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This past week Jamie Varon of “Twittershouldhireme.com” fame was featured in Fortune Magazine. While Jamie and I have spoken before (considering I’ve shamelessly copied her wonderful idea to appeal to Twitter directly for employment), I only learned of the news from one of her ecstatic “tweets” regarding the coverage. I was obviously super excited to see that my copy cat site “Facebookshoulhireme.com” was mentioned in the article as well. Who would have thought that I’d have to be unemployed to get a mention in Fortune. Outstanding! Oh yeah, if you’re reading this – follow me on Twitter! @cdessi
What Varon did next made her feel a little crazy. But then, it’s a crazy time to be looking for a job. She created a website called twittershouldhireme.com, including her resume, recommendations, and a blog tracking her quest. Within 24 hours the company contacted her. She had a lunch meeting set up at Twitter, and in the meantime got two job offers from tech companies that had noticed her site, which has even spawned imitators: googleshouldhireme.com and facebookshouldhireme.com.
Check out the full article HERE - or just click on Jamie’s image:
Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton treated the crowd at the Web 2.0 conference to a live taping of the super popular Tekzilla show. Before the taping the two offered some interesting behind the scene tidbits regarding TV (apparently clapping fast and higher up on your body than normal sound better on TV), who knew?
Evan Williams founder of Twitter dropped by, and offered two memorable gems. when Veronica inquired “What advice do you have for startups” Evan with tongue firmly inserted in his cheek offered the sage advice “Do something awesome.” The answer, however dry recieved a nice chuckle from the audience.
Throughout the show, and while reviewing different product (photo printers etc), the hosts took video questions sent in by viewers and kept track of a lucky attendee’s site redesign in real time by web designers headquartered in New York. This aspect of the show was a bit of a dud considering by shows end the site was really not very impressive and received the appropriate reaction from the live audience.
All in all it was a great experience, and fun to watch the “behind the scenes” action for the taping. It was impressive to see just how knowledgeable they both are. They’ve certainly done their homework for each product they review, and you can feel that passion in Patrick’s answers. This guys loves what he does, and that’s contagious.
I attended a great session hosted by Sarah Milstein this morning at the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran regarding how businesses can utilize Twitter as a powerful tool to communicate online. Milstein is a Web 2.0 strategist and co-founder of 20slides.com, a site for lively, work-related workshops. During her presentation she also announced that she has co-authored a book with Tim O’Reilly called The Twitter Book (reserve a copy here)
This session had so much great/relevant content. Here are some highlights:
When you want to categorize messages on Twitter use the # Hash tag – so for example, if I tweet about the Web 2.0 Conference I can say: “having a great time in San Fran” and than put #w2e at the end of the message that’s relevant to the expo.
When speaking to someone start with the “@” symbol – so a message to me on Twitter would start @cdessi “#####”
Interact with your community and show the human side of your company. The Chicago Bulls were cited as a great example following the game as their followers do- communicating similar interests and passion for the Bulls. Allowing your Twitter followers to connect with the people in the company was a driving theme. Don’t push out to the users, engage them and share. Someone posted a question to Jetblue regarding places to visit in DC. Jetblue ReTweeted to the community and they helped the person.
LISTENING TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Leverage the tools to find out who’s talking about your company, or who has similar interests and may be a new customer. Most interesting tools cited:
Advanced Search on search.twitter.com for Words, People, Places, Dates, Attitudes, and other to search to see if there are people that are happy, unhappy or sharing links. Recommended to grab the RSS feed of yous saved search, or get the results emailed to you via Tweetbeep.com. Sarah shared a story in which the Crowdvine CEO did a search and found a user that wasn’t happy with the product. It turned out to be a bug that was resolved. A CEO of a competitor had reached out to the same person – lesson? You HAVE to engage the user on Twitter or your competition will.
Some additional resources:
The first point that Sarah made is that you don’t need a million followers. What you need are a small number of passionate engaged followers. She offered some tips:
1. Start with content.
2. Post great stuff and people will listen.
3. Make them want to follow you.
4. Start a conversation by using @ replies.
Allowing the user to integrate the Twitter account into the service you offer. Example: Wesabe – users can direct message their expenses to them. Salesforce.com has recently integrated Twitter which will launch this Summer. You can respond to your users leveraging Salesforce.com tools. She feels that this really adds legitimacy for Twitter. Companies are finding that people complain on Twitter before they call customer service. So they can predict issues by being engaged in this community.
Quote of the session from this dynamic young woman Twitter is the “Canary in the Coal Mine” for brands.
A question from the audience and answer from Sarah during the session:
Last Monday I was let go from my position as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at a publicly traded company. Tuesday I woke up and decided that I would put the wheels into motion to follow my heart instead of my wallet while looking for my next position.
