Thursday, January 31, 2008

Links that I could not finish reading today

Six Steps to Better Blogger Relations -By Geoff Livingston

US Tops New Tech Usage Ranking

Dress Sharp on the Cheap

Joining Physical, Virtual Worlds is Easy as Tag

Google Weds Print and Web with Bar Codes

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Impromptu Free Conference Calls


A few weeks ago I started Tweeting my cell phone number as I drive home for an opportunity to use the time to chat with my Social Media friends. it wasn't a roaring sucess yet on the days I got caller the conversation was interesting. Topics-Help choose a blog platform, Social Media spheres and many other topics.


-Today inspired by the cell phone tweet @gotbob got a nice idea about using http://www.freeconference.com/ .


http://www.freeconference.com/ is a free service to make conference calls. You pay only if you want to use a Toll Free number. You can set up conferences for up to 150 people and can have it be presentations, Q&A sessions.
I tried it an its so easy to setup . I took a 45 minute slot, setup the meeting online and then dialed the number. It has very few prompts and you can join the conf in 1 or 2 clicks and the voice quality is good. I tried it and it was awesome.
This service is used by the podcampDC team for the Thursday conference calls to keep the organizing team in touch with developments.
I plan to use this more for impromptu conferences and see how this service can be used by more people.

Did you really think email is dead?

Marketers Say eMail Strongest Performing Media Buy

I just got an email Research Brief for Wednesday, January 30, 2008:http://blogs.mediapost.com/research_brief/?p=1629 which had some interesting facts that proves to me that email is not dead.

Datran Media recently released the results of its second annual survey of
over 2000 online marketing professionals, finding that 82 percent of the
marketers surveyed indicated that they plan to increase their use of email
marketing in 2008, and 55 percent of the respondents cite that they expect ROI
from email to be higher than any other channel. The reports says that the survey
results are consistent with the Direct Marketing Association's recent report,
which found that email ROI will hit $45.65 for every dollar spent in 2008, more
than twice the ROI of other mediums including search and display.
In
addition to increased use of email as a media and lead generation channel, the
Datran Media survey found:

  • 80 percent of respondents indicated email was the strongest performing media
    buy ahead of search and display.
  • Search is the favored channel for complementing the email channel.
  • More than 80 percent of marketers send targeted email campaigns.

Complete Details of the report

I also know that there is a organization that is a great resource for email marketers http://emailexperience.org/

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Submission Tool for DC tech Events

I met by Ross Karchner again yesterday at the Social MatchBox event yesterday. Ross' Blog - A journal of technology, media, and culture in and around DC and home of DC Tech Events Weekly features DC area events. I have been sending him the events that I hear about like the event on Super Tuesday. He may very well have got tired of me emailing him that he sat through the night to automate the submission of DC tech events. ( of course I am lying it must have tken him just 4 minutes and 27 seconds to create this submission feature :) )

So the good news is anyone who is organizing a DC area tech event ot know about one please submit the event details at Ross Karchner's Blog

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

ComScore - Top Search Engine Rankings - Dec 2007

COmscore released analysis of the search marketplace.
December U.S. Core Search Rankings
- Americans generally searched less and the report attributes it as holiday season.
- Yahoo sites market share increased.
I wonder if Yahoo's successful sites like FLickr are helping this rise.
In December, Google Sites’ share of core searches stood at 58.4 percent. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 22.9 percent, followed by Microsoft Sites (9.8 percent), Time Warner Network (4.6 percent), and Ask Network (4.3 percent). Yahoo! Sites experienced the most significant market share increase, gaining 0.5 share points versus the previous month.

