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Masterminding at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose

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Two Days in San Jose

There are few things that are better for the mind than spending time with experienced, knowledgeable, and giving people.

I am fortunate to be able to share in that experience 3-4 times a year in Larry Benet's Thought Leader Mastermind. It is filled with the most wonderful people from all areas of business – internet marketing, global marketing, financial industry experts, corporate titans…their areas of expertise could continue on and on for paragraphs. Look at this group! Amazing!

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WTH Was THAT Kred?!?

All I Wanted Was An Answer

OK, I am gonna start off this post by saying that, I probably wouldn’t even have written this post if someone at Kred had answered my question directly.  I am just curious what this marketing play by Kred (@Kred) was all about.  Last I was told, when I asked why they “aligned/piggybacked” on Klout, rather than keeping their differentiation was “It’s really busy in the office today. We will craft a response soon.” (As a writer, I noted the word “craft.”  It seemed odd to me) As of this posting, I still don’t have an answer. So, I am going to see if anyone else does. Why? Because it seemed like a very strange move for a company of data specialists to call itself an “alternative” and then “piggyback.”

I’ve seen many a varied marketing tactic over the years…and I was just curious why they went this route.  I really just wanted to understand, maybe even learn something deeper about the new little niche.

The Scientific Study of  Social Influence

 

I have been studying the “Social Influence” utilities for a bit of time now: quietly, in the back ground, just a little geeky project.  A lot of my clients have started to ask me questions about it, and many people I know in the Speaking industry have started using various tools (mostly @Klout). The problem was that everyone was equating social influence metrics to social media “stuff.” I wanted to be able to explain it to them with some knowledge, so I started studying it.

Now, I am NOT a highly influential person…I produce goods for people who are influential. This allows me to just sit and watch. Which, having the data background I do, is cool in a geek way.

Over the last few months, I have had many conversations on the topic of “social influence” tools with knowledgeable peeps. Some people call it phooey, and “nothing more than high-school cliques revisited.” I can see where they are coming from, but I differed in my opinion of it. I found it rather interesting that a new metric was emerging. I wanted to know:

 

  • How will it be measured?
  • Who is gonna get it right?
  • What are people going to do once they know that they are being measured?
  • How is this going to be used in business?
  • Will a high “social influence” score allow a person or brand to charge more for their services?
  • Will persons/brands with high scores start selling their tweets ? (Note: I discounted celebrities, since they openly do this and well, we don’t really care that they do. I was thinking more about powerful mom-bloggers, academics, and the like.)

 

See, I am one of those that does believe the metric can be a good one. Now, how you can announce that you are measuring something and than not have your measurement affected by it is a whole ‘nother story.  Once you say “we are gonna measure this,” there will be those that want to “game” the scoring and get a higher score.  So, the measurement is only valid (or rather, truly pristine and uninfluenced, accurately measured) before people realize they are being scored. After that, the analysis will have to account for people who are “working the system,” so to speak.

Regardless of whether or not it has lost it’s data derived innocence , I believe the metric will be an important one. Or rather, one that might be important IF 1. It gains long-lasting recognition as a valid metric that has meaning (in business, this typically equates to sales) and 2. If solid companies come out and truly seek to measure the influence data and not taint it.  No, I am not saying that they should not PROMOTE it’s use, but there is a line to “education, explanation and promotion” and “creating your own data to measure.”  The line isn’t all that clear yet, but it’s there and we will find it.

Kred – Oh, You Look Really Cool

 

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SUPERHERO YOU

I still remember the first time I tied my little brother to a chair, with my magic truth lasso. I can feel the swoosh of my cape as I turned (quite dramatically) to dive into the safety ofbuy cheap generic propeciaonder-woman7.jpg”> my invisible jet. Wonder Woman rocked! AND, she had fabulous hair and makeup! Oh, hours were spent in my pursuit of SuperHero status – jump moves, spin moves, laser eye beams. I wanted ALL of the superhero powers, AND a kick-a$$ costume. That was a very long time ago. I haven’t thought of the faux menacing look in my brother’s eyes in years…until last week…

What happened to bring back the sweet memories of the crime-stopping prowess of a bustier outfitted Super Princess? I got an email…not just any email…I got an email from Jim Kwik of Kwik Learning, inviting me to attend the upcoming Super Hero You event.

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Confession of a Facebook Lover Dating Twitter

buy viagra onlineght=”259″ />As many of you know, I have been a Facebook girl for a long time now. It may be hard to catch a live call with me, or to get me to listen to my voicemail messages, but no one really worries unless I fail to update my Facebook page. When I stop doing that, my phone starts to display text messages reading “Are you alive?” When I fail to post a morning funny(see sample on the right), I get the angry “Hey, I've got a cup of coffee in hand and no smile.” Now, years ago, I was a blogger. I hate to admit this, but I believe I created my blog with Microsoft Frontpage and a Dummies Guide. Yes, I am that old.

