Monday, April 20, 2009

Twitter to me : You Can't follow Yourself

image

I thought this was humorous. Sometime this evening on Google Chrome I started seeing the mobile version of Twitter. And along with that a 'Follow" option on my @shashib page. I clicked the "Follow" button to get the message " You Can't follow yourself" :) Ha ! ha !

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Washington Post Business Section Rocks :Loved reading it today : Links

Its not a secret that I love the Washington Post. Today I spent a lot of time reading the Business section almost word for word.

Here are links to the articles that were interesting to me and you should check them out.

Another fantastic Small Business post was a syndicated article From Kiplinger from Anne Kates Smith Help for Small Business .Her advice to Small Business is:

Mentors are easy to find. Score has 12,000 mentors nationwide who will advise you for free, in person or online (http://www.score.org). Small Business Development Centers, a joint effort of the Small Business Administration, colleges and local governments, offers management assistance at about 1,000 locations. You can network at your local Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, at LinkedIn.com, and at sites devoted to small-business communities, such as StartupNation.com.
Small Businesses can also visit http://growsmartbusiness.com and learn about the Small Business Success Index a study that found there is optimism despite the economy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Small Business Conference in Denver September 14th -15th - Learn About Web

Learn-About-The-web-Conference-Denver Anita Campbell introduced me to Craig Sutton and that lead to the honor of speaking at the Learn About Web - a small Business conference in Denver on September 14th and 15th 2009. Learn about Social media, web design, and search marketing to attract more customers to your Website and if you don't have one this is your chance to start.

Here is a coupon code for the Learn About Web conference CODE=@shashib  and this gives you $199 off and is valid till April 30th.

Hope you will register specially if you are in and around the Denver area.

This conference is very timely for Small Business folks looking for help in finding resources and guidance to get online and expand their reach. Network Solutions along with University of Maryland released a recent study " Small Business Success index" . here is a extract from the report

How can small businesses improve their competitiveness in the marketplace? Use the Internet.

Assuming that a venture capitalist is not going to suddenly appear and shore up most small businesses, a sound
investment a small business can make is in ramping up its Internet business solutions, or so it would seem based on the
experiences of those small businesses who have done it. This means more than just building a website, but making a
commitment to online advertising, allowing customers to view and order products online, providing email customer
service and self-service options to customers. It also involves improving internal communications by having a shared
network for employees to collaborate on projects and providing the means for them to communicate online with each
other.By doing these things, small businesses can improve their overall competitiveness grade, going from a low C to a
C+, and improve in one of the most important drivers of competitiveness, Marketing and Innovation. It affects the
bottom-line too. Small businesses that invest in Internet business solutions have a higher likelihood of meeting their
business goals. For example, small businesses with a commitment to Internet business solutions feel they are highly
successful in improving their profit margins 16% more often than small businesses that employ minimal Internet
business solutions.

On a similar note Steve King of Small Business labs wrote about the Small Business Trends for 2009 says

Small Businesses Will Expand Their Use of Online Marketing Tools: 

Despite the economic downturn, we expect the small business sector to increase its use of online marketing tools and methods in 2009.  Online marketing is cheaper and often more effective than traditional approaches.  And although online marketing can be complex, many tools and methods are accessible to DIY small business marketers. With small businesses focused on customer acquisition and re-defining their business methods, we expect their use of online marketing to grow in 2009.

I have never been to Denver and so that's another reason for me to be thrilled to be part of this conference.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

GrowSmartBusiness Webinar for Small Business : April 30. Please register

On Thursday, April 30 from 2-3pm ET, Network Solutions will host the GrowSmartBusiness Webinar to help small business owners learn from the success of others. Join our all-star line-up of entrepreneurs and experts for this free, live webcast. They’ll discuss tips for overcoming challenges to marketing strategy and capital access.

Roy Dunbar, CEO of Network Solutions, will host the conversation. Our speakers include:

· Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limo, the largest independent limousine service in the U.S.

· Anita Campbell, Editor of Small Business Trends

· Kelly Muccio, Founder of Lost Boys, a fashionable clothing store recently featured on Good Morning America

· Surfy Rahman, Co-owner of Indique, a popular DC-area restaurant chain.

Register and get the details at http://growsmartbusiness.eventbrite.com.

To learn how YOU score on the Small Business Success Index, visit www.growmartbusiness.com.

Please ehlp me promote this event as this will be of great value to Small Business. #sbbuzz

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You may not be in the White house but you can get your own Portuguese Water Dog

Dazzle 2 by energizerbunny1017.
Photo credit by energizerbunny1017 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31733217@N04/2969754619/)

The American Kennel club describes the Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog is a loyal worker and companion. Medium-sized and robust, the breed possesses a waterproof coat and the ability to swim all day. Its coat can be curly or wavy and is black, white, or brown, or combinations of black or brown with white.

