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Showing posts from August, 2010

Adding Value in the Background

Thank god my youngest has finally discovered Pixar movies in their glory; especially, The Incredibles. As I rewatched it for the nth time recently, I was struck by one thing. Mind you, the movie is borderline perfection as it is. Very little goes wrong with any of the choices made by Pixar and the director Brad Bird. However, one thing stood out. The music. Michael Giacchino was a freshman film scorer when he was tapped to score this big movie. Sure, he had done Lost and Alias for frequent collaborator, JJ Abrams, but this was his first full on movie soundtrack! Watching the movie, I marveled at how the music added to the experience. One segment ALWAYS made me come back to this film. It is the exciting moment as the family is evading missiles in flight and then get hit! Listen here. I watched that scene realized how I would have STILL been mesmerized by the action and suspense. But listen to that clip again, you can FEEL the action and suspense in the music. It is impossible NOT to put

Wannabe Interview #1 Mandy Boyle SEO Copywriter

I was lucky enough to get Mandy Boyle, graduate student , freelance writer , self-described cupcake enthusiast, and SEO Specialist to commit a few moments to discuss what she does on  Twitter !  You can find the full interview here at , but here are a few great tidbits!  Mandy addressed what she does. "An SEO copywriter crafts SEO-friendly content for websites . We use SEO best practices along with creative writing skills. We research and use keywords in our text while providing value to a website visitor and/or searcher." Her advice in writing for  search engine optimization ?  "Do your research, always proofread, and don't sacrifice quality. It can be easy to get lost in the keywords.  Make sure that the content is always user-friendly and creative. Always make keywords occur naturally.  And don't be afraid to ask questions. When I was learning, I read books, blogs, and attended webinars. Always try to improve." Thanks again to Mandy an

Lazy Sunday Post

Paste the sentences into a note of your own, change to your answers, then tag me and ten other people. Be spontaneous and write the first thing that comes to mind so we can all psycho-analyze you.  1. My ex... taught me a lot about myself, after she left me. 2. Maybe I should... call my wife soon. 3. I love wife and my kids more than words can say... nuff said. 4. People would say that I'm... loyal? friendly? brave? courteous? kind? a boy scout? 5. I don't understand... how hard it is for people to not even try to see other's POV 6. When I wake up in the morning... I thank god for who I wake next to 7. I lost... my father way too early 8. Life is full of... moments of complete hilarity 9. My past is... exactly where it needs to be 10. I get annoyed when... inanimate objects fail me 11. Parties are... mostly wishful thinking 12. I wish... for parties? No. My children find what makes them happy (within reason) and do it to their hearts content. 13. Dogs.. are my wife's an

What's In A Name?

photo © 2007 Seth Werkheiser | more info (via: Wylio ) I was placed in the weird position to explain the meaning of "Social Media Wannabe." When I first started playing around on Twitter, I had to describe myself in the bio which is as long as a Tweet. I went with "social media wannabe," i.e. I know much about social media, but I won't compare to all those other people online. Those other people go by all sorts of fun titles as illustrated by this FANTASTIC blog post: While I may not be a ninja, analyst, guru or guide, most folks who know me will tell you I am a lifelong learner. On this social media stuff, where things are changing by the second,  you pretty much HAVE TO BE! Perhaps a cooler title? Social Media Guide? Social Media Sherpa? Social Media Expert? How about Social Media Newb? Nah, they don't work. I AM a social media wannabe. And it probably won't cha

How Do You Revise Your Opinion?

Cover via Amazon Ever revisit a movie that you either LOVED or HATED initially and then did a complete reevaluation of your opinion of it? Don't we do this much of the time anyway? I started thinking about it. You have a similar effect with media that we get ALL the time like radio plays. Eventually, that Lady Gaga song is not going to be as offensive to you just through repetition. I get Entertainment Weekly and saw the reviews of long time reviewers where they reconsidered previously reviewed movies. Here is a decent example: However, movies, and other things like food, we don't visit as often. Some we do because we clearly love them. I will ALWAYS stop channel surfing for Raiders of the Lost Ark or Jaws, for example.  Take a gander at the reviews above (go ahead, you can come back). Owen Gleiberman was forced to defend his opinion with the maker of one film! He does after twenty years come to app

