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.

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Shameless promotion time…

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In my almost three months of experimenting with social media, I’ve been blessed to come into contact with some really cool people.  I subscribed to many podcasts including Marketing over CoffeeMarketing EdgeAccidental CreativeThe Connected GenerationManaging the Gray and Six Pixels of Separation.  Since then I’ve traded emails with their authors including John Wall, Lisa Johnson, Albert Maruggi and also Whitney Hoffman – all new heroes of mine in the social world.  In addition I have enjoyed and commented on many blogs including  43folders.com,  autismvox.com,  roninmarketeer.com,  accidentalcreative.com, and many, many more.

If there is one thing I have marveled at during this short timeframe is the true “community” all of these people exhibit and embrace.  It’s so cool to listen to someone’s podcast or read their blog and “feel” what they say.  Even cooler when you can reach out to them – and they reach back.   I hope I can do them justice should they ever need anything from me.  

So, in the spirit of passing the hat around, I wanted to plug a colleague of mine, Paul Ten Haken.  We used to work together and  just recently Paul went on his own, much like CC Chapman recently, to form his own business, ClickRain.  His site just went live today and is very visually appealing.  (If you have to go pee, don’t stare at the visuals too long…)  I just wanted to publicly wish Paul my best wishes – and no, he did not ask for any recognition, but I felt he was due some.

A Salute to the Fine Folks at Apple

iMac I love my Mac.  I can’t say it enough.  Until a month or so ago, my history of issues with the Mac were minimal.  They still are, but converting to Leopard did produce a few challenges as would be expected converting to a new operating system.  But that’s not the purpose for this entry.  Let’s talk marketing… The marketing strategy behind Apple the past few years has been nothing short of sheer genius.  Whether intentional or not, although I suspect it was, here is what transpired in my home.  Loving music in general, I wanted to get an iPod, but was nervous about being an early adopter.  I bought my Shuffle 2 years ago and at the same time purchased my daughters some MP3 players with similar memory.  Their players had the screen to show the music list, but I had the simplicity of the Shuffle and I loved it when working in tandem with iTunes.  Six months later and I had to have a video iPod.  My “experience” with the Shuffle was great and when I did get my 30 GB iPod I was equally pleased.  No, I was more than pleased.  I was hooked.  Six months later I began dropping hints to my wife about an iMac.  If the iPod and its engineering were from the Apple folks, the iMac had to overshadow it all.  And when I finally began playing on my iMac, I was never dis-satisfied with my purchase. The iMac is also credited with introducing me to Getting Things Done.  And 43folders.com.  And Marketing over Coffee, the M Show, and a ton of other great podcasts.  If you’ve never heard of Christopher Penn and John Walls, you’re missing a treat.  With the sounds of Dunkin’ Donuts in the background, these 2 gentleman keep you up to date in marketing, podcasting and other internet apps.  Speaking of applications, there are far too many to list, but iGTD is one I use daily to implement Getting Things Done at work or at home.  It is a must to download. To continue keeping current with my iMac (and my new MacBook Pro that I now use for work), I subscribed to MacWorld Magazine.  There are plenty of great features and often times free software to try or use.  The community behind Macs is one I heartily embrace.  I feel like a member of an elite group and I invite anyone to join.   To Steve Jobs, I salute you and your team. Now with that intro oozing with gratitude, I must pass on a great bloopers clip.  Regardless of how great you are, a few blunders always come your way and Apple is no exception.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I.