Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pew Internet Study : 58% of Americans perform online research before purchasing

I am sure all of relate to this. In the report it is also interesting that "the sharing of product and service information also coincides with increasing use of social networking sites, with 46% of Americans reporting the use of internet sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn."



What do you think ?

Amplify’d from pewinternet.org
The commercial use of the internet by American adults has grown since the mid-2000s, with 58% of Americans now reporting that they perform online research concerning the products and services that they are considering purchasing. That is an increase from 49% who said they conducted product or service research online in 2004.



Morever, the number of those who do research about products on any given day has jumped from 15% of adults in September 2007 to 21% in September 2010. From February 2004, the number of adults conducting research on any given day has more than doubled, up from 9%.



Additionally, 24% of American adults say they have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy, indicating a willingness to share their opinions about products and the buying experience with others.“Many Americans begin their purchasing experience by doing online research to compare prices, quality, and the reviews of other shoppers,” said Jim Jansen, Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of a new report about online product research. “Even if they end up making their purchase in a store, they start their fact-finding and decision-making on the internet.”Read more at pewinternet.org
 

Why are Coloradans skinnier than everyone else?

I think there is a good lesson here. Also read this on restaurant menus and calories http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/20/AR2010092004682.html?sid=ST2010092004870

Amplify’d from www.slate.com
t could be their outdoor culture. A mountainous and temperate state, Colorado is well-known for hiking, skiing, and the like. In 2009, 82.3 percent of Coloradans said they'd been physically active within the last month, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The median for all states was 76.2 percent. Colorado is also tied with Oregon for 49th place in physical inactivity among adults. State health department officials suggest that Colorado's hiking and fitness culture could draw trim and sporty types to move there, in which case lanky carpetbaggers might be helping to keep obesity rates down.

Demographically, the state had a lot going for it. We know that poverty and obesity are strongly correlated, and that people with more education are less likely to be obese. In 2008, 13.2 percent of Americans were living below the poverty line. In Colorado, that number was 11.4 percent, or 18th-best in the nation. According to the Lumina Foundation for Education, in that same year 37.9 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 held a college degree or higher, but in Colorado that number was 45.3 percent. (Only Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire—all of which are thinner than average—rank higher in college degrees.)

Read more at www.slate.com
 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

View from Monets Deli at Lax airport

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why good bosses tune in to their people :McKinsey quarterly. #kaizenblog

On Fridays there is a tweetchat called #kaizenblog and you can join the conversation here #search?q=%23kaizenblog" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23kaizenblog



I got this article from the discussion and wanted to share it with you. he chat was on "Chat on “Why do organizations tolerate bad bosses?”

Amplify’d from www.mckinseyquarterly.com
Bosses matter. They matter because more than 95 percent of all people in the workforce have bosses, are bosses, or both. They matter because they set the tone for their followers and organizations. And they matter because many studies show that for more than 75 percent of employees, dealing with their immediate boss is the most stressful part of the job. Lousy bosses can kill you—literally. A 2009 Swedish study tracking 3,122 men for ten years found that those with bad bosses suffered 20 to 40 percent more heart attacks than those with good bosses.Read more at www.mckinseyquarterly.com
 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WBJ article on Tweeting for charity

I think its a great idea - nice to read this on the front page of WBJ

Amplify’d from voices.allthingsd.com

The top bidder so far in an online charity auction to raise money for a Haitian orphanage is willing to pay $14,900 for access to Zachary Levi, star of the TV series “Chuck.” And bids are mounting.

But not the sort of access you might expect. Mr. Levi’s fans aren’t bidding to have dinner with him, or even to talk with him on the phone. All Mr. Levi will have to do is follow the winning bidder’s thoughts and insights on Twitter, then repeat the Twitter messages, or tweets, and mention the winner in tweets Mr. Levi sends out. “I’m just as shocked as anyone,” Mr. Levi said of the bidding frenzy.

Read more at voices.allthingsd.com
 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Biking from Pittsburgh to D.C is easier

Great story in the Pittsburg Post Gazette about cycling the 305 miles from Pittsburg to Washington DC - It takes 7 days.