Last to Know, First to Share: Engagement- NASA-style

Image via Wikipedia Ok, this is one of the cooler things I've seen in a while. NASA, if you've paid any attention, is ending the shuttle program! That's not the cool thing. The cool thing is that they have always played wakeup songs for the astronauts on the shuttle. To end the program with the LAST shuttle launch, they are taking their "Top 40" and putting up for a vote here: Take a look at that list, NASA has some good taste in music. Apparently, RUSH fans are NASA fans as they have "Countdown" by Rush in second as I post this. Trekkies have taken the top spot with the Star Trek theme. Cool no? What are you doing to engage your fans? Nothing like friendly competition and music to involve them! Related articles by Zemanta Send Your Own Song to Awake Astronauts of the Last Shuttle Mission [Nasa] ( ) NASA crowd-sourcing its astronaut soundtrack ( ) Zemanta helped me add links & pi

My Fiverr Experience: Fiverr Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Ok, so in a case of clearly getting what you paid for, my experience with  Fiverr  is decidedly mixed. I am not too embarrassed to say that I was disappointed with the results. I am embarrassed enough to NOT display what I ended up paying $10 for. So what did I do? In the ultimate display of my cheapness, I used a FREE online vector editing system that I like:  Aviary . Image via  CrunchBase I was able to find a FREE commercial use font that had the  DIY  aesthetic I was going for (hand written!)  I downloaded the font and was able to use Aviary to create a simple vector file, which I imagine is somewhat akin to a FREE version of  Photoshop  online. From there, I created several versions including the one you see if you scroll to the top of the page using a GREAT online photo editor:  Lunapic . Back to Fiverr. While I was disappointed with my results, I was not disappointed in the system.  Using  Paypal  in such a manner for easily completed tasks is a great idea. I can see other one-t

Storytelling or Listening?

Image via Wikipedia I was struck today when I overheard a conversation. There was a great story being told and my gut wanted so desperately for me to interject at some point about a personal story that compared and related to the story I heard. People probably do this to you many times a day: you tell a personal story about something that happened to you recently or even from 20 years ago. Quickly, even if the person was enraptured by your tale, they quickly tell you one about how it happened to them. And even moreso, how their tale is worse, better or just generally MORE than yours. Why did this strike me? Because I stopped myself for that second when I realized it was just my gut telling me to horn in. I might have missed more, made myself appear a certain way, or even ruined someone's impression of me because of that gut-instinct. There probably isn't anything really wrong with it, but just as important as it is to tell stories well. It's probably just as important to li

Can You See the Growth of Facebook too?

I noticed my first post from WAY BACK in December-  Facebook had about 350 million users. They recently celebrated 500 million users! This was news!  Zuckerberg  did a prime time interview to celebrate.   Recent articles, such as those suggested below, are taking nibbles at the social media giant suggesting that it is not sustainable growth. Perhaps they have reached their saturation point?  A recent  Washington Post article  looked at Zuckerberg's leadership style and identified believing in the vision as something worth emulating. Even when the young CEO had the opportunity to sell the company, he stuck with it. That willingness is seeing unbelievable growth. The original point was how did they get there and more importantly, how do we plan our own growth? Whether you are talking personal, professional, business or otherwise, if you are lucky enough to have good, positive growth are you prepared to adapt to it? It would appear that even if Facebook never reaches a billion, it is

Finding Association in Chick Flick Movies

Allow me to explain the lengthy and confusing title.  I had read  Seth Godin's blog about Subtlety   the other day. It was the standard straight forward common sense you expect. However, something was missing that occurred to me while driving in the car and listening to the radio.  Subtle relies on the context doesn't it? In Seth's example, only two  Skull and Bones  folks would KNOW that they were in that organization based on the secret handshake right? It's about the association you can place with the communication. Back to me in the car and the radio, I heard two songs back to back on different radio stations.  First was the sublime Beach Boys song " Don't Worry Baby " that was used to excellent effect in the  Drew Barrymore  movie "Never Been Kissed." I heard the song and I could ACTUALLY see the scene where the song played. It was the final climatic scene. Very nice. Now only someone who saw the movie and probably liked it could make the co

