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Showing posts from August, 2010

Quick checklist for things to do to improve your personal web presence

This post was the result of a phone conversation with Priya Ramesh Director at Crt-tanaka and hopefully reflects any thoughts I may have shared with you. Amplify’d from This post is intended to help you create and maintain a strong online presence so when someone Googles your name, you appear to walk the social media talk. If done right, you could become a successful personal brand but please note that our philosophy on personal branding is to leverage it for community building NOT to turn into a narcissist that likes to tute his/her own horn 24/7 on social networks . We have a lot of those already. So let’s get started: Read more at   See this Amp at

My friend and Analytics Guru Umesh Choori's tips

I sit next to Umesh at work in Network Solutions. He is a brilliant guy and has a lot of good advice in this article. Congrats for winning the best and brightest Web Analytics professional award Amplify’d from Top 5 things really depend on the business and situation you are trying to address. I will try to keep it more generic and broad. Implement analytics on your site, even if it is basic site. If you are budget constrained, there are relatively functional web analytics tools in market for free. So no excuse to not to do it. Understand where traffic is coming from – by geography, campaigns, paid search, natural search, referring domains etc… Measure conversion rate (whatever you want the site to do i.e. sales, sign ups, lead generation forms, calls etc.) Identify the most visited pages, and continue to improve the pages through testing (alright, this may cost in infrastructure and resources, however it is worth it, would not you train your Sales represe

Turning Employees Into Problem Solvers @harvardbiz

THE article talks about the risk of operational failures and the advantages of using employee input to streamline processes . Take away quote from the article : "Drilling down to discover when frontline employees speak up most constructively, and how to translate this into problem solving, should help bridge that gap" Amplify’d from "Hospitals are enormously complex," Toffel observes. "Imagine a factory where every part has to be custom-built and can require any number of 100 or 200 services and subprocesses. On top of that, the most knowledgeable people about those subprocesses-the doctors-come and go from the factory and are not employed by it." To shed light on how to encourage staff to share constructive feedback when using reporting systems, Adler-Milstein, Singer, and Toffel examined the influence of managerial engagement on problem solving and of an organization-wide information campaign. First, the phenomenon of patient-safety inf

Aiw’s end of summer writer’s happy hour! September 13, 2010

Networking event for members of the American Independent Writers members and friends, and meet new friends, on the Monday after Labor Day (September 13). Celebrate writing and the writing life at our first happy hour of the new season. Guests and friends of writers are welcome, too. – Network with other writers – Bring friends interested in joining AIW – Learn about upcoming programs – Find out how you can become more active in AIW activities – All writers welcome – from aspiring to established – Meet AIW Board members and share your ideas and suggestions – Share some post summer cheer! Monday, September 13, 2010 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. No host cash bar Buffet table compliments of Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20036 The restaurant is actually in the basement of the building where the AIW office is located. There is a street entrance on Connecticut, near the K Street entrance to the Farragut North Metro station or

McIntel-Intel buys McAfee : What does this mean for small businesses? By @bellmit

The blog says - "With this deal, Intel has made security a top priority and has sent our the message that security is more important than ever" And asks the question"So what are your opinions on the deal and what does this mean for small businesses and consumers?" Hope you will wiegh in not only because this was written by my daughter Amplify’d from What does this mean for us consumers? Apparently Intel has indicated that the impact of the purchase won’t be felt until 2020 . Why? Well Intel is most likely planning on putting McAfee’s software on it’s chips. This would better protect cell phones, tablets, e-readers other mobile devices that can connect to the internet. That would make it easier to protect user’s personal data, on those devices where security products can’t be installed easily. Read more at   See this Amp at

Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled-from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May

The latest Pew Internet Study Older Adults and Social Media shows more older adults are increasing their participation in Social networks. Read the full report : Amplify’d from While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%--from 25% to 47%. During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%--from 13% to 26%. By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%. “Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explain

