director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. He told Emily Badger at The Atlantic Cities, that the next housing crisis will be in 2020. So sell that monster house while you still can!

Spiritual life

I love going into artist cooperatives, like the one I recently visited in Manitou Springs, Colorado, Commonwheel Artists Co-op. I haven’t bought any art in the last few years, but that will change soon. Felix Salmon reminded me of that visit in his article about artists who are moving away from the gallery-driven narrative of art-as-investment, and instead “are selling art to consumers who enjoy it, without making a big deal about how unique it is or how much it might rise in value.” Seriously, how many of us buy art for its investment value? We buy it because we want to live with it.

Have you ever walked into a museum or cathedral and seen such a work of great beauty and power that the experience felt religious? One of those hair-on-your-arms-rising or eyes-watering moments? Thanks to Kaya Oakes, I had that moment listening to Andreas Scholl sing Bach’s Agnus Dei. Click on the link she provides while reading her beautiful article, Searching for Bach.

Good-to-know quickies

  • A new app, Lively, is an activity-sharing platform that keep tabs on your independently living and aging relatives. (Michael Seo, TechCrunch)
  • When presenting data, get to the point fast with better visuals. (Nancy Duarte, Harvard Business Review)
  • How to embed part of a YouTube video. (Amit Agarwal, Digital Inspiration)
  • Make your trade show swag more useful and it will spark conversation. (WordofMouth.org)

I fell asleep last night with this song in my head – and it will soon be in your head – thanks to retweets from Jess Commins and Andrew Norcross of an advertisement spotted by Edward Mayes. Mama mia, that’s good.

Happy Friday!

best copy of the week

Brilliance

 

 

First…

Oh, Boston, you’re my home.

Dirty Water by The Standells (video)

Dirty Water by The Standells (video)
my favorite by Mission of Burma didn’t seem appropriate right now

Back to your regularly scheduled program…

One of my favorite curated posts to read during the weekend is GigaOm’s Look Back at the Week in Tech. They describe it as “our rewind and quick take on the most important stories and some great links for your weekend reading.”

digitalNOW (#diginow13)

I’ve been too busy to dig deeply into my digitalNOW conference notes but Sheri Jacobs‘ session on membership value and segmentation inspired me to write a post for Avectra about an interesting membership model. 

Maggie McGary is exasperated with the disconnect she witnessed during social media presentations by association execs at digitalNOW. When she examined one association’s programs, she discovered that social media was helping them create value and revenue, yet the exec said just the opposite. Why the disconnect? Knee-jerk reaction syndrome? Fear? 

Digital Marketing for Business (#dmfb)

I spent Monday and Tuesday at the Digital Marketing for Business conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. Like any conference, there were a few so-so sessions, but most of the 16 sessions I attended were excellent. I was especially impressed with Gregory Ng’s opening keynote on Tuesday – The Data Driven CMO. I kept thinking the association community would really benefit from his ideas, particularly on the intersection of tech and marketing – after all, most association positions have an element of marketing in them. ASAE and digitalNOW, give him a look. 

Another session I enjoyed at #dmfb was John Lane’s Content Marketing Art of War. He led with a stat that demonstrates why content marketing is critical to the success of any organization: 60% of the B2B buying process is over before the prospect makes the first sales touch with you. Content marketing is about delivering value before the sale. It’s the hook that entices prospects (and customers) to come to you. 

Tweetstream alert

On Tuesday I also saw intriguing tweets from Andrew Hanelly who was attending Folio’s MediaMashup conference. My plan is to check out the #mediamashup tweet stream this weekend. What a geek. 

Reads of the Week

Ray van Hilst says associations “are already on the leading edge” of the content marketing trend because the key elements to successful content marketing — content, distribution and trust – are embedded in association culture and business. But, many associations are losing the content competition because of antiquated policies and processes. See if you’re one of them.

Do you know what your association’s younger members really need? Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs does. He facilitated a strategic planning session for MACPA’s New/Young Professionals Network and now knows the top seven issues facing young professionals. MACPA also “developed a list of the top activities we can do to help young professionals address these issues.” 

“Each generation imagines itself as rebellious and iconoclastic. But none before has felt as free to call bullshit on conventional wisdom, backed by a trillion pages of information on the web and with the power of the Internet to broadcast their opinions. They have thrown off the shackles of received culture—compiling their own playlists, getting news from Twitter, decorating web pages with their own art.”

