Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Leader driven Harmony #41: Read a Book, ANY Book!

by Mack McKinney on October 14, 2011

Have you Gen-Yers noticed how seldom any of your friends mention a great book they have read?  Not an online article or a short news article but a real, honest-to-goodness BOOK?  Not very often, huh.

I know.  Why bother?  You can learn everything you need to know about most any subject with just a quick search on Google or Wikipedia, right?

Wrong.  An insidious, sneaky thing is happening to us.  We are losing the ability to read.  Book sales have plummeted in just the past 5 years.  This is more common among young people than middle-aged and older people.  And here is the danger – – – if you don’t read books at all, very soon you’ll notice that you NEVER read books anymore and now here is the contentious question:  WHY is that?  Why do we stop reading books?  Several respected studies and books conclude that the reason is as follows:

  • When we read short articles, and get quick answers, two things happen – – – 1) our brain gets a shot of the feel-good chemical dopamine as a result of our completing the research task we assigned ourselves and 2) our attention span shrinks just a bit.
  • Soon we are more comfortable tackling short-duration tasks and so we do just that – – – every study task becomes a short-duration task as we force the problem-solving job to match our now-shrinking attention span.
  • We are almost never required to consult a book to solve a problem or learn a new skill since someone else usually has developed the Cliff Notes © version which spoon feeds us ONLY what we must know to gain a basic familiarity with any new subject, computer, phone, TV, etc.
  • Eventually, we no longer have the patience to tackle a thick book with its slower progress and less fulfilling (no dopamine) effect on our minds.  The lure of the quick fix has dominated our actions for so long that any process that requires deep, detailed, significant thought will be avoided in favor of a shorter, more intense-feeling approach. And since we lose what we don’t use, before we even know it has happened to us, we no longer CAN read a book on a complex subject that requires deep thinking, introspection and internal debate.

Multiple studies are showing that it is just becoming extremely hard for young professionals to force themselves to read a book, ANY book, even on subjects of great importance to their chosen professions.  Begrudgingly, they will read a book when assigned by their boss or as part of a course of study but not otherwise.

We get best at the things we do most frequently.  If we never read deeply, many of us lose the ability to think deeply especially over a long period of time, which is the very type of thought required to solve tough problems in life, to make decisions about courses of action (one career vs other candidates, where to live, etc.).  If we ONLY make decisions quickly, after little/no deliberation, several things can happen and most of them are bad:

  • We start to view ALL problems as being relatively simple, lending themselves to knee-jerk solutions.
  • We lose the ability to stay engaged in a course of study over a long period of time, without getting bored.  So we begin to avoid making decisions about any problem whose solution is not apparent after a few minutes of deliberation.  And such “vexing” problems fester and often worsen, leading to crises in our lives.
  • We don’t just enjoy the short-cycle of thinking and acting that shallow thinking brings us, we actually begin to need it.  Studies show that the same people who do not read books also text frequently and spend a lot of time online.  We’ll discuss this more in a later post but there is ample scientific evidence that Gen-Ys who seldom read books and who are constantly texting and tweeting and browsing Facebook and other social network sites are rewiring their brains in ways that we don’t yet really understand.  But the need for constant social stimulation appears to be a byproduct of the rewiring process.

So here is some advice for people whose brains are in development, people between the ages of 12 and 24.  Read a book, any book!  Hang out at the library once a week for an hour or two.  Download  a book to your Kindle.  Take your Color Nook to Barnes and Nobles and read eBooks there for free!  No matter how you do it, just find subjects that interest you and read books on those things.  Then branch into related topics.  Go where the ideas take you and read, read, read.  Or before you know it, you won’t have either the patience or the ability to do so. Use it or lose it!

Copyright: Solid Thinking Corporation

Mack McKinneyMack McKinney is on a personal crusade to eliminate conflict and stress in our lives. Mack’s mantra is “People treat you like you TRAIN them to treat you!” His company Solid Thinking Corporation teaches creativity, concept development, relationship management and high-performance project leadership to major US corporations and the US government
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If you’re a business owner or an author using a sample chapter of your book, a report, or a tip sheet as a list-building incentive, consider replacing it with a manifesto. A well-written manifesto can do a better job of helping you build your brand and grow your list, paving the way for you to sell more books.

