31 July 2009

The Totally Unrelated Post

DJ Louie Habibi is BACK in DC and opening a new Friday night party, "Mania," at Paper Moon in Georgetown TONIGHT.

I'll be there - will you?

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Friday Top 5

The Top 5 Things that are AMAZING about my new MacBook Air:
  1. SOOOO light. Under 3 lbs. Really.
  2. Not dependent on MS. For anything. (Open Office, yo!)
  3. Lightning fast (especially compared to my old laptop).
  4. Slick-slicky-slick design ('cause you know Apple's all about bringing the cool, sexy user experience).
  5. The widgets! I have THREE different NFL/sports news widgets installed for my dashboard! Love!

30 July 2009

Marketing Plan Goodness

Writing marketing plans? (I know I am.) Check out this great Slideshare presentation from Carol Phillips of Brand Amplitude that will help you avoid the most common mistakes (i.e., that it's too long, it's trying to cover too much, and it has too many goals and not enough "what are we going to DO?").

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28 July 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Staff directory stuck behind the member wall? Kevin Holland thinks it's weird (and so do I).
  • Is management by consensus killing innovation? (thanks to Lori Methia for the link).
  • Maddie Grant gives us social media strategy in 4 slides or less.
  • Twitter FINALLY throws those of us trying to make the case that it's useful for more than "what I had for lunch" reporting a bone. Now if I could just get them to respond to one of my 25 or so emails over the last several weeks trying to straighten out a problem with NACHRI account, I'd be REALLY cookin'.
  • Something's rotten in performance reviews. (I actually wrote about this myself about 9 months ago.)
  • A bunch of apps for making Outlook more social. Dear Microsoft: we iz in yr yard eatin yr lunch.
  • And I've finally cracked open Groundswell (if you're a regular reader, you know my frequently expressed antipathy to business books, so it's not too surprising that I've resisted so far) and am still working through the Benjamin January mysteries (now on Die Upon a Kiss).
  • Finally, training camp started this week, so I'm picking back up all my football blogs - both reading and writing (and trying to work out some syndication deals).

Always the Last to Know - Hohm

Yes, I'm actually promoting something from Microsoft. In other news, if 4 scary-looking guys on horseback show up, DON'T LET THEM IN!

Microsoft has recently launched the beta of Hohm, a site that allows you to track your home energy use. Data-driven decision making? We haz it.

27 July 2009

In which our heroine asks for help...

My beloved Palm may not be quite doing the trick in helping me keep my act together in the new job. I'm batting around the idea of setting up a personal wiki to help me keep track both of To Dos and of ideas (with the added benefit of near-ubiquitous access, particularly once I get around to picking out a netbook with broadband wireless).

Has anyone tried this? What has your experience been? Any platforms you recommend/don't recommend? Any awesome productivity tools I should know about that I don't?

