New Year

Business Book Club: Getting Things Done

If you're not already familiar with The Media Mesh BBC, check out how our book club started here.

The title of this post isn't a reference about me getting things done for the book club. No, it's our next reading assignment and I think it's the perfect follow-up to the simple wisdom of Enchantment as well as a great book to start off a new year. I've read Getting Things Done before, but I'm looking forward to being thoroughly amused again by the references to PDAs and getting a refresher on David Allen's highly effective systems for...well, Getting Things Done (affiliate link).

With a subtitle like "The Art of Stress-Free Productivity", you can't go wrong, can you? This book is older, but it still has a devoted following. David Allen's business is built around these concepts and he's been very successful.

Are you starting a new business or struggling to stay on top of the minutiae of everyday life? Trust me when I say that this book is worth your time. Oddly enough, I randomly chose this book last Tuesday evening during our Twitter chat about Enchantment after discussing it that very day over coffee with Heather, who also shared this link with me from David's blog for the new year and I think it's a great list! (Also, my RSS reader is growing yet again.)

I've already purchased my copy and started reading. I suspect I'll be taking copious notes and making some changes in the way I'm doing things over the next few weeks.

We'll meet back here on February 21st when I'll publish my thoughts on the book along with a linkup for you to have the opportunity to share as well. Then, on Wednesday, February 22nd, we'll have a #MediaMeshBBC chat on Twitter from 8-9 to discuss the book and I'll announce our March reading assignment at that time as well.

What do you hope to get out of reading Getting Things Done?

Please sign up for The Media Mesh BBC email list and I'll send you an update/reminder between now and February 21st.

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending January 7

{EAV:791908013b0aa24e}Welcome to the first Buzz and Brilliance of 2012! Judging by the number of articles in my RSS reader the last few weeks, the world of social media hasn't slowed down one little bit for the holidays. As if anyone thought it would! The buzz this week is pretty mild - nothing earth-shattering going on. I suspect social news is going to take a backseat to the hardware goodies everyone (but me) is going to be drooling over at CES next week.

Before I jump in, I'll just mention that I'm going to strip down the B&B just a tad this year. I'm limiting the amount of time I can write it, so that means I have to pick fewer stories to highlight. I'll pick five of the top stories of the week, though I'll likely include more links to related articles still. I'll pick five articles that are worthy of being called Brilliant as well. This week I have a few bonus New Year's suggestions and some fun to share.

This tool is so interesting that I couldn't not include it: If This, Then That (ifttt) is a fantastic-sounding tool to help you automate and organize some of your social activity. I haven't logged in to check it out yet, but it's on my To Do list. I know there's more to it than any of the articles I've read and they had enough that piqued my interest quite easily.

If you ever had any doubts about the power of the Internet and social media, doubt no more. GoDaddy is feeling the wrath from (now) former customers for their formerly supportive stance on SOPA - proposed legislation in the U.S. that will be very bad for the Internet if it passes. GoDaddy's support has led to massive defection of customers transferring their businessto other providers. They saw the light within 24 hours and removed their support, but trust has already been broken.

When I saw this article about Twitter users being labeled anti-social, I wasn't bothered in the least. How many accounts are out there who do nothing but broadcast? (I won't even get into spam-bots.) At the same time, I personally have Twitter accounts that are mostly broadcast accounts, but they are for communities and I tend to interact more from my personal account. So, this may not be a good thing after all.

Have you ever wanted to communicate privately with someone on a Facebook page? It's quite the process. You have to go to the Web site (assuming they have one) or hope that they've included their email contact information on the page. Then you have to go to your email client to send the email. Why isn't there a solution built into the Facebook interface? Well, my guess is that now that Tumblr has fan mail, we'll see Facebook build this kind of functionality into Pages. I just wouldn't want to be the Starbucks page administrator when that happens.

In a story that, honestly, annoys me a little bit a privacy group is urging the FTC to investigate Facebook's Timeline - for privacy violations. This attempt just seems ignorant of the new layout. In fact, there are far better privacy controls now than ever before on Facebook. My wall had two options before - leave content posted or delete it. Now I can change who sees individual posts after they've been posted. (And I do.) Do you want to cleanse your wall before your Timeline goes live? Go for it! I encourage that. Do you want to complain about all that information being accessible? Please don't. It always was - even though it wasn't easy or pretty.

I don't know about you, but occasionally I start to feel overwhelmed with everything there is out there in social media. Partially because I try stuff out - I bring this feeling on myself. But I'm realistic enough to know that I can't do it all if I want to do anything else in life. With hundreds of networks to choose from, social media use can be daunting and intimidating for newcomers. And it's only getting worse. Mitch Joel is calling 2012 "The Year of More".  I see it every week in my RSS reader - more and more and more apps, sites, networks, gadgets to plug in to. He wraps his post by saying more isn't always better and I agree. Sue Murphy has provided some excellent tips for taking control of your social media use and the best advice she gives? "Social media is not about spreading yourself around to as many tools as possible." Fitting social media in to your day doesn't have to be hard if you adopt a social media lifestyle, as Ali Goldfield suggests.