Make Your Own Door

Success stories are awesome, especially from unexpected places. I saw the trailer for this indie horror movie "Absentia" online. The gents at  have done something insanely cool- they used the online  Kickstarter  site to help getting funding for their extreme independent, yet well produced looking movie. They are doing what many entrepreneurs and folks are doing now. Citing their credo: " The philosophy is simple ... if you're having a hard time getting your foot in the door, make your own door!" Take a peek at that  Kickstarter profile ! Look at the cool things you can get:  your name on the credits for $25 or become a producer for $1500! They have only been shooting since mid-June and you can see a rough "trailer"  here . Great opportunities can abound if you take the chance and just ask sometimes! PS- the "trailer" is cool, but creepy. I promise, it'll creep ya out!   Related articles by Zemanta Interested

My Fiver Experience (Part 1)

So I don't have much money to play with to get stuff done for the internet. This should come as little surprise to folks.  To get some logos designed, I decided to give a site called  Fiverr  a shot.  I registered and put up a simple request for a logo without specifications or information. Within hours, I got nearly 20 offers for doing my design work. Thankfully, the system uses  Paypal  for all transactions. Once I selected the lucky designer, the order system took the specifications for the "seller." Interestingly, of the 20 or so that I got within 12 hours of posting my request, only a handful sent along or had examples on their page to illustrate their work. Many tried to initiate the transaction by asking, "what kind of logo?" The creator I went with had illustrations on his profile and was direct. "I will make your logo" was the opening salvo. What sold it for me was a "promo" he was running. While the majority offered one logo for fiv

You Could Save Hundreds!

Caught you with that snazzy Progressive insurance tagline? I used it because I was reminded of Progressive's promise to find you the best deal- even if it isn't their insurance. Most people have always thought the novelty of comparing rates and then MAYBE sharing competitors information is counter-intuitive. However, the Progressive strategy coupled with their latest Flo campaigns where she describes the specific plans to customers illustrate the importance of catering to your audience. I can think of an older example of "catering." Remember the  Subservient Chicken  from Burger King? You could plug in orders and the actor in the chicken suit does what you want. I don't think we want THAT much service. More recently, Bridgestone Golf has created a new line of golf balls that are geared towards average players. Knowing that you can't hit like John Daly or Tiger Woods, why would you use the products they use? To advertise the balls, they have creat

What's Wrong with Free?

It seems like in the current economy that more and more people are trying to get on the do-it-yourself, cheap-as-possible, "can we do it for free" bandwagons. This bit explains it better than I ever could: Depressions/recessions are GOOD for innovation and acceptance of the "low cost solution." Do you know anyone considering jumping on to  Google Apps  or perhaps already using cheaper/free alternatives like Open Office? The most common reaction to those notions are "well, you are going to get what you pay for." However, as the  freemium  model is becoming more and more prevalent, we've created a consumer mind set that is going to EXPECT something for nothing. Sure, you can do business the "old way," but freemium isn't that old. The backlash against offering stuff for free as way of operating exists, but for the bootstrapping soul who just wants to make


UPDATED!  Do you have something you can easily associate with what you do?  Perhaps a mascot? Your logo or name is something that you could translate into something people can easily identify? I'm not a marketer, but dang-  Wendy's  Frosty has around 3 million friends on  Facebook !  Go ahead and click on the link, you'll see I'm right.  There are many examples out there of  mascots and items that you associate with your brand, but this is an inanimate item. True, a TASTY and popular item, but nonetheless- an item! You might wonder, but isn't it just representing Wendy's? Yes and no. Wendy's has it own  Facebook page . Which referentially refers to the Frosty FB page all the time. Plus, the "voices" of both pages are different. Yes, creepily enough, the Frosty talks to its followers/fans. I'm curious because the Wendy's  Twitter  account aligns well, but also has a different voice from the FB page. However, there is no Fros

Give Credit...

Is there anything original anymore? One of my recent favorite sayings from a chamber exec I know is using " R&D " or "rip off and duplicate." I'm fairly sure that this phrase was severely R&D'ed before I heard it and you know what? It's fine that it was.  There are certain places where duplication and, more likely, improvement occur all the time and we applaud it! HD-TV, new drug regimes, and cell phone technology is improved all the time and we love it. Image via  Wikipedia  In lab conditions, we want know that extensive use of "R&D" has occurred. Where we don't want to see it? In pretty much any form of writing, most particularly, educational settings or even online. It is EXTREMELY hard not to at least "R&D" most good ideas that are captured online. When you read as much as I do, you can easily see- people share the same thoughts, a lot. With RSS feeders,  Google alerts , and pretty mu