Monday, March 31, 2008

TechnoSailor Reviews WordPress 2.5

Aaron Brazell @technosailor has a review of the new version of Word Press 2.5 on his post  http://technosailor.com/2008/03/18/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-wordpress-25/ . The version is not ready for mainstream yet and the official release date is yet to be announced.

After reading Aaron's post here are the 3 things that i am excited about:

a) Image Flash Uploader - I like to use a lot of images in my blog posts

b) TinyMCE support for the visual editor.

c) TimeStamp functionality overhaul

 

Thanks Aaron for  a great summary.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Can't wait for Blogger Social in New York - April 4th to 6th

image

 

According to Christina Kerley's ( @CKEpiphany) Blog  "80+ marketing bloggers--hailing from 8 countries and 20 U.S. States" will be attending the Blogger Social in New York the next weekend. CK along with Drew McLellan and a host of great people have been working hard getting this event together.

My  Socializing  starts at the Union Station in DC on Friday morning taking the train with Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications. I hope to get at least a bit of Geoff's success mantra out of him during our journey together.

The event organizers have made it fun and expectant with great resources and fun stuff. The starting point to learn more about Blogger Social is at Blogger-Social.com . Arun RajaGopal and team did a great job with the profiles of all th attendees of Blogger Social http://www.ck-blog.com/BSProfiles.pdf .

Arun has a interesting Quiz game on his web site on the attendees http://arunrajagopal.com/2008/03/25/the-whos-who-of-blogger-social08/

  • Steve Woodruff’s featured me and the other attendees in a fantastic series http://brandimpact.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/blogger-socialites-all/ the hand held version of this is at http://www.jcberk.com/blog/2008/03/27/blogger-social-profiles-compiled/ (Thanks to Jennifer Berk, C.B. Whittemore, Kristin Gorski, Mario VellandiRyan Karpeles and, of course, Steve Woodruff for this Herculean effort! of course thanks  Christina Kerley and Drew McLellan)
  • Attendees include: ( List at http://www.blogger-social.com/attendees.html )

    Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Matt Dickman Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford Lewis Green Geoff Livingston Kris Hoet Connie Reece CeCe Lee Toby Bloomberg Seni Thomas Darryl Ohrt Joe Kutchera Paul Dunay Marshall Sponder Chris Kieff Tara Anderson Jason Falls Paul Soldera Roberta Rosenberg Saul Colt Todd Andrlik Nathan Snell Ryan Karpeles Mike Sansone Jennifer Laycock Neil Vineberg Cam Beck Mike Arauz Matthew Bailey Heather Gorringe John Rosen Cathleen Rittereiser Tamar Weinberg Rita Perea Linda Sherman Matthew McDonald Kaitlyn Wilkins Terry Starbucker Jennifer Berk Jane Quigley John Wall Scott Monty Kevin Horne Virginia Miracle Amanda Gravel Susan Reynolds David Polinchock Shashi Bellamkonda David Berkowitz Vahe Habeshian

     

    I am looking forward to being social and making new friends. New York here I come.

    Network Solutions Small Business Networking Event with Guy Kawasaki

    imageOnce again my path crossed with Guy Kawasaki.   We met at Charlotte for the Small Business networking event Sponsored by Network Solutions. Once again it gave me an opportunity to meet some extremely smart people part of the Blogger/Twitter crowd in Charlotte.  The event was at the Sonoma Restaurant in Downtown Charlotte. 
    We also had John Lassiter (Charlotte City Council) and Steve Partridge (Charlotte Chamber Of Commerce) join us for this event.

    A very engaged crowd and asked a lot of questions to Guy. The  Charlotte Bloggers and Twitterati  did a great job covering the event and here are the links to their posts:

    @rosebreezy  Social Carolina Blog , Brazen Careerist, Riveting Rosie

    @budesigns For a creative Slide Show

    @pseudojoe http://acquaintedstrangers.blogspot.com/2008/03/observations-on-guy-kawasaki-in.html

    @93octane who live blogged the event on Twitter and I extracted his Twitter Stream here http://www.shashi.name/2008/03/93-octane-live-blogs-guy-kawasaki-talk.html

     

    imageBefore the event had a great time talking to Laurie Smithwick @upsideup one of the founders of Sk*rt.com and took an interview of her and how Sk*rt was founded. I will post the interview soon on SolutionsArePower.com soon. Laurie  gave me good restaurant suggestions and she deserves thanks for making this trip very enjoyable with her great advice on restaurants in Charlotte and making me feel welcome.

     

     

    image

     

     @capitalFellow is a environment friendly Twitterer. He commutes around on his Bike. We enjoyed chatting about our respective jobs. We spoke on how difficult it was for small businesses to have a easy storage/ backup solution. Scott is going to send me an article on this problem that small businesses face for SolutionsArePower.com and we will look for experts to give us the answers. I should also introduce him to my friend Jimmy Gardner @jjgardner3 as they think alike.

     

    Other Twitterati who attended the event are Rosie  Reilman(@rosebeezy),  Joe (@pseudojoe), Justin (@jruckman),  Ben (@budesigns), Matt (@mtyndall), and Katie (@kdfrankl). if I have left out any other Twitterati from Charlotte, I apologise in advance . Please let me know in the comments so I can update the list.

