Reads of the Week: February 22, 2013

Last night I went to Ignite Raleigh where the speakers, including a few of my friends, delivered a mix of inspiration, entertainment and education. Even better, the nonprofit partner for the evening was one of my favorite organizations: the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

One of the original founders of the Triangle’s Ignite movement is Jeff Cohen. Jeff holds a special place in my heart because he arranged a welcome lunch for me when I moved to Raleigh. The power of Twitter! In one of his latest posts, he explains how to use social media to reduce the power of silos in your organization. He says “B2Bs <like associations> approach social media the same way they approach other parts of their business. With silos…Social media starts in a silo, usually in the marketing or PR department. And don’t even get me started on technology silos where company data lives in different systems depending on the function.” Sound familiar? He’s got some great ideas on how to tear down those walls.

Here’s more advice on how to help your organization’s content marketing efforts by encouraging more collaboration between your sales and marketing teams. Mark Sherbin at the Content Marketing Institute writes, “Marketing’s role is increasingly about managing the conversation with an audience — with content serving as the catalyst. Sales has been having these conversations face-to-face for decades, so who better to tap as a resource to inform your content marketing strategy and tactics?” He tells you how to start that collaboration and provides several questions to ask your sales team.

Wacarra Yeomans at MediaPost provides tips on building a 12-month editorial calendar. “While the imperative to respond to trends and conversations as they pop up prevents us from ever setting the calendar in stone, taking the time to plan can help us avoid roadblocks – and writer’s block – throughout the year.” If you feel like you missed out on Valentine’s Day, you should definitely check this out.

Thank you, Augie Ray, for introducing me to The Secret Door. Oh, the places I have been! The Secret Door “is earning media and consumer attention not by begging for likes on Facebook but by giving them something to talk about.” The window and door company Safestyle UK (and their creatives) are the geniuses behind it. “The Secret Door demonstrates that even a company in the relatively mundane category of home supplies can still become buzzworthy with a little creativity.” Because of this cool marketing campaign, the next time I’m in London, I am finding Gordon’s Wine Bar.

Feeling a little vulnerable with all the hacks going around? Oddballs taking over the Twitter accounts of Jeep and Burger King. A building in Shanghai full of hackers attacking Apple, newspapers and god knows who else. Rebecca Greenfield at The Atlantic tells us “how to avoid getting spear-phished by China’s hackers.” You don’t have to be technically savvy to follow her advice, just aware and suspicious. As one malware expert said, “Users are the front line defense. We need every user to have a little paranoia about email.” 

Are you bold and creative? Do you want to be part of the select group who tests an early version of Google Glass? Get in your application, along with $1,500 to Google and maybe I’ll see you walking around town looking like a cyborg. 

It’s National Sweet Potato Month. I love sweet potatoes. I’m in a good state to love sweet potatoes. North Carolina produces about half the sweet potato crop in the U.S. We’re number one, yeah! Last weekend I made a delicious sweet potato and turkey shepherd’s pie – healthy comfort food. Give it a try!

Ooh, look, it’s The Secret Door!   The Secret Door

The Secret Door is presented by Safestyle UK

Reads of the Week: February 15, 2013

Everyone (well, most everyone) knows the benefits of content marketing. But you can’t just say to your staff, “Yeah, good idea, start doing social media.” Valeria Maltoni says, “There are three crucial challenges to overcome if you want to implement a successful content strategy” – resource allocation, workflow planning and governance.

Over at Copyblogger, Barry Feldman shares nine ways you might be losing your audience’s trust without even realizing you’re doing it. Take a look at his list. How does your online behavior match up? I love his parting advice:

“So be good. Be ethical and honest. Be present. Be like the people you trust most — the ones who are happy to help you. Emulate the people who help you, because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it’s lucrative.”

Geoff Livingston writes about wearable computing, specifically Google Project Glass which “empowers two things: sharing and accessing information anywhere.” How will this impact marketing? He speculates that we will rely less on the written word (no!) and mobile platforms, and more on visual and audio communications.