Americans conducted 9.6 billion searches at the core search engines, representing a 3.9-percent decline versus November. With many Americans traveling and spending time away from home during the holidays, search activity typically experiences a seasonal decline during December. Google Sites saw 5.6 billion core searches during the month, while Yahoo! Sites recorded 2.2 billion

Full report at Comscore

ZDNET Blog on this research

Top search engines in December 2007: Google, Yahoo!, MSN+Live by ZDNet's NB -- Google remained the top search property with 5.6 bln core searches conducted in December 2007, representing a 58.4% share of the search market, according to comScore. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 22.9%, followed by Microsoft Sites (9.8%), Time Warner Network (4.6%), and Ask Network (4.3%). Yahoo! Sites experienced the most significant market share increase, gaining [...]

Want to Read Upside Down -uʍop ǝpısdn pɐǝɹ oʇ ʇuɐʍ


Twitter gives you a chance to try a lot of new stuff. A few days ago I saw DigitalMaverick ( Drew Buddie)Tweet a link and using that link you can turn text upside down .

ƃuıʇıɹʍ ɹnoʎ dılɟ oʇ ʎɐʍ looɔ ɐ sı sıɥʇ = this is a cool way to flip your writing.

The Website is http://www.revfad.com/flip.html. You just enter the text in one box and it automatically flips the text. Pretty cool . I have not found a real good reason to use it.


May be its useful for printing signs on the back of your car for those following you to read?

Anyway a lot of cool things on the Internet may not have a apparent utility value but who knows.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New CEO at Network Solutions – Roy Dunbar

Network Solutions is getting a new CEO W. Roy Dunbar, Champ will continue to be the Chairman. Roy is coming from MasterCard Incorporated, where he was President of Global Technology and Operations.

What does one do when you hear about a change in the company? I did what everyone nowadays does – Looked him up on Google. Anyone who has met the Dalai Lama twice in my books is a good guy and I look forward to meeting him and shaking hands with him soon. He met the senior execs at a meeting and a lot of my friends in that group told me they are extremely impressed.

Anyone want to bet where I will meet him first?

Here are some extracts from articles on Google that that you won’t find in our press release and are very interesting to me:

Source : http://www.cio.com.au/index.php/id;903685644;fp;4;fpid;4

Dunbar says MasterCard has plenty of good ideas; the question is knowing which ones to pick. Dunbar joined MasterCard two years ago after more than a decade at Eli Lilly. One of the main concepts he brought with him from the pharmaceutical industry was the idea of failing fast - that is, testing ideas quickly and discarding them if they don't work. In this way, one can accelerate the process of finding ideas that do work.
"You can't institutionalize innovation, but there may be supportive processes you can build," says Dunbar.

A Process for IT Innovation

Accordingly, MasterCard has moved to formalize support for innovation within its culture. It is two years into a program called Rapid Value Creation, an effort to approach new ideas systematically across the 210 countries where it operates. Rapid Value Creation starts with MasterCard's key functional executives, who meet monthly to set priorities for new ideas that come from groups like IT, product development and marketing. In this way, management is able to get in step behind ideas - and get them to market - more quickly than in the past.
Dunbar says MasterCard's IT systems are key to implementing new ideas. "The architecture is component-based and many elements are brought together in varying configurations to create just the right capability to support innovations," he said. At the beginning of the decade, MasterCard spent $US160 million overhauling its core systems, which Dunbar says should help the company develop new markets ahead of its competitors (the biggest of which is Visa).


Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2005/01/10/story2.html


He mastered the job not by becoming a geek but by seeing the bigger picture of how technology could be applied for the good of the business.

He has a huge intellectual capacity. He's an effective implementer. He's spiritual and strives for balance in his life. Takes time for daily meditation and annual spiritual retreats.

Born in Jamaica, he was raised in England and graduated from Manchester University in 1982. He worked as a pharmacist in London for six years before returning to Manchester to earn his master's in business administration.



Another article that’s is very interesting in Information Week from a few years ago.

In case you want to see the official release here is a link to the Network Solutions News Room.



Who is watching Jonny's Par-tay

My Little Buddy

Yesterday I watched Jonny's Par-tay with this buddy of mine( pic on the left) who showed his appreciation  by saying "Jonny" every 2 seconds.

