31 March 2010

What I'm Reading

  • Next time you're at an event, Jamie Notter encourages you to expand your horizons.
  • How the Mayo Clinic wins with social media (an interview with Lee Aase).
  • Social connection --> increased wallet share.
  • Protecting your brand in social media - how NOT to do it (courtesy of Nestle). Bonus round: a follow up story and some tips on what Nestle SHOULD have done.
  • What do David Lee Roth and brown M&Ms have to do with your association? A lot.
  • More goodness from John Haydon: do people really need your online community? This is particularly timely for associations, as we're all hurrying into having proprietary member communities. The Hourglass Blog also has an interesting take on this idea.
  • Lifehacker takes on Twitter & upping your "visible IQ" (love that term).
  • Amber Naslund brings it to 9 social media topics that need to die - go girl!
  • Scott Briscoe asks the provocative question "Why do consultants suck?" on Acronym and sparks a really interesting discussion in the comments (as a former - and maybe future? one never knows - consultant, I'd say Scott is spot-on).
  • Jeff Hurt tells us that the 60/90 minute conference session is dead. Here's hoping!
  • Seth Godin on how not knowing where the "enough" point is can keep us from doing anything. He's talking about philanthropy, but I also think it's relevant to what we ask of our volunteers. If volunteering looks like a bottomless pit of obligation, there won't be too many people excited about jumping in.
  • Speaking of volunteering, check out Deirdre Reid's brilliant New Volunteer Manifesto.
  • Finally, I've just started James Hynes's new book Next. He's one of my favorite authors, so I suspect this will excellent, but life has been so busy lately I've had time to do little more than crack the cover and pop in a bookmark.
Edited to add: wow, Scott Briscoe's post got pulled. I would assume this was because some un-named portion of the consultant crowd got their panties in a twist over it. But again, I think it was right on, and I've been a consultant and hired plenty of consultants in my 13 years in association management. Scott's main point was that we're all too safe - association execs often (although certainly not always) hire consultants for political cover to validate decisions that have already been made. "It's better if a consultant says it." Which is a waste of everyone's time and money, in my opinion. BOTH sides of the relationship have to be willing to take more risks - I shouldn't hire a consultant to tell me what I want to hear, and when I'm consulting, I shouldn't just tell my clients what they want to hear. If you're a consultant and that upsets you, maybe you should check out another line of work.

30 March 2010

Career Spotlight: Association Management

Missed the webinar on February 26? No worries - it's now archived online.

Listen to ASAE CEO John Graham, Fusion Productions founder (and Membership Section Council chair) Don Dea, Solid Waste Association of North America Manager of Communications and Marketing (and rockin' young professional) Bob Wolfe, AMVETS CFO (and ASAE Board chair) Velma Hart and yours truly talk about how awesome careers in association management are and why you should want one!

29 March 2010


Seeing as I'm at the #snowMG delayed Membership Section Council "winter" meeting today, this seems particularly apropos.

ASAE has launched their annual call for volunteers.

"Who, me?"

Yes you!

"I'm not important enough!"

I thought so, too, but all you need is passion for association management and a desire to give back to the association community. There are lots of options:
  • The various committees deal with profession-wide issues like ethics and diversity
  • The section councils are great for subject matter experts (marketing, technology, membership, professional development, etc.)
  • The action teams are good choices for people in the DC area
  • CAEs have a variety of options for contributing to the certification program
Don't want to go to a bunch of meetings? Sign up to be an "open volunteer" and focus your energy on ad hoc projects with quick turn-arounds.

Applications are due by Friday, April 9.

