Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recipe: Broccoli Slaw

Another good extended family gathering behind us, I realized that one of the recipes that caught great attention this time around had not been previously posted here. So without further ado:

1 to 2 large bunch broccoli, chopped
1/2 lb fried bacon (Hormel bacon bits in the jar work well)
1/2 lb purple or vidalia onion, chopped
1/2 lb grated white cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salad vinegar
golden raisins or dried cranberries (we prefer the cranberries)

Mix all together. Enjoy!

Yes, it is that simple.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lessons from the Princess Bride

During May, the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog theme is learning from the movies. My entry based upon The Princess Bride is now available. You have my permission to click through to read and listen to it.

Yes, there are two postings: (1) the normal text and links (2) an audio file.

As a special treat, Allison joins me on the audio recording.

"great rock & roll bands are exceptional business teams"

Well, it’s turning into my life work, given how long I’ve been hacking away at it. My focus is on business lessons we can learn from rock & roll bands. The book identifies 6 ways in which the great rock & roll bands are exceptional business teams: (1) they’re radical innovators and risk-takers; (2) they’re passionate and inspired about their work—and they have fun; (3) they manage differences and capitalize on conflict; (4) they create a distinct identity and brand; (5) they’re ambitious, focused, and result-driven, despite stereotypes to the contrary; and (6) they’re highly autonomous and independent-minded. Then I show how to instill—or liberate—these abilities in our organizational teams. And I argue that without an infusion of these qualities many of our beleaguered organizations and institutions, ill equipped to compete in this crazy economy, are headed for obsolescence or irrelevance. To keep it interesting I illustrate my points with lots of stories and anecdotes from boardrooms, bars, and recording studios. It will be a business book you can dance to. Hopefully I’ll finish it this year. I’m a slow writer, but maybe it will appeal to all the slow readers out there.
From John O'Leary as told to Trevor Gay as part of an interview at The Simplicity Blog. Well worth a read, you have my permission to click through and read it.

Tell Trevor, I sent you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"The minute we lose fear"

By the time you read this, the Mars lander hopefully will have successfully landed and start its exploration of the planet. The article about the project preparations at NASA contains a great quote for project managers and anyone interested in project management.

"We always have to be scared to death," said project manager Barry Goldstein. "The minute we lose fear is the minute that we stop looking for the next problem."

Read the full article here.

FriendFeed available

If you want to read all that I write, post, tweet, including my pictures, videos; in short order, everything that is currently freely available on the web, they you'd be interested in subscribing to this feed. One feed to bring it all to your reader.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"This is just a fantastic thing they've done for us,"

On this Memorial Day, consider a contribution to

Who is Honor Flight?
Honor Flight Network (, whose mission is to bring 12,000 World War II vets to Washington, D.C., this summer. That's double the number last year.
You may recall that my brothers and I took my father, Gerald (Jerry) Sherlock to Washington, D.C. last December. We did visit the WWI Memorial as well as the Iwo Jima Monument, and the Marine Corp Museum out at Quantico, VA. It was a great trip. He thoroughly appreciated it.

I still have items recorded about the trip to post (yes, I know I am behind).

As I left for Denver last week, there were a higher number of travelers than I expected in wheel chairs and WWI memorabilia boarding the plane in PVD headed to BWI. When I saw this article in the USA Today on Thursday, I said to myself "I bet that's where they were going!".

Consider helping another WWII veteran travel to Washington, D.C.
Consider a donation to

One good way to say thanks on this Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rapid Fire Learning - May flowers a blooming

Yes, it is that time again; time to look back at what learning opportunities there have been this wonderful month of May. April Groves kicks off this event at Joyful Jubilant Learning with the following loaded clip from the latest Rocky. Loaded because, well if you haven't seen this Rocky yet (and I haven't) Stallone has a bunch of quotable lines packed into this 2 minute clip:

So what have I learned this month?

1 - Focus: there are so many opportunities, paths to follow, I need to prioritize and follow one. I can not continue to be as spread about as I am. I have enjoyed the variety but there is only so much time to go around. Stay tuned as you will see the results of the forthcoming decision some time in the next several weeks.

2 - Community: the importance of community was reinforced multiple times this month. SOBCon08 was a rewarding experience meeting so many folks that had only been words on a blog, or email, or tweets. These words now took on a bodily form, fleshed out into a real personality with such rich layers to explore.