“It is happening again,” says Augie Ray. “New technology is coming. We’ve all seen it and many are dismissing it as creepy, unnecessary or unimportant, just as many once mistook PCs, the Web, smartphones and social networking as creepy, unnecessary or unimportant .” He’s also talking about wearable technology combined with social media, and explains how marketers can prepare for these changes.

Anthony Ha at TechCrunch reports that Hearst, “a publisher that was previously known for a contrarian strategy that kept the Internet at arm’s length,” is revamping all its online magazines with a responsive, personalized design. This is what we will all come to expect – responsive and personalized. Is your organization keeping up? 

Back to basics for a moment. If you’re new to Twitter, be sure to read this piece by Nonprofit Tech 2.0: Eight Common Mistakes Nonprofits Make When They First Join Twitter. And if you’re not a nonprofit, read it anyway, the advice applies to any individual or organization.

The Angerosa Research Foundation is asking association executives to participate in the Association Publishing/Media Nondues Revenue Study. This benchmarking study will:

“Gauge how association publishers are building new and existing revenue streams in their publications and e-media. The study investigates advertising and paid sponsorships across all types of media, including periodicals, books, digital publications, websites, social media, and apps. It aims to breakdown revenue by media type, assess staff compensation practices, determine sales policy best practices, and much more. Results from the study will be used to develop benchmarks for organizations to compare their own practices and identify new areas for revenue expansion.”

The findings will be released in the spring. As a former association magazine publisher, this is a fascinating topic for me. I’d love to see and write about some of the results.

If you’re a hiker, you must put the Grand Canyon on your bucket (or backpack) list. A few years ago, we were lucky enough to get a reservation for a night at Phantom Ranch down at the bottom of the canyon. The hike down the South Kaibab trail was unbelievably beautiful. The hike up the Bright Angel trail the next day was grueling, but also stunning. You can get a taste of the true awesomeness on Google Map’s Street Views.

The best Valentine this week (besides the one from my honey and the heart-shaped pizzas I made): the American Cheese Society’s heart-shaped box of cheese. Cheers for cheese!

Happy Friday!

Photo by the American Cheese Society
Photo by the American Cheese Society



Reads of the Week: February 8, 2013

Do you have a person in mind when you write marketing or social media copy? Geoff Drake, senior web writer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium (what a cool job!), writes for his imaginary friend Sue. “Get personal with your persona,” he says. “We have a kind of pact, Sue and I. She needs a vicarious experience, and I want to foster a connection with the Aquarium, and our oceans. A day never passes when I don’t try to uphold my end of our little bargain.”

Something else that’s cool about Geoff – he’s a former editor of VeloNews and Bicycling magazines, plus he wrote the book, literally, on Team 7-Eleven, one of our earliest professional cycling teams in the U.S. And that’s my segue into a great post about organizational culture by cycling fan, and my pal, Mary Nations on the Undiscussables blog: Cycles of Silence.

Mary gives her take on Lance Armstrong, the reign of omerta in the professional cycling world and how it all relates to our organizations.

“When a scandal breaks, the news often exposes evidence that undiscussable elephants have been stomping around, leaving squashed, altered bits of reality and stinky piles of consequences that are difficult to clean up. The mess existed all the while, but new publicity puts it on amplified display, under harsh lights, perhaps to a wider audience that is finally drawn to look.”

She asks, “What does this saga mean for you? Are there places where you suspect elephants are creating a mess? If so, are you ready and willing to help generate positive change in the future?” It’s a fascinating read that might make you think differently about cycling and your organization.

For a different perspective on content marketing, check out Giselle Abramovich’s article at Digiday about Patagonia’s Content Machine. “Many brands feel like they are faced with a dilemma: They can either make great content or try to sell products. (Bill) Boland (Patagonia’s digital creative director) doesn’t see it that way. He sees great content and conversations around products as something that naturally occurs, without the need for marketers to be so heavy-handed.”

