Tactic #10; Do it on the go!

Finally! The final post of the “Top 10 Tactics and Tools” series and we’re ending on a high note in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress. I’m going to let “guest quoter” Chamath Palihapitiya of Facebook set the table…

“Yesterday, in a session on ‘Mobile Communications 2.0′ at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Facebook’s VP of User Growth, Mobile and International Expansion Chamath Palihapitiya shared the social networking giant’s current mobile strategy and its plans for the future.

It was in this session that the company for the first time talked about its latest product, Facebook Zero, which is essentially a stripped down, text-only version of the mobile website for the social networking service. The product aims to give mobile carriers a way to offer a basic Facebook experience to their subscribers free of charge and later convert those users into premium data service customers.

We recorded the entire 16-minute session and uploaded it to our YouTube account – these are the highlights of the presentation:

– Facebook believes 2010 will be a watershed year for mobile
– The service is now actively used by more than 400 million people
– They want to make Facebook even more ubiquitous and reach billions of users
– 100 million users (25% of total number of users) actively uses Facebook’s mobile products at least once a month
– 200 million people have interacted with Facebook on mobile at least once” Source: Facebook’s Mobile Strategy Condensed Into 16 Minutes (Video)

Here’s a 16 minute video that spells it out…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VVHWQQPUc0

What does this mean for you? You’d better make it mobile! Whatever you’re doing internet-wise [snap! I went there, Clay!] you’d better take mobile platforms into consideration. The great thing is that it’s easy to do. Every site I set up automatically features WPtouch iPhone Theme, a plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android and other touch-based smartphones. Try it! Enter e1evation.com in your smartphone browser and see how nicely it functions! Please don’t get sucked into spending a lot of money building a proprietary iPhone app — especially when Google’s Android OS is seriously cutting into iPhone market share! Use WordPress combined with this plugin and you’ll have all the mobile app you need. btw, as you look back over this series almost every single tool I recommend has a mobile version — I don’t recommend anything that doesn’t!

I hope you’ve enjoyed and implemented some of these “Top 10 Tactics and Tools for Tightening your Tribe” and I’d like to take this opportunity to make three big announcements. Ready?

I’m always harping about the value of blogging, but did you know that blogging has great benefit for the blogger as well, especially when it comes to ‘finding your voice’ and finding your passion. I started out writing about marketing, sales and technology for small business owners and other thought leaders. Over time, I realized that one of my targeted audiences is the marketing professional that is struggling to add social media to the mix. I’d like to think that few people have a better handle on what tactics and tools a person in that position might need to actually save time as they add additional marketing channels. While I do offer what I call a “social media integration” package for my customers, I’m announcing today that this series will now be available in the form of an online instructor-led [me!] training course called the Social Media Academy. In addition, there will also be a weekly podcast that focuses on social media tools as well as an ebook which is currently under development as “The Damn Good Social Media Guide”. These three products — the course, the podcast, and the ebook — will be available April 4, 2010. If you’d like to help with beta testing [which translates into great savings!] comment, call or contact me!

While you were sleeping 1/28/2010

Apple Inc - Photo from my iBook
Image by Farid Iqbal via Flickr

Apple changed the world. Again…

“Apple today announced the iPad, the tablet-sized computing and communications device that has generated more bits of industry speculation than any previous product in memory. Featuring a 9.7-inch display and an optional keyboard dock, the iPhone OS-based iPad will be available for prices ranging from $499 to $829, depending on storage capacity and 3G data capability. Wi-Fi-only models will go on sale in March 2010, with Wi-Fi+3G data models in April.” Source: TidBITS iPod & iPhone: The iPad Arrives

btw, I just want to remind you that if it hadn’t been for my business development efforts in Wisconsin in the dark Apple days of 1998-99, there would have been no iPad… 😉

Best coverage of the event and all of the aftershocks is at Alltop

Elsewhere, Google began integrating social content from your friends in search, making search more of a ‘team effort’…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYf5iSA6t6g&feature=player_embedded

You can find these, as well as a ton of other great stuff, in the e1evation friendfeed. Have a great day!

