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Date: Sunday, 19 Dec 2010 20:58

Sneaky Sam the Seagull is an innovator in building word of mouth marketing. In 2007, he was caught on tape shoplifting Doritos chips from RS McColl Newsagents shop.

Word of Sneaky Sam's shoplifting quickly spread among local residents and RS McCall's customer base increased. In fact, amused customers started paying for the Doritos that Sam shoplifted.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)"
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Date: Sunday, 19 Dec 2010 20:50
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Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey"
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Date: Sunday, 28 Feb 2010 00:59
It’s all about perspective, and ideas, and firing new synapses to solve problems in different ways. ...
In some ways, manufacturing, services, day to day commerce becomes a commodity, and understanding that commodity and how to plan for the future and react to events has value beyond the basics. It’s not all about how quickly you get that information (stay glued to twitter if that’s how you feel), but the quality and thoroughness of the interpretation of information – the analyst industry has proven that over and over. It’s the difference between a day trader and Warren Buffet, one-night-stands and long-term commitment.

Thank you, Jack Santos, ComputerWorldUK.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "This and That"
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Date: Sunday, 28 Feb 2010 00:56

This post is all about me. A few weeks ago I delivered a presentation at the Northern Fairfield Professionals about personal branding called Me 2.0.

To use my time wisely and extend my reach, I leverage nearly everything that I write. For example:

  • The "Me 2.0" pitch is available in my Slidespace.
  • My Slidespace is embedded in my LinkedIn profile.
  • On the home page of Grey Consulting, at least as of the time that I'm typing this post.
  • My Facebook wall.
  • My Twitter.
  • A post to the WNO Yahoo Group. A Comment on a Human Racehorses blog post. (Mouse over the bubble next to my comment name and you'll find a link to my LinkedIn profile.)
  • The Human Racehorses author Michael VanDervort reposted his entry to include comments, including mine. I get two mentions in the reposted entry: one in the second paragraph and the other in point 15, which refers the reader back to my Slideshare presentation.
  • And, of course, my blog posts are syndicated across blog search engines.

Without much work on my part, I've leveraged, leveraged, leveraged my Me 2.0 presentation to "walk the talk." "It's all about me" used to be called "tooting your own horn," which had a negative connotation if overdone. With the magic of social media, it is now called smart personal branding enabled by the natural, viral nature of social media.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Social media"
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Date: Saturday, 11 Jul 2009 11:41

With the Time Warner/AOL marriage dissolved, AOL's viability relies on its ability to revamp itself for tomorrow's market. AOL's decision to put Bebo in the Venture's box makes sense as it focus's its efforts on reinventing itself. Bebo "coulda been a contender," but its acquisition by a floundering AOL killed that aspiration.

"First things first." AOL needs to fix itself. Leave Bebo in purgatory, while the plethora of social media playthings matures. After all, Bebo is hardly the powerhouse that it once was... neither is AOL. (Anyone remember AOL keywords?) "First things first."

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Acquisitions, Social media"
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Date: Thursday, 21 May 2009 01:23

If you are one of the millions that are unemployed, I suggest that you write a book. You do not need to be a great writer. You do need to know what you know and have the ability to tell others what you know. Becoming a published author will make you more marketable to potential employers. You will be recognized talent. Here's how it works.

Courtesy of 2.0 online publishing, anyone can become a published author. However unlike traditional self-publishing, 2.0 online publishing is free.

Using previously created content, in ten minutes I developed and published a photo book about my cat Akhu using Lulu. Should I wish to professionalize the book, Lulu offers a menu of for-fee services. I'm not seeking a job as Akhu's promoter. But if I were, this would be a great way to showcase what I could do for Akhu.

If writing a book isn't your thing, perhaps you would feel more comfortable in showcasing your talent through audio or video. Independent of media, content is content. The key is to deliver something that others feel is valuable.

With 2.0 online publishing, the stigma of self-publishing goes away. 2.0 anything democratizes the process by which anyone can be recognized as an expert.

So publish a book. List it as an accomplishment on your résumé. If you have a Web site, link to it. To be recognized as talent gives you the edge in landing your dream job.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Community, Participatory Media, Social m..."
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Date: Monday, 22 Dec 2008 21:53

I received another carbon-free greeting this morning.

Family and friends,

Blessings and happiness to all. Take it easy, be good, and search for the light

Happy holidays,

MW and family

Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 21:43

Yesterday, I got the best holiday card ever--via e-mail. It follows:

Dear Family and Friends whom we hold dear,

Please accept our greetings in this electronic form. We are trying to
lighten our carbon footprint and, in this spirit, believe that this form of
communication is even acceptable to Emily Post. We hope that you will
agree.

