Tag Archives: communication

Worst possible manager ever?

The title makes me chuckle because I’ve not had managers for a long time, but in the past I have come across right arseholes. The term worst possible manager must be applied to one of those boys or girls that make your skin crawl, the type that you know deep down inside are plagued with self-doubt, are passive aggressive or whatever and yet put themselves in the cross-fire of you.

I jest somewhat here because all companies that reach a certain level obviously need management, no I’m not disputing that, of course we need managers, but we need GOOD ones, intelligent ones, good communicators right?

SO anyway I just wanted to put this out there to see if you wanted to share your worst possible manager experience with me, and why do they get the prize? – it’s just a bit of fun.

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Facebook Pages: Social Media Mafia

Things move rapidly in the big ole Internet and over this bank holiday weekend I checked out Facebook “pages” again and launched the Social Media Mafia “fan” page.

But we have the FB Group, don’t we?

Yes, there is a Facebook group which we have used to date to recruit interested parties, but I’ve noticed that FB pages provide far more useful features, namely:

Facebook Statistics

180 page views on the first day is not mind-blowing by any stretch of the imagination but at least I know how many, as well as other countable features.

Export Facebook Statistics

Pretty neat, handy for dumping into some of your other data.

Facebook Social Advertisement

Note, you’ll see another advert I used in the passed right after they launched the service, not a good click-thru rate, but the ad was merely text, and a bad one too.

(very handy for future events, and pulling new people in, don’t you think?).

Facebook Targeting

This is an excellent feature, something many of us have used on other platforms for years. As an example for a Social Media Mafia event in Italy only why would I want to send an update to people in China?

Lastly of course this page is public and not stuck behind a “walled garden”.

There are other bits ‘n’ bobs about Facebook Pages which make sense, though with this small example you can see the benefits are numerous and make the FB Group redundant on many levels.

So, now you should pop on over and become a fan right?

Reach An Audience With Email

I have a long history of publishing e-newsletters and an even greater belief in the reach-ability of them. When I consider some of my larger e-mail lists and the associated click-through statistics it becomes crystal clear that they work, period.

The thing is about email is that it is still one of the best communication technologies around for broadcasting news, your updates appear into peoples’ in-box, there is no effort on the part of the target at all, and let’s face it we are lazy, we forgot sites, we often can’t be bothered to go chasing up the news.

Some say what about RSS feeds and feed readers? I say that the majority demographic there is for Geeks and Nerds, for people who are like me and work on the Internet. I also say that my sister and the girl next door are not that type of person, in fact the majority of Internet users are not feed readers, and it is the majority I am interested in typically, it is they I predominately wish to reach.

Newsletter systems can also bring about an important personal connection, or personalisation, unlike an RSS feed from let’s say a Blog, which is just generic albeit with many Bloggers liking to use the term “YOU”, to give a sense of connection. But you can go deeper than than, a newsletter sign-up form can contain personal data which can then be inserted into an authored newsletter, which gives the communication a far more personal flavour.

This personal touch is powerful, in my experience it has proven to aid considerably in building up credibility (which does take time), and it also aids in giving the reader a sense of inclusion, being part of the “club” if you will.

Some people do not like email targeting and selling, and I say to them they are fools basking in a non-existent demographic, in an minute fish-pond of supposed “friends”. If you genuinely have something to sell you cannot expect people to come looking for it, you need to push it in front of their noses, and not just once, but repeatedly.

If you’d like to see how I use a few key personalisation matches try the following Social Media Mafia form, you’ll be sent an email and asked to “opt-in” and then you’ll receive the first instalment which is pre-written, but will contain some of your personal entries. Don’t worry I’m not selling things on this particular list ;)











Get the Newsletter!

Email:
Name:
Country:
City:
Gender:
Url:
Mafia Nickname:

How To Communicate


This is Brett Hurt Founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice whom I met today at Internet World.

Now the interesting thing I thought about Brett is that he knows how to make friends, engage with people, seemed to be open minded, and generally enjoys interaction with new people, he doesn’t foolishly judge too quickly, which always gets my interest every time.

To give you an opposite example.

The first exhibitor I walked up to at IW today was an older gentlemen representing a company concerned with CRM, you know, management of customer relationships (cough cough), and as it happens I have had CRM on my mind for a project recently. So picture this, I had a Nikon around my neck, was wearing torn jeans, a t-shirt, slightly unshaven look, and my usual blue glasses, a normal day for me then, (as you can see here) nice eh?.

So, as I say hello to this grumpy old guy, first thing he does is starts to look me up and down and begins asking me questions to validate myself (no shit),

  • HIM: “how many employees do you represent then”

  • ME: “I’m a web strategist, one of my clients has global representation”
  • HIM: “show me a card then”

blah blah (insert longer story here), really boring me already dude.

