Wednesday, 1 December 2010

This is a blog post

I'm just writing it to show how easy it is to do a blog post. I should have really thought of something smarter to say. Anyway, thanks for reading. 

Also, a picture of lichen. Good luck.

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

How to measure social media - notes from last night's #smcakl presentation

Hi, it's Simon Young here. Thanks to those of you who came to the last Social Media Club Auckland for 2010. Great to see some familiar faces and some brand new people.

As promised, here are the notes and links from my presentation, "How to measure social media"

Useless measurements

  • Number of followers. See Cate's post for a few great explanations why.
  • Number of updates. (And yet people get so uptight about this when Twitter gets it wrong!) 

Important measurements

  • If you're in a business or organisation, return on investment. Money in, money out. (Best explanation I've seen is Olivier Blanchard's slideshow)
  • Technology purchases used to be about buying a piece of software, and then everything was (supposed to be) easy. 
  • Social media is the opposite - the technology is free, it's the other 3 T's you need to think about:
    • Talent
    • Training
    • Time

Let's back up...

Measuring the direct line between "money in" (ie talent, training and time) and "money out" (the specific business objectives/KPIs you had in mind) is hard! Thankfully there are some measures that can help indicate where the value is happening. I've chosen 5:

  1. Risk management
  2. Demonstrating brand values
  3. Traditional Customer Service Metrics
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Currency

Risk Management

Hard to come up with a dollar figure, but just asking the question "What's the cost of doing nothing?" is a great start to get us out of our ruts.

Demonstrating Brand Values

According to the Gallup Staff Engagement Survey 2009, disengaged employees cost US businesses US$416 billion in lost productivity

How do you combat that? A whole bunch of ways, but one of the biggest ways is for the company to demonstrate (not just say) what it's about.

For example, AMP's Do Your Thing campaign - as seen in my column in the latest NZ Marketing Magazine, page 71 - and it's not online (yet) so you'll have to go buy a copy :) 

Traditional Customer Service Metrics

The trouble with social media sometimes is that it's too different for companies. But how can it fit into existing structures, like a call centre? That's the approach Auckland-based Datasquirt has taken with its product CONTACT Social (disclosure: I have a referral agreement with Datasquirt, because I believe their product fills a need in the market). 

They have the typical measures you'd find in a call centre: handle time, wait time, and who are the best performers. Those are the kind of measures you can tie to profitability and cost savings. 


It sounds like a warm fuzzy thing, but UK-based Harding and Yorke have shown a direct relationship between empathy and profitability. More info here.

Empathy is even more important on social media, because there's no body language or tone of voice. And those of us who use social media personally know that empathy is a huge part of our social connections online. 

Social Capital

Erich Joachimsthaler wrote the book on how to value a brand, now he sees a lot of potential in the concept of social capital

In a nutshell, social capital is how much a brand can be part of a consumer's everyday life. Instead of standing up on stage talking at you, a brand with high social capital is part of your everyday. 



These 5 factors are only a few ways social media can add real value to an organisation or business. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on how else value can be realised through social media engagement.

Posted via email from socialmediaclub's posterous

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Apologies for the multiple postings

Yesterday I posted the same photo approximately 12 times! Yikes! Sorry about that, it's to do with the intricate content plumbing that I have set up with my Twitter and Posterous accounts. Twitter said it wasn't posting my picture, but meantime every time I tried to post, it was successfully publishing to Posterous - and here. And a lot of other places! Ah, live and learn.

I'm going to unplug posterous from here. No use duplicating exactly the same content, and in fact Google could penalise me for it. I'm still working out the different roles each blog should play, the fun problems of someone who likes to try things.

Friday, 22 October 2010

I like my glasses

This is my second week of four-eyedness. My drivers license renewal was a reason to do what I'd needed for probably years. It's a little weird and I got headaches the first week or so, but I'm quickly getting used to it. And the benefits are great, like:

* I don't need an HD tv, just seeing it clearly is good enough!
* I can see people I know on the street (you know, to either greet or avoid ;)

weird thing is, I forget that these aren't sunglasses and that people can see my eyes. When I go walking I tend to really make eye contact with people I pass by, which doesn't really matter with sunnies. But with glasses - it's a bit awkward at first, but y'know what, I think it's pretty cool! What's your glasses story?

