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  1. 2011 The Year of 52 Phone Calls #yearof52calls

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    One of my 2011 goals was to find a new way to deepen online relationships.  Since some of the people I wanted to chat with are not within the cities I lived in, in 2011 I had to overcome location. So I wanted to try a different channel, what I came up with was “The Year of 52 calls”. The premise was to call a different person every week throughout the year. Sounds easy right? Well after making it through the whole year I partially succeed at my goal!

    I partially succeeded in number, but I fully succeeded in making some awesome connections even better! I think for 2012 I am going to continue on this path, but with major refinements. Below are the results of the fun I had and people I called.

     

    Week 1:

    Called Robyn Flach 1/7/2011: we talked family, business happenings, social media in the social context.  Scheduled a lunch appointment.

    Robyn Flach

     

    Called Sarah Kay Hoffman 1/7/2011: left Sarah and voicemail, she left me a tweet about not using the phone well.

     

    Week 2:

    Called Nicole Nicolay 1/12/2011: left a voicemail about what I was doing with the year of 52 calls.  Gave her my phone number and told her if she wanted to call that would be totally cool, but know running a business and being a mom life is busy!

    Called Alissa Ausan 1/12/2011: left a voicemail

    Voicemails for 52 Calls

    Week 3:

    Called Shelly Kramer 1/18/2011: Talked with Shelley about the business for 2011. Found out a little more about company. She helps companies with strategic planning and content management. Talked about Yammer and streamlining communication.  What I do for Target, what I have planned for 2011.

    Week 4:

    Called Leigh Caraccioli 1/27/2011:Had a wonderful conversation with Leigh about all things going on with her business, the family, and her book she is writing. I did not know about the book, so this was an awesome surprise. I also learned that her husband works for a company based out of Minneapolis and we started talking about her and her family coming up here to hang out. Leigh and I have known each other online for 2 years and this was the first time she and I talked on the phone.  This phone call is why I am doing this activity!

    Leigh Caraccioli

    Week 5:

    Called Katie Felten 2/04/2011: This was the first time we had ever spoken via the phone. Katie and I had a wonderful conversation about finding what the next steps of career are, exchanging social media stories, and told her about my tracking airport check-ins to find and connect with people.

    Katie Felten

     

    Katie Felten

     

    Week 6:

    Called Kris Colvin 02/17/2011:  Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring….so wanted to talk with Kristi too!

    LeeAnn Youngquist and Kristi Colvin

    Called LeeAnn Youngquist 02/17/2011: Let a message for following up a previous lunch that was cancelled.  Really looking forward to catching back up with LeeAnn!

     

    Called Ria Sharon 02/18/2011: So I used skype for the first time for the year of 52 calls!  Ria and I have known each other online for roughly two years.  We had a wonderful conversation about business, how to succeed and creating new business models instead of fixing the ones we have currently.  Ok now my head hurts!

    Ria Sharon

     

    Week 7:

    Called KT Wall 3/09/2011: Great conversation about life in Atlanta. Working for the Ad Agency in Atlanta and many of her friends getting married this summer!

    KT Wall

     

    Week 8:

    Called Angel Oakley 3/11/2011: Since Angel and I were both attending #ungeeked in May I wanted to get to know her before going to the conference. We have a great conversation about Chicago and owning her own business.

    Angel Oakley

     

    Week 9:

    Called Me Amy Roark 3/20/2011: This is was a reverse rule for the year of 52 calls, but hey I am making the rules! Amy and I got to know each other and discussed some strategies about marketing, cultivation, and formal ask for money for a whole new community of givers.  This conversation brought to light an uptapped market in Minneapolis!

    Amy Roark

     

    Week 10:

    Called Sima Dahl 5/19/2011: After meeting Sima at #ungeeked in Chicago, I had to talk more to this very powerful, energetic, get stuff done woman!  We had a wonderful conversation about personal brand (and my take about some of it being bullshit, she agreed partially), speaking, and running her own business.

    Sima Dahl

     

    Week 11:

    Called Erika Napoletano 6/06/2011: I finally got up the nerve to call Erika! This was a long process for me gaining the courage to talk with her live.  I am so glad I did! We talked about live in CO, writing 2 books (that are completely unrelated to each other), and just getting to know each other stuff.

    Erika Napoletano

     

    Week 12:

    Called Peggy Fitzpatrick 6/29/2011: Peggy and I met and hit it off big time at #ungeeked! During all of the transition stuff to Virginia I wanted to chat with her about some east coast stuff. Plus I wanted to catch up on all the happenings since the conference!

