22 April 2009


I am leaving DC tomorrow morning for my annual pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz Fest. As such, I will NOT be thinking about associations or social media or web development or Internet strategy or anything much more complicated than which band I want to hear and what I want to eat and drink for the next 13 days.

Try not to trash the place while I'm gone :)

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21 April 2009

Always the Last to Know - Tweecious

Ever wish all those links you've posted to Twitter were available in your Del.icio.us account?

Thanks to Tweecious, they are now. (as long as you use Firefox, which all the cool kids do anyway. right?)

20 April 2009

17 April 2009

Friday Top 5

Once again, in honor of my impending trip to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (I leave in exactly 6 days) my Top 5 Favorite New Orleans Musicians (narrowing it down to 5 was NOT easy):
  1. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, because his talent just blows me away. And he's maybe 22!
  2. Kermit Ruffins, because he's our closest current incarnation of Louis Armstrong and because I love the hats. See you at Vaughn's next Thursday night, Kermit!
  3. Charmaine Neville, because it just doesn't get much better than "Right Key (But the Wrong Keyhole)" at Snug Harbor and because of the incredible work she does nurturing young musicians (shout out to Donald Harrison on that count, too)
  4. Delfayo Marsalis, because I will NEVER forget seeing him and his quintet jamming with the Treme Brass Band at the Funky Butt.
  5. Evan Christopher, who better play another gig at Donna's this year, or Dave and Jim will be VERY disappointed.
Photo from the Jazz Fest site - it's the official 2009 Congo Square poster

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16 April 2009

MVT: What is it?

And how can it help your organization?

Find out in Beaconfire's new white paper on multivariate testing, available for FREE on our web site.

Leadership Meme

Jamie Notter tagged me in the leadership meme he inadvertently started with his post on becoming a leader.

If I had to pick only 3 tips, here's what I'd recommend:

Praise in public, correct in private.

This encompasses a number of things - catch your people doing good stuff. Make sure the people "above" you know when the people "below" you think of or do something great. Remember that good ideas can come from anywhere. There's no such thing as too much praise. Saying thank you is free. Make sure your people know that you have their backs.

Be willing to take risks.

Refusing to make a decision IS a decision. The only decision you'll ever make in life that you can't change later is the decision to have kids. Whatever you're considering is probably not *that* serious. Ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen if we do this?"AND "What's the worst thing that could happen if we DON'T do this?"

Behave with integrity.

People have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can trust you. That doesn't mean you're never going to screw up. But when you do, own it and FIX IT.

15 April 2009

What I'm Reading

  • I was going to write a big recap of Jeff De Cagna's rockin' session on Strategies for Association Success in the Era of Social Business that took place last week, but he just announced that the video's out, so just go watch. Or read Jeff's coverage on the PI blog. Or Maddie's coverage at SocialFish.
  • Jared shares more really good thinking, this time on the difference between pillars and dominoes and how that relates to what we want for ourselves in life.
  • Acronym and David Patt have both pointed to Ethisphere's list of the world's most ethical companies. The list itself is interesting, as is the selection criteria.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles' 2009 season schedule has been announced. We open at Carolina, have an early bye (which sucks) and only one appearance on Monday Night Football, but we do have several Sunday prime time games. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!
  • Did you know that NTC is SOLD OUT? Did you also know that Beaconfire's going to do some great sessions there?

14 April 2009

Cynthia Got Me Thinking....

As she is wont to do, Cynthia's response to my post looking for "UNUSUAL source[s] of creativity, great ideas, awesomesauce, and general bad-assed-ness" got me thinking:
Where do you find inspiration in your daily life?
We all spend a lot of time on our careers, on our organizations, online, on social media, on on on on on.

What happens when (hopefully not "if") you unplug? Where do you turn to renew your creative juices, your love for what you do? What do you do to "live large," as Cynthia advised?

For myself, I ran consistently for about 12 1/2 years. Running provided a great outlet for me, and gave me time to think and let ideas percolate. This past fall, I realized that my body was not nearly as happy running any more as it used to be. So I opted to take a break, which I'm still on, at least as of this writing. I'm doing other stuff - yoga, dance classes, long walks, etc. - that seems to make my physical self happier at this point, but so far I haven't found a replacement that provides the same level of mental clarity I enjoyed from running. So I'm still searching there.

Other things that recharge my batteries?
  • Music, particularly live jazz.
  • Spending face to face time with my posse of non-association peeps.
  • Spending face to face time with my posse of association peeps.
  • Travel, to places both familiar and deeply unfamiliar.
  • Live theater.
  • Tarot. (No, I don't think it's some sort of Higher Being From The Great Beyond speaking to me through the cards. I *do* think it's a good way to access what's going on in the subconscious.)
  • Really pretty stuff in nature, like the image above of the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin here in DC.
What inspires you?

Image credit: BlissTree

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13 April 2009

Calling all nOObs!

Going to the ASAE annual meeting on Toronto this summer for the first time?



Afraid you'll miss all the good parties?

Never fear! We've got your back!

