31 December 2012

Always the Last to Know: Innovation Index

Geek heaven! Just in time for the end of the year, it's Mashable's annual innovation index winners!

Some of my personal favorites include:
  • Flipboard
  • The Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • Crowd funding
  • Quirky
What do you love in this list? (I know I'm going to get shout-outs for Fitocracy.)

28 December 2012

Friday Top 5

It's a little self-referential, but it *is* the last Friday of the year. My Top 5 blog posts of 2012 (measured by number of clicks):
  1. Is Membership Really Dying?, in which I took on the concept of members versus subscribers.
  2. "My Members Don't Read!", in which I posit some possible solutions to that all-too-common complaint.
  3. Sections Instead of Breakouts, or how can we bring conference education sessions up to the quality level of the networking events?
  4. Process Killed the Association Star, in which I accepted a challenge thrown by Jamie Notter and attempted to answer "how do we get to 'yes' in our associations?"
  5. Do We REALLY Know What Our Members Need?, in which I questioned the common assumption that we do.
Other notable posts included the launch of my curation whitepaper (it's FREE, you know), a post about the Carville/Rove fracas from ASAE annual, the launch of Spark, a meme response that I'm still working on, and a post in the title of which I unfortunately used the words "Chanel suit," and you wouldn't believe the number of clicks it's gotten if I told you (I'm sure that 95% of them were mistakes).

27 December 2012

Announcing: Associations 101 Webinar Series!

Dave Will (Peach New Media), Scott Oser (Scott Oser Associates), and I are pleased to bring you a new webinar series, Associations 101.

Designed for people who are new to the profession of association management, new to particular topic in association management, or who just need a brush up on some concepts, Associations 101 will feature experienced association executives sharing 10 tips in 20 minutes on a variety of topics in association management.

Each webinar will take place on the second Friday of the month at 1:30 pm ET.

The series kicks off Friday, January 11, 2013 with Peggy Hoffman, CAE (President, Mariner Management and Marketing) sharing “10 Things You Need to Know about Volunteer Management in Association Management.”
Add one more thing to that growing list of changes that are rocking the association world: volunteering is a whole new game. Our volunteers are demanding a new set of terms from how they work to what jobs they do to the volunteer pathway in general. What’s an association exec to do? Well we’ve got a 10 things for you to consider that will help you ignite your volunteers. 
 In the coming months, we’ll feature:
  • Greg Fine, CAE (CEO, Turnaround Management Association) on diversity & inclusion 
  • Erin Fuller, CAE (President, Alliance for Women in Media) on association branding 
  • Amy Lestition, CAE (Associate Vice President, Coulter) on association publications 
  • Stefanie Reeves, CAE (Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, American Psychological Association) on government relations 
  • Bruce Wardle (President and CEO, Association Management Group) on association governance 
  • Miriam Miller Wolk, CAE (Senior Director of Membership, United Fresh Produce Association) on membership sales 
And did we mention? The webinars are free, and they’ll all be archived with Peach New Media, available for on-demand viewing, also for free.

 Register now!

26 December 2012

What I'm Reading

14 December 2012

Friday Top 5

Warning: this post may get a little schmoopy. And if you know me at all, you know how rare that is.

I'll be offline and not posting next week because my spouse and I are headed out of town for a few days to celebrate a milestone anniversary. So this Friday Top 5 is for him. Five things that are amazing about my spouse (because there are so many I can't say these are the top five):
  1. Multiple times in our years together, he's held up way more than his half of the sky so I could pursue my dreams.
  2. He one of the smartest but at the same time most gentle and humble people I've ever met.
  3. He treats me so well that everyone who knows him - male or female - would totes marry him in second if anything ever happened to me. (back off - he's taken)
  4. He's an amazing cook.
  5. After (mumble mumble mumble) years together, he still makes me laugh my ass off on a regular basis.
Back later next week.

13 December 2012

Constructive Conflict Is a Kind of Love

Just found a fantastic TED Talk on daring to disagree.

My favorite lines?

"Fearing and avoiding conflict means you will never get the best out of your people."

"Open networks are essential."

"Truth won't set you free until you develop the moral courage to use it."

