29 January 2010

Friday Top 5

There are only two more Sundays in the 2009 NFL season (and let's face it, who watches the Pro Bowl?*). Top 5 Good Things about the End of Football Season:
  1. Increased exercise in the fresh air and sunshine thanks to not spending all day every Sunday on the couch shouting at the TV (yes, even during the pre-game. It's not MY fault Michael Irvin is an idiot).
  2. Time to pursue my other hobbies now that the football blogging pressure will ease.
  3. The ability to start the Food Lab experiments with Chef Spouse, Mad Kitchen Scientist, and The Executive Committee.
  4. Seeing more of my non-football-fan friends.
  5. 7 blissful Troy Aikman-free months.
Sigh. I'm lying. Much as I'm looking forward to that stuff, there really is nothing good about football season ending. How many more days until the draft?

*OK, OK I admit it - I have been known to watch the Pro Bowl. But only to help ease my withdrawal symptoms! I swear!

28 January 2010

Always the Last to Know: Intel Reader

Intel has produced an assistive technology device called the Reader that uses a built in camera to read aloud any printed text it's pointed at. It's a truly amazing device for those with learning disabilities or visual impairments. I would've included the video, but it's not embeddable, so you'll just have to follow this link to check it out.

27 January 2010

What I'm Reading

26 January 2010

Riddle me this, Batman

The reason companies have historically been willing to pay big bucks for print ads is that the publishers can provide demographic and circulation data: i.e., we have 20,000 subscribers. 27% of them have completed college. 18% have household incomes over $150,000. Etc.

Online ads? If I'm logged in to a site, which is increasingly the case, and I click on an ad, the site owner could potentially tell the advertiser everything they know about me.

And somehow that's worth less?

People, we have to figure out the financial model for online advertising, or all we'll be left with is non-professional content (and as a non-professional content creator, that scares the hoo-has out of me).

25 January 2010

Interested in YPs?

"What are YPs?" you ask? Why, young professionals of course!

Reposting this for the fab Sheri Jacobs of the Avenue M Group.

"Hi Friends,

As some of you may already know, I have launched a survey to uncover some best practices around recruiting and retaining young professional members to an association. If you haven't already done so, please take the survey by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/5qLTUN (and pass the link along to friends)

I'd also love to collect your anecdotal stories about what works and what hasn't worked at your association. If you send me an email describing your experience your name will go into a drawing for a free copy of my soon to be published book: 199 Ideas: Powerful Marketing Ideas That Sell. (Again - please pass along this email to your friends)

If you don't currently work at an association but you have an experience or some knowledge to share, please don't hesitate to email me and you'll be entered into the drawing as well.

Sheri Jacobs, CAE
jacobs at avenuemgroup dot com
President + Chief Strategist
Avenue M Group, LLC"

Go fill it out, send Sheri your ideas, and maybe win a great book in the process!

22 January 2010

Friday Top 5

In a follow up to yesterday's post, Top 5 Things That Are GREAT About Unplugging:
  1. Peace & quiet
  2. Ability to concentrate on Big Thinky Ideas without distractions
  3. Having an actual face-to-face conversation with one of your friends or loved ones
  4. Devoting 100% of your attention to that conversation
  5. Notice - observe - savor
Or, as a nice lady said to Jim on the street on our very first trip to New Orleans: "Slow DOWN, child!" Good advice.

Image credit: Freefoto.com

21 January 2010

On the Importance of Unplugging

Or, as Phil Baumann would call it, "defraging," and thanks to @EdBennett for the link.

It seems like I end up musing on this topic at least once a year. This go round was motivated by watching a bunch of my colleagues get to the end of the year scrambling with their "use or lose" vacation. And NACHRI has VERY generous carry over policies, so it's not like we can only carry a week. Why is this a good thing? Around here, it definitely does NOT come from the top, as our CEO provides a good model of work-life balance, particularly when it comes to truly vacationing (as opposed to "going on vacation" but taking your Blackberry and laptop).

