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Showing posts from 2009

Marc Sirkin at the #140conf

I'm in LA this week at the #140conf and will be speaking on a panel tomorrow morning at the Kodak Theater.. getting nervous!

Using twitter to engage Public Health Messaging

Participants:
Amy DeMaria (@AmyDeMaria) - Sr. Vice President of Communications, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Beverly Robertson (@marchofdimes) - National Director, Pregnancy & Newborn Health Education Center
Colleen Patterson (@colleenpattrson) - National Aboriginal Health Organization
Marc Sirkin - Chief Community Officer, Autism Speaks
Nedra Weinreich (@Nedra) - Founder, Weinreich Communications (moderator)

The Town Crier

When I responded to a post on Beth Kanter's blog all I was trying to do was win a copy of Twitterville, a new book from Shel Israel. As I left my comment, my fingers typed the words "town crier." I hadn't given it much thought, and given how busy I've been at my new job it simply floated away from me.


Beth asked me to do a follow up on it, and I neglected that as well. Finally though, I'm back to thinking about that phrase and how it applies to marketing, social media and engagement marketing both in the non-profit sector and in general.

First of all, I had to look up "town crier" to make sure my analogy wasn't off-base right from the start. Wikipedia confirms what I thought and even adds some texture to the phrase:


A town crier is an officer of the court who makes public pronouncements as required by the court Black's Law Dictionary. The crier can also be used to make public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tr…

Free: The Future of Radical Price, Non-profit Edition

Similar to my notes on the fantastic "What Would Google Do," I'm excited to post some thoughts on Chris Anderson's amazing book "Free" and apply the concepts once again to the non-profit world.

At first, I struggled to see how to apply the concepts in the book to non-profit fundraising but after finishing and having spent quite a few hours at the beach considering things, I'm really excited to outline what I think are pretty cool and in hindsight, fairly obvious ways for non-profits to utilize these concepts.

If you haven’t yet read it, “Free” is all about abundance. The internet, in particular (the world of “bits”) is pushing us from a world driven by supply and demand and scarcity into a uncharted and uncomfortable world of abundance and access. Digital goods and services can now be reproduced for free and distributed for free instantaneously across the globe. This is radically changing traditional markets and forcing traditional companies to compe…

Let the Adventure Begin

Tomorrow is a big day for me. More than a year ago, I made a very hard choice to leave the non-profit sector when I was recruited for an amazing opportunity at Microsoft. The past year has been a total trip (more on that later).

Despite the fantastic experience I had working for Microsoft, I find myself blogging about the end of that all too short experience as I prepare for my first day with Autism Speaks as their first ever "Chief Community Officer." I have a really good idea conceptually about what this position could become both for myself and more importantly for Autism Speaks and ultimately what we will be trying to "unleash" within the Autism Community. That said, we'll see where this journey takes me, it's sure to be interesting!

I had been writing a "fairly successful" blog called npMarketing (check it out if you get a moment) but am going to blog here instead and will do my best to convert the readers of that blog to Mindnumbing Thoughts. …

The Democratization of Philanthropy

Amazing TED video (as per usual). I love, love, love what Katerine Fulton is trying to say.


Mass Collaboration - "big things are being done for love" (Shirky)
Online Philanthropy Marketplaces - peer to peer philanthropy (check out donorschoose.org)
Aggregated Giving - every giver should have his or her own fund and foundation (check out acumenfund.org)Innovation Competitions - maybe my favorite!
Social investing - perhaps the biggest of them all - this blows up our assumptions business is business and philanthropy is philanthropy
Amazing, amazing talk. Thanks TED.

What Would Google Do: Non-Profit Edition

I've been tweeting and yapping to friends about Jeff Jarvis's terrific book "What Would Google Do" even before I've properly finishing the thing. I sat myself down tonight and plowed through the last 100 pages where Jarvis examines different industries including automotive, manufacturing, telcom, healthcare and more to see what Google would do if they were in those businesses.

On one hand, I was really hoping that Jarvis had taken a look at the non-profit sector given my personal history in the sector and my ongoing interest in how non-profits operate. I'll also note that I used to write a fairly well read non-profit marketing blog. Unfortunately, the book doesn't delve into this much, if at all. I thought, instead of a basic set of notes or a book review as I usually do that I'd jump back in time and take a look at the sector with fresh, and "Googley" eyes.

