What Was Your Enchanted Moment?

I’d like to think that we’ve all had “enchanted” moments in this space. I have had at least two, maybe three. The space I’m referring to specifically is the digital/social media, online marketing space.  Moment #1 possibly occurred when I built my first website. That was pretty cool. It looked pretty bad but there was something to be said about doing it without the aid of templates and the myriad of tools and programs available today. I got better, but the light really went on from that first experience.

Back in 2005 I sent former Apple Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, an email; and to be honest, I didn’t really expect a response. The email was a general, ” Oh Sensei, What is the path” type of inquiry. At that time I had recently read his book The Art of the Start and also had stumbled onto Guy’s website/blog, How to Change the World.  After reading the book and the blog I was beyond energized and knew what I needed to do and was merely hoping that Guy was as genuine as I thought-and  by responding to my email, he would only validate the notion even more. Though at the end of the day, I didn’t expect a response.

Well…He did respond. The key there? He responded. The content of the email? I can’t really remember. What struck me was that he responded. It opened my eyes to the power of connections, the power of having a direct type of access to someone who you might have thought was inaccessible. It was the power of social to me on a very small but large scale all wrapped into one. That was truly Enchanted Moment #1.

Moment Number Two: I initially got into social media because of my SEO background. I found out rather quickly how one could “game” blogs for SEO and reputation management with hyper linked signatures embedded with key words. It was apparent pretty quickly that this worked so at the time I wouldn’t pay much attention to the content of a blog as much as I did to the page rank of it. Then one day I read a post that struck a nerve.  I commented and they commented back. Whoa. What is this dialogue? This is better than hoping or waiting on an email response from Guy Kawasakai! It was real time, it was genuine, and it added these immediate reciprocal layers of texture to a static web and a static job function that really opened my eyes to the social possibilities of the web. The moment was huge for me. It changed the way I did things and the way I thought about things.

In 2011, it would appear that my three experiences have come full circle. Last night I finished an advance copy of Guy Kawasaki’s latest book Enchantment. I was asked to read and review it and I have to say, I probably would have read it without him asking me. Here’s the point or here’s how much things have changed for me since that day back in 2005 when I sent Guy that email. Not to revel in the reasons why I was selected to read and review the book because it really can be completely subjective, the fact is that my influence and opinion and networks mattered. That’s pretty cool. That’s the power of social, the power of connections and the power of the web. It has shaped my life and my career over the last 6 years all in a positive way. So in a way, Guy has been part of my enchanted moments  from the beginning and now in the middle.

Now the book Enchantment:  It took 2 flights to finish it. A quick read. I didn’t have to struggle to find the meaning of the things I was reading. It was as easy a book to read and understand as you will find. The tag line, “The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions”, could not be more appropriate.  After every chapter is a quick snapshot of someone’s moment of enchantment in their life or career which adds an additional aspect of “human-ness” to the book. It’s real. It’s Tangible. Guy’s style is so non invasive and I think that’s the takeaway. I’m glad I read it, will probably read it again and I will ultimately give it to someone who can benefit from it.

Enchanted moment #3? Having Guy host our weekly #Social Media Tweetchat-That would be full circle. Stay tuned! The key? I just have to ask. Truly the power of social.

Have you had your enchanted moment yet?

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Guy Kawasaki-“Ok you got me, so what”?

prince

So the big stink of late is Guy Kawasaki and his sudden called on the carpet transparency in Dave Fleets blog.  Real quickly, Guy Kawasaki admitted that he has a few people that help him Tweet out his Alltop spam Tweets, and he only admitted it after being asked.

On the one hand, Guy is free to do what he wants. He even admits as much. I think the outrage stems as much from a sense that a lot of people thought that Guy was coming down from the castle to be with the common folk.

Well he does and he has. It just turns out, we don’t know when.

Case in point. Guy was in my town, Naples, Florida. Relatively small town by most standards. I sent a few tweets that we should meet up. Then I DM’d him a number of times, to cover my bases. I’m guessing or thought he never got them; give the volume he may receive. Now I have to think  perhaps his other “tweeters” got the tweets? I don’t know.

However, it turns out he  hosted a little Tweetup (4 people) and I missed it. There were some other issues involved in me missing it, not the least being if he @’s me and doesn’t DM me, I’m not going to get that on my phone.

So He didn’t DM back but I did get an apology 2 days later about missing each other. Fair enough!