Well, it happened again, another week, another mention of TMG Media’s Engage blog. I swear there aren’t any kickbacks going on here! We’re obviously sympatico in our interests. This time, Brittany Siminitz shares examples of 20 brands that “don’t typically incite thoughts of colorful, pin-able things,” for example, insurance and financial planning services, and banks. Yet, their creative Pinterest boards prove “that you don’t have to be frilly to make it on Pinterest.”

In The Facebook Flea Market, Tom Webster calls out Facebook ads for what they are: “a junk shop.” He says they’re “a seemingly random miscellany of hastily constructed, poorly targeted and (sometimes) vaguely seedy-looking pitches for things I couldn’t even conceive of clicking on, let alone purchasing.” And he has some advice for the advertisers that should know better and for Facebook – although do they ever listen?

Only Shelly Alcorn would watch Dave Grohl’s new documentary Sound City and come out thinking about membership. Ok, maybe there are other association geeks who might do the same thing. Ok, maybe me. But Shelly is the one who wrote this great post about the beauty and power of the tribe: Membership IS the Value of Membership!

“Yes, associations are changing. Yes, technology is changing. Yes, communications are changing. Yes, we can talk all day long about dues models, governance models, etc., etc., etc. To me, what is not up for debate is the fundamental concept of belonging – the group, the community, the tribe. Maybe it’s free. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s narrowly defined, maybe it’s broadly defined. Maybe we call them associations and maybe we don’t. There is a lot of room in the middle about HOW it manifests, and what role we can or can’t play in facilitating those connections – but the question about WHETHER it manifests or not is just not debatable.”

Sing it, sister!

Do you know Kate? She’s just an ordinary girl with an ordinary family. She might even live in your community. But there’s something you don’t know about her. Share this one with your kids.

Heads up, New Yorkers and others in the tri-state area: The Who and Elvis Costello are playing a benefit concert on February 28 at the Madison Square Garden. It’s your opportunity to see a once-in-a-lifetime show and support a great (and underfunded) cause: Teen Cancer America, Roger Daltrey’s foundation. I’ve seen The Who more than any other band and absolutely LOVED their Quadrophenia show in November. Number two on my most-seen list is, you guessed it, Elvis, a performer and entertainer like no other.

Long live rock! And Happy Friday, everyone!

Roger Daltrey says teens with cancer need a different kind of hospital environment, one where they're not surrounded by kids or older adults.
Roger Daltrey says teens with cancer need a different kind of hospital environment, one where they’re not surrounded by kids or older adults.


Reads of the Week: February 1, 2013

Steven Rosenbaum says, “Stop knocking curation.” I agree. There’s a big difference between aggregation and curation. I can do without the daily aggregations. I rarely read them, even if one of my tweets is featured as a “top story.” Too many of them don’t have the human (or curator’s) touch. However, as Rosenbaum says, “Information overload drives content consumers to look for human-filtered, journalist-vetted, intellectually-related material. This hunger for coherence isn’t unreasonable; it’s essential.” He’s talking about curation, like this post. My Reads of the Week posts take some time to put together, but I love doing it, and I appreciate when others do the same. Long live curation!

Are you making marketing’s biggest mistake? It’s an easy mistake to make. Jay Baer warns us about making assumptions based on our own experience — a dangerous thing to do as a marketer. He says that Marketers from Mars, a new report from ExactTarget, “found big differences between how marketers (that’s you and me) use social media, compared to how real people (your customers) use social media.” Watch his two-minute video and check out the data in the infographic. A good wake up call.

I make my living providing content that helps businesses educate clients and prospects, so I’m obviously a big advocate of content marketing. Fact: it works. Andrew Hanelly at TMG is in the same camp. He says, “What was once a secret weapon to savvy brands is now a marketing staple. And if it isn’t yet for your organization, it probably should be.” He provides a list of reasons to embrace content in your marketing mix and backs them up with data and charts.

