Carson loves Mr. Ernie and his truck so much that he has a UPS uniform of his own and dreams of being a UPS driver. And when Mr. Ernie comes to the door in the ad, Carson practically leaps into his arms.
“I could come here three times in week and I’d get the same reaction every single time, all that excitement,” Lagasca says in the spot.
But in the commercial, Lagasca isn’t bringing an ordinary package. As part of the UPS Your Wishes Delivered campaign, he’s delivering a child-sized UPS truck to help make Carson’s dream come true.
Google Authorship is not working. Yesterday, Google confirmed it would no longer index authorship data. For those of you who were unaware of Google Authorship, you saved yourself a lot of time and energy but may have missed out on search engine optimization benefits while it was active. Those of you who tried to follow Google’s cues are probably experiencing a serious case of WTF?! In either case, you have to ask yourself what’s next? Here’s a short synopsis of the Google Authorship ‘phenomenon’.
So, if Google Authorship is not working, it appears that the ‘next big thing’ in search engine optimization is to understand schema and deploy it on your sites and use it with every post. I’ll continue to share what I learn here. If you’d like to chat about it, please comment below or connect with me in social media. I am the only Todd Lohenry in the world so I am easy to find!
30 years ago this summer I attended the Aetna employee benefit division training school along with some of the best people I’ve met in my business career and my life. We spent all summer long learning about dynamic asset management for pension plans and on the weekends [and sometimes during the week] we partied hard…
For the end of the summer the vice president of sales — a gentleman named Sam Keyes [thanks, Spanky!] — descended from on high to impart some words of wisdom to us before we went off to our respective assignments. 30 years later I can still see him sitting at the edge of the desk and telling us that that the most important thing he learned in his business career was the simple adage “be there on time dressed to play”…
I remember feeling, well, really ripped off! This guy is a major vice president with the major insurance company and the only thing that he has to tell us after his long career is be there on time dressed to play? Well 30 years of living and working has taught me how valuable the wisdom in this aphorism is! And, it is a unique phrase to Sam; in all the wide world of Google, that phrase only appears on one web beside mine.
Tonight as I begin a new phase of my career as an adjunct professor at Northeast Wisconsin technical College I will repeat Sam Keyes immortal words to my class. Sam, wherever you are your spirit lives on…
Some of you in other parts of the country [or the world for that matter], who have school-aged children, may be shocked to know that this is the first day of school in Algoma, Wisconsin. To be honest, I don’t know if the first day of school is more difficult on parents or children. For me, the start of school means an end to my flexible summer routine and I must now live on a ‘school schedule’ for the foreseeable future so for me, I think it’s harder on me than the kids…
This is a period of shifting paradigms in my life; I am taking on new responsibilities and deciding which old ones that should hold onto. For example, next week I will teach my first class as an adjunct professor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. It will be the first time since graduate school that I have taught a class of predominantly college-aged students and I’m willing to bet that some things have changed about teaching at that level in a generation. Even though I have taught on and off over the past 30 years and have been teaching at NWTC at the continuing education level I am looking forward to entering this new phase of my career. I think the dirty little secret about teaching is that if done correctly, the teacher is the one who learns the most. I look forward to teaching at this level; may I mindful. May I be at peace. May I be the best version of my Self so that I can give my students the things they need to draw from my class…
I came across a quote a few weeks ago reading Eckhart Tolle‘s book “The Power of Now”. He says:
“Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha, be “the awakened one,” which is what the word Buddha means.” 1
This quote will not let me alone! I think about it often throughout the day. Why do I settle for quoting other people’s thoughts on the Internet when I really should be sharing my own? Over the weekend I had a lovely exchange with a lovely blogger named Melanie about how she needed to write her own book and yet for the past two years, I have been threatening to write a book of my own. Why is it that I encourage other people to do what I do not have the courage or discipline to do myself? Is it the imposter syndrome? Perhaps, but most likely it is a failure to discipline myself to do the work that real writing requires…
The great philosopher Wally of the Dilbert cartoon strip shares this perspective:
I’m going to start by not being a ‘social media Wally’, transporting huge quantities of quotes from my RSS reader to my blog and social media. Instead, I need to document the things I am thinking and use the tools I have to get a share of voice, which may get me a share of mind and may result in a share of market. Henceforth, I’ll be focusing on what thought leader Nilofer Merchant calls my ‘onlyness‘ and work on documenting the insights the Uni-verse has shared with me before the Uni-verse decides to share them with someone more worthy.