. Jonny had 2 guests and he chose the guests very well because they complimented them selves very well. Ann Bernard the CEO of WhyGoSolo.com and Shana Glickfiled (Oops ! I was not supposed to reveal the name a la Valerie Starr style ) who goes by the nom de plume DCConcierge . Both these people are carrying social networking a step further and helping people with their offline lives. WhyGoSolo helps like minded people network and meet even when they travel to different cities and my description is just the iceberg of the depth of what WhyGoSolo does. It just launched as a beta so its a good time to go and become a free member.

Jonny also had a guest Arhu (Chinese Violin) performance by Jonny’s house guest Lillian who just flew in from China. The music from this instrument was awesome.

DCConcierge helps newcomers and visitors and DC metro area old timers (like me -10 yrs in the area) who have no clue about what the cool people are doing by answering their questions. I am sure if I asked her " Where is George Cloony having dinner tonight in DC? " she would have the answer but I may just ask , if I have $15 to spend in downtown DC what would I get. She may not say a "hot dog" at a Mall vendor but give me some ideas of little known places that may help me. DCConcierge correct me if this is a illusion of mine :)

Actually I digressed from the main reason that I am writing this post. Who watched Jonny's Par-tay ? I Would say 35 to 37 people did the live show but remember that this content is available for eternity and the viewing will continue. So as time goes by this video will be watched many times over.

User-Generated Online Video Views in the US, 2005-2008 (billions)

 

And today the EMarketer has some excellent stats on the " Who's Watching User-Generated Video?" I quopte from the article "User-generated videos (UGVs) tallied 22 billion views in 2007, up 70% over 2006, according to Accustream iMedia Research's "UGV 2005 - 2008: Mania Meets Mainstream" report."

Go to the EMarketer website to read the whole article.

22 Billion people. Jonny you have a long way to go but if you have interesting people like in this episode I am sure that day is not far. Of course helping Jonny is ScottStead who is a awesome guy. I met him offline and has a promising star career ahead of him. Don't mind a few glitches in the stream - its all good and part of the fun.

This week I did listen to another live Internet Radio show by local Bloggers/Social Media Swamis Aaron Brazell and Geoff Livingston  called "District of Corruption". Its getting there with 2 shows already and totally unscripted was great fun to listen.

Review of Rockville Crab Place in the Washington post

I am not sure if I am blogging this the wrong blog, but todays review of Rockville Crab Place in the town center was awesome, they make French fries that takes two days to prepare that reminds me of my time as a chef. You should read the Washington post section on the Rockville Town House Crab Place. listen

Powered by Jott


This was posted on the wrong blog by me using Jott. i should have set it up to go to My Food and restaurant review blog I could setup Jott to post to any blog so I must change the settings now for each blog that I write. Jott is a great service that lets you blog or send emails from your phone by just speaking and the words get transcribed.

Chris Pirillo has a great video on Digital Transcription on his blog



http://live.pirillo.com/ / http://chris.pirillo.com/media/

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cruxy- MUX Video Converter


This is a quick post to write about a discovery that is new to me. Very often I struggle when Seesmic asks me to upload videos bit only in flash. On Twitter today @jeffbarr tweeted about Cruxy

It seems to be the ideal web based program for converting videos between different formats.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Small Business Technology Summit - Feb 11th New York