Geoff Livingston’s interview with Andrew Keen is a must read. They discuss a bunch of meaty topics, including the downside of transparency for individuals, the importance of “dark spaces” and invisibility for creatives, the rise of influencers, narcissism fueled by new media, and the danger of the echo chamber. Lots to chew on here, but I loved this less meaty remark: “I loathe MSNBC equally as Fox because neither of them actually reports the news.” So damn true although their fan bases would argue differently.

I love seeing associations experimenting with new ideas, so kudos to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Michelle Bruno just returned from their Convening Leaders conference and says, “More than any specific program feature or technological innovation, it was PCMA’s attitude toward digital disruption that was so obvious at the event. They must have trepidation about keeping pace with technology and the future of meetings—their members surely do—but they didn’t let that paranoia stop them. If the level of experimentation at the meeting was any indication, PCMA is always in beta, trying new form factors and delivery systems.” Let’s hear more stories like this – they inspire all of us in the association community.

When I started reading Nilofer Merchant’s post, Having a Point of View, I thought it was about writing, but it’s about much more. She’s talking about leadership: “To have a point of view is to know why you’re there, to be able to signal your purpose or organizing principle so clearly that the “reader knows”, even before he or she dives into the details. It attracts talent, it creates allies, and it focuses the work. When you have point of view about what matters to you and why, your chances of “changing the world” rise exponentially.”

Here’s a helpful post from one of my favorite writers about digital life, Alexandra Samuel. She shares three tricks for monitoring Twitter mentions and trackbacks. These “tricks” have been part of my digital schedule for a while. They will help you be a better social citizen. Alexandra says, “The whole point of seeing all these links is to engage with them, ideally by replying to any questions or substantive comments, and perhaps by thanking some or all of the folks who have tweeted about your work.”

My community service for the week: take the advice in this Lifehacker article and plug up your computer’s (and network’s) security holes. Adding this to my to-do list.

Happy Friday!

Protectin' Ur Intertubez (photo by Dennis Hamilton/Flickr)
Protectin’ Ur Intertubez (photo by Dennis Hamilton/Flickr)

Reads of the Week: January 25, 2013

Over at CopyBlogger, Georgina El Morshdy shares 30 ways to build the “know, like, and trust” factor that grows an audience. She tells content marketers — meaning any individual or organization that uses content to educate and build relationships: “The reality is, your audience won’t pick up real momentum until you’ve mastered the “know, like, trust” factor. Face to face salespeople have known this for decades, but some content marketers are still struggling to get it right.” Take a look at her list to see how you can improve your marketing.

Why is content marketing so important? Jackie Roy at TMG shares 24 statistics that tell you why. Here’s #1: “80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.” Consumers have the same preferences. Educate and earn trust and respect – that’s the key.

Sponsored content is becoming more ubiquitous, so thankfully Jeff Sonderman at Poynter provides guidance on how to publish sponsored content without lowering editorial standards. He’s writing this piece for news organizations but his advice works for magazines and other publications as well.

Thanks to Elizabeth Engel for spotting and sharing HubSpot’s bookmarkable list of spam trigger words. Keep this list handy when you’re writing email subject lines.

What’s the best time to send those emails? Who knows! There are as many opinions on that as hours in the day! Scott Stratton gives the best advice: “The only important data out there is what your own list does.” And even better: “The best way to get your email opened is to write content worthy of being opened.” Go see what else he has to say, it’s always spot on.

Here’s another handy resource – five free image editing and photo correction tools from Lauren Barraco at Business 2 Community.

In the fall of 2012, Maddie Grant and Jamie Notter, authors of Humanize, surveyed 505 individuals about social media and leadership. Among the findings: “84% agree that leadership involvement in social media gives their company a competitive edge.” That doesn’t surprise me. I’ve learned the same by talking to association CEOs about their use of social media. However, many CEOs still resist social media at their own peril.

