Keep calm and use Feedly

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Google Is Very Creepy [And That’s What Makes It So Awesome?]

4fcaeaaf838874222f7fa0d40206d0a5[1]The title belongs to writer Tony Bradley, not me, but I like the conclusion of his article in Forbes:

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that privacy is “dead”. Suffice it to say, our relationship with privacy has changed as a function of the benefits we can receive in exchange for that privacy. The reality is that you’re not completely giving up your privacy. Your neighbors, or the stranger you pass on the street won’t know anything about you. You’re choosing to enter into a mutually beneficial arrangement that exchanges personal information for services. You’re surrendering some of your privacy to Google, and you’re putting some trust in Google that it will both guard your personal information so your privacy isn’t truly violated, and that it will not do anything shady or unethical with your data itself.

That’s a lot of faith to put in Google–or any company for that matter. But, if you’re willing to take that leap of faith your technology can do amazing things and make your life simpler and more efficient. The more integrated you are in the Google ecosystem–the more Google services you use, and the more extensively you use them–the more value you will get from the relevant, context-aware features Google has put in place.

Source: Google Is Very Creepy, And That’s What Makes It So Awesome – Forbes

Me? I sold my soul to Google a long time ago. You, however, should think about the implications…

:-D

I added a list…

…of my favorites blogs and bloggers to the menu. On that list is a link you can click to add my sources to your Google Reader if you’d like. What? You’re not using Google Reader? Oh, wow! Comment, call or ‘connect’ so we can talk about how this applies to you and your organization…

Google And Multitasking: Friend Or Foe?

FinerMinds

Get the answer here: Google And Multitasking: Friend Or Foe?.

Want to manage your information better?

Learn how to be a Google Reader rockstar! Join a free hangout at 15:00 CDST [GMT-6] today. Just add me to one of your circles and I’ll add you back and invite you…

I can talk about any aspect of this Google Reader mindmap you’re interested in!

Click image to enlarge…

Zenith Chromacolor TV, 1970s

Retronaut is a fun site that I track in Google Reader. Every once in awhile, I see something that makes me nostalgic like this ad. It makes me think about the passage of time and technology…

I’ll probably be thinking about missing out on the ‘next great thing’ on my deathbed. Sigh… :-/

Go to the source for more: Zenith Chromacolor TV, 1970s | Retronaut.

More ideas for my WordPress.com blogging friends…

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Out of ideas for your blog posts? Make them come to you using Google Alerts!

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. Google Alerts – Monitor the Web for interesting new content

You’ll find a fine list of Google Alerts tutorials here

If you really want to take it up a notch, learn how to use Google Reader to create a virtual newspaper to track the sites and searches that interest you. I’ve written a free ebook on the topic of ‘personal news aggregation’ or ‘How to create your own personal news agency’. It’s free for registering at http://e1evation.com/pna/. Oh, and I started a new category called ‘blogging tips’ for you. If you want more, come follow me at http://e1evation.com

Questions? Feedback? Get on it! :-D

Free trip to Ireland!!! :-D

Google Earth Tour of Irish Heritage Sites

Image representing Gist as depicted in CrunchBase

I had an interesting opportunity to sit on a panel of ‘experts’ yesterday and advise website development students on how they should develop a portfolio of their work and present it to prospective hiring authorities or clients. To be honest, I don’t know how I got on the panel; the others were truly experts — I’m just a lowly WordPress developer who creates websites out of necessity because of their role in ‘thought leadership’ marketing…

As I thought about it in hindsight there’s an important piece of advice that I left out but it’s a good one for all of us. When it comes to displaying a ‘portfolio’ [btw, to me a blog is a kind of a portfolio of thoughts so bear with me] of your life’s work I think there are only two activities that matter:

  • Deepening your understanding of your craft [or continuous ongoing education]
  • Letting people know you have deepened your understanding of your craft

I think all of ‘thought leadership’ marketing can be summed up in this statement: become and be known as the expert.