I wanted to be a part of the web 2.0 social marketing community and began to seek sales roles at companies that fit the description. Where better to start my journey than the kings of social - Facebook.com? I love Facebook and saw that they were hiring. I applied for a Sales Director role.
Enthralled by Social Marketing I began to test my knowledge and see if I could leverage the medium to help my search. I dove headfirst into Twitter and began scanning for like minded individuals. I quickly discoverd @jamievaron and her site www.twittershouldhireme.com.
I was amazed by her ingenuity. I immediately decided that I would start a “copy cat” site called www.facebookshouldhireme.com. I purchased the URL and implemented via Godaddy.com. I was thrilled. I shared the link with my friends and family via Facebook.com (where else).
A day later Facebook.com respectfully declined my application.
Well, not so fast. Personally, I think the whole experience was phenomenal, I also think Jamie is fantastic. That’s mainly why I’m writing this post = I’m a bit disheartened to have read the following article today titled:
By Heather Huhman
The author notes 6 reasons why. I’d like to defend my position as well as Jamie’s and respond to each point.
1. She’s pigeonholded herself.
Regarding @jamievaron I disagree. The only companies she may have alienated are most likely companies that she wouldn’t like to work for. I’m sure the guys at Digg think she’s creative and interesting.
Regarding@cdessi I really disagree. I have a masters degree in Marketing, and I’ve been in online sales for 11 years. I’m not supposed to be able to produce a site like www.facebookshouldhireme.com. As I attempt to make the jump into the social marketing space this can only help.
2. She’s coming off desperate.
@jameivaron – I think she comes off as articulate, creative and passionate. She’s asking for the job of her dreams. I don’t think that’s desperate at all. I admire her for it. She’s young. It takes some people a lifetime to articulate what it is that they’d love to do.
@cdessi I was (sort of) The economy is horrible, and I need a J O B. Why not work someplace I love and get there in a creative way? After 7 days being unemployed, luckily I’ve already been given an offer. I’ve been boring my entire career – what the heck. I have a home, a wife, and a baby girl to provide for, I’m sure nobody will fault me for trying. My personal brand has already been damaged by two lay-offs due to economic conditions in one year. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the exposure.
3. She’s stereotypical Generation Y
@jamievaron - No way. No way at all. The stereotype does exist, and I’ve experienced in some of the team members I’ve managed. This young lady has initiative, creativity and a passion. The stereotype smacks of entitlement. An entitled stereotypical Generation Y would have been offered a job at Twitter and then would complain to anyone that would listen when Twitter announces they can no longer offer free breakfast because of the economy. Her site is an omage to Twitter. Not to her. She’s pledging her undying love and affection for a company that has become a part of her life. I’d hire a young woman like her in a second.
@cdessi – Hmmm..I’m generation X – I wonder what this says about me? Maybe that the game has changed, and the normal procedure doesn’t apply?
4. She’s unprofessional -
@jamievaron - I’m 34 and I’ve reported to 28 year old millionaires that show up at work in jeans and an Ed Hardy T-shirt. They negotiate million dollar deals via IM. Professional has been redefined in the Web2.0 world. If she walked in with a suit on and a brief case she wouldn’t fit into the culture at Twitter. The site is designed for Micro Bloggin. It isn’t GE. She’s being appropriately and refreshingly herself.
@cdessi - see above.
5. She’s controversial, and therefore a risk.
@jamevaron She’s part of a generation that has been posting personal photos of themselves on Myspace, facebook, friendster and the like since they were in their teens. Their whole lives have unfolded online and shared with their entire world. Considering the people she’s appealing to are her contemporaries I hardly think they’ll find this site controversial.
@cdessi - For me – a 34 year – perhaps this could be a dangerous move. Again I’ll reference my two lay-offs in less than a year as a liability as well, but sometimes the contrarian is the guy that’s most innovative in the board room. I’ll take that risk.
6. It’s been done.
@jamievaron – This is way off. Facebook wasn’t the first social site. Twitter may be the first micro blogging site, but I’m certain it’s not the last. To say that @jamievaron’s “angle” is never going to be reproduced is silly. I’m sure you’ll see even better iterations on her idea. Done with more flare, perhaps to an even more controversial effect.
@cdessi - I’m sure this idea will be replicated (hopefully with better results than mine) :-) I’ve seen stories on executives standing on street scorners. This will be replicated and built upon as the economy continues to worsen and people need to find more creative ways to distinguish themselves.