Every year I look forward to MGI’s Membership Marketing Benchmark Report. Besides being valuable as a benchmark for association membership efforts and trends, it’s full of great tips and ideas. If your association hasn’t yet participated in this year’s research survey, please schedule some time to do so. The entire association community thanks you!

I love this idea from the American Booksellers Association (ABA): be the member. Joe Rominiecki at Associations Now explains:

“Once a year, during the holidays, Oren Teicher follows this advice. The CEO of (ABA), the trade association for independent bookstores, visits a member store to volunteer as an extra hand for three or four days during the holiday sales rush. This season he volunteered at Watermark Books and Cafe in Wichita, Kansas, helping with restocking, organizing, handselling, and any of “the 1,001 tasks that go on in the busy time of the year,” he says.”

Instead of thinking of reasons why you can’t do this, why not think about ways you can do this.

Would you like less stress and irritation in your life? More contentment and less frustration? Patti Digh has some brilliant advice from her yoga teacher, Cindy Dollar: “I used to get caught up in drama, and now when there is drama, I just say ‘wow.’” Life is less stressful when you’re aware of and in control of your reactions – that’s a big yoga thing. We have the power, we just don’t remember to use it.

The LA Weekly found a Banksy-like graffiti of Lance Armstrong – a spray paint image of him doping while riding. Check it out over there — I didn’t want to steal it.

That’s all folks, Happy Friday!

Selexyz bookstore in the Dominican church in Maastricht - photo by Bert Kaufmann (Flickr)
Now this is a bookstore: Selexyz bookstore in the Dominican church in Maastricht – photo by Bert Kaufmann (Flickr)

Reads of the Week: January 18, 2013

Ah, Friday, and a long weekend too for many of you. Not for me – too much work to do – a good thing, so trust me, I’m not complaining. I’ll make room for enough down time to feel recharged on Monday morning, in case you care. Caring is in the air, you know, or it should be, we can make it so…

The world needs more “everyday mundane acts of caring” like the ones John Haydon shares in his post, The #1 Paradigm Shift You Need to Make in 2013. His simple truth is this: “In order to succeed you actually have to focus 1000% on your supporters and not your own agenda! The more you do this, the more your supporters will want to support you!” Simple, yet we find it so hard to do in our stressed out work days. Time to shift.

Maddie Grant shares a “must read” post by Clay Shirky on disruption. If you’re interested in education and MOOCs and such, you’ve probably already read it. But, you might not have read Maddie’s commentary and questions, important questions that associations need to address, now. As she says, “This is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY – not a threat.  What are YOU doing to prepare for the disruption of higher education?

Walking meeting, anyone? I love this idea from Nilofer Merchant at the Harvard Business Review. Why walk when you can sit? Because, haven’t you heard, sitting is killing us! I’m dying here!

What’s Worth Paying Dues For…And What’s Not? That’s a question I ask myself every time I get a membership dues renewal form. Maggie McGary questioned the value of her ASAE membership and decided not to renew. “If the main value of association membership is networking, why pay dues when you can maintain those contacts easily and for free on your own?” Sure enough, even though Maggie and I are (or were, in her case) both ASAE members, I met her online and then deepened that relationship outside of ASAE. That’s no longer that unusual. Associations should pay attention to her words: “If I’m paying for something, it has to be something that provides value for me on a personal level, and something that goes beyond what I can already get for free.”

Only 25% of associations have a content strategy. Yikes. Monica Bussolati says, “Putting out a lot of content without a clear and comprehensive strategy is like mining without a light. You’re sure to wander and squander resources, like time and money, both precious commodities these days.” She provides nine steps to creating a content strategy that will work for any organization, not only associations.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? How are they going? I didn’t make resolutions but I did set goals and identify habits I want to develop. So far, so good. In case you need help, Jonathan Fields provides seven keys to successful behavior change and quest achievement in his post, How to Get Your Mojo Back and Do Big Things TODAY.

