Thursday, November 20, 2008

Would you recommend me as a speaker?

Evo TerraImage by EricaLucci via FlickrWere you in attendance for one of my recent speaking engagements? Did you find the information I gave valuable? If so, can I get a favor from you?

To be blunt: I want more speaking engagements. They are a LOT of fun for me and I genuinely enjoy sharing what I know with a receptive audience. Plus, there is some business upside in it for me, too. Altruistic? Sure. But I'm not above making some contacts or getting covered for my time/travels either.

I've just updated my LinkedIn profile to include my "work" as a public speaker*. I'd really appreciate it if I could get a recommendation or twenty from any of you who may have found this site after hearing me speak at a various event. I know my Twitter following has blossomed as a result. So this is my attempt to harness some of that groundswell and further my career as a speaker.

Thanks in advance for your help. Oh, and if you'd like me to speak at your next event, let's chat!

* - I put that in quotes because sometimes I'm paid to speak and sometime I'm not. And sometimes, it sure doesn't feel like work.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm Speaking on a Travel and Tourism Panel

Entering Arizona on I-10 from New MexicoImage via WikipediaI've been invited to participate in a panel discussion next Wednesday. The event goes by the lengthy name of "Promoting AZ Travel with Social Media & Interactive Marketing".

My lovely wife, Sheila Dee, spent a number of years in the travel industry. A good portion of Arizona's economy comes from travel & tourism, as we are a vacation destination. I spent six years running an interactive advertising agency. And I do dabble in social media. Yep. I guess I qualify.

As you might imagine, attendees to this event and panel will be looking for recipes. They want easy-to-implement answers that will bring in an immediate return. The troubled economy has lead to a reduction in personal travel, and that hurts here at home. And while I don't think that a well planned (if that is even possible) social media campaign will get people to start spending more on travel. I also don't think that social media is a quick fix to cause revenues to jump up to previous levels.

My role (self-appointed) on the panel will be to carry the flag of reality. I do think that there are some valuable lessons and best practices that can be applied to hotels, resorts and other destinations. If adopted, they will have a positive influence for the companies that implement and execute them properly. But it takes a LOT of work. It takes dedication. It takes a clear vision and strategy. And it takes a willingness to be flexible in tactics.

Should be a lot of fun. Thanks to Fionn from Elixir Interactive for inviting me to participate.

Do you have any insight on this topic? Leave me a comment. I'll try and work in as many relevant comments into my answers as possible.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why wait for a conference?

Evo and The New Media InterchangeImage by sheiladeeisme via FlickrNew Media unshackles the notion of a broadcast schedule. Traditional media is waking up to this fact (hello, Hulu). Audiences have been there for a while (hello, TiVo). Conferences and conventions are getting into the act, albeit from their tech-savvy attendees (hello, uStream).

So what am I waiting for?

On the plane back from NAR2008, I sketched out an outline for 5 MORE Reasons Your Podcast SUCKS, and 5 Reasons You Suck on Twitter. My first two talks in this vein (Podcast & iTunes suckage) met with rave reviews when I presented them at Podcamp AZ. I just need a venue to give the talks.

But I already have one. I don't need to wait for a "live" event, attract 100 or so folks to show up at a specific time and place, and hope someone catches it on video. I can produce the talks as new media files and use the Four Corners of New Media (I'll define that in a future presentation/post) to give even more people a chance to see it.

(Of course, I'll not turn down a live speaking invitation. If you're looking for a dynamic speaker, give me a call!)

I am cognizant of diminishing value. You should be, too. That's why when I give a live talk, I try my best to make it interactive. Interactivity is difficult to do with new media. At least, it's not as seamless and efficient as it is when you are live with a crowd. And I think that's the key difference. Yes, you may contract with me to come speak at your event. Yes, there may be an archived media file of me speaking on that topic right on my website, if not all over the webbernets. And yes, you could project said media file up on the Jumbo-Tron rather than fly me in. But people could only shout questions at the screen... and I doubt they'd get a response.

Props to Podcasting News for posting the article that got me thinking about this. It looks like I have some work to do.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Taking a mulligan on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseI've been an active user of Twitter for close to two years now. And like any useful social media or new media tool, I've changed how I interact with it multiple times. The only constant in life is change, and a tool that accommodates my changing needs will always have a place in my metaphorical tool kit.

