Social media | The Brainzooming Group - Part 82 – page 82
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Here’s another opportunity emerging from Twitter. DesignPepper.com announced a Blog Bailout Contest recently offering a free design bailout for a deserving blogger able to briefly share their:

  • Blogging plan
  • A clear 2009 blog improvement objective
  • Favorite cookie (the baked kind – not the ones that reside on your computer)

Out of 40 applicants, my Brainzooming blog was selected as a Top 10 finalist.

What You Can Do to Help!

Voting is now open until February 10 to select the final winner of the redesign. That’s where you come in.

Please click here to go to the Design Pepper blog and VOTE by going to the bottom of the page and clicking on “Mike – ‘Brainzooming'” to help the blog win the design bailout.

If WE win, it means we’ll be able to shift the blog URL to brainzooming.com and freshen the blog’s look and feel. So Vote Today and Share the Contest Link with your friends as well!

You all helped me win the IDEF140 contest which benefited the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. Now let’s win this contest to benefit all Brainzooming readers! Thanks!

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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It’s Super Bowl Monday. Despite minimal interest in the game, I watched much of it, primarily to see the commercials and Bruce Springsteen.

Since the commercials will be a hot topic of conversation at work today (although probably not as hot as the game), let me point you toward two experts (Steve Yastrow and good friend Sally Hogshead) who Tweeted about the ads live during the game last night. Their conversation is online at Tom Peters’ website, so be sure to check it out.

While you’re at it, check out Sally on the Sunday morning Today Show talking about the best Super Bowl ads of all time.

As for me, my favorites were:

Not a great year for commercials, but the football game (and Bruce telling us to get away from the guacamole dip & chicken fingers) more than made up for it!

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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I’ve written before about Benjamin Zander and the impact of his message of possibilities. There was a link this week on Twitter to this recent presentation of his. Take a look and open yourself to a different way of thinking!

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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Exploring Twitter has been part of early changes in my 2009 online strategy. Getting exposed to interesting ideas has been one of the advantages so far. Here’s a re-presentation of quotes and links that reflect Brainzooming-oriented perspectives.

Get your clicking finger ready and head off to the web to see as many of these interesting points and people as you’d like. Have fun, and follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikebrown!

THOUGHTS & QUOTES FROM OTHERS

  • “Once dust settles from layoffs, we will see a surge of startups and innovation in 2009/10-what greatness lies ahead?” @amckinnis
  • “Trying to get people to realize that innovation & transformation doesn’t come from doing what you are currently doing better” @robstoltz
  • “I agree. I also think that working under constraints encourages creativity and innovation.” @TaraAgacayak: @doshdosh
  • “The metal Slurpee straw may be the greatest beverage intake innovation in the history of beverages.” @emily_l_f
  • “Right now, you could be grinning. Why aren’t you?” @DesignPepper
  • “Strategy is the art of sacrifice.” @bbhlabs “What won’t you do?” may be toughest question to answer.
  • “Always question the status quo. Complacency is no one’s friend.” Great thought for the day! @BethHarte

THOUGHTS & QUOTES FROM ME

  • Just posted business growth tip (listen, adapt & deliver) on @smallbiztrends at http://adjix.com/2hp4
  • Posted “7 Tips for Marketing in Tough Times” on Business Exchange. http://tinyurl.com/77uhte Thnx @michaelgass for pointing out this list.
  • Best co-worker quote this week: “Things are always better with collaboration.” So true! http://tinyurl.com/a3uk9x
  • Priest @ mass: “My 100 yr old aunt can’t believe how times flies. She can’t find time to get everything done!” That’s a wonderful life.
  • Innovation = A fundamental, valuable improvement relative to the status quo. reply to @stonepayton
  • Great Cust Exp-KCI airport parking attendant said, “Welcome home” at end of transaction! She didn’t have to, so it really stands out!
  • Dan Hesse in Central Park – Sprint TV Commercial – “Are those snowflakes with all the leaves on the trees?”
  • Not sure who said it: “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you gators, make gatorade.”
  • “My Generation” by The Who on a Pepsi TV ad? Used to be you’d have to wait until the Super Bowl to see pop culture go that far off track!

SURF’S UP – LINKS WORTH FOLLOWING

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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I’m a contemplator and planner by nature, trying to figure out all potential angles first. It’s who I am.

When starting the blog, however, Kathryn Lorenzen, a wonderful career coach (trust me – contact her), suggested diving in more aggressively before understanding everything about blogging. Great advice, and much of Brainzooming is about approaches to do that more.

One way I’ve become comfortable with the idea is being more open to noticing and following “hints” placed in front of me and acting on them.