I just returned from a head clearing heart pounding 6mile run. It’s amazing how much clearer your thinking becomes when you’re challenging your body. I’m in the middle of day 4 after losing my job, and I’m already making some big moves. It’s fascinating to step back and be witness to the emotional rollercoaster of job loss. That coupled with our lovely little recession we’re experiencing hasn’t exactly helped my spirits, but it hasn’t gotten me so down either.
I’ve been really down before. I’ve faced some minimal adversity in my life, and I’m thankful every day for that. I know in my heart that I wouldn’t appreciate the good things in my life if I were never faced with the “percieved bad”. I say “perceived bad” because I mean really, how bad is it? Nobody is dying here. :-)
Take inventory today. I’m mean really, seriously take inventory. While I was running I thought of the many things I can be thankful for:
1. I’m able to run 6miles!
2. The seasons are changing and you can almost smell the baseball in the air – GO YANKS!
3. My daughter’s birthday is on April 14th!
If a guy on day 4 of joblessness in the midst of a sh*tty recession can be grateful, than you really have no excuse to complain today!
There a few ways you can react to getting let go:
1. Wallow in self pity
2. Drink yourself into oblivion
3. Wallow while drinking
4. Say f- it and head to Figi for a month, and then wallow and drink.
5. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get to work…then maybe have a nice glass of Gary Vaynerchuk recommended vino.
At this point in my life and since I have the responsibilities of a perfect little girl and a mortgage to pay – I really can only pick option – #5.
That said this week has been a whirlwind of meetings, phone calls and ideas. Ideas that I’ve been thinking about for months but never really had the time to see to fruition. I’m saying screw getting down – screw wallowing in self pity. This is opportunity time. I’m so energized and pumped for these ideas!!
So here they are in no particular order:
I’ve registered two company LLC’s
2. Dadzilla LLC - I purchased the url http://www.dadzillatv.com – and I’ve hired a great team of freelancer to help me build the site on evenings and on weekends. It’s not ready to launch but I think it will hit a demo that gets neglected – DADS – I see tons and TONS of parenting advice and there’s really nothing for Dads. My idea is to host a weekly show that will interview people that can offer advice for Dads – everything from the type of mortgage you should look for to the type of crib you should be getting for the new little addition. I’ve been blessed to have a phenomenal family that loves and supports me, and I realize that not everyone has that type of support system. So we need to educate the new Dads out there. They need to keep their new little ones safe and secure. They also need to know what stuff is a rip off and what stuff they really need – ie, ditch the frills and invest in a gate so your baby doesn’t take a spill down the steps!
There are a lot more where these came from – so let me hear your feedback? Kill me with constructive feedback guys I want these ideas to take off and I need your help – what do you think?
Thursday Miva was acquired by AdKnowledge, Inc. This is phenomenal news for the talented folks running Miva Direct. Robert Roe and Mark Ribaudo have a vision for the Miva Direct team that I’m excited to see come to fruition in the coming weeks. I won’t be a part of that vision because this Monday I was let go. This is the best thing to happen for me. This is an opportunity for growth, learning and expansion. I worked very hard in the months that I spent at Miva Direct and I hope that the team experiences nothing but success. They all deserve the best. Now, I must start the journey to look for my next challenge.
Today, I’m bursting with ideas, happiness, and a feeling that everything happens for a reason. I’ve decided that I will take some time to be with my family and decide the best opportunity for us. A hasty decision is dangerous, and I want to ensure that I make a decision to move from a pure place, and not a place that is based in financial concern.
There is so much opportunity in front of me, and I’m excited that this is an opportunity for me to “practice what I preach”. I have posted on here before regarding the recession, and our perception of the world around us when we’re in the midst of a recession. Some responded saying that my outlook was unreasonable and much too positive. I disagree. Life is not an enemy. I don’t want war. I want peace, love and a non hostile environment. My relationship with the present moment is not a means to an end. I see my present moment as the only thing that I have. Life is inseparable from the now. Now, life is abundant.
How lucky am I?
I see the disfunction in grasping for the future, of reacting to the panick of unemployment. This will not support a smooth transition into a new role. This will only support decision making that is fear based. This won’t help me find a role that is a fulfilling career move. I may find a “job”, but not an environment where I can be surrounded by like minded positive people. Life’s much too short for me to seek only financial success. I’ve seen the danger of this mentality. My actions today are empowered by my intention to do good, act for the good of the people I encounter in my life, and the refusal to feel bitter, rejected, or down. Too many of us are unaware that we have an inner wisdom of intuition that guides us. Today is a day I’ve never lived before, and I’m glad to be alive today. I give to life what I expect life to give to me. I love life.
Out of this situation, only good will come.
This morning something fascinating happened.