Studies have demonstrated that being "always on" can produce serious depression and lead to shallow relationships. Technology, particularly social media technology, can eat your life if you let it. It's almost addictive, to the point that Firefox includes add-ons that will control it for you, if you can't for yourself. And it may exacerbate problems like ADD/ADHD.

Constantly checking our email, FB updates, or Twitter stream precludes contemplation, deep conversations, "flow" states, and being in the moment - we're too busy worrying about all the *other* moments we might be missing. And in the meantime, we're missing *our* moments.

I'm not saying dump all technology or social media. I'm just encouraging us all to think about both the benefits and the costs all this convenience brings us. Every person has to decide what the right balance of on/off is for herself. But be honest with yourself - are your online relationships hurting your face-to-face relationships? When was the last time you put away the computer and the smart phone for a week - or even a day? Did you lose any vacation because you "didn't have time" to take it last year? When was the last time you sat in silence and watched something of nature? When was the last time you took a walk without a phone or iPod? When was the last time you read a novel - or an actual print newspaper? When was the last time you went out with your significant other - or best friend - and both of you turned off your cell phones for the evening?

KiKi's encouraging us to think about a Tech Detox, too. Go to her blog to offer your ideas about what that would include for you.

20 January 2010

What I'm Reading

It's (almost) all social media all the time this week.
  • Is your organization social media ready or not?
  • Is privacy going out of style? Mark Zuckerberg thinks so (which explains a LOT of otherwise inexplicable FB policy choices, come to think of it).
  • Social marketing is a mind-set (even worldview?) not a tool, argues John Jantsch.
  • More Guy Kawasaki dragon-style Twitter-fu, this time from CES.
  • Want more Guy? Slides from his presentation on the Art of Innovation at CES are now available.
  • Brian Solis shares 10 Stages of SocMed Evolution. Where are you?
  • Is blogging dead? Steve Rubel thinks so. (so what are you doing here?)
  • John Haydon's still working on his 31 days of social media optimization, and I love this title: 12 Steps to Creating a Bootlicious FB Page. HEE! (good advice, too)
  • Of course, once you make all those improvements, you'll want to track what's going on.
  • Getting overwhelmed with all this SocMed hoopla? Some tips on how to survive the tsunami.
  • Documents are not strategy. In other news, Jamie Notter's really smart.
  • I'm also finishing up Blindness by Jose Saramago. It's an interesting book. I suspect blind people probably find it offensive - the basic premise is that everyone except one woman in an unnamed city goes blind and reverts to beastial behavior. There are several suspension of disbelief problems. But it's not supposed to be narrative fiction - it's kind of a fairy tale, although one in which the wolf eats grandma and Red and doesn't get punished.

19 January 2010


I'm attending the ASAE & The Center 2010 Technology Conference in Washington, DC!

ASAE's annual Technology Conference is coming up in about 3 weeks.

Vint Cerf and Clay Shirky are keynoting. There's a brand-new geek track. It's been named one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Trade Shows. And there will be another destined-to-be-legendary YAP dance party on Thursday, February 11.

What are you waiting for? Go register!

18 January 2010

MLK Day of Service

Although it's probably too late to join one of the organized projects, you can always go pick up litter on your block, visit and play with a young neighbor, run an errand for an elderly neighbor, or go to Volunteer Match, type in your ZIP Code and look for something you can do this weekend.

15 January 2010

Friday Top 5

"They" (whoever "they" are) are predicting an unusually harsh winter in the DC area. We've already had snow twice, which is pretty much twice more than normal. And many, many of you are making a hash of driving in it, thus inspiring today's Friday Top 5:

Top 5 Tips for Driving in Snow

(and yes, I do know better than you do - I was raised and learned to drive in Pennsylvania)
  1. You have to clean off your car. Yes, your ENTIRE car. Yes, even you, Mr. SUV Owner. Yes, even the roof. I know it's high, but getting that monstrosity was your choice. Get a step ladder.
  2. SLOW DOWN. I know you're really excited that there's less traffic than usual. Slow down anyway. No, slower. No, SLOOOOOWER.
  3. Normal braking distance? Triple it. Minimum.
  4. For those of you with automatic transmissions (which seems to be pretty much everyone other than me these days): you know that mysterious "low" gear your car has? This is what it's for - use it.
  5. If it's icy, just stay home. You cannot drive in ice. No, not even you, Mr. SUV Owner.

