Archive for December, 2012

Looking back at 2012

Posted by on Monday, 31 December, 2012

The Rider
Looking back on my Goals for 2012… I’ve realized I accomplished more than I expected, though far less than desired. Unlike years prior, however, the bits I did accomplish were the larger of the sorts, and not the easiest low-hanging fruit tackled just to cross it off the list.

You’ll note in my previous post on my 2012 goals that I categorized into 3 sections: Fiscal, Self improvement, and Home improvement. Oddly enough, this past year was heaviest on achievements in the fiscal category, likely due to the nature of the economy. Rather than recap that list one-by one, though, I’d like to quickly highlight what I consider my top achievements:

  • We paid off one of our two Visa cards completely, leaving only one credit card carrying any balance.
  • We paid off my motorcycle and obtained the pink slip.
  • We refinanced the house to drop 3 percent on our rate.
  • I took a 6 day motorcycle ride to Mt.Rushmore and visited with my sister Kally.
  • The one goal I am really proud of, however: I Investigated, built, and began selling my photography via my on-line portfolio.

While I have no aspirations to become a professional photographer (like I had back in my school days), I am very proud to have set this goal of selling my photography and to have seen it through to completion within a single year. I’d set this goal with the intent of pushing myself forward with the hobby, to give me focus and direction. I’ll admit to surprising myself when I realized I’d actually accomplished the goal well within the time frame I’d set thinking it was slightly aggressive.

Of course, one of my other major goals was to publish a blog post here once a week for the entire year. Happily, with the exception of last week, I achieved that goal as well. Looking back on my blog through prior years, I can only come to the conclusion that this goal of posting once per week has really helped me focus and create content that is more valuable than what prior years have generated. That in mind, I expect the coming year to see this same goal in effect.

Now, no 2012 “looking back” post would be complete without a list, so here are my all-time Top 10 posts based on views to-date:

Post Title:
My first photo prints since high school, an Mpix review
The etiquette of retweet requests (and how to improve your reach)
Best Practices
YouTube and RSS: Building a feed link
Email is dead to me
2013: The Year of Influence
To be provocative, or to be safe? Thoughts on managing digital personas
Building a better business: Hiring ducks and eagles for the right jobs
A Moo review- Moo.com
WaywardCelt Photography: The official launch

   

Since top-posts lists are often self-perpetuating (highlighting the top posts ensures they will continue to receive views and remain in the top lists), I’d also like to highlight some of the under-performing posts which you may have missed and which I think deserve a bit more visibility…

Why all the fuss over stolen LinkedIn passwords:
Working Outside the Inbox- A presentation
Fear of DOING
The art of unfriending- humanism in social media
YOU are a community manager
Take an afternoon shower
Social media- The invisible cost of ownership
Command & Control
Brain dump: Lessons learned co-hosting a biweekly call for 3 years
Own your content, claim your authorship
A practitioner’s perspective on putting the SOCIAL back in social business
The ethical treatment of data
Protect yourselves, stay vigilant
Flow, cadence, rhythm, frequency…
Reducing meetings and influencing people…
Automating cross-channel posting of social content…
Diminishing Returns: On Judicious Hashtagging
On personal digital eminence, an aside
The social stewardship of sharing

             

Thank you all for hanging in there and growing with me over 2012. Here’s to a wonderful 2013; may this be your year to outshine all prior years, to exceed your dreams and expectations and make your mark on the world like never before!

And stay tuned… I’m sure a 2013 goals post is soon to come 😉

2013: The Year of Influence

Posted by on Thursday, 20 December, 2012

In 2012 you’ve likely heard me talk about thought leadership and digital eminence, both of which are components of influence. You’ve also heard me talk about Klout before, and how I didn’t think it was up to the job as a tool for influence measurement, but that it was the least objectionable tool out there at present. Because I’m a skeptic when it comes to Klout, but believe there is potential there, I’ve been keeping up with their changes and shifts in strategy if only to be able to say “no, we still can’t really rely on this yet”.

That’s how I came to watch when Brian Solis shared this interview he held with Klout founder and CEO Joe Fernandez in which they discuss the future of Klout and influence measurement.
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Some of the key points highlighted:

  • Klout as democratizing influence. Everyone with access to a smart-phone now has a voice and can become influential at scale.
  • Be more mindful of what we create and the impact we have.
  • Responsibility to cultivate good behaviour, to elevate level of conversation
  • Klout as tool to grow social media maturity
  • Klout as a tool to help you be more effective in social
  • Move into the real world. Balancing online and offline life to contribute to the overall score.
  • Increasing the power to the influencer, shows how powerful their content is
  • Evolving into a more robust picture of influence.
  • Vision for the future of influence: every interaction of brand to person is the story of the brand. Influence will only grow in importance and building a relationship with influencers will be critical.
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In my comment on Brian Solis’ share on GooglePlus, I noted:

“…at best Klout is an indicator of activity that hopefully shows deeper levels of conversation and interaction. The difficulties with Klout come when people become so metric focused and begin to only do the simple things akin to gaming the system to keep their number high, rather than looking at the long game and actual goals surrounding their online presence.. Only using Klout as that indicator and not a direct measure is how I am able to use it currently, and how I continue to see it in the near future.”

I’ll be honest with you and myself here: I initially missed the point of his interview and what Joe was saying when I commented on Brian’s share. Only after replaying it a few times as I was working on this post did it really sink in. The point is that Klout is intended by its founder and CEO to be a tool to guide both brands and influencers to build better, more effective relationships, not to be a metric to tell you how good you are.

I think I’ll be able to start accepting this new-found view of the tool if the user base (both individuals and brands) also begin using the tool to this end rather than basing business decisions on it as a metric. In either case, and regardless of which tool you use, the coming year is indeed shaping up to look like the “Year of Influence“, where your level of influence is going to dramatically increase in importance for your professional life. We can’t ignore it, but we also can’t blindly accept that what we have presently to measure is the best we are going to get. And that is why Joe’s interview is beginning to turn me: he gets this, he knows he hasn’t solved the problem. So, I am going to be watching Klout next year, even more intently than I have in the past, to see where their changes take them. I’ll be looking to see how much of the gap they can close to get us all closer to a usable and trustworthy tool intent on helping guide us in building those all important influencer relationships. After all, relationships are the key component to being a social business.

Vague blogging

Posted by on Wednesday, 12 December, 2012

Vague blogging is the blog equivalent to vaguebooking: the practice of posting Facebook statuses which contain so little information as to render the reader confused to the point of annoyance. This is one of those posts, I’m afraid.

Behind the scenes work doesn’t typically make for a good blog post. Most often it is all administrative or strategic work that runs from boring to confidential; neither of which are good blog fodder. And that’s what’s been going on recently: lots of 2013 strategic and logistic planning, along with administrative tasks to get the framework and structure all setup and ready to move forward. The coming year is looking to be a huge one for me (and a few others) if these strategies and plans work out as designed.

Since my brain has been full with either boring things or things I just can’t talk about yet (have I noted I follow the IBM Social Computing Guidelines? I’m sure I have 😉 ), I’ll do the next best thing and share an image I’ve been using a lot recently… Hopefully this will be enough to both tantalize and satiate you for the week:

IMG_3875

As always, if you enjoy any of my photography and would like a framed print for your home or office, my portfolio at  http://photo.waywardcelt.com has a large selection of prints in various sizes and framing options, as well as canvas gallery wraps and other specialty products from which to select. And because my fulfillment vendors are seriously amazing, there is still time to order and have the photographs hung for the Christmas holiday or under the tree as gifts.