Thursday, April 24, 2008

Driving Engagement

I've got loads of experience building social networks and community spaces for donors and general consumers - but my new project, building an invitation only, closed community for CIOs is proving a tad more difficult - though it is still very early in the game.

I was catching up on some different articles and found this one on Chief Marketer called "The Six 'C's of Social Influence". It's a decent article, but not completely on point for my own needs.

Then 2nd "C" is customization - which has me thinking and reconsidering how much or how little to allow community members to create their profile. Right now, it's super limited - basic photo and bio only. I'm considering however, opening it up a lot more just to see what folks start to do. Worst case, nothing happens... best case, I start to learn something.

This has already been a super interesting ride, and I've only just started a few months ago.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Microsoft and Second Life

I've spent a lot of time in my first few months at Microsoft trying to find folks focused on innovative marketing strategies and tactics. MS is loaded up with amazingly smart people. I'm wrapping up a conference call with some folks who are "poised to make history for Microsoft by holding the first ever full-fledged Launch event in Second Life."

Exploring the Metaverse...

They have a volunteer network of folks working on an island and are about to do some very slick things... take a look. Here's their SLURL as wel.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wow, I Love Being a Coach

I'm excited beyond reason because it's softball season again... and once again, I'm coaching! I want to coach kids full time someday. I love it that much. I think sometimes I was actually born to be a camp counselor.

In any case, I usually send out an e-mail to parents with some guidelines every season to help orient parents to my coaching vibe and style. This is part of the email I just sent.

Also, it's worth mentioning that the girls will get a chance to play most positions this year except for 1B and Pitcher. We have to be careful about who plays 1B to avoid injuries. As for pitching, if your girl wants to pitch and hasn't before, please talk to one of us. First time pitchers are going to have to earn their way onto the mound by practicing at home and before games. If they want to pitch, they are going to have to earn it!

While we do keep score in this league, please do remember that it is mostly instructional and not competitive. Yes, we'll try to win, but that's not the focus. My personal goal each year is to help the girls get to understand the game and to want to come back and play next season.

Finally, please do not address the umpires for making bad calls during the season. If you feel that there was a bad call, come talk to one of the coaches quietly. The umps do a terrific job and the best they can - again, it's not a competitive league, so there should be no reason for harassing them at any point.

Please do enjoy seeing your girls grow as ball players, it should be a fun year!


Opening day is this Saturday, sweet!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Had an "AH-HA" Moment

By now, you should have probably figured out that I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's "New Earth" and following the online class with Oprah. Yea, yea, I know.

I've posted a few times on Tolle - here and here.

In any case, I actually had an "ah-ha" moment that has been hard to explain, even to myself. While on vacation last week the galaxy seemed to click into place for me. We were all sitting around the dinner table talking, looking out over the ocean and suddenly I was awash in the most wonderful, amazing feeling. I felt like my entire body started to float up over the table and I was looking down on my family and myself. I felt totally connected to them at that moment and even managed to catch myself aware of the feelings as it was happening.

Can't explain it much further than that. It was a special feeling and totally unexpected. The world is a wonderous place and quite hard to explain at times.

2007 Best Posts

Reposted with my own permission from the now defunct npMarkekting blog...

In no particular order, here are my favorite posts from 2007 - a year in which I again didn't blog enough (or by some accounts, blogged way way too much). It was a tough year and I learned a lot about marketing, myself and the world. I also played a lot of golf (but no where near enough by my count). Ok, here goes...

Favorite Post #1 - Great Marketing in the Oddest of Places A post about the good work that the MTA does with their newsletters and keeping their customers informed, and laughing.

Favorite Post #2 - How the New Web Transforms Your Organziation "Marketers do not have the right to interrupt you."

Favorite Post #3 - Authenticity It appears that it is working for Obama in a big way, eh

Favorite Post #4 - Best Development Resources I still get 7 or so hours of sleep, really.

Favorite Post #5 - Yikes, it's not working! I love failing, because it means I'm making progress.

Favorite Post #6 - Causes vs. Organizations I still think I'm right... yea, definately.

Favorite Post #7 - Leave the Ivory Tower, Now! And wow, the Africa trip really proved my point on this one.