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Fab thing about the Kindle is the screen savers. Make me feel all intelligent and well-read by association

Will is pretty powerful (who's Will?)

Okay, so Will is not a person, it's a character trait.

In Jim Collins' book Good to Great he talks about the level 5 leader, someone who shows a perfect balance of humility and iron will. 

Abraham Lincoln is a good example. He was humble - when things went well, he assumed he was lucky. When things didn't go well, he took responsibility. 

But he also had a strong will to see things change. He had an agenda that was bigger than him, and he served it - and persuaded others to do so as well.

I've pretty much got humility covered (I'm one of the most humble people I know ... yeah, I know how that sounds...) but I could do better in the will department.

Maybe I need to get in touch with my roots. My mother tells me I wasn't a passive child. Temper tantrums! On at least one occasion I needed hosing down. (If you know me, you may be surprised at this)

What I do know is that when I'm decisive, I'm happier. This is borne out by the research. In Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman talks about flow, saying we experience it when we're active and goal-oriented, such as working or playing.

From the book:

"Americans surprisingly have considerably more flow at work than in leisure time. In one study of 824 American teenagers, Mike (Csikszentmihalyi) dissected free time into its active versus passive components. Games and hobbies are active and produce flow 39 percent of the time, and produce the negative emotion of apathy 17 percent of the time. Watching television and listening to music, in contrast, are passive and produce flow only 14 percent of the time while producing apathy 37 percent of the time. The mood state Americans are in, on average, when watching television is mildly depressed."

Woah. I wonder if that's different for appointment viewing or DVDs, because I get a great deal of flow from a good movie or TV drama... 

But I digress. 

Pursuing strong will, if you're like me and can be a bit too "go with the flow" at times, is likely to not only make you more effective - but also happier. I've been consciously going in this direction; it works. 

(A note on the photo: I actually found this when searching Flickr for "tortoise". It's worth reading the description on the original photo page)

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Coolest people at #marieworkshops

We have cool people here. A lot of synergies and crossovers too!

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Great idea. A bit mystifying on the iPhone

Wise words on selling from Michael Hill

"...let the customers know you have noticed them and are attentive and interested - but never make them feel like you only care about them because they might buy something.

Selling is a human business. Our customers will only feel good about buying from us if they like the feeling they get in the store - and that means the relationship has to be about more than just commerce."

Michael Hill, in his book Toughen Up

Truer words were never spoken, about sales online or off

Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Simon's posterous

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Improvisation in leadership: More than just making stuff up!

Business - and life - no longer has a script. Leaders must be able to adapt to life as it happens, not as they had planned.

That's why the first key skill of ragtag leadership is improvisation

There are two sides to improv: performance and engineering. Performance improv is what we're used to seeing on Who's Line Is It Anyway, where actors and comedians have to respond to challenges on the spot. Engineering improv is what we see in the typical kiwi number 8 wire mentality, where you use what you've got to make what you need.

The myth of improv is that it's made up on the spot. In a way, improv takes more preparation than reading a script.

You can rely on a script. With improv, you rely on yourself - and the environment and people around you. Performance improv takes a special kind of attitude, one of trust, one of acknowledging the worst that can happen and ensuring things go in a different direction. 

What kind of prep do you need for improv? 
  • Knowledge. Know as much as you can about the area you'll be facing, and keep an open mind to new sources of information.
  • Curiosity. You'll never know all that you need to know, so keep an open, childlike, curious mind. 
  • Bouncy. Don't get bogged down by failure, real or apparent. Bounce. Keep moving. The language of improv theatre talks about accepting offers that others give you. Accept offers from life and keep things moving.
Some other great resources on improv:
And here's our fearless Captain Mal doing some improv of his own, from the movie Serenity:

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Monday, 30 August 2010

When to be consultative and when to be a boss

When we talk about management models, we often get stuck.

Management (or leadership) models are like gears, we switch to the one that's appropriate for the circumstances (as we touched on in the last post).

Keith Grint touches on this in his work on "Problems, Problems, Problems". Thanks to Angus Blair for letting me know about Grint's work.

In a nutshell, Grint says we have three kinds of problems:
  1. Critical problems, where a commander is needed.
  2. Tame problems, where a manager is needed
  3. Wicked problems, where leadership is needed
To unpack those further, 

A critical problem was 9/11. Lives needed saving. Decisions needed to be made, fast. Hierarchy became important. We see this on both starships, the Enterprise and the Serenity. 