That’s Jerry Adler at Wired describing the first digital generation. This fascinating article is required reading for anyone who plans to be alive the next few years.

I love the ideas that Katya Andresen shares on what to do when you’re stuck on replay and need inspiration. She says, “It’s one thing to identify best practices and build on what works – it’s quite another to get too comfortable and call it in. Whole industries have fallen into habit only to be rendered irrelevant. You have to keep fine-tuning (or sometimes revolutionizing) what you do and how you do it.” She’s writing for a non-profit audience, but her suggestions would do wonders for any of us.

Quickies

  • 27 time-saving tools & tricks to be a more productive marketer (HubSpot)
  • You too, if you’re smart and talented enough, can be a kick-ass, well-paid conference speaker like Laurie Ruettimann. She shares how she rose to the top of the HR conference circuit. (Cynical Girl)
  • Here’s the poop on the daily routines of seven top CEOs. (Guardian)
  • The cicadas are coming! The cicadas are coming! (The Atlantic)
  • Want to help feed hungry kids? Vote for my local food bank (or yours) so they can receive a huge grant from Walmart. (Facebook)

In case you missed the best video this week – Boston Bruins’ fans singing the National Anthem – I’ve got you covered. Chills and tears.

Happy Friday! 

bruins anthem

Reads of the Week was on vacation last week while I was at digitalNOW in Orlando, which means it’s a long one this week. Again.

In years past, I’ve been envious reading the digitalNOW tweets and watching the keynote webcasts. Since I’m not an association executive, I felt very fortunate to attend this year. Without a doubt, it’s the best association conference I’ve attended. If you’re an association executive, put it on your radar.

To give you a taste, here are a few digitalNOW posts and resources. I’ll share more next week.

Conference season rolls on. Now that the Avectra Users & Developers Conference, ASAE Great Ideas and digitalNOW are behind me, the only one left, for now, is Digital Marketing for Business on Monday and Tuesday at the Raleigh Convention Center. It does not at all surprise me that a conference organized by Phil Buckley is the first result when you google “digital marketing for business.” All hail the SEO master!

If you’re in the nonprofit space, I probably don’t need to tell you about the NTEN conference that started Thursday. You can attend online or follow along on #13ntc until it ends Saturday.

My sources tell me…

Each week I’m revealing one of my many sources for good reads. Denise Graveline’s regular Friday post, The Weekend Read, on her Don’t Get Caught blog is one of my favorites. One of my good reads this week is also from Denise — Tweeting About Food, and Why It’s Smarter Than You Think. She tells you why and when it’s okay to tweet about food. So there!

Let’s talk about it

Chris Bonney at Vanguard Technology shares a list of questions associations should ask about their website. Gather some colleagues, grab some lunch and go over these questions so you can “help your association shake loose from old beliefs about your association website and start thinking about it not as a part of organization, but as your organization itself.”

Now, the reads of the week

I am not a robot. But, I may be replaceable, or at least that was my fear when I read Mitch Joel’s post about a ‘Robo-reporter’ computer program that writes newspaper articles. But then he reassured me:

“The true power in this is not how computers, algorithms and robots can now replace human writers. The true power is in how computers, algorithms and robots can now free up these human writers to do the more important work that our society requires of them.”

Phew.

You can do something a robot can’t do: convince your C-suite that your organization needs to develop and implement a content strategy. And, if you have Hilary Marsh’s presentation in hand, good money says you’ll succeed.

“The algorithm will likely replace the editor and curator.” Algorithms, again! One day, I’ll wonder how I ever got along without them. Roger Wood and Evelyn Robbrecht wrote a fascinating article about Intelligent Content at paidContent. “Written and visual content will eventually be continuously reconfigured and redesigned by the moment to accommodate data gathered about what you like to read.” That’s fine and all, but I don’t want to live in a content bubble. Hopefully I’ll always have the random serendipity of Twitter.

Where I get cranky

Stop using so many damn hashtags! “When kept to a small scale, they can ably perform their service as a filter of relevant tweets” – like my beloved #assnchat. But, Daniel Victor at Nieman Journalism Lab says:

“I believe for every person who stumbles upon your tweet via hashtag, you’re likely turning off many more who are put off by hashtag overuse. We need not banish the hashtag, but let’s start putting more thought into when we’re using it.”

Wise up, tweeps! Nonprofit Tech 2.0 identifies five types of tweets you should never post. Note number 3, please. Seriously, these are all obnoxious.