24 July 2009

Friday Top 5

Was feeling uninspired today, so I crowdsourced this topic. There were many entries, but the winner was: Top 5 Favorite Cocktails, courtesy of my friend Deb, whose birthday was yesterday, and in recognition that it's always 5 o'clock somewhere, and that somewhere will be here in about 2 hours. Bonus? I'm including the recipes!
  1. Gibson - fill cocktail glass and cocktail shaker with clean ice. Pour about 1/2 ounce of good dry vermouth (Noilly Prat's a good baseline) over the ice, shake vigorously, then pour the vermouth off the ice. Pour desired amount of gin (I usually go with about 3 1/2 ounces of Hendrick's) into shaker, shake vigorously. Dump the ice out of the cocktail glass, strain drink into glass, garnish with 3 Sable & Rosenfeld's Tipsy Onions.
  2. Manhattan - fill cocktail glass and cocktail shaker with clean ice. Pour bourbon (Maker's Mark is a good baseline) and good sweet vermouth (I like Vya) at a 3:1 ratio into shaker. Add several drops of your favorite bitters (Peychaud's is traditional, but I've recently become addicted to Fee Brother's Whisky Barrel bitters). Shake vigorously. Dump the ice out of the cocktail glass, strain drink into glass, garnish with a maraschino cherry or, if you can find them, several Morello cherries in brandy.
  3. Mint Julep - fill rocks glass with clean ice. Muddle 6-10 leaves of Kentucky Colonel mint with about a teaspoon of white sugar and a tiny bit of water in the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with desired amount of bourbon (I usually go with 3 ounces of Woodford Reserve) and a good handful of clean ice, and shake VERY vigorously until the shaker frosts. You're trying to get the mint to disintegrate and the sugar to dissolve. Strain drink into ice-filled rocks glass. Top with a little club soda and a sprig of fresh mint.
  4. Daquiri - fill cocktail glass and cocktail shaker with clean ice. Pour golden (NOT LIGHT/WHITE!) rum (I like 10 Cane) and fresh squeezed lime juice at a 2:1 ratio into cocktail shaker, and add simple syrup to taste - you have to taste, because limes have different acidity levels. I usually start with about 2:1:0.25 on the simple syrup and work up from there. Shake VERY vigorously until the shaker frosts. Dump the ice out of the cocktail glass and strain drink in.
  5. Gin gimlet - fill cocktail glass and cocktail shaker with clean ice. Pour gin (I like Tanqueray Rangpur) and Rose's Lime Juice (MUST be Rose's, NOT fresh lime) into shaker at a 2:1 ratio and add about 1/2 tsp powdered sugar (depending on how big a drink you're making and how sweet you like it). Shake vigorously. Pour the ice out of the glass and strain the drink in.
Yes, these are very old school choices. Got a problem with that? :)

Image credit: me!

23 July 2009

Always the Last to Know - new NACHRI web site

OK, I'll admit - I wasn't the last to know about this. But our new web site looks awesome, particularly compared to its highly-cluttered predecessor. Check it out at www.childrenshospitals.net.

22 July 2009

What I'm Reading

  • So maybe GenX *can* lead after all. Hey, if Harvard says so, it must be true, right?
  • Crowdsourcing fixing Star Wars: A New Hope. Lucas did such a crap job, I'm sure this will be a vast improvement. Hell, it would be a vast improvement if they just re-cut the movie without Jar-Jar Binks. Nowhere to go from the bottom but up.
  • Checking out the beta version of the new ASAE member directory interface, aka RUTI, aka the Really Useful Technology Initiative. Looks good!
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about cloud computing. Really. Everything. (Courtesy of MIT's Technology Review, and unfortunately, you now need a subscription to get in.)
  • How IT is transforming health care. Answer? A lot. We're talking near-Star Trek levels of coolness here.
  • Worried about hanging on to your exhibitors in the economic downturn? There's a great discussion about maximizing exhibitor ROI going on at YAP. Check it out and contribute your amazing ideas for keeping those exhibitor dollars.
  • Speaking of YAP, details are emerging about the YAP party at the upcoming ASAE Annual Meeting. Trust me, this is an event you will NOT want to miss.
  • How do you get execs interested in social media? Tip: start with their assistants.

21 July 2009

Hospitals and Social Media

Check out this great recent presentation on the innovative ways hospitals are using social media to communicate with their patients and communities from health care social media expert Ed Bennett:

20 July 2009

Always the Last to Know - PureText

Hate it when you copy-n-paste text and all of a sudden, there's all this wacky formatting you can't seem to fix?

PureText will hook you up with clean copy-n-pastes.

17 July 2009

Friday Top 5

You know how they say the best boat is a friend's boat? That's where I am this weekend. The Top 5 things that are great about a friend's boat:
  1. Getting to spend a whole weekend with two people we really love and don't see enough of.
  2. Boats are FUN!
  3. This particular friend's boat is REALLY sweet (that's not their exact boat, but it's pretty damn close).
  4. The cruise itself sounds great - it includes a sports theme, and what with training camp kicking off in just over a week, the timing couldn't be better.
  5. Being able to walk away from the responsibility and expense of the boat after helping with the cleanup on Sunday afternoon.

16 July 2009

Tech 2010 Call for Presentations

Friday, July 17 (aka "tomorrow") is the LAST day to submit proposals for the ASAE 2010 Technology Conference.

