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The Virtual Meeting Coach

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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

How Can We Stop the Information Economy From Leaching the Value Out of Our Hard-Earned Expertise?

Friday, December 17th, 2010

OMNI PORN government damage game
I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks putting together a new blog site where I’m focusing on the needs of Baby Boomer thought leaders who need help extending their lifetime contributions using easy 21st Century digital communication tools. Both social media and virtual meetings. My hope is to create a robust conversation there around the new rules, new tools, and new “social skills” that Baby Boomers need to practice in order to build an engaging social presence.

The site’s called BeingSocial.us

Please come check out the new space and participate in the conversation there.  I’d love to hear what you think!

I just posted some resources from a conversation I had yesterday with the Ashland Internet Marketing Group and you may find them interesting, too.

Our topic was: How Can We Stop the Information Economy From Leaching the Value Out of Our Hard-Earned Expertise?

Internet Marketing is a big subject, isn’t it? It’s not just all about selling information products. It’s also about making it easy for people to buy your services – including getting real-time coaching and consulting from you about your areas of expertise – from wherever they happen to be.

People were excited to hear about a new local coaching group I’m starting up in January, 2011. Here’s a link where you can read more about that group, if you’re interested and happen to be local: http://toolbox.blinkweb.com.

I’ll also be starting another online coaching group towards the end of January and will post more information here for people who may be interested in joining that group to practice your virtual meeting chops with a small group of other talented professionals who are also transitioning some of their professional services online.

I’m certainly not going to be abandoning this blog. But I’m excited about expanding my reach at BeingSocial.us and I hope you’ll join me there, too!


Another Way to Speak About What We Do – Why, How, What?

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

This deceptively simple talk holds the keys to a whole new way of thinking about whatever we used to call “positioning.”

Using Simon Sinek’s way of looking at what’s true about my biz, I end up speaking about what I offer in a whole new way. What do you think?

In everything I do, I believe in finding the least expensive and fastest way to get things done well … so I have as much time and money as I can to take care of myself, friends, family, and community the way I want to. Without hurting other people – or the environment.

I get quick, inexpensive, high quality results by learning – continuously – about new ways people can use personal computers and the internet to connect with one another to get the best outcomes we can afford.

These days, I coach my peers (people who sell professional services) to use virtual meetings so we can extend our reach, save money, save time, and strengthen relationships with our clients. Without driving or flying around all the time.

Are you someone who wants this, too? Want to be my client?

(I also consult around social media use and help people reap big benefits from “cloud” computing apps and processes. I do those things from the same perspective: finding the least expensive and fastest way to get things done well. But that’s another conversation….)

If you’re someone who also believes that getting stuff done quickly, inexpensively, and well – without hurting other people or the environment – really matters… I offer a FREE 20-minute consultation here.

Use the link on the right-hand-side of the page to schedule a one-on-one virtual meeting with me and let’s talk about YOU and virtual meetings.

What Matters Now – On the First Day of Christmas My True Friend Gave To Me…

Monday, December 14th, 2009

What Matters Now

It’s no secret to my friends and regular readers of this blog that I love Seth Godin. For years, I’ve loved Seth’s crazy, irreverent approach to getting people unstuck and into action about what matters most. He’s direct, creative, and funny as hell. And, at the same time, he suffers no foolishness… which is extremely helpful to me. His intelligence just cuts right through excuses, leaving the scraps on the floor in a heap.

This morning, Rene Fabre passed me a link to “What Matters Most” with a message that said, “Now, more than ever, we need a different way of thinking, a useful way to focus and the energy to turn the game around.” Amen, Brother Love!!

It turns out that “What Matters Most” is a sweet, FREE book Seth compiled from the thoughts of a bunch of other smart folks. And Seth’s set it up to see how fast his fans can make it viral. I think he said he’d like to see how fast 5 million people could get it.

I’m playing. Here’s a copy you can enjoy right here, right now.

If you like it enough to pass it on, feel free to
1) send others a link or a Tweet that they can read it here,
2) embed it in your blog
3) download it for yourself from Scribd
4) print a copy and pass it out for free on the street
5) anything else you can think to do with it for FREE.

On the 1st of Christmas, my true friend gave to me…a frrreeee e-book copyyyyyy…. Enjoy!

Here Come the Seniors! Cloud Computing, Social Media and Virtual Meeting Technologies to the Rescue!

Sunday, November 15th, 2009
Computers Frustrate Me – Why Should I Care About Them?
View more presentations from Meri Walker.

A Report From the Field

This fall, I piloted a 4-week, face-to-face, hands-on Cloud Computing course for seniors and aging Baby Boomers who aren’t yet ready to call ourselves “Seniors” ;-)

I call the course, “Up, Up and Away,” and I promise to take people who are frustrated with their desktop computing experiences from hair-pulling to happy smiles and thicker wallets in just four weeks using a cheap mobile computer and Cloud apps. The first folks who signed up were my neighbors in the Mountain Meadows Community in Ashland, Oregon. In four weeks, participants made faster strides than even I had anticipated!