I am attending the Small business Tecnology summit in New York on Feb 11th. It is a one day conference. I attended the one last year and the amount of energy at the conference amazed me.
A lot of the attendees are small business owners. I met a lot of interesting people. Developed a great friendship with Ramon Ray who is a Small Biz Technology blogger and expert and a contributor to magazines like Entrepreuner.
The Small Business Tech Summit Agenda includes keynote by Karen Quintos - Dell Inc.Vice President of Marketing for Small & Medium Business and a lot of panels throughout the day. Its usually so full that you have a Keynote even during lunch :-Bounce! The Path to True Business ConfidenceBarry Moltz, Entrepreneurial Expert, Author, Speaker and Angel Investor.
Unless there is a meetup or other reason to stay I am planning to take the Amtrak train the same day and back. Between Dc and NYC its better to take the train. I know because Ihave had to stay overnight twice due to flight problems.
The summit is $99 till Feb 1st and then it becomes $149 still very affordable for small business owners.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Interesting Links for week ending Jan 18th 2008

  1. Blog About Unnecessary Quotation Marks with Pictures
    1. http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/
  2. Correct Punctuation :
    1. http://www.correctpunctuation.co.uk/punctuation-quotation.htm
  3. Local Political Blogs By State
    1. http://www.blognetnews.com/maryland/
  4. Free weekly podcast/internet radio show about learning and learning disabilities
    1. http://ldpodcast.com/
  5. Recipe for Maryland Cream of Crab Soup
    1. http://learningtoplay.org/2007/10/26/yes-we-manrylanders-are-know-for-our/
  6. Local Blog About the Metro Grosvenor Stop on the red line
    1. http://jcnemecek.com/grosvenor/
  7. The Coolest Business Cards - Use of Cool Shapes, Textures, Creativity, & Talent
    1. http://allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2007/11/11/the-coolest-business-cards-use-of-cool-shapes-textures-creativity-talent/
  8. Relationship in the Internet World
    1. http://technosailor.com/2008/01/18/relationship-in-the-internet-world/

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Movement online to raise funds for the Cancer Society

A few weeks ago I met a local hero Susan Reynolds who is a breast cancer survivor. Susan Reynolds had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy Dec. 21 followed by reconstructive surgery. Her blog ( http://susanreynolds.blogs.com/boobsonice/ ) started a mini movement online and raised funds for the cancer Society ( http://www.Frozenpeafund.com ).

If you like this guy's appeal please donate to the Frozen Peas Fund (In full disclosure the hero in this film is related to me- he is my son ! ):


Click on the Donate button at FrozenPeasFund.com and donate the price of a couple of bags of frozen peas to the American Cancer Society. Make a difference in breast cancer research.


The full story in the Washington Post.

I think this will make a great story for any local and national media organization and also raise money for a good cause - American Cancer Society. The volunteer press contact for this new organization that sprang up entirely through online friends is :

Erin Kotecki Vest, Media Liaison
Cell Phone: 661-220-0370
Twitter: QueenofSpain
Skype: Queenofspainblog
Second Life: Queen Tureaud
Email: queenofspainblog[at]yahoo[dot]com

Thank you for your efforts everyone. Bravo. ( Full list here- Frozen Peas Fund )


Connie Reece @ConnieReece Michele Wolverton @chelpixie

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sun buys MySQL

Didn't see that one coming. Blog contains details to what this could mean for both companies. May as well be one of the most important takeovers of 2008 already! Sun has a unenviable position of having their software being used in millions of applications but they are not a Wall Street fav. Wonder what this does to their share price.Disclosure: I have a few (less than 101 shares of SUN)

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Good news ! - Network Solutions is getting better

It’s nice to see at least a few positive statements from our well meaning critic. Jay Westerdal has a good word and titles his latest post “Network Solutions is getting better”. Let me take this opportunity and reiterate some of the enhancements we have made:

  • No domain searched in the WHOIS page is reserved.
  • Only Domains searched on the networksolutions.com homepage and domain product page will be reserved.
  • Additional customer notification has been added to the homepage.
  • Reserved domains are not publicly available in the zone file (thanks for confirming Jay!)

Word from us - We will continue to monitor and make enhancements and we are listening to feedback. Along with Jay we have received feedback on Blogs, privately and other Social media channels and in comments on this blog. Thank you very much everyone for joining the conversation.