3 - Mentoring: a special form of learning environment somewhat related to coaching but without the monetary transaction. I am on the steering committee for the company's internal program. The recent trip to Denver to met with others using the same software application to manage the matching and relationship process brought new connections and reinforcement of key concepts (like community).

4 - Commencement: my oldest daughter graduated this month. Going back to my alma mater some 32 years after my own graduation brought back all kinds of memories and re-opened areas of thought into a different light. A significant milestone, one that was well prepared for, but awakening none-the-less when it finally arrives. A trigger to the sense of focus and community discussions stirring in my gray matter.

5 - Fear: living on the edge. I learned many years ago (as a substitute teacher) to harness the butterflies when speaking in front of a group. There is good energy in that fear. Harnessing it can produce wonderful results; some planned for, some not quite so planned for. Life is not fully planned (i.e. Rocky's clip) it happens when you take action. It happens in reaction to your actions. Living on the edge is a constant adjustment. "We always have to be scared to death," said project manager Barry Goldstein. "The minute we lose fear is the minute that we stop looking for the next problem." Quote source.

This does not mean that I am strapping on a para-glider and looking for the nearest cliff. It does mean I'll taking some daring steps.

What have you learned? What will you do with your learning?

Weezer mashup

From Chris Brogan who got this from Andrew Baron, this is defines a mashup


"reading books is an act of meditation"

From 800CEOREAD, comes this good posting on reading business books which is in response to one by Seth Godin.

So start with Seth here

and continue to 800CEOREAD here

Is there anything you would add to this listing?

Anything you would disagree with or amend?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"appeal to people's self-interest"

" If you want to sell something, ethical or otherwise, he said, snapping the book closed, "appeal to people's self-interest."

As I traveled this week, I managed to complete the June issue of FastCompany Magazine. This quote comes from the article on the story of American Apparel and how they have evolved in the marketplace. Interesting reading. The quote above was my key take away.

Read the full article here.

Visit the American Apparel web site.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Stigmas breed self-censorship"

Stigma should be reserved for people who violate community standards, like people who willfully park in handicap spots. It shouldn't be used as a too-cute-by-half way to peddle some dumb new product.

This is why we need one more stigma: a Ring Around the Collar for badly behaved marketers. Then the vast majority of people responsible for selling products wouldn't use tactics like these. It's time for the marketing community itself to be the first to turn up its nose at people who shamelessly use these techniques to sell creams and detergents and credit cards.

Chip and Dan Heath weigh in on marketing tactics that create stigmas in the June issue of FastCompany Magazine. You can read their full column here.

My short form book review of Made to Stick can be found here.

What stigmas created by marketing turn you off?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Then I thought, what if?"

For years, developers have been trying to display scannable bar codes on cell-phone screens -- unsuccessfully; light reflecting off the screens interferes with the scanners' detection systems. "Then I thought, What if we get out of the paradigm of trying to read the code off of the screen?" Challa says. "It's looking for light reflections, so why don't we just give it the light it's expecting?" The upshot: Instead of printing out online coupons, movie tickets, and boarding passes -- and toting around credit cards and gift cards -- consumers will soon be able to store bar codes in their phones.
Amazing results can occur when you think "What if?"

Read the full story in the June issue of FastCompany Magazine or online here.

Have you had a break through with a "What if" moment?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Tale of Three Conferences - Part 1

It was a whirlwind time from Wednesday, April 23 through Sunday, May 4. Planes, trains, cab, and my own two legs took me to New York City for the Good Experience Live and PodCampNYC conferences and then to Chicago for SOBCon08, the Business School for Bloggers. A series of travel adventures wrapped around some nuggets of good experiences and good conversations, meeting old friends and making new friends, with plenty of stories accumulated to replay beginning here.

I drove from Franklin down to Providence, RI to pick up the Amtrak Northeast Regional train down to New York’s Penn Station. It was easier to drive there, parking at the Providence Place Mall next to the train station than to go into Boston via car or train. This shortened the trip by at least an hour on each leg out and back. The Providence Place Mall provides covered parking with security and a location that works. The walk is a short one to the train station. I picked up my boarding pass from the automated teller and participated in a couple of conference calls while waiting for the train. I could have timed the drive differently. This way helped me balance work and travel.

The train was a few minutes late out of Boston but generally ran on time from Providence until just outside of NYC where we got held up due to construction which limited the trains to a single track. Once by the construction, Penn Station was only a few minutes away.

