31 December 2008

What I'm Reading

  • Top 10 Tech Stories of 2008
  • Information about long known but finally proven SSL vulnerability and the new exploits that could compromise secure sites
  • Ben's annual Bloggies awards. Congratulations to all the winners!
  • News of all the NFL coach firings. Rod Marinelli, sure. To paraphrase him, you can't go 0-16 and expect to keep your job. Romeo Crennel, sure. The Browns severely under-performed this year. But Eric Mangini? And today, MIKE SHANAHAN? (I think Herm Edwards will be next if we're taking bets.)
  • Ripped through Julie & Julia again to add a little boost of inspiration to this year's New Year's resolution.

30 December 2008

Always the Last to Know - Hottest Gadgets of 2008

For those of you who got CA$H from Santa and are looking to spend it (and boost the economy a little), may I present a geek fantasy: Hottest Gadgets of 2008.

I am DROOLING over the Livescribe, which may be just about the coolest thing I've ever heard of.

29 December 2008

Always the Last to Know - Feng GUI

Want to know where on your homepage the eye is likely to go? Feng GUI can help you figure it out.

(And if you happen to find that eyes are naturally drawn to somewhere that doesn't have any content, you might want to change that in a big hurry.)

Check out the Feng GUI picture of T4P to the right...

26 December 2008

The Friday Top 5

The last in my continuing series of holiday Top 5 lists....

The Top 5 Holiday Movies of All Time:
  1. A Christmas Story - "You'll shoot your eye out." 'Nuff said
  2. Home Alone - admit it: you thought the original was hilarious, too.
  3. Bad Santa - Billy Bob Thornton is brilliant in this. And it helps cuts the saccharine of everything else that's going on.
  4. It's a Wonderful Life - speaking of saccharine. But seriously, if you don't tear up at the end of this movie, you may want to go in search of your apparently completely misplaced soul.
  5. The George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol - not so easy to find, it's darker and scarier than, say, the Scrooge McDuck version, and probably much more accurate to what Dickens' was trying to portray about the England of his time.
Just missed the top 5: Die Hard (it's such a kick-ass action flick, you forgot it took place at Christmas, didn't you?), The Nightmare Before Christmas (I can't be the only one who has a crush on Jack the Pumpkin King), and White Christmas (man oh man, can Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen dance!)

Happy Boxing Day!

25 December 2008


Photo credit: cenz (Flickr/Creative Commons licensing)

24 December 2008

What I'm Reading

Pew's Future of the Internet III (PDF) study, plus the online supplements. It's long - the study alone is 138 pages - but it's totally worth the investment of time. I quote from the Summary of Findings:
Technology stakeholders and critics were asked in an online survey to assess scenarios about the future social, political, and economic impact of the Internet and they said the following:
  • The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.
  • The transparency of people and organizations will increase, but that will not necessarily yield more personal integrity, social tolerance, or forgiveness.
  • Voice recognition and touch user-interfaces with the Internet will be more prevalent and accepted by 2020.
  • Those working to enforce intellectual property law and copyright protection will remain in a continuing “arms race,” with the “crackers” who will find ways to copy and share content without payment.
  • The divisions between personal time and work time and between physical and virtual reality will be further erased for everyone who’s connected, and the results will be mixed in terms of social relations.
  • “Next-generation” engineering of the network to improve the current Internet architecture is more likely than an effort to rebuild the architecture from scratch.

The most fascinating part is the comments by the various experts. Some are captured in the PDF itself, but to get them all, you have to check out the website.

The weeping and wailing over the Eagles' latest loss, to which I've also contributed. From IgglesBlog:
They Are Who We Thought They Were

Thank you, Denny Green. You really nailed that one.
  • Wide receivers who don't get open and don't make plays? Check.
  • Offensive coaching staff that reverts to a pass-only attack when times get tough? Check.
  • Limited offense that shuts down if Westbrook isn't having a big day? Check.
  • Quarterback who has games where he blows more than his share of easy throws? Check.
  • Solid defense that still can't generate turnovers? Check, check and check.
They are who we thought they were.
Please guys, show SOME pride and beat the Cowboys Sunday. Please.