During my commute in on the train I read an article so timely and so appropriate in the Wall Street Journal: that I made copies and passed it out to our team. I was feeling so positive today, so convinced that our team was pulling itself out of the muck and mire of complaining and feeling the negative effects of the recession etc, and turning a corner to producing. I shared it to be a point of positivity, to spread a feeling of good will and general warm feeling about what we’ve been through and are accomplishing. I felt they would appreciate the timeliness of the note, smile and file it away under “nice article”…
An anonymous someone apparently did not, and left the article crumpled in a ball outside my office door.
The article’s title is “From Attitude to Gratitude: This is No Time for Complaints” by Jeffrey Zaslow. What could have been so offensive to warrant a response of that nature?
Well, the general”zeitgeist” of the article is that when recession hits people tend to complainn less, and realize just how lucky they are to be gainfully employed etc. Zaslow cites that
“Job satisfaction is actually up according to a December 2008 survey by Yahoo! HotJobs.” People are more grateful for what they have an hesitant to wine and complain.
Jeffrey goes on to quote Dr. McHenry
“A lot of young people grumble due to entitlement” Dr. McHenry encourages us to write down three things we’re grateful for every day – no matter how simple they might seem. “Some days, ” she says, “the list might be as basic as oxygen, food and shelter”
This final quote inspired me to even add this as my status on facebook this morning:
Chris is wondering what are 3 things that you’re grateful for today? – 1.My Family 2.My Job 3. The recent development of a sports page in the WSJ are mine
So what could have triggered this person to crumple up the article and leave it outside my office? I guess I’ll never know. Perhaps as my mother says “A guilty conscience needs no accuser”
But I’ll tell you one thing – I’m certainly not going to complain about it
This morning while reading the Journal there was a huge story covering Skittles. Apparently they have some super savvy people working over there at Mars Snackfood because the team has leveraged the heck out of social media, and they’re reaping the rewards – Skittle style. When asked for a quote regarding the brand, their Agency Strategist offered one of the most delightful fun descriptions of a brand I’ve ever heard:
Ben Weisman, a strategist at Iris-New York, said the move paints Skittles as a “daring, out-of-the-box, unicorn-riding, candy-loving, fantasy-meets-reality, rainbow-tasting” brand.
I wish the world had more brands with “Unicorn-riding” in the description.
Mission accomplished Iris.
NEW YORK – February 19, 2009. MIVA Direct, Inc., the toolbar, homepage and content division of digital media and advertising company, MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA), today announced the roll out of live community features across its ALOT Toolbar and Homepage products following the signing of a new agreement with Meebo, one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies.
Under the terms of the agreement, MIVA Direct is using Meebo’s technology to facilitate real-time social interactions between users via chat rooms that are promoted across ALOT Toolbar and ALOT Home. Meebo is serving social ads into the technology and MIVA Direct will earn a share of the revenue generated from these ad units.
In addition to the expected revenue it will generate, the functionality is also designed to extend ALOT’s mission of ‘Making the Internet Easy’ by delivering further value to the brand’s existing vertical audiences. Chris Dessi, MIVA Direct’s VP of Sales and Business Development, explains:
“Since launching ALOT we’ve been building up users across a broad range of different verticals – our ALOT Toolbar for Recipes, for example, currently has over 335,000 live users. We believe there are significant potential benefits in offering vertically focused chat rooms that enable these like-minded users to communicate directly with each other, and believe that Meebo is a great application to help us kick-start this process.”
Added Stephanie Quay, Meebo’s Director of Business Development: “The scale and vertical focus of ALOT’s customer base makes them a great fit for Meebo. We look forward to working with them to roll out and monetize our solution.”
About MIVA®, Inc.
MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA) is a global digital media company with a mission to deliver valuable digital audiences to advertisers. MIVA has two focuses to its business: owning and operating toolbar, homepage and desktop products, through its MIVA Direct division; and running a third-party contextual Pay-Per-Click ad network through its MIVA Media division. MIVA, Inc. operates across North America and Europe.
About Meebo, Inc.
With over 40 million people sharing over 5 billion messages and 75 million links every month, Meebo is one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies. Founded in September 2005, Meebo enables real-time social interactions with instant messaging and group chat at meebo.com and on partner sites across the Web. Meebo is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Visit meebo.com to connect with friends live on the Web.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or expressions such as “anticipate” , “plan,” “will,” “intend,” “believe” or “expect’” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including (1) our ability to successfully execute upon our corporate strategies, (2) our ability to develop and successfully market new products and services, and (3) the potential acceptance of new products in the market. Additional key risks are described in MIVA’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2007 and our most recently filed Form 10-Q.
