Blogging

Social Media: The Internet is Forever……And Employers are using it more and more

The checking for the boundaries of youth have seen “better days.”

In an age where popularity and one-upsmanship carries significant amounts of social capital by “performing in/on social media, the trend is for not the only the Government to monitor you, with your own permission, if they choose, but, the ones you can’t claim 1st Amendment rights cases against so easily: Employers.

In this article from England from the regarding trends in the market, the move afoot is for employers, not just to check you out for hiring (already problematic enough when you have posted those partying hardy pictures and videos), but to keep tabs on what you’re saying…and it could not even be about them:

Many employers already monitor their workers’ Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages – but the practice is set to increase, a new report has revealed.

A new report by data analysts Gartner has claimed that by the year 2015, 60 per cent of employers will monitor social media pages of their employees.

The ‘Big Brother’ monitoring will be driven by security worries about employees leaking information or talking negatively about their workplace.
[…]

Well some us “seasoned” people have escaped the tomfoolery of youth without such consequences, be sure to pass some wisdom along to those you mentor or are the parents of, and hopefully, they will take such information under advisement and not press the “Update Status” button as fast, or as frequently as they may have planned to…

Understanding Your Digital Landscape Seminar 11/16/2010

From the flyer, regarding the Seminar I’ll be conducting to help business owners, who are not technically enabled, to better understand what makes their business function:

Understanding the Digital Landscape

What is it?
How do you find it?
How do you use it effectively?

Computers save us time in everything from information storage and retrieval, calculation, graphic design, and report preparation. E-commerce allows our websites to keep our businesses running 24/7.

A failure at any point, from our office records to our online presence, can quickly snowball into a technological disaster, especially for a small business that doesn’t have an IT (information technology) staff in-house.

Seminar leader Curt Middlebrook, The Computer Whisperer, provides insights into the equipment, computer programs, and office and internet support services out there, and the people who provide them. You’ll learn how to maximize your online efficiency, and how to track the success of your online marketing.
This is a Lunch & Learn program, part of the Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber of Commerce Success in Business Series. Your registration includes detailed information for evaluating every aspect of your company’s digital landscape, as well as a light lunch.

When : Tuesday, November 16; 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Where : Park Station, 5851 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, Room 202

Cost : $19.95 Pinellas Park/Gateway Chamber Members
$24.95 Non-members

Call Chamber Manager Larry Steinlauf at 544-4777 to register.
You must be registered to attend.

Soldier’s Angels VALOur-IT Fund Drive 2010

Technology moves ahead in unpredictable ways, sometimes.

History lesson below, for the interested. For those who are ready and need to donate and move on: Click here.

If you’re looking to help an old Sailor out, then “push” the button for Navy. Know this: It all goes into the same pot, but, the need to poke at our fellow military members doesn’t go away easily, so…resist the urge to help any service team other than Navy…..

Now to some background:

Barely 5 years ago, a “MilBlogger,” and Army Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss, ended up on the wrong end of an IED when on patrol in Iraq and subsequently in Walter Reed Medical Center. Having been a fairly active poster, when a Soldier’s Angels representative asked if he needed anything, he asked for a laptop so he could blog from the hospital, since he’d be there a while. They bought one off of eBay.

He had injuries to both arms, leaving him with one in a cast, and the other in a halo. Typing, as you may surmise, was pretty tough. He posted indicating he sure could use some help…maybe so he could talk to his computer.

Some people helped him out getting Dragon Naturally Speaking. As a result, Chuck’s Blog came back to life.

As a result of that, the idea that this mashup of existing tech would be able to help others. The conception of the idea came from one of Chuck’s reader’s, Beth (FuzzyBear Lioness in the comments section), who thought if it worked for Chuck, who else might it help?

So, the first use of the Project’s Name happened 8/18/2005.

Now we are but 5 years and a few months later, over $600K collected, about 50 bloggers on the teams, and begging for air time on the big websites (and getting some!), with close to 6000 laptops delivered. They are new. They are good ones, and they are provided at the Major military medical facilities, and, they can be requested, if someone has slipped by the system unnoticed.

I believe it was last year, they added the purchasing and providing of Nintendo Wiis, which has helped with physcial therapy for the injured warriors. GPS units are now also provided to those who are getting out and about, to compensate for the short term memory loss issues as a result of TBI and severe PTSD injuries.

The “gateway” to the many pages of information and the project blog is here.

One particularly descriptive post titled “Laptops Save Lives?!” has the words of the real “end users” of the charity of the donors of this work. It may be from 2007, but the truth is right there. This is a great project, which really “gives back” to those who entered the services and gave much of themselves.

Besides just the close to the problem connection, from a problem solving standpoint, I see this as a job training program for the majority of these wounded troops, as they will be medically retired/discharged. If they have used a computer to get and stay in contact with their families, friends and “Battle Buddies,” they sure will be able to draft up a business letter, surf the net to do research and learn to crunch numbers with Excel for the employer who wants a person who looks forward into life and works to achieve their potential.

I could go on for many pages, having personally met Chuck and Beth, and Patti, the Founder of Soldier’s Angels via these campaigns over the 5 years. The stories are real, the ideas amazing, and the unselfish acts to take an idea from one person to many is a lesson in building relationships.

Once more: Donate here to Team Navy!

learn more

Find a successful case study and…

Read it!

Blogging. Not “fast food” like Twitter, not all social like FaceBook, but, as I’ve said in my seminars and coaching: “The Long Form.”

Think through the IRS analogy: The 1040EZ gets the issue off your back, but you get more deductions on the 1040. More deductions, more money back, but you have to put more into it.