26 March 2010

Friday Top 5

Spouse and I went to see Clybourne Park at Woolly Mammoth Theater last night. The WaPo was right - it was excellent. In honor of that, today's Friday Top 5 is the Top 5 Things I've Seen On Stage in DC:
  1. Top Dog/Under Dog (Studio Theater's 2003-2004 season)
  2. Take Me Out (Studio Theater's 2004-2005 season)
  3. Schoolgirl Figure (Cherry Red Productions, summer 2002)
  4. Jerry Springer the Opera (Studio Theater's Fringe Fest 2008 offering)
  5. Pillowman (Studio Theater's 2006-2007 season)

It's interesting that so many are Studio Theater productions, because I would say that Woolly is my favorite DC theater company - they're a little less consistent than Studio, but they also take more chances.

25 March 2010

More on Social Media as Religion

I've been continuing to think about this topic, and I've realized there's at least one more parallel to make:

The converted - aka us (I'm including you because you're reading this blog) - spend too much time preaching to the choir - aka the people who've already drunk the kool-aid - and ignoring the godless heathen infidels - aka the skeptics.

We need to stop turning our backs on skeptics with a dismissive: "Well, they just don't get it, so to hell with them."

Do you truly believe that social media is transformative? If it's really that important, you need to HELP them get it.

24 March 2010

Ada Lovelace Day: The TR35

If you hang around this blog for a little while, you'll soon discover my geek crush on Technology Review, a fantastic publication that comes out of MIT six times a year. It covers all aspects of technology, with a heavy focus on nanotechnology and medical technology in addition to the more typical IT and engineering tech fare.

Every year, TR publishes a "TR35" issue, which highlights the top 35 innovators in computing, the web, business, biomedicine, and communication under the age of 35.

In 2009, the following women were recognized:
  • Andrea Armani, for inventing optical sensors than can detect single molecules, which will help doctors diagnose and start treating illnesses much earlier
  • Michelle Khine, who was inspired by Shrinky Dinks to create a new method that allows cheap & easy production of high-tech diagnostic chips, which have a variety of applications, from rapid bedside diagnoses to improving the odds of a successful organ transplant to improving solar cell technology
  • Anat Levin, who developed a new digital camera and algorithm that remove motion blur from moving images
  • Ellis Meng, who invented an insertable micropump to deliver medicines that prevent blindness directly to the eye
  • Vera Sazonova, who created the world's smallest resonator, which could be used to create motion detectors so sensitive they'd be able to detect gravitational waves
  • Elena Shevchenko, who is "the best grower of nanocrystals in the world today" and has created dozens of new nanomaterials to date
  • Dawn Song, who created a platform called BitBlaze that can automatically analyze new malware and create a filter on the fly that will protect computers until a formal patch can be written, tested, and released
  • Jaime Teevan, a leader in search technology, who is innovating on using information about people's knowledge, preferences, and habits to help them better manage and sift through search results
  • Andrea Thomaz, who's created robots that learn new tasks the way people do, using social cues
Follow the links to learn more about what each of these inspiring young women is up to.

(What I'm Reading returns from it's Ada Lovelace Day sabbatical next week.)

23 March 2010

Always the Last to Know: Tweetshare

Tweetshare is a service that allows you to share multimedia files through Twitter, harnessing the power of your community of followers (about which you now know more, because you created a Tweetsheep graphic for them last week, right?) for collaboration and feedback.


22 March 2010

TED Talks: Jamie Oliver & Teaching Kids About Food

Jamie Oliver won the TED prize this past year for his work on the childhood obesity problem. This is, incidentally, also a major initiative for NACHRI.

Check out his winning talk on the subject:

19 March 2010

Friday Top 5

In honor of Love a Lurker Day, the Top 5 Things to Love about Lurkers:

  1. They don't start flame wars.
  2. They may not comment, but they can be a terrific source of traffic.
  3. They pay it forward by linking, emailing, tweeting, FBing, etc. your stuff.
  4. They are usually your truly devoted readers.
  5. When they DO comment, it tends to be pretty smart & thoughtful, because they're not just doing it to hear themselves talk.

What do you love about your lurkers?