I think in essence, more (or is it most?) people are just dissapointed that “Guy” isn’t tweeting as much as they thought. Look, I have a hard enough time managing 800/1500 let alone 101,000/93,000 so expecting an A lister to hit you back might be unrealistic but…

This is not a my friend is better than your friend example, but Rober Scoble whose numbers are 82,000/75,000 regularly tweets me back at the times I have tweeted him. This is both DM and regular @’s. As I’ll tell you if asked, there are good, bad and indifferent ways to use Twitter. It’s up to you to figure it out. So there you go. Run with it

Twitter Help: 3 Simple Take Away’s.

For those of you who are tired of reading “another” blog post about Twitter, move on. For those of us who realize the power of the platform and want to leverage it as another tool, another means or another way to enhance communications and the relationships that may bubble up from them, Keep reading.

Real quickly, understand this:

With Twitter

1) There is no perfect way to use it.

2) There is no absolute “right” way to use it.

3) There are plenty of wrong ways to use it.

Rather than go into a lengthy discourse on each of these points, lets leave it at this. If the way that you are currently using Twitter is working for you, then I applaud you and for the most part I would not suggest you change anything. Keep it going and keep enjoying it. However, if you are seeing nothing from your foray into Twitter, then perhaps you need to “change what you are doing”.

It’s real simple.

If you are NOT having conversations,  NOT exchanging opinion, NOT having great discussions, or NOT sharing links, and  NOT meeting people and NOT networking and NOT taking 140 characters to the next level-Then you may be using it in the wrong way. What do you think?

So decide right now. Do I want to continue to get nothing out of this? If you want to continue to waste your time and everyone else’s, then keep doing what you are doing. I’m not sure why you would, but hey, we still get SPAM right?

If you want to change the way you are currently using Twitter, there are tons upon tons of solid links on the proper use of it and the benefits associated with it. They are not hard to find, but these should get you going.

Twitter Tips

ProBlogger Twitter tips

I have to add perspective So I include Guy’s post about Twitter

17 ways you can use Twitter

The Long Tail of Twitter

tweet

Ok Much has been written or much was written yesterday about Twitter. I’m not sure why yesterday, but for whatever reason, yesterday was that day, my post included. So I found myself embroiled both via blog responses and via Twitter, defending in some cases what I see as the best way for me to use Twitter.

Here’s a quick recap of what was written.

Guy Kawasaki’s post just flew totally in the face of my post, but he did mention some things that you should do regardless of your ultimate goal on how you’re going to use Twitter. But his post is more about being the Uber-Twitter user, and I just can’t do #4 Which is follow everyone who follows me- I’m sorry but I would like to get to know “some” of the people I’m following. I think Guy and I have a different perception of definition of what Twitter is or should be used for., Though I do admit, that I follow some of the social media whores-not sure why, but I do.

Alan Wolk has totally nailed his post which speaks to why he thinks Twitter is going to be cluttered with N00bs, more experts, and gaggles of clueless wannabe’s and everything in between. Which means my Twitter post makes even more sense!

Business week has written about how ubiquitous micro-blogging and Twitter have become, which means a vertical version only makes sense right? And then we have Information weeks article on Twitter tools to turbocharge your microblogging Wow, didn’t know I needed to turbo charge it! Here’s Computer World’s 5 ways to tap the power of the tweet which actually are pretty close to what you should do and not as self serving and indulgent as Guy Kawasaki’s directives. And then we have the Top 10 ways to attract followers on Twitter which is a total link bait link juice article.

If you really want to know all things Twitter, and don’t feel like waiting for the next piece of hyperbole then go to Laura Fitton’s site, she blogs about all things micro-blogging and she actually brings some sanity to it all- Though I can’t stop thinking about what a tweet is worth, knowing full well that that is where this is all heading. Transactional conversations are coming, trust me.

Ok so I’m going to sum up one of the best ways to get the most out of Twitter, do you know how search marketing experts and Chris Anderson talk about the Long Tail? Well why would you want to follow 5000 people who all tweet at once about 5000 different subjects and 5000 different links? When you could follow 1000, or 750 or 500 people, get to know who they are and what they’re all about, and develop a vertical relationship?

I’m going to quote Chris here and splice/blend his words and my thoughts to make my point about Twitter:

The long tail aspect of Twitter does exist, but the data tells us that there may really be no head or body when it comes to following thousands upon thousands of people without any focus or reason. When it comes to Twitter, everyone is hell bent on following as many people as possible, but the fact of the matter is, Twitter traffic has the potential to be long tail and the word “long” doesn’t do the length of the tail justice. The long tail of Twitter is vertical.