    Peggy Fitzpatrick

     

    Peggy Fitzpatrick

     

     Week 13:

    Scott Wild Called Me 9/16/2011: So this was a turn of events, Scott called me after a question I made on twitter. We had a great conversation about relocation and catching up after doing a podcast with him and folks from TodayMade.com

    Scott Wild

     

    Week 14:

    Called Liza Sperling  10/07/2011: Liza and I met while I was out in San Francisco back in May 2011 for the SMOC Conference. I wanted to chat up to see how Liza was doing and hear about the Valley happenings.  We talked strategy, job seeking, and tech stuff!

    Liza Sperling

     

    Week 15:

    Called Jen Howver on 10/13/2011: Jen and I actually went to High School together and she reached out to me via twitter about a year ago to reconnect. We also had a chance to reconnect IRL at #ungeeked in Chicago. We caught up about all the moving I had done, ungeeked related news, and general family things.

    Jen Howver

     

    Week 16:

    Called Cassandra Girard on 10/17/2011: Cassandra and I met through Tara Hunt when Buyopshere.com launched about a year ago. We have still connected through the year while the evolution and revolution of their business model on the web. Cassandra and I chatted about release of version one of buyosphere community. Very excited I have had the opportunity to participate and add some value to their evolution!

    Cassandra Girad

    Week 17:

    Called Brianna Foulds 10/26/2011: Brianna and I have known each other across the social web for the last couple of years. I reached out as part of this Year of 52 Calls starting back in May of 2011. Because Brianna lives in LA and I at the time lived in Minneapolis made lining up the day to chat difficult.  We plugged thru it though throwing messages back and forth until we finally connect.  We had a wonderful conversation about relocation, reestablishing networks, and just plain getting to know each other! It was finally great to see hard work pay off!

    Brianna Foulds

     

    Week 18:

    Called Kasey Skala 12/29/2011: Kasey and I met in Minneapolis a few years back. I had planned on making him a part of the #Yearof52Calls and finally made this happen. It just so happens Kasey and I  are now in the same business model of working for a corporation that sells and operates franchises.  I needed to get some advice, insight, and knowledge dropped on me about this business.  So Kasey and chatted about processes, people, and especially technology.  We will be doing this again!

    Kasey Skala

     

    Missy Berggren called 12/29/2011: A reverse #yearof52calls Missy Berggren called me after I posted a funny comment on one of her facebook posts.  She got a kick out the topic that a feller would touch with a 10 foot pool! We had a chance to catch up and touchbase since I had moved from Minneapolis in July.  See how the connected world leads to more connections through different channels!

    Missy Berggren

     

    Experiences:

    • Seems awkward at the beginning when I say who I am and they pause.  Typically I ask do you know who I am or no?  Keith Privette from Twitter, usually blings the light bulb.
    • The conversations do not seem to flow as easy as they do online.  Adding voice and natural conversation ques seem a little awkward on the phone. 3. Conversations enhance the on and offline relationship.
    • Making the time to make the phone calls. If you don’t setup the schedule and figure out who you are going to call….you don’t do it! Next time around I am setting up a 6month schedule.  Then 3 months in setting up the next 6 months!
    • Keep track of new people you establish a rapport with! These are great candidates to connect with early to strength the connection!

     

  2. Whoa what a 2011

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    So I have never done a wrap up of a year post before, but I thought back on 2011 and actually wanted to write it down! So here goes, this is what happened to me in 2011 and hoping 2012 is just as exciting…it may be hard to top!

     

    1. I worked at 3 different companies and worked for 4 different companies. Ok let me explain:

    Started the year at Target Corp, then went back into consulting for Analysts International working on contact at Best Buy, then went to work for Liberty Tax Services in November. See 3 companies worked at and worked for 4.  All very exciting and challenging project work in a short amount of time!

     

    2. I moved from Minnesota to Virginia!

    After 16 years of living in Minnesota the Privette family decided to pick up our roots and head south!  My wife Tara got a huge career opportunity, so we decided as a family to take off on this adventure.  This has turned out to be one of the best decisions we have made in a long time!  Upon moving here within a month the Great Dismal Swap started on fire and burned for 3 months, an earthquake happened while I was having lunch with Joe Ruiz in Richmond, VA and finally we got to experience our first hurricane called Irene.  I hope Virginians did not attribute this to the Privette family arriving to Virginia! Luckily it has been quite quiet since August.

