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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.

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Akoha – Making the World a Better Place

Pay It Forward game

Pay It Forward game

If you haven’t heard of Akoha yet, I predict you will.  (At this time, Akoha is in beta version.)  I first learned of this from CC Chapman’s podcast, Managing the Gray and was immediately captivated.  A recent blog from CC on his main blog shows a picture of one of the cards.

It’s a basic Pay It Forward premise – do something nice for someone and have them do as well.  It’s all that but with a Web 2.0 twist.  You buy a deck of “mission cards” and then pick a card.  Cards have you do kind things for someone, like buy a cup of coffee.  As you do the kind deed, you hand your card off to that person so they can do the same.  As the card gets passed, you log in to the Akoha site, enter a code and give geographic information.  At that time you can view where the card has been and follow it forward to see where it goes.  There is many more that you can see and view as evidenced by their presentation recently at TechCrunch 50.

In a world where news has not been so good lately, at least on the economic front, it’s good to hear people are still trying to do good things.  And bringing a few people along.  The possibilities are exciting.

The Greatest Marketer – a proud father

Blog for Fathers

Blog for Fathers

The continuation of Web 2.0 evolves and evolves.  And, before you know it, the common man is able to achieve great things, in addition to being a father.  Like networking with each other, even those considered famous in social media.

Chris Brogan, veteran of social media and co-founder of PodCamp has started a new blog of a different sort.  Dad-O-Matic is a blog for fathers (and mothers) to trade stories, provide advice and give a forum to talk about our children and what we’ve learned.  Chris tweeted about this (on Twitter, what else?!) a few days ago, looking for authors and I was only too happy to oblige.  If you’re a father like me and enjoy marketing your best creation (your kids), then take a look at Dad-O-Matic.  Who knows, we might all learn something.

Twitter, Tweets and Twime to Twalk

Twime to Twitter

It's Twime to Twitter

OK, I admit it.  I’ve been pushing off from joining Twitter for quite some time.  I’m not sure of my aversion other than seeing it as another In-box that I simply did not want to add.  But then a friend of mine posted this blog about Twitter and I admired a few of the points he mentioned including its worth with organizational use.  As I continue to explore and wonder at Web 2.0 initiatives, I’m anxious to follow my readers and see what they are a-Twitter about.

Scoble put out a great piece about following versus being a follower.  I’m not so picky.  I just like to immerse myself in new technology and experiment for myself.  I’m from the Show-Me State after all (Go Tigers!), so I’d like to see how things go for myself.

So, please, CLICK HERE to follow me and I’ll follow you.

It’ll be fun, right?

C’mon – you know you wanna do it.

All the Big Kids are doing it…

Web 2.0 Sucks – or so says Andrew Keen

Keen isn’t so Keen

This morning during a SHSMD conference I’m attending that is directed toward Healthcare Marketers, I was compelled to sit through a lecture given by Andrew Keen, author of “The Cult of the Amateur:  How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture.”  It was interesting to note that as soon as Keen delivered his first minutes of opinion, the audience was noticeably uncomfortable.  Keen’s main point was that the proliferation of Web 2.0, the advent of blogging by anyone, of Youtube videos being posted by anyone, of Wikipedia being edited by anyone is causing society to suffer.  Keen’s background, as a music publisher, prompted him to defend the artists who aren’t properly reimbursed due to illegal downloading.  Duly noted and agreed on that point.

You Have No Voice

I wasn’t completely sure if Keen believed Oswald was killed by a single bullet.  Unfortunately we never got to that point.  But his suggestions that the consumer must stand to attention when a so-called expert espouses their thoughts was downright insulting.  I got sick to my stomach as I watched Keen talk about how the everyday man doesn’t deserve the right to be inspired, motivated nor have the right to express themselves.  I guess because he’s an author it also qualifies Keen to use his podium to take potshots at Sarah Palin from his democratic high chair.

I applaud SHSMD for inviting a controversial speaker like Keen to speak and challenge conventional thought.  However, having Keen speak at this point in time with millions of blog posts published each day, social networking becoming more than abundant and several issues addressed or repaired by amateurs like myself because of Web 2.0, is like attempting to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

Healthcare Marketing Goes 2.0

This week I’m at a SHSMD conference in San Francisco.  (That’s Society for Healthcare Strategy and Marketing Development for those playing at home.)  The big buzzword so far has been “2.0.”   One gentleman I spoke with yesterday from a healthcare group is having a hard time getting the corporate boys to realize the playground equipment has changed over the years.  They’re not quite ready to let go of the past.  Predictably, the age range of these folks is on the higher end of the spectrum which tells me fear still causes ignorance in this new age.

Although it’s been a day since I heard this information that people are actually dragging their feet at engaging the internet, consumers and the future, I just can not shake it.  How do these businesses stay alive?  Maybe they should check their days on hand cash – the days might be quickly coming to a close.