If you care to Digg – direct link to DIGG : http://tinyurl.com/2nkdoh.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dec Energy Bill - Congress bans incandescent bulbs- But do not drop CFL bulbs

I did hear that the Energy Bill passed in Dec and I was estatic that such a positive bill was passed well before the holidays. Today during my downtime I was very preturbed to read Steve Forbes Article in the latest issue if Forbes (Jan 28th)

" Each CFL bulb contains about 5 milligrams of mercury, a highly toxic and indestructible substance. It's like bulbs with asbestos. Billions of these bulbs will be everywhere. If one drops and breaks, you've got a problem, especially if you have small kids or pets roaming around."



Forbes also asks "if CFLs are so great, why do we need a law to force us to buy 'em?"

While researching this issue I saw this article that Forbes Refers to in his article . Brandy Bridges a resident of Maine was given an estimate of $2000 to clean up the increased mercury levels due to a broken CFL bulb.

The website of EnergyStar gives the following instructions if a CFL breaks:

How should I clean up a broken fluorescent bulb?
The following steps can be performed by the general public:
1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
􀂃 Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
􀂃 Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard
surfaces.
3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
􀂃 Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the
outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal
trash disposal.
􀂃 Note: some states prohibit such trash disposal and
require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.
􀂃 Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.
4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
􀂃 First, remove all materials you can without
using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct
tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
􀂃 If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.


I have been a supporter of CFl bulbs but I would like to be assured that they are safe and do not have to pay $2000 in case I dropped them by mistake.

NPR and Music Website

NPR has a seemingly new website NPRMusic that has a amazingly large number of music and podcasts.

Marc Fisher wrote about it in the Washington Post today.

When I conducted an unofficial poll on Twitter about listening to NPR an amazing 78% listen to NPR.

I just atarted following Jeff @goOrange on Twitter who says " I'm a huge fan of NPR, and a fan of podcasts. NPR.org has 596 podcasts linked on their site. Ack! Information overload"

Time will tell. But its a great initiative from NPR. Congratulations !

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Teens and Social Media: PEW Internet Report

I have a great respect for the Pew Internet & American Life Project. They do great surveys and their research results are usually available for free. The latest report in the Series : Family Friends & Community - Teens & Social Media talks about the teens activity in the Social media. Read the full report for details.

Some interesting points in the report :

  • 64% of online teenagers ( ages 12 to 17 ) engaging in at least one type of content creation online.
  • Girls Blog more : Some 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys
  • Photos: 54% of wired girls post photos online compared with 40% of online boys
  • Boys lead in Posting Videos: teen boys are nearly twice as likely as online girls (19% vs. 10%) to have posted a video online
Super Communicators:

There is a subset of teens who are super-communicators -- teens who have a host of technology options for dealing with family and friends, including traditional landline phones, cell phones, texting, social network sites, instant messaging, and email. They represent about 28% of the entire teen population and they are more likely to be older girls.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Listening to the Conversation

I used my personal blog yesterday to open a line of communication and also to collect feedback. Thanks to everyone who chipped in. Never thought I would be called colorful names in some comments. All the social media gurus told me that becoming a blogger means you are totally out in the open. I believe that now.

I want to, however, take a step back and clear the confusion on a few terms:

- Whois is a service available with reputed registrars and people use that to search for information on who owns a domain. Network Solutions doesn’t provide the only access to this info. Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whois

- Price: Network Solutions regular price for a domain is $34.99 for one year’s registration. The domains we are protecting from front runners are available for purchase at that regular price -- not for any inflated prices as falsely reported.
-
- Advice to people registering domains. Wherever you search - register the name, as soon as you see the name is available. That will help you prevent anyone else from registering that domain. Here is a link to Jay Westerdal’s post regarding the use of domain search data. http://blog.domaintools.com/2007/03/stealing-domain-name-research/. And, to be completely transparent Jay criticizes Network Solutions in his latest Blog post (http://blog.domaintools.com/2008/01/network-solutions-steals-domain-ideas-confirmed/)

I have monitored the conversation and carried back the good suggestions that many have given. As a company Network Solutions listens and made some changes. I think we will continue to make improvements. I did not have the time to post a response to all the posts. but I have been listening to threads and passing on the feedback.