What would make a good submission? Glad you asked!

According to the conference web site:
  • Being socially responsible with technology
  • Business intelligence
  • eLearning strategies
  • Emerging trends
  • Enterprise content management
  • Gaming examples in associations
  • Implementing mobile worker solutions
  • Security
  • Solutions for small staff associations
  • Solutions for nonprofit/philanthropic organizations
  • Technologies to watch in 2010
  • The role of the CIO/CTO
  • Virtualization
  • VOIP
  • Web 2.0/social networking
  • Web usability
  • Website analytics
Submit your proposal now.

15 July 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Latest issue of Technology Review is out, so you'll be seeing more on that. But the first article I read is: Do dieting monkeys live longer? The answer appears to be yes, but is a permanent 30% reduction in calories realistic for people? Even if so, is it desirable? (What about contrary research that indicates that a little extra weight protects older women from osteoporosis?) And of course, it begs the question: if you starve yourself, do you ACTUALLY live longer or does it just FEEL that way?
  • WalMart's public Twitter policy is awesomesauce! (And never thought I'd say that about anything WalMart-related.)
  • To twintern or not to twintern, that is the question. Myself, I think interns and low-level staff can be deployed to help with the doing, but I think the thinking needs to take place at a higher pay grade.
  • Lynn Morton urges us to Dare To Suck, which is really great advice. How else are you ever going to learn anything? Who starts out as an expert?
  • Is GenX incapable of management? As a proud GenXer who thinks herself to be a pretty good manager (and has reports from people who I don't think are just trying to kiss my ass to back that up), I would say no. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?
  • John Haydon's going to punch someone if he hears one more thing about "listening" in social media. OK, not really, but he has a really good point about the importance of the why behind the listening.
  • Brian Birch of the Snow & Ice Management Association and Acronym guest blogger asks us: who are we as association professionals? Weigh in (in 150 words or less) at Acronym.
  • And I'm working my way through the Benjamin January mysteries by Barbara Hambly again. Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO know what it means to miss New Orleans. Why do you ask? I must say that I'm a little disappointed that she seems to have abandoned Ben and his bride, Rose Vitrac, right at the point it looks like they're about to get involved with the Underground Railroad.

14 July 2009

Always the Last to Know - Google Chrome OS

I swear, sometimes it seems like Google launches a new major product every week. But this one's big - a full operating system based on the Chrome browser and the Linux kernel, designed to run netbooks. And the code will be open sourced later this year.

ReadWriteWeb has some (very good) unanswered questions, but somebody's trying to eat Microsoft's lunch.

13 July 2009

Buzz 2009 Recap

OK, rather than recapping the whole thang, which you can get here or here or here or here or here, I thought I'd post all my "YES!" ideas, so you all can hold my feet to the fire about actually, you know, DOING them:
  • Send immediate follow up “tell a friend” emails to everyone who registers for our conferences.
  • Create easy share on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter badges for our conference registrants.
  • Give member hospitals something people will ask about (i.e. Association FORUM's bobblehead.
  • Make all our online videos easy to share.
  • Organize mommy blogger tours of our member hospitals.
  • Consider how we can use socmed to increase the coverage/reach of our conferences (particularly since we're concerned that attendance might be down this year).
So...what are YOU going to do?

10 July 2009

Friday Top 5

Top 5 Great Ideas from Buzz 2009 and WOM Slam 3:
  1. Blow up your business-as-usual business model.
  2. If you're not pissing anyone off in social media, you're playing it too safe.
  3. Would anybody want to tell a friend about this? If it's not worth talking about, it's not worth doing.
  4. Identify your fans and then JUST ASK for their help. (Don't ask - can't get!)
  5. Be where your people are, NOT everywhere.
More on the WOM Slam:

Video of the Champs:

Video of the Runners Up:

And mark your calendar for WOM Slam 4, at and benefiting the truly amazing DC Central Kitchen, on Tuesday, August 11.

09 July 2009

@Buzz 2009

So no post today, although I promise a fresh-n-tasty recap post next week.

In the meantime, check out the #buzz2009 Twitter stream for the latest happenings....