Privacy is a hot topic around here and I have my own views on it. But what about you? The Next Web wants to know if you will care more about privacy in 2012 or less. Personally, I can't see ever caring less about privacy. We should all care a lot. What we should not do is expect anyone other than ourselves to take responsibility for it.

Starting a social media program is a great step for any company, but without firm commitment to do it properly and consistently, it can be difficult to achieve any success. Jen Zingsheim has shared some ways to avoid some of the common pitfalls that can derail a social media program.

New Year's Social Cleanup
The beginning of a new year is a good time to reassess things, whether you make resolutions or not. Take a few minutes this week to review the permissions you've granted on social sites. Are you still using those tools regularly? I'm also going through my 500+ "likes" on Facebook to get rid of inactive pages and any that I've forgotten why I liked them in the first place. It's all about reducing the noise and keeping things clean.

Here are a few other suggestions from Mashable. What other social cleanup are you doing this time of year?

A Little Fun
It doesn't surprise me that people are creating Facebook profiles for pets. The sheer number does surprise me. 14% for dogs alone!? That's a lot. I'm pretty sure that violates Facebook's TOS, too. And if you feel you're missing out on Facebook in the shower,'s a solution.

I love that more guys are getting into Pinterest.

As someone who met her husband on ICQ's Random Chat feature (not terribly long after it was introduced), I never thought I'd be surprised at the way people meet online - well, in our connected world, anyway. But the couple who met on Words with Friends did surprise me. How unexpected!

Finally, I'm a little squirrely around needles, but apparently these social media users aren't.


Recently, inspired by Chris Brogan's practice of identifying three words to define your year, I posted my own three words and a request for my readers to share ideas or requests for content that they would find useful from The Media Mesh.

New Year, New Challenges, New Goals

I feel like I missed the New Year's post bandwagon now that we're on day five, but I'm going to ignore that and post anyway. I recently passed the four-month mark for The Media Mesh and I'm really proud of the consistency I've been able to achieve in that time. It's not easy with all the other things I have going on, but this blog is just one step among many on the path to a larger goal.

I've had a certain vision for 2012 a for quite a while now, but I realized recently that my vision isn't going to come to fruition. That's the way life goes sometimes and that's okay. I've been scrambling (mentally) to re-evaluate and re-assess what I want to do this year and how I can do it without compromising various areas of my life. This realization is so recent that I'm not there yet, and that leads perfectly into my first of three words that will define 2012 for me.

We all have busy lives and when life throws a curve ball at you that busyness can suddenly seem incredibly overwhelming. That's exactly what happened to me. So that means that I have to give myself more time to achieve the things I want to do. It also means I need to use my time more wisely. It's a precious commodity, so I don't want to waste a moment. That doesn't mean curtailing downtime. It simply means I don't have the option of not focusing on the task or activity at hand - whether that's writing a blog, spending time with my family or spending time relaxing.

I'm stealing this one from Lara, because I have similar challenges. As new and amazing opportunities come my way, I am often tempted to jump right in without first asking myself whether I'm being realistic about time constraints or if the opportunity is helpful to my long-term goals. I recently made the decision not to pursue a potentially lucrative opportunity because I knew I couldn't devote the time and effort to it that was required. Additionally, it was pretty far off the path I'm on and I wasn't willing to compromise on that. I feel absolutely no regret about this decision.

2012 may not shape up quite the way I thought it would, but that doesn't mean I can't continue to move in the direction I want to go. There are so many things I can work on this year that may help me six months, a year from now or whenever I'm able to focus more concentrated time on the long-term plan. Being proactive with laying that foundation should make the progress faster when I finally start to move forward.

I can't help but feel excitement about 2012. Something about this new year has me feeling optimistic and motivated more so than in previous years. Part of the excitement is around seeing what's going to happen in social media. I'm looking forward to discussing the state of social media in July when we do our second annual Social Capital Conference in Ottawa. In the meantime, I hope I'll continue to provide opportunities for great discussion here at The Media Mesh.

There are dozens of post ideas floating around in my brain and in Evernote, but I'm going to ask all of you out there to tell me what you're interested in learning about social media. Is there a particular tool you want to know more about? Do you have questions about best practices? Tell me what you want to know - anything at all - and I'll try to cover it to the best of my ability. This blog is only useful if the content is useful to the readers, so I welcome your input.

To all of you who have been with me for the last four months, I thank you and hope you stick around for a long time to come!

Happy New Year!

Business Book Club: Who's done reading Enchantment?

I hope everyone is enjoying Enchantment - whether you've finished it already or not. I'm really looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts on the book.  I'm wondering if I can narrow my thoughts down to just one post, to be honest. This is truly a book that gets your brain going.

This is just a quick reminder that I'll be posting a link-up this Tuesday - our official date to have read the book. Mind you, I know what  a busy time of year this is and that we're all going to be working hard over the next few days to get back into a regular post-holiday routine. So, don't worry if you haven't finished writing about it but still want to. The link-up will be open for two weeks.