Join the ASAE Annual Meeting 09 Newbies group for ALL the insider information....

10 April 2009

Friday Top 5

In honor of the fact that I'm headed to Jazz Fest in under two weeks, my Top 5 Favorite New Orleans Restaurants:
  1. Galatoire's - you haven't lived until you've eaten lunch on a Friday at Galatoire's
  2. Commander's Palace - fab for Sunday jazz brunch, fab for dinner, especially fab for the Jazz Fest Mondays club
  3. Emeril's - Emeril? Tacky as hell. Emeril's? Divine, particularly if you can sit at the bar overlooking the kitchen
  4. Dickie Brennan's Oyster House - best mint julep ANYWHERE
  5. Fiorella's - total dive, totally awesome fried chicken
Narrowly missing the cut: Herbsaint, Peristyle, Bayona, Irene's, Marigny Brasserie, Cafe Adelaide, Acme Oyster House, Cafe du Monde, Commuity Coffee

Two places I've missed in all my trips that I'm hitting this time: Cuvee, Restaurant August

09 April 2009

Always the Last to Know - Sideline

Looking for more social media listening tools? Yahoo! has recently released Sideline, which provides a convenient desktop overlay to Twitter's advanced search function to allow you to track mentions in the Twitter-verse.

08 April 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Jamie wrote a really interesting piece on getting "touchy-feely" in a business context. I get his point, but I also think we have to remain aware that different people have different styles (said the lady with a father, brother, and spouse who are ALL engineers of various stripes), and remember that some people aren't comfortable with this even out of a business context.
  • Rohit Bhargava's cracking me up on the 5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance. I think I somehow managed to skip step 3 entirely, which is a good thing, since it sounds really annoying.
  • For those who read them, there was a recent blowup on the ASAE lists around the cultural norms for vendor/consultant members. Deirdre Reid posted an awesome response.
  • Speaking of awesome responses, Maggie kills it. Again. Check out all the comments girlfriend generated!
  • Whenever I need a big, gut-busting, can't-breathe, tears-in-my-eyes kind of laugh, Sars comes though. Viva la Roombalucion! (And thanks to KiKi for putting me in mind of reading this once again.)
  • Finally, I just started Chuck Palahniuk's Choke. It's just as amazingly twisted as Fight Club, but doesn't read like a screenplay (even though they did make a movie out of it).

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07 April 2009

Need a Personal Assistant?

Me, too, but the problem is, they're so damn expensive.

Computers may soon be able to do the job.

THAT would ROCK.

06 April 2009

Nanotube Forests

WOW. Check out the rest in this month's Technology Review photo essay.

Photo credit: MIT's Technology Review (obvs.)

03 April 2009

Friday Top 5

My Top 5 Favorite Things About Spring in DC:
  1. CHERRY BLOSSOMS! (Actually, DC is universally gorgeous in the spring. Thanks, Ladybird Johnson!)
  2. Driving around with the top down.
  3. Baseball season starts (not that I'm a huge baseball fan or, even if I were, that the Nats are my team - they're not. But you can't beat a nice late spring night at Nationals Park.)
  4. Getting the garden going for the year, at least two weeks earlier than all my friends in the 'burbs.
  5. My purple raincoat. It may rain (which we need anyway), but my coat puts a smile on my face.

02 April 2009

Why I Blog Meme

I've been tagged by the lovely and brilliant Hecate on a meme that actually goes all the way back to an article written in 2004 for the Association for Computing Machinery.

My long answer for T4P is contained here, and, for Snarkin' the NFL, here.

But the short version is: I blog about the NFL because I have to. I literally cannot stop myself from writing about pro football. Really. I may need 12 step program.

I blog about associations because I think - I hope - I have something to contribute to the conversation, because it raises my and Beaconfire's profile in the space, and because it's where all the cool kids are.

Tagging a few people myself:

Maggie McGary
Lynn Morton
Frank Fortin
Maddie Grant
Jamie Notter
Kevin Holland

01 April 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Frank wants to know what business are you REALLY in? The answer's probably not what you think it is.
  • United Arab Emirates member Abu Dhabi is attempting to build the world's first totally carbon neutral city (by 2016). MIT's Technology Review reports that, even if not completely successful, the very attempt will dramatically increase our understanding of technologies for reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Want to increase your online donations? Jakob Nielsen can help.
  • One of the major hurdles to the widespread adoption of online advertising is difficulty accurately measuring audience size. And as more print newspapers fold and more people turn to the Internet for news, online ad revenue will be critical to paying for real journalism. MIT's Technology Review reports on the latest advances in online audience measurement from Quantcast and (of course) Google.
  • If Seth Godin's right, I'm in big trouble.
  • Afraid you love your gadgets too much? Rebecca Traister of Salon.com may have a solution for you.
  • Just started Lauren Weisberger's Everyone Worth Knowing. It's no The Devil Wears Prada, that's for sure, but I'll give it at least a few more chapters to improve before I abandon it. Life's too short to waste time on fluff books if they can't even clear the "entertaining" bar.