    93 Octane Live Blogs Guy Kawasaki Talk in Charlotte

     

    image image

    Lyell is a awesome guy, he started the initiative for a post event tweetup and also live blogged the Guy Kawasaki talk at the Network Solutions Small Business Networking event in Charlotte. On his Twitter profile Lyell describes himself as "DH, ebusiness consultant, metal-head, mba, dad, NOLA expat in CLT. (not in order of importance)"

    Here is an extract from Lyell's Twitter Stream about the event

    #guykawasaki - the key is the start and the end. Decide you want to MAKE MEANING, and don't let the BOZOS grind you down. 07:03 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - but he picked his family over $$$ YAY (applause) 06:57 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - bozosity conservatively lost Guy about $2 billion 06:57 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - omg guy is joking on the japanese-americen WWII internment camp racist issue!!!! ROFL 06:56 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - another bozo? guy turns down the opportunity to interview for the CEO position of Yahoo! 06:54 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - the other bozo is harder to spot. rich + famous usually = lucky <> smart. 06:52 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - 2 bozos: 1 = loser. don't listen to losers - they are easy to spot. 06:51 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - it's ok to start in the recession - but never a bad time to start a co. that you believe in. 06:50 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 11 - don't let the BOZOS grind you down. eff the recession. eff the bubble. 06:50 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 10 - the drowning business guy actually is doing well. 06:48 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 10 - startup presentation - "Drowning" is a growing business. W. T. F. 06:47 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 10: for the lazy: 10 slides, 20 minute preso, 30 pt type minimum (kill your powerpoint, before it kills you!) 06:46 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 10 - 10/20/30 rule of pitching - read guy's blog for this one http://blog.guykawasaki.com 06:42 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 9 - ex. emergency beacon watch. fandango (i think). ice skating rink on Carnival ships (i think he meant royal caribbean) 06:41 PM March 25, 2008 from web Icon_star_full

    #guykawasaki no 9 - niche yourself. ask me about the horse in the can. be in the high/right corner of the UNIQUE/VALUE 2x2 matrix 06:39 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 8 - Churn baby Churn. be in denial to overcome negativism. Ship, turn off denial, then CHURN. (this is hard) 06:35 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki Existence of God proved by continued existence of Apple 06:34 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki a) take the money, b) ask ppl WHY they are buying the product. c) do not ask the target mkt why they are NOT buying the product 06:33 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 7 - let 100 flowers blossom (Mao). allow the wrong users to use the product in the wrong way. 06:32 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 6. Do not be afraid of POLARIZING people! better than everyone indifferent 06:31 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 5. don't worry be crappy (classic) 06:29 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 4. roll the dicees C - complete products are complete, E - Elegant (ipod click wheel), E - Generate Emotion (tivo) 06:29 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no 4. roll the dicees I - great products are Intelligent 06:27 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki jumping curves <> adding 3 sizes to helvetica on the daisy wheel head 06:26 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki jumping curves = daisy wheel printing to laser printing 06:25 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no. 3 innovation occurs when you JUMP curves 06:24 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki create a mantra instead 3 to 4 words. Wendy's "Healthy Fast Food". Target "Democratized Design" ebay "democratized commerce" 06:23 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki is NOT happy about typical executive retreats being held on golf courses to determine MISSION STATEMENTS 06:22 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki lamaze instructor = executive coach 06:21 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no.2 attribute - boil down HOW you are going to change the world into 4 WORDS 06:20 PM March 25, 2008

    #guykawasaki no.1 attribute of innovative small businesses - a desire to CHANGE THE WORLD - how are you going to MAKE MEANING 06:19 PM March 25, 2008

    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    New Category Suggestion for Guy Kawasaki's Alltop.com

    Guy Kawasaki's Alltop.com has several categories of web sites "like a magazine rack". SInce I did not see a "deals" category , here is my suggestion for a deals.alltop.com category.
    http://www.SlickDeals.net | http://feeds.feedburner.com/SlickdealsnetFP
    http://www.fatwallet.com/ | http://www.fatwallet.com/rssfeed.php?c=18&deals=50
    http://www.edealinfo.com/ | http://www.edealinfo.com/rss.shtml
    http://www.dealcatcher.com/ | http://rss.dealcatcher.com/rss.xml
    http://bensbargains.net/ | http://bensbargains.net/rss.xml/0
    http://www.couponmom.com/ | sorry no Rss feed (created from Page2RSS http://page2rss.com/rss/eea26c31e49cbf20bb681c29d16050f6)

    update:
    from Marina Martin : http://www.retailmenot.com/ | http://page2rss.com/page?url=www.retailmenot.com/

    I am sure there are 100's of other coupon sites if you know of any please let me know through the comments and I will add theem to this list and acknowledge you in thus post.Even if Guy does not accept this category it will still be a good resource to share. I love slickdeals.net but in fair warning be careful as you may end up getting addicted to deals and buying things you don't need. LOL

    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Rohit Bhargava's Big Day - "Personality Not Included " launched

    I first met Rohit at the launch of Vox and we continued to meet usually at conferences where he was always on a panel and I was asking questions from the audience :).

    I am happy that the big day has come for him and I am proud of a fellow blogger from the DC area achieving his dream. here is a link to a preview of his book www.personalitynotincluded.com/introduction.pdf
    As part of the launch he took a unique approach by asking Bloggers for questions which I mentioned in my previous post.