Yesterday was my 34th birthday, and I have to say it was one of my best. More on that later. Sunday night I was laying in bed thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great family when I started to think about past great birthdays. So here’s a fun recap of some of my best, and why:
10 - While it may not seem obvious why becoming 10 is the coolest thing ever – let me share why I was so pumped. Two words – Double Digits. Plus I received the best gift – a boom box from my parents. I went nuts when I opened the gift, believe it or not I still have it (well my Dad does), he keeps it in his garage. It was the beginning of my love affair with music – first tape? Huey Lewis and the News. Not the best way to start, but c’mon – I was 10. Good times – Back to the double digits… I remember bounding down the hallway whooping and hollering DOUBLE DIGITS!! I’m not sure I’m really proud of that, nor am I really sure why I was so excited (maybe it’s because Alyssa Milano was 10 and I now felt comfortable enough as a sage young man of 10 to write to her fan club and let her know once and for all “who’s the boss”..) but I digress.
13 - At 13 I was the same height I am now (which isn’t really saying much) but I was a full head taller than everyone. I’m convinced it’s where I get my confidence. For some reason when you’re bigger than everyone there’s an odd unspoken reverence for said large person. I never grew another inch, but that one year – I was a God (at least I thought I was). I was captain of my wrestling team, I shaved for the first time, and my parents threw me a surprise party at my house. It was the coolest. We had a lip sync contest and the grand finale was a full party rendition of Paradise City by GNR. There were girls at the party too and that played well into the serge of hormones coursing through my lanky 5 foot 9 inch body. That ruled. On a less exciting note – I spent 3 months of that year grounded whilst dealing with said serge of hormones…..once again….I digress…
21 - I’d already been drinking legally for a few months because I was living in Leuven Belgium for a year long study abroad program. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Leuven, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for most pubs per square meter – a great place to study. 30,000 students from all over the world and lots of Belgian Beer. That weekend I knew my Mother, brother Mark and cousin Trish were coming to visit. What I didn’t know was that my Father was joining them. I remember waiting at the airport for them to land (they were delayed due to a huge snow storm back home in New York). I was lying down on a row of chairs when I said to my good friend Steve Rossi “I wonder when they’ll get in”. My Dad answered the question as he stood over me. I was bewildered, and thrilled at the same time. Everyone arrived safely and the “kids” decided to hit the bars that first night in Belgium. I’d been bragging to my brother and cousin that I had a great tolerance for Beer now because I’d been drinking legally and that there was no way I’d get sick. Big mistake. I remember running to the bathroom after a round of shots. I calmed myself and felt the urge to throw up pass. That’s when Paulo Antonio Ribeiro Montero walked in (I swear that’s the kids name, odd that I remember, but really, could you ever forget a name like that?). When he came into the bathroom he had a pint glass of soda. I asked him for a sip because I was on the verge of projectile vomiting and I needed to settle my stomach. He happily obliged me. I chugged, chugged….then spit out the straight Jack Daniels. Bummer. Commence Vomiting. I ran home screaming “I’m 21″ at the top of my lungs. Not sure I’ll ever brag to my cousin and brother again about much anything let alone being able to drink them under the table. But man, it was fun.
30 – This was the biggest mind blower of all time. While at the mall with my wife Laura one evening, we were set to leave and invite my brother and his wife out for dinner with us. When we called my brother was stand-off ish, and not interested in leaving the house. I tried to persuade him to no avail. I hung up and told my wife Laura (then my girlfriend) that they were in for the night and not interested. We started to drive a bit when Laura suggested we call him and tell him we’ll visit them and bring over some pizza. I called back and my brother hesitated a bit, but then said fine, just get some pizza and come over. When we walked into the house it was packed with friends and family. I was seriously so confused when I walked in. I thought I’d invited myself over, not the other way around. I was played, and had the best surprise ever. This was one of the many “she’s a keeper” events that Laura pulled off over the years.
34 Sunday the whole family came over to celebrate, and it was a fantastic time. My cousins Trish and MK joined in the fun, and the my nieces and daughter made it a total blast. Thanks guys!
I was 5 when I first met her, 29 when I first kissed her and 30 when she accepted my proposal to be my wife. At 33 she gave me a perfect baby girl. I’m blessed. I have the love of an amazing woman.
I thought I knew about life, Laura taught me how to live. I thought I knew how to treat people, she shows me daily how to give more.
Laura Jean Guiglotto, or LJ as we used to call her when she was a little girl is the love of my life. I’d just returned from living in London for a year when we went on our first real date. I told her I’d marry her two weeks into our new relationship. I’d never been so sure of anything before in my life.
I always knew she’d be a great mother; I get choked up when I see her holding our daughter Talia. She makes me laugh, and we laugh together. We play together. We learn together. We experience life together.
When I first started dating her I felt I was well rounded. I had done some traveling and I thought I could show her the world. Instead she opened my eyes to a new world of beauty and understanding that I didn’t think existed.