Manifestos are better list builders because they take a stand. Because manifestos strongly advocate a position, and are usually passionately written, they operate on an emotional level, tapping into the power of commitment.

Cialdini and Commitment

Robert Cialdini, the best-selling author of Influence: The Power of Persuasion, has spent his entire career researching the science of influence, earning an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

Influence: The Power of Persuasion has become one of the most frequently quoted psychology books among marketing professionals. In it, Cialdini describes 6 weapons of influence. The longest chapter is devoted to commitment. The main idea is simple: once individuals commit to an idea or a course of action, they tend to remain committed.

The power of commitment is rooted in an individual’s self-image and a desire to avoid appearing wrong to others; the more public the commitment, the stronger the commitment.

Commitment, social media, and list quality

I was reminded about the power of commitment when I ran across Sunni Brown’s Doodle Revolution Manifesto, one of the strongest community-building list-builders I’ve seen in a long-long time.

Sunni Brown is co-author, with Dave Gray and John Macanufo, of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers. Gamestorming is currently one of Amazon.com’s top 1,500 bestsellers overall, as well as a leading book in several business categories.

My route to signing Sunni Brown’s Doodle Revolution Manifesto illustrates the importance of quality online content, backed up with the power of social media.

My journey to the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto

Here’s the social media and quality content route I traveled that led me to Sunni’s manifesto (and this post):.

  • Friday afternoon. My journey began when I discovered Gamestorming at the local Barnes & Noble.
  • Early Friday evening. My exploration continued when I got home, searched online, and visited the Gamestorming site and blog. Later, I Googled each of the authors. My search lead me to a Tweet by @bangalaurent, Laurent Sarrazin. The post described Sunni’s free, i.e., no registration, Revolutionary’s Booklist. I was intrigued, checked it out, and downloaded it.
  • Late Friday evening. Later, after downloading the Revolutionary’s Booklist, I spent a couple of pleasurable hours with it, discovering interesting titles and exploring their authors online.
  • Saturday morning. I was so impressed with the list that I shared it with a dozen clients and friends, both local and around the world. Later in the afternoon, I received e-mails from several recipients, thanking me for sending them the list.
  • Sunday night. Pleased with my experience so far, I returned to Sunni’s site, reread the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto, reviewed the names of the individuals who had already signed it, then signed it myself. I also added my name to her e-mail newsletter list (which was not required to sign the Manifesto).

Lessons from my Doodler’s Revolution journey

Here are a few of my big takeaways from my odyssey:

  1. Size of following does not equal influence. The Twitter post that began the journey was by someone who had less than 30 followers! But, Google didn’t care when they displayed their Tweet, and I didn’t care when I followed it to Sunni’s list.
  2. Content quality is more important than quantity. If I hadn’t been impressed by the Revolutionary’s Booklist, my journey would have ended. But, because the content was relevant, useful, and concise, I felt compelled to share it. Moreover, the Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto is just 2 pages long—it’s the Gettysburg Address of list-building incentives. I might not have read a 12-page report or an 8-page manifesto, but I had no trouble reading a well-written 2-page manifesto.
  3. Quality outsells “selling.” The Revolutionary’s Books PDF is free from selling; there’s only quality content and a clean layout, plus a tongue-in-cheek footer, “With love from www.doodlerevolution.com and www.sunnibrown.com.” A nice, light-hearted touch.
  4. Story and emotion win. The Doodle Revolutionary’s Manifesto wasn’t written by a committee and for a committee. It was written by a passionate believer speaking directly to other passionate believers. It succeeds because it’s engaging and provides a chance for believers to confirm their beliefs. In fact, the writing style is entertaining because it goes slightly overboard. But, overboard is sometimes OK! As opera proves, there’s a time and a place for colorful and passionate writing.