The return trip on Saturday was a slightly different story. While Amtrak boarded us on time, a series of announcements kept changing the story on departure time. We were going to be the “Last train to Boston” that night. The train that was supposed to take us had broken down earlier on the run up to NY. Amtrak had sent an Acela train to transfer the passengers from the broken unit to bring them to Penn Station. We needed to wait until they arrived before leaving. Fortunately, while we were already on a train, we wouldn’t have to leave. The Acela we found out can only stop at stations with high platforms; it doesn’t have the stairwell to reach ground level platforms. So we could sit, in relative comfort and wait. The announcements kept changing on how long we were going to be delayed. Initially it was one and a half hours, it shortened to 15-20 minutes and then lengthened back to one hour and three-quarters. We actually left two and a half hours after we were scheduled to. Watching the Amtrak folks, security patrols, etc. provided some entertainment during the wait.

As a study in contrasts, Southwest could provide a few lessons to Amtrak. The flight to Chicago was delayed at Providence due to a nasty set of storms rolling through the Midwest. At one point both airports (O’Hare and Midway) were closed. As the storms cleared and travel resumed, the Air Traffic Control centers in NY and Cincinnati clogged up delaying us further. Through all this, Southwest was marvelous. We had boarded and taxied out. They brought us back to the gate and allowed us to deplane. They kept us informed with updates every 20-30 minutes or when ever there was a significant development. Once airborne, the pilots really worked to keep us on an even flight path. It was one of the bumpier flights I have experienced. When we did touch down successfully, the passengers broke out into applause. The return trip via Southwest was uneventful. We left on time and returned early in much better weather.

What can one can about the New York City subway? It works. It is not glamorous. The architecture is interesting. The diversity of people are well worth watching.

I used the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for the first time. The Orange Line runs from Midway Airport into downtown Chicago with multiple stops and connections along the way. It is reasonably priced at $1.75 per person one way. It is odd though that the fare card machine does not provide change for two one dollar bills. Keep that in mind for future travel to have some quarters handy. The CTA was clean, more presentable than NY, and operated effectively. The CTA personnel in the stations were quickly to help the obvious traveler in need. The Orange Line was completely above ground, indeed “elevated” in the famous Loop area, and as I was traveling in daylight, I was able to take a good bunch of photos.

to be continued...

MS Word to Web Help

Via Thane writing at Technology on a Shoestring, I hear about a couple of good ways to work with a Word document and convert it to a relatively clean HTML file for posting to the web. I have found some Word files to be more problems than others. Cut/paste into a text editor will strip away all the HTML but sometimes that is too much.

Read more here and then click through to see the article on the Wired "How to Wiki"

I just did a quick test with Textism and liked the results. This service is free for files less than 20KB.

What have you done to strip Word of all its non-essential code?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Franklin: register to vote by May 21st

If you are of age, please register to vote.
Visit the Town Clerks office at the Municipal Building.
You would need to register to vote by May 21st.

If you are going to be out of town on June 10th, you can pick up an absentee ballot at the Town Clerks office.

If you can't visit the Town Clerks office in person, you will need to write a letter explaining why you are out of town on the 10th (attending school, traveling on business, etc.). An email is not sufficient, they need your signature for the records so an "old fashioned" either hand written or typed note will do the trick.

Spread the word to register to vote. Franklin Schools need the money from this override.

If you need details on the Town Budget or School budget, visit the Town web site

The School Committee blog

Or Franklin Matters

Franklin Wednesday Night - Recreational Run

RUNNING 6 p.m. Dean College, Franklin.

Meet at rear parking lot for weekly Wednesday night recreational runs.

Generally a five-mile route. Contact Moe, 508-222-8898.

Found this on the Milford Daily News calendar.

"There is more than one way to do things"

Sabine also says: "I have learned to work with what I have."

Never let it be said that you can not do something! If you think you can, you can!

Thanks to Cathy B for the pointer!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama answers BlogHer questions

When Lisa Stone spoke at the Berkman Center in March, she mentioned the difficulty that the BlogHer group had been having getting the candidates to address a set of questions that the BlogHer community had come up with.

Now that the candidate pool has been winnowed down, Barack Obama has sat down with BlogHer to answer their questions. You can view this exclusive interview here:

Thank you Barack for answering these questions!

Thanks to Steve Garfield for the tip to this via Twitter!