I almost forgot to share this; I have a friend named Tim who sends me witty things via email. In the past, many of them ended up posted to my blog and I thank him for making the contribution. Last week I told him ‘you need a blog’. His response? “Blogs are for something you write not regurgitated other people materials.” Out of the mouths of babes! The Uni-verse can stop now with the not so subtle hints. I GET IT ALREADY!!!
I’m asking you to hold me accountable as I attempt to ‘be the Buddha’. I won’t be curating as much content as I have in the past that everything I share online will end up here and I encourage you to subscribe to my updates if you would like. In the meantime however I’ll be focusing on finishing my book “Zen and the Art of Thought Leadership” which is due by the end of September…
This year has been a difficult year for knowledge workers and content marketers what with the shuttering of Google Reader and the removal of RSS feeds from Twitter and other similar moves on the part of major technology companies. Major players like Google and Twitter are engaging in shaping strategies to force us to use their products in ways they want us to, not which are best for us…
Thank goodness then for people like Amit Agarwal who generously share their brilliant thoughts with us and enable us to circumvent the powerful forces in technology who are looking to dis-empower us!
Let me back up for a moment and talk again briefly about the topic of thought leadership. To me, the Internet provides an opportunity to offer social proof of one’s expertise in any given area. In applying ‘Einstein’s Razor’ of “things must be made as simple as possible but no simpler” to the problem of social proof of thought leadership, I say that thought leadership on the Internet boils down to two basic activities; finding and sharing good information. You need to feed your expertise before you can feed your followers. RSS is a critical part of this process and Google, Twitter and others have been making it difficult to use RSS so that you have to go to their site in order to read content. First Google killed Google Reader and then they removed RSS feeds from Google Alerts.
Where does Amit fit into the picture? Watch this video in which Amit shares a way to get RSS feeds from Twitter again, ironically via Google scripting:
The great news is that I can now track Twitter topics, lists, and users via feedly, my RSS reader again! Thank you, Amit, for the valuable work you do…
Michael Moon – author of the book Firebrands – hypothesized prophetically and correctly 15 years ago when he stated that we had moved beyond the information age to the age of trusted relationships. I always found this curious because we had just entered the era of the personal internet – surely THIS was the information age! What was Moon thinking?
Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says.
Let me repeat that: we create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.
“The real issue is user-generated content,” Schmidt said. He noted that pictures, instant messages, and tweets all add to this.
So apparently Moon really nailed it when he said that we would need to rely on trust networks in order to manage all the information we need to do our jobs; networks of trusted sites, searches and sources that would wade through all these exabytes with surgical precision and deliver the goods we need to do nourish our expertise.
Recently, author Nilofer Merchant added a new aspect to the ‘trust network’ discussion in her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era [affiliate link] when she pointed out that another aspect of work in the #socialera – work is now freed from jobs:
“This means that human resources change when most of the people who create value are neither hired nor paid by you. And competition has changed so that any company can achieve the benefits of scale through a network of resources”.
Merchant, Nilofer (2012-09-12). 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era (Kindle Locations 665-676). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.
As Schmidt says the real issue is user-generated content. People all over the internet are posting, pinning and tweeting up a storm! We can leverage all this activity for our own thought leadership if we simply track the sites, searches and sources that publish in our brand space and then leverage that content to provide social proof of our own thought leadership…
I’ll try to explain it better here:
Here’s a growing list of tools that help me track the sites, searches and sources I need to nourish my thinking:
[listly id=”6P9″ layout=”full”]
This list will have a permanent home on the site here. Questions? Feedback? Specifically, do you have a cool tool that I missed?
David Seah has some great thoughts on this thing called ‘imposter syndrome’ that Tanya Geisler discussed in her TED talk last fall…
Lauren Bacon has a really great article on Imposter Syndrome, the tendency for some people to not acknowledge recognition for their accomplishments because they feel it isn’t deserved for one reason or another. I suffer from this myself every time someone calls me an “expert”; I instantly demure, saying that I only write about what I experience, and that my knowledge and skills are not all-encompassing enough, blah blah. I hate disappointing people, and I rationalize my behavior by telling myself it’s prudent not to raise the hopes of others, since that would leave them open to the dangerous repercussions that might come from following whatever so-called advice I had. It also has prevented me from really pushing the various productivity forms I’ve made, because I’m not 100% sure that they will work for everyone. In fact, I’m sure they won’t work for everyone. People tell me I’m being silly, but I still haven’t resolved the WHY and HOW of it.