Thanks Chris.

Are you a thought leader or a follower?

When I was a kid most coaches and teachers used to tell me to be a leader and not a follower. Amazing how we manage to find ourselves saying the same thing to each successive generation. Why? because it makes sense. But does it? I immediately think of the old saying, “too many chiefs and not enough indians”. Ok so now we should all be confused. Which should we be?  Do we need more indians or more chiefs? Rachel Happe brings up a great point in her post about The Wisdom of The Crowd in which she writes:

Crowds without leadership and inspiration are not necessarily better or worse than individuals.  But a crowd can become both more than the sum of its parts and less than its lowest common denominator depending on how it is inspired.

What this means to me is that although I might want you to be a leader, you might be better suited to be a follower. Some people are born leaders and some are born followers and some can become…. etc etc. However, in social media and Web 2.0, if we’re to look at the whole thing holistically,  the space reeks of the “follower mentality”. Too many people as I said in an earlier post are inclined to be of the “echo mindset”. They possess zero original thought. I’m not sure they are even actually participating in the conversation to be honest. To this end, they are not leaders, and they are shitty followers. So they bring nothing to the table. Period.

Rachel’s original post stemmed from one that Guy Kawasaki wrote on Dadomatic titled, The top 10 lessons his dad taught him in which #3 was:

Don’t follow the crowd. Initially, I thought that he was saying that most people were stupid–and I agreed with him. But I now realize that he was telling me not to follow the crowd because the crowd “mentality” can make smart people do dumb things. This is why I don’t believe in the “wisdom of the crowd” to this day.

Given the current state of all things political and economic, perhaps what we really need is original thought and not noise that has a new tread on it. I know it’s easy to just put some lipstick on the pig, forgive me for using the analogy, but try to step out from under the umbrella and look at things in the social media and web 2.0 world differently. I don’t need you to be a though leader or a follower, I just need you to think.

 

Shout out to Alltop

I wanted to thank the fine folks over at Alltop for choosing to feature this blog as one of their sources for worthy information. Alltop is a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. Alltop sites are starting points—they are not destinations per se. They enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed.

The bottom line is that Alltop collects stories from “all the top” sites on the web, which means we must be doing something right, and for that we are grateful for the love and the recognition.

What did we do before the conversations started?

You know, I have never had some many great meaningful discussions on so many relevant topics in all the years I have been in tech. I attribute alot of this to the buzzword of the latter part of this decade and that is the conversation. The emergence of the conversation between people wanting to work together, the collaboration of people working towards a collective goal. The customer finding his voice and the company finally listening with humility.

Mental Note: Be sure to write a piece about listening with humility. Who does that?

 Which led me to think. What the hell did we do before? What did people do with all of this great input, insight, knowledge and wisdom before, but with no real vehicles to share it. Did they write books about conversations? Not really,  Although, I know of one book where the conversations are rich and plentiful and thats the age of conversation edited by Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan.

Tell me this isn’t a great time to be talking and sharing? I know these are hard times in some respects, but from a technology, innovation, and entrepreneuial standpoint, there has never been a more optimal time make a difference and actually do a lot with what we have right now! Here’s someone that all of you should follow. Ironically his blog is called How to change the world, once you get there if you have not heard of him, it won’t take you long to appreciate what he does with his time.

Another person that really enagages in some great discussions about, well conversations is Chris Brogan, your day should consist of stopping by Chris’s blog to see what he is thinking. In fact he has a post that I’m sure we all could relate to called, Be Sexier in Person. Not that Chris is blogging about sexy he is in person, just read the post.

 

 

 

 

 

You know who else I like, who else engages in light but interesting and thought provoking conversations? Mack Collier. he lays it out there in a way thats easy to digest. In actuality there are A LOT of conversations going on out there that I would like to take part in, but my god, would I ever get anything done?

 

I think whats important to keep in mind is that we all love to talk, or we wouldn’t be blogging but you tell me what do you want to get out of your next conversation? Are you into what you can contribute or what you can take away from it? What is your favorite blog and why?

Suffice it to say, I’m glad we’re in the age of the conversation and excited about where we are headed, wherever that may be.

Last thing. While I was writing this I had Pandora on in the backround and heard the most riveting acoustic version of “One”. The song originally sung by U2 was being sang by Warren Haynes at Bonnaroo, Check it out and tell me what you think.