Dodge Poetry Festival - tickets available

The listing of poets has been updated and tickets are now ready for purchase for the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival to be held on September 25-28, 2008. The line up currently looks like this:

Chris Abani Forrest Gander Linda Pastan
Simon Armitage Aracelis Girmay Patrick Phillips
Coleman Barks Joy Harjo Robin Robertson
Taha Muhammad Ali Robert Hass Roger Sedarat
Coral Bracho Brenda Hillman Brenda Shaughnessy
Peter Cole Edward Hirsch Patricia Smith
Billy Collins Jane Hirshfield Tracy K. Smith
Lucille Clifton Ted Kooser Charles Simic
Mark Doty Maxine Kumin Luke Warmwater
Thomas Sayer Ellis Joseph O. Legaspi C.D. Wright
Beth Ann Fennelly Naomi Shihab Nye Franz Wright
Martin Espada Sharon Olds Kevin Young
Sarah Gambito

The Festival will be held on the grounds of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ.

For additional info and to join the Festival mailing list, visit their website.

If you do have a chance to go and have questions about the Festival, let me know. This will be my 4th.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Commencement Address - R Nicholas Burns

from the Assumption College, Class of 2008 Commencement on May 17, 2008, the keynote address by R Nicholas Burns former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Time: 20 minutes, 47 seconds

MP3 File

Valdictorian Address

From the Assumption College Class of 2008 Commencement, the Valdictorian Address by Jeff M Roy.

Time: 13 minutes, 42 seconds

MP3 File

Degrees Conferred - May 17, 2008

From the Assumption College Commencement, the key part of the ceremony where the act of conferring the Bachelor of Arts degrees took place. From the long listing of over 700 graduates, I selected two key names, Allie's and Brad's.

Time: 1 minute, 10 seconds

MP3 File

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Assumption College Graduation 5/17/08

degree conferred, with all the rights and privileges thereunto appertaining - wonderful sense of pomp and circumstance

Friday, May 16, 2008

5 for Friday

In a quick review to help catching up on some items, I have five for Friday.

1 - Did you see that Zoho has allowed access to those with Google accounts? This is a good move. read more about it here. Have you tried Zoho? It is a competitor to Google docs and a worthy one at that.

2 - In case you missed it elsewhere, Google Street View has implemented a new feature to muddle the faces of people in the crowds to avoid privacy issues. Pretty slick. I hope it is automated. Would be a good algorithm to market for a price. Check out the posting on the Google blog here.

3 - Oh, Arlen Specter has your integrity never been questioned? Are you really not pandering to the Eagles or to Comcast?

4 - Did you hear the story about the girl who had her MAC stolen and using the "Back to MyMAC" feature took a picture of the thief using it, one of her friends was able to identify the thief so it was an easy pick up by the police? Nothing like a little technology to help. On the other hand this may also go down as one of those "stupid thief" moves! read the story here.

5 - Hey, if they can send a scent (yes, you read the properly) over to your cell phone, it won't be too much longer before "Beam me up Scotty!" can really happen. Read the short story here.

This was the week that was. Enjoy!

What did you find interesting this week?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vote June 10, 2008

Only one question on this ballot:

Question #1:

Shall the Town of Franklin be allowed to assess an additional $2,800,000.00 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of the operating budget for which monies from this assessment will be used for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2008?

Yes or No

Visit Franklin Matters for all the details to cast an informed vote

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What were you doing a year ago? or two?

A year ago, I visited Dolores' kindergarten classroom for their annual show. You can see the pictures and read the recap here.

Two years ago, May 14th was Mother's Day.

Three years ago, I posted my recap of Jimmy Wales presentation at GEL 2005.

This year, I went deep into the archives because a good deal of my time is being spent recording and posting the local Town Council, School Committee, and Finance Committee meetings as Franklin prepares for an override vote on June 10th. You can keep up with this activity at Franklin Matters.

What were you doing last year?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day - Dolores!

I think this has been posted before but I think it is worthy of a repeat showing. I think it speaks highly for the mother of my daughter's to see how much and how well they have grown up.

Thank you Dolores!

What do you see?

What do you see?, originally uploaded by shersteve.

When you look at this photo of some open farmland, what do you see?

Good fertile ground?

Room for development?

Room for sports fields?

Room to fly a kite?

A place to sit in the shade and enjoy the sounds of nature?