When we went to Europe together I could actually see her thirst for knowledge about every place we visited. She approaches new things with child like wonder.
She teaches me how to trust. She shows me how to give love unconditionally. Did I mention she makes me laugh? I mean REALLY laugh that laugh that makes you lose your breath. That’s pure. That’s love. Oh yeah, plus she bakes too. Her brownies will make your toes curl in ecstasy. She’s my friend. She’s got my back. She laughs at my bad jokes. She tells me how smart she thinks I am, and then makes fun of me and tells me I’m too cocky. She’s perfect, for me.
I love to surprise her because she never expects anything from me. I love to make a fuss over her because nobody every did. I love to rub her feet for her (seriously, I’m not sure why but I actually enjoy rubbing her feet….odd, I know).
She treats her family like gold. She honors her Grandfather with respect that I admire. She thinks of everyone before she thinks of herself, and I love that we have a child together.
I love that Talia has her gentle big brown eyes. I love that my baby girl has Laura as her role model. I love that my wife has a masters degree. I love that she cries every year on the last day of school (she’s a school teacher). I love how much she cares about her students. I love that she decorates the house in accordance to any appropriate holiday she can think of, and that she has place mats to match (actually I don’t love that, I just think it’s funny). Finally, she’s an amazing kisser and she looks phenomenal in a bikini.
Happy Valentines Day!
A few weeks ago when Sully landed in the Hudson river we all had our moment to “go there”. We imagined what we would do, how we would react. My wife Laura and I cringed at the thought of having to deal with a situation like that with our 10 month old along with us. We watched in relieve as each passenger was pulled from the plane safely. 60 Minutes did a phenomenal follow up story that I watched earlier this week. During the show we met a passenger who had lost a brother in the 9/11 attacks. He said that as the plane was decending to crash land in the Hudson he thought that his family couldn’t handle the loss. He tearfully thanked Captain Sully. It was chilling, and moving. Today that scenario has horribly come true in the loss of Beverly Eckert. Ekhert lost her husband in the Attacks on the World Trade Center and was among those who perished Thursday. I pray for her family. MSNBC Reports the following:
A widow of a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center was among those killed in a plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., late Thursday, her sister told a local newspaper.
“We know she was on that plane and now she’s with him,” Beverly Eckert’s sister Sue Borque told The Buffalo News.
Beverly Eckert, left, shown here with fellow 9/11 widow Mary Fetchet outside the U.S. Congress in 2004, was among those killed in the crash of Flight 3407, her sister said.
FTC in the News:
Federal Trade Commission staff today issued a report describing its ongoing examination of online behavioral advertising and setting forth revisions to proposed principles to govern self-regulatory efforts in this area. The key issue concerns how online advertisers can best protect consumers’ privacy while collecting information about their online activities.
The FTC is on the hunt again. This time it’s behavioral targeting. I’m sure heads will roll and companies will be put out of business, but really for what? Consider when a user is targeted properly by an advertiser the ad that they see is based upon their past interests, and surfing history. This should be a good thing, right? I delight when I see a well place ad from ESPN, because their ad agency has done some research and understood how to best communicate with me. I understand there needs to be regulation, and I support the FTC’s efforts regarding most endeavors, but are they upholding their tag line of “Protecting Americas Consumers” on this one?
What do you think?
This evening while listening to a TED Talks Podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert – the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia I was inspired. During her talk, Elizabeth spans hundreds of years speaking about the idea that ancient man didn’t necessarily credit himself for the creative work he would do. Gilbert goes on to even side with this idea – citing that Socrates famously claimed to have a “damon” or spirit that was with him at all times. This magical devine entity would be with him and assist in his creative endeavors. The Romans called this spirit genius.
Elizabeth supports that we as a modern society should shift to thinking this way (perhaps not in a wholly literal sense), but rather in the sense that we should at least acknowledge that this creative force, this light, creativity inside us isn’t wholly of us.
She speaks of the ancient Moors who while dancing would recognize when one of them would dance so elegantly, so perfectly, and with such ease and grace that the would recognize it in the tribe by chanting Allah, Allah, Allah (God, God, God). When the Moors later invaded southern Spain you can hear their influence when the Spanish see something done well and chant Oley Oley Oley – a Glimpse of God.
Today – be creative – look for God in yourself. Love yourself enough to keep showing up and see that glimpse of what the Romans called Genius. See the Genius in yourself.
