Friday, July 30, 2010


...As an "intrusion."

Check out the privacy-info graphic developed via research done by WordStream Internet Marketing (WSIM) on the SMI blog and scroll down to the Google Street View section. Here it says that 57% of just over 1,300 people surveyed regard street mapping as an intrusion and is seen as a "service for burglars."

Interesting when you think about how much information people post about themselves on social sites like Facebook. According to the WSIM research, 23% of Facebook users don't know about the site's privacy controls, or bother to use them. 26% post photos of their kids, including their names and ages alongside the photos. 7% list their full street address while 3% reveal when they're away from home.

And people are worried about street mapping?

Hey folks, "burglars" can physically walk or drive up and down a street and get the same information that shows on street mapping. But if you're posting all your personal info on Facebook without any regard to privacy and if you're letting people know exactly where you live, who your kids are, and when you're not home...enticing a "burglar" is probably the least of your worries.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I love Google Street View mapping and use it to spark memories more than I do for finding locations. With Street View mapping, you can focus in on the places you've been in your life resulting in a sort of flashback experience that can't be achieved using an Atlas.

Using Street View, I like getting down to street level to virtually "walk" around the neighborhood where I grew up, seeing my old house and how the neighborhood has changed since I was last there physically. I also like to zero in on vacation areas, New York City and even places I've never been. Haven't been to Pompeii? Well you can Street View it. Sure, it's not quite like being there but it may be as close as you're going to get without leaving your house!

Microsoft's upcoming "Street Slide" mapping system (which I first saw on Digital Buzz Blog) is a game changer in this arena because it allows you even more control on how you maneuver through your streets of choice. The system provides a true panoramic view of the search area allowing quick scanning and zooming capabilities. Addresses float above buildings and are "hot-linked" so that when you click on an address you automatically zoom right to the front of the building. You can then scan the street on street level or back to panoramic view.

"Street Slide" has made Street View mapping an even more emotional experience. Plus you can actually use it to find stuff.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I go to Starbucks everyday. I have two that I frequent - my during the week Starbucks and my weekend Starbucks.

I'm not a high-roller Starbucks customer. During the week its a tall coffee at $1.65 per day and on the weekends its a $2.11 grande. High-rollers go for lattes and frappuccinos and mochas and those types of drinks.

But it doesn't matter because when you walk into a Starbucks you're welcomed. The staff - called "partners" - know me. By product. By my name.

Its a great way to kick off the day. Plus the product is almost always excellent. Brick and mortar Starbucks get it. They (at least they present a grand illusion) know how important their customers - nickel and dimers like myself or high-rollers - are to their business.

But it goes beyond walking into the place. Starbucks has developed an incredible digital world based on the philosophy that social media is about relationships not marketing. They connect with customers outside the four walls of a store and provide truly deep online engagement.

Starbucks touts themselves as content archaeologists finding content that adds value, creates meaning to connect people with information that resonates on a community level. That's global community, by the way.

While I'm not paid to shill for Starbucks, I was impressed by Social Media Influence 2010 conference keynoter Alexandra Wheeler, Digital Director at Starbucks. In her presentation, Wheeler takes us on a labyrinthine journey of Starbucks' digital media, including their philosophy on how to make social media truly social.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I used to walk into work and say "Good morning" to a co-worker that was typically there before me. 4 days out of 5 this person wouldn't say anything in response. And on the fifth day, she'd just grumble.

At first I took this personally but then I came to the conclusion that this person must have "morning" issues. I decided not to force it and I'm fine with the no-response mode.

But I feel kind of sorry for this person because she just seems put out - not just in the morning - but all the time.

Yeah, sometimes you have to 'act' a "Good morning," but eventually you can 'act' your way into a better attitude and that 'act' soon becomes who you are.

You can either 'act' your way to happy productivity or you can 'act' your life into misery.

It's entirely your choice.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Here's a great quote from Seth Godin - "Better to have a difficult conversation now than a failed customer interaction later."

Customers sometimes want to get to point Z without going thought the rest of the alphabet - they want the end result now. And, even internally, the temptation to skip all those steps that lead to point Z is ever present.

Sometimes you can jump right to point Z without doing those pesky preliminary steps. But that's a recipe for disaster and heartbreak.

A customer says "We need a house. Build it."

Sure, you can do that. But wouldn't you first ask why and what type and what for and what's your living style?

Of course you would.

And if they reply with, "We just need it and we need it fast," that's when you need to push those questions harder.

If they don't know 'why,' and you build it anyway - without strategy, the house will quickly crumble. And that customer won't have anything to do with you anymore.

While 'why' may seem obvious, it rarely is. You have to ask.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Short post inspired via Chris Brogan. I've been thinking about the possibilities and truths conveyed in this presentation by Jane McGonigal at TED:

Friday, July 9, 2010


Would you "share" your purchasing habits with complete strangers a la social media? Angus Davis, who runs Swipely, sure hopes so. Swipley is a new social media platform that touts "turning purchases into conversations."

Swipely's hook? Every purchase tells a story.

