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If you’re blogging, are you getting together with your readers in person?

If you’re reading a blog, are you reaching out to the author to share ideas?

If you’re on either side of these questions and answered “no,” here are five reasons why a strategy of bloggers and readers meeting in person makes sense:

  • You learn what messages have registered with people – I’ve often said I’m singularly unable to predict what material people will respond to most strongly. Talking with actual live blog readers helps better understand how they’ve reacted to material – even if it doesn’t help in predicting what they’ll like in the future!
  • New blog ideas get triggered by the conversation – Talking recently with a reader led to discussion about his job, his role and title, and business development strategies. All aspects of the conversation were rich with future topic possibilities, including the inspiration for this post! For readers, it’s a great opportunity to shape and participate in content creation.
  • You can find out how people are reading the blog – I’ll admit….I don’t always look at the Brainzooming email or RSS blog feeds; I go to the website directly. Not everyone does that though. Talking with readers helps develop a better idea of the varied ways people are taking in the material, including getting a sense of how current readers are sharing it with new readers.
  • Guest post opportunities get considered – I haven’t been soliciting guest posts as aggressively as in the past, but I should be. Guest posts add variety to the blog, provide additional visibility for cool strategic thinkers, and help to extend the blog’s reach. While Twitter has been a fairly effective means to reach out to potential guest bloggers, asking a reader for a guest post (or shooting a video post) in person has much more impact.
  • You re-think what you’ve written lately – I used to write weeks in advance. Now it’s usually a week ahead. Even so, between client work for The Brainzooming Group, articles for the Brainzooming blog, and guest posts at other websites, it’s challenging to remember what’s being published where. Answering questions and discussing current (and past) blog posts about strategy, creativity, and innovation makes it come alive for me as well as for the reader.

So if you’re a Brainzooming blog reader in KC, get in touch, and let’s meetup! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

Thanks to an invitation from Seth Simonds, I’ve started contributing to Stepcase Lifehack, a top 100 Technorati blog featuring pieces on productivity, personal improvement, and other life “hacks” to improve yourself.

My first submission based on the creative and innovation strategy written about here at Brainzooming is “8 Ways to Bring Your Creative Passions to Work.” The response to the piece has been quite gratifying and demonstrates the benefit of getting articles in front of a very large audience. Look for new bi-weekly posts from Brainzooming over at Stepcase Lifehack.

This photo illustrates a great example of someone carrying out a strategy to be more creative at work. Shopping the deli case at our local Hen House Market for dinner, I came upon this ham salad, shaped and decorated as a pig. While I don’t usually want to dwell on what my food originally looked like, this represents a wonderful way to bring a passion for art to a deli counter job.

Yes, you truly can insert creativity into any job. You simply have to be creative in how you do it. Check out the piece on “8 Ways to Bring Your Creative Passions to Work” for ideas on how to get started!

And speaking of a taking a creative approach to an age-old experience, here’s a link to my advice on getting more creative pop out of your Fourth of July fireworks this year! Be safe!  – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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2

There’s something in my immediate family’s genetics which precludes anyone from ever being party to a quick windfall.

For example, my dad’s funny but not particularly cantankerous. Plus it would never be in the cards for me to come up with @ShitMyDadSays. It’s just not in the DNA. We’ve never had any make or break moments. Just reasonable progress highly correlated with the level of effort, persistence, and determination.

And that’s probably pretty typical, although you’d never suspect this from what gets talked about in the media.

Overnight successes often labor a long time to improve and refine what they do, but that’s rarely mentioned. If it is a true overnight success story, the incredible rise usually averages out with a comparably rapid fall. As much as I wish the best for the guy who sold “Shit My Dad Says,” barely 100 tweets (most of which can’t be used on TV) feels like a TV show with a 13-week run, not one with a big finale several years from now that the whole country is watching.

We’d all like things to be faster and more lucrative than our relatively humble lives. That’s why “get whatever (riches, fame, book deals, etc.) quickly” ads, emails, and tweets drag people in like crazy. Despite the hype and glitz though, I guess I’m genetically pre-disposed to adopt a strategy of patience, characterized by longer term results and less drama in my life.

But how about you…are you working a quick or a patient strategy?Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Back in the day, before cable, satellite, HD and giant screens, watching TV wasn’t the same experience. It was subject to poor picture quality, interference from outside signals, and frequent static all viewed on small screens and requiring an antenna to get decent reception even from a local TV station.

For as much as we’ve advanced in technology, consider the challenges we face today. Our cell phone calls are susceptible to dropped coverage and poor sound on PDAs with small screens (which we now love). We’re limited on what we can see and communicate because of tiny, poorly rendered avatars and text character limitations.

While the static early TV viewers grew up with is a thing of the past, it has been replaced with new types of interference thwarting clear communication.