With love to all,

So, my friends, I can think of no better way to extend my warm wishes to you for a joyous, healthy and carbon-free holiday...

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Going Green"
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Date: Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 20:30

I met my friend Bill Bentley by responding to a message he posted on a Yahoo message board. We've since talked on the phone, chatted through instant messaging, exchanged e-mail messages and shook hands in the virtual world Second Life. Bill and I have never met in person, yet it doesn't matter. We've built a trusted relationship.

Over the phone, he's a voice. Through e-mail and IM messages, he appears as a screen name. In Second Life, his presence is shown as an avatar.

Here's virtual Bill in avatar form

Silverwing.jpg

Here's virtual me in avatar form

Maurene%2520Westland%5B1%5D.jpg

I see virtual worlds as just another means by which people can connect. Communicating virtually doesn't replace in-person--it augments it.

Universities have been early adopters of virtual worlds for real-world learning.

MIT Professor Joe Paradiso is working on a project called X-Reality, which extends the virtual and in-person experience.

The result, says Paradiso, will be a physical building that users can access from anywhere in the world. ... an X-Reality meeting would take place largely in the real world, with some virtual world users participating via Paradiso's "wormholes." "We're just extending human perception through these nodes," says Paradiso. "We're funneling bits back and forth to the virtual world."
Back in the real-world... Someday Bill and I will meet each other in-person. Yet, isn't it great that we didn't need to wait for "someday" to build a trusted relationship.
All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. William Shakespeare

P.S. Want to experience a virtual world learning seminar? Value-Train is hosting a series of free seminars. They'll even provide you with a free Second Life orientation prior to the seminar.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Virtual Worlds"
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Date: Wednesday, 26 Nov 2008 18:10

The time has come to reboot America.

RebootingAmerica.gif

Luckily, the Personal Democracy Forum has released an anthology (256 page download) of 44 essays on how to re-energize, reorganize and reorient the U.S. government to leverage the Internet.

I've just printed out the essays and will comment in future posts on essay topics of particular relevance. For now, though, consider whether the government can weather the Smartocracy concept, wherein

... "augmented democracy" (evolves through) a meritocratic social network for collective decision-making.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Politics"
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Date: Tuesday, 25 Nov 2008 16:34
Have you added your blog to your Linkedin Profile?
The question was raised on the LinkedIn Bloggers YahooGroup message board.

Note: The ability to do so arrives courtesy of TypePad's BlogLink. I use BlogLink, and here's how it looks on my LinkedIn profile:

BlogLink.gif

As I'm typing this post, the LinkedIn Bloggers YahooGroup discussion thread continues.

Note: We did agree that "Cheerio blogging" is a nuisance, which adds nothing to professional branding.

I had Cheerios for breakfast today. ... The cat walked across the bed. ...

Cheerios.gif

In addition to adding my blog to my LinkedIn profile, I use the "Web Site" fields for my site, blog and resume. Yesterday, I added SlideShare to my LinkedIn profile. Why? Because I believe that each improves my professional creditability and positive branding.

That said... as I look at my public profile, it is starting to look cluttered. Add in the increasing number of sponsored LinkedIn advertisements, and my profile looks like a filing cabinet with too many drawers of stuff.

LinkedIn's value is to get the most from your professional network. LinkedIn is a pyramid relationship manager, where as Facebook is a social community in which reciprocity is more personally than professionally based.

LinkedIn_vs_Facebook.gif

However, in its attempt to compete against Facebook and similar social communities, LinkedIn has "lost its way." To be all things to all people turns innovators into wannabes.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Social network"
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Date: Friday, 31 Oct 2008 15:41

Computerworld's Paul Glen questions whether experience is really all that it's cracked up to be. Paul argues that common perceptions, like "experience implies knowledge," or "experience implies rigidity," are not based on reality. True enough.

As I read his article, though, it occurred to me that today's economy has resulted in a dysfunctional job market--in which experience has little (if any) value.

For example, how does a hiring manager reconcile her own perceptions of reality when interviewing a job candidate? How does the experienced job candidate (i.e., "old" in IT terms) demonstrate his value? "It's a judgment call" is the answer to both. However, the current economy has skewed the thinking process of how judgment calls are made. In fact, a "gut feeling" can't even be trusted.

Hiring companies feel as if they have the upper-hand because they are the buyer in a buyer's market. Therefore, even if a candidate is "a fit," the company will continue the search process--just to see what else is out there. Or the company will change the job specs to incorporate the attributes that made the candidate "a fit." In a buyer's market, the likelihood is that the "fit" candidate will still be available should the company not find anything better. Job candidates are commodities.