And then came Facebook…which today, is my central hub for both business and personal stuff. You see everyone on my page – info marketing leaders and my uncle in St. Louis. I could separate them, but why? The clients like to see that the high-heeled professional, actually writes in pigtails and geeky glasses. So, I am leaving it alone.

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Wise Words from Some Friends

I just happened to be wandering through Twitter tonight, and caught some wise words from some of my favorite seminar friends that I wanted to share. I hope they'll make you smile and think!

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et_img” src=”http://a2.twimg.com/profile_images/90485568/DSC_0002RZ_normal.JPG” alt=”Doug Bench” width=”48″ height=”48″ align=”left” />Doug Bench – @DougBench
Teach a man to fish and he will feed himself all his life. Teach him how his brain works, and he won't have to eat fish all the time

Doug is such a great mind! You absolutely want to catch him speak, and share his powerful message of brain-power!  His Mind Your Brain project was a pleasure to work on.  And, one that continues it's effect on us long past it having been written.

Anil GuptaAnil Gupta – @GuptaGuru
The treasure is always within easy reach – you have to open your eyes and heart

Anil has one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. Thank you for this touching thought to treasure.  I have met few people who are as sincerely nice as this man. And, his wife is so much fun.  In person, or on Twitter, he reminds me to focus on the good in life, and to live with passion.

Spike HumerSpike Humer – @spikehumer
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light… http://t.co/lmNGtXmq


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Spike, I'm always impressed with your leadership ideas and powerful messages.  I do miss that booming voice of yours….let's not even get started on the smooth dance moves you have.

Making a Difference

One thing that I find really inspiring about my friends in the seminar industry, is how important it is to focus on making a difference in people's lives. Do you want to wake up every day and just cash a paycheck? Don't you think there's so much more that could shape your life and let you help the people you love and live for? Here's some thoughts that I found that I find very inspiring…

Dave VanhooseDave Vanhoose – @DaveVanhoose1
“It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.”
Tom Brokaw

Making a difference is job number one! Thanks for that inspirational quote, Mr. Vanhoose!  Remember people – your business should SOLVE a problem…not create one for you or anyone else.  It's hard to say NO to a check, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.

Doug OttersbergDoug Ottersberg – @dougottersberg
I've been buoyed by the thought that more people should be able to say “I now work to make a difference instead of a living”

Doug, I absolutely agree with you, and I think Dave Vanhoose does as well. Making a difference in people's lives by doing inspiring things with integrity is so critical. And it definitely keeps me thinking about this…

Rashida JolleyRashida Jolley – @rashidajolley
God is soooooooo good!!!!

Amen, sista! Amen. Thanks for the short & sweet reminder.

Hope everyone has a fabulous day and does fabulous things!

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Propel Point spins off social technology firm Dashboard Labs

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eyDaveCole – Dave Cole” width=”208″ height=”236″ />There are different reasons for going in to business. Sometimes it’s all about the money – other times it’s all about the work – other times it’s all about the people. Propel Point was definitely designed to be a “people” company – a place where seminar industry professionals could come and receive the professional caliber marketing, product, and development services that were typically only available to established large-scale players in the industry. We set out to change that. We set out to prove that by listening to what our clients were trying to accomplish, we could provide them the tools & resources to play the bigger game.

As anyone could see from our Portfolio of work, we’ve accomplished a great deal. We’ve supported brand-new seminar speakers and established industry veterans. We’ve crafted products, marketing campaigns, technology solutions, and helped manage numerous projects that have delivered not only extraordinary value to our clients, but the end-consumer – the people in the rooms at the seminars – who were the end beneficiary of our hard work.

Through building Propel Point, both Jennifer and I have uncovered and discovered dozens (if not hundreds) of business opportunities. Some were just bad ideas from the outset, while others were truly brilliant businesses that could have been exceptional in their own right – were someone to simply take it and create it. Because of our diverse backgrounds and skills, we continued to refine our focus and develop products and services within a tight window of our capability. In the past few weeks, one of those burgeoning business opportunities arose that simply could not be ignored, but genuinely did not fit within the Propel Point business model. But we also knew that Propel Point is a thriving and successful venture in its own right, so we decided to divide-and-conquer, and spin off our advanced technology services in to its own firm: Dashboard Labs.