Be sure to check the post this Tuesday as I'll be setting a date and time for our very first twitter chat where we'll have some discussion about the book and get your ideas of ways you plan to use this going forward in 2012.

This was a great end-of-year book to read, wasn't it?

Happy New Year to everyone! I look forward to our discussion over the next couple of weeks!

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending December 3

As we get closer to the New Year (where did 2011 go!?) I'm already seeing the beginning of the year-end wrap-ups. I'm not going to include them much in the B&B from week to week, but maybe I'll do one big year-end wrap-up post over the holidays, because those posts are always interesting - from the lists of top search terms, to gadgets, to news stories, to whatever else they come up with! That said, the buzz this week is rather ho-hum - in my humble opinion. The brilliance? Totally B&B worthy. So, this time, I'm going to separate the two completely.

There's a fantastic good news story at the very end - I'm saving the best for last - so skim through the rest if you like, but don't miss that end note!

The Buzz

I try not to talk about apps on here, because I'm an iPhone devotee and I don't want to get into that debate. NOR do I want to become a repository for iPhone info, because that takes a lot of time to do and a lot of other people do it far better than I ever could. NOR do I want to leave people on other mobile OSs hanging, because how boring is it to read about Blackberry and Android when you're an iPhone gal? Okay, I actually don't find it all that boring, but some would, so I'm sure the same is true for the BB and Droid crowd. BUT, some apps are little secondary networks of their own and they fit into my niche so I'm going to stop ignoring them. And the last couple of weeks have had some interesting stories. So, bear with me here. I will do my best to spread the love to other mobile OSs, but so far, most of these networks are iOS:

There was minor news this week about Facebook's announcement that FB status updates can now have 60,000 characters (But who wants to read long posts?) and now you can edit @ tags to have custom text - it's so clunky I can't see bothering with it. (See? Ho hum.) But the really big news is that Facebook reached a final settlement with the FTC on privacy charges. More details emerged after we found out last week they'd be submitting to 20 years of privacy audits. There's lots of commentary on this and what it means for Facebook and its users. Here's a list of stories if you want to read up:

Mashable asks whether Facebook is doing enough to protect your privacy. (I'd say yes and no - they've done some boneheaded things in the past - Beacon, for one example - but seemed to be learning with more recent updates. Opt-in is better and now that's got to be their default.) Proof that they learned (sort of) - Zuckerberg admits to making mistakes with privacy. Mind you, many think this settlement is a slap on the wrist. Others wonder if Facebook is ruined (hardly, I say). There's no doubt that it's given Facebook an easy pass, even if they're finally being forced to do what they should've been doing all along. This just proves once again that with a free network, your privacy is the currency. That cannot be emphasized enough.

Do you "like" the FTC's ruling? Because no matter where you are in the world, it will have an effect.

Earlier this week, I wrote about Facebook's seamless or frictionless sharing. Then I saw this and smiled. Time for a new plugin!

I'm not sure how the functionality is different, because I haven't yet tried it, but you can now do conference calls on Google+ hangouts. I wonder how this is going to take a bite out of Skype's business.

Google has bumped its video sharing service up a notch by adding analytics. I'm taking this as a sign that they'd like to be THE go-to video service and that video is just going to get bigger. But we already knew that. As if that wasn't enough, they've launched a re-design as well. It looks really nice and I'm so thankful for it. The old design was quite bad. But will this be a further threat to Facebook? (Oh, that had to be thrown in there, didn't it?) But there are wider implications as well.

Want to follow a brand or save something you see on the Web to Foursquare? Now you can! And it's a great move for the service and businesses alike.

The Brilliance

Jay Baer wrote a piece this week that underlines the importance of doing social media right, making the case that businesses have lost the advantage. We're on an even playing field now. Individuals and businesses are using the same tools, so businesses that do social media well are going to shine like stars. The ones who don't could see the effect on their bottom line - or in their twitter feed with an urgent need for reputation management.

Along similar lines, Ilana Rabinowitz is sharing why a business cannot be social over at Social Media Explorer. She gives compelling reasons why it's the job of the employees (oh, yes, all of them - not just the social media guy) to put a human face on the organization. She's right and not nearly enough businesses get this.

I like reading Mitch Joel's take on Twitter every time he writes about it. He just isn't bothered by the numbers and he doesn't try to set rules for anyone - including himself.

I love blogging. I can't imagine quitting, but it happens. You see blogs lie fallow after a while because life just gets in the way. Or was there a true commitment to it in the first place? The best thing you can do before launching is to start blogging unpublished, as this guest-post on Problogger tells us. He's taking my own suggestion a step further and it's wise advice.

By far, the most brilliant news of the week. An update about Amit Gupta's need for a bone marrow transplant and how a social campaign may just save his life. Sure, this stuff happened before social media was around, but it isn't the same. And doesn't this just validate how much good we can do through these tools?


Are you interested in the The Media Mesh's BBC (that's Business Book Club for those who missed the original post)? Our first reading assignment is Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki and linking up on January 3rd in just one month. It's a quick read with lots of valuable information - join us! If you comment on this post that you want in I'll add you to my email list (no need to do so if you already asked to be added). First update is coming this week!