Quickies

  • Cute kitten videos are all that stand between us and the cyber-apocalypse. (The Verge)
  • Study says…blogs are still more influential than Twitter. Of course they are. (The Wall)
  • Turn your Google Analytics into an infographic with Visual.ly. (SocialTimes)
  • Note to self: the next time you’re tempted to use the word awesome… (Instead of Awesome)
  • Become a masterful note-taker. (The Atlantic)
  • Make sure you’re legally using online photos. (Lifehacker)
  • Four questions to ask before you send that press release. (Ragan’s PR Daily)

Read a poem

Thank you, Jeff Cobb, for tweeting the link to this inspiring post, Five Reasons Why We Need Poetry in School. It reminded me that it’s been way too long since I sat with a poem. I’m making a date this weekend for some time on the couch with a poet. Hmm, now who should it be?

Feed your neighbors

There’s a really good reason to visit Facebook every single day, at least until the end of April. Walmart is providing $3 million in grants for hunger relief programs – that’s means 35,000,000 (yes, million) meals — for food banks across the country. You can vote once a day for your local food bank on Walmart’s Facebook page. I’ll be voting, of course, for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Happy Friday!

vote for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

Friday, already?!

Time to get it done and get to the weekend. I’ve got your leisure time reading selections all ready for you.

Curated Post of the Week

No surprise, I love curated posts. The Verge publishes The Best Writing of the Week on Sundays. It usually introduces me to well-written posts that I might have missed during the week, usually about the intersection of life and technology.

Reads of the Week

While we’re on the topic of content curation, over at Top Rank, Brian Larson recommends using content curation to grow your company (or association) beyond being a me-me-me brand. Why? He points to the results of a study conducted by Jay Baer: “Brands that posted curated content linking to 3rd party sites experienced a 33% increase in clicks vs. those with original content linking back to their own site.” Follow his steps to diagnose and cure your me-me-me syndrome.

Gina Dietrich has business owner’s disease. You know it. You help clients with their problems and challenges, while neglecting the same issues with your own business. She says, “I’m calling baloney on myself.” Take a look at her website checklist. I bet a lot of these items could use fixing on your website. And mine. But first, I really should graduate from this baby blog to a big girl blog, but not until I get to the “Later” section of my to-do list.

“As we move towards a quantified society, one shaped by data, we start to dismiss things that are unquantified. Empathy, emotion and storytelling — these are as much a part of business as they are of life.” Om Malik says companies aren’t using their data in the most powerful way – to shape the user’s or customer’s experience. I’m glad I clicked on this. Normally, a post about data wouldn’t appeal to me, but there’s a lot to think about in this one.

Sarah Lacy, the founder of Pando Daily, takes a look at the media landscape now that the last major newspaper hold-outs are going over to the paywall side and the big digital players say the only way to survive is to produce “shit quality” content. She says, “I refuse to accept a reality where users can’t expect and demand quality.” She’s hopeful about the future, as am I. People are too creative and innovative to not make it work.

Someone who’s making it work in his own unique way is Shane Smith, publisher of Vice. Yes, the same Vice that sent Dennis Rodman to North Korea. “I wanted to build the next CNN, the next ESPN. And I also realized that, given the digital revolution, that is not only within my grasp, but I am a frontrunner to get there.” Tim Adams at The Observer has the scoop on this growing media brand that Rupert Murdoch described on Twitter as: “Wild, interesting effort to interest millennials who don’t read or watch established media. Global success.”

Speaking of millennials, another publication that’s getting their attention is Mental Floss. One of Mental Floss’ co-founders, William Pearson, spoke recently at a publishing summit about the brand’s growth. Saya Weissman of Digiday was there to capture four reasons Mental Floss attracts and retains a millennial audience. If you publish content, these four take-aways are for you.

Must investors be on Twitter?” asks Felix Salmon at Reuters. You could ask that same question about a lot of professions. He says, “If you’re an investor who wants to avoid being blindsided by something huge you were utterly unaware of, Twitter is a great tool for minimizing that risk.” It’s a fascinating read about the impact social media is making on an information-dependent industry.

Lightning Round

  • NBC News correspondent, Richard Engel, writes about his kidnapping. (Vanity Fair)

Happy Friday!

best read this week about the French and wine

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski (CC license)

 

 

Every time I see the word media in this post by Jeff Jarvis, I think associations. He talks about media’s business model: “building a pay wall around content because content is valuable, damnit.” And then says,

“I’ve been arguing to media that relationships are more valuable. Knowing people because you have their trust and give them value builds a rich and deep relationship — builds data about that relationship — that can be far more valuable for far longer than a mere transaction. The problem in media is that we are not built for that. We are built to serve the masses.”