Thanks to TweetDeck, I'm changing behaviors once again. Previously, I was very selective of who I followed. That strategy fit me well, as I couldn't abide the constant stream of tweets from people who either A) tweeted too much for my tastes, or B) I had no idea really who they were. Neither Twitterific or Twhirl helped stem that tide (though I still use Twhirl since it allows you to be logged into multiple accounts), and obviously neither did the web-interface for Twitter itself. But TweetDeck changes things.

The trouble is this: Now that I'm taking a much more liberal approach1 to who I chose to follow, I'm not following many of the people who currently follow me. And as I've learned from my recent "growth spurts" of followers at Podcamp AZ and the NAR 2008 National conference, not following people hinders their ability to communicate with me via direct message (DM). Instead, they have to use the @ reply feature, cluttering up the Twitter stream with context-less updates. I hate that, and want to work to change it.

So if I'm not following you and you'd like to be able to DM me, follow these simple steps:
  1. Make sure your profile is complete. I still want to know who I'm following. Having a name I recognize, a bio that tells me who you are and a URL where I can get additional information helps when your recent Tweets don't give me much of a clue.
  2. Stop following me. By the way, the command is "leave" to stop following, not "unfollow". Or you can just visit my profile and uncheck "following" under my image.
  3. Follow me again. That will send me a new notification, so I can take a second look at your profile. I still have some standards1, but I'd like to consider you again.

Let's try that again!

1 - I don't auto-follow. Something has to look interesting, and I'll never follow bots or those who don't understand the toolset. It's about a conversation, not about selling. Updates are fine, but post something of value. Look for a "5 Reasons You Suck on Twitter" post soon.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Media Strategies for Real Estate Professionals

I spoke at NAR 2008 (National Association of Realtors) today. It was their national convention, held in Orlando Florida. My topic was "digital business strategies", but the presentation I created was really new media strategies. I tailored the topic specific to the needs of real estate professionals brand new to the ideas and concepts behind new media.

Mad props to Steve Belt, Jay Thompson, D. Patrick Lewis, Nick Bastian & Justin McHood for their sage advice on the kinds of things the audience would be interested in. I think it was a rousing success!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

5 Reasons Why Your Podcast SUCKS on iTunes preso

More from my talks at Podcamp AZ last weekend!

No, this isn't the same as the previously posted slidshow. Pay close attention to the title. This one is all about things you are (probably) doing wrong on iTunes.

I make plenty of examples out of plenty of my friends here. I hope none of them take it personally. Just pointing out errors. Might as well use friends, right?

There's also some video that Queen Geek captured. If you can find a way to sync them together, have at it!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

5 Reasons Why Your Podcast SUCKS preso

I know not everyone could watch me present this topic in person at Podcamp AZ over the weekend. So I'm posting it here. There isn't any audio, so you may have to struggle to grasp the concept of some of the slides. Someone with more time would have recorded an audio track to go along with it. in fact, you may find such a recording of me giving this talk online. Search for it. If you find it, let me know and I'll link to it.

UPDATE: Dani recorded the session and has made it available, so now you can listen while you watch!

Note The Law of Two Feet applies to viewing this presentation. If it's not for you -- as in you aren't looking to increase your audience size or to improve it's attractiveness to sponsors, advertisers, critics or whoever -- then don't watch. I'm happy to have you tell me why I'm incorrect on some assumptions, but also remember that you're only watching. You don't have my words to back up these slides.

With that, enjoy!

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Happy Birthday, Mom

Evo and his MomImage by mrsonion42 via Flickr60 years ago today, the Chicago Tribune printed their famous "DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN" gaff. OOPS! And according to history reported on Google, not a godsdamned thing else happened that day.

I posit to you that a great travesty of justice occurred when those few hundred errant copies captured the attention of a nation. For that event overshadowed something far more important to me.

My mom was born.

Happy birthday, Mom. Sixty years. Seven hundred twenty months. Twenty one thousand, nine hundred fourteen days. Well over half of a million hours. But who's counting? ;)

I love you, Mom. Here's to another 60 more.

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