In order to do this you need a system that will help you effectively manage the content you need to master in order to become an actual expert. I wrote just last week about the tools I use to accomplish this. They are:

As it applies to this particular topic, the two most important tools in this process are Google Reader and Gist. Google Reader allows me to create a virtual newspaper of the sites and searches that I need to track in order to stay on top of my craft — my areas of ‘subject matter expertise’. Gist is like Google Reader but for people and companies. In an easy to use dashboard I can see everything that someone has produced on the internet for the past 24 hours so I never miss a thing that someone who is important to me has said. The two go together like peanut butter and chocolate to help me become more of an expert…

Getting smarter is only half the battle — letting the world know you have gotten smarter is the other part. Blogging and social media are perfect for this! As Chris Brogan said in Trust AgentsAs you now know, if you have no Google results, in a sense you don’t exist.” Active blogging on your area of expertise is a great way to let the world know you are an expert. Does it work? Well, are you reading this? Sharing your ideas in a public forum like the internet gets you a share of the voice which may get you share of mind if your ideas are good enough and may eventually lead to share of market. My tools of choice for getting found are:

  • WordPress
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Google+

The order here is intentional and they tools are stack ranked in order of priority. Master one and move on to the next.I’ve written often about homebases and outposts — blogging should be the first priority because it is OWNED media — everything else should be evaluated based on the audience you’re trying to reach. Here in Northeast Wisconsin, LinkedIn rules — things might be different in your world…

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What are you doing in my world?

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Many years ago, when our son Connor was acquiring language, he said to one of his brothers “what are you doing in my world?”. What made it funny was that he intended to say “what in the world are you doing?”, but his language was much closer to what I think we really mean when we ask that question…

Yesterday, I had a ‘what are you doing in my world?’ experience with my wife. We were driving from Algoma to Warrenville, IL to celebrate my mom’s 75th birthday. During the course of the trip, she…

  • Used Google Maps to find a restaurant in Milwaukee and find her way back to pick me up
  • Commented on my Facebook status from her smartphone
  • Critiqued a couple of blog posts on my personal blog
  • Actually tried to sell my mom on the value of having a smartphone!

…all from her HTC Evo!

Now these might sound like normal things to you, but I have always told people that when it comes to technology, my wife and I have a mixed marriage. Not I’m PC and she’s Mac, but rather I live it, she hates it. Until now, the internet has been my own private playground but apparently that’s not the case anymore — my wife is now critiquing my blog posts! I almost fell over when I was sitting in a meeting and saw that she had commented on my Facebook status. I was even more surprised when she made it back to the place where she dropped me off. I was even more surprised than that when the critiques she offered on my posts was actually good feedback and I think I’m going to listen to her more often [in that regard anyway]…

;-)

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Things we’ve been tracking in the past 24 hours…

 

Final Cut Pro
Image via Wikipedia

Things we’ve been tracking in the past 24 hours…

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Image via CrunchBase

Things we’ve been tracking in the past 24 hours…

 

Same applies to websites or almost any other type of technical work. If you’ve heard me speak, I’m always talking about “good, fast, and cheap” tools. There are a few — like Google Apps for Business — that are all three! Comment, call or use the contact form to connect so we can talk about how this applies to your business…

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Image via CrunchBase

Let me count the ways…

“When technologists of the future look back in time, they’ll remember 2009 as the year Google got serious about an internet operating system, speeding up the web, and indexing EVERYTHING in sight. Take a look at the year 2009 in Google.” Source: This Year in Google: The 2009 Edition – Google – Lifehacker

No company produces more good, empowers me more, or innovates more. Go to the source for a reminder of what Google delivered this year…

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It’s an online magazine rack with many of the world’s top sources gathered together by category. It’s an excellent place to shop for great content for Google Reader, too!

Google Calendar is a contact- and time-managem...
Image via Wikipedia

The folks at Lifehacker took a poll on the top calendaring applications. Here are the results…

“Nothing’s more important to your productivity arsenal than a solid scheduling tool, and considering so much of what we do happens at the computer, a good calendar application is just the thing to bring order to your agenda. On Tuesday we asked you to share your favorite calendar application, and today we’re back with the five most popular answers. Keep reading for a detailed look at the top five and to cast your vote for the calendar tool you like best.” Source: Hive Five: Five Best Calendar Applications 

Me? I use Google calendars — the free one associated with my Google account as well as my business calendar in Google Apps. Go to the source to read the whole article — it’s worth it!

