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Blogging – It’s about community…and coffee

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

Computer, coffee cup holder, and community provider

When you think of blogging, what comes to mind?  For me, blogging brings to mind community and coffee.  Let me explain.  As I’ve written before, I’m a big fan of Joffrey’s coffee.  What started off as a Java Beta Test turned into a free coffee sample for this new blogger and about 1,500 others to try their product (by the way – the test is over in the event you try to still find it).  The Web 2.0 strategy behind it all was a great example of how the web can be used to entertain while reward AND not be a bother.  It was permission based; pull and not push.  A few months later the outcome of Joffrey’s Beta Test led to a new flavor, Coffee 2.0.  Clever idea – AND a great product.
At basically 5 cents a cup, this varietal will kick your morning into high gear and has a very smooth flavor.

REACHING OUT

OK, so in that promotion, not only did I learn about a great product I would have never been exposed to, I was also welcomed into the Blogosphere because any blogger who signed up on the Beta Test was sent a free sample.  I was reinforced that blogging has a few perks aside from a few kind comments.  I was exposed to community.
I was also exposed to Adam Singer, the digital marketer behind Joffrey’s promotion.  Well…not exposed literally.  I took advantage of the community feel that blogging gives you and I reached out to Adam and commended him for a great promotion.  He emailed me back in about 10 minutes and a friendship was formed.  Later I found out that Adam has a blog of his own and is an accomplished musician as well.  I now read his blog, The Future Buzz and I enjoy his music.  And from time to time we’ll Twitter or email each other.  Coffee brought community.

GREAT PEOPLE IN WEB 2.0

Had I never taken the initiative to start my own blog I would have never come across a great new marketing tool(s) in social media.  I would also be lacking from a great community I’ve come to really enjoy and from knowing the many individuals who have been kind to me and many others.  I’m talking about people like John Wall and Christopher Penn from Marketing Over Coffee; CC Chapman from Managing the Grey (thanks for the card); Lisa Johnson from Reach Group, Albert Maruggi from Marketing Edge; Chris Brogan – Social Media Extraordinaire; Jim Tome of eHealthcare Marketing, Mark McGuinness now of Lateral Action, Whitney Hoffman of LDPodcast, Zena Weist of Nothin’ But SocNet, Beth Kanter of Beth’s Blog, and of course, Adam Singer, who I mentioned earlier, with The Future Buzz.  Now, I could have mentioned a few more (and I deeply apologize if I left anyone out), but these individuals I expressly mention because they typify SOCIAL media.  They preach it.  They live it.  They help it.  They advocate it.  And I know this personally because I’ve gotten a comment(s) or email(s) back from each. What kind of cool world is this!  Between blogs, podcasts and the social networks, these are the best of the best.

It will be a long time, perhaps never, that I would ever aspire to the level of prowess these individuals exhibit.  But as a role model to me, I hope I can return the favor and help those with what I have learned (which is a lot more than I knew a year ago).

MAKE THE COMMUNITY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE

A Community Connected to Many

A Community Connected to Many

We are a community.  Whether blogger or blog reader, there are millions of us who write or read and pass on our thoughts, opinions and expertise to benefit mankind.  Now more than ever we need this kindness that is exhibited online and make it a reality offline.  Akoha looks to lead this charge of making the world a better place and I eagerly anticipate the public release of their “pay it forward” mission cards.  But each of us must participate in that charge as well.  Just remember that when the guy in the lane next to you cuts you off – don’t allow his actions to cause you to do the same.  With the same good intentions you have when you blog or comment, take those same intentions and put them in the real world.

Our current economic situation is forcing us to take a good hard look at the mess that’s been made.  Because checks and balances were not correctly in place, a new level of accountability will undoubtedly be put in place.  As we look to the future, we must rely on each other, just as our 2.0 Community already does, and start being more accountable to how we treat each other in the real world as well.  Start tomorrow and make the world a friendler place – it all starts with a cup of coffee.

Put off today what you can do tomorrow…

Email inboxIf you look around the GTD world, if you listen in to board rooms, conference rooms, at the water cooler, on phone conversations to spouses and on and on you’ll hear the same groan – email.  Email hell, email jail, inbox/sinbox; it’s all the same.  Email is the new voicemail.  We’ve made ourselves available in an all too easy fashion.  Despite our best attempts at a great day, email is there waiting for us at work in the morning with an evil grin.  During the day, best laid plans to keep the inbox clean never come to fruition (save for an issue with your IT/IS department).  We can obsess about keeping the inbox at zero all we want but the fact remains it is a futile fight. I am happy to report that on numerous occasions while implementing GTD that I have been able to put things into context and I have been able to clean out my inbox on a Friday afternoon (and sometimes other days as well).  But the best of us still back slide at times.  It’s inevitable.Numerous websites have offered up a few tips like answering your email 2 times a day and actually auto-replying to all emails that you only answer at this time or that time.  That’s a difficult proposition for those who don’t have laid out schedules that start and end at the same time each day.  It may work for some – it just doesn’t work for me.Over the weekend I came across another thought about email.  Actually it’s part of a 32 page e-book from Mark McGuinness called Time Management for Creative People.   Mark has many great thoughts adapted from Getting Things Done, but he adds his own including how to focus better at work and how to “ring-fence” your creative time so that you save a special time of the day for when your creative juices are at their highest.  But one of my favorite points is simply this – don’t answer your email until the following day.  By waiting one day you allow yourself the luxury of not becoming a slave to email.  By waiting one day you know the next day how much email you need to reply to and can schedule yourself accordingly.  When you have answered that last email a sense of accomplishment should reside within you for the day’s achievements regardless of how many emails you may need to answer the next day.  Mark does point out the need to talk with your boss about this, but for those who have understanding employers this may make you not only a creative individual, but an accomplished one as well.