Amplify’d from www.post-gazette.com

The route: Most people riding from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., start outside the city at McKeesport or the Boston portion of Elizabeth Township. From those points on, the trip is all on dedicated biking-hiking trail, except for a six-mile detour during the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Park portion of the journey.

The route uses two major trails.

The Great Allegheny Passage covers about 130 miles from McKeesport to Cumberland, Md. It follows the former route of the Western Maryland Railroad, which was primarily a coal-hauling line. Making use of dozens of trestles, bridges and embankments, the route was laid out to minimize changes in elevation as its winds its way southeast. For much of its length it follows the path that the Youghiogheny and Casselman rivers have cut through the Allegheny Mountains.

The trail then continues through the C&O Canal Park, and it is all gently downhill from Cumberland to Washington's Georgetown neighborhood. Along its route are the remains of 75 locks, 11 stone aqueducts and dozens of locktender houses.

Read more at www.post-gazette.com
 

Get your Digital On with @professordaddyo

I met professor Daddy O in real life at the Atlanta Tribune's Moving Your Business Forward conference in Atlanta. He is the Founder of Stetsasonic,Digitainment Georgia Celebrity Advisory Board,Music Producer,Keynote Speaker,Futurist,Artist Development Coach,Celebrity DJ. You should see this episode- its hilarious and very interesting content.

Friday, September 17, 2010

@firebelly rocking with his session at #optsum

#optsum my session on customer service using social channels begins 8 am

Greeat post by @Mandy_vavrinak on Corp. Blogs ans SEO at #optsum

Demo of Amplify and a great post to read

Amplify’d from mandyvavrinak.com

Big ideas already coming out of my #optsum attendance at Jason Falls’ session…. SEO and good content are not mutually exclusive. There are good tools out there, for free or little cost, which each give you portions of the picture you need. You must baseline well, track well, and revisit as needed to make sure you’re moving the needle. New media marketing must be more responsive, more technical, and more involved in content direction, not just creation.

Rinse and Repeat >> stay on top of your keyword research and SEO analytics. They change frequently… get into that data at least quarterly.

Read more at mandyvavrinak.com
 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Lone Star Package from @Klout Fox Arrived

The Role of Spouses in Small Business

This time for the Small Business Success index 4 we wanted to explore the relationship between spouses getting involved in the business or not and it seems that once the business becomes successful having a spouse helping out makes the business competitive.



Are you a couple doing business together or do you know of a couple working together in their small business? What is your story ? Please comment here. Maybe we can use you as a case study ?

Amplify’d from blog.networksolutions.com

 How do results differ when the owner is a man or a woman? For the 68 businesses where both owner and spouse work full-time, husbands tend to take care of technology matters (47 percent), wives attend to accounting and finance (45 percent) and both handle customer service (44 percent).  For the 109 companies where a spouse works either part-time or full-time, the break-down is similar: Fifty-three percent of husbands handle technology and 39 percent of wives are responsible for accounting and finance. The big difference: Only 33 percent share customer service.

The participation of a spouse doesn’t make much of a difference to business success during the startup phase. But after the company is up and running, it’s a different story. Companies that have spouses/significant others in a full-time role in the business are either highly or marginally competitive (54 percent) compared to firms where the spouse plays no role (46 percent) or acts as a silent partner (41 percent).  

Read more at blog.networksolutions.com
 

Tweetchat on “The State of U.S. Small Business” Tomorrow , Sept 15th, from 1-2:30 pm EST

Amplify’d from growsmartbusiness.com
Are you a small business owner feeling burned out and struggling to find new ideas to grow your business? Come join us for a Network Solutions hosted tweet chat (#NetSol) to understand the current state of the U.S. Small Business, key challenges facing them in terms of marketing and innovation, access to capital and, more importantly, leave with some simple tips on how to overcome those challenges.
Our guest tweeter, Steve King, eminent small business researcher and President of Emergent Research, a small business consulting company will unveil the top ten findings from the recent Network Solutions’ Small Business Success Index, Wave-4 and offer some simple steps to overcome roadblocks that stop you from being innovative. Join us for the Network Solutions tweet chat to understand:
When: Wednesday September 15th 1-2:30pm EST
Event Details:
Read more at growsmartbusiness.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Is Your Social Media Marketing Strategy A Ticking Time Bomb? @socialmatchbox blog

This post on the Social MatchBox blog is probably intended to provoke thoughts. From the little that I know about millenials , they are not taking to Twitter and maybe leaving Facebook as their parents and grandparents start to flood these social networks.