He goes on to discuss advertising, paywalls, new models and new thinking. Good stuff.

Ray van Hilst at Vanguard Technology says, “Say NO to stock photography for association websites.” The examples illustrating his post crack me up — no wonder that guy always seemed a bit familiar! If you rely on stock photos, you must read his post. I’ve got to say I was really impressed by the photos my client Avectra uses. I love the photo on the bottom right of their conference website of an Avectra client (Rebecca!) and staffer (he’s wearing purple so I’m assuming he’s an Avectra guy). The photo looks completely natural and shows off their happy geekitude – yes, that’s a compliment.

The buzz on the web this week has been about another company manifesto, employee handbook, “diary of dreams,” this time from HubSpot, and it’s a real good one. For a company like HubSpot, this is also a great marketing piece, even though they don’t say that. We want to do business with companies whose culture we respect and admire. That’s what gets me jazzed about some of my clients, and, hopefully, they get jazzed about me, even though I don’t have a cool manifesto.

Let’s Talk About It

Every now and then, I come across a post that would make an excellent topic for discussion at work, assuming you work at an organization that serves members or customers. Last week, I suggested having a brown bag lunch discussion about Jeffrey Cufaude’s Cultivating Engagement series. This week, a post by Meredith Marie at Sliceworks about Gen Y “hot buttons” and “action cues” would make a fantastic basis for group discussion. What can you do differently to provide value to this younger (huge) crowd? Strangely enough, much of it would work for us older folks too.

Quickies

  • Don’t make the same mistake as Matt Haughey and accidentally send LinkedIn requests to 1,138 contacts. Oh lordy. (Kevin Smith, Business Insider)
  • Are you one of these? Or do you work for one of these? Light fare but fun: The 5 Stereotypical CMOs. (Giselle Abramovich, Digiday)
  • The demise of Google Reader is causing Geoff Livingston to pivot and purge. I love the looks of his reading list.

Curated post of the week

This will be a weekly feature until I run out of favorites. Two weeks ago, I featured Elizabeth Engel’s What I’m Reading series. Mitch Joel’s Six Links Worthy of Your Attention is another one of my favorites. His post is a bit of a conversation between three friends. He says, “I decided that every week or so the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person must see.” Now you know another one of my secret sources for good tweetable reads. More shall be revealed!

I keep thinking I’m due for a sci-fi book, and then I read this post by Annalee Newitz at io9: What Will Human Cultures Be Like in 100 Years. My brother-from-another-mother once predicted that we’d all end up in a group house together, again, when we hit our 80s. Howard Johnson’s would be great!

Happy Friday!

Old Howard Johnson's at Asbury Park, NJ(Photo by mbtrama/Flickr)

Old Howard Johnson’s at Asbury Park, NJ
(Photo by mbtrama/Flickr)

 

Google Reader is where I go first thing in the morning for my professional reads about associations, marketing, digital media, technology, etc., and at the end of the day for my personal reads about food, culture, etc. I have hundreds of RSS subscriptions in dozens of Reader folders. Yes, I find a lot to read on Twitter, but its randomness, although appreciated, is no substitute for Reader. I rely on Reader to catch up on anything I missed from my favorite blogs and sites.

When I heard the news yesterday about Reader’s demise – is “murder” too strong a word? – I tweeted this:

“I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for Google Reader. Dramatic but true. Reading changes lives.”

My fellow Reader addicts, we have a few months to find a replacement. So far, Feedly is in the lead for me. What’s looking good for you? Ernie Smith at Associations Now plans to write about post-Reader life on Tuesday. In the meantime, you can start your hunt for a Reader replacement with these posts:

Wednesday night, I returned from ASAE’s Great Ideas conference and hiking in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. I hope to have time this weekend to review the tweetstream of my favorite hashtag of the week, no surprise, #ideas13.

The SXSW tweetstream is too vast to explore, so here’s an alternative: the official audio recordings.

Katie Bascuas at Associations Now writes about the four friends every content marketer needs. When I first read this, I thought, what about me!? But, no worries. In his comment, my friend Scott Oser suggested adding a fifth type: writer/subject matter expert.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a market research consultant, Katya Andresen provides advice on how to do a little research on your own. Just be sure not to rely solely on anecdotes – data is your friend. Also, although it’s tempting to talk to your board or other volunteer leaders about their needs, remember, they may not represent the views of many of your members or constituents.