If you haven't yet read the book, the basic premise is that Google fundamentally o…

My Business Book Bible

I've been devouring business books for ages, I can't seem to get enough. The latest book I picked up is "What Would Google Do" by Jeff Jarvis. I'm about halfway through and will hopefully do a blog post on the book when I'm done if I can find the time.

What hit me as I was reading it is that this book is clearly going to be my "new bible" - I even tweeted that it was already.

Thinking back and looking through my old web site and my bookshelf in my office, I was curious what some of my old "bibles" have been - remember these beauties?
The Innovators Dilemma - Clayton Christenson
Mavericks at Work - Bill Taylor
Rules for Revolutionaries - Guy Kawasaki
Don't Make Me Think - Krug
Cluetrain Manifesto - Searls/Weinberger - as relevant as ever, what were those guy smoking when they wrote this?
Purple Cow - Seth Godin
Going way back, I seem to remember a book called "Blur" that I obsessed over, as well as the one that got it all started: &quo…

Are You the One?

UPDATE 6/22/09...

I never saw this coming but I ended up taking the job myself. I'm as stunned as you are. More to come for sure...

Original post:
I'm working with a high profile non-profit who is looking to fill a very senior level position: Chief Community Officer.

Here' s a bit from the job description... if this sounds like you or someone you know, please email me.
Exploits the new media of social and community networking in the previously untapped not-for-profit sector; democratizes the process of reaching a mass audience, thereby capitalizing on new revenue-generating opportunities. Provides thought leadership both internal and external; strategizes with senior managers and Board members. Leads the social direction organizationally, via creation and execution of mission statement, in areas such as: social (general), social technologies and communities, and social media.Develops a strategic plan for social and community networking and implements the coordination efforts…

Thank God for Great Spam

I know, I shouldn't be re-posting spam e-mails, but I'm in an odd mood (it's probably the jet lag)... so I just had to share.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am contacting you based on my plan for establishment in your country. Please get back to me to enable me furnish you information on my desire of investing in your country.

I look forward hearing from you as soon as possible.

Thanks for your expected co-operation

Martin Dent
Ok... enough of that... "Report spam" button has been engaged. Although, I do have to say I'm curious how I could possibly help him "enable me furnish you information."

Reminds me of Borat, or All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

India Baseball

I felt compelled to post this. There is something about this story that gets me both on a personal and a marketing level. I make fun of American Idol, but this exactly, exactly the same thing.

As a lifelong baseball fan and someone who couldn't have been more dissapointed by A-Rod and Barry Bonds, this is what I needed.

I wish the Yankees had signed them, but a piece of my heart is now in Pittsburgh.

Enjoy.

Saving the U.S. Auto Industry

Finally!

It's finally time for the big reveal on "How I, someone with no automotive industry experience can save the U.S. Auto Industry with singularly great idea."

You'll recall, that I teased you about 2 months ago (I've been busy in my underground lab working on this) and threw out some clues to my idea. The first was that regular folks don't give a crap about performance. Yes, certainly some do, and the auto industry and the magazines would have you believe the opposite. The truth is though, that average folks worry more about car payments than how fast their depreciating hunk of metal goes from 0-60. Blasphemy, I know, but hey, I'm saving an entire industry here folks!

Second was a remark about the theater of cars is the most important factor... I'm a marketer by profession and am constantly blown away when I see superior designs and user interfaces winning over better technological solutions. Case in point... the iPod. There isn't a person on t…

This is What I Do

Earning and Spending Points

I've gone over this "theory" a bunch of times with friends over the years and finally am going to attempt to blog about it.

Guys, you know how when you do something good for the one you love you think to yourself...
"Big points for that!"You know what I'm talking about, right? Come up with that special gift and you get points. Doing the dishes gets you points. Remembering birthday's gets you points, but remembering her sisters birthday gets you even more. I'm not talking about lame airline points, miles or fake currency here... I'm talking about pure relationship pointage... and you know what that could get you!

