Here’s just a few reason’s why WE are supporting Movember.
If you want to get involved (and have some fun), details are here.
Here’s just a few reason’s why WE are supporting Movember.
If you want to get involved (and have some fun), details are here.
|Joseph Jaffe — Greg Verdino — Aaron Strout|
So two things. 1) each event has it’s own sign up (I’ve linked to all of them) so be sure to register as space will be limited and 2) if you’re going to be there that week, please ping me on Twitter at @aaronstrout or e-mail me at aaron DOT strout AT powered DOT com.
For more information on Social Media Atlanta 2010, or to register for any of these, and other, free events, please see http://socialmediaatlanta.org/
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on location-based services during Texas State University’s Mass Communication Week. I was lucky enought o be joined on the panel with the likes of Simon Salt, CEO of Incslingers and author of upcoming book, Geolocation Marketing, Jonathan Carroll, community manager at Gowalla and Tony Alvarado of OneTaco. We covered a range of topics including:
While I’m as big a fan of the sex as anybody, if you read my blog, you likely know that it’s not something I write about often. And don’t worry, that’s not going to change any time soon. But I am a fan of supporting good causes so with that in mind, I feel like it is my duty to let you know about a cool webcast that my wife’s company, GenConnect, is hosting tomorrow night at 8 PM ET (October 25).
The focus of the webcast is “sex for life” and it features noted women’s health expert, Dr. Alan Altman, expert on the subject of hormone replacement therapy and President of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. While the webcast itself will be a rebroadcast from a live event recorded a week ago, Dr. Altman will be available on the website to answer questions and talk to the attendees live. The webcast addresses things like the physiology and psychology surrounding sex (particularly from a woman’s POV) after the age of 35.
So guys (particularly you old dudes like me), if you want to learn a thing or two, here’s your chance to get the inside scoop. Ladies, this is your chance to validate what you probably already suspected and even better, if you have questions, Dr. Altman is just the guy to help you get the right answers.
Here’s the link for tomorrow night’s live chat.
It’s funny. I’ve been on Twitter for almost exactly three years to the day. During that time, my Twitter bio has evolved ever so slightly. I’ve always included my title and company name. In addition, I’ve made it clear that I’m married (happily) and have three beautiful children. Recently, I included the fact that I am the co-host of the Quick’n’Dirty podcast show. That’s it. I think at certain points in time I included the fact that I’m a huge Redsox and Patriots fan. But while I waiver on whether or not to add that back, I like my bio clean and simple.
Why do I do this? For a few reasons. Over the course of my three years on Twitter, I’ve had a chance to go through at least 14,730 people’s Twitter bios. Yes, I look at every single one before I follow back. I also check and see if they have a picture and will try and get a sense of what they tweet about. I like real people… not robots. In that process, I’ve found that some people say a whole lot of nothing in their bios. And that’s okay. It just likely won’t get me to follow back.
To that end, is it okay to mention the fact that you like a particular sport, type of food, wine, sports team or music? Of course. Personal is good. In my case, my family is my “personal” part. And while I’d like to connect with other people that like the Redsox, the Patriots, BBQ, Tool or the Black Keys, I already know who a lot of these folks are. Why? Because they respond to me when I talk about them on Twitter. And if we find mutual value in each other’s tweets, we start to follow each other.
So while I’m up on my soapbox, here are a few other tips I’d recommend if you’re interested in getting more out of Twitter.
twelve thirteen fourteen* people/organizations that I’d recommend following (high signal to noise ratio):
That’s one of my favorite lines from the Movie Stripes (yes, I’m that old). The quote was from an overweight John Candy who had just joined the army. His goal of course was to become a “lean, mean, fighting machine.” Well, that’s my goal too. Except for the fighting part. But you get my drift.
So why am I exposing my chest and underwear to you? For two reasons. One, I’m proud of the fact that after many years of being fit and trim… and then letting my younger children and two startups… get the better of me… I’m now down 15 pounds from my high water mark of 227 pounds. Yes, as you can see I still have a little ways to go but I am much happier at 212. And my goal is to be closer to 205 or even 200.
The second reason I’m exposing myself is because my friend, Simon Salt (who is working on a transmogrification of his own) pointed me in the direction of an amazing woman named Mish G who has started a movement called — you guessed it — the Exposed Movement. What’s cool is that Mish has gotten over 100 women and men to expose themselves. And to face up to the fact that very few people have perfect bodies. To that end, we can either loathe ourselves our love ourselves. Mish and her community have obviously chosen the latter. And so am I.
Here’s most of me. And with any luck, in another 4-6 weeks, you’ll see an updated picture of an even slimmer Aaron. In the meantime, I’m going to keep eating right, exercising and loving what God gave me. How about you? Will you join the movement?
Some of you may remember that last year, a bunch of us Austinites teamed up against some of my former Bostonians to raise awareness and help fight prostate and testicular cancer during the month of November. The end result of our Movember campaign was a 50 person team with over $18,000 in donations. This year, we’re hoping to make it bigger… five times bigger to be exact. We have big plans to incorporate corporate donations, scavenger hunts, famous sports figures and lots more.
What’s fun about this fund raising effort is that not only focused on encouraging people to donate money but more importantly, it’s about team building and creating awareness so that blockheads like me who at least one point in time in their lives thought they were invincible, do something about getting regular checkups. Oh yeah, we also get to grow mustaches (or if you’re female, you get to Photoshop on a mustache). In fact, the pictures you see here are some of our late stage “mo’s” that team Austin grew last year.