No matter what you see, think about what it says about you and your needs. How much does your view color the world? How does your filter color your world?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Franklin voters will be able to start trusting again"

Yes, I did say that.

During the Town Council meeting 5/7/08 when Chairman Chris Feeley proposed a committee to prepare a long range projection for Town finances.

I'll have the complete audio file up some time this week. In the mean time, you can read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

My "live blogging" recap of the meeting can be found here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"taxpayers expect and deserve a five-year plan"

"The most important thing we can do to help pass the ($2.8 million) override is to immediately begin an intensive planning process that will lead to the development of a five-year financial plan before the year is over," said School Committee member Ed Cafasso.

"It's badly needed. Not only do taxpayers expect and deserve a five-year plan, we as town officials need a blueprint to guide our decisions going forward - we can no longer afford to beg for a life preserver every year," said Cafasso.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.


Learn all you need to by visiting Franklin Matters frequently.

Visit the School Committee override page for the schedule of information sessions

You can find all the override related information here

Be informed to cast your vote on June 10th

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Steve and Chris

Steve and Chris, originally uploaded by Chris Brogan.

Part of the overall summary of the recent SOBCon08 conference will be included in a longer series of posts called "The Tale of 3 Conferences". The series will cover GEL2008, PodCampNY and SOBCon08. Three conferences in the span of a week.

This will likely be a multiple format writing piece, some sherku, some limerick, some regular verse.

One piece may very well be an epic poem retelling the train ride back from PodCampNY. The refrain will be "the last train to Boston".

Here I am posing with the social media guru, Chris Brogan!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The table that rocked!

Picture 047, originally uploaded by terry starbucker.

SOBCon08 - live blogging - Wendy Piersall

Wendy Piersall

"everybody is here for a purpose"

eMom renamed as SparkPlugging

built a blog network, up to 17 authors, 15 blogs in the network

time to give it up and let someone else do it (yes, my line on this is -> "facilitate the network and then let the net work")

get out your comfort zone

"who are you not to be?"

you have to open up!

moving through this stuff takes time, the BS filter in your head is tough to defeat

How you define success?
How you define success is really important.

set big goal, set little milestones along the way

story coming

"give more you", you'll be amazed at how all this stuff will fall into place

SOBCon08 - Pictures

I took a few photos but there are so many with better cameras check out their pictures

There is a SOBCon08 group at Flickr

There were over 380 pictures at 5:00 PM Eastern time on Saturday the main day here.

There will be more!

SOBCon08 - our table rocks!

Who is at our table?

Anita -

Kristen -

Mary Lynn -

George -

SOBCon08 - live blogging - Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan

"The first webkins funeral is going to be tough!"

"people drive the stuff we are talking about"

"do it yourself is cool!"


the difference between community and marketplace is the difference between making it or not

hacking in the reverse, business tries to strip passion from you

easier to be passionate

pop tart story - Chris had a box of poptarts in his room when he got in to Chicago


Chris' presentation is composed of many photos he took around the day today

very photogenic but very little text, very credible presentation

(disclaimer Chris and I share passion about PodCamp Boston)

Ask. Do. Share.
Give your ideas handles
Make it useful
Give more than you ask back
Be clear about your business
Hack. Make pirates.


"people will only do what they feel inclined to do"
promos can be hard, make it easy for them!

SOBCon08 - Levine Greenberg reference

As mentioned by Anita Bruzzese

Levine Greenberg Literary Agents

SOBCon08 - live blogging - David Bullock

David Bullock

"What can you tell the kids that will help them get a 10 year head start?"

His "Business development action plan"

take your content and put it into a medium so that they will monetize it, not can, will

no money will move before the communication piece is in place


s = strategy
he is where I am, here is where they are, here is where I need to take them
get them into a future that they would like to have

"The Twenty Master Plots"

story, get the story right, everything else will start to move

t - tactics
how do you reach your clients?
if your market is not on the internet, then don't blog

a - action
start doing something, see what works, if it does continue, if it doesn't stop

r - results
what results are you looking for?
did you get the opt in, yes or no?
did you get the sale, yes or no?
the online medium is the only place where he has been able to see exactly what has happened for the entire time the visitor spent on your page

t - tracking
crazyaid, little piece of java code
track first, then test
google website optimizer
google analytics

doesn't really get into that because it is not real-time

"transaction velocity" David created the phrase

develop the process map
1 - speak/write the process
2 - determine the outcome of every step
3 - set the sequence
4 - do the process (yes, critical as this proves the process!)
5 - refine the process
6 - rinse, repeat

what do you need to do this? low tech
1 - yellow pad
2 -
3 -
4 -
5 - Microsoft Excel

your marketing channels
1 - your customers (permission marketing)
2 - your list (aweber)
3 - your identity
4 - your successes
5 - internet
6 - offline

if you don't talk about your successes online, no one else will

internet nothing but a media, if you make it more than that, you will never be able to take it to your advantage

What are they saying?