In turn, candidates are in constant state of reinventing themselves in hopes of becoming the elusive "fit." Experienced candidates that are creative and innovative (earned through their experience) are in a quandary. What attributes should they highlight to demonstrate that they are "a fit" when the definition of "fit" keeps changing?

No one wins in such a dysfunctional loop. Today's dysfunctional job market loop is exasperating a dysfunctional economy. Both companies and job candidates need to understand that the "rules of the game" have changed.

However, I believe that the inflated abundance of job candidates will burst. The buyer's market will level back to normalcy. I'll tell you how I think this will happen in another post. Social media will have a supporting role.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Downturn Economy"
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Date: Wednesday, 22 Oct 2008 19:13

Technology vendor trends:

  • Big fish swallow up little fish—B;ut only if little fish are tasty
  • Location, location, location—The Cloud is the upscale place to live
  • Keeping up with the Jones's—I want what my competitors have

Symantec's acquisition of MessageLabs satisfies each of these trends.

The%20Neighborhood.jpg

Symantec's messaging security venture started with their anti-virus products for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Domino, followed by acquired offspring:

  • Spam filtering giant Brightmail in 2004
  • Anti-spam router vendor TurnTide in 2004
  • Storage player Veritas in 2005, which only months earlier acquired email and instant messaging archiving vendor KVS.
  • Instant messaging security and management leader IMLogic in 2006.
  • Data leakage vendor Vontu in 2007.
  • and now MessageLabs, which strengthens their current Hosted Mail Security offering.

McAfee, IBM and Google also purchased property in the neighborhood—eac;h through similar acquisitions.

The messaging security market (initially focused solely on email security) spans across instant messaging, Web and peer-to-peer messaging. Services to secure and manage social media technologies will start to enter the fray, as the differentiations between different forms of e-communication become blurred.



Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Security"
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Date: Wednesday, 15 Oct 2008 15:15

The theme of Blog Action Day 2008 is the fight against poverty. What an appropriate theme given today's economy. The perceived distinction between "them" and "us" is a blur—it always has been. "Us" are scared that we will become "them."

Poverty comes in many forms—lack of food and lack of hope.

About a year ago, a friend introduced me to the Pay It Forward movement, popularized through the movie. Demonstrate an act of kindness by paying it forward. Give yourself to others with no expectation that you'll receive anything in return.

Of late, the movement has been bastardized in that pay it forward has come to mean doing a good deed for someone with the expectation that he will help you in kind; or he will know someone who will help you. Pay it forward is not about building a people network based on reciprocity. Rather, it is based on your ability to give to others. Doing so will end poverty for one person and then another.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Bloggers Unite"
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Date: Tuesday, 23 Sep 2008 20:18

Social%20Media%20Club%20logo.jpgThe NYC chapter of the Social Media Club will be holding its September meeting Wednesday, September 23. Preregistration required for entry to the building. Photo ID may be required to enter the building.

Location
Weber Shandwick
919 Third Avenue
New York NY 10022

Agenda
* Open discussion on topics for future meetings
* Featured presentation: The Blogger or Journalist: A New Spin

"Creditable" bloggers are starting to be recognized as "journalist bloggers." Print media includes links to journalist blogger posts. As the lines of distinction blur between the journalist versus blogger, questions arise:
- Who defines creditability?
- How does the media used to report upon an event influence creditability? For example, are the use of video, audio, micro-blogging considered to be as creditable as traditional print and broadcast media? As creditable as blogs?
- When will the journalist blogger completely mainstream into "traditional media"

Author of the Columbia Journalism Review article The Big Tent Professor Ann Cooper and Dan Patterson from ABC News will present their views.

This event is being presented in cooperation with the NYSIA Digital Media Special Interest Group.

Special thanks to Weber Shandwick and their ScreenGrab practice for hosting this event. Refreshments and snacks will be provided courtesy of Weber Shandwick.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Community"
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2008 20:04

I seek instant gratification from 2.0 applications that measure high on my “wow-ness” barometer. Therefore, I was on cloud nine (pun intended) at the 2008 Web 2.0 NYC Expo.

In the The Real, Long-lasting (and Negative) Impact of Web 2.0 on Technology Adoption session, Fraser Kelton of Adaptive Blue said

The biggest chasm is no longer between early adopters and mainstream users. It is about finding and retaining the early adopters.
However, early adopters continually need a greater dose of wow-ness to achieve instant gratification.

In the real world, applications are merely tools that help me get my work done. Wow-ness is a measure of naturalness (i.e., training not required; special attention not applicable). As, my attention span is finite, I have no use for an invasive application.