Edited 10:35 am to add: Twitter Fountain!

08 July 2009

What I'm Reading

  • Salon.com on how blogs "changed everything." The main problems I see with Diller et. al.'s theory that talent is a limited resource are the roles of access and practice. You know that old saying it's not what you know, it's who you know? Much as we'd like to pretend otherwise, we don't operate in a pure meritocracy. Talent is one thing, but I don't think anyone would argue that Usain Bolt, Alex Ovechkin, or Venus Williams would have achieved all they had without diligent practice. You have to work to develop any talent, including writing. So if I don't, for instance, have the right background or the know the right people to be able to write a football column for The Philadelphia Inquirer, but I still want to write about the Iggles and improve what I write by practice, my football blog provides an outlet. Additionally, the web allows writers to be serve particular niches - you don't have to appeal to everyone, which allows more diverse and specialized voices to be heard.
  • Dave Fleet asks some thought-provoking questions about self-promotion, community building, creating a following, and engaging in a conversation.
  • Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks owner) on Succeed By Free - Die By Free. Well, OK, but who says you should even aspire to be "king of the mountain" FOREVER?
  • Jared Goralnick on filing, search, and efficiency. I'm generally a top-down person, but he may have convinced me to switch. If only MS's desktop search was, you know, good.
  • New study from the super-smart folks at Pew: Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2009. Among all sorts of interesting findings is this:
Moreover, over the past decade there has been erosion in the percentage of Americans holding conservative views on family, homosexuality and gender roles. The decline in social conservatism is a result of generational change. Younger age cohorts are less conservative than older ones: Both of the younger age cohorts, Generation Y and Generation X, are less conservative than the Baby Boomers. The Silent Generation is the most conservative of all.
Equal rights for ALL? We haz them (soon - I hope).

07 July 2009

Looking ahead to Buzz 2009, Part 2

Just got the word - Buzz 2009 has sold out.

Sad because you can't come?

You can still catch a FREE webcast of Guy Kawasaki's lunch time keynote, during which he will also moderate a panel that includes Andy Sernovitz, Stacey Kane, Stephanie Miller, and Brendan Hart. All you have to do is subscribe to SmartBrief on Social Media, which is also FREE.

You know you want to.....

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06 July 2009

Looking ahead to Buzz 2009, Part 1

Andy Sernovitz, Mr. Word of Mouth, will be giving the opening keynote at Thursday's Buzz 2009. Of course, we'll be talking WOM marketing. So I give you a Sernovitz quote to get you started thinking about WOM now so you can come prepped with lots of great questions for the rockstar speakers Maddie and Lindy have lined up.

What is WOM marketing?
Just make people happy and give them something to talk about.
(There's still time to register, by the way....)

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03 July 2009

Friday Top 5

Happy 1 Year Blogversary, T4P! In honor of that, my top 5 favorite posts:
  1. Blog Potomac Recap. Look who accidentally created a shit-storm! HEE!
  2. My Ada Lovelace Day post on Mary Dixon Kies and my Blog Action Day post on Poverty in DC. Changeblogging rules!
  3. The memes I've participated in - the Leadership meme, Why I Blog, Great Ideas Volunteer Unsession, WOM meme, Changeblogging meme. I love memes because they make me think - and write - about stuff at the same time as a lot of other smart people are doing the same.
  4. My three posts about unplugging. I think this is something to which we do not give enough attention.
  5. Some fun stuff I've written about management issues.
Thanks for reading, y'all!

02 July 2009

The Wisdom of Engineers, Part 2

Remember how I told you that I'm surrounded by engineers in my family? Well, engineers, aside from knowing lots of good jokes about themselves, frequently come up with a lot of wisdom.

One of my favorite engineering sayings is:

"Cheap - Good - Fast. Pick two."

Needless to say, I think this concept has applications far outside the world of engineering.

(Many of you will attribute this to the project management concept of the Iron Triangle. But I heard it from engineers first, so I credit them.)

01 July 2009

What I'm Reading

Actually, forget what I'm reading this week. Maddie did a great "Top 10 Must-Read Links This Week" post yesterday. That's what I'm reading - and so should you!