Association folks, are you reading Jeffrey Cufaude’s Cultivating Engagement series? Here’s yesterday’s post: Let’s Talk About Connections. I’ve lost track of the number of good ideas he’s suggested in this series. Each post would make an interesting and productive topic for a brown bag lunch.

If your company or organization is just getting started with a blog, or even if you’ve had one for a while, check out this eight-point blog analysis by Daniel Burstein at Marketing Sherpa. You’re bound to find something you can improve.

In his New York Times Bit column, Nick Bilton writes about the development of a new digital etiquette as we adopt new tools and adapt to information overload. He says, “Many social norms just don’t make sense to people drowning in digital communication.” Careful, it’s a fine line between trying not to waste someone’s time and appearing rude or ungrateful.

It’s getting harder and harder to turn off the laptop or iPad at night. Google recently announced the launch of Art Talks: “a series of talks, hosted on Google Hangout, with museum directors, curators, historians, and educators. It’s an online series that aims to educate art lovers on famous masterpieces and share the insights of some of the art world’s greatest minds.” Even though I love this news, I’m still mad at Google.

Use your social media powers for good! Find out if a local charity needs social media ambassadors to help share their stories and news. I’ve been helping my local food bank in this way. It’s an easy way to contribute without getting off the couch.  

Happy Friday!

Photo by Striatic (Flickr)

Hmm, is she relaxing or volunteering?
Photo by Striatic (Flickr CC license)

I’m not the only one who likes being a content curator. Elizabeth Engel is always an excellent source for interesting reads. Check out her weekly What I’m Reading series.

If your job involves engaging members, customers, constituents, donors or volunteers, you must read this post by Jeffery Cufaude, Cultivating Engagement: What was the Catalyst? He says, “If we want to cultivate relationships that invest people in our community, cause, or organization, we must remain curious about them: how might what I’m learning about you now alter my next interaction with you?” Grab your team, make them read this, and figure out how you’re going to start doing this next week.

Andy Freed captures why I like reading all kinds of things and making odd connections. He was heading to TEDActive (the live Palm Springs simulcast) where he anticipated learning about association management from a dolphin researcher. And why not?

When’s the last time you picked up a phone and called a member you don’t know? I know. I never did it either, except when we were desperately promoting our trade show in the midst of the housing implosion. Eric Lanke has some ideas about the real reasons we don’t pick up the phone.

Barry Feldman wants you to take a hard look at your website after reading his post, 11 Reasons Why Prospects Don’t Convert Into Customers. He gives you the eleven reasons, good advice and a quick checklist at the Convince & Convert blog.

I just LOVE this post about a dying restaurant by Ken Mueller. I can feel for them because for eight years I was the general manager of an independently-owned (and very successful) restaurant, long before the days of social media. But we’ve all seen this story – lots of attention, but a little too late. Let’s all pledge to honor Ken’s words:

“I will continue to support small, independently owned family businesses whenever I can. I will also go out of my way to let them know I appreciate and support them. I will reward them for their humanity by spending my money with them, in hopes that they will be sustainable and profitable.”

Are you texting and using LOL like an old fart? Luckily for me I got tired of LOL long ago. And it’s a good thing because it no longer means what you think it does, if you’re of a certain age. Not my age. And if you’re one to lament the decline of the English language because of texting, fear not. “Anyone who says that text language is chaotic isn’t paying enough attention to the system of rules that users have developed to move real-time conversation into written form,” says Anne Curzan in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

At ProBlogger, Thomas Ford explains what you need to know about using free images from the web. His post will help you understand copyright rules, rights and different types of Creative Commons licenses.

Here’s one to bookmark and hope you never have to use. Tia Fisher at Social Media Today shows you what to do if your Twitter account has been hacked.

Steal this idea from Association Media & Publishing: sponsored small group dinner discussions.

Steal this idea too for your next trade show:

vendor twitter game tweet

The only infographic I looked at this week, thanks to Stowe Boyd.

This is conference week for me. I spent Sunday through Tuesday at the Avectra Users & Developers Conference where I wrote a few blog posts:

I got back Wednesday afternoon and today I’m heading to Colorado Springs for the ASAE Great Ideas Conference. Be sure to check out the hashtag #ideas13 if you want to follow along.

