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Putting the Pieces Together

fitting the Pieces of your life Together
When I was a child my life was whole.
Everything I did revolved around: my parents, my house, my brothers, and my friends. They all fit nicely together. Then as I grew older pieces of my life started to stand on their own, apart from each other. School became a place that was separate from the rest of my life. My school friends were different than my “home” friends, and the two didn’t mix, except maybe once a year for birthday parties.

As I became a teenager, the things I talked about with my friends became separate from what I talked about with my family. My basketball friends were different than my “hanging out” friends, which were different from my “home” friends.

This type of fragmentation continued and reached a peak when I was in college. I related to people based on how I knew them; work, school, family, friends, church, sports, etc. The contact I had with people, and the way I acted, varied with each group. My life was fragmented, and at times I really didn’t know who I really was. At my core I was a whole person, but the different facets of my life were very different, and sometimes at odds with each other.

After College, I moved to a new state, I had a new life, and I began re-arranging it (sometimes unconsciously) into the things that were important to me. Now that I’m married with children my personal life is on an even keel, family mesh nicely with my friends and and their wives and kids, and my parents, etc.

My professional and “online life” was altogether different. My web presence was divided into my different online activities. In one place I would talk about upcoming public speaking events, in another I would write about gluten free news, another graphic design, and just about anywhere else I would be discussing internet marketing or social media. We all wear different “hats” throughout the day, but in order to simplify my professional life, and my online activities I created this website that allows me to put the pieces back together.

Podcasting is Here (Again)

podcasting

Lately I’ve been thinking more about podcasts. To many, the “Golden Age of Podcasting” came years ago when iTunes became a household word.

The cool kids loaded up their ipods and off they went.
“What’s the difference today?” you ask. The difference is that not just the cool kids have the devices to play podcasts anymore, it’s the majority of Americans.

Not only that, unlike with the old iPods, streaming media allows us to hit play on virtually any podcast, at anytime. Just as long as your smartphone has a 3g or 4G connection.

Not impressed? don’t have time to listen to podcasts?
Not so fast, I didn’t say you had to listen to them.
What you should know about podcasts is that in 2012, 29% of Americans have listened to a podcast. That’s nearly 1/3 of all people!

Chances are that some of your audience is among those people.
Podcasting is an excellent form of content marketing, another chance to get the valuable attention of your audience.

And if you haven’t heard, Apple will soon be taking podcasts out of iTunes (where it’s sometimes hard to find) and moving them to it’s own stand-alone App.
This move should give podcasting an extra boost.
So if you’ve ever considered starting a podcast, now may be a good time to put your plan in motion.

Here are a few helpful links about podcasting:
How to start a podcast

Easy to use, Podcast publishing tool

How to get your podcast listed on iTunes

10 Podcasts That Will Feed Your Brain

 

The Online Brand Camp is a Podcast that I started with two friends in 2011, you can find and listen to episodes here.

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Photo by: csaila

As for the iPads… my kids are 2, 5 and 7 and the moment either of the older one’s get their hands on an ipad that’s the last we hear from them.  That is, unless they are fighting over whose turn it is to play a game.  Angry birds, Smurf’s, racing games, puzzle, games, unicorn games.. The kids love them, and they suck up their attention.  The kids aren’t the only ones, the main culprit for the adults was Facebook, and I’m one of the guilty parties. We may have been closer to our facebook friends, but while were interacting with them we’re not interacting with out family members sitting besides us on the couch. And this is the problem for me.

When Did the Isolation Begin?

The walkman first became popular when I was in high school. Back then it was the radio or a cassette tape, (not mp3’s). After seeing a few of my friend’s with walkman’s my first impression (after the initial coolness) was, “how selfish”.  This was surly not everyone’s reaction, but I couldn’t help feeling cheated and jealous of my friend sitting next to me, jamming to some unknown tune, while I was forced to look-on, un-engaged and un-entertained. Later I got my own walkman and that feeling was erased, but my initial reaction was valid. This new device was creating a separation between the walkman user and the the rest of the world.  Flash forward to the present, our held-held devices not only play music anymore, they do about 100 other things as well. the amount of time and the amount of isolation we experience from those around us has grown exponentially. 

Because of technology we can have, and maintain relationships with thousands of people online through platforms like facebook and twitter, but is it robbing time from our friends and families?   Through our mobile devices we can be engaged and entertained every waking moment of our lives, but how do we balance this with being engaged with those who share proximity and a “flesh-and-bones” relationship with us? This may be one of the great challenges of our generation.

The Growth of Technology and the Social Graph

 

As the interactions and connections grow they further fill-in the Social Graph. The Social Graph is a term coined by social scientists to refer to used to refer to relationships on the Internet. The colorful image above is a visualization of my LinkedIn.com connections, and is basicly a social graph of my network. As complicated and interwoven as it it, it represents less than 600 people. Can you imagine how detailed the Social graph of Facebook, Google, or the World Wide Web is, and all of the interconnectivity and interactions that take place on it daily?

Yahoo is currently working on a project called the Small World Project, in which they are attempting to prove that the world is indeed connected by six degrees of seperation. Sociologists have tried to prove this claim for decades, but have failed to resolve it. You can participate in the Small World Project by clicking here.