Most importantly, you’re probably asking yourself how you get involved. Well, I’m happy you brought it up. First and foremost, we’d like you to sign up. Don’t worry, there isn’t any hazing (well, not that we can speak of anyway). We have about
30 people 56 people on the team now with another 20+ that have verbally committed. That means we have 170 more to go. So get your friends, family and colleagues to sign up too.
Note – if you want an easy way to pass colleagues along to this post, you can use shortened URLs:
The second way you can help is to donate. Now I won’t lie to you, if we’re going to get close to $100,000 this year, we need people to donate. But if I had my druthers, I’d rather have you sign up for the team and not donate a penny than the other way around. With that said, I know many folks are pressed for time (or don’t want to grow a mustache) so if this is your thing, far be it from me to stop you.
Finally, we will be spilling the fun over to Facebook and a central touch-base site that my man, Wesley Faulkner will be running. Stay tuned for details on that front.
Last but not least, here is our Flickr collection from THIS YEAR.
I’ll be swapping this out for this year’s once we start to get our Mo on.
NOTE: Weekly team conference calls every Friday at 11 AM CT. Number is: 888-693-8686 / 2053266
Today Verizon and Powered are proud to announce the launch [pdf] of a new “branded engagement community” called Room to Learn. It’s a big move for a smart company who operates in an industry that’s not known for it’s focus on customer service. In fact, the reason we’re so excited about this project is because we see this as a big step toward the future of the way customer service will get done in the future.
Podcast: Director of eBusiness at Verizon, Mark Studness, and I talked about the project in a recent podcast.
What’s unique about Room to Learn is that instead of waiting for customers to come to come to them with questions or complaints, Verizon is reaching out their customers with useful content. Content that will help them with all things media and home entertainment. Even better, the information and education that Verizon will provide it’s customers (and non-customers) doesn’t try and sell them anything. Imagine that?
Why would a company do this you ask? Because Verizon realizes that in order to maintain their leadership position in the market, they need to do something game changing. Something my colleague, Joseph Jaffe, likes to call customer service 2.0. It’s the concept of the “give before the get.” The results should be things like greater loyalty, deeper engagement, greater share of wallet and most importantly, referrals.
A few other exciting things to mention about this new branded engagement community:
What you’ll notice today is that the conversations on Room to Learn are just getting started. If you’re interested in joining, the good news is that you don’t even need to be a customer. Obviously, Verizon expects that if you participate, you’ll be respectful and will keep the language clean. But they are always looking for feedback to if you have constructive feedback or simple suggestions, you can let them (or us) know and we’ll be sure to work it into the mix.
Is your company following Verizon’s lead and getting proactive about customer service? If not, what’s stopping you?
Last year, I had the pleasure of attending my first Masters of Marketing event in Phoenix, AZ (recap here). The thing that blew me away at that event and convinced me not only to come back, but also to sponsor this year, was the amount of talent amassed in one place at one time. Unlike many other conferences, the speakers all stick around and network… for three days. This leads to unprecedented access to people like:
Another thing I included in last year’s wrap up post were some of my favorite tweets from the event (many were quotes from the speakers). You can see all the tweets from the event that were tagged with #ANAMarketers but once again, I’ve selected my top ten (in no particular order) out of the hundreds for your viewing pleasure:
All in all, this conference felt like a big success. As I mentioned earlier, my company, Powered, was a sponsor and our goal was to meet some smart people, create some additional brand awareness, demonstrate our thought leadership (we gave out copies of colleague, Joseph Jaffe’s latest book, Flip the Funnel, to 500 of the ANA’s members) and managed to collect a few business cards in the process. While sponsorship wasn’t inexpensive, I would definitely do it all over again if I had to sign on the dotted line today.
As an added bonus, there were some great performers at the event including the Goo Goo Dolls (remember them)? If you liked the song Name, here is a live recording (thank you iPhone 4) of the performance. I have to say, the sound quality is actually pretty good.
Two weeks ago, I kicked off a photo contest on Flickr. We had about a dozen people participate and those people picked some 131 favorites out of the 5,217 that I’ve uploaded over the past several years. My original goal was to have my friend, Maury Postal (who just had his own gallery showing in NYC), pick the ten winners out of the 131. Unfortunately, after Maury picked his ten it left a three way tie. To resolve the matter I brought in another judge (and master photog) Ken Yeung.
What were the results? Well, I now have over 100 photos that are the cream of the crop. Even better, I have twenty pics that have been hand selected by two semi-pro photographers that I trust and respect. This is what we call curation (more on that topic in a future post). As much as I’d like to think that everyone visiting my Flickr account wants nothing more than to see ALL 5,000+ pictures, what they realistically want to see are the best of my photos. And now I can deliver that to them.
Let’s not forget about the most important part and that is the contest winner(s). There were actually two of them: the first was my favorite alien and avid Quick’n’Dirty podcast listener, Howie Goldfarb (aka @SkyPulseMedia). Howie had the most favorites selected (nine out of twenty) but when I went in and looked at how many pictures Howie had favorited during the first phase of the contest, I realized that he may have slightly exceeded the suggested number of ten choices. In the spirit of fairness, I decided that I would split the prize between Howie and Deards whose true identity is yet to be revealed (she picked six of the twenty finalists). That means Howie and Deards each get a $25 gift card of their choosing (iTunes or Starbucks).
Congratulations to the two winners. Thank you to our celebrity judges and a HUGE thank you to you all for participating and making this contest a success. In addition to Howie and Deards, the entrants included: Sheila Scarborough, Jim Storer, Jay Bryant, Darin Kirschner, Steve Golab, Liz Phillips, Tyson Goodridge, Helen Rittersporn and my mom, Martha Strout.
If you’d like to see the winners, the thumbnails are below. Or head on over here to see the final results.