Davis, who sold his last idea, Tellme, to Microsoft for $800 million, believes that users are primed to link their credit or debit card purchases to Swipely thereby sharing everything they buy with their "friends" (other Swipely users) or across the whole web.

Swipely from Swipely on Vimeo.

According to Davis in an article published in the July 9th edition of the Chicago Tribune, "This piece of plastic [your credit or debit card] can be such a powerful communication tool to tell your friends what you care about."

Davis emphasizes Swipely's usefulness as a "products and places" recommendation tool to help you save money while "having more fun."

While Swipely allows users to share what they're buying with the world at large, what is it really saying about this seemingly increasing human compulsion to share every detail about our lives with, basically, strangers?

I love the idea of social media and use it for all sorts of reasons - personal, business, marketing, communications. But I also believe that exposing too much of yourself isn't the most healthy habit and Swipely just seems downright bizarre.

In its beta phase, Swipely has thousands of users. Will the platform be embraced once it goes public? Maybe. What better way to brag to your "friends" about what you're buying, especially when purchasing is so closely linked to status?

Swipely accounts can be integrated with Facebook and Twitter and other platform features include VIP lists, scoreboards and spending maps. Swipely assures that this platform is secure and safe.

So if you truly feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, Swipely may be perfect for you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I'm asked this question frequently by co-workers, relatives and loved ones and I usually fumble through a response that isn't exactly definitive.

But I work my personal twitter - almost daily.

What do I post? It depends. But it ranges from what I'm hearing on the radio at the moment (I tweet a lot in my car but - no worries - not while I'm driving!) to what films I've seen to work projects I'm trying to figure out to silly philosophical comments to photos I snap/post with my phone. Simply, its the human side of me.

I also handle a couple client twitter accounts: and The former is active while the latter needs more action (but this group is still - like many organizations - debating the "value" of social media). Twitter is a good way to dip your toe into the waters of social media.

I recently attended the Business Marketing Association's (BMA) 2010 Annual Conference (in June) and tweeting was quite - in a word - heavy. It was all over the place. People were tweeting during general sessions and breakouts. The conference had screens showing audience tweets as speakers delivered their presentations. Some of the tweets were action oriented but many merely restated what a speaker just said, which was good if somebody was following offsite. Bottom line - Twitter engaged immediately. And that's what you want - engagement with your audience with a sense of "you need to know this now."

Not sure about Twitter? Chris Brogan (who spoke at the BMA conference), president of New Marketing Labs, is a true believer in the power of Twitter. If you need that little push off the cliff into the deep waters of Twitter, Chris gives you 50 ideas on how to use it here

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've been asked by a client to give them a "social media" tutorial because they feel the need to jump into this arena. They're a professional association for a specific industry with a company membership of just over 60.

They have a strong web presence, active membership and their events almost always sell out. They have great information to not only share within their membership but to anybody who is not a member who may need services and products that members supply.

But why social media?

This association wants more (as does everybody) and they think social media will give them this "more."

The problem is they don't know exactly what this "more" is (more members, more attendees at their events, more exposure in their industry, etc.) and they don't know how "social media" will give them this "more."

"Everybody's doing it. So we have to do it."

Whether it's using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media outlets available, this client needs to be able to answer what the "more" is they're looking for and how social media can give this to them.

So the "tutorial" they want from me isn't an overview of social media. They need to tell me what they want to accomplish with social media. Then I can give them the rundown on the best tools that can benefit their association.

I know the bottom line. No doubt, this client needs a social media presence. They just need to know why and what the "more" is they're looking for.


If you're wondering about social media marketing, I can't say it any better than marketing strategist and author David Meerman Scott here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Coming off a work project can be as daunting as going into it.

What I mean is once a project is complete (and for the few moments before the next one), it's not unusual to feel a sense of (to quote a great Kris Kristofferson song) "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down." The thrill of the new, the hustle to get it going, the celebration once it works and's finished and you're left with that feeling of a hungover Sunday morning.

But there are ways to minimize that feeling, which can lead to better productivity rather than mire in those low-down post-project blues.

It helps psychologically to move away from a project once the heavy lifting is done. It's easy to get caught up in those final touches and I've found that if you have somebody on your team who's really good at doing the "tweaks" - those little things that help the project sprint (rather than trudge) across the finish line - you'll be better prepared for the next project looming on the horizon.

It's also not a bad idea after a large project to get yourself organized again. Clean off your desk, clear out your inbox, remove reminders of the project and file them away (don't throw them away), in a place you can readily access when you need a reference for a similar project in the future.

Let your boss know the job's finished and give him or her a blow-by-blow description of the process, including the pratfalls that happened along the way. And make sure to let him or her know the job came in on time and under budget. And it doesn't hurt to do a little "happy dance," and sound off a little about the job well done by you and your team. This isn't obnoxious boasting but shows you're happy with the outcome - and if you're happy, you're boss will be happy too.

The best way to really come off a project is to plan a little vacation time after its all said and done. Totally remove yourself with a few days away. It'll make attacking that next project a little easier with clear focus.

And, remember - if you take some time off...don't check your e-mail...

How do you come off a project and avoid those "morning after" blues?