As I think about the interconnectivity of it all I can help but wonder if once examined and mapped, will the Social Graph reveal the type of repititive fractal patterns that Mandelbrot discovered? I wouldn’t be surprised one bit, after all it is all interconnected.

Marketing Panel- Marketing Made Clear

If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years you’ve noticed that the world of marketing has undergone a huge shift. New technology, including mobile and social networks have created new opportunities to reach your target market in new and exciting ways. It’s not just the technology that has changed though, consumers have changed too. Customers are smarter than ever and they have more of a voice then ever.

If you are in the Triad area and if you have questions about marketing, Marketing Made Clear is a great event for you. Find out how you should leverage new media to promote your business, and get exposed to some great ideas as four local marketers (including myself) discuss the different types of marketing that is working, and not working today.

Here are the details:

Marketing Made Clear

Defining the Levels of Marketing Providers

Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

NewBridge Bank

1501 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 400
GreensboroNC 27410

Networking 8:00am | Program begins 8:30am

Panelists:

Denny Kelly, President & CEO, Bouvier Kelly, Inc.

Jeff SanGeorge, Owner, Connect Marketing and Design

Malinda Pengelly, President, BEM Interactive

John Chafatelli, Director of Marketing, PIP Printing and Marketing Services

 

Click the link to register today: http://bit.ly/GSO-MKTG-Panel

 

Sponsored by : The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and

Sandler Sales and Training | PIP Burlington | The Decal Source

Google Search and Storytelling

The video above was created on YouTube using their new Google Search Stories application. It allows you to put in several search queries and then it plays them in order, along with the piece of music of your choice. What I chose to do with this tool, (and many other people as well) was to use the sequence of searches to tell a story. I could have put in several specific searches that all resulted in my website, blog, etc.. but telling a simple story is so much more powerful.

Basic Storytelling, It Ain’t Rocket Science

Creating this video reminded me of just how simple it is to construct a story, something I learned when my oldest daughter was about two years old. She used to say, “Daddy, tell me a story”, and I would tell her one or two. Then she would ask again and again. Sometimes I would say, “I just don’t know any more stories.” But, like most parents I wanted to give my daughter what she was asking for.  I discovered that by pushing past a slight amount of reluctance and discomfort, ( of having to think on the spot), I was able to come up with some pretty decent stories, which I found started to take shape in my head as I articulated them. After all most have known the basic elements of a story from the time we were the ones asking for the stories. 

Basic Elements of Storytelling

When I told stories to my daughter, most of the stories I told had a structure like this: 1.Introduction to the princess, (or sometimes unicorn), 2.princess gets in trouble with the antagonist, (usually a witch, or a dragon), 3.prince comes and dispatches the antagonist, 4.prince saves the princess, 5.they all lived happily after after. (Read further for the “grown-up” version.)

Stories have been told since the beginning of time, yet most have a common structure.
In 1972 by sociolinguist William Labov wrote an essay titled “The Transformation of Experience in Narrative Syntax” which identifies 6 recurring narrative features:

1. Abstract – How does it begin? 
2. Orientation – Who/what does it involve, and when/where? 
3. Complicating Action – Then what happened?
4. Resolution – What finally happened?
5. Evaluation – So what?
6. Coda – What does it all mean?

Tell Your Story

So now that you have the basic elements of story building, apply them to your brand. Use an existing story, or make up one that tells how your products or services enrich a life or solve a problem for someonee. Storytelling captures our attention and give us information in a much more useable and entertaining way then typical marketing. Take advantage of this simple, yet powerful tool to tell your story today!

Blogging 101 & Everything I need to know About Social Media I Learned from Blogging

I gave this presentation yesterday, (January 19th, 2011) at the Linking Greensboro Luncheon.
I talked about how blogging has helped me grow personally and professionally.
This presentation is a high-level overview aimed at helping people get started blogging, but there is also some useful information and reminders for those who are already blogging.
The presentation itself was built using the free online tool, Prezi. I recomend playing it in full-screen mode. Prezi is flash-based so you won’t be able to view it on your iPhone, however they recently released a great free app that lets you view their presentations on the iPad, you can download it here: Prezi for iPad.
I also have an audio recording of this presentation, leave me a comment or contact me if you are interested in downloading it.

The Value of The Network

This the presentation portion of a talk I gave on at the Greensboro Toastmasters Club on Tuesday, December 7. This also represents my first attempt to develop a presentation with Prezi.com. I’m excited to learn more about Prezi and leveraging it’s dynamic potential to make presentations more engaging.

Marketing Your Small Business Presentation

The following slide s are from a presentation I did at the Triad SmugMug group on October 27th,  in Greensboro, NC. The group is made up of independent photographers who use SmugMug.com to organize and send proofs for their digital photos. The groups organizer Evie Curley, from Evie Curley Photography invited me to talk to the group about Marketing 101. When I started thinking about how photographers market them selves I realized that it’s not very differently than most other small businesses. I put the following presentation together with all small businesses in mind with a particular emphasis on free tools and the D.I.Y. (do it yourself) mindset.


iPad, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7 Apps

Presentation that Brian Hitney and I created for our presentation at ConvergeSouth, technology conference in Greensboro, NC. The Mobile app market is constantly changing and evolving. It is also growing at the same pace. There are lots of different routes to development and tons of opportunity for developers and marketers.

iPad, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7 Apps

Contact Jeff

Get in touch with Jeff