Tuesday, October 30, 2007

West Coast Trip

I have just returned from Seattle and Anaheim. In Seattle we did a regional meeting for our members as well as had a booth at EduCause and a reception. Overall, everything went really well, except for my illness right before I left. I then went to a wedding in Anaheim. You could smell the smoke of the fires in the air, but no problems for the bride and groom.

We have another regional meeting in 2 weeks, but luckily we are hosting it here at HQ for the DC area members. But before that, I am off to BlogWorld. I must give credit to the BlogWorld CEO for commenting on my BlogWorld post. The web now allows you to have Google Alerts to certian things so you can always know what people are saying about you. It gives you the chance to join the conversation. Rick Calvert decided he wanted to join the conversation on my blog. Although I am sure only a handful of people saw his comment, it was positive. He showed interest and wanted to extend the conversation.

Are you joining the conversation about your association offerings? If you aren't, shouldn't you be? It could be the difference between an attendee/member and an evangelist.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Social Media at its Best

I was on Facebook this morning because someone left me a comment about 501cTV. Thanks Andy! I happened to click on my hometown as I was debating changing it from where I grew up to where I live now. The link put me on the friend search page listing other Facebook-ers from my hometown that are now in DC.

Crazy enough, I happen upon someone from ASAE that I talk to and work with on some assignments for the Membership Section Council. Turns out, we went to the same college (my grad, his undergrad) and were there at the same time. It also turns out we grew up in the same sub-division.

Without Facebook, I may have never known about all these commonalities. Who knows when he and I would have chatted about hometowns?

Go Bobcats!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Making Contact

We probably all have several stories we can recount of excellent or awful customer service. I recently received a cold e-mail from someone hawking speaker services. I replied and asked to be taken off their list. (I don't hire speakers.) Five days later, I get an email from the same person. This email says, "I contacted you about a month ago..." No, you didn't. It was five days. And I didn't want to be contacted again anyway.

Had I only received one email, and needed to hire a speaker, I might have at least considered using them. Now? Not a chance. I did email back and said told the person it had only been five days and could you please remove me from the list. This time, I got a response within an hour apologizing and offering very believable excuses (we all have bad days, I know.) But, damage done.

When you make contact with your members, are you making sure that no damage is being done?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Next Week's 501cTV

Ok, I am going to start working on next week's edition of 501cTV over the weekend. I need some ideas, thoughts, or things you want covered. I need people to profile, tips, blogs, events. Let me know if you have anything.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

501cTV is Here!

OK, so I am a geek. Along with this blog, I have now launched 501cTV.com. 501cTV is my new web-only video show/blog where I will talk about a bunch of different things in association and non-profit land. Some segments are sponsorable, so feel free to help me offset my costs. The first edition is up and running. I am using blog software, so you can add this to your RSS list. I will try to do one every week.

Enjoy, and I look forward to your comments.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Going to BlogWorld

I am very excited. My boss and I are venturing to Las Vegas next month for the BlogWorld and New Media Expo. I am not sure how I stumbled upon this conference, probably in Inc., Fast Company or Business 2.0 (see PS below). But since we are going to start using more blogs and social media at our association (finally!) I convinced my boss we needed to go. I am going to be good however, and attend sessions as an association employee, not as a sports and association blogger. However, I am sure I can't help but think of those 2 while I am in sessions. But I did hold back my desire to sign up for some of the sports blogging track programs.

Anyway, if any other blogoclumpers are going to be out there, let me know!

PS - Did anyone else see that Business 2.0 magazine is going out of print? I was very sad to see a cover on my last issue telling me that the run was over. I really liked B20.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

User/Customer Generated Content

A while back, I got an email from ING Direct, the online bank. I am a customer, one with multiple products and several monthly direct deposits. The email was touting a contest where customers were asked to write a brief essay with the following:

How you have set, achieved or are on track to achieve a specific saving goal;
Details on why you selected that particular goal and the timeframe you set to achieve your goal;
Roadblocks you faced or are facing along the way to your goal;
Adjustments you made or may need to make to achieve your goal; and
The final result of your efforts, or the expected result.

You also must submit a photograph (no videos will be accepted) to us that illustrates your saving goal.

They offered up one grand prize of $10,000 and 25 first prizes of $1,000 each. They received over 10,000 entries. Winners can be found at: http://www.roadtohappinesscontest.com/

How great would it be to get all that content for a mere $35,000? How great would be it to get all that qualitative research about how your customers are using your products, the challenges they face and some of the solutions they came up with to conquer those challenges? Talk about real market research.

As an association, why not make the lives of your members better by giving them a substansial reward to get relevant market research and solid content?

Connecting through LinkedIn

We all talk about Web 2.0 and connecting with virtual communities and new people through social networking. I am happy to say I do more than talk about it, as I have met some great people through doing this blog among other things. Some I have met in person, some only through comments and email (but I feel like I have met them).

I am a member of LinkedIn, like many. Whenever I search for someone on LinkedIn, I always seem to get a list of people that are 3 degrees away. It doesn't seem like many, until you see the graphic on the side. It is like the story about a friend of a friend of a friend. It seems too distant for you to really relate or know the person. So to be introduced to that person through LinkedIn, you send an email to your connection, who then must agree to send it to their connection who is connected to the person you want to meet, so you need one more introduction. All in all, to make this work you are counting on someone you know and someone you don't know to both introduce you to a person you don't know, who has to agree to meet you (virtually).

I tried it for the first time last night. And honestly to my huge disbelief (I am not sure why I was so worried it wouldn't work), within 15 hours I had an email in my box from the person I was trying to meet. (Thank you to my connection, you know who you are)

I have received 3 phone calls/emails from people who found me on LinkedIn. 2 were sales calls and one needed help with a project. I know some folks are down on LinkedIn, but I am a fan right now.

Is anyone using LinkedIn to try to recruit new members?