The latest issue of Washingtonian, aka Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Upcoming Inauguration. Short version: if you're not from here, don't know anyone who can get you into one of the BIG parties, and don't have a ton of coin to spend, STAY HOME.

JNott's been on a roll recently. Get his latest.

And I've been enjoying the holiday-themed Cheezburgers.

23 December 2008

Always the Last to Know - Typealyzer

Wondering what your blog's Myers-Briggs type is? Find out here.

T4P is ESTP - The Doers
The active and play-ful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical out-door activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.
Which is weird, because T4P's author is an INTJ. Hmmmmm.

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22 December 2008

Just in Time for the Holiday Giving Season: Boosting Your Online Effectiveness

When it comes to figuring out what works, we've all (or at least all of us who know Kevin Whorton and/or Scott Oser) heard the mantra: "Test! Test! Test!"

Well, one of the best ways to test what's working and not working on your website is MVT, multivariate testing.

Want to know more about it? Check out my recent interview with two of Beaconfire's MVT experts on the BeaconfireWire.

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19 December 2008

The Friday Top 5

Continuing on my holiday theme....

Top 5 Best Holiday Tunes EVER.
  1. Vince Guaraldi's recording of O Tannenbaum
  2. Eartha Kitt's recording of Santa Baby
  3. Elvis's recording of Santa Claus is Back in Town
  4. The Count Basie Orchestra's recording of Jingle Bells
  5. Duke Ellington's jazz version of the Nutcracker Suite
Check 'em out and get your holiday spirit on!

18 December 2008

Crowdsourcing Associations Now, Part 2

I hope you already entered all your great ideas for articles in the ASAE SharePoint site. Now it's time to vote!

You have over 80 topics to choose from. It sounds daunting, I know, but you should be able to express your opinions in about 15 minutes.

To vote:
  1. Go to www.asaecenter.org/associationsyou
  2. Scroll down to Vote for Your Favorite Story Ideas Here
  3. Click on Respond to this Survey
  4. Then just rank your interest level in the various topics
Get moving! You have until the end of the year to make your opinion heard!

17 December 2008

What I'm Reading

  • The Secrets to Marketing in a Web 2.0 World - those MIT Sloan School people are SMART!
  • Are you a nanobot? I try to be, but forces sometimes conspire against me.
  • Does the WaPo have it right? Tony Rossell doesn't think so, and neither do I.
  • The newly-relaunched BF website. I found out all KINDS of interesting stuff about my co-workers in our all-new People section and spent far too much time playing with our cool new Flash design portfolio.
  • Social Media Predictions 2009. Damn. Good stuff. But, aside from Charlene Li and Ann Handley, where are the ladies?
  • Still working my way through Bayou Farewell, too.

16 December 2008

What Should the Future of Association Communications Look Like?

The ASAE Communications Section Council is in the process of re-writing the core competencies of an association communications professional. Section council member and association blogger Frank Fortin is looking for your suggestions:
Among the new technologies, what is already a must-know? Conversely, if you must choose your experiments carefully, what is OK to watch for a while?
Weigh in at Guilt by Association.

15 December 2008

Second Life? Pffft. Nobody uses Second Life for business...

Um, actually they do. The New York Society of Association Execs (NYSAE) is sponsoring a FREE event on December 17 featuring the fabulous Andy Steggles, during which he will take you through a virtual worlds tour of RIMS' first ever virtual conference & exhibition.

The session will cover:
  1. Why Run a Virtual Event
  2. Green/Carbon Implications of Virtual Technology
  3. A Comparison of Virtual Platforms
  4. Ideas for Social Media Integration
  5. What Attendees Think of Virtual Technology
  6. Using Virtual Technology 365 Days a Year
  7. Measuring a Successful Event
For more information, check out the NYSAE website. Or just go register!

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12 December 2008

The Friday Top 5

In honor of the season and my planned Sunday activities...