ProductCamp DC in Herndon on 8/28 from 8:30am-5pm

Really excited about this - taking place tomorrow and expect a lot of ideas and exchange of info. Kudos to the organizers Amplify’d from The How, Where and Sponsors Date : Saturday, August 28, 2010. Location : Network Solutions, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive #300, Herndon, VA 20171.  See map. Participants : ProductCamp DC is expected to include over 170 participants in the areas of Product Management, Product Marketing and Product Development. Sponsorship : Current sponsors include Network Solutions (providing Venue, Breakfast, Lunch and more), 280Group, Pragmatic Marketing, Product Strategy Network, Zigzag Marketing, Strategyn, Accept and Webnode. This are currently seeking more Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors, as well as for various parts of ProductCamp DC. Best of all, everyone participates in some manner: presenting, leading a discussion, showcasing a best practice, or sharing their experiences. Others help with logistics, securing sponsorships, org

You miss a lot of things in life while you are texting : Baylor Health Care System

I had the privilege of having coffee with Robin Ferrier this morning. She is a new mom and had taken a few of her precious minutes to come and meet me(hubby was baby sitting)to talk about our strategy for the Millennial Blog that we are launching at Network Solutions .I have said this many times and try hard to follow this myself (my wife reminds me constantly too). A human being next to you IRL should get more preference than your virtual friends. So I am proud of myself for what I did not do today in the meeting with Robin : a) Check into Facebook Places (2 min) b) Check in to Foursquare (2 min) c) Check in to Gowalla (2 min) d) check twitter for mentions and DMs ( 3 min) e) Check personal email ( 5 min) f) Check work email ( 5 min)by a conservative estimate this would have taken 19 min out of our meeting for 30 minutes. A few friends today admonished me referring to this post by my daughter @bellmit on the Kikscore blog Immediately(and he was driving by the way….the rest

Congrats 2010-2011 SMC-DC Leadership Team

The DC Social Media club announced the new office bearers for 2010-2011 . The DC chapter is also approved by Social Media Club Nationals as an open community chapter.  Become a professional member today , and help SMCDC reach the status of “official chapter” which needs 10 members .  Read more about official chapters here . Advisory Board President – Larissa Fair (@LYF108) Oversees VPs; Liaison to SMC Nationals. Vice President of Financing –  Andrea Baker (@Immunity) Oversees Sponsorship, Partnership Committees Vice President of Events – Sarah Wurrey (@SarahWurrey) Oversees Events and Membership & Community Committees Vice President of Digital History – Forrest Kobayashi (@ForrestKoba) Oversees Marketing and Digital Content Committee Vice President of Social Media Breakfast – Andi Narvaez (@AndiNarvaez) Oversees Social Media Breakfast  Committee SMC-EDU Liaisons – Andrea G.  Michinik (@AndreaGenevieve) and Yong C. Lee (@YongCLee) Committees Events DC

Older entrepreneurs have higher success rates when they start companies

Please do not send me emails, I am just the messenger. Logically it makes sense.Duke University scholar Vivek Wadhwa, studied 549 successful technology ventures to come to this conclusion. Interesting reading and hope for the 12.9% Americans 65 years old and over, percent, 2009 See the Kauffman study document here Amplify’d from Peach-fuzzed entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, 19 when he founded Facebook, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both 23 when they developed Google, have created a collective image of the successful innovator as youthful, brash, and brilliant. In turn, we’ve been taught that with middle age come calcified habits, outdated skills, and an aversion to risk. Sounds bad, right? Hey, it gets even worse when you consider that, by 2030, the average age will rise from 37 to 39 in the United States, from

Customer Service in a Online world - Interview with @barrymoltz in #wbj

It was great to interview Barry Moltz for my first post to the Washington Biz Journal's BizBeat, Barry is always very practical in his advice and his books - Bounce and Bust a Myth are a must read. He is a entrepreneur himself and I am looking forward to meeting him at the Second GrowSmartBiz conference on Nov 4th. Amplify’d from Barry Moltz : It has become a 24/7 connected world. 1) The world is your competition. With no geographic boundaries, almost every product or service has become a commodity. Your only sustainable competitive advantage is customer loyalty through great service. If I can get what you are trying to sell me anywhere, why should I put up with bad service? 2) With self-service kiosks and websites, companies can now personalize the customer experience. Every company can now call you by name, remember what you purchased and recommend what you like. This expectation does not get lower anywhere we surf on the Internet,