What do you think? Is Robert Neelbauer drinking too much coffee ? Go and comment on his site.

Amplify’d from socialmatchbox.com

As an entrepreneur who has been using both Facebook and Twitter for some time I have to admit that the kind of engagement that happened when I first started using both services has faded dramatically.  There is so much noise and so little direct interaction on Twitter that it is difficult to warrant spending much time on the service.  The end result is that I just log in occasionally to check it.  Facebook is the same way.  I should also point out that the results that I am getting from targeted ads on Facebook are headed south quickly.  Despite this, the bid prices that are required to get a result on Facebook are steadily rising.  Perhaps both Twitter and Facebook are so crowded with people marketing their businesses and products to consumers and other businesses that we’re all just tuning out.

So what are the young tech influencers and early adopters doing if they are not on Twitter and Facebook.  This is a tough question.  To begin with, the mobile device and mobile app markets have created so much platform and application diversity that we’re all over the place.  It doesn’t matter what you are doing, there is an app for it.  To make matters worse there are more social media experts than ever.  Even NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show has the bug.  Their Tech Tuesday broadcast sounds very much like an cross between an Apple product promotional show and a social media flavor of the week discussion.  Not that this is bad – it is not bad at all.  In fact, it is great that NPR has programming for the tech set.

Read more at socialmatchbox.com
 

Listen to Marketer's Round Table podcast by @themarketingguy

I was a guest on Jay Erhert's marketing weekly show - you will find an interesting discussion on marketing. The podcast is well produced and it even makes my voice well modulated - says a lot for Jay's marketing skills.



Erica Campbell and Scott Ellis contributed a lot of great points and i am looking forward to meeting all of them IRL at #optsum in Dallas this week.

Current Marketing Issues Podcast

Guests:

Shashi BellamkondaNetwork Solutions

Scott EllisTechnology Translated

Erica CampbellForRent.com

Jay Ehret - The Marketing Spot (Podcast Host)

ON USING YOUR OFFICE AS A NETWORKING TOOL
ON ONLINE CONTENT ORGANIZATION
ON SOCIAL MEDIA CONTESTS AND CONSUMER LOYALTY
ON THE COUPON AND DISCOUNT CRAZE

Shashi Bellamkonda: GrowSmartBiz Conference@ShashiB on Twitter

Scott Ellis: VSEllis.com@vsellis on Twitter

Erica Campbell: ForRent.com@ericacampbell on Twitter

Jay Ehret: Free Word-of-Mouth Webinar@TheMarketingGuy on Twitter

Read more at www.powertothesmallbusiness.com
 

FedTalks 2010 :“How Technology Can Change Government.” Oct 12th Washington DC










FedTalks 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 9:00 AM - 7:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F St. NW
WashingtonDistrict of Columbia 20004

FedTalks 2010,  being held on October 12th at Sidney Harman Hall, will have discussions and mini-keynotes on innovation, open government, new media, engaging citizens, cybersecurity, and more.

Current Speakers list from the organizers :

Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief, Huffington Post
Alec Ross, Sr. Advisor for Innovation to Secretary Clinton, State Department
- Dr. Peter Levin, 
CTODepartment of Veterans Affairs
Chris Kemp, 
CTO of NASA
Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist
-
 Gwynne Kostin, Director, Center for New Media & Citizen Engagement, Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies, GSA
- Rob Bole VP, Digital Media Strategy, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Congressman Jim Moran

Other highlights for the day’s events include music all day from DJ Donald Syriani, “DJ to the White House,” and a performance Go Remy, the “Arlington Rap” comedian.  The day will conclude with a reception party to celebrate FedScoop’s 2nd anniversary.