A tame problem is a puzzle that has a solution, but it's complicated (as opposed to complex). For example, moving office or launching a new product. It needs the skills of someone who can make things happen.

A wicked problem is climate change and/or ongoing terrorist threat. These kind of problems can't be dealt with using command or management, it must start by finding the appropriate question and asking it, and knowing that you don't know the "right answer".

A recent IBM study of CEOs shows that complexity is increasing (and ability to cope with complexity is still low). We need a new kind of leadership more than ever.

In the next post, we'll look at the specific qualities of ragtag leadership, starting with improvisation

Meantime, I'd love your feedback. On track? Relevant? Not?

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Friday, 20 August 2010

A clarification: Don't be exactly like Captain Mal

I feel it's important to point out that the Firefly analogy is not so much about Captain Mal's personality as much as the structure of the Firefly crew, and the kind of leadership.

As for Captain Mal's personality, he is and always will be a soldier, and therefore a uniform-wearer and order giver, despite a veneer of pragmatism and humour. 

But the circumstances determine the kind of leader Mal has to be - one who has to tap into the different motivations of each crew member.

There's a great example of this approach in the episode "Out of Gas", when we see how Jayne Cobb became part of the crew. 

The scene starts with Jayne and his boss pointing guns at Mal and first officer Zoe's head. With his hands still in the air, Mal makes Jayne question whether he's getting the best deal ... from a position of powerlessness he persuades Jayne that life aboard Serenity will be more lucrative - and just like that, Jayne changes sides.

That's extrinsic motivation, and for some people (like Jayne), and some jobs (like petty crime), money can be a powerful motivator. But for most people, and increasingly for most jobs, intrinsic motivation is far more powerful. 

In the book Drive, Dan Pink explains the scientific research that shows us humans are far more about autonomy, mastery and purpose than cold hard cash. And Captain Mal is pretty good when it comes to offering his crew those things in an intertwining dance.

He offers autonomy on a big picture scale - while they're on board Serenity, they're free from government intervention and control, which is important to some degree for everyone. However, they're also under Mal's command, which most times is just shiny, but it becomes important when there's trouble. 

That's where mastery and purpose come in. All the crew members are already good at something in particular (piloting, engineering, doctoring, troubleshooting, etc.), and they have an opportunity every day to do their job autonomously. 

We usually think of purpose as big and important (and that's what the follow up movie Serenity was about) but sometimes a crisis provides an instant and urgent purpose in miniature. That's when it becomes okay to be a bit more military, a bit more hierarchical.

More on this next time! Meanwhile, Mal explains the first rule of flying. I like this as a rule for life:

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Sci-fi management models #2: Firefly

Thanks to Adrian for his feedback on the last post, including the fact that it was too long. This next one would've been longer, so I'll break it up over a few key thoughts.

Firefly and 21st century management

Although it was sadly cut short after just one season, Firefly has a lot to teach us about organisations of the future.

Unlike Star Trek, everyone is on Firefly for a different reason. For some, it's to get from A to B. For others, it's a place to hide out from the authorities. For others still, it's part of their business.

And at the head of it all is Captain Malcolm Reynolds, someone who, it seems, always has options. He doesn't seem particularly noble or good, just smart. And yet, over the course of the series, he inspires great loyalty from his shipmates. He is most definitely the captain, but not always in a Star Trek sense. The others look up to him, and they also expect a lot of him.

He, meanwhile, expects a lot from everyone. Everyone's a paying passenger, and everyone has different arrangements.

It's a scenario not uncommon for a small business startup. But it's also a scenario playing out for the world's largest corporations. Turns out the flexibility afforded by Firefly-style arrangements can be very helpful to a business in fast-changing times. Also, it never hurts to look at what every party wants out of an arrangement. We can no longer assume that people just want to wear the uniform and serve the cause. 

(To be continued... your thoughts and comments welcome!)

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Sci-fi management models #1: Star Trek

(This is a draft version of the first chapter of Ragtag Leadership. It's a work in progress and I would LOVE your feedback, negative or positive)

"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based. And if you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!" 
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, in the episode The First Duty

When I used to watch Star Trek as a kid, I wondered why everyone in the future wore the same kind of clothes. I didn't realise it was speaking about an organisation with a uniform. Star Trek has a lot to do with the uniform, with being part of something.