Favorite Post #8 - “Edge”tion – Another Look at Causes vs. Orgs Lots of discussion, comments and goodness from this post... horrible title though.

How Much Is Too Much?

Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, Myspace and more. How much is too much? How far "out there" can you, no, should you be?" I started in with many of these social networking platforms out of curiosity about how to become a better marketer but find myself ensonced (is that a word?) and entrenched in them so deeply I wonder who I've become.

The "me" that is represented on these platforms is not a true representation - it's shaded in particular and confusing ways. I find it dangerous lately - I sort of feel like I'm losing the inner, private "me" to the public one that you get when you google (err... live search) "Marc Sirkin."

  • I share things with strangers that I don't even tell my good friends about. That's odd isn't it?
  • I connect with people who I'd otherwise never be "friends" with under any other circumstance (this is both good, and bad I think).
  • I find myself getting wrapped up in following people who clearly have nothing going on, or so much that it's impossible to catch up with them. I think that's what I've become myself - hard to catch and impossible to know.
I continue to blog and tweet and post pictures everywhere - yet lately I am finding much of it empty and frankly, meaningless. There is so much noise out there - am I simply contributing to it (pollution?) or actually adding a valuable voice to some conversation somewhere?

I am even starting to believe that regular, normal people manage their lives MOSTLY in private! Could that be?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Half of Google Adwords Traffic is from Worthless Link Farms

Is anyone surprised by this? I have asked no less than 20 people if they ever click on ad words ads and have never gotten a "yes."A couple of months ago I started in earnest tracking the advertising hits that Google generates for me. And what I found is not a happy picture. About 30-40% of the traffic generated - ie. the traffic that I pay for - comes from link farms, that is Web pages that have nothing more than a bunch of links that redirect to Google Adsense links...

read more | digg story

Monday, April 7, 2008

A New Earth (of Golf)

Yes, I had to do it... I'm reading Ekhart Tolle's A New Earth and doing Oprah's web master class to boot. I'm very much enjoying it and learning a lot about myself and my ego. I will try to blog more about A New Earth later, but wanted to connect the dots to my current golfing obsession with a quote from a golf book I just finished.

Bob Rotella's Golf is a Game of Confidence is a terrific book (read more here on my golf blog). I read it while on a trip to Seattle while I was finishing up the Rotella book. In a chapter about how Byron Nelson won eleven straight tournaments, Byron told Rotella that he never knew how he had scored until after his round. "He felt as if he played in a trance."

The book goes on however, and startlingly hits one of Tolle's key concepts right on the head.
"I would come in and I'd have to go hole by hole on my scorecard, carefully, to realize what I'd shot. I didn't ever know if I was five under, three over, or whatever it was. I never carried that in my conscious mind," he said. "I never knew where I stood in a tourament."

He won eleven straight tournaments this way!

It's is remarkable how often I'm seeing parallels between what Tolle talks about in his books, being present and living each moment fully conscious matches what great golfers do themselves. Astounding!

This post is cross posted to my Golf is Hard Blog as well.

Graphic Novel: Glacial Period

Randomly picked up the graphic novel Glacial Period off the shelf at the library and was pleased to have stumbled onto a neat book. The first of a series, this book shows what archaeologists thousands of years from now might think of our culture (or at least a portion of it).

This is a neat read and certainly got me thinking about how temporary things really are... a continuation of my mind numbing thoughts around the Singularity and society in general.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Opening Day

Ahhh... opening day...

My top 5 All-time favorite Yankees list (was chatting with my sister about this)
  1. Nettles
  2. Mattingly
  3. Jeter
  4. Munson
  5. Guidry
If my dad were still alive - he most certainly go with:
  1. Mantle
  2. Ford
  3. Richardson
  4. Clete Boyer (but he'd admit that Nettles had just as good a glove, and a better stick)
  5. Yogi
  6. Jeter
Finally, while nothing would make me happier than a 0-162 Mets season, here's my top 5 Mets list, just 'cause we were also talking about the Mets...
  1. Doc Gooden (also a Yankee)
  2. Lee Mazilli (I do believe he was a Yankee)
  3. Strawberry (also a Yankee)
  4. D. Wright (will one day certainly be a Yankee)
  5. Keith Hernandez (just remember not to ask him to help you move - my sister pointed this out for me)