My Top 5 Favorite [Insert Your Favorite Winter Holiday Here] Cookies:
  1. Plain sugar cookies. My inner 5 year old loves to decorate with SPARKLES! YAY SPARKLES!
  2. Florentines. Fiendishly difficult to make. Similar to Pepperidge Farms' Brussels cookies. But WAY better.
  3. Chocolate cherry cookies. Like chocolate covered cherries, but with BUTTER!
  4. Kiffles. Delicious, not that sweet, full of nuts.
  5. Cornucopias. Spouse's family recipe. Also fiendishly difficult, they're fragile cones of lemon-flavored pastry you fill with a raspberry cream. So some assembly is required by the consumer.

11 December 2008

Need Cash Fast? Part 2

Well, the teleconference on Tuesday was great, wasn't it?

You missed it?

Aw, that's too bad.

Fortunately, I took notes!

Here are Mark Rovner's top 10 tips for boosting your holiday fundraising program:
  1. Inspire your donors every day.
  2. Blaze trails to your donate page.
  3. Audit your donation – is it up to snuff?
  4. Test drive the entire process to look for usability problems.
  5. Create a “why donate” page that makes the case for giving in simple, concise terms.
  6. Thank your donors three times.
  7. Provide a warm welcome to first-time donors.
  8. Launch a cultivation plan.
  9. Measure & test throughout the year.
  10. If you haven’t been planning for 2008 all throughout the year, now’s the time to start for 2009.
Or you can download the transcript, listen to the audio recording, or read the article the presentation was based on.

Now get out there and raise some money!

10 December 2008

What I'm Reading

  • Andy Steggles on Member Engagement in the December 2008 edition of Membership Developments. Curious about this topic? Join me tomorrow morning at ASAE for the Greater Washington Network's December membership idea swap: Recognizing and Engaging Long Term Members. It's free, and I promise you'll have fun and learn something!
  • It's end of year fundraising time! And I'm trying to help my clients get the biggest bang for their buck with their appeals as I can. Campaign Monitor and Fundraising 123 have some good tips to jump-start your holiday campaign.
  • Seth Godin on The High Cost of Now. Go read it. Now. Seriously. (Hat tip to Jared for the link.)
  • Re-reading Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell. It's a fascinating ethnography of Cajun culture and how the loss of Louisianna wetlands is putting an entire region and way of life at risk.

09 December 2008

Need Cash Fast?

No, I'm not advertising payday loans or the lottery!

Network for Good is holding a FREE teleconference at 1 pm EST TODAY entitled:

A Procrastinator's Guide to Year-End Fundraising & Marketing

If your year-end program needs a little boost, it's probably worth the investment of an hour.

08 December 2008

A Change Is Gonna Come....Someday

Continuing with his campaign theme, President-Elect Barack Obama and a whole bunch of progressive organizations are looking for regular Americans' ideas on how to make "change" a concrete reality.

Submit your idea - or browse what's already there and vote for the best ones - at www.change.org. Of course, there's plenty of wingnuttery, but there are some good ideas, too.

(And, as Mads points out, they're now on board with Creative Commons. Yet another reason to contribute!)

05 December 2008

The Friday Top 5

In honor of all my peeps taking the CAE exam today....the Top 5 Things That are GREAT about Getting Your CAE (because I know y'all are going pass)
  1. The opportunity to confirm what you know and what you DON'T know.
  2. Realizing that you don't have to be an expert in everything to run an association.
  3. Forming close, lasting relationships with your fellow study buddies/candidates.
  4. The professional opportunity that comes from earning the most widely recognized association management credential out there.
  5. The personal satisfaction of achieving a challenging goal.

04 December 2008

Changing the World with a Cell Phone

Most people are now familiar with the concept of micro-loans and what an incredible impact they can have on communities in the developing world.

One major hurdle still to be overcome is the lack of banking outlets in those same communities, resulting in a lot of cash transactions, with all the associated hassles and risks.

Add inexpensive cell phones and simple mobile banking technology to the mix and we now have the power to accelerate major change for those same communities.