The Star Trek crew speak the same language, because they've been through the same training. Their goals and mission are clear: to seek out new life, new civilisations. Their parameters are clear: the prime directive guides their behaviour (except the odd occasion where circumstances dictate otherwise).

There's a clear chain of command, even when a merger takes place (as in Voyager), or when working in a joint venture (as in Deep Space Nine).

Everyone's cross-trained. When consoles blow up in Chekov's face (as happens with astounding regularity), Uhura is always able to take the conn while he goes to sickbay. And so on.

The fact that so many people on present-day Earth want to wear this uniform is tribute to the culture that Starfleet, this imaginary organisation, has created. 

Want proof? See the documentary Trekkies, which delves into the culture of Star Trek fandom, from conventions to fan fiction to one woman insisting on wearing her uniform to jury duty. While others thought it was a bit of a joke, she was serious about the values that uniform stood for. (Full marks for courage!)

What's it really about?

And yet, Star Trek is not all about sticking to company procedures. Star Trek has always been about deep space exploration, where the buck really does stop at the captain's chair, even though there are officers higher than him or her back at starbase. The best person to make a decision is the person closest to the action.

In fact, some of the most compelling episodes of Star Trek are those which contrast captains who've been through the same training, and deliver different results. In Equinox, a Star Trek:Voyager episode, Captain Janeway comes face to face with a captain who has cut ethical corners in order to survive. 

When she discovers what the other captain has done, she has little sympathy:

Captain Ransom: "It's easy to cling to your principles when you're standing on a vessel with its bulkheads intact, manned by a crew that's not starving."
Captain Janeway: "It's never easy, but if we turn our backs on our principles, we stop being human."

For Janeway, it's not so much a matter of Starfleet protocol as it is being human. When you're millions of light years away from home, being human is pretty important.

Variations on a theme

Over five different incarnations we've seen plenty of variations on the Starfleet management model. 

The original seriesStar Trek: The Next Generation and Enterprise showed us a Starfleet ship with a Starfleet crew, but Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showed us a joint venture (a Starfleet outpost near the planet Bajor, staffed by a mixture of Starfleet and Bajoran personnel) while Star Trek: Voyager showed a merger between the stranded Starfleet Voyager crew and the equally stranded outlaw maquis crew. 

Okay, that's two variations on a theme. But still, these series provided some great moments of truth when it came down to the true nature of leadership. It goes far beyond position and title (particularly when you're far from the rest of the chain of command) and relies a lot on your personal negotiation ability.

Of note: even though the Maquis in Star Trek: Voyager were outlaws, they had still been through the same Starfleet training as the rest of the Voyager crew. The Bajorans in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had not, and it's interesting to see how far Captain Sisko associated himself with the Bajoran cause rather than representing Starfleet. His personal dilemma was between representing and advocating Starfleet's interests, and serving the people of Bajor. In the end ... well, I won't spoil it for you if you've never watched it.

What's awesome about the Star Trek model

Strong shared values can set a team on fire, and cause them to do together what they could never do alone. Military groups know this, that's why they draw heavily on their history and traditions and shock recruits into identifying with each other rather than any other background. 

We also see it in the corporate world, with mixed results. Before the financial crisis and the scandal of early 2010, Goldman Sachs was admired for its strong culture. In a 2005 BusinessWeek article , Aaron Marcus, head of campus recruiting, describes the teamwork culture at Goldman Sachs:

"teamwork means taking a passionate interest in facilitating the success of other people with whom you work."

The 2007 book Meaning, Inc. praised the bank's "restrained, almost cerebral tone", where "excessive individualism is frowned upon". The book also identifies Goldman's strong sense of long-term success ("a view that doing the right thing and building strong, enduring relationships with clients works out in the end. 'Long-term greedy', they call this orientation.")

A strong culture also comes with a sense of history. Again according to Meaning, Inc., Goldman Sachs hired anthropologists to "dig into its history and unearth key themes".

What's worrying about the Star Trek model

For one thing, it's worrying that I'm referring to Goldman Sachs as a good example of the Star Trek model. Being in a tribe can lead you to do things you wouldn't do alone, and that can be bad as well as good. How many sins have been committed by people "just following orders". 

And this is an issue that's addressed in many Star Trek episodes and movies, case in point being Star Trek: Insurrection. In it, the Enterprise crew uncover corruption and must act outside of their Starfleet capacity to put things right. 

