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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Vistage CE 676 Members Pay Their Fines Online

Vistage CE 676 members believe that the entire group benefits from all members’  consistent participation. As such we strive to attend every meeting possible. When we fail to manage our schedules perfectly (or make a judgement call about other priorities) we pay up. Funds are used at the annual retreat to enhance the experience!

Order Online

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Staying On Top While Avoiding Information Overload

We live in a world of accelerating change. Ray Kurzweil, the respected futurist, predicts that by 2045, we’ll experience a 1,000,000,000-fold increase in what he calls “human-machine knowledge” relative to 2010. That’s hard to conceptualize but looked at another way, the amount of information we’re dealing with today represents barely 0.0000001% of what we’ll have to handle in that future. What a quaint, simple world we inhabit today!

Even so, I’m often asked, “Dave, what’s your secret to keeping up in market segments changing as fast as social media and mobile technology?” Actually, isn’t this a challenge in virtually every industry,

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#Tags… They’re It!

There’s a powerful, new way to organize the information in your professional and personal life. It called tagging. It’s a radical departure from using hierarchical folders… within folders… within folders… whether in electronic (on your computer) or physical (in your filing cabinet) form.

Have you noticed that when you save a Word doc, an Excel file, or a PowerPoint presentation, that you can now add tags? It’s on the same screen as the file name field when you “Save As”. It’s that important… or even more so.

Tags are also available in Yammer and Chatter (group texting services),

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Borrowing Your Competitors’ Web Strategies Best Parts

Half of all Internet traffic starts with a search. Are you curious what words and phrases (a.k.a. keywords) are generating traffic for your competitors? Do you wonder whether they’re using Google pay per click advertising, and if so, for what keywords? How many web visitors are they getting? How much are they spending?

Amazingly, you can get answers to each of these questions for free! The tool is called SEM means search engine marketing, and the information you’ll discover is definitely a rush.

At SEMrush, enter each competitor’s name and click the “Overview” tab.

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Converting Your Followers to Customers

I see many business people who engage in social media programs simply because others do. Further, they make no attempt to quantify the value of such initiatives and therefore tend to underinvest. In turn, social marketing brings few new customers to the company and in a self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s not worth investing more.

I maintain that measuring the costs and benefits of your social media programs (and more broadly, all of your digital marketing initiatives) is critical. With a calculation of the actual value, you’ll have a basis for deciding which initiatives merit increased or decreased investment going forward.

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Chasing the Hot New Service?

Every year, if not every week, it seems like another hot new social service hits the scene. After Facebook, it was Pinterest, and then Instagram, and now Vine. How do you decide which service(s) to use?

Remember that in business, and even more in social, it’s better to do one thing well rather than three things poorly. The goal is not to be everywhere. It’s to be fully engaged in the places that you choose to participate.

As such, there’s no need to chase after every hot new service,

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Social Media Template: 10 Steps to a Winning Plan

It’s not atypical for a company to decide to launch a Facebook page or begin Tweeting because they’ve seen others be successful in such campaigns. However, selecting your “tool” should actually be the sixth step in your process, not the first.

If you sell B2B (business to business), just look at your B2B competitors and their misguided efforts to employ Facebook and Twitter. Someone in their Marketing department may have heard that these services are hot (and indeed, both are among the top 10 most trafficked websites on the planet, but dominated by business-to-consumer (B2C), media/press, and personal applications) and followed like lemmings.

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A New Tool for Professional Speakers

I usually write my posts for business people. This piece is targeted more narrowly at just professional speakers, or anyone in front of an audience who wants to easily capture the names and email addresses of attendees (on a consensual basis, of course).

The tool is called Go there now, ideally using your smartphone (for the typical experience) and enter my keyword “social” (without quotes).

You’ll be prompted for your name (optional) and email address (mandatory). Once you provide this information, you’ll get a screen to download my social media for business handout and/or watch any of my 23 social media for business video segments… for free.

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