          

    Joey Me Jace 1st Picture in VA July 2011

     

    First Day of School VA

     

    Hurricane Irene

     

    Norfolk Tides Game

     

    Norfolk Tides Game

     

    3. Got an opportunity to publicly speak at  2 venues!

    I have always wanted to publicly speak and I finally got my opportunity to do so at 2 venues this year.  The first one was at #Ungeeked Chicago.  I had been following this venue since the beginning and wanted to get on the docket at one close to Minnesota.  That turned out to be in Chicago (sort of a homecoming for me, which added to the excitement of going) and decided to submit a topic and by golly I got selected.  At first this was supposed to be a mini-session, but when another speaker bowed out at the last minute, I was given an opportunity to speak in a larger session! This was such an awesome experience. I was able to bring in a different perspective about how a business analyst or a good technology project manager offers the marketing, HR, marketing, and social technology organizations a resource they might not have considered in the past,  to successfully implement and manage their technology landscape.

    The second venue was at the Social Media Optimization Conference in San Fransico, CA.  I was asked by Todd Tweedy (which I got to meet in 2011 and hang out with at this conference!) to be on a panel discussing Advanced Social Media Advertising Techniques.  This was a blast because I got to bring the perspective of the social consumer based on the techniques implemented. It offered up a ying and yang to the discussion!

    @PegFitzpatrick & I at #UnGeeked Chicago

     

    Amanda Hite @sexythinker #UnGeeked Chicago

     

    SMOC 2011 San Francisco, CA

     

    SMOC 2011 San Francisco, CA

    4. The people I had an opportunity to meet #IRL (in real life)

    Probably the most exciting part of 2011 was the people I finally had an opportunity to meet this year! Here is the list of folks I got to meet and have some great conversations with.  Thank you for making time to meet!!!!

    Olivier Blandchard   Peggy Fitzpatrick    Sam Fiorella    Sean McGinnis   Cd Vann   Amanda Hite Liza Sperling  Katie Felten   Zack Miller   Joey Hill   Jan Ferguson   Jason Falls   Amber Naslund Troy Janisch   Dave Murr  Lauren Breuning  Shanna Gratton  Jeff Willinger   Ray Wang   Dawn Miller   Joe Sorge   Joe Ruiz   Brandie McCallum   Cam Gross   Robert Stephens   Corie Rose   Jay Senn   Jenny Renynolds   Nina James   Joshua Garity   Kristin Elizabeth Smith   Rohit Bhargava   Tim Moerke   John Blaska   Todd Tweedy   Digital Rebecca  Andrew Hodel   Jim Keenan   

    ps: If I missed you on this list please drop me a comment & I will update. I can update it’s my blog after-all!

    5. Participated in my 1st startup weekend here in VA!

    One the first people I met when moving to Virginia Beach, VA was Zack Miller of We Are Titans.  While chatting over coffee he mentioned he was bringing the first ever StartUp weekend to Norfolk.  I had always wanted to participate in an event like this, so I signed up. Little did I know I was going to be working on a project team vying for a potential to receive $20,000 startup money to make the app become a reality!  Our team did not win, but the experience was an overwhelming success in my book.  So much so, I have volunteered to help plan, organize and make the next one even bigger!

    StartNorfolk Nov 2011

     

    StartNorfolk Nov 2011

     

    StartNorfolk Nov 2011

     

    StartNorfolk Nov 2011

     

    6. For the past year got the opportunity to help out the Buyosphere.com team

    Back in January 2011 Tara Hunt of Buyosphere asked if anyone in the community wanted to help out and dedicate some time to testing, using, and providing feedback to the beta version of Buyosphere.com (back then it was Shwowp.com). I jumped at the opportunity to be on the ground floor of what I think has huge potential in the buying experience space and #VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) space.  Over the past year I have used the product, tested releases and provided feedback this past year.  It has been a wonderful experience to truly help some really fantastic entreprenuers in the technology space.  Thank Tara Hunt, Jerome Paradis, and Cassandra Girard for the opportunity to get to know you and help out!

    Buyosphere.com

     

    7. Got an acknowledge in a Book…uh me? Really?

    Yes really! I had no idea my good friend Olivier Blanchard gave me an acknowledgement in his book until I got the book.  Someone sorta tipped me off before my copy arrived (you know who you are…), so I was on the lookout. To be acknowledged by someone I respect and consider a virtual mentor was pretty darn cool in my book.  I opened it up and started reading and sure enough! If you would like more information on this book, just click the image. I HIGHLY recommend this book any person or company heading into, already in, or wanting to evolve their social business.

    Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard Acknowledgement

     

    So here is to hoping 2012 is as fun filled, adventurous and exciting!  I set the bar pretty high for myself in 2011, which I don’t mind trying to climb over in 2012! I wish everyone the best of luck in 2012. Have an idea pursue it, have a bucket list cross some stuff off, want to try something different try it, lose weight, quit smoking, meet new folks, start a hobby, etc, etc etc…the only person stopping you is YOU. Found this out first hand in 2011!

  3. The First Social Salsa: How relationships make dreams come true

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    Todd's Salsa

     

    The other day I received an email from [ilink url=”http://twitter.com/audiencemachine”]Todd Tweedy[/ilink] of [ilink url=”http://www.audiencemachine.com”]Audience Machine[/ilink] that really warmed my heart (no I was not eating his salsa at the time, more on that further on). Finally a story about how you leverage personal relationships and the social interwebs to make an idea come to life.

    Todd has been experimenting with perfecting his salsa reciepes and felt he was onto something that people would love to eat.  He brought some to a local [ilink url=”http://www.freshtart.net/”]Minnesota food blogger[/ilink] [ilink url=”https://twitter.com/freshtartsteph”]Stephanie Mayer[/ilink] and she convinced him to go for it.  So Todd did and leveraged every relationship on and offline to get his dream off the ground.  I will let the email speak for itself about how [ilink url=”http://www.wedge.coop/”]Todd got his dream on his first shelf at the Wedge Co-Op in Minneapolis[/ilink]

    You can check out all the latest developments of this story at [ilink url=”https://www.facebook.com/toddssalsa”]Todd’s Salsa over on Facebook[/ilink], because I have a feeling it will be a long one. And speaking of Facebook he was just at their headquarters with his Salsa!

    Happy Thursday!  

    I hope you’re doing well.  I have some news to share…  I’m a Salsa Maker!

    I started making three types of fresh refrigerated salsa that are available exclusively at The Wedge Co-op – www.wedge.coop – in Minneapolis, MN.

    My salsa line is called Todd’s Salsa.  I use nine types of chiles to make a Fresh Roasted Tomatillo Salsa using two 40 pound cases of fresh tomatillos to make 1 case of my roasted tomatillo salsa, a classic red salsa with Roma tomatoes from a dedicated field that just grows premium Romas, and a Hot Roast Chile Salsa that is about 80% chiles.

    Facebook will be my site’s my presence online => http://www.facebook.com/toddssalsa  I hope you’ll give my page some LIKE love and post a message on my wall.

    What makes my salsas The First Social Salsa.  The President Obama hasn’t tried them — yet!!  Besty – little help here!  But, I was on AIM with Len Bilello from USAToday talking about salsa of all things.   And, I shared the story of how I almost missed my launch because my printer came back with a print date that was two-weeks too late while I was playing golf on a Thursday afternoon!  So what did I do?

    I posted on Facebook that I needed help on Friday morning and by early afternoon thanks to Tracy Naghshineh I was introduced to Fern Peterson with Imagine Print Solutions http://www.imagineps.com – who rescued me!  My print job of 18,000 labels was delivered Tuesday thanks to Facebook.

    How did I learn about UPC codes?  Social media of course!  Keith Privette introduced me to Paula Giovannetti the UPC code goddess at Best Buy. Paula saved me from making a huge mistake.

    Cathy Paper of Rock Paper Star http://www.rockpaperstar.com/ turn social media networking via an event she was hosting into an opportunity for me to meet foodies like Donn Kelly who provided great tips and insights.

    Joe Paulini introduced me to Robert Farr a fellow salsa maker.

    My insurance agent Mark Phillips at Dolliff Insurance http://www.dolliff.com made so many introductions.

    I don’t know where to start but Stephanie Meyer – MN Food Blogger – http://www.facebook.com/groups/minnesotafoodbloggers/ was the catalyst.  Her reviews inspired me to go for it.  Check out this Fish Taco recipe – http://www.freshtart.net/Screw–Snow-Fish-Tacos-15173087

    Hat tip to Andrea Vollmer of Feed the Dog http://www.feedthedogcreative.com/ for an amazing label design!

    My salsa company was launched on Facebook!