12 December 2012

What I'm Reading

11 December 2012

Huru for the Holidays

Got enough stuff? (who doesn't?)

Looking for a holiday gift that's a little more meaningful?

May I suggest: Huru for the Holidays.

To quote from their website:
Millions of girls around the world don’t have access to sanitary supplies. They’re forced to use dangerous substitutes. They miss school every month.

In Swahili, Huru means freedom. At Huru, we give girls the freedom to stay in school. We began in Kenya, providing thousands of at-risk girls with free kits that include reusable sanitary pads, life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention information, and information and resources essential to sexual and reproductive health. Huru Kits are environmentally friendly and locally produced, creating new jobs in the girls’ communities—a cost-effective, simple solution to a complicated problem. 
I have a friend who's running a drive to purchase 500 Huru kits. Each kit costs $25 and provides supplies for a full year. You can donate here, and help a young woman stay in school.

You do, of course, know that it's been proved that the best way to raise a community out of poverty is to educate the women and give them control over their reproductive faculties, right?

10 December 2012

Always the Last to Know: ShortStack

Creating custom Facebook tabs? There's a easier way: ShortStack.

I quote the awesome John Haydon:
It allows you to create fan-gates, photo contests, and more. The best thing about ShortStack is the ability to create custom tabs that can be shared among admins and Pages.

07 December 2012

Friday Top 5

My Top 5 Takeaways from this week's ASAE #Tech12:
  1. I loved Dave Coriale's IGNITE on technology trends and innovations. If you read this blog at all, you know I'm a huge proponent of MIT's Technology Review. Dave's presentation highlighted why. We all need to be shaken out of the comfort zone of what we know and can see coming on a regular basis. Is your association going to use 3-D printing to make a new kidney for someone? Unlikely, but knowing that that's possible can help you think in new ways.
  2. The changing role of IT, or more specifically recognition of the changing role of IT. IT hasn't been "that weird guy down in the server room" for a long time. But it seems like both IT staff and the rest of the organization know that on a conscious level now, and, because of that, are able to focus on how IT supports the entire enterprise and can and should be a strategic partner.
  3. "Big data." Curious about what "big data" is? IBM (and they should know) has a free ebook. I would say that it's premature for associations to talk about "big data," though. I don't think we've conquered small data yet. What are we waiting for?
  4. Lots of talk about measuring member engagement, what to watch out for, and how to turn engagement into revenue. We're talking a lot about this, but I'm not convinced anyone's doing it well. Yet. One of the key problems I see is that staff assigns the points for various activities, and what *we* think is important may have no bearing on what *members* think is important.
  5. Finally, the best statement of the entire conference was the last thing closing keynoter Dion Hinchcliff said: "Become a change agent/revolutionary. You probably won't have your job in its current form for long anyway."
Bonus takeaway: fram. It's my new favorite term - spam from friends and family. I'm looking at you, people who still have aol email accounts.

04 December 2012

Marketing Masterstrokes

Yesterday, Kristina Twigg (Water Environment Federation), Lauren Wolfe (Higher Logic), and I presented on marketing your private online community at the Higher Logic Users' Group Super Forum.

Kristina, Lauren, and I each shared our own tips for marketing community (contained in the slides below), and then we led a crowdsourcing exercise to elicit additional private community marketing advice from Higher Logic clients and users:

  • Make business cards with your community URL to hand out. Advanced tip? Have a laminating machine at your conference so people can make luggage tags with your community card on one side and their own business card on the other.
  • Have a solid strategy for roll out (and K.I.S.S.).
  • Do at least ONE mailing (maybe a postcard?) about your new community.  If your members have unsubbed your mailing list, you won't be able to get them via email.
  • Have a mobile app for the community? Use QRC for easy app download.
  • Encourage people to upload profile pictures. Send "is this you?" messages with a blank head outline periodically.
  • Pre-populate the login "remember me" box - make people opt *out* rather than having to opt in.
  • Start a blog series to attract attention.
  • Include a regular "most discussed in our community" feature in your other communications pieces (like enewsletters).
  • If your listservs are still live, link to them in the appropriate communities so the information is searchable.