Register here : http://www.regonline.com/register/checkin.aspx?EventId=868065 ( Free for Govt. $395 for others)


Friday, September 10, 2010

Android and Symbian will dominate mobile OS

I have a android device and have tried or possess all these except blackberry rim

Amplify’d from mobile.pcmag.com


"The worldwide mobile OS market is dominated by four players: Symbian, Android, Research In Motion and iOS," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a statement. "Launches of updated operating systems — such as Apple iOS 4, BlackBerry OS 6, Symbian 3 and Symbian 4, and Windows Phone 7 — will help maintain strong growth in smartphones in 2H10 and 2011 and spur innovation. However, we believe that market share in the OS space will consolidate around a few key OS providers that have the most support from CSPs and developers and strong brand awareness with consumer and enterprise customers."

Read more at mobile.pcmag.com
 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Amtrak needs to be social both incoming & outgoing @conversationage

I hope Amtrak makes use of this advice from Valeria Maltoni and makes the changes to get into modern day passenger communications.



I submitted feedback a few months ago and got a auto-response and nothing else so the traditional means of communication are not two way either.

Amplify’d from www.conversationagent.com

Since March 2, 2010, the company's Twitter stream has sent out 200 tweets. Exclamation marks are employed liberally to emphasize promotions and reinforce positive comments from customers. The few @ replies I see are something like "glad you enjoyed the trip!"

What happens when you didn't enjoy? My hunch says not much. What can Will learn from his colleagues at top customer service accounts on Twitter? The Amtrak Facebook wall is a little better, in case you were wondering. They get back to you on occasion with a link to a feedback form.

The Twitter account seems to have auto-follow enabled. When I followed the account, it followed me back -- there I was, part of a collection. I can just see that report -- we now have 3,843 followers!

"The realtime Web is fast, fluid, torrential, and borderless. Fast means you view the world as always fresh. Fluid means updates come in many droplets more than a few buckets. Torrential because the volume of updates is overwhelming without filters an gatekeepers. Realtime Web changes how the Web feels. More immediate, interpersonal, complete. And human." [Phil Wolff]

Read more at www.conversationagent.com
 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Running theme to TBD and The Georgetown Dish meet up at Billy Martin’s Tavern

Today ( September 8th) TBD the hyper local site of the Washington DC metro area held an event to celebrate the launch of TBD along with The Georgetown Dish at the Billy Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown at the corner of Wisconsin and N street.

TBD GeorgeTown Dish Meetup

It is difficult for any food establishment to excel while catering to a event but Billy Martin’s Tavern proved its mettle. The food was great and the attentive wait staff made sure that there were no lines at the bar tender. The tavern has a blog too http://www.martins-tavern.com/blog/

interspersed into the activities were short bits and bytes from Judith Beermann of the The George Town Dish, Jim Brady and Erik Wemple of TBD. The surprise guest of the evening was DC Council Member Jack Evans of Ward 2 who stopped by on his run ( He was dressed in his running gear) He spoke about the blogs he reads including the The Georgetown Dish and pointed to the table in Billy Martin’s Tavern where John F Kennedy used to sit.

Just like he did at the TBD DCWeek party TBD Editor Eric Wemple  ran to the meet-up – he is one serious runner . An audience member remarked that Erik Wemple looked handsome :) and Erik joked that he looks better than his voice.

TBD had some cool caps to give away.The TBD staff were answering questions from the community of bloggers who are in the TBD community/blog network. ( This blog is part of the network along with CarryonCurry and Washtrax )

More pictures here ( Disclaimer : people look better in real life than my pictures)

Nice event with a lot of warmth and “cordial”ity

A business Plan is a living document @harvardbiz

Nice article by Amy Gallo in the Harvard Business Review :



People make business plans for all sorts of reasons — to attract funding, evaluate future growth, build partnerships, or guide development. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these plans are usually out of date by the time the printer ink dries. Business moves fast: the product's features morph, new competitors emerge, or the economic climate shifts. When these changes occur, many people just throw their business plans out the window. For a plan to be truly valuable it needs to evolve with your company and stay relevant in the face of uncertainty

Amplify’d from blogs.hbr.org
Principles to Remember
  • Feature your greatest asset prominently

