Sunday Question – Your Thoughts About 9/11/10?

It may seem strange writing about this topic 6 days before we get there, but it makes for a better Sunday Question than just a post on the day, although I’m not ruling out saying something on the day as well.

Next Saturday is the 9th anniversary of the planes flying into the World Trade Center and pretty much changing our world forever. That could sound like hyperbole until you think about it. Two wars came from that. Extremism took another step forward to the point where terrorists are using children for suicide bombs. There are so many more things we have to do now before we can get on an airplane. We have a Department of Homeland Security. The FBI has been given the right to bug any one of us without a warrant just by saying it’s terrorist related and there’s not a thing we can do about it. And there’s this stupid battle over whether a mosque should be allowed to be built near the former area of the World Trade Center, as if Muslims weren’t also killed on that day and as if there’s any legal standing to prevent them from doing so.

Emotions for many are still high about that day. And yet, in many other ways it’s business as usual. My wife is going to some housewares party. Many universities will be playing football on that day, and all professional sports will go on as usual. It’s a Saturday after all, and it’s 9 years later. On Facebook two weeks ago someone said that it’s still too soon for certain things to be occurring and I asked just how long is long enough? And trust me, I get it; my dad passed away 8 years ago and I’m still bothered by it. Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon almost 30 years ago and people are still mad. The Manson family murders occurred more than 40 years ago and people are still mad. Brown vs. Board of Education was decided in 1954 and people are still mad. World War II,… you get the picture.

It’s a simple question then, probably answered differently for those in the United States than those elsewhere. What thoughts do you have as we approach the 9th anniversary of the second day that will live in infamy?

The World Trade Center








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Social Media Marketing Won’t Work If…

I’ve talked a lot lately about social media marketing and influence. Overall, comments have been positive, but fairly minimal. Not that I’m searching for big numbers of responses to the topics (okay, I am) so much as thinking that, as we move into a new age, this should be a pretty big topic for a lot of people to be both thinking about and talking about.

What occurred to me yesterday is that the topic is out there, but not really all that big to the group that I’m marketing to the most. That group are people between the ages of 35 to 65, people with established businesses who I thought might be ready to learn more about how to market to people. What I’m realizing is that there is a definite generational difference between the people I’m marketing to and the people who literally already get it. I’m marketing to a group that’s missing it, that can’t see why they’d even want to get started, let alone want to learn it.

I actually understand this. I’m the same way in other areas. On Wednesday a group called Lady Antebellum was in town, and I had, and still have, absolutely no idea who they are. Justin Bieber was also in town; him I’ve heard of, but I couldn’t tell you a single song. Without having kids, I haven’t tried to keep up with the pop music scene, and thus I hear songs that for the most part I don’t like and names that mean nothing to me. Out of the names listed for the next reincarnation of Dancing With the Stars I had to look up 6 of them to see who they were; these are stars?

I get it; we concentrate on what interests us at all times, and even if something might be in our best interest for our business, if we can’t fully embrace it then we feel we don’t need it. So I decided to list 5 things that indicates why social media marketing won’t work for you.

1. You don’t have time. I keep hearing this one over and over, and frankly, it’s both a valid concern and nonsense at the same time. It’s hard for people to squeeze more things into their schedule if it’s booked tight and you’re working all the time. The reality is that no one is booked all the time and no one is working all the time. We all waste time during our workday; if we didn’t, we’d go crazy. My belief is that even if all you decide to do is 15 minutes a week, just to establish a presence somewhere, you do yourself a world of good. If you could find an hour a week you could write a blog post, maybe post a link on a Facebook business page, do an update on your LinkedIn page, respond to one group post on Linkedin, and send out a link or message on Twitter regarding a business, a retweet, whatever. When you have more time, do more; just do something.

2. You don’t have the money. How much money does it cost to do social media marketing? Depending on what you do, nothing or just a little bit; way less than any other type of marketing you might do. Twitter; free. Facebook; free. LinkedIn; free. Email; could be free, and with an autoresponder less than $200 a year. YouTube; free. Blog; free, or if you pay someone to write it then that could get pricey depending on how much you want written.

