Tired of watching social media pass you by? #learnsocial

Posted on January 16, 2012 by

Tired of watching social media pass you by as you sit on the sidelines? Interested in avoiding Social Media Stage Fright by learning what social media is and how you can use it to your advantage?

I am mentoring another offering of our “Understand Social Business” course with Sociallogical starting this weekend, and I can help you to become involved instead of being a spectator!

Our three week online course is limited to ten (10) participants, and is designed to walk you through the history of social media, how to use the tools, and will provide ideas on how you can grow a social business. There will be a minimum of three live online chats with all of us together, as well as continuous contact and feedback on progress.

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

Participants in the course will also be able to participate in our upcoming Uptown #Learnsocial Time Crunch on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10 am – 2 pm. This special event is meant to make good use of your time to look closely at how you represent yourself online, how you plan to use social to grow your business in 2012, and connect you with others who can help mentor you throughout the year. The best part? This event is free for graduates and current students of the “Understand Social Business” course and will concentrate on the following areas:

• boost and enhance your online profiles,
• get honest critique and help improving your online social profiles,
• get answers to questions focused on personal and business use of social media, and
• refresh your headshot in a session with a photographer so you can refresh your online avatar (for a fee)

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

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Here are details about the course:

Course requirements

A decent comfort and ability to navigate and use the internet for daily needs.

Who teaches it?

Community Manager Mentors with demonstrated success and experience in building a network online and facilitating discussion and learning for others.

How hard is it?

If you can find what you’re looking for in an online newspaper or play a YouTube video, you’ll be able to work your way through this course.

How long will it take?

3 chapters planned for 3 weeks in total (15-25 hours).

Who is it useful for?

Entrepreneurs and business people, ideally those who can implement what they learn immediately in their businesses and functions.

There’s a basic understanding of what opportunities and risks social business creates that most people don’t yet understand. This course is meant to:

  1. provide anyone in business with a good understanding of social business.
  2. guide students through the creation of an online portfolio they can share to demonstrate proficiency.

To accomplish these goals, there are three main sections of the course, with live online class discussions, facilitated by the course mentor, after each section before proceeding to the next. This is a 3-week course that can be completed on your own flexible time (except for the 3 live discussions) in a total of 15 hours or 25 hours – depending on how far down the rabbit hole you wish to go with the recommended readings that support each section. The section titles are:

Chapter 1: How Did We Get Here? How Do I Start?

The impact and opportunities of social media, the importance of strong profiles and how to create them.

Chapter 2: How To Use the Social Media Tool Box

Overviews of the strengths and weaknesses of the main platforms for business: Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and Facebook, as well as exposure to other useful tools. The lingo and behaviours found on each and how to get setup with these channels.

Chapter 3: How to Grow a Social Business

A look at all of the different operations inside a business and how social can have a powerful, positive impact on each. How to introduce these practices and tools to each function and exposure to analytics and driving business decisions based on powerful, live social data.

To sign up for this course, navigate to http://learn.sociallogical.com and, when registering, use the coupon code CHRISLONDON.

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A Politically Correct, Legally Non-Binding Greeting for the season

Posted on December 21, 2011 by

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Received this years ago in an email. I brush it off and share it each year, just for giggles!

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, and without prejudice or consideration, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the secular practices or religious persuasion of your choice, with respect for the secular/religious persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice secular or religious traditions at all; and also my wishes for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada a great cultural mosaic, (not to imply that Canada is necessarily a greater cultural mosaic than any other country or is the only nation with a cultural mosaic), and without regard to the gender, nationality, race, creed, colour, age, height, weight, intelligence, voting preference, physical ability, food preference, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you also accept and agree to these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher. The wisher accepts no responsibility for any unintended emotional and/or physical discomfort, disruption or stress these greetings may bring to those not subject to societally sanctioned or unsanctioned seasonal emotions, beliefs or traditions.

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Dummies guide to what went wrong in Europe and the USA

Posted on November 23, 2011 by

Received from a friend via email

Helga is the proprietor of a bar.

She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar.

To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans).

Word gets around about Helga’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga’s bar.

Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Helga’s gross sales volume increases massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga’s borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral!!!

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS.

These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AA” “Secured Bonds” really are debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb!!!, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga’s bar. He so informs Helga.

Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Helga cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINK BOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Helga’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the BOND securities.

They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who’ve never been in Helga’s bar.

Now, hopefully you understand!

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Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996)

Posted on November 9, 2011 by

If he were still alive, today would be Carl Sagan’s 77th birthday. Unfortunately, Carl Sagan died of pneumonia at 62 as a result of complications from myelodysplasia in 1996.