    Here is my Personality Not Included launch interview with Rohit Bhargava


    a) The new media is so new, is this the right time for a book? Are the results and methods still evolving?

    I think it's actually the perfect time for a book like this, because my theory goes far beyond just social media. I think that social media (or new media) is certainly evolving and companies are trying to figure out the best ways to measure it, but when it comes to the benefits of having a real personality ... the clearest benefit is customer loyalty. The premise of PNI is that social media is just one ingredient in having a personality and the real secret to delighting your customers is to make it a core part of how you interact.


    b) When we say brands are we referring to large companies ?

    Not at all, I use brands to define large and small companies, as well as individuals who have built up their own platforms - like Dooce (Heather Armstrong) or Gaping Void (Hugh Macleod). In fact, I have lots of case studies in the book about different types of "brands" that portray the word at every end of its spectrum.


    c) What happens when a employees personality overshadows the company?

    This is a brilliant question, and one that many organizations are rapidly facing when they have a superstar blogger on staff. In fact, a large part of Chapter 2 is all about this idea and what do to as an employee or as a company when faced with this situation. I called these people "accidental spokespeople" and talk about how best to let them tell their story while still getting a brand value for it.


    d) How long did you take to write the book?


    It took me about five full months to write and maybe another month of editing to write the whole book. I got the contract with my publisher last May, and the book is coming out in March (today). From what I understand, that is a pretty fast turnaround for a book.


    e) DID you ever think of writing fiction?

    Definitely, I love writing. I don't think I would write a novel though. I could imagine writing a children's book and have written lots of poetry and even a play in the past. If it wasn't obvious, I love writing.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Rohit Bhargava's New Approach to a book launch

    We live in the DC area but strangly got the opportunity to chat for a long time at SXSW. Rohit was talking about new ideas for the launch of his book "Personality Not Included". In his post on "Influential Marketing Blog" Rohit is pitching a new way to promote his book.

    Here is what he says:

    My idea is simple: if you send me five questions that you want to know about the
    book or personality, I'll write you a response on Friday that you can publish on
    your blog. Let's call these virtual interviews (ie - interviews by email). You
    choose whether to post the interview on your blog or not after you get my
    responses, but I am essentially offering for ANY BLOGGER to send me interview
    questions and I will respond with answers that are NOT cut and pasted, but
    specific to your questions. I will send all my responses to you on Friday in the
    order that I get your questions, and I will link to all the posted interviews on
    Friday. On Monday, I'll be running a competition on my blog to let readers vote
    on the Best Interview. The winner will get a signed copy of my book and a gift
    certificate for $100 from Amazon. Here are a few reasons you may want to do it:

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    How to follow your Local Twitter folks

    This is a quick post before going to bed. I am going to answer the question on how to follow twitter folk who are in your local area.

    Method 1 : Search Twitter using the name of the place as the search term. Not totally perfect but usable ( Example:  http://twitter.com/tw/search/users?q=new+york)

    Method 2 : Use tweetscan.com to search for the place name.

    Method 3 : Twitterlocal.net This is awesome. It lets you look at Tweets from within a few miles of a zip code and you can use the Twitter Local Client ot subscribe to the RSS feed.
    Here is feed for DC ( 50 miles of zip code 20171)  http://www.twitterlocal.net/rss/20171/50 .

    Method 4 : Take a look at all the people DCtwits is following .

    Method 5 : Ask Newmediajim or Susan Reynolds who know everyone :)

    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Meeting Guy Kawasaki and Alltop.com - Thanks Network Solutions

    I have been following Guy Kawasaki's blog for over 3 years now . . On Guy's blog the first post I read was the 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint.
    Shashi Bellamkonda Network Solutions Social Media Swami meets  Guy Kawasaki

    I was thrilled that Guy was doing a Small Business Networking event at 3 cities sponsored by Network Solutions and I got a chance to go to Miami and meet him. We met at the Sonesta Bay Front Hotel in Coconut Grove Florida and he readily agreed to be interviewed on video. The interview is posted at the SolutionsArePower website. Guy is a nice guy to meet and would respect even his enemies ( my take :) ). He talks very well and gets along well with people. His talk in Miami to Small Business was great. After the event we had dinner together with several Miami Twitterati and we had a good time laughing.
    DSCN0503

    I have been exchanging Tweets with Guy over his new venture Alltop.com. At the outset Alltop started to seem like a gigantic directory of websites to me. Then slowly I began to see the focus on categories and the participation of everyone in building alltop.com.
    IMG_1521

    I know Twitter provided a lot of feedback on the categories for Alltop.com and also who should be featured in the categories. I remember Guy had a wiki where he asked for nominations for top Twitter folk. I was in the list thanks to LindaSherman but not in the final page twitter.alltop.com.

    Talking to Guy about Alltop.com I began to see the rationale behind the site. Guy said that he believes that there is a huge audience of people who are not yet using RSS and even if they do they have too many feeds to read. I second that, as on any given day my reader (Google Reader or FeedDemon) says I have over a 1000 unread items .I also know a lot of people who read blogs by typing the address and not subscribing. Guy says his target for Alltop.com is the people who don't use RSS and would like information on one page. Alltop pages have a collection of the latest feeds and you can mouseover and read.

    How is choice for the content made ? Guy said that it is not completely a democracy - while he said Twitter was a great help in the categories there are some sites that he has to add ( I called it the Guy Kawasaki Algorithm :). As an example he said for Smallbusiness.alltop.com people look to Entrepreneur, fast company,IN for Small Business news so in such a case he adds these feeds.