Just a few recent examples:

  • I met someone I’d been following on Twitter. This person’s avatar is a very full facial picture, making it appear he’s a pretty big guy. He may have noticed my look of surprise when in person, he was actually very tiny, and I towered over him.
  • There was an opportunity to see a speaker I follow on Twitter in real life. While his narcissism is particularly obnoxious on Twitter, it was much less so in person. His relentless self-focus was still present, but in real life, it was more comical than it comes across online.
  • The other day someone thanked me for a retweet about leadership. Since he didn’t include the link in the message, and I’d tweeted several things on leadership, there was no context to effectively respond to his comment and start a dialogue.
  • Recently, someone I follow in California checked into Fousquare from a hospital at 4 a.m. Obviously, something serious must have been going on. Yet right above her tweet was a Foursquare announcement that she’d unlocked the “School Night” badge for checking in so “late” on a work night.

In each of these cases, modern day social media interference led to incomplete or difficult to discern “pictures” of others and their actions.

Sure, I love new technology that allows us to communicate and share information in novel ways. Just remember each of them still comes with its own unique static. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5

If you’ve been a Brainzooming reader for any length of time, you’ve seen discussion about Jay Conrad Levinson’s guerrilla marketing strategies. We frequently adapt his standard guerrilla marketing approach to help businesses customize their marketing implementation toolkits. This allows them to take best advantage of low incremental cost resources available to them.

Relative to social media strategy, we’ve modified and narrowed the approach so organizations can more effectively explore resources for dramatically strengthening social media implementations. Creatively mining these ten areas will allow an organization to identify additional ways to activate its social media presence:

  • Address topics your target audience members find motivating
  • Share ways to help audience members be more successful
  • Emphasize basic message points and themes you use elsewhere
  • Contact the people already producing other content in your business
  • Enlist anyone doing informal social media efforts within your organization to help
  • Adapt material from currently existing communications pieces
  • Be visible where audience members are receiving your current messages
  • Piggyback on interactions you already have with targeted audience members
  • Invite natural influencers of the target audience to participate
  • Reach out to other organizations who’d want to partner in targeting your audience

If you haven’t tried these ideas, give them a shot and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the positive impact they’ll have on your social media strategy.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

Want to take part in an incredible, absolutely FREE learning opportunity on marketing, research, and the future?

Then join us Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 9 a.m. CDT for the second virtual event from the American Marketing Association, “Unveiling Marketing Research’s Future Online.”

The initial AMA virtual event earlier this year featured outstanding content, time to learn about an incredible array of marketing services companies, and opportunities to network with both speakers and thousands of other marketing professionals.

Without leaving your office!

All for F – R – E – E!

That’s why the first event earned rave reviews, and Wednesday’s event will be sure to receive the same! While the connecting theme for the event is market research, the learning opportunities extend to other marketing and strategy disciplines as well. The speakers include both top-rated speakers from the 2009 AMA Marketing Research Conference I chaired and new presenters as well.

The incredible speaking lineup includes:

To reserve your spot right now, register at the AMA website. While you don’t have to be an AMA member to participate in the virtual event, AMA members will have even more special networking opportunities available to them.

And while you’re on the AMA website, check out the schedule and speakers for the in-person AMA Marketing Research Conference “Unfiltered Perspectives. Unexpected Opportunities.” This incredible event will take place September 26-29, 2010 in Atlanta.

Be there Wednesday, June 23 and track all the activity for both the virtual and in-person events on Twitter by following @amamrc and by monitoring and tweeting with the #amamrc hashtag. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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We’ve talked before about The Brainzooming™ Group strategy for producing live event social media content. Rather than relying exclusively on content being generated by attendees, The Brainzooming Group strategy focuses on producing social media content through a team covering a conference or industry event across social media channels. In essence, the team we organize is a small news operation reporting on conference events via video, images, audio, and the written word.

At the recent 2010 Business Marketing Association Engage conference, our social media team numbered more than fifteen. It included a mix of business marketers, marketing communications professionals, and social media specialists. With that much talent assembled, we struck a balance between ensuring the event’s coverage from a news perspective (through preparing an extensive live social media reporting primer and editorial schedule), while providing freedom for the social media journalists to interact with attendees and presenters in creating spontaneous content onsite.

Beyond the event’s planned content, the BMA social media team’s creativity produced other great videos. Here are three that emerged from their onsite creativity.

The first video is a recap of the Business Marketing Association Engage conference social team’s efforts during the three day event. It was produced by Tim Dreyer of Zebra Technologies and features team members describing their conference social media roles.

The next video extended our brief post-presentation video interviews by featuring a longer, day-before discussion with author Chris Brogan. It includes a great behind-the-scenes look at how Chris adapted his topic and delivery specifically for the BMA Engage audience. The video was done by multi-dimensional social media team members Nate Riggs and Becky Johns (both future social media luminaries on par with Chris Brogan, btw).

Given the relationship Nate and Becky have with Chris, they also shot this funny video spoof about Help a Reporter Out (HARO) creator Peter Shankman, with Chris Brogan doing a send-up of Shankman’s manic style.

This video has already turned into a skydiving dare between the two social media rock stars, with someone’s favorite charity due for a $1000 gift because of it.

All part of the fun coupled with the real business benefits of bringing together great talent, providing some structure and letting them create rich social media content for and about an event. If you’d like to explore how The Brainzooming Group can do the same thing for your conference, contact us. – – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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