As our economy worsens and belts continue to tighten online advertisers are even better off. The reason? ROI – Return on Investment. There is no other medium where the advertiser knows exactly where ads will run, and can track performance. There is certainly value in brand advertising, but in order to fully see the power of online advertising, one must only offer a CPA, or CPC and watch the magic happen. Certainly there are risks involved as there are regarding any advertising. You’ll be well suited to investigate the pitfalls – ie, chargebacks or deductions, click fraud but rest assured if you need to advertise -and you DO, then make it performance based. The worst feeling in the world is spending dollars and you cannot quantify where there went, or the purpose regarding your spend. When you have a paying customer that just paid you $30, and you paid an affiliate $15 to generate that sale, I can guarantee you’ll migrate your spend to performance driven.
Since I started here at Miva Direct, we’ve been pushing our team internally to execute in the most expeditious manner possible. All hands on deck brainstorming sessions, long hours and full commitment from everyone involved. The results have been better than anyone could have expected with this down economy. Here’s why;
The executive team spend a full day at an offsite meeting outlining the quickest way to generate our desired results (revenue) in the most efficient manner using all resources we have at our fingertips (ie, no new hires). It worked well, and we’re reaping the rewards as we approach mid-Q1
Here’s how we did it
1. Made people believers not bystanders – we engaged the help of everyone from Account Managers to Directors and VP’s. Everyone has had a hand in this success, and taken ownership.
2. Understood uncertainty – Moving forward in this manner, we didn’t sugar coat things with the team. They understand the implications of this economy and understand they can have a hand in their own destiny.
3. Show humility – The executive team has had to ask for help. Ideas that may not have been touched on during the meeting were add
4. Learn about your team – We’ve had to ask people to take on roles and responsibilities that may not have been in their job description and this has been a huge success. Our team is so talented. I’m surprised and impressed by them daily. We’ve given them the opportunity to shine.
1. Focus too heavily on details – we used the theory of Occam’s razor – or the Law of Economy.
2. Reacting negatively to criticism – We understood that we needed to improve. We put our heads down and did.
3. Intimidating others – We didn’t used idle threats to motivate. We enlisted the help of our teammates, and empowered them to move.
4. Jumping to conclusions – We stayed open to suggestions and guidance from the team, and didn’t assume anything.
5. Micromanaging – We trusted our people to execute.
Go get some quick wins!
If you didn’t think the folks over at Google were geniuses before, think again. I just came across an article on Reuters indicating that Google is offering a Gmail feature called “Mail Goggles”
A MATH TEST!!!
Genius…pure, simple genius. Great ideas are the ones that seem so obvious that you slap your forehead when someone else releases them. I’m sure this has been thought of before (I remember sitting around in college dreaming about phones with breathalyzer tests after having made one too many drunken calls to an ex).
I’m sure this handy little application will save a few jobs (breathe and try to solve a math problem before you rip off that ticked off email to your boss, or high maintenance client). I’m also certain it’ll save more than a few relationships (hasty break up messages, or even inappropriate notes to exes will be hindered). Alcoholics of the world rejoice…
Google – not being evil, and helping you keep your reputation intact.
Today CNN’s Simon Hooper discussed Facebook’s 5th birthday. Facebook has become such a part of our every day vernacular sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what we did without it (sort of like cell phones). I’d argue that Mr. Hooper’s article is missing something. The main point of discussion is if Facebook can survive. I say yes. He covers numerous points that are worth discussing when it comes to a juggernaut like Facebook for sure. But debating whether or not Facebook can generate the ad revenue that MySpace.com is generating I think may be irrelevant.
Let me explain why Facebook will survive and why non of the points Mr. Hopper touched on are the reasons why:
I challenge Hooper to take a closer look at the bigger picture. Guys like Zuckerberg, while a celebrity in his own right and of course an excessively successful person is changing the internet for the better. Places like Facebook and Craigslist aren’t allowing Madison Avenue to dictate the content, or development of their sites. They’re churning out great content – or in this case great tools so that a user can have the best experience when connecting with former classmates, friends etc.
“The culture of the Internet has also changed pretty dramatically over the past five years. Before, most people wouldn’t consider sharing their real identities online,” Zuckerberg said. “But Facebook has offered a safe and trusted environment for people to interact online, which has made millions of people comfortable expressing more about themselves.”
What I find most fascinating about Facebook isn’t the money making potential – although I’ll admit, I wouldn’t turn down a job with Mr. Zuckerberg. What fascinates me is the way we (as a society) are using this tool to communicate.
It’s the first time the internet is delivering on its promise of “bringing us together”.
My experience with Facebook has been nothing short of a perfect Brand Experience rivaled only by Google. Every time I log into my account I come across a new friend or colleague I’ve lost touch with. I love reading my friends statuses. I love learning about my friends in even greater detail than I had previously known, and I love that I can share with them the joy of being a new father without being obtrusive. We live in a world that moves at the speed of light, and Facebook is my only outlet to stoke the formerly dwindling embers of friendships that I’ve valued for years. I thank Facebook for living up to its potential. I praise them for not becoming the sexually charged bombast of Myspace.com. I admire them for asking my opinion when they serve an (albeit relatively unobtrusive ad).