“MilBlogs” (Military Blogs) began to share stories, mostly because they didn’t get reported. Matt Burden of Black Five began what has become the biggest (be readership) MilBlog because the main stream media didn’t even report the passing of his friend in combat. He decided not only would the name of Army Maj. Mathew E. Schram wouldn’t be forgotten, but the regular fare of the early days of Black Five were the “Someone You Should Know” category of posts. Over the years, some living, some casualties of war, all placed on the web, so they would not be forgotten. Matt wasn’t alone, and about 6 years ago, there were about 200 MilBlogs.

As of just this moment, from MilBlogging.com’s header: “Milblogging.com currently has 2,829 military blogs in 45 countries… ”

These blogs are a model. Grass roots “passing the word” model. Get people’s attention on a topic model. Create large virtual communities of support models, quickly and at little monetary cost besides a few dollars. Buzz up a charity model. See a need and make a charity model. Connect people on the “backchannels model.

If you’re sitting around, wondering just what blogging can do for you, your cause, your passion, or your business: Study the MilBlog model.

The American Legion site has a well written article on the genesis of this unmanaged group of military, retired military. military family members and just plain old “I want to help support the military” people. “The MilBlogosphere” by Matt Seavey.

Local to the Tampa Bay area, a Marine’s wife became a widow this past March. Her blog about life took a new turn, as she shared her feelings of the news her husband had been killed in combat in Afghanistan and how it shook and affirmed her world. “A Little Bit of Pink in a Camo World” drew attention around the country and the world, and began a whole community of spouses and family members, and Rachael began a new venture: Participating in and setting up fund raising events for supporting the troops. She is but one of many.

I invite you to read and study the MilBlog world, it’s roots, it’s players, it’s content, and it’s powerful voice. If you have questions, and would like some personal input on the inner workings, I certainly can provide mine to you. I’ve met a few of the writers in person and have grown in my blogging as a result of their mentoring.

WordPress Marches on!

Yesterday was the day that the final release version of WordPress 3.0 made it’s way into the hands of those who wait for “final releases.”

Recently, one of the people who does a lot of lectures on Social Media wandered off the tracks long enough to say he wasn’t a web designer, but people should have their websites done in Joomla or WordPress of they are getting ripped off.

He is sort of right. Having spent since 1996 playing with websites, I’ll say he’s right if you need a functional, right away site to just say who you are and what you do. After that, his comments need to be modified based on what you need to show/display/convey about you and your business. You may need something beyond WordPress, or not.

If you’re on a limited budget, and/or you have time to maintain all aspects of you website, and that means learning about links, setting up categories, placing privacy policy statements, setting up webforms for contact info, and keep spambots at bay, then yes…WordPress is a suitable candidate for you.

In the meantime, communicate clearly what you need to your web designer and work with them. Know that the more you have thought about the content of your website before you talk with them, you will pay them less, as they won’t be spending time tracking your content down, and making change upon change upon change. That’s a money saving tip…you can use.

The great news is WordPress 3.0 has broken through the barrier of not just being a great blogging platform, but has “grown up” to be a fully functional “CMS” (Content Management System).

Questions? Contact me and let me help you see what’s best for your diigital landscape!

As I say: “Who is your voice?”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10:  MC Hammer sp...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In the digital world, you’re putting “content” out for all the World to see, literally. Not only can they see it when you post it, but even when you change your webpages or social media work, trust me, there are places that the dedicated can find the “old” versions, be it for good or bad purposes, or worse yet, bad legal purposes.

Via link chasing, I came across this this article “Social Media Marketing: Why You’re Better Off to DIY”, which says what I have mentioned in several meetings or talks.

My view has always been to help you understand why it’s so important that you are the one to be your voice. I can, as many others who work in this field, show you where to put the material you generate, but we don’t know your business like you do.

If you need coaching, I specialize in actually teaching people how to become proficient in managing their own content, to include how to save time while doing it. Get a hold of me if you need some direct, focused, customized help in this area!

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Welcome to vBlogging!

Ok, here it is….post #1 in a series to…well…video blog.  Simple, easy, to the point.

Title: How not to video blog. Lesson number 1 is to pay attention to your “environmentals.” That means, the light and the sound, and anything that will be in the frame of the camera’s view (like the cat..a mobile distraction).

To do this one, I had to do some testing to get some feedback and some white noise out of the sound, before i started. Where the computer had the default settings for the microphone, it was way too noisey. Bringing the volume of the input down helped clear that up.

So, there’s number on in a series. Check back for theo thers coming soon!

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Driving the Traffic Bus

Unlike others who teach people how to blog, I’ve found my approach is “content centric.”

If the words your readers see are pretty much the same simplified message on every other site like yours (read “competitors”), what are your odds of ever hearing from them to provide your service or product?

If you’re unique, then it’s not as much of an issue…..or is it?

Who is your voice?  Someone with a keyboard, and 30 minute discussion of your decades of expertise, or is it someone who is intimately familiar with the topic (a key employee/senior manager/partner), or is it you?

One of my constant coaching techniques is to tell beginning or struggling bloggers to get out there and become a valued member of other blogs and/or forums.  In my normal reading cycle late yesterday, for my enjoyment, I had the opportunity to comment on a post elsewhere and then link tow of my posts from 2005 (not here, on the blog where I learned how to blog).  I just took a stroll to my hit counter and found I have now have almost 100 readers since last night come to one or both of those stories and they sayed around, also reading related items, or going to the blog’s home page.

Exposure.  Sharing.  Write it and they will come, sometimes with a little prompting, but it appears they enjoyed my sea stories from back into the 80s I chose to share.

How well are you driving your traffic bus?  Need some “driver’s ed?”  Leave me a comment, I may be able to help.

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