I took their performance as affirmation of three things:

1) The course design is sound and provides a useful scaffold for people who want to create a whole new relationship to computing to do so in just 4 weeks
2) Seniors can and do learn new tricks a whole lot faster than people might give them credit for
3) Mobile computers and Web 2.0 Cloud apps are going to change all of our lives – not just the lives of young people!

The photos above were made on Friday the 13th when a big crowd turned out for the Mountain Meadows‘ November “Friday Forum” to hear me talk about the way I look at new opportunities for seniors who willing to invest in cheap laptops or netbooks and learn to use free Cloud apps. New online ways to engage in lifetime learning, telehealth options, telemedicine options, meaningful online community participation, inexpensive (or free) connection to family members and other caregivers – wherever they are! And so much more… My deepest thanks to Cindy Earle and Hunter Hill for the photos!

I’m just crazy about my neighbors at Mountain Meadows! They’re all so smart! And they’ve moved into this community to manage their lives in new ways while they “Age in Place.” Coming to live among them has been a life-changing experience for me, personally. As a group, they’re deeply committed both to their own lifetime learning and to maintaining healthy, active relationships with the people they care about – here and across the globe! So, over the next 6 months or more, I’m going to be taking groups of 12 of them “up in the Cloud,” using “Up, Up and Away” as the vehicle. If the first group’s success was any indication of what’s to come for Mountain Meadows, this community will soon be setting a national standard for active, senior communities using the internet, social media, and virtual meeting technologies to optimize resources for “Aging in Place.”

I’m excited about “Up, Up and Away!”! And I’m looking for opportunities to offer it locally while I also finish a train-the-trainer program so that people who would like to can offer it in your areas.

I very much want to share my introductory talk, “Computer Frustrate Me – Why Should I Care About Them?” with churches, clubs, professional groups and at professional conferences several times a month during December, January and February and on into 2010. But I don’t know how to do this without investing lots of time or money on marketing.

Got any ideas?

The Dandelion Theory of Social Media

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Dandelion_sun

It’s not for the faint of heart.

Building, monitoring and managing your online reputation can be a bit complex – at the start. And even in the middle. It does get easier, but having someone point us in the right direction can really save us a bucket of frustration and wasted time. For sure, the deliberate use of social media to build business isn’t for slackers.

In our fourth and final conversation of this series on The Virtual Meeting Coach Show, Matt Sweet, Rene Fabre and I talk about dandelions and Malcolm Cecil – and what we’re really accomplishing with all our social media participation. Besides wasting time and scrambling our brains.

Dandelions? Who in the #[email protected]% is Malcolm Cecil? And what  do things like that have to do with helping people find you and your professional services on the internet or put money in your pockets?

Masters of the Obvious

Matt and Rene, two wild and crazy internet marketers for the Pacific NW region of Ticor Title, call themselves “Masters of the Obvious.” But it’s not true. They’re musicians who see patterns where some of us can’t. And God knows, most of us could use some help making sense of how we might ever make a living out of our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn interactions. Not to speak of all the rest…

Malcolm_Cecil. withTONTO

Our conversation in this fourth and final segment is rich with metaphor – and some powerful visual analogues. We talk about StepRep and how you can use it to help Google track all your dandelion seeds back to their source – you.

We hope our dialogue inspires you to participate both more creatively and more sensibly in online communities where, as Matt is fond of saying, “Conversations are markets.”


“Like, love or hate this show? Can we improve? Tell us!”

Building Online Reputation: Quit Marketing to The Crowd That Already Left The Building!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
ElvisHasLeftTheBuildingDVDcover

Who would have thought in just 50 short years we would go from meeting and greeting people in the town square to meeting and greeting people hundreds of miles away – without anyone actually leaving home?

And, in that same short time, who would have thought we would go from buying the biggest newspaper or magazine display ads we could afford to stimulate traffic to our businesses to asking everyone we know what they’re doing to encourage their customers to write about their experiences with them in online directories?

The change is staggering. It’s enough to make my head spin all the way around!

And it’s not science fiction. It’s already happened. Elvis has left the building.

(According to Wikipedia, “Elvis has left the building!” was a phrase often used by public address announcers following Elvis Presley concerts to disperse audiences who lingered in hopes of an Elvis encore.)

As my guests on this third episode of “The Virtual Meeting Coach Show“ like to say, business people who continue to neglect online meetings and other social media – focusing the bulk of their marketing dollars on traditional tv and radio, or newspaper and magazine display ads – are marketing to a crowd that already left the building.


The old models don’t work…and the new ones do.

If the people you need to tell about your business don’t read newspapers anymore, it makes no sense to buy newspaper advertising to communicate with them. But many people are still doing just that.