  • Outline how you will test whether you have a valuable product or service

  • Show that you understand the risks and explain how you will address them



Don't:




  • Try to describe every possible scenario or risk

  • Feel wedded to creating a traditional 40-page Word document

  • Let your plan go untouched once it's finished. Update it regularly



Despite the hype business plans get from corporate advisers, "most business owners don't have a formal business plan," says Patricia Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship of Babson College and co-editor of The Development of University-based Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Yet one of the first items you'll find on every entrepreneur's checklist is Write business plan. The key is to create a living document. "When you think about a business plan, think about the distinction between a snapshot and a moving picture," says William Sahlman, the Dimitri V. D'Arbeloff - Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of How to Write a Great Business Plan. Sahlman explains that you need something that moves with your business. However, capturing all of the unknowns while not sounding wishy-washy is challenging. Below are several ways to make sure your plan is a fluid, useful document.Read more at blogs.hbr.org
 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Fort Collins CO city of safe drivers - Allstate Study

if you are in the Washington DC or Balitmore area please do not download the report from http://bit.ly/cr45a3 . Your weekend may be spoiled.

Amplify’d from www.allstatenewsroom.com

The Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) today released its sixth annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™." The report ranks America's 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers, according to Allstate claim data.

This year's top honor of "America's Safest Driving City" is Fort Collins, Colorado. According to the report, the average driver in Fort Collins will experience an auto collision every 14.5 years, which is about 31 percent less likely than the national average.

"Once again, the people of Fort Collins have made me proud to live in this community," said Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson. "Becoming America's Safest Driving City takes quality roads and infrastructure. But more than anything else, it's the result of individuals taking responsibility for keeping our streets safe."

Read more at www.allstatenewsroom.com
 

"Write print headline here" error in the Washington Post - Can we turn this into a contest

As I was looking for news in the Washington DC metro area and in the new Google Washington DC metro section the top article was "Write print Headline here". My first impression was this was actually a headline in the Washington Post but the article was about the Kripalu Ayurvedic center in MA and the print version of the Washington Post the correct headline is " Stretching for the new"  and is a very interesting article on this non-profit yoga retreat center.

It's probably a innocent error from some overworked person and it may be a fun idea to suggest headlines for the article ? I think the Washington Post may have a system for an article to have a separate online headline. You can see the same article here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/02/AR2010090205296.html . If we can turn this into a fun contest .What do you think the headline should be ? Please comment here, funny ones will be loved ?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Altimeter Group's 2010 First Annual Open Leadership Awards!

Came across this new opportunity for recognition of organizations and individuals who are using social technologies to open and transform their organizations as I was browsing the blog of Jeremiah Owyang .



I can think of several companies and organizations that deserve this award and hope this reminder serves as inspiration for you to apply if you have not already.



Deadline for submissions is Friday, September 10, 2010 at 6 pm Pacific. Click here to read the details about the nomination and selection process.  Nominations will be accepted for the ten sectors listed below.



The winners will be announced at Altimeter Groups’s Rise of Social Commerce industry event on October 6, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. One winner and up to three honorable mentions will be named in each category.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

WSSC Community activity includes a fishing derby

I thought this was very cool as I always considered WSSC as a organization that did not reach out much. Very nice to see they used the summer weather to provide happiness to a lot of kids.

A boatload of kids and their parents participated in WSSC’s Family Fishing Derby last Saturday. But it was the youngest fishermen that reeled in the biggest catches of the day. Karen White of Olney, seven-year-old Gabriel Gersten of Silver Spring, and seven-year-old Katherine Holzrichter of Crofton netted the most fish. Karen and Katherine caught the biggest fish, too.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Discovery Hostage Issue : The way we get our news is changing

Today I heard about the Discovery situation around 2.30 when my wife called and asked me to check for alternates routes to College Park as traffic was backed up. Here is How I checked for news:



1) Twitter : Lot of tweets

2) Google News No results

3) Washington Post : full story

4) TBD.com



Of course my wife had WTOP on and so could hear the news on the beltway. The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to get their daily news, according to a new survey conducted jointly by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Project for Excellence in Journalism.



What do you use first to get your news ?



Also see pictures from the situation.