Referred to as the Cao de Agua (dog of water) in its native Portugal, the Portuguese Water Dog was bred to accompany fisherman on their boats. An exceptional swimmer and diver, the breed retrieved broken nets, dove for fish, carried messages between boats and to shore, and guarded the boat for his master in foreign ports. The breed started disappearing in the early 20th century when technology made his daily job somewhat obsolete, but Dr. Vasco Bensuade, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate and dog fancier, saved the breed.

Want to get your own go to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America and look at the list of breeders for the Portuguese Water Dogs. Want to read about Dogs that CEOs have as pets read the USA today story by Del Jones

Of course "Bo" Joined the White house http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2009-04-12-obamas-dog_N.htm. Good luck US First Family and anyone else who uses my post to get a Portuguese Water Dog. Do you have a pet ? What is it? Comment here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mack Collier - Building Successful Online Communities #OMBC

Six steps to building a successful online community

    • Creating value for members
    • Giving members the ability to create and share content
    • Rewards the efforts of your community evangelists
    • Give your community multiple feedback channels ( not only back to you and but to otter channels)
    • Sharing potential revenue with your community
    • Be a part of the community
  • Community is a group of people that share a sense of ownership
  • Community do not form over the idea of being monetized but monetization can happen as a result of the community
  • Example SavvyAunite.com  (http://savvyauntie.com/defaulthome.aspx) do you know what PANK is ? comment here and ask me or ask Mack Collier .
  • http://laststraw.usewd40.com/ WD40 evangelist community "The Last Straw"
  • A Thousand Words - Kodak Blog
  • Creating content and sharing leads to collaboration
  • When members work together to create content ownership is then transferred from the individual to the group ( example Flickr , #Blogchat on Twitter)
  • @comcastcares is a great example of a customer service and community around Twitter
  • Threadless.com is a incredible business model. Customers will tell them what they will buy , designers publish ideas online and customers vote on it. Value first leads to revenue.
  • Liz StraussBZlog is a good example of community
  • make sure contributions and content created is acknowledged
  • Opensalon.com
  • Huffingtonpost.com inviting people to contribute from among commenters
  • Look for ways to put the spotlight on your community
  • If members have more channels to create content they will find more ways to interact with each other
  • You encourage individuals to get a greater sense of community
  • members should feel respected and have multiple ways to communicate to you.
  • Dell's ideastorm is a feedback channel and a way to suggest product Improvements. great way for Dell to give the customers a sense of empowerment and also get feedback and product ideas.( Congrats @lionelatdell)
  • ChrisBrogan.com provides different channels for people to interact with him.
  • Sharing with your community
    • Special deals with sponsors
    • Cash ( Threadless gives cash for winning design submissions)
    • Improving the overall site)
    • Built in mechanism to incent people to promote the website
  • A community is not an island in the distance
  • Feed off each others strength with community members
  • Your community wants and needs become your wants and needs
  • Remember your community is filled with real people with real lives
  • Community members are not numbers

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is “Don’t focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate.” His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nurture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media ‘homebase’ is The Viral Garden, which in 2 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 100,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as their marketing blog DailyFix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

Beth Harte PR 2.0 at Online Media Bootcamp

Beth Harte  The Harte of Marketing kicked off the afternoon session with PR 2.0.  here are some points from her talk and I have included tweets from the

OMBC Twitter Stream
  • You  cannot control the message about your company on blogs  or other social media channels. if you want to control the message buy an ad.
  • Do not attempt to ghost blog for companies
  • Understand how to work with people complaining about your company. They are empowered to give their opinion.
  • First Step in PR 2.0 - Listen
  • You may discover that there is not much of a conversation about you
  • Listening Tools many of them do not give you a tone
  • For research purposes monitor your competitors keywords too
  • PR is the advocate for the customer and community
  • @MackCollier: If the people you want to reach aren't on Twitter, why would you be there? Find out where your customers are & follow them #OMBC @bethharte
  • You need a plan to engage with detractors, start a conversation
  • @storyspinner: the average consumer doesn't know what a press release is, they see a name & number and they call you @bethharte #ombc (PR 2.0)
  • @ConversationAge: @bethharte talks about making plans on the degree of involvement #ombc
  • Become Social and take baby steps
  • Move from press release to news release ( Introduction to Pitch Engine)
  • Share pictures, videos, podcasts through press releases.
  • Have a way to call the product experts
  • Make elements of your news release shareable
  • Make press releases SEo friendly and good reader experience
  • Try using http://www.pitchengine.com/
  • You can be social by making sure you use RSS feeds to send information
  • What works for you and your company many be different from others so you may not have a definite model to follow
  • storyspinner: RSS is spam free - if u don't like what someone's saying, turn it off. Journalists love RSS, don't have 2 wait 4 the wire! @bethharte #ombc
  • Listen , engage, make sure it is really newsworthy,