Also, today, Network Solutions CEO Champ Mitchell gave an interview to Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/01/10/Network-Solutions-stands-by-name-policy_1.html) and coming from our “Chief Executive Customer Service” person (I hope I won’t get into trouble calling him that) so I don’t have anything else to add.

Update : 01/15/2008

See my post about updates

The following people have commented on thier blogs about the use of Social Media to listen to feedback and the role of a Social Media person.

Andrew Wright Corporate Social Media Rep = Ombudsman

Connie Bensen - Public Relations can be challenging

Ramon Ray - Network Solutions is Reaching out to Customers

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Clarifying Changes in Network Solutions Domain Search

I saw @andybobs post on Twitter this morning and want to make sure he gets some answers. I met with some internal folks to find out what was happening.

Andy’s post said: “Hey I think NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC. are registering domains typed into their website !!! “

I found out that we have started protecting all domain name searches at Network Solutions by holding the searched domains for our customers for a short period of time before releasing them. This gives our customers the opportunity to register names later without fear that the name will be registered by a “Front Runner.”(Have posted some background info on ” Front Running “ below).

We did this because we heard customers complain that queried domain names are being snatched up by other people as soon as they searched. Network Solutions makes sure its search data is secure and we do not sell it any third party. I know that Network Solutions has no intention of keeping any searched domain or monetizing it.

Over this past weekend I told @film_girl who was looking to register her favorite domain to do it ASAP to avoid losing it to a “front runner”. I also posted a link on Twitter a few days ago to Ades Blog who advises registering domain names immediately and has some good info in his post.

Background on front running:

“Front Running” occurs when a domain name is registered, typically by someone outside of the United States, just minutes or hours after someone else has conducted a domain name search at a registrar site or has performed a WHOIS query for the domain. The reason people “front run” domains is to conduct what is called “tasting” to see how much money they can make on a domain name through pay-per-click ads or by re-selling the domain in the aftermarket at a highly marked up price.

Hope this clarifies things and I am thrilled to be doing my job as a “listening post “for Network Solutions.

(Note: This is my personal blog and I do not normally send my posts to anyone in Network Solutions for approval. However, this post has been approved by Network Solutions Legal Department to make sure I accurately reflect Network Solutions policies on this subject. I got the idea of posting this Note from a Matt Cutts blog post and thought it as good practice.)

Update : 742 p.m 01/08/2008

Link to response on Circleid by Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions

Alice Marshall wrote a post on how the Social Media helped us listen and reach out. Thanks everyone I have learnt a lot from the social media.

Update : 6.31 p.m 01/09/2008 - Official from Network Solutions :-

We have been listening to your comments here as well as those on other sites regarding our customer protection measure. Throughout the launch of this effort we have made, and continue to make, improvements to our protection measurehere is an update on some of the improvements we are implementing in the near term:

1) We have changed the current webpage to which reserved domain names resolve to a general under construction page. Additionally, all new reserved names after tonight will not resolve to any page at all.
2) This week, we will be making enhancements that will address the concerns related to disclosure of zone file and DNS server information of the reserved names. This should address some of the concerns recently raised.
3) Very soon we will remove our customer protection measure from our WHOIS search page, so that no domains searched on this page will be reserved. We will continue to reserve, however, domains searched from our homepage.

Cell phone charged & a 45 min commute ahead. Anyone want to call?