In a confrontation, the corrupt Starfleet Admiral Dougherty threatens Captain Jean-Luc Picard with court martial. His response: "If a court-martial is the only way to tell the Federation what is happening here, Admiral... I welcome it." 

It goes back to what that same Picard said at the beginning of this section: the first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth - not to comrades. 

And that's the challenge facing any tribal organisation with a strong culture: encouraging the individual courage to stand up against the system when the system is wrong.

Another worry about the Star Trek model is simply its unsuitability for early 21st century employment patterns. Gone are the days of lifelong tenure, or even 25-year stints at a single job. Now the average length of tenure for a marketing manager is under two years. In this environment, incentives and messages need to be different.

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Introduction: Business books are boring (why this book is about science fiction)

I'd welcome your comments, feedback, agreement, disagreement about the below:

Business books are boring because they're abstract. They present ideas and models that we just can't picture. 

Sci-fi, on the other hand, is generally not boring. It's exciting, it's full of drama, moral dilemmas and crazy situations.

And if you've been in business, you'll know if's also exciting, full of drama, moral dilemmas and crazy situations. Even if we're not "going where no one has gone before", we're often going where we haven't been before. Business is a journey of exploration - self-exploration as well as exploring the world.

So why not run them together? Watch most science fiction shows on TV, and you'll see that leadership and decision-making are the most important ingredients. 

Why sci-fi in particular? Because sci-fi takes us where ordinary drama can't. Non-sci-fi fans don't realise this but ultimately science fiction is all about us, not aliens or space. It's a way of putting humanity under the microscope and seeing what makes us tick.

We've identified two main leadership models from our favourite sci-fi shows, and a third alternative for those who work alone. It's not that one is right and the others are wrong, it's just that some models work better in the times we're in. 

We'll go over the benefits and pitfalls of each approach in future posts (and in the book!).

Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

My #ragtagleadership presentation at BarCamp (MP3)

Ragtag Leadership At Barcamp Auckland 2010 by Simon Young  
Download now or listen on posterous
RagTagBarCamp.mp3 (17138 KB)

It's been a while since I've been worked on the book, but I have been watching Firefly, and the brilliant finale of Doctor Who. Never an idle moment.

But finally I've edited the audio recording from my BarCamp presentation, and include it here with the slides. 

Highlights include:
  • My sound recorder cutting out periodically
  • People talking over each other (such enthusiasm!)
  • A premature finish (we had a little misunderstanding over timing, so keep listening after the applause)
  • Some great comments and feedback on the core idea, including:
  • What happens to a ragtag team when they have to answer to a higher authority (e.g. a board? Corporate leadership?)
  • What about Han Solo? He went from a sole trader/partnership to being a general in a much larger army. What lessons can we learn from him?
  • What makes leadership different from mere courage?
  • As I mentioned in the last post, the Doctor Who model seemed to get lost in the process, so I'll need to rethink how that gets introduced. Perhaps the core of the book is the comparison between the two key ideas of Star Trek vs Firefly. I think the consultant model (The Doctor) is still very important (not least because I fall into that category!)
  • Would love to hear your thoughts! Let's keep this discussion going.

    Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

    Wednesday, 21 July 2010


    Yum! Look what we got from @petalcupcakes

    BarCamp went very well

    I love it when things come about and they look like you carefully planned them. The debut of Ragtag Leadership at BarCamp Auckland was one of those times. 

    If you've never been to BarCamp, it's an unconference. Which means anyone can present, and a presentation is expected to be two-way - a discussion with the audience, not just a presentation at the audience. 

    I wondered if I was in the right room when I arrived and found the room filling up. I was ... and when I asked how many Firefly fans there were in the room, the hands shot up. My subtitle: "Why we need less Captain Kirk and more Captain Mal" struck a nerve. 

    We had a few projector troubles at first but that didn't prevent us getting underway... I explained that Ragtag Leadership is going to be a book but is currently a concept under development, and I'm looking to co-develop it with as many people as possible.

    I'm so glad I did. People loved the general concept - that we can learn more about leadership and management from science fiction than from abstract textbooks. A lot of nodding heads when I said most business books were boring.

    And people liked the contrast between the Star Trek model and the Firefly model. Doctor Who got somewhat lost, so I'll have to rethink that piece. 