An example last week was participating in the Twitter-based IDEF140 contest devised by Stone Payton. The week was full of “hints”:

Follow that Tweet@stonepayton tweeted Saturday, January 17 on a contest to define “innovation” in less than 140 characters with a $100 prize. Sounded cool, so I wrote one (Innovation = A fundamental, valuable improvement relative to the status quo) and tweeted it Saturday, thinking that was it.

Reach Out – I considered lifting the contest idea since $100 is cheap for diverse input on Twitter to help expand understanding on a topic (i.e. “creative instigation”). That was until Stone raised the potential prize to $1000. Suddenly stealing the cheap idea involved a higher prize expectation. After tweeting Stone (jokingly) about pricing “idea thieves” out of the market, it created a tweet and email conversation about alternatives. That led to visiting each others’ blogs, LinkedIn networking, and finding Chuck Dymer as a common connection.

Keeping Up with @Macker – Throughout the week, definitions were added to IDEF140 (as it became known). @Macker seemed to have an unlimited number of definitions. Seeing that forced me to write others, including a more mathematically oriented one and another (my personal favorite) tied to “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation.”

Mounting a Campaign – When voting started Thursday, I wasn’t planning much campaigning. Then two hints surfaced – Sally Hogshead voted for entry #2, and the organizers said a modest get out of the vote campaign could mean a win. That prompted a more aggressive Twitter, blog, and email effort (including a cut and paste tweet) for votes. My dad and Jan Harness signed up for Twitter and some infrequent tweeters returned to Twitter!

What Matters Is Helping Others – Trying to win wasn’t about the eventual $200 prize. It was about learning of possibilities from new online endeavors. After discovering I won (thanks everybody that voted!), I saw Stone supports the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta which helps recently homeless people and others in challenging situations secure basic furniture items (i.e., bedding, sofa, etc.). That seemed like a lot more appropriate recipient for the prize money, so it went to @FBMA.

That was last week. Diving in and following hints led to “meeting” intriguing people, challenging myself to think more about innovation, introducing friends to social media, identifying a potential opportunity to work with Sally Hogshead, and helping people financially who really need it!

Thanks for the “diving in” advice Kathryn. As always, it’s been a huge help!!!

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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From Business Week magazine, here’s a video overview of Design Thinking by Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management.

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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Following up yesterday’s post about expectations for this year, I get bored doing the same thing over and over. So give me a little bit of thinking time, and I’ll start tinkering. Based on some messing around over the holiday, here are the work-in-process changes to my online strategy for 2009.

Twitter

I’ve been resisting Twitter because it just hasn’t made that much sense to me. My POV has been I’m not always that interested in what I’m doing, let alone anyone else being interested in it!

Then over the holidays, I started following Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, Guy Kawasaki, David Harkleroad at The Hay Group, and Peter Shankman of HARO fame.

Rather than boring stuff about going to the grocery store, they use Twitter in innovative ways to point followers to information and people that they find intriguing. That’s not boring, so with that, I’m in! We’ll see what happens when the holidays give way to regular work life. For right now though, go here to find me on Twitter – @brainzooming.

Flip Video

Early in December, I bought a Flip Video Camera, which I recommend highly. In this case, going simple with fewer features has been the right move. It’s provided quick alternative creative input for several posts already with a poster, an onsite guerrilla marketing report, and a silly video.

The Flip will enable a lot more of this variety, flexibility, and quicker turnaround on creative content.

Get Out There More

I don’t want the blog to be too inwardly focused, but several factors work against that objective:

  • Usually my strategy is sharing ideas from personal experience. I prefer letting you know what works and doesn’t based on what I’ve personally found, rather than reporting innovations somebody else implemented.
  • 2008 was a very heavy year for output, writing more than ever before. This constrained time to visit other websites, blogs, and publications, commenting and bringing ideas back to Brainzooming.
  • From a work demand standpoint, 2008 was intense; 2009 will be more so. Available time is very precious; fortunately, I can get by on little sleep.

With the positive response to case study updates from 2008 conferences and some less formal posts, in 2009, I’ll try and shift the strategy to more variety and less formal content:

  • More Surf’s Up type posts based on links to Brainzooming-oriented content on other websites
  • More commenting on other sites and LinkedIn
  • Using Tweets as a creative source of new Brainzooming posts (look to the top left on the blog for the most recent updates)
  • Greater frequency in video updates and shorter posts

We’ll See

That’s the early plan. I wanted to share it to help keep me on the program and so that as you see changes in the blog you have a better sense of what’s going on. Your thoughts and reactions will be important as we see what works and what other innovation is necessary. – 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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