    Best,

    Todd
    P.S.  No I’m not quitting my day job!
    Todd Tweedy
    Managing Director
    Audience Machine Inc.
    http://www.audiencemachineSo if you have an idea, dream, passion leverage the relationships you have built! You never know where it will lead and who they can potentially introduce you too.  This is a great example how to effectively use on and offline relationships to get ideas from your head out into the wild!  You to can make things happen too. I know I will! Will you?
  4. I think the dingo ate my Network…

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    This post was inspired by a person I have never met in real life, but have struck up conversations across the social web about relocationing and networking. [ilink url=”http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maryanne-shew/7/950/202″]Maryanne Shew[/ilink] and I have both moved to new cities at the same time.  Maryanne has moved to Salt Lake City and I have Virginia Beach, VA. We have been having conversations about our experiences over on facebook, so I decided to share some experiences and tips about how to establish a new network of people, organizations, and companies. Some of things that may work for me as a guy, may not work for woman and vice a versa.  More about this later in the post.

    Here is the conversation that inspired me to make this post:

       

    Keith Privette

    How to start over in a new city where you barely know anyone.  Let me tell you it is not easy. I lived in Minneapolis for 15 years. That is a long time to be in one place, right? Well it is for me since graduating college. So we picked up everything and moved to Virginia Beach, VA in July 2011. The reason my wife got a huge career opportunity here and we decided to take the risk and dig up the roots and plant them here in Virginia. From what I am told this is rather unique. I do believe in the next five to ten years this will become common place, so you fellas support your woman when they have this chance.

    Here are some tips at going about rebuilding a new network, while maintaining the one you have have already built. This is very important. Just because you are in a new city with new people does not mean you neglect the relationships you have built and cherished.

    1. Use your connecting skills on twitter

    Being that I have fully engaged on twitter since April, 2008 it has become second nature to find people on twitter for me.  I find twitter being the lowest barrier for connecting.  All you have to do is hit the follow button and bam you are partially connected already.  Now with the follow button has to come some organization of this noise or you will not effectively use it for reestablishing your network. Once the decision had been made that we were relocating I setup a Twitter List called Virginia Beach to start adding profiles to it as I found people that lived in this part of the country.

    This list contains people, companies, and news outlets for the region.  By following people and adding them to the list right away I was able to setup a column on my Seemic web and a short cut on my EVO to follow the conversations happening in this list. That is only 50% of the equation of this networking activity.  Then you have to start having conversations with people to truly make the connections. If you find interesting things people or companies are saying ReTweet them. If you find something to respond to, respond to it.  Start promoting things in the area events, conferences, and jobs.

    This helps to show commitment to helping out the area not just broadcasting.  Now the conversations may not happen right away, that is ok.  These new people have to get to know.  Have patiences the conversations will happen!

    2. Use searches on Meetup.com

    I have to admit I really forgot how much organizations and people use meetup.com!  I used to use this tool a lot a couple years ago, but like many tools if the communities you are involved are not using them, you tend to place them on the back burner.  Well when starting in a new city Meetup is a vital resource to finding out, engaging and getting involved in a new city or region.  There are a many many many organizations that use meetup to schedule events and organize communities.

    The first thing I did was update my profile to begin my searching and getting new information email to me based on my new city. After updating my profile I bagan searching for organizations that fit my professional and personal interests.  This can be many different things to many different people, so right size it to your needs.  I have been looking for recruiting organizations, social media organizations, project management organizations, and non-profits to get involved with here in Virginia Beach or Norfolk.

    I have already joined one meetup group and looking to join others real soon. The biggest step you will need to take is registering for events and showing up.  This will changer everything for you.  You can not play on the sidelines of this platform.  This tool is used to truly live the long-tail of the on and offline relationship.  Trust me you will be nervous, unsure about going and scared.  It is ok, everyone is, I know I am sometimes.

    3. Find events on Eventbrite.com

    Much like meetup.com Eventbrite.com is an events planning and community organization platform.   Once again update your profile so people know you live in the area.  Then start doing searches for events you want to attend.  Many of these events will be paid events, so break open the wallet.

    There will be return on the small investments you make.  Now what I have seen you will find all kinds of events to attend on eventbrite! So invest time is searching one time events and reoccurring events. This platform will get you involved very quickly.  Additionally if you don’t find what you are looking for create your own event!

    Yes you being new to a city can start your own events. I saw this a lot in Minneapolis and many of them have built quite a community of participation. So if you think your new city may be missing an organization or a monthly type of event CREATE IT!  This will for sure be a benefit to the community as well to yourself getting plugged in and engaged.