Check out MIT Technology Review's "Upwardly Mobile" and You Can Hear Me Now, by Nicholas Sullivan, for more information on how this seemingly small innovation could transform rural and developing economies.

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03 December 2008

What I'm Reading

  • Mads reminds us of the importance of listening and provides some tips about where to start.
  • This very unusual opportunity with Seth Godin isn't right for me, but it might be right for you.
  • Think buying that 52" flat screen is going to turn the economy around? Don't be so sure.
  • Enterprise Community Partners is named Fast Company's Social Enterprise of the Year! (They're a BF client - we're so proud!)
  • The December Associations Now case study. I've been in this situation more than once. Sometimes I've handled it well, sometimes less well. But in reading the case study and the responses, a few things occurred to me. Did anyone even ask if there really was a tech problem with the database? It has been known to happen. Did anyone find out the actual extent of the problem? It's funny how if the right/wrong 5 people out of 10,000 have messed up registrations, it can become "everyone's registration packets were screwed up!" in a big hurry. Is Phyllis in the right position? She's been promoted, perhaps via the Peter Principle, to program manager in the membership department. It seems like she's NOT good at the data management/tech aspects of the job, but (at least from the limited information provided) it seems like she IS good at the member relations part of the job. Maybe someone else in the membership department could be responsible for the database and she could keep up her pattern of solid personal member service? All the talk about firing her just seems a little harsh/extreme to me. Sure, it happens, but maybe there's another way.
  • And speaking of the December issue of Associations Now, I'm in it for the first time - check out my contribution and let me know what you think, either via rating it on the site or comments here!

02 December 2008

What Is Truth?

Philosophers have been trying to answer that question for millennia, and there are lots of opinions. Lots. There's an entire BRANCH of philosophy that focuses on this.
  • Metaphysics: what is real?
  • Epistemology: what is true?
  • Ethics: what is right?
  • Aesthetics: what is beautiful?
(ah, the benefits of a liberal arts education!)

However, in the modern world, and more specifically on the Internet, what really matters is what does Wikipedia think is true (and why should we care)?

MIT's Technology Review has a fascinating piece - that's spawned a vigorous debate - about this very topic.

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01 December 2008

Need a Break from Holiday Insanity?

Join ClickForHelp at the Arlington Hilton this coming Saturday afternoon for
Web 2.0: More Business Bang for Your Buck
EventBrite has the agenda and registration info.

28 November 2008

The Friday Top 5

My Top 5 Favorite Things about Thanksgiving:
  1. Getting to see Ms. Lily Fantastico, Duce, Emilea-Bedelia, Dorkman, and The Lovely Ms. Dorkman (aka, my brother and his family).
  2. PIE! Also, cranberries.
  3. Three football games in a row.
  4. Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey soup anyone?
  5. Taking a day out to count my blessings. The pace of life in DC and as a busy association exec/consultant to associations keeps me from doing this as often as I should. Here's hoping you have MUCH to be thankful for in the coming year.

27 November 2008

Way Cool

MIT's Technology Review has an article about how new methods of imaging the brain are changing neurology. And the pictures, like the one above of the brain stem, are amazing. You have to log in (free) to read the article, but it's worth it.

26 November 2008

What I'm Reading

25 November 2008

Always the Last to Know - AwayFind

Drowning in email? Feel like you have to check in daily...even on your honeymoon?

Not anymore - SET Consulting has just released AwayFind, a program designed to get urgent messages to you, no matter where you are, while letting the chaff sit until you can get to it on your schedule.

It's free - it's web-based - it works with any email client - and it's just in time for the holidays. What are you waiting for?

(Don't skip Jared's fun video that explains the concept, either.)

24 November 2008

Social Media and the 2008 Elections

A little over a week ago, the American Political Science Association's Information Technology & Politics organized section sponsored a webcast about the role of social media in the 2008 elections. It featured the following speakers:
  • George Kilpatrick, Multimedia Advocate for New Inspiration for the Nation
  • Derrick L. Cogburn, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (Cotelco) at Syracuse University
  • G.R. Boynton,Professor of New Media and Politics at The University of Iowa
  • Renee Marlin-Bennett, Professor of Global Political Economy and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University
Awwwww....and you missed it!