Well-designed mashups earn a double dose of wow-ness—f;or sheer instant gratification coolness and for providing me with needed information in an unobtrusive, natural manner. For example, let's say that I want to go to San Jose. TravelZoo's Deals Near You mashes data provided by Tele Atlas with Google Maps. In turn, Tele Atlas receives updates made by members of the Google Maps community.

TravelZoo.jpg

Despite the potpourri of vendors hawking their applications on the Web 2.0 trade floor, the crux of 2.0 is not technology. Rather, it is the confluence of ideas, which may be aided by the convergence of applications.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Web 2.0"
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Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2008 22:01

An article in our local newspaper caught my eye: Zoomnia’s got answers.

Co-founded by Chappaqua [New York] resident Steven Wolk, Zoomnia is designed to be an online meeting place where consumers connect with local businesses that have expertise in what they are seeking.

The Zoomnia service went live in July 2007. It takes the search engine to a human level -- a departure from traditional search engines.

For example, let's say that you use Google Local to find a neighborhood deli.

Google%20Local.gif

The search returns a list of delis from its database. However if you want to know whether the deli owners can cater a party, you have to call them.

With Zoomnia, you contact the people behind the search results. Let's say that you are looking for a Pilates instructor. The result could look like this:

Pilates.gif


Zoomnia depends upon participation by local businesses. (The business is pre-screened before being listed.) Participation relies on the viral effect of word of mouth marketing -- an innovative blending of Web search with the human touch of local businesses.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Community, Placeblogging (aka Hyper-Loca..."
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Date: Tuesday, 20 May 2008 19:35

In November 2007, Rapleaf (an online reputation service) published the results of their survey, which concludes that women belong to social networks more so than do men.

The analysis of the gender breakout by specific social network is not surprising. Except for LinkedIn (see Note), the other networks analyzed (Facebook, Friendster, Hi5, MySpace and Plaxo) scored a greater percentage of women subscribers -- which aligns with the gender breakout for non-online social networks.

According to Social Networks - Gender Differences In Social Networks published in the Marriage and Family Encyclopedia

Research indicates that men and women structure their personal [social] networks differently and that networks may serve different functions for husbands and wives. For example, wives generally report larger networks of kin and greater network interconnectedness than husbands.

Bottom line: Online social networks that generate more "warm and fuzzies" of connectedness are more likely to have a greater percentage of female subscribers.

---------

Note: Though I couldn't find statistics of LinkedIn registrants by gender, only two of the of the top 50 are women. Thanks to Linked Intelligence for the pointer.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Social network"
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Date: Thursday, 15 May 2008 20:40

No longer can I say, "I'm just one person. What can I do?" Using social media, I can influence thousands of people--which is the premise of Bloggers Unite.

Bloggers Unite is an initiative designed to harness the power of the blogosphere to make the world a better place. By challenging bloggers to blog about a particular social cause on a single day, a single voice can be joined with thousands of others to help make a real positive difference.

The viral nature of blogging turns grassroots advocacy into a groundswell of power.

Today, bloggers unite with Amnesty International in support of human rights.

In my comfortable chair, I look at my garden. The flowering bushes need to be pruned.

Soon the grass will need to be cut. Darn, we still have autumn leaves on the lawn.

I sit in my comfortable chair and drink in the sunlight. I close my eyes, and the darkness of life outside of my world doesn't exist. How sad.

Read what others are saying...

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Bloggers Unite"
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Date: Friday, 09 May 2008 18:04

As pointed out in Network News, Dell's acquisition of MessageOne is not controversial. Michael Dell was brought back to Dell to build its financial and strategic viability. Viability in this sense is a euphemism for cost cutting and reinvestment.

From Reuters:

"We are not satisfied with the current state of affairs and are on a mission to fix it," said Dell, 43. "Every area of the company is being pursued" for cost cuts.

Dell has repeatedly said the firm is pursuing emerging technologies. Emerging technologies that can generate quick win and strategic revenue gains is a key initiative -- which can only be pursued by freeing up money. From the same Reuters article:

Dell Inc plans to cut more jobs than the 8,800 it had targeted as it seeks to reduce expenses by at least $3 billion annually by 2011

While primarily known as a hardware provider, Dell is not new to professional services and their recent SaaS acquisitions merely extends their services business unit.

Michael Dell returned to Dell to refresh internal culture, drive strategic initiatives and, ultimately, keep shareholders happy. The MessageOne acquisition is merely a spoke in the wheel of initiatives.

Author: "Maurene Caplan Grey" Tags: "Acquisitions"
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