    I am a reader of the print newspaper. In many ways that to me is kind of the RSS principle but with a human touch. Its almost as if the Washington Post editors select news and categorize then for me. Alltop serves a similar need for individuals who want to go to specific topics and read the top 5 posts.

    I could recommend Alltop.com to my friends who don't read RSS feeds and to those geeks who just want to focus on one topic. At this time I should also mention Carlos Granier has a similar site for Latin websites http://notilat.com/.

    I am not sure where Guy wants to take this but here are some things that I would like to suggest:

    a) Ability to share the pages in Feed readers. This can probably be achieved by being able to export a OMPL file for each category. Example: If I want to add the category smallbusiness.alltop.com to my feed reader it will save me time subscribing to the individual sites.
    b) Search by feeds or categories - I may not know that there is a moms.alltop.com is there a teens.alltop.com? update: as I wrote this blogpost Guy gave me link to search alltop.com http://tinyurl.com/3cmlo5
    c) Ability to embed a alltop category page like a website widget
    d)Twitter.alltop.com is incomplete without http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/1221471.rss
    Update : Guy Updated Twitter.Alltop.com to include me ( Thanks ! Guy)

    If you watch the ventures that Guy has promoted they have never been lacking in innovation.I loved FilmLoop from a few years ago. Of course Guy will probably agree as will any VC that there is no such a thing as 100% success. I am a fan and will follow his talks and the companies he backs.

    Helping other small businesses through a Blog

    Becky MC Cray has a great story being a small town entrepreneur and writing about small business and rural issues, based on her own success and failures.

    In this interview on SolutionsArePower.com she talks about how she started her blog and her mission in helping other small business. Go to the entire post to see the video, or click here .

    read more | digg story

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Network Solutions Small Business networking event with Guy Kawasaki in Miami

    I was thrilled to be in Miami for work. I was there for the Network Solutions sponsored Small Business Event where Guy Kawasaki was speaking. It was great to meet Guy in real life after having seen him and known him online. I interviewed Guy Kawasaki and he was a genuine guy with no airs about him. The interview is posted on the Solutions are Power Blog.

    Alex De Carvalho @alexdc was live tweeting Guy Kawasaki's talk and here are some of the highlights.

      • "every entrepreneur comes in with a great work of art"
      • D: innovation's Deep; I: intelligent products; C: complete experience; E: Elegance; E: great products create strong emotions"
      • If u're in software, change ur service often + experiment much" Also, "niche your product and make it the best in that niche"
      • Ask your customers *why* they're buying your product; this is not the same as asking non-users why they're not customers"
      • Don't let successful 'bozos' get you down when they say it can't be done ... rich and famous generally parses to 'lucky'!"
      • "Western Union should have become PayPal ... but it didn't. That's 'bozosity'!"
      • "A big enemy is a good thing, b/c they're entrenched and not innovative. Also, it motivates the heck out of your employees!"

    Another Attendee Tony of EnragedAmigos.com wrote a post with a good summary from Guy Kawasaki's talk titled "Business and start-up advice from Guy Kawasaki

    Guy as usual gave a great talk. It was help outside and the Florida weather was very nice.
    A great group of Twitterati from the Miami area were at the event We continued the meet-up after the event. .The first one to arrive was Maria @vicequeenmaria and during our light hearted banter she said tat the 'Vice" In her name was like that in "VIce President" and not "Miami Vice" or any other Vice. She had a N95 which unfortunately ran out of charge .( btw she is looking for a QIK invite so anyone with influence please help). I met AlexDC met in Austin at SXSW and he rearranged his schedule to be here. He has a awesome camera and took some good pictures http://flickr.com/photos/adc/tags/networksolutionsmiami/show/. Brian Breslin was also in SXSW and we had lunch together with Alexdc and Liz Strauss. Brian is the man behind TwitBin the Firefox plugin for Twitter and his company infinimedia offers cool services like widgets and applications like Facebook Apps. Carlos Granier, (@cgranier) I was meeting for the first time. Carlosjust released a latin website directory called http://notilat.com/. Yvette @dearYvette is such a humorous person and between all the folks from Miami and Guy Kawasaki the table was laughing all the time.

    Guy joined us and we had a great time exchanging notes and having a good conversation. In the words of @DearYvette " Funny thing about @guykawasaki. No matter what you think you know about him, he's 50 times more funny in real life"

    @vicequeenmaria @Shashib @Alexdc @DearYvette @cgrainer @susanwade @brbreslin

    Did you know that @vicequeenmaria is a writer, yoga instructor, has the knowledge of a concierge, small business consultant and one more thing that I had forgotten about. @dearyvette is a HR professional and is building a house all on her own. She knows more about the County school board minutes than the school board themselves and she has no kids ( she does have dogs)

    Overheard at the dinner table :
    - Advice to Guy - before talking about Horsemeat please make sure there are know Horse owners in the room .

    - We need to find Moonbeam Lamaze instructor and corp. event planner

    From Alexdc :

    - Sarah Lacy is no longer Twitterati, she's Twirlerati" (ref to hair twirling)

    - Twitter at times is like being in ER ... Twitt.ER"

    -

    DSCN0511

    On the whole I think Network Solutions is happy to facilitate conversations between Small Business Experts and Small Business Owners as Alex later TWeeted

    " Network Solutions chose So. Florida as one of three first locations for meetups; no product pitches were made, a pleasant evening had by all"

    Network Solutions team at the imageMiami Small Business networking event.