Or did you?

The recording of the webcast, with the audio synced to the slides, is available online through Syracuse University and Elluminate.

Check it out!

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21 November 2008

The Friday Top 5

Top 5 Fun Things I'm Doing This Weekend:
  1. Oyster Riot!
  2. Trip to Litteri's.
  3. Reunion party with some friends and former colleagues I haven't seen in WAY too long.
  4. Eagles/Ravens game Sunday (preceded by EXCELLENT tailgating, which I'm going to need to fortify myself for the game, given how poorly my Iggles have been playing lately).
  5. Starting the Thanksgiving baking. Pie anyone?

20 November 2008

To Twitter or Not to Twitter...Part 2

Still wondering?

Check out the O'Reilly Radar report, Twitter and the Micro-Messaging Revolution: Communication, Connections, and Immediacy--140 Characters at a Time.

I quote from the report site:
This new O’Reilly Radar report reveals:
  • Best practices for micro-messaging in business
  • Pitfalls to avoid in this instant, very public medium
  • New methods for customer service and quick market research
  • How micro-messaging can help you reduce email and eliminate unproductive meetings

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19 November 2008

What I'm Reading

  • Just found Digital Labz, and I'm feeling the love. I particularly enjoyed The 14 Peculiar Social Media Users (I think I fall somewhere between Wide-Eyed Enthusiast and Second-Tier User), The 11 Rules of Social Media Etiquette (my favorite: rule 8 - Respect the Community), and Don't Believe These 10 Social Media Myths (the one I think is most common: Social Media Won't Last, aka "It's just a fad!")
  • All the weeping and wailing about the Eagles tie with the Bengals Sunday. I've seen people blame the coach, the QB, the offensive line, the officiating, sun spots, Roger Goodell, and my mom. Maybe it was just a bad day?
  • PostSecret. How did I not know about this before?
  • Jared on Tangents. When was the last time....?
  • Trying to keep close tabs on the YAP CAE Study Group as exam time approaches.
  • Still plodding through The Painter from Shanghai, but just not that interested, as it definitely feels like I've heard this story before. Maybe it will get more interesting later? How long do I give it?

18 November 2008

Web Usability for Associations: Designing for Your Members - The Recap

Want to find out how it went and get the slides?

Check out my post on the BFWire.

17 November 2008

Always the Last to Know - Username Check

Need to find out if someone's snatched your favorite screen name on a variety of socnets in about 30 seconds?

Usernamecheck to the rescue!

Shout out to Mads for the link

To Twitter or Not to Twitter...

That is the question.

Pistachio Consulting
has written a white paper that can help you answer it.

Enterprise Micro Sharing Tools Comparison 11032008

14 November 2008

The Friday Top 5

Top 5 things that I'm looking forward to about Web Usability for Associations: Designing for Your Members this afternoon:
  1. Introducing Beaconfire in an official way to the association community.
  2. Sharing some good content with association professionals.
  3. A chance to see some old association friends and meet some new people.
  4. Getting out of the office on a Friday afternoon.
  5. Wine & cheese networking reception! Woo-hoo!
Edited Monday, November 17 to add: Didn't make it? Check the BFWire within the next few days for a recap post and the slides.

13 November 2008

Help Write the May 2009 Issue of "Associations Now"

ASAE is trying a crowdsourcing experiment with the May 2009 issue of Associations Now.

How does it work?

November: suggest article topics on the SharePoint site.

December: vote to select the articles that will be written.

January: help ASAE find authors and other resources (sidebars, references) for the selected articles.

Got a great idea that you wish ASAE would cover? Now's your chance to make it happen! You can either post it in the appropriate online discussion forum or email it to editorial@asaecenter.org.

12 November 2008

What I'm Reading

11 November 2008

Still Don't Know Web 2.0?

Web 2.0
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: 2.0 web)