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$38.67 that will change your year

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fmakrai-20%2F8003%2F974832f3-cfc8-4f4e-a456-7f7a36b9a700&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate null

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a ‘must read’ recommendation for me. John Spence defines what a ‘book’ should be in the new millennium by hosting a website with bonus materials for readers. He’s also active in social media and eagerly engages readers…
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin’s systematic approach to building new habits is outlined here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to access them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? The total in the title is the sum of all the Kindle books I recommended and you can click on any title in the slider to order it immediately…

This video will help you get the picture…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aeH99g-vM

Now as much as I love all things Google, Kindle content is cheaper than the new Google Books by about 50% in my informal testing and although the Android reader for Google Books is more full featured, imho, Kindle software is a more compelling offering at the moment. btw, if you’d prefer to listen, there’s always Audible — another service from Amazon.com! Again, no special device is required because there’s Audible software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and web browser. Instead of listening to talk radio, now you can get smart while you’re driving around!

According to Einstein, doing the same things and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. These books, combined with new ways of consuming their wisdom, will help you get from where you’re at to where you want to be as a business leader in 2011. Really!

All the best to you in 2011!

Top 20 Free Applications to Increase Your Productivity

“The Internet is loaded with free software, making it hard to know which one’s you really need. This article will act as your guide to the top 20 free applications (Web and Windows) for increased productivity.” Click here to read more…

Don’t forget to check Google Pack and Ninite to grab some of this software!

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10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology

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Image by ismh_ via Flickr

“Your gadgets and computers, your software and sites — they are not working as well as they should. You need to make some tweaks. But the tech industry has given you the impression that making adjustments is difficult and time-consuming. It is not. And so below are 10 things to do to improve your technological life. They are easy and (mostly) free. Altogether, they should take about two hours; one involves calling your cable or phone company, so that figure is elastic. If you do them, those two hours will pay off handsomely in both increased free time and diminished anxiety and frustration. You can do it.” Source: 10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Technology – NYTimes.com.

You’ll have to go to the source if you want to hear the Times perspective on the 10 ways you can more effectively manage your technology in the new year — most of the suggestions are sound. You might also want to read this post for some things you can do to get a ‘new’ computer for the new year…

Apple. WTH?

So what? I want my music in the cloud, not Beatles music I already have. Pandora and Grooveshark have a much better internet model and product. What a waste of buzz, Apple! Another day I’ll never forget? zzzzz…

With new Facebook Groups, FriendFeed’s gone mainstream. Two years late.

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase

What’s really striking about the new Facebook Groups is that they truly are “FriendFeed gone mainstream”.

When I first saw the new Facebook Groups I thought, “My, they look a lot like FriendFeed”. That’s no surprise either, the team that pioneered realtime discussion and sharing groups at FriendFeed now works at Facebook and its co-creator Bret Taylor is now CTO there.

FriendFeed was, and still is, loved by a loyal following for its fast, powerful social sharing and discussion possibilities. Just before Facebook bought the company last year it really had become something special, a technical feat of beauty that I loved. The problem was that the mainstream public never took to it. It was just too… well, geeky. Now with the newly re-imagined Facebook Groups we see how FriendFeed can finally be accepted by the masses – by being less geeky, more streamlined… and built right into Facebook.

Like FriendFeed, Facebook Groups have the ability to share and discuss text, images, photos, videos and links in realtime. The ability to import feeds is missing, as are other “advanced” features of FriendFeed like cross-posting, exporting RSS feeds, posting via emails and the like, but by stripping those out what we have here is essentially FriendFeed’s vision gone mainstream.

People certainly seem to be taking to the new groups’ potential. Here at The Next Web we already have lively Apps and Apple groups among others, and Robert Scoble has a group for tech news reporters and bloggers that has got off to an interesting start.