Takeaways and opinions

What are your takeaways from my journey from anonymous prospective reader and website visitors to a person who has publicly committed to a cause? Would a similar manifesto and online approach help you build your brand, grow your list, & sell more books? What would your manifesto be about? How could you get your prospects to commit to it? Share your impressions and questions as comments, below.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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Business Intelligence in a Wiki World!

by Linda Williams on March 28, 2011

The role of the Business Intelligence (BI) function within the organization has become critical to thriving in today’s evolving business environment.   The ultimate purpose of Business Intelligence is to provide management with analytical insights that can be used to improve business performance and competitive position. Analytics provided by the BI department while intended to focus the organization on their core operations and progress toward aligning to their strategic objectives, increasingly can be the impetus for transformational change.

A review of top companies in their industries clearly shows that they all mange their performance using some sort of BI techniques.   The standard tools of BI are based upon gathering actionable metrics that can be used to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations. This data is analyzed and compiled into reports including dashboards, scorecards, and predictive models. As an added service in  more evolved companies, the BI team generally provides consulting on metrics to propose ways to help make better decisions about operations and suggest improvement initiatives.

Often the development of these insights is closely guarded within the company to ensure at least a temporary advantage in the marketplace. The intent is that analytical capabilities will provide them the edge of a first mover as they develop new markets or approaches for their business.

The Problem

This advantage does not last for long in today’s connected world.

The basic analytical tools of BI however are well known in the public domain. Implementing basic BI has become not a luxury but a standard cost of doing business. Books such as Competing on Analytics give many examples of the types of analytics that can be collected and analyzed. There is also a tremendous amount of open information on BI and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on the web. Companies can use this information to identify enhancements to their current analysis through their own review of wikis and blogs and even competitors websites.

The Dilemma

The dilemma of what to hold close and what to open up is increasingly becoming a key decision point in a BI project’s lifecycle. The discussions weigh the pros and cons of when it is best to foster creativity through opening up their research to collaboration and when Intellectual Property (IP) should be preserved.  Often the decisions are not clear cut and there may be lively discussions between the BI team and the executive team around what is the best approach for this situation. At the heart of these discussions is whether competitive advantage would be better served by keeping their intent secret, for the short term, or whether in the interest of speed and expertise it would be better to tap into the wiki community.

Wikis

The overall purpose of Wikis is to provide a place to share content, ideas, links, and collaborate on information, technical documentation, or the development of new ideas. The Wiki world in contrast to the traditional BI world thrives on openness and transparency. Some of the key advantages of the wiki approach are:

  1. The potential to leverage the talents within the wider community;
  2. A reduction in the time to innovation; and
  3. The ability to incorporate social purposes that may go beyond the core competency of the company. An example is using external assistance in developing approaches to help the organization move into to being “green”.

Clearly there are compelling advantages to be gained by developing analytic dimensions with the help of the larger wiki community. Precedents for using this approach are also becoming more common. Some well-known examples of advances made by opening up IP include: the development of Linux; Netflix’s contest to develop an algorithm for customer preferences; and Google’s opening up application development for the Android. In each case the advantages of using the wiki world to enhance what may have been considered to be IP was outweighed by the benefits of collaboration.

Final Thoughts…

Secrecy in all areas of analytical review is no longer possible or even preferable in a world that is increasingly transparent with the pervasive use of social media by today’s employees who are mobile, connected, and less likely than previous generations to remain in one job for long periods. There are significant advantages to a business in tapping into the networked intelligence to speed up problem solving or make breakthroughs. These benefits may in some cases outweigh the potential risk of the competition using the same information or approach. The final decision however cannot be rote but must rest with the complexity of the use and the expertise of internal resources to meet that need.

Written by Linda Williams who is partnered with Datacenter Trust and also has a Business Intelligence consulting practice where she provides businesses with assistance in performance measurement, process improvement, and cost reduction.
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Flexible Focus #40: The 8 frames of life: Society

by William Reed on February 10, 2011

Defining your role and your mission

What is your place in society? At one time, and still in many countries, this was a not a question which you were permitted to answer or control. Rather, it was a matter of birth, circumstance, good or bad fortune, and your place in society was largely determined by people and circumstances beyond your control.

Throughout history in various times and places, individuals and groups of people have raised this question, and asserted their right of self-determination, the right to determine their own role and mission in society.

Now due to the momentum of such movements in the past, and the amazing impact of technology to connect people and facilitate communication, these questions are being raised widely around the world, not just in the traditional style of political movements, but in a brand new style of personal movements.

