What is Social Media?

13 02 2010

The internet and coffee

Imagine going to your favorite coffee shop by yourself, like the one I’m in right now, The Tahoe House (www.tahoe-house.com) in Tahoe City, CA.  ( I highly recommend it for the food and the atmosphere.)  You know what it’s like when you get there at that perfect time when it’s really quiet and you can get your favorite table?  You coffee house junkies know what I mean.  You sit down with your favorite beverage and pull out your book or computer and settle in for who knows how long.  As you sit there you see people come and go as the place fills up and becomes a buzz of background noise.  You love the energy of all those people and yet your still all by yourself, alone in your own little world, oblivious to everyone around you.  And then it happens, you hear someone say something that perks your ear and all of a sudden you become aware of there conversation and all of the conversations around you.  A dozen or more tables, all with their own conversations.  One is about work, one is about love and one is about skiing for the day.  Across the room is a father and daughter having a snack while talking about little girl stuff and next to them are a couple of people doing scrap-booking.  That is what social media is like.

Social Media is a bunch of individual conversations happening all around you but online and not in a single building.  Just like in your favorite coffee shop.  There are over 150 million individual conversations happening on the web right now and it is growing every day.  Some are happening on Twitter and some on Face Book but these are only a few of the places that online conversations are happening.  So the next time your in your favorite coffee shop notice how many different conversations are around you and remember how that is a small reflection of social media today.

I’d love to hear if this helps you have a better picture of what social media is and what your favorite online place is to have a conversation.

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Online content is like fine wine

3 01 2010

What do wine, marketing and social media have in common? The quality and value of the content does not come overnight but improves with time if the original ingrediants were quality also.

Think about it…





Divine Business

29 08 2009

The Divine Business model is made up of three parts:

  1. The ultimate goal for all of us is to have work that feeds us physically, mentally and spiritually.
  2. Our work should let us contribute to our community and meet our needs by either using our gifts, talents and skills or doing things that help us grow in those areas.
  3. The ultimate Business success is both profitable and fulfilling by employing people that primarily work in the areas of their gifts, talents and skills.

The premises behind the Divine Business Model are:

  • God created us
  • God created work
  • There are two kinds of work labor and toil
  • Labor is good
  • Toil is Bad
  • God gave each one of us a unique set of talents and gifts that ultimately complement each other.
  • We have the opportunity to develop skills that work with our gifts and talents.
  • Business is an honor that lets us meet our own needs by meeting someone else’s needs.
  • Labor is work that lets us contribute to our community and gives us satisfaction.

In the Divine Business model we would all be doing those things that we are gifted and talented at as well as things that complement and build up those natural abilities.

What would life be like if we all had an opportunity to have a job that let us use our gifts talents and skills to make a living and contribute to our community.

This seems to me like the Divine Business.





The Bible Believes in Profit and Can Help Your Business

26 04 2009
faith-blocksFaith is a huge part of many people’s lives and it is an integral part of business and I’m not just talking about “Hoping” business goes well.  So, here comes my confession, I’m a Christian and I believe that God and the Bible are Pro Business and Pro Us.  I also believe the bible is full of instruction for business and success.  So if you want to know the connection between business, profit and God read on.  If you don’t then ignore this blog entry and just go on to the other entries on business but realize that if you get any benefit from them then you are benefiting from Gods wisdom in scripture and in life. 

 There are many ways to make a profit and earn an income and God talked about them in the bible.  Some of the pieces of truth about business are in plain site and some are hidden in the bible.  I’m not saying they are like codes but they are not laid out in scripture in a linear fashion.  If you search for them they will be found over time but like anything in business, it takes hard work. 

The principles in scripture I have seen that are helpful to me and my business are:

  • All business is about serving peoples needs
  • If you have a service or product others need you don’t hide it you tell people
  • Labor not Toil
  • Strive to Rest
  • True Rest comes from God
  • Vision is really important
  • Do what you are made for
  • Giving is a key to success
  • Success is where Profit, Purpose and Contribution cross
  • Diversification is important
  • Since the spirit of God lives in me I have access to the creativity of God
  • Wealth is a result of wisdom
  • Perseverance is a core trait
  • God wants us to make money so much he commands us to do it
  • And many, many more…

 If you learn the truth of business in the bible and put it into action you will have the best chance of anyone else on the planet to succeed in business but there will always be one thing missing.  There will always be something missing because a successful business and all that it brings is not the goal.  The “Goal” of success in business is to be:

  • Evidence of the truth of God – If you do what God says is good and it is good then that proves he’s correct.
  • Used to meet your needs
  • Used to help the poor
  • Used to extend the reaches of goodness
  • An example of how people can thrive
  • Used to help other

 And ultimately it is meant to be evidence of God and how much he loves us.  God is in a good mood; he loves us and wants us to live out our destiny.  Do you want to enjoy your business to the fullest?  Then I suggest you learn from God and the bible about everything he says on the topic of success.