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Podcamp DC - Register now ! April 19-20, 2008

    Podcamp DC April 19-20, 2008 is a free conference to learn about new media tools like podcasts, videocasts, blogs, Second Life, Facebook, and YouTube. Interested Learn more at http://www.podcampdc.org

    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    SXSW: Connie Reece & Shashi Bellamkonda

    You don' t have to actually meet Connie Reece to experience her helpfulness. Connie and me have been Twitter friends and no visit to Austin would be complete for me without meeting her. Even though I had not made any prior arrangements for a meeting I am glad she made some time for me and we had dinner at the Rio Grande.

    To me it was like meeting a long lost friend and I really appreciate the time she gave me. We talked about Social Media and the FrozenPeaFund.com. I wish I had been able to stay the next day for the Social Media Conversation

    SXSW : Shashi Bellamkonda & Kami Huyse

    I would have loved to have spent more time with Kami Huyse http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com/ . I owe her because when she was in the DC area a few months ago , she had come with Geoff Livingston to Network Solutions and generally chatted about Social Media and had helped reinforce what I had been saying. That visit helped me tremendously in moving to that position. At a conference there is only so much time so I hope to see her when she visits DC next and spend more time.

    SXSW: Lunch with Becky McCRay Adam Darowski & Michelle Riggins

    This was one lunch that I had planned in advance so that I don't miss meeting Becky McCray , Michelle Riggins and Adam Darowski. Becky McCray is a Small Business Evangelist at http://www.smallbizsurvival.com and Michelle is Marketing Honcho at http://www.batchblue.com . One definite result of the lunch was that we convinced Michelle to get her own Twitter id @mriggen. We also had the company of Adam Darowski User Experience Designer for BatchBlue, LLC. http://batchblue.com .

    I had met Michelle in New York a few weeks ago . She has created a great bluepaper on how Small Business can use Social Media. She and Pamela O' hara gave us their tips on
    SXSW:Becky McCray & Shashi Bellamkonda Which place is this?
    how small business can use Social media here http://www.shashi.name/2008/02/how-small-business-can-use-social-media.html

    I continued the conversation with Becky after lunch and i have a video interview that I will post soon at http://www.solutionsarepower.com.
    Adam is a great conversationalist and we had a tough time guesing his age. See his post on SXSW at http://adarowski.com
    SXSW Adam Darowski Batchblue.comSXSW: Shashi Bellamkonda & Michelle Riggins batchblue.com

    Network Solutions Social Media Swami meets Sim from Utterz

    I have been using http://www.utterz.com for sometime. I am amazed at the speed at which Simeon Margolis answers emails about Utterz. I ran into him at SXSW and the first thing I did was to Utter first about the meeting and then shake hands next :).

    Great guy and he went to Boston College which he calls " College of Entrepreneurs" . Is it too late for me to enroll. My mission is to make Small business use utterz to be more successful.

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Network Solutions Social Media Swami meets Swomi

    I was under the impression that there were no other Social Media Swami's around. I was first tipped off that there were other Swami's by Rohit Bhargava during lunch at SXSW. Then it happened. I was in the Blog Haus at SXSW when I met Jackie Huba - Chief Swomi of www.theswom.org. it was brilliant to have a play on the acronym for Society for Word of Mouth. We had some mutual friends who had told Jackie that we should meet and I am happy we finally met. I have joined the Society for Word of Mouth
    SXSW : Swami meets the Swami

    SWOM's purpose, then, is two-fold: to be a free social network for the true believers of word of mouth (or the merely curious), and to be a premium educational resource for making word of mouth fundamental to the DNA of any organization. For the second part of the mission, we'll be introducing webinars, educational materials and training opportunities in the weeks ahead. Plus, we'll have in-person events. Fun events!


    I have been meaning to blog about the definition of the title Network Solutions Social Media Swami.
    Social Media Swami : self responsible, Works for Network Solutions but is responsible to the customers and community, learned, gives opinions in the new media, independent, Ombudsman, devoted to customers,

    Wikipedia says "owner of oneself", or "free from the senses".

    Network Solutions participates in SOBCon08 Chicago from May 2-4

    I am attending the SOBCon 08 in Chicago May 2-4 2008. The event is "Part seminar, part conference, part deep networking event" . Network Solutions is participating in the event and I will be there with a few of my colleagues.

    Tojosan has a blog post that describes all the perks of attending:

    SOBCon, one of the premiere blogging conferences, is adding a lot of perks to registrants. If you were worried about getting a little something extra, then worry no more.

    “Thanks to our sponsors you’ll also receive:

    * a copy of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett
    * 60 attendees will get free design and SEO consults from Network Solutions experts.
    * a $99 lifetime hosting offer from THC
    * a pro account at E-Junkie
    * a free subscription to Blogger & Podcaster Magazine and a chance to join their new USA Today guide
    * a professional video interview on you and your biz for BlogTV sponsored by Fuel My Blog

    and more to come . . .”

    I am looking forward to the conference and meeting all my friends and fellow bloggers. If you have not registered please do that soon. http://www.sobevent.com/register/

    Social Media poll : How many people have met online friends offline ? Results.