1 - about you
2 - about your service
3 - about your results
4 - about your company

these are comments and feedback, listen to them

SOBCon08 - live blogging - Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett

had to reboot so I missed some notes, there will be video available, some one is capturing the whole day (FuelMyBlog)

Don't rehash ideas. Take the time to give your opinion and add to the conversation. (Hey, that is Steve's 2 Cents)

Not every post has to be book length.

A really good question is often much more powerful than a really good statement.

Use mind map tool to brain storm a topic, it will end up providing your categories for you!

Develop an editorial calendar to plan out what topics will be delivered, and when!

Planning works for those with single writers on one blog and becomes more effective when you have multiple bloggers working on multiple blogs.

Likes to have 4-5 posts in draft, ready to go when ever, an evergreen post

For the five minute blog post, start with the end point in mind and work backwards
what do you want to leave them with?

Who for?
So what?

what is the impact if you did this? what is the impact if you did not do this?

flagship content
held up by pillar content
original thoughts
community content

filler content

prioritize your feed reading!

focus your time (yes, agree agree agree... one reason why a number of blogs have hibernated so I can spend the time on the ones left active)

ready. aim. fire. reload.
practice makes perfect but you don't have to be perfect, just keep trying


Blogfire (off line reader)

Skype (yes, good phone tool)

SOBCon08 - lunch

Lunch will rate as a good experience. the food variety was excellent, inclusive of different diets.

The conversational buzz was tremendous. Proof of this is in the pudding, no, it is in the number of conversations that are still happening and people are slow coming back into the main session.

SOBCon08 - live blogging - Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle writes more than I do, yes that is possible!


Lorelle on WordPress

Camera on the Road

Family History Blog

going around getting participation on a number of questions

good conversation on anonymous comments
use your name, weed your garden = weed your comments
comments are content, what content do you want to keep on your blog?

what is woopra?
very exclusive invites to - a real time web statistic program, sits on your computer
easy to load, easy to use
capability to talk with people on your blog right then and there, enables a chat session

SOBCon08 - initial feedback on conference

working through some technical issues with the mics and speaker placements

the name tag strings are too long, your name ends up on your belt buckle. I see some folks short tying them to correct this

looking down the room, a number of heads are looking into their laptops and not at the speaker
hopefully, they are indeed paying attention

the speakers are being translated to sign language for the benefit of a couple of hearing challenged folks, great move!


better time management, in that the concept of masterminding is great. It combines the best of learning from the "masters" and sharing and internalizing the best practices within the group. The presentations this afternoon have skipped the mastermind portion to save on time as we need to be out of the facility by 6:00 PM.

the proof is (as mentioned in the lunch post) it is hard to get the group back together again from lunch, from the master minding, there is so much energy and conversation going on when the groups get together, this is the learning going on. This is the real value of the conference. With all due respect to the presenters, they planted the seed, we helped it grow in the discussions.

SOBCon08 - live blogging Brian Clark

Brian Clark talking about the Triple A Model of a Social Media Business

1 - Attention
2 - Authority
3 - Acceleration


Attention Rules
  • choose a high demand subject area
  • position the site to be remarkable
  • offer independent value with content
  • utilize headlines and hooks

"headlines are where the game is won or lost"
"hooks are the angle you take to make one piece of content stand out from another"

Authority Rules
  • transform attention into authority via social proof
  • capitalize on link equity for search engine optimization
  • maximize subscriber base and build sub-slits
  • promote affiliate offers to see what the market wants
"we're living in a marketing adverse society unless you are telling them what they want to know about"

Acceleration Rules
  • build "back end" pages and spin off sites
  • develop your own products or services
  • test landing page copy and offers
  • outsource and automate
"don't think of your RSS feed as your site"