18 March 2010

The 500th Post

The most commented on posts include:
The most commonly used post tags include:

I'm proud to be a part of the A List Bloggers and Alltop for Association Management. I have about 65 subscribers through RSS feeds and MyBlogLog. And I wanted to thank all of you for reading, commenting, linking to me, etc. Without my readers, I'd just be talking to myself - and I do enough of that as it is.

So, Thanks for Playing, and here's to the next 500!

17 March 2010

What I'm Reading

  • Cook Children's Healthcare System (NACHRI member, natch) is the first children's hospital to launch an iPhone app. St. Louis Children's (also a NACHRI member) is the second.
  • The top 30 objections to using social media and some potential responses.
  • Learning innovation from the Big Dogs (Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano).
  • You've got fans - now how do you keep them? Andy Sernovitz has some advice.
  • New guest blogger Beau Ballinger's first post on Acronym. To paraphrase US magazine: "YPs! They're just like us!"
  • 35 cool social media infographics. Pretty pictures! YAY!
  • Leslie White guest blogs for the SocialFish on how to be a social media pest (no, this is not something you want to aspire to).
  • Don't sweat the small stuff - and a lot of social media mistakes are pretty damn small.
  • The 11 commandments of corporate Twitter.
  • What blogs should you read? Rohit Bhargava has some advice.
  • Facebook: Group? Fanpage? Both? This post weighs the options.
  • Follow up to #ideas10: Maddie Grant recaps a lot of the best stuff. Lynn Morton blogged quite a bit rather than tweeting. JNott reminds us it's all about the love. And Frank Fortin managed to score a comment from Dan Pink himself!
  • Likewise, follow up to #2010cc (which is why I wasn't at #ideas10): Chris Wilder blogs about his, Ed Bennett's and Deb Braidic's social media pre-con. There's also some great video and a lot of sessions were recapped on the NACHRI conference blog, Connected Thinking. And our first experiment with Twitter for a conference was a roaring success (click on "view transcript" for 3/8/2010 - 3/12/2010).
  • I'm also re-reading Daphne DuMaurier's great gothic romance novel, Rebecca, which I haven't read since I was a teenager.

16 March 2010

Always the Last to Know: Twittersheep

Twittersheep (as you can see from the graphic to the right) is a really fun service that creates word clouds of the profiles of your followers.


Not too many surprises for me over there - social, media, marketing, association, technology, management, communications

But I love that "love" is so prominent!

(JNott should be proud.)

15 March 2010

TED Talks: Dan Pink & the Science of Motivation

Missed #ideas10? Me, too. But we can still get some Dan Pink goodness, thanks to TED Talks:

12 March 2010

Friday Top 5

Lots of travel in the past 8 days! The Top 5 Things That Are GREAT About Being Home:
  1. Sleeping in my own bed (spouse included)
  2. 10+ types of bourbon to choose from (southern California is a bourbon WASTELAND, people)
  3. Being able to change my mind about what to wear 7 times in the morning without running through all my available options...twice
  4. My own coffee (nobody makes it better, yo)
  5. Even though they make me sneeze, my kitties

08 March 2010

At #2010cc

No posts this week while I'm at the 2010 NACHRI Creating Connections Conference in San Diego. Want to know what's going on? Follow #2010cc or check out the Connected Thinking blog to find out about the latest happenings.

05 March 2010

Friday Top 5

My top 5 Favorite Sayings/Quotes:
  1. Cheap - Fast - Good. Pick 2. (any engineer I've ever known)
  2. I feel sorry for people who don't drink - when they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. (Frank Sinatra)
  3. Measure your life in love. (the musical Rent)
  4. Tell me, what is it you plan to do - With your one wild and precious life? (Mary Oliver)
  5. Muriel Duckworth told me that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, and she is a 97-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She didn't wait until she felt she could do things perfectly before she did them. (Audra Williams, This Magazine, March 2006)
Got some good ones yourself? Share them in the comments.

