Friday, February 29, 2008

Name Change

I'm biting the bullet and changing the name of this blog to better reflect its content (Novel Idea)!

Any suggestions?

P.S. This is another reason to blog. Find your voice.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internet for ALL

I had the privilege of speaking yesterday (twice!) to a group of nonprofit leaders at the 7th Annual Hampton Roads Institute for Nonprofit Leadership Conference on the topic of - you guessed it - ONLINE MARKETING!

Here is the presentation. Main points I made:

- Strategy must come before tactics or tools!

- The Internet is the most powerful distribution vehicle in the history of mankind! (Don't you LOVE hyperbole?)

- The Internet has empowered all of us to find our voices, join and lead conversations, and become part of the collective discourse.

Don't get left out!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's Hard to Teach an OLD Dog NEW Tricks

Here is a GREAT satire from Phil Shapiro, blogger for, on the different perspectives of gatekeepers in NEW and OLD media. It speaks for itself.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Add to the Book | Reason to Blog #2

I recently learned about a concept in baseball called "adding to the book." Regardless of team affiliation, field position, or tenure in the game, great players share their wisdom, strategies and advice for making better plays, dealing with eccentric coaches, negotiating a new ball field, etc. with their competitors and team mates.

Here's how Stephen Schiffman, author of The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople, puts it.

"Have you ever noticed that, after a baseball player hits a single, he will often joke around a little bit with the first baseman on the opposing team? ...You usually can't hear what they're saying. Interestingly enough, it turns out that, both on the basepaths and in their other contacts, opposing players often discuss some aspect of the game they play for a living. Of course, they're not giving away important strategy points that would give any competitive advantage in the game at hand. But they are
often discussing points of interest that concern their own development as ballplayers."
Blogging is also about "adding to the book." And this is another key benefit of joining the blogosphere.

In addition, to advancing your own cause or passion, blogging is also about joining a COMMUNITY of people and working TOGETHER to build a collective base of knowledge around a subject. This is the rationale for the practice of "linking" in blogs and having a Blog Roll. It's also the rationale for making blogs a public forum for sharing comments and feeds.

By CONNECTING blogs to each other, EVERYONE'S thinking is enhanced and new networks, friendships, projects, and solutions are created.

Find the community of people who share your interest(s). Read their blogs, add comments when applicable, and link to your favorites. Send thanks, praise, and even constructive criticism. In this way we will all get a little better at what we do and we'll have the privilege and fun of doing it TOGETHER!


Thanks to Justin Perkins at Care2 for recommending Stephan Schiffman's books to me.

Thanks also to Katya and Qui (two of my FAVORITE people) and the many other bloggers out there who are improving nonprofits' ability to market, communicate and change the world!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Amplify Your Voice: Reason to Blog #1

I just finished Seth Godin's new book, Meatball Sundae, which I HIGHLY recommend. Seth (if I can call this world-class marketing guru by his first name :) does an AMAZING job of explaining the current trends which are reshaping not only the way we market products and services but the very products and services that we make. For purposes of this post, I'm picking up on TREND 2 - The Amplification of the Voice of the Consumer (that's me and you).

As you know, to amplify is to STRENGTHEN or "add power to" and blogs are a great strategy and tactic for doing this.

I've talked about this a lot on my blog but one of the most IMPORTANT benefits of the Internet is that it's given EVERYONE a megaphone and a PUBLIC space to say what is important and what's not important.

Think about it.

This is an unparalled benefit of our time. Never before has it been possible to SHARE, TEACH, CONVERSE, TESTIFY, WITNESS, LISTEN, ANSWER, ADVOCATE, etc. like this. Traditionally, only well-connected and/or rich folks had access to a distribution vehicle as POWERFUL, ROBUST, and TURN-KEY as the Internet. And this meant that OUR VOICES (the voices of "the masses") stayed VERY QUIET. You heard what THEY SAID. You read what THEY WROTE. NO MORE!

The Internet is waiting for you, for me, for all of us to SPEAK UP! Write, read, publish, discuss -AMPLIFY your voice.