    I have met a lot of online friends off line and the experience has been energizing. The DC metro area has a lot of social media activity. I setup a poll to kind of get a idea of how many of my social media friends have met their online friends offline.

    55 people answered the poll
    85% said Yes
    14.5% said No
    The No answers were from people in Northern CA, NJ, TN, IN and NJ.
    What do you think of the results ?

    SXSW Day 2 - The Real Business Starts

    Day 2 of the conference I decide to skip meeting anyone for Breakfast. Breakfast meetings are good only if you stay close to the convention center and don't have a late night). Scott Stead gave me a ride to town as I was staying with family 15 miles from Downtown. On the way to the Austin Convention center we pick up Jonny Goldstein and Gerry T. I also get introduced to kristen crusius aka @kroosh .DSCN0412

    The International Hostel in Austin seems a cool place with a lake view, gardens etc. On the way I saw rowing teams practicing on the lake.

    The first Twitter message is from Kim Haynes (@khaynes) of Bull Dog Solutions who is listening to the panel "Creating Findable Rich Media Content" .( SXSW podcast here)It takes me a while to find Room A . Luckily Kim has given me precise directions to her seat and so even if the room is dark I find her and we talk in whispers.

    Peter Cole on the panel is interesting , he is the Creative dev director for AQKA and I want to look for him after the panel but we never get to connect (AQKA and Network Solutions are owned by General Atlantic)

    SXSW BlogHaus : Kim Haynes & Shashi Bellamkonda

    Andrew Lockhart has a summary of the panel on the blog Thinking Interactive . During my search for the Room A I had run into Hugh Mcleod who told me to come and see him at the BlogHaus to get a exclusive card so I asked Kim to come along and we went to the Blog Haus.

    SXSW BlogHaus - Shashi Bellamkonda & Jason Falls

    The blog haus was full of bloggers, many big names in the blogging/ social SXSW BlogHaus : Shashi Bellamkonda & Jason Fallsmedia sphere.Visitng the BlogHaus was a great opportunity to meet my online friends. You cannot miss Liz Strauss (see my post about meeting her) as she is 6 ft tall.She was one of the first people I met and she recognized me from my picture. We had not talked about meeting at SXSW so i was thrilled that we connected. We talked about the forthcoming SOBCon08 that is happening in downtown Chicago from May 2-4 at the Summit Executive Center.

    DSCN0421

    I introduced myself to Loren Feldman of 1935media.com. I commented to him that I wanted to see him and Scoble together.I did get that chance a little later that afternoon and they were all so nice to each other despite what they say online :).

    I met Kris Smith , VP SXSW BlogHaus : Shashi Bellamkonda & Liz StraussProduct Development of BlogTalk Radio and Jeffery Sass @sass on Twitter. Check out his blog http://socialnetworkingrehab.blogspot.com/.

    My buddy Aaron Brazell @technosailor was at the Blog Haus too and so was Jared Goralnick

    You may not know me but ...I am TechnosailorJared Goralnick @setjared

    SXSW BlogHaus : Shashi Bellamkonda & Maggie FoxThere was a moment at the Blog Haus where I met many people in quick succession. Geri Druckman whose card says "Just Google me" . Maggie Fox @maggiefox of Social Media Group

    Kara Soluri @karasoluri . Kara's card sSXSW BlogHaus : Kara Soluri & Shashi Bellamkondaays : "I don't have a business card, But I do have a blog" :) . She is a fantastic person and hope we can meet again and spend more time.

    I got interviewed by Shel Israel for his series Global Neighbourhoods - Social Media's impact on business & culture. and I feel like I know him very well. Meeting him personally was a pleasant surprise. He is much younger than he likes to joke about online. He as humorous offline as he is online. Great guy and I was thrilled to meet him. His card says" Writer, consultant, Nice Guy".Kami Huyse calls him her mentor and Jeremiah Owyang call Shel his guide for corp blogging.SXSW BlogHaus : Shel Israel & Shashi Bellamkonda

    Chris Brogan who I can call my mentor seem to be in several places at one time.I ran into him on the Way to the Blog Haus and we had a great corridor conversation .He was happy for my new position. He asked me to come to the Bar Camp event where he was performing karaoke but I got lost and missed going there. Chris is great for bringing people together.

    Out of the club

    Spent a lot of time talking to Sheila Scarborough @sheilaS. She is so full of energy. She gave me a nice video that I will post soon. I was happy to meet her after being her friend on Twitter. Scott Monty from Crayon gave me an interview on video and we met several times during the next 2 days. Fantastic person to meet.

    Hugh Mcleod gave me a nice drawing on a card which is a collectible. A very nice person.