The Gap between Vision, Strategy and Tactics

1 03 2009

sf-map

A Gap is what happens when people forget to bring together and include vital parts of the whole.  Companies get gaps when they fail to recognize and integrate key parts of running their organizations.  This can happen with Vision, Strategy and Tactics.

Imagine you are taking a trip. Vision is the action of dreaming so clearly that you know exactly where you’re going, say San Fransisco, and recognize it clearly when you get there.  Strategy plans out the big picture of how you want to get there, which highways and which bridges, and tactics deal with the actual process of getting to the destination, driving, potty breaks and getting gas.  These three activities must work together for a company to live out its greatest potential and get to the final destination in a timely manner and yet are rarely used together, but why?  I believe that there are three reasons for this. 

The first is that Vision, Strategy and Tactical are extremely different from each other and most people gravitate towards one style or the other.  Since people start companies and typically hire similar people around them that think like they do you get a company that leans primarily to one style. 

The second reason is that learning to move back and forth between Vision, Strategy and Tactics is difficult.  It requires learned skills and a lot of work.  It also helps if you understand the purpose and language of all three types.

The Third reason is that most people understand the complexities of the way they think but believe that there isn’t much to the other two.  In reality, all three are complex and sophisticated in there own right.  One of the biggest mistakes to avoid is to over simplify a process.  We also simplify the consequences.  It either works or it doesn’t, we say.  We believe that if we do a little vision or a little strategy then we have accomplished all we need.

The Questions:

What type of person do you tend to be?   Most people are gifted towards one of the three, are you?  Finally, what are your GAPS in this area and what will you do to strengthen them?





Keep your head in the clouds but…

1 03 2009

istock_000003187407xsmallAll my life I have had a natural tendency to dream about the future, about what could be.  I also like to strategize about what it would take to get there and most of my life growing up I was told to get my head out of the clouds and get to work.  It happened in school, at home and as a teen it even happened at work.  Now I know this sounds bad and maybe you can here the, “Poor is me” fiddle playing but it’s not.  The truth was that I didn’t perform well as a kid growing up.  I didn’t get my homework done, I didn’t get my chores done and I didn’t always do well at my job early in life, unless it meant talking to people.  That was always something I had no trouble in producing.

The problem was that well meaning people around me tried to motivate me to be productive and do what I needed to do by inferring that my dreaming and planning wasn’t productive or valuable.  They didn’t see the benefit to what was going on in my head and consequently neither did I. 

While I was maturing in life I was naturally drawn to dreaming and building things.  It was a hobby, an outlet and often a distraction.  I continued to here the message, “get your head out of the clouds and get your feet on the ground” until I was about 30 years old when a friend heard someone say it to me and stopped us all dead in our tracks.

What he said to me that day is at the core of who I am and how I look at the world, “Keep your head in the clouds but keep your feet on the ground.”  That’s right, it seems like a paradox but that paradox gave me a since of freedom that day but I didn’t understand how to make it happen.  I just knew that it was important and that was the day I was introduced to the idea that BOTH dreaming and the practical are both valuable. Today I have learned that I can see from the vantage point of the clouds while getting things done on the ground.

Do you know the importance of both?  Can you hold this paradox?





The art of the paradox

28 02 2009

istock_000003986459xsmall3How can two things that appear to be opposites or at least apposed both be true?  I don’t know… but when they are we call it a paradox and if you want to be successful in business and in life you need to be able to live with Paradox’s. 

 

 

We see Paradoxes all around us, here are a few examples:

  • Grace and Truth
  • Free will and Destiny
  • Old ideas and new ideas

A paradox is something that really troubles us.  We look at it and say, “They both can’t be true”, but they are.  The most common problem we find ourselves in is we think we have to choose between two concepts and many times we don’t.  It’s not “either” but “both”.  The mother is being kind when she disciplines her child for doing something wrong but the child doesn’t think so.  To an adult discipline and kindness can both be true but the child says it’s either one or the other.  You’re either being kind or you’re disciplining me.

When the Tech Boom happened in the late 90’s everyone was saying that the OLD Business Rules were gone and the New Business Rules were here, Either/Or.  Then the Tech Crash Happened and the business world said that the old business rules still worked and Tech companies were bad.  Well business is business and we still must create customers and innovate, bring in more money than we spend, etc.  We still have business rules that are really old but we have new expressions of business that are definitely new.

So here is why I think it is important.  If you don’t know how to hold a paradox then you can get swept away and tossed from here to there in your business because the crowed is changing there mind every few moments.  If you can hold a paradox then maybe the waves won’t get you.

Can you hold a Paradox and do you understand the value?