    4. Find new folks by their bio’s on twitter using Followerwonk.com

    This platform has proven to be my biggest asset in finding people in my new city! I was introduced to this tool by my very good friend Kary Delaria about a year and half ago! This platform let you find people based on their twitter bio’s.  Once again when I learned we were moving I started researching people’s twitter bio’s in the cities that I was going to be living in and by.

    Now I am not suggesting start following everyone that shows up in your search. Start with a plan and some criteria you would like to find people.  First search find people with the same city as you. You may already be following people in that city based on previous interaction. The platform shows the following relationship.

    Here is an example of how the tool shows the relationship: Followerwonk after searching Virginia Beach:

    5. Use Tweet.Grader.com to find top Tweeters in your new area!

    Hubspot has made a great free tool to find people and or companies in your new area.  You can read bio’s and view how the internet views people and companies in your new area.  To take the next step is follow these people and utilize suggestions #1. This will keep all these new people organized and actionable.  You will be able to reach out quicker if you add to list or you are just adding them to your following and hoping you see in your feed.  Here is an example of the search I used:

     

    These tools along with your online profiles should help you get started rebuilding your professional and personal connections in your area. Then it is up to you to start meeting people offline. None of these tools can help with that.  The platforms can help you organize, find, and lower the barriers for communication, but they will be all for naught if you don’t take it offline and let people get to know you IRL (In Real Life). This brings me to the the interesting point Maryanne brought up.

    I started making the above suggestions to make connections, then I mentioned to start asking people to meet for coffee or lunch. Which she promptly told me this is much different for woman than it is for men. Which I had to pause and think about this comment. My perspective was and has always remained “It is just coffee or lunch!”  For me making this suggestion did not matter to me whether you were a woman or a man.

    With Maryanne’s explanation that a single woman in a new city the opposite gender may get the wrong idea, which makes the next step of IRL in a one on one situation not as quick. A few group events may be the direction before this step is taken in most cases for woman. Which has now enlightened me to understand when making the request out of the blue to woman.

    Woman go through a different thought process about this request than I do. So thank you Maryanne for that suggestion. Don’t let this stop the connecting, I am suggesting just be aware of the situation, gender, and perspective when making the ask. Now go forth and rebuild that network!

    If there are other platforms or people I should be connecting with please leave a comment below! Oh and Maryanne and I have also discussed doing a co-written post about what does our networks and experiences look like 4 or 6 months later. Also I have asked Maryanne to make a guest post on my site (can not wait for her to do this, giddy actually!!!)

  5. Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber

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    So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

    Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

    I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

    I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

    It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

    For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

    You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

    So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!

     

  6. Social Networking Tips from a Regular Guy

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    This will be an ongoing list of networking tips from a regular guy making his way through this wacky wacky world of reality and social networking. Hope you enjoy and please comment and let me know what you think:

    Networking Tip #1: Just ask people to meet once you establish a good foundation. Don’t be afraid many people want to meet face to face!  Jokingly I told people a while back I had a 98% success rate on my asking, but went back and looked at numbers and yes since Jan 2010 I have met with 67 people face to face many asks on my part.  Only one in a round about way turned me down.  Not bad hey.

    Networking Tip #2: Be yourself when meeting with experienced professionals. they want to know the whole you. Don’t let titles scare you!

    Networking Tip #3: If I ask I pay or if this is the first time me and this individual have met.  Additionally,  if the meeting goes well you will get a second meeting!  We are a pretty “keep it socially equal” type society which is awesome to social networking.  The “Hey I owe you lunch or coffee” subject is awesome from my perspective.

    Networking Tip #4: Build a connection hub for yourself and own your online presence!  Where your at is mine.  All my other profiles point back to this one and I point this to my most prominent digital landscape.  This way people can explore everything about me, but they get the 3D personality in real life

    Networking Tip #5: Set up Google Alerts for your email addresses and name to be notified when it is used online.

    Networking Tip #6: Use Twitter to connect with really interesting, action oriented, passionate people.  Even better if you do not know them. Start a conversation and engage to build that relationship.  I find this community has the lowest barrier to connect and start a conversation, which is key when finding people from your industry vertical or not.

    Networking Tip #7: In the course of meeting someone live or online (encourage both as a strategy) they offer up a name you should talk with or meet, politely ask for an introduction.  When this social capital exchange happens, good indicator it is going well or it did go well!