    DSCN0419I ran into Robert Scoble and he stopped and spoke to me as I told him about what I do and how "Naked Conversations " was helpful in my job as Social Media Swami at Network Solutions. he joked that he hoped he didn't lead me too much astray. He may be in DC in June so I hope we can have a meet-up then. Along with him were Sarik Weber of Cellity

    AMD were the sponsors to the BlogHaus and I spoke to Elizabeth Lee from AMD.Tara Anderson from Lijit asked me if I was Lijit user and I told her that I was buddies with Barney Moran from Liijit and she wanted any feedback on Lijit. its a widget I use on my blog. Other fantastic people I met were - Cathy Brooks from Seesmic , Jitendra Gupta CEO & Tedd Corman co-founder of sezwho.com, Saul Colt and Sunir Shah from FreshBooks , Katherine Druckman of LinuxJournal, Eric Smith Pres. Unwired Nation, Chadrick Baker of Metaversatility.com, David Delcourt of Makemesustainable.com , Nikhil Nilakantan of Socialspan.com , Chris Morrison of Venturebeat.com (I asked him if he was Sim from Utterz). CC Chapman

    I went out for lunch with Liz Strauss to PF Changs and when we tweeted that we had some great folks join us : Shama Hyder @afterthelaunch, http://scrapblog.com/ , Rohit Bhargava , Joe Castillo - The flavor of New Ideas , Brian Breslin of Infinimedia.com , Christina Jones and Arian of B5Media.

    DSCN0418DSCN0414DSCN0417

    After lunch I went to the panel "Worst Website Ever: That's So Crazy, It Just Might Work"

    Andy Baio Programmer/Journalist, Waxy.org

    Lane Becker Pres, Get Satisfaction

    Jeffery Bennett Clever Name

    Michael Buffington Cofounder, Grockit Inc

    Lia Bulaong Jarvis Heavy Industries

    David Friedman Ironic Sans

    David Hornik General Partner, August Capital

    Merlin Mann 43 Folders

    Katie Spence Crowd Control, Mule Design Studio

    Ben Brown XOXCO.com

    A good Short review of this very funny panel by Rex hammock maybe worth the read. among the panel crowd I met Rob Jones of the 2Sides Design Studio whom I had met when he was working with Frog Design and they had done some work for Network Solutions. I also met Vijay Patel after this panel who works for the University of Colorado- Boulder. He was going for the premier of "Harold and Kumar go to Guantanamo Bay". Lucky guy.

    The evening party I went to was the Dorkbot - Description from the SXSW website

    'Think of it as a science fair with free beer. Ample doses of electricity, tomfoolery, mayhem, makers and music combine to form one exquisite geek talent show. Sponsored by Make Magazine, SXSW Interactive, the International Game Developers Association of Austin and Amaze Entertainment"

    The description fits, I remember a machine that conducts electricity to music and makes its own noise. Wonder why the beer was green at this party?.

    After this party when we walked to the Google party we saw a big line and so we decided to skip it. At this time a Homeless man walked to Gerry T and he along with Jonny goldstein went to buy him some food. I met Celeste Mitchell a fellow DC ite who works for Discovery while waiting outside the Google Party. One thing we did see was that the Google party had some kind of lights as SWAG as we saw people come out of the party with lights shining all over. We walked to the Frog design party and as I mentioned i would have been better off taking a cab as We got lost and walked several blocks in the opposite direction. One good thing howwever was that on this walk the wrong way I met Kyle Monson associate Editor of PC magazine who was also headed to the party.

    Other friends at the Frog Design party we met were Jim Long @newmediajim , Adele McAlear, Colleen Coplick who gave us some good monster finger toys :). I met @popcandy Whitney Matheson she blogs about Pop culture for USAtoday and was very interested in coming to DC Blogger events.

    The next party was the 16 Bit: SXSWi's Opening Night Afterparty at Scoot Inn
    where I saw a a show" 999 Eyes, an authentic human oddities freakshow" ( I will put the video up soon and link from here)I also met Hilary Mason @hmason

    Brian beslin & Jose CastilloHi Nice to meet you at the Scoot Inn

    @Colleencoplick

    What we missed was the impromptu party that Gary Vee hosted and about 40 twitterers joined as they felt the lines at other parties were too long. See Brian Solis post about the party we missed.


    Friday, March 14, 2008

    SXSW : Top Takeaways

    Logistics:

    a) Don't take a heavy bag with you. If you have 3 cameras and a laptop ( Like I did) make sure you go to your hotel room or car to drop off the stuff before you go for a party.
    b) Wear Comfortable shoes . The convention center is huge and you may have to walk miles
    c) Follow @GerryTShow (Warning: Please click on this link after the kids are in bed) on Twitter but not in Downtown Austin.
    Gerry T
    I may have followed him at least 4 miles in the opposite direction trying to find the Frog party. Take a cab.
    d) Don't attempt to attend all the sessions. If they are back to back in different rooms then you have to be faster than a high school kid.
    e) @jonnygoldstein ( Jonny's Partay) @scottstead ( Scottstead.com) are good people to hang out with.
    f) You may not like your detractor's opinion online but at a conference you are there to schmooze and have a good time.
    DSCN0420

    Events :- Knowledge v/s networking
    1. Remember you will usually get a good wrap up of the sessions . it may be a good idea to see the events as homework after SXSW on the official site or other blogs. Give priority to meeting people while you are there.
    2. Pay attention to Twitter. You may see a open invite where other Twitterati are congregating.
    3. No dinner served at SXSW parties ( Please correct me if this is wrong)
    4. Having dinner with other attendees is better than standing in line at a party.
    5. The first day Friday is hang out day, Saturday is mixing with people.
    6. Sunday, Monday has a lot of activity.
    7. Tuesday is time to go home.
    8. If you are a panelist - get people to come to the panel by having a FaceBook group for the event.(like Rohit Bhargava did)
    9. There will always be a central place where all the bloggers/twitter folk meet. In this case it was the BlogHaus sponsored by AMD and others.SXSW: BlogHaus: Sponsors
    10. Take lot of pictures so there is proof if your word is not good enough.
    11. You may meet a queen
      SXSW :

    12. or even two queens
      SXSW : The Queen Pistachio

    13. Austin cabbies are all social media types except the guy who refused to let me eat ice cream in his cab.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    SXSW : Myth to Reality

    I have been following SXSW with interest and wanted to attend one day.Last year I heard podcasts from SXSW that talked about Twitter and everyone seemed to be having such good fun and raucous. I never imagined that life would change so much in this one year and I would be part of SXSW as an attendee.

