Monday, September 13, 2010

Social Networking – An Old Fashioned Idea

You can’t read a newspaper (online or offline), watch the news or listen to the radio without hearing the words “social networking” - the buzz phrase of the day.

Yet this Internet marketing phenomenon has grown steadily since the early days when tech savvy people flocked to local bulletin boards or to Usenet groups to discuss common points of interest. In reality Social Networking pre-dates the Internet, the computer age, and electricity. Does the old expression “It’s not what you know, but who you know” ring any bells?

This expression is all about the power of your social network. I remember as a teenager how many kids at my local high school were landing unbelievable summer jobs when I struggled to find even a lousy one. When pressed them on how they found it, the typical answer was “Oh I’m working for a friend of my father’s...”.

This isn’t so different today with use of Internet based social networks. I’ve often seen posts from my social network telling me of people who’ve lost jobs and are looking for work, people plugging their business or skills, etc. So what is the key to an effective Internet based social network? Does it lie in the tool, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Friendfeed, and who knows how many more? The answer is simply no.

For Internet based social networks to be truly successful you need to treat your online social network as you would any social network, online or offline. Your social network is merely a collection of connections and pulling out a measuring stick of how many connections you have is a failed measurement. The key performance indicator is what you get out of maintaining this network. What are your goals (help spread the word, people to sell stuff to, people to pass your name one, etc.), objectives (i.e. increase lead generation by 15%) and how will you measure your success against these goals? Simply having 40,000 plus followers on Twitter, 2,000 plus connections on LinkedIn, etc. doesn’t guarantee you anything if they’re not interested in what you have to say or if they’ve filtered you out of their feed.

As with the old traditional social network, “it’s not what you know but who you know” are you connected to the right people to help you meet your objectives and most importantly as with traditional social networks, just having the connections isn’t good enough; it’s knowing how to approach your connections for help in meeting your objectives. Remember every kid’s parents knew people, but not every kids parents knew how ask for help in finding their kid a high quality summer job.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The 100 Mile Diet - Full Circle

The 100 Mile Diet is not a fad diet like the rice diet, grapefruit diet, or cabbage diet. It refers to eating only foods that are locally raised and produced within 100 miles of where you live. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Instead of buying fruits and vegetables that are grown thousands of miles away and picked before their prime because of the long distances that they have to travel in refrigeration units, locally grown produce is picked and available for purchase at its peak. Everything is fresher, tastes better, supports local business,lessens our carbon footprint, and is healthier.

The reality is that the 100 Mile Diet is not a new creation; it is the re-creation of how our ancestors used to eat. Before the world became a global village our ancestors lived off the land. They ate what ever was raised and grown in their immediate vicinity and most likely in a smaller radius than 100 miles. The result of eating fresher, healthier food was that our ancestors did not suffer from high cholesterol, blocked arteries, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Their simple and healthy diet rewarded them with good health. The 100 Mile Diet is not a diet at all; it is merely repackaged version of the way that our ancestors ate.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cirque du Soleil - a True Original

Everyone on the planet has heard of Cirque du Soleil and hopefully many of you have had the good fortune to see some of their shows. It's absolute magic! What you may not know is that the big tops are used and reused in a variety of original ways.

Cirque du Soleil tents were sent to Haiti after the disaster to provide shelter and to replace buildings that were razed. Did you know that the tents have 33,000 square feet of interior floor space and stand 61 feet high? These tents originally cost 5 million dollars.

The big tops have in fact spawned an entire industry. Many products and souvenirs available in Cirque du Soleil gift shops are made from big tops that are no longer in use. There are gorgeous handbags, back packs, umbrellas, and decorative items all made of big tops. Owner and Founder Guy Laliberte not only talks the talk; he walks the walk. For Christmas 2008 he gave artits a handbag made from the tarp of a retired Cirque big top tent. The handbags are made of the recycled material and fit into Cirque “eco-friendly” attitude, as well as featuring the wonderful bright yellow and blue of the traveling Cirque big tops.

Countless companies are making products from authentic Cirque du Soleil big top tent material. These unique products give a second life to these genuine circus tents and give everyone the opportunity to own a piece of Cirque du Soleil.