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Here are 4 great ways to find rss feeds for Google Reader

  1. Use the ‘add a subscription’ button in Google Reader to search for great content…
  2. Search for great content using Alltop and add their feeds to your Google Reader account…
  3. Click the rss feed icon on any page and add it to Google Reader…
  4. Search for specific content using Google Alerts and add the feed to Google Reader…
  5. Add your own great ways in the comments!

I’m a firm believer in the power of Google Reader to consume and publish great content — use the search box to find other things I’ve written about it. If you have questions do like Donna did and give me a call — I’ll be happy to show you how it all fits together…

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…and use Google Apps! I had a chat with a business owner yesterday who was still using a pop mail account to run his business — scheduling meetings with his partners is a nightmare! Enter Google Apps! Here’s a quick overview…


Contact me! I’ll be happy to talk you through it because your organization needs Google Apps, too…

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I’m going to do another Google Reader Rockstar event. This time, it will be a hybrid event. Thos of you who want to attend in person can do so in the Jag, Inc. conference room at 1508 Sunset Avenue in Algoma, WI. Those of you who don’t want to make the trip can attend online via GoToMeeting. We can only accommodate 25 people in all, so be sure to register today!

Don’t attend, however, if you don’t want to learn about a competitive advantage that will fundamentally shift the way you look at information and make you smarter than your competition…

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Image via CrunchBase

I had an interesting discussion about privacy at Agritechnica with a strong proponent of privacy on the internet. To me, however, having let that Genie out of the bottle long ago I’m a strong proponent of transparency on the internet. I see it as being a competitive advantage because “consumers can relate to people much more effectively than they can a logo or brand.”

“It’s the same reason why we tell our children not to lie. It’s human. It’s in our DNA; and unless you’re a habitual liar, you practice transparency everyday in your personal relationships. Why should it change on the social web?

I just got off the phone with Wailin Wong, who is a Technology Reporter at the Chicago Tribune. She is starting a new column at the on social media/networking and we had a brief discussion today about the importance of honesty and transparency in the social web (I’ll link to the column when it is live). My brief response – since our call only lasted about 15 minutes – was as follows, and I am going of off memory here:

The concept of social media is not new. By nature we are social in the way we interact in our daily relationships with our friends, colleagues and loved ones. And generally, in those relationships we do not lie or deceive because nine times out of ten people get caught. Personally, I think lying is wrong; and it also has a tendency of pissing people off. This valuable life lesson should also be practiced in social media. For those companies that choose to ignore the simple concept of “transparency” can find that their company or brand will indeed go viral but not with the message they were intending. Social media is an opportunity for companies to represent themselves as real people and build real relationships others. Consumers (and I hate that word) can relate to people much more effectively than they can a logo or brand.” Source: Why is transparency so important in Social Media?

One of the reasons I’m a solopreneur is so that I can work with the kind of people I want to work with. In my case, my transparency is a filter that eliminates bad matches from the beginning. If someone doesn’t like my politics, my faith, etc. they probably won’t like working with me…

Now that I’ve exposed by bias, I’d like to talk about how I do it. One of the problems with social media is that each service has a profile they want you to fill out. The problem is that if you do something like change your tagline, etc., you have to remember to go back and change it at every service you use. For that reason, I’m in favor of using a few that I find useful and trying to refer people to those profile sites whenever possible. A few sites that I use and recommend follow…

Google Profiles

I am the only ‘Todd Lohenry’ in the universe [thanks, mom!] so I don’t have any problems being found on the internet [although sometimes I wish I did]. If you, however, have a name like ‘Mike Brown’ and want to be found in Google Search, nothing it more important than populating your Google Profile…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmQLOZS6E9Q

Retaggr

Long before Google Profiles became available, I was using Retaggr which is kind of a web 2.0 business card. Retaggr allows you to fill in your user name info for hundreds of social media sites so that people can see where you hang out on the internet and connect with you there. Furthermore, Retaggr provides code for your signature file that can be used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook, Google Apps, Gmail, etc. [I wrote about this in the post ‘Socialize your email‘]. Using the WiseStamp Firefox add-on, I’m not only able to re-express the Retaggr information, but even tell people what chat services I use and what my last blog post was [but I digress]…

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