I have met some amazing people on Twitter and many from the DC area both online and offline. Social Media seems to be a nation of people who will connect and help. I enjoy conversations and got his idea from Chris Brogan who I spoke to when he posted his "Call Chris" Twitter. I must say I admired his bravado putting his phone number out in public. He explains his "Call Chris: post on his blog - A conversation with a Community about Digital Relationships . Three weeks ago I saw @ikepigott do the same and called him. Ike is with the Red Cross and is mentioned in the book Now is Gone .

I have a 45 minute commute and decided today to try it myself . Linda Sherman called and I spoke to her and her husband Ray Gordon.  Did you know Linda worked in Japan for a long time and has had a great variety of experience internationally. They live in the beautiful island of Kauai. Linda is Singelringen agent for North America,http://www.us.singelringen.com/ and I posted my curiosity for the Singelringen concept in a previous blogpost.

Among the things we discussed :

What would I like to do with my Call ShashiB show?  My version would be "ask me anything that will help you succeed" time everyday"   My friend Evan Hamilton who is the Community Ambassador for Flock has a Community Office Hours every Monday at 11am PST where you can ask questions to Flocker on Twitter.

I am always thinking of new ideas and having just moved to a new gig maybe I could make this a part of my outreach to small businesses who need help with online stuff.

What do you think ? What help are people looking for ? Please leave comments and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Tweetup with Susan Reynolds in Herndon Thu 10th Jan 6.30 p.m

This was kind of spontaneous from Saturday. We have always been thinking of meeting and we were Twittering about meeting in Herndon between @SusanReynolds @Jeffhibbard and the choice was Jimmy's Tavern.

The meetup announcement attracted several offers of attendance . Either it was due to

  • Susan Reynolds celebrity as Second Life Expert and expert in the power of viral web marketing / communications.
  • Jeff Hibbard's great enthusiasm & possibly owning the first "vlog truck" or
  • Jimmy's Tavern reputation as a great watering hole. Jimmy Critto is a member of the Bar Tender magazine's Hall of Fame.

We now have 21 possible attendees. Thanks everyone, look forward to seeing you there. By the way Jeff Hibbard is coordinating all the arrangements at Jimmy's - Thanks - Jeff.

Susan is undergoing treatment for cancer and blogged about it . That brave gesture got everyone to rally around her using text, voice, images, video and form the Frozen Pea Fund which raises money for cancer research and funds go directly to the American Cancer Society. Many Twitter friends did http://frozenpeafund.com/ videos like @newmediajim @sass @Jeffpulver Anybody wants to better ose videos ?

Event announcement from me : DC/MD/VA tweets let me know if you can make it to Herndon
Thu 10th Jan 6.30 p.m http://www.jimmystavern.com/ for meetup with Susanreynolds

Attendees so far:

@susanreynolds
@badwolf (susan's daughter)
+ Susan Reynolds Hubby
@jeffhibbard
@shashib
@ghbrett
@nahumg
@jjgardner3
@geoffliving
@kg4jbj
@bblboy54
@pmhesse
@technosailor
@jillfoster
@greggersh
@mindofandre
@prestovivace
@jeffroyce
@stevenfisher
@caseysoftware
@marcbenton
@jablair

Please leave a comment if you are attending and even introduce yourself . If you are driving from DC please let us know by commenting here if you can give a ride.

Twitter is a awesome tool for conversation

Twitter has a lot of following - over 700k users. I get asked about "Twitter" and want to provide some basic info.


As I was looking for resources I found a lot of people have written awesome twitter guides. You can skip the next few paragraphs and go directly to the links below for Twitter guides.

Twitter if free. You to to Twitter.com and signup. Most people have a picture a URL to their website or blog and 160 characters worth of information about themselves.

A first time user of Twitter will find it difficult to understand Twitter and may give up easily as the Public Timeline will not make sense at a glance. If you walk into a large room where there are several conversations going on simultaneously the feeling is the same.

How to you join the party? Just like you would in the real world. Find a conversation that interests you and follow it. As you look at more and more "Tweets" ( The updates you make on Twitter which are limited to 140 characters) you will find some refer to something that interests you.