No man is an island.So said English poet John Donne in 1624, and the connectivity of life today is increasingly obvious, in the environment, on social networks through the Internet, and in the mood of the times. We are all connected, for better and for worse, and one of the fabrics of our connection is Society, the fifth of the eight frames of life on the Mandala Chart.

A new kind of nation

While nations continue of course, with governments and economies performing a mix of useful and some useless functions, there has emerged in the last decade a new kind of nation, formed of social networks residing virtually on the Internet, but with feet firmly on the ground in the real world.

The movie Social Network, featuring the meteoric rise of the world’s largest and fastest growing social network Facebook, in which one in 12 people on the planet is now a member, is a story of how one such nation was formed in just a few short years.

The beauty of Facebook, and of Social Media in general, is that it is a classless and virtually free territory. Virtual real estate is much easier to come by, more accessible to visit, and easier to connect and cultivate than its counterpart in the real world. On my Creative Career Path Column I wrote about the Facebook phenomenon in an article called What’s in a Facebook Fan Page?

But how do you communicate your role and your mission, or even make your voice heard at all, in a online nation that if it were a country, would be the third largest population in the world, behind only China and India?

The territory in Social Media is dominated not by force or even by size, but by establishing a presence, having a clear message, and delivering value. It is an ongoing process of continual improvement in your ability to create content, and make it accessible to a widening circle of people who like what you offer, and are happy to tell their friends about it.

How do you engage people on Social Media?

It is now possible, and much easier than ever before to establish a presence and a personal identity using Social Media. There is plenty of good and generous advice searchable on the Internet about personal branding through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, and many other popular social networks. Much of this advice centers on joining the conversation. An important, but often overlooked ingredient is having something worth saying.

The challenge is not so much how to get online but rather why, knowing your role, mission, and purpose in engaging in Social Media. Above all, you need a platform, a website or blog on which you can take a stand and express your ideas. As shown in the figure, the platform is the hub for engagement with both social and traditional media, and can give you great leverage in your engagement with society.

Many people struggle with creating a short self-introduction, a 30-second message that engages people’s interest, and makes them want to hear more about you. With a little help from a good designer who understands social media, you can make this much easier with a high-quality graphic in the form of a logo, or online business card which introduces you in just 3 seconds!

This is more than a conversation starter, because it leaves a lasting impression, and it stays online, delivering your message to an ever widening circle of people who get and are interested in your message. Unless you are a brilliant graphic designer with social media savvy right out of the box, you are better off getting help from someone who already is. My website and Facebook Fan Page were both created by the Bigfish Webchicks in New Zealand. They can get you there further and faster. The before/after picture speaks volumes.

Social Media Mandala

The key ingredients in social media are content, communication, and creating a channel. People like having a range of options for content delivery, depending on their communication style and lifestyle preferences. Social Media is set up to accommodate as many types of styles and delivery options as possible.

Even with the best media platform available, ultimately it is up to you to create the content and continually refine and engage people with your message. Using Facebook as an example, by creating a Fan Page you can easily deliver your content in the form of a blog, photos, videos, lists, discussion forum, event pages, a bio, and links to anything or anyone you like. Download a Social Media Mandala to help you think about what you might want to include or improve.

Of course there are many ways to engage in society without ever going online, an option which has only become available in recent years. However, increasingly it is an option that you cannot afford to ignore. You can engage well in both worlds on and offline, and skillfully integrate the two. You may choose what you want to filter for privacy or for focus, but in the interests of integrity, be yourself in both worlds.

William ReedWilliam Reed specializes in applying practical wisdom from Japanese and Asian culture to solving the problems of modern business and living. He is the author of the Flexible Focus column on Active Garage, the syndicated column Creative Career Path and the book A Zoom Lens for Your life. William is also a Representative Director and Co-Founder of EMC QUEST Corporation, which provides Coaching for Communication and Change, World Class Speaking™, and Accelerated Action with GOALSCAPE™.
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There has been a lot of speculation about the what will be the impact of social media when Gen Y grows up into more mature digital natives. This generation already proved those wrong who thought they will grow up to be TV watching couch potatoes. This generation has the unparalleled skill to use their fingers on their smartphones and use social media to stay connected and consume entertainment. While generations older than them still watch TV on a flat HD screen in a living room, there is a revolution happening where your TV, computer and smartphone connected through internet are all equipped to provide entertainment on the GO – taking living room to the airport lounges, malls, libraries and even schools and other cool cafes.