Failure sucks but instructs. In fact, there is no learning without failure

Hat tip to @Philgerb for tweeting this article from the Harvard Business Review , "Forgive and Remember: How a Good Boss Responds to Mistakes" The Key statement I loved in this article is "No one should choose the option of failure deliberately, but trying especially hard to avoid it means taking no chances on change" Amplify’d from This is why failure is so endemic to innovation. We've all seen reports of the huge percentages of new products , companies , and ideas that fail. One way to interpret them would be to guess that a lot of people who have no business trying to innovate are giving it a go anyway and bringing down the average. That would be a wrong interpretation. The reality is that the typical successful innovator experiences the agony of defeat far more often than the thrill of victory. We know this in part thanks to Professor Dean Keith Simonton , who has conducted extensive quantitative research on creative geniuses. Looking for th

NWS issues Tornado warning for MoCo Aug 12 5pm #crisisdata

4:50, Doppler radar indicated strong rotation in an approaching Thunderstorm. A tornado may form at any time. If you are in the path of this storm, seek safe shelter immediately. Areas in the path of this storm include: The safest place to be during a Tornado is in a basement. Fit under a work bench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is available, seek shelter on the lowest floor in a hallway or closet. Use blankets or pillows to cover your body and always stay away from windows. Evacuate mobile homes and vehicles immediately. Do not use highway overpasses as shelters. If no shelter is available, lie flat in the nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands. Do not wait to hear or see this tornado before you take action. sent from my Android phone - all typos are mine ;-) See this Amp at

Live from #crisisdata Red Cross Emergency Social Data Summit

Live from #crisisdata Red Cross Emergency Social Data Summit government response panel #crisisdata with @crisiscommons Nick Dickover @jack_holt

The FREE SOBCon Colorado Preview Webinar: August 16th, at Noon EST

Terry Starbucker alerted me to this event posted on the SOBCon Blog Chris Garrett will be hosting a  preview webinar on August 16th, 2010 , from Noon to 1PM,  EST . His guests will include SOBCon Colorado speakers: Liz Strauss (SOBCon Co-Founder) Terry Starbucker (SOBCon Co-Founder) Jonathan Fields Shelly Kramer Erika Napoletano Sally Hogshead We’ll be talking about the magic of SOBCon, the Colorado event, and how this “one-day business incubator” will give you a lot of tangible content from which you can learn, take home, and use in your busines. And of course, we’ll be sharing some of our tips too! Register here for this FREE event See this Amp at

Social web is creating a fundamental shift in disaster response: Emergency Social Data Summit in Washington, DC: August 12th 2010

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of friends at  Thursday’s Emergency Social Data Summit in Washington, DC ( ). being held at the American Red Cross. Did  you know " 74% of those in need who post a request for help online expect a response" see the survey " Web Users Increasingly Rely on Social Media to Seek Help in a Disaster" . The summit will be   discussing how to close the gap between public expectation and disaster response reality.  The Red Cross survey also found that among web users, social media sites are the fourth most popular source for emergency information, just behind television news, radio and online news sites. More web users say they get their emergency information from social media than from a NOAA weather radio, government website or emergency text message system. One in five social media users also report posting eyewitness accounts of emergency events to their accounts. All the ways to participate : Main Summit

Tech Council of Maryland's 6th Annual Ultimate Crab Feast & Summer Networking Bash August 12, 2010 :Registration closes today

Tech Council of Maryland's 6th Annual Ultimate Crab Feast & Summer Networking Bash!  Registration closes on Tuesday at 3:00 pm . Register now to join over 200 who have already signed up.  Included with your registration: Nonstop networking with Maryland's tech community! All-you-can-eat Maryland steamed crabs! All-you-can-eat Smokey Glen’s famous barbeque chicken, ribs and delicious side dishes! Cold draft beer! Sounds of the Caribbean provided by steel drum trio, Casio! Your chance to win a Flip SlideHD Camera (You must be present to win.) We'll see you at the hottest event of the summer... RAIN OR SHINE! August 12, 2010 Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg, MD The Barn (covered pavilion) 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Member Plus:  $39 Members - $59 Non-members - $99 Don't miss out!  Click here to register now. Summer attire is encouraged. Thank you to our sponsor Tower Federal Credit Union

Flight Attendant flees plane using emergency exit slide causing brand anguish : What JetBlue can do.