14 January 2010

AFG Online Fundraising Presentation

Below you'll find the slides for the presentation I gave for the Association Foundation Group this morning:

Same Song, Different Verse: New Tools to Help Accelerate Your Fundraising

All the resources referenced are linked from yesterday's weekly What I'm Reading post.

13 January 2010

What I'm Reading

I've giving a luncheon presentation for the Association Foundation Group's January meeting tomorrow on online fundraising, and I've found all sorts of interesting references.
(Yes, I'm also posting all these here for the convenience of those who will attend the session tomorrow, so they don't have to try to correctly transcribe all the URLs from the slides. Which, by the way, I will post tomorrow afternoon.)

12 January 2010

Always the Last to Know: Free & Low Cost Web Tools

Awesome presentation by ASAE's Amy Hissrich on free & low-cost web tools. There's, like, a YEAR's worth of Always the Last to Know in here.

11 January 2010

MLK Day of Service

Did you know that the Martin Luther King holiday (next Monday, January 18, 2010) has been designated an official Day of Service by President Obama (this is actually the second annual MLK Day of Service)?

There's still time to make plans to spend part or all of your day doing good in your community. Go to serve.gov to find a local volunteer opportunity matched to your interests.

And if you're in DC, you can plan to join me and a team from NACHRI at the Greater DC Cares event, in which we'll be working to benefit DC public schools. If you're lucky, the Pres and/or Ms. Michelle might show up at your site!

08 January 2010

Friday Top 5

The verdict is in: this year's New Year's resolution is to go to Philadelphia Eagles training camp at Lehigh University this summer.

For those who don't already know, I have a rule for resolutions: fun only, and preferably something that I've been wanting to try or learn.

Top 5 Best New Year's resolutions ever:
  1. Hitting all the Washingtonian magazine's Top 100 restaurants that were a) in DC and b) ones I hadn't yet dined at.
  2. Trapeze lessons.
  3. Sky diving.
  4. Learn to make the perfect manhattan
  5. Trying out for DC Rollergirls
What fun things are you going to promise yourself this year?

07 January 2010

TED Talks: Making a Social Media Splash

#1 Tip: Have a Sense of Humor!

06 January 2010

What I'm Reading

No more end of year lists! Can't take it!

Since I'm not linking to any more end of year lists and that seems to be all anyone wants to talk about this week, the list is short:
  • According to Amber Naslund, it's time to get serious about your social media strategy. (It's really awesome advice - you should go read it. Now.)
  • John Haydon's doing a series on what stats you should be tracking in a number of places - blog, FB page, Twitter. Good stuff.
  • I'm obsessively checking Philly.com's coverage of the Eagles in hopes that someone will come up with a ray of hope for the beleaguered Bleeding Green Nation looking towards our rematch with the Cowboys on Saturday. Which is probably a mistake, because the Philly sportswriters are, as a general rule, even more pessimistic than the fans.
  • And of course, I'm reading all the press from CES about the Google Nexus One. If Palm doesn't hurry up and unlock the damn Pre soon, I may be seduced.
  • Reading Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch, the first female captain at Thomas Keller's New York outpost, Per Se. It's not bad, but after reading Michael Ruhlman, Ruth Reichl, and Tony Bourdain's various books, I've come to expect better - more juicy details, snappier and more focused writing, a more cohesive story. I give it a "meh."
  • Also reading The Truth About Chuck Norris by Ian Spector and I Can Haz Cheezburger? by Professor Happycat. Both silly stocking gifts, both hilarious.

05 January 2010

Social Media Measurement

Short version? Right now, it's pathetic. But it needs to/will get better.

Want more? Check out socialmediatoday.

04 January 2010

RIP MyBlogLog?

Damn. ReadWriteWeb is reporting that Yahoo! is planning to kill MyBlogLog. To understand all the reasons this sucks, check out this post, also on ReadWriteWeb.

Don't kill the service, Yahoo! Please!