3. You don’t understand it. Most of the time when people say this, it means they haven’t even looked at it. If you sign up for LinkedIn, it pretty much tells you what you need to do step by step. There might be some intricacies for real business benefits, but in general, you’re done. Same with Facebook; probably the day you sign up you’re going to have invitations already there from people who’ve been wondering where you’ve been. YouTube isn’t as easy, and though Twitter seems pretty easy, I could see where someone could get confused early on. But I run into almost no one (had to add the “almost”) who’s signed up for a Twitter account and says “I just don’t know what to do” without meaning “I don’t have time”.

4. You don’t even try. Michael Jordan says he’s never made a shot he didn’t take. Whereas many people have thrown up a website, they haven’t taken the time to determine whether it represents them well or not. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’re hoping to get business from someone that’s thinking about paying you thousands of dollars and your website looks cheap. “Close” doesn’t get it done when you’ve written one blog post in a year. “Close” doesn’t get it done if you create a Facebook business page and done absolutely nothing with it. As with anything else, you have to at least take some kind of consistent action, even if it’s once every two weeks, otherwise it’s best not to even start.

5. You’re not social. And there’s that word again, “social”. Social says you interact with someone instead of “at” them. Social says you respond to comments or email here and there. Social doesn’t say you have to tell everything about yourself, or deal with people who upset you or irritate you in some fashion. It does mean you have to be ready to participate in whatever you start, and it can’t only be about you. And trust me, on Twitter, if all you’re doing is putting out links and retweeting people all the time, it’s viewed as you being all about you.

I can’t remember if I’ve written stuff like this before, but I’ve certainly brought it up in workshops, and I plan on always bringing it up whenever I have the opportunity to talk about it. No one has to do it all; but if you want it to have the chance to work, you still have to do it.

My Friend The Chocolate Cake








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Mitchell’s Top Ten Recommended Blogs

One could ask “what makes you think anyone cares about what you think are blogs people should read.” The response would be “my blog, my opinion, case closed.” In actuality, I think that it’s a nice thing to recognize people when you enjoy things they do. And people like being mentioned, even if they may miss it. I’m going to say that I doubt everyone I name will notice that their blog has been mentioned here, and that’s okay. It’s just another list post; studies show that people love list posts. And if you’d like, copy the little badge I created and add it to your website, then wait for people to ask you if you’ve lost your mind. 🙂

Actually, August 31st was Blog Day, where bloggers are supposed to name 5 blogs they recommend for others to read. But I had something else on my mind for that day, so I decided to go my own way and do it today.

First, did I have any real criteria for what I was going to look for? Absolutely not! In this list are some friends of mine, some big time names, and some folks whose blogs I just have to make sure I check out as often as I can. I don’t always comment on all of these blogs, but I do from time to time. But I always make sure I read them, and I think that’s what makes them important to me. And two of the blogs on this list were on last year’s Blog Day list as well.

I put them in alphabetical order so I didn’t have to rank them. They are what they are; here we go:

Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online – As you probably know, I really respect Marelisa’s blog, and the interview I did with her should prove that. It’s just a quality blog, very deep, and one of the few blogs that I actually have to slow down to read. This blog was on last year’s Blog Day post.

Beautiful Summer Morning – Nick Grimshawe has a beautiful blog, very calming and motivational, and I actually have to give him credit for introducing me to Josh Groban, who I’d never heard of until Nick posted one of his videos on his blog. Nick also has the distinction of being on my 2008 and 2007 Blog Day list.

Click Newz – It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about Lynn Terry, but I still make sure I read her blog all the time. I ever wrote a post about her and how she makes money, as she’s one of the top internet marketers in the country. Lynn’s blog was also on my 2008 Blog Day list.

Kikolani.com – How could anyone not list Kristi’s blog as one of their favorites? I always make sure to go through her Fetching Friday blog, as she puts up a lot of blog posts she’s read through the week and is recommending others view. At one point I thought of stealing that idea, but man, that’s a lot of work! So young and so accomplished; great work!

Mostly Bright Ideas – This is actually a very new blog written by Charles Gulotta, and if y’all haven’t visited it by looking at some of his blog titles then you don’t know what you’re missing. He’s very funny and insightful, and his images are funny as well. To think, I convinced him to think about writing a blog, and look what he’s done with it; great job!

Problogger – Okay, a top guru who was also on my 2008 Blog Day list, but who can truthfully deny that Darren Rowse isn’t on his game? I like it best when he’s writing instead of the guest posts, but I sometimes learn from those as well. This is one of those blogs where if you’re looking to learn a lot more about blogging I suggest you go through his archives.