In their jobs as the Pacific NW internet marketing team for Ticor Title, Matt Sweet and Rene Fabre, spend a big chunk of their time helping Realtors, bankers, and other folks in the real estate industry understand why the old models of advertising and business communication don’t work anymore… and why the new models do.

As Rene likes to say, young and old alike, people all over the world have become “searchers.” We go online daily now to self-educate and to find what we need. So, the question is, how can people possibly choose to buy your products or services unless they can easily find your compelling presence online?

Matt jokingly called this third conversation, “I Get By With A Little Yelp From My Friends.”

Take a look and a listen as the three of us talk about ways to use online review sites like Yelp, Amazon and others to help people searching for things they want FIND YOU in the process of their searching.

FYI: You don’t have to be in real estate to get a lot of value out of this conversation. Anyone who sells professional services needs to be thinking this way to make a decent living in this new economy.

“Like, love or hate this show? Can we improve? Tell us!

“In the company of nudists, no one is naked.”

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

This week I read a stunning piece by Jeff Jarvis in Business Week.

Jeff teaches at the CUNY School of Journalism and blogs at buzzmachine.com. His piece is short but packed a big punch.

He probed around a number of key issues in the conversation about openness – or transparency – and the Internet. The whole conversation of “publicness.”  His opening line was provocative, “In the company of nudists, no one is naked.”

The longer I live here, in southern Oregon, the more I see that what’s most important to people here is having a place to live their lives in “peace and privacy.” Migrants and natives alike.

I moved here not quite three years ago from Austin, Texas, and it’s taken me awhile to appreciate just how deliberately my fellow residents of the “State of Jefferson” cultivate their disconnection from the rest of the nation – and the world. I consider myself a very “private person,” but compared to most of my neighbors, I’m a virtual slut. So, I spend a lot of time trying to calibrate my enthusiasm for online learning and virtual business relationships with the thinking of most folks I’m shopping for groceries and gardening supplies with.

All week I’ve been pondering Jeff’s point about  the obstacle to more transparency in our online relating being “control,” not  “privacy.”

Privacy and Control Are Not the Same Issue

A new friend (who’s a 30-40-something) told me this week she just signed up for Facebook and that she wanted to talk to me about some “virtual meeting coaching.”  She was in a panic about how she was going to keep her real-life friends out of her Facebook. She said she didn’t want them “in there acting like they do.”

When I asked her why not, she said she wanted to be able to keep taking crazy, fun road-trips to the beach with them – without having to acknowledge “in public” that she enjoys their carousing. She was worried that if she let them into her Facebook, they would make her look bad to the other people she wanted in her Facebook and she wondered what she could do about that.

As I listened to her, I heard a perfect testimony for Jarvis’ suggestion that our hesitation about increasing the transparency of our online communication isn’t about “privacy.” It’s about “control” of how we reveal (or conceal) our different faces.

Privacy and control really aren’t the same issue, are they?  What we want from relating “virtually” are new ways to strengthen relationships – without being misunderstood or taken advantage of.

I gave my new friend some personal advice about how I’m handling this challenge, but I’m really interested in how the rest of you are handling it. How are you handling the opportunity to become more and more transparent with your online communication?

Will you help me out by leaving some comments below?

I Get Social Media Now: Publishing and Meeting are Mashing Up

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Image via Wikipedia, (c) Tommy Wong

Whew, I think I’m starting to get social media well enough to quit kicking constantly and take a little rest. For a minute.

Truly useful insights came this week from reading John Borthwick, Marcia Connor, and Tony Karrer‘s thoughts about what people are doing participating on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media — including live-tweeted seminars and webinars.

As I catch my breath and let my legs dangle for a little bit, I’m relaxing into the realization that publishing and meeting are mashing up.

As more and more of us just let go of the side of the pool and swim out into the deep waters of online relationship, we’re “meeting” and “distributing” at the same time. Human communication has always served many functions at once. But the possibilities offered by social media (including live virtual meetings) are really stirring things up.

From out here in the deep, I can see that most newspapers are gonna be gonners. No amount of refinancing will change anything. And magazines are either going to become clubs where all the members publish or they’re gonna die, too. But there’s actually a lot more going on than that.

For sure, as Karen Stephenson says, human beings have begun “storing our knowledge in our friends.” But we’re also finding new ways to store other people’s knowledge in our friends, too. And that has huge implications for all media distributors. Makes my head hurt stretching my mind around that one.

Social media is a much bigger thing than I can understand yet.

Sure is nice finding ScribeFire to support my blogging this week. It’s going to take quite a bit of writing to help me get my thoughts clear while I kick around out here so far away from familiar shores.

Right now though, I notice I’m asking myself over and over, “When we meet virtually, where are we meeting?” And, “Who are we, anyway?” I’m not talking about the tools, now. I’m talking about the place of mind we meet. Where exactly is that? Who is that “we” that’s following me on Twitter? Who are all those “we’s” I’m part of when I’m following someone, especially someone I haven’t met yet F2F? And how are we ever going to keep track of all those fluid identities?

Deep water.