Because of this, the decision has been made for me to step away as active Chief Operations Officer of Propel Point to ensure that the new venture receives my full and undivided attention. I’ll still be around – I’m still an owner in Propel Point and I will be supporting the business in an advisory role moving forward. It’s been a tremendously fun experience to work with so many incredible clients, partners, employees, and people I today call friends. Of course, my respect and admiration for my partner Jennifer Puterbaugh is without equal. She has always been the heart & soul of Propel Point, and will continue to be one of the most trusted and resourceful developers in the seminar industry.

Thank you all, for everything. I welcome you to connect with me on Facebook – HeyDaveCole, Twitter @HeyDaveCole, or LinkedIn.

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2 More Reasons why QR Codes Suck…

I cruised past David Wach's Cellit marketing blog and found his article 11 Reasons Why QR Codes Suck … It definitely struck a chord since the last couple weeks at the

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Social Media Mastermind Orange County (you know, the SMMOC) QR codes have come up again and again. I know it's a real estate heavy room, but the interest in QR codes seems misplaced to me. Maybe it struck me when I logged in to Twitter earlier today and saw this tweet RT'd by Matt Gallizzi (@mgallizzi): “Whoa! New York Times Magazine!

Source – 11 Reasons Why QR Codes Suck

11. QR Codes make receiving simple content very difficult

10. QR codes lack strong trackability compared to text messaging

9. QR Codes lack Follow-Up

8. QR codes require mobile devices to stop being mobile

7. QR Codes can’t “go viral”

6. QR Codes remove brand association

5. QR Codes only work on smart phones with cameras

4. QR Codes take up a lot of space.

3. There is no standard for 2D Bar Codes

2. You can’t use QR Codes in television or radio.

1. People don’t know what QR codes are!

To add 2 points to the debate here (of which I'm in complete agreement – QR codes SUCK)…

12… There's no context to what the recipient will receive. Even on the web, there's a tacit agreement that if I click on a link ending in .pdf file, I'll receive a PDF file. If I visit YouTube.com I'll know I'm about to watch a video. If I click on an @username I'll probably be heading over to Twitter. QR codes, on the other hand, have no contextual specificity, and as such leaves the consumer no information about what they're about to receive. Will I get a contact card for the person I'm interacting with? A video “welcome message”? A coupon? A map? Without context, the QR code leaves the recipient complete at the mercy of what the person using the code wants to share.

13… There's no way to replicate a QR code without a digital device. You can't draw a QR code by hand, or scribble it out on a cocktail napkin in the middle of a networking party. Nearly any other marketing channel can be conveyed and captured by hand if need be – a website URL, an phone number, a text marketing campaign, a physical address, a coupon code, etc. But the QR code is the bastard step-child of print marketing + engineers. Almost all 2D mobile ads suffer from the same problem – except the most ubiquitous 2D barcode of them all – the UPC barcode. They realized that adding a set of numbers to the barcode would ensure that at least if the red laser couldn't get it, a human could interact with the information.

Mobile is definitely the new frontier for social + marketing, but I just don't think (nor want to support!) QR codes are the right way to get things done with this new medium. It's what happens when a marketing exec has too many tequila shots with the head of a printer company and then does Jaeger bombs with a bunch of engineers.
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Oh, and this was gonna be a comment on your blog, David, but your Captcha code seems to be broken… Or, at least wouldn't play nicely with me…

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Having a Little Seminar Fun – Yes or Yes?

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>I Want That Yes YesI remember the first time I ever heard a speaker utter the phrase “Yes or Yes?” It absolutely made me crack up! I've never been one to pick up on the nuances of the motivational speaker styles, but all around the shop here we utter the phrase “Yes or Yes?” constantly… Need to make an important business decision, and want to completely baffle your team on the decision? Just ask the question – and stop them in their tracks with the phrase “Yes or Yes?” It's a sure-fire winner!

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So, in honor of this very special catch-phrase, we decided to make a shop to share this universal affirmation with the world!

That's right, now you can purchase your very own Yes or Yes gear from our shop on CafePress. Perhaps a Yes or Yes Maternity shirt is in order? Or a positive, hold-no-bars Yes or Yes coffee cup suits your fancy… If you're really playing to win, I recommend the “Yes or Yes” messenger bag: Show up to the seminar in style and with function!

Yes or Yes Speaker ShirtAnd for the truly optimistically positive of the bunch, we have a few limited designs of the Yes or Yes seminar speaker shirt, Jennifer's personal favorite. Featuring the ambiguous silhouette of we're pretty sure it's the most awesome thing we've done since Zack Childress' Prosperity Portfolio catalog.

Next time you see us at a tradeshow or event, be sure to ask about our shirts – we'll probably have them stored in a box somewhere and available for our favorite folks.

Check out our CafePress Store »
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