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(Image from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/be/Carl_Sagan_Planetary_Society.JPG/225px-Carl_Sagan_Planetary_Society.JPG)

Carl Sagan was a voice for science and rationalism. He made science “cool” (much more so than the actors on the “Big Bang Theory” ever will), he knew how to bring science to people who might not otherwise understand such daunting concepts, and he entertained while he educated.

I remember watching “Cosmos” and being fascinated by all the interesting facts and information about the galaxy. His show, along with David Suzuki’s “The Nature of Things” were two of my favourite shows on television when I was growing up and learning about the world and the universe around us. Both men opened my eyes to new wonders every week.

I read Carl Sagan’s book “Contact” when it was published in the late 1980s and later watched the movie about the book “Contact”, starring Jodi Foster and Matthew McConaughey in 1997. “Contact” (the movie and the book) once again allowed Carl Sagan to teach and  entertain.

As a staunch “non-believer” in religion of any kind (and particularly staunchly against religion’s influence on society), one of Carl Sagan’s quotes rings true to me. It explains quite nicely the fallacy of religions and allows me smile inside whenever someone “preaches” to me that I should/must believe in a god:

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

Unfortunately, in a world that every day seems to have more need of a calm, clear voice for science and rationalism, we can only wonder what else Carl Sagan may have accomplished if he were still alive and promoting science and rationalism over mythology and fear.

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Is your house as ‘hooked’ on the Internet as mine?

Posted on October 28, 2011 by

At any one time, I have the potential for the following devices connected to the internet:

1 x iMac,
1 x MacBookPro using WiFi,
2 x Dell work laptops using WiFi (it’s drudgery using these… ;-),
2 x iPod Touches using WiFi,
1 x Netbook using WiFi,
1 x BluRay DVR with WiFi, BD-Live and Netflix,
1 x Wii with WiFi and Netflix,
1 x iPhone using WiFi, and
1 x BlackBerry using WiFi

To be truthful, we are not a house full of techie nuts. Well, OK, I am… But the reason we have so many differing devices is due to a ‘Brady Bunch’ situation – my girlfriend and I each have 2 of our own children, and we have semi-adopted one of her daughter’s friends, so we likely have more devices than most families should.

It is really hard to believe until you start listing the sheer number of devices that utilize the Internet…

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Trying to lure me to ‘liking’ or sign up by offering swag is social media #fail

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

Trying to lure me to ‘liking’ or sign up by offering swag is a huge social media #fail. If your product is worthy, I’ll return/join/like. That is the essence of social media.

In response to my initial rant on this, a friend quite rightly pointed out to me on Facebook

“Keep in mind if it is worthy and swag is involved, then it’s just a plus ;)”

Indeed he is correct, but give me the swag and let me decide if you are worthy of coming back to like/register/join.

Example – In this particular case, what has me miffed was (yet another) ‘free’ eBook on a potentially interesting topic, which, may I point out that by requiring me to ‘like’ a page or register for a newsletter, is not truly free… Now, because I will not be bribed into liking or joining, I won’t read their eBook, so I won’t find out if they know what they are talking about and are worth more of my precious time.

The whole swag for likes/registering gimmick It is a failed tactic used by old-school marketers who really don’t “get” social media.

Rather than using social media the way it is meant – as a conversation with potential clients and others in their industry – they wrongly see it as just another pipeline to shout out their advertising.

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KV CHallenge Marathon Relay Race

Posted on October 16, 2011 by

Although I wanted to run a half marathon this year, a Spring season injury prevented that from happening. A nice 5 miler in Hampton was all I could manage to get ready for with the shortened training schedule. So when some co-workers asked if I wanted to be part of a 4 person relay for the KV Challenge Marathon, I gladly accepted, particularly after we named the team “Three turkeys and a young chick”!.

Then, more bad luck. I ended up with a flu bug that has been sweeping the population, filling my lungs with icky green stuff and making life quite unbearable for the last week. Despite the setback, I had agreed to be part of the team, so I didn’t want to let them down, and today, we ran the race.

I ran the second leg, from Hampton to Hammond River, NB. It was a bit more than 10 km (6.5 miles), and although my time was atrocious ( 1:06:39 / min/mile ), I was happy to be able to run it at all, considering how bad I felt Friday.

Hammond River Run Map

Hammond River Run Map, as captured by Runkeeper.com

Turns out our team came 9th out of 23 relay teams, not so bad! 🙂

Anyway, a hearty congratulations to all who competed!

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