Fleeting Thoughts on Snapchat

Snapchat recently went public and had one of the biggest IPOs in years. Assuming that you’re not very familiar with Snapchat, there are a few things to know.

People (especially teenagers) like Snapchat because, if photos are going to exist only briefly, they need not be as carefully composed (AKA “faked”) as with Instagram or Facebook. As such, sharing on Snapchat is more honest, more like real life.

Like Twitter, Snapchat allows one to share whatever’s on one’s mind. Unlike Twitter, which is text-based with photos bolted on, Snapchat is photo-based, with an option for a bit of text.


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Why Your Business Needs the Cloud!

These days, people are constantly talking about “the cloud”, as in cloud computing. It turns out that a lot people don’t understand what the cloud is or why it’s important. I first realized this a few months when I saw a surprising stat and I was prepared to make up my own number to share here because I couldn’t remember the source. That’s how you do it these days. But instead, I Googled the phrase: “% of people who think weather impedes the cloud,” and got the answer. Helpfully, Citrix had already made up a number for us.


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Accelerating Learning in Your Organization

As Peter Senge once observed, “The only sustainable competitive advantage is an organization’s ability to learn faster than the competition.” If this is true, then you can’t find a more valuable free tool than Google Alerts.

With Google Alerts, you can specify a word or phrase for Google to monitor; whenever they see it, they send you an email with a link to the source. Unlike with a Google search, once established an alert brings you breaking news and continues to run forever, or so we thought.

Think about the value of Google alerting you to what your competitors just announced.


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What the World Says About You

LinkedIn will soon celebrate its 14th birthday. It now has roughly half a billion users, a quarter of whom are in the United States. Every second, two more professionals join LinkedIn. So what’s up with all these people suddenly endorsing your skills?

I’m not talking about the “Recommendations.” LinkedIn has had that feature since the early days and it’s rarely used, except when someone’s looking for a job and asks someone else to write a recommendation for them.

No, I’m talking about the “Skills Endorsements” added more recently. It seems as if every day someone new is endorsing me (and probably you).


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3 Rules for Using Social Media in Business

Have you ever noticed that eight of the ten Commandments (80%) are things not to do? Thou shalt not…

Just two of the Commandments are affirma­tives. In keeping with roughly that same ratio, to go with the ten don’ts of my earlier post, I offer three affirm­ative rules for using social media in business:

  • Social media is like a cocktail party. What works or doesn’t work in one of these venues applies equally in the other. Good cocktail party behaviors include: Asking questions, actively listening, engaging in conversa­tions and building relationships.


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10 Things Not To Do in Social Media

“Social” is not your father’s marketing. When participating in social media and social networking in business, here are 10 basic rules about what not to do:

  1. Don’t get started in social media if you have significant product deficiencies, customer support problems, or even corporate culture issues. Social media makes good businesses more successful and bad businesses bankrupt.
  2. Don’t use social media to explicitly sell. Instead, educate, enlighten, inform, and entertain your audience. In so doing, you’ll position yourself and your company as experts.
  3. Don’t “set it and forget it.” Lack of conversation makes you look worse than not showing up at all.


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Social Media Strategy for Business: 3 Key Points

After leaving TalkShoe.com in 2009 (a live podcasting service that I started in 2005), I decided to write a book about how small and medium-size businesses can most effectively use social media and social networking tools to achieve their goals. That book is called “How Can I Capitalize on Social Media When My Kid Has to Program My DVR – A Busy Executive’s Guide to New Tools No Business Can Afford to Ignore.”

Image: Not Social Media

Thinking back about that book as I begin writing another one, here are the 3 most important things you need to know about “social:”

  1. It’s not about you;


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Remember to Appreciate Our (Almost Always) Open Internet Access

I read this morning that Marriott was fined $600,000 for blocking Internet access. Hooray! Click here to read about it. But it got me wondering how much China would owe.

As I write this, I’m on one of the fastest trains on the planet, moving at exactly 304 km/h (over 185 mph) between Shanghai and Beijing. Indeed, I’m on a two-week journey through China. My brother’s here on a two-year rotation as part of his job.

China is an amazing country, full of amazing sights, and amazing people. But there’s one thing here that’s amazing in a different way … and it’s a reminder to us in the United States (and many other places) to be truly appreciative of the Internet as we know it,


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RSS Dashboards

An RSS dashboard is a great way to organize and view your RSS subscriptions (blog feeds and the like). My favorite RSS dashboard was iGoogle (immediately below), but that was retired in 2013. Scroll down this page to see some of my new favorites, including igHome.


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The Reality of Social Media

Have you ever seen the cartoon that might best be titled “What the customer needed?” After much Googling, as far as I can tell it first appeared here (a site now defunct). I’d really like to use this image with official permission (if it’s copyrighted), so if you’re the owner/creator, please let me know and we’ll talk terms. That stipulated, here’s the cartoon:

As you might guess, I’m the “business consultant” portrayed in the fifth panel of this cartoon. If you’ve been reading for years, you know that my blog has described some of the biggest successes,


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