If you would like to reply to someone's comment you add "@" as the first character and then their Twitter username. This will ensure that your reply goes to their "replies" tab even if they missed your Tweet.

There is a a way to send direct messages that will not be seen by anyone but you and the receiver. To send a direct message "DM" you type the letter d and after a space type the person's username and then the message.

If you have a friend who referred you to Twitter then chances are that they will introduce you on Twitter and you get some instant followers. If your tastes are similar you can look at the people they are following and choose to "follow".

The term "Follow" means that you are agreeing to see their Tweets in your start page. The more people you follow your home page will get more crowded.

Using Twitter screens you can click on the persons username and the next screen will show a "follow" button. You can also follow a person by just typing " Follow" followed by their username.

There are several reasons that people are there on Twitter. Many I think are there for the conversation. Whatever reason you are there if you practice common sense good practice you should be fine.

Resources:

Caroline MiddleBrook's Guide to Twitter

Twitter Wiki that a list of twitter apps /other resources

Twitter Dictionary

Rafe Needleman's Newbie's Guide to Twitter.

Mick Liubinskas Etiquette for Twitter

Jason Lee Miller -Twitter + Etiquette = Twitterquette?

To Twitter on not - Buzz Canuck

Scoble's 10 Twitter Rules that he breaks


50 Twitter guides Hacks and Scripts by Christina Laun

Twitter/Twitteriffic/Tweetr/Facebook Stuff n' Things

Grammar Girl's Strunk & Twite: An Unofficial Twitter Style Guide

Shaners Guide to More Twitter Tools and Guides


Read Write Web: The RWW Guide to the World's Most Popular Twitter Clients

Twitter - A one minute Primer - Peter Shankman

To be Fair here is a guide to Jaiku by Robin Good



Sunday, January 06, 2008

Crazy Eight for ‘08 - 8 things about me Meme

I got tagged for "Eight Things You Didn't Know About Me" Meme by Geoff Livingston . It is interesting to read the other posts about Crazy Eight for '08 Meme. I blame Geoff for making me spill the beans!

1. I was born in India . I went back to my ancestral village this year to connect with my roots again.

In school and college I edited the student magazine and organized festivals.

2. I lived in Russia for 3 years . It was funny that I went to the USSR /Soviet union in 1989 and came back from Russia in 1992.

3. I used to be a chef in my previous life.I wrote recipe columns for several newspapers.I was featured several times on a radio show Radio Maximum "Moscow in the Morning " Chef's corner hosted by Cami McCormick one of the first English-language radio hosts. ( Very few have seen this picture previously:) )

shashi-chef moscow-mag

Cami works for CBS in New York now and is currently reporting from Pakistan on assignment. My dream is to one day start a company for culinary tours and write a book Anthony Bourdain style :). I write a Restaurant review blog occasionally.

4. I consider myself a Network Solutions success story starting at ground level taking tech support phone calls and moving up the ladder to Product Development and Marketing. I think my enthusiasm to learn new things has paid me a lot of dividends. I love meeting people and I am thrilled with my new gig.

5. I love playing soccer and played the game till college. I wish I had more time for sports.

6. My First car was a Toyota Corolla FX - a hatchback and I loved the car. My first motorized vehicle was a Honda Motorcycle.

7. My favorite city is Stockholm, Sweden and have been there 3 times. Its a nice place and would love to visit it again.

8. One of the books that was a great influence on me earlier in life was "How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie."

I would like to pass this Meme on to 8 other people and here goes. Connie Bensen , Kim Haynes , Clay Newton, Todd Jordan , Chris Parandian , Christina Warren , Jimmy Gardner, Nick O'Neill

Update : I thought I would include the rules for this Meme that I saw on Ontario Emperor's Blog on the same subject:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. List EIGHT random facts about yourself.

3. Tag EIGHT people at the end of your post and list their names.

4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.