Pretty soon we’ll all be Dr. Doolittles. Vince Cerf “envisions an interspecies Internet” where we’ll communicate with animals and aliens.

Happy Friday!

“…talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals”Photo by Curt Smith (Flickr)

“…talk with the animals, grunt and squeak and squawk with the animals”
Photo by Curt Smith (Flickr)

 

On Monday, it looked like all the smarty pants in DC were tweeting from the xPotomac conference. Search for the #xpotomac13 hashtag to get a taste of the brain candy, or check out Jay Daughtry’s notes and links to other xPotomac posts.

Hopefully, if your job requires you to develop relationships with the media, you use Twitter to do that. If not, start by creating Twitter media lists. Lauren Bubser at NPtalk explains how.

As you can tell from my baby blog, I’m pretty basic when it comes to websites. When I do graduate to a big girl blog, I know I’ll have to brush up on Google Analytics which is why I’ve bookmarked this Guide to Getting Started with Analytics from Dave Davies at Search Engine Watch.

Have you heard about the Copyright Alert System that was launched this week? Those darn kids and their Napster, look what they’ve done! Mario Aguilar at Gizmodo explains how it works.

One of my favorite posts this week is by Kivi Leroux Miller, a nonprofit communications consultant, author and trainer, who also happens to be a North Carolina gal. She writes: 

“As I have been interviewing nonprofits for my new book on content marketing, it’s become crystal clear to me that the organizations that are most successful at using content to engage their communities consider the combination of a good CRM (customer relationship management software), CMS (website content management system), email, and e-commerce technology to be just as important to their success as having thoughtful and creative staff members who can write well.”

Kivi goes on to say, “If your choice is between more staff and this kind of technology, seriously think about the technology over the additional staff.” I agree. By wisely leveraging technology, your organization can go so much further than you can imagine. Read her post to find out how.

You may think you know, but do you really know how technology is transforming associations? We’ll all know once Digital Now’s Technology Leadership Survey is released. Today’s the last day to participate in the survey if you want a chance to win free registration to next year’s Digital Now conference. The survey takes five to ten minutes. I’m so excited that I’m going for the first time to this year’s Digital Now conference in April. Are you?

Long ago, when I first started reading blogs, I found one about a guy’s experience studying for his Certified Association Executive (CAE) exam. I was years away from considering the CAE exam, but his blog, and those of a few other early association bloggers, reignited my interest in my profession. Good news, fellow association geeks: Ben Martin, CAE is blogging again!

Ben’s a master of online community management and is now sharing his wisdom on his Online Community Results blog. This week he answers the question: what kind of content strategy drives community engagement?

Since I’m heading to Avectra’s User & Developers Conference this weekend and then, after a day and a half at home, to ASAE’s Great Ideas, I’m sure to see a Speaker with Jazzy Socks and The Guy who Tweets Everything. Heck, these people are my friends! I think you’ll enjoy seeing the other conference types that Kristin Kovacich at Digiday identified.

I read far too much good stuff this week, so here’s a quick list of other useful and interesting reads:

  • Microsoft, damn them, is limiting Office 2013 installations to one per computer, meaning, if your computer crashes or you have to reformat, you’re SOL. (Digital Trends)
  • I love Waze. It’s my go-to app for navigation while driving. It talks to me about traffic jams and other hazards. And it keeps getting better. (Wired)
  • Is there anything more annoying than auto-play video? You end up clicking on all your tabs trying to find the obnoxious page. Soon Google Chrome will let you know which page is the offender. (The Next Web)
  • This is the most accurate (and scathing) review of the irrelevant Oscars that I’ve read. And just so you know, I love Seth McFarlane. Yeah, he’s sophomoric and offensive, but Family Guy has genius moments. Lighten up, people! (Lefsetz Letter)
  • One of my favorite movies of all time, “a modest masterpiece,” is Local Hero. I love it because it’s about community. And it’s set in Scotland. Rent it. Bonus: Mark Knopfler does the score. (The Economist)
  • I once spent a night in Portugal riveted to the TV because the bull fights were on. I couldn’t believe the bravery (craziness) of the pega guys. Watch the video that accompanies Andrew Sullivan’s post and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t worry, they respect the bull in Portugal; they don’t kill him. He retires to a satisfying life with a harem of cows. (The Dish)

That’s all, folks, happy Friday!

Photo by Alex Brown (Flickr)

Photo by Alex Brown (Flickr)

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