    Networking Tip #8: Call people when you have not connected in a while. Call them for no reason at all. Facebook.com has a darn nice Phonebook (you should go check it out).  Maybe call to line up schedules for that first meet up.  Personally I have been doing more of this especially with DM’s on twitter or @replies with questions.

    Networking Tip #9: Put some time into profile Bio within all your accounts you have established. This is your 30sec commercial for yourself. It also helps people know who you are.  Make sure to follow have the link back to #4.

    Networking Tip #10: Organize your Facebook contacts into groups that make sense to you. This makes for targeted communications fast. If you have not started start today and keep up while you add new contacts.

    Networking Tip #11: Find the Fan Pages you are passionate about and invite others to join these fan pages.  It is right under the logo on the Fan Page.  This creates the “Like” in the News Feed and people start making connections this way.

    Networking Tip #12: Use your Lists for organizing your signal on twitter!  Especially useful on a mobile app to be able to go to a certain list and scroll and scan the information to engage and make connections with.

    Networking Tip #13: There are plenty of events to go to in any town, start going to them!  Regardless of membership or being in your industry.  When you sign up for these events tell everyone you are going.  Then when at an event meet at least 2 new people.  I know this sounds corny, but if you talk to the same people online as well as offline, I feel you are missing out.

    Networking Tip #14: My last tip and this one I think is the best one and love doing this all the time.  When you see two, three or even four people you know that don’t know each other and should (of course insert biased opinion here) introduce them!  Or if people want to meet some one you know you use the reverse of #7.  I personally do this all the time and for me it feels good to connect people!

    So I hope this helps it you were wondering how to make the book you just read become reality.  My best advice for social networking is that it is an on going experiment.  Being curious, wanting to connect, wanting to learn, wanting to create, wanting to improve and wanting help will be key behaviors to an on going successful experiment within social networking.

    Oh and one final thought “Go forth and Cross Pollinate those Verticals” – @keithprivette

  7. The Adventures of Captain Client and Vendorman

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    As you can tell by the title I am going to take the approach of citing observations and readings about the landscape of the Client Vendor relationship dynamic and how it should function like a good Superhero combo not Hero vs. Arch Enemy.  Over the years I have been on both sides of the equation of this relationship and seen some pretty jaw dropping and eye popping relationship building interactions.  These situations usually end the same way, Clients dislike the Vendor and the Vendor thinks the Client doesn’t get it.

     

    The general dynamics of the current behavior of most business to business (B2B)  relationships fall into a similar pattern of interaction.  The interaction goes a little like this: The Client wants everything for Free and The Vendor wants to charge top dollar for every product and service. Does this sound pretty close to the 60-70% of the current relationship.  Inherently this relationship is doomed to fail. There has to be a better way right, there is!

    I think social media and the emergence of the social business design will start to help this B2B relationship to start functioning like the great super hero combos of history.  Clients and Vendors can really collaborate and develop strong partnerships in the public view, then together start helping consumers by their great superhero collaborations!  The Client and Vendor start to have a greater appreciation for where they compliment each other.  Where they are both going for 5 years.  If the realtionship would start off talking about planning and what can we solve or create instead of atribition, we can move into healither more socially and financially successful partnerships for each business and the consumers they serve.

     

    Now with social media\technologies\business design there is so much to gain from being transparent and honest in public, that the behind the scenes collaboration will be so much better. Then the consumers start trusting two companies they might not had even thought were partnering on things!  Now this does come with several layers of complexity, huge behavioral shifts, and open constructive communication, but I think there are huge opportunities for the B2B landscape to produce some really cool and innovative products and services.  Businesses will have the ability to expand and contract based on higher level of need around design, innovation, and consumer advocacy.

     

    These “collaborative” relationships can really help each side focus on their core business and have the confidence that their counterparts are in the game with them.  One area I see more and more examples of these great Client Vendor partnerships being executed well are in the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS spaces.  I think one of the main reasons is operating in the Cloud is a completely different way of collaborating than build, install, or staff augmentation when dealing with a Vendor that provides these products and services.  Plus additionally I see this same mantra being carried into the app market for most mobile carriers.  Clients and Vendors are starting to understand the complimentary approach to each other not the competitive approach.