 

Beth Harte runs Harte Marketing & Communications, and in adddition Beth speaks at industry conferences and event and serves as adjunct professor at Immaculata University where she’s taught Marketing in a Global Economy, Marketing Principles and Practices, Introduction to Public Relations, Writing for Public Relations & Social Media and Issues in E-Commerce. Beth will also be teaching Community, Government and Global Relations and Writing for PR & Social Media in the new Master’s in Applied Communication program.

Online Media Bootcamp Philly April 9th 2009

 

I am at King of Prussia in Philadelphia for the Online Media Bootcamp a day long, exclusive internet marketing training conference, just outside of Philadelphia, PA. The other speakers along with me are Beth Harte and Liana Evans ( organizers) Valeria Maltoni and Mack Collier 

Here are some nuggets that were on Twitter . You can find by following the OMBC thread here http://cli.gs/msj2SD

Social Media Fundamentals :  Liana “Li” Evans

  • @MackCollier: Social media should mesh with your larger comm strategy and compliment it, not be standalone @storyspinner
  • MackCollier: If you engage and respond to detractors online, you can convert them into evangelists (YES!)
  • Social media does not have the immediate conversion like SEO and PPC

Corporate Blogging Session : Valeria Maltoni ConversationAge

  • Blog best practices : distinct & objective focus, authentic voice, enable comments, regular posts
  • Contact info on the Blog is important
  • Make your blog search friendly. Use Google search or Lijit
  • Share the podium, glory of socialmedia liberally linking from blogs
  • @sarahweddle: Blogs can use conversational English/tone but use spell check! Being conversational is no excuse for bad grammar
  • @TheDryCleaner: #OMBC Blog should be more "having a cup of coffee" with someone and less about shouting.
  • @MackCollier Create a blogroll of your fav blogs, give kudos to others in your industry. Creates value for readers
  • eldridge2m: Community of Sr Execs in charge of Social Media at largest corporations in the world, http://blogcouncil.org/ #ombc @conversationAge
  • Curate content, respond to comments, stay proactive, clean up sidebars. More best corporate blogging practices #OMBC @conversationage

Friday, April 03, 2009

April 14th : DC Web Women Meeting: Yours Truly and Social Media

its a honor for Network Solutions and me to be invited to speak at the April meeting of the DC Web Women.

DC Webwomen is a professional organization of about 3000 members located in the DC area. Our members are professional women, students and enthusiasts who specialize in the fields of Web Design, Web Development, Computer Science, IT, Graphic Design, Web Content, Blogging, Multimedia, Marketing, e-Marketing, SEO, Web Analytics, and Social Media.

WHEN:  Tuesday, April 14, 2009
TIME:  6:30 networking; 7 pm program starts
WHERE:  Aquilent in Laurel, MD
WHO:  Open to all
COST:  $15 for DCWW Members / $20 for non-DCWW Members

SIGN UP FOR EVENT: http://shashi.eventbrite.com/

I hope to see you there.

Deborah Anger DCWW Program Chair and  Search Engine Marketing Expert set an email about the event to the members saying:

Our next program on social media promises to be a hit! We have the social media swami (yes, that really is his title) from Network
Solutions speaking about how he used social media to re-brand Network  Solutions, listen to customers and gain more business

Takeaway from the session will be a plan to listen, participate and  contribute and in the process create a presence that should lead to  more connection, community participation and an indirect goal to get more business.

I have met a lot of DCWW members . Jill Foster, Mayra Ruiz McPhersonDeanna McNeil, Michelle Hoffman, Allyson Kapin, Shireen Mitchell Aka @digitalsista, Sibyl Edward, Heidi Strom Moon

All that Glitters is not Gold : Google + Twitter=Glitter

There are 81million search results for the term "google + twitter" on Google. The Twitter search does not tell me the number of searches at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=google+AND+twitter  but my theory is that Twitter shows 100 pages of results and google shows about 5 pages of results http://www.google.com/search?q=google++twitter&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_en-USUS292US303&start=640&sa=N

Google's results include pages that have been tweaked and fine tuned by SEO magicians but Twitter is straight from the keyboard mentions and an occasional automatic feed.