    (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry, it'll all end up here on the blog - and in the eventual book)

    I did get some great push backs, like:
    • Firefly the situation represents ragtag leadership (empowering, improvised), but Captain Mal the character is didactic and arrogant in his leadership style. He gets by on charisma. I'm going to have to rewatch a few Firefly episodes while I think over that one.
    • Being ragtag is easy for a startup, but what about a business unit that in turn has to report to other business units. There's gold there. At the end of BarCamp I spoke with Rochelle, who told me about her previous boss who fiercely protected his business unit's independence and sense of identity, despite being part of a larger organisation. Rochelle told me she realised only after this boss had left what an awesome leader he was.
    And thanks to Haunani Pao who reminded me of one of the most important Ragtag Leadership factors that I'd completely forgotten about in putting together the slides: Captain Mal hires experts. Each one of the Firefly crew knows more about their job than Mal, and that's just fine. He never interferes in their specialty, he just leads and brings their skills together when needed. That's probably the most important part of Ragtag Leadership. And I nearly forgot it! So many thanks, Haunani.

    I recorded the session, and hope to edit it this weekend and upload it here. 

    Meantime, live long and prosper. Shiny.

    Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

    Monday, 19 July 2010

    Email is evil?

    We're at our two day online marketing and new media class/seminar/workshop thing ... and we're thinking...

    • is email relevant?
    • it's annoying
    • intrusive
    • time consuming
    • addictive
    • often poorly written with lots of seplling mistakes
    • not as good as a phone call 
    • impersonal - cos you could see someone, but who wants to see people?
    • necessary - we wouldn't be without it
    • fast 
    • traceable - could get you into trouble - eg. when you address to the person you're writing about.
    • full of spam
    • fills up your inbox
    • personalised fonts and auto signatures with photos of cats and comic sans writing (ugh!)
    • people who leave FWD>FWD>FWD> etc! So untidy
    • (not so evil) Angels etc. made out of emoticons - quite clever
    • LOL 
    • Email language hz bcum mr lk txt language >:-(
    • Demands a quick response
    • People who put "high priority" on every email
    • People who forward really bad jokes
    Okay, I think that's enough. So is email really evil? Or are there a few good features in there?

    (Thanks for the photo, gagilas!) 

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Tuesday, 13 July 2010

    Love the "shared planet" idea but I find the TM ironic

    Love the "shared planet" idea but I find the TM ironic #Starbucks

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Good crowd at smcakl where I've just arrived. (@sukeshsukumaran yes I am ;)

    Good crowd at #smcakl where I've just arrived. (@sukeshsukumaran yes I am ;)

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Saturday, 10 July 2010

    So I'd better write a first post...

    ...if only because you need to start the way you mean to go on. And I mean to go on. Oh yes. Just not right now!

    Talk soon.

    Posted via email from Ragtag Leadership

    Wednesday, 7 July 2010

    Good questions about blogging at today's #marieworkshop

    In our first session on blogging, we got some great questions from our attendees, almost all related to how blogs are perceived:

    • How does a blog get popular?
    • What is a blog? (As opposed to Facebook/Twitter)
    • Why would people read blogs? 
    • What do I say? Do blogs have to be contentious or sensational?
    • Are blogs purely personal, or can they be professional? (That was an easy one to answer!)
    What do you reckon? 

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Monday, 5 July 2010

    Yo, wassup?


    Ask me anything

    How do you run a business in the sky?

    You make sure there's a building underneath. Works for us, we're on the 14th floor and haven't crashed yet.

    Ask me anything

    Wednesday, 30 June 2010

    Blogs from online marketing/new media masterclass attendees

    We've got some great people joining us at today's masterclass

    Yesterday we set up some simple blogs using Posterous. Here they are!

    Hope to see some more blogs from the whole crew soon! :) 

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Tuesday, 29 June 2010

    Hotel wifi is letting us down

    So here we are at the online marketing and new media masterclass, trying to send emails all at once. Hmm.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Wednesday, 16 June 2010

    I didn't know you could make personalised stamps in Aus. This is my sister's dog, immortalized in stamp form

    Open Leadership

    Just got this in the mail. Looking forward to it! I just need a month or so to read this and some other review copies I have. 

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Is Technorati still worth it?

    When I first started with social media, Technorati was supposed to be the top way to get inbound links and measure your authority. 