04 March 2010

Always the Last to Know: Twitpay

Are you a nonprofit that's looking to raise money on Twitter? Check out Twitpay, which has recently be acquired by an investor group and is being repurposed specifically to allow nonprofits to fundraise on Twitter. Cool!

03 March 2010

What I'm Reading

  • The Dalai Lama's tweets. Yes, @DalaiLama is now on Twitter. It looks like someone is probably tweeting for him, but I'm hoping for good things.
  • Tapping the power of LinkedIn to be more than just a Rolodex that updates itself (I really need to get on this myself),
  • JNott on how following "best practices" holds us back.
  • Don't put all your socmed eggs in one platform basket (but seriously, what's up with the blonde?),
  • Blast from the past - 1995 Newsweek article about why the Internet will fail - it's a fad, I say!
  • Confused, Conflicted, Clueless and Cranky - great piece about what's going on (or not) in health care reform.
  • Simple tips for promoting your blog.
  • Just started Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Don't really have an opinion yet other than to point out that's she's pretty much universally brilliant and I've loved her other books I've read, so I have high expectations.

02 March 2010


Stop making excuses - start innovating.

The Hacking Associations Unconference is coming.

Inspired by Acronym's Big Ideas Month and sponsored by Principled Innovation (Jeff De Cagna) and DelCor Technology Solutions (KiKi L'Italien), HackAction will provide associations the opportunity to bring our ideas to the table, and the best ideas, as voted on by attendees, will receive $1,000 seed grants.

Check out the video here and keep an eye on the hashtag for more information.

01 March 2010

Social Media as Religion

One of the most fun parts of Untech10 was the end of the day tweetaway session. Everyone was asked to capture their top takeaway from the day in 140 characters or less. Mine was:
"socmed doesn't have rules - it has religions - need 2 provide diff spaces 4 devotees of diff sects (inc agnostics)"
This is nearly a direct quote (shortened for Twitter) of a statement made during the opening "fishbowl" session. It struck me as a really profound observation.

I'm not going to try to get too clever with this borrowed analogy, but while those of us who are involved in social media tend to operate in more than one space, I'd bet that most of us have a home platform that is our primary social media outlet. It's the one that's always open when your computer's on and is the first thing you check - the first app you installed on your smartphone - the one people accuse you of being "addicted" to. And, much like different religions and denominations, they each have their own rules, norms, and ways of interacting.

In some ways, this is just another way of expressing the "LinkedIn is the business meeting, Facebook is the hallway conversation, Twitter is the cocktail party" concept so many of us are familiar with. Except there is a certain level of dogmatism attached to the platforms - not only is my favorite one my favorite one, it's also the RIGHT one to be using for X, Y, and Z reasons.

So if you're a LinkedInian, it's the RIGHT one because Twitter's ratio of signal to noise is too low and Facebook is too silly (Farmville overload, anyone?). Likewise, if you're a Tweep, it's the RIGHT one because you can pay attention to anyone you want to unlike Facebook that requires them to follow you back, and because it's concise, immediate and engaging, unlike the LinkedIn business rolodex and resume focus. And on and on.

But much like with religion, the audience you're trying to engage is likely to be a mix of different faiths. And you don't have the option of just not talking about it in polite company.

So what do you do?

First of all, it's important to acknowledge that there are agnostics/atheists in the Church of Social Media. Which means you have to maintain traditional ways of engaging, communicating, and marketing in addition to playing with all your shiny new socmed toys.

Secondly, you need to know your audience. What socmed faith do they pledge? And what does that say about how they want to engage with you and each other and what they're looking for out of their interactions?

Third, remember that religion inspires passion. What are you doing to tap into the passion of your community and enable them to express it? Who are your proselytizers?

Finally, don't confuse your own role. You're not an evangelist for a particular faith - you're a professor of comparative religion. Your task is to help your congregants understand the options available to them and see the core truth in all: these tools exist to help us find new ways of connecting with each other. (But I won't make you sing Kumbaya.)