We want YOU to speak at the Thin Air New Media Summit in Denver, Colorado!
I'm cribbing some of this material from Goldie Katsu, who is the chairperson of the Thin Air Summit. Read on, though!
The executive committee, Kit Seeborg, Rob McNealy, Erik Boles, Shandra Botello, Brian Yuhnke, Goldie Katsu and I have been doing a lot of planning and we wanted to bring you up to date and ask for your help.
The event will be happening at the Art Institute of Colorado, on November 7-9th. This first year event will be limited to 100 people making this event real opportunity to connect with the other attendees, share ideas and learn more about creating new media in depth.
For those who will be unable to attend this year, they will be able to watch the live cast of the keynotes and after the event the sessions will be released as podcasts.
The event itself will start on Friday night, November 7th with an introductory workshop. The workshop will be about "Everything You Wanted to Know About New Media but were Afraid to Ask". [With apologies to Woody Allen --Dave]
Saturday we transition to the conference with the focus on in-depth educational sessions and panels on creating, promoting and understanding new media.
In keeping with the Independent and Connected theme, the instructor led sessions are broken into three independent tracks:
Right now we have a call for presentations open and this is where we need your help. Help spread the word about the call for presentations and if you have an expertise in new media and could lead an education session in one the above areas stop by the Thin Air Summit website and fill out the proposal form at:
If you haven't spoken at a conference before, this could be a good place for you to seek to either pull together or join a panel, and if you have spoken before but don't tend to travel out of Colorado too often, this is also a great opportunity for you to get involved in a grassroots Podcamp-esque event. Please, send us your best ideas!
Interview with Jason Alba, author of the "Now What?" social media books
When Jason Alba, publisher of the popular new "Now What" series, asked me a few questions about how I use Twitter (I'm @DaveTaylor) I was intrigued by his work and asked if I could interview him about the series. Here's the result...
Q: What social networks do you use actively?
A: This is a great question because I think a lot of social networking experts are more early-adopters, and not real users of the systems they write about. I log into LinkedIn at least once a day to do various activities (doesn't take much time). Note, if I were a bus dev guy, or a recruiter, I would use it different than how I use it now... I login to Facebook about three times a week for general maintenance, and need to do more there as I know there is more I should do.
Time has become an issue for me. I'm on Twitter frequently, I'm guessing I'll tweet between 5 and 10 times a day. I also consider blogging and Yahoo! groups social networking (in loose terms), and I blog at least once a day (I have 4 blogs), and I participate in at least one Yahoo! Group a day, usually probably sending out 3 - 5 messages per day to participate in the discussions there.
A: I started with the LinkedIn book because I blog to professionals who are concerned about their careers (they might be in transition, or know they will be in a year or two). I figured a book would be a better format to deliver the information than a string of, say, 100 blog posts. I was amazed at what happens once you become a "published author," and decided to coauther Facebook.
I chose Facebook because it gets so much traction - there are tens of millions of active users there, and many professionals are wondering if they should be there, and what they should do there. It was a natural second choice for my audience, even though I swore I'd never write another book.
My third book (no more swearing!) is on Twitter because it is such an amazing place to engage with other professionals. The communications there are very authentic and transparent, and I think it's an excellent environment to help a professional develop their brand, subject matter expertise, grow and nurture their network, and more. I see it as a tool for professionals.
Each of these three environments are complementary, and helpful in career management. I wrote the book in a non-career voice, so it applies to either those in transition or working professionals and marketers wondering what they could/should do.
A: My titles include " - Now What???" ... the idea is that I'm here, but I have no idea what to do! Some people are fine with the technology, the buttons and links and interface, but they really don't get the point of the system, or understand where to derive value. My intention was to share concepts and techniques (two different things) with the reader so that they could (a) wrap their brain around the tool, and (b) know what they could specifically do as part of their online strategy.
How did I arrive at it? Dumb luck. We (my publisher (happyabout.info), my executive editor (Scott Allen) and I) brainstormed various names, but this one just kept coming back at me. Interestingly, I did not know it was going to become a series, but the "Now What?" concept really resonates with a lot of people.
A: Something you might not realize about LinkedIn is that it's quite a versatile tool, providing value for you no matter what you do (as long as your work involves other people). It's clearly a great tool for recruiters and bus dev professionals, but it's also a great tool for the business traveler, college student, professor, author, lawyer, etc.
There is value here to be found, you just have to figure out what your objectives are and figure out how to achieve those objectives. I rarely invite people to connect with me on LinkedIn, and don't use it the same way a bus dev person would, so I'm happy to say my connections number is still in the 3-figure range. When I hit 4 figures I'm going to write a post on my JibberJobber blog about how I feel dirty J
A: There are two interesting ideas surrounding Facebook on the top of my mind. First, it's okay, expected and accepted to share your personality there (unlike LinkedIn). I think this throws people off a little when they first look at profiles, but that's just part of the norm on Facebook. Second, I'm not sure if this is still true but recently the fastest growing demographic on Facebook was twenty-five year olds and older.
This isn't just a place for college kids to put dumb pictures up, there are a lot of professionals there. Again, my Facebook Friends are in the triple digits, and MOST of them have been out of school for quite a while!
