Why FAKE GRIMLOCK & I blog

2013-08-09 22.07.56

If all of my thoughts are constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive or in my head, they have a 0% chance of helping anyone.

I began blogging during the summer of 2009 with a simple Blogger site: dananimal.blogspot.com. Without context, most people might think my blogging is for “personal branding” or some sort of vanity exercise. Precisely to the contrary.

After being laid off due to the economic downturn early 2009, I felt that all signs were pointing toward a personal, philosophical, and spiritual journey further outside of my comfort zone. While backpacking throughout New Zealand that summer (winter in down south) I reconnected with my undying purpose to serve society by aiding those in the midst of ambiguity. From being a soft ear to deeply troubled neighbors, to helping friends launch new adventure voluntourism businesses. From hosting Startup Weekends, to serving as a high school basketball coach guiding young men on more than their quest for a championship.

Lake Wanaka 2009

Whilst visiting the beautiful town of Wanaka in the Southern Alps, I consider the fact that if all of my thoughts were constantly sitting on my computer’s hard drive and/or in my head, they had a 0% chance of helping anyone other than me. How selfish is that? (Not to mention mind-blowingly simple). I inherently believe there’s a large chance that none of my thoughts will become anything more than letters on a page of the internets. But, there is that off chance that one of my thoughts, one of my posts, even one sentence of my blog may be useful to somebody else. To that end I find blogging as selfless as one can possibly be.

Now if only to take that ultimate step of selfless conveyance of perceived truth without the Theory of Mind. Here we all could learn a thing or two from FAKE GRIMLOCK:

Truth Go Ahead Try It

“What’s the purpose of what you’re doing?”
(Question to FAKE GRIMLOCK because he dresses up in and assumes the online persona of a Giant Robot Dinosaur)

Answer: “It’s a proof of concept, it’s to prove a theory. And it’s to prove that who you are doesn’t matter. In fact, truth requires that you aren’t anyone, because if you’re someone, whatever you say is always biased. It’s influenced by what you know about that person.”

Interview with FAKE GRIMLOCK

Inbound Marketing Cliffnotes for Business

Dan’s Social Media & Inbound Marketing Cliffnotes
Keys to making social media work for your business

I have read 6 books about Social Media, Personal Branding and Inbound marketing over the past two years and I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a super-condensed “cliffnotes” version I recently compiled:

Be Social. Listen. Communication is a two-way street

  • The real key is it’s not about being ON social, it’s about BEING social, but make sure you have the right people on your team to talk for you.
  • Social media marketers ask, “What can we provide our customers online that will make their digital experience better?”
    • Create something worth building a community around
    • Identify and recruit advocates immediately
    • Give people something to chew on
    • Welcome criticism
  • Don’t “play” with community building, take the no-bullshit approach:
    • Define Goals
    • Establish Measurable Objectives
    • Enact Strategies and Tactics to accomplish them
    • The measure what is done and the results of it
    • Rinse and repeat.
  • To sell online, stop thinking like a traditional marketer. Remember the fundamentals of this type of marketing:
    • Listen first
    • Be responsive
    • Be honest
    • Provide value
    • Sell last
  • There is a difference between driving business FROM social media sites and driving business THROUGH social media sites.

Get Found with Inbound Marketing

  • Customers are getting better-and-better at ignoring marketing “interruptions.” Inbound marketing today is about “getting found” using Google, blogs, and social media on the Web.
  • Inbound marketing as opposed to outbound is achieved through social media marketing when your business:
    • Asks and answers questions;
    • Provides information or engagement through content, or
    • Shows up when the audience members are having conversations about the industry, the company or anything at all really.
  • It is about having a seat at the table.

Create Remarkable Content

  • It is important to create remarkable content on top of having a remarkable value proposition. Remarkable content encourages your message to be spread giving you links of people that may possibly become customers to your website and allows you to move up in the search rankings for your keywords. Remarkable content is the gift that keeps on giving, unlike paid advertising. You need to make sure that you create content that people can effectively spread online like:
    • Blog Articles / Posts
    • White Papers (about industry trends and challenges, not products)
    • Videos (short 2 to 3-minute videos about industry and/or products)
    • Webinars (live ppt presentations)
    • Podcasts (Ten to twenty minute audio programs)
    • Webcasts (live video shows viewed online)
  • You have to give to get with remarkable content. Today your marketing effectiveness is a function of the width of your brain. Think of yourself as half marketer, half publisher.
  • Blogging

  • Video Posts:

    • Videos are a great way to give a sneak peak behind the screens of a company and make people feel like you are more real and approachable.
    • Videos should be less than two minutes, accompanied by text descriptions and posted on the blog.
    • In general video views drop by about 1% per second for the first minute or so (10.4% @ 10 sec, 55% @ 60 sec, etc). Simply posting any video does not mean it will be watched from start to finish.

