Archives for the month of: May, 2011

I am adding some capabilities to my professional offerings that some of my readers may be interested in:

Let Me Help Create Your Online Presence

Today, there is a consensus that there’s a bare minimum amount of online presence that any organization — whether a small business, local nonprofit, or giant enterprise — needs in order to be taken seriously and to grow. That online presence can’t just be a website anymore. It has to be dynamic, changing on a regular basis, and engaging.

That sounds daunting. Especially when you add in all the hoo-hah and cheerleading from “social media experts” who speak enthusiastically about “engagement” and “sharing,” seemingly without a sense that there is actually a business purpose that must be served.

But, it does not have to be overly complex. If you get things set up properly at the outset, it’s quite easy to maintain.

I’ll do that for you.

I can establish your website’s blog, Facebook presence, Twitter presence, and other important social coordinates and integrate them in a way that you can manage them in a sustainable way. They will work together and drive the results that matter to you.

If this is interesting to you, email me at bradrourke at gmail dot com.

Attend My Get-Online Bootcamp

My Mode of Transport by Flickr user Jim Legans, Jr.

This is a half-day session for people who have no online presence, or who have one but aren’t happy with it — and like to do things themselves and aren’t scared to roll up their sleeves a bit.

At the end of the day, participants will have a fully set-up and calibrated set of online “identities” and will have a clear sense of how to go about using these tools.

This is perfect for small business owners who know they need to “be online” but do not know how to get started.

You could walk in with nothing, and walk out with a complete online presence, tuned to your business goals.

The schedule for this is dependent on interest, but I plan to hold the first this summer.

This is a new offering, so I plan to make the initial bootcamp available at a reduced rate. Please let me know of your interest either in the comments, or by emailing me directly at bradrourke at gmail dot com.

Questions:

  • Is this something you would be interested in?
  • Is a group setting right, or would one-on-one work better for you?
  • Do you know someone else who could benefit?

Why Am I Doing This?

These kinds of things are exactly the kind of thing people ask me about more and more. They want to know how they can take the next step online, and what they should do when they get there. As it becomes clear to people that they need to have a serious online presence, they feel a sense of urgency. The early adopters have already acted, but now the rest of the world knows they need to jump in.

I know a bit about this — especially when it comes to personal branding and online presence.

I have been innovating online for many years and have solid accomplishments. I’ve been blogging since before the word was coined. I’ve initiated and been architect of a number of online and interactive products such as Everyday Democracy’s Issue Guide Exchange, the launch the Institute for Global Ethics’ renowned Ethics Newsline newsletter (we called it Business Ethics Newsline back then), Rockville Central (a hyperlocal news source and top five local blog in Maryland — which recently made international news by moving to a Facebook-only platform), and more.

Bottom line: I’ve been at this for a long time and I’ve learned a lot of lessons.

If you would like to learn more, please get in touch at bradrourke at gmail dot com.

(Boot camp photo credit: Jim Legans, Jr., Flickr)

As my friends know, I am a Facebook and Google fanboy. It hurts me when Mom and Dad fight like they are now, but they have been fighting for a while now and I don’t expect it to stop anytime soon. So I have become somewhat inured.

Today’s fracas involves a sub rosa campaign by PR giant Burson-Marsteller to plant negative opinion pieces about Google’s Social Circle, their new social media plan. B-M’s Jim Goldman, a new hire and former CNBC tech reporter, reached out via email to a prominent blogger pitching a story, but refused to say who the client was when asked. So the blogger, like all right thinking bloggers would, promptly published e email exchange. The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons uncovered that the client was Facebook.

Now there is finger pointing. B-M says Facebook told them to do it (and they say they should not have accepted the assignment because it violates PR ethics rules to keep clients anonymous). Facebook says they didn’t authorize such a move. Google, perhaps following the age old wisdom of saying nothing while your enemy is hurting themselves, is saying nothing.

My thoughts:

1. B-M is likely telling the truth that they were working at Facebook’s direction. No way a big firm like that would stick it’s neck out without orders. However, there may have been nudges and winks on B-M’s and Facebook’s part so everyone could claim that they didn’t really know. But they must have known.

2. I am neither surprised nor shocked that Facebook wanted to push negative commentaries about Google. Such things happen all the time. Facebook thinks they have a point (they say Google is scraping social media sites and presenting a dossier of people’s connections in a way they never intended). I do think they should not have sought secrecy. If they have a good point they should make it.

3. Jim Goldman made a huge error in doing his work via email. That stuff all can come back to bite you, and it did. I would be surprised if he kept his job. (B-m won’t comment on that.)

4. If Social Circles operates exactly as Facebook says, it may be a bit of a problem. Say I am friends with John Smith on Facebook, and connected to Fred Jones on LinkedIn. Social Circles would tell people I am friends with both — but what if I want to keep Jones and Smith separate? USA Today and others have looked at Facebook’s claims and found them not to be as big a deal as they seem to think. So I am not hugely worried. (If someone can explain Social Circles to me in a way that I can understand, I would be grateful.)