You know I’m a big fan of craft beer, especially local craft beer. I’m a beer geek for many reasons – taste and tasting experiences, friends in the industry, homebrewing, and the fact that passionate people are producing a high-quality product with a lot of love. Nation Hahn’s post, Kinston, NC and @MotherEarthBrew Have an Answer for Rural America, reminds me of even more reasons why local breweries are so good for their communities. Support your community by supporting your local brewer.

I’m not only a beer geek, I’m a giant squid geek too. Huge news on the Architeuthis front: for the first time we have video of a living giant squid in its natural habitat. Cool. In case you’re at all curious about this fascinating creature, Richard Ellis’ book, The Search for the Giant Squid, is excellent. For fiction lovers, it’s odd but good: China Mieville’s Kraken.

I read this Atlantic article, There’s More to Life Than Being Happy, by Emily Esfahani Smith last weekend and it really struck home with me. Mere happiness isn’t enough; we need meaning and a sense of purpose. Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl wrote about this in his bestselling 1946 book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Esfahani Smith writes, “The pursuit of meaning is what makes human beings uniquely human. By putting aside our selfish interests to serve someone or something larger than ourselves — by devoting our lives to “giving” rather than “taking” — we are not only expressing our fundamental humanity, but are also acknowledging that that there is more to the good life than the pursuit of simple happiness.”

And with those inspiring words, I wish you a happy Friday and an enjoyable weekend!

Poor fella. Photo by NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet (Flickr).
Poor fella. Photo by NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet (Flickr).

Reads of the Week: January 11, 2013

I’m back, I’m back in the saddle again.

After a relaxing vacation, I’m catching up on reading and work. Here are some of my favorite reads from the past week, or two, or three.

At the Content Marketing Institute, Mark Sherbin provides tips on newsjacking: “the process of injecting your brand into the day’s news, creating a twist that grabs eyes when they’re open widest.” He also provides some examples of brands that have done it well, and a few who laid a big smelly egg. Newsjacking isn’t only for brands, individuals and associations can make newsjacking work for them too.

Jonathan Barrick has something to say to his fellow marketers: “Stop sucking, be awesome, and prove it.” That’s not all he has to say, his post at Crowdshifter lays out five promises every living marketer should make to themselves. Even though they’re all common sense, how many people are really adhering to them?

Steve Drake has been on a roll lately. Well, now that I think about it, he’s always on a roll.  His post, 15 “And/Or” Dilemmas Facing Association Leaders in 2013, provides enough fodder for discussion for more than a year’s worth of board and staff meetings. Want to know what your association should be thinking about? Start here!

Content marketing is the name of the game for events in 2013, says Jenise Fryatt. “Presentations, panels, discussions and workshops, even keynote speeches provide digestible content that is particularly useful to the larger community to which your attendees belong.” She shares ideas on how associations can generate and use this content throughout the year.

Surveys, you either don’t do them frequently enough, or if you do, you don’t ask the right questions or use what you learn. Eric Lanke has a solution: more surveys, but make them really short – just one question. He says, “When the responses come in, do something you’ve probably never done before. Post the results. Share them with the entire membership. And even more importantly, let everyone know what you’re going to do differently based on the feedback you received.” Brilliant!

One of my favorite posts this week is Come Original – Whole Self Membership from Shelly Alcorn. She encourages associations to redirect their focus so they serve and benefit from the whole member, not just the occupational or professional side of a member, but their whole self. In the comments, I (along with a few others) explained why this concept resonates so loudly and harmoniously with me. We do our best work when we bring our complete self to work, to our association or to any endeavor.

Steve Drake (yes, him again!) confessed (I think he should brag) that he’s a switchtasker – “someone who rapidly alternates between tasks.” He learned the term from an article by our pal Elizabeth Engel, who learned it from a post on Lifehacker. It gets better. I just read a post that says switchtasking maximizes creative thinking. It’s the old “sleep on it” principle at work – let your unconscious mind perform its magic. Christian Jarrett at 99U writes, “Incubation breaks boosted creative performance, but only when the time was spent engaged in a different kind of mental activity.” The challenge for me is finding that different kind of mental activity when I’m writing most of the day.