Tweet your tweeter off – but don’t be a lame broadcaster

  • Think of Twitter as a micro-blogging interface
  • “Give more than you expect to receive out of twitter,” and to ask the question, “How many people can I engage in a dialog with?”. 20% about yourself 80% about everyone else on social media is the rule.
  • Focus more on starting conversations and less on broadcasting
  • Most everyone on Twitter is looking for new wisdom and hope. Order of operations for using the collaborative power of Twitter is:
    • Find a topic;
    • Ponder;
    • Share your thoughts and findings.
  • In terms of Twitter Research:
    • Find awesome people to follow. You can use wefollow.com and other sources (there used to be a site called twellow, but it has closed down).
    • If you are all about the metrics, check out influence measurement tools like Klout and Twitalyzer
    • Twubs.com and WhatTheTrend.com are great resources for tracking what people.
    • Start using Hootsuite or bit.ly to track your links and see what people actually click upon.
    • For monitoring, check out SocialMention.com and google.com/alerts. Set up some alerts for our topics (i.e. Solar, WasteWater Efficiency, things like that). You can receive email alerts when something new pops up. For instance, any time my name appears on the web somewhere new, I get an email letting me know someone is talking about me.
  • Look at personalizing (and possibly standardizing across the company) a twitter background that includes name, contact info, web, and bio but is not distracting

How to get started – game plan #1:

A big shout out to @DrBret for help pushing many of us to jump into the fire and get started in this way:

  • Define Value Stream:

    • Define a simple yet niche value stream for your online communication (say Solar for California municipalities)
  • Tweet:

  • Facebook:

    • Similarly engaging content as found and posted on Twitter should be posted to the Facebook page, but not as frequently (say once per day) without handles, though Facebook now recognizes hashtags.
    • Consider asking questions and provocative (non-scandalous obviously) content is encouraged. Example:
      • Project Vesto post: “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” – Lori Greiner.
        ‘Like’ if think this is true
        Example of Engaging Facebook Content - Lori Greiner Project Vesto
  • Publish two blog posts and one video post per week
    • Publish posts on different days
    • Each post should be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and/or LinkedIn where appropriate
  • Comment on relevant blogs:
    • Comment on say 2 blog posts per day with insightful and relevant thoughts.
    • DO NOT just comment to comment or spam with a bunch of links back to your homepage. If you have nothing to say, keep that nothing to yourself.

Be Human. Be Genuine.

Get to the point

  • Spend less time searching and more time engaging. While you obviously want to make the most of this experience, the priority with social media is action over precision.
  • Between searching, listening, creating content, sharing content, and engaging with folks don’t spend more than one to two hours in the day (though when you are first getting started I understand it taking a little longer ). A person could spend all day doing this stuff, but that wouldn’t be the most effective use of all of their time.
  • Don’t end up in analysis paralysis in searching for the perfect people to follow or engage. Take the startup culture mentality by getting 60% of the way there and then acting  and testing your hypotheses.

Follow @DanHerr 🙂

Thank you for reading my blog – Daniel S. Herr.
I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @DanHerr
Or follow to my blog 

Sources

In a World of Encrypted Search Terms

Once upon a time there was a world of perfect web information when you knew where you visitors came from, what they were looking for, what they found, how long they stayed, and where/why they left.  I don’t know about you, but more than 30% of my web visits these days come from “encrypted search terms.” From WordPress Jetpack to Google Analytics I see “(not provided)”, “encrypted search term”, “unknown search term”, or “other search term” every day in my keyword referrals.

Where is this going as more an more people opt to select “do not track”? Will our information as content creators, web designers and curators be incorrect? If I do not know which of my content is most effective, how will I deliver what is most valuable? What happens when and if privacy concerns get to the point of website users not wanting website owners to even know when and if they access content?

Completely anonymous browsing would lead to imperfect websites, where in order to find out what works and what doesn’t, you would have to go back to focus groups and test sample markets; supremely slow adaptation is what this reads. No longer could the web be dynamic, custom tailored, or quick to change in meeting our every whimsical desire. No longer would the try and fail quickly, iteration, least viable business model approach work. Will that happen, likely not.

Sure many people will stick to their privatest ways, hiding in the dark shadows of the web, creeping on websites and hiding browsing data with the fear the Uncle Sam is watching my every move. The derived right to privacy seems fundamental to our US culture, but technology and the web has dipped dramatically in the favor of public good and connectivity. Have you ever asked how Google gets its live traffic information on Google Maps? I looked the other day to find that when Andriod users are opted into location tracking (to show where they are on the map, identify close restaurants, directions, etc) they are also agreeing to share their location constantly with Google. When Google see’s a bunch of Android cell phones slowing down at the same time, it knows there is likely traffic their. Crazy hunh?

In my opinion this is all great stuff that truly does you little if no harm, but I am sure that if everyone knew that, it could turn into a big privacy uproar eventually leading to Google needing a more costly, non crowd-sourced way, of identify traffic delays. To me what all of these privacy questions will lead to is a need for more good-ol-fashion statistics. No longer will you know the entire base of your population, but you will have to derive a population mean from your sample with a determined confidence requirement.

Perhaps someone will read this as a substantial business opportunity for the future (which will likely be captured, created at, purchased by, or merged into Google, Apple et. al. eventually) is web statistics simply integrated in graphic form with web analytics. I think most people’s eyes glaze over at the first mention of statistics, standard deviations, and confidence intervals, but to me that is the opportunity shinning its head. Will some people ride the privacy crazy train, yes; lets just hope not too many. All that can be told is that future will definitely unfold new needs for solutions (new opportunities) in a world of encrypted search terms.