A story making the headlines and spreading virally is the JetBlue flight attendant who deployed the emergency exit slide and made an exit from the plane and went straight home probably dissatisfied with his job. Inadvertently JetBlue now has to scramble to monitor and respond to this crisis so that the story remains like it is a disgruntled employee's actions. 1) Ensure and reiterate that this is no reflection on the airline or its services or standards. 2) Along with the official "We will not comment further on ongoing investigations." response ( ) consider a quirkier response within their guidelines. 3) Think what would SouthWest do ? 4) Add a funny but reassuring comment on all their flights that emergency slides will be used for emergencies only and not for going home early :) 5) Put out as much information on their blog as they possibly can including the good things that Steven Slater may h

TBD’s launch imminent - Exciting new integrated news source for TV, social, local . Watch for it !

Next week may bring an exciting new news source in the DC areaI am proud to be part of the TBD community partner through my local food blog . is a new local news source for the Washington DC area that will combine TV WJLA, NewsChennel 8 and cover local news and have a wide range of community partners ( /) Robert Allbritton (left) at a TBD social media event in DC a few weeks ago) In a Washington Post article ( ) Robert Allbritton chief executive of Allbritton Communications gave a practical analogy for TBD. "Right now, [getting local news on the Web] is like trying to buy groceries in the old country. First you went to the fishmonger, then to the baker, then the grocer and so on. And it worked until someone said, 'Why don't we create a supermarket and put it all together in one place?' " The Author Shashi Bellamkonda and Lisa Rowan of See Laura McGa

Indian Firm Zen Mobile launches a phone with 72 hour standby battery life

See NDTV's review here where they get 50 to 60 hours of stand by team at least and 16 hours of talk time and application usage. This may be a good product where there are a lot of power outages and maybe even as a standby phone. Amplify’d from New Delhi: Zen Mobile, one of India’s fast-growing handset manufacturing companies, has launched M25 mobile phone (dual sim-GSM+GSM), packed with an unbelievable stand by time of 72 days and popular multimedia features at an attractive price of Rs 3,400. The handset has many good features apart from its long battery life, like a 1.3 mp camera and a 2.4-inch TFT screen. The mobile facilitates the use of dual SIM cards, besides giving an extensive storage capacity where more than 500 contacts can be stored. Read more at   See this Amp at

Blog posts of Dr Karen Woo one of 10 medics shot dead in Afghanistan

This BBC story highloights how Dr Karen Woo of Great Britain left a high paying job to serve in Afghanistan blog url : / An article in the BMA news said : Currently in Kabul making a documentary and delivering medical supplies collected in the UK, Dr Woo told 'BMA News' she was ‘flat broke and living in a war zone’ but enjoying helping people in great need. On graduating from medical school, she commenced surgical training before joining BUPA. Salute to a selfless hero Amplify’d from The BBC understands that Dr Woo gave up a well-paid job with private healthcare provider Bupa to work in Afghanistan for minimal financial reward. She died alongside six Americans, a German and two Afghan interpreters who had been working with Christian charity the International Assistance Mission to provide eye care in remote villages. Her blog posts reveal that she was driven by a desire to improve the lives of ordinary Afghans - an

Google buys social app company Slide

In a piosy on the Official Google Blog David Glazer announced the acquisition of Slide "We’re excited to announce we’ve acquired Slide, a social technology company with an extensive history of building new ways for people to connect with others across numerous platforms online. For Google, the web is about people, and we’re working to develop open, transparent and interesting (and fun!) ways to allow our users to take full advantage of how technology can bring them closer to friends and family and provide useful information just for them. Slide has already created compelling social experiences for tens of millions of people across many platforms, and we’ve already built strong social elements into products like Gmail, Docs, Blogger, Picasa and YouTube. As the Slide team joins Google, we’ll be investing even more to make Google services socially aware and expand these capabilities for our users across the web. While we don’t have any detailed product plans to share right now, we’

#summermash at @usatoday

Twitter Down 'experiencing a high error rate on Twitter"

This is from the Twitter status blog posted. Good lessons from this : a) Have your status blog externally from your network like Twitter did ( Twitter status blog is powered by Tumbler) b) If you are usint Twitter OAuth for your application have another one like OpenID or Facebook Connect so that your users are not stranded. ( Ampliy has both Facebook connect and Twtter OAuth so I could post this. c) Have a standy place where all friends can connect. In the olden days when Twitter was down we used to go to Pownce :) Well that's my take - what do you think ? Amplify’d from We’re currently experiencing a high error rate on Twitter. Our infrastructure and operations engineers are responding to the incident. Read more at   See this Amp at