Facebook is 5, will it survive?….yep.
Today I stumbled up a cool little gadget that I’ve seen before, but never really gave much thought about – the Flip MinoHD. The first time I saw one in action was on New Years Eve at my cousin Stephanie’s wedding. A close friend of her husband was walking around with (what looked to me) like his cell phone. As I held onto my trusty Camcorder, I snickered – “what kind of quality can he possibly get out of that video”….I love when I’m proved wrong. Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black) is one of the coolest new products I’ve seen on the market – and I just begged my wife to buy it for me for my birthday. Considering we have a 9 month old – the options are endless. I hope this baby will live up to the claims regarding quality. If the images are good, I can see myself ditching my trusty camcorder and making a full migration to the Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black) It can hold up to 60 minutes of video (just like my camcorder), and it’s a fraction of the size. Great for a new dad that’s loaded down with diaper bags and the like.
If anyone has one, I’d love to learn more about he quality of the images you’ve shot? Thanks!
This afternoon I had a great lunch meeting with my good friend and former colleague Alex Baydin. Al’s the CEO of Performline. He and his team are having a great start to their year, and we had a great “catch up” lunch. I was in the best mood after I left our meeting. It always gets me fired up to see good people doing big things- kudos to the Performline team.
On my way back downtown to the office, I was feeling energized. I called my wife and then hopped onto the 1 train back down to Houston Street from 23rd. When I sat down I saw an older, somewhat downtrodden black gentleman sitting directly across from me. He had slumped shoulders and was looking down at the ground. I had a smile on my face, and when he picked up his head and made eye contact with me – of course I offered this gentlemen a smile. He immediately sat up straight, smiled back and pulled out a pad and pencil – and began to sketch me.
A few people sitting around us realized what was happening and started to smile. I looked at them and said “I guess I should keep smiling”…they laughed and the gentleman continued to sketch. We stopped at 18th, then 14th, – the person who had been sitting next to me got off and smiled at us both. A new person got on at 14th and sat next to me – when she realized what was happening she smiled and we both chuckled a bit. When we got to Christopher street you could see his
drawing come together – I was getting off at the next stop so I stood up next to the gentleman and placed my hand on his shoulder . I held my hand on him, leaned down and said “that looks great”…a woman next to me prepared to get off at the same stop said “is that supposed to be you”? I said ” I believe so” and with that the man signed the sketch, ripped it off his clipboard and handed it to me over his shoulder with a smile. I took it, said thank you smiled back – and got off the train.
Behold the power of a Smile. You gotta love New York City – and you gotta love life.
Check it out:
1. My wife Laura – I paid her $50 if she could last 1/2 hour without talking last night (seriously, she won and I was a happy man to pay up)…but I love that woman. Plus we laugh together….all the time..
2. My daughter Talia
- Feel the touch of a 9 month olds open hand on your cheek and feel the hand of God.
3. My home – I worked my buns off to provide a home for my family, and although it’s no palace, it’s a great place, and I feel like I enter the “no stress zone” every time I come home at night.
4. My family – I actually CHOSE to live in the same town as my brother. Crazy right? Wrong. He and his gorgeous family rule. We all dig spending our Sundays together, and we even invite my PARENTS! For my Mother’s 60th Birthday we’re sending my parents to Sciacca, Sicily – the town of origin for my Mother’s family. Family is EVERYTHING. We surprised her. Priceless..
5. My job – I work with some of the smartest people in the online world, and they’re nice to me. Not sure what I did to deserve that?
Life is good people. take a minute to list your top 5…I promise, you’ll feel great afteward!
Recently I saw an interview with Rush Limbaugh. I know, I know but hear me out. Throughout the course of the interview Rush was his normal cuddly, narrow minded fool blabbering on about some gibberish that I was just about to turn off when he made a statement that got me. He said (now I’m paraphrasing here)_….”I know there’s a recession, I just don’t choose to participate”…..and I have to say that this may be the first time I can ever say - I AGREE WITH OUR BOY RUSH. Amen! Let’s not participate.
I’m sure Rush didn’t mean it the way I’m going to interpret here – but I don’t really care. I choose not to participate in the gloom and doom. I choose to see the silver lining. I choose to be happy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I’m grateful for my lovely wife Laura, my perfect baby girl Talia, for my friends, my family and my job. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I don’t chose to participate.
You shouldn’t either. Smile, you’ll live longer. I promise.