Sure, Gen Y watches over 3 hours of TV a day, but it’s not a couch potato experience. I would argue that they’ve turned TV viewing itself into social media.

If you see them watching TV, do not assume that that is ALL they are doing. Check how they are texting, commenting and tweeting. They don’t just watch a movie, they are sharing, collaborating, distributing and connecting. This thumb-savvy generation has no issues with the overload of new technologies –  they are excited about to learn about the launch of innovative technologies – eg. Google TV, ustream.tv.

The traditional TV watching is going to need a face lift when this Generation grows up. Brands have rested for 50 years reaching their consumers through mass media. They are not up for a challenge to make contact with their future consumers. Advertising on TV to a Yelp reading, Foursquare Tip taking and Quora questioning and answering community is not as simple as placing a 30 sec ad on the prime time network during Superbowl.

Another cool example is the President’s State of the Union address that happened today. Sitting from my office, I was able to watch the address simply by logging on to yahoo through an ABC.com feed. The fact that there were real time tweets and a real time blog with a commentary ongoing made the whole experience so much more richer! Admittedly, I (during some parts) enjoyed watching the blog more than I enjoyed watching the speech!

TV watching is still there and psychology behind watching the TV is the same. BUT I get excited about the world where sharing screens will be on a touch of a button, finding movies on my smart phone that my friends are watching, avoid sitting in living rooms….and I am not even a Gen Y.  As a Gen Xer, I hope to just keep up with them. As I find TV watching an isolating experience and the new approach to being entertained resonates with me.

Afterall, ” Man is a social animal”. Soon, “Man will be a social media animal”!

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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By the end of 2010, many of us have incorporated social media into our marketing campaigns. It is a no brainer to have a FaceBook Fan page or Twitter account for getting traffic to your website. Some have gone beyond and created their own blogs and even their own communities to get the word out to their tribe. Now the “BUT” part….in doing so, we have forgotten why this all started in the first place.

The concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. Many companies have demonstrated their skills in promoting deals, managing customer grievances and even hiring using social media. Bravo! for the increased “customer satisfaction” and “personalization” of their customer interactions.

But looking into the future, I have a question that pops up in my head. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”

I guess I was impressed but after certain goals have been met and since it is all “the new normal”, I am  asking the question – “When are we doing to think outside of FaceBook?” OR “Is the number of your Twitter followers any measure of your influence?”.

Why I ask these questions is because we are now using social media mindlessly, sometimes, even without any specific objective behind it. The best analogy that I can think of is “It is like having your morning cup of coffee, whether it helps us wake up or not, we need it since we do it everyday”.

Here is what you need to look into as you plan for your engagement…

  1. Is Facebooking work? Recently I was pointed to an article Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction, where the author states “ I know I can read a book, but then I’m up and checking Facebook,” he says, adding: “Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway.– “. If you are Facebooking – loading  or seeing pics, commenting on friends status while in the middle of a meeting or a paper you are writing – is that really work?
  2. Are you trusted? There is a growing mistrust with the rise of concerns regarding privacy on these channels and it is getting harder to engage your friends to “Like” or “Comment” or “Tweet” to garner support for your social campaigns. The only true measure of success in this scenario is “Trust”.
  3. Are you innovating your marketing? Winners are going to be the ones who are experimenting, failing and trying new approaches — again and again. New sites like Quora, Shoutlet and Foursquare will need to be considered when planning your marketing mix based on your marketing objectives.

So, if you thought that you have mastered Facebook and Twitter and are set for your social media marketing…Think Again. You have just scratched the surface…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? Are you a Dinosaur or… are you still in the GAME?


DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Social Media and Tribes #14: Taking Dinosaurs Online

by Deepika Bajaj on September 29, 2010

The outdated image of dinosaurs as maladaptive extinct monsters has led to the word “dinosaur” entering the vernacular to describe anything that is impractically large, slow-moving, obsolete, or bound for extinction. But here I am speaking of them very fondly and respectfully. And who I am talking about is the older generation who finds it extremely hard to navigate online yet they understand that if they need to stay connected to their grand kids or even stay updated they need to understand Facebook and Twitter.

There is a rising community of this tribe which is yearning for knowledge on how to create FB and Twitter profiles, upload pictures, share videos and chat through social media tools. During my current stay in India, I have had the rare privilege of coaching some elders in my family to get online so that they are able to connect with their children who are abroad or even in different cities and are now more accessible online than on mobile phones.

So, here are the challenges of this tribe:

  1. Can’t sit on Laptops for more than 20 minutes: Most of them are not accustomed to working on computers and find it hard to concentrate on laptops for long durations. Some of them get backaches, headaches or even lose attention. This is fascinating for me coming from a world of digital natives, where little kids decipher iPhones like they were simply unwrapping a candy bar and can sit for eons when playing with it!
  2. Privacy issues: The youth is open to connecting to different people and has a very different view on privacy issues than the older generation. The older generation don’t like to comment but are happy to get comments on their FB status. They feel if they comment then the whole world will know what they were communicating to that one person. The youth on the contrary is more worried about reputation management, security issues and intellectual issues like their content and pictures.
  3. Picky and Choosy: They are extremely picky about who will be their friends. They are not comfortable with connecting with friends of friends who they might be faintly acquainted to.
  4. Navigation: How to find friends on FB? No recollection of their friends recent names and even their batch mates. They find it extremely challenging to use tools like yahoo or gmail or friendfinder on FB to find friends. They write notes on simple navigation techniques to avoid forgetting how to do so.

To be fair to them, the last 2 decades have not been easy on them, from a technology standpoint. If the 1970-1990 felt like 40 years of technological advancements packed into 20 years, 1990-2010 almost feels like 80 years with the internet, social media and what not!

All in all, I am super excited about their openness to adapt with the times. There is a momentum in this tribe which is fueled by their inherent curiosity to discover the world of social media…Bravo to these brave souls…!

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Social Media and Tribes #9: The fear factor

by Deepika Bajaj on August 25, 2010

Recently, I was in a conference in Las Vegas, speaking about the ” Social Media – Taboos & Innovative Uses”. The focus was to help professional women of different ethnic backgrounds understand how technology, specifically social media, help or hinder their personal and professional development. Though they all understood that these days you cannot afford to ignore  social media as one of the key ways in which companies and individuals communicate, there was this FEAR of it as well.

These were professional women who had gone through many technological innovations in the past but the idea of being transparent and authentic over social media didn’t appeal to them. They were worried about identity theft, making a wrong impression on a potential employer and above all were overwhelmed by the friend requests on Facebook (from people they don’t know). They were trying to get “tips” and “techniques” on which social network to use e.g LinkedIn versus Facebook OR how to do a check on someone from a different country OR how to save their children. Some of them were working mothers who were of the opinion that all that Twitter and Facebook were doing was to hurt their children since now they didn’t have control over who their friends were on Facebook. Some of them were scared that some nasty pictures of their kids might float on the internet and hurt their reputation.

I think all these are valid concerns.

Here is the BIG BUT.

Avoid Stupidity

I am putting this bluntly. This is nothing different from the way of life. Don’t do anything that you don’t want published or don’t want hurting you. This way you will not have to worry about what pictures your friends are tagging you in OR have friends you can trust for not hurting you. The idea of social media is not to use it for hurting people. That is not the intention. This is a tool like every other tool – if you misuse it, it will be destructive. Destruction is possible even if you speed in a car, over load your washing machine and/or overheat your food. Don’t do anything stupid and tools are usually effective in increasing your productivity. Similarly, social media is a tool to make it convenient for you to broadcast your POSITIVE message to your tribe. Read my previous post on this: Changing the World is Addictive.