So it got to the stage where I couldn’t give a fuck how good his software may have been, the mere fact he made a judgement call on my appearance along with his decision to try and assert me to validate myself to him (like that’s going work), was enough for me to just politely fuck-off in the other direction.

Now, moving on to Brett.

Brett on the other hand, you see, took an interest in a potential conversation with me and found out that I might post some pictures of the IW event onto Flick, the fact that hey this might be a really good moment for a Blog post to come from it, a moment captured where people interact with good outcomes, a memorable exchange.

Brett pulls his shirt open revealing a green t-shirt and says “put Bazaarvoice loves osborne” on it. I have no idea what that means, but it is of little significance. It’s a message, it’s a reach, it’s an enagagement to someone, a client, a prospect who knows?

Job done for me, I couldn’t refuse this attitude, it’s perfect, and goes to show that if you think you are above your station (the first guy) you might need a reality check. The internet is not all about suites and boots.

Go visit BazaarVoice.

Changing Communications

Yesterday I mentioned to my partner I intend to use Google Calendar on my mobile phone. I also stated she’d be able to track any updates in my schedule fairly easily. For example, suppose I made an appointment during the day, and input that into Google, she would be in a position to quickly cross-check my schedule should something come on the horizon that she needed to book herself.

I thought this was pretty neat, hmm but I was wrong. Apparently it would be a little redundant due to the amount of tweeting I do concerning my plans etc. She said “I only need to see what your are tweeting and I’d know”.

This made me think hard about what I actually do indeed tweet, and this has got me wondering about my tweet use.

Fact: I am using far less text messages a month than I have in the passed to send updates to friends. I recall in the late 90s I used to get through hundreds and hundreds a month, now I get through maybe 10 a week tops.

Fact: I do indeed tweet rather openly about my whereabouts and “some” of my plans.

Fact: I seem to be actively in communication with my social graph between the hours of 8am and 8pm GMT.

Fact: Not everyone in my social graph follows me on Twitter. However, most of the others use Facebook (my tweets get shown in my FB status). The ones whom are not in either system get an email, or lastly a text message, or private IM.

Oh and of course I just call people a lot more these days too.

There we go, my communication methods have change considerably, and become almost free.

What about yours?

Loose The Comment Fear

Firstly, thank YOU so much for helping me out with a previous blog entitled “What stops you from making a comment on a blog”.

Having put out a call to action to you I was completely humbled, by the response and thoughtful help that came in. YOU really did help me draw some conclusions and make some important summaries, which I will now share with you.

The deliciousness woven into a lot of the comment thread was from first-time posters, people who had not made a comment before but somehow felt a need to respond and desired to reach-out, (this is the buzz phrase), and make a connection,(again a buzz word).

Reaching Out

I think in this world of social media and instant connectivity “reaching-out” is an apt phrase which does convey a message of action, a premise of holding your arms out, of opening your book to let everyone have a read. Reaching out is exactly what a blog post should do, if you do indeed desire to have feedback and converse with your readers.

Make a Connection

Now this is the key, I have come to the conclusion with your very meaningful posts that making an emotional connection is the door opener. We are emotive beings, we need emotion and feelings continuously and mostly it is important we can connect on an emotional level, blogs are perfect tools for this.

Just Because

Having considered the feedback and mulled it around in my mind for a week or more I am absolutely convinced there is more goodness in making at least a small connection (yes how ever small), regardless of your ability or skills on the actual topic in question.

What I mean here is having read comments such as:

“may not know enough about a topic to offer an insightful reply.”
“Fear that I sound stupid/uninformed.”
“I’m not sure if I have anything of worth to contribute”
“Sounding silly/stupid”

There are numerous others very similar to this… now, a BIG pat on the back to you for making the effort, that’s important to me, and also a big pat on the back for being honest.

BUT…..

Now, this is where I differ… I personally feel it is important to leave your presence felt even if you do not actively contribute to the discussion, even if you do not add what YOU perceive to be of value, even if YOU think you are not progressing the thread. All this is all of little importance, what IS important on a blog is that you converse, just as you would down the pub, it’s important to ME and YOU.

In the pub you may not engage in deep and meaningful debate on all manner of topics, but you would certainly not just ignore and not communicate something, even a nod, a wink, a smile, a hi are very important body language statements of acknowledgement.

I feel a blog is in a similar territory, it is a conversational platform, this is not a thesis for a Phd this is not a corporate document or a medical journal, this is me talking with you about my passions and thoughts, and you talking with me. This blog is an extension of me, this is what you’d get in the pub with me, but in text form minus the body language.

So here is my call to action.

Next time you feel a little of that “fear” (let’s call it comment fear) push it away and jump in, even if it is a “thanks for sharing”… this is exactly what social media is.

So, thanks for sharing.