Your Online Identity is as Permanent as a Tattoo

The digital age is here and technology is increasingly finding new ways to improve, measure, and interact with our lives.  Can you remember what it was like to organize an event without Facebook?  Can you remember what it was like to mail real photos to your grandmother in the mail instead of online?  It gets harder and harder everyday.

The digital world is keeping track of us.  Facebook has admitted to tracking your browser history even when you are not logged into Facebook.  Google indexes every tweet, every public Facebook post and every photo it can find of you.  Yahoo!, AOL, and your ISP are all joining in.

Have you ever thought about what it take to delete that awkward photo of you taken at a party one night which a friend put on Facebook?  How about that not so nice tweet you accidentally said your mind in about your boss?  What we post online is as permanent as a tattoo.  Check out the TED Talk below for more:

Collaboration, Do You Have It?

Collaboration.  It is a powerful word.

Cities are built on Collaboration.

Business rely on Collaboration.

The future of your career depends on Collaboration.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”, some of the most intelligent people go untapped because of their isolation.  It seems the truly successful outliers were well connected with those that helped them take the steps toward world success. They had collaboration.

Collaboration is what you need to use to do anything large successfully.  Afterall, two heads are better than one.

If you don’t use it, you will find yourself in very different circumstances.

I think I will make that phone call to a friend that had a great idea to help our community.

How about you?  How are you going to collaborate today?

Being Genius

Being genuis is not hard.

Being genius takes patience.

Being genius does not make you better than anyone.

Being genius requires you to listen, and listen well.

Being genius needs great communication.

Being genius is not what you are, but what you do.

Being genius means you do it just a little bit differently.

Being genius can be you!

Between the Brick Wall & the Cliff

You look up and see brick. You look left and then right, but can only see brick. You realize that you are standing in front of a brick wall so large, that its edges can’t be seen.

You look down and see blackness. You are standing on the edge of a cliff with an unknown bottom. Looking behind you, you see blackness as well. Your heart rate picks up speed. You are standing on a block… a block of emptiness.

You are in that area where creativity, inspiration, and thoughts are a black hole. You are unable to complete a thought nor are you able to comprehend.

To move from this spot, you realize you must find something that you already have to find your way down the cliff, over the wall, or around the wall. But, your pockets are empty and the light is fading…

Your mind races with panic, your eyes blink and twitch faster by the second as you think through the situation.

Then, you see a slight light above you. You found an idea by reflecting on your day…

The light gets brighter as you begin to correlate the meaning of the day’s events and start building a pattern of significance.

“Eureka,” your mind shouts as you realize you have a topic for your next post.

Suddenly, the light illuminates a staircase that descends the cliff to a tranquil pond, a bridge and then an elevator to the far side of the brick wall.

As you build your post, connect the thoughts and discover the meaning, the beginning and the end, the far side of the brick is such a beautiful, sunny place.

You look back in bewilderment as you realize the panic was unneeded, that meaning was always there and that spot between the brick wall and the cliff, really isn’t such a bad place after all.

Need Intelligent Software

Today on Seth Godin’s blog, Seth posted a bit of a rant titled The End of Dumb Software. Seth brings up some great points about access Notes and the logic behind 2 am meetings.   Perhaps it has become time for software to be a little more intelligent and user friendly.  I am surprised that a company like Apple has not already given intelligent software with logic.

Building Confidence in Your Customers

One of the most important qualities to companies is that their customer have confidence in their product.  So, how do you build confidence in your customers?  Simple, honest, heart-felt interaction.

Selling
When you interact with a customer, whether it is online, via email or phone, remember that you are NOT selling a product.  You are selling a relationship built of trust from human to human.  Discussing the customer’s needs and your product’s abilities in common terms is the best way to the customer’s heart. Throwing in some simple compliments too won’t hurt.  Even if the customer does not buy, you still want them to walk away with warm fuzzy feelings that you helped them

CRM
Remember, customers are human and do not like unexpected occurrences. Communicate with your customers frequently regarding product upgrades, changes, service windows, and even outages.  No one likes being left in the dark.  Look at it as an opportunity to have fun and communicate in creative ways. When something goes wrong, be creative with your apology. Heck, who can get angry at Twitter’s whale or Cox’s Digi. The more effort you take to talk to the customer and inform them, the more they know you care and that is confidence inspiring!

Retention
Let your customers go, but be sad about it. Holding a customer hostage is not going to help them or your business. Allowing your customers to leave when they want, opens up the front door and builds their confidence.  No one will buy a car that they are going to be stuck with.   When they cancel for reasons within your control, listen, listen, listen. While you lost them now, making it clear that you heard them loud and clear during cancellation gives them confidence in returning later.  Let them leave on a heart-felt, positive conversation.

By following some simple rules, you can build an overwhelming amount of confidence in your customers.  So much so, referrals may some drive more business than your outbound marketing campaigns.  If so, this is the best compliment a business can have… you know your customers are confident in your business, interactions, and product.

YouTube Is For More Than Laughs

When I saw this article by Medical News Today, I did a classic double take of the headline:

Clues To Brain Injury Symptom From YouTube Videos

When I talk about patterns and collecting data, finding new, cheap, and creative sources of data is often what separates the truly remarkable from the ordinary research projects.   Conducting brain injury sympton research via YouTube’s “funny” videos is certain a cheap and creative way to help save someone from sustaining further injuries:

Their findings could have immediate value in helping coaches make educated, objective decisions about whether to return an athlete to play after a blow to the head.”

You can read the rest of the article at the headline above.

This is further proof that social media has a growing value, not just in terms of marketing, sales and collaboration, but in helping our society make smarter decisions.  Since patterns, creativity, inspiration and data are four of my lenses, I might start taking another look at Twitter; not as a marketing tool, but as a resource for learning more about human behavior patterns.

Cheers!