A: I'm always surprised when I tweet something and I get responses. I regularly think "people are really reading what I'm putting here??" It's an engaging crowd, and an excellent place to throw ideas and questions out. I've had a number of experiences when I've needed ideas, sources, links or information and I post it as a question in Twitter.
When I had 300 followers, or 900 followers, I have had awesome, authoritative responses. I was also amazed that I could communicate with someone on Twitter when they wouldn't e-mail me. For some people it's become a communication means of choice, and while your e-mail might sit in their inbox for weeks, they'll respond rather quickly to a tweet. Amazing.
A: Actually, my day job is running JibberJobber.com, which is a website that allows you to manage and track data important to your career. When I was in a job search I realized tracking all this stuff on a spreadsheet sucks, and why couldn't a job seeker have a more powerful toolset?
LinkedIn does a small part of what I needed - I was looking for something like Salesforce for the job seeker - and decided to build my own. JibberJobber is my day job, and I steal quiet times to work on my writing projects.
Thanks for your insight, Jason! You can find Jason on Twitter by looking for @JasonAlba.
Colorado Biz Buzz is hiring field marketers throughout Colorado
I am posting this job listing on behalf of my friend Ashley Kingsley, who is helping launch a site that will give us Coloradoans a directory of restaurants, theaters, nightclubs, art festivals and other events and venues, all with individual reviews by people like you. This can be full or part time, and sounds like it could be really fun if you like to travel and explore the state. Here's what she says about the position (contact info is at the end):
We are launching a new website in Denver in late August that is designed to operate like a search engine for COLORADO! Not only can you search any business within 5-100 miles of your zip code, you can make educated decisions when choosing who to do business with based on consumer reviews.
We are looking for Field Marketers to get out and about with laptops provided by the company and get reviews from people that are local to Colorado. We are populating the site with consumer reviews before launch!
We are hiring 5 more people (we already have 10) to join the team!
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
WHO WE ARE:
We have over 600 employees in SC and we have 8 here in Denver. This position will go through September and pays $12/hour + incentives based on performance. We also pay $0.34 on the mile (only when a designated location you are sent to does not work out) we pay any extra travel you incur when we send you to a new location. You will also be reimbursed for parking cost for every hour that your work. If you work an 8 hour shift and have to plug a meter / or park in a paid parking lot- you get $1 per hour for every hour your work.
We are looking for full time/part time and people (based on performance) can travel into Fort Collins, Durango, Colorado Springs, Boulder, etc. to work for a few days on obtaining reviews for these regions of Colorado!
This is a FUN position as well as a challenging position! You are sent to festivals, parks, farmer's markets, pools, dog parks, malls, etc.
Please send cover letter along with your resume to ashley at coloradobizbuzz.com
Final note from Dave: As they're hoping to hire the entire team by the end of July, 2008, I'll likely delete this posting once Ashley tells me the positions are filled.
Hey DirecTV! Lying to customers isn't a good way to drive business!
I'm incensed, and I don't mind saying it here on my blog. I came home from a busy day yesterday to find a flier taped to my door handle that started out with the following:
"Attention Resident,Mine was the wrong door to put this flier on because I am very familiar with the transition to Digital TV and have even written about who needs a digital TV converter box.
And, to be blunt, their flier is at best remarkably deceptive and at worst? An outright lie.
It is true that we are transitioning to an all-digital broadcast system in early 2009 (with some exceptions for smaller, local, public service and rural channels) but no-one needs to "upgrade", which implies the outlay of a significant amount of money. Indeed, after rebates, most people with older TVs should be able to pick up a digital converter box from Circuit City, Best Buy or similar for about $40 one-time cost.
Most TVs don't need these boxes, though. To quote the gov't:
"If you have a digital television (a TV with a built-in digital tuner), you are already prepared for the DTV transition, and can enjoy the benefits of digital broadcasting today.... if you use a digital-to-analog converter box, you will still need to use an antenna to receive DTV signals. It is also important to know that if your television currently receives good quality reception on analog channels 2-51 with a broadcast antenna, it should be able to receive digital television signals, including high definition television (HDTV) signals, with the same broadcast antenna. You do not need to purchase a 'DTV antenna' or an 'HDTV antenna' to receive DTV or HDTV signals."Let me reiterate those important points: even if you're using a terrestrial antenna for your TV, if you're hooked up to a TV with a built-in tuner, you're good to go. Even if not, you don't need any sort of cable or satellite service to be able to receive the new all-digital programming, even HDTV programming.
Certainly nothing explained in the flier I had taped to my door yesterday by a local DirecTV affiliate.
So what's the story, DirecTV? Looks to me like an affiliate of yours is really pushing the envelope, selling fear and misinformation. Is this a good, ethical way to drive business?
I don't think so.
A few grammatical pet peeves
First, let me put in a disclaimer, because I know some people are going to criticize me about this post. I have been involved with the Internet long enough to both remember the spelling nazis and dislike them immensely. If you were involved with Usenet discussion boards, you'll know what I'm talking about. You still occasionally see a discussion collapse into pointless flames about spelling and grammar, and perhaps what I'm writing falls into that category too. If so, move along, nothing to see here. :-)
Even in light of that disclaimer, however, when I was reading my morning allotment of RSS feeds I couldn't help cringe when someone who should know better posted that
"WordPress today announced that it's just released it's newest version: WordPress 2.6."