    Over the years, I've heard different things about Technorati, mostly that their authority rankings were not reflecting any kind of reality. Thankfully there are other ways of telling if a blog is influential or not, such as Google PageRank, the number of retweets and likes each post has, and even the number of comments.

    Still, Technorati probably plays some small part in the ecosystem, which is why I'm pasting this code HGE99VYGD89C to claim this blog. 

    What's been your experience with Technorati?

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Thursday, 10 June 2010

    How to get along with people

    Everyone's a little bit broken. We're all pretty messed up, and all a little bit crazy.

    The people who seem to have it all together, you just don't know that well. We are all broken.

    That could make you depressed, or it could make you compassionate.

    Instead of expecting people to perform like machines, I choose to recognise that everyone is a little bit cuckoo, and a bit broken, and that helps me see that "despite whatever", they've got some amazing qualities. 

    Patronising? I don't know if it can be, if you give absolutely everyone the same benefit of the doubt.

    Or am I a little bit crazy to say that?

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Tuesday, 8 June 2010

    Why social media can be hard to explain (warning: contains postmodernism)

    As Blake says, I think too much. I've started, so I need to get this out. 

    Social media is hard to explain sometimes. Not the big picture stuff, that's easy. I mean the specifics of "what you see on your Facebook news feed". Or any other page on Facebook (or Twitter, or LinkedIn) for example. 

    Because it's all personalised, everyone's page is different. It's customised to their network, their choices, their actions. It's completely subjective.

    And that coincides quite nicely with what I understand of the concept of postmodernism (disclaimer: I'm not a philosopher, nor have I formally studied philosophy). Postmodernism acknowledges that our perception is ultimately subjective, that while there may be an objective truth, none of us are really able to get it. 

    Social media actually illustrates this side of postmodernism quite well, taking it from an abstract concept to something we can all relate to. 

    What do you reckon? Do the works of Derrida come alive through your Facebook news feed, or am I overthinking it?

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    The problem with Facebook

    Facebook is one example of social media. Social media is where sales, marketing and PR get mashed up, because customers want to buy from you and learn about you, but most of all they want stuff to work.

    Even if you set up a Facebook page as a marketing effort, your customers will treat it as a customer service channel.

    Facebook faces the same problems. They are keen to speak with you if you want to advertise. But when you have persistent questions about functionality, Facebook goes deaf, because Facebook is like every other business in that it needs to connect its ears and mouth. It needs to come to terms with the challenges of social media, which is really ironic because it is social media!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Friday, 4 June 2010

    American grammar is just plain wrong

    Time for a wee rant. This'll only take a few seconds, I promise. 

    It really bugs me when I read or hear something like:

    "Everyone can't be an astronaut." 

    ...when the intended meaning is actually...

    "Not everyone can be an astronaut." 

    Think about it. If everyone can't be an astronaut, no-one can be an astronaut, right? 

    So why do Americans (and I've only noticed this in American writing and speech) use language in this weird way? 

    And ... do all Americans do this, or just some? 

    If it's just some, I could then say: "Not all Americans misuse grammar this way." NOT "All Americans don't misuse grammar this way".

    End of rant. As you were.

    Posted via email from Simon's posterous

    Monday, 17 May 2010

    @kiwisnake close...

    Not everything that matters can be measured smj @gdosborne

    Not everything that matters can be measured #smj @gdosborne

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    Stats on search and social adspend (and @radicalalice's head)

    Stats on search and social adspend (and @radicalalice's head)

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    SEO simplified by @gdosborne at

    SEO simplified by @gdosborne at #smj

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    Know your audience segments and tailor your messages to them @sbs

    Know your audience segments and tailor your messages to them @sbs #smj

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    . @SBS has a wide range of topics! How to prioritize them?

    . @SBS has a wide range of topics! How to prioritize them? #smj

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    . @SBS has a wide range of topics! How to prioritize them?

    . @SBS has a wide range of topics! How to prioritize them?

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    Global sm best practices via @justinflitter simple but profound!

    Global sm best practices via @justinflitter simple but profound!

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    Trad vs emerging media lifecycles via @m_hickinbotham

    Trad vs emerging media lifecycles via @m_hickinbotham #smj

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    All set up for

    All set up for #smj

    Posted via web from Simon's posterous

    Friday, 14 May 2010

    Tuesday, 11 May 2010