What I am reminded of is that there’s an underlying moral imperative that exists for me: while I didn’t want to inadvertently lead people astray with my pedantic mumblings, to not stand up for what I’m saying does not help people either. I want to see people overcome their own self-imposed barriers and achieve the kind of happiness they can share with the world. In that context, I owe it to myself as part of this community of happiness-seekers to powerfully broadcast the signal.
What I don’t like about the “expert” label is that I think it implies “superiority”. It also promises “superlative excellence”, which creates expectation, and expectation is the fertile minefield where disappointment lurks. As I hate disappointing people, I tend to avoid setting high expectations for my forms, which in turn diminishes their appeal because it looks like I don’t believe in them. However, I think I can reframe “expert” as a label not for myself, but for others who are looking for something. It’s part of being a beacon or a repeater of certain positive memes. That is a responsibility that I should be willing to take, as uncomfortable as it makes me feel, because it’s good for me and for my imagined tribe, whoever they may be. This feels a little half-baked to me still, but it’s a start.
I pretty much grabbed all of David’s article in this quote, but I added him to feedly so I can track him in the future. If I’m reading correctly, then David and I agree on this; that not telling your story is just as bad as narcissism in some ways.
When it comes to social media, I believe that there is what Aristotle called a ‘golden mean’ – he defined it as a virtuous path between two vices. I think the golden mean in social media is to share what Nilofer Merchant calls your ‘onlyness’ [which she defines as “that thing that only YOU can bring to a situation. As you see yourself, others can see you and the value you bring”] with transparency and humility while avoiding the pitfall of narcissism.
Jesus himself said ‘you are the light of the world’…
So, use social media to ‘let your light so shine before men’, but, don’t go overboard. The great Indian teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj once said, “Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. Between the two my life flows.” So it is with social media as a tool for communicating thought leadership – to be effective you must find the middle way; a way I call a ‘me’cosystem — a system for finding and sharing the things you need to deepen AND document your expertise so that you get found when people are looking for you and what you do…
In summary, don’t hide your light under a bushel but don’t blind everyone with your brilliance! If you need help with the thoughts, tools and tactics for transformational thought leadership, I offer personal digital coaching. Use the contact widget in the sidebar…
When I tell my clients and students they need to ‘cogitate’ before planning and inbound marketing strategy, this is what I mean. Of course the folks at Moz put it much more eloquently:
The phrase “look before you leap” has never been more true! Before you start investing in tactics, it’s important to do your market research. Many businesses are tempted to dive into the details before answering the bigger questions, like who their customers are, how those customers make purchase decisions, where their potential users are on the web, and how customers may choose between similar companies and offerings.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why building out a research-based roadmap before you start you building your tactics (like SEO, content, and social campaigns) will help boost your chance of success. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Mike Allton [one of my new favorite bloggers] writes:
Since pre-historical times, people have been using the art of storytelling to communicate. Cavemen drew pictures on cave walls depicting great hunts and deeds. As language developed, oral tradition started, where people would tell and retell the same stories over and over again to communicate their history and values. And then to help our forgetful minds, we found ways to preserve these stories on stone, paper and eventually electronically.
There are lots of stories that provide pure entertainment value, but most stories strive to teach us something, whether it’s an actual lesson, or our history, or perhaps the human condition. If you think about some of the movies that you’ve seen which, years later, you can still recall and enjoy – there was a lesson in there that stuck with you.
Do you remember, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Sure you do, that’s from The Wizard of OZ! Dorothy has an experience after her home is struck by a tornado and it teaches her to love and value the people she has in her life.
Ok, how about, “Houston, we have a problem.” Of course you remember Tom Hanks delivering that classic line as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13. The simple understatement of the line is even more profound considering most people who watched the film were familiar with the story it was telling, and knew that the astronaut’s troubles were just beginning. But we love that story and that film because of the fantastic triumph of the human spirit it portrays.
And what about, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” You know that one. The Godfather, right? What’s the lesson there? I don’t know, maybe, don’t mess with the mafia?
The point is, those were great stories which touched us and taught us something. We enjoyed them and related to them and remember them to this day.
What if you could do that for your clients?
One of the most effective purposes for a business blog is storytelling. You can tell stories about your clients and your products or services, but one of the best ideas is to tell stories about your actual business. But what do those stories look like? Here are six different kinds of stories you can tell, as well as some general tips on great storytelling.
Do go the source and read the rest of his perspective. You already know the rationale behind having a business blog — Mike’s article may give you the confidence you need to proceed for to expand on what you’re already doing…
…but a website is only a small part of the transformational thought leadership process — I can also help you determine what you should blog about and how! Here are a couple of examples of websites I’ve done for clients recently. Click image to enlarge…
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