We want to hear from you!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Random 8 for 2008

Qui Diaz, my DEAR friend, esteemed colleague, and author of EVANGE.LIST tagged me over a month ago (you can see how BEHIND I am in my blogging) with this meme. She urged me to share 8 random things about myself in an effort to be more "transparent, relevant, authentic, and valuable to YOU!

That sounds like a tall order for a couple of random facts. But hey, why not give it a try?

1. I'm pretty self-obsessed. Not something I'm proud of but it's true. My boss, friends, and family will all say that I talk too fast and a little too much and love to "hold court."

2. I LOVE Alexander Girard's designs.

3. I'm obsessed with living well in a small space.

4. I own very few clothes. (I know. This conflicts with RANDOM FACT #1.)

5. I'm REALLY scared of dying. I don't want to leave those I love behind. I'm also afraid of being non-local.

6. I fantasize about living someplace quiet and beautiful and rural, like Maine.

7. I LOVE metaphor in any shape or size. The idea of putting images and words and sound together in a NEW way to bring an idea to life is thrilling to me.

8. I'm impatient.

You're it!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A NEW NPower Website is on it's Way!

I'm really excited because NPower Network is getting a NEW WEBSITE!

This is something we DESPERATELY need as our site, which is decidedly "1.0," is the source of much frustration for many! It's hard to update, doesn't enable COMMUNICATION between users. In short, it's NOT the high-leverage communications tool we want and need it to be.

Anyway, the good news is, that's all about to change! And soon...

Since almost all nonprofits will share the similar pain, challenge, and joy of redoing a website at some time, I thought I'd offer my advice/thoughts/commentary as we embark on our own journey. Here goes...

The first thing to ask when you're building a new WEBSITE is:

Who are we hoping to be IN CONVERSATION WITH and ABOUT WHAT?

I know. I know. You already know your target audience and have your messaging buttoned up (right?). Still, it's critical to start with this step just to be SURE that everyone is on the same page. :)

Now that you know who you are talking with you can determine your goals for the site. Goals can include, "selling our services to partners," "communicating with members," "raising money from new donors," "getting people to register for our event," and more... However, it's important to remember that your site can't do everything for everyone. Prioritize and keep it simple.

Questions of functionality, i.e. what "features" you need, come next. Note: The operative word is "NEED." There are TONS of features that you CAN include on your site such as blogs, calendars, RSS feed, video, banners, widgets, etc.... but try not to be distracted by "bells and whistles" for their own sake. Make sure that your decisions about features are informed by your goals.

Who doesn't love a pretty face? Design and navigation are next. Think carefully about how you want your site to look? What colors, fonts, images will be pleasing to the eye? What will your design say about you? You want to make it REALLY EASY for people to get what they need from you and do what you want them to do.

Finally, before you launch ask a few folks to TEST it out. They will help you see things you shouldn't miss and/or confirm that you've put together a great site!



Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I LOVE Valentine's Day. It's a great time to reflect on and show gratitude for all of the wonderful things that life has to offer. I use this time of year to buy flowers, send love notes to family and friends, and generally spread good cheer.

Call me cheesy, but this year, I also decided to make a list of the things I LOVE about technology. See below. Many thanks also to Terry Roberts, Chief Operating Officer of NPower Greater DC Region, for contributing to this TechLOVE list.

Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVE Technology

1) It makes it easier to CONNECT with more people.

2) It makes it easier to TELL YOUR STORY and LISTEN to the stories of
others, i.e. it promotes COMMUNICATION.

3) It enables a DIVERSITY of views to be shared.

4) It enables you to LEARN about things happening all over the world.

4) It enables you to SUPPORT causes, issues and people you care

5) It's enables CREATIVITY. For example, you can use it to"mashup" audio and video and text.

6) It's PORTABLE. You can take it with you wherever you go.

7) It's BEAUTIFUL. It comes in different shapes, colors and sizes.

8) It's getting CHEAPER!

9) It's UBIQUITOUS (I know, I know, this can be a downside too!)

10) It can be FUN to use!