Fear of Unknown

Fear and Suspicion are based on a lack of knowledge.There is nothing more paralyzing than fear.  Learning these tools is important. Speculating this as an observer will only lead to fear, uncertainty and distress. Social media is here to stay. We can learn it and leverage this to make it a powerful tool to create networks that connect professionals to opportunities in their career and personal branding. To let go of fear, in this post I share how it has helped women: The New internet Junkie

Build Relationships

Don’t worry about all the negatives, focus on being valuable. Share things that you believe might help others in their pursuits, connect with companies where you think you can add value, build a brand as someone who has something valuable to offer. Don’t waste people’s time, share with them your expertise, give good help, listen to people. To emphasize on building relationships, here is a post : Relationships matter more than ever before.

Last but not the least, don’t forget to have fun!

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Social Media and Tribes #7: Is Twitter doomed to fail?

by Deepika Bajaj on July 28, 2010

More and more, I am observing that people are denouncing Twitter and there is an emerging war between the “For” and “Against” parties. Most recently, retired basketball star Sir Charles (Barkley), on a CNBC replay said that, “people who use Twitter are idiots”. Well! it is these statements that categorize people into “those who have a life” and “those who don’t have a life”.

I am not here to say what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”. I am here to illustrate what Twitter can provide if leveraged strategically.

  • Using Twitter is about reciprocation. You need to promote other people who work at companies you’re targeting and business leaders you respect.  If you are looking for a job, the best way is to help people in companies that you are interested in. This is possible by sending a email newsletter to your network, a Re-Tweet along with a link to their website. This will eventually have a better reciprocation if you ask them help with your initiative.
  • Using Twitter is about connection. Never before people had the capability to connect with celebrities but now twitter has some profiles like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah where people sense a direct connection with the individual they trust. Even if you have these connections, they build into relationships overtime. Helping someone increase their circle of influence is a gift you can give by simply tweeting about their link.  Also you can connect others on Twitter by simply making an introduction in less than 140 characters. “Relationships are like muscles—the more you work them, the stronger they become,” says Keith Ferrazzi, author of New York Times best-seller Who’s Got Your Back.
  • Using Twitter is about sharing. If you found something insightful, you can broadcast it quickly to your network. You will be surprised at the #FF what you will get if people find you are someone who has something valuable to share. This is a way where others give you a gift by recommending you to their followers and recognizing your thought leadership.

My 2 cents: Start today by contacting at least one individual you’ve never dealt with and asking that person if she or he needs help. The response you get will surprise you… and please let me know how may I help (@invincibelle, @99tribes).

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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Social Media and Tribes #4: Tribal leadership

by Deepika Bajaj on June 30, 2010

What is a Tribe?

A group of 20-150 people. In these tribes most of our work get done. Naturally occurring groups.

What is Tribal Leadership?

The leader of one tribe meets someone who is a member of one tribe and find someone of another tribe and make introductions. That is what great Tribal leaders do.

People form tribes – they always have and they always will. But not all tribes are the same and what make them different is their Culture.

How people behave?

People behave based on how they see the world. If they see the world as a unfriendly place, they will behave unfriendly and isolated. But the good news is if they see the world as friendly and collaborative SO will they BE.

How does culture shape the Tribe?

  • Level 1 – You are in a dumb culture, and people in such cultures stay dumb and live together. You succumb to your circumstances and you feel life is horrible and powerless.
  • Level 2 – You are an elite – You see yourself as an expert and NOT others. This is where we become sarcastic, resentful because you only value your contribution and NOT the contributions of others. This leads to the creation of an environment where there is no acknowledgment and bitterness reigns.
  • Level3 – Individuals unite and see that together they are larger – they get excited and enthusiastic and life is better. You feel you can create more than was possible ALONE.
  • Level 4 – You find life is amazing and gravitate people. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to be” Martin Luther said ” I have a dream” NOT “we have a dream”. They are giving a message that life is good. The Tribal leaders have the competence in moving people into leave them better than they found them. They move their life to be better and enroll them to the tribe and get them connected.

The Ultimate Tribal Leadership

Go beyond “networking”, where you extend your reach. Find people who don’t know each other and connect them – elevate them – empower them. Make an impact in your tribe and touch them so that you nudge other people to move to a higher level. So, that your Tribe can change the world….

PS> Join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”…and join a tribe… or even better, form your own tribe.

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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