Solo Business Marketing – Shirley George Frazier’s blog on marketing is a great one, so much so that her blog was one of only two that made my 2006 Blog Day list. I must have been mad not to mention her again before today. I learn a lot by reading her blog, and I think it deserves a heck of a lot more attention that it gets.

Twist Image – Mitch Joel recently wrote Six Pixels of Separation, and it was through a conversation he was having with a friend of mine that I discovered his blog. He talks about marketing and communications in the social media age, and something interesting that he has are podcast interviews, which are pretty fascinating. I guess you could call him a guru.

View Infinitum – This is my friend Scott’s blog, and I have to say that he’s found quite the following over the past year. It’s a photography blog, and though I’m not anywhere close to a photographer, I will say that he gives a lot of great information on the craft, and I think I’ve even seen Sire popping in there from time to time.

Wassupblog – Speaking of Sire, his blog took a major jump over the past year, getting an Alexa rank as high as 65,000 at one point and still sitting in a pretty nice place. He covers internet marketing, blogging, and a host of irreverent issues that are funny from that quirky Australian point of view. I think if he were British his blog would probably be an even bigger deal; yeah, I said it! lol His blog was also on my 2009 Blog Day list, and I keep telling him that when I grow up I want my blog to be as big as his. Then again, it means I have to grow up.

There you go, my top ten list of blogs I hope you check out. Congrats winners!

Gomadic Universal Charging Station








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Are You Sometimes Feeling Ignored?

I tend to visit a lot of blogs. I’ve talked about it before on this blog, how I used to subscribe to nearly 250 other blogs, but at some point I got it down to around 104. Of course me being me I have added some more blogs to my reader since that time, and I’m given some of those an opportunity to show that they at least have something interesting to say on a consistent basis before I start whittling my list down again.

Save the Back Yard Dog
by Beverly & Pack

One thing that helps me determine I’m going to eliminate a blog from my reader is whether or not I ever get any responses from those blogs that I tend to leave comments on. Those of you who have seen me leave a comment on your blog know that I’m not one of those people who often leaves just one line responses. Sure, sometimes it may only be two lines, but you know those two lines are going to mean something and have something to do with the topic, and sometimes those lines are kind of long.

Sometimes you get the feeling you’re being ignored, and nobody likes that. I certainly don’t, especially if I’ve taken time to make a comment on your post. After all, as I’ve written many times on this blog, and many of you have written on your blogs, what’s the point in accepting comments if you’re never going to respond to anybody? If you’re going to do that you might as well just turn off comments, become Seth Godin, and move on with your life.

It’s not just blogging that sometimes leaves me feeling ignored. There many times on Twitter where I reach out to both people I know and people I don’t know and comment on some of the things they share. Most of the time you never hear anything back from those people, which once again leaves me wondering why I’m even bothering to try. At this point I pretty much know that almost nobody who’s using Twitter on a consistent basis is going to the website to post their comments or to read posts from other people. Everybody is using some kind of platform to check out their Twitter messages, which means pretty much everyone has created some kind of filter so that they see messages from people who write comments to them. If they haven’t done that then they’re idiots, and I doubt that people who are participating a lot on Twitter are idiots.

In my mind, people who do the two things I mentioned above are missing the point of social media networking. They don’t call it social “seminaring” or social “sharing whatever I have to say because I’m important and you’re not”. If they did then the word “social” wouldn’t be a part of it at all. I don’t like it when it’s people I don’t know, and I certainly don’t like it when it’s people I do know. There are a few people I have eliminated from my Twitter stream because I felt ignored, even if I’ve talked to them in the past. I don’t expect people to respond to everything I say to them, because sometimes there’s just nothing to say in response to a previous message. But I do expect some give and take every once in a while, and if I’m the only one giving then I’m getting out.

The one thing almost everyone knows if they visit this blog is that I’m going to respond to their comments as long as they’re more than one line. Of course, if we’re doing a back and forth at some point one of us has to end, and it could be me. Beyond that, I get to everybody at some point, and even if I don’t always respond to your comments, I always respond to a comment made by a new visitor, in hopes that they will return again and again. If anybody ever feels ignored by comments they leave on this blog, just let me know; but I don’t see it happening.

Are you feeling ignored by some of the blogs you visit? Are you taking care not to ignore people who visit your blog?

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