---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: "Alert Montgomery" < > Date: Aug 4, 2010 6:08 PM Subject: SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH To: "Alert Montgomery Users" < > The National Weather Service has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH for Montgomery County until 1:00am. Those with outdoor plans this evening should monitor the skies and be prepared for threatening weather. Lightning is the number one severe weather killer in the US. If you are outdoors and storm approaches, seek safe shelter indoors. A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH means conditions are favorable for severe storms in and close to the watch area. Severe thunderstorms can and occasionally do produce tornadoes with little or no advanced warning. Residents should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. SKYWARN activation has been requested and spotters are asked to relay any reports to the Mont

Google Waves good bye to the Wave

The Official Google blog has a" Update on the Wave" just like it did for the Google Nexus One. The Wave is going away by this year end. I predict that parts of the wave will be added to Google applications like Google Docs and Talk. What about Google Buzz? What do you think ? One definite success of the Google Wave was the ability to create a buzz before the launch. Author's Note: Shashi Bellamkonda is Director - Social Media & Social Media Swami of Network Solutions a company that works together to help small business succeed online with web hosting, do-it-yourself website builder software, online marketing tools and domain names. Visit Shashi Bellamkonda's blog. Shashi is a regular contributor to the DC Examiner and Tech Cocktail. This article contains the opinions and observations of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Network Solutions or its clients or partners. Amplify’d from But despite these wins, and numerou

Politico Tech news : Maryland is smartphone hotspot @khart

I am posting this after reading the daily Politico Tech news I get in my email every morning. As a Maryland resident I know my smartphone ;-) Retrovo's “gadget census” found that Maryland ranked highest in the country for smartphone ownership, speculating that the “oodles of federal government-issued BlackBerrries and hyper-connected Beltway lobbyists living outside Washington, D.C. might account for this high rate.” Shashi Bellamkonda   |@shashib| |sent from my Android phone - all typos are mine ;-) See this Amp at

@washingtonpost readers suggest DCMV or even POT for the DC Maryland Virginia Area

DC area definitely needs a hash-tag so that the local community can keep abreast on Twitter for events, happenings and even emergencies. On Friday Washington post started a debate with the article . Atleast for now #dmv is working for some of the folks in my network even if they do not like #dmv. would you rahter have DCMV or POT? Amplify’d from Rather, if nickname you must, I, with tongue firmly in cheek, propose the short, catchy and apt POT. Why? What out-of-towner came up with "DMV"? If we were to use anything close to that, the letters should read "DCMV" for alphabetical order, or in geographical order, perhaps "MDCV," or hey, why not "M-DC-V"? Read more at   See this Amp at

"Mind Your Own Business" Author Sidney Harmon of Harmon/Kardon buys Newsweek

I love the Newsweek even though I am not a current subscriber. The Washington Post company announced that they have a buyer for Newsweek ( see press release ) Sidney Harman has some great acheivements > According to the Aplified Post article "Harman, 91, made his name in high-fidelity stereo equipment, founding harman/kardon premium audio company in 1952. But he became a high-profile philanthropist and author on topics such as quality of working life, productivity and education. He earned a PhD in education in 1973 and founded the Program on Technology, Public Policy and Human Development at Harvard University. In Washington, he is a trustee of Shakespeare Theatre Company. He is married to Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)." I love the statement Sidney Harman made""I intend to restore [Newsweek] to its appropriate role in American society and in journalism and to prove the skeptics totally wrong," Thats gutsy :) Want to buy the b

How Will You Measure Your Life?Create a Strategy for Your Life @hbr

The key message is "keep the purpose of their lives front and center as they decided how to spend their time, talents, and energy." "spend an hour every night reading, thinking, and praying about why God put me on this earth"" I was conflicted about whether I could really afford to take that time away from my studies, but I stuck with it—and ultimately figured out the purpose of my life." When people who have a high need for achievement—and that includes all Harvard Business School graduates—have an extra half hour of time or an extra ounce of energy, they’ll unconsciously allocate it to activities that yield the most tangible accomplishments Read the rest of the article at Amplify’d from That experience had a profound influence on me. When people ask what I think they should do, I rarely answer their question directly. Instead, I run the question aloud through one of my models. I’ll describe how the process in the model worked its