SOBCon08 Summary

The summary of the SOBCon08 posts in reverse time order

Tale of Three Conferences - Part 3
Tale of Three Conferences - Part 2
Tale of Three Conferences - Part 1

SOBCon08 - Live blogging - Anita Bruzzese (my notes onlne)

Terry Starbucker gives the opening remarks

"we have the dreamers disease"

Liz Strauss thanks the sponsors

they have the insight into providing sponsorships for this conference with less than 1000

Network Solutions
Plante Moran
Jim Beam
The Summit Executive Centre


Anita Bruzzese is stepping up to the mic

"walking the bone" - editorial review, facts checked, it has to be right

34% consider their blog to be a form of journalism
56% spend time making sure it right

"The power of the written word has not been diminished by the internet"

managing your reputation on line, "walking the bone"
1 - What is the source of your information?
2 - Who is the source of your information?
3 - Is the information credible?
4 - Are you being fair?

To be inclusive, ensure a first time reader feels welcome and part of the conversation, don't force them to go through two years worth to get up to speed.
5 - How will you respond when you make a mistake?
6 - What will be your response when someone attacks you?
7 - How do you encourage worthwhile comments?
8 - How do you have an ongoing evaluation of your reputation?
9 - What is your fine line in the stand?
10 - Will you stand the test of time?
Q - on how to handle negative comments, attacks, etc.
find a way to say thank you, turn them into readers, use one more eloquent one to do a guest post, in some cases, if the attack is coming from somewhere that is not credible, then don't go to their level, ignore them

if the commenter repeats themselves, then the conversation is not progressing and hence over.
silence is not an answer

You can find Anita on BlogTalkRadio at "Smash The Ladder"

JJL Meet up in Chicago

JJL Meet up in Chicago, originally uploaded by shersteve.

After delays getting off the ground and headed to Chicago via Southwest, I did arrive and achieve what I went for: The JJL Meet up. Everything else at SOBCon is gravy.

The delays out of Providence were not Southwest's fault. Mother Nature played a major role in that with some nasty storms rolling through the Midwest that kept quite a few planes grounded until the weather cleared. Then when everyone tried to leave at the same time, the Air Traffic Control system hit capacity and we waited for a slot.

The Southwest crew did a remarkable job keeping us informed and aware of what was going on. The pilot then did an excellent job of getting us into Midway in one piece. The approach was one of the shiftiest, slipping and sliding in the wind that I have seen on a plane. It was good to get my two feet on the ground.

The photo montage here shows the approach into Chicago's Loop via the CTA Orange Line. The Sears Tower was so far away and then gradually grew in impressiveness as we got closer.

The Britannica Building is an interesting site today. It must have been glorious in its day. wikipedia has far out surpassed the information and capability of providing updates to the records, I wonder how long they'll last.

Finally, the JJL Meet up: Phil Gerbyshak, Joanna Young, Terry Starbucker, and myself. A wonderful experience to meet them all in person and "take the blog off the blog".

Honk Honk!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dandelion hunting

It was a late night at the School Committee meeting Tuesday. The Town Council scheduled their special meeting Wednesday at 6:00 PM (normally 7:00 PM) for the override vote. I needed to hustle off the train to make it to the Town Council chambers in time.

The meeting lasted all of 35 minutes. There was NO discussion on the amount of the override. There was some discussion on Tuesday versus Saturday and the decision ended up remaining with the "standard don't rock the boat" Tuesday election day.

Meeting adjourned, I headed home. First, the garbage barrels needed to be collected, then the mail retrieved. I noticed some dandelions popping up here and there. I had already gone hunting on Sunday morning but clearly some were hiding then waiting to show up now.

Garden poker in hand, small bucket in another, I went a hunting.

Have you ever hunted dandelions?

Better to catch them early before they bloom and change to their white puffs which catch the wind and spread to create a cycle of more dandelions.

Dandelion hunting is good for leaving the day behind. You slip the poker into the ground at the center of the dandelion, gently work the poker below ground until you feel the root reaching deep, then using the lever power of the poker, break the root below ground and remove the dandelion whole, depositing it into the bucket and move on.

If I had taken time to get out of my work clothes this would have been good to do on my knees. Crouching and moving around from dandelion to dandelion. As I was still dressed, I simply bent over and plucked them one by one.

This helped to ground me, to leave work, the commute, and the amazingly short Town Council meeting behind as I entered the house, confident that another dandelion battle has been won!