I don’t usually have problems with my writing mojo (knock on wood!) but if I do, I will follow the advice of Sarah O’Leary at Write To Done. Her five tips to keep your mojo going will work for everyone, not just writers. She emphasizes self-care: “Our creative muscles need breaks too. A change in focus replenishes those creative and intellectual synapses, priming you for another session.” Hmm, switchtasking again? Check out the good advice she shares.

content marketing reads
Parts of the Brain by Cachecope Bell (Flickr)

Reads of the Week: December 14, 2012

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

What a crazy week, I’m trying to get lots of work done before I take time off during the holidays. I must practice what I preach.

Bill Sheridan at the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) interviewed Daniel Pink about his new book, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. Bill asked Dan what he thinks is “the most important skill in today’s rapidly changing environment.” His answer: adaptability. Dan said, “You need to be able to change and adapt. I think people have difficulty with that. Dealing with ambiguity has become profoundly important today. Things are just inherently murkier than they ever have been.”

Bill’s post is required reading. Earlier this year I wrote about Generation Flux and one of its defining traits, the ability to learn new skills. It’s a message we must pound into our brains, and apparently it’s a message that Tom Hood, MACPA’s CEO, preaches as well. Bill said he even has a formula for it: L > C. “That is, in order to flourish, your rate of learning must be greater than the rate of change.” Put that on a t-shirt. In the comments, Tom shared a link where you can pre-order Dan Pink’s book and get freebies too. For a preview, check out the six-page introduction.

My other favorite post of the week is by Colleen Dilenschneider. In Social Media: The Every-Department Job in Nonprofit Organizations, she explains how the job of the marketing professional “has evolved from being a single funnel to media outlets streamlining promotional messages on behalf of an organization, to serving as several funnels to different, targeted demographics based on content from several different departments in a manner that achieves an organization’s long-term goals.” That’s why social media is an organization-wide responsibility, not just marketing’s job.

Siv Rauv provides a very helpful (and illustrated) post at Business 2 Community on how to use social media as a customer service tool. You could use this as the basis for a procedures manual. He says, “It is clear businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media as a customer service platform. Ignore it and you might miss out on building solid relationships with customers, lose a customer, or worse, fuel the wrath of an already angry customer. Respond and receive real consumer feedback, improved brand image and loyal customers.” 

I enjoyed Sarah Lacy’s piece on Pando Daily about what Judd Apatow’s kid can teach us about the Twitter generation. “Basically Judd Apatow accepted what most parents should probably accept: Any control over privacy or what your kid consumes is at best illusory.” It’s fascinating to see the types of skills and attitudes younger generations are naturally adopting because of these new digital platforms. Good lessons for all of us.

Whitson Gordon at Lifehacker gets the Public Service award this week for showing us how to fix ten annoying problems with Facebook, Twitter & other social platforms. Something to do over the holidays!

I’d like to say I’ve been a longtime advocate of poetry, but that’s not true. Although I’ve read my share over the years, I’m a recent convert to its powers. John Coleman discusses the benefits of poetry for professionals at the Daily Good. He says, “Poetry teaches us to wrestle with and simplify complexity,” develop our creativity and sense of empathy, and more. He mentions several poets who were also successful business professionals, but left out one of my favorites, William Carlos Williams, a physician.

I’m sleeping better now that The Walking Dead is on hiatus until next year. No more nightmares about the end of civilization, running out of water and food, and hiding out from sociopaths. Yes, I get a bit too emotionally involved in stories. Even though this show is really about the living and not the dead, fellow fans will love this visual record by the National Post’s Andrew Barr and Richard Johnson of all the zombie kills and the tools used to do the deeds. Daryl’s in second place for kills – they better not kill him off!

Happy Friday!

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