Different acts gets you different points - everyone has their own scale. The scale isn't what's important here at all. No. Before I get into the heart of the matter, here's a sampling of possible things you can do with points to whet your appetite:
Long golf weekend with the boysPoker nightsAbility to purchase new gadgets with im…

A Brief Return to Non-Profit Land

I started reading Fast Company again after a year or so of giving it up and am happy to be back. While I dug the Shaun White article in the Feb 09 issue what really caught my attention was an article titled "No Vacancy - Job Seeking refugees from the for-profit world shouldn't go running for the not-for-profit sector."

During my tenure in the not-for-profit sector (yes, I had a blog then too)this was probably the #1 question I got from friends and colleagues looking for something else to do professionally. I'm pretty much done giving advice around that topic, especially in light of my decision to join Microsoft instead of pursuing another post inside a non-profit. That said, I even wrote a blog post "So You Want to Work In Non-profit Land?"

I think the FC article makes some good points and it really brings me back to the last 8 years of my professional life. The one comment I'll make however is that during my first 3 years or so (while at March of Dimes)…

Betty Crocker

I was fortunate to be in Seattle this week and to get an invite to a Social Media Club meeting from my good friend Filiberto Selvas.

Filiberto and I recently traded comments on SocialCRM blog and on Twitter about the idea of agencies running/managing online communities for brands.

As per my usual, I started with a very strong opinion that brands who want to start customer communities should not use an agency for hands on community management. My entire concept of online communities revolves around creating open and honest conversations. The thought of hiring an agency to manage it to me at first seemed ludicrous. I felt strongly that any brand that would outsource that function ought to reconsider their strategy and perhaps hold off on building customer communities until they were more ready to commit.

At the SMC meeting of course, I met someone with a different opinion (surprise, he's an agency guy!). Thing is, he mentioned Betty Crocker. According to Wikipedia, Betty Crocker was in…

A Higher Calling

It's funny, when you start to focus your attention on things, all sorts of interesting bits come your way. I had been holding on to a copy of an article from NYT Magazine about Philip Seymour Hoffman for a few weeks and finally read it over coffee this morning. It's a great article, a rare look inside a terrific actor and a stunningly intense guy.

In describing when he first saw "All My Sons" on stage, he uses some really interesting images and vocabulary that is really sticking to me this morning.

"It was like a miracle to me. But that deep kind of love comes at a price: for me, acting is torturous, and it’s torturous because you know it’s a beautiful thing. I was young once, and I said, That’s beautiful and I want that. Wanting it is easy, but trying to be great — well, that’s absolutely torturous."
I'm struggling myself with what it means to be great in all my own roles - father, husband, employee, sports coach, son, grandson, brother, friend, etc... It…

More Presents!

As part of my ongoing, annual goal setting and life re-orientation as I now call it, I just finished reading "The Present," a parable by Spencer Johnson. This book is a lot more accessible, though not as deep as Tolle's "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" and is a quick read.

It's amazing to me that I've been trying to live more in the now for the last few years and have not made more progress. That said, I do finally find myself recognizing when I am in fact, not living in the present. A few nights ago, I totally flew off the handle after talking to my mom and while I was able to recognize what I was doing, I was unable to curb my behavior. Some things continue to get to me!

Alternatively, on Christmas day as the girls were opening their gifts, this amazing wash of joy came over me. I know looking back that I was experiencing "flow" and was wonderfully, totally in the present moment.

In any case, the book essentially presents 3 ways t…

Off to a Fast Start

Cross 'em off! I'm off to a roaring start in '09, completing 3 goals right off the bat.

#1 was to figure out how to get GPS working properly on my mobile phone, and thanks to some slick software (GPSToday), it's not only working great, but it allows me to automatically add geodata to photos on the fly. Sweet. Check.

#2 was to reorganize how we (my family) manages all our digital files and to put into place a better backup strategy. Basically, I've turned my home computer into a basic file server and mapped public folders to the kids and wife's mobile desktops. Once that was complete, I configured Cobian backup software to run daily backups on those folders, offloading the backup data to an external 250gb drive.

For those really valuable digital photos, I'm using Cobian to create DVD ready archives so I can easily (and quickly) make DVD backups. Not only do I feel good about crossing these things off the list, I've got some peace of mind regarding those dig…