Twitter's earliest result is from 24 hours ago :

AirDisa: RT @dannysullivan: so facebook is becoming twitter and digg with the diggbar is becoming stumbleupon. what next, google to become myspace?

 

Google's earliest result is from Nov th 2008 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1848377379247478205

 

In terms of relevance to your search my "theory is that  you will get much more relevant results from Twitter than Google. Google doesnot tell you that new results are eing added as you are viewing the search as Search.twitter.com does

image

Is Google threatened. yes. if every Twitter user decided he will ask the question on Twitter rather than search Google then imagine what happens.

Is this a rumor or is it true?

Hear from the Horses mouth Biz stone on his blog http://blog.twitter.com/2009/04/sometimes-we-talk.html

Greg Sterling says this is "heard mentality" http://searchengineland.com/heard-mentality-twitter-in-talks-or-not-17196

The story broke on Tech Crunch http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/02/sources-google-in-late-stage-talks-to-buy-twitter/

And Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal told everyone its just a rumor

The debate will continue for some time and my opinion :

  • This may just  be a meeting to discuss synergies as Twitter results come very high on Google searches - see 3 Twitter results for "shashib" http://cli.gs/6zZH6u
  • Google will never start ads till they are sure what the pulse of the users is, example youtube does show ads but its done that after several years after the acquisition
  • Twitter's USP is that it is simple and not too many features. If you want features you have to depend on other applications that use the Twitter API

No reason to believe out twitter experience will change if Google buys Twitter and no reason to believe that Microsoft will keep mum if indeed Google is in talks to buy Twitter.

 

if it does

Google : I want to be able to Tweet to my refrigrator, directTv box and turn on the lights using Twitter

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tips for family travel to Peru and Machu Picchu : familytravellogue.com @sheilaS

I am never tired of talking about our Trip to Macchu Picchu .When a seasoned Blogger like Sheila Scarborough asked me to guest post for http://www.familytravellogue.com/I jumped at the opportunity.

There are some things in life that form part of your “bucket list” and when you achieve them, you feel gratified. For me, visiting Machu Picchu in Peru was like a childhood dream come true. Growing up in India, I found that studying the Inca Civilization was exciting. I can still almost hear my middle school teacher’s excited voice as he talked about the magnificent beauty of Machu Picchu.

I was thrilled to see it posted today. Read the entire post http://www.familytravellogue.com/tips-for-family-travel-to-peru-and-machu-picchu.html

Other memories from my Trip

Slide show of Machu Picchu http://cli.gs/P45QYn

You can find all pictures here http://www.flickr.com/photos/drbeachvacation/

Some videos here http://www.youtube.com/user/shashibellamkonda

Naked chef cooking for Obama

You know what I  mean :) I loved reading this in the Washington Post

Barack and Michelle Obama's European adventure? No fancy parties or state dinners -- this is a working trip. They'll spend today and tomorrow in London for the G-20 conference; they'll meet privately with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, have dinner prepared by celebrity "Naked Chef" Jamie Oliver at No. 10 Downing Street and tour the Royal Opera House. (Gordon Brown is giving out goody bags: British ties, tea towels, candles and chocolates.)

See the rest of the article here http://cli.gs/sWWR3t

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Twitter is now mainstream : Jack Diamond Mix 107.3 Fm is on Twitter @jackdiamondshow

I am a regular Jack Diamond show listener for the last 7 years. I love this show and in the past few weeks Jack has been talking about twitter. I sent the show an email last year asking them to be on Twitter. My reasoning was that they share a lot of stuff they do with the audience which is the uniqueness of this show. You almost feel like they are in the same room as you and everyone is hanging out together.

The jack Diamond show can use Twitter very well to create a community of their listeners using twitter and enhance the efforts the station and the Jack Diamond Show team is doing with their appearances and their blogs etc.

Do's

  • Tweet when Jack, Erica , Jimmy or Ally are not on so listeners can just scroll through the tweets to find out why.
  • Tweet when you play some songs for the first time
  • Tweet about what is happening in the studio when a song is playing , joke etc
  • Twitter is not always just business people want to have some fun too
  • When ever you post a new blog post , place the link on Twitter
  • If you mention a web site on the air send a Tweet too. people are driving and they can later check the link. Sorry but your web site is very diificult to navigate.
  • Tweet special offers

Don'ts

  • Do not make the account private ( You should change the option immediately)
  • Do not tweet what you would not say on the air

Best practices

  • Don't tweet infrequently
  • When you tweet end with who is tweeting i.e jack, Erica , Jimmy or Ally
  • Add your twitter feed to your website

I just put a few thoughts down. You all may have more thoughts on this. please comment or let me know .