    I was not the typical attendee, My wife had sent a chaperone with me - my 2.5 year old sonI came with my Dad for SXSW Before you imagine that he was hanging around in the Austin Convention Center hallways or watching me drink at the parties let me tell you that my wife's sister lives in Austin and has 2 kids. So while I attended SXSW The kids had a great time on their own.

    I would say the SXSW experience started on 7th March in BWI where I met Rana June. Since the weather in Dallas was bad the previous day it upset the travel plans of a lot of people including Rana. Over Twitter I heard that Christina Warren aka film_girl had to share a rental car from Dallas to Austin with some fellow SXSWers as American had cancelled all flights from Dallas. Rana was a standby for the same flight that I took with my son. We tried to see if they would let me keep my son on may lap but rules are rules so we parted company at the gate. Rana and my son got along very well because they are both very sociable people.

    DSCN0381Arrived in Austin and after a few hours headed to the Austin Convention Center. The first people I met were Stowe Boyd and Stephanie Booth @Stephtara and we went to register. Earlier in the day Scott Stead and Jonny Goldstein had videocasted live using Qik showing the lines and the crowds , so I was prepared for the lines. On the elevator I met Jason Falls and Shawn Morton - they were going the other way and we agreed to meetup later. Unlike other conferences I could see everyone riding the elevators and walking around with Shiner Bock beer in their hands as if that was being given away at registration. ( you did get a coupon for one free drink per day which I never used )

    Surprisingly registration went fast. I had already uploaded my picture using the online tools so it was only a momen

    t or so before I got my pass. The pass is very valuable since its the ticket to all the panels plus the entry to parties. I liked the way the pass is 2 sided so you don't have to worry about turning it every time so people can read your name.

    I was disappointed by the SWAG bag. I would have liked atleast one T-shirt in the bag. I did not go through the bag fully but it was mostly paper. The bag had a drawing by Hugh MCleod .

    Shashi Bellamkonda & Andy BealThe first session I attended was Andy Beal's reading his book "Radically Transparent" . His presentaion was good and I must ask him if he can send me a copy. Its a must have book for all corporate social media strategists so I purchased one and had Andy sign it for me. We have exchanged a few emails regarding Andy's new reputation tracking tools called Trackur and I would have been happy if we could have spent some time chatting but never got the opportunity.

    SXSW: Shashi Bellamkonda & Christina Warren ( film_girl)I saw @technosailor's tweet that he was at Champions ( across the street from the convention center) and so I walked out of the Convention Center for the day. At Champions I met Christina Warren aka film_girl .We seem to know each other virtually and it was very great to meet her in person. She is a Blogger/Writer/Video Host - downloadsquad,com, squadcast and TUAW.com.

    Laith DahiyatI met a lot of cool bloggers and personalities at this meetup including Laith Dahiyat my former colleague at Network Solutions and friend who lives in Austin. In the picture you have Tris Hussey ( he took a lot of photos http://flickr.com/photos/tris/) ,

    SXSW hangingout at the Champions

    Stowe Boyd , Jeremy Vaught head honcho of B5 media, Scott Stead and Aaron Brazell @technosailor. Stowe introduced me to Hugh MCCleod. Met Stephanie Argesta a big time Affiliate Guru and we discussed a few mutual friends like Adam Veiner. I ran into Gerry T. I saw Laura Carbonnau who recently moved from DC to Austin. The next stop was the first party of SXSW - mix at SIx . Good snacks and of course liquid refreshments. I caught up with Peter Corbett who seems to be travelling so much and also nurturing his company to success with some big contracts. He gave me a brief interview in line at the SIX where he talks about his latest project Iheartcavemen.com


    At Six I met a lot of people as Scott, Jonny and myself occupied a nice couch taking turns at watching our bags. Fellow DC ite Leslie Bradshaw came and said hello with Leora Zellman . Rohit Bhargava (World traveler & Author of the forthcoming book "Personality Not Included") sat and spoke for a long time. Met Bryan G Rhoads from Intel who showed Intel's new device - shhhhh!us a prototype of a Intel mobile computer that has a amazing processing power. Jen Cardew stopped by to say hello. We had missed a meetup when she was in DC a few months ago. DSCN0394

    Met Tamar Weinberg who now works for Mashable. I met Peter Cashmore who was distributing giant Mashabel Rocks hands and in the picture above you can see him between Rohit and SCott. Rana arrived finally in Austin and we met again at Six . After the party we had a quick bite to eat at Champions and headed home tired after our first day.

    DSCN0405

    Tamar Weinberg

    Update : Another Online friend that I met on the first day was Richard McInnis with whom I have spoken many times and it was wonderful to meet him offline. In the Andy beal talk I also met : Andrew Feinberg of Capitol Valley . You may want to listen to Andrew's interview with Andy Beal on Blogtalk Radio talking about reputation management.