Upon reflection I realized that this particular blogger frequently mistakes "its" for "it's" and while it could be a stylistic thing or an affectation, odds were better that the author simply doesn't know a simple rule to differentiate the two.
Here it is, Dave's rule for differentiating usage: "it's" is short for "it is".
That's it. Now, consider the same sentence with each occurrence of the contraction "it's" rewritten:
"WordPress today announced that it is just released it is newest version: WordPress 2.6."
Doesn't make much sense. In fact, the first occurrence should be "it has", which can ostensibly be shortened to "it's" too, but the second is just wrong and should be "its".
My rewrite of this sentence, improving it a little bit:
"WordPress today announced that it has just released its newest version: WordPress 2.6."
Actually, if I were going to blog about the new WordPress release, I would rephrase it to sidestep this issue entirely:
"WordPress today announced the release of WordPress 2.6, the latest version of the popular blogging utility."
My point isn't to edit this sentence to death (or is it too late? :-) but to point out that while the blogosphere tends to be characterized by informal prose, basic spelling and grammatical errors still reflect poorly on the author.
And while I'm on this particular soapbox, I encourage you to learn the difference between ensure and insure. This is a nuance that most ad copy writers seem to miss entirely and not a week goes by that I don't see "insure" misused in print marketing collateral.
One more, since I'm on a roll! Your versus you're. Again, every time you see an apostrophe -- a contraction -- spell it out to ensure [not "insure"!] that you're [not "your"!] using it correctly. "You're" is "you are".
A good writing tip is to always read your prose out loud to see if it "sounds wrong". If you think there's something odd about the voice or tense, there probably is!
Finally, I'm not alone in my grammatical rant. Check out these five mistakes that make you look dumb from CopyBlogger, ten flagrant grammar errors from Jody Gilbert at CNet and how poor spelling and grammar can cost you from Elizabeth Charles.
Interestingly, I also asked the Twitter community how they would rewrite that particular sentence to make it grammatically correct and only one person, 11_15_Media, actually suggested something that was correct: "Today, Wordpress announces the release of its newest version, Wordpress 2.6." Nicely done.
How to get on my radar screen, a short case study
This is rather a fun way to demonstrate one way that, for an investment of $4.50, this group of entrepreneurs has not only gotten on my proverbial radar screen, but have learned a bit about how to pitch effectively too.
Message:Hi Dave,Just like in dating, when you're pitching your company, it's very important that you always speak positively about it, so here was my response:
Thanks. Instead of buying me a chai, though, try this pitch again. Tell me what's unique and interesting about your business, how you got into it, how you're growing it and why my readers would care. :-) Oh, and don't tell me that you're struggling. Tell me that you're excited about your growth curve or something. :-)Luckily, they took my response in the spirit of assistance it was sent, and their response was a nice example of a positive, enthusiastic writeup of their business and how they got into it:
Well actually Dave, my partner and I are very excited about the website. It is allowing us to work on something together that allows us to spend more time with our families doing something we all really enjoy. Hopefully some day allowing me to walk away from the cube farm! My dad operated his own business in our back yard so I guess I have the entrepreneurial spirit in me. So while the store may be "struggling" at this point, we're not hungry yet...yet.I don't write this to get tons of people to buy me a chai, needless to say, but hopefully to illustrate the importance of putting your best foot forward and presenting your business well, whatever the venue. It's the mythical "elevator pitch" and it really is important that you can positively state your business goal or mission, buzzword free, in sixty seconds or less.
Incompatibility plagues the OpenID project
I'm busy writing a blog entry over on AskDaveTaylor.com about how to apply for an OpenID account and am both highly impressed by the project goals and appalled to see that when I use my new Yahoo OpenID to verify my identity on the Livejournal site that I get this error message:
What the heck, guys? When are any of these project teams going to learn that compatibility is more important than slick new features and that one glitch like this will sour users on a technology for years to come?
This highlights a huge challenge for the evolution of software projects: improving features and compatibility while not breaking things.
Clearly, we're still working on that issue...
Cool Event: Word of Mouth marketing seminar in Chicago
One of the highlights of The Aloha Summit a few months ago in Hawaii was having Andy Sernovitz beam in electronically and join us for an hour of discussion and insight. Andy should be a familiar name, he's the author of Word of Mouth Marketing.
This afternoon he just emailed me to let me know that he's hosting a small-group word of mouth marketing seminar in Chicago on July 30 and September 4, which is a cool opportunity for you to spend a day learning from an expert. It'll be a small class too: max of 50 people.
He describes it thusly:
If I were based in Chicago, I'd definitely attend, but since I'm not, maybe you would be interested in going instead? You can learn more at events.gaspedal.com.
Oh! Andy's extending for a $250 discount for readers of my weblog, which is a nice additional perk. Just use discount code weloveintuitive when you register.
Elsewhere in my
Latest Entries at
The Business Blog