    So if  [Your Company] is Robin who is your Batman, if  [Your Company] is Superman who is your Spiderman (they teamed up a couple of times) If we are Captain America who is our Green Lantern……even Spiderman and a Ninja Turtle

     

    Let me know what you think will make these relationships get better.  What can we do on the Client side to shift our thinking?, what types of Vendor behaviors should we be looking for?
  8. Now that was a discussion Thank You caribouchat13

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    I had such a wonderful morning with a great group of people and  I wanted to share a LOT more than 140 characters.  I was invited to attend #caribouchat13 this morning thru a twitvite from Sarah Kay Hoffman.  She wanted to meet me IRL, so she made a point to make sure I got the invite (love these invites).  I don’t know how the other 12 went, but I had an absolute blast sharing, connecting, and meeting this group of people this morning.

    I would like to thank @gialyons  @asquibb  @warehousemedia  @socialnicole  @bobstanke  @sarahkayhoffman  @JasonSandquist  @joelecarlson and special guest appearance via Skype from the UK @mngurl1183 for putting the rest of my day on cloud nine and energizing me to tackle just about anything!

    The social dynamic was awesome! We did a little roundtable introducing ourselves, so people got to know who each one of us are aside from our twitter handles.  I have a greater appreciation for people’s perspective based on the live version of themselves versus the bio and link!  Then since we all have some way or another shared experiences, emotions, information, connection we started talking…..no real format, no real structure, no real rules. It equaled total awesomeness (I don’t know if that is even a word, who cares that is how I feel).

    • Justin Ware shared about his venture into freelancing work doing some cool things with media and video
    • Anna Squibb shared the awesome things she has going on at www.caringbridge.com (they are hiring!!!!)
    • Gia Lyons shared the awesome stories what she has going on at Jive Software www.jivesoftware.com (personally big fan especially for #scrm space)
    • Jason Sandquist shared about people looking for him via google and some search are quite funny!
    • Bob Stanke shared even though the commute not the best (same for Jason) would not trade because company works for www.lifetimefitness.com
    • Joel Carlson gave us some background about twitterviews and what his is in the market looking to do.
    • Nicole Harrison shared about consulting about social media to non-profits and challenges of teenagers and social media (you do have a permanent record)
    • Sarah Hoffman shared about some upcoming potential jobs and working on some studies about GenZ (kids that are 1 or 2 now or not even born what is tech and social going to affect how they see the world.  FASCINATING!)

    All of these introductions spurred some many different conversations about kids, family, work, RV’ing (Go figure), clients, who is using what, where and who is hiring, who I can connect you with.  All things in a group discussion that makes me happy.  The best part I felt there was going to be real action taken based on this conversation, that is the best part.  I know I am scheduling some lunches and connecting on some initiatives!

    There was such honesty and genuineness to our conversations it was like we had known each other for years.  That is one of the social dynamics I see flowing from online to offline is the genuine connectedness in our communication.  We share, we care, we understand, we listen, we communicate with no barriers.  The tail of the relationship is I feel much longer these days.  It is not just the every three to six month lunch, well it is that, but so much happens relationship wise in between there to stay connected based on being socially connected online as well.  I wish every meeting, every project, every problem could be solved and acted upon like this group came together this morning.

    The other thing I saw in our communication was the willingness to help connect people to jobs, so those doubters that say social media can’t find me a job, it is maybe true to a point, but it sure can help you find the people that can find you a job.  Four of the individuals were looking for a more permanent job solutions and right away without hesitation people started sharing their connections, it was about as fast as you can fire off 140 characters!  That was one of the best displays of human connectedness I had seen in a long time!  Give yourself a pat on the back for sharing and trying to help someone else out today (you know who you are!)

    So I just wanted to say thank you to all the folks above for truly making this a wonderful day! Thank you Sarah and Bob for having 12 of these and inviting me to the 13th.  I look forward to more and more of these #caribouchat meetings!  I also look forward to scheduling some one on one coffees or lunches with you also.  Clear your August I am taking a day!

    Thank you also to Katie Little @mngurl1183 that skyp’d in from the UK to join the discussion.  That was AWESOME! Distance be damned! I was able to use my new #evo with mifi and my laptop for a full livestream thru skype.  Thanks Sprint, HTC, Sony Vaio, and Skype for making that possible!

    ps We also ran into Sarah Smith @SarahResults! So nice to have these encounters happen also!

    pss.  This is my very 1st post on this website, been under construction for a while.  I just might become more than a microblogger and comment leaver!  We will see.  I do believe this will be more me and www.pullingtin.com will become more outdoors adventures…who